Monday, January 31, 2011

Just another Manic Monday

I woke up at my usual time of o'thirty dark outside to enjoy my coffee & check email. I was keeping my fingers crossed for an email from my husband with word of when his flight would be in from Japan this week. No such luck, this trip is hard as he has had little time for emails or phone calls. I knew to expect it as we discussed it before he left but it never makes it easy.
I got the older boys up & moving for their morning. They where a little grumpy as usual for a Monday. Seems like it is just so much harder to get moving these days after our weekends. Even though we had a nice quiet weekend at home. After they got out the door to the bus I fixed my bagel & another cup of coffee . The younger two woke up cheerful so I was hopeful for a good morning, yeah that was a pipe dream. The youngest started complaining that his throat hurt & had a little cough. I made them a big breakfast & gave the youngest some cough  medicine. Well that was THE WRONG thing to do apparently. He refused to swallow it quickly & made himself gag- yep he puked all over the bedroom floor. Ugggg, I hate puke! It made him cry as he tells me "I told you it was gross mom!". After getting him all cleaned up & into the car I was almost home free- notice I said ALMOST. The dog escaped out the garage & into the neighbors yard. Seriously, Panzer normally runs a victory lap then returns with no problem. I guess he decided today was the day to relish his new found freedom as well as try & eat the neighbor . I finally got him back into the house & the kids dropped off at school.
 We are now in the middle of Jeremy's writing lesson which thankfully he is doing with out any complaints. I must admit I have bribed him with a field trip on Wednesday to the Children's Museum if he does all his work today & tomorrow. I really don't care that it isn't a great idea to use this reward method for having him do his work. I am tired & ready for the end of the week when hopefully my second set of hands will get home from Japan.I can't believe it's not even lunch time yet in WA, can this day please be over yet?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oprah shows support for Military Families

I was so excited today to see Oprah lend her name & celebrity to show support of all our Military Families. It is truly sad to see how little support there is at times for those who are left behind while their soldier is at War.If you missed today's show here is the link to her website-go take a look .Bravest Families in America

I was surprised at even Oprah's lack of knowledge on our Blue Star Families ?? Seriously she claims to not know anyone serving in this war?? She has never visited Arlington National Cemetary-WOW!! How many times has she been in our nation's capital ? Not to have taken the time to pay respects for all our Fallen Heroes  Shocks me! We have good friends who are at Arlington, I can't imagine not visiting there every time I had the chance.
Hopefully her show will help spread the word about all our Military & their families. How a simple gesture can help ease the load while they stay at home & wait.

 Remember they serve too.


Here is the link one more time for the Blog "Like" it for TIME (LIFT) Where you can go read more stories & ideas on how to help our Military Families.
   LIFT "Like" it for TIME

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dinner night with Friends

I am super excited to have a good friend bringing her kids & coming over for dinner tonight. My husband is still in Japan & her husband has a late shift on post. We use to get together at least once a week while the guys where deployed for dinner & wine night. The kids would play & the grown ups would enjoy the much needed adult conversation. I am looking forward to that again tonight. 
I put my last bottle of my absolute favorite wine from Oregon in the refrigerator to share. I have been saving it for months now. I think this is a good night to uncork & enjoy a glass. We found it three years ago on a girls get away to the Oregon Coast. You have to either make the trip to Oregon or order it so I was saving my bottle for a special night with the girls. I decided tonight is a great night to enjoy. The sun is shining here in WA & it's 64 degrees in late January!! AMAZING!!!
If your a wine lover then go look up Seamist Cranberry/Blueberry or Cranberry/Raspberry- they are both great!!! Now I am off to get started on the chicken & open my wine- good night world.





Seamist Winery, Oregon 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

LIFT (Like it for TIME)

Head to the link below to learn how you can "Like it for TIME". We are trying to get the word out to TIME magazine about making the Military Family it's next Person of the Year.  Read more information at the link I have provided below & pass the word along!! Thanks so  much!

http://likeitfortime.wordpress.com/yellow-ribbon-interviews-2/

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sad Sunday

Well as everyone knows by now, my Chicago bears lost the chance to go to the Superbowl this year. I really blame Cutler- I really dislike him a lot & wish he would go back to Denver. Although a good friend in Colorado assured me they don't want him either!! We did have a lot of fun meeting up with friends at Big Al's in Vancouver, WA for the game. It had Giant TV's everywhere!!! It also had bowling & arcade games for children- very family friendly which I loved! I want to go back with Paul sometime so he can enjoy it with us.The kids & I had a good time even if  my team lost, I guess there is always next year........




 My GreenBay Packer Cheesehead friend- who made this year watching Football so much fun!!




  My other Best friend who came out to enjoy the day with us.




