Archive for September 2012

Surprise!

September 25, 2012

My plan for today was to give an update on the BIG furniture project with Evil Friend. However Chad sent me an email last night talking about this blog.

I think now that he is out of one “ghan” and into another “ghan” he can get onto WordPress.

This means the only update you are getting is that it’s ALMOST done. I wanted to post pictures, but I also want to surprise Chad.

I love surprises.

Here I am being surprised by my Latin lover. (Chad is Latin for the piece of paper left over after you punch a hole in it.) Yes, I always wear a dress around the house, yes my hair is dyed red, and yes, I do pencil on my eyebrows. What is with the 20 questions? Sheesh, it’s me!

I don’t know where my love of surprises comes from. Perhaps from the fact that my birthday is on Nov. 25th. With Christmas coming and money being saved for it, I would always get something practical like a winter coat, or glasses.

I don’t know who this is, but her glasses are a good example of what I might have worn. Notice how they come so far down her nose, that by doing the Bewitch nose wiggle, she could push them up as needed. Very handy. Also remarkable is the gradual color change of the glasses. The top begin with a light bronze that fades into clear. Fashionable and gives the illusion of wearing eye shadow when one is not yet allowed to do as such. I suppose this could be a good birthday present…no, no it’s not.

Birthday presents should be fun and exciting and not something you parents are legally required to buy for you.

So after a childhood of no surprises, it’s no surprise (pun intended) that I love surprises. In the second year of our marriage,  Chad and I told his folks there was no way we could drive to Tucson for Christmas. We did. Ha! It became a regular thing with his family. The lying and then the surprising.

The best surprise we did for Chad’s family is when his sister Sara got married. Chad was enlisted and stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. We were poor and just couldn’t afford to fly to Phoenix. We promised that we weren’t coming and faked the tears and sadness. Then we flew in, figured out where the family was heading before the ceremony and went there. We called them from our cell phone to wish Sara a wonderful day and many blessings as she married the man of her dreams, even though we couldn’t be there. 10 minutes later they walked into a building and there we were. Ha! Sara and her mom burst into tears. Perfect. Nothing is better than lying so well to people that they believe you and then making them cry. Ahhh…memories.

Any who, you will all get updates on all the crazy projects after Chad gets home. Check in again next week and if any of you ever, EVER, lie to me. I will punch you in the face…you better have some nice presents.

Military Mondays: OPSEC

September 24, 2012

The Army is big on acronyms. It’s not the mess hall, it’s the DFAC, pronounced dee-fack. DFAC stands for Dining Facilities Administration Center, fancy right? It’s just food.

One of the acronyms thrown around is OPSEC. It stands for Operational Security. Here is an official explanation.

Operations Security, or OPSEC, is keeping potential adversaries from discovering our critical information. As the name suggests, it protects our operations – planned, in progress, and those completed. Success depends on secrecy and surprise, so the military can accomplish the mission faster and with less risk. Our adversaries want our information, and they don’t concentrate on only soldiers to get it. They want you, the family member.

What it means it that I shouldn’t post on FB the date Chad is suppose to arrive back home. I have one, but chances are it will get moved around a little bit anyway. There is a hotline I can call 24 hours before the “date” that gives me an accurate time of when he will land. That will most likely get changed a few times as well. The last group coming in had the time changed from 8 in the morning, to 10 something and then finally to high noon. Since we can show up 3 hours before the scheduled time, some families waited for 7 hours in the gym to see their loved one. (Hope they brought enough diapers.)

Some wives don’t get the whole OPSEC thing and I feel like they should just say, Operational Security instead of the acronym at our Family Readiness Meetings. I don’t know if it will help, but it won’t hurt. Nothing on the internet is private, not my “private” FB page or this blog. Sure only 20 of you read it, but it doesn’t tell me who the 20 of you are. Can some crazy guy be checking this site? Yup.

Here is how easy it is to find a stupid wife who just might post a date of when an airplane full of soldiers is leaving Afghanistan. The unit FB page is public. This is so family members can be updated about the unit, local social events and FRG meetings. Also each troop commander is required to post pictures of their guys once a month from the “ghan”. The site is monitored by the unit commander and nothing that would break OPSEC is posted on there. Since it is a FB page, people leave comments. All I have to do is click on all the names I see till I find one who hasn’t made their FB page private. Or I could just send friend request and see who picks me up. Now I just wait. Bingo! Stupid Wife posts her soldiers address so that all her family and friends can send her husband mail. Thanks for that info. Stupid Wife post the date her husband is suppose to get home. Also great information, thanks.

“Now what a second,” you might be saying. “didn’t you just give tips to the bad guys on how to find Stupid Wife?” I suppose I did.

“How about that count down wall you posted pictures of on FB?” Yes, I did post that.

