Today was actually a pretty interesting training day. SPC B and I drew weapons at 0700 (meaning we got them from the arms room – we didn’t draw a picture of them. . .) and then didn’t have to be at training until 0930. So we went to Burger King for breakfast, but they didn’t open until 0800 so we sat in the parking lot for 1/2 an hour. At least I had a book with me. We took turns going in to get our food since someone had to stay with the weapons. After we ate, we headed out to where the training was taking place and got all settled in. Turned out we didn’t even need our weapons or gear today, but at least we had them in case we would have needed them. Today’s training was Pre-Marksman Instruction, or PMI. It was actually really interesting, and I learned quite a few things that will hopefully help me qualify tomorrow. I haven’t done a full PMI like this in a long time, and it really helped going back to the basics of marksmanship training. It was all Power Point slides, but we did get a handout with all the information on it as well. The instructor is really nice, and he said he’d help us out tomorrow if we needed it.

We got done a little after 1:30 and went and turned our weapons back in to the arms room and called it a day. I came home and got supper going in the crockpot and then took a nice shower. I just relaxed a little, oh, and I folded a bunch of laundry that has been clean for a few days. When Ryan and Robbie came home, Robbie and I had lots of fun playing while Ryan went and took a shower. Robbie had some coins and was having fun putting them into a bowl Free Image Hosting at and then dumping them out again. Free Image Hosting at

Dinner turned out not-so-good – I made chicken and cheesy rice that I’ve done before, but the rice didn’t have enough liquid or something and was a little crunchy. The chicken was really good, so at least we had something. Ryan did eat some of the rice, but so much for having leftovers (and this is REALLY good warmed up). One of these days I’m going to figure out how to cook rice so it’s not crunchy. . . After we got cleaned up from supper, we had a lot of fun playing. We took turns giving Robbie horsey rides around the house and we wrestled on the floor and just had lots of little kid fun!

Once Robbie was in bed, I got the beginning of the month bills paid and then sat down with my stitching and TV for a little while. Off to bed because tomorrow starts even earlier than today did.

Overnight low: 61
Today’s high: 84

I didn’t, but I wish I had, but I’m kind of glad now that I didn’t

I was supposed to run a 5K race this morning with my friend/co-worker Erin. Well, I got a text message from her about 2 this morning that something had come up and she wouldn’t be able to make it. Of course, I didn’t get the message until about 5 minutes before 6 when my alarm was going to go off. When I saw the message, I decided I wasn’t going to go if she couldn’t be there and I turned my alarm off. It did feel great to sleep in and I feel a little better allergy-wise. Well, about 9, I got another text message from E and she was at the race – her plans had changed and she decided to go afterall. I really wish I had gone so I could have run with her (although she’s lots faster than me and I would have been pushing Robbie in the jogging stroller so I would have been slower than normal).

So Robbie and I walked down and got donuts for breakfast and then walked all over that end of town. We came home so I could get a check ready to mail to pay for some cross stitch stuff that came today and then we walked to the Post Office and walked all over that end of town. It was a lot of fun, and Robbie pointed out lots of trees and doggies. He even saluted a couple of flags that people had flying from their houses! When we got home, he started playing with his toys and I got a cake in the oven. Then we had macaroni & cheese for lunch. We played some more before naptime. While he was sleeping, I got the house cleaned, the cake decorated, and got caught up on the newspapers.

We had a small get together with the Rear-Detachment guys from the band. Ryan grilled burgers and brats, and everyone brought something to share. It was a lot of fun, and they all liked our house. Erin said she felt bad all day because of telling me she wouldn’t be at the race and then she was there. But she told me about the course, and it wasn’t flat like the race brochure had said. She said there were some pretty good hills, so I guess maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t go. It would have been a tough run pushing Robbie. After everyone was there, I brought out Ryan’s birthday cake but we didn’t sing. Ryan said it was ok that we didn’t. Here’s a picture of the cake I made him: Free Image Hosting at

Once everyone left and we got the kitchen and dining room cleaned up and Robbie up to bed, it sure was nice to sit down and relax. I stitched for about an hour and now I’m ready to hit the hay.

