Thursday, December 29, 2005

40

I added some new pictures to the fotopic site. As always the link is: http://cristin-fanning.fotopic.net/ and they are under the December folder.
It's been snowing here all week and I'm more than tired of it already. I've spent the past 3 mornings shoveling snow outside my building because obviously the other 2 couples that live in my stairwell and don't have children are too lazy to do it. Right now I don't mind that much, but if this continues until spring I'm going to get frustrated. On a positive note, I've been getting off work early a lot!
I had the first practice for my youth girls basketball team last night. Only 3 out of 7 girls showed up but that's actually more than I thought would. I only have 2 girls back from last years team. All the others moved or are too old this year. I was pleasantly surprised by one of the new girls last night. It's going to be interesting to see how the other 4 are. It's possible that it could be a long season this year! I'm sure it'll still be fun regardless!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

38



The big announcement on Friday - there was nothing to it. It was a briefing with Gen George Casey, and he didn't say anything we didn't already know. I'm still trying to figure out why in the world the brigade made such a big deal about it. He DEFINITELY didn't say anything about them coming home. The briefing can be seen at http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/ .

My weekend was pretty busy but I'm so glad it was a 3 day. On Friday night I went over to my Laura's house and we just hung out and watched tv. On Saturday I ran all my errands that I usually do on Sunday. I then came home and made a dish to take to a friends house for dinner. We had a Christmas Eve dinner and then went to the candlelight service at church. On Sunday morning I got up and went to church then came home and started preparing for Christmas brunch at my house. My neighbors came over and we spent the whole day eating and just enjoying one another's company. I talked to my family and opened my presents from them - a sweater, the traditional Barbie ornament, a personalized baking pan with cover, and lots of little stocking stuffers. Later I attempted to talk to Bryan and I opened my palm pilot and Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood cds from him. Yesterday I was just a bum most of the day. Laura and baby Tally, Pam, and I all went to have mexican food for supper last night. It had been a while since I had eaten Mexican so I enjoyed it. Today I'm just back at work. I sure am glad it's Tuesday and not Monday though!

Friday, December 23, 2005

34

Anxiety.
That's the word of the day.
I received a phone call around 1800 (6 pm) last night from the Family Readiness Liason (FRL) of Bryan's battery. I was a little startled when he identified himself because the FRL usually doesn't make phone calls. The Family Readiness Group Leaders and their Point of Contact people usually call us.
The FRL informed me that there would be an announcement made by the Department of Defense today at 1700 German time (1100 EST). All family members are highly encouraged to watch the news today for the announcement. That's basically all they told us. I do know that there was a requirement that 100% of the families be contacted. It sounds like it must be something pretty big for them to go to all that trouble to contact everyone. Myself, as well as many other families, are experiencing a lot of different emotions. I am hoping that our soldiers will be able to come home. However, I fear that we are getting all worked up to be told no new, real information. There is no desire to be told yet again "365 or until mission complete". We've already heard that quite a bit in the time leading up to the deployment and the short while they've been gone. What if they do come home in a few months but then receive orders again for 2007? That scenario could mean that we get caught in stop-loss/stop-move and don't get to PCS when we're supposed to in 2007. That would result in Bryan getting behind in his career because he wouldn't be able to attend his captain's course on time.
To many people this annoucement won't mean very much. Many civilians back in the states may not notice or pay attention to what is said today. However, there are thousands and thousands of us who are trying our best to be patient for 4 more hours. They have our future in our hands. This could impact us today, tomorrow, next month, next year, and even the years after that.
Oh, the anxiety......

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

32

I'm a quarter of a century old today!
Congratulations to Mama and Daddy on the anniversary of the birth of their first child! Thanks for being great parents and doing an awesome job raising me - and those other 2 kids!
From my parents (& siblings I guess) I got a sewing machine. I've had it for a while but I'm actually going to open it tonight. I'm really excited about learning to sew! Thanks y'all!
Thank you to Mrs Tena and family for the Victoria's Secret gift certificate.
Thank you to Yalonde and Kimberly for the Happy Birthday wishes and ecard.
I'm working today but tonight I'm going to go to dinner with my neighbor friends.
I'm also going to get to talk to Bryan and I'll open my present from him while we're on the phone. I can't remember for sure, but I think this is the first time we've been apart on my birthday in all 8 years. At least I will get to talk to him though. I'm very thankful for that!

Just for the fun of it, here's a recap of this day in history!

1620 - The Mayflower, and its passengers, pilgrims from England, landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts.
1849 - The first ice-skating club in America was formed -- in Philadelphia, PA.
1909 - McKinley and Washington schools of Berkeley, CA became the first authorized junior-high schools in the U.S. (grades 7,8 and 9). The schools were actually identified as introductory high schools.
1913 - Readers of the New York World Sunday edition were treated to a crossword puzzle as an added feature of the Fun supplement.
1914 - Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain appeared in the first six-reel, feature-length comedy. The film was directed by Mack Sennett and was lovingly titled, Tillie’s Punctured Romance.
1937 1st feature-length color & sound cartoon premieres (Disney's Snow White)
1944 - Horse racing was banned in the United States until after World War II.
1945 - U.S. General George Patton died in a German hospital this day. ‘Old Blood and Guts’, whose Third Army swept across France and into Germany after the Normandy Invasion, had been injured in a car crash near Mannheim, Germany twelve days earlier. He is buried among the soldiers who died in the Battle of the Bulge in Hamm, Luxembourg.
1966 - The Beach Boys received a gold record for the single, Good Vibrations. A-one, and a-two and... “...I’m pickin’ up good vibrations. She’s givin’ me excitations...”
1967 - The Rolling Stones LP, Their Satanic Majesties Request, was released. It cost $50,000 to produce and came complete with a 3-D photograph of the Stones on the cover.
1973 - Joseph Danzansky announced that he was unable to meet the financial conditions that would allow the San Diego Padres baseball franchise to move to Washington, DC. Strange thing, because major league baseball owners had already approved the move based on Danzansky’s financial condition. He didn’t stay around very long. McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc bought the struggling team and vowed to keep it in San Diego. He even refunded the cost of admission to everyone in Jack Murphy Stadium one night, apologizing for how bad the team played.
1981 - Cincinnati defeated Bradley 75-73 in seven overtimes! The game became the longest collegiate basketball game in the history of NCAA Division I competition. The marathon game was played in Peoria, IL. If it can play there... it can play anywhere!
1983 - The NCAA men’s basketball rules committee rescinded the controversial, last-two-minute, free-throw rule. It had been enforced at the beginning of the 1983 season to eliminate excessive fouling at the end of a game. The idea bombed. There were even more fouls after the rule was enacted.
1985 - Bruce Springsteen’s album, Born in the USA, passed Michael Jackson’s Thriller to become the second longest-lasting LP in the top 10. It stayed there for 79 weeks. Only The Sound of Music, with Julie Andrews, lasted longer: 109 weeks.
1985 - Heart’s album, Heart, was #1 (for one week) in the U.S. The tracks are: If Looks Could Kill, What About Love, Never, These Dreams, The Wolf, All Eyes, Nobody Home, Nothin’ at All, What He Don’t Know and Shell Shock.
1986 - Atlanta center Jeff Van Note played his 246th and final NFL game as Atlanta downed Detroit, 20-6. At age 40, Van Note was the oldest player in pro football.
1988 - Pan Am World Airways Flight 103 was the target of a terrorist attack this day. The jet exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland killing 259 passengers and crew, plus eleven people who were on the ground at the site of the crash. (In Jan 2001 Libyan Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi was found guilty of planting the bomb that blew up the plane.)
1991 - The Soviet Union formally ceased to exist and was dissolved into Russia and fourteen other independent countries. The U.S. supported the change and pledged to extend as much help as possible to the new Russian state under Boris Yeltsin.
1998 - Israel appeared headed for early elections after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to restore unity to a government badly shaken up over his decision to suspend the Wye River land-for-security accord brokered by the United States in October 1998. The embattled Netanyahu was heckled by members left and right of the political spectrum when he rose to address Israel’s 120-member parliament, the Knesset. (Netanyahu was indeed defeated in 1999 by Ehud Barak.)
2000 - Fears about a harsh economic slowdown and continuing weakness in corporate earnings sent U.S. stocks sliding, with the Dow Jones industrials giving up more than 260 points, dropping to 10,318.93. The Nasdaq hit its low for the year, falling 178.93 (or 7 percent) to 2,332.78. “Investors are seeing a confirmation from the Fed that the economy is very weak and that earnings are going to be pretty poor and that assistance from the Fed is not going to be right away,” said A.C. Moore, chief investment strategist for Dunvegan Associates in Santa Barbara, CA. (The Fed [Federal Reserve System Board] did respond in 2001, dropping interest rates eleven times, pushing rates to the lowest level since 1961.)

