Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Adventures in Baby Wearing!

I am probably not your typical 17 year old! I have been through just about everything when it comes to taking care of a baby! I will probably have experienced it all by the time I'm a mommy, if I haven't already! I have gotten many wonderful experiences in my years of baby sitting! When I lived in St John, I got the wonderful chance to baby sit for 6 wonderful kids, whom I claim as my siblings and call their mom, "mom" She has been like a 2nd mom to me and I honestly don't know what I'd do without her! We have been through a lot together and I have gotten to watch "my siblings" grow up! Which is an amazing experience! I was there when Isaiah ( now 2) was born, and got to watch him grow from a tiny new born, to a very active, very ourney, but loving toddler! I even got to be their for the ultrasound when we found out that Miss Hannah was a girl!! Talk about an amazing experience! 
I have also gotten a wonderful education in Baby wearing!!
I have learned a lot and am still continuing to lean a lot!
It has saved the day MANY MANY times! My "other mom" has this very neat baby carrier called the Mei Tie, It is the coolest baby carrier EVER!. You can front carry either facing in or out,back carry ( my personal favorite for toddlers) and hip carry.
If you are looking for a comfortable, multiple ways to use, cute baby carrier, This is the one to use!!!
It is a very light carrier, so you just have the weight of the baby and is very convenient to take places, you can just throw it in either the diaper bag ( if you have a good size one) or the bottom of the stroller. Betty has made several of them, and having 2 of them at the home school conference last year made for a easier weekend. We could both have one and pretty much had either a toddler on our backs or a baby strapped to the front of us all weekend! She padded her straps so it didn't rub after a while like some carriers do!  It has saved the day MANY MANY TIMES!!!...Like when your toddler  is teething and fussy or just wants held, your able to have your baby close to you and you can still be hands free and able to get things done!

I have used it numerous places like,
Home school conference ( I'm sure I'll do it again a lot of this years 2)
The Zoo
Fine arts
Track meet
Just on walks around the house
Just being outside with the kiddo's/playing soccer with kiddo's
Just around the house
Vbs decorating
and lots of other places

As most of you know, I have a full time baby sitting job for 2 little girls, ages 5 and 18 months. Betty loaned me one of her mei tie for me to use with Lakyn when needed and it has come in VERY Handy MANY TIMES! There has been days when she has been in a wants to be held mood and I needed to get stuff done, I can back pack her and she is content being held and I'm able to get dishes done, play with Ryann, Fold laundry,  do laundry or just whatever needs done!
I have even been known to use it on days when she is over tired but wont go down, I'll front pack her and she is normally out within 10 to 15 minutes.
I used it last year at Fine arts, It allowed me to have her close and still have both free hands to keep hold on Ryann!
State testing last year when Ry wanted to be outside and lakyn wanted held, and different places like that!! I don't know what
I'd do without it!! I am definitely sold on it!!! 
I used it today and Lakyn was wanting to be held and I needed both hands free, and having her on your back makes it even more convenient because you don't have the bulkiness of having the carrier on your front! We have our annual fine arts coming up, and even though I'm not participating, bible bowl still serves lunch as a fundraiser so I'll probably more then likely back pack lakyn so I can have her right there with me and still able to work and have both hands free! The track meet is also coming up and when I'm not competing I'll probably back pack her some, easiest way to keep track of a active 18 mo and still have 2 hands free to keep tabs on an active 5 yo, that is always competing in the track meet! 
It has made trips like to walmart, target and places like that, SO much easier, especially when all the sickness was SO bad, I didn't have to worry so much about her touching something and then getting sick since she was strapped to my back the whole time!.
It has made trips to the ZOO, park..etc..so much easier and a whole lot more enjoyable! 

I'll more then likely have more to post about baby wearing in the future, but for now this is it!!..If you have any questions or concerns about baby wearing, please don't hesitate to ask! If I can't answer your question, I know someone who can! ;o)

Here are a few pictures of my times in Baby wearing 
                   Me with Isaiah last summer
        Me and Lakyn at the zoo! At this point she was grumpy,tired, hot and thirsty and not in the best mood! I'll try to get one of her smiling when shes in a better mood and repost it!
I'm going to post more pictures as they come available!

