Thursday, January 27, 2011

Kitty play date

After the FRG meeting last night, Steve and I went over to Ashley and Cris Ponders house! They are also in a different unit but we know each other since we are neighbors. They invited us over for burritos and to meet their new addition to the family.. A beautiful male kitten named James. He is just the sweetest thing. He had a nice little snack off my plate when I wasn't looking. I also made my infamous chip dip and brought them a pan of that! They loved it!
  After dinner, we all went down the hall to our home and started up a game of Monopoly! Ashley also brought James down to meet Tubbles and maybe have a play date. Well James was all for a new cat to play with but Tubbles wasn't having any of it. She was growling and just throwing a fit that there was another cat here! Eventually we decided that play date was over and Ashley took him back to their house. Once Tubbles had her way and James was gone, she decided she was going to be the center of attention to our guests and flopped right own in the middle of the Monopoly was a really fun night.
Tubbles and James meeting
"I like boxes"

Stealing the spotlight

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First FRG Meeting

When Steve first deployed, I became involved in the FRG. Steve got me involved and set up for email updates on the unit and such! I was able to email my FRG leader with any concerns and constantly know whats going on with my husband along with all the guys he fought next to. FRG stands for Family Readiness Group. Every unit has a FRG and the leader usually is the Commanders wife.
  Now that I am finally in Germany and living on post, I can attend the actual monthly meetings.  Yesterday was my first one. It was really exciting because being apart of the FRG is a major part of being a Military wife and its your life line to know whats going on with your spouse when they are deployed or in a field training.
  When we first came to the unit (1-91 CAV) we were in C Troop, I was involved with the C troop FRG and they really didn't do much! Steve was hurt in the middle of deployment, he tore a ligament in his leg and had shin splints in his knees, but when that happened, he was transferred to Havoc Troop (Headquarters) so he was no longer on the line (fighting outside the wire) so he could heal properly. When he was all healed up, they decided to just keep him in Headquarters for the rest of deployment. Steve wanted to be back with his guys but it really made me sleep better at night knowing he was safe.
  Havoc troop is a lot more involved and I really enjoy being apart of it. As of right now, we are planning a troop party at the bowling alley here on post, some potlucks, fundraisers and a few other things. Its nice to know that all the wives husbands there work next to my husband and we all share a bond. I get along with them great! They are such a nice group of gals. Ive talked to a few C troop wives when Steve was in C troop and they hated the FRG and told me some stories about it. Kinda discouraged me a little but no FRG is perfect. But I am very happy with mine.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tough decisions

I talked to my husband about what path I should take pertaining to my career. We agreed that being a house wife is priority number one but some extra income couldn't hurt.
   I think I am wanting to keep Photography as a hobby but if I feel comfortable enough, I may start up that as a business later but I doubt it.. Right now I am just learning.
  I'm going to start looking into different careers that maybe I can go to school for also.. But I just have no idea what I want to do.
  Whatever does happen with my career path, I know it will happen on the Lords time, what and when He feels it to be right.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Photography fun

Ever since moving to Germany, I always have my camera on me. I love capturing our life here. I decided to go a bit more into it then just normal photo taking and did a fun little shoot. I am slowly getting better at it. Maybe by the time we leave Germany,   I will be taking some amazing photos.. who knows?!

Tubbles playing with the Christmas balls last Christmas.

Fun one I took back during Christmas

Continue on, or move on?!

While I still lived in Spokane when Steve was still deployed, I decided to start school online. The Government paid for it since I am a Military spouse. -All Active Duty Military spouses get $6,000 to put towards school. So I looked in to different online schools and decided on the best paying career that I could get from a $6,000 tuition. I decided on Medical coding/billing at New Horizons Computer Learning Center located in Jacksonville (NHCLC). It was a very irresponsible thing to do since I wasn't really committed to that profession. I just loved the thought of school.
  I soon decided after I started that this really wasn't what I wanted to do. But it was to late to take it back. I used all my tuition up and dropped out. Billing and Coding just wasn't for me. When I was still looking in to a career and schools I was also interested in ABC (Animal Behavioral College).  I am a HUGE animal lover and now I am wishing I did that instead. I really do believe a career with animals is right for me. I am really kicking myself.
  Well, anyways, I got an email from my teacher/counselor today saying I have until March to get all my stuff in to still get it done. But now I am really debating if I should start my classes over and just do it. I would just say "why not" but I don't know if two and a half months is enough and even if it was enough to finish, I really hate it and don't enjoy studying it at all, so whats the point?!
  Right now, I am looking in to maybe going to school for photography or maybe something to do with animals such as a trainer or Veterinary Assistant. I don't know but I guess I'll let you know when I figure it out. I do know I want to go back to school but I just don't know for what yet..
  Another option I am pondering is start a at home business. I did have one where I sold Military Pride Aprons online.. kinda of a made-to-order deal but it only went on for a month then I moved to Germany and never really got it back up again. I have a great sewing machine and embroidery machine so that's another option. I guess I have a lot of thinking to do and decisions to make.
Apron I made for myself.

