Monday, December 31, 2007


I know it's still early in the day here on the east coast, but we're getting out of work early today (hooray!) and I've got a bunch of stuff to do when I get home to get ready for dinner guests, so I'm sending this before I get busy and forget.

To each and everyone ~ may you all have a happy, healthy, safe, and very special 2008! You are all very special people. Scoots - KYHD and come back soon!

Love to all...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy New Year!!

OK - so it is only 27 Dec, but DA's New Year will start before ours so.......

We had a great time with Shennie here for Christmas and I LOVE the picture. I have it at my work station right now, but I showed it to everyone at work first!! We really did miss you Christmas Day, but it was great to talk to you on the 24th and again yesterday. It sounds like you had a good day in spite of your geographical location. I'm sure the names of those weapons will mean something to the guys out there, but it is all greek to me! I know nothing about weapons, guns, ammo, etc....the Dad was in the military, I was just along for the fun of it! I am glad that you have one just in case....

Well - I'm keeping this short and I will apologize for typos, but Rascal is "helping"me type this!! He is laying on my lap with his head resting on my right arm making typing very interesting.

BTW - I am using my new laptop! Many thanks to Ben for getting it all set up for me last night! I LOVE IT! It is AWESOME!!

To Shennie - I guess these kids will get us into the 21st century inspite of ourselves!!

Love ya....KYHD!
the Mom

Happy Post Boxing Day!

Yesterday seems to have been a blur. I got up and packed. Kitten arrived at the house and she and JJ and I picked up the mom and we went to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Then we dropped Kitten off to get her car and go home and get some sleep and the mom and JJ took me to the airport to fly home. Remind me to not bring any liquids and/or gels with me the next time I fly - or to pack them in the checked luggage. Both flights I had my carry-on bag examined. Oh, the corkscrew stays home too! Even tho' it is legal to carry (because it doesn't have a blade - have you ever seen the end of the corkscrew?) they have to check it out. But, nothing was confiscated and I didn't have to wait to board - went right on. I managed to knit 1.5 hats on the flight home. We made good time and I was in my house by 5:50 est. I checked everything out, started unpacking and then went over to my friend's house for dinner with another friend. It was all leftovers from Christmas, but tasted great. I was home by 8:00 and in bed by a little after 9:00. I DID NOT WANT TO GET UP AND GO TO WORK TODAY! I kept thinking of JJ having this week and next off.

Christmas was so nice, but we missed you a lot, Scoots. Cooper and one of the cats got into a tussle; that was the noisiest part of the day. Poor Coop was an innocent bystander to the sneak attack of the cat.

You'll be pleased to know that the family gave me an ipod - I need you to help me figure it out. Donut explained it all in 10 minutes and I have proceeded to forget what she told me. Oh well, I'll get it set up when I get my new laptop that Ben helped me order the other night. So, among the new laptop, the ipod and docking station, my new digital camera, and the digital picture frame, I'm getting to be quite the geek. Now, if I only knew what I was doing!

I absolutely love the picture of you and Chelsey. I've got it here in my area at work and check it out. I've been showing it to everybody. When the mom and dad got to that gift Christmas morning, the dad was holding it and trying to figure out what it was. The MOM got impatient, grabbed it from the dad, figured out instantly what it was and tore it open after immediately bursting into tears. We all had a good cry, and life went on til I got to my present. I picked it up, saw who it was from, felt around to see if I could tell what it was then turned to the mom and said, "You're not so special!". We all cried again and love it.

Ok, so we can hold off on the beef jerky and the sweet candy - I'll scour the shelves when I'm at Wally World this weekend for some appropriate replacements. Do you need hats, scarves, whatever to keep warm? Did the socks fit that I sent?

Chinese food for lunch is arriving. Will write more over the weekend. I hope your holidays are the best that they can be. We missed you at the dinner tables, but will save you a spot.

Love you and KYHD!

Hey Everyone

So christmas is over with, everyone is recovering from the food they enjoyed the excitement of christmas morning. For me, it was quite a nice christmas despite my location. For Christmas morning, I woke up at 0900 (midnight CST) to get ready to go to a Range. Now normally, I dread going to the range, but as most people know this was not a normal range. For aiding some Special Forces in some very, very successful raids in *********, Iraq, they wanted to repay with a special reward. So they invited the entire forward site crew to their compound located within the FOB to do some 'weapons familiarization." Once we got there and approached he table that was in front of the range, we saw the weapons in which we were to become familiar with: 2 customized fully-automatic AK-47s, 2 MP5s, an UMP .45, and the deadly Dragunov Sniper rifle (7.62mm round). Now mind you that the US uses 5.56mm rounds as they are known not to pierce through the targets and leave a nasty exit wound. The 7.62mm will do just that. And know that you can be 50 meters away. Or 1,000m. I can still hit ya!! lol.
Anywho, I am emailing ALL the pictures I have taken from Stewart the day I deployed up until christmas day to Chelsey so that hopefully she has better luck uploading them on here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jesus Doesn't Like Cutters

In case you didn't already know, Jesus doesn't like cutters. I learned this on Sunday night when my family made the traditional annual trek to the Our Lady of the Snows Shrine. My mom, dad and aunt were in another car, and my hubby and my sister-in-law and I were in our car.

We approached the Shrine's entrance, patiently waiting in the line of cars. The line had to be at least a mile long, barely moving. We inched closer and closer to the entrance. Then, from the lane to our left, a car slowed down (having not patiently waited in line like the rest of us) and turned on its blinker to enter our lane. From the back seat I hear my sister-in-law Chelsey say, "Don't let him in or you'll go to hell; Jesus doesn't like cutters, you know."

So, the driver of the silver mini-van in front of us is going to hell. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas David Andrew!! A few days early!! Gald to hear that you have some decorations up and that you are settled in your "new" digs.

Today I got our Christmas cards done - I'll mail them later today. Now all I have to do is wrap EVERYTHING. I'm pretty much done shopping - just a few more things to get. I'll probably do that tomorrow morning before work or Monday since I have it off.

We sure will miss you this year, but know that you will be thought of (and talked about!) alot on Christmas Day. The plans at the moment are: Shennie flies in tomorrow and Jennie will pick her up at the airport. When Dad and I get off from work, we will all meet at the house and head over to the Shrine for our annual Christmas light display. From there we head to Cracker Barrel for dinner and then home for dessert. ( I guess I better make something!!). Christmas Eve we will be at Jessica & Craig's for dinner and Christmas Day dad has to work so we will open gifts when he gets home. Jennie and Ben will be going to Ben's sister's to spend time with his family during the day. I think they will be here for dinner (late) or perhaps just dessert. They will open gifts when they get here. I have invited Chelsey and her family for Christmas dinner so we may have a crowd - the more the merrier!!

Glad to hear that you are getting alot of hours in. I'm sure it helps the time go by. So you're working out??

Everyone from the office says hi, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Many of them ask about you frequently. With all the military folks we have that is not surprising. Keep the pictures coming and we will be sure to take lots on Christmas Eve and Christmas!

Love you lots and KYHD!
the Mom

Season's Greetings

With Christmas right around the corner, thoughts of happiness will fill the air. To some, the feeling of sadness may sink in with my deployment. For this will be my first Christmas away from family and friends. But do not let my absence cloud your day. Remember that though I am not there with everyone, I will still be celebrating christmas here. I've already setup christmas lights around my room. And I pretty much have my room to a style that I will be comfortable with for some time. I have a nice 19" LCD TV/Monitor, my XBOX 360, my ROCKBAND equipment all setup in the back of the room while I enjoy my sleep wth the A/C (or heat for the time being) blow on me at night. Thats right, these past couple days have been getting frightenly chilly. Temperatures have actually dropped to around freezing. I think the high today was like 45, and yesterday it was 38 with a low of 31. Tomorrow the high is 59(whew, warm) with a low of 37 (not so warm...) (Yes, my room is definitely hooked up!)

Things are going well here in Iraq. So far I have managed to rack up almost 200hours of flight time, and almost 100 hours of Mission Commander times (thats right Jennie, I get to do mission commander stuff in my job too, except with a multi-million dollar military system...) Anywho, for stuff to send I think you can start cutting back on the Beef Jerky. *Its actually starting to bother my mouth.* And a drop in sugar candy wold be good (same reason). But otherwise I have definitely enjoyed the stuff sent so far.

Oh, and if people havent heard yet, I have been going to the gym for a little while now and have put on almost 10 lbs of muscle. I am benching more now then I ever did in the states. An everything else is definitely a step-up from even my Army PT at Stewart. Well, its about that time to go fly a mission (Time to put on my MC cap and get to work.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Anniversary... the Mom and Dad!

Let's see - - - 33 years ago today the dad was slamming doors in his best man's face; the grandpa was forgetting to pick up his mother and had to race across town to get her; the mom was calmly sitting in the recliner drying her hair; shennie was being shadowed around the house by the dad's sister - even to the bathroom; the grandma was trying to get rid of her obnoxious sister who showed up early and uninvited with her alcoholic boyfriend; and the great-grandma was trying to make sense of everything that was going on. It was a fun day at 406.