                      HAPPY BABY WEARING!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Our Journey through Ear tubes and tonselectamony Surgery

With kids you have to be prepared for anything.It seems that whenever kids are involved  there is NEVER a dull moment!, As most you know I'm the full time care- taker of 2 adorable little girls, ages 5 and 18 months! Like most kids , they both had been fighting colds/ear infections and anything else that's been going around during this what seems to be bad flu season.
 We have tried to keep them in and away from any bugs  but we cant keep them in a bubble and with both parents working and Ryann in preschool 3 mornings a week and Zach ( older brother) in full time school odds are they're  going to catch something because I'm sure between the 4 of them there constantly bringing stuff home! It has seemed to be an extra worse year for things like RSV and different  things like that.
All 3 kids are RSV babies and it seem like once you've had it your chances of getting sick are higher!
Both Girls have been sick a LOT this year and there for a while they were both constantly in and out of the doctors  office and Lakyn spent a good month to 2 months on antibiotics  just trying to get over sinus infection after sinus infection and ear infection after eat infection! I actually quite going to home school group because of her.  Neither Jami or I wanted her in the nursery  being exposed to other bugs, he even stopped bringing her to the nursery  at our church and I don't remember the last time that they have been there for class!
They'll come to worship but she's even nervous about that, which, I don't blame her!  She had been fighting with the ENT here in Garden about getting ear tubes for Lakyn and redoing  for Ryann, But he just kept refusing  saying it wasn't necessary! Jami ( who is a nurse) was about sick of fighting with him and we were both besides our selves after having sick kids for like the last 3 months, we knew something had be done! After about another month of fighting with the ENT here, she decided to try one in Lakin, who she had heard great things about. She really liked her and after just one appointment  the ENT  was like yeah they need ear tubes and Ryann needs her tonsils and adenoids out. 
She planned to have it all done on one day to just get it done and not drag it out any longer then it needed to be! We were both about sick of the whole mess anyway!
The Surgery was planned for sometime during that first week of March  ( whatever that first Tuesday was)
they went into surgery around 8:30 Tuesday morning. Jami texted  me around 11 or so to tell me both girls had made it outta surgery okay! Lakyn was doing great, Her's  was just Ear tubes and she breezed right through no problem! Ryann on the other hand was a different  story! Surgery went okay, but recovery was a little rough, She was really out of it and the pain medicine  they gave her made her REALLY SICK to her stomach, which, Jami told them it would but would they listen..No of course not. So within an hour after just getting her tonsils  and adenoids out and having pretty major throat surgery she was throwing up and coughing  REALLY BAD! I can't even imagine, my heart just cringed for her!
She texted me again around 3 or so to tell me that Lakyn had gone home with Grandpa and was doing great but sleeping a lot and they still didn't know if Ryann was going to get to come home since recovery was so rough! They ended up letting her come home but they told her had she not been a nurse they would of not released her. Jami was hoping to be able to go back to work Wednesday, but texted me Tuesday night saying that Ry was REALLY sick and not doing well at all, wouldn't eat and barely  would drink so she would go ahead and stay home with her that next day, Which I was glad to hear  she was, not because I didn't want them but because Ry needed her mommy right now!

I texted her Wed morning to see how she was, At this point she was doing okay...a little better anyway but still not that great!
we went and saw her wed afternoon for a little bit and I was not prepared for how bad she looked! It broke my heart to see her like that! When we got there, Jami brought her out for just a min but you could tell she was not up for company! She couldn't really talk and her face was still pretty swollen from surgery and her mouth was still VERY swollen and she just laid  there. Like I said it broke my heart! Pretty sure she was running a pretty good low grade at this point 2 she felt pretty warm when I kissed her before we left!
 They of course weren't at church, but I talked to her Grandma who said she was doing and acting a little better! she had really perked up that evening and even ate a little, and had some color again!!
Since she was doing a little better, Jami decided to try to go back to work Thursday!
Ry still didn't feel like going anywhere or getting dressed for that matter so I went over there Thursday morning and stayed with them all day! Ry was acting a little better and even got up for a little bit and played her DS  with me and we watched TV at the breakfast bar and she looked pretty good but still kinda swollen and pretty pale and I think I only heard like maybe MAYBE 10 words out of her all day!

