Last Day in Michigan

Well, today was our last day in Michigan. After getting up and breakfast and checking e-mail and stuff, us “kids” went to Marquette. Dad was left at home. We went to the mall to the calendar store to get a few page-a-day calendars at 50% off, and then to Walmart. I needed some yarn and DMC floss and Ryan got a game and a CD with some of his Christmas money. Rick got a couple of things of tissue paper to use for wrapping next year. We stopped at McDonald’s for lunch and then went and visited mom at work. Robbie had fun running around in there and playing with the knobs on the stoves and everything. After we got home, Robbie went down for a nap and I did a load of laundry, stitched a little, and a few other things. Cousin Amanda stopped by for a little bit on her way to Marquette to her apartment. She had to say goodbye to us, and especially Robbie (she’s his Godmother). After she left, we left also to go to a housewarming party for a couple from our church up here. Their new home is beautiful! There was lots of good food and good company as well. We stayed until about 7 and then came home to get Robbie to bed and Dad lit the sauna for our last one before next summer. As always, it felt good! Now I’m up way too late as we’re leaving tomorrow and I need to be able to drive if Ryan gets too tired. Ok, off to bed now. . .

My Christmas present list (with pics)

Thank you to all my family for all the wonderful Christmas gifts I received. Here’s a picture of all my presents:
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Here’s what all I got:
The Best of Vanessa-Ann’s Cross Stitch Collection, Big Book of Scrap Crochet Projects, Scrap Happy Rugs, Pineapple Doilies, Cross-Stitch Pattern-a-Day calendar, The Toddler’s Busy Book, The Preschooler’s Busy Book, The Children’s Busy Book, Glass Wind Chime, Kitty Photo Holders, 3 Christmas Coffee Mugs, Baby Bib to stitch, Curling Iron/Hairbrush set, 4 skeins of Spiced Lilac Yarn-Bee Frosting yarn, Vanilla Caramel candle tin, 2 Vanilla Cookie candles, Size 10 Lilac Crochet Thread, Size 7 steel crochet hook, Church Candle, Hairdryer, Mini FM Radio with light, Coffee Flavoring – French Vanilla & Almond Amaretto, Travel pill case, Carabiner Light, Purple M&M’s, Robbie Feet, Metallic Prism Star Decoration, Lacy Cat Window decoration, Warm Vanilla Sugar travel size hand lotion, Cat Tapestry Bag, $25 gift card to Walmart, $20 gift card to Hobby Lobby, $10 gift card to Michael’s, Little Calendar for car, some money, Lottery Tickets (won $9), and a VIDEO CAMERA.

Everything is all packed up and ready to head back to GA with us when we leave on Wednesday.

This afternoon we all went outside and played in the snow and took turns pulling Robbie around in his new sled. Mom and I even built a snowman together – that sure was fun! Here are pictures of Robbie on his sled and of our snowman (remember to click to make them bigger):
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Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone! We had a great 2 days, with Christmas Eve being at Grandma & Grandpa’s last night and church. Robbie stayed awake all evening until midnight when we got home – he got a little sleepy after church while we were opening presents, but did really well.
Today we got up and had donut puffs that Mom made, opened our presents from Santa, went to church (Robbie and I stayed home though so he could take a nap), went to Aunt Pris & Uncle Gary’s for our family Christmas celebration. We ate a lot and opened presents. Robbie got a really cute Noah’s Ark rocking chair from the Kiviojas, and some books(!) and a singing/quacking duck from the Brunngraebers. He was really well-behaved and certainly ate his share of the food. Cousin Paul took us out to the barn to see the cows (Uncle Gary raises beef cattle) and that was fun. I think Robbie enjoyed them.
After we got home, Grandma & Grandpa and Aunt Carol came over to watch us open the rest of our presents. I got some really nice stuff from everyone in my family (I’ll post a comprehensive list in a day or so), but I think me and Ryan’s best gift was a video camera from Rick, Mom & Dad, and Carol & Wayne. Thanks so much for it!! Now we’ll be able to take video of Robbie, and that will be nice for me while I’m at school for 8 weeks and also for Mom & Dad and Grandma & Grandpa. Ryan’s working on getting everything all figured out and he’ll be in charge of that since I do most of the digital camera stuff.
I’m off to bed now – it will be nice to get to bed before midnight!

Overnight low: 28
Today’s high: 34
My question: Where did the winter cold temps go?


