May 27, 2008

The demise of another digital camera

A couple of years ago for my birthday my darling husband bought me a new digital camera. It was a nice little toy. Took great pictures, had image stabilization, a burst option and kept me happy. I was very sad when it met its demise this week. It was in my purse, as I take it nearly everywhere, and my purse fell off of the trunk of the car and out came the camera, tumbling across the street, never to power up again. It was my careless fault and I am so sad about it. I seem to not be able to hang on to the point and shoot type of cameras very well.

My 35mm Minolta on the other hand has lasted a long time and is in great condition. I use that camera for photo shoots and other times I want to take the time to really set up a shot. So, what to do now? Get another little fairly cheap point and shoot, take with me every where camera, or the camera of my dreams? A DSLR that cost more than I make in 2 months time? Nice and professional grade, I will use and use it. I can't afford it though. I guess after we finish the septic, we will see if anything is left over. In the meantime, don't look for any new pics. I will have to recycle and re purpose the old ones.

May 20, 2008

Mom and Me Haircuts

Megan and I went to our dear and talented friend's house today to get our hair cut. She was so good during her first ever trim. She had a book and just read away while having her tresses tamed. Nadine is amazing at what she does and the wiggles didn't phase her. Here are some pictures of Meg getting her darling new doo...

As for me, I decided to go shorter and Rachael Rayish... I really like it. Thanks Nadine! Here's our "after" picture.

May 14, 2008

May 13, 2008

The cycle of deployment

This is my favorite part in the deployment cycle. Some people say homecoming is the best, some people love the leave period. This is my favorite part. It's offcrew. For those of you who don't know our sub schedule, it goes something like this....

Refit is where they are gone long long hours and come home cranky and hungry because they were working too hard to make dinner on the mess deck. They are getting the boat ready to go with the help of the other crew, which also means they have to work with people they don't know very well and get through all of the communication issues there. Refit is hard and by the time they actually leave, you are ready for it.

Deployment. That's really hard. Going for days or weeks with no word from them and having to be both mom and dad at home is really hard. Dealing with house, car, family and extended family on your own is hard too. This is the period when you learn how strong you really are, and how much you really appreciate your spouse.

Homecoming is next. You get ready for it, look forward to it and then the date always changes. You get your hopes up and then they are dashed. When they do come home you are excited, thrilled and relieved. It's a good feeling. Then you have to readjust to not making all of the decisions on your own, showing them over where things go again because you have re-arranged the living room or kitchen. The kids also have to get used to them again and for some reason quit listening to you all together. It's the oddest thing. Like you are suddenly speaking another language. You are grateful they are home safely and life is good.

After they have been home a little while and done turnover, they get to go on leave. For the first few days, it's bliss. Having them home and with you 24/7. And then, after about a week, you are wondering when they are going back to work. Not to sea, just to work. Having someone ask you where, when, who and what after you have been on your own is a little straining at times. On the other hand, being together is good.

Off-crew is my favorite part of the deployment cycle. It's when they go back to work in the office, not the boat. They leave in the morning, do work and training and come home in the early afternoon if you are lucky and you have the entire rest of the day together. They are able to get things done around the house, and so are you. At my house, we fall into a routine that's easy and light hearted. No one is too stressed or cranky. The kids are happy, you are happy and hopefully they are happy too. Off-crew rocks. You know it won't last forever, Refit is right around the corner, so you savor every day.

That's the life of a submariner family.

At least our life...

May 9, 2008

Military Spouses Appreiciation Day

"BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Military spouses embody the courage, nobility of duty, and love of country that inspire
every American. On Military Spouse Day, we pay tribute to the husbands and wives
who support their spouses in America's Armed Forces during times of war and
peace. The legacy of military spouses began when colonial Americans were
fighting for independence. Martha Washington boosted the morale of her husband's
troops by visiting battlefields and tending to the wounded. Since then, members
of our Armed Forces have served our Nation accompanied by the steadfast love and
support of their spouses and families. While our men and women in uniform are
protecting our country's founding ideals of liberty, democracy, and justice,
their spouses live with uncommon challenges, endure sleepless nights, and spend
long periods raising children alone. Many military spouses are also committed
volunteers, serving other military families and local communities. Our Nation
benefits from the sacrifices of our military families, and we are inspired by
their courage, strength, and leadership. On Military Spouse Day and throughout
the year, we honor the commitment spouses have made to freedom's cause. To learn
about ways to support our troops and their spouses and families, I encourage all
Americans to visit NOW, THEREFORE, I,
GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the
authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do
hereby proclaim May 9, 2008, as Military Spouse Day. I call upon the people of
the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities
and by expressing their gratitude to the husbands and wives of those serving in
the United States Armed Forces. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand
this fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

Besides the fact that Reagan officially started MSA Day in 1984, (the Friday before Mother's Day eacy year), I really do appreciate that someone is thinking of us. Not many people really know what it's like to be the one left at home. Thankfully, my husband isn't in a high risk area, but anything could happen. To anyone who has ever had the furnace go out or the car break down or the children end up in the hospital or had a baby on their own, thank you. To those of you who have kept things running, dealt with the emotions of young children who don't understand, made pancakes for dinner, tried to make it through the first night without the ugly cry, gotten the phone call that extends deployment indefinitely and still made it though, thank you. To those of you who have started the truck now and then while your LO was gone, dealt with pay issues on your own, gone to the commissary with less than $30 and found no bananas or tomatos, support your local Family Readiness Group, and done all your LO's chores, thank you. If you have volunteered to make life easier somehow for someone going through it all while going through it yourself, thank you. To those of you who have lived life in limbo, while the military decided where you would live and when you would leave, who have lived without household goods for any period of time, who have moved more than most, made lifetime friendships with people you will never see again and made do with what you could to keep things going, thank you. If you speak military acronym speak like COB, LES, PSD, NBK, FFSP, MM, or SSBN, thank you. If you have lived for an unexpected text message or a 2 minute phone call, for the sound of your loved one's voice however brief, if you have ever watched home videos with your kids in hopes that the baby will still remember your loved one whenever they do return, thank you. To those of you who have sacrificed, lived and thrived, even through the hard and desperate times, thank you.

May 5, 2008

What a weekend

Top 10 snippets of conversation overheard at Apple Blossom 2008:

1. Jade: "We (meaning whatever younger cousins she can convince) are going for a walk in the orchard. If you need us, we will be 38 trees down and 7 trees over."

2. "I don't want to eat that. Are there any cookies left?"

3. I am not entirely sure who that is. We should all wear name tags and one of those "I belong to ......" stickers.

4. "Go to sleep!!!! Go to sleep!!! I thought I said to GO TO SLEEP!!!!" (said multiple times between the hours of 10pm-12am to the 8 children "sleeping" in the same room.

5. "Where's my sword, Mom? I need to go and kill somebody." Said by Chase, who loved the sword, thanks Aunt Lan. Chase was also overheard saying "That baby is crying" several times. He just had to keep everyone in the loop, in case we couldn't hear her.

6. Carmen "We didn't have poles for the volley ball net, so they rigged something up." (they used cherry picker ladders to hold the net up).

7. Ethan Jade, Chase and the Mahaffey clan all said a version of this at one time or another... "My Grammy said I could do that."

8. "Want to wax my eyebrows?"

9. "Did you see Paul's new haircut and shave? He doesn't even look scary anymore."

10. "I need a nap."