I think it hurt to talk and she really didn't have a voice so that was interesting  trying to communicate with her LOL. She still really didn't want to drink or eat, what little she drank was me forcing her to every 20 mints or so and even then it was just a sip, 2 if  I  was lucky! LOL, and she pretty much refused to eat, I got like  3 bites of Popsicle down her, if that! That was about the extent of what she had all day!
Around 11 or so she started acting a little "off" She was sitting there at the breakfast bar and she all the sudden got really pale and just not acting quite right, It was almost like talking to a ghost when I would talk to her, She was looking at me but she wasn't looking at me! It was like she was looking right through me! Talk about a scary feeling! I made her go lay down, at first she refused, I made her take a drink which she kinda did and next thing I know she gets up and goes and lays down on Jami's bad on her own, since the baby was sleeping I went and laid down with her for a little bit,  I bet you she was out within 2 minutes of her head hitting that pillow! I laid with her a few more minutes, then the phone rang, It was Jami checking on Ryann
I told her what was going on and she had me check her temp, She was running around a 99 almost 100. We were both a little concerned about it and especially after I told her how she was acting!
She came home to check on her and after seeing her decided she needed to be checked out!
She made her appointment for around 2:30, She woke her up to tell her and this and at this point she was acting really "off", she sat up looked at Jami, grabbed the remote and started frantically pushing 45..45..45 but pointing it at the window, not the TV, her eyes were doing weird things to, then she just laid down and was pretty much out before her head hit the pillow again! Jami decided to go back to work tell her doctor app, I was just to watch her close and make sure nothing changed! The baby woke up and I fed and changed her and went and checked on Ry again! I woke her up and made her take a drink , pretty sure she doesn't remember any of this!  she went back to sleep and I played with the baby till a little b4 2:30 when I woke her back up and brushed her hair, made her drink. She just sat there, staring off into space, not really caring what I was doing. I was glad that Jami had made her an appointment! Daddy came and got her and I stayed with the baby! Around 4 or so I still hadn't heard from Jami and I was beside my self at this point. Grandpa came and got the baby and I went home! I went and ahead and texted Jami to so see what was going on and what they knew at this point, At this point they were waiting on labs..I told her to keep me posted!
Around 530 ish, she texted me saying that they were going to go ahead and admit Ryann for SEVERE dehydration! They were going to pump her full of fluids and watch her close and hopefully be released sometime the next day!!
At this point I was beside my self with worry and a little bit of an emotional basket case, it had been a long week and I was going on very little sleep between being back and fourth between their house and mine all week! I hated to hear she was getting admitted  but also wasn't that surprised after how bad she looked before her doctor appointment! I tried to keep my self occupied and try not to worry or let my self get stressed out ( easier said then done) We went up to the hospital around 8:15 or so! At this point she had been on IV's for about 4 hours and now and just in the last 30 minutes before we got there, she had kinda perked up and was looking and acting a LOT better! I couldn't believe the difference!!! I was like WOW! it was almost like relief and a weight had been lifted! She was sitting up, had some color again, was drinking on some slushy and even smiled, I hadn't got to see that smile for 2 LONG days and it was relief to see it again! She was talking a little bit but still not very much! Her cousins Cole and Dalana were there also! We didn't stay long because we didn't want to overwhelm her, but it did my heart good to see her doing so much better! We had one VERY dehydrated child and the IV's were making the world of difference!!!!