My youngest finally getting to enjoy the cake he helped make- it tasted great!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Football Cake

My youngest son challenged me on Thursday night to help him make a Football Gameday Cake for Sunday. We found a cake design we liked on the computer & set out to get all the supplies. My second oldest drew us a football pattern we could use for the cake & we started the project. This morning I got up early & made two cakes. One for the base & one for the football.We made the football portion chocolate & the base is yellow cake with a chocolate swirl. The youngest watched as I iced the base & then the football piece. He sprinkled on the green sprinkles to make it look more "realistic" he said. I let him help do the writing & the laces on the football. It was a fun afternoon project I really enjoyed doing with him. I haven't had the time lately to do as many projects with my younger two boys. I really have to stop & take the time like I did with the older kids. They are all growing up way to fast.


With his cake, he is so proud & did a great job! He is only 8 years old.


       GO BEARS beat the Packers!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ready for some FOOTBALL

Bears vs Packers Greatest Moments
Click on the Link to Watch them....



48 Hours until GAME TIME!!! 
I am super EXCITED for the first meeting of the two teams for a Title since 1941!!! I am taking the whole family & we are meeting in a neutral place with our closest Packer Fan Friends to watch the game!! To have some good old rivalry FUN!

My youngest son wants us to make a Football shaped cake. Of course he just decided this last night, so we stayed up looking at them all on-line to try to decide. So today I am off in search of a few items to try my hand at this task. I have never made a Football shaped cake so I hope it works! We are going to do a Yellow/Chocolate Swirl cake with of course Chocolate Buttercream icing- wish me Luck!!






Now below you will see my good  friend who is a Cheesehead, why she wants to cheer for smelly Cheese Team I have no idea- but the Game on Sunday will be a Blast because I am watching it with her!

Next is me at her home outside before the last meeting of the two teams in January......HAHA



I am READY for some FOOTBALL!!
╔╗╔╦ ★ ★ ★
║╚╝║ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
╩╗╔╝ ★ G O B E A R S ☆
...╝ ♥¥ ☆★ ☆ ★ ☆¥♥ ★☆ DA BEARS!!!!
                                              

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Fur Babies

Some have asked about my links to the Weimaraner Clubs on my Blog & Facebook so here goes.

We have two Weimaraners who pretty much think they rule our home. Heidi will be 5 years old on Valentines day. We adopted her after she was reclaimed by her breeder from a person who wasn't taking good care of her.She has been in our home since she was nine months old & is a Daddy's girl!! She loves to swim in the lakes by our house & go bird hunting with my husband. She is getting a little older but you would never know it because she hasn't slowed down a bit!She still guards the house with crazy barking if she hears the slightest noise or car outside. Especially when my husband is away. You would think she is a huge dog if you where on the other side of the door & question coming into our home.

Now for our "baby" I say this because Panzer will only be 2 years old this April. This photo below is how I was drawn in to bringing home this character.




I mean seriously who could turn down that face!  He was 8 weeks old in this picture taken at my husbands office the day I first laid eyes on him. The husband called while I was on post & asked me to stop by his office he has "something" he needed me to see. He knew I had one of our boys with me & it would be a no contest decision on adding another dog to our crazy household.I saw him & had to bring him home on a "trial" basis that has lasted almost two years now.
 Panzer has boundless amounts of energy as any good Weimaraner pup is suppose to have. He loves digging, running, & now swimming with Heidi. They are inseparable pals- who love my boys to death!  Panzer was suppose to be the big male who could hunt all the time with my husband. But when Paul deployed while he was only 4 months old, he became a "mommy's" boy. He does whatever I ask & sometimes looks at me when the husband asks him to do something to see if he really has to do what he is being told-HAHA. 
They are both very intelligent & I love having them in our home even on the days they destroy it while I am away for to long. This is just a reminder from them that they want ALL our attention because they are the most important in the house <<sigh>>
But I feel super safe whenever the husband is gone & they are on watch. Be prepared if you ever decide to adopt one of these beauties- the breed is very High Energy!!

Panzer on Heidi's bed he stole then preceded to chew to shred's!! She was so MAD at him! She snorted & huffed-LOL They have great personalities & I am so glad they are part of our life.

    Panzer Cooper & Heidi Brooke December 2010

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Insomnia strikes again





I was really thinking that when Paul left for his trip to Japan I would collapse from exhaustion & sleep. NOPE - hasn't happened at all.Instead I find myself watching movies until past ten at night until I am so tired I fall quickly asleep. Only to wake up at three then again at four, then finally I get up a little after five in the morning. I drink about four cups of coffee now to get moving & am exhausted the rest of the day.
 With this only being a short trip I am not sure why I can't sleep. This is not normal for me at all. Usually I sleep just fine when they are small training exercises so what the heck is going on with me?? Anyway I hope I get over it in the next day or two so I can relax & rest. Today I have my monthly lunch with two of my good friends. We pick our day for the next month everytime we do lunch. Since all our husbands are home currently from the last deployment it gives us time to catch up with eachother's lives. Especially since we don't see eachother like we did when they where gone. Anyway, I hope I don't fall asleep during lunch today or I'll never hear the end of it from them. It's always good to surround your self with loud, crazy,insane friends to help keep you up & moving!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amazing Book on her story....enter to WIN

Unplanned.....My Story

Abby Johnson wrote an amazing book about her journey while working with Planned Parenthood. How it changed her views on Abortion forever & her relationship with God.She is asking that you go read the first chapter of her book on her Blog. If you like it then enter to WIN a free copy . She will be drawing a winner next week on January 24th.