Another cooking disaster

Today is Steve's first day back to work! When he got back from Afghanistan, he had half days and they were pretty easy in his words. Then he went on a month leave and now he is back to full days! I sure enjoyed having him home! Now its time to start spending my days cleaning, shopping, well..pretty much everything a house wife does! But I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.
Early every morning of the week days, Steve has to go do PT (Physical Training) with his troop to stay in shape. So, our routine is that he goes, I get up and start getting breakfast ready for him then he comes home, eats, takes a shower then off to work!  Well yesterday morning, He came home and decided he wanted to give me a break and he was going to make his own eggs.
  He heats up the pan and pours some oil in it and then comes sit down next to me on the couch! (at this point I did not know he had already started heating it up) so I start massaging his shoulders and trying to get him to relax since he just got done working out. I think 5 minutes passed, maybe less when the fire alarm went off. I looked towards the kitchen and I see shadows of yellow light flickering and black smoke pouring in to the dining room.
  I start panicking and Stephen runs in to the kitchen! I am behind him and all I see is a large flame almost touching the over stove lights and vent. Steve finally bends town and opens the seasoning door and pulls out a large can of salt, pours it on and the flames go out.
Steve then calls the fire department to tell them that everything is OK and their is no need to come out (when the fire alarm goes off, the fire department automatically gets called) then their was a knock at the door and the MPs (Military Police) were here, then came in the fire department. Guess the call to tell them everything was OK didn't matter-last time it went off, they are the ones who told us to call them if they didn't need to come out.
  We had to file a police report, which we never had to do for any of the other times we set the alarm off. Then all the MPs and Fire fighters were on their way. After they were gone, Steve looks at me and asks "will you make me some eggs?" It was so cute! Poor guy just can't cook! But that's why he has me I guess. After he left for work, I spent about a good hour cleaning and getting all the black off the walls and all. It still smells like fire in the kitchen.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eating out

In the afternoon, we invited the Ponders out to lunch! They live in the same building as us. We decided to go to the downtown mall, there is a restaurant called Tokyo! I never get sick of that place. How it works is everyone sits next to this rotating plate holder and it goes all the way through the restaurant and if you see something you want you take the plate before it gets away. Its either a euro a plate or 10 euro for all you can eat.
The Ponders have never been there but I think it was the first place Steve and I ever ate in Germany. I got to try my first sushi there also.
Inside the Mall
 That night, Steve and I went out to dinner with the Garcias and I had some of the best Italian food ever! We tried to go to a German restaurant but we were told "reservation only" so we decided on Italian. It was a pretty fancy restaurant so I enjoyed my whole seven bites. But I didn't mind. It was such a beautiful atmosphere!  After dinner we decided to go to the Irish Pub. I don't drink but it was really cool to see the atmosphere and all.
Stairs down to the Irish Pub

Steve and I

Alma and Franklin Garcia

Friday, January 14, 2011

Trip to Frankfurt

Last night we went to Frankfurt Airport to pick up Garza, one of Steve's friends from the unit. I was super excited because it was a 2 1/2 hour road trip and a way to finally go see things outside of the Army post and go more in to Germany.The weather was horrible and was not driving road trip weather at all. The fog itself made it impossible to see past 4 feet in front of us! But their was a few times where it cleared up and I did get a few photos!
A little village we drove through

Garza all tuckered out from the flight
Although the weather was bad, the trip was fun. Love getting out and seeing authentic Germany.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Helping a new family