Jami of course stayed with her that night and Mr Jamie went and  stayed with the other 2 kids, since he had to take Zach to school the next morning, he had me come up to the house around 8:15 or so to take the baby off his hands so he could get Zach to school. I Got the baby fed and dressed and at this point I hadn't been home pretty much ALL week except to sleep lol so I took the baby over to my house for a little bit that morning. Around 11 or so Lakyn started getting sleepy and since the plan at this point was for Ry -Ry to get dismissed around noon or so I went and grabbed something quick for lunch and went back over their house and laid her down so I wouldn't have to wake her when I had to meet Jami over their anyway!
She ended up getting dismissed around 12:45 or so, and got back to the house around 1, it was like a completely different child that walked it! She was smiling and somewhat talking and had color again!!
She looked really good!. I finally got brave and looked in her mouth, Jami warned me it was bad lol
It looked better then it did 2 days ago but it was still REALLY swollen and had 2 black/redish spots were the tonsils had been, but it looked better!

Back the pain medicine issue, The kind they gave her had coating in it so it knocked her out cold! LOL
We noticed that she was like refusing to take her medicine  and wouldn't tell us when she was in pain.
We could tell she was in pain and didn't want to swallow or drink so her mouth had gotten really dry but she also had like this very thick mucus type gunk that she didn't want to swallow and had to force her to spit it out ( sounds gross I know, but this is what this poor girl was dealing with) we'll we figured out that there was 2 kinds of this medicine, one had alcohol, the other didn't, we'll come to find out the kind they gave her had the alcohol in it and it stung REALLY bad when she'd take it, therefore making her not want to take it and not telling us when she was in pain, so the pain would get way out of hand, which made her not want to drink or eat because of being in so much pain! It was a vicious cycle and had we found out about this sooner we could of got her the other stuff and wouldn't of had the major ordeal of the sever dehydration and hospital stay! Jami was a little ticked  ( which is to be expected after what they went through because of it)
Luckily they figured it out at the hospital and got her the other stuff, which is why she was doing SO much better Friday is because she was now willing to take her medicine , and drink and I even got 2 Popsicle down her, Still not near enough but MUCH improvement from the day before! It was still a fight to get her to drink and it was PUSH PUSH PUSH on my end but we had her drinking again!! She still didn't have much energy and laid down a lot and didn't really do a lot but it was just good to see her acting more her self!!
The following Monday she was back at school!!!! She was going nuts from being in the house pretty much all the last week, so Jami decided to let her try and go to school! She did great!, We made her lay down that afternoon though, Oh my word you would of thought the world was coming to an end LOL. She needed it though and you could tell she felt better when she got up!. She is now pretty much back to her old self and bouncing around like nothing ever happened! which is such a relief to see after the struggle we went through after surgery.

 This is just one of the many adventures I'm sure I'll go through during this journey of Baby sitting! I love every minute of it and can't wait to see what each week holds! I got an unexpected day off today and I"m trying to enjoy it, but the truth is I'm lost and unsettled when I don't have them! We have had them for for about a year now, and when you have them day, after day you kinda get attached!! It has been a great learning experience and I'm one of the few teens that will have probably seen it all before I become a mom my self,in fact  I'm pretty sure I have seen it all or pretty close to if it not!

I have done a lot of baby sitting in my 17 years of life and I have loved every min of it!!
I was the full time baby sitter to 6 amazing kids before we moved from St john and still am their baby sitter but I have become more then that to these kids, I am a big sister and I love that!

I cant wait so see what the future holds!!
Coloring with her cousin Cole

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Daddy My Soldier My Hero. My Adventures in being a Military Family!!

