As requested. . . Wii Mario Kart is a very easy game to play, and has some nice dummy-proof features. Elijah has even played it and likes the scene that goes through a farm and has cows crossing the road. I, of course, like the beach/ocean scene. Good clean family fun it seems – well-clad characters and animals as options for the children to be (Elijah loves the “turtle” don’t ask me what his name is.) I’m sure Jeremy, Ryan, Vince, Josh or some other more experienced Mario player will comment and inform you of the turtle’s name.
The other day Elijah passed a little gas and I said, “oh, excuse you,” to which he replied, “I burped,” reaching back behind himself. I’m not correcting that one – let him think it’s a burp until another little boy corrects him.
I am using Jeremy’s laptop as my keyboard on my computer dries out after Merry practiced dumping (her latest favorite activity) a glass of cold water all over it. We’ll see what happens.
Tonight I am trying to get myself a little organized for some formal schooling with the children. I am realizing that Merry wants to do everything Elijah does and is parroting so many things, so I am going to take advantage of that. She is showing some signs of being ready for some organized activities (she is emptying things and sorting them and setting them out according to different categories, all on her own) and Elijah LOVES to teach her things, so I may try to tap into that.
I found a neat website that I am browsing tonight, for those of you who are having fun preparing for homeschool preschool, here it is: http://www.theteacherscafe.com/Teacher-Directory/Preschool_Games.php
I’ve been duly chided. Jeremy says it’s been 9 days since I’ve posted about the children or us over here in the US. I guess he thinks it’s cheating to post stuff about him and his videos and keep you all updated on him . . .go figure! I guess he doesn’t think it’s as interesting as we are.
My list for today included going to the the post office to mail a few packages, which is a field trip in itself, one trip to a Game Stop (yes, Adina went to a video game store!!) and a stop at the arena near us to get GOOD SEATS (got to love the military discounts!) for Disney on Ice for our family for the 16th of NOVEMBER. . . our whole family of 5 will go for $31.50 (and I didn’t purchase the cheapest tickets either!) I am praying Jeremy will be home, and it looks like that may very well happen! I was so excited to buy something that had a date on it for AFTER his return potentially!
Hardly do I ever have 100% success at all my errands, but we were blessed with that today. Most surprising was the Game Stop visit – I was actually able to purchase Mario Kart for Wii, which has been out of stock EVERYWHERE since the early summer when I started looking for it. Jeremy asked me to purchase that with his birthday money from his Grandma, and practice it while he was gone so that I would perhaps be close to a competitive level to play with him when he returns (he is being kind. . .even after months of practice, it may still only take him 3 minutes to beat me, but I guess that’s better than the 30 seconds it usually takes me to lose a video game against him.)
So, I find out they have some at the Game Stop down the road, and I get there and purchase the second to the last one they have; I get in the van and explain to Elijah and Merry that we finally got Dadda his game for his birthday; as we drive away, Elijah says, “I want to see ‘da game for Dadda, Momma.” So I hand it to him in the bag, packaged up, he opens the bag (I can hear this, I’m driving out of the parking lot) and says “I’ll show it to Mimi. . . WOW, look at ‘dat, what a nice game!” (LOTS OF DRAMA in his voice) I chuckle to myself as he has no idea that it isn’t a new version of “HiHO Cherry-O” or something like that. He continues in the back, “Look, Mimi, you’re really gonna’ like ‘dat game, it’s nice.” I laugh even more as I realize that Elijah is more like his daddy than we realize sometimes. . . doing with Merry what Jeremy has already done with me. . .try to make me think I will like playing this “nice” video game, talking it up and showing me how amazing it is. . .
So. . .the children are in bed, and I’m going to take a stab at this and hope that in Elijah’s words, I’m “. . .really gonna’ like ‘dat game!”
Here are some interesting videos Jeremy shot on some recent missions. This is public footage, kinda’ cool that we get to see his work only two or three days after he shot the footage! This is the good stuff FOX or CNN or NBC won’t ever show you. . . I love the humanitarian/Iraqi-American cooperation view we get to see! You may have to be patient – they take a little to load. I’m going to try to get some photo links up for his partner’s portfolio (which have some photos of him in them of course!)
I just wanted to give everyone a quick update and post a couple of photos. I am settled in at my new location at a Forward Operating Base in Iraq, and have had the opportunity to get a few missions under my belt. With recent events in the country of Georgia, Georgian forces have pulled out of this location and have returned to their country. I’ve been able to document that as well as the Iraqis in the city of Al-Kut along the Tigris River, the cradle of civilization.
