Tuesday, May 30, 2006

192

On Thursday a soldier came to my office to get emergency contact paperwork for 4 casualties in our brigade. A casualty can mean someone was either wounded or killed. Two of the files that I had to pull were enlisted soldiers, but two were officers. That was the first time anything had happened to an officer downrange during this deployment. On the piece of paper, beside one of the names, I saw the letters KIA. It was so upsetting to see that, and it was even worse because I couldn't talk to anyone about it. I was giving the unit the contact information for the next of kin, but a casualty is not made public until the next of kin has been notified. On Saturday, we were officially notified that CPT Dicenzo and SPC Blair were killed in Baghdad.

Unfortunately, I don't know much about SPC Blair other than what I've found online. Here is a good article about him.
SPC Blair

*In the middle of typing this, a casualty assistance officer came in my office to get CPT Dicenzo's record updated one last time. I added the awards that he received posthumously and completed tours in Iraq and Germany. Even though it was just something small, I feel honored to have been able to help make sure that his records reflect all his accomplishments in the Army.*

Because he was a company commander, CPT Dicenzo was well known. His wife was also the FRG leader for his company and a member of our congregation at church.
Here is one of the many articles I found about CPT Dicenzo online.
CPT Dicenzo

The other two soldiers involved are now at Walter Reed and Landstuhl as far as I know. I hope they have complete and quick recoveries.

The memorial service for CPT Dicenzo and SPC Blair is going to be tomorrow. Once again, I hope this is the last memorial I need to go to.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Whodunit?


Yesterday I received the Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix that I have been wanting for a LONG time. The thing is, there was no invoice with a name or gift card or anything. I immediately assumed Bryan bought it, but he knew nothing about it. So who bought it for me?? Please reveal yourself!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

186


This picture is really dark, but this is my friend Stacie and I. We hosted our 2nd annual Cinco de Mayo coffee last week for the senior wives in the battalion. Our first coffee last year was such a hit that we had to do the Cinco de Mayo theme again. The other ladies had apparently been looking forward to it for a while because they kept trying to RSVP before we had even sent out invitations.
Our menu included soft tacos with chicken or beef, a guacamole salad, tequila fruit salad, beef and cheese dip, cilantro cream sauce/dip, rice and beans, empanadas, margarita cake, and an assortment of beverages. I would say that it was a successful night. Now I have to start preparing for the Cinco de Mayo coffee 2007! I'll still be here, but Stacie will probably be gone, so I'll have to find a new cohostess. I'm sure it'll be a fun night again though!

Friday, May 19, 2006

181















What a BEAUTIFUL sight! Halfway there!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

179

These are the titles of the books that are sitting on top of our bedside table right at this moment.

While They're at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront
Coming Home: A Devotional Journal for Those Who Serve and Those Who Wait
Holy Bible
Americans at War
If You Survive: From Normandy to the Battle of the Bulge to the End of World War II - One American Officer's Riveting True Story


Only in a military home........

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

178

Try this.

Add one can of pumpkin to a box of Spice cake mix. Don't add the other ingredients listed on the cake mix box. Cook according to the directions on the box.

This is really good and obviously super easy. Even though it doesn't sound like it would be moist, I made cupcakes and they were very moist.

Try it with cream cheese icing too!

Monday, May 15, 2006

177

Because I blog at work, I had to do my Mother's Day blog a day late. This picture is of me, my siblings, and our Mama. She actually pointed out that yesterday was her 25th Mother's Day. To have put up with me, then Jared, then Avery for that long is impressive!
Somewhere in the process of growing up, I realized my mom was and is a real life superwoman. She did a pretty awesome job of raising 3 children while also having a successful career. Sometimes I don't see how women even have time to take a shower while being a mother. My Mama did it all - she worked full time and yet always had time for us. I would have to think really long and hard to even try to come up with an event in my life that she missed. All three of us played (and still play!) sports and do other extra cirricular activities year round. She was always in attendance, and even went further to do extra things like being a grade mother for our classes. I could go on and on about her talents and abilities, but I'll stop here. Thank you, Mama, for everthing you have and continue to do for us ~ including your 4th child, your son-in-law. You will definitely be the example that I just try to come close to when I am a mother some day. I love you! And oh yeah, I'll work on the silver...
This is for mine and all the other mothers:

SOMEONE said...


Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a baby
Somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "Normal," is history.

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct ..
Somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

Somebody said being a mother is boring ......
Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.

Somebody said if you're a "good" mother, your child will "turn out good."
Somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.

Somebody said "good" mothers never raise their voices ...
Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother.
Somebody never helped a fourth grader with her math.

Somebody said you can't love the fifth child as much as you love the first.
Somebody doesn't have five children.

Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books.
Somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose or in his ears.

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery .....
Somebody never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of
kindergarten.
or on a plane headed for military "boot camp."

Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back.
Somebody never organized four giggling Brownies to sell cookies.

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married.
Somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.

Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home ....
Somebody never had grandchildren

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her .
Somebody isn't a mother.

Happy Mothers Day......

Friday, May 12, 2006

174

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day
I got this from www.military.com


"If the military had wanted you to have a spouse, they would have issued you one." Remember those words? Well, that was then and this is now. America's military has realized and acknowledged the significance of the military spouse. In 1984 President Reagan proclaimed the Friday before Mother's Day of each year to be Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It is your day to stand up and be honored.

For the times you've stood and watched a ship sail from the harbor, an aircraft disappear into the clouds, or a truck convoy pull out of sight, not sure when they would return, we thank you.

For the countless household moves you've made from a place you know to one that's strange and different -- often by yourself -- we thank you.

For the families you've held together, for the anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays you've celebrated alone, we thank you.

For the hand you've extended to another military spouse when the need was there, truly creating a military family, we thank you.

For the spirit and strength you've shown when your service member has gone into harm's way, we thank you.

For the pride you've displayed while serving as an ambassador of the military spouse to the rest of the world, we thank you.

Far too frequently, the sacrifices and dedication of the military spouse have gone unnoticed and unappreciated. In our nation's recent history, thousands of service members have been placed in harm's way as they stood watch as freedom's guardian. You too have stood watch at home, facing challenges alone. You have waved flags and held banners high to express your support. You have kept the candles burning on the home front as a reminder of our deployed military.

You have made difficult sacrifices of your own, and have called upon your inner reserves to nurture family life so your service member can focus on the business at hand.

Even in times of relaxed alert status for our military, you have stood ready and alert for the slightest of signs, perhaps overlooked or ignored by your civilian counterparts, signaling a potential change in the status of our military forces. As a military spouse, you have willingly packed up and relocated countless times, and may have been separated from your own parents and siblings for several years at a time.

Quite often, you have been placed in an unfamiliar ethnic or cultural setting, or a remote location. You have met this challenge with confidence and pride, making your nation proud of you. By the same token, you have extended your hand and hospitality to visitors to our country.

A country cannot count itself strong by its armed services alone, but must also depend on its civilians. With military wives and husbands setting a superior example through devotion, courage, and commitment, we are a nation of strength.

Military spouses … stand tall, stand proud … we salute you, you are truly our unsung heroes.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

173

I might be unemployed again sooner than I had expected. As a result of the drawdown of troops in Germany, the unit that I work for is being deactivated. The deactivation won't happen until sometime around the new year. Our jobs will actually be gone sometime around January or February. I definitely won't continue to be in Officer Records. They may be able to place me in another office but that is only a possibility. I'm not too upset about it since we're moving next summer anyway, but I had planned on working through June. A lot of kinks are still being worked out so we won't know anything definite for a while. As with everything else in the Army, we just have to wait and see what happens!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

172

Got this one from Yalonde

Short Army story ...

Fifty-one years ago Herman James, a Tennessee Mountain man, was
drafted by the US Army.

On his first day in basic
training the army issued him a comb.
That afternoon the Army barber sheared off all his hair.

