Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Vacation Pictures

Bryan and I spent most of the past few weeks traveling. First we went to Rothenburg, Germany for a night on our way to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. We wanted to take advantage of the great deal that Edelweiss Lodge and Resort offers for soldiers on R&R or just back from a deployment.
After returning home and repacking, we went to the Canary Islands of Spain for a few days before Christmas. Here is a slideshow I made of our trips.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

All About Christmas!

Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know
Your Friends!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot chocolate

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the
tree?
He just sits them under the tree

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White - This is an ongoing debate in our home

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
No, but I was tempted to buy some in Trier last weekend

5. When do you put your decorations up?
This year it was immediately after Thanksgiving

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I'm going to be a rebel and still pick dessert! Mama's red velvet cake is a favorite

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
The WHOLE family coming to our house on Christmas day!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Mama always said that as long as you believe Santa will still come and I still believe!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
I have, but it's not a regular thing

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
We have a hodge podge of decorations. My parents hosted a Christmas engagement party for Bryan and I, and every guest brought an ornament. Those are really special to us now because they remind us of particular friends and family. We have other random decorations that we have gotten since we've been married - including a lot from Germany! We also have white and multi colored lights as a compromise b/c I like white but Bryan likes colored.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
It's great as long as I don't have to leave my house.

12. Can you ice skate?
I try

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Our trampoline was the most fun to get, but my Richie bear was special too

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Spending time with friends and/or family

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
I enjoy Mama's red velvet cake

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Every year right before we go to bed, Mama reads 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

17. What tops your tree?
a star

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving?
Giving, but everybody knows receiving is fun too!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Thistlehair the Christmas Bear

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
Yum.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Then & Now

This would be funny if it weren't so true.

School Policy - Then And Now

Scenario 1: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.
1973 - Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.
2006 - School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1973 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.
2006 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark.
Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1973 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal.
Sits still in class.
2006 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie.
School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.
1973 - Billy is told to be more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college,
and becomes a successful businessman.
2006 - Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse.
Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang.
Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself.
Their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario 5: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.
1973 - Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2006 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations.
Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6: Mary turns up pregnant.
1973 - 5 High School Boys leave town. Mary does her senior year at a special school for expectant mothers.
2006 - Middle School Counselor calls Planned Parenthood, who notifies the ACLU.
Mary is driven to the next state over and gets an abortion without her parent's consent or knowledge.
Mary given condoms and told to be more careful next time.

Scenario 7: Pedro fails high school English.
1973 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2006 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state democratic party.
Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English
as a requirement for graduation is racist.
ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher.
English banned from core curriculum.
Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.

Scenario 8: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July,
puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, and blows up a red ant bed.
1973 - Ants die.
2006 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with
domestic terrorism,
FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated,
Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 9: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee.
He is found crying by his teacher, Mary, who hugs him to comfort him.
1973 - In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2006 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job.
She faces 3 years in State Prison.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The latest

On Friday I was going to post an update, but I thought the article about Walter Reed was more important so I posted it. The last true update I posted was on 20 November so I'll try to remember what all has been going on since then.
Bryan and I are both still working. He is now doing double duty for his battery. He's still technically in his old job as a platoon leader, but he is also now the Executive Officer. The new lieutenants have not arrived to the battery yet, but when they do he will be the XO.
We hosted Thanksgiving at our home and it was a lot of fun. We had 2 other couples and 5 single guys. We had a ton of food that was all great, but the best part was using our new dining room table. All 11 of us were able to sit at it once we added the extension!
Bryan has been very eager for the Christmas season to begin so we HAD to get a Christmas tree on the weekend following Thanksgiving. Our home has been totally decorated since then.
On Saturday evening we attended the 2006 St Barbara's Ball. St Barbara was the patron saint of the field artillery and every year, units everywhere attend this ball. Ours was at Ramstein and all the artillery units in Germany come. Here is one of our pictures:
Tonight we are attending a Hail and Farewell. We will welcome all the soldiers/families that have arrived to the battalion over the past year and say goodbye to those that are leaving. These are normally held once a month so I'm a little scared of how long it's going to last since there hasn't been one in over 12 months!
Tomorrow is the big welcome home celebration for our community. Everything on post will basically close down so everyone can participate in the festivities. Lately the weather has been typical Baumholder (cool and rainy), but tomorrow will be fun regardless!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Personal products needed for wounded servicemembers at Walter Reed

Personal products needed for wounded servicemembers at Walter Reed

Stars and Stripes

Officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are seeking donations for wounded troops who are forced to leave behind personal belongings when medically evacuated from war zones.

Many of the troops “arrive with nothing,” said officials from the hospital’s Family Assistance Center. Because of the speed with which the most serious wounded are evacuated from Iraq or Afghanistan, their belongings are often left behind and don’t catch up.

So the center is looking for everything from shoes, gloves and winter jackets to postage stamps, prepaid phone cards and razors.

The Family Assistance Center requests that no cash or used items be donated. Among some of the more specialized needs are weightlifting gloves (for use by wheelchair patients); trousers with snaps or zips along the legs; umbrellas; and prepaid gas or grocery cards.

The center also helps patients file claims for personal belongings that were left behind during a medical evacuation. Loss or damage to items can be reimbursed through the system.

Donations can be sent to:

Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Medical Family Assistance Center
Bldg. 2, 3rd Floor, Room 3E01
6900 Georgia Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 2001

More information on the donation programs and the medical center can be found at: http://wramc.army.mil/Soldiers/MedFac1/index2.htm