As most of you know we are a military Family! My Dad joined the National Guard about 12 years ago! And was in the Navy before that
I am a proud daughter of "my soldier" He is my hero!
Growing up in a military family I have probably been through more then your average teen has even imagined going through!
We have gone through a total of 2 deployments since the attack of the World Trade Centers. The first happened about a year after the attack, He got stationed at Fort Riley for about a year!
At the time we thought that was the hardest thing ever and in a way it was! However looking back now it wasn't your "true" deployment in the since of, He was home at least once a month if not more or we were up there!! Yes we missed him and yes it was hard, but we got to see him quite a bit! Which helped a lot and made the year go by a lot quicker!! One of things I remember most about this deployment was when us, My Grandparents, My aunt and her family all went down one weekend and surprised him for his Birthday! We got him good! He thought that we were going down to Colorado to see family, Mom had to tell him that because he had been planning on coming home that weekend so mom had to "kinda lie" to him from coming home! You can imagine his face when we all come walking into his Barrack! It was GREAT!!!! We had a blast that weekend! We did some sight seeing and different fun things like that, But mainly just enjoyed spending time as a family! We also celebrated my cousin Jessica's birthday that shares her birthday with her uncle Shannon! It was a very enjoyable weekend and it went WAY to fast!
It wasn't a horrible deployment but bad enough! We were very happy when this year was over and we were back together as a family once again!
It was a little bit of a struggle readjusting as a family but with God we made it through!