But, despite the chaos and insanity, it turned out great. BTW - the biggest crier at the wedding - the dad's dad. Sobbed through the entire ceremony.

At least 33 more!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm Bored

Things here at the office are very quiet. We didn't even have any kids in today. I keep thinking of all the stuff I could be doing at home if I weren't sitting here trying to kill time until at least 4:00. On well. I did get my self pre-registered for the cruise. I'll bring all the stuff with me and Jennifer and I can sit down and scope things out and day dream until Feb. 1.

I went to the Post Office yesterday; Scoots, there's another box on its way to you. Don't know when it will arrive. Do you have a sense as to how long it takes for stuff to get from here to there? The post office here by the college is very helpful and considerate when I take stuff over to send to you. They rarely charge me full freight.

Donut, thank you for the complimentary comment on my last blog - we'll ignore your mother's addition! She has to stress that to everyone otherwise they think she's the oldest - they always have.

I put two boxes in the mail to you - they're headed for your office. I'll get them from you on Sunday (hopefully JJ will take me over to get them or you can drop them off at her house). Most of the stuff is wrapped, but some of it isn't. I'll take care of that stuff on Monday. I'll still have some finishing up of projects to do before Tuesday morning. I may put JJ to work helping me. It'll remind her never to work on projects that require a fringe!

They're saying we may get a little snow/rain tonight/tomorrow. I hope it's rain. It's also supposed to rain on Sunday, but that shouldn't prevent me from flying out. Hopefully it will get rid of all the ice and gunk on the streets and sidewalks.

Have a great day!


Love you,

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Enough is Enough!

Before I get into the fact that we have had more snow this week than we did all last year and I'm tired of it already, I actually took some pictures of the snow on my new digital camera and downloaded ~ or uploaded , however you want to look at it ~ to my computer. I'll insert them so you can see. Aren't you proud of me! I did it ALL BY MYSELF!

The first picture is taken from my kitchen door looking at the firehouse across the street; the second picture is looking in the opposite direction. On Thursday we had 9" of snow on my front stoop; when I decided to feed the birds today and tried to go out my kitchen door, I had to shovel away 10" of snow.

It's been a busy day. I've got a box ready to send to you, Scoots, and I have another one that I'll ship at the same time to Donut at her office. I've still got stuff to finish before I head to Illinois, so this won't be long. I've baked today - 8 of Grandma's cherry cakes. I also plan to do a batch of her datenut bread. I'm going to need a day off to rest up from today. I was planning on taking a nap this afternoon, but that's not going to happen.

Back to the snow - It didn't start snowing until very early this morning, but it made up for it. We were only supposed to get 3" - 6" today. My yardstick is getting a workout. I knew the storm was coming in so I got as much done yesterday as I could. I didn't even plan on going to church, I just started in knitting and baking when I got up. To hear the media this morning you woulda thought we were living in Tampa and the storm was hitting there. This is New England, folks!

I like your pictures - especially the camel. When are you going to ride on one? Actually, it's good to see you post any message on the blog. Keep 'em coming - even if it's just to say hello!

Well, knitting and wrapping are calling. New England Patriots are beating the Jets - AGAIN! Maybe this will shut up the Jets. I don't want to get too cocky - I don't want to jinx the Pats. They're playing here in New England. It bet it is COLD at Gillette Stadium.

Well, Scoot, you can brag to your buddies that your technically-challenged aunt figured out digital camera transfer all by herself! To the rest of you - WATCH OUT! I ALMOST called Ben, but decided to be stubborn enough to do it by myself. And I won. HOORAY!

Be well, be smart and KYHD! Let us know if you or any of your friends need anything.

Love you,

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Let it snow!!

We had about 4 inches last night most of which melted today, but it started snowing again a couple of hours ago and we have had another inch or so. It is really beautiful out!! Unfortunately, it will be gone by Christmas because it is supposed to get up to 57 degrees on Thursday....oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

DA - I love the pictures you posted. I have only seen camels in zoos or at the Shrine at Christmas as we drive through the display of lights. I think we will be doing that Sunday night after Shennie arrives. The dad and I work next weekend, but we will head out after work on Sunday and make our annual trek through the Shrine and then out to dinner. Hopefully I will be done shopping by then!! I plan to finish up this Tuesday. That is my regular day off now.
Everyone at the office says HI and take care. One of our MA's is in the AF Reserves and her unit is heading to Afghanistan after the first of the year. She will be gone for 4 months. She said farewell to everyone yesterday and I thanked her for her service. I thnk she was really touched that someone said "thank you".

Chelsey was over a couple of nights this week. She seems to be well. She and Katie have spent some time together. They seem to get along well. I guess Katie has been working lots of hours. She mentioned the other day the she is planning on taking some courses this summer. Perhaps @ SWIC. I think she wants to go into the medical field - perhaps become an MA. We'll see how that works out.

I put more minutes on your calling card this week. Have you ordered/gotten your TV yet? How is the "chu" working out?? Let us know if you or anyone needs anything, OK??

Not much more to say right now.

Love you and KYHD.

the Mom

Friday, December 14, 2007

Behind the Deployment : True Hollywood Story

Chelsey and I on Deployment Date
Almost there

Seeing my first camelArriving in Kuwait

Feel Safe yet??
Some guys playing Guitar Hero 2
Ali Asaleen, Kuwait
Relaxing Before Flying to Iraq

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Today was Ben and my anniversary. It's been four years since I walked the aisle. Can't believe it's been four years! It sure has passed quickly.

Ben beat me to the punch this morning, wishing me a happy anniversary as I was getting ready to leave for work (he's usually asleep at that time, so I wasn't going to wake him up to wish him a happy anniversary, I wanted to let him sleep). Then, I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers (and some chocolates) at work! It was SO sweet! All the gals at work were jealous... it probably didn't help that I told them all that I have the best husband. I know, they're just jealous!

Nice to see the pictures of you, David! The sunset picture is really pretty. Can't wait to see more pictures. Take Care and KYHD.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Up till Now...

So I know I have been promising pictures of Kuwait and Iraq, etc. and people know that the internet isnt exactly like home, but hopefully these pics will help spelling out the story I have been through so far...

Me in the cockpit of the 767

Getting Ready to Leave Kuwait

My last day in Kuwait

More to come!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Shennie and Sports

Ok, we know that's an oxymoronic statement - unless of course we're talking watching sports. Although, I did fence in high school - and even lettered in it! You can all stop laughing now - and you can google what fencing is!

Anyway, Chase Collegiate aka St. Margaret's School has a penpal program where they match up an alumna with a current student in the Middle School. My penpal is Sammie and we were penpals when she was in third grade and now we're penpals again while she's in 5th grade. This is part of the letter I got from her yesterday - I laughed for 5 minutes!

"So any thing new happening? I have been playing tennis with my friend Jenny. She goes to Chase Collegiate School with me. I play at the Middlebury Racket Club. After school I go with Jenny to her house and her mom drives us to tennis. I think tennis is really fun. Do you play any sports even though you are an adult?"

I'll wait while you all compose yourselves.

Well, can't talk much here. I've got squash practice to go to except that it's snowing and my tennis racket needs restringing! Alas, I am relegated to sitting and knitting. How shall I do it?

I've got 2 funerals to go to this week. ...and they announced 2 other deaths this morning in church. Is it 2008 yet?????

Oh, btw "the mom", the soprano soloist sang "The Birthday of a King" (at my request) this morning. She did a great job - I cried! How many times did we hear Doris or Harold sing that at Christmas?

My knitting needles are screaming! Love to everyone. Scoots - any Christmas list requests and KYHD!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Another box #2

DA - I got my last box mailed out to you today. I hope you and your buddies will have some fun with it even though it has nothing to do with computers or x-box 360!

Heard you talked with the Dad today. That's great! I took care of the stuff you asked me about on Thursday. I delivered it in person, but Chelsey was busy at her appt that you had arranged for her. Hope it works?!

We had some snow here Thursday, then rain and it has been cold, wet, and damp ever since. I think it is supposed to be like this through Tuesday. I would much prefer snow - I hope the weatherman is listening!!

We have started receiving Christmas cards - I guess that means I need to start working on getting ours done. I'm debating on a Christmas letter this year. I may just do cards...we'll see.
Having a tree up would probably help to get me in the spirit but that hasn't happened yet in spite of Katie promising she would do it now for about 2 weeks!! Shennie - I HOPE we have one up by the time you arrive!!!

Not much in the way of news tonight. Hope all is well 1/2 way around the world.

Stay safe and KYHD....

