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August 2018

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My Online Photography Workshop

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Mary Edwards

Thanks for making all of us cry Miss Karen. God bless you and your family.

Krista Young

Hi Karen! My siter (Melissa Plantenga) has been fowarding your blogs on to me which I am very grateful. They make me laugh and cry but most of all it is nice to have someone who can write and share photos with such talent that also describe my daily challenges. My husband is also deployed to Afganistan and my boys and I miss him every day. Thank you for your service and your gift of words, stories and pictures. I would love to be added to your online Photography Workshop drawing. Hooah!


I was in tears - such a moving post. Then i saw the nail gun picture and had to just laugh out loud (and throw up in my mouth just a tiny bit). Karen, you are the best! Thank you for your honest and heart warming posts.


That post made me cry!! THANK YOU Josh Downs for all that you do for our country and THANK YOU Karen for holding your family together while he is gone. Absolutely LOVED this post! peace and blessings!!

tara pollard pakosta

that is just about the sweetest thing I have ever heard...what a great lady she was....I wish you could find her, but I am sure SHE KNOWS
how much you appreciated that and you will go on to do things like that for others because of it, what a gift!


Your post was so touching. I have a day care and one of my kiddos daddy is deployed. He wore a shirt the other day that said "you would be cranky too if your daddy was deployed", it broke my heart. Thank you Josh Downs and Jordan Johnson and all the men and women serving, god bless.


Omgosh! I gasp and cried when I read about the woman who paid the shipment. That is AWESOME! Thank you to Josh and all the other men and women for their service, including your family and theirs. Thank you for sharing this story, and reminding me to pay it forward ;0)

debbie susee

Wow! That is an awesome story and it's just as touching that you are paying it forward to another military wife. Love it!

Melissa Kuhlman

Your post also made me cry and I am also thankful for the many kind people (like you) who not only listen to my deployment story but perform random acts of kindness exactly when the weight of the deployment trials feel heavy or I am just plain tired. I see the Lord's faithfulness when He puts the right people in our path at just the right time. :)

Jona Panesa

your story made me teary eyed. kudos to Josh downs for serving your country!!! he really is a hero!

Kim @Starry Sky Ranch

Oh man, I am crying too! I have been in your shoes and now am preparing for our son to head to Korea. It is SO hard to get stuff back and forth when you have a bunch of kids at home and any complicating factors. Good for you for making the effort. Good for her for helping you to do it!


Well after reading this beautiful story with tears in my eyes, I think back to when my husband was in Viet Nam and how difficult it was for him, missing out on the birth of our daughter, no e-mails then, 3 weeks for a letter, calls with only an operator's assistance, and a very unappreciated military. Hopefully, by reading this beautiful story, everyone will go out and do something good for our servicemen. Bless your family!


Yup ... crying over hear too, and then almost throwing up when seeing Josh's thumb. He is totally tough to get through that and SO your husband for thinking to take a photo of it!

Blessings too, to the woman you met in the post office. I wish I could hug her for you!


Yup ... crying over here too, and then almost throwing up when seeing Josh's thumb. He is totally tough to get through that and SO your husband for thinking to take a photo of it!

Blessings too, to the woman you met in the post office. I wish I could hug her for you!


What a wonderful post/story. Seriously tearing up over the kindness of others. And I think that nail injury should qualify as an injury in action and he should be sent home. Much love to your family.

Leslee Cotterell-Barrow

You are so playing with my heart strings. What a kind and generous woman you met at the post office. And now you are paying it forward with your photography class. Thank you for your generosity too. I am praying for your husband and all the husbands deployed to come home safely.
Leslee in MT

Nancy McPeak

Now that was a beautiful story - compassion, generosity, empathy, love...thank you so much for sharing. I have a photo just like yours. My hubby put a nail through his forefinger. He called me from the ER and texted the photo to me. Thank you Karen and thank you, Josh Downs. I am wishing this time would go a little faster for both of you.

Nancy McPeak

Btw- it looks like he missed the bone! Just another thing to be thankful for.

Anne Peters

I am so glad that my friend Erin Cobb's blog sent me your way! I am signed up for your class and am very much enjoying your blog. I will continue to read and cry (like now!) and enjoy your blog as if we were longtime friends. Wonderful.