“Don’t you think some crazy guy could figure stuff out from that?” Well, maybe. But it is slightly off and I never said which base/camp Chad is coming from. Do you think I could be Stupid Wife?

What? Not going to answer that huh? I could guess what you are thinking. So I am borderline stupid, but at least I know MPH. Click on the picture to see someone who has no clue. I hope her husband doesn’t join the Army anytime soon.

It’s one hour Chelsea!!

Nightmare

September 21, 2012

I just woke up from a nightmare.

I have been having them for the last month.

This one was bad.

I had agreed to babysit a friend’s child at their home. My kids and I were out shopping and my friend dropped her 6 year old off with us at the store. We were walking out to the car and all the children took off running into the street and in the wrong direction. Cars were everywhere, and as any mother will tell you, you get the crazy eyes and start screaming at your kids when there is a chance they might get hit by a car.  I yelled for the kids and they didn’t stop. I took off running after them, furious. I caught up to the children and started yelling at them for running in the street and also for not stopping when I called them. I turned them around to the right direction and their was Chad.

WHAT?

He was grinning from ear to ear, so happy he had surprised us.

I was not happy. First of all, I had just about had a heart attack, picturing one of the kids getting hit by a car. Second, this means we missed the welcome home ceremony. And third, I had to go babysit a child in their home right now.

The girls ran up to hug him and Chad hugged them back. Then he turned to me and said, “I don’t ever want to see you yell at my kids like that again.”

WHAT??

“They just ran into the street, they weren’t listening to me!” I yelled at him. He calmly replied, “You can put them in time out, but you never need to yell like that.” Then I started yelling about he has no idea what this last summer was like and how dare he get after me.  He started yelling back. About this point is when I noticed his mother was standing next to us, just ashamed that I was her daughter-in-law.

Then I woke up.

What a nightmare. None of it would ever happen but it felt so real and I was mad. Mad that the first time I see Chad after he comes home from war, we have a fight….in front of his mother. It’s not even a fight we would ever have. Chad would be after those kids just as much as I if they ran into the street, his mom too. Chad and I haven’t had a yelling match in years. I think I’m worried about how I will react to his coming home, what with my PTSD. He might just find himself getting kicked out of bed in the middle of the night with me half awake saying, “This is mommy’s bed, go back to your own bed and leave me alone.” I might even choke him as he sleeps, we’ll see.

I was also mad because I have been spending the last couple of months preparing for his home coming. I ordered a sign to hang on the garage and we are making an amazing sign to hold up at the welcome home ceremony. The welcome home ceremony is where they file all the soldiers into the gym and make them stand in formation till they are dismissed. Then the surge of 200 soldiers finding their families can be overwhelming. It’s good to have a sign. Even better to have one with lights on it. (Hee, hee.)

Also I have spent 3 whole days looking for the perfect outfit to wear to the welcome home ceremony. I ended up spending some good money on a jacket and some boots. In my nightmare I was wearing the Alaska dress code, old jeans and a sweatshirt. Not how I wanted to present myself to my husband. I also have some cute matching dresses for the girls to wear. I found them during the 4th of July.  The dresses are dark blue with white stars and a red ribbon around the waist and hem. Very patriot, very cute.

I blame this whole nightmare on the fact that last night before bed I put on a pair of size 16 jeggings to wear with my jacket and boots. Size 16, that I got in the girl’s department, meant for a 16 year old girl. Sure it fit my chicken legs, but the waist, <shudder> ugh.

I don’t recommend it.

You just might end up looking like this.

Not pretty.  I’m gonna keep looking.

Let’s sum up,

This summer with the kids has given me PTSD and has scarred me for life.

I make great posters.

Jeggings will give you nightmares.

There you go, you learned something new today. Glad I could help.

Mid-Week Mommy Helps: You Gotta Laugh

September 19, 2012

Some days being a mom is pretty great. The house work and laundry are caught up, dinner is in the crock pot and the kids are getting along amazingly. Life is good.

The Thompsons

This is what my family looks like. Well, you have to take away the old people, all our grandparents live far away. Add another girl, puts some color into it, some smoke in the background from dinner burning, some toys on the floor, and me in jeans and a sweat shirt, and there you have it.

Since life hardly lines up perfectly, mothers need to take their own mental health seriously. I have found laughter to be the best medicine. No not the crazy “I am going to kill these kids” laughter or even the “if I don’t laugh I will cry” kind of laughter. Real joy.

I like to get a laugh from Facebook, so I dumped most of the drama filled people. I don’t mind hearing about other people’s hard days now and then, because we all have them. Especially if I can say something witty to cheer them up. However I can’t wait till this election is over. All the negative things said about the candidates doesn’t encourage or lift me up in anyway. (I just might have to block a few of you till December.)