On his second day the Army issued Herman a toothbrush.
That afternoon the Army dentist removed seven of his teeth.

On the third day the Army issued him a jock strap.
The Army has been looking for Herman for 51 years.

Monday, May 08, 2006

170






~I would just like to begin by saying I was not in a bad mood or having a bad day on Friday! I was mostly joking around when I wrote that post!~




At 7pm on Friday night I boarded a bus that was headed for Poland. Outdoor Rec sponsored a Polish Pottery Shopping Trip over the weekend. Sometime between 6 and 7 am Saturday, we made our first shopping stop. We ended up making about 6 different stops around the town of Boleslawiec. I knew before I went that I wanted some pottery in the Americana pattern. Once I got to the first shop though, I found the pansy pattern and really liked it. Most people have a design that is "their pattern" and then at every shop look for more pieces in that pattern to add to their collection. I only wanted bakeware and serving pieces, but they also sell all sizes of plates, bowls, mugs, and more. We finally finished shopping around 3 or 4 Saturday afternoon. We got back to Baumholder at 2am on Sunday. It was a really good trip overall. The pictures at the top are off all the pieces I bought in each of my patterns. There are also a few more pictures on my fotopic site under the May link.

Friday, May 05, 2006

167

Random thoughts....

Last night while Bryan & I were instant messaging I thought about some sayings that I just don't like.
When servicemembers are deployed, why do people say "Come Home Soon"? It's not like that individual service member has any say so in when they get to come home. That's totally determined by the gods of the Army as I like to call them.
You see a lot of stickers and other things that say "Army Wife - Toughest Job in the Army". Yeah, I don't like that one either. I do think that our "job" is much harder than it seems and we often go unnoticed and unappreciated, but I would never claim that my role as an Army wife is tougher than that of a soldier who is in combat. To me that borders on being an insult to them. They will see and experience things that we could never begin to fathom.
"Have a safe flight." Once again, do I have any control on whether or not the flight is safe? I just have to sit in my seat and put my seatbelt on, put the seat in the upright position, and stow my traytable all when I'm told to.

Another thing that gets on my nerves is people who can't park. This morning when I got to work, there were 3 good spots that couldn't be parked in because people don't know how to stay between the lines. Two of the cars were pretty small so I don't have a clue what their problem was. The third automobile was a Ford pick-up. I understand that it's pretty big, but it should have been able to get between the lines. Here's my advice - If you can't park it, don't drive it!

I'll now move on to a more positive thought. Yesterday when I picked up my mail, I had a package that Bryan had ordered. He got me the book "While They're At War" that I've been wanting. I'm looking forward to reading it. I've just still got to get through "A Million Little Pieces". I've been working on that book forever. I'm a fast reader too. Like I've said time and again, I can't figture out what all the hype was about. The book is not that good.

It's Friday, and there are less than 200 days left in the deployment! Woohoo!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

165



Today I want to wish our friend, Vince, and my aunt Yalonde, Happy Birthday! I hope it's a great one for both of you! My parents also celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary this past Saturday. That's impressive and something to be proud of so congratulations to them too!

This past Saturday my basketball team was reunited to participate in a tournament hosted by a town near us, Idar-Oberstein. There was our team, another boys team from Baumholder, a few German teams, and a few French teams. It wasn't the most organized event ever, but it was a great idea and a positive experience for everyone involved. Hopefully, they'll have another tournament next year and we will be invited to participate again. The picture at the top is before our first game. My girls were 12-15 and we actually played a 13-18 year old co-ed team from France.

Nothing really eventful has happened since then. I guess that's why I haven't blogged much lately. I don't like saying over and over that there's nothing to talk about. It did snow for a few minutes on Saturday, which was crazy! The weather has been nice since then though. It actually got up close to 70 yesterday.

Bryan and his guys continue to do well. They are content being in Iraq and it helps the time pass quickly because they are working so much. We are both REALLY looking forward to R&R but it still doesn't look like it's going to happen until August. We keep holding out hope that the next 3 months will fly by for us!