Birthdays
1639 - Jean Baptiste Racine dramatist:
1804 - Benjamin Disraeli author, statesman
1860 - Henrietta Szold humanitarian
1879 - Joseph Stalin (Dzhugashvili) Russian dictator
1892 - Walter Hagen golf champion
1908 - Sylvester Pat Weaver President of NBC-TV
1913 - Andor Foldespianist: played with Budapest Philharmonic at eight years of age
1917 - Heinrich Boll Nobel Prize-winning author [1972]
1918 - Kurt Waldheim government official
1921 - Alicia Alonso (Martinez Hoyo) dancer
1922 - Paul Winchell comedian, ventriloquist
1926 - Joe Paterno football coach: Penn State
1928 - Ed Nelson actor
1926 - Freddie Hart country singer
1935 - Phil Donahue TV talk show host
1937 - Jane Fonda Academy Award-winning actress
1940 - Frank Zappa musician, songwriter, singer
1941 - Paul (Paulino Ortiz) Casanova baseball
1942 - Carla Thomas singer
1943 - Jared Martin actor
1944 - Michael Tilson Thomas jazz band conductor
1945 - Gordon Kannegiesser hockey
1946 - Josh Mostel actor
1946 - Carl Wilson musician
1947 - Elliott Maddox baseball
1948 - Samuel L. Jackson actor
1950 - Jeffrey Katzenberg movie producer
1951 - Nick Gilder singer
1954 - Chris Evert
1955 - Jane Kaczmarek actress
1957 - Ray Romano comedian, actor
1959 - Florence Griffith Joyner (Flo-Jo) track star
1960 - Andy (Andrew James) Van Slyke baseball
1965 - Andy Dick actor
1966 - Kiefer Sutherland actor
1966 - Karri Turner actress
1968 - Khrystyne Haje actress
1969 - Julie Delpy actress
1969 - Jack Noseworthy actor

Chart Toppers
1950
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Nevertheless - Jack Denny
If You’ve Got the Money Honey I’ve Got the Time - Lefty Frizzell
1958
The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
Problems - The Everly Brothers
One Night - Elvis Presley
City Lights - Ray Price
1966
Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen
Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band
That’s Life - Frank Sinatra
Somebody Like Me - Eddy Arnold
1974
Cat’s in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
Angie Baby - Helen Reddy
You’re the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White
I Can Help - Billy Swan
1982
Maneater - Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Girl is Mine - Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney
Steppin’ Out - Joe Jackson
Somewhere Between Right and Wrong - Earl Thomas Conley
1990
Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - Stevie B
Justify My Love - Madonna
Impulsive - Wilson Phillips
I’ve Come to Expect It from You - George Strait

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

31

So, I was "tagged" by Shelleigh which means I am supposed to share 5 Strange Habits of mine. I'll oblige but I think I'm just going to turn it into 5 Strange Things about me. Bryan would probably be better at this than me, but I'm going to give it a shot.

#1 - I am a creature of habit. My life is basically like the movie Groundhog Day. I do the same exact routine every day.

#2 - I MUST wash my face and brush my teeth every night before I go to bed. No matter what state I'm in, I will always wash my face and brush my teeth.

#3 - I don't drink sweet tea. To many people that wouldn't seem odd, but I'm from the deep South. Everybody drinks sweet tea. I can make it if I must, and I will drink it if I must, but I don't prefer to do either.

#4 - I can't keep my feet still when I'm trying to go to sleep. I have to be aware of it and make myself keep them still. I'm constantly moving them back and forth, back and forth.

#5 - I don't like to watch movies a second time but I can watch episodes of The Real World 100 times over. I'm a reality tv nut!

Yea! I did it! Now I "tag" Laura & Kimberly.

Monday, December 19, 2005

30

I've been too busy to blog today - no really! Maybe I'll get a chance in the morning.

We are at the one month mark today!



Army Wife
The good Lord was creating a model for Army wives and was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared. She said, "Lord, you seem to be having a lot of trouble with this one. What's the matter with the standard model?"
The Lord replied, "Have you seen the specs on this order? She has to be completely independent, posses the qualities of both father and mother, be a perfect hostess to four or forty with an hour's notice, run on black coffee, handle every emergency imaginable without a manual, be able to carry on cheerfully, ever if she's pregnant and has the flu, and she must be willing to move 10 times in 17 years. And oh, yes, she must have six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head. "Six pairs of hands? No way!"
The Lord continued, "Don't worry, we shall make other Army wives to help her. And we will give her an unusually strong heart so it can swell with pride in her husband's achievements, sustain the pain of separations, beat soundly when it's over-worked and tired, and be large enough to say 'I understand,' when she does not, and say 'I love you,' regardless."
The angel circled the model of the military wife, looked at it closely and sighed, "It looks fine, but it's too soft."
"She might look soft," replied the Lord, "but she has the strength of a lion. You would not believe what she can endure."
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Lord's creation. "There's a leak," she announced. "Something is wrong with the construction. I am not surprised that it has cracked. You are trying to put too much into this model."
The Lord appeared offended at the angel's lack of confidence. What you see is not a leak," he said. "It's a tear."
"A tear? What is it there for?" asked the angel.
The Lord replied, "It's for joy sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness, pride and a dedication to all the values that she and her husband hold dear." "You are a genius!" exclaimed the angel. The Lord looked puzzled and replied, "I didn't put it there."

Friday, December 16, 2005

27


From www.wral.com

Religious McDonald's Sign Draws Attention In Raleigh

Woman Asks Restaurant To Remove Sign, 'Jesus Is The Reason For The Season'


POSTED: 7:16 am EST December 14, 2005
UPDATED: 10:25 am EST December 14, 2005

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Everyone celebrates religion and holidays in their own individual ways, but currently there are questions about whether the two should be more connected. One of the latest places involved in the controversy is a McDonald's restaurant in Raleigh.
The sign at McDonald's on the corner of Falls of Neuse and Spring Forest Road reads: "Merry Christmas, Jesus is the Reason for the Season." It is a holiday message that Amanda Alpert thinks comes on a little too strongly.
"It offends me because it specifically talks about Jesus, Merry Christmas. It doesn't give credit to anyone else," Alpert said.
Alpert called the McDonald's corporate office in Atlanta and requested that the sign be changed to the politically correct Happy Holidays. The response was the owner has the right to do what she wants with the sign.
"I care because I'm Jewish, and the reason for the season is upsetting to me," Alpert said.
None of the drivers WRAL spoke to were offended by the sign.
"I've always known it to be Merry Christmas, and it is Jesus' birthday," said Tom David of Smithfield.
It's a debate that's struck a chord nationally and locally. The White House Christmas card surprised some with its "Happy Holiday Season" message. A proposed nativity scene in Raleigh recently drew a crowd at council chambers.
McDonald's managers say the sign has been good for business. They say church groups have stopped by to eat, and some people who usually don't eat food from McDonald's have stopped by because of the sign. The store's owner did not return WRAL's calls.

