Monday, March 31, 2008


Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks. As I said before, I didn't get a lot of pictures while we were home. But I PROMISE to do better the next time around! Its hard to believe that Reese is already 2 months old. He did great with his shots, not too fussy at all. He still doesn't like to sleep! He was up for 10 hours STRAIGHT on Sat, and that is not an exaggeration. We thought he would sleep all night for sure, but he didn't. He still woke up 3 times. Today he's sleeping a lot - I guess he's making up for the weekend! Anyway. We still haven't heard from the house, hopefully in the next couple of days. Details are coming together for Cory's deployment (of course I can't share them) - but its becoming more and more real as the days go by!! The girls are doing GREAT! They are so excited to by moving back to SC - but they are worried about Daddy. They keep asking if he'll have a coat, if he'll be cold, and who's gonna cook for him since I won't be there - oh to be that innocent. They've been asking some really tough questions, already - we just try to be as honest as possible, but not scare them! Thank God we will be SURRONDED by love while he's gone, we're all gonna need it!
Our life is just floating by - nothing major going on. We're just living each day the best we can and really enjoy each other! We hope you all are doing great and having a good week (although its only Monday). Enjoy the pictures!!!

Here is the ONLY relatively good pic I got of the slumber party at Grammie's. Hannah would NOT look at me with the camera.

I thought this picture was cute.

Daddy and Sam

Daddy and Hailey
** These three pictures will be put on pillows for the girls and a "wooby" (blanket" for Reese - to have while Daddy's gone to A-Stan

This one's for Grammie. He's watching the PRAISE BABY dvd she bought him! He's actually laughing!!

Finally he sleeps!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

For those who have time to Google...

Have you ever heard of Baby insomnia? Reese has decided that sleeping is just not necessary. This would be ok if I wasn't absolutely exhausted!! Does anyone have any ideas on some websites about how to help an infant sleep? I've gone to, with little help! I just don't have a lot of time to weed through all the "buy this" websites. Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated, as always!! Hope you're having a good weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Letting go....

I have a confession to make... I am a COMPLETE control freak!!! I know this is shocking to some of you (lol). I always want to have my hands in EVERYTHING. I am a "fixer". If those around me have a problem - no matter what it is, I want to fix it! I think that it helps me keep my mind off of my own issues sometimes. As our one year mark of being here at Fort Hood approaches, I am reflecting on how much I've had to "let go". I will spare you all the "letting go" I've done. The fact of the matter is that I have much more "letting go" to do. This week has been one of most stressful weeks of my life. I've been a single mother of twins for 5 years, planned a wedding in 2 weeks, worked full time and gone to school full time for 7 years, I've moved to Texas, moved IN Texas in 2 days, bought a car, birthed 3 babies, lived the life of an Army wife, dealt with Cory's past, and now I'm dealing with Cory's pending deployment. That's a lot of stress in my 25 years, and I'm sure I've left out A LOT. But those things have proven to be minor compared to what I've facing now. I have had more anxiety in the last 5 days than I have had my entire life, I'm sure. I am learning the true meaning of "letting go". I have no control over the outcome of this issue. I've done all I can do, and it is completely out of my hands now. "What is it?" You ask. What could be so stressful? What could make me want to relive ALL of the things I listed 100 more times before I ever do this again? Well, its buying a house. Cory and I have found a house in the Lyman area that we are ABSOLUTELY in LOVE with. We looked at several while we were home, but when we walked into this one, we just knew. But now its up to God!!! I've done all I know to do and I'm trying to let go. I know that its all in his hands now!!! Am I being mellow-dramatic or do you guys feel the same way? Were you guys this stressed when buying your house? I'm gonna save the details in an effort not to jinx anything. But I will be sharing as soon as we receive the final word! Will you please pray for us (really me) as we wait to hear the word? Pray for my nerves and my sanity and that God will give me peace no matter what the outcome - as I will be crushed if we do not get this house!!! Also pray that God will give me a peace about letting go!! I need all the help I can get! Thanks guys!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Mobile living....

