Friday, December 30, 2011

A Million Little Pieces

Its a million little pieces
Its that green ball over there,
 No not that one, the other one,
 Yea that one
That represents the love I have for my family
Oh and you see that perfect pink one
The one signifies my admiration for the strength of the women in my life.
Then there are the mass color representatives,
like the Sunny Yellow balls,
Those ones make up the MANY wonderful people in my life that bring
Joy and happiness into my days when I am feeling less than Sunny.
There are a little bit of blue, orange and purple balls,
Those are the ones I have yet to discover in my life.
But the White Balls, those ones are the best,
The white ones represent the love I have for my Lord,
And if you notice, all those white ones touch the other ones,
Because he is always apart of everything I love.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reintegration things that make you go, "hmmmm".

Not even one month ago I spent the day getting my "sexy on" for the return of my husband.
A friend of mine braided my hair, I painted my toe nails and did my last minute eyebrow touch ups and well, lets be honest ladies, did that last minute leg shaving.
His unit marched into the gym at 0200 on a cold December night and it marked not only the beginning of a wonderful holiday season for us, but also the beginning of reintegration.

My husband and I have been through three deployments and every deployment there are certain things I know to expect when he comes home. Our earlier deployments, I must admit I was too young to even try to dissect them, but now, a little older and a little wiser I am starting to understand his process.

When Sr. comes home, its as if he has ants in his pants. He is so used to being on the go down range, that sitting still and enjoying down time is hard for him. In the first week he was home, that man came up with so many things we "needed" to do. These are things that I know can wait, but to him they cant wait, its a mission that needs to be complete. SO we pack up the kidletts and go.

 Next, he reorganizes my house. I wake up to my counters full of cans and plates, my computer is full of new folders and tabs. When I walk into a newly reorganized area, he proudly smiles at me and says," Look Rib, now you can reach all the cups and plates, and I put this up here because we hardly use it". Of course I smile and nodd, and thank him for his help and let him be.
Things like this will continue for about a month, and they are things Ive come to expect from dealing with the first two deployments, and it wasn't until now did I realize what it was he was trying to create or build for himself.

By reorganizing things the way he wanted, he was creating a sense of control. Down range he is in control of his soldiers, his truck, his time and space. Then a year later he comes home to an environment where the kids control the mess and Ive been in control of everything else. This is where I had one of those Oprah Ah-ha moments.
So I sit back and watch him piece it all together like Junior with a new set of Legos.  

But Ive also had other moments arise that I have not quiet been able to figure out. Since Sr. has been home he has been trying very hard to help me in the household, this includes doing dishes. I will admit I am a freak when it comes to dish sponges. The yellow one is for the dishes, blue one is for the counters, and the neither one shares the others duties. Well, one evening he was doing the dishes with the BLUE sponge! OMGOSH! I wanted to jump out my skin, and say, "WAIT! STOP! YOUR DOING IT WRONG!"  But I didn't, I held it in, and watch with squeamish eyes and then waited until he wasn't looking to re-do them, and of course he saw me.... I should have just left that one alone, and I am still learning to deal with situations like those.

So, that's alittle about what my family is doing right now, how does your family handle reintegration.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Stutter

This blog is a continuance of my previous entry’s under the tab, Speech Delay and ADHD.

In my last entry I mentioned how we went in for juniors beginning of the year IEP and that he had developed a Sutter. Apparently around age 4 this is normal and not worrisome unless the child does not improve within 6 months. And as our luck would have it, no improvement was made. So another goal was added to Juniors IEP.
His speech pathologist Mrs R.'s findings were this:
"Brandon exhibits moderate to severe dysfluency of speech. The dysfluencies are characterized by initial sound repetitions and blocks accompanied by physical tension".

Basically when Junior speaks he repeats the begging sound like ," B-b-b-b-ut" and blocks are when he can’t "spit" the word out, that is accompanied by physical tension, his whole body tenses up.
So as part of his IEP they started working on "soft touches". Soft touches is a tool used to help Junior recognize this blocks and physical tensions, and by him touching his throat or cheek, calm himself enough to speak the work with no dysfluencies. And I must say, it works. So all year long they worked on his speech and his stuttering with much improvement.
Over that summer Junior regressed a little bit, but as soon as school started up, and he was forced to speak in front of his kindergarten class and with more friends he got better.