Most of the time I try to be pretty open minded, but this really got on my nerves. I appreciate diversity. However, diversity and stupidity combined don't go over too well with me. I don't expect someone who is of a different background or religion to wish me a Merry Christmas butI am a Christian so I'm definitely going to tell them Merry Christmas.
Everyone wants to argue about this story and say that Ms Alpert was exercising her freedom of speech and that there are more holidays this "season" than just Christmas. That's all fine and dandy but READ THE SIGN!!
The owner of the restaurant said "Merry Christmas" and "Jesus is the reason for the season".
Therefore, she was saying that Jesus was the reason for the Christmas season. C'mon, a little bit of common sense would help anyone understand that!
People are going so overboard with their political correctness that they're not even being rational anymore!
By the way, I applaud McDonald's for allowing their owners to do as they would like. If I was in that area, I would go to that McDonald's and eat just because of their sign!
Have a great weekend and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

26

So here's the story of mine and Bryan's attempt to talk on the phone last night.
We had planned on him calling around 6pm my time. He's never able to call at exactly the time we plan because he has to wait in line to use the phone at the call center.
I had also invited my neighbors to come over around 7 and I was going to order and pick up a pizza for us.
Well, I waited until a few minutes after 6 for Bryan to call. I decided I better go ahead and order the pizza because I knew once he called we'd be on the phone for a while. I figured by the time we got off the phone the girls would be there and I'd need to be ready to go pick up the pizza.
So, I decided to call really quickly and order the pizza. The number I had turned out to be wrong so I didn't get an answer. In that EXTREMELY short amount of time Bryan called and ended up leaving a voice mail. When I hang up the phone rings to let me know I have a voicemail. I listen to the voice mail and apparently while I'm doing that Bryan is trying to call again! I hang up the phone to wait for him to call back. It's about 6:30 by now. I decide to call the pizza place on my cell phone so our house line will be open. I get through and order the pizza. They tell me it will be ready in 20 minutes. Bryan eventually calls back and we get disconnected not once, but twice.
Still following??
So I wait and wait for him to call back but after about 20 minutes I haven't heard anything from him. My neighbor arrives and I don't know what to do because I need to pick up the pizza but I don't want to miss Bryan's call. I give her the phone and she's going to tell Bryan what's going on if he calls back. I run over to the pizza place which is maybe about 3 minutes from our house. When I get there they tell me that they had just sold our pizza because they didn't think I was coming! I have to wait for them to make a whole new pizza! Those 10 minutes felt like an hour.
Of course when I get back to my house, Bryan has called again. I finally end up calling him on his cell phone and we are able to talk for a little while before he has to go to sleep.
By the way, this is the second time already that we have had a big telephone fiasco! I hope it doesn't happen again anytime soon!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

25 - Tomorrow is another HUGE day for Iraq!



The following was sent to me by Timmer from http://rightingamerica.blogspot.com/ :

Here is an idea for these elections, which I am putting out to as many other bloggers as possible:

Conservative radio personality Bill Bennet suggested that on Iraq's upcoming election day (December 15th), in a show of support for the Iraqi people and our mission there, his listeners should also apply purple to one of their index fingers. This seemingly childish idea is clever in its subtlety. It will be like Ash Wednesday, without the ash (or religion)!

It's time for some more good news in Iraq, and we should let our Liberal neighbors, colleagues, friends and family know what it feels like to be on the right side of things. Fellow bloggers PASS THIS ON!

December 15th is PURPLE FINGER DAY!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

On This Day in History....



On December 14, 2003, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) of Iran first reported that Saddam Hussein had been arrested, citing Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani. These reports were soon confirmed by other members of the Governing Council, by U.S. military sources, and by British prime minister Tony Blair. In a press conference in Baghdad, shortly afterwards, the U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, formally announced the capture of Saddam Hussein by saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him." Bremer reported that Saddam had been captured at approximately 8:30 PM Iraqi time on December 13, in an underground "spider hole" at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near his home town Tikrit, in what was called Operation Red Dawn. Bremer presented video footage of Saddam in custody.
Saddam Hussein was shown with a full beard and hair longer and curlier than his familiar appearance, which a barber later restored. His identity was later reportedly confirmed by
DNA testing. He was described as being in good health and as "talkative and co-operative." Bremer said that Saddam would be tried, but that the details of his trial had not yet been determined. Members of the Governing Council who spoke with Saddam after his capture reported that he was unrepentant, claiming to have been a "firm but just ruler." Later it emerged that the tip-off which led to his capture came from a detainee under interrogation.
The
Special Operations Forces soldiers who captured Saddam Hussein turned him over to the 4th Infantry Division in order to avoid media publicity that would compromise their future missions. The 4th Infantry Division troops also received credit for their months of Military Intelligence and scouting work prior to the operation. The soldiers involved have this operation noted on their official US Army records (Officer and Non Commissioned Officer Evaluation Reports), and have received US Army Awards.

24

"One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful."
– Sigmund Freud

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
– Ursula K. Le Guin


Athletic Kid
Even if you weren't a football star, you spent a good amount of time playing sports and keeping fit.
People may have stereotyped you as a "dumb jock" - but they underestimated your will, wit, and determination.
Who Were You In High School?

Monday, December 12, 2005

23



The weekend in review..
I'll back up all the way to Thursday because I actually did something that day. On Thursday night we had our battalion coffee group. Many of the officer and senior NCO wives from the battalion were there. It was actually a better turn out than usual. There were also about a million kids running around! We had a little dinner and then Santa Claus came. I took a few pictures on his lap but have yet to see how they turned out. We also had a raffle and I won my first piece of polish pottery.
On Friday night I baked red velvet cupcakes for our battalion Christmas party on Saturday. Once again, there was food, a bunch of wives, and many, many kids! I can't complain though because I got a big, fairly good meal out of it. Later that afternoon I went over to a friends house to visit for a little while. We just made small talk, ate chocolate chip cookies, and played Phase 10. I was able to talk to Bryan for quite a while that night. My phone bill is probably going to be very painful to look at next month!
Sunday was a normal Sunday with one very good exception. I went to church and ran my errands, but my neighbor and another guy were finally able to get the hood up on my car! It's been stuck since my car was repaired in April. Both of them are serious car guys so they were determined to not let my car get the best of them! They fought with it forever and finally got it fixed. I am so greatful!
Last night I baked for Bryan's soldiers and prepared a care package for Bryan. I also packed up some presents to send home. I am working hard on getting my Christmas cards finished because I don't know if they're even going to make it to the states before Christmas!
This morning the roads and sidewalks were EXTREMELY icy. There were many times that I almost fell. I think I would probably rather have snow than this awful ice. I hope it doesn't get that bad again any time soon! I'm definitely not made to live in winter weather like this!

Friday, December 09, 2005

20 - Rumors are flying!

I'm really not giving this much credibility but since it's all the buzz I might as well post it on my blog. I'm not getting my hopes up by any means though. That would just be setting myself up for disappointment. The lady at the end says exactly the same thing I would say about Bryan being disappointed.

DOD may halt deployment of two brigades to Iraq
By Terry Boyd and Jeffrey Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Friday, December 9, 2005

Some or all of the Germany-based 1st Armored Division soldiers currently in Kuwait may be coming home after only a few months under a new plan to draw down U.S. forces in Iraq.

No official drawdown of troops has been announced, but an Army official at the Pentagon said the Baumholder-based 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division is likely to come home after Iraq’s Dec. 15 parliamentary elections.

The departure of the troops is not tied directly to the outcome of the elections, and is not a certainty, the said Army official, who asked not to be identified. The final decision depends on the commanders’ decisions on the ground, “[but] it’s the plan right now,” with officials confident elections will go well, he said.

Whether the changes affect the 1st Brigade Combat Team, based in Friedberg, is unclear, though sources tell Stars and Stripes that some units are scheduled to deploy to Iraq in January. Division officials stated in a new release that there is no change in the 1st AD’s and the 2nd BCT’s current orders.

In addition to the 2nd BCT possibly returning to Baumholder, the 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Riley, Kan., will likely not deploy to Iraq in summer 2006, the Army source said on Thursday. However, about 2,000 personnel above company level are expected to go to Iraq as part of the transitional team for Iraqi security forces, the source said.

