Archive for January 2014

He Made It Home!

January 31, 2014

Chad stumbled into the house at 4:30 this morning. He finally made it home from JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center), Fort Polk Louisiana. Louisiana, in the South, where it never snows, except NOW!

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Chad texted me this picture and wrote underneath it, “Am I training in Alaska or Louisiana?”

I know!

We texted over the girl’s night out weekend and Chad said it looked like they would be leaving Tuesday. Cool.

Weeeeell, thanks to Winter Storm Leon, this is what happened.

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I of course was glued to the weather channel all week and watching what was happening in Atlanta.

Side note: It’s pretty funny how the mayor of Atlanta is blaming the weather people for all the accidents (1200+), and children sleeping at schools (800+).  The weather people are freaking out. They keep posting their forecast from Monday saying, “We said it was going to hit you!!!!”

So this happened yesterday.

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I don’t know what happened next because he is upstairs sleeping and I’m headed out to work.

Aww, the Army life.

I guess it could be worse.

 

Leia and Deployment

January 30, 2014

When I was a kid my dad would bring us in, one at a time, and have a little interview. With 11 children, it was a good way for him to keep in touch with us and our lives. (I can’t even imagine having that many kids, I would have a headache 24/7!) I thought I would do the same thing with my girls and talk to them one on one about their father’s deployment. Today I chatted with Leia, age 10.

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Just a little side note. Leia is autistic and has a hard time knowing how she is feeling. When she does feel some sort of emotion, it over whelms her. When she is upset, she lets it all out through screaming. When she is happy or excited she lets it out by tiny little jumps and flapping her hands. So asking her about her feelings is a tricky thing. She doesn’t always know how to label what she is feeling. I wasn’t sure she would even answer me when I talk to her but I think she did a pretty good job.

Leia, what are you feeling about Dad’s upcoming deployment?

Sad.

Why?

Well, he is going back to Afghanistan.

Yes. (I’m nervous she is going to talk about her daddy being in harms way)

He will miss my birthday, but he did say he will get me a present. Then when he gets back we can do the present together.

Wow. I wonder what he is going to get you! (I had no idea they had talked about this. I really do wonder what he is getting her.)

I don’t know.

What can we do so you don’t feel sad?

I can play with my toys until I forget Dad is gone or watch T.V. till I laugh.

How do you think Daddy is going to feel?

Sad.

What do you think Daddy can do so he isn’t sad?

Maybe he can watch something on his computer.

That is one thing. Do you remember he made us cartoons last time?

Yeah, maybe he can make us some new cartoons.

And that was the end of that conversation. She was done.

This was good information for me. Once Leia gets something in her head and it doesn’t happen, SHE WILL FREAK OUT. I better get on this birthday present. Her birthday is April 1st, so just around the corner.

Also now I know if she is really sad, a humorous show might be the ticket for her. Lately I have been trying food to cheer her up as needed. I haven’t found that magic one thing that works every time. She is a enigma wrapped in a mystery.

I think I will do monthly interviews with the kids through this whole deployment. Especially with Leia where it is so hard to know what she is feeling.

I am a genius.

It's a bit blurry but Leia is helping Chad get his MREs reading for training.

It’s a bit blurry but Leia is helping Chad get his MREs reading for training.

Craig Ferrrrguson

January 29, 2014

Things are hard when Chad is gone. However a wise person stays busy with work, kids, and personal upkeep.

However the nights are the worst. Everyone is asleep and it’s just you in your lonely bed built for two.

"Who can I put my freezing cold feet on?'

“Who can I put my freezing cold feet on?’

Since I can’t sleep I usually end up watching TV for a while, a long while. This leads me to this guy.

Who is this weird looking old guy? It’s Craig Ferguson of CBS’s The Late Late Show. He comes on at 12:35…am!

That is late.

There is a reason for that. He swears a ton, and acts like a creepy perverted grandpa, it’s really funny.

What a minute, you might be saying, aren’t you a religious person?

Sure am!

How does this work?

With a little justification.

