Trip to Michigan and Robbie’s Birthday Party!

Thursday we left early and headed west to Michigan. We drove through Canada, and going through customs was uneventful both ways. Rick met us at Mary Maxim in Port Huron and we had lots of fun looking through all their tent sale stuff and in the store as well. We all bought a few things. Then we went to Pizza Hut for supper and that was really good. Mom and Dad got to Rick’s about an hour and a half or so after we got home. It sure was good to see them again!!

Friday we went to the surplus store at Michigan State University. There was some stuff there we could have used for our house, but it wouldn’t have fit in the van to get it home. On our way back to Rick’s house, we stopped at the post office, Rick’s bank, and his place of work so his coworkers could all see Robbie. After naptime and when Mom and Dad had got back from Dad’s doctor’s appointment, we went to Hobby Lobby for some stuff and then to eat at Steak N’ Shake and then to Meijer for some groceries and other stuff. I baked a cake and some cupcakes after Robbie went to bed.

Saturday morning was Rick’s annual neighborhood yard sale, so we walked around to all of them. Lots of stuff to see, and we even bought some. I think I’m the only person who didn’t get anything. When we got home we ate lunch and then while Robbie napped, I decorated Robbie’s cake and Dad helped with the cupcakes. Mom helped with the edge around the cake. Free Image Hosting at It took almost 2 1/2 hours to finish, but it was worth it to see Robbie’s face when he saw it after his nap!! Almost right at 4 people started arriving for Robbie’s party – Rick invited coworkers, church people, and neighbors. It was a lot of fun and he got a lot of nice presents.

Sunday morning was church and then brunch/lunch at a buffet place that stopped serving breakfast way too early for Sundays, but we all managed to get some before they took it away. We also stopped at Toys R Us to exchange the one present that Robbie got that was a duplicate of something he already had. Then it was time to head home, back through Canada. Again, no problems going through customs either way! We got home a little after 10 and boy were we tired.

Today was a day of packing and preparing and mailing and all kinds of stuff. We had formation this morning and then it was pretty much whatever you needed to take care of. I leave tomorrow, so there won’t be a journal for a while – until I get settled in Afghanistan.

Here are more pictures from Robbie’s party:
Ryan and I gave him BIG stuffed Bob the Builder and Wendy dolls: Free Image Hosting at
Here’s the sweater that Gramma made: Free Image Hosting at
And here are 3 videos of Robbie playing during his party:

Have a great couple of weeks until I see you again!

Shot again and company for dinner

After formation this morning I painted the bottoms of my 2 duffel bags – desert sand base and black stencils with unit, name, and last 4 of my SSN. Then I went and turned in my paperwork for my claims on damaged stuff from our move and then to get my 2nd Anthrax shot. When I got back to the band hall, I did some admin work and then went home for the day. I vacuumed up the cat clumps (Callie doesn’t shed in the manner most cats do – she leaves small clumps of fur) and straightened up a little bit. I did computer stuff. I took a much-needed 45 minute nap and then a nice relaxing shower to wake up. Then I read a couple of newspapers and crocheted a coaster. I got the dishwasher emptied and the table set. And then my guys got home from work and school. Robbie sure was dirty – they played in the sandbox at school today. They played outside more while I was getting supper going.

We had spaghetti, and one of my friends/coworkers came over for supper. He helped me start packing and making sure I was taking the right stuff and nothing extra. Most of my gear is packed – I just need to work on uniforms and personal items now. It was nice having an extra pair of hands and a knowlegeable person helping me. Before he left we had Apple Crisp and ice cream for dessert. Robbie showed off what a big boy he is by helping clear the table after dessert – he put the spoons on the counter and threw the plates (paper) in the garbage. My friend was quite impressed!

After a quick bath for my very dirty little boy, we tucked him into bed (about an hour and a half past his bedtime) and it was time to relax finally. I crocheted a little bit more, and now it’s computer stuff and then bed.

Overnight low: 59
Today’s high: 79

Mommy & Robbie Day again!

We slept in this morning again – no work for me and no school for Robbie. We had a pretty good morning other than that he didn’t want his diaper changed. After breakfast and playing for a while, we went to the post office and then out to post to get a battery and a memory card for my new camera. When we got home, we had peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and chips and fruit for lunch and then he went upstairs for a nap. I finally got to play with my camera, and I can take little videos with it! I took one of Callie just to try it out, and then when Robbie got up from his nap, I took some of him – one of him getting up, and then we went outside to play so I got him playing with his ball.

Supper was steak kebabs that Ryan grilled. They turned out pretty good, but the potatoes weren’t done and I finished them in the microwave. The steak was good and my mushrooms were really YUMMY!! We had green and red peppers and onions as well. After supper is the 3rd of the Robbie videos and he was dancing and being silly. Once he went to bed, I did a few computer things and then stitched some.

Here’s the link for the videos: Just click on each one, and then push the play button.