When I first got to Germany, the Army didn't even know I was coming and didn't have housing set up for me, wouldn't give me a place to stay, and pretty much was telling me I wasn't authorized to be there. I thank God for Beth and Kyle. They came and picked me up from the airport and let me stay at their house, showed me around post, ect.. When I finally did get housing, Beth took to me the PX so I get all the house hold items I needed like laundry soap and all. Then took me to the Commissary so I can buy food.. They both helped me out so much!
   Well, Yesterday morning Steve told me that one of his friend's wife just came over to Germany. I knew her on Facebook so I offered to help them out just as Beth and Kyle did for us.
  So yesterday morning we picked them up, got them hooked up with ACS (Army Community Services) where they got loan Kitchen ware, got their mail box opened, took them to the PX so they can get everything they needed, then off to the Commissary (grocery store on post) we went!
  It started getting late so we all decided to take them to the Health clinic tomorrow [to get enrolled in DEERS and TriCare Europe], and finish up anything else!
  It was a lot of fun! They are a really nice couple!
  Another thing we are doing today is driving 2 1/2 hours to Frankfurt Airport. We are going to go pick up another one of Steve's friends from the Unit. He is just getting back from being on leave! Yep, leave is almost over and Steve goes back to work on Monday! Then back to my Housewife duties.
We didn't get to go travel and see castles like we wanted. The weather was just too bad! Now that it is almost time for work to start back up, the weather is a lot nicer. Of course it would be like that! Darn!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 Memories PART 4

After a year long deployment and a two years separation total, Steve was finally coming home to me in Germany and we could finally start a life together!
Deployment homecoming took place at the Conn Barracks gym on post!

My purse on the left and my new neighbor Liz's on the right

The troops marching in

Steve in formation

Finally in his arms

Welcome home sign on our balcony
The Homecoming video of the troops marching in- click here

Well That's it for 2010 Memories! It was a nice trip down memory lane! I hope you enjoyed! I love looking back at old photos and remembering great memories just like it happened yesterday! Even those memories that are not so great, they are still memories and make up who you are as a person!  2010 has came and gone and so excited to make new memories this year!

Monday, January 10, 2011

2010 Memories PART 3

 Moving to Germany
Well the proper military term for moving because of orders is PCS (Permanent Change of Station). But whatever the case, I FINALLY GOT MY ORDERS TO GERMANY! As soon as I got them through email, I went over to the Air Force base (Fairchild) here and scheduled  HHG (House Hold Goods) to be picked up and figured out where to take my Honda to have it shipped over to Germany as well. Then, scheduled Tubbles and I's flight and got tickets to Germany!
  I thought it would be smooth sailing! Boy, was I wrong! It was the WORST trip I have ever made! Its a long story but I wont leave you in the dark and at least give you the short version along with a few pictures! SO, got the HHG picked up and on its way to Germany.. Everything was set. So When the day finally came, I had Tubbles in her carrier and suitcase all ready to go, said goodbye to my Mom and started our drive to Seattle from Spokane!
Ready to hit the road
Tubbles in the window of the the hotel we stayed at on our way to Seattle
   Finally made it to Seattle and found a motel right out side of Ft Lewis because I wanted to see the post since I have never been. Got everything dropped off and Tubbles out of her cage so she can roam around, eat something, use the restroom and just relax in general!
  Went and got to the front gate of Lewis-McCord and was notified by a rude gate guard that a Military ID wasn't enough to get on post and I needed to sign in! (every other post/base I have been to only required a quick look at the ID card). So I went and signed in to see Ft Lewis! LOVE IT!
  Got back to the motel room which was in Lakewood by the way, a little town out side of Ft Lewis that spoke no English.. only Spanish! It was so hard to find puppy training pads (for Tubbles cage for the plane) and there wasn't a Walmart to be found!
  So the next day I started off for my search to the Military POV shipping center! Took me two hours and a good cry to finally find it! Right when I thought I was completely lost, in the middle of nowhere, with no map or not know the first thing to do... there it was, it literally came out of nowhere.. I just looked up in mid sob and said thank you Lord, I knew that was you.
   Got the Honda shipped off and Tubbles and I took a cab with a really 'colorful' driver to the Seattle (SeaTac) Airport. That is a whole story by it self! But anyways got on the plane and off to Colorado I went!
  Got there and only had a few hour layover. Called my Mom to give her an update then pretty much right back on the plane to Baltimore.
   Got to Baltimore and was facing a 24 hour layover! 24 HOURS!!! I needed sleep and a shower, Tubbles needed to get out of her cage, I was just so upset! We literally spent 24 hours in a female public bathroom with her roaming around.. I had her puppy training pad out for her to use the bathroom on, even though she never did! I didn't sleep through the whole 24 hours.. But I made sure Tubbles did and that she was comfortable! She was my number one priority!
Coming on to Fort Lewis