Love you,
the Mom

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another Box

I went to the post office this afternoon and there is another box on its way. It was a comedy of errors! I had packed the box up over the weekend, but hadn't addressed it nor could I find the customs forms. So I show up at the post office 15 minutes before closing and I realize I haven't addressed the box. So I grab an address label and a bunch of customs forms and then realize that your address is out in my car! So I schlep out to the car in the bitter cold and am trying to get me and the box and the forms all into the car without everything blowing away. So I get in and then I'm digging for a pen in the bottom of my purse, the forms have all fallen on the floor on the other side of the car and I can't close the door because my coat is stuck! FINALLY I tossed everything on the passenger's seat and started acting rationally - one form at a time. ALAS - I finally got my you-know-what together and got it into the post office before they closed. I even remembered to grab more boxes on my way out and then almost dropped them on the way to the car. Now we know why I wasn't named Grace!

Say goodnight, Gracie!



Monday, December 3, 2007

Mailed 4 boxes today

DA - I mailed 4 boxes of "stuff" to you this morning. Hopefully they will make it by Dec 25th. The wrapped stuff is for Christmas and the other stuff you can use whenever.This "Flat Rate" postal stuff is cool! $8.95 anywhere in the world!! It will be even cooler if all the stuff makes it!! I will have another box on the way in the next few days. I have to see if I can get my box to fit into a Flat Rate box. I think I can so be watching for box #5.

It was good to talk with you last evening. Perhaps one of these days I will figure out this Yahoo messenger system and we can chat online. I seem to be spending more time online these days!

Well - we had some rain yesterday also! It would get dark, then get light, pour buckets for about 5 minutes and then clear up. It did this about 3 times and then it got VERY windy and the temperature dropped fom 65 degrees to 35 degrees! Today it is sunny and clear, but chilly. I LOVE IT!!! Luckily we missed the storm that hit the upper midwest with ice and snow. I'll take snow any day but the weatherman can keep his ice.

Well - must finish my errands. I am off from work today since I worked the weekend.

Stay safe (and dry!) & KYHD.

Lots of love,
the Mom

Sunday, December 2, 2007


It's snowing here! Just a taste of what is supposed to come. This has been a busy weekend. I left my house yesterday morning at about 9:45 and didn't get home (except for a quick bite to eat) until almost 5:00. Donut ~ you've got nothin' on your aunt! Scoots ~ I've got another box ready for you. Did you get 2 from me? So, I should hold off on the Twizzlers for a while? I went to AC Moore, Wally World, the Hallmark store, a photog shop (wait til you guys see what I got there!), the car dealer to have their sign taken off the back of my car or I would have to charge them $500/month for advertising space, the manicurist and the grocery store. I was wicked tired when I got back here. My back may never forgive me.

I now have to start organizing what I have and see what's still on the "to buy" list. Any special requests, DA? Did you get the 2 envelopes that were in one of the boxes? I'm just checking to make sure that everything arrived ok. I get nervous sending stuff that it all doesn't arrive. I've watched too many M*A*S*H episodes.

Today was the first Sunday in Advent AND Communion so it was a late morning and then we had the annual Messiah concert this afternoon. I didn't sing in it this year, but I am going to work to build up my stamina so that I can do it next year. It was an amazing performance. The chorus - made up of mostly our church choir members - was fantastic. Grandma I know was watching and was thoroughly impressed. Grandpa was saying, "Not another hallelujah!" "Don't make me sing another hallelujah!" I helped with the reception afterwards and got home just a little while ago - and it's SNOWING here. ON MY NEW CAR!!!!! Maybe if it snows enough, I won't have to go in tomorrow - I doubt that will happen - but I can hope. I've got so much to do here at the house. I may have to be sick one day this week.

Time to find something to eat for supper - I only had 2 pieces of cheese at the reception - I'm hungry!

It sounds like you're doing pretty well over there, Scoots; I think about you a whole lot and you're on the prayer list at church. You and your unit. Everyone echoes my sentiment - KYHD!!!!! You can go on to my blog and post any special requests. How do you like my new car?

To quote someone we all know and love, "BEHAVE YOURSELF!"


Love you,


So apparently the saying," When it rains, it pours," is really true. After I signed off last night, i was maybe laying in bed for about 15 minutes and it POURED like crazy. For a good 45 minutes. It was insane. I finally fell asleep and woke up to drizzle outside my tent. And all the wonderful Iraqi sand... Was lovely Iraqi MUD. And it sticks to Army boots like gum on a shoe. And today was equally crazy. First we had weather issues that kept us grounded. Then our Mission Commander laptop crashed on us. and then once we swapped laptops and got mIRC up and running all nice, the power strip to our DVD Recorder and Mission Commander (MC for future reference) burned up. Well, first it hummed at us. Then moments later black smoke shot out from EVERY outlet in the strip (and near the power button as well). So we unplugged the strip, then powered down the wall outlet locally (Middle East has power switches to the outlets). I then got the liberty of taking the smoking power strip out of the TOC (Tactical Operational Center) and let it cool off while we aired the rest of the TOC out. We then called our maintainers and had them come check out our power outlets and transformer. Once given the go on it, we used a spare powerstrip only to find out that we are grounded... AGAIN due to weather. We did not get a single flight up until 2212Local time. And all this time, I WAS the mission commander (first day on the job... wonderful). We did get an hour in prior to the craziness and it was cool because we got to talk to and chill with some SF (Special Forces - Secret) guys. They were awesome and invited us to come shoot with them(Shooting meaning raiding their arsenal of seized weapons (e.g. AK-47s, Dragonuv Sniper Rifle) as well as watch an explosive demo (controlled detonation).) So, how was everyone else's day???


P.S. Shennie, I got your package today (That twizzler bag from before still needs to be finished off before opening this 2LBS bag... 2 LBS!!!)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Nice lil break

So, after working for the past 12-odd days (with an actual day off), we got to experience... rain... Thats right, it rained here in iraq. And it was enough to ground ALL aerial vehicles that cannot for sometime. So Our job was put on hold only an hour into our 2nd mission. Crazy huh? I got to talk to Chelsey for a bit during the break between missions and even told her that with the way weather was looking, we might get grounded. And sure enough, the funny feeling in my bones paid off. Anywho, things are going good for the most part, except that despite regulations, they are saying that I may not get a CHU. Our PLT is certainly fighting for me and other operators currently without CHUs. Basically it was a matter of the other PLTs saying that "its not fair" (something that we get a lot of), and that we shouldnt get priority on CHUs even though it states directly in AR 95-23 that operators and maintainers will be granted hardened shelters due to the nature of our job. Basically, with needing crew rest (and 8 hrs uninterrupted sleep), we need to have a setting which can be achieved that way. Sleeping in tents that people constantly go in and out of, turning lights on and off, doesnt achieve that. With CHUs, we are typically on opposite shifts of our roommate, and we can lock the door and keep the lights off. But as they say, this is mission essential and sometimes you have to bend (or break) the regs to get the mission done. But we will see how long that lasts when there is an accident.

Well, no mail has come today, so I am still expecting packages from Shennie and The Mom, as well as the xmas/bday presents... Hopefully by that time, I will have my CHU (or permanent tent) and a working Xbox 360. Well, times a short and have to get my beauty sleep...


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Patriotic cars!!

Congratulations to Shennie on her new car. Hers is red and my two are blue and white!! (hence the title!) Jessica and I got to talk to David for about 20 minutes yesterday (11/27). He had the day off so he sounded well and rested. He told us a little bit more about the Camp and the happenings - some interesting stuff...nothing to share on the blog, though. He was hoping to move into more permanent living quarters soon since the brigrade they are replacing has all left. Once he is moved in, I am sure he will feel more settled and comfortable. One thing he did mention was that it was actually getting "cold" there at night...~40 degrees Farenheit. During the day the temps are around 70. I guess that is better than arriving there in the heat of the summer when temps can reach 130 degrees!

Well - I have officially started my Christmas shopping and I am sure that Walmart and Kohl's appreciate that! We are actually trying to keep gift giving reasonable this year. The kids all drew names (except for DA). The dad and I still get to buy for everyone!! See what happens when you put the kids in charge!

DA - I will be putting a box together this week and getting it mailed out. Some will be Christmas, the rest just "stuff". You can open it whenver you want. I will wrap the Christmas stuff so you can save that for the 25th, and open the rest when you get the box.

Jennie and I went to the Clay Aiken concert at the Fox last night. It was very good. He has quite a voice range and had some nice new arrangements for some Christmas songs. My only recommendation as he continues in his career is that he develop "stage presence". Last night, he just stood and sang. I'm sure that wil come with time and experience.

Gotta run - timer is going off indicating that dinner is ready!!

Love you & KYHD,
the Mom

Car, cont... ~ again

I'm getting my new car today. The salesman is coming this morning to pick up my old car and will bring me my new car after lunch. I'll be SO glad when this ordeal is over - dealing with car salesmen, finance people, managers leaves me wanting to take a shower and douse myself with germ-X! Slimy, sleezy, disgusting. (except for Kevin)

Sorry for the delay - the salesman just came and took away my old car. No tears, no sad goodbyes. Adios, mi amiga! You served me well but it's time to move on to newer and better.