I’m having a great time relaxing at home and spending lots of time playing with Robbie! I’ve been staying up late and sleeping in – boy is it going to be hard to start getting up at 5:30 again in a week and a half when I have to go back to work. Yesterday Ryan went to Escanaba to help Dad deliver and setup some clocks. After Robbie’s nap and lunch (he did them backwards – it’s normally lunch and then nap), Rick and Robbie and I went over to Grandma Eleanore and Grandpa Bob’s to visit with them and Aunt Carol for a while. Robbie had a good time and got to play their organ while we were there:
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Then we came home and dropped Rick off and Robbie and I headed to Marquette to meet Mom to do a little bit of last minute shopping. I bought some yarn to make something for a friend and a few other Christmas presents. The best part was hanging out with mom and talking about all kinds of stuff. When we got home, we had roast for supper – I had put it in the crock pot earlier in the day, and it sure was yummy! We had potatoes and carrots with it. We had sauna, and after, I finally took out my stitching again now that all my Christmas presents are done! That sure was nice to have a needle in my hand again.

Today Robbie played so much that he took 2 naps. Ryan went to Marquette with Dad to do more clocks and Rick and I had fun playing with Robbie. He did sit down for a little while (about half hour) to watch his Bob the Builder Christmas video. I got more stitching done during his naps, and also read some of my 2+ weeks of newspapers that I’m behind. We had leftovers for supper – chili, turkey noodle soup, or sandwiches. I had a turkey sandwich. Robbie had a part of a sandwich and some chili. After supper we went to our local Catholic church where the youth group was doing a living Nativity. That was pretty neat. Robbie was most fascinated by the angels singing (girls’ choir dressed as angels). Santa and Mrs. Claus were there as well. Once we got home and got Robbie to bed, I stitched more – almost done with the project I started yesterday!

Overnight low: 19
Today’s high: 34

Home in Michigan!!

Well, I just realized it’s been almost a week since I last posted. Friday was a busy day – van into the shop for oil change, tire rotation, new front brakes, etc., and then a bunch of errands and packing and stuff to get ready to come north for leave. After Ryan got home from work, we finished getting everything ready to go and we left a little after 6. We stopped for dinner along the way and then got as far as Asheville, NC, where we stopped at a Motel 6 for the night.

Saturday was a long day in the car, but we made it to my brother Richard’s. We stayed there Saturday and Sunday nights. Sunday morning we went to church with Rick and then did some shopping afterwards. Robbie got new shoes with Bob the Builder on them, and also some boots and some slippers with Clifford the Big Red Dog on them. After his nap (during which I got some good stitching done), we went to Steak & Shake for dinner and then to the Jackson County Fairground where they had LOTS of Christmas lights to look at. There was a little train ride that we got to take, too. It was lots of fun.

Monday morning we stopped at Rick’s new Hobby Lobby to do a little shopping and then at his work so his coworkers could see Robbie again. Then we headed north to Mom & Dad’s. We got home about 6:30 and Mom got home from work/grocery shopping shortly after and we had subs for supper. It sure was good to be home again and relax and everything.

Tuesday Ryan and I went in the morning to run a few errands and then home to play with Robbie (he came on the errands with us). After lunch, he went down for a nap and I proceeded to work on Christmas presents. We got Robbie up a little after 3 so we could all go to the airport to see Aunt Carol as she got in from Florida. Grandma Ele and Grandpa Bob were there to pick her up. She was surprised to see all of us, but it was nice to see her again. Robbie had fun going down the slide in the kiddie play area while we were waiting. Once we got home, I finished getting supper ready (turkey noodle soup in the crockpot – I had to put the noodles in). When Mom got home from work we all ate the yummy soup. Rick got home about 7 and now everyone is here! We had sauna and that sure was nice again. I thinkt that’s what I miss most about being away from home, other than Mom and Dad, of course.

Day 7 and last for a while — And a Holiday Ball

No PT this morning! It was also civies day, so I got to sleep until 5:30 AND not have to put a uniform on. It was a good day. I’m the platoon sergeant for the next few days, so I got to conduct my in-ranks inspection this morning. Since it was drizzly and cold out, I only inspected 1 squad. After formation, we had to go to the graduation of one of the BNCOC Classes. It was pretty neat – I liked their video of all the stuff they had done. Then the rest of the day was our military briefings. There was a lot of neat topics – we had our choice of anything related to the military. I did mine on Army Band Auditions. I got a GO on it! Note: We are graded GO/NO-GO on most miltary tasks. When the last person had finished, we were pretty much done for the day. The soldiers living in the barracks had some stuff to do, but us off-post soldiers were done. I went to the PX to finish up my Christmas shopping as I had the Platoon Sergeant meeting with the Student First Sergeant at 4:30 again. I had to kill time somehow, so I decided to get one of the things from my list of things to do tomorrow done. Of course, I forgot 2 things so I’ll have to go back anyways, but it shouldn’t take me too long.

