family photo 2017 November

family photo 2017 November

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Unforgettable November...But God!

November 2, 2016
DMPD Seargant Tony Beminio
Urbandale Officer Justin Martin
Were ambushed and murdered in their squad cars.
Tragic news!
The 3rd Des Moines Police Officer death in 7 months, and the 5th in the entire metro this year.
The loss was great, the mourning has been immense.
Thousands have mourned and lives have been changed forever.
Thousands of officers from across the nation attended the funerals.
Hundreds of police cars partook in the processions, it was a sight to behold. Hundreds of people in the city lined the streets and interstate. Flags hung from every bridge, and flags hung from several fire trucks. People crying, holding up signs and their salutes, and hands over their hearts. 
So much sorrow, so much honor.
I too was part of these processions, riding with dozens of other police wives. Standing behind our husbands as the stood together as a department, a team, a troop, a kind of family...mourning. 
The wives pinned our men with flowers, upside down of course, and tried, unsuccessfully, to hold back tears.
We mourned with one another, knowing full well it could have been any of our families, any of our dear husbands.
The worst part of the three funerals I attended this year was what is called the final 10-42, or "End of Watch." 

A loud long beep goes out, called 'the tone,'....
Dispatch calls out for the fallen Officer....
No answer on his radio...
Dispatch calls out for the fallen Officer again...
No answer...
A third time, dispatch calls out to the fallen Officer.
No answer.
"Officer Beminio went 10-42 for the last time on November 2, 2016."
Tears roll, even now.

I'm a Christian, and we have a great hope...But we mourn greatly sometimes.
This was one of those times.

Steve was home that night, not on patrol, but on call for the SWAT team.
2:30 a.m his pager went off... It's never done that before. He was called to the station immediately. Steve didn't yet know what happened, but the news station did say two officers had been shot.
Steve hurried to the station as he knew something was very wrong.
At the station, the men were told, "Men, harden your hearts, we've got a job to do." And they did.

The SWAT team ran personal protection for detectives, ran house raides, and searched the city for the man who killed their fellow Officer.

I lay in bed crying, praying, praying some more, and sending text messages for prayer to some wonderful ladies at my church...Who were mostly all up with young children.
I never did sleep the rest of the night. Rather, as the day approached, we waited 8 or so hours to hear from Steve if they'd found "the guy", or even how the whole thing would play out.
I tried to keep the day as normal as possible, and the kids and I went grocery shopping.

Around 10:30 a.m, "the man" was arrested.

Steve knew all three officers who were killed this year. One was in his cops Bible study, another was his Seargant.

As I lay awake that terrifying night, the Lord was good, and near. I prayed and God's Spirit brought so many truths from God's word into my mind:
Job 12:10 "the life of every living thing is in the hands of the Lord."

Psalm 139 the Lord knows all our days before even one comes to be.

Psalm 56 "when I am afraid, I put my trust in You, in God whose word I praise, in God I trust and I am not afraid."

"Do not fear him who can kill the body and then after that, do no more. Rather, fear God,.." Luke 12:4-5. Matthew 10:28

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

These were not Bible truths I looked for, rather they came to mind while praying. Praise God for his Holy Spirit whom Jesus said he would give after he rose from the dead, to those who believe in Him. 
John 14:26
"the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

Those are just a few ways the Lord led me through that night and the several weeks following...Even now.

Some police wives and myself rallied together and taped a "thin blue line" on hundreds of cars in the Des Moines area and surrounding cities. This even spread across the state.
A small way to show support to the law enforcement who are so hated these days.
Blue painters tape!

And here is OUR Officer, Dad, Husband, brother, son, cousin, nephew, uncle, friend, Bible study leader, worship leader, son of God, believer in Jesus Christ.
We adore him!
If you know him at all, you probably do too!
He has a tough job,
Pray for him.

But... There's always a 'but' with God.
I'm not fearful, neither is Steve.
We know, from the very beginning and hiring process, that Steve holds this position for many reasons. God's reasons, God's plans, God's kingdom work in its various forms.

Now for some good news:
Since Sgt Beminio's death...

The gospel was shared beautifully at his funeral, for thousands to hear, including the entire PD... Seeds planted.

The Billy Graham crisis team came to Des Moines, and 10 police wives were said to have made professions of faith. More seeds planted!

Steve sang and shared the gospel in front of hundreds of civilians, officers, and city workers at a vigil downtown Des Moines. Seeds!