 

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Crazies where out tonight....

Had a good day with the family at home until it was time to take the husband to post for his trip to Japan. We got there & I got him dropped off. Headed back towards home & decided I should hit Safeway to grab a couple things while I had no children with me. It is always so nice to grocery shop alone & pretty rare for me.When I got to Safeway the parking lot was packed & my normal spot was taken. Yes I have a normal place up close I usually can park.I had to drive towards the middle & park about 15 cars down. I ran in did my shopping & headed back out. As I loaded the van nothing unusual going on around me. I close the van & head across the way to return the cart. I always feel guilty if I leave it by the van. It was dark by now & sprinkling. When I turned around I noticed a heavy set man in his mid-twenties starring & walking towards me. He had a black hoodie on with shorts. The hood was pulled up over his head & some sort of paper was in his hand. I got that tingly weird feeling my mom always said not to ignore.
 I picked up my pace a little , jumped into my van & locked the doors just as he made it to my van. He knocked nicely at first and asked me to roll my window down. I shook my head & said NO! He then yelled " I just need to use your cell !". Well I hadn't been talking on my cell so how did he know I even had one? I said No again & started to try & back out of my spot. He hit the window & I kept going then he hit the roof of my van. Pretty sure I hit his foot a little with the tire- but I was not rolling down my window!

I am now thankful for once that I wasn't chatting or texting on my phone which I often do on the way out of Safeway.I am so grateful that I was paying attention to that tingly feeling I got- I mean he just didn't look right. I will be buying some pepper spray soon to carry around as well now.
At home now with the kids enjoying some TV . I threw a bottle of my wine in the refrigerator for after they go to bed, I think I need a glass to calm the nerves & maybe watch a girly movie since Paul is gone .I think New Moon or Eclipse may be in order after this crazy evening of mine!Hopefully that is it for my crazy things that happen while Paul is away list. Never fails - As soon as he leaves, something weird happens!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bring on the PACK........

We Did IT!!! It was a GREAT Game for us BEAR fans today as we took down the Seahawks!! Now we are looking forward to the Packers coming to Soldier's Field next week. We plan to show them the same type of Ballgame you saw today! GO BEARS!! It was nice to have some good friends show up at Half-time to help me cheer as I was surrounded by Seahawks in my own home!It was fun to rib them a lot & watch as we WON the game!!! Here are a couple of fun snap shots & I look forward to next week!!

                                           DA BEARS

    It was a Divided house today..... 


 
  They where all smiles in the beginning.....


Finally some more help arrived to CHEER for the BEARS




YAY- WE WON!!!!! Sea -YA Seahawks!!!

DA BEARS....NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS!!!!






It's Game DAY-- GO BEARS!!!!!!!

I will be super sad if my Bears don't do well against the Seahawks. But I am going to have a blast watching the game & eating yummy food with friends- so HERE WE GO BEARS!!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

SHUT UP!!

Spousebuzz

The link above is to an old Blogg with a GREAT message!! It is so true that the media can be so disrespectful to loved ones as we wait for our Soldiers to come home. Take the time to read it & share. A few small voices turns into a loud Roar- do your part-Thanks!

DELURKER DAY






Good Morning all! I am so new I probably don't have many "lurkers" But it is nice to see that others are reading my rants on my life with a few comments & hellos. 

For those of you who don't know, a "lurker" is a regular (or semi-regular) blog reader who comes, reads, and leaves without leaving a comment.

Come on, we all do it. I do it, too, but I also try to leave at least 1 comment if I am a regular to their page.

So, today, if you don't often comment here, if you've never commented here or if you're a brand-new follower, just drop a note and say hi!   

Make sure that you have your PROFILE set so that I can reply back in a private message not on my Blog to your comments.

Simply go to your Dash Board- click on EDIT PROFILE & check to see if you have an email address in the correct box. That way I can send you replies to your comments privately . Not all comments need a private message- but sometimes they are nice. 

Thanks again & happy reading. I hope to have more followers  & lurkers in the next year. I am really enjoying Blogging & so glad to have found this outlet. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Friday.....so I better get moving!!






Normally I am a big FAN of things that lead to Friday & the weekend!!! But this weekend is going to be jam-packed with activities. I am hosting two separate parties at our house-HAHA When I planned the first a Tastefully Simple party months ago I had no idea my Chicago Bears would be in a Playoff game on the same weekend??? So EXCITED That they are going to crush those Yucky Seahawks !!