Overnight low: 55
Today’s high: 75

New Camera!

We had a great day today! Church was really good, and Robbie was a very good boy. He even “sang” during the times we were singing. After church we went to Walmart to get some fabric and a few other things. Then we headed out to post and the PX. Ryan got a hair cut and then we ate lunch at the food court and then went and got our new digital camera. My old one that I got in Korea in 2003 has died. When you turn it on, it just makes a horrible clicking sound and the lens won’t come out. So for much less than what I paid for my old one and a much better camera, we got a Kodak EasyShare C330. AND we got 25% off because the software and battery pack were missing from the box. No big deal – you can get new batteries and the software can be downloaded from the Kodak website. I haven’t been able to try it yet though, since I don’t have batteries for it, but my wonderful brother has ordered some rechargeable ones for me. I think I’ll buy one set so I can use it before this weekend when we go home.

Once we got home, it was naptime, and I took some time and finally cleaned out my van. I filled up a whole trash bag, and Robbie’s toys are all neat in a little basket, and it looks much better in there now. I do still need to vacuum it out, but I’ll get to that this week sometime. Then I came in and stitched for a little while to relax. Oh, I did some laundry this afternoon, too.

For supper we drove back into Watertown so we could go to Applebees, but there was a 1/2 hour wait, and it was already almost 6:30. So we went to Wendy’s instead, and Ryan tried the new vanilla frosty’s that they have. Robbie shared it with him, and I had a regular chocolate one. Then it was home for bedtime and my weekly phone call home to my parents. Ryan even got to chat with them for a little while as I needed to run upstairs and look for some cross stitch fabric for Mom before I forgot. I enjoy my weekly phone calls home!

Off to bed for me now. . .

Today’s low: 59 (current temp)
Today’s high: 73 (and rain)

Stitching Friends!

I got up early this morning and made cinnamon streusel muffins for my guys. I also made coffee for me and Ryan – our first pot of coffee in our new house. LOL Then we left for just outside of Rochester, about 2 1/2 hours away. Some of my stitching friends from one of the message boards I post on got together at a hotel this weekend, and it was so wonderful getting to meet them. Two of the 6 ladies I’ve met before, the other 4 were just as fun! Ryan and Robbie came along because they wanted to meet my guys as well (especially Robbie). We talked for a while and did show-and-tell with our stitching pieces we had with us. I got lots of nice compliments on mine. And then we went to lunch and had lots of good food and more talking! They all commented on how well-behaved Robbie was. After we ate, we headed back home and stopped for ice cream once we got back to Watertown. We had some coupons for free sundaes that would expire tomorrow, so that was our supper.

We played for a while when we got home – Robbie and I played the piano and Ryan played a computer game. It was fun! Then Robbie went to bed and I stitched more.

Today’s low: 66 (current temp)
Today’s high: 73 (and rain)

A day with my son!

I had the day off work today and Robbie’s daycare was closed, so we had a nice day together. We had cocoa puffs for breakfast about 9 and then we headed into Watertown to go to Michaels. I got some yarn for prayer shawls that I’ll be working on while I’m in Afghanistan. And I got some plastic beads and some felt and some wiggly eyes – craft project stuff for Daddy and Robbie while I’m gone. And we got another flag pole and holder so we can put out our Jeff Gordon flag finally. On our way home, we stopped at McDonald’s for lunch!

Once we got home it was almost naptime, so we went and played in his room for a while and I change his diaper and then he climbed into bed without me prompting him to. I got some of my stuff together that I need to pack, and did some work in the yard, and stitched some. When Robbie woke up, we went out and played/worked in the yard more. He even “shoveled” some of the wood chips from one side to the other. Of course, most of them ended up on the sidewalk, but we still had fun. And then I got a box and we picked up some of the rocks that have appeared. When Ryan got home, we loaded the wood (see the pics from yesterday) into Ryan’s truck and then I made tacos for supper. We played some more, and then it was time for “ba”. Robbie loves taking baths! Then it was bedtime for him and more stitching for me.

It was a good day!

Overnight low: 61
Today’s high: 86

Here ends the change of command season

One, two, three – all done! Today was our last change of command ceremony for the year. It was for the 1st Brigade Combat Team – probably 3000+ soldiers (all the ones that just got back from a year in Iraq). It was a pretty long ceremony and the sun sure was beating down on us. We all have “ceremonial tans” now – big stripe across our foreheads where our berets sit. It was a good ceremony nonetheless, and the slight breeze helped with the heat. Why they didn’t start the ceremony at 8 instead of 10 is beyond me, but oh well. We made it through it. Once we were done with that, we cleaned up the rehearsal hall and admin building and then we were done for the day.

Once I got home, I started working on our mess in our front yard. The tree stump “removal” guys came yesterday evening, and this is what they left us: Free Image Hosting at and from another angle: Free Image Hosting at And that’s after I shoveled some – filled in the hole where the stump was and put some of it under the pine tree on the other side of the yard. But what are we supposed to do with the stump? They left it in the middle of the sidewalk, and it took me and Ryan both to barely get it to where it is in the picture.