Today’s low: 72 (current temp)
Today’s high: 81

Training – Day 3

Today was a day of many more briefings. However, we weren’t in the same place as we were before and we could actually have food or drinks in there with us and it was much easier to stay awake. Of course, the briefings were more interesting as well. We got a little bit longer for lunch than on Monday, so I went to Burger King to get some food. I ate my burger and fries in the car and then was carrying my vanilla shake in with me for the afternoon. Well, you know how cups “sweat” when the beverage is cold and the air is warm? My cup slipped right out of my hand just as I got to the door to go in. So there was a big puddle of vanilla shake and I had to go throw my cup out. Luckily it was raining, so it got washed away fairly quickly, but still. I was looking forward to that shake and I had only taken a couple of sips out of it. So I went and found the vending machine to get a Mountain Dew. That was sold out and I ended up settling for Diet Pepsi. During the afternoon, we had some videos to watch instead of all Power Point presentations, so that was nice, and they were interesting as well. Oh, and don’t ask what the briefings were about because I’m not at liberty to talk about them.

I stopped at Walmart to get some yarn for an upcoming crochet project and then I went and got Robbie from daycare. We had lots of fun – drew on the sidewalk with chalk, chased each other around our tree, and just played. We had chicken nuggets and string cheese for supper. Ryan had to work until 8, so that’s where he was. I even got a good couple of hours of stitching in tonight!

Today’s low: 70 (current temp)
Today’s high: 79

I hate allergies

No training again today, but I did have to work. We had two Troop Return Ceremonies to play at. The first one was this morning, and there were maybe 100 soldiers. Then we had the rest of the day off until the evening one. I chatted with a couple of friends, cleaned up the house a little, found a babysitter for Robbie for a couple hours this evening (my work overlapped with Ryan’s work and he couldn’t get off early because he’s started his training as a delivery driver and they were out delivering a load). Oh, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from post and got milk, juice, ketchup, and a few other things. I walked to the post office in the early afternoon to mail a couple of things.

And through all of this, I was sneezing and blowing my nose and being miserable. My allergies are BAD right now. You think maybe mowing the lawn yesterday has something to do with it? But at least the lawn looks better now. I must have gone through a box of Kleenex today. Maybe I should take out stock. . . LOL

I picked Robbie up about 4:15 from daycare and his babysitter was here when we got home. A lady came and picked up a bunch of our boxes – she’s moving in a couple of weeks (I put them on Freecycle). Robbie did really well with Michelle (the babysitter) and didn’t even cry when I left. Of course, they were watching a Bob the Builder DVD, but he did say “Bye-bye Mommy” and give me kisses. The evening ceremony was a big one again – 200 or so soldiers and the gym was packed with family members and friends.

When I got home, Robbie was still up (just 7:30, so not that late) and we got him all tucked into bed and then I took a shower which helped a little. I’ve already taken my Benydryl, and I’m eating some supper. Off to bed early for me tonight. . .

Overnight low: 72
Today’s high: 86

What a Day (Training – Day 2)

The day did not start off good. Robbie pulled his diaper down below what it’s supposed to cover in the front and his bed was wet and his diaper was dry. So we had to strip his bed to wash the sheets, pillows, etc. He didn’t like that too much and fought Ryan getting dressed. I went up and helped and we finally got him dressed. So they get going to daycare/work and I chatted with my Dad to find out from Mom the best way to wash a pillow. I got my answer and went out to the garage to start the laundry. I get back inside and I’m not hearing the water running, so I thought maybe a circuit had popped and down to the basement I go. While I’m down there, looking at the circuit box with nothing wrong, the light goes out. The power is out. Great. . . So I call home to find out what to do with the washer – Mom said to turn it off and leave the lid open, so that’s what I did. It was then that I realized that I have an electric garage door opener and I have no idea how to override it. So I call Ryan to find that out, and then I was able to get the garage door open. I ate my breakfast (luckily we’re on city water, so I still had water!) and got ready to leave. I was thinking “Well, this day can’t get any worse and my training will be great.” I back out of the garage, get out and shut the garage door, get back in and go down the driveway. No sooner had I turned onto the street and the sky opened up and it just poured. Ok, so my day *could* get worse and my training was not going to be fun.

