Thursday, September 28, 2006

PIX Messages

We can keep in touch through text messages while Andrew's in the field. And even pictures! I sent this one to him yesterday. I'm in Warren with my family!

And this is one he sent to me the other day while he was on a training combat mission.

Monday, September 25, 2006

September 25th, 3 years

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of Andrew's enlistment. He's made it through three years in the US Army. I'm so proud of him!

He knew three years ago that God was calling him to be a Soldier, and not only is he "sticking with the plan," but he is doing so victoriously! He has two years left in his initial contract, and after that, who knows where God will take us? It looks like it will get harder before it gets any easier, but our Savior is in control. And until He calls us out, this is the safest and best place for us to be.

In the center of God's will.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Life in the Army Update

For the last week, Andrew has been in "the field" for training. It's the big battalion FTX and is going to last two more weeks. He wasn't supposed to be able to come home, but I've seen him every 2 or 3 days for this past week, for 2-3 hours at a time. An extra blessing! And a good way to "get my feet wet" with some of the more unpleasant realities of Army life.

So, I won't see Andrew for two more weeks. Yesterday was his last opportunity to come home until around October 7th. Or maybe 12th. Nothing is ever sure until after it happens, I'm learning...

The next weeks will be broken up, though, for me, and full of distractions. On Tuesday I get to fly to Portland. Wes has a birthday - for which we're going to a Beaver's Football game - and also my Granny's birthday - for which we are not going to a Beaver's Football game.

After I get back home October 4th, I'll only have a few days until Andrew comes home for good!

That is... until the next unpleasant reality...

But God is and has been faithful. He hasn't given us more than His grace can take us through. God is building our marriage on a firm foundation. He is further strengthening our communication skills and you know that whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing?

Well. It turns out to be painfully true.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The First Wedding Picture

The best day of my life.

This is the first photo from our wedding that I will have put up on our blog! I chose this one because the photographer liked it so much, he put it in their online "bragging" gallery. We had some awesome photographers and they got some great shots! The DVD should be done fairly soon. And we'll be getting our first prints as soon as we can choose 200 from over 1,000 options!

By the way, Rosanna & Rob's wedding date marked our 2-month anniversary!

Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses

Look at this cutest new movie! They never had this cool of stuff when I was a little girl. But it's just exactly the type of thing that I would love. All the pretty girls all dressed up pretty. Wish I had little girls to watch it with. Me & Hal need to watch it sometime...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Trip Home & Rosanna's Wedding!

Okay, so it was also Rob's...

We had a great time on our vacation/wedding trip last week! Andrew and I flew to Portland where we were met by the whole fam. I hadn't seen my brothers or Jenny since we left after the wedding, so I was so excited to get back with them!

We proceeded to troop to the mall for a family photo appointment. THAT was fun! We all wore black and jeans and got some GREAT shots. Can't wait to get them chosen and ordered.

The next day we spent in Warren with the family and had lots of visitors and a BBQ that night. It was so great to see everyone!

On Thursday, we all piled in Dad's truck and the Explorer (we even convinced Wes and Jenny to go ahead and come at the last minute!) and we drove down to Carson City, way of the greatest outlet mall in Oregon...

Friday and Saturday were all wedding days and full of scrambling around and getting ready and then being amazed that "the day" for Rob & Rosanna was actually here! The wedding was in Carson, but the reception was at beautiful Lake Tahoe. Kinda windy and cold, but it was so great.

Here are some random pictures of the weekend!

Have you ever heard of Cheerwine?

I found something that's old-school South! Cheerwine is a cherry-flavored soda that was created back in 1917 and which the west coast has yet to discover. I picked up a Diet Cheerwine today just to try it. It's pretty good! I still prefer the Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, or even Cherry Coke tastes, but Cheerwine is definitely worth a try.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Lady & Sons, Savannah

For those of you who watch Food Network, you may be shocked and appalled that I had no idea we had a famous restaurant right here in Savannah! Well, I'd never heard of it until we moved here. And then once I heard of it, I never saw or read anything much about it.

Until... Andrew and I stopped in for a Sunday lunch at Paula Deen's own The Lady & Sons.

Come to find out, this is fine southern country cookin' at it's absolute best! Sundays are buffet-only, and everything we ate was incredible. Andrew says that the lima beans themselves were good enough to be the main dish! We enjoyed southern-fried chicken, roast and vegetables, sweet potatoes, green beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, fried cornbread, and luscious cheese biscuits. Dessert was a choice of brownie pie, banana pudding topped with real whipped cream, or Georgia peach cobbler. The waiter let us try all three.

And now I suddenly see Paula Deen everywhere! She has her shows on the Food Network, her cookbooks lining the shelves of every self-respecting bookstore or WalMart, and even a new magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen. In addition to all this, she still holds cooking classes at her restaurant when she's in town.

