Friday, September 7, 2018

Jack's Promotion

Congratulations to Jack on his promotion! We are so proud of you, and your hard work.

Jack's promotion ceremony was that afternoon, and we catered the lunch afterwards. The festivities continued with a party at our house that evening.  The set-up tables and had a party in our driveway- tacos and burritos! It was a warm Fall evening, and we couldn't have asked for better weather.  What a great way to welcome everyone to our new house.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Jack's Hump Day

Jack has reached his hump day, the half-way point of his 6-month deployment.  Hooray! 

It's been very hot in Iraq. Jack sent me this photo of the thermometer in his truck. That's right, it says 122 degrees. 

They had a BBQ yesterday for some co-workers that were headed home and Jack posed for this photo. The large building in the background is the Al Faw Palace, a former palace that is now used for military offices.

Jack's job changed a few months ago and he has been working on the drawdown plan for Southern Iraq. He's figuring out when to send the DCMA people home and monitoring the base handover to the Iraqis. It's a pretty interesting process. They work very long hours, 7 days a week, but Jack said it helps make the time go by more quickly.

We are counting down the weeks till Jack gets home.  Leo and I can't wait to be with him again. We get to webchat with him every day, but it's just not the same as having him home and being able to wrap our arms around his neck. We miss you honey!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Graduation Day

Jack graduated from Air Command and Staff College yesterday. This means that he now has a second Masters Degree under his belt, and that we will soon be leaving Alabama and heading to DC.
Leo and I attended the graduation ceremony yesterday, and all the officers looked great in their service dress uniforms. (No mortar boards with tassels for this group!) Luckily, it was a short ceremony because there were some families that had their cars idling in the parking lot, already packed to the ceiling with luggage, pillows, and house plants. (Oh, the joys of moving) Our movers don't come for a few more weeks, so we have some time before that adventure begins...

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Jack's First Helicopter Ride

Jack had the opportunity of riding in a helicopter for the first time last week.  It was pretty exciting since it was in Iraq where people shoot at you.  Here he is with his boss on the flight.  His boss is a helicopter pilot so that's probably why he looks bored. 

Here are some pictures of the country side.  There's some farmland with small towns.  This area is Northwest of Baghdad.  It's the first time Jack has been able to see what the countryside looks like since he never gets to look over the twenty foot walls that surround his base.  He sat right next to the door that they kept open the whole time so he was able to see 1,500 feet straight down to the ground.  Fortunately, the helicopter stayed straight and level the whole time. 

Here are some Iraqi helicopters we saw on our way in to the base he visited.  The US Air Force is training the Iraqi's fly helicopters there.

Here are what the helicopters look like when they're taking off.   They always fly in pairs for mutual protection.  They're always flying over Jack's office. 

This is his favorite shot from the trip. 

Here's a shot looking past Jack's arm out the door. 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Jack in Iraq

Jack made it safely to Iraq, and is getting settled in. 

He had a layover in Germany, then arrived in Kuwait, where he had to wait to fly to Iraq for a couple of days. He stayed in one of these huge tents, which sleeps about 6 guys.

It took about an hour to fly up to Iraq on a C-130.  Once he arrived to Baghdad he got checked in and was able to get into his new room. He's staying in a CHU (Compartmentalized Housing Unit), which is basically a big metal container separated into rooms.

He also checked in at his new office, where he got three days of on-the-job training from the guy that he's replacing (before he left for home). Fortunately, there are lots of other people in the office to help him learn the ropes.

He sent this photo of a "dust storm" which affects visibility, but is less intense than a "sand storm"   (The second one is what it looked like before the dust storm.)

Luckily, we've been able to talk to Jack on the phone since he got over there. And we've also been able to web-chat a few times, which is really nice. We love you Jack!  We're all praying for your safe return.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

So, I'm a little behind...

I knew it had been awhile since I updated our family blog, but when I looked I realized that it's been over a year since my last update. *gasp*  

So, I'm a little behind. There have been a lot of wonderful memories over the last year, and I hope that sometime soon I can catch up on the blog a bit! 

But here's a very short update:

Leo and Lena are getting so big!  Age 2 and 6- can you believe it?! They are so fun, and so crazy, and we just have a blast all the time. They keep us hopping, that's for sure!

We have a trip to Disneyland planned this Spring, and several camping trips over the summer- so it will be a fun-filled summer for sure!

Jack and I enjoyed a fun fondue dinner for Valentine's Day.

Leo and Lena shared a Froot Loop necklace that Leo made at school.

My grandma Lucy passed away in January. She was 91. She was a spunky, smart, curious woman with many talents and many interests. She was one of a kind, and we miss her.

Lena LOVES taking baths. I realized recently that most of her photos these days are taken during bath time. 

We celebrated Leo's 6th birthday in January! 

Lena turned 2 in February!

We had a very snowy February!

We drove our RV out to California for Thanksgiving and had a great time at the beach with our extended family!

Driving in the RV

Nana and Papa came to our house for Christmas, and spoiled the kids with too many presents!

My sister came with her two boys too!  Fun with the cousins!

Lena wasn't too thrilled to sit on Leo's lap!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

9 Months Old

This little girl just keeps getting cuter and cuter. Seriously, I just can't stand it!

Lena is crawling all over the place. She loves picking up all kinds of gross things from the floor and putting them in her mouth. She loves to eat dirt from potted plants, onion skins, and crusty cereal that her older brother has dropped.

She loves to clap, to giggle, and to smile at strangers. In fact, she is quite good at flirting with men on airplanes. She melts hearts wherever she goes.

She loves taking baths with her big brother. She is an excellent splasher.

And she made the cutest little bumble bee for Halloween. (but the little hat didn't stay on very long)

We just love our little Lena! We can't imagine life without her.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sweet Potato

Lena had her first baby food today. I think she liked it, but she really just wanted to grab the spoon!

Throwback Thursday

Leo wore this costume on his first Halloween, 4 years ago. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

Oktoberfest 2014

We continued our Oktoberfest tradition and had some people over for a big German feast.
We made schnitzel and gravy and potatoes and Rotkohl.  Others brought bratwurst and sauerkraut and   spaetzle.

Everything was delicious!

We missed all our Virginia friends this year, but it was fun to make some new ones. Little did we know that everyone there had some kind of German connection- it was quite funny.

Leo wore his German hat, and Jack found a great Pandora station with polka music. What a fun night!