I did the shoveling and stuff while still in uniform (I figured, it needed to be washed anyway, so why dirty more clothes) and before I ate lunch. So I was hungry and tired and I’ll finish up tomorrow. I want to get it done as much as I can before Saturday because it’s supposed to rain and that pile will become one not pretty mess in my front yard. Well, ok, it’s already not pretty, but rain would make it worse.

After a nice relaxing shower, I walked up to the post office to mail a couple of packages, and then I came home to stitch for a while before my guys got home from work & school. When they got home, we walked downtown to a little restaurant that we’ve been wanting to try. It was nice and the food was good, but the portion sizes (at least of the fries that Ryan got) were rather small. Then we walked through West Carthage on a side street and then back on the main street and then we stopped at our little ice cream place on the way home.

The rest of my evening was a typical put Robbie to bed, stitch, and watch TV kind of evening.

Overnight low: 55
Today’s high: 79

Change of Command #2

Today was just about like yesterday – bring Robbie to daycare at 8 (that’s when they eat breakfast, in case you were wondering), stitch in the parking lot at work until formation at 9. Get on the bus and go to the parade field. Perform change of command ceremony. Today’s group was a little bigger than yesterday, but not much. It was still pretty short, although the outgoing commander’s speech was a bit lengthy. Once we got back to the band hall, we were done for the day unless we had office work to do, which I didn’t. So I went home and had lunch and did computer stuff. I crocheted a little this afternoon and got 2 more pairs of flip flops done. I picked Robbie up from daycare early so he would have time to eat and then we headed out to post where we met Ryan to go to the Family Pre-Deployment Briefing. It was mandatory for the soldiers and strongly recommended for the spouses/family members. There were a lot of good handouts to take home and look at later, and I guess some good info put out. Lots of it we knew already. Robbie was pretty good through it – he had plenty of toys and his coloring book to keep him busy. Then it was home to bed for him, supper for me and Ryan, and then a little more crocheting time.

Here’s a picture of the cross stitch piece I finished yesterday: Free Image Hosting at

Overnight low: 59
Today’s high: 77

Still More Drill Band. . .Oh, wait. . . That was a ceremony!

Formation was at 9 again today, so I dropped Robbie off at 8 at daycare and went and stitched in the parking lot for a bit. We played a Change of Command ceremony this morning. It went really well and was fairly short. There was a nice breeze blowing as well, and for a little bit, I thought I was going to lose some of my music. But it hung on and stayed in my flip folder. After we got back to the band hall, there was some administrative stuff to take care of, but I didn’t have anything to do and my shop supervisor let me go home. I stopped for gas on my way home, and then had a nice chat with A again as I ate my lunch.

I took a nap this afternoon and then I stitched some. When Ryan let me know that he was on his way to get Robbie from daycare, I called and ordered pizza. It was delivered just before the guys got home and we had a nice supper. After supper we went outside for “bubba” – to blow bubbles! It was a lot of fun. We met our neighbor from across the street as well – he stopped by and chatted for a while. Seems like a nice guy.

Robbie took a quick bath before bed to wash off all the “bubba” and then once he was in bed, I stitched more and finished a project I’ve been working on! It’s called I Love Cats, and it’s actually for us. My digital camera has died, so I’ll take a picture tomorrow using the video camera. It doesn’t have a flash, so I need lots of light.

Overnight low: 57
Today’s high: 77

And still more drill band. . .

Yup – that’s what we did again this morning. Things are looking a lot better than they did last week, so I guess practice makes better! I brought Robbie to day care for 8 and then sat in the parking lot at work and stitched until our 9:00 formation. I’m enjoying this little bit of “me time” in the mornings! After drill band was done, I went back and had my smallpox site checked again because it had some green in the middle, such as an infection would have. But the lady that checked it said it looked “pretty” and that was the way it was supposed to look. It’s starting to scab over already, so I’m ahead of the 2-3 weeks “guesstimate” of when the scab would form. Of course, now that it’s starting to scab, it’ll probably start itching. . .

We were done for the day after drill band, so I stopped and did our grocery shopping for the week on my way home. Got the groceries put away and then just relaxed the afternoon away – chatted with A, stitched some, baked some brownies, and planned dinner. We had teryaki steak and teryaki flavored rice and fresh back out-of-a-can-in-the-fridge rolls. The steak was cooked in my electric frying pan in a mixture of teryaki sauce, chopped onion, and chopped garlic. The sauce was good. The rice was good. The steak was a little dry. But it was deemed a do-again meal, but I just need to work on the steak part. Hmm. . . I wonder how chicken would taste with my little concoction. . .

After Robbie was in bed, I stitched for a bit more and we watched a little bit of TV. But I’m tired, and I’m going to be early tonight.

Overnight low: 52
Today’s high: 77