Well, so I bought the cookbook. It has most all the recipes for the dishes we ate that Sunday.

Even the Peach Cobbler.

Come to Savannah sometime, and we'll take you there!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Organization Day

Imagine, if you will, a day in which two to three hundred people are coerced into participating in such "sports" as "Dunk Boothing"...

...Tug O' War....

... and Flag Football.

Such "Mandatory Fun" lasted about six hours yesterday, from roughly 9:00 am to about 3:00 pm. My Battalion celebrated an "Organization Day" as a much needed break in our preparations to go out to the field for about a month.

A good time was had by all, despite scary, ill-fitting clown and bunny costumes. In fact, the entire day would have been much like a carnival, complete with jumping house for the kids... the only difference between "O-Day" and a regular carnival being that those in attendance were there because it was their place of duty and were not allowed to leave until the event was completely finished.

I had attended one other such event this year, after the battalion returned from Iraq. That "O-Day" happened to fall on March 8th, actually. I know this because March 8th is my Beautiful Bride's birthday... I sat on the bank of a man-made lake and talked her through opening the presents I sent... but that's another story.

Yesterday's festivities were much more enjoyable... everything is when one is a whole person. My other half attended yesterday's "O-Day" with me and stayed through the entire thing. It was the first time she'd spent six straight hours in the Georgia sun. I love Cass so much, and I am so grateful that she supports me 100% in everything I'm tasked with. She made yesterday a good day for me, just by being by my side.

I mean, heck, how could any day be bad when I am married to this Beautiful Sweetheart?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Passing the Board

Well, he did it! Andrew went before the Sergeant Major and the Promotion Board yesterday. Had to answer questions, quote creeds, demonstrate tasks (which included giving an IV!), assemble weapons, etc. He passed! And is now considered promotable. The paperwork will start going through today and he'll be pinned as a Corporal soon. When he earns enough promotion points (through tests, classes, achievements, time in service) he'll be promoted to Sergeant. That should happen next year sometime. But this is the only board he needed to pass for all that. I'm so proud of him!

That's my soldier.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mom and Dad Visit - Part II

Now it was time for MY parents to come see us at our first home. They were here for a few days, and had to head back to Portland on Sunday. We loved having them here! Not seeing them since right after our wedding ... that seems like a long time ago, now... Okay, it had only been 6 or so weeks since I'd seen my Dad and Mom, but I missed them like crazy!

I felt so much better (as I know they did) to have them actually see where we are living and where Andrew works and where we go shopping in Hinesville, on post, off post, and Savannah, and what we do, etc. That way they can picture what I mean when I'm telling them about things. Somehow it just helps. I start to feel, sometimes, as though the entire expanse of the United States is between me and my family!

Andrew was off work for Labor Day weekend, so we four hung around the house and "talked our heads off." We had lots to catch up on! Play-by-play of the wedding, how everyone is doing, new plans for the fall and winter... I got to fiddle with their new little Canon PowerShot. Very nice little camera and more megapixels than my huge one! That's what's killing me! The pictures on this post are all from the camera. It even takes video! Notice the self-timer mode in action...

The first night they were here, they got to get in on a Family Readiness Group (FRG) meeting at Andrew's company. The Captain was letting all the families know what to expect in the next few months. Deployment possibilities, more FTXs, and such.

The day we were in Savannah, we showed Mom and Dad the restaurant on River Street, - Dockside - where Andrew took me just before he proposed to me back in April.

We went out to dinner and then to see Invincible. One afternoon, we even took Mom and Dad by the Commissary and the PX on post. We went over to William and Amanda's for dessert, too. Amanda's sister, Ginger, was still in town, so that was a fun visit.

It was hard to say goodbye to them. And hard to get over the fact that my parents had to travel somewhere just to see me where I was living...and it wasn't just the upstairs hallway! We get to see them again so soon, though!

Next Tuesday, Andrew is on leave and we both get to fly out to Portland for a day before we join the family on a road trip down to Carson City for Rosanna Storey's wedding. Fun times! Can't wait to see my brothers and Jenny. Love you guys!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fantasy Football

Football. Must confess I've never quite acquired a full appreciation for this bone-cracking, flesh-bruising, testosterone-pumping sport. Not that I have any strong aversion to the game... more of a healthy disinterest. Never played, therefore never mastered the rules... never followed a team long enough to be considered a "fan".

My ambiguity toward football being firmly established... my bride and I have decided to join the family league this year. Gone are the days of disinterested "Harrumphs" as yet another gladiatorial bout blares from the television. This year it's all about the yardage, the fumbles, the sacks, the tackles, the touchdowns, the touchbacks, the field goals, and the Gatorade commercials! THIS is a year of learning. THIS is a year of striving, of effort, of following closely our favorite players and defensive line-ups. THIS is a year of, "Lord, please don't let the uncle's fantasy team beat ours too bad."

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