About a year or so later after getting home, He was ready for a job change and in Jan of 05 we made the move to St John.
When God first brought us this job we were confused and had no idea why in the world God was bringing us clear to St John out of all places!! We had good friends in Garden and were very happy there! Me and Michael probably struggled most with it! We had our good home school friends and we did NOT want to move! But we trusted God had a plan!!..It was an adjustment and the first few weeks were kinda rough and scary because we didn't know anybody..yet! Dad was enjoying his new job for the most part!...It was an adjustment for all of us!...They did have a small home school group and we got involved in that. That took some getting used to, us coming from a huge home school group that did stuff every week, along with a HUGE track meet, Soccer tournament,Fine arts, etc. Where as the one there was a lot smaller with only like 5 families or so. We only met like every other week  instead of every week, and we didn't do near the activities that we did in Garden! So that was a little bit of an adjustment but we were just happy to see they had one! 
Around May of 05 we received the news that Dad was getting deployed again, this time to Iraq! We didn't take that news very well but we knew with Gods help we would get through it!
In October of 05 dad started his training in Camp Shelby, Mississippi, that goodbye was a tough one. We wouldn't see him again tell that Christmas! That Christmas could not come fast enough! Those first few months were probably the hardest just because we didn't know anybody that well yet and we were still adjusting from the move! We hadn't sold our house in Garden yet. so there for a while we were back and fourth like every weekend trying to get the house sold, which kept our minds off the deployment! Before we knew it it was Christmas time!! It was so good to see him again!!!...and those ten days went WAY WAY WAY to fast! But it was also a little bit of an emotional ten days!..emotions that I hadn't dealt with like I should of been came out!! That was not fun being with the entire family! But we were all pretty emotional because we didn't know at this point when we'd get to see him again! That was one hard goodbye! But we kept our selves busy and tried to keep our minds off it best we could!! I got really close to an amazing family that I honestly don't know what I'd do without them! They kept me sane! I ended up having to live with them for about 6 weeks when we got a mold problem in our house and wasn't able to live there till we got it fixed! Let's just say we all became attached more then we were already! We also became good friends with a family from our church! We got CLOSE!...We were always doing stuff together whether it was a movie night or girls day or just hanging out! It was nice because her husband worked a lot so she was always free to do stuff! I don't think a weekend went by that we weren't at one of our houses!..between these 2 amazing families we were able to somewhat deal with the deployment and this very hard time! We also had an amazing church family in Stafford that was WOW!...AMAZING!!! They welcomed us with open arms and was just there and supported us big time through the whole ordeal!...I also started working at the same place dad worked before the deployment! Stephan's  ( dads boss) wife Tammy hired me to clean and do odd jobs around the shop and also cleaned her house part time! For the most part I enjoyed it and it helped keep my mind off off the deployment and gave me something to do when not doing School and when Betty wasn't using me! It was a good first job! In March of 06 we got to go to Mississippi to see dad one last time before he got shipped off to Iraq! It was a good trip! LONG but good! My grandparents came with us and we drove straight through! we were all so excited and anxious to see him that the drive seemed to go by fast or at least as fast as a 24 hour drive could go!..We drove it in 2 VERY LONG DAYS!!!..We were all so excited when we finally made it to Mississippi and didn't want to sit in a car for a long time! HA HA! It was so good to see him! 3 months is WAY to long to go without seeing your daddy LOL. We enjoyed our time in Mississippi and it went WAY TO FAST!!We did a lot of sight seeing and just enjoyed time as a family! They also had one HUGE send off for the 3000 plus guys that were getting deployed!
It was really neat!! Except for the fact it poured rain! LOL..But it was still neat!..never did pick out dad though LOL..kinda hard to when they all look and walk the same! LOL..If there is one thing I've learned through this It's to NEVER trust what the military tells you! They stood up there and told us one year from today we will have your guys home..uh huh..SURE!!..but more about that later!...That Goodbye was probably one of the hardest! Well they were all hard but this one was exceptionally hard just because we didn't know if and when we'd get to see him!..I hate to put that IF but there was always that's chance!...He ended up getting to come home for Christmas but we didn't know for sure if he would get to at the time! We got home and tried to readjust to our  "New Normal" It was a rough few weeks after getting home. Just the trying to readjust to everyday life and get back into the swing of things and dealing with missing him terribly! But we kept our selves busy and our minds off of it best we could!...That summer was a crazy one!..I cant remember everything for sure that happened but I remember it being a whirl wind...I'm pretty sure that summer I went and helped my "other Mom" at the TPA conference!..That was a great weekend!!! always an adventure but I LOVE IT!!...I also went to camp that summer ( of course) like usual it was an AMAZING week and it went WAY to fast!..but the more stuff to keep my mind occupied the better! before we knew it it Christmas time!!!! Since dad hadn't been home in over a year, for some odd reason we just wanted to be home so ALL of dads family came in and we had Christmas at our house!! It was one of the best Christmases ever!!!..Probably because we got our Daddy home but I just remember it being a great Christmas!!..The 2 weeks he was home went WAY TO FAST!!!! But this goodbye was a little easier because at this point he was going to be home for good that coming March! We were SOO ready to have him home and be together as a family again. We tried to keep our selves busy to help the time go by faster!!! 2007 was quite the year!!!...It started off being a rough year but got better!! As I mentioned earlier we thought Dad was coming home in March for good! we'll in January of 07 dad called to say he had received news that he was getting extended!.....let's just say that um..yeah...that news did not set well!! mom and I completely lost it! well She started crying when she was on the phone with him and this point I didn't know what was going on just that I knew she was talking to him and she was crying! Panic sets in and I loose it!!!! She gets off and phone and proceeds to tell us that he was getting extended! It was both Relief and total dread and disappointment washing through me! Relief in the since that it was just an extension because my first thought when she was on the phone was OH NO he had been hurt or something along those lines! So after having those kinds of thoughts running through you, an extension doesn't seem quite so bad but bad enough!! Friends and Family instantly stepped up and just overwhelmed us with their love and support!
Our amazing Church family put together a basket with lots of different things like, Movie tickets, candy,popcorn, a movie, restaurant certificates, money, ETC...Just to keep our spirits up and our minds occupied.It was amazing!! I know for a fact that if it wasn't for our amazing friends and family we would not of survived this deployment!!! They were a huge part of it!!! 
In May of 2007, we got some excitement...Our TV antenna went out so we had been without a TV for quite sometime. The weird part was we really didn't miss it except for the news and a few different other shows.This would of been one evening that having TV would of been helpful! Around 11 or so, all us kids had gone to bed! Mom was doing dishes when the phone rang. It was her good friend Ami wanting to know what we were doing, Mom was like well the kids are in bed and I'm finishing up dishes, Ami was like have you watched any weather? Mom was like No..Why? Ami was in Hutch and had just finished Races when they got word that a tornado ( ef5) had just taken out most of Greens burg and was headed for St John! Shes like get the kids and get in the basement NOW!!! Mom not sure what to think came and woke us kids  and we went to the basement. We had just barely gotten to the basement when the sirens started going off and power went out within seconds after that!..luckily mom had grabbed several flashlights and blankets and a radio that ran on batteries! We turned on the Radio just in time to hear them saying that yes it was headed straight for st john and that if you had not taken cover yet to take COVER NOW because it was a BIG ONE! We didn't know at the time that Greens burg really no longer existed!!...we at this point had gone into what we called the "safe" room in our basement that was half dirt and had no windows ( aka creepy room). Ami told mom to go ahead and take a mattress down with us, so Michael hauled one down! At this point it was raining and hailing REALLY HARD!! We climbed under a work bench type table that was nailed to the ground and had put the mattress over it so we were pretty secured if it were to hit! At this point we were convinced it was and it was just pretty much sitting there waiting for it to hit, talk about a scary feeling!! Moms phone started going off, Friends and family from here and in Colorado wondering if we were still alive and if we still had a house..At this point we did! It was big enough though that it made national TV and dad had seen something on TV clear over in Iraq and he had heard that green burg no longer existed. that it was headed for st john so he called Mom all in a panic, Mom then assured him that at this point we were fine and nothing major had hit yet!..It ended up being nothing but heavy rain and hail! We later found out that it had come half a mile within St john...2 CLOSE FOR COMFORT!!!! LOL...Macksville had taken a pretty hard hit and little surrounding towns had been hit also! There was damage up to half a mile out of town and then more on the other side of St John, How it missed us we don't know but I know that God had a major part of it, It was like he put his hand over St John so it came right up to it,picked up and dropped down again on the other side! See this and tell me there's not a God! LOL...It was a pretty scary night!..We got round 2 the next day!!..Nothing happened again but we ended up in the basement again, this time with Ami, Her 2 boys, and her dogs, plus all of our animals ( our lady bug, 2 cats and a litter of kittens) Talk about a house full! That was one memorable night! don't think I'll ever forget this weekend! It was quite scary! 