Instead of 1st ID troops deploying as a brigade combat team from Fort Riley, portions of the brigade would be divided into platoon-sized teams that would work separately to train Iraqi forces, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Pentagon officials have said they plan to reduce troop levels — now at about 160,000 for the run-up to elections — as the Iraqi army and police become more capable of battling the 30-month-old insurgency.

On Thursday, both AP and The New York Times reported the possibility of changes in deployment schedules after members of Congress began pressuring the Bush administration to begin a withdrawal. The 2nd BCT could remain in Kuwait as a quick-reaction force, or all or part of the brigade could be sent home, depending on whether the situation in Iraq stabilizes after the elections, according to the Times story.

AP reported that two-thirds of the 2nd BCT would return, with the rest staying in Kuwait, prepared to respond to emergencies in Iraq.

Most of the 2nd BCT deployed to Kuwait after a Nov. 10 departure ceremony in Baumholder. But the 2nd BCT’s final mission has been cloaked in secrecy. Earlier this year, Baumholder-based troops were told the BCT would be attached to the 101st Airborne Task Force in Iraq, though some division artillery units were told they wouldn’t be deploying.

A number of 2nd BCT spouses told Stars and Stripes they received verbal notification — though nothing official in writing — from Family Readiness Groups that the 2nd Brigade would be staying in Kuwait rather than moving into Iraq.

The Washington Post reported last month that the U.S. would keep a reserve force in Kuwait, the first time that’s happened since the war started in March 2003.

The possibility of the brigade coming home is “good news,” said Capt. Roderick Pitman, with the 40th Engineer (Combat) Battalion. He is scheduled to do a follow-on deployment “and if they come home, it means I may not have to go,” Pittman said. He and others caught up in stop-movement and stop-loss orders may be allowed to complete scheduled permanent changes of station, he added.

Assuming her husband is coming home, “it’s great news, especially here at Christmas time,” said a 2nd BCT spouse who asked not to be identified.

Preparing for his second deployment since 2003, her husband and his comrades put in long hours, training, she said. “Knowing my husband, he’s going to be disappointed, because he wanted to be part of this,” the spouse said.

“This is their life. This is their job.”

Thursday, December 08, 2005

19

Here By Me
by
3 Doors Down
from their album
Seventeen Days
I hope you’re doing fine out there without me
‘Cause I’m not doing so good without you
The things I thought you’d never know about me
Were the things I guess you always understood
So how could I have been so blind for all these years?
Guess I only see the truth through all this fear,
And living without you…
And everything I have in this world
And all that I’ll ever be
It could all fall down around me.
Just as long as I have you,
Right here by me.
I can’t take another day without you
‘Cause baby, I could never make it on my own
I’ve been waiting so long, just to hold you
And to be back in your arms where I belong
Sorry I can’t always find the words to say
But everything I’ve ever known gets swept away
Inside of your love…
And everything I have in this world
And all that I’ll ever be
It could all fall down around me.
Just as long as I have you,
Right here by me.
As the days grow long I see
That time is standing still for me
When you’re not here
Sorry I can’t always find the words to say
Everything I’ve ever known gets swept away
Inside of your love
And everything I have in this world
And all that I’ll ever be
It could all fall down around me.
Just as long as I have you,
Right here by me.
And everything I have in this world
And all that I’ll ever be
It could all fall down around me.
Just as long as I have you,
Right here by me.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

18


When my family was here they helped me get all my Christmas stuff out and start decorating. On Friday night, I made me some hot cider, put on a Christmas cd and decorated. This is my finished tree. It is missing a tree skirt though because I've been unable to find one I like.
I have decided to stay here for Christmas. It was very hard for me to come to a final decision but I did. I'm sure it won't be as bad as everyone thinks it will. My neighbor friends will all be here too so we can survive the holidays together.
On Saturday I went over to K-town to run some errands so I could get out of the house. When I got home that afternoon I had a message from Bryan on our voicemail. He had waited in line for 2 hours to call me but I wasn't home. I felt so bad! You're really stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to communication. Either you can sit by the phone all day waiting for a possible call while being lonely and bored or you can go out and try to stay busy but risk missing a chance to talk. What's a girl to do!?
On Sunday, I went to church, the commissary and then staight back home in case Bryan tried to get in touch with me again. We ended up being able to talk on the computer that afternoon.
I sent Bryan 2 packages yesterday but I can't reveal what they are. It's a surprise and I don't want him to see it on my blog before he gets them. He sent me some pictures he had taken on a disc. If you want to see a few of them, you'll have to go to the blog I set up for him and his soldiers: http://427gators.blogspot.com/
I'm struggling through another slow week here at work. I did have my first meeting last night for my youth girls basketball team. We only had about 2 girls coming back from last year's team so I was wondering if we'd even have enough girls this year. As of yesterday, 8 were signed up so that's a really good sign. I look forward to the season starting again soon!
I'm not sure if my Christmas tree is going to show up. You can always go to http://cristin-fanning.fotopic.net to view my most recent pictures. There is one new one of Misha in the November section and a handful of new ones in the December section.

Monday, December 05, 2005

16

I can't remember if I've already posted this or not. I always love reading it though.

In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older. And, there on television, she said it was "exciting." Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day...like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first. The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words! Maya Angelou said this:
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."
"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."
"I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life."
"I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a life."
"I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."
"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."
"I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision."
"I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."
"I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."
"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."


Thursday, December 01, 2005

12

Woohoo! Since I didn't post yesterday, I got to skip from Day 10 all the way to Day 12!
On to more important matters...
The blog page I made for the soldiers is up and running!
http://427gators.blogspot.com/
Please check it out! Even if you don't want to send them a package, they can always use a card or letter.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

10

For some reason, googlegroups quit sending out the messages as I posted them. I hope I have things fixed now.

I have uploaded some new pictures. They are at our fotopic site.
http://cristin-fanning.fotopic.net

Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Day Nine

Most of the craziness is over.
On the 19th, Bryan & I went to the battery around 0530. The families were allowed to stay until 0800. Overall I think things went pretty well. At around 0730, Smoke got them into formation and as he called off their names, each person was supposed to say goodbye. Bryan and I had a moment and there were some tears on my part but we both tried our best to be tough. I took another wife and her children home and then hit the road to Frankfurt.
On Monday and Tuesday I took the family to Paris. I worked on Wednesday. On Thursday we of course had Thanksgiving and some of my friends came over. On Friday and Saturday we were in Rothenberg. I took them back to the airport around 0800 yesterday morning. It was fun having the family here, but 5 of us in a small living space and together nonstop for a week was a little much. Misha and I enjoyed the peace and quiet we had yesterday.
It's been snowing for a few days now. It came down pretty hard yesterday and last night, but today has been clear.
My neighbor Laura had her little girl early Friday morning. I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of Talmadge Lee. I met and was able to hold Tally last night. She is so precious and I look forward to watching her grow! Congratulations Laura and John!
My dad helped me get some Christmas lights up and put together my Christmas tree. I'm not thrilled about having a fake tree but it's better than nothing and MUCH easier than trying to deal with a real one by myself. Hopefully I'll get the rest of the house decorated by the end of this week.
Bryan seems to be doing well. He was pretty sick the first few days he was there. I don't think they are doing a whole lot, just some training. We have been able to instant message online quite a bit and even use webcams. I'm working on getting something together where he can put online things he or his platoon needs in case anyone would like to send them some stuff. More info to follow soon......

