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2 more weeks and an amazing Friday!

This week, I didn’t make any plans for any “me-time”. I kept trying to think of something, and I just couldn’t. Somewhere between Christmas shopping and craft making, Cole’s school stuff, and re-dying my hair, my me-time was pretty much impossible. Friday surprised me though. It was scheduled with Chandler’s farewell luncheon with all of his coworkers, followed by the company Christmas party. It ended up being an awesome day for all of us! Chesley McNiel (our local weather man) said that we’d have rain, but we decided to gamble since the sun was shining beautifully. We took the bike to the Vortex for lunch. The ride was absolutely amazing! I can’t believe we had such awesome weather in the middle of December! And the Vortex was equally as awesome. When we pulled up, we got VIP parking right in the front, since it’s a Motorcycle bar/restaurant.  It had THE BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER TASTED!!!!! If you ever get the chance, GO THERE and order The Mexican…delicious! It was such a nice time to hang out with all of Chandler’s coworkers, share our favorite stories, hear about all of the crazy energy he brought to the office, and hear all about how much they love him. And the burger was delicious 🙂 After lunch, we headed back home (another amazing bike ride with my baby), talked to our Excellent babysitter for a while, and then took the boys to the Company Christmas party at the bowling alley. It was Idan’s first time bowling, and he had such a blast! Cole won in his little league of 4 kids, and Chandler whooped butt against Idan and me.  We also played games, and the boys won a junk load of tickets. They totally scored at the prize counter! After bowling and games, we hung out and ate in a private room with the rest of the company. The boys played around with the other soldiers’ kids, and it was a totally stress free evening! While we were there, the Commander gave his farewell speech to Chandler. He saved it for that night, because he wanted the boys to be there for it.  The speech was very moving. I’ve always been proud of my husband, and I know his parents are proud of him, but it was so wonderful to watch an LTC (super top dog) grow teary-eyed over his adoration, respect, and genuine care for his soldier, and my husband. What an honor it is to be his wife.

The LTC giving Chandler his PCS award

It’s customary to give a PCS award when a soldier leaves from one duty station to the next, if they’re deserving of one of course. Chandler got 2 incredible awards last night! The first was the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for “perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained direct and consequential nature.” He got this award for his work with Disaster Relief and his commitment to Young Life.

The MOVSM (Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal)

His second award was the Meritorious Service Medal, or MSM, which is for those “who distinguished themselves by outstanding meritorious achievement or service to the United States.” This is a huge award! The comments made by the LTC in recommending Chandler for this award were so neat. Again, it was wonderful to see my husband in the light of his coworkers, but with the same respect and love that I have for him….once again, I’m so blessed to be his wife!

The MSM (Meritorious Service Medal)

They bought him a super awesome PCS gift! It’s a wall plaque, that’s also a clock. It’s got a chopper and skulls on it, which is right up Chandler’s alley. They had it engraved on the bottom to say “Thank you SFC Chandler 2009-2012”. He’s still not sure where he wants to put this yet, but it’s going to be displayed for years to come!

MSG Smith presenting Chandler with his PCS gift

Because my husband is such a “colorful” man, they also got him a certificate that pretty much sums up everything that Chandler is all about.

Every time a racial holiday comes around, Chandler claims that race and asks for a day off because of it. He does this jokingly, of course, but he always comes to work with some prepared speech or antic about how he’s black, so he needs off for MLK day, or he’s from “de islands” so he needs off for Asian Pacific day. He even dared to come in claiming to be gay so he could have off for gay pride day. ..this guy. haha. So, they gave him this rainbow certificate which included all of his little quips on it. It has a picture of his Fury on the top left and a picture of Rip Its on the top right. This too will be displayed forever!

Chandler's Rainbow Certificate

In addition to all of the wonderful things that they did for Chandler, they also got me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, which was super sweet!

My flowers from the company

So, it may not have been a me day, but it definitely was an awesome family day, honoring my husband. It was so nice to see him recognized for all that he does, when it feels like it’s overlooked most of the time. It was a great morale booster, and I couldn’t have planned my 1 day any better. There hasn’t been any new news on the BAH situation yet, but we’re still waiting on it. It’s starting to sink in now that we only have 2 weeks left together, and I’m beginning to get emotional a little more often now. Next week will be crazy with all kinds of plans and family coming into town for short visits. I’m looking forward to some crazy! Before you leave, check out my husband’s rack down below!