I learned last week that "home" is not a building, its a feeling. Being in SC, I found myself feeling like I was "home" in many places - even as random as Shogun Japanese and Kanpai (in both counties). For me, "home" is being with the people I love. As long as I have my family and friends, I am "home" no matter where I am. I know I should have done better with blogging last week, but we were CRAZY busy. Just ask anyone who requested to spend time with us! We did not have one day when we could just relax. But I loved every minute of it! I am utterly exhausted today, but its a great feeling. I think I saw just about everyone at least once, and for those of you who we missed - we'll be back in about 8 weeks!! This time, the girls will stay for good and the baby,Cory & I will return for one the hardest day's of my life and then Reese and I will be back for good!! (Did any of that make sense?) Anyway. I was not very good with the picture taking, thankfully I have a sister in law that's a bit "shutter happy". I'll post some as soon as she sends me some! I'll post more about our week sometime soon. I've got a lot to do today!
*** Please pray for us! Hopefully we'll have some GREAT news in the next week!!! I don't want to jinx it, so I'm not going to say much. Just say a prayer - God KNOWS!!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Take this for what its worth

I DID NOT write this. I don't even know who did. It was posted in a group that I am a part of for Army families. I thought it sounded legitimate enough and if you are like me, you'll do just about anything to save some money at the pump!!!

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in California we are also paying higher, up to $3.50 per gallon. But my line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon.

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose, CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline. One day is diesel the e next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening.... your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mo de you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some other liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL or HALF EMPTY. The reason for this is, the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up--most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some f the dirt that normally settles on the bottom. Hope this will help you get the most value for your money. DO SHARE THESE TIPS WITH OTHERS!

Gas rationing in the 80's worked even though we grumbled about it. It might even be good for us! The Saudis are boycotting American goods. We should return the favor. *An interesting thought is to boycott their gas.*

Every time you fill up the car, you can avoid putting more money into the coffers of Saudi Arabia. Just buy from gas companies that don't import their oil from the Saudis. Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time I fill-up the tank, I am sending my money to people who are trying to kill me, my family, and my friends.

I thought it might be interesting for you to know which oil companies are the best to buy gas from and which major companies import Middle Eastern oil.

These companies import Middle Eastern oil:
Shell........................... 205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco......... 144,332,000 barrels
Exxon /Mobil............... 130,082,000 barrels
Marathon/Speedway... 117,740,000 barrels
Amoco............................62,231,000 barrels

Citgo gas is from South America, from a Dictator who hatesAmericans.

If you do the math at $30/barrel, these imports amount to over $18BILLION! (Oil is now $90 - $100 a barrel)

Here are some large companies that DO NOT import Middle Eastern oil:
Sunoco..................0 barrels
Conoco..................0 barrels
Sinclair.................0 barrels
B P/Phillips............0 barrels
Hess.......................0 barrels
ARC0....................0 barrels

If you go to, you will get a list of the station locations near you.

All of this information is available from the Department of Energy and each is required to state where they get their oil and how much they are importing. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It's really simple to do


That's a word I made up today. Kind of like "waterlogged" means you've been in the water too long, laundrylogged means I've done too much laundry. I've done a really good job of washing and drying laundry since Reese has arrived, just not so good a job folding and putting it all away. I've come to realize two things - I have a great husband who has not once complained about all of his clothes being in the laundry room in hampers and our girls have ENTIRELY too many clothes (5 loads just themselves). Anyway. I had to get all the laundry folded today so that I could pack for the 5 of us! I never feel like I've got enough, but I'm sure Cory will disagree when he sees the two HUGE suitcases I have loaded up! I can't wait to come home. I'm gonna be SUPER busy with house stuff, visiting and trying to get my job back(for part time purposes). I hope you all have a good weekend- with any luck, I'll see some of you!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm a soldier's wife!!!

Take a few moments and watch this video!! Cory is in it (he's the 9th pic) and our family's name is one the prayer list at the end. Please pray for all of these family's (as well as the other families paying the price for this war) and GRAB A BOX OF KLEENEX!!!!

Silver lining

Since moving to Texas, I have tried to find "the silver lining" to this place. Each day I try and point out one new -good- thing about my life here. Here was my silver lining yesterday - Cory told me that they (the aid station medics) would not be going to Camp Blessing (the most dangerous, smallest place) but would be going to Asadabad, Afghanistan (pronouced o-sod-o-bod)- the second most dangerous/smallest place. Instead of living in tents and having very little communication with the outside world, they should be living in makeshift bunkers (hopefully some sort of concrete building or a connex - a metal "shed" for lack of a better word). Don't know about the extent of communication, I just know its more than once every two weeks - as it would have been at Blessing. Also, instead of being mortared (bombed) every day multiple times, there is only small arms fire. So how's that for silver lining. Kind of seems like a gray area to me!! Happy Wednesday! Only 2 more days!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesday Turmoil

