Thursday, May 31, 2012

Donovan's First Steps and Mason's First Cartwheels

Little Donovan is walking! Sort of. He takes two or three steps before he decides he's much faster crawling. Here are a few clips which we captured:

At teeball yesterday, Mason got a little distracted on the field. He was supposed to be running bases and ended up hanging around the infield, collecting rocks and doing this move I've never seen before.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mothers Day Weekend in Georgia

 Right to left: Mason, Tate, Alexis, Ella, Donovan, Megan, Becca
 We had a quick weekend trip to Georgia, where we got to see some of our favorite people. I miss my friends, it was great to hang out with them for a little while. Of course I didn't take many pictures. I never do when I visit because I get so distracted while catching up with all these people I rarely see. But here are a few I took of the boys. We got all dressed up to go to Spencer's sister's wedding reception, and then we couldn't find it. Lol. So I recorded how cute they looked instead.
Donovan stands really well on his own, walking is just around the corner!

Mason and D like to have races. I love watching them play.

This morning under the breakfast table. That's how Donovan greets people.

This was my mothers day present from Justin. He appreciates the value of brownie points. I'm the luckiest woman in the world.
Here's a peek at our dinner entertainment each night (sorry it's out of focus in the beginning)--

Saturday, May 12, 2012


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I thought I'd post some pictures of what life is like where I'm located.  I have to be careful about what I say because the Air Force is very serious about OPSEC here.  OPSEC is short for Operations Security.  The idea is to be somewhat generic about the details you give so that it's not easy to tell specifically where you are or what you're doing while deployed.

This is a picture of me the day I left Bolling AFB (13 Apr 12).  This was a long day because we left DC around 5pm.  My flight was supposed to leave at 2:00am on the 14th, but it was delayed until 5:00am.

This is my room.  As you can see, it was laundry day today.  I've got stuff hanging up drying.  It's too bad there's no clothes line outside.  I think everything would be dry in five minutes thanks to the 115 degree heat.  It's supposed to get even hotter over the next few weeks when the temperature goes to 120-130 and the humidity moves in.

This is the other side of my room.  We have four bunkbeds in the room, but only two of us are here right now... hopefully it'll stay that way.  My roommate works nights, so I'm usually getting ready for bed when he's leaving for work.  It's a nice arrangement.

My wall lockers... ready for inspection. :)  They have free dry cleaning here, so that's a definite plus... thank you Air Force.

This is my office where I spend countless hours handling America's business.  The walls are kind of blah, but the real action is on the other side of those monitors. :)

I work with three cutural advisors that help us coordinate with the Host Nation.  One of them was involved in the capture of Sadam Hussein.  He has a lot of cool pictures and stories to show/tell.  Here are some of the pictures he has hanging in his office.

This is one of the buildings on base where I spend a little time.

This is our fleet of GOVs that we get to drive around.  Thank goodness for the car ports.  They help the inside of the cars stay a little cooler.  One guy told me the fake plastic stitching on his steering wheel melted into the rest of the steering wheel last summer.  He recommended wetting a towel to cover the steering wheel while you drive, otherwise you will burn your hands.

This is the building my office is in.  It's nice to know I'm well protected.  You can't really see the building because it's surrounded by cement blocks called T walls.

One of the benefits of being here is that you have all the bottled water you can drink.  There are pallets like this one all over the base, so you always have access to water... hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  :)  The big water bladder in the background is an above ground fire hydrant system.  They're all over base too.

The building second from the right is where I live.  I'm on the second floor.  They call these buildings "dry stacks," because they have no internal plumbing.  We have to leave our rooms when we have to use the bathroom.  I don't really mind, but it's a little annoying when it's three in the morning and nature calls.  The people who have bathrooms in their rooms live in the "wet stacks".  The bathroom I use is the building in the foreground.  It's not a long walk... but still.

This is linen exchange.  You throw your old sheets here and pick up new ones inside.  This pile is actually small.  I've seen it so big that the blue containers are buried, and most of the sheets and blankets are on the ground covering the sidewalk.