One thing that bothers me about his stutter is that people think because he stutters that something is wrong with him. That his intellectual ability is not what it should be. Well let me say this, people who stutter is just that, people who stutter. They are as smart as any other person, they just have difficulty speaking. I met a Mr. M the other day, the new receptionist at the day care my other two boys goto, and he asked Junior how he was doing. Of course Junior spoke and had his disfluencies and I told Junior to slow down, take a deep breath and then continue when he got stuck, and once the conversation was over we walked away to get his brothers from their class rooms, I didn’t think twice about it. On our way out, Mr. M stopped us and pulled us aside and quietly spoke to me about how until he reached the age of 12 he stuttered horribly. No one could understand what he said; he struggled in school but that he overcame it. With the support from his mother, who encouraged him and invested time in him, he overcame it. I almost cried, and was so thankful he told me his story, because it means Junior can overcome too.
My next entry will of Juniors ADHD, and that one is a doosie.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

It almost time!

Its been almost twelve long months since the Black Knights occupied their barracks, and now it is time to start getting ready to bring our hero's home. 

Today the Lady Knights gathered for a day of cleaning and decorating.  

For six hours we decorated posters and walls,

 Stuffed baskets full of goodies
And hung ribbons

 We had a blast, but I had even more fun with one of my tasks.I was tasked to go get condoms from the health clinic for our soldiers. I thought the pharmacist was going to give me a box of condoms, not a Sam's Economy Sized Bag! And two of them at that!
I don't think I need to tell you I hauled ass to the car so no one would think I was a sex crazed maniac!

So the original intent was to put these in our cute baskets, which we did but we still had a ton left over. So to add some humor to our barracks I made a grab and go.

Waste not want not, right?
Oh and did I mention the condoms are strawberry and banana flavored? Who knew the army cared about how it tasted. LOL!!!


What kind of funny decorating have you done?
Would you like to share some ideas?

Monday, August 8, 2011


Where football is life.
Where football is love.

27 Days until the kick-off of The University of Texas at Austins football season!
My co-workers will be seeing a whole new side of me!

Who will you be cheering on this season?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cake in a Jar

So ill be honest, I don't know where I was, or what I was doing when I heard of cake in a jar, but it sounded pretty darn awesome and inventive! It also sounded like an easy and perfect gift to put in the rooms of the single soldiers for redeployment! Anyhow, almost immediately after hearing about cake in a jar, I googled it. I found lots of recipes, but the one at Loving a Soldier, Living the Life (Army Wife Network) seemed to be the one for me.

I purchased jars at a little German grocery store.

Washed them. and boiled them.

I did not really know how to boil jars, so I googled that too.
Then here is the best part of the recipe.
Mr. Dough boy

The recipe is a cake box recipe! Prepare as directed. Fill the jars half way.
Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes.

Oh! I forgot to  mention!
I invited Betty and Duncan over to see how they do in the jar!
So far, so good!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

R&R and the unreliable forcast

 R&R and perfect weather almost never fit together in the  Rhineland-Pfalz area. Rain, rain and more rain is mostly what we saw while Brandon was home, but instead of letting it ruin our outdoor plans, we brought the outdoors, indoors.

We made indoor smores.

These tea light candles made perfect individual miniature camp fires.

                           Such delicousness takes much concentration from the man-folk.

Doesn't like look just delicious!
I like my mollows a little burnt, how about you?

I think they are a hit, we've got two pinkie salutes!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Child Find (Speech)

A request was recently submitted to me through email to update on J.R.s speech impediment. I have added a tab at the top of my blog titled," Speech Therapy and ADHD". In that tab I will post all the links related to this topic in my blog so they are easily access able.

Right now I am going to take a break in blogging about our R&R, and blog about the beginning of our Speech therapy Journey.

Background: In 2008 is when we decided to find intervention for J.R. and what to seem as a speech delay. My husband grew up with problems in speech/comprehension and reading. Sr. grew out of this by the time he was nine years old, had confidence J.R. would do the same. I, however, could not leave the situation up to genetics and time, so I contacted our local EDIS office, but since J.R. was already three he could not participate in their program and would instead have to go through, Child Find, which is a DOD program used to evaluate children for learning disabilities.

In February we went for our evaluation, at one of our local elementary schools. They asked J.R. lots of questions, they had him play ball, and a few other motor skills type tests. We waited 5 months before we got a letter in the mail with his results. His motor skills were at or above normal, but his speech and comprehension were below average for his age level. This came as no surprise, we knew he was struggling in this area.

He was accepted into the program. We started making arrangements for J.R. to attend one-on-one instruction with Mrs. R, twice a week for thirty minute sessions. This plan was called his IEP and would follow him into Kindergarten. August 2008 is when he started, and he loved going to see  Mrs. R. His speech did not  improve over night but it got better. When Junior started out with Mrs. R, he did not have a large audible vocabulary, and called every woman he came into contact with, "Mom", but over the year he learned. He learned to pronounce and remember every ones names, he learned to communicate better his wants and needs, and Mrs. R taught me of ways I can help him at home over the summer since Child Find only runs through the year.