I'm taking a break from the chaos my life has become and will be for the next couple of months. Its only Tuesday and I am longing for Friday!!! News of Cory's deployment has already hit us and effected us in different ways. The girls are not sleeping well - and anyone who knows my girls knows they LOVE sleep. This morning they woke up at 0515 and were dressed and ready to go to school by 0530. It was really wierd as I am usually begging them to get out of bed on school days!!! I hope they don't get into the habit of this. I hope Reese will one day sleep through the night and I don't want to have to worry about the girls waking up before the crack of dawn!
With the news of the deployment also made us put house hunting into high gear! John has been looking around since December, but because we didn't know if/when Cory would go, we couldn't really look seriously. Now we are in crunch time. We only have a little over 2 months to find a house, make an offer, and close before the kids and I will need to be in it! I know I'm known for doing things unconventionally, but buying a house from 1000 miles away is HARD and stressful. Making several phone calls to brokers/realtors/banks who all need different documentation is wearing on my nerves. I try to rest during the day because I'm up all night, but now that's out! I have to use "business hours" to get stuff done for the house!!! I know I'll make it and it will all be worth it - Thanks, John, for all your help!!!
I am SO ready to be in SC. Coming home is a double edged, SHARP sword. On one hand, I will be back in my comfort zone where I belong. On the other hand, I will be without my husband for 15 months, and our kids will be without there Daddy. Its going to be so hard and my days are now consumed with lingering thoughts of just how difficult this all will be. Honestly, I'm terrified. I try to be strong for Cory and the kids, but there are times I just want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry! I just keep holding onto the fact that once his deployment is over, our nightmare called the Army will be over. And the fact that I will be surround by the ones who love me most is a great comfort too!!
On a lighter note, why is it that I can finds TONS of cute girl clothes in stores but almost NO cute boy clothes? I have been to several places looking for something cute for Reese to wear on Sunday with NO luck. It makes me angry to see RACKS and RACKS of adorable girl clothes and one of mediocre boys clothes. What's up with that?!?!
Sorry this is so random, my mind is all over the place. Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Random pictures

I thought I would post some pics of what's been happening here. The girls have decided they no longer want to take pictures, so I don't have any good ones of them. As soon as they decide to cooperate, I will post one of them!! Have a great week and enjoy!

What's this? It SNOWED in Texas. I've actually discovered that we are now in the "cold, rainy season". Not a lot of snow, but enough to matter. Funny thing - about 1 1/2 hours away from here, they got 8 inches of the white stuff!

Gus, before Groomer and Mollie.

Here's Gus after the groomer. He always prances around after returning from being "groomed". Its like he knows he's cute!!

Random pic of Mollie. No reason, just didn't want her to be jealous!

Today I had a hard time getting Reese down for his afternoon nap. He had spit up on his blanket, so I grabbed Cory's PT (physical training) shirt and put it over him. Reese went right to sleep. Here's a picture of how cute he was wrapped up in it!

Here's a pic of Elizabeth (soon to be Shepler) with Reese. Congratulations!!!

Here's a pic of Cory and Reese. If Cory makes it home before I take the girls to school, he takes Reese for some one on one time! Yes, he's wearing shorts, they're just rolled up his legs!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Death, Deployment, Diamonds and Dogs

This is a bit of a hodge podge blog. So bear with me!
First - I want to send up a prayer and ask that you guys do as well. Our dear friend, Zach got word today that his Grandmother (who raised him) has had a massive heart attack and stroke and is not doing well. Last we heard she had no brain activity and was on a breathing tube. Zach and his wife Brittany will be leaving Fort Hood tonight to drive to Alabama to be by her side. This is very hard on him. Please pray for their safe travels and that God will give them peace - no matter what the outcome!
Second - We received OFFICIAL word yesterday that Cory will deploy to Afghanistan in mid June. Exact dates cannot be released due to security. Word is they will be going to Camp Blessing - the most dangerous place in A-stan. I will be posting more on this and how it is already taking a toll on our family! Please pray for us as we are learning how to cope with this all!!
Third - Our other dear friend Jeremy Shepler is proposing to his girlfriend, Elizabeth, tonight. She has NO idea. We are so excited. I have personally prayed for Shepler that God will give him a special lady because he is such a special man!!! I can't wait to hear how he actually did it and see the ring! We love you guys!!
Lastly - I took Gus (my dog) to the groomer today. He needed a haircut! I'll be posting pictures of him in the next day or so - check back, they'll be cute!!

