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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Early Christmas

It's that time of year again, the holidays. This is my favorite time of year. Inevitably I will get asked the question, what do you want for Christmas. This is a hard one for my husband. He has a hard time understanding that not all that plugs in is desirable. He can't just buy me the new XBox game ;) There is one thing that I want every year hands down and that is pictures. I am a scrapper and a military wife. I have teenagers. I am realizing that life passes you by in the blink of an eye. My mother in law has passed on some of the best advice to me. He mother died young, of an aneurysm. When they went back through the pictures, they found that there were so few of her. She hated having her picture taken, but then there were no memories of her. My mother was the same way. My son was just saying how sad he was that there were not that many pictures of him and my mom. She just hated having her picture taken. I am so regretful of this. No matter what my mom's self image was, the way she was is how she is remembered by her grandchildren every day and they want to remember her.

I love love love pictures, so when we started talking about Christmas presents, there was no other choice. I wanted pictures of my family. I wanted pictures of me and my husband. We had not taken pictures together since we 1st married. So much has happened since then. So for my Christmas present, I asked for pictures.

Here they are some with the link to more.

Merry Christmas to me!!!!

Life lesson today - TAKE PICTURES WITH YOU IN THEM!!!!!!!!! (for your children and those who love you!!!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Deployment NoNo's and How to Help

Today in my post - I am contemplating military life. Yesterday my husbands bff came over here to Korea to start his year long tour without his family. His wife, also active duty is pregnant with their 2nd child and he has to be away the entire pregnancy. This breaks my heart. I know what they are going through, and I know how much he misses his family. So while trolling the internet, I came across this post - and I felt I had to re-post here. The list is so relevant. As the "war" rolls into it's 8th year, it seems that the sacrifices of the military family become less and less appreciated and even noticed by those on the outside of the military community.
Every day a military family struggles with a deployment. Every day a mom, and a dad sit in the sand box, or in locations that might not seem to some as important - like Saudi or Korean, but they are still separated from their family waiting and wanting to come home. This is not a pity post - We do it because we STRONGLY believe in what we are doing. My husband and his friend, they are lifers, in for over 15 years. This is not their first separation and it will most likely not be the last, but while they are apart there are so many things that you and others can do for them. Offer to mow the grass, watch the kids so that the parent at home has a quite evening. Bring over a cooked dinner. Do these things in the middle of the deployment, not the beginning or just at the end. So many others say they will help and then never follow through. If you really want to help, call your local Army National Guard or Air Guard or Marine Detachment and tell them you want to help out the families and ask to speak to the FRG or the Key Spouse. These are the ladies that are in charge of the families while the unit id deployed. Ask them what you or your church group can do to help - simple things like mowing the lawn. This will make the guys (and gals) over there fell so much better about their families at home - they will know that they are being taken care of.
This list is a list of what NOT to ask - they are some of the classics ..... and yes they have all be said - (repost)

1. “Aren’t you afraid that he’ll be killed?”
(This one ranks in at number one on the “duh” list. Of course we’re afraid. We’re terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds —but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they’re scared of dying.)

2. “I don’t know how you manage. I don’t think I could do it.”(This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here’s why: it’s not like all of us military wives

have been dreaming since childhood of the day we’d get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We’re not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.)

3. “At least he’s not in Iraq.”
(This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Afghanistan. What do they think is happening in Afghanistan? An international game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there.)

4. “Do you think he’ll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?”
(Don’t you watch the news? No! They don’t get to come home for any of these things. Please don’t ask again.)

5. “What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he’s gone?”
(Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there’s a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don’t get bored, and drinking massive amounts of wine always helps keep me busy.)

6. “How much longer does he have until he can get out?”
(This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren’t counting down the days until they “can” get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.)

7. “This deployment shouldn’t be so bad, now that you’re used to it.”
(Sure, we do learn coping skills and its true the more deployments you’ve gone through, the easier dealing with it becomes. And we figure out ways to make life go smoother while the guys are gone. But it never gets “easy” and the bullets and bombs don’t skip over our guys just because they’ve been there before. The worry never goes away.)

8. “My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you’re going through.”
(This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband’s three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 12-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a shitty ford taurus with mercedes convertible.)

9. “Wow you must miss him?”(This one also gets antoher big “duh”. Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they’re now divorced.)

10. “Where is he exactly? Where is that?”
(I don’t expect non-military folks to be able to find Anbar Province on a map, but they should know by now that it’s in Iraq. Likewise, know that Kabul and Kandahar are in Afghanistan. Know that Muqtada al Sadr is the insurgent leader of the Mahdi Army in Iraq and that Sadr City is his home area. Know that Iran is a major threat to our country and that it is located between Afghanistan and Iraq. Our country has been at war in Afghanistan for seven years and at war in Iraq for five years. These basic facts are not secrets, they’re on the news every night and in the papers every day —and on maps everywhere.)