The bad thing about Facebook is with only 80 something friends, it’s can be a snooze fest some days. That it when I turn to the good old T.V.

Yes, I always iron and watch TV in a dress. Bonus, it seems I have great
taste in nick nacks. Check out what is on the TV. Nice

Unfortunately Hollywood doesn’t share the same standards as I do, so I have to be careful in my viewing.  I have stumbled upon a great little show. It’s called The Middle. It’s about the Heck Family who live in Indiana.

Here is the Heck Family cheering Sue as she crawls across the finish line after she went around the tract 5 times on crutches to get on the tract team. Aren’t they nice?

The parents are married, score, and the kids aren’t sexually active, double score. The only swear words used are ones found in the bible, so I can deal with that. Wilipedia describs it pretty well.

“The series title “The Middle” could describe any number of scenarios. The family is middle class. The parents are middle-aged. The setting is middle America, depicting its characters with average incomes, education and moderately conservative.”

I can relate to all that. The mother is usually at her wit’s ends trying to fix her life, her kids, and sometimes her hubby. It makes me giggly and appreciate the fact that I don’t have to work out of the house like she does. Also the mom cooks less than I do. She is often seen saying, “I made dinner.” and then dumping some sort of fast food on plates. I have never done that, yet, so it makes me feel a little better about myself. Finding someone’s life who is harder than yours is not always the best way to improve one’s ego but since it fake and I know the actors are getting paid some nice chump change, I can deal with it.

The Middle is on Wednesday nights on ABC. I have been watching reruns through cable’s On Demand feature. I highly recommend it.

If you don’t like it, found something that you do. Try a comic book, a favorite website, anything that can give you a chuckle at least once a day. It’s important.

What Not To Wear

September 18, 2012

I was cleaning up and came across a picture of Chad. It is just printed out on paper, a copy of the real picture, which I don’t have. It’s too bad as it is a nice picture. It got me to thinking about 3 good reasons we are in the Army. Here they are.

Reason number one.

Hey, Navy, what is the rule about white? Oh, yea, never wear it after Labor Day.
I can’t be the only one who wants to start singing YMCA with the enlisted guy.
No thanks.

Reason number two.

Air Force lunch lady hat? No thanks.

And reason number three.

Yes, it’s a nice uniform, on skinny, young men. That white belt can be a fashion faux pas. No thanks.

Here is one reason I like the Army so much.

ACCEPT! Yes, please and thank you!

Military Mondays: Joint Base

September 17, 2012

Chad currently works at JBER, Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. Elmendorf is the Air Force side and Richardson is the Army side.  Sometimes different military installations are situated side by side. With Chad being Airborne (he jumps out of perfectly good airplanes with a sheet on his back) we have been stationed next to Air Force bases.

At one point a  bunch of suits decided that to save money we should combined some of these side by side military sites. Congress agreed, President Bush signed the bill on September 8, 2005 and whamo, we now have joint instillation.

The thinking is that instead of having 2 sets of personnel right next to each other, we can just have one set run both installations.

Great idea, right?

Not so much.

Turns out that the Army and the Air Force run completely different operations. Here the Air Force is in charge so we, the Army had to change everything to fit their way of doing things. Everything.

We have to turn over our funding and then the Air Force gets to decided what to do with it. Let me give you an example.

At the chapel on post (Army), we have a bible study for woman during the day. It’s called Protestant Woman of the Chapel or PWOC. While the Army was still in charge, PWOC used their funding to have paid childcare. This was a great time for a young mother to get out of the house, have free childcare and grow spiritually. Great program. Then JBER happened, and PWOC is no longer given the funding for childcare. Now they try to rotate mothers taking turns watching the children. It has been a constant worry now to find help. Thanks for that Air Force.

That is just one personal example.

I’m sure my Army friends could list a ton more.

The kicker of this whole things is that the Air Force seems to be taking money from family programs. The Army has some good programs but we need our funding. The Air Force won’t give it to us because they are in charge and don’t provided the same things to their families.

I never gave 2 cents about the Air Force till we came here. Now I’m not a fan.

While I was doing research on this whole thing, I found some info at  Military.com. I couldn’t believe what I was reading when it said,

 But the Air Force, which for decades has spent more proportionally on qualify of life programs and facilities, is wringing its hands and, critics contend, dragging its feet over the prospect of giving the Army control of McChord Air Force Base, Wash.,

The Army, Navy and Marine Corps, on the other hand, are known to defer base maintenance from time to time when dollars are needed for other priorities. The Air Force fears that might occur under joint basing arrangements, reducing the quality of life and harming readiness at bases where the Air Force has lost control.