Anyway , today I have to finish cleaning as best I can. I also have to get Jeremy to his regular OT appointment that is over an hour away. Make all the yummy treats that will be served on Saturday night at the first party. Run by Post to hit up the Class Six so we can save a little money in the beverage department. I also want to make a Bailey's Irish Creme coffee cake I saw, sounded yummy!! But that will be for the Sunday Football game as we are doing Brunch foods.So I am speculating here, going out on a limb to say that I won't be around to post until late Sunday night or even Monday. I will want to update you with how AWESOME the playoff game went! I love pictures so I am sure I'll have some to post.

I hope everyone has a safe & amazing weekend- I'll leave you with a few parting pictures incase you where confused about who to CHEER for on Sunday during the game. I just want to be helpful to those who may wonder who I HOPE wins!!





Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just say NO!!





Tonight I went to my very first FRG meeting with my husband's new unit since he changed his job.Before I left I logged into my Facebook & posted the following status as a joke: I am heading to Post to go to my First FRG meeting with Paul's new unit- wish me luck & maybe my friends can TEXT me every 10 mins with the phrase : Just Say NO!! So I leave with only information & not as a New volunteer-LOL

I am a huge TYPE A personality & I think an undiagnosed ADD lady. At least that is what all my friends think who know me well.I think for me I did really well considering my habit of volunteering for everything to stay busy while my husband is away. Like four children doesn't keep me busy enough??

As I drove to post which takes 45 mins my phone starting beeping . Each new text had something that made me laugh out loud as each sender was a well intentioned friend. I got everything from STOP- Turn the car around NOW! Then one that simply said NO!!!!!!!!! with a little frowny face icon. I went on to the meeting and was not surprised to learn that it was a new FRG starting from the ground up. This seems to follow me from unit to unit.The FRG leader was very friendly & was seeking volunteers for every poistion as they where all open. 
As the meeting progressed my phone contiued to vibrate about every 7 or 8 minutes with more- LEAVE NOW, Make Excuses, No Habla English-my favorite by far. So thank you to all my well meaning friends who know I have the bad habit of over extending myself. I appreciate the effort a lot.


The Meeting starts:

They ask for ideas on Future events, I raised my hand gave a past idea we had used.
They asked for ideas on Fundraising, I raised my hand & pitched the big money makers before a deployment.
They  asked for ideas on how to do a pre-deployment brief that wouldn't induce a coma on our families. I raised my hand & pitched the idea 4th Brigade used before our last deployment.


At the end of the evening I chatted with a few green suitors & introduced my self. They all knew Paul, which was nice. I chatted with my FRG leader & signed her paper to help with ideas but not necessarily being the one in charge of the project. I also told her if she found out my husband's section was less then 20 soldiers/families I would help do the POC. I know you are all groaning as you read this now. But for me 20 families is a piece of cake that I can do in my sleep with my eyes closed. She said she would find out & get back to me ASAP.
All in all it was a nice meeting with a handful of people there as most new FRG meetings always are in the beginning. The people I meet seem eager to learn & get the FRG off & running before the deployment which is nice. I DID NOT leave holding any type of significant position in the FRG chain for the first time in almost 12 years- YAY ME!!! That was HUGE for me as there where several time I just wanted to say, "I'll do it". Mostly because I could tell they needed the help & I already knew the system. but I DIDN'T!!!

So there you have it my good behavior at the first FRG meeting. I appreciate all the well meaning texts from friends & family alike (my own husband sent a text). I took them each to heart & did the best I could given my personality. I won't promise to stay completely away, but I promise to scale way back & try to relax this time around. To let someone else deal with all the unpaid hours that are the FRG (Family Readiness Group).It is a great resource for our families & I am truely grateful for the time I have been involved. But it is time to step back & let the next group step up. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A whirlwind of fun...

For the past 48 hours I've slept maybe ten hours total while Paul has been away. I always tend to stay up later & get caught up on my Netflix movies.I don't know why I do that because I still have to be up at 5:30AM every morning Mon-Fri with out fail to get boys out the door to school. Then to top it off Monday night was a late night with friends. While Tuesday brought on a wonderful birthday celebration with one of my best friends.So below is a few pictures to sum up what has been going on in my world for the past two days & why I am feeling exhausted.

Monday Evening Live from a friend's couch on Fort Lewis it was .......the National Championship

I guess you can tell who I was for & that I wasn't happy with the SEC Win.
But it didn't mean we didn't have some fun with those awful Auburn fans!


Tuesday came and it was 1/11/11- crazy thing was I had  4 friends & my brother with a Birthday today!!    How & when did that happen??