When we got married, he had 2 little rows, and now he's working on his 5th!

We're too cute!

Until next week, send your Crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!!!

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3 weeks until he leaves and Twilight

Monday started out with some stuff that really bugged me. It almost ruined my night, but I had such a blast with my high school friends at Young Life, that it completely took my mind off of the mean people in this world. If there is anyone who is hurting your feelings with their negativity and mean comments about you, just ignore them. It’s so not worth allowing yourself to become so frustrated over it.  It doesn’t end after middle school, high school, or even college. We live in a world with some mean people in it, so we might as well just have a cup of tea and shrug it off. If we don’t, the mean words will end up becoming the sound track to our lives, turning a romantic comedy into a horror flick.  My tea choice tonight is chai with a little heavy cream, some vanilla, and a tsp of sugar. Ah…unwinding.

smells like pumpkin pie!

The fight to send us to Texas continues, and it’s so aggravating! We’re staying, that’s already been decided, but the BAH for Texas is less than the BAH for here in Georgia. So, Chandler is working on getting a BAH waiver that will allow us to continue to get the housing pay for where we’re at so that we don’t have to add that financial madness to the other deployment stresses. We need a few things in order to get that waiver approved, one of which is a letter from Cole’s school stating that a school transfer in the middle of the school year would not be beneficial to him. We thought this would be so easy to attain. It makes no sense to pull a child out of school in the middle of the year, move him to a different state to a classroom with more students and less teachers, and then to rip his father from him for a year too. Makes no sense to me, and we figured the school would feel the same way. Instead, they’re a bunch of cowards who don’t want to make that call. Their reasoning is that it may actually be more beneficial for him to make the move. That’s seriously what they said. I couldn’t even finish the phone conversation with his counselor.  It made me so upset, and I didn’t want to turn into a sap on the phone (That’s what I have the blog for), so I just said, “Thank you,” and hung up on him. So, Chandler took the reigns since the whole thing had me all emo, and they pretty much gave him the run around too. He changed angles and said that he wanted a letter with just facts in it, and he’d handle the rest. He wanted them to just say that Cole was enrolled in school for the 2011-2012 school year, that he is exceeding the standards, and that the school system here is different from the school system in Killeen, TX. The principal said she could do that, but she had no sense of urgency. She said she’d send the letter home with Cole that day, but she didn’t. The next day, nothing. …let me take a break here to vent a bit about the first paragraph while I’m on the subject of “no sense of urgency”.

Just venting here...

The thing that got me upset on Monday is that apparently  a certain man, *Damocles Jorge (*name has been changed to protect his identity), has been saying some mean things about my husband and me recently (This, almost a year after my husband told him not to let our names come out of his mouth again because of his slander and inappropriate comments). He claims that we are “not real Christians”, and I’m not quite sure why. His complaint to us was that we “moved too quickly in the church”.  News flash, Damocles Jorge, THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE “MOVE QUICKLY”! We’re here one day, and gone the next. We don’t have our entire lives to drag our feet around, trying to figure out whether to serve white corn chips or yellow on chili night. Just grab em both and get freakin’ moving! Teens are in high school for only 4 years, and you usually begin to lose most of them somewhere during junior or senior year. NO TIME TO DRAG YOUR DANG FEET! GET MOVING, and DON’T STOP or SLOW DOWN! Build relationships, get down in the nitty gritty with people. Don’t just say you’re brothers and sisters in Christ, BE FAMILY! Don’t just sit across from them in a cold conference room and slam your figurative, judgmental gavel, and instead get down on your hands and knees and cry, pray, sob with your brothers and sisters through their tough times. Jesus came to bring GRACE not CONDEMNATION! When the Wedding ran out of wine, he made new wine. When the Blind needed healing, he healed. When sinners needed forgiving, he forgave. He didn’t gather a committee to cast votes about any of it. He just did it. He is the example that God gave us to live by, and that’s who we should follow. This is what my husband and I believe. But, yeah, I can see how that line of thinking can place a “non-Christian” stamp on us…NOT. Mean Man!

