Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blogging Again

CaliValleyGirl posted a comment to my last posting from back in June so I have decided to revive this dead blog. Heck, who knew anybody was still reading? As my header states, I am supposed to be chronicling my sons enlistment...well...I did okay for a while. He is due to get out of the Army later this year, so I guess I am still obligated to blog. So here I am again.

Let's see - what excitement have I had in the past few months. Not much really. Thanks to Uncle Sam and the brand new "Stop-Loss" rules that went into effect on January 1st of this year, Sprout has been spared another deployment. His group is set to return to Iraq very soon but he will not be with them. He has already begun his out-processing and as far as I am concerned, he cannot out-process fast enough. Six years of serving your country is nothing to spit at and I continue to tell him how proud he should be. And he is proud of his service. But I worry that he may have some hesitation about not deploying with his unit this time. The Army has a way of making soldiers feel guilty. But he has served his country well, having deployed to Korea for a year and Iraq for more than a year, so I would say he has paid his dues. No one can say that he has not done his required duty. And as I tell him often, he has done a heck of a lot more than most in this country have done. The pride of his service to his country is something he has earned through his own hard work and he will carry that with him always. And rightly so. As this chapter comes to a close, I have learned a new meaning of the word "pride"...this mother's heart swells with it.

IN OTHER NEWS: In the past two weeks, I have had somewhat of a connection to the space program. The sister of a friend that I graduated from high school with is currently on the space shuttle, about to return from spending the last two weeks on the International Space Station. How cool it that? She was part of the mission to install a new room "with a view" on the space station. It's called "Tranquility" and includes the coolest seven-window cupola that now gives the astronauts a totally awesome view of Earth. I have been addicted to NASA tv for the past few nights following all the excitement and I have learned so much about space and the space station and zero-gravity and all kinds of stuff. Did you know astronauts don't wear shoes on the space station, they float around in their socks. Why? I don't know. So they don't accidentally bop each other in the teeth with their shoes, I guess. Anyway, it's worth checking out at the NASA image gallery. Too-o-o cool.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

SOMETHING ELSE IN MY DRAFT FILE

WELCOME NEW YEAR

Well, one of my new year resolutions is to blog again. I don't know why...it just is. Anyway, here I am again and life is good. Sprout and Sproutette were home for Christmas and my quiver was full. We had seven warm bodies waking up here on Christmas morning. I love a full house. The grandkids were here and Cousin Pedro and I am still grinning from the joy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

THINGS IN MY DRAFT FILE

Here are things I started to post but for some reason never did. Go figure.

STOP GROWING!!!




Here are my grandkids, dressed for a cousins wedding and looking so grown up. Sgt. York is going to be a lady-killer, I can tell...broken hearts just waiting to happen. The Little General is all girl. She prefers pink fluffy, dangly stuff over anything else. What am I going to do when they are all grown up?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

ORDINARINESS

I had a long call from Sprout the other night. He just called to say "Hey" and to catch up on all the latest gossip. It was a good, ordinary call and it was good to hear him laugh. I need to stop taking ordinary for granted and be thankful for dull days. Ordinary is good. We need more ordinariness.

Okay, I've dwelled on that long enough. Here is something a little out of the ordinary. This is a picture of two little girls wearing one dress - fifty years apart. The little girls are my sister and her first grandchild. The first picture is faded with age so the dresses look different colors, but I assure you, it is the same dress. Kind of neat, huh?

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Absent Blogger

Sorry it's been six months since I have blogged but I just have not been in the mood. And a whole lot of nothing is going on around here. Sprout is home safely from Iraq and I am able to breath again and incoming oxygen is a wonderful thing. I just haven't wanted to do anything else but inhale and exhale. My oxygen level is finally back to normal.

