Friday, July 29, 2016

The USAF Journey Begins......

Well as lots of you know from my Facebook page, Mr. Lego left Tuesday for Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB in Texas.

I have decided to write how things go, for us and for him, on my blog. I'll also keep you up to date with what kinds of things he is learning the 8 1/2 weeks he is at BMT.

It all happened rather fast - we had known for months that his tentative leaving date was the 26th of July, but this is the military, and it wasn't until 5 days before that that he got his plane ticket, and we knew he was really going.

He had a list of mandatory things to bring plus some optional things, so he spent the next few days getting them all together. The list of these things, as of this writing, can be seen here.

There wasn't much and it would have fit in a hand carry-on, but because he was asked to bring shampoo, liquid soap, and laundry soap, he had to check in a bag.

We had a fun weekend, knowing that he was leaving us very soon.

The day before he left he spent it at the nearby Air Force base where he is based, filling out paperwork and getting his orders. That night we played some fun family games, and after the kids were in bed, I had a good cry in My Sweetie's arms.

We were up Tuesday morning, bright and early, to get him to the airport.

Well it really wasn't bright. In fact it was pitch black, since we needed to be there by 4:45 am.

We walked him in and stayed with him until that dreaded sign that says that ticketed passengers can only go beyond this point. It was a quick goodbye - we didn't want him to miss his flight.

He was able to text me from Dallas - where he caught a connecting flight - and then again when he landed in San Antonio. He texted a few times from the USO, and then about 3 hours later, he texted to say he was on the bus. He said he would call us tonight, as late as 10pm.

We waited and waited, and finally went to bed, with our phones right next to our heads.

He never called.

I knew that he had gotten there safely so I wasn't too concerned - now we were waiting for the big phone call, the one where we would get his address. Typically this comes on that Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, but it can really come anytime. So seriously, my phone was plastered to my hand at all hours.

And surprise me it did, when it came on Wednesday. He sounded in control and not stressed - many times this is a very hard call to take as the airmen are a bit freaked out. I got the address and was able to repeat it back to him. And then, abruptly, the call ended.

And that is the last time I will hear his voice for at least 4 weeks.

If you are asking, I am actually doing pretty good. Aside from my big cry this week, I have held it together. A lot of that is due to the fact that I know he was SO excited to be doing this. He has watched countless YouTube videos about BMT, had all the things he needed memorized, and had everything ready to go.

So what is he up to this week? This week is known as Week 0, or Processing Week,  and is a bit of an intro to BMT. But that doesn't mean they get a break. They get off that bus running, and don't stop for anything. You can see here the list of things he will be doing.

AirForceWingMoms has been an immense help the last few days; there are so many articles that explain all that is going to go on for the next 8 1/2 weeks. They also have a Facebook page that has lots of great info too.

We are so happy for him. And we are praying diligently for him. We have already written him 5 letters (sisters, My Sweetie, and me) and plan to get at least one letter a day in the mailbox from someone in our household.

I do appreciate your prayers as well, and if you are interested in writing him, please email me.

The journey continues......

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last Weekend

This was our last weekend with Mr. Lego around.

He leaves tomorrow for Basic Military Training in the air force reserves in Lackland, Texas. He graduates in September, then goes onto another air force base in northern Texas to train until late December.

Needless to say, our home is going to feel different for the next few months.

So this last weekend we headed up to South Lake Tahoe with friends. Our absolute favorite beach there is Pope Beach.

We spent time swimming.....


and playing volleyball.

All the kids buried the youngest two in sand,

and then tortured them for a bit.

After lunch it was more volleyball and swimming.

I love how our older children interact with the younger ones.

For dinner we made tri tip in a cast iron oven. There were also lots of other yummy things to eat too.

I love this man.

As the sun set, we packed up to leave.

One last hug.

Sunday after church, we had our summer church picnic.

One last time holding his little friend.

More volleyball.....

One last afternoon with these friends.

I know he is not gone too long and he'll be back in 5 short months. But these are precious memories we are making.

Sweet moments.

I am savoring them.

I love you, son.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Life Lessons

We just got back from 5 days at the California State Fair.

My good friend and I always go together. We love this fair, because at both of our county fairs we are in charge of things and are running around like crazy people. At my fair I lead both sheep and goat projects from my club and at hers she is in charge of their entire sheep and goat barn. So to only be in charge of our own children (we only had 7 of them competing) and our own animals (there were 9 total), this fair is a breeze.

And as always, we learned lots of life lessons this year.

Bookworm, Dasher, and Nutsy participated in Champion Challenge. This is a written test that they take about their species.

Bookworm made it into the next round but the other two did not. And then Bookworm didn't make it into the 3rd round.

Lesson learned? Study harder.

We didn't do so great in our competitions. In market we didn't place at all.

And in showmanship, my girls, in their different classes, were one of the first three to be called out.

This is state fair, and the competition is very tough.

Lessons learned?

Be a gracious and humble loser.

The kids spent time bathing their goats, walking them, and fitting them. While they do this, the general public is milling around and watching what they do.

Nutsy's goat Pepper does NOT like to walk around at all, so she really has to coax him and sometimes needs to tug on his tail a bit.  One lady, who obviously did not know anything about livestock, stopped Nutsy when she was trying to walk him and told her she was mean. Nutsy explained that she did need to walk her goat and the lady replied, "Well, you are still being very mean to that goat."

We also had someone speak rudely to another of our 4-H kids, and then even one of the fair managers got testy with Bookworm for something that was not her fault.

Lesson learned? People are going to say unkind things to you all your life. Brush it off.

We had silly moments, neck rubs, and hair braiding contests.

We also spent an afternoon touring around the fair a bit.

And the younger kids did Read to Ride and got me a ticket so I could do a ride with them.

 Lesson Learned? Have fun no matter what.

The highlight of our time last week was on Monday and was the Best of County show. This is where each county sends their top master showman -  the one that won Senior Master Showmanship.

They compete here and are judged, and then one winner, the top showman in the state, is picked.

And my friend's daughter won the Best of County!

You might recognize the girl who won in FFA; she is from our county and helped Nutsy when she competed in Junior Masters. Both of these girls are AMAZING showmen, and deserved to win the coveted golden bear.

 Lesson Learned? Hard work pays off.

So we learned a lot this week. And had a great time.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My Week In Images

My Week....

 {yummy treats at a friend's bridal shower}

 {watching Finding Dory with friends}

 {watching the Battle of the Bay - A's vs. Giants}

 {taking it easy at the pool, since I had donated blood that day}

{baseball with friends in the foothills}