So, now back to the school not getting the letter in good timing…It’s just frustrating. We finally have it, sent it in with his packet, and now we’re just hoping and praying that it’s approved before the holidays. It takes a few weeks to get something like that approved. So, now we’re just holding our breath and waiting to see if this separation time will mean I need to get a job and a day care for Idan or not.

**Cool thing that happened while I was at the Dollar Store this week. A woman approached me because my pants said “Army” on them, and we ended up having a pretty long conversation about the military. By the end of it, we were both in tears and hugging, because we had so much in common from our mixed babies, to our love of the military, to our love of Jesus. What a blessing, for God to show up like that.**

                                  My activity for this week: Finish watching Eclipse
 

                  and see Breaking Dawn in the Theaters
 

I’ve never been into the whole Twilight Saga, but my little sister is all about it. The whole thing seemed pretty cheesy to me, actually, but the Breaking Dawn trailers had me so curious. If a vampire is a live-dead person, then I would think that their…um..eh-hem…baby making juice is dead too. So, how could the dead make a live baby? And…if vampires stop aging once they turn into vampires, then how can a baby grow up, much less grow in the womb? Just because of these questions, I felt so compelled to see the movie. But, I had to see the other ones first so I could understand the whole story line. So, here I am, 4 years after the first movie came out, watching the first three at home. Luckily, my sister came into town with her DVD’s of the first three, so I caught up. My short and sweet opinions of them:

Twilight sucked major butt. It was terrible. I sat on pinterest through the whole thing. Did I mention it sucked? Cause it totally did.

New Moon….Didn’t Jacob become hot in that one? I think he did, so yeah…that’s when I drew the line in the sand and joined Team Jacob.

Eclipse was funny and entertaining. I enjoyed all of Jacob’s quips here and there. It actually had me looking forward Breaking Dawn.

Breaking Dawn was really interesting, actually. It had me so confused though. The whole pregnancy thing didn’t make any sense. Why couldn’t she just get an IV of blood. Why’d she have to drink it again? Why was it a super baby? If it was a super baby, then why couldn’t they schedule a c-section ahead of time and why’d they have to wait until the last possible second to get it out of her? The doctor had morphine, but couldn’t get her an epidural? Why’d Edward have to go crazy, biting her Chinese buffet style? …oh, and it bugged me that she let her wedding dress drag through the moss and dirt down the aisle.

So, I saw the movie in the theater by myself, and I enjoyed my me-time. There was barely anyone in there, because it was a $5 Matinee.

5 Reasons why Jacob is better than Edward:

1- he’s alive, and so are his “tiny Jacobs”, so if he wanted to procreate, he could, and it wouldn’t be a demon baby.

2- he’s warm.

3-he turns into a Wolf! So, he’s part of the K9 family, and everyone knows that a dog is a man’s best friend

4- he doesn’t freakin creep on Bella in her room while she’s sleeping. That’s not romantic. It’s weird.

5- He’s mechanically inclined. Homeboy built a motorcycle. Enough said.

Until next week, Have a WONDERFULLY SANE week, people! Send me your crazy, since I’m going there anyway!

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4 weeks left, and Newspaper Nails

So, I created this blog to keep me from venting on facebook, and I totally vented my heart out on Friday night. Whoops. I’m a disgusting, sinful human! So, I put myself in time out (aka- took a nap) today to punish myself for that. I think I’ve learned my lesson.

So, Friday was Chandler’s last day at work, and he officially signed out on leave that afternoon. While we were unwinding from the day, we got some more upsetting news. I was Pinterest scrolling, and he was going through some of his emails. He came to one that was sent after the close of the work day, sent at about 5:30pm, that included a change in his orders. The new orders called for a complete PCS move to Fort Hood, taking the June Deployment out of the equation. At first glance, this looks like it would be good news, but when you have a son in school, a mortgage, and just spent money that you don’t have on new car tires and Christmas shopping, this is kind of stressful. See, the orders he received in September said PCS en route to deployment. This means that he’d get to Fort Hood and deploy shortly afterward. We had already made the decision not to move the family if he was going to deploy right away. Now that it’s a complete PCS move, with no deployment orders on the table, we’re supposed to take the whole family to Texas. 4 weeks is just not enough time (technically 2 weeks because the holiday weeks don’t count for moving, since the Army doesn’t move you on the holidays) A complete PCS move is basically a 3-5 year assignment. Now, anyone who has ever been stationed in Fort Hood knows that when you get there, deployment will happen at some point during your oh-so-uncomfortable stay. So, although he’d be skipping out on the first rotation in June of 2012, that doesn’t make him exempt from the next rotation or even the one after that. So, at some point in his 3-5 year assignment, he will deploy…no way around that.

