Friday, May 29, 2009


I know I have been total slack with blogging lately. And I'd like to say I'm sorry. The fact of the matter is that I haven't had much that is "blog worthy" going on lately. Scratch that. Yes I have. I just can't seem to find the words to say...
Reader's Digest version: my life has been chaos for 2 weeks. The rollercoaster has definitely thrown me for some loops. In the interest of saving time and my family's privacy, I will spare the details. Lets just leave it at its been rough. Please pray for us!
In other news, we have added another mouth to feed at our house. Its a turtle named Dinky. We are foster parenting for the summer as his owners have some valid reason for not keeping him (I'm not sure I remember exactly why). So far, he's been easy. We've had a turtle before, so we kind of know what to expect. The kids love him, so for that, he can stay for a while. Our hamster still escapes frequently, but has learned to put himself back in the cage when he's hungry. Its interesting. Again, the kids love him, so I can't complain.
I'll be heading to Texas in a few short weeks for what promises to be an emotional reunion with my soldier. Reese is growing like a little weed. He's learned several new words lately. To include - turtle, bird, and Barbie. The girls are sooooo ready for summer break. And I... well I'm just trying to survive the next few weeks without having a serious break down!
So that's it for us. Just moving along, trying to keep it together for this last little stretch! Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us and will continue to do so! This journey is almost over, thank God. The next one looks to be just as eventful, unfortunately. What I wouldn't give to remember what it felt like to be "normal"!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some heroes wear capes...

Some wear combat boots, and still others wear pink boxer shorts! For those of you who have no interest in the news (or the time), click on the link below for a story that will bring a smile to even the hardest of hearts!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walking among heroes

By Staff Sgt. David Hopkins, 3rd BCT, 1st ID, PAO

Facebook Digg Delicious April 30, 2009 News

JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – When a man with blood-soaked hands emerged from a small shop in the Nishgam bazaar in northeastern Afghanistan in mid-March and approached a Fort Hood troop of Soldiers he had one request for their medic – to save a baby’s life. Soldiers from Troop C, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, were on patrol through the bazaar to show a presence in the area when an Afghan nurse burst into the street seeking help from the American Soldiers.

“I wasn’t sure what he wanted at first,” Spc. Anthony Janda, 6-4 Cav. Regt., medic, said, “but I followed him into the little shop. Inside there was an 8-year-old boy holding a baby who was wrapped in gauze and had blood all over him.”

The baby was victim to a circumcision that went wrong in a village across the border in Pakistan and was brought to the nurse to help, but his knowledge and supplies were limited and the baby was in shock. Janda knew immediately the injury was serious judging by the amount of blood on the floor. Acting quickly, the medic began to remove the gauze from the child and for the first time realized just how bad the injury was.

“When I started to pull the gauze away blood squirted at me,” Janda said. “I didn’t really think about it at that point. It was all instinctive.” He had never worked on a baby and was not trained in any medical techniques to save babies, but Janda, a father of a three-year-old, knew he had to save the child.

He tried to control the bleeding by applying gauze to the wound. While he was doing this, he sent another Soldier back to get his noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy Carswell, so he could request an evacuation. However, before the senior noncommissioned officer arrived, the baby’s heart stopped beating.

“I’ve never done CPR on a baby before,” Janda said. “Normally I just work on the guys, making sure they are healthy and mission capable. This was completely new.” He performed CPR on the baby and in a couple minutes detected a pulse, but the child wasn’t in stable condition. He had lost a lot of blood and the medic had none to replenish the baby’s supply. The medic and Carswell, who had arrived and was working on getting the baby evacuated, decided to try an IV solution called HEXTAND, which adheres to blood cells and adds more volume to the blood supply. Janda found a small needle in his aid bag. He hit the baby’s tiny vein on the first attempt, but his heart stopped beating.

Janda revived the boy again with CPR. He knew the baby wouldn’t survive if they didn’t get him to surgery, so Carswell ran out into the street to hire a cab. “I found a local and had our interpreter get him to find a cab,” Carswell said. “It’s a thirty-minute drive, but it was the only way to get him back to the (forward operating base).”

Before the cab arrived the baby’s heart stopped for a third time but Janda again successfully revived him. When the child was stable the nurse from the bazaar shop went along with him on the rough, gravel roads to FOB Bostick. By the time they arrived on base, the intravenous solution had taken affect and the baby was responsive and crying.