Here I am with a member of the Iraqi media.
Me interviewing a Georgian officer.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Jeremy is trying to get internet access at his new location (if you want to send a letter, email me or comment with your email and I will send you his address – can’t post it here I don’t think.) In the meantime there is also a flu going around the FOB (Forward Operating Base) so he was put on quarters. Everything you can possibly have as a symptom for the flu HE HAS! You know Jeremy’s sick when he’s only eaten a few crackers!
Elijah woke up this morning and said he wanted to go to the store where the giraffes, and lots of animals were. I said, “you mean the zoo?” He said yes and proceeded to list off to Merry all the animals we were going to see today. We don’t even have a real zoo here in Charleston. . .but he has been set on it all morning. I tried to see if I could find a petting zoo somewhere cheaper than the plantation at $25 a pop! I couldn’t, so I was able to convince them that the pet store would be just as fun. They liked the idea, and so we went. Saturday morning makes the pet store swarm with dog people out shopping . . . so we had a really good time, and they also loved to watch the grooming stations where the dogs were getting “hair cuts.”
On the way out of there, we spied a Target and Elijah asked to go there, so we went there and got popcorn, a beef hot dog and lemonade because that’s what daddy always does with them (minus the hot dog, but it was lunch time, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone.) It seems that Jeremy has taken on some much healthier eating habits since he’s been gone, and, evidenced by our lunch today, I have regressed.
Merry has taken to waving at people everywhere we go. She makes everyone smile, it is so adorable! The Target we went to was in a shopping mall, and I spied one of my favorite stores to window shop in right near the Target, so I let the children loose to run in the mall with me. They were pretty well-behaved until I let Merry’s hand go to look at something right next to the window display. . .and I hear a squeal of glee from both children. I turn to see Merry giggling at Elijah on the other side of the glass IN the FRONT WINDOW DISPLAY under the manikins. She was way cuter than the manikins, so it was pretty funny. Elijah thought it was hilarious that she was in there with all the ladies!
This morning in the stroller on the way home from the park, Elijah starts “reading” the water bottle to Merry sitting next to him. He follows the rows of words on the label and says, “This says, Dad-dy loves Mer-ry (slowly like he’s sounding the words out!) Daddy loves Elijah. Mommy loves Dadda. He ride on airplane to Iraq for work.”
This is the first time he pretended to be reading words (this is the next step for him in learning to read), following them with his finger like I do. It was the most precious memory made . . . what a great “first read” with phenomenal content! Who knew you could get that off a water bottle label?
Filed under: Elijah
Yesterday at the sprinkler park, Elijah was having a difficult time obeying, so after several warnings and “time to think” sitting on the side, I told him “I’ve shown you lots of grace and given you many chances to choose to obey, but now we have to go home and be disciplined, because you keep disobeying Mommy.” We start getting ready to go and he looks up and me and says, “I want some grapes now.” Try to explain the difference between grace and grapes to a 3 year old!
Filed under: Elijah, Friends, Jeremy, Merry, Pictures | Tags: children missing daddy, coping military deployment, family separation military
Jeremy says I need to post something new – his is getting stale or something like that. I sometimes am so hesitant to post a new blog after his because I love pulling up my blog and seeing his post first. It is amazing to me that he can be so far away and still post on the same page as me!
There are so many things that have changed since Jeremy left for training in February. . . we got to see him for a few days in April, but I thought it might be fun for us to have a picture review of all the things he can look forward to discovering or experiencing new when he returns. . .
Us, plus one more. . .and the children bigger and more grown up than ever! This picture taken at a church party today – the children are SO tired. . .and Mommy is so happy about that! Lots of daddies and friends there to wear them out for me!
Merry Anna in a big girl bed now!
Elijah the photographer; here he said, “you sit down Momma, I take picture of my brother.” The second picture is of Daddy on Skype with us – the highlight of our months apart! If you look closely on the left bottom corner of the picture, in Jeremy’s palm, you can see the small screen of Elijah taking the picture of Jeremy!