Anyway, that was our Friday evening mood spoiler. So, naturally, like any lunatic of a woman who has no control over her house, kids, or husband’s job, I facebook vented, and it felt good. After that, I decided to start my one-day-a week ritual with a pinterest DIY idea. So, I scrolled through my newest friends’ pins until I came across the newspaper nails. Guess what, y’all. It totally works! Here’s the pin:

http://pinterest.com/pin/347841853/

and here’s the link to the site that explains it all:

http://www.passionnailart.com/tutoriels/print/print.php

The only thing that kinda slowed me down a little bit was that the site was in French! But, no need to fear, I just copied the text onto freetranslation.com, and Voila! I had my instructions. It calls for soaking your nails in vodka, which I did not have. But we did have some Soju (a rice liquor that he Asians are responsible for making) that Chandler brought back home from San Francisco. The Soju totally worked! My guess is that any alcohol (not rubbing alcohol, because that will ruin your nail polish) will work. Here’s my finished product:

I love it! This helped to decrease my anger so that I could fall asleep. The next day was jam-packed with family activities. We had breakfast with Santa at Ebenezer United Methodist – awesome experience. 

They had some of the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had in my life…delicious! Thank you, Ebenezer! After that, we headed to a car and bike show to benefit the local Military History Museum, which I didn’t even knew existed in town. Take a look at how awesome this place is:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Historical-Military-Museum-at-Heritage-Park/127946977271211

It’s way too easy to lose sight of what our Military has done for us in the past, and it’s so important to really soak it up every once in a while, and that’s what we did on Saturday. We had the opportunity to speak to the owner of the museum for a good bit while the boys ran around with the Hooters Girls who were there selling raffle tickets. Thanks, Hooters of McDonough, for babysitting my boys for us! That man was so amazing! He put things into a different perspective for us, and he doesn’t even know how God used him to turn our anger into pride yesterday. He reminded us that in the grand scheme of things, it’s only 18-24 months if my husband deploys. If he doesn’t deploy, it’s only 3-5 years. Sure, it seems like a load of crap and a mouth full of vinegar to say right now, but when we’re telling our story 40 or 50 years from now, it’ll seem like just a small part of our own history.

The playground behind the Military Museum
My Biker Boys at the Bike/Car Show

After some burgers and some tears while reading people’s personal memories at the museum, we went to do some quick (I use that word so loosely) errands at Best Buy, Ross, Sally’s, Target, and Game Stop…real quick.

While in the midst of madness from no nap for Idan, Chandler received a call from the 1st Sgt in Texas, explaining the nature of the new orders (Chandler had written a pretty seething email the night before demanding answers). Basically, there are only 2 slots for his job and his rank for the upcoming deployment rotation and hundreds of people headed to Hood in March. Like the amazing husband and soldier that he is, Chandler strongly suggested (pretty much ordered his upper ranking future boss) to put him into one of those slots. The guy basically said, “Okay and No-kay”.  The conversation they had didn’t change his orders or the uncertainty of what will be happening next year, but it did give an answer as to why the orders changed.

It sounds awful for me to ask for this, but if you would join with us in praying for my husband to be one of the names in the 2 deployment slots, we’d love that. The sooner he deploys the sooner we can be back together again as a family. So, a May-June deployment to just get it over with and get the him the heck out of Texas would be awesome…pretty sad when someone chooses Afghanistan over Fort Hood, Texas. haha. Yes folks, it’s really that bad.

Until Next Saturday, Have a WONDERFULLY SANE week people. Send your crazy to me, and I’ll take it since I’m going there anyway!

Cathi