 This is our Annual Birthday picture with Sam in the middle being the birthday girl! We figured out tonight that it has been 13 years since we met that day up at Fort Wainwright, AK when I brought home my son Matthew from the hospital.I believe God knew we would need each other in the future. He sent Sam's family to Fort Lewis about 8 months before we arrived.We've seen the good , the bad, & the really nasty ugly in each others life - I couldn't imagine my world with out her .God sent us Bekah about 3 years ago it just all fit like a missing puzzle piece.I could dig out old Birthday photos but I won't because it would only show how much older I look not the other ladies as I am the "mom" of the group.Although we do have that one of Bekah & the goose egg, naw, I won't be that mean-LOL

You might ask why if I am so sleep deprived & tired do I still agree to all these activities. My friends from Football night already have orders & will be PCSing  (moving) during the summer. Bekah is also married to a soldier who has orders & they might be moving as well in early summer. So I won't be turning down any invitations to go out & play with my girls. Because I know these moments are getting rare & soon will be gone.That is Army life & we all know it can happen at anytime. But it never makes it any easier to say the goodbyes. So we go out, we laugh, we cry, we make memories that can hold us over until we meet again at the next Duty Station.

In a world of cheerios, my friends are the best bunch of  Fruitloops EVER!!!!

Like it for TIME





I am passing along a GREAT Blog site that is helping spread the word on Why the Military Family Should be TIME's next Person of the Year. Kristen is a wonderful Author & is pushing hard to get TIME to make this happen. But it won't happen without everyone's help! So if you could head to her Blog & take a look around. Then share the information with friends, we CAN get our voices heard! You don't have to be a Veteran or Active Duty Military family to help get it out that Military Families are deserving of this title. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by  head on over to:
 
Make TIME's next person of the Year our Military Families

Look for an upcoming interview that I did for Kristen on a Military Wive's Perspective on the Military Family & Deployments.

Edit: Here is the Link to the interview : Yellow Ribbon Interviews: Real Stories

Since TIME's first issue in 1927, through all the wars, the Military Family has never been Person of the Year. It's TIME.


Monday, January 10, 2011

It's OK

Well since I kissed Paul goodbye for his week long fishing trip yesterday I have had to answer the question repeatedly " How are you OK with him going on a guy's fishing trip for 6 days of his leave? I would NEVER let my husband do that on his leave!". I listen then I answer with a very honest answer that make some agree he should go & others just shaking their heads stating again" No WAY my husband would get to go!".

1. Paul has worked at times for 13 months w/out a vacation day or seeing his family thus resulting in him having over 112 days of leave (vacation time).

2. I don't know ANY civilians who have that many vacation days stored up who volunteer to work instead of having a day off. I  mean really some times they take a couple days off every month . Not Paul- not ever!

3.He had a half day schedule during the Holidays & he had all last week off to spend at home with the family.

4. He deserves a nice relaxing time & to him being freezing cold in the river somewhere is relaxing.

5. He will come home from this trip as a better husband, father, & soldier because he had time to "disconnect" for a few days from our reality.

6. We don't tell eachother we are doing something no questions asked. After 17 years together we ask, discuss, & compromise in our marriage. It works for us!


I know Paul is leaving in a couple weeks for a Japan trip & then on to Afghanistan in the summer. I also know that he gives me opportunities to have girl time or alone time. So why would I not want to do the same for him, when he asks if it would work out for our family for him to take a trip? He comes back relaxed & ready to face whatever comes our way. That makes for a great home life & that is all I want. For our time we do have as a family together to be filled with love & laughter.

P.S.
 Any veteran Army wife knows as well- sometimes you are ready to kiss them goodbye for a few days. Not that you don't love them, but you have become very independent while they are away . Having them home 24/7 is a bit strange & can really mess with your daily routine.It gives us time to get back to our reality.

Love you babe & I hope you bring home a lot of fresh fish to fill our freezer  XOXO

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. - Ann Landers

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Super Sunday



It is just now noon in Washington & I have been going non-stop since about 7:30AM. A huge difference from my Slacker Saturday that is for sure! I think all that laying around yesterday caught up with me & I had to get moving. I was able to strip the sheets on my bed,empty the dishwasher, clean out the refrigerator , scrub it , & make a crock pot full of chili by 10:30AM! I was on fire! Now I am heading into town to return movies & do a little grocery shopping. Paul got out the door for his week long fishing trip. I love the man but after laying on my couch for over a week on leave I was happy to kiss him goodbye.Maybe I'll be a little more motivated to get the rest of the house put back in order while he is away.When you are not use to your spouse being at home 24/7 then all the sudden he is, it takes a little getting use to having them around.
 
We would normally be out the door to church but my oldest is coughing so hard his head hurts. Jeremy slept until 10ish which is unusual. I hated to wake him up as he must have needed the sleep. We drive around 45mins to church one way so after 9AM I knew today wasn't going to happen. So that led to the above cleaning & now relaxing the rest of the day. I hope everyone else has a very blessed Sunday & accomplishes anything you want! I am off to town- I say this because we live about 15 minutes outside of town. So it is a drive out of the country to get to the store. Off I go....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lazy days....

