Saturday, February 13, 2010

Douvas Update

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so sorry wasn't able to get Christmas Cards out this year! Time slipped away from me and we didn't have much of an update for me to write in a letter, but now we do. So, I thought I'd write a little update for you all.

Since venturing off to Quantico, VA for Alex to attend The Basic School, our plan was to do our three and a half years and then get out of the Marine Corps. Well, little did we know how much we were actually going to love this life style and all of the friends we'd make along the way. God has really done a work on our hearts and we are so excited to share with you all that we have decided to stay in the Marine Corps for at least another three years, and we'll see where we are at that point as to what we decide after that.

With that being said, we found out last week that we will be moving, sometime this Spring, to the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, CA. Miramar, for those of you who aren't familiar with where it's located, it is in San Diego, about ten minutes from Sea World and The San Diego Zoo. Where we are hoping to live (which is on base), will be about 15 minutes from the beach! We are so excited to be near the water again, but most importantly we are excited to be near civilization again. If you've never been to Twentynine Palms, we are literally in the middle of nowhere. We are about 50 minutes from the freeway, 35 minutes from the closest Walmart (and it's not even a very good one), about an hour and ten minutes from the closest Target, and about an hour and twenty minutes from the closest Mall and Trader Joes. So, being near all of these places again, will be a welcomed change.

We've been talking about our upcoming move with Madison and she is so excited. One of the things that has been fun is that one family from our community group out here (that we host in our home) will also be going to Miramar. They will be getting there in the middle of March and we will just be a few short months behind them, so we'll already have friends when we get there. Then a couple months after we arrive another family (that we met while in Quantico) will be moving to Miramar sometime in August or September. It will be great to reconnect with them and to meet their little girl.
Madison will be turning three this summer and so we're in the process of researching preschools and fun activities in the Miramar area, such as dance and gymnastic, since she will now be three and that seems to be the magic age to be able to do any of those fun classes.

We are so thankful for all of you and your support as we've been on this journey. Your friendship and prayers have meant and still mean the world to us. We hope to see you all at some point and if you ever want to take a trip to San Diego, we'll have an extra room and would love to see you :)


Stephanie, Alex and Madison

***Once we have a new address, I'll send out that update, but we probably won't know that for a little bit***

***If you didn't receive this email it's either because I don't have an updated email for you or because you were one of the ones my address book decided to ditch when I tried to update it...sorry....please either leave me a comment or email me with your current address, so that I can update my address book! Thank you and so sorry!***

Friday, February 05, 2010

Grandpa, You Will Be Missed

My grandpa passed away on Saturday, January 30th. Yesterday was his birthday and I spent a lot of time thinking about him. My grandpa was my last living grandparent. I lost my grandma (his wife) twelve years ago (my junior year of high school) and my other grandparents while I was in elementary school. So, it's been a long time since I've lost someone. I had forgotten the weird array of emotions you go through from sadness to guilt (with regards to how much time I spent with him).

My grandpa was a sweet man who would have done anything for me (he quit smoking when I was two years old because I told him that it was yucky), he was a war hero, he was kind to all who knew him, and he was filled with love for his family.

Alex, Madison and I had gone home on the Friday, January 29th because my grandpa had come home from the hospital that Wednesday. He ended up going straight into hospice, so my mom thought it would be a good idea for us to come visit before things got worse. Well, Alex was able to take the day off of work and we left Friday morning. We went and visited my grandpa that afternoon for a couple of hours and had a great visit. Madison sang and danced and just was her sweet self. She went up to his bed and kept holding his hand. Throughout our visit Madison managed to sing: Jesus Loves Me, Twinkle Little Star, The Wheels on the Bus, Jingle Bells, Away In The Manger, and more, but I can't think of them all. She was such a doll. She started out a little shy/uncomfortable, but after about 15 minutes she livened up and then was filled with all sorts of entertainment.

Anyway, we were planning on going back Saturday morning for another visit, but in the middle of the night (around 3:00 am), my mom received a phone call that my grandpa had passed away in his sleep, which was really a HUGE relief. You see, my grandpa had stopped swallowing on his own and was basically going to slowly starve to death, but our gracious Lord took him before it got to that point and it was after a wonderful visit in which we all had a peace about our time spent with him.

It's always sad to lose someone you love, but in this situation it was nice to know that he was no longer suffering. My grandpa would have been 82 yesterday. So Happy Birthday Grandpa! I love you and miss you!