By the time I actually got to the training site, the rain had stopped and it actually turned out to be a beautiful day. So that was a good thing! After a mass accountability formation, the E-6’s and above were called out, and we went and did our mounted land navigation (mounted on vehicles, not horses). I’ve never done it before, but it was really easy. The 5 of us Staff Sergeants took turns riding in the passenger seat of the LMTV (the same truck I drove in Korea) and the rest of us rode in the back. The points were already plotted on the map, so basically we just had to follow the roads and tell the driver how to get to the next point. And we each only had to find one point. After we were done with that, we went back to the other training site where everyone else was, and we did the 6 stations there. We had classes/hands-on training with Calling in Direct Fire, First Aid, Communications, Weapons, Individual Movement Techniques, and NBC. Some of the instructors just talked to us briefly and signed our sheets and some of them actually went through their whole spiel. We were able to finish everything today, and we’ll get tomorrow off – the junior soldiers still have to do their land nav.

Once I was done, I went and picked Robbie up from daycare and we came home and played and watched Bob the Builder until Ryan got home. Robbie picked out the Bob DVD, took it out of the case, opened the DVD player, took the DVD that was in there out, and put his DVD in. All I had to do was close the drawer and push play. He’s a smart kid. I ordered pizza for supper since I hadn’t planned anything since I was supposed to be on a Troop Return Ceremony that I ended up not being on. It was really good and we have a couple of pieces left over.

Then we got cleaned up and Robbie went to bed – on his clean sheets. Let’s hope they stay that way tonight. I took a very relaxing shower and then sat and stitched. It was a good ending to a day that didn’t start off too good. Of course, something’s not right with our internet since the power went out and I think I’m going to have to call the cable company tomorrow. Web pages, if they open at all, are VERY SLOW. GRRR – I’m going to have a gazillion e-mails and message board posts when it gets fixed. Any thoughts on this?

Off to bed now. . .

Overnight low: 66
Today’s high: 84

Training – Day 1

It was a tired morning this morning after not much sleep last night. And then of course, it was “sit through a TON of mostly boring briefings” day. . . They couldn’t have picked a better day. And we couldn’t have food or beverages in the room we were in so no coffee or Mtn. Dew. But I made it through all the briefings – maybe a dozen of them – on all kinds of subjects from cultural stuff to health to legal stuff to Equal Opportunity/Sexual Harassment, etc. There were actually a few interesting ones, so it wasn’t a total waste of a day, but it sure was a long day. We started at 0930 and finally broke for lunch at 1255 (we had a few 5 minute breaks through there) and then back from 1330 to 1630.

After stopping for gas, I got Robbie from day care and then we went to the grocery store to get a few things for tomorrow – need to have lunch/food that we can put in our cargo pockets since we’ll be doing hands-on stuff in the field. We played for a while after we got home and then I started the sloppy joes for supper. Ryan had to work until 6 and had to run an errand on the way home, so we ate kind of late – about 6:45. Then we watched a Bob the Builder cartoon we had Tivo’ed before bedtime. Robbie snuggled with me for most of it. Once he was in bed, it was time for TV and stitching. Here’s a picture of one of my projects I’m working on. It’s by designer Lizzie Kate, and there’s a different chart for each month. I decided to do them all on one piece of fabric, and I have 10 months done now. Free Image Hosting at

Overnight low: 59
Today’s high: 81

Long Day

We went to church this morning and then shopping after – Sam’s Club, Lowe’s, and Herb Philipson’s. Then we came home and Robbie went up for a nap. I went back out to do the grocery shopping for the week. I kind of missed having Ryan along – he usually bags the groceries when we check out. But that’s ok – I managed, and he got to start watching the NASCAR race. I joined him when I got home, and I got some stitching done.

