Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Ahh Easter - the day diabetes was created.
The kids LOVE IT! I actually love it too. This year I do feel like I lacked in teaching the kids the true meaning for the season, I mean we discuss it but we could have done more. Because in all actuality it is probably the most important holiday of the year.

This year was just straight-up candy. Usually I try to do less candy and more small toys or itunes gift cards or something like that but this year I just didn't have it in me. I was a lazy bunny this year.

The kids don't mind though, I LOVE their little sleepy eyed faces on holiday mornings.

After a breakfast of the traditional creamed eggs on toast (bleck! I make scrambled eggs for me & spence) the younger 3 hunted eggs. It was fun with Olivia this year because she could actually do it all by herself.
I apologize for the shirtlessness of this picture. She just wants to be just like her big brothers. I'm sure this shot will go in her wedding slide show in 30 years after she has her PhD:)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Just a typical Saturday!

Okay, so maybe this particular Saturday wasn't exactly "typical" but it is not foreign for us. It seems that more than one weekend a month is out of control crazy, and it just so happens that Saturday April 23, 2011 was just that for us - plus I had my camera out and I was documenting along the way.
We started at 7:00am! Dan's little brother Ammon had his Eagle Scout Project at Sunshine Acres. It is a home for homeless children. For the project we cleaned up the playground (and boy oh boy was it needing it!)

I couldn't help taking a picture of this sign - what the....??


 We actually left Ryleigh at home to stay with Olivia so we wouldn't be chasing her around like a crazy person! So the boys came along and it was great for them. They were such great helpers. I was so proud.... and of course they were rewarded with Krispy Kremes.

We actually had to leave the Eagle project early because Ryleigh's softball team was having a carwash that we had to be to by 10am.  So off we went!

Jayda is on the same team with Ryleigh so she had to be there too and Ashley came along for moral support.


They ended up raising nearly $200.00! I was so proud of them! They had such a great attitude and had so much fun together - which is good because it has been a ROUGH season! ...but I will post on that later....
At the end the coach called the girls together for a little team meeting and announced the All-Star nominations. Ryleigh got the highest number of votes for the team! yay! So she will be headed to the All-Star try-outs at the end of the season! We are WAY proud of her!

When the carwash was over at 2:00 we headed over to Spencer's club team's baseball practice and used the field next to them to practice some softball pitching because coach wants Jayda and Ryleigh to pitch at the game on Monday.

After an hour of so of that we headed home - to make dinner.
I got within 10 minutes of  being ready to eat dinner when I sliced my finger wide open (like a fillet) on a can of baked beans.... rrrg. Super inconvenient timing. So Dan and I decided that it would be best if I just drove myself to the ER (actually we decided on Urgent Care but they were all closed) so that way we wouldn't be wrestling  with the kids!
Three stitches (and only 45 minutes! THANK YOU GILBERT HOSPITAL!!) later I came home and shovelled dinner in my face and cleaned up the kitchen in time for Easter egg 8:30pm...the night before Easter.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Black Sunday

I know today is Monday but April 4th will always be Black Sunday for us. Today is the 7th anniversary of Black Sunday and I have never blogged about it mainly out of fear. I don't want to stir up any unwanted feelings for my husband or any of my blog-readers but I feel today that this deserves a post.

April 4, 2004 Daniel was in Iraq. Sadr City, Iraq, with the 1st Cavalry Division. They had only been in Iraq a few weeks, and in fact were still in the process of switching command from the 1st Armored Division that was there previously.

All I know is what Dan has told me about this horrific day (it actually ended up lasting several days) and that is not much, but insurgents started attacking 1st Cav soldiers that were out on a routine patrol sparking a HUGE battle. By the next day 8 soldiers had been killed and more than 60 were wounded. This day was so different than any other in the war, that there is even a book about about it called The Long Road Home.

I don't ever speak for Daniel about these events because I just don't know. I can't relate. I wasn't there. So therefore I will only talk about it from my perspective.

I was home - alone in Texas with our three small beautiful children.

I was beyond scared and overwhelmed. I was still adjusting to being a single wife with three kids. Ryleigh was in kindergarten and both the boys were at home. Ethan was just a baby and Spencer was a curious toddler.

Just like I was still adjusting to the life of a soldier's wife, the rear-detachment soldiers were also adjusting to running the division back in Texas while most of its 100,000+ soldiers were fighting in Iraq. Rear-Detachment is supposed to be a support for the families back home, and for soldiers that were not eligible to deploy. When a soldier dies in combat, rear-D finds out first, sets up the necessary procedures and then the family gets notified. It is supposed to be a smooth running operation.

When a soldier dies in combat everything goes dark. The soldiers have no way of getting in contact with their families back home. The phone lines get shut down, the computers & Internet get shut down and letters stop until all the families have been notified.

It was more than 10 days before I heard from Daniel. It took Rear-D almost 2 weeks to notify the eight families of their soldiers death and the other 60 families that their soldier would soon be returning to the United States in grave conditions. As wives, we tried to stay connected with one another and be each others support, but we were all in a state of panic. Waiting for those two officers in their Class-A uniforms to knock on the door and tell you that your husband was a hero and they are sorry.

In the weeks that followed the other wives and I attended at least 5 funerals or memorial services and did countless numbers of fundraisers to help the families survive while they were waiting for the military to finish the final paperwork. We watched kids and tried to be strong. We were grateful that our husbands were safe and we were sad that their husbands were not.
All of our husbands made it home. I will be eternally grateful for that. They have all returned a different person than we said good-bye to on March 12, 2004 but I don't believe that it is possible to live through those horrible days and be the same.
I am thankful for my soldier. Even though he has not been in the military for 5 years now he will always be my soldier. He is the hero of our family. I love him with all my heart and every year on this day I thank my heavenly father that Dan came home to us. I know that he was protected. I hope to never go through a year like that ever again. You honestly don't know how much something means to you until you realize how quickly it can be taken away.