Well first of all anytime Craig swears they put a little flag over his mouth so you can’t even tell what he is saying. If it’s a Australian flag that pops up, a pre recorded voice will say Crikey! French flag, Ooh laa laa! Italian flag, Tootsie fruitsie!  Plus they bleep out the whole word, not just the last couple of letters. I appreciate that. Craig is always yelling at his producer who censers half the things he says and calls him a racists. I found his incorrect use of that word pretty funny. Craig hates being censored and he figures calling someone a racists is the worst thing you can do.

“Crikey!”

Secondly, his pervert jokes don’t bother me because he is so old. Old people can get away with a lot. Usually you have to think pretty hard to get what he is hinting at and he doesn’t always travel down that road. Usually it’s when I convince Chad to give him a try and then I’m mortified.

The real reason I like to watch Craig is because he is so good on the fly. Usually before a celebrity is on a talk show, they are interviewed before hand and the host is given those notes. You can tell when the host say something like, “I hear you took the bus the other day.” and then the celebrity goes off on some hilarious story about that very thing. Craig is nothing like that. In fact when the guest sit down he rips up the note card and throws it away. He just chats with them about whatever comes up, sometimes he doesn’t even talk about the latest movie they are in. He often pretends he is a therapist with the celebrity and ends with an awkward pause. He is just so at ease behind that desk. Other late night host have great skits and ideas but nobody is as good at the interview. Plan and simple.

Another reason I like the show is Geoff Peterson. This guy.

Yup, his sidekick is a skeleton. He happens to be just as good with the improv as Craig is and they make a great team. I don’t mind Conan’s sidekick Andy Richter, he sometimes gets a good joke in there. However Jimmy Fallon’s is a nightmare. He is not funny and is like the slow person of the cool group, always giggle too long or too late. Steve Higgins is his name and he has got to go. I had to google the voice of Geoff and it happens to be this guy.

It's Josh Robert Thompson, no relation.

It’s Josh Robert Thompson, no relation.

What a shame he isn’t on camera, he is a little cutie patootie. 

So there you have it. I read my scriptures, go to church and  watch The Late Late Show when Chad is gone. I like to have a laugh when sometimes there is nothing to laugh about. My cute hubby knows this of course and last deployment he sent me this for our anniversary.

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Craig has one on his desk!

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That is one sweet husband to get me a snake mug to show his love for me.

Yeah, you can be jealous.

Girl’s Weekend Out

January 27, 2014

My friend Sara, who currently live 3 hours away, is moving to El Paso, 25 hours away. The movers come in a week.

Boo.

Heather lives 2 hours north of Sara and over Christmas time invited us to sleep over sometime. We decided to have one last fling with the 3 of us. We planned this weekend 3 weeks ago and I couldn’t wait. Since the hubby is gone I had to find someone to take care of the kids but I worked it out and the girls all ended up going to different houses.

This is gonna be great!

Well…things didn’t go so smoothly.

Here is the time line:

Last Tuesday: I’m light headed and dizzy

Wednesday: Still feeling weird.

Thursday: I can’t run at the gym, no energy. Leia throws up at school and I think the weekend trip is over. Tear up.

Friday: Wake up at 3:33 am with cramps. Great. Keep Leia home from school. She doesn’t have a fever, is doing fine, looks normal. Her friend’s mom says she will still take Leia. Trip back on. Drop the kids off after school and drive to Sara’s. Eat 5 pounds of carrots to pass time driving. Sara’s renters heater goes out.

Saturday: Bowels do not agree with the carrots. Sara drives us to Heather’s. Dizziness hits hard core. Sara tries to deal with getting renter’s heater fixed. While at lunch the room spins and afterwards walking is hard. Back at Heather’s, I get made fun of thanks to bowels. 9:00 p.m. Jayne calls, Elizabeth’s throat is swollen and she is having a hard time breathing. Send them to the ER. Try to get a hold of insurance, no luck. Elizabeth is diagnosed with viral laryngitis. Finally sleep at midnight.