This evening was the Garrison Holiday Ball. Ryan and I went and childcare was provided! That was really nice – and we didn’t even have to pay. Phil and Kristin were there, too, as well as 1SG and the commander and his wife. It was pretty fun and there was good food. Once the dancing and stuff started, we talked for a bit more and then headed out to get Robbie home to bed. And now I’m on my way to bed because I have to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning.

Overnight low: 30
Today’s high: 45
Currently: 36

Brrrrr – Day 6

It was 31 degrees this morning at PT time. BRRRRR It was a nice short and easy PT session today, and I was actually HOME by 7!! I even got to see my guys off. That was a nice change from the past 2 days.
We started the morning off with the NCO Creed, as always, except we each had to get up in front of the class and recite it by ourselves. I got the loudest HOOAH when I was done – I didn’t miss anything! That’s an accomplishment for me for 2 reasons: 1) I have to really work at memorizing stuff and 2) I don’t like speaking in front of people. Then the rest of the day were more classes, but they were pretty fun. We students became the instructors! We were partnered up and each taught half of our assigned class. My partner and I went over our class at lunch and then gave it this afternoon. It was on Intelligence & Electronic Warfare. At the end of the afternoon, our Class Leader announced the new leadership that start tomorrow morning. I’m now the Platoon Sergeant, and I had to go to the Platoon Sergeant’s meeting with the Student 1SG. It wasn’t bad at all – just got information to put out to our platoons. I left at 4:45 and stopped and got Robbie on my way home. I had told Ryan to go straight home as he had been working in insulation and was in need of a shower. We ordered pizza for dinner as we had planned on going out to a Korean restaurant with another band couple, and that ended up not happening. We will reschedule our double date sometime after leave.
I’m off to bed now – it’s been a long day.

Overnight low: 30
Today’s high: 38
Currently: 36

Day 5 – Not a fun day. . .

We had PT this morning again, and did over 100 pushups and situps. Now I’m REALLY sore. The rest of the day was the same thing – more classes. I went to the Band Hall at lunch and got a chance to chat with some of my friends while I ate. I had started feeling yucky in the morning, and at lunch it came to fruition. Got sick, and felt a little better afterwards. Then when I got back to class, we always recite the NCO Creed, Soldiers Creed, and sing the Army Song before we take our seats. In the middle of the NCO Creed, the room started spinning and then closing in on me. By the end, I was holding onto my chair hoping I wouldn’t pass out. We have a medic in our class, and he came and helped me out of the room to get some fresh air. Once I sat down and got some fresh air I was feeling much better, but I’m still not feeling that great. Let’s hope I make it through PT tomorrow morning (I’m definitely going to be taking it easy). Ryan made mac & cheese for him and Robbie for dinner. I didn’t eat any because I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep it down. Robbie sure enjoyed it though! After they were done eating, we played in the living room until bedtime and after Robbie was asleep, I went and took a nice, long, HOT, shower. That helped my muscles a little, but now I’m getting stiff again. Time to go strech and get some zzzzz’s.

Overnight low: 32
Today’s high: 53
Currently: 37

Early Morning – Day 4

My alarm went off at 4:00 this morning in order for me to be on time for 5:30 PT formation. And what a PT session it was! We did probably 200+ pushups, 150+ situps, flutter kicks, sidestraddle hops (jumping jacks), overhead arm claps, and all kinds of other exercises. Then we went for a 1 mile run. It wasn’t too bad, really, but I’m going to need to stretch really good before I go to bed. The rest of the day was spent in the classroom again. We ran our Pushup Meter up to 475 for mistakes in the NCO Creed and Soldiers Creed, but due to the kindness of our SGL, he erased them all to start with a clean slate for tomorrow. However, it is now 75 pushups per mistake. We didn’t do too bad with the creeds before we left for the day – only one line missing in everything.
At lunch I went to the Courtyard for a band Hail & Farewell. Most of them were pretty surprised to see me there, but I figured I had the time so I might as well go say goodbye to some of my friends!

We had a fun evening at home – grilled cheese and fries for dinner, and then playtime!! We played catch for a while, and had a big tickle fest, and all kinds of fun! After he went to bed, I took out my crocheting and worked on one of my current projects.

Off to stretch and get some sleep now. . .

Overnight low: 34
Today’s high: 59