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tomorrow

Bryan will be leaving tomorrow. I will drop him off and then go straight to the airport to pick up my family. It is going to be a crazy day for me emotionally.
I'm going to be my family's European tour guide next week. I'll be off all week so I don't know if I'll get to blog.
Oh yeah - even though there is a lot of other crazy stuff going on tomorrow - it's still a UGA game day! From www.georgiadogs.com : On Saturday, Georgia (7-2, 5-2 SEC) and Kentucky (3-6, 2-4 SEC) meet for the 59th time since 1939 with the Bulldogs leading the series 46-10-2.
For the second time in three years, Georgia will be looking to claim the SEC Eastern Division title if it can post a win over the Wildcats.
Kick-off is at 12:30 and the game is being televised by Jefferson Pilot.
GOOOOOOO Dawgs!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Farewell Gators - Part 1

Most of Bryan's battery left last night/this morning. Bryan's platoon still has a few more days here because they didn't have enough room for everyone. Bryan had to work last night to make sure everyone got off okay. It was a little hard for him to watch them go without him. He'll be reunited with them soon enough though!
As the week goes on, the post is getting more and more empty.
Please pray for the soldiers and their families as this deployment begins.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

You know you're an Army wife

I know I'm an Army wife when...
I have to move an IBA out of the way to put groceries in the car.
My husband asks me to hand him a magazine and I automatically reach for a rifle magazine rather than the reading material.
I experienced both of these things lately so I thought that would be my blog today.

Here is a whole list that I found online!
You Know You're An Army Wife If:
...you can unpack a house and have everything in place in 48 hours
...you string Constantina wire to keep the neighbor's kids out of your flower beds
...your husband's work and dress clothes cost more than yours do
...you've changed more oil and mowed more lawns than your husband because he's never there to do it himself
...you use a crook-neck flashlight with a red lens during power outages because it's the only one you can ever find in the house
...your children say "hooah" or "roger that" instead of "ok"
...you know that it's normal to light shoe polish on fire and that the best way to spit-shine boots is with cotton balls
...your husband does a route recon and takes a GPS for a trip to the mall
...you only write in pencil because EVERYTHING is subject to change
...you need a translator to talk to your civilian friends, only because they have no idea what DFAS, AER, TDY, ACS, NPD, PCS, and ETS mean
...you have a larger selection of curtains than Walmart does
...you can remember where you kept the Scotch tape in your last house, but unfortunately, not in this one
...you mark time in duty stations, not years
...you refer to friends not only by name but by the state that they live in
...you know that "back home" doesn't mean at the house you live in now
...you tear up when you hear "Proud to Be An American," even though you've heard it 50 times by now
...you know that a 2 month separation IS short, no matter what your civilian friends say
...you ALWAYS know when payday is and get ticked off if there are more than 2 weekends during that pay period
...you know better than to go to the PX or commissary between 11:30 and 13:00 unless it's a life or death emergency
...you show your military ID to the greeter at Walmart
...you know that any reference to "sand" or a "box" describes NTC at Ft. Irwin, not your kid's backyard toys
...you know that "Ft. Puke" is a completely accurate description of Ft. Polk
...you find yourself explaining your husband's LES to him
...you have enough camouflage in your house to wallpaper the White House
...you don't have to think about what time 21:30 is
...you've ever been referred to as "Household 6"
...you're the TC, not a backseat driver
...you start ripping open MREs and looking for the M&Ms when you run out of Halloween candy
...you can't remember the last time you saw a doctor who wasn't wearing BDUs
...you've ever had a pet named Scout, Ranger or Sergeant
...the local dry cleaner knows you by your first name
...it only cost you $25 to have a child
...you find that a large number of your clothes and household items are olive drab or loam, even though you never planned it that way
...you pick apart uniforms on TV and in the movies, even though you used to yell at your husband for doing the same thing
...you know what "pogey bait" is and which kinds everyone in your husband's platoon prefers
...you wish you could go to CIF to DX your old stuff like your husband can
...you've learned to sleep through the sounds of tanks, planes, helicopters and artillery simulators
...you give your kids a hand receipt when they take your Tupperware to school
...you can hate military life but be terrified to leave it all in the same breath
...you defend your lifestyle no matter how bad things get because you know there's no other life for you!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Go Dawgs!


Body Paint: $ 10.00
Tickets to the Sugar Bowl: $75
Not being able to spell your own Alma Mater: priceless....
Thanks Mike!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Have you thanked a veteran today?

Remember
It was the Veteran, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It was the Veteran, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It was the Veteran, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It was the Veteran, not the police,
who has given us the right to be secure in our persons.
It was the Veteran, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the right to demonstrate.
It is the Veteran who salutes the flag.
Who served under the flag.
Who gave his oath to support and defend
The Constitution and Our Nation
Against all Enemies, Foreign and Domestic
It is the Veteran, not the politician,
who defends our Nation
It is the Veteran, willing to give his life
To protect your freedoms and mine
Whose coffin is draped by the flag.
It was the Veteran,
With faith in God
Who has given us all our Freedoms.
Lest we forget!!
Here's a great link about Veterans Day from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Check it out!http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Year of Absence


This book was written by a friend of a friend about the last deployment here in Baumholder. I look forward to reading it. The following is a book review from www.military.com.

A Year of Absence: Six Women's Stories of Courage, Hope, and Love, by Jessica Redmond. Saint Paul, Minn.: Elva Resa, 2005. 24.95, 232 pp., ISBN 0-9657483-1-6

There's an old adage borrowed from the poetry of John Milton: "They also serve who only stand and wait." Milton wasn't writing about military spouses (or families), but he could have been. While the deploying troops garner most of the attention (and deservedly so), their wives and families wait in relative obscurity. Their burden (loneliness, fear, stress) is as heavy and their sacrifice often as poignant as that of their loved ones with boots on the ground in dangerous places.

That's one of the subtle themes of Jessica Redmond's compelling account of the experiences of six Army wives during their husbands' deployment to Iraq in 2003-2004. For the most part, Redmond is content to allow the women to tell their stories and to leave the conclusions to the reader. Beyond the subtleties lurking just beneath the surface, Redmond admits to "one overarching theme:" the women's "ability to persevere and find meaning in ... the most difficult period of their lives." Perseverance, however, is a relative concept and it's not always the most prevalent characteristic on display here. Whatever their faults, however, much is asked of these women and they deserve the thanks of a grateful nation.

Redmond, a freelance journalist and first-time author, was an Army wife stationed at Baumholder, Germany, in 2003. After her husband's unit, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, First Armored Division, deployed to Iraq, she began the research that would become A Year of Absence. Out of her interviews with the wives of deployed soldiers, she chose six diverse women whose stories represent the sundry experiences of those left behind. While most are twenty-something (combat is a young man's burden after all), they represent a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Some have attended college; others haven't. Most have children; two do not. Their husbands' rank ranges from Private First Class to First Lieutenant.

The most glaring difference, however, is in their attitudes and coping skills. The long separation and the attendant loneliness and fear are a common experience, but the way the women react is not. Some cope well, maintain a positive outlook, and stay busy. One not only volunteers for her Family Readiness Group but also makes a to-do list of projects to complete before her husband returns. Redmond notes that "The projects kept her focused on the present, not just wishing the year away." Another -- after a brief false start -- discovers new friends (her Buddy Club) to keep her active and grounded.

Others wallow in self-pity. "When is this nightmare going to end?" one wails. Another complains that she's "sick of having so little control over her life." One of them becomes so distraught over the news that the unit's deployment is being extended that she frightens her young daughter who pleads in a soft voice, "Mommy, you're scaring me." Instead of getting a grip, she continues to frantically dial her own mother's phone number back in the states. In these cases, it seems obvious that the strain of deployment only exacerbated existing problems and character flaws. You just know that one or two of these women are never going to be happy -- whether their husbands are soldiers or civilians, deployed or not.

The deployment finally ends and the soldiers return -- except for the twenty-six who made the ultimate sacrifice. For a few, the homecoming is bittersweet as the separation has taken a toll on their marriages. For most, it "was a time of jubilation and renewal." In fact, soon enough the post is in the midst of an incipient "baby boom."

All six of Redmond's subjects make it through the deployment relatively unscathed. A couple of marriages are strained to the breaking point, but hold. And in a satisfying -- if inevitable -- development, several discover that the enforced isolation and responsibility helped them become "more independent and self-assured."

Despite the reservations of some of the women, five of the six husbands elect to stay in the Army. The sixth wants to stay but bows to the desire of his wife to return to civilian life. The wives of those choosing to stay -- even the skeptical ones -- embrace their husbands' choices even though it almost certainly means future deployments.