It again missed St John...We were VERY LUCKY!!!! That was an awful year for tornadoes and we spent more then one night in the basement! But it missed us every time!!....Because of so many tornado's that was an awful work summer for Michael and them in the way of irrigation systems..We had record number of systems down that summer! It was all Stephan and them could do to keep up!

Around the end of April we received the wonderful news that Dad was going to get to come home sooner then we thought!! At this point he would be home middle of June-first part of July!
We couldn't be more excited!!!!! June couldn't be here fast enough!!!! we tried to keep our selves occupied to help  the time go by faster!!!..We decided that we were going to have a come and go welcome home home thing for him!!..That kept us busy planning that!! But it was fun!!!..Ami was a huge part of that, Along with Betty! That is probably the most fun I've ever had planning something!!..It was a lot of work but TOTALLY worth it! Before we knew it June was here!!! YAY!!! lol they had a welcome home for all the guys in Pratt, Where they had bused all the guys in!
That was one of the best days ever! At this point we had not seen dad since Christmas, talk about 6 LONG MONTHS!!! LOL 
It was a pretty neat welcome home! They had the Governor speak and some one sing and different things like that! It was really neat! From what I remember anyway,  that day was kinda a whirl wind! LOL
We were so happy to have our daddy home!! 
We had the huge welcome home thing we were planning for him around the middle part of June!
It was a huge success! We had a pretty good turn out!
friends from Garden even got to come, which was AMAZING!!!!