Well Saturday has come & gone with me not accomplishing much. The children & dogs thought I needed to be up at 7:00AM this morning, WHY I ask you?? I made the coffee & proceeded to down at a fast rate 3 large cups . I finally felt awake as I starred at my computer screen. I played on Facebook & my Blog for an hour when the children then decided they need to eat breakfast. Luckily I had bought the "special" bread to make really good french toast. I was able to pull myself away from my laptop to cook breakfast & refill my coffee mug.I sat back down for my computer time as the kids where very happy eating & watching cartoons.I have to say I haven't had this lazy of a morning in a long time- mind you it's only 8:30AM by now. 
My plans to hit the gym went out the window as I kept finding wonderful  Military Blogs to read & follow. Paul woke up & I handed off the laptop since his crashed. It's a good thing he needed mine or I would have never left my chair today- I am positive. I managed to vacuum and load the dishwasher while he had the computer. When he went out to get his camper on his truck I snatched the computer back for my fix!
Plopped back down in my chair while the kids played & BEHAVED- so rare! I played for awhile then got ready to watch the NFL Playoff games with Paul. We enjoyed a amazing Seahawks game even though it wasn't my BEARS I rooted for them. Paul thinks because we have lived in WA now for almost 10 years, we must root for the Seahawks if "our" teams aren't playing that day. Whatever....I went along just so he would stop with the negative BEAR comments.
After the game we headed to pick up Matthew child #2 from a friends house. It was nice riding in the van with Paul chatting & joking all in our sweats! Neither of us got out of our sweatshirts & me in my yoga pants. We rarely have free time like this together in my van, so it was a  lot of fun. After picking up Matthew we returned home to watch one more football game & play on the computer some more.
I would have to sum up this Saturday as one of THE LAZIEST days I have had in a very ,very, long time! I think I have almost forgotten how to just relax & be still in my home. So today was very nice for me & I look forward to repeating it again soon.


"You can't teach people to be lazy--either they have it, or they don't." ~ Dagwood Bumstead
 
I like this Quote, I don't think I have "it", but I sure am interested in trying!



Friday, January 7, 2011

It's in the news...

Trying to stay positive about heading into another deployment, but I do have my moments.I keep reminding myself that Paul says it's a different type of mission then he has ever done before. Gone are the days of Front Lines & Infantry, now we are only office work. So with this in mind I am learning to retrain my brain to think positive thoughts about this upcoming deployment.Here is a link that was published today that gives some definition of Paul's new unit & their mission while in Afghanistan.

I Corps to Afghanistan

Hopefully with a little help from my friends & a lot of help from God I can navigate my way through the upcoming months.

I had to come back after posting to add the "funny moment" of the day. I was talking with Paul about his upcoming trip to Japan this month & he made me laugh out loud when he mentioned in a cute little cartooning voice " I am one of the Lucky ones! I get to do the Japan trip & the Deployment- because I am so Special!!". You may ask why this is funny- well go back & read my blog on our background . Seems Paul & I have been the "lucky ones" several times already when it comes to deployments. So now we have to laugh when ever anyone tries to tell us that Paul is "Special" that is why he gets to go on trips again & again. He is Special alright, I just wish maybe he could be Special from home a little more often.

MY EFMP Angel.....

I've had a few people ask about the Sturge-Weber link I posted in My Daily Life section. In October of 2000 Jeremy Glynn came into the world & he is our EFMP (exceptional family member) Angel. I have copy & pasted below a brief summary I posted on another site for those who don't know Jeremy's story. I just read this on another blog & it fits my post perfectly so I will share enjoy reading Jeremy's Story.

"Detours are not roadblocks. What we see as obstacles, God may choose to use as a bridge to bring us closer to where He wants us, next to him."

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On October 27, 2000 at Fort Wainwright Alaska Jeremy Glynn Huston came into the world. The first shock was that he was a boy as we had been told to expect a girl. The second shock was the large purple bruising, is what the doctor called it at the time, that covered the right side of his face & scalp. After 24 hours the doctor came back and told us that Jeremy had a Port Wine Stain (PWS) & it might have possible side effects on his health but it was to early to know yet. We took him home & began our research journey to discover that most children born with a large PWS like Jeremy's had a rare disease called Sturge-Weber Syndrome. It can present with a PWS but sometimes doesn't. Our first doctors appointment was to the pediatric ophthalmologist as his right eye was red & swollen. We found out at 6 wks of age Jeremy did in fact have Glaucoma from the SWS in his eye. Thank goodness a few days later Paul came down on orders for us to PCS to Fort Lewis, one of the only post that has all the specialist Jeremy would now require.