-The speech pathologist finding was that J.R. had weak oral muscles which is why he struggled with pronunciation, he also spoke from the back of his throat instead of the front of his mouth. Example: instead of saying Dog, he said Gog, the G sound coming from the back of mouth compared do the D sound coming from the front. (Did you try it?)-

So June 2009 his first year of speech ended with slow progression. August 2009 we go in for another evaluation to see what J.R. has remembered from the previous school year, and also for me to inform them that  J.R. has developed a stutter.

Ill end this post here, and continue with that post another day.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 1: Becoming a Man

This R&R was different for my husband.
It seemed it came home with a motive of teaching our boy to become a man.
Which is weird to say since J.R. is only six.

I guess being in a danger zone for 7 months put an urge in him to start unloading his knowledge of life into his six year old boy. ( I had to help him pace himself)

For my husband, one of the steps to man hood is learning to fish.
(Survival in the wilderness)
The first morning he was home, he woke us ALL up at 0500 to prepare to go catch us a big one.
*Note: I was not planning on getting out of bed for 24 hours, especially since we didn't get to bed until almost midnight the evening before. I was not a happy camper*

Any who, so adventure one: We go to ODR to get poles, new tackle equipment and bait. we head out to the stock pond, I slam my pole in the door and break it in half, and he starts the careful process of teaching J.R to bait his hook, and even though we have the worms we bought in the shop, he also teaches him to catch his own bait, the kind of bait the fish in the pond will bite for, which is trout so we go cricket hunting. He teaches him where to hook the cricket, and explains the whole cricket skeleton VS casting momentum formula. (It was pretty interesting stuff)
Once we have baited Jiminy, he teaches J.R. to cast his own line.
He teaches him to watch for people behind him, so he doesn't catch a person rather than a fish. He teaches him to lock his reel once he casts, and tells him to sit, wait and be patient.

 Surprisingly, J.R. sits as his Dad instructed.

J.R and Sr. fished for four hours that day.
Sometimes they talked, sometimes they just sat there and waited.
Until finally they got alittle tug.

The fish was not a whopper but it was an amazing process to watch.
To sit and watch J.R. admire his father, and for Sr. glow with pride at his sons eagerness to learn.
On our way home Sr. put his hand on my leg, and softly said,
" I feel like I did some real parenting today".

I was amazed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

R&R Surprise

It was not long ago that I "baby sat" my cell phone waiting for a call from him
letting me know his where abouts on his journey home for R&R.

You see, it has been seven long months since my Sarge. deployed.
We went through Christmas, Birthdays, our Anniversary and other various holidays
one after the other without him and any close kin near by.

This R&R was a much needed break for the both of us.
So like I mentioned, I literally sat on my phone for 3 days waiting to hear from him.
Everyday I grew more nervous not hearing a peep from him,
so nervous I was unable to sleep.

One Wednesday morning the FRL from our  battery came into my office at work to
let me know he would be picking my husband up from the airport the following morning.
"Odd?" I thought, "Why didnt he call me?"
" because the phones were backed up," he was quick to answer
 but said he had heard info from the liaison downrange that Sarge. was on his way.

I was so excited, I finally had information, that I didn't question him further. 
So on my lunch break I left the office to do my produce shopping.
I picked up my purse and walked out the building gleaming with the little bit of information I had.
I was in a daze, looking down at my shoes, smirking at the thought of him walking through the front door the following morning, when I looked up to point the clicker to unlock the car, and saw my old man running towards me from across the parking lot with a dozen roses.

I was in such shock, I couldn't move.
He surprised me.
((I hate surprises))

 I screamed
(maybe beat him up a little)

He smirked, "Hey baby, where you going?"
I replied: "Uh, grocery shopping  for your home coming TOMORROW!?!"
I look behind him at my mischievous FRL smiling with pride that he fooled the clever Mrs. Mims. It most definitely was home coming to remember. I cant wait to share our most recent adventures with you as we reconnected over 14 days, and then prepare to say good bye.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dead Ahead

 Recently I celebrated the 6 month mark of our 12 month deployment. While celebrating, the most surprising things crossed my mind.

1) Oh Shit, I havent saved enough money.
2) Ugh, I havent lost enough weight.
3) I need start researching our next duty station.

The list goes on and on, but in that moment, I felt the end of the deployment was nearer than it really was. I started to panic. I felt alot like the bells in this picture. There was nothing stopping that ball from hitting one bell after the other. And once it reached the end, that was it, it fell off the track.

