Below is a picture of Michael playing with Dylan, Erica holding Kyra and Valerie looking on. Dylan already misses his daddy very much.
Although Brandon arrived home on leave September 6th, it wasn't until last Friday night that we got to spend some time with him for the first time, at Thalia's birthday party. Brandon is Thalia, Megan & Zac's older brother. Brandon is in the Marine Corp stationed at Camp Pendleton, California but has been overseas for most of the time. He spent some time in Okinawa, Japan and in Iraq. He is currently home for 30 days then he is back to Japan and on to Iraq for a second tour next February.
We're proud of our young men in uniform who are fighting for our country and wish them well. At a time where there is no longer a draft we must rely on volunteers to keep us safe from harm. Jimmy & I are very proud of the courage it took these young men to sign up, especially during these times when they are almost assured of going to Iraq, Pakistan or Afganistan at some point during their enlistment. Brandon has already been there and will be returning again. We pray that both of these boys will return safely from wherever they are sent and we also pray that all of the other young men & women who are serving our country come home safely too. May God Bless them all.
Now lets lighten things up with a little cartoon that I received today from my dear relatives in California.
We are in drought conditions....
We are still waiting for rain here in our little community and have been told to voluntarily cut our water usage by 10%, because there are only 145 days of water left in our reservoirs. This sounds pretty bad to me. We are no longer allowed to water our lawns or wash our cars...and I guess that means motorcycles to. The city is planning on closing down all car washes and if we don't get any rain soon we will be asked not to wash dishes, clothes or take showers....(hello pond.) We are being asked to cut our water usage to 1000 gallons per household per month. That means no flushing of toilets either, of course only when absolutely necessary for #2.
Jimmy's brother sold off all of his cattle because his ponds dried up and there is no fresh green grass in the fields, and feed & hay have become very expensive. Our creek has also dried up and thank goodness the swamp across the road has too.
The excessive heat hasn't helped either. I suspect that much of our water supply has evaporated away. Jimmy & I have spotted several large dead trees that are standing with curled up dried leaves still on the branches. It's a sad state of affairs to watch trees & plants die of thirst, creeks drying up killing the life that lived beneath its waters. This has been a strange year starting with that fruit killing frost, the excessively hot temperatures and now the lack of rain....I hope we at least have lots of winter snow this year to fill our streams, ponds and reservoirs, and to quench the thirst of the land.
Now I fully understand the pictures of rain clouds that Alice would post on her blog...wishing that they would drop rain upon her farm. Those beautiful dark rain clouds, heavy with rain, just passing over.