 Next we did an MRI to get the diagnosis we needed to get all the doctors on board- he did in fact have extra blood flow & vessels in his brain that led to a SWS diagnosis. We moved in Feb of 2001 to Washington & I believe that Jeremy had his first seizure while staying at hotel in Seattle. At the time I had no idea that was what was going on with my baby. I thought he was simply fixated on a object across the room. But now that I know Jeremy has Focal seizures that can be easily missed if one has never seen them before, I Thank God that he allowed Jeremy's body to reset on it's own.  His next seizures where at 10 months old while Paul was gone to school & I was in Colorado with his family. He turned blue on the way to the hospital & I was scared to death. Thank goodness his Aunt Stephanie was an EMT who drove like a maniac to the hospital since his parents lived way out of town. After several hours they got his seizures stopped & we where released only to return 24 hours later with more seizures. At this time they admitted him & I began a 5 day stay with him at the hospital learning everything that I needed to know to care for him.

Jeremy's seizure's are different in that he he can have a stroke everytime he has a seizure. So I learned he needs immediate medical intervention to stop his seizures. We where given Valium that we administer at home should he have a seizure again at home. This gives us the time we need to call for an ambulance who would have oxygen that Jeremy now needed everytime he seizes to help prevent brain damage. We finally where released his seizure are controlled with Tegrotal now & I can thankfully say he has been seizure free for 3 years now. We never know when or if he will have seizures again. So every day that passes with a "normal" routine I am truly thankful.

Now his PWS or birthmark we learned can be slowly removed with a Laser treatment every 3 months. We decided after much research & talk with other parents of children with PWS to do this for Jeremy. If left untreated it can develop very thick & fleshy with nodules on his face. At 18 months of age Jeremy had his first Laser treatment - we weren't prepared for the swelling after the treatment. It was quite a shock to walk into recovery & see his eye swollen shut & all this little laser zaps on his face. After about 2 weeks the dots faded & the swelling was gone. Slowly over the 3 months we noticed little white patches of skin on his PWS area. He has now gone through about 18 treatments we estimate. His PWS looks more like a wind burn now & is even gone completely in some spots. I have attached a picture so you all can see how he looks 24 hours after a treatment. He no longer likes to go in public for about a week afterwards. To many people stare & ask me what happened instead of asking him. So I hope if you every see one of these angels out in public you are better informed & treat them just as you treat anyone else, this is all they want.
His Glaucoma was treated with 4 eye surgeries starting at 4 months of age. His pressure is now under control but he has no depth perception at all in that eye. So going up & down stairs , curbs, are quite challenging. But he does it all on his own if he can! If the sun is to bright he asks for help as the sun really is painful for him in that eye. He will close it to shield it if he is in bright sun. Once again I thank God everyday for sending us to WA where it is dark & dreary 80% of the year.He now requires 2 types of eye drops a day to see out of that eye & keep the pressure down. He can't read or write when black or gray lettering is used very well. But if it's in color he does fine. So reading & writing has been a huge challenge for Jeremy. This led to us deciding I would stop working & Homeschool Jeremy. He  has a very bad time with retrieval due to a bad round of over 25 seizures when he was 22 months old. It damaged that part of his brain & makes it difficult for him to remember everything some days. Sometimes reading is easy & he recalls everything. Other days you see him struggle & it breaks my heart. But he always tries & has the best personality about the whole situation.

I thank God everyday for giving us Jeremy our special angel. It has taught me patience that I never knew I had. It gave my other children the ability to realize early on that different doesn't mean  you aren't normal like everyone else. It just means you have a different way of accomplishing things in your day. Jeremy is so loving & always shows other children or adults kindness if he see they have any kind of disability.We have had the pleasure of hosting the first ever Sturge-Weber Family Day in the PNW in June 2006( If you know me , you know I love to organize events). We had families from Idaho , Oregon, & Washington drive to Ft Lewis & spent the day BBQing, playing games, & taking pictures. Paul & I realized that day that we may have many challenges with Jeremy, but we are truly blessed with his health. It could be so much worse then it is for him.

I hope this gives everyone a little more insight into SWS & PWS. Just remember when you see these angels out & about they are just like any other child in the world. They just want to grow up & have a happy life like the rest of us!

The Stronger the Wind, The Tougher the Trees (SWS motto)

http://www.sturge-weber.org/  This is the link to learn more about SWS.


Lucky mom to Jeremy 10 yrs old Living with SWS

                                   Jeremiah Glynn at 10 months the day before his first Hospitalization

                                
Jeremy a few hours after his laser treatment
                                   Jeremy 6 weeks after his Laser treatment

** Since this was written Jeremy did have  seizures after his laser surgery, Thankfully we where at the hospital & they stopped it quickly. He has also had 2 more eye surgeries as his pressure has risen some. His laser surgeries have currently been stopped to only once a year. His plastics doctor thinks Jeremy's PWS will never completely go away but has significantly lightened. Now it is more about maintenance to make sure his skin doesn't develop nodules.