Sprout's time in the war zone was spent well - or rather he accomplished a lot. He worked hard, they didn't lose any soldiers and he earned a promotion. He went before the promotion board in Iraq and he started the new year with a new rank. And you can call him Sergeant Sprout. He is most certainly not the boy he was when he joined the Army in 2004. In some ways I wish that he still was. He is more serious now, more intense, quieter. When we saw him in December, just after he redeployed, I only saw him smile once or twice. His wife told me that the holiday bustle made him a little nervous at first, the crowds and everything. Since then, when I talk to him on the phone, he is usually tired from working long hours and work distracts him a lot. Now that he has soldiers that he is responsible for, he is working harder than ever to make sure they have what they need and that they learn what is important. He likes being an NCO but it is not as easy as it looks. He especially likes the respect he has earned. And while he has changed so much, I do still hear the pre-Army Sprout on occasion when he is relaxed and rested. He does still have laughter in there somewhere and it is slowly creeping back up to the surface.

Unfortunately, another possible deployment looms in the near future and his mind is constantly on that. It must be hard to go back and forth from battle-ready mode to every-day work mode without losing your grip. I'll be glad when he can let it all go and get to living a normal life.

In the meantime, my grandkids are growing like weeds. What is happening here? Sir Duke gave me some of the sweetest grand-children on Earth but they are growing up waaaaay too fast...he must be using Miracle-Grow.

The Little General



Sgt. York, 3rd Grade Stud-Muffin

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

GOODBYE, 2008. DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE BUTT!

So much to write, so few words. First of all, THANK GOD THIS YEAR IS OVER. Sprout is home and safe and adjusting well. But yesterday, his Dad did hear these words escape his lips: "I sort of miss Iraq". SAY WHAT? Actually, I think I understand what he means. Life in the US is boring compared to where he has been and it will take some time to settle back into a comfortable routine. Once he gets back to working regular hours after the holidays, I'm sure things will get more normal for him. For me, I am just glad to have him back.

We spent Christmas with him and his wife's family. My daughter-in-law went above and beyond the call of duty, cooking meals for several days for 10 people, even cooking Christmas breakfast AND dinner. AND making stockings full of homemade candy for all of us. I don't know how she did it but it sure was nice. Meanwhile, Christmas here at home was hit and miss. We put up the tree and hung the wreath but that was about it. I missed being at home for Christmas. This was my first time ever being away from home on Christmas day it felt strange but we had a great time.


Sprout has become a hunter since leaving Iraq and killed his first deer the week he got home. He was so excited. For Christmas he got guns and knives and camping gear. I guess living with a loaded weapon at your side for fifteen months makes you feel kind of naked without one. Well, he shouldn't feel naked now. The man is armed and then some.

Holding up the St. Louis Arch


We took Sgt. York and the Little General with us across the country and Santa followed right behind us. They traveled very well and we only had to get on to them once or twice. They got to see snow for the first time and that was way cool. But it is hard for children to be away from their parents at Christmas. By Christmas day they were ready to come home. So was I. I like to travel but I love to come home again. One touching moment happened on Christmas eve as we were driving around looking at the Christmas lights while killing time until supper was ready. Their dad called on the cell phone and I put it on speaker so that they could both talk to him. He asked how they were and if they were ready for Santa to come and he reminded them that Santa was still watching. Then he asked them if they wanted him to read "The Night Before Christmas". They did and after reminding the Little General not to talk while he read, he read the story to them while they both sat quietly, not saying a word. I wish I had a recording of that, he read it perfectly and I had to turn toward the window and blink my eyes a little to keep from crying. He was missing them as much as they were missing him. Anyway, we are home now and everybody is happy.

Here are a few pictures of our tree and our trip. Life is good and 2009 is already looking to be better than 2008, at least for me.

Looky what Santa Claus bought me. I'm a clock freak.



Since I wasn't home to put baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas day, I left the job up to our older son who was cat-sitting. I forgot to tell him where to find Jesus, so he made do the best he could.



Sgt York and the Little General enjoy the snow



Our tree



The Mantle


More snow pictures

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Indeed

"Home is the sailor, home from the sea
And the hunter home from the wood."



Sprout is home from Iraq after 15 long and hot months. He arrived just in time to eat the Thanksgiving turkey his wife has debated thawing for several days, not knowing for sure if he would make it in time for Thanksgiving. He made it.

We are giving thanks.