Wednesday, December 31, 2008


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