11. “Well, he signed up for it, so it’s his own fault whatever happens over there.
(Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn’t sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that “You’re welcome.” He’s still fighting for your freedom.)

12. “Don’t you miss sex! I couldn’t do it!”(hmmm, no i don’t miss sex. i’m a robot. seriously…military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices, seeing their faces, being able to have dinner together every night. And the hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn’t withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.)

13. “Well in my opinion…..”
(Stop right there. Yo, I didn’t ask for you your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not in Jamba Juice, not at Nordstrom, not in a restaurant when I’m out with my girls trying to forget the war, and CERTAINLY NOT AT WORK. We tell co-workers about deployments so when we have to spend lunch hours running our asses off doing errands and taking care of the house, dog, and kids, they have an understanding. We do not tell co-workers and colleagues because we are giving an invitation to ramble about politics or because we so eagerly want to hear how much they hate the President, esp. while we’re trying to heat up our lean cuisines in the crappy office microwaves.)

last but not least….

14. “OH, that’s horrible…I’m so sorry!”
(He’s doing his job and he’s tough. Don’t be sorry. Be a
ppreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our soldiers fight the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad.)

If you want to say anything, say thank you.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Double Double Toil and Trouble, It's Halloween!!!!

Happy Halloween everyone!
It's the morning after here in Korea, and most in the family are still sleeping after their candy high!Being a military family overseas can have it's toll on the family, and to me one of the MOST important things to maintain a happy home life is to maintain traditions while being flexible.
This is not always so easy - you have to improvise, like this year we could not find Popsicle sticks for the caramel apples, so we used chopsticks.
Some years it means trunk or treating rather than
trick or treating, and some years it even means making new traditions, but having traditions helps keep us grounded when we miss home.
This year even though we miss our daughter, who is in the states, we kept with traditions. We started the day making a huge pot of homemade chili - With 3 kinds of meat! Yummm. We also watched the RANGERS WIN!!!!!!! (hopefully this will be another Halloween tradition - watching the rangers in the world series)
The boys really wanted to make the caramel apples this year - and surprising me - Jacob the oldest led the charge!

Then it was off for some trick or treating -
This year Dylan wanted to be his favorite character - Indiana Jones!

Lots of candy to be had in the base housing towers -
I also want to say thank you, I know that with many Halloween has fallen out of favor, and there were many signs on doors saying Sorry we are at church - and candy is expensive ~ So thank you to all who still participate! Who buy the candy and sit and hand it out for 2 hours! The kids LOVE it and we the parents appreciate it! THANK YOU!!!

We also had the opportunity to carve some pumpkins thanks to the community center on base last weekend and Dylan wanted me to show everyone his pumpkins - Another event that was so fun for the whole family!!
So far only one layout for Halloween - More to come soon!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!!! Have a safe one!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

An Update

What a difference just a little bit of time makes - I don't know if I should just have a really really long blog post or just scrap it for a new blog. I think I am going to just keep this one. SO SO SO much has happened.... Mainly I lost my rock, a big part of my heart and the one who kept me grounded, my hero my mom. She was taken suddenly from us on Aug 4. Yep - that is also my birthday. It was an aneurysm. I know her and I know that believe it or not this is how she would want to have gone. Not on my birthday, but fast and quick. She was an AMAZING woman. A retired Air Force Colonel from the generation that BUSTED through the glass ceiling.

Because of her (and those like her) women can now serve in combat, women can fly jets, and no longer do we assume that if you are in the military you are a nurse. She gave everything she was to her 3 loves, her family, her country and her god. She is my idea of the ULTIMATE patriot and the best mom -
I miss her every day!
After her funeral, I made the heart wrenching decision to leave the home I love ~ Granbury and join my husband overseas in Korea. I don't think I have it in me to face this tragedy alone just yet. I wanted my family to be together to deal with our grief.
So far it has been a wonderful decision ~ We LOVE it here in Korea!!! It is an adventure every day!!! I will be trying to post our adventure in wonderland for you to enjoy!! As we see the county, and prepare to move to our new home in Italy, and know that I will be scrapping along the way! Until then - Hug your mom - let her know how you feel!!! Trust me, it can all be over in an instant!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Catching Up

WOW - a whole month off!!! I had to... so much has happened. We moved. Life - Emily got really sick, Hospital sick.... the house we were getting fell through, we had to get another house and Jay left for a year. And in the middle of it all - the WORST weather in like 50 years - Only in my life!!! So a pretty crappy month. But it is over and through it all, even though I didn't blog or scrap, or even talk to some of my best friends, I took pictures. I stayed faithful to my 365!!! AMAZING - ok - there are a couple of days that I skiped, but for the most part I have it all documented. Granted they are mostly still on the camera waiting to be downloaded, but they are there!!!! So I am starting fresh on the blog with the pics from this weekend and the pages that I have scrapped. So I am taking a deep cleansing breath (along with Yoga at the Y tomorrow) and here you are!!!
Here are some pictures that I managed to scrap - great therapy..... great way to avoid all the boxes I have to still unpack!

