Saturday, February 2, 2008

He was so young...

This is Gunner when we were stationed at Kirch-Goens. He must have been 25 in the picture and he was headed out to Bosnia for 12 months. I remember them telling us how Clinton was only going to have troops there for a year--ummmm, yeah, we see how that worked out. His chain of command told us they would never have to deploy for a year again, not even to Korea (it was supposed to count as a one year hardship tour). Ha!

He left two days before our first anniversary and one day before his Opa was buried there in Germany. They got to Hungary (they were the first ones down there--1995) and camped out in the snow next to a hotel that was full of reporters. The CO got twelve 3' Christmas trees and handed one to each group with directions to decorate them so they could increase morale. Mandatory Fun. What's a Soldier to do? They made ornaments out of duct tape and then hung pictures of their family all over them. His group came in 3rd. I wish he had kept an ornament to add to our tree here at home as a reminder of that Christmas.

At one point during that tour they handed out Olympic tshirts to everyone, put them in a huge room and told them to scream and be happy. Apparently they had arranged to show how morale was so high during that time and the guys were having a good time. Bonus points for Clinton I guess.

Anyway, I miss the old BDU's and boy was Gunner young....

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Em wrote this for school:

Soldiers are brave, helpful, admirable, honorable, kind, true and loyal.

These heroes protect our country and keep the United States of America safe.

So we should appreciate what they do for us.

They let us have freedom to go to school and be proud of who we are and where we live, in the USA. These special people are only normal people who live in the world where they make a difference.

By: Em H.

Thinking back, I really had no clue about the military when I was her age. I remember I used to have nightmares about the Russians invading us and WWIII, but with everything that was going on, that's probably not too surprising. I remember when the first Gulf War started I was a freshman in college at Baylor. My best friend Catherine, whose dad was in the Army, called me to let me know that the war had begun. My roommate and I watched for a while and then went to dinner with my friend. I still remember how directly it affected her, but I couldn't even think of someone that I knew personally, that was serving at the time. Fast forward 18 years (geez, I am old) and I am about to send my husband off for the third time to Iraq. I have spent more time stationed in Texas than he has. Looking back I was so clueless about what was going on in the world even in college, and now I'm not.

When 9/11 happened (I found out because my friend Peggy called me and told me what was going on) we were stationed at Fort Lewis, WA. My husband was in the field and was on standby and not getting very much information about what was going on. I went on into work (groceries had to be bought, and there could be a nuclear war and my company at the time would have insisted that it was still okay to get in there and work). After I picked up the girls, I had to travel from North Fort on to Main Post and Em wasn't even phased about the new security system that they had in place. There were Soldiers everywhere with their weapons, and a plethora of other security features everywhere. Her military daycare had increased security as well and nothing seemed out of the ordinary to her. I had talked to Em about what was going on in 4 year old language and she said something to the effect of "my Daddy will go get those bad guys and make sure they don't hurt Americans". Her dad was and still is her Hero. Even then she knew that he had an important job and she was proud of him.

From that time, Em has grown in her understanding of what is going on in Iraq and other places throughout the world and why. I can't say that she would know or understand this much if she wasn't the daughter of an American Soldier, but I would like to think that I would have taught her. Abs is not far behind in her understanding of the War in Iraq and how she also plays a role in this because of her love for her dad.

Since Gunner is a lifer, and the girls are at an impressionable age, the choice he has made to serve in the Army will continue to have an effect on them and shape their thoughts and views of the world around them as they grow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My sock

I would post a picture of it, but it is a sad state of affairs.

Sunday while Erin was holed up in the hospital with her son, I went over for sock knitting lesson #1. I think I need another hundred. I usually knit at home while I watch tv or in the car while we are on a road trip, but now I had 4 needles in front of me. I did okay, not great, and finally had to go home, back to reality. I pulled it out the next day and Junior came along after I set it down and rippedit apart. My fault, but it was a mess.

Luckily you can start all over again with knitting and I remembered how to get the initial part done but I screwed up on the joining. I looked at books, websites and tried to create my own way. I have proven that there is more than one way to join, and my way did not work. I am going to continue on though and at least get done, because a little practice never hurt anyone.

I think I might need to start with socks for Junior instead of me but since the yarn is pink (although it would match the cowboy boots and hat in the previous picture) I will get it done. I love a challenge.....

EFMP saga continues

My conversation with the EFMP losers:

Her: We want to schedule your EFMP hearing for the 19th of March.
Me: That's Spring Break. I'll have all three children with me.
Her: That's fine.
Me: Well I really don't think that they need to be involved in the hearing because I have a lot of questions and I think it is kind of ridiculous that I have to go in the first place.
Her: You can't leave them unattended.
Me: Okay, so do you have some suggestions.
Her: Hourly care is available for a fee.
Me: I am not interested in paying for care during a hearing that I don't think is necessary. I'd like to reschedule.
Her: Ummm.....well.....we don't have anymore appointments available right now for hearings.
Me: That's okay, I am in no rush. You can call me back.
Her: The 19th is all I have.
Me: Okay, but that won't work for me.
Her: But it's all we have available.
Me: (in my still nice voice) That's okay, you can call me back when you have a new schedule.
Her: But we have an opening.
Me: Ummm....yeah I heard that. Thanks for offering me that date, but I explained to you why it won't work.
Her: So you are not coming on the 19th.
Me: No.
Her: So I have to call back.
Me: Yes.
Her: Is there a way you can make the 19th work.
Me: Nope. But you are welcome to call me back when you have the new schedule and maybe then we can find a day that will be convenient for me.
Her: It will only take 15 minutes.
Me: That's great! I'll be happy to schedule those 15 minutes with you once you have a date that works for me. Thanks so much for calling.
Her: You are welcome. (still in disbelief)

They will give me 40 hours of respite care a month but won't help me find a way to have someone help me out for 15 minutes?

I think I will start preparing my list of questions for the "hearing".

Wordless Wednesday

My son found his sister's dressup clothes.
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Bad Mom

Saturday I had class, so I left my children under the watchful eye of my mom while Gunner worked. I came home from lunch to find Em hobbling around. I didn't think much of it since she often hurts herself and usually hobbles around till she forgets about it or until it is bedtime when her injuries will suddenly start hurting again. She said she was skipping in her sister's room and she twisted her foot and heard a loud pop.

Anyway, she hobbled around Saturday, then Sunday and today after school I took her to the er. The er was packed so we put or names down and found a non-sick looking pair of people to sit next to. It turned out the mother had taken her 9 year old daughter in for the same loud pop in her right foot (and she later left in a boot with crutches with a broken foot). People were hacking away and I cringed with every sneeze and cough. Sanitizer was my best friend in there.
When we finally got back to a room all the hacking people were back there getting prescriptions for cough syrup and were balking at their diagnosis of a cold after being in there for 6+ hours. Come on people it's cold and flu season. After 6 1/2 hours of waiting and finally getting seen.....the doctor took one look and declared it broken. They did xrays to confirm it. They booted it and gave her crutches and we have to follow up with an orthopedic doctor to make sure that she doesn't need a cast. The girl never complained that it hurt. Even on the pain scale she didn't rate her pain very high, and she is not known for having a high tolerance or anything. I feel horrible.

Geez....guess I'm not in the running for "Mom of the Year" and it's only January.