I hope you all are having a good weekend!! We'll be home in less than a week. Can you feel my excitement?!?!?!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Accidents, Arachnids and Amazing parents

Our week has been pretty eventful so far... Monday, Cory made the announcement that our house was officially invaded by spiders. Yuck- I know! But thankfully, Uncle Sam sees this as a major problem and Pest control came out today to spray. So hopefully in the next couple of weeks, all unwanted creatures will die off and I'll be cleaning up their little bodies.
Yesterday I had an OB appt so I had a friend of mine pick the girls up from school. I've never had anyone pick them up except for me, Cory and my mom when she was here. I got a phone call at 2:50pm with the mom telling me that they had been in an accident. OMG!!!!! They are all fine, but talk about a heart stopper. They were rear-ended and then the guy left. Some people are absolutely ridiculous!
Lastly, I want to give a shout out to my parents. They have been absolutely amazing with helping us get home for Easter. They are helping us in every way they can. And with us having to fork out $1700 for plane tickets, we need all the help we can get. We sure are lucky to have them!! Thanks guys - we love you!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cat napping

Daddy and son! I love this picture.

This was Reese on March 3 - look how much he's changed!

Here's Reese on 1/26- the day he was born. I just wanted to show how different he looks already!
Its Tuesday and I'm already exhausted. Reese has decided that he just doesn't want to sleep - at all. Well, let me take that back, he cat naps. He'll sleep about 30 min to an hour at a time then he's up again. He's not fussy or crying really - not until he wants something. He's just awake. I've tried everything I know to try, he's just decided that sleep is for the dead, I guess. Well he and I had a talk this morning and I told him that "Mommy is a walking dead right now, so I need some sleep." So we'll see if our pep talk worked. So far this morning he's been up for about 4 hours (from 4am to 830am), took an hour nap and now he's been up for 2 1/2 hours and showing NO signs of sleeping. I try to cat nap while he does, but theres just so much that needs to be done here and not to mention the fact that I can't fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Of all the things Reese has inheirited from Cory, and he had to get MY insomnia. Cory sleeps like the dead and he LOVES his sleep, I can usually get by on a couple of hours - now I'm not even getting that. Oh well, this too shall pass. I just hope it passes in the fast lane and not the slow one. I hope you all are having a good week. Here are a few pictures. I can't believe how much he has changed in a month!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Flying high

By 1030am on March 15th, we will be back on the East Coast. I am SO excited, but not near as excited as the girls!!!! We will be super busy as we will be traveling around so that everyone can meet Reese and get a little piece of us all. Sunday the 16th, Reese will be dedicated at Wellford Baptist Church by our dear family friend, Fred Coan - it will be a special time for us all. As for the rest of the week, I have no clue as to what we'll be doing - I just know we'll be busy! Please say a prayer for us as we will be flying for the first time with Reese - I'm super nervous. Anyone who has experience with flying with an infant, please share any tips!!!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Another facet of my life...

When the Lord made Paramedics, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one." And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order? A Paramedic has to be able to carry an injured person up a wet, grassy hill in the dark, dodge stray bullets to reach a dying child unarmed, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle their uniform." "They have to be able to lift 3 times their own weight, crawl into wrecked cars with barely enough room to move, and console a grieving mother as they are doing CPR on a baby they know will never breathe again." "They have to be in top mental condition at all times, running on no sleep, black coffee and half-eaten meals. And they have to have six pairs of hands." The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of way." "It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "It's the three pairs of eyes a medic has to have." "That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees open sores as they're drawing blood and asks the patient if they may be HIV positive," (when they already know and wish they'd taken that accounting job.) Another pair here in the side of the head for their partners' safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look supportively at a frightened person and gently explain that their spouse of many years has departed this life." "Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow." "I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk out from behind a steering wheel without incident and feed a family of five on a private service paycheck." The angel circled the model of the medic very slowly, "Can it think?" she asked. "You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the symptoms of 100 illnesses; recite drug calculations in its sleep; intubate, defibrillate, medicate, and continue CPR nonstop over terrain that any doctor would fear...and still it keeps its sense of humor. This person also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with a multi-victim trauma, coax a frightened elderly person to unlock their door, comfort an assault victim's family, and then read an article in the daily paper about responders being too slow to locate a house (a house which had no street sign and no house numbers.)" Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the medic. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model." "That's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear." "What's the tear for?" asked the angel. "It's for bottled-up emotions, for patients they've tried in vain to save, for commitment to that hope that they will make a difference in a person's chance to survive, for seeing an accident victim walk again, for the family time they will miss while serving the community, for life." "You're a genius," said the angel. The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," He said.