Elizabeth hospital

Elizabeth told me she had the best time at the ER. Crazy kid.

Sunday: Up at 6:30 and grouchy. Dizzy. so far at least 5 pounds have been loss due to carrots. Sara drives us to her house. Pray I won’t be dizzy driving home. Make the 3 hour drive with no problems. Pick up kids. As soon as I get home, dizziness is back.

WHAT THE HECK?

It was like everything was conspiring against this trip. Well, guess what? I had a great time!! We laughed and laughed, I ate at the Cheesecake factory for the first time, we saw a fun movie (Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit), we sent each other the funniest pictures we could find, we laughed some more.

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“Stop it! I’m going to pee my pants!”

We had a couple of serious moments (I read them scriptures. Isaiah 16:11. Look it up, you won’t be disappointed.) and sure, I was stressed a couple of time and you bettcha, I spent 25% of the time in the bathroom but it was worth it!! A great trip! The kids back in North Carolina had a great time with their friends. (They all gave me a list of the foods they ate. I would take it personally but we all know I hate cooking.)

Sometimes it can be hard to get together with those we love. However, if you put in the effort you will never be sorry you did. Life is all about connecting with those around us and building memories. I love Facebook and keeping up with my friends and family, but nothing beats a good ol’ hug, in person.

Heather and SAra

Classy chicks, for sure.

The Missing ARC

January 23, 2014

Chad has been gone for 1 week now.

1 week down a ton to go.

Today is Thursday. Up in Alaska, as you know, Thursday was the day the ARC gang and I would get together. (In case you forgot who they are read about them here.) We would gather either around my table or out on the walking trail. I really miss them.

Sadly Autumn, the girl with the dangly earrings, and I have drifted apart. We were Family Readiness Group leaders together. They send out information to the wives/families of the soldiers and organize social events. However before the last deployment was over, I resigned my position. I was doing more harm than good and just wasn’t a good fit. Once Autumn and I didn’t have that in common we just weren’t as close and that was that. It happens in life.

The rest of the gang stays in touch mostly through group texting. Someone might send a picture of their gross new house full of bugs, or send out holiday wishes. A few of us are close enough to get to see each other once in a while and we will send out a text picture to the rest of the ARC gang. However we are spread out pretty far. The ARC is currently in Washington, Hawaii, Michigan New York, Washington D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. However that will soon change with some ladies already moving on to another state. It’s crazy.

We did start a fun little tradition. In 2012 we had an ugly calendar contest. We randomly chose names and for Christmas bought our person the worse calendar we could find. They included Snooki, Honey Badger, Awkward Family Pet Photos, What’s Your Poo Telling You,  and Nuns Having Fun. The rule was you had to hang up  your calendar in your house no matter what. We voted on the “best” worse calendar and Jackie won with her Road Kill calendar.

This last Christmas we played our little game again and since Jackie won she got to pick any victim she wanted. Bridget was the lucky winner and got received Butt Guy. It’s a calendar about a guy in shorts that are so short they couldn’t even be called proper underwear, who travels the world. Some of the other ones sent out were, People of Walmart, I Could Pee on That (poems by cats), One Direction, Yoga Dogs and Hot Guys with Baby Animals. The winner this year Sara who picked a Mr. Chuck Norris.

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I can only wonder what Christmas 2014 calendars will be.

So yes, the ARC ladies are in my life but still missing.

However I did find a new friend Jayne. She is in the Primary with me at church and moved here this last summer as well. Turns out she likes to run and we are now running together every Tuesday and Thursday…unless it’s cold.

That’s right! I did come from Alaska and ran outside on the snow. However here I just don’t want to. Jayne makes fun of me for whining and complain and she should. It’s currently 16 degrees with ice on the lake but we might try to run outside. A few Thursdays ago I was putting on my thermal getting ready to run when I got a text. It was Jayne saying a hotel was closing down and did I want to go check it out instead of running?

Heck ya I did!

I totally scored a 4 dollar luggage rack which Elizabeth promptly took over and used as a chair for the next couple of days. Maybe there is a sale going on somewhere and Jayne will text any minute that we need to skip running outside. Fingers crossed!!