With the help of a large medical team and advice from a pediatrician on the phone the Soldiers stitched up the baby and saved his life. “The cut was deep,” said Sgt. Shay Wilson, Forward Operating Base Bostick’s aid station noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “When the surgery was performed, just over the border in Pakistan,” Wilson said, “the surgeon, or whoever did the surgery, cut too deep. The baby lost a lot of blood, but Janda did the right things to stabilize him and get him to us.”

After the baby and nurse left the bazaar, Janda and the others went back to work without knowing the baby’s fate. “I had a heavy heart,” Janda said. “I was really worried about the kid and wasn’t really talking to any of the guys. I was depressed because I really didn’t know if he was going to make it.” Several hours later the word was passed to the troop that the baby had survived and was doing fine. The entire troop breathed a collective sigh of relief.

“To have a medic of that caliber with you is priceless,” Staff Sgt. Eric Winn, Troop C squad leader said. “Knowing you have a medic that good with you when you go out lets you focus more on the mission at hand. I wouldn’t want anyone else working on me out there.”

Janda and his team have visited the baby since saving his life and he has recovered and is doing well. “It was great to see him healthy,” Janda said. “I’m just happy I was able to figure out the right things to do, and am happy he gets to live a healthy life.”
The picture above is Janda, his wife Jaime and their son, Aiden! We are so proud of you, Janda! We love you and can't wait to see you soon! You truly are a hero and we are honored to call you friend and family!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Every rose has its thorns

If you have ever had the joy of eating a meal with my family and I, you know what a process it can become. The girls are and have always been wonderful eaters. They will at least try anything we put in front of them. And when they eat, they EAT. They are by no means "bird eaters". They can inhaled massive quantites of food that sometimes leaves me asking "where did you put all that?!?!" They are very tall and skinny.
Reese, on the other hand, is SUPER picky. That doesn't even scratch the surface. He is beyond picky. He will usually only eat fruit, with the occasional grilled cheese, bacon grits and a rare (as in time, not cooking) chicken nugget. I do only allow him fresh fruit as I feel that if he's gonna eat it, it might as well be the healthiest I can get.
Well, today we went to a good friend of ours' little boy's b-day party. They had those little smoked cocktail weenies with BBQ sauce. I fixed my plate and sat down to eat. I, as always, offered Reese a bite of a weenie. To my surprise, HE ATE IT!!!! And even said "Mmmmm" Which is his way of letting me know he REALLY likes it. I was elated. Ya'll he NEVER eats anything new I offer. So I continued to feed him several. I stopped only after I realized he had eaten A LOT and I didn't want to upset his sensitive stomach.
We went and played. He did his "poop thing" - its so dramatic, but hilarious. (I know this is TMI, but I"m trying to save this memory). Immediately, I knew something was wrong. He absolutely refused to sit down. This isnt completely abnormal since when he was an infant, we would rush to change his diaper because he had such stomach issues (we needed to check the poop - I know, I know, TMI). This resulted in a bit of a Divo - he hates to have a dirty diaper. Anyway - back to the story...
He would not sit down, so I decided to check his diaper. Sure enough, it was dirty. I laid him down and proceeded to "do the deed". When I took off his diaper, I gasped! Ya'll, his bottom was SO red. Bless his heart he started screaming and continued to do so while I gingerly wiped him off. IT.LOOKS.HORRIBLE!!!! I caked on the Desitin and diapered him up. He laid on my shoulder the remainder of the party. He's pitiful.
When we got home, I let him run around naked, but everytime he sat down or fell down, he would cry. We did a bath and that seemed to help. But you can tell he's really uncomfortable. Bless his heart. I feel so bad.
I told Cory. His response "Sometimes the best things you will ever put in your mouth will literally tear up your behind coming out!" Love him! Does anyone have any tips on how to help my little boy recover any quicker?!?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Proudly serving in the silent ranks