Redmond allows her subjects to tell their stories with a minimum of interference. The stories are instructive -- often powerful -- and need little embellishment. Not that the author can't turn an insightful or eloquent phrase: e.g., her description of the young wife who "resumed her weekly trip to the commissary, more out of habit than hunger," or, the young wife who's determined that her husband's sendoff will be positive: "When he leaves ... all he will see is utopia."

There is one final important point that Redmond suggests but leaves to the reader to reach: the wisdom of deploying troops from overseas bases. In the Global War on Terrorism, such deployments have been frequent. But, they place an even greater strain on families than deployments from state-side posts. Families left behind in Germany, Italy, or Korea are cut off from the support of family and are even more isolated. Fortunately, as the Pentagon permanently moves units (like the First Armored Division) state-side from Germany and Korea, that should be less of an issue in the future.
Redmond provides us an unflinching look at military wives (and by extension families) during their hardest challenge and reminds us again that there are heroes on the home front too. A Year of Absence deserves a wide audience.
---
Jessica Redmond will embark on a book tour in November that will take her to Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. as well as Ft. Drum, NY, Ft. Bragg, NC, Ft. Leavenworth, KS, Ft. Sill, OK, Ft. Lewis, WA, Ft. Hood, TX, and Ft. Benning, GA. If you live nearby, go out and hear her.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

2005

You know you are living in 2005 when.......

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You don't have time to read this - it has more than five things listed!
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message, so they can't read this either!
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. Your pet has a serial number

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

On Iraq

Did you know that 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq?
Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?
Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq?
Did you know that Iraq's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?
Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the reestablished Fulbright program?
Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational?! They have 5- 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.
Did you know that Iraq's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?
Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?
Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?
Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?
Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.
Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?
Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?
Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?
Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?
Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?
Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?

OF COURSE WE DIDN'T KNOW! WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW? OUR MEDIA WOULDN'T TELL US!

Instead of reflecting our love for our country, we get photos of flag burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at the presidential motorcades.
The lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes.
It is intended to undermine the world's perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support, and it is intended to discourage American citizens.

---- Above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sugar Blue

I'm always at a loss for a good title so today it's just the name of the song I'm listening to at the moment.
I started back morning workouts today. As I turned the corner to go in the back door of the gym I saw a few busses and soldiers. At first I just wondered who was going to the field. I soon realized what was really happening though. Those soldiers weren't going to train again, they were leaving for the real deal. When I got inside the gym it was even more obvious. There were soldiers everywhere carrying their rifles and any extra items they were keeping on them. There was a large group of soldiers in a huddle praying. I guess I was getting another wake-up call that the time is coming soon, which leads me to my next thought....
On Friday night it hit me that we could be just a week and a few days from Bryan's departure. I started to wonder how this week should be. How do you spend the last week that you're going to have for basically a year? Do we just carry on like normal or spend every second that we can attached at the hip?? There's got to be an instruction manual for this somewhere......

Friday, November 04, 2005

Back to the blog

We made it back to Germany on Wednesday morning after spending 2 weeks in Georgia. Going home has its pros and cons, but we were glad to get back to "normal" in Baumholder. Bryan has spent the past 2 afternoons playing golf so he's practically still on vacation. I, however, am back at work.
We are in the process of trying to get a 2nd digital camera before Bryan leaves. I ordered one from www.6ave.com and they completely screwed me over. After making a lot of phone calls it looks like Dad's going to be able to get one for us from Office Max. Now I'm just hoping it can get here in time since 6th Ave wasted 2 weeks of my time!
We got some webcams while we were home and I got one hooked up last night. I love it and it's pretty fun to use!
I uploaded a few new pictures to the fotopic site. Here's the link:
www.cristin-fanning.fotopic.net. They're under the title "All Sorts of Stuff".

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tuesday 1 of 2

Bryan & I had another uneventful weekend. We stayed home Friday night. Saturday Bryan played golf, and we later went over to Stacie & Chris' for dinner and a long game of monopoly. One of Bryan's soldiers got in trouble on Sunday morning around 4am so Bryan got called into work and was there for about 4 hours. After he slept for a few hours when he got back home, we just ran our regular weekend errands.
I didn't add anything to the blog yesterday so I may do a second one this afternoon...
It's been a while since I received this from Dale but I thought it was interesting.

From a Mc Comb Resident

To my friends and family:
What I have seen since Katrina:
The poor and the wealthy hurt by the storm.
Black, white, Hispanic, Oriental and Indian all hurt by the storm.
Christian people giving, giving, giving.
Churches going all out to minister in Jesus' name.
Neighbors going door to door helping one another.
Thugs and hoodlums going door to door looking for someone vulnerable.
Ice and water being fought over as police tried to keep the peace.
People coming up from New Orleans taking over empty houses because shelters are full.
Out of town volunteers coming with food and staying for a week still serving it.
The Churches all over this part of the country doing what Christians do in a crisis.
The Red Cross doing a great job in the shelters.
The Salvation Army doing a great job in the community.
Four Hundred linemen from everywhere bringing back the power to our homes, churches and businesses.
Lines at service stations a block, to a mile long.
National Guardsman patrolling the streets of Mc Comb along with Kentucky policemen protecting us from the hoodlums and thugs of Mc Comb, Pike County and New Orleans (the most dangerous city in the world before Katrina.)
Drug dealers working outside shelters.
Doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel working tirelessly, even sleeping in the hospital.

________WHAT I HAVE NOT SEEN ___________
The ACLU setting up a feeding line.
People for the American Way helping in the shelters.
The NAACP doing any work whatsoever.
The American Atheist organization serving meals in the shelters.
Jesse Jackson directing traffic at the gas stations.

I could go on but you get my message.
Its the Christian people with love and compassion who do the work.

The gripers in Congress should come on down and get in line to pass the water and the ice. Are you listening Hillary, Chuck, Teddy and all the sorry loafers we call Senators and Congressmen. They don't have a clue as to what this life is all about here on the Gulf Coast. Boy I feel better now.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Gameday

University of Georgia #5 AP, #4 Coaches
at
Vanderbilt University
7:15 pm Saturday

I thought I had posted this already, but I guess not!

Women's Accessories:
NORTH: ChapStick in back pocket and a $20 bill in the front pocket.
SOUTH: Brand new sun dress with sorority pins proudly displayed. Louis Vuitton duffel with two lipsticks, mascara, and a fifth of bourbon. Money not necessary -- that's what dates are for.

Stadium Size:
NORTH: College football stadiums hold 20,000 people.
SOUTH: High school football stadiums hold 20,000 people.

Fathers:
NORTH: Expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath.
SOUTH: Expect their daughters to understand pass interference.

Campus Decor:
NORTH: Statues of founding fathers.
SOUTH: Statues of Heisman trophy winners.

Homecoming Queen:
NORTH: Also a physics major.
SOUTH: Also Miss America .

Heroes:
NORTH: Rudy Giuliani
SOUTH: Paul "Bear" Bryant

Getting Football Tickets:
NORTH: 1 hour before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus and purchase tickets.
SOUTH: 5 months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus and put your name on waiting list for tickets.

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game:
NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they're going to the game, because they have classes on Friday.
SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few hung over students that might actually make it to class.

Parking:
NORTH: An hour before game time, the University opens the campus for game parking. SOUTH: RVs sporting their school flags begin arriving on Wednesday for the weekend festivities. The really faithful arrive on Tuesday.

Game Day:
NORTH: A few students hang out in the dorm and watch ESPN on TV.
SOUTH: Every student wakes up, has a beer for breakfast, and rushes over to where ESPN is broadcasting "Game Day Live" to get on camera and wave to the idiots up North who wonder why "Game Day Live" is never broadcast from their campus.

Tailgating:
NORTH: Raw meat on a grill, beer with lime in it, listening to local radio station with truck tailgate down.
SOUTH: Fully stocked bar, complete with bartender that has traveled with the family for generations, just in case a few thousand of your closest friends stop by before the game. 30-foot custom pig-shaped smoker fires up at dawn. Cooking accompanied by live performance by your favorite local band, who come over during breaks and ask for a hit off your bottle of bourbon.