I was able to share our hope in Christ with 3 of our neighbors. More seeds!

Steve grew in favor and relationship with the Chief of Police, and several other officers.

We attended many police gatherings building relationships and being a light in Christ.

January marks the beginning of the first police wives Bible study. We have 21 police wives, and we're going through the book titled, What is the Gospel, by Greg Gilbert. In planning this, God opened doors with a Lieutenant at the PD, with whom me and another wife had a sit down conversation about using the police academy in Des Moines for an information meeting about our Bible study/support group.
Not only did God give us favor, open the door and he said yes, but the Lt also said, "you may have missed some spouses, I'll email the ENTIRE police department, so they can relay the message to their spouses, so we don't miss anyone!"
But God....
God has provided two other women to lead with me, and two nights a week, twice a month, this group will meet. These two other women are Christians, their husbands are officers, and we have one spouse representing each of the three shifts, and we cover 23 years on the PD, 15 years, and 7 years! What an amazing thing God has done, even orchestrating the three of us leading together!!! A beautiful spread of diversity for greater effectiveness!!

On top of all this, Steve had more than one person on the department mention to him that he should be the DMPD chaplain. Many men verbalized they would talk to Steve, but not just any out-sourced chaplain.
We'll spend a long time praying about this one.

We've been able to see how God is using us to spur other Christians on at the PD, and it seems as though more and more Christians are "coming out of the woodwork" there.
Steve is so winsome, and his 2017 schedule has him working with many of the "young guys" on the department, including the recent academy class that lost their two classmates in March, within the first year of being out of the academy.

We look forward to following God into what lies ahead, and rejoice that God is SO good, to use something SO terrible, to accomplish SO many great things... Eternal things!

As life goes on, here are our babies!...
In Daddy's truck!

Craft show weekend with mom, aunt and cousin!

Sweet dear friend's wedding!

Bonita Carol!!


Homemade playdough day!

Cutie pie Sam!

Sweet morning times with the LORD, looking at this beautiful tree, the 'late turner'

Sweet Christmas party with Grace Life Church ladies!

Our 2017 Christmas card!

TRYING to bake gingerbread cookies!
Awesome Dad!

And the final event of November....
Ethan lost his FIRST TOOTH!!

So fun, so awesome, so cute!!!

Bought some shirts, to wear the love!

We all stand behind OUR Officer!!

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
Genesis 50:20

Saturday, December 3, 2016

October recap...

Enjoying the playground!

Here are my cute superheroes!
Thanks Seattle family for the costumes!

Every baby needs a bath mohawk!
It's her turn!

Breakfast time....
A quick bite of cereal before....

A dance break begins!!

And continues....

This is my favorite move!

Hahaha! I took about 100 pictures of this, and a video!
I'll take credit for his moves, thank you!
Dance parties are frequent in our home!

In a chicken coop?
No, in the zoo!

And the beloved annual family orchard trip!!

My loves!

Hay rack ride!
We all wore our farm/work boots and Ethan his overalls, and several people came up to us and asked or thought we really lived on a farm!!
It was so funny, this happened multiple times!
Then again....Sam does want to be a farmer when he grows up!

First tractor ride!

Obsessed with the pumpkins!

Sharing a cider smoothy!
Soooo cute!

Sweet brothers!

Pumpkin carving!
Half naked!

Curious George!

Just adorable!

The super heroes hard at work, saving lives, all October!

Batman ready for action!

A wonderful Dad! Not sometimes...all the time!
These kids adore him!

Heroes pose!

Just another morning!


This outdoor wood pile moves all over the yard, and has been constructed into multiple things!

Grace helping... resting....too!


She enjoyed reading with the bucket on her head!
She loves books!

Morning donut shop with errands!

In jammies!

Letters of their names!

Sweet funny kids!
They have so much love for one another!

A special day with a friend! Carver!

Cute and sweet little boy!
We fell in love with him!
I tried to keep him!

He fit right in without a fuss!

Me and the baby!

Hahaha! Awesome!

Ring around the Rosie in underwear!


LOVE love love!!!!

There are those boards again!

Brave, courageous Gracie! Full of fun!

Funny AND sweet!
She's going to bless many people!
When we walk through stores, or she rides, she smiles and says hi to everyone!! goofballs!

Best costumes around!

Cutest monkey in the world!