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August 2018

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Thinking of your family Karen and thanking you all for the sacrifices you're making! I am forever grateful to you and all the other military families that that protect our freedom.

Tami B.

God bless Josh Downs...and your family! Please thank him for his'll be in our prayers.

Leslie Murphy

Praying for your family and a safe return for Josh.


Josh and your family will have many prayers coming their way.

Beth W

Thank you for your sacrifces for the protection of our freedom. May God Bless you during this time, with patience,love,and wisdom, while he watches over us, and your husband, for a safe return to all.

denise m

Thinking of you and your family. We are currently enduring our first deployment right now, so I know first hand how tough the first couple days/weeks are. ((((HUGS))))

Theresa Grdina

Oh I am so sorry for you...this is tough. I am grateful to men and women all over the country who serve so willingly and with love of country and people. I will pray for all of you: that he may be safe and you will weather through this quickly and with ease. my heart goes out to you.

Karen, We are so grateful for Josh's duty to our country. I completely welled up when I read this. I don't even know you but can truly imagine how hard it would be to be apart. I pray for your strength and for his safety. You are already one day closer each day to seeing each other again. Sunny days are coming!

Manon Keir

Oh sweetheart, that must be so hard for you guys. Thinking of you!!!

Heather Topich

Oh, Karen, I am so grateful for the sacrifice of your entire family. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for all of you to be separated for such a long time. I pray that you will all be safe and that this time makes you an even stronger family.


What great photos!
God bless your family!


Praying for you, Josh and your family! The pictures are wonderful, they made me all teary eyed (in the train, mind you). A big hug to you from across the pond, the Atlantic one.


Praying for all the family. Thank you to the entire family for your commitment to our freedom. May God bless

Cathy K

Karen, my heartfelt prayers for you, Josh, and the kids. Having just endured a year long deployment of my oldest son, I can identify with most of the feelings you are going through, although you have the added worries of children. I hope through prayer and support from your family and friends, be it in person or through your vast network of internet friends, that you all are able to cope. I also pray that Josh's time in Afghanistan passes quickly and uneventfully. Oh, that that he's close to tent full of computers and Skype! That really, really helps!


Ugh...I had no idea...tearing up looking at those pictures. Will pray for strength for you and a safe return for Josh Downs. Thanks to your family for the sacrifice for our country. You are the real heroes in this world!


Your photos are bringing tears to my eyes this morning. Praying for your family and most of all that Josh returns home soon, safe and sound. God bless you all for the sacrifices your family makes. I love your photos and stories. thanks for sharing.

susan lew

I will keep you all in my prayers. Thank you for the sacrifices your family is making to keep our country safe. Loved the pictures, very sweet. Take care.

Diane knott

Typing through tears...bless you, your family, and especially Josh! May he stay safe and come home soon!

stephanie ackerman

Love and prayers being said and sent to ALL of you. Thank you for sharing your wonderful REAL life with us. Thank you Josh Downs for your sacrifices, your love for our Country and for your family. God is good and will take care of everything.

ana roat

Thank you Josh for your commitment to God and country. Thank you Karen for sharing the news so that we can lift you in prayer. Thank you Lord for this incredible family. Lord bless them indeed. You're all that they need. Expand their horizons beyond what they see. Put your hand upon them and keep them from evil. This is what I pray...

Thinking of you in California!


Thanks to Josh, Karen and your wonderful family for your sacrifice for this country.

May God hold Josh and all the soldiers in his hand, until they can return safely.

Kelly Koesters

Wow. God Bless all of you. Praying.


And now, I'm crying... Your sacrifice is appreciated by so many, and even though it probably doesn't ease your pain, it, too, is felt by many...Return safe and sound, Josh Downs

nancy in ks

Dear, dear Karen and kids - You will never not be in my prayers. Love you all. Nancy


Praying for your entire family.


What an awesome gift you gave him to take with him! Praying God gives each of you His strength! Blessings

Wendy M.

Wishing you and your family much love while you wait for Josh Downs to return.