Getting to the Stadium:
NORTH: You ask "Where's the stadium?" When you find it, you walk right in.
SOUTH: When you're near it, you'll hear it. On game day it becomes the state's third largest city.

Concessions:
NORTH: Drinks served in a paper cup, filled to the top with soda.
SOUTH: Drinks served in a plastic cup, with the home team's logos & mascot on it, filled half way with extra ice and a little soda, to ensure plenty of room for bourbon.

When National Anthem is Played:
NORTH: Stands are less than half full, and less than half of them stand up.
SOUTH: 100,000 fans, all standing, sing along in perfect four-part harmony.

The Smell in the Air After the First Score:
NORTH: Nothing changes.
SOUTH: Fireworks, with a touch of bourbon.

Commentary (Male):
NORTH: "Nice play."
SOUTH: "@#$%^^$, you slow &@#$%! &@#$ tackle him and break his $%$#@$# legs!"
Commentary (Female):
NORTH: "My, this certainly is a violent sport."
SOUTH: "@#$%^^$, you slow &@#$%! &@#$ tackle him and break his $%$#@$# legs!"
Announcers:
NORTH: Neutral and paid.
SOUTH: Announcer harmonizes with the crowd in the fight song, with a tear in his eye because he is so proud of Alma Mater.

After the Game:
NORTH: The stadium is empty way before the game ends.
SOUTH: Another rack of ribs goes on the smoker. The band starts it's post game set and planning begins for next week's game.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

PreDeployment

With regards to the deployment, I've been in the mindset of "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it". It seems like the bridge is somehow moving closer to me. Things are starting to seem less surreal and more real.
A friend of ours who works in the S-3 shop told us on Sunday specifically what day the battallion is scheduled to fly.
On Tuesday we had an FRG meeting and it consisted solely of deployment information and what we need to do in these last few weeks to get prepared for it. After we got home from the meeting Bryan had to pack his first bag to send off. While he packed, I cooked dinner and went in to my "trying not to think about it" mode. It may seem like it, but I'm not really in denial. I have some friends who have worried themselves sick for a LONG time prior to a deployment. That's unhealthy in my opinion so I'm trying not to do that at all. Anyway, back to the cooking and packing. I'm in the kitchen focusing on the spaghetti when Bryan walks in to ask me if I realize what he's doing and what it means. I realize, but like I say, I'm not to the bridge quite yet..... After he finished packing I went into the computer/guest bed/Bryan's equipment room to take a few pictures. The computer was playing songs on shuffle mode and we have over 1000 songs on the computer. As I start taking a picture, The Dance by Garth Brooks starts playing on the computer! That was just too coincidental and weird, so we took the pictures and got out of there and back to the spaghetti!
Last night we went to the Family SRP hosted by the post. Most of the local agencies were there to give out information that spouses and families may need while they're living by themselves. I'm what they like to call a "single wife" by the way. That's a great term, huh?
What makes all of this even worse is that the unit I work with is getting ready to leave soon too. They are in a totally separate division than most of the units here so it's interesting that they're leaving at the same time. When I leave work at 5 next Tuesday all of them will still be here but when I come back on the 3rd, many of them will be gone.
For the most part, I think I'm done with predeployment stuff until after we get back from leave. The more intense things get around here, the more I'm going to appreciate getting back to the civilian world in Greensboro.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

More UGA-UT..........


Mike sent this to me and I think it is so funny. I couldn't resist putting it on here:

Mike Adams to meet with Coach Mark Richt after Tennessee fines UG

UGA President Mike Adams to meet with Coach Mark Richt after Tennessee fines UGA for littering.

AP- (Knoxville) Athletic Director Damon Evans confirmed today that UGA has received a letter from University of Tennessee campus operations requesting payment of a fine for littering. President Michael Adams, who has recently led a charge to clean up the UGA campus on game day, expressed "regret" over the situation. He promised to meet with Head Coach Mark Richt to discuss the allegation.The letter from UT was apparently generated after the empty can of WHOOPASS that Georgia opened on Tennessee was not disposed of properly after the game inside Neyland Stadium Saturday night. "We usually designate one of the freshman to pick up the empty can.", Georgia Safety Greg Blue said. "I guess with all the UT fans leaving early, he got distracted" Phil Fulmer is expected to contact the league office about Georgia's use of the ENTIRE can.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Take my UGA-UT game poll!


What's your top play of the UGA-UT game?



Brandon Coutu's field goal (x2)
Brannan Southerland's 1-yard touchdown run
Thomas Flowers 54-yard punt returned for a touchdown
Thomas Brown's 18-yard touchdown run
DeMario Minter interception at the goal line to stop an eight-play drive
Leonard Pope's 32-yard reception


View Results


Create your own poll!

How 'bout them dawgs!

I haven't blogged in a week so I figured I should update it. I was actually fairly busy at work last week so I wasn't bored enough to add a new post. Bryan came home on Monday evening but then had to go back to Graf again on Wednesday. He came back home late Thursday night. On Saturday we went to Heidelberg to check out their bazaar. It is supposedly the biggest one in Germany. I got a service star and a "Home is where the Army sends us" wall hanger. We also got some wine, belgian chocolate and gummy candy! That night on the way home we were going to stop by Chili's and have dinner but we had another adventure instead. We stopped by a furniture store and Bryan dropped his cell phone in the parking lot. A German picked it up and instead of turning it in, he took it home with him. After searching the parking lot and store, and calling the phone over and over, he finally answered it. He lived about 30-45 minutes from the store and wanted us to drive to his house to get our phone! Bryan was livid and we decided to go the the German Polizei (police) in hopes that they would make him bring it back to us. A lot of the power was out in town and we weren't able to find the polizei station so we decided to go to the military post and see if the MPs would help us. The MPs were AWESOME and we were surprised by how helpful they were because MPs have a reputation for doing the bare minimum. They had a few officers that spoke German so they called the man who had our phone and then offered to escort us to his house. Over 2 hours after losing the phone we were finally able to get it back!
The game didn't come on until 10:30 pm so we watched the first half and recorded the second to watch on Sunday. It's always fun to watch Georgia win, but it's even better when the win is against UT!
On Sunday we went to church, ran some errands, Bryan played golf, and then we had a cookout. Josh & Erin Grant came along with Stacie & Chris. It was a good time with some good food!
Bryan played golf again yesterday and we just goofed off the rest of the day.
Today we're back to our respective jobs but we only have 6 work days until we come home!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Almost home!


Bryan is going to be back in less than an hour!!!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Looting

These were sent to me by Dale and Yalonde. Most everybody has seen them by now but I thought it would be fun to show two different sides of the looting.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Girlfriends

Here we are - the coolest girls in Building 8063! We had our weekly "ritual" last night and took a picture of all 4 of us along with more of the pregnant bellies! We had some good food too - spinach artichoke dip, Aromatic Mushroom Galette (i can't believe that's really the name of it!), fettucine with shrimp and bacon, and Banana Creme Supreme (the next recipe I want to conquer!). Our husbands are actually coming home over the next few days so our ritual probably won't resume again until the deployment.

Below is a forward I received from my friend Candice. I thought it would be appropriate for this post.

Here's to Girlfriends!
I'm only as strong as the cocktails I drink, the hairspray I use, and the girlfriends I have. Here's to you! Why do we only have parties for each other when one of us gets married, pregnant, has a birthday, or retires? What would most of us do without our sisters, confidants, and shopping, lunching and traveling girlfriends? Let's celebrate each other for each other's sake!
Someone will always be prettier. Someone will always be smarter. Someone's house will be bigger. Someone will drive a better car. Someone's children will do better in school. And Someone's husband will fix more things around the house. So let it go, and love you and your circumstances. Think about it. The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart. And the most highly favored Woman on your job may be unable to have children. And the richest woman you know, she's got the car, the house, the clothes....might be lonely. And the word says if "I have not Love, I am nothing." So, again, love you. Love who you are. Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say
"I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!" "Winners make things happen. Losers let things happen."
Be Blessed ladies and encourage another woman.
"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world".

