Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jon's Christmas

Jon's Christmas as told by Ashley.
I have learned one thing this year - - I can delegate. I came up with the brilliant idea of putting together a 4.25 Holiday Fun Run and then realized all the crazy details that go into putting one of these on. I first went to the always accurate internet as my source of knowledge and printed off a 10 page list of things to do to put together a race. After a quick glance I then went to a soldier in my battalion who in her former life helped put on big events and another soldier who in his former life helped put on runs. I then delegated most everything to them. I also delegated Ashley to get me a few essentials that can not be found over here (like 300 safety pins and 20 shirts for prizes). With "Santa's helpers" I was able to come up with a team of people and put on a race for over 100 soldiers December 25th. It was a nice distraction as we all missed our families on this day.
Why 4.25 miles you ask? Because I am part of the 4 Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25 Infantry Division otherwise known as the 4/25th.
Here are some pictures of the event - some runners came dressed up even!
The t-shirt design by our awesome friend at nwarddesigns
Runners lining up for the start of the race.

Down the straight away

I think the guy in the grey Army running suit with the Santa hat is Jon but I am not sure. I really got these pictures off of the facebook page from Sparta Lives but by the look of the stance it might be him. I know I should know my husband at a glance but give me a break it has been a long time and Army guys in uniform tend to look - WELL - uniform - what gives?

Back to Ashley:
Jon seemed glad to do the race and there were a few hiccups on race day but in general for his first race to put on he did awesome and he now appreciates a whole lot the details that go into making race day a great experience for all involved. He can't wait to come home and participate in his next race (and probably never be in charge of one again)!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Molly enjoyed her first Christmas. She got a ton of presents and tried for 5 days to open some of the presents and after hours of failed attempts she did pretty good playing with the boxes once I got all the paper off.
Christmas this year was a tad anticlimactic for me - while it was Molly's first Jon was not here to be apart of it. So really I just wanted it over with because that means we are one day closer to Jon coming home. Don't get me wrong I am thankful that we celebrate Jesus birth but I spent many hours pondering on the fact we give each other presents on his birthday. Is this what he would want us to do? If he came back today what would he think of the way we celebrate his birth? In the end I didn't want to be a scrouge (or cheapskate) so I did get some presents for others but was just not that into it this year.
I am anxiously awaiting New Year's though because that means we will finally be in 2010 which means JON COMES HOME!!! Some of the soldiers in the battalion get home in less than 2 weeks - Jon is more around 8 weeks - I can't wait to see them start coming home. I am waiting for the plane to arrive and getting to meet him and bring him home no matter what time (but it would be nice if it was between 7am-11pm). Now I just have to make sure the house is clean and shelves stocked - but I am sure anything is better than a plywood house with the same food everyday.
Now onto what everyone really wants to see: Molly

Christmas Eve - playing with the box as I put together the toy. See the video below to see how much she loves it:)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Molly and her friend - she is showing him how to sit on his knees and steal others toys.It's the grab and roll. Once you have the toy you must roll away from your friend so you don't have to share. Leave them with the rings (which as so last week).

Let me start by saying this was our 3rd attempt and on a previous attempt she fell back and brought the whole walker system down on her face. As of today she enjoys it a little more but prefers it in the non-walker state.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Molly is mobile

Molly has been doing the worm (her version of a crawl) and has now added pulling her self up and getting into all sorts of mischief. Below is pictorial evidence.

I knew things were too quiet in the study Sunday morning. I didn't even need to buy "Your baby can read" off the TV Molly is clearly advanced for her age and is reading all types of books.
We saw Santa and his reindeer. Pretty cool in Alaska they actually have the reindeer attached to the sled - I didn't want to wait in line to get her picture in his lap we did that inside out of the cold.

This is reason #15 why we usually wear cloth diapers. They are bulkier and help keep her pants on. She has wormed her way out of her pants b/c I had in her a disposable diaper which clearly don't hold the pants on for her.
First notice she is standing attempting to open her presents and Second the bruise on her head. If I were in 9th grade I could do a science fair project on the correlation of the number of bruises and the amount of time a child has conquered a new feat (such has being able to get up by them self). She has spent at least and hour on that one package and hasn't made any real progress Christmas day could be real fun for us all.
And last but not least - she doesn't get her picture taken often does she?? I said smile and this is what I got:)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

17 inches of snow in 48 hours

No doubt about it - we will be having a white Christmas this year in Alaska. In the past 2 days I have shoveled the driveway 4 times with my happy helper. With the crazy amount of snow coming I made a grocery run yesterday just in case things got really bad. Well with the cell phone tower down today(no service at all) and lots of snow Molly and I spent the day at home cooking and playing. Molly got a Christmas present yesterday and I didn't realize until I had opened the box so I just pulled the whole thing out and she has been playing with her fisher-price SUPERSTAR station for hours. She loves singing in the mic and playing the tambourine.
Molly supervising the snow shoveling process
Molly in front of the house so you can see really how much snow there was. Notice the snow is all the way to the porch - it is finally starting to slow down.
With a few functions coming up I decided to get all the cooking out of the way today! I made 2 batches of soup (tomato basil and taco), a loaf of cranberry bread, new hot chocolate and 5 dozen cookies. Molly and I should be good for a few days now!