Military Spouse Day, 2009
May 8, 2009
By The President of The United State of America
A Proclamation
Military spouses share the sacrifices of service with our Nation's men and women in uniform. As members of the Armed Forces serve in the United States and across the world, military spouses also serve our Nation. When a servicemember goes to war, we know their spouse also shares in that sacrifice. I am inspired by their commitment to family and our Nation, and on Military Spouse Day, we honor these individuals for their contributions.
Wives and husbands of servicemembers display an uncommon courage and strength as they steadfastly support their spouses during long and arduous deployments. While they endure separations that are filled with worry and anxiety, they face unique stresses. Foremost is the concern about the safety and well-being of deployed loved ones, but there are many other challenges. From managing household finances to comforting children impacted by a military parent's absence, military spouses take on the burdens of maintaining families largely on their own.
This task is complicated even more as spouses work to maintain careers and a sense of community while moving to new duty stations around the country and the world.Despite these hardships, military spouses are an inexhaustible source of strength for our military families and donate their time generously to local communities. Military spouses offer the love and encouragement that help servicemembers endure the challenges of serving our Nation. Military spouses support one another as friends and mentors. They serve in family readiness groups to keep fellow spouses informed and to provide mutual support. They contribute as volunteers to improve neighborhoods, military installations, and communities. These contributions strengthen both our Nation's character and its security.
All Americans should express appreciation for military spouses and let them know they are not alone. To help those who need it, friends, co-workers, and neighbors can offer to help with the burden of daily tasks and thus give military spouses more time for themselves and their families. To assist spouses who are coping with the absence of a loved one, individuals can listen and offer their counsel. Americans can also volunteer through the many organizations that provide assistance to military families.Our Nation maintains a sacred trust with every individual who serves. My Administration is committed to showing our Nation's gratitude for them by honoring our obligations to their families.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 8, 2009, as Military Spouse Day. I call upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities today and in the future.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

I stole this from a fellow Army wife, Tina (hope you don't mind)! Just wanted to take a minute and thank all the Military Spouses who come across my blog. Thank you for your sacrifices, your support, and your heart! I am so proud to say I serve with some of the strongest men and women I know - in the "silent ranks". May God bless you all, your families and your soldiers! Hooah!

Monday, May 4, 2009

What we've been up to...

So, I finally uploaded all my pictures from my camera. Here's our year in review so far - a brief synopsis of what we've been doing! I tried to get them in order. Enjoy!

Reese's First Birthday! Jan 26
Here is his cake! Isn't it adorable? We did a soldier in honor of Daddy!
As you can see, Reese loved the cake. Note to self - stay away from RED icing on a kid's cake!
It snowed - I don't remember when.
The girls had a blast and Reese was content to eat the snow. Notice Hailey's snow suit - bless her heart. She grew lots in two years (we didn't need one in Texas, so we didn't buy one last year!) Have no fear, we will be buying her a new one this year!
I missed my hubby! I love you, baby!!!
We've had some battle injuries!
Reese broke his leg in March.

But never stopped smiling!

We went to the beach with Grammie and Pappie!

Here's Grammie and her boy!My niece Hannah came too. Her Mommy and Daddy kind of came and went - they couldn't stay the whole week!The girls at Ben and Jerry's! YUM!Of course, we went to Build a Bear. Hailey made a pink monkey, Pinky. Sam made a bear, Sophia. And Reese made a dog, Duke - as in Task Force Duke (the Unit his Daddy is attached to!)I missed my hubby some more! I love you , honey!

We spent LOTS of time with family/friends

Reese with Taylor, his future wife!

These 5 kids are my heart!

Reese and Colin. T-R-O-U-B-L-E!!!

The girls with Shelby.

We've done some cosmetic work in the house.

Our new floors! Aren't they pretty?

The view from the back

I finally got the back wall of the kitchen painted. This is before.

This is after! Disregard the table cover - its from the baby shower! Speaking of which...

We had a baby shower for one of my dearest friends!

The diaper cake for Isaac!Natalie, her daughter, Emma and the stuffed bear that Natalie's sister, Heather, made! So cute!Emma helping with the opening of the gifts.

There's also a new park close by. We LOVE it!From top left, clockwise: Sam, Hannah, Hailey, ReeseBTW, Reese got a hair cut. Not an "official" hair cut as we are waiting on Daddy for that. But we had to shape him up a bit, he was looking like a hippee!
We bought a new car!
09 Honda Pilot. This is not the color of our's but this is what it looks like.
We've (re)added two members to our family!

Now that the floors are done and they have been to the groomer, the dogs Gus(left) and Mollie(right), can come in and be a part of our daily lives! Reese loves them and they simply adore him!
There you have it. There's been tons more in between, but I didn't think you wanted to see the 300 + pics I've just uploaded and saved! We're still keeping busy. We're in the middle of soccer right now and soon we will add swim lessons. And with any luck, our hero will be home sometime next month and will have some pics to share of his adventures!! Have a great week!