It was a little overwhelming but over all a VERY GOOD DAY!!!
It was a little bit of an adjustment the first few weeks even months he was home, just trying to readjust to being back as a family and Dad was dealing with a lot of stuff both physically and mentally! The first few weeks were a little rough to be totally honest! but we made the most of it and just tried to enjoy each other and spend time together!! 
Around the first part of June we went on a family Vacation ( first one we'd ever really taken) Us kids had wanted to go somewhere like Disney world or something along those lines, but for some odd reason Dad, after spending 22 months in the sand, didn't feel like seeing more sand lol He wanted to go to the Mountains!! LOL. So we settled and spent about a week in Red River, New Mexico. It was an AMAZING WEEK!!!! We took my Grandparents Camper and camped the whole time which was a lot of fun! and cut down on hotel and food cost!
Since its a tourist town there was a lot to do, We did everything from hiking ( we did that several times ;o) and we also went horse back riding, That was a BLAST but also quite the adventure we went on the beginner trail thinking that it'd be easy right..WRONG! They took us up the side of the mountain! Mom was like if this is the beginner one I'd hate to see the advanced one! LOL. It was fun though!! Except for it started raining and hailing a tiny bit when we were about back! ( just glad it waited till we were about done lol) Being up in the high mountains it rained a lot!! I actually loved every min of it and that's one of the few times I actually felt good!! Something about that clean mountain air!..It was amazing!!! It just felt cleaner!! We actually didn't do a whole lot,It was just good to get away for a while and spend some much needed time as a family after being apart for 22 LONG months!! That week away went 2 fast! None of us were ready to go home yet! We actually spent most of that summer gone. We spent a majority of it in Colorado so Dad could spend time with his parents, and Sisters and their family!
We spent about another week in Colorado after we got back and about a week after that Mom and Dad wanted to get away for a while just themselves so they spent about 4 days at the Royal Gourge , In the Meantime I had camp and Michael had work, So we left the 2 younger ones with grandparents and we went home.
It was crazy trying to get everything around for camp but I managed to get it done in 1 very long day!!
Michael stayed with the Battens, and I stayed with Ami!
I went home Sunday morning and finished getting everything around for camp!
Ami being the amazing person she is took me down to camp!!
That was one of the best weeks ever!!!! CAMP is ALWAYS AMAZING!!
and like usual it went WAY TO FAST!!! But enough about that.

I cant say enough about our friends and family that were there and supported us through this whole 22 month LONG deployment! We could not of made it through without them!! They are all amazing!!! There is one very special lady ( you know who you are ;o) that was just amazing through the whole thing! She was there for me through the entire deployment weather it was a hug or just someone to talk to she was there!!!..and still continues to this day to be there! I honestly don't know what I'd do without her and I pray I never have to find out! This deployment would of been a hundred times harder had it not been for our amazing
group of supporters! 

Having someone your close to and can talk to about anything, Is VERY important if your going through something like this, trust me I know! It was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through! 
My hope in writing this is that I can offer advice and be there for anyone else that may be going through or getting ready to go through the same thing! Having someone that can truly understand and know what your going through can make it a lot easier and I never got that, But I hope I can offer to it someone else and be there for them!!!

As I write this, My Dad is away for drill weekend!
It's normally just for a weekend but this time we had an unusual 5 day drill in Fort Riley!
It's been a long 5 days and were all ready for him to be home!
Some of you might be thinking that after going through 2 deployments and living the military life for 12 years I should be used to it by now but the truth is you don't ever get used to it!
Yes you adjust and kinda get used to the "new normal" but its still extremely hard and just have to take one day at a time!!

Each deployment is just as hard as the first and my heart aches for the families of the soldiers that are on their 3rd and 4th tours over there! I cant even imagine!! I pray for them every day,that God will bring them back there families safe and sound and SOON!!!! 

I know there will be many more adventures being a military family, and there's a good chance we'll go through at least one more deployment before Dad retires, But I know with Gods help we can get through anything!!! In a way this last deployment has brought us closer as a family and made us realize how short life really is and we need to enjoy each and every minute we have together!!! We lost 22 months that we can't get back but instead of dwelling over that, But instead of dwelling over the past, we are just enjoying each and every minute we get together and not worry about the past or future that we have no control over, but just enjoy the now!
If you have any questions feel free to ask!! I'm happy to answer any questions you might have or at least do my best to do so!!
I hope that you have gotten at lest some good from this!

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!

God Bless!!!

Dad after the send off!

Friday, March 12, 2010