Molly with her newest toy.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Molly has gone on her first snowshoeing adventure. Ashley our friend said the trail we would be going on you don't necessarily need snowshoes so I stuck with my regular boots but Molly got moved around and rode on Ashley's back for awhile so she did actually get to snowshoe.

Molly and Ashley leaving me in their snow dust
We made it to Thunderbird Falls a nice 1 mile hike. Molly has new snow gear after this hike - if you notice her feet actually have gloves on them and by the end her face had Valerie's scarf. She now has an all inclusive down feather snowsuit that closes in on the hands and feet so now more trying to get her into her snow bibs (YEAH) and her hands and feet will be more protected.
Valerie (aka Storm) she is not graying at a young age her hair actually has ice crystals from breathing on the hike. 2 degrees is pretty cold but with the right gear totally doable.
Getting ready to start our hike after we enjoyed the 20 minutes of sunlight at Ashley's.
Valerie also had some gear issues - her snowshoes got stuck in an uphill position so she was walking on her tiptoes most of the hike.

Molly has now learned how to stand up in her bed - I found this out this afternoon when I came in to get her up from her nap and she was standing there smiling at me. I am really glad I lowered the bed when I did. Hopefully she will hold off marathon running until Jon gets home.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I should be working on our Christmas letter but instead have decided to update the blog. I hope to have that letter out by Sunday - we will see about that:)

Onto more fun things: MOLLY - the child is an eating machine. She eats any and everything put in front of her. Some examples: salsa - eats it by the spoon full, green beans by the can, chili by the bowl, all types of meat and she loves blueberries. Below are a some pictures from the last few days.

Molly with her blueberries, green beans and cheese. We were skyping Jon while we ate dinner that night so Molly had free reign.

You can't make me smile - I am going to keep a straight face.
OK - I give up

This is what Molly and I see when we skype Jon. Only a few more short weeks and he will be home and can make silly faces in person and hear our conversations without head phones! Jon will be home in less than 11 weeks!!! We are almost down to counting only on our fingers - YEAH!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The last few weeks in pictures

It was beautiful out so we went sledding with friends a few times. Molly's sled has a buckle and holds her in and for the most part she really likes it EXCEPT when we go down the hill and the snow flies in her face - then not so much a fan. We love sledding and can't wait to show Jon all the fun new hills we have found out about this year!

Since we are a winter wonderland I figured we could pull out Molly's winter dress. The dress was pretty cute on the hanger and I think it looks even better on Molly. Don't worry - for now Molly is adventurous AND still likes to wear tights with ruffles on the butt. I am sure one day one of those will go away I just wonder which one will first - my beat is the ruffles.

And then the last 3 days of our life have been sad. We have now made 3 trips to the ER. The first one we found out she has pneumonia and possibly the flu. A few hours after we left her temp went to 105.5 so we were back and got a 4th medicine. After one day on all our new meds last night at 10pm she started throwing up and her temp wouldn't come below 103 so back to the ER. We are back home and hoping that today there will be no more crazy temps or anything. She doesn't look this miserable now - the above picture was our First Thanksgiving shot.

Update from Jon:
They have had a few soldiers come to accept Jesus as their savior and Jon got to baptize one.
My thoughts on what he has told me:
*He understands how the Israelites in the Bible could forget that manna from heaven was a blessing. The same food over and over for a year while it is provision gets very old
*All in all he says being at war is a lot like Groundhog Day - most every day is the same with nothing crazy and then there are a few days throw in there where major catastrophes happen and you have to be ready to be there and show the love of God in terrible circumstances.
*While at war you sometimes do things you wouldn't do at home just to do something different. He has learned that non-dairy creamer is extremely flammable and this brought a smile to his face!
*It is the little things that make a difference - a package from friends or a letter from kids and of course a few good snacks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

World Record Mattress Dominoes

I got to participate in a World Record attempt today at a local furniture store. It was for Mattress Dominoes - as you can see I was #152. Molly and I went to watch after our friend Ashley told us about the event. I realized after watching for a few minutes that Molly could sit in the stroller and supervise while I got to participate so why not give it a try!!
Molly posing as #151 knocking me down - she was not very pleased to participate.

There were over 189 people each holding a mattress going throughout Bailey's Furniture some in the show room like Molly and me and some in the warehouse that was attached. It was a good thing this wasn't outside b/c it was blizzard conditions and I would not have been able to do that. The best part was that the event was in honor of Veteran's day so Molly and I dedicated our performance to Jon who couldn't be with us this year - we only hope we can find something as exciting as this to drag you to next year.