Ok, now I can begin the Christmas trimming and baking and preparing. The Messiah is this Sunday and I'm working at the reception afterwards. I told them I'd also bake shortbread - I've got the butter out softening. I'll do 2 or 3 batches. It is ALWAYS a hit. Do you like it, DA? The Cub Scouts didn't come around this year selling wreathes, so I guess I'm going to have to go to the nursery or store and get two for my doors. I will do blue or yellow bows this year to honor you and the others serving overseas. No big tree this year since I'm not going to be home for Christmas day; so I'm going to use the ceramic one that I made for Grandma and Grandpa years ago when I was taking ceramics.

Oh, and Christmas cards. I should have started them last night between midnight and 4:00 a.m. when I couldn't sleep; tho, I only have a few left from last year. Better get to Hallmark before there are none left. Last year I mailed a bunch late and Uncle Nick picked on me unmercifully! I put a sticker on the envelope that said, "Better Late Than Never", but that didn't help - according to him. There are a few that I want to do special this year. You'll see!

Time to get to work! That is, if I can get someone to reload QuickBooks so I can do my monthly billing. Scooter, will you come fix it for me? I had to change machines and now nothing works. HELP!


Love you!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Tree

If you would like to see my new Christmas tree, go check my personal blog.

It looks awesome.

Car, cont...

So, I checked with the DCU this morning. They'll give me a loan at .8 less than the dealer so I'm going with that. Also, I checked with my mechanic about checking out my investment and he's buried right now but when I told him about the car, he said that he could think of nothing that might be wrong with it. ...unless it had been dropped off the back of a flatbead. I'll even get a copy of the carfax report on the car and the Mass. Lemon Law is on my side should I need it. He has even dealt with the dealer and finds them friendly, honest, efficient and very good to deal with. So, I've got a call into the salesman and as soon as he calls back, I'll go over and give him the down payment and sign all the papers. Then he gets to deal with the DCU, the registry, the insurance company, etc.
Hopefully I'll pick up the car on my way to work Wednesday morning or on my way home from work tomorrow night. GULP!
It's rainy here today but quite balmy for 11/26. Speaking of which - Happy Birthday, Daddy!
The Patriots pulled it out last night ~ PHEW!. I only stayed up until the score was 14-14. It was a tit-for-tat game. For every one of our TD's, Philly got one. They were good. Luckily we pulled it out in the end. What happened to the Rams? I do root for them ~ as long as they're not playing the Pats.
Have my packages arrived yet, Scoots? I mailed them a couple days after JJ mailed hers. Apologize to the mail person - one of them is heavy - but I wanted to get my money's worth out of the post office.
Back to work or whatever it is that I do here.
Love you and KYHD!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another Thanksgiving!

Howdy folks! Well - today we had our family Thanksgiving. Although we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Ben's family, I decided to have another one that we could all be at and it worked out great. We had turkey and all the fixin's and even some leftovers! The leftovers are actually better than the first meal!! Also - one of my friends works weekends at the hospital and she also worked Thanksgiving so she didn't get a real meal. Well - she is getting one now. We put aside several full GLAD containers with all the fixin's just for her.

Glad to hear from David that he actually got a package for his birthday. I think most of us are going to get your Christmas packages out this week - so be watching for them.

It is raining here today and they are saying we may get some snow tomorrow! YEAH! I love snow!! As soon as we have some I'm going to make a snowball and put it in the freezer for when David comes home!! My guess is he won't see much snow in Iraq.

Must think about hitting the sack. It has been a busy day and I have to work tomorrow.

Love to all - especially the birthday guy!

Talk to you soon...BTW - Ben got our SKYPE phone set up today, but it is still charging so we do not have a user name yet. Will let you know when we do.

Love you,
the Mom


Well, folks, thank you to all who have been following my new car/car dealer saga. I think I bought a car this afternoon. Notice I didn't say new. Actually it's a 2007 Toyota Camry. I went back to one of the dealers that I went to on Friday and today they were standing on the sidewalk just waiting for me to show up. I test drove a 2008 Camry and a 2008 Rav4. Both had their pluses and minuses. But, they had a 2007 on the lot that was one of their rentals - it had 26K miles on it. It had just about everything I wanted except the automatic start feature ~ I'm getting lazy in my old age. So we started talking $$$ and cents and I got them to add that into the package for my price. Then, they made the big mistake, they brought in the "manager". What would it take to sign this afternoon? ...yahda, yahda, yahda! I pushed back and said that I was not going to be pressured and that I had to think about it plus check with my brother-in-law (thanx, David for the help). "But what if someone comes in and buys it today?" Well, guess it wasn't meant to be, was it. I will never be that emotionally attached to any car. Sorry, folks, its just not in my genes! So I'll check with the DCU tomorrow and see what kind of rate they can give me for a loan and hopefully by the end of the week I'll be driving this car......

My one major complaint was that the headrest hit my head right smack dab in the middle of the back of my head and I felt like it was pushing my head forward - it wasn't comfortable at all. So, for those of you who aren't that observant, I'm short! Yup, I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. The poor salesman and I tried to figure out how I could get to feel comfortable with the headrests that were in the car. We tried every scenario. Finally, the light dawned. We took the headrest from the back seat and put it on my seat and it works perfectly! As a matter of fact, tomorrow I am going to call the salesman and ask him if he has 2 extra backseat headrests that I'll use instead of the standard issue ones. That way I'll be able to see around the passenger seat headrest.

The salesman is even going to take the car to my mechanic and have Russ give it the "papal blessing". So the next time you see me, I could very well be driving a car that looks just like the one pictured above.

Am I my father's daughter or what?

Supper time - I've given up on turkey and am going with pssghetti tonight.

Love to all.

KYHD, Scoots.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hey Everyone

Thanks to all for the birthday msgs. 5 years ago if you had told me I would be in Iraq for any of my birthdays, I would have told you to lay off the crack. But sure enough, here I am, 26 years old with a birthday that has come and gone. I know jennie and ben's package wasnt a b'day package technically, but it felt just the same with all the goodies (especially the twizzlers). Unfortunately, my team leader wouldnt go for the idea of letting me have time off since its just the 3 of us at our forward site and we had to conduct a 11hr mission. I was able to briefly talk to the re-enlistment counselor and she said that I could stop by her office tomorrow morning and discuss my re-enlistment options. I am optimistic about Campbell or Huachuca, but deploying again while in the military just doesnt seem like something I want to do. I figure if I can re-enlist for georgia with the stability option (meaning I cant deploy for at minimum 2 years then I could basically forego the next deployment in 2009/2010 and THEN go to huachuca or arizona. With new Army policy I have to be at a unit for 1 year's time before deploying so that I can go through all required BIT (Brigade Integration Training) and IRT (individual readiness training) prior to deployment. So basically I can re-enlist for 4 years, and not deploy the last 3 years of it. From there, I can PCS to Huachuca, get out of the Army, and start up my civilian job.

Anywho, things are going good here. I should be getting a CHU(Contained Housing Unit) within the next couple days since the unit we are replacing will be completely out of country by the 27th. Once that happens, I will see about getting that wireless internet and take it from there.

I am glad everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine wasnt too bad, except for waiting in line for an unusually long time (and being starving at the same time). I will try to get some pics up of my deployment to date by the time I have the wireless internet.

Well, its 0130 and I have been up since 0915 yesterday and had to fly and operate the camera for a combined 11hr day, so I am wiped. Goodnight everybody! Peace


Happy Birthday, to you!
Happy Birthday, to you!
Happy Birthday Dear Scooter
Happy Birthday to you!

Imagine the Mom and I singing in harmony in lieu of Grandma C calling; however, I'm the one singing ON key!

Seriously, hope you have a wonderful birthday. Do you at least get some time off to enjoy?


Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear David,
Happy Birthday to YOU!!

Just remember when you were younger and Grandma C used to call and sing Happy Birthday To You every birthday!! 'member???

Sure wish we could do that now! I don't know which you will see first - this blog or your e-mail but just so you know - I recharged your calling card tonight.

Chelsey just got here so I've got to run. I'll talk again soon.

Love you,
the Mom

Long time, No see

It's me. Sorry about the non-posting lately. I haven't spent any time on the computer lately. It's been kinda nice :)

We had a great Thanksgiving! We're currently in KY with Craig's family. Yesterday we went to his Aunt's house where 25+ of us gathered to enjoy a lot of food and good company.

After eating a nice big lunch, we had some dessert and then hung around and chatted with everyone. About 5pm, we came home and relaxed. Then about 6pm, we hit White Castle! It was yummy, too.

Then, about 9:30pm, I hit the sack because the mother and sister-in-law joined me for some early morning shopping today!! Thats right, I woke up at 4am and was out the door by quarter after! We hit Wal-Mart (to buy mom's gift!!! I hope she likes it...I got up super early to get it for her), Kohls, Macy's, Pennys, and Ann Taylor Loft. We each got some great deals. I bought a few things I was in desperate need! Haha!

Cooper is doing well. He thoroughly enjoyed meeting his cousin, Merton (a black lab). They had a ball. And, Cooper humped Merton. A lot.