Tubbles sleeping on my suitcase in the bathroom.
 When I had about 7 hours left until I started boarding the plane, I got a call from my cousin Nicole saying that she is going to come visit me at the Airport with my Aunt (her Mom) and her son Lucas and my other cousin Melissa's new born daughter Scarlet! They lived about an hour or so away from the Airport. I was overwhelmed with excitement! I was finally not going to be alone and better yet, see family that I haven't seen in a year or more and got to meet the newest addition, Scarlet, my sweet baby cousin! She is such a beautiful baby girl!
Aunt V, Scarlet, and Lucas

Cousin Nicole

Scarlet and I
 When it was time to finally time to board the plane, I went to the Military part of the Airport, not sure of the exact name, but it was where I was taking my Space A flight to Ramstein Airforce Base, Germany! Got up to the desk to check in and all of a sudden, I was being notified that I didn't have funding to take this flight. At this point I was so emotional and wore out that I was starting to cry but held it back as much as possible! I was on the other side of the United States by myself with Tubbles and now being told I couldn't get on the plane because there was no funding (The Army didn't pay for it). The man explained to me that the orders I had was not the orders I needed... He went on to say that he will do me a favor and write the flight cost off and let me board the plane. I was so relived, words were beyond my relief! I later went on to lose my Military ID card after I went through security at the Airport..just to add on to everything that has already happened!
   They required Tubbles to be under the plane which was really hard on me.. I didn't give her any tranquilizers which I wished I did after I got in Germany because she looked so bad! Her tongue was hanging out of her mouth and she couldn't even stand. I was so emotional, of course I started crying at this too! But I was so relived we were finally in Germany and no more plane rides.. Just a couple hour drive then we would be able to get some sleep!'
   Kyle, Steve's friend from the unit and Beth , Kyles wife came and got me from Ramstein. Without them I would have no way to get to Schweinfurt, I also had to look up and say a big thank you to the Lord for them, they helped me so much! They are such great people! They came and got me, put up with me and Tubbles, took me to the BX to get a kitty box for Tubbles and so much more.
  Apparently the unit had no idea I was coming, didn't have housing set up for me, and didn't have any transportation for me to get from Ramstein to Schweinfurt.. I can't thank Kyle and Beth enough! They let me stay at their home for about a week or so until I got my new ID card, got housing all figured out and finally got the right orders and real authorization to be there.  I found out I really didn't have the right orders and the Air Force base I went to shouldn't of gave me tickets yet because I really wasn't authorized yet! It was such a mess!
  I finally got a house on post and it was just in time for Stephens deployment homecoming!
Just got to Germany and trying to let tubbles use the kitty box

First glimpse of Germany.

Almost to our new home!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 Memories PART 2

 Steve was deployed from 2009-2010 with the 173rd Airborne Combat Team as an Airborne Infantryman (11B1PAPA). Operation Enduring Freedom X. He was a Saw Gunner with C-Troop until he was injured and was put on Head Quarters Troop for the rest of Deployment.
C troop. Steve is on the bottom, second to the left.

On patrol

Steve with a few of his brothers in arms.

Joshua Tweet and Steve

Steve is top right holding his saw. Yep, I love my Saw Gunner.

Oh, how I missed that man.
 Life in Spokane
As said in Part one, I moved here after my father passed away and a few months after Stephen deployed to Afghanistan. I lived in a few motels, at my Moms house, and also had a small studio apartment at one time.
Tubbles sleeping in my Mom's boyfriends bean bag.
Waiting for Daddy to get on Skype

Had to send a Tuff box to Afghanistan, taped in a slide show of pictures for him.

Shelli and I. We met online through a Military wives page. She is a Airforce spouse at Fairchild AFB. She became a great friend of mine.

Tubbles with her boyfiend, a job-less, deadbeat stray. Yes, I fed him when he came over.

Dreaming of daddy

Tubbles had this bundle of joy on Superbowl Sunday at my Moms house.

Stephen had flowers sent to me for my 20th birthday and also bought me the Honda I have now!
well, more like said I could buy one since he was in Afghanistan at the time.

The card that was attached
My new Honda
The last thing my Dad ever gave me. Stays in my car at all times.
R&R Leave
 Stephen came home to me in Spokane for his two week Rest and Relaxation leave! It had been a whole year since we seen each other.. almost to the day because he came home just time for our 1 year of marriage anniversary!

Tubbles and Daddy seeing each other for the first time in a year

So nice to finally be in his arms

The Tattoo 
Got it done at Bullet Proof in Spokane about a month or two after R&R was over! 

In my happy place.. trying to not think of how much pain I was in.
All done!! My husbands name!