Luggage rack

I’ll Let Him Know You Called (Not Really)

January 22, 2014

2 days ago late at night I was doing something super important like reading War and Peace or 1776 when the phone rang. It was  Brother So-and -so from the ward. It went as follows.

Me: Hello

BSS: Hello this is Brother So-and-so from the ward. I was recently called to work with your husband in the High Priest Group. I need to talk to him.

Me: I’m sorry but he is out in the field training for his upcoming deployment.

BSS: Well I’m his new assistant and he needs to know about me. I don’t know if he requested me or the stake just put me in.

Me: Oh OK, well I’m not sure when he will be back. Sometime at the end of the month. I will let him know when he gets home.

BSS: (sounds disappointed) Can you get a hold of him?

Me: No.

BSS: Is bla-bla-bla-bla his email address?

Me: (smiling) Yes, that is correct. I will make sure he checks it when he gets back.

BSS: (frustrated) Does he not have access to anything digital? (Pretty sure this guy has nothing to do with the military.)

Me: Well, they jumped into a training zone, in another state, with combat gear. There are other soldiers there pretending to be the enemy and my husband’s unit is fighting them off. So….

BSS: Oh, well I guess it isn’t a rush but I REALLY NEED to talk to him. If he contacts you in anyway can you let him know about me.

Me: Sure. (That’s not going to happen.)

BSS: OK, have a good night.

Me: (smiling from ear to ear) Goodnight.

I found this conversation very amusing

First of all, anyone who has been in the military knows exactly what out in the field means. I jokingly call it camping with the boys. They are sleeping in tents or on the ground, they eat MRE’s and train for the real thing. Generally phones are frowned upon. Chad does have his and he did send me a text.

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I texted him back but got no response. It’s all good, he is WORKING.

2nd of all, if my husband does call, that last thing I am going to tell him is, Brother So-and-so needs you to call him the second you are home. Chances are I won’t tell Chad until the next day. If there is an emergency, the Bishop is here. Also after training for a few weeks, the guy will want a break.

And food. I got another text.

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If you can name this movie, you get 10 points!!

Yuck!

January 21, 2014

When we left Alaska, my dear friend Sharon (also know as evil friend) gave me a beautiful set of china. It came with a pitcher. When we arrived in North Carolina, I decided to start using that pitcher to keep cold water in in the fridge. For 4 months it only held water. It was our water pitcher. Engraved in our brains was white pitcher = water.

Then I hosted my book club in my home. It just happened to be the month of December. I wanted to provided some yummy treats for my guest. I came up with the idea of serving eggnog. However the only nice, fancy pitcher I had was, yup, the water pitcher.

What a lovely table!

What a lovely table!

The evening went well and everyone enjoyed the spread. There was some eggnog left over and I left it in the water pitcher, thinking I would drink it later. This was on December 11th.

On December 17th we flew to Arizona for 10 days. Naturally we cleaned out the fridge of anything that would go bad. When I was doing so, I saw the WATER pitcher and just ignored it. Water doesn’t go bad.

When we got home we refilled the fridge and the water pitcher got shoved into the back. Soon it was out of sight, out of mind. I would catch a glimpse of it every now and then, but it’s water. Whatever.

I’m pretty sure you see where this is going.

Last Wednesday I came home from teaching an evening class to have Rachel ask me, “What is in the white pitcher?”

Bells went off!! If it was water they wouldn’t be asking.

Then Leia chimed in,” Yeah, I poured some of that stuff into a cup and drank it. It tasted really bad. I had to drink a bunch of water and eat a TON of gold fish to get that taste out of my mouth.” She said this all matter of factly. No big deal.

Last Wednesday was January the 15th. You do the math.

I grabbed the pitcher and opened it up. Lumps and mold. Gross! It was surprisingly lacking any order, very odd. Eggnog usual smells when it’s fresh. Either way my kid thought, “What the heck?” and drank it while the other ones watched.

What were they think?