We also got to spend some good time with our niece, Searcy. She's a doll. Here's proof:

Sounds like everyone enjoyed their Holiday. We didn't get to talk to David :( But we know he's been working hard.

Sure hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Love to all,



Happy Birthday David! We were all so glad that we got to talk with you last night. We are also really happy that you may be able to come home a little early.

Glad to hear that my package has arrived, I hope you like what I put in it. It's not a birthday package, technically. I'll be giving Mom money to put in your account towards your TV for your birthday present from me and Ben.

Just wanted to say a quick "Hello" and "Happy Birthday."

Miss you, love you!


I just talked to David, and he wanted me to let Jennie know that your package arrived today, he just didn't get the chance to pick it up because he's been working 12 hours shifts. I'm going to be mailing off the stuff I have for him tomorrow, assuming that stuff comes in the mail in time, so if anyone has anything they'd like me to mail with it, let me know.

Car Buying

Yes, I realize that this is my second blog today, but I just came back from 2 hours of car shopping and I'm no farther along than I was when I left the house this morning. I'm going to go online and look for a car dealer that is owned and staffed by women!

At the first dealership, I parked my car and got out and walked up and down the rows looking for either a Camry or a Rav4 - preferably in red. I found one Camry that was red but it had 26K miles. I walked around for about 15 minutes and NO ONE came out to talk to me. I saw several salesmen standing in the showroom. I know I'm short, but I'm pretty sure they saw me! So, I got in my car and went to a second dealer. Now, to be fair, this place was busy! But I drove around the lot several times and finally parked my car and went in. I had several of the staff smile and say hello and keep on walking. I strolled around the showroom a couple times and even stood and drooled over a brand new Barcellona Red Camry that was in a special showroom ~ twice ~ and no one came near me. Honest, I took a shower this morning and was even carrying my COACH bag. As I was leaving, one of the salesmen preceded me out the door and asked me if I was sure I wanted to go out in the cold? I saw the salesmen go up to two couples that came in after me and ask them if they were being helped. They were wandering just as I was.

So, maybe tomorrow morning I'll stop at another dealership down in Westboro. Let's see what happens there. I had thought about renting a male to go with me but I'm going to see how long it takes to get service at a car dealer as a lone female. Do I have to walk in waving a teller's check to be believable? I used to think that this kind of story was a myth ~ guess not.

Enough venting for one day.

Oh, I had a turkey sandwich made with all the leftovers today for lunch. MMMMMMMMM - was that good! Almost as good if not better than the original meal.

Back to knitting!


Love you ~ Shennie

Happy Belated Thanksgiving to Everyone!

I'm sorry this is coming to you the day after Thanksgiving, but by the time everything was said and done yesterday, I was too pooped to pop! I was up with the chickens yesterday morning and started getting ready. You woulda thought I was having 100 people. But, like they say it's just as easy to cook for 100 as it is for 3. I started in making the stuffing and the cranberry-orange relish. I also had to set the table. I hadn't used my good china in years, so I got that down from the top shelf of my closet. Thank goodness it is stored in china savers, there was a 1/2" of dust on them. So, I washed everything off and looked for a tablecloth that did have remnants of dinner at 406 on it. Time to invest in some new tablecloths (hint, hint!). The one I found that didn't need to be washed or ironed was for the table completely opened up, but with a little fold or tuck here and there, it worked. I even had napkins to match. I then dug out a cloth pumpkin that Aunt Janet had made and gave to me last year and that along with some candles was my centerpiece - except I moved it to the unused side of the table so we wouldn't have to reach around or look over it.

I put the turkey in about 10:15 - it was a 14 pounder. Kathy and Dee Dee were due here about 1:00. Dee Dee called a little after 12:00 and had just gotten onto the Mass Pike and it was bumper to bumper - stopped! both directions. She said she had just seen the sign for 495 - 26 miles away. I shouldn't expect her soon. Phew - I could jump in the shower and get some other stuff done. Kathy finally showed up about 1:30 and Dee Dee arrived about 15 minutes later. Dinner went VERY well - everything turned out great. And, Dee Dee even offered to carve the turkey. Bless her heart! We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, turnip, rolls, cranberry sauce, cranberry-orange relish, pickles, olives, celery. For dessert, we had strawberry mousse that Kathy brought and an apple crisp that I made - from the Barefoot Contessa's recipe. Wouldn't do that again. It was OK, but not wonderful.

Just as we finished eating, the "tribe" from Connecticut called. They missed having Daddy and me there. However, Nick was sure that when they got to the part where everyone said what they were thankful for, at least 2 or 3 would say that I wasn't there. But, he did say he missed having me there and that his turkey came out almost as good as mine.

The gals pitched in like real troopers and we got all the dishes done before they left. I had 2 wine glasses and the dessert dishes to wash before I went to bed. It was a fun time. Kathy and Dee Dee got along great - Dee Dee is going to diligently look for a dog for me. She asked me if I wanted a cat - Yeah, right! She's got a litter of calicos that's she looking for homes for. Not this person - I want a pet - not something that ignores me unless it's dinner time! But, owning a horse farm, she gets all kinds of animals. She's got several dogs, cats and a pig! That's not counting the 30+ horses in her barn. She doesn't own all the horses, but they're there. Like Daddy used to say, Dee Dee Gilyard was born on a horse!!!!! BTW ~ her brother, Kent, is getting ready to have a kidney transplant. He had a heart transplant several years ago and now the kidney. He's fighting off dialysis - sound familiar? - but is hoping that the xplant will happen right after the first of the year. He's got a donor - so it's just a matter of getting the everything settled.

Well, I slept in this morning so it's time to have some breakfast (it's been an hour since I took my levoxyl) and then get the dishes put away from yesterday. I may go out and look at new cars this afternoon. I really would like to go to AC Moore, but I am not going to fight that mob. I woke up in the middle of the night last night and when I turned on the radio, they were reporting that the exits to the Wrentham Outlets off of 495 were crammed, traffic was backed up for miles, parking spaces were nowhere to be found (and they had added 500 from last year) and fights were breaking out in the stores. There were some good deals, but you got killed getting to them. Hopefully, I'll be the only one looking at cars!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have a lot to be thankful for, a lot to remember fondly, and hopes for a bright and happy future. Scoots, while I was working around in the kitchen yesterday morning, I had the local news on and they were broadcasting "hellos" from the troops in Iraq. I pictured you standing there saying hi to everyone. Can you let us know when you get our packages? Just so we know, and know what works and what doesn't work. Will work on Christmas this coming week.

Doesn't someone special have a birthday tomorrow????? In case I don't log on tomorrow ~ I may go to Ct. to a b'day party for Dennis' 60th ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SCOOTS!!!!!

Love to all and KYHD!


Turkey Day and News

Hi everyone, and a somewhat belated happy Thanksgiving. Our short trip to see family for Thanksgiving was really nice. I haven't seen my aunt, uncle, and cousins since Christmas, so it was nice to visit and still be able to come home that night. I hope David was able to reach everyone else, he said he was going to call, but his leave dates have been confirmed. Unfortunately, it's about a week too late to get to the Stargate convention, but I think somehow we'll deal. He sounds good, though he hasn't made it to a CHU yet (yeah, I was like "huh?" too. It's a combat housing unit). He was actually told to tell everyone to get Christmas presents in the mail before the end of November, so I guess everyone just needs to assume on the safe side and mail things out as soon as possible. For those of you still present hunting, I bought him Rock Band for his birthday, so don't buy it (he already knows, so I'm not spoiling anything).

Well, it's almost three in the morning, so I'm going to bed. Hope everyone had a great turkey day!

Oh, and PS, Jess, I don't know what time zone you have this blog set for, but it's three hours off for central time.

One more thing too, David said it's possible that he will be getting home next October/November. Something about how leave relates to the end of deployment and talk around the FOB. Wouldn't that be awesome?!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from the Fam!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I am really lost today. I do not have a crowd coming for turkey, stuffing, gravy,mashed potatoes, sweet potates and all the other goodies known to make for a wonderful T'day meal. It is a nice break though - because the above mentioned crowd + will be at the house for Christmas!! The only one not joining us in body will be David, though he will never be far from our thoughts and always in our prayers. I am thankful that he got to post a note today and I hope he gets some much needed rest. Sweet dreams.....

In a little while we will be heading to MO for an awesome family gathering with lots of food and fun! This "crowd" is a fantastic family that Jennie had the priviledge of marrying into. They are a fun and loving family that will be celebrating their first holiday season without their mom. She was a very special person. She raised 8 super kids who have continued her love of family by raising some very special kids of their own. I can hardly wait to celebrate this day with them!!

While Jessica and the hubs will not be with us today - they to are joining a very special family to celebrate the day. We wish them a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Chelsey and her family likewise will be with extended family in MO. I know that it will be a special day for them. I wish them safe travels and good times.

David - we will take lots of pictures today and post them ASAP so that you can share the day with us in spirit. We love you and miss you. Please know that there will be an even more special Thanksgiving dinner when you return home safe and sound.