That is crazy. Sure they might have better gyms and housing, (Not up here they don’t, my house kicks butt.) but nobody is not going to be ready to fight because the pool on the Army side isn’t as hot as the pool on the Air Force side. (True story.)

I could keep whining and complaining but the whole point is we volunteered for the Army for a reason. The Air Force now controls  6 of the joint installations,  and I hope we do not visit another one.

I wonder if this program has saved any money. The word of the street is the Army had to change a lot of it’s systems and that costed money. It would be nice to know.

It seems the only good thing to come out of Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, is the name. JBER, pronounced J-bear.

Wait, I hate bears.

Alaska stinks.

Bad Blogs

September 14, 2012

Here I sit at 6:30 in the morning wondering what to write about and how to make it interesting.

The problem is I use up so much of my right brain, that the left brain shuts down, A LOT.

I stumble over words and make a ton of spelling mistakes. I accidentally post this blog twice on Facebook and man, Heather does not like that! I usually spend 30 minutes writing the blog and 30  minutes fixing all my mistakes. Sure the little red line helps, but I have a knack for spelling the right word in the wrong place.

This tends to led to a craptasic blog. My blogging mentor, Bridget, is really smart. If you haven’t read her blog by now, it’s not  because I haven’t told you to a million times. Just in case you are brand new to reading this, it’s called Twinisms. Yes, she has 2 sets of twins and the younger set is two boys in Kindergarten. They give her plenty to blog about.

Bridget is so great at blogging that she has people pay her to advertise on her blog. People pay her to blog. She has *700 hundred people visit her blog daily. That is crazy.

Bridget wanted us to get together and do a video log and talk about our craziest deployment  moments.

Yikes.

I told her I wish I would have started blogging a long time ago. This last 10 months has jumbled together in my head and I can’t remember everything. This is what this blog is for. To record what happened and that’s it. I have no higher aspirations.

I guess other people out there do. Bridget once posted a blog about how to be a great blogger. She said you have to read other peoples blogs, start tweeting and do other stuff like that. It sounds like a lot of work.

Well let’s go see what other people are blogging about.

How about knitting?

Yikes, there are a ton. I click on the first offering by google and got Jenny’s blog on knitting. It’s bad. This is from her latest post.

“I’ve mostly knit on the Austin hoodie. It’s coming along very nicely, I’m already done with all of the body and half-way through the first sleeve. Then it’s just the second sleeve and the hood left, so I think this one might be finished pretty soon. I’m really looking forward to wearing it!”

I’m sorry I put you through that snooze fest. Then she put up some pictures in a different sweater she finished. 3 of them, the almost exact same shot just a slightly different pose. Plus to boot, no funny captions on the pictures. Buh-bye Jenny and good luck.

Next  to be googled is Karate Blogs.

Ohhh, Karate Thought Blog comes up. It sadly has only one picture and that is of Master Charles C. Goodin behind some kids that could totally beat him up if they all jumped on him at the same time. The knitting blog so far is kicking the Karate blog’s butt with it’s 3 lame pictures. Hold on…there are some great lines on this blog. Here are a few.

“Karate should be natural.  We should just be ourselves — with exceptional ability.”  “The last letter in Karate (at least in the English spelling) is “E” and that letter can stand for escape. It is fitting that the last last letter in the name of our art is also the last thing you will do in an engagement — escape.”

Much better, but those gems are few and far between. It does give the knitting blog a good round house to the face to take over the fight with it’s “exceptional ability” but it’s still pretty bad.

Let’s try one more. How about….fishing! UGH. No. It’s like reading a textbook. I won’t even subject you to it.

How about cats?

YES! Found a sweet blog called Under The Paw. It has a ton of pictures, yay, of cats in front of the same book…..boring. Some cats didn’t want to play along and Tom, yes it’s a dude, just held the book up in front of the cat. Once again no witty captions and one picture is flat out blurry. It’s 38 pictures of cats with the book, which he wrote. It has one comment underneath the post. The one comment is from another cat blogger asking Tom to visit their website. Classic. Here is Tom’s next post.

Week Of A Cat Ringing A Doorbell

I thought my friend was lying when she said her neighbour’s cat climbs up the outside of her front door and rings her doorbell. It turns out she wasn’t.
Sweet blog Tom.
Well I hear the kids up so my fun running through bad blogs is over. I do feel better about my own writing. I might have a few grammar errors and sometimes sound like Yoda, but at least my right brain is kicking in. I don’t think these bloggers use much of either.
I’ll end with a quote by Bridget, “We shouldn’t read bad blogs, it just encourages them.”
Amen.
*I’m not too sure how accurate this number is but it’s pretty darn close. It’s  way too early to call Bridget to find out the average views she gets daily on her blog. She just might write about what an idiot I am for bugging her while she gets the kids ready for school. That would not be good.