For those who are visual learners here was the demo they gave us so we wouldn't mess up.

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Sled of the Season

We finally had enough snow to shovel which means there was enough to sled!!!!! Molly and I joined our neighbors shoveling the driveway this morning and took our sled out for a test run on the driveway. Molly got to sit in the sled bundled up for about 15 minutes until another neighbor came out and held her while we finished up shoveling. Then it was back in the sled for her first ever sled ride.
Doesn't she look like she loves it!! She did at one point I promise.Going in circles - this prepared us for the "big hill" that we went on tonight. We joined the Lewis family for a fun filled sled-a-thon that lasted a whole 20 minutes for Molly until she decided she would rather be back in the house instead of being pulled up and down the hill.
Tina telling Molly sledding secrets. With gloves and mittens on it is very hard to undo the buckle to get Molly out of her sled when she was having a melt down so we had to pick her up sled and all to give her hugs.
Before the sled-a-thon. We came back with rosy red cheeks but no photos of that moment. Molly really is an Alaskan baby, she loves the cold weather.
This is our toy of the month! Our friends the Hick's who have finished with the baby stage gave us one of their boys favorite toys - the leap frog table. Molly can hold herself up while making the table do all sorts of fun things like sing and light up for her. The moment before this photo I promise she was smiling but as I clicked she got a little over confident and started to fall.

Moose have been enjoying the pumpkins around our neighborhood. This one got really close.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Realities of war

The 425 deployment ceremony

While I know that Jon is deployed to a war zone where people are trying to kill/hurt/get rid of us it has not really effected me in my home life too much. I have gone to some memorials and been truly sad for the families and pray for our soldiers but this week reality struck when a neighbor's husband was severely injured. It is amazing to see the women in our bible study and on our street step up to help out this family. The soldier is being sent to burn unit and his wife is getting to go be with him. Neighbors stepped up to take care of their 2 elementary girls and are trying to make it the best for them as possible while their mom is away helping take care of their dad who they know is really hurt.
Please pray for my friends the T's:
1. Quick and complete healing for the soldier
2. Travel safety while they travel to the burn unit
3. Stability and security for the 2 girls
4. All provisions that are needed while away in the lower 48 away from the girls

Friday, November 6, 2009

Back in Alaska

Jon left last week to go back for the remaining 4 months of this deployment - we are 2/3 the way throw!! Molly and I flew back to DC for a two night recovery and then headed home to AK. She had been a little cranky and snotty so when we got back we got an appointment with a doctor and found out Molly has a double ear infection. Last night after she got her medicine she crashed unfortunately that was at 6pm and this morning at 6am she was ready to start the day.
Molly and I had a great 6 weeks in the lower 48 visiting friends and family but are glad to be home in our own beds again. Molly is going through a little withdrawal since it is only me in the house with her but we have hung out with friends so she can get the love and attention she is used to.

While in the lower 48 we had some pictures taken of Molly by Jon's sister Kaitlin and then when he came we had another friend take some pictures of all 3 of us together. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Family Time

Jon, Molly and I have been having a blast in Texas for the past week. We have gone to many parks, seen a cattle drive, participated in Baylor's homecoming, played tons of games and laughed a LOT. Between Molly and Jon and I have laughed a few calories off each day.
Molly letting Jon and I know that she is done. After a full weekend she just wanted to be home and out of the car seat! She survived her first Baylor game with minimal sunburn (unlike her parents) and as you can see she was very upset at Baylor's loss - hopefully she won't have to get to use to this.

At the start of the game - everyone is happy and I don't think Baylor was even losing at this point - the final score was 34-7

Getting ready to go to her first bonfire!!

Molly and I with my friend Connie. At the bonfire there was a Ferris wheel so we thought it would be fun. It was a little scarier at the top than we thought it would be but don't worry Molly was secure in the Ergo (can't say the same for the Ferris wheel)
Waiting in line
Molly in her cheerleader costume. While it is fun for now I really hope she is more into playing sports when she gets older than watching them (but I will love her no matter what)
Swinging - a favorite now that she fits in the swing and can hold her head up!!

Sic 'em Bears! Molly thought she was back home in Alaska but Jon had to let her know that this was Judge Sue Baylor's mascot not her backyard buddy brown bear.
That sandwich looks tasty - Molly teaching her dad how to share.
I couldn't let Jon have all the fun - Molly and I had some swing time too.

Here is one of the many things that has brought laughter to our lives this week. Before coming my parents and I were having fun and Molly was being a tad dramatic - Granny did not approve but BertBurt was willing to help me get this on film - I will cherish it forever. Jon can do any counseling she will need later on in life because of it.
Here is Molly in all her swinging glory - this was an hour into swinging at the park one day.