Love and thanks to you and ALL the troops,

the Mom

Thanksgiving Day Parade

This is my guilty little pleasure on Thanksgiving every year. I get up early and watch the parade. This year as a new float, Hello Kitty, floated on by, I couldn't help but laugh and giggle because a Robot Chicken episode kept running in my head. Here's the cute balloon:

And here is the Robot Chicken sketch that kept me giggling:

You are welcome for the laugh.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey everyone, just wanted to wish each and every one of you a Happy Iraqi Thanksgiving, full of cous cous, and god knows what else! (oh yea, ARMY CHOW.. mmmm...bloaty... lol) Anywho, its late and I just got off pulling almost a 36 hour shift (worked all day yesterday, pull Mission Commander station guard duty, slept for 30 minutes, went to chow, pulled another guard shift, went to chow with squad, flew from 1230L to 1730 (went to chow), and flew from 2030 till 2430... so I am exhausted. So goodnight everyone (and save a turkey drum for me! )


The People's Republic of Cambridge

For those of you not familiar with Cambridge, it is the home of two VERY prestigious universities and thousands of bleeding-heart liberals. For every tree in Cambridge, there's at least 3 tree huggers. There must be something in the air on that side of the Charles River. Why am I ranting about Cambridge in this blog. Let me explain by quoting one of the reporters on a local radio stations:

Cambridge does it again. This time it's to the Boy Scouts Troop 45 of Cambridge. All the troop wanted to do was put some donation boxes at city polling locations on election day to collect items for a care package for Cambridge military members deployed overseas. At first the city election department agreed and the Scouts put the plan into action. On election day after receiving a complaint the city election department pulled the collection boxes from the polling locations. The scouts were out of luck.

This is where Dan Rea comes in. While speaking with scout troop leader James Patterson the day after the election Dan Rea's listeners started calling in and suggested a new collection location. That location is the studios of WBZ News Radio. With the troop's help WBZ is making space for their collection boxes to be placed in the lobby of the WBZ's 1170 soldier's Field Road studios.

* * * * *
The tree huggers felt that by placing the boxes around town, they were supporting the war.

A hue and cry went out around the state and around the country. From all reports, the mayor's office and the Cambridge official website were inundated with all kinds of hate mail. It was fodder for water cooler discussions, editorials in all kinds of media, and a general disdain for the municipality's actions.

As a result, they are doing a huge amount of back-pedaling. They're falling all over themselves trying to make amends. Most of it is a lot of nothing and a poor excuse for rationale. Though they have never come out and apologized for their actions, they are now putting boxes in all municipal buildings in Cambridge trying to make up for their initial stupidity. Too little, too late.

To the folks in the people's republic of Cambridge I say shut up, wake up and grow up!

God bless our Troops!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It may snow out here too!!

Today in southwest IL it is supposed to be 75 and the high on Thursday is supposed to be 40! Ya just gotta love it! I was going to try to get all our leaves picked up today, but the shute that connects our riding mower to the baskets isn't connected anymore!! The dad is not going to be happy about that! I have already set up to have it fixed, but that won't happen until next week. The weatherman is predicting a cold front to come through tomorrow night with wind and rain. The temperature is going to drop so he is also predicting some snow flurries mixed in with the rain from Wed night into Thursday morning. No accumulation, just cold and wet. Which is fine with me - the colder the better!! You crazy people can have your heat and humidity - give me 35 degrees any day!!

Talked to David on Sunday. He sounded better this time. He said he was coming down with a cold the last time we talked - hence his seeming to be tired. Kudos for him doing well with his flying!! Keep up the good work!!

Hopefully, they will have some kind of Thanksgiving dinner for the troops. I would gladly cook one for them, but I am here and they are there. David - you can count on a great dinner when you come home!!

I had lunch with Chelsey last week and then she came by the house a couple of times to watch TV and do some home work. It was nice to spend some time with her. I'm not sure how comfortable she felt watching The Tudors (a Showtime soap opera) with her mother-in-law, though!! It was her choice!!

Today we are having some work done at the house so I am home for the day. It seems really strange to be home with not a lot to do. I kind of have to stay out of the workers way so I am limited in what I can do and where I can be. Looks like lots of internet and Free Cell time!!

Take care and Happy Thanksgiving! God Bless Our Troops!!

The Mom

Sleigh Bells Ring...

Just so that everyone knows - it's snowing in Massachusetts! Itty-bitty flakes and it's not supposed to last long or amount to anything, but it's still freakin' snowing. How soon to the first crocus?

Happy Thanksgiving

Let us all give thanks this year: for the freedoms that we all enjoy thanks to those who have served and are serving today; for the family that gives and loves; for the health that we enjoy and cherish; for the friends that are forever by our sides; for the food that we will all eat too much of on Thursday; for the shelter that keeps us protected and comfortable; for those we have loved and lost; and for God and all that He provides.

Wishing everyone a happy, peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Glad to Know

I'm glad to hear that David contacted Chelsey! It's also nice to know that there will be occassional comm blackouts. It sucks that they are because something has happened on post, but at least we now know they may happen from time to time and that we shouldn't worry.

Things are going well here. I got a call from Chelsey on Saturday, and invited her to come over. Justin's birthday was Saturday and the guys were planning a guys night (video games and monster movies), so I was excited that I'd have someone to hang with. Unfortunately, she didn't show. I'm guessing she's alright, and that she found something to do with her family or with some new friends or something.

Friday, I bought my 9' tree. I can't wait to put it up on Friday or Saturday ( I REFUSE to put a Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving). It's the most real looking tree I've ever seen in my life.

Check it out:

I've already got a tree skirt, tree topper and some decorations for it. I'm not sure that I have enough, though. According to the box, the tree should have 150-200 ornaments. I think I have about 50-ish.

I might make some Christmas cookies on Saturday. I'll try to remember and take pictures to post. I'll also post pictures of my tree once it's up and decorated.

Oh yeah... in case I forget.... Thanksgiving plans for this year! Mom and Dad (and Katie and Chelsey) have been invited to join the Bellinger family for Thanksgiving dinner. If you would like to attend, meet at Mom and Dad's house by 1:30 p.m. Thursday and we'll drive over to St. Louis to have dinner. If I don't post before Thanksgiving:

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I got to talk to David earlier. It was only for about 10 minutes, because he had to meet up with his buddies to go to chow, and then work. He didn't really tell me anything that he didn't say in the blog, so not too much to add. Just wanted to say that I'd talked to him.

No Response

Hey everyone, just thought I'd let you know that I am doing ok despite no contact for a few days (which may become a pattern for reasons outside my control). Basically (without going into much detail), we were in a comms blackout (or as we call it, River City). Lets just say that we dont go into blackout unless something bad happens in the unit (cough cough). So we have been in blackout from the 15th or so till this morning, which is typical timeframe for such things.

On a lighter note, I would like to say that I got to fly for the first time Friday! I was able to launch and recover a bird which was a good feeling. They definitely do things MUCH smoother down here. It feels fast as first, but I have already caught on to where the Instructor Operator (IO from now on), has said that I am qualified enough to move out to the Forward Site (still on the FOB) and fly missions from there. I also got 2 launches and recoveries in yesterday as well. I struggled a lil bit the 1st flight yesterday since I have been feeling a lil under the wind the past 3 days, but my 2nd flight went off without any issues whatsoever, so its all good.

Hopefully my PLT Sgt will be going through the mail handler course soon so that he can pick up any and all packages that are waiting for me. So anywho, I will try calling later 2nite once I've had one or two more missions. I love you guys!!! I Love you CHELSEY! MUAH!


Friday, November 16, 2007


A very dear friend from my days at Silver Lake is a veteran of Nam. He was in the Navy. He lives in Georgia and we connect regularly through email. When I told him that you were in Iraq, DA, he asked for your email address and will get in contact with you. He has several buddies who are veterans down there and I guess this is something they do to help support our troops. I have the feeling that he doesn't want done to you what was done to them (or not done to them). So if you get an email from, it's friendly email. He knows your mom, dad, Uncles G & K. We all saw him last August at the 50th anniversary party.

Reports are you are tired - get some shut-eye, please.

It' Friday! YEAAAAAAHHHHH! Or, as I like to call it, POETS Day - Piss On Everyone, Tomorrow's Saturday! Grandma used to get a kick out of that when I'd call her Friday night after work and announce it to her.



Thursday, November 15, 2007

Spoke with Soldier

Got to speak with Soldier today. I would like to clarify what he meant in his post when he said the mess hall had been was rebuilt after being attacked by mortars!


He sounded good, but tired. We talked about lots of things. I asked him if Iraq was anything like he had envisioned. He said it was pretty much what he thought it would be, except there are large concrete barriers everywhere. He wasn't expecting that.

Had a good day. It was long and I'm glad tomorrow is Friday :)

David Called

So apparently, I'm not the only one who got a call today... that's cool! We talked for about 12 minutes because unfortunately, I had to get back to work... blah. we talked about Skype phones, Stargate conventions and other random stuff. Then he told me to read his post.