Olivia - Bath Time

Jay and I at the Airport -

Dylan and Maddie - Crashed

Caught Dylan Reading in Bed

Thanks for hanging in there with me!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Week

Wow - I think I need to update more - But I am still proud of myself for keeping up with my 365 project. 23 days and still going strong!! So many fun things going on this week. We are still gearing up for the move.... We move into the TLF (hotel) Thursday and Jay signs out on the 12th. Then home sweet home at last!

Todays picture is so cute - to me - Jay works on the flight line, so he NEVER wears his blues. It's ok with me - they make him look like he works with delta or something - Totally dorky (that's the Army in me talking) He had to put them on this morning - 6am Commanders Call. There has been 5 DUI's so the group commander called them ALL in 6am in Blues for an ass chewing. Boy was he a happy camper!!!! I laughed so hard! But I did get a picture of him in Blues. It's not even his shirt. When they told him yesterday, we had to dig out a shirt and it was 2 ranks lower! He has never had it on!! So we called a friend ~ Thanks JP!
Here he is in his "Mad Men" pose

Yesterday they came to take all his stuff.... Kinda a hard day for me... But was made easier by the fact that the packers ~ man and woman ~ were the most unplesent people EVER!!! She was NOT happy at me for taking her picture and when I tried to explain the whole 365 thing she just glared at me. But she kept fighting with Mike - like an old married couple! We were rolling in the other room. This is the best shot I could get, I swear she was going to knock me out!

Jay's stuff separated for the move...

I have said it before and truly mean it - There is nothing like having to pack all your stuff and paint to inspire procrastnation - I mean creativity. I have been wanting to get into hybrid for so long!! I am so proud of myself! My 1st hybrid project.

Because I am a quilter, it is in my DNA to have at least 485 projects going at one time. When I can only quilt a min. I whip out this little number, my butterfly garden. It has lots of aplique, that I am going to try by hand, so I am getting it ready for the long drive to Texas

This is what it will look like when I am done (Ya Right)

My Rosenthal China - I Love it - It was my parents set - Before I had to pack it - These plates have been around the world a few times!!!

The boys going to The Chipmunks Movie! I totally refused to take them and left it to Jay! Ursula and I went to Leap Year instead. Boys loved it - Jay not so much - I think he updated his facebook status the whole movie!

In the spirit of procrastination - I have scrapped this week -

This one is from the One Love new Mega Kit - I LOVE IT -

Whew - are you still here??? That was like a novel - I promise to try and update more often! Well Jay has promised that if I help him pull up the pergo floor in the Kitchen I can start on my Dear Jane today!!!! I will be documenting this process!!! Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Boys -

So much to catch up on! I am so blessed to have such a full life, wonderful family and such great friends!! Thank you God!
Yesterday was both Jacob and Jay's birthday! 15 and 31! Jacob celebrated in his typical style and took a bunch of friends for 6 hours of paintball!! They LOVED it - I am expecting pictures shortly! Jay took the more mellow approach. He picked a restaurant he loves - the local hibachi grill down the street and we met some friends there for dinner. It was such a good time - Here are some pictures from dinner and the picture of the day - I love it - I love catching him in moments where he looks truly happy! Here is about to bust into a big laugh!

A little too much Saki for me!!!

Dylan telling Dad Happy Birthday!

The Birthday Kiss!

Look at all that food we ate - makes my stomach hurt this morning!

Because they share a birthday, Jacob's day of the month will be the 15th - so here is his picture for the day -
I really really wish I could of been there for his birthday, it breaks my heart that I wasn't, but he was with family and friends and had so much fun. Such is the life of a military family. - This is the only picture that I fudged on - I took it before he left - I wanted one of him for his birthday .. Soon before we are together again - less than a month left.

For the 14th we took Dylan to Bingo for Books sponsored by the PTA - Thankfully he won!!! I love the picture of intense concentration on his face!! Too cute - He has his juice box there for sustenance!

On the agenda today - More packing!!! Shock of Shocks!!!! Soon hopefully it will be unpacking!! Today I loose my desk :( The computer will go on the kids rickety little crappy thing. So sad! Well off to corrugated heaven - Have a great day everyone!