These two buildings, called sprungs, house the base gym.

This is the basketball court.  They have three-on-three tournaments, and three point contests every once in a while.  You won't see a lot of people out here during the day.

This is the Thirsty Camel where folks like to sit down for a drink or two.  You're allowed two alcoholic beverages a day.  I can't say I've visited the place. ;)

The swimming pool.  I heard from the people who test the water that the bacteria count can get pretty high, so they use higher levels of bleach to compensate.

This is one of the many bunkers on base that we would use in the event we came under attack.  I hope I never have to use one of these.

This is the pavilion area where I usually Skype with Brooke and hang out with friends.  DJ Jazzy Jeff played here a few weeks ago... no Fresh Prince unfortunately.  What I saw of the show was a lot of fun.

A look down one of the main streets on base.  That's the movie theatre on the left.

There is very cool architecture off base.  Here is one example. 

My good friends Taha and Jerry.  We had a nice dinner at this brazilian steakhouse.  It's definitely nice to get off base every once in a while, even if it's only for an hour or two.

More cool architecture... I felt like I was in Gotham City.

Hopefully you have an idea of what my life is like here.  It's not bad, but I sure miss everyone back home... especially Brooke and my two little munchkins.  Hope all's well back in the USA.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Toy!

 We got one of these cool plasma bikes from all the Pampers points I've hoarded this last year. Mason loves it! It's technically my toy, so Mason will eventually have to share with his brother. I am  probably going to have to "own" most of the new toys that we get from now on. Mason is finally getting possessive (I lucked out with his delay in that!), so if something belongs to Momma, he has no say in whether or not he shares. :)

We went to a friend's house Monday night, and the boys loved all the "new" toys they found.

Leaving little brother in the dust.

Donovan loved this walker. He runs around behind it. I didn't get a good picture of him doing it, though.

Fun times in the back yard!

Sometimes it's better to not have all the detail in a picture...

I love this face.

We have some new additions in this house! Our front porch welcomed five little birds the other night. New ones kept popping their heads up as the day progressed.



Monday, May 7, 2012

Donovan's First word!

Watch "Donovan 7_May_2012" on YouTube

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Strawberries, Sleds, and Camping

 Mason and I took a trip with a friend to a local strawberry farm. His new friend, Tate, showed him the ropes on finding the perfect strawberry. I forget how big Mason is for his age until I see him with these other kids. Tate is a year and a half older than Mason. We have some yummy strawberries to use for freezer jam! Thanks, Mom, for teaching me how to make it!

Last night I went out with some friends, and while I was away, Grandpa set up a tent in the backyard and Grandma joined in for some s'mores on the grill. These boys apparently were loving every minute of it. I'm glad my mom took some video:

And I wanted to show yall how Donovan pushes our step ladder around. He's so strong and so close to walking. Yall get a view of his temper, as well. Once that ladder stops moving, that temper erupts.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Day In Our Life

 This is one of those posts for those a world away who may be interested in the little things. . .
Mason thought this head lamp looked a lot like my camera.

We did crafty stuff today.
 And a video I took during this chill time upstairs. Mason sings the ABCs to himself all day long. I tried to get it on camera, but that rarely actually happens. I got close today. I still don't know how to use my new camera, so some of my video is out of focus. If it hurts your eyes to see the blur, just close them and listen to him singing. It's still cute.

"Come on, Mason"... How often we hear this in one practice...but it's so cute when someone else is saying it!

He finally got in.
Safe! In the dirt! His favorite place to be.
And my boy is #1 in so many ways.
And here is a long video of teeball practice today. It's long. Only for those who wish they were at practice. Pardon the shaky hand, I was holding Donovan for most of the taping. Much trickier than I imagined. They run the bases again at the end, and Mason is hanging on to one of the three pine cones he collected during practice. I'm pretty sure finding those cones was the highlight of practice for him.