David did sound tired, but I'm sure he's still adjusting to the new time zone, hot weather, and getting up at on-godly hours to wait to travel until un-godly hours of the night.

I printed out that picture that Jessi made (the one that's in the upper left corner of this blog) and have it hanging in my cubicle at work.


Gadzooks, Scoots, is that all you do over there too? Every other line in your message was a trip to the mess hall - or whatever the new term is. You sounded so much like Grandpa when you talked about waiting while in the Army! He would be chuckling at your comments. That was always one of his major complaints that he used to tell us all about. Hurry up and wait.

Just to echo what the Mom said - if there is anything that you need OR especially if any of your buddies aren't as lucky to have the friends and relatives yo have, please let us know. We can send an extra phone card or pkg of socks or whatever. We can even do Hannukah cards!

How high do the temps get over there? Is it still really hot or does it get cold there, too?


Love you,

Talked to the Soldier!!

Just got off the phone with David. He sounded tired today. It was about 5:00 Iraq time and he hadn't had much sleep. Hopefully he will sound better next time. He said that he starts his "job" Saturday so that is good. I'm sure working will help the time go by quicker. OH - he did say to use "FOB" instead of "Camp" for the time being. Also - he will not have such a trek to get to work. While in Kuwait, he had to walk quite a distance to get anywhere from the living quarters. He says that now things are much closer.

In spite of him sounding tired, it was still good to talk with him. Jessica got to talk to him also. It sounds like it might be a while before he can get his SKYPE phone up and running so....we will keep his calling card loaded!!

Must sign off now...

Love you lots.
the Mom

P.S. the Dad sends his love. Hopefully you'll be able to talk with him soon!


Well, after being woke up at 0600 for a 0900 hours formation, we left about 1030 for Aliasaleen. We probably waited there for an hour or two and were airborne by 1515. Now mind you that all indications pointed that we were leaving on a C-130 *which would have ROYALLY* sucked. However, we arrived on the flightline, we saw a C-17 being fueled and were instructed that it was in fact our plane. Once aboard the aircraft, you could see that there were probably about 20-some rows of 6 seats in the middle of the aircraft with about 30 jumpseats on either side, and finally the luggage loaded in the rear. A SRA instructed us that it was going to be a quick flight to BIAP (Baghdad Internation Airport). We then loaded up the doors, and were on our way. It was quite a smooth ride for the most part, even with the combat drop. Now for those who are wondering what in the world is a combat drop: A combat drop is a aerial maneuver in which the pilot slowly descends as he approaches the runway. Then without warning, your stomach gets lifted into your mouth as the pilot does a downward dive which prevents enemy fire from tracking the aircraft as it is about to land.: Now everyone has experienced turbulence on an aircraft which gives a familiar feeling, well this one wasnt nearly as bad as a C-5's combat drop which gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling for about 15-20 seconds as opposed to our 10 second drop. After landing in Baghdad, we grabbed our bags and loaded them in columns for the different flights. We then proceeded to follow our senses to the nearest DFAC to enjoy some much, much needed food. The DFAC was really nice, and the food was good. After chow, we walked back to the flightline and waited... And waited... And waited for each chinook to land and a chock MIGHT load up onto it. We Probably left around 2300ish Local time and landed about 2345ish. From there we scurried off the craft and signed in (in pitch black light of course). Once signed in, we grabbed our bags and walked to our tents to drop off our gear before AGAIN following our noses to the DFAC which is open for Midnight Chow. Again, it was a nicely designed DFAC which had been recently... Renovated (yea thats the word).... After chow, I proceeded back to the tent and crashed (until the rest of the battalion showed up). I then helped a friend from Stewart with his stuff, and then I went to bed (which was around 0230 hours)... Only to be woken up at 0730 for chow. After Chow, we had a Camp Briefing, and then went to the flightline to see how our jobsite looked and how things were run *which looks VERY promising*. We then went to chow for lunch and had a tower briefing (which they explained how this is their first time working with 'us' but has been without any problems so far (until i get to them, haha). We were then released for the day in which I browsed the PX (which is small), but looked promising with the one TV that caught my eye. I also stopped by and got a haircut as well as coming by the internet cafe. Well, thats been my time so far in Iraq (will get selected pictures up when possible)

Love you guys

P.S. Yes, I am KMHD...

Another Landing

Confirming what the Mom said, David called me earlier today (technically yesterday now) and told me that he had arrived at his Camp. The connection was extremely crappy, but we managed to get the important information across. Hopefully he'll be able to call again soon, but at least we know where he is and that he's ok.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Soldier Has Landed

Chelsey called me earlier this evening and told me that David made it into "camp" today. They had not planned on arriving this soon, but we all know how the military can change it's mind! I think that he is "glad" to be at the final destination so he can get settled in for the long haul. She said the phone connection was not good, so they only got to talk for a couple of minutes, but long enough for us to know where he is and that he is safe.

David - I will get a package out to you this weekend. I'm not sure what will be in it, but I will follow Jennie's and Shennie's lead and just walk the store aisles and pick stuff up! Once you get settled - let us know if there is anything you need. Also - if there is anyone that you come across who needs cards, mail or anything - just let us know. We are here to help ALL of you over there in any way we can.

Stay safe and KYHD!!

Love you lots,
the Mom

Packing, the Saga

So, by the time I got home last night I still had to cook supper, finish laundry, do dishes and iron so your package is still sitting in the old box without the ziplock bags. I PROMISE to get it done and in the mail by Saturday. Look at it this way, we'll stretch your birthday out over several days. Won't it be more fun to get mail on different days than all on one day? Say, "Yes, Shennie, it will." Humor me.

So, the Mom got a new car. My birthday is coming up in 2 months. Hint, Hint to everyone who reads this. Hyundi, huh? I'm not up for something as big as a Santa Fe, but whatever it is has to sit up off the ground. I don't want to step down to get into the car.

Do they plan a Thanksgiving celebration for you, Scoots? Sure could have used your techy self today. I've got a very tempermental PC that is on its last legs and I had to fight with it all morning to get it to stay booted up long enough so that we could back up what's on it. You see, the IT dept. here at work is questionable at best and the folks that are here in the department who think they know what they're doing, really don't. So that's when they tell me that I should do it. Not a good morning. We/They finally got it to stay booted long enough so that we could copy the files onto a CD since the external drive we have for backups wouldn't get recognized. Am I ranting? At least I know you wouldn't have made me get down on the floor to try to unhook and hook stuff up. Geeeesh! I'm getting too old for this!

Now I'm here alone at work. You know the old expression - while the cat's away the mice will play. I'll just leave it at that.

So, watch for my package to arrive in a couple weeks and apologize to the mailman for the hernia!

KYHD! Love you.../s

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I sent the "Welcome/birthday" package today. I took all the stuff I bought you to the post office and got it all to fit in one Flat Rate Priority Mail Box. It cost less than $10 to mail it out. So be on the lookout for a box from me and Ben!

Tomorrow I'm going to Old Time Pottery Barn cuz they are having a WAY cool X-mas sale, so it looks like I may not have to wait to buy a 9' tree for our upstairs. Since we have a vaulted ceiling in the living room, our current tree looks tiny, so a 9' tree must be purchased (like how I rationalize that?). We'll put our old tree downstairs. With all his sci-fi decorations, it'll fit in perfectly down there, since that is where all his video games, computers, DVD's and stuff are located.

So, anyone want to join me? Mom? Jess? Chelsey? Give me a call on my cell to let me know if you plan on shopping with me. Also, Chelsey, do you need help getting your stuff organized? I have stuff to do Saturday morning, but should be available by 11 a.m. Ben, Matt and Jessi are upgrading computer stuff at work, so I'll be bored with nothing to do and would be more than happy to help. Just say the word and I'm there. Call my cell and leave a message if you're interested and available.

Can't wait to talk to you on our Skype phone! KYHD! Love ya! -Big Sis #1

From the Mom...

First - David... it was so good to talk to you this morning! You always sound so good and upbeat when we talk. It really helps me to hear you sounding so good! I know that Matt enjoyed speaking with you. He just happened to walk by while we were on the phone. He also commented on how good you sounded.

Second - Ben got our Skype phnoes today so we should all be set up sometime this weekend. He was going to set theirs up first and then help Jess & the hubs, and then ours. Since it may be a few days until you reach your new camp, having them set up by this weekend should work. Also, I will get with Chelsey to see how she loads your calling card with minutes.

Third - Happy Birthday to me from the Dad!! I am now driving a new 2007 light blue metallic Hyundai Santa Fe and I love it!! We got it yesterday and it the best!! Pictures to follow - I promise!! I just have to figure out how to do all this new stuff!!

Last - I was glad to hear that the kitties made it safely to AZ and that Chelsey had a good time visiting her friends. I am sure she must be exhausted by now! Packing, driving, unpacking, flying to AZ & back all in one week!! I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

'nuf for now...

Stay safe and keep in touch...