Dinner was ready when we got Robbie up from his nap – I did a roast in the crockpot with taters and carrots and onion and garlic. It was really good. I love my crockpot – just put the food in, turn it on, and forget about it until suppertime! Then we walked to the park to play for a while. There were a lot of kids there, including some big kids (middle school age) that didn’t really need to be there. Of course, there were not nearly enough parents around for the number of kids there, but what else is new? Then we thought we’d walk down to the little bakery that also has ice cream, but they’re closed on Sunday. So we walked home a different way and we had popsicles. After Robbie went to bed, we finished watching the race (we Tivo’ed it) and I stitched more.

I had formation at 11:30 for another troop return ceremony. This was the biggest one I’ve played – probably 300-500 soldiers. The waiting family members applauded the band LOUDLY during our pre-music. It was almost like we were playing a concert! The ceremony itself was short and now I’m home and heading to bed. Gotta get up early to go start my training tomorrow (later today).

A date with my son!

Happy Birthday Ryan!

Ryan had to work today, so Robbie and I went on a date for breakfast this morning. We walked up to the local donut shop and had long johns and chocolate milk. The donuts were good and my compnay was wonderful! All the older people (am I the only young person in Carthage that likes donuts for breakfast?) in the shop commented on how good an eater Robbie was. When we were done eating, we had a bit of time to kill before Robbie’s 10:00 hair appointment, so we walked to the railroad tracks and then came back on the other side of the road. We stopped in the Dodge dealership and I discovered that they do have a service department here, so I made an appointment for my van’s oil change. Then we went for Robbie’s haircut and he did really well except he didn’t want to wear the cape so he had hair all over his shirt. But that was ok. Then we came home and played and ate lunch and he went down for a nap around 1.

While he napped, I actually just sat down and relaxed and stitched. That was a nice change from always doing. When Robbie got up, we played some more and Rick helped me fix my computer (thanks!) until Ryan came home. Then we went to the Lewis County Fair – about 1/2 hour away. We walked around and looked at everything and got drizzled on a little (it rained pretty much all day). There wasn’t much cross stitch at all, but a decent number of crocheted & knitted items. We looked at all the animals – they actually had horses! Robbie loved seeing all the “moos” close up, and of course, the baas and oinks and ba-ba-ba’s (chickens) too. We had hotdogs for supper and then came home.

Off to bed now so we can get up for church in the morning.

Today’s low: 61 (current temp)
Today’s high: 68 (and rain all day)


I was off again today and Ryan let me sleep in. Robbie did come climb up on our bed and gave me a hug before he went to “school” and that was nice! I finally got up about 9:30 with plans for another productive day. But it turned out to be one of *those* days. . . I chatted with some friends and my Dad this morning, and then I walked to the Post Office and then down to our local Farmers Market that they hold every Friday. Today was the first time I’ve been able to go. There wasn’t much there, but I think the threat of rain may have kept some of the farmers home. There were some crafts there as well – one lady had really pretty crocheted potholders. I bought some new white potatoes and new red potatoes, an onion, a clove of garlic, and some carrots from one lady (all for our crock pot roast later in the week, except the red potatoes were for tonight), some raspberries and a loaf of really yummy Maple Oatmeal bread from a guy, and some PEAS from another lady. Then I walked home (I had brought my backpack so didn’t have to carry all this). I ate quite a few of the peas before I even got everything put away when I got home. I haven’t had fresh peas for a LONG time and boy were they good!!

The rest of the day was pretty much a bust. I didn’t even stitch like I had planned. I don’t really remember what I did – probably spent too much time on my computer. Oh well. Then I got Robbie and we came home and played outside until Ryan got home from work, and then Robbie helped Ryan get the grill going and they grilled pork chops. I boiled the red potatoes and got everything else ready – warmed up a few slices of the bread. We had a really nice dinner again – and I had more peas. LOL

I did get some stitching done after Robbie went to bed, and I finished a project I almost finished last month but I ran out of one color of floss. It’s a monthly series, and when I finished September, I went right on to October.

Today’s low: 68 (current temp)
Today’s high: 79