Sending you, Josh Downs, and all the kids all the light and love I've got, and then some. HUGS from Montana.: )


Yes, I'm crying too...what a great idea with the pictures. I've been trying to think of something to do when my husband leaves in March and that seems great, maybe in one of those books that you can record messages in - that's what I was planning on having my 2 little ones do. Thanks for the idea, I've been running stuff through my head wanting him to have something to look at/listen to whenever he needs a pick me up or reminder of home.

We are very thankful for Josh's service to our country and for you and your family, you are sacrificing so much to protect our freedom - Thank You!

My girls and I will add you and your family to our nightly prayers!

Ellen Patton

He'll be so happy when he sees those photos. :)

kelly s.

Karen, Just wanted to post to let you know your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs from Germany.


Your family is in our prayers - please remember our family, as my 20 year old son is in the USMC and will be leaving shortly as well.

Brenda Walker

I know how you feel. My husband left Thursday for deployment! As much as I hate it I know that God is in control! Praying for your family!
Brenda W

Sarah K

Thank you Josh Downs, Karen and all of your beautiful family for your sacrifice. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have no doubt you will be strong enough Karen to get through this, but if the days come when you don't think you have the strength, rest assured that God is more than strong enough for your whole family. He will hold you up. I will keep you all in my prayers. I can't wait to see the post full of photos from your happy reunion.


in tears. what a beautiful way to send off the amazing man in your lives. God Speed Josh Downs!


I'm an Oregon National Guard wife, too, and this was our family's reality during the last big deployment. No lie, it will be hard. But it will be good in some ways, too. You and your kids will grow so much closer that you ever thought possible. And the reunion? Will be awesome.

Don't forget to take care of you during this time.


Saying a prayer for Josh Downs and his family.


Oh Karen, that is is such a sacrifice & I can only imagine the sadness. You all will be in my prayers & most especially Josh Downs for safety. He is amazing. You are amazing.
God Bless-

Sheila Mayden

Wonderful are all in my prayers.

Rachelle S

Oh my gosh~ just the sweetest thing ever. You're all in my thoughts.

mandy friend

Karen, I knew he was leaving because Robyn told me, but i didn't want to say anything until you made it public. My prayers will be with Josh, and you all. Thank him for serving our country. let me know if you need anything at all! blessings, Mandy


Oh...tears....prayers and thanks for your sacrifices....the love in those photos will make his heart soar....


Hugs for you Karen and family, and thank you Josh Downs for your sacrafices to keep us safe. Praying for all of you!!!


Thank you Josh Down for serving our country, You and your family will be in our prayers.


Glad I am not the only one crying right now. I will be praying for Josh Downs and your precious family. Thank you for sharing this.


((( HUGS ))) Those photos are lovely - what a nice idea to do them for him. I'll be praying for his safety and that the year will go quickly so you can be reunited soon. Take care!


I hope he has a safe deployment & hopefully the time will pass quickly.

Jessica K.

Thank you Josh Downs for serving your country and I'll be praying for your safe return...

Laura M.

Oh my, so sorry that he has to be away. Sooo grateful for your sacrifice. in him serving our country. Will be praying for his safe return and God's grace to help you through the time he is gone. I have these verses taped to my bedside to help me through the many middle of the night wakings, feedings, and now cry-it-out sessions I've been doing for my daughter. ( I know this doesn't compare to having your hubby deployed)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

And my favorite at this moment-
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness , so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 8-10

Many times He doesn't change our circumstances, but will sustain us through a hardship. Can't say that I am, like Paul, at the point of delighting in it, but my faith is strong. I know yours is too.


Thanks to your husband and your entire family for your service. I grew up in an Army family and understand the stress and pain of separation, but like you a wonderful supportive family gets you through! Prayers for a safe return home!


Bless you all and especially Josh Downs.


prayers for your family. and the safe return of josh downs.


Have to share this. My 12 yr. old daughter was looking over my shoulder while I looked at your chalkboard photos. She said, "But didn't the Mom write one too?" That's how great and YOUNG you look, Karen!!

Count our family among the many who will be praying for all of you during this very challenging time.


