Friday, June 30, 2006

230 Years of Independence

I love the Fourth of July. I love the fireworks, the grilling, all the flags and patriotic decorations. But my favorite thing about this holiday is that it doesn't matter what religion you are, where you stand politically, or how you think about the current conflict...if you are an American citizen you celebrate!

There is something special about being in a military town for July 4th. It's already a bit more patriotic than your average town, but everyone's yard seems a little tidier, flags are flown so proudly (often with a yellow ribbon), almost the entire base has a long weekend (called a 96), and the fireworks are incredible. I mean, who can do better fireworks than the military? They blow stuff up for a living, but for this day, they do it for entertainment only!

There will be a very important person absent from our celebrations this year, which gives this holiday even more meaning for me. For 230 years, our military has protected our country and it's citizens, giving us a wonderful place to live, be free, and express our thoughts. America is not without it's faults, but that's what so great...we can freely say that! I will be missing Ian a lot when Jack and I are watching the fireworks (with Ian's older sister)...but am grateful for his service, and the service of all the past and present Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers. Their service has preserved our freedoms. Thank you, Ian, and all you brave men and women.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Boxes of Love

I love sending care packages to Ian, it's fun to load up a box with goodies, messages, and pictures then send it across the world to my Sweetie. When Ian was in Iraq, I sent a package that included a bunch of pudding in a tube, kind of like a Freezee-Pop. When the box got to Ian, the pudding was cold from being frozen on the plane. He said the cold pudding lasted about 20 minutes. Not because it melted in the oven-temperature heat, but because it was COLD pudding! Ian and any Marine within smelling distance gobbled it right up!

I remember when I was shopping for that care package, I saw the pudding and thought, "Pudding in a tube...hmmm...I think Ian might like that." Who knew it would arrive cold and be such a hit? After that, I've tried to get a little creative with the packages...once I sent him decorations from a birthday party of a friend's daughter. Ian hung the decorations (pink streamers and all) on his tent and took a picture. I'm pretty sure that he took them down right away, but he got to be there for the party! Now with the Daddy Doll, he won't miss a single second!

Need ideas for a care package?
  • Beef Jerky (or Turkey Jerky...any flavor is fine)
  • Peanuts/Mixed Nuts
  • Trail Mix
  • Chips in a tall can (like Pringles)
  • Twizzlers
  • Other snack food that can tolerate a bit of heat in shipping
  • Paper back books (sci-fi, military, Tom Clancy type (he's read all of Tom's books), Terry Brooks)...Note: these don't need to be new, old ones lying around the house are fine
  • Puzzle books with crosswords, Sudoku, etc.
  • Any other goodies that you think are fun!

Sometimes I'll send small toys or games, silly stuff! Something that can entertain him for a bit! Don't worry about sending too much or too little. The guys share their care packages, especially with guys who don't get many. If you send it, it will be used...or eaten!

Friday, June 16, 2006

My Sleeping Child

When we got Jack's referral pictures, he was asleep in them. That is how I saw him for the 3 months from the time we got the referral until we met him. For those 3 months I wondered what his eyes looked like...can you see a smile in them before it starts? Do they hide a secret?

The first few days we had Jack in Korea, he slept a lot. Which was probably good since Ian and I were brand new parents. We would sit by his crib and watch him sleep, and Jack would sleep in the same position as his referral picture, with his tiny hand half curled up.

Jack has been home for just over a year, and I know that Jack's eyes do smile, all the time! And there is a bit of mischief in them too. But whenever he is sleeping, it reminds me of those 2 pictures. That's when I know it's real...he is really my son, my sleeping child.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Daddy Doll

Even though he isn't home, Ian is with us wherever we go!
In this picture he was with us on the Huckleberry Railroad at Crossroads Village in Michigan. As you can tell, Ian was wearing the correct cammies for the terrain. We all had a great ride! The Train Conductor even took a picture with Ian too, and wanted me to pass on a message to Ian, "Thanks for serving, and come home safely!"
We will be taking "mini-Ian" on all of our adventures...he'll always be with us!
To get your own Daddy Doll, visit

Monday, June 05, 2006

Traveling with a Toddler

Whoever invented the DVD player is a genius. Whoever invented DVD players for the car is a genius with kids. There is no way that this trip to Michigan would have been possible with out it. I know my parents would drive me and my brother on long car trips and we did fine without the DVD player, but I am sure by the time we arrived, my parents wanted to pull out all their hair. Technology is so great.