We also let Jeremy start school full time in the fall of 2011 so that he could receive some special therapies I could not provide at home. He loves it & is looking forward to another school year.**



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wedding Anniversary - 15 years together a look back....

Today Paul & I celebrate a milestone that few others these days seem to reach, 15 years of marriage. I can hardly believe that it has been that long ago when we said "I DO" in Nashville, TN.Some years seem to slowly creep by at a snail's pace & others seem to have flown by without to much thought. Funny how life does that, don't you think? I have learned over the years what Paul loves in his everyday life & I hope that each day I try to show him how special he is to me. Don't get me wrong we have had our fights over the years. But somehow we have managed to come out on the other side a little stronger each year.
I was driving home yesterday & reflecting back on each year of marriage . I was trying to recall at least one thing that made each year with Paul so special.I came up with a few I'll list below for everyone. Some where big milestones in our lives & others may seem small but meant something to us. I hope that God grants us many more years together as a family. That he continues to strengthen our love for each other & maybe not give us to many more tests-LOL 
Happy Anniversary my love,my soldier, my friend- remember I love you More today then yesterday. 

XOXOXO


1996: I experienced my first Deployment of Paul's to Panama & had our first born Son

1997: I did my first ever PCS (move) to Alaska while pregnant with baby #2

1998: We welcomed our second son into the world on May 24th-7 days overdue! My gramps had passed away the day before-we miss him still today.

1999: We enjoyed living in Alaska & watched our nephew compete in his first Dog Sled races- a first for us to experience as well.My sister-in-law also came to live in AK with us and cared for the boys as I went back to teaching.

2000: We said goodbye to some dear friends who where tragically killed in an airplane crash & got pregnant with baby #3. Our third son was born in late October 2 weeks overdue!

2001: We did a PCS to Fort Lewis, WA with our 3 boys & Paul joined the first ever Stryker Brigade Combat unit in existence.  9/11 happened & our whole world changed.

2002: We had our fourth son in June & found out Paul's unit would be deploying in the upcoming year to Iraq.

2003: Paul left for Iraq in November for his first deployment. The boys & I drove to Mississippi to stay with my parents over the Holidays.

2004: Paul returned after 12 months of combat in October to us! We bought our first home together in Yelm, WA.

2005:We enjoyed a quite year at home with Paul moving over to a new Brigade to start his Platoon Sgt time.I take over with help as the FRG leader of his new company.

2006: Paul learns he will be rapidly deploying with his new unit to Iraq for the second time. We have a horrible year of crazy things happening at home as well as losing many good friends to combat in Iraq.

2007: Paul returns home in May after 13 months away with no R&R to Fort Lewis. He get's promoted to 1SG & takes over a company in his Battalion.I step in as FRG leader again & enjoy getting to know all our families.

2008: We enjoy some down time for about 6 months then Paul get his orders for another rapid deployment to Iraq for the next year.

2009: We get our second Weimaraner & Paul leaves in April to Iraq for the third time. This time with the last combat unit to leave Iraq. I stay behind & get to attend the AUSA conference in DC with other wonderful FRG leaders- it was the highlight of my year!

2010: Paul returns home in May from Iraq & switches to a new Brigade for the first time in 6 1/2 years. He has finished his 1Sg time & is working on his MSG time in rank. Paul reaches 20 years in July of service to the Army. We learn he will deploy to Afghanistan for the first time in the up coming year 2011. We celebrate a wonderful Christmas season together & try not to worry about 2011.

January 6, 2011- We celebrate 15 years of marriage together. More to come later through out this year .








1 Corinthians 13:4-7


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

This was the passage read at our wedding before we said our vows, I still Love it today.



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

Happy New Years to all our family & friends. I hope this year finds you all in good health & able to enjoy your lives with your loved ones close. Paul & I were invited out to a Barbecue with friends but chose to stay close to home this year for our New Years celebration. Our oldest left & spent the night with friends for the first time ever to ring in a new year, just proves we are getting older.He has always been home with us to watch the ball drop in the past. We had a relaxing day of watching all types of movies, playing board games,& eating a lot of our favorite snacks. I knew today we would be getting back on the wagon so to speak & eating better once more. So one last day of indulgence was called for.
 I never made it past 10PM as I am so not a night owl. I am waiting for the rest of the family to wake up & see who actually saw the Ball drop in Times Square?? Since they are all still asleep including the two dogs I am assuming they where all up pretty late.The two younger ones built quite the fort in the front room & camped out last night.I am glad we enjoyed our quite evening at home. I am not sure what the new year holds for our family. But I am certain that God knows the plan so I am waiting eagerly to find out.Today will be a clean up day & get back on school schedule for everyone. As well as enjoying a little football & I am sure more movies.

May God Bless each & every one of you in 2011.