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I May Be in Trouble Now!

Marian was kind enough to send me some pictures of Mama and Daddy, so I thought I'd throw one on here. This is them this past weekend. It definitely looks like Daddy is being silly, but I think it's a cute picture!

Things that make you think a little:

There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January. In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January. That's just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq.
When some claim that President Bush shouldn't have started this war, state the following:
a. FDR led us into World War II.
b. Germany never attacked us; Japan did.
From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost ...an average of 112,500 per year.
c. Truman finished that war and started one in Korea. North Korea never attacked us.
From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost ...an average of 18,334 per year.
d. John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us.
e. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire.
From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost ...an average of 5,800 per year.
f. Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent. Bosnia never attacked us.
He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.
g. In the years since terrorists attacked us , President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran, and North
Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking. But...It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51-day operation.

We've been looking for evidence for chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records.

It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick River.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!
Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a GREAT JOB!

The Military morale is high!

The biased media hopes we are too ignorant to realize the facts. But wait...there's more!

JOHN GLENN (ON THE SENATE FLOOR) Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:13
Some people still don't understand why military personnel do what they do for a living. This exchange between Senators John Glenn and Senator Howard Metzenbaum is worth reading. Not only is it a pretty impressive impromptu speech, but it's also a good example of one
man's explanation of why men and women in the armed services do what they do for a living.
This IS a typical, though sad, example of what some who have never served think of the military.

Senator Metzenbaum (speaking to Senator Glenn):
"How can you run for Senate when you've never held a real job?"

Senator Glenn (D-Ohio):
"I served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps. I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions. My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different occasions. I was in the space program. It wasn't my checkbook, Howard; it was my life on the line. It was not a nine-to-five job, where I took time off to take the daily cash receipts to the bank." "I ask you to go with me...as I went the other day...to a veteran's hospital and look those men...with their mangled bodies...in the eye, and tell THEM they didn't hold a job!
You go with me to the Space Program at NASA and go, as I have gone, to the widows and Orphans of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee...and you look those kids in the eye and tell them that their DADS didn't hold a job.
You go with me on Memorial Day and you stand in Arlington National Cemetery, where I have more friends buried than I'd like to remember, and you watch those waving flags.
You stand there, and you think about this nation, and you tell ME that those people didn't have a job?
What about you?"
For those who don't remember...During W.W.II, Howard Metzenbaum was an attorney
representing the Communist Party in the USA. Now he's a Senator!

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Racing for a Cure

This past weekend was pretty eventful. After work on Friday I went to the 4-27 FA wives coffee group. It was a nice time and there were A LOT more ladies there than usual. I guess everyone was hoping to hear some information about the deployment. It's less than 2 months away now, and they still aren't really telling us anything!
On SaturdayI ran all my errands, including spending a couple of hours at the commissary. They were having their case lot sale which means a lot of products were available in bulk at significant discounts. The only thing I got was some paper towels. Most of the stuff they had for sale would be pointless for a girl who's living by herself for a year. I don't think I'm going to need a case of canned asparagus anytime soon!
I also bought our plane tickets on Saturday. We're getting to Atlanta on the 19th and leaving on the 1st.
Saturday night I went to Portofino, the Italian restaurant in town. I had dinner there with my friends Stacie and Chris.
On Sunday I participated in the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure in Frankfurt. We had a team from Baumholder that did the 5K run. I usually only run about 2.5 miles so my goal was to complete the whole 3.1 miles. Most people wore their white Race for the Cure t-shirts but breast cancer survivors wore pink shirts. The 2nd half of the race I ended up behind a lady in a pink shirt. She was a good bit older than me but she was in front of me and never slowed down. She was my motivation. How could I, an athletic, HEALTHY, 24-year-old, wuss out when this lady had not only beat cancer but was also kicking my butt on the run?? It was a really great experience. I look forward to doing it next year and participating in more runs that are for good causes. There were some pictures taken on Saturday and I was hoping I would have them by yesterday but I didn't. Our team leader is going to send them to me and as soon as she does I will share them.
It's less than a week now until Bryan gets back from the field!!!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Good Friday!

First of all, WE SOLD THE CAR!!! We've been trying to get rid of the BMW before Bryan deploys, and I finally sold it today! We didn't get what we originally wanted to for it, but it's sold and that's the main thing that matters to me.

Georgia plays Mississippi St in Starkville on Saturday. The game is at 9pm and will be broadcast on ESPN 2. That is one late football game!

Goooo Dawgs!!
By BILL GOLDBERG
For the Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 08/25/05

Wrestling in front of 40,000 screaming fans at the Georgia Dome, hosting my own TV show, sitting on the couch of The Tonight Show next to Jay Leno, playing the character Joey Battle in the remake of "The Longest Yard" with Bert Reynolds and Adam Sandler, listening to the national anthem in front of 70,000 people as a member of the Atlanta Falcons ... they pale in comparison to being between the hedges on a Saturday morning as a member of the "Red and Black."

Through the years I have been a very fortunate person to experience many wonderful things but I must say that being a Georgia Bulldog (being a part of that family) is a feeling unparalleled by anything else I have experienced. The pure love the Bulldog fans have for their beloved team is truly unmatched. Through thick and thin, through good times and bad, once a Dawg, always a Dawg.

Being a Georgia Bulldog doesn't mean being part of a team, it means being part of a family. In the South many kids are "bred" to be Bulldogs. I was not one of them. I grew up in Tulsa, Okla., in Sooner Country, far from Sanford Stadium. So what possessed a 17-year-old boy to leave the state of the No. 1 collegiate team to move to Athens? Just call it a gut feeling. Football in the South is somewhat of a religious experience. It is not just a game; it's a way of life.

I wanted to be a part of that.

Being out on the West Coast gives me a bit of a different perspective on college football. It's one that I don't completely understand. What is football in the South? Only one who has experienced it can say. I, for one, think it is the most wonderful experience in the world.

GO DAWGS!

Actor Bill Goldberg is a former Georgia football player and professional wrestler.
~Sent to me by my dad and Mike and probably some more people~

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I love my neighbors!

I was sitting at work yesterday thinking about how I didn't feel good, didn't want to go work out, and definitely didn't feel like eating a frozen dinner. About that time I decided to check my email (as I do about 50 times a day!) and there was an email from Laura. We've talked about doing a "baked potato night" sometime, and Laura and Vanessa decided it was going to be last night. So we went up to Vanessa's last night and everyone contributed toppings. The potatoes and banana bread were the perfect alternative to working out and a Lean Cuisine!

Here's some southern humor I got in an email:


Southern Born & Bred

If you are from the Northern states and planning on visiting or moving to the South, there are a few things you should know that will help you adapt to the difference in lifestyles:

The North has coffee houses, The South has Waffle Houses

The North has dating services, The South has family reunions.

The North has switchblade knives, The South has Lee Press-on Nails.

The North has double last names, The South has double first names.

The North has Indy car races, The South has stock car races.

The North has Cream of Wheat, The South has grits.

The North has green salads, The South has collard greens

The North has lobsters, The South has crawdads.

The North has the rust belt, The South has the Bible Belt.

In the South: --If you run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

Don't be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store....do not buy food at this store.

Remember, "y'all" is singular, "all y'all" is plural, and "all y'all's" is plural possessive.

Get used to hearing "Y'all ain't from round here, are ya?"

Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later on how to use it.

Don't be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can't understand you either.

The first Southern statement to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective "big'ol," truck or "big'ol" boy. Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.

Be advised that "He needed killin" is a valid defense here.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this," you should stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he'll ever say.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn't matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.

Do not be surprised to find that 10-year-olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim.

In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.

AND REMEMBER:

If you do settle in the South and bear children, don't think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we wouldn't call 'em biscuits.

Y'all have a good day!