Tera Emmons

Okay, so the boys thought it was cool that you showed the xray, but when I scrolled to see the nail in his hand they both drew a deep breath. I cried, as usual, while reading. (I swear J thinks I'm looney when I read the blog) Deployments are tough. Although J isn't deployed right at this moment, he does get underway every other week. Three deployments (Navy) in 5 years is tough, but we've made it through. These weekly excursions seem like a cake walk. I don't even cry anymore, (okay, not after the first night of sleeping alone.) I love you both get to attend service "together". What I love most, though Karen, is your support of that HHBL (hunka hunka burnin love of a husband of yours). I love your love for him. For each other. For sticking it out in times like these. Thank you, Josh Downs. Thank you kids. Thank you Karen. From one military family to another. (I'd love a seat as well.)


Thanks to you and your husband for your service to our country. My husband has been in the navy for 19 years now, made 5 deployments to Iraq in that time. We've been married for 17 of those years. I was just a baby myself when we got married. While reading your post, I totally felt all those same emotions rush back that I felt while he was gone so many times. We didn't have internet back in the day, so we wrote each other a letter a day and sent them once a week. I would rush to the mailbox when I knew it was getting close to the day for me to get those letters, sometimes they even had pictures enclosed. It caused such joy and sorrow at the same time. Now days, my husband is working at a job that doesn't require him to be gone for months at a time. Next time I'm frustrated about him working late, I'll remember those days from years past and be thankful he's comeing home at all that night.
I wish you the best. God bless.


Oh my what a wonderful story and it brought tears to my eyes! I pray for those who are currently serving and thanks those who have served in the past.

And wow Josh is pretty tough, that hurts just looking at it!

Helen Shields

What a gorgeous story. I wish I had met with the same kindness, sadly I seem to have been on the receiving end of the opposite!!! We have a new build house and I have recently had to deal with a rather nasty, bullish builder who was less than pleasant. When I explained that I didn't need to be treated that way in my own home at a time when my husband was deployed overseas do you know the response I got? "well it is all very honourable and that but I really don't give a damn, it doesn't affect me does it"!!!!!! well you guessed it, I absolutely exploded and told him straight out how it effected him and how it pees me right off that my husband is spending 6 months away from his family in a war zone to protect ungrateful beings like him. hmmm it took me a good 24hrs to calm down. Still I have some wonderful friends around who do appreciate what my husband is doing and are more than willing to help me out. Love and best wishes to you and your family at this time, it isn't easy for any of us but acts like you experienced the other day definitely make it alot sweeter.


Thank you for sharing your story. What an awesome lady! I am a Marine wife with 3 kids ages 9, 8 and 4. My husband isnʻt deployed right now but will be leaving for Afghanistan in February. He has done 3 deployments to Iraq and this will be his 2nd time in Afghanistan. Although this is #5 for us (#4 for my soon to be 5yr old DD) it doesnʻt ever get any easier but each one has been a learning experience and has definitely made me a stronger person. May god bless you and your family.


What a great story! Love that old woman.. so nice to hear there are good people out there. My husband is not deployed right now, but spent 1 year deployed to Baghdad, Iraq. It was our second year of marriage, and our second year living apart. We dind't have kids at the time, but it was a hard year without him...I worried everyday. He did come home safely, and got out of the active duty army. He is still enlisted in the Pennsylvania National Guard.

jersey Girl Anne

Being that I love all things medical...just how did they remove the nail and how is it healing?

Dana F.

I've been following your blog for a few years now and this is definitely one of my favorite posts. My heart is warmed with the thoughtfulness and gratitude that you were shown. There are still so many good people in the world.
Thank you for sharing with us.

Denise Armbruster

I teared up and then I almost heaved up the contents of my stomach. OMG the nail through his thumb....GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH.
OMG the sweet lady in the post office, that is awesome. A friend of mine, a teacher, was in walmart shopping for supplies for her class out of her own pocket and a nice little old lady started a conversation with her, the subject came up that my friend was buying supplies for her classroom and the lady paid for everything. The sweetness and compassion of people tear my heart out.
My heart aches for you all because I know how much all of you are missing Josh. Thoughts and prayers for you all. I hope he's home soon.


How sweet of that lady to pay it forward for you. I also was married less than a year when my husband shipped out to Viet Nam. Letters were precious those days. I found I was pregnant shortly after he left, so went through that pregnancy alone. It was difficult to adjust when he returned home to a wife AND a child. We were married for 25 years when the alcohol use and the PTSD finally was too much for me anymore and we divorced. I often wonder what it would have been like to have been able to stay in touch as you are and to have the understanding of PTSD that is now commonplace. Praying for Josh and for his safe return.


okay Karen,
haven't been by for a visit in awhile and have been catching up and gosh darn it have tears down my face! I stopped and said a prayer for Josh Downs and for you and your family! the sacrifices that military families make are beyond words! Thank you!
Now my mouth is wide open with the sight of Josh Downs thumb! Crazy!
Thanks for sharing!

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