Elijah the Chef (I call him Remi). This concoction was made while I was preoccupied in the living room and he said “I’m cooking Momma,” which up to that point had meant he was playing in the sink with a pot and spoon. When I checked on him a few minutes later, the empty containers next to my salad bowl revealed the recipe he announced as dinner “I make dinner for you and Mimi, Momma, IT’S YUMMY! We eat it later.” For those of you interested, here is the recipe:
Elijah’s First Specialty Dinner Entree:
2/3 bottle of Juicy Juice, Fruit Punch Flavor
4 ounces of Italian dressing
A touch of maple syrup
3 Pringles chips, regular flavor, crushed and sprinkled on top
Water to taste
I complimented him on helping me out, but told him that from now on he would have to cook with Mommy.
Elijah potty-trained AND dressing himself. This was one of our first days and he got on a pair of Merry’s capris and told me that they didn’t fit her anymore, but they fit him. He couldn’t get them up over his underwear really. . .which was progress in itself (that he was wearing any!) Notice the backwards shirt. We fixed this, but I had to get a picture of what he accomplished with NO help from me! I also think it is worth noticing that he sort of coordinates with what Merry was dressed in that morning as well!
Merry in cloth diapers
Merry smiling on command
Elijah with a wild imagination. Everything is alive and real now to Elijah, is has been so entertaining to watch. Here you see Merry and Elijah with these two camels Jeremy got for them – a Daddy and a baby camel that they are loving and hugging. They take them with them everywhere and Elijah insists each time that they “need to go,” wherever we are going. Curious George was helping him clean up a puzzle book the other day. I had asked Elijah to clean it up and I noticed him “helping” George clean up – he was holding his paw and making him pick up each piece and put it in the book. He complimented him “Good job, George” and when he was done, gave him a high five. When I asked if I could give George a high five for helping him, he was very happy to. Every stuffed animal and doll in the house is referred to as “George’s friends” and two baby dolls have now been named “Jeremiah” and “Christian” the names he has picked out for his baby brother (from a list presented by mommy of course) I caught him telling Merry a few days ago when she got out of her big girl bed, “See Mimi, you obey, like Jeremiah, see, he not get up, he sleeping in his bed.” He woke me up the other morning, having stripped his baby down to no clothes, saying “Mommy, he have wet diaper. He need his diaper changed and new pj’s.” Of course I say, “oh, okay, why don’t you just wrap him in a blanket and put him back to sleep, Mommy is still sleeping and it’s not time to wake up yet.” He looks at me all confused. I know he’s thinking, great parenting mommy, is that what you would do to us if we woke up wet, just wrap us up, no diaper or clothes – in only a blanket and put us back in bed?
More babies in our church! When Jeremy left for training we only knew of one mom pregnant: Stephanie. This picture is of all the pregnant women now in our church in order from left to right of most recent to furthest along. Meredith is 6 weeks, Carrie is 7 weeks, Jana is 17 weeks, I’m 27 weeks and Stephanie (the only one we knew was pregnant) just had Katarina a few weeks ago.
And of course we had to photograph the responsible parties. . . notice the space left for Jeremy. . . Husbands here match the mommies above, Josh, Steven, Joe (Jeremy to be photoshopped in later) and Richard.
For those of you who don’t know, I went on a mission to Afghanistan to conduct a detainee release. The trip was a success and the detainee will be released after several years in U.S. custody. Afghanistan was comparatively cool, 80 degrees instead of 120 (here in Iraq). The photo above is of me and the security team, medic, and interpreter who composed the detail to Afghanistan. If you notice I am wearing an Army uniform, something we Air Force combat cameraman do on missions.
On the way home I spent a couple of days in the country of Qatar, weapon free, enjoying the amenities that are more prevalent at an Air Force deployed location such as pool, movie theater, various fast food establishments, library, and the like. I know all of those things sound fairly normal to most Americans, but they are to be appreciated when you do without them. Several Air Force personnel in Qatar kept coming up to me with a baffled look on their face as to why I was wearing an Army uniform with Air Force rank and markings on it – something generally you only see from Air Force Special Forces that go out with the Army. I’ve never been a ‘cool’ guy, but that was about as close as I got. One guy actually asked me if I was Special Forces. When I said, “No, I’m Combat Camera”, he said, “Oh … well, that’s just as cool”.
I also got to pass over United Arab Emirates and see the city of Dubai, from the air, and the island resort atolls off of its coast. Even though I am stationed at a C-17 base at home, I finally got to ride one on the way back from Afghanistan. It was a good trip. I have a few days of down time before I head to my next location here in country.
Had to post these pictures my sister sent that she took of the children a few months ago