God bless your family.

Tammy Mellish

I knew it was coming, but I was still not prepared for the actual post. I am in tears, and so touched by the your family's courage, sacrafice, bravery and LOVE. I am going to hold you all in my heart, and in my every prayer- starting with Mr. Josh Downs.

Diane W.

Wishing all the best to your family and praying for Josh's safe return home. What beautiful pictures.


Haven't stopped praying for your family since my class with you in March.


Praying for you and your family. Thank you for your service and sacrifes for all of us.


I will be praying for Josh in Afghanistan and for you as you hold down the fort at home. Our son will be deploying to Afghanistan in early 2012. It's hard.
When my son initially left for basic I gave him the soldier's Bible and wrote all through it little notes and reminders of everyone that loves him and prays for him. I love the picture idea :)


Those pictures are adorable and how sweet that he put them in his Bible. It's a great sacrafice Josh Downs makes for his country. Your family also must sacrafices. We pray for his safety and the safety of your family as he servess his county. God Bless your family and Josh Downs :}


I will be praying hard for your sweet family! Praying for his safety & that the time will pass quickly. Hugging you across the internet...


Hi Karen! I'll be praying for your family and Josh's quick return home! Hugs!


Karen, hugs and prayers to you and your family. Thank you for Josh's service to our country and the sacrifice you all are making. I know he will be (is) missed terribly. Plus, your blog won't be the same without your photos of his calves and your comments indicating how sexy you think they are (those always make me giggle!) ;)

Glendy Morrison

*tears* Donnie shared that news with me the other day. I was crying my eyes out on the phone with him - i want the best for you, darlin. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. xoxo

Julie Pilch

I can't imagine how hard things must be for you and your family right now. Take care of yourselves, keep strong xxx


I didn't know Josh was going to Afghanistan. Bless him for serving us and our country. Also, prayers for both of you - that he would be safe and come home physically and emotionally well and for you that things would be smoother at home than you could ever imagine. His service is a true gift and so is yours!


What a special surprise for him. Lots of prayers for your entire family.


Praying for you and for him. What a really hard time and we are so grateful for your sacrifice! PRAYING!


Thank you for your service and protecting our freedom Josh Downs. Praying for your family while you are away and for a safe return to the states.


How did I miss that Josh was going to be deployed? Your inside cover photos will be his strength. May he return home safely to all who love him.

Allison Y.

Best wishes for a safe return and quickly passing deployment. . . thank-you to your family.

Cara Lieggi

Thank you Josh, Karen and family for the sacrifice you all making. May God bless all of you!


With the others, I was crying, too. What a wonderful idea you had! Thank you, the awesome Josh Downs, and your family for the sacrifices your family is making for our country and others. It is so awesome that you were able to spend some quiet time as a family at the beach before he left.Another beach trip will be well needed upon his return. God Bless!


Sending you love, gratitude, strength and grace during this difficult time, Karen. I cannot begin to imagine. Thank you for your service, and to Josh for his. xo


And the tears.......they fall. Karen, I pray for God to give you more strength during these months while Josh is gone. I pray the kiddo's try to understand and you all come together while Josh is not here and yet feel him in your presence all the time. We are all blessed to have Josh and the many others like him in our lives who have chosen to watch over us. Thank You Karen and Family for the sacrifices you make to keep the rest of us safe. Praying everyday for Josh's safe return into the arms of those who love him.

Susan Ringler

OH Karen,
Josh Downs and all of you will be so "prayed up" (I hope you have heard that term before) that comfort will be yours each day and traveling mercies and safety will surround Josh as you all wait here for him. The tears are flowing in understanding of the sacrifice all our service men and women make to keep us safe and free. The tears are flowing because I know it will make your year much tougher, but I will be thankful for our technology and thankful for all the love in your family.

Please let us know the minute you are putting together plans for things to send the guys when Josh lets you know or card needs or anything your fans, friends, and blog community can do to support you and Josh at this time. We will be praying and lifting all of you up.


oh, karen. you brought on tears.

thinking of you and your family. and thanking you all for the sacrifice you are making for my family and the rest of our country. thank you is simply not enough.