Love, the Mom

Packaging and Unpackaging

I went out on Saturday and pretty much went up and down the aisles at Walmart grabbing one of everything; so, Scoots, if you get some funky stuff it's cuz I wasn't paying attention in that aisle! When I got home I packed everything up and taped the box within an inch of its life. But, after re-reading stuff and talking to several people, I've decided to cut through the tape and repackage everything ~ this time, using lots of baggies. From what I've heard, they prefer just about everything to be put into ziplock bags. I had to go to the post office today (to the Mom, watch for a package to your address - you'll know who it's for when you open it. Or, just let one of the girls open it - it's all for them.) and while I was there I bought a new box and will repackage everything tonight while I'm watching M*A*S*H. It'll give me a break from my knitting. I was beginning to think I might have to start wearing the hand braces that I used to wear when I had carpal tunnel. Tylenol seems to help.

I went to that Xerox site this morning and sent several cards. Wouldn't it be funny if Scoots got one of ours.

I'm going to seriously start looking for a new car - possibly this weekend. I've been thinking that I might like to have the new one before the snow flies. If we're lucky, maybe it'll be an uneventful winter here in New England. I would love that. I did see a really nice looking Accord the other day. Seems they're making them a little higher these days. Whatever the make/model, I think I want to get a bright red car! Look out world - here comes Shennie!

Enough for today - KYHD!


OK, so I went shopping last night after work. Um, yeah. Holy crap. I bought way too much stuff, but I figure that David will be happy.

I've got his Birthday and his Christmas taken care of. A package will be sent today to "welcome" him to camp. I gave Jessi the Christmas stuff I got for him so she can send one big Christmas package from all of us.

Also, I visited Let'sSayThanks and sent a few Thank You cards to random soldiers. Then I sent an e-mail to just about every e-mail address I could remember/find to ask my friends and family to also go send cards. It's a website by the Xerox Company that allows people to choose a card (designed by kids around the country), choose a thank you greeting and Xerox prints it and sends it for FREE to a soldier serving overseas. How awesome is that? Go Xerox!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kitty Drop-Off

Well, the kitty drop-off went well. The plane flight didn't seem to traumatize them too much, and they adapted to Sarah and Jake's apartment really well. They're still getting used to their dogs, GIR and Cody, because they are smaller than Rajah and Prince, and therefore expect the cats to play with them. It was great seeing Sarah and Jake again. We had a lot of great food (In-n-out, Buffallo Wild Wings, and this amazing Mexican place I can't remember the name of), played laser tag, and went to Jerome, which is near Sedona and has great shops and amazing views. It was also really great to visit Arizona in general since David and I will probably wind up living there, though near Tucson, not Phoenix. Anyway, I'm at the USO at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, which is really nice. I was hoping David would be on, but no, so hopefully we'll be able to talk soon. This has been a really good trip so far, I'll see everyone soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


According to David, when sending stuff to him, instead of writing "FOB," write "Camp." I'm not putting down which camp he's at for his protection and the protection of his company as well.


Sorry that I have not posted in a while, but I have a good reason... last night was the annual trivia night fundraiser for my workplace. We are a nonprofit organization, so fundraisers keep our doors open and providing quality educational programs. Trivia Night went well, but I'll find out tomorrow how well. Hopefully, it will be well enough that we will be able to continue to do these year after year. I think that even if they do not provide large amounts of cash, they do get our name out there.

There was a ton of food leftover from last night, so we invited Mom, Dad, Jessi, Craig, Matt and Scott, Robin and Aidan. Jessi and Mom are both getting over being sick, so oh, darn, I got to hold, feed and play with Aidan the whole time. Loads of good practice for when I have my own, though! Football and babies... sweet. Oh yeah, the Rams FINALLY won a game. 1 and 8. What a great record, right?

Tomorrow, Chelsey comes back from Arizona. Have a safe trip!

Dave, KYHD! Love ya! P.S. You get a trailer? That's pretty cool!

Christmas Ideas

Ok, so its getting to be about that time so for those who are coordinating the long-time tradition of fulfilling the 'David needs cool stuff' fund, here is a brief list of things i would like:

Money (to get a decent but small TV for my trailer room)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (XBOX 360)
America's Army: True Soldiers (XBOX 36)
Rock Band Bundle (XBOX 360)
Transformers The Movie (HD DVD preferably)

I will update the blog as things come up but I am out of time on this PC...


Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Many thanks!

From The Mom - Many, many thanks for all the birthday wishes today. It has been a great one. Every time I turn around, I'm getting and e-mail, text message, blog message or phone call from someone with birthday wishes. As Katie and I were doing some yard work, the floral delivery guy showed up with a beautiful arrangement from some friends at work! I really am blessed to have such a loving family and so many wonderful friends.

Oh - to Shennie - thanks for the apples!! The dad had to try one last night for a bedtime snack. He said it was to make sure they were safe for me to eat!! Yeah....right....

Today the kitties head to Arizona with the wife. The kitties are staying there for the duration of the deployment. The wife is just visiting her friends for a couple of days. The "resident" cats and the "kitties" have been in the same house for 3 days and never met. We kept each couple sequestered when the others were roaming the house. It all went remarkably well thanks to having a big house. Though not as big as Chelsey's folks place!! We pray for safe travels for the kitties and the wife during this very special Veteran's Day weekend. It certainly has taken on a renewed extra-special meaning for me this year.

To David - PLEASE be sure to pass on all of our heartfelt appreciation to all of your colleagues in Kuwait and Iraq as you embark on this mission. Our thoughts and prayers are with you constantly.

The family has already begun to plan for birthday and Christmas boxes for you. Any special requests?? Let us know ASAP as we need to get them in the mail VERY SOON.

We spoke to Kevin and Gene last night . They send their best to you.

Keep in touch.

Love you.

The Mom

The Mom... celebrating a birthday today. I won't say which one.

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

She's home!

Chelsey moved home today. Tonight, Bennie, Hubs and I went over to help them move out of the 24' Uhaul. Her parents house is HUGE! It's something like 6,000 sq ft! INSANE!

The funniest part is that their house is like 3 times the size of ours, but we kept moving everything into two rooms. All of this HUGE house, and we piled everything in two rooms :)

Oh yea, and after dinner (Pizza compliments of Chelsey's Mothership), Chelsey and I followed Jennie to what I THOUGHT was the trash bag. I swear I saw Jennie dump her food waste into this one bag, so I followed suit and then Chelsey did the same. Turns out, Jennie really didn't dump her food into the bag, but I did, and then Chelsey did. Turns out that was a shopping bag full of stuff...not a trash bag. So, Chelsey went dumpster diving and took our food out of the shopping bag and properly disposed of it in the trash can. The real one. I cracked up laughing; it was hilarious.

We had a really good time. It was great seeing Chelsey and her family is a lot of fun to be around. Bill (her dad) said we could come over another time and he promised not to put us to work :)


I've gone from wearing no coat to work to bundling up in my winter coat. When I got home from work last night the furnace wasn't working properly and it was chilly (64) in the house. The furnace guy came and wouldn't you know it, the furnace was working like a charm when he got there. Oh well. It was 32 degrees this morning when I checked at 6:30. But, the sun is shining and it isn't snowing. That's a good thing.

It's going to be a long day at work today; we've got a mission at 6:30 p.m. That is not the norm, but we are doing it for one of the grad school education classes here on campus. I have to stay because we are in the process of developing our corporate mission program and I'm there to observe and note questions and issues that arise when the program is done for adults rather than middle-schoolers. It's good in that I'll bank some extra time so I won't have to take a vacation day for the day after Thanksgiving.

I might even have to miss "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" tonight. I can't believe some of the people they have on that show. Stupid is far to intelligent a word for them. One gal was the heiress to the Mood Ring fortune - Thank God - otherwise she'd be sweeping floors in McDonalds. Can you spell vowel? It is NOT spelled voul! I think they're having celebrities this week. Even they are smarter than that.

A three day weekend coming up. YIPEE. Only 1831 days til retirement! ...and that includes all holidays and weekends and vacations.

Do you have a snail-mail address yet, Scoots? Email me with requests for Santa.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

No calls today

OK - no calls today - the soldier probably did not like disconnected!!

I'm glad to hear that Chelsey and dad are on their way home. Prayers for a safe and uneventful trip. See you soon...

Not much going on here..just work and trying to stay warm! We went from summer (air conditioning) to winter (as in furnace keeps coming on). We have had our first frost about 10 days after it being well into the 80's. I've had to scrape my windshield two mornings in a row now. Why not park the car in the garage? one might ask. Well....we kinda, sorta have a garage. It was built with that intention but with 4 kids moving out and back and out and back each time with more stuff than before there is just no room for cars!! But now that 2 of those said kids have their own homes WITH gargages, I say it is about time to turn their said garages into "storage" rooms!! How about it J & J?? The MOM should not have to scrape windshields!!

'Nuf said.

Must go check on dinner.. the dad seems to like to have supper when he gets home!

We'll talk again soon.

Love to all,

The Mom