Have you ever felt that way once you've hit that six month mark? Like it was going to be all over so soon and you did not feel as accomplished as you wanted?
What did you do to help ease your anxiety?

Me, well I started making lists. I counted out my pay dates and realized I had plenty of time to save more money. Lose more weight. And Ive already started planning our next move to our perspective duty station. Making these lists made me feel MUCH better. But I am a list kinda Gal. I mean seriously, Ive got lists everywhere.
On another note, as kind of an update.
I am doing okay.
I am most definitely not thriving this deployment, I am in survival mode 24/7.
I am going to attempt to turn this around for me by taking up a new hobby/interest.
I am starting guitar lessons next month!
I bought a new guitar and tuner! Ive contacted a teacher, I am so excited!
And I really need this.
I need it to relax and de-stress.
I need to do this for me.
So stay tuned for those adventures.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Sunday Walk

There is no better way for me to get ready
to start another week, than to take a walk.

Of course walking with three, sometimes four children,
there has to be a purpose as to,
"Where are we going"

So every Sunday,
as my time to reflect and enjoy my children
we walk to our local Ise Cafe.

This ice cream is the BEST in the world.
It is a family ran Italian Ise Cafe.

And we have no objections of their product
I love seeing my kids so happy enjoying their treats.

Finding new adventure along the way.

Oh by the way, there is Isaac. He comes along too!
What do you do to reflect on things?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Military Postal Service (MPS)

Living at an APO address has its advantages
when your service member is deployed.
One of those advantages is being able to use the Military Postal Service
otherwise known as, MPS.

Shipping from APO to APO is free!
Letters and packages.
(packages under 60 lbs)

And its expedient for the most part.
Packages usually get to their destination in a couple days.
Letters on the other hand, well those can take a couple weeks.

For example.
My Mothers Day letter from hubby.

The post mark said he shipped it 27 April.
I did not receive it until the last week of May.
I was expecting this letter for a while.

So I am sure you can tell I wasted no
 time opening it carefully.

Here is what it said:

Sacrifices have to be made, in which you have accepted.
Due to that you are often left behind and neglected.
Late at night instead of cuddling, you are found alone.
I am off fighting while you are taking care of our home.
You give so much but ask for nothing in return.
So I train hard to ensure it is to you I return.
Promises often broke, and rarely kept,
Just as many smiles and tears are wept.
While I am gone you fill your life with projects and work,
which puts you in a daze,
please just take the time to remember
I love you
Happy Mothers Day.

My old man has always been good work words.
The wait was worth it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday MilSpouse Fill-In

1. It’s now June (woot!)… what plans do you have for the summer?

Work, Work, R&R and more Work =)
2. What is your favorite summer memory as a kid?
Going to the lake with my Mom and brother. We'd take a picnic and just go out there and hike, fish and roast hot dogs.
3. If wild animals could be made pets without fear of them ever being dangerous, what kind of exotic animal would you want as a pet?
Not really an animal type person.
4. Is there anything about deployments that you do like? submitted by The Thrifty Military Wife
I like that it is easier for me to save money.

This post has been linked to Wife of a Sailor.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Deployment Juju

Bad Juju.
Have you heard of it?
I am sure you have.

Its a term meaning a sort of bad luck, or vibe.

Well I am adding a term to the "Juju" family.
"Deployment Juju".

All of us Military Spouses have heard of it, and had it.
It those times where we talk about the car breaking down, the kids getting sick
and the wash machine starting to make noises, and this happens
ONLY when he leaves.


In my community, and with my job, Ive been hearing about others deployment juju,
so I thought Id share alittle of mine.

Last deployment!
((oh your going to love this story))

I was caravanning with some friends to a Fall Fest not to far from our post.
And of course being the free spirit I am, I HAD to jam the whole way.
So I whipped out my ipod and while plugging it in

I use to have pictures of the accident, but I cant seem to locate them.

Anyways, after that happened, I put the car in the shop
and rented a Mercedes!
Oh it was awesome!
Leather seats, dark tint, the horse power!

Anyways while doing errands on the second day of my rental


And paid out of pocket to fix it.
Deployment Juju.

And of course deployment juju grabbed me again with our new car.

That is my 2010 Dodge Journey stuck on a rock.
I swear that rock jumped out from no where.

I was stuck in such an add way on this rock that not even the tow truck could lift me off.
So a wonderful soldier teamed up with the wrecker guy and decided.
"You lift, and ill pull the rock out from under with my truck."

Luckily it was alittle cosmetic damage that isn't going to cost me much to fix.
And Laura your right, I was able to laugh at myself.

This deployment juju gets us all.
And you can either let it get you down.
Team up with someone and figure how to get off that damn rock!