Sending thoughts from Australia - and hoping, really hoping, that you're going ok.


Praying for you and the kids! We are halfway through so I know some of the fears, struggles and blessings that Lord uses to comfort us in our time of need.-melissa

Jennifer O.

God bless you all.

kathy jo

Keeping all of you in my prayers. Thanks to Josh and all the soldiers and their families for the sacrifice they make to keep our country safe.

misha leigh

I read this early this morning and I cried. I came back to comment now and am crying again. I am so thankful for you - as a wife and mother - sacrificing with him. This was such a perfect thing to do - those pictures are priceless. I will pray, too. Thank you, again.


Thank you Josh. Love you all.


Laura Evangeline

Girl, you are NOT alone. For every service member out there, there are women like us back here loving, crying, and waiting for them to come home. This is going to be a hard year. I'm only half way through my first separate deployment. After eight years of being a Soldier my self, I never knew what it was like to be left behind until 6 months ago. I'm finally over the hump I guess. Hopefully, yours won't be so long. It's amazing what we can do when we're tested though. My prayers are with you & your sweet ones. HUGS & more HUGS! :-)

Kathy C.

Sending all of you lots of prayers for Josh's time over there and a safe return. Prayers for ALL OF YOU while he is away for his safe return!

Helen Shields

My husband left two weeks ago to deploy to Afgan. He left behind me and our three kids 11, 9 and 8. My heart and emotions are with you. It doesn't get easier just different, the first week was hard, especially at the quiet times at night. Your are a strong lady and I am sure you will bring your children through this, but remember to just take it easy on yourself to. We are not super women and sometimes we need to remember that. But these experiences do make us stronger. I am sure your Josh Downs will be so very proud of you for taking care of his family in his absence. If you ever need an ear ( I am sure you have many who are close!!) I am here and going through it all to. Kindest wishes to you and your family in this very emotional time.


Wishing you the best of British (luck)


What fantastic photos to send with him - he'll know that you all love him so much. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. x

Patty Hetrick

Oh Karen! I'm so sorry to hear that Josh has been deployed. It's a shame that all Americans aren't understanding and grateful for the men and women who serve our country. Many people don't realize the sacrifices they make for us and especially the sacrifices their families make!
I couldn't stop my eyes from tearing up as I read this post. I will pray for Josh Downs and all of his family (especially you and the kids) who will be missing him dearly. So sweet of you to put some special photos in his bible for him. Lots of hugs and prayers for you.


I have waited for you to post this Karen, I am thinking of you and your family and wish you all the best. Praying for Josh to come home safe to you as soon as he can. Take care you sweet girl ;o) Lots of love.


He is going to LOVE those pictures! Praying for his safe return! Also praying for you and your familyQ

Tanya A

Sending fortitude and hugs to you all! These photos brought tears to my eyes.

Terry D

Praying for Josh and your family Karen! May he be safe and come home soon!
Those pictures are beautiful! Thank you to Josh and your wonderful family for his service and sacrifice. God Bless you all!

Martha - EP

Karen, your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers. He will be so surprised and thankful to have those lovely photos and cherish them the whole time he is away. May God be with you and guide you thru this time and may God bless Josh for all that he sacrafices for this country. I'm sure the kids are so very proud of their daddy!

I will pray that God reunites you all again soon.

Safe travel Josh Downs!

Nancy Wyatt

Thanks Josh Downs! Praying for you all! Hugs from Conroe, TX!


I will be praying for your whole family!


My goodness, Karen....this just made me cry my eyes out. So sweet. We'll be praying for Josh Downs while he is away from his beautiful family.


I hope Josh Downs is not crying as much as I am when he sees these photos. You have an awesome family and I totally respect your commitment and sacrifice so we can all be safe.. God speed his safe return. Love to you all. Xx


Karen, I don't often comment on your posts, but this one brought me to tears. I will be praying for you, your family and especially for Josh's safety.

Kathy T

We will keep Josh and his adorable family in our prayers.

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