Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hi, my name is Lea and...

I'm a musicaholic.

There, I've admitted it. Now there's only 11 steps I won't be taking left! I plan to remain a happy musicaholic for the rest of my days here and elsewhere. So there! :-P

To share my love of music and my slightly twisted sense of what I think is GOOD music, I have added a playlist (boldly snitched from WWWieners, Hallie) from to this blog.

I invite you to turn it up - or off - as you choose.

HOWEVER... if you should be one of those turning it up and enjoying what you hear, I invite you to enter my realm of bloggie fame.

How? You ask.

It's simple. There is a 100 song limit on a playlist. I'm a few short (NO JOKES, Please!) Listen to random selections from my playlist (which shouldn't be difficult, it's VERY random!) and suggest a song (one per comment, please) that you think I'd really enjoy. You must include both the artist and title and maybe a little about why you think I will love it and want to add it to the playlist here.

If projectplaylist has the song and the musicaholic in me really likes it, your suggestion will become a permanent part of the playlist here. I will then post who successfully suggested which song and poof! Bloggie fame for you!

Let the notes, er, comments, begin!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


My daughter called yesterday evening.
My son sang in a concert tonight.
I smiled with my whole heart all day long.
Mooch is laying happily at my feet.

It's been a glorious day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


It's 8:28pm and I'm just saying good night to another AF mom (Hi Susan) on IM to let Joshua use the computer to write a letter to his sister.

My phone rings. Now, I'm not wearing my glasses at the moment so on my caller ID 248 (MI) looks just like 210 (TX) to me... I say "hello" and a voice I can't place for a heartbeat says "hi".


My first thought is "what's wrong" (remember all that "No news is good news" I keep repeating?!) but that's tactless, so I ask, "Are you ok?" to which she responded that yes, she was fine. OK... so now I am talking to my daughter AND I'm breathing too!!!

Joshua and Tim gathered 'round to listen. (I've been ordered to figure out how to activate my speaker phone feature at a moment's notice!)

Their flight earned patio time and reading some mail, though she says they've not been allowed to read it all, just one or two days worth (mind you, I write almost every day and I know many of you have written too).

She gushed with things she wanted to share. Let's see...
In her words: "It's hell, don't get me wrong, but I'm doing ok."
She passed her latest PT evaluation with flying colors.
She has a couple of jobs. 1 is stairwell monitor, the other 'duty day' job is laundry and patio duty which she says is 'cool' because she gets to carry her weapon.
Her dorm is a 'mess' but I think she was referring to personality issues and not inspection issues. Her insight was tremendous. She says that guys dorms don't start to work as a group and get along until weeks 2-3, while girls get along right away and then start to fall apart at weeks 2-3 because of personality stuff. She says they're working really hard to be a group and work together. (I'm sure patio time was a great motivator!)
They got their M16's a little early (not sure why).
She makes great time at her M16 disassembly, cleaning and reassembly and she enjoys doing it.
She lucked out yesterday and when her run was flagging and she was losing her focus a voice came up from behind her and said "You can do this"... It was Justin, her boyfriend who just came out of being a 'rainbow' (0 week)! She was so thrilled to see him that she ran like the wind and flew past her previous run time!!! LoL
I'm ok with that as long as she doesn't lose sight of doing this for herself and her goals as an AF trainee.
She rolled her ankle in the sand doing a field exercize and it's kinda sore. It didn't swell and seems strong so she's not seeking medical advice on it. I'll have to trust her judgement on it, right!? Actually, I agree with her.

Most of all she just sounded great and strong and positive.

And yeah, Mom here is on a HUGE Avivah high!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Joshua ran in the house with the mail just now saying, "DIBS!" I knew then and there that we had mail from V. The information for her graduation from Basic Training arrived. Yay! Happy Dance!

The cutest part about it was that she included Mooch (the cat) in the address. Lea, Tim, Joshua (and Mooch!) Thomas LOL

And apparently *I* will be driving the rental car in San Antonio. For some reason she put me as the authorized driver. Not that I think anyone with a matching last name and identical address would not be allowed, but I found it funny.

I'm working a split shift at two different stores today so I'm on the run yet again. Ciao for now!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I'm back after a few much needed days away. Didn't go far or for long, just enough to let my proverbial hair down and recharge the batteries. Joshua was on February break this past week so he spent much of this past weekend with his best friends "hangin' out" together and sleeping over each other's houses. Joshua was also the Mooch-sitter for the weekend. He's such a good kid.

One dark cloud was that I, like Joshua, had to work during our mini-vacations. That stinks big time, but I suppose that every penny we can sock away to go see Avivah and have a few cents in our pockets is good. Guess that's the silver lining to it.

With the exception of Friday and Saturday I've written to Avivah every day she's been gone. I know a few of you lovely readers have written (and will write) to her too and I KNOW that has helped her tremendously. Thank you.

This week I have a couple funny things to send her in my letters so I think she'll get a kick out of how silly I can be and that I'll succeed in bringing a smile to her face. Go mom!

Other than the first call there hasn't been a peep from V... but NO news really is GOOD news! In fact, it is calming to me that things are going well enough that she hasn't had to call with changes or 'bad news'.

The next regular contact there will be is a packet with a parking pass and BMT graduation information. It's not a letter or anything personal but it will be addressed in her writing so it will feel as though she sent it. Hey! That counts!

Oh, one note! (LA!) In my absence my e-mail box filled to capacity and didn't accept new e-mails. If you sent something to me and it was returned to you, would you please send it again? (Especially if it was a request for V's address.)

Cool pic for today is the crest of V's Training Squadron. Go Knights! If you know Avivah you know how much she is enjoying this crest. A) She's a big Renaissance Festival fan. B) She loves Latin and has always wanted to learn it. and C) The Latin here sounds like a spell from Harry Potter!

Ok, you tenacious translators... My own take on it is: "Let's kick some serious medieval tuchas!!" So tell me.... What does it mean to you?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How do I wonder...

If you're counting the ways you'd've run out of fingers and toes a long time ago!

It's not that I'm an insatiable information hound about everything (though I am)... It's that every waking moment of every day I wonder how Avivah is doing. I wonder what she's doing, how she feels about it and how she's doing at it. I wonder what she thinks of the food and if she is able to eat well in the whopping 5 minutes they have to wolf down sustenance. I wonder if in the short and frantic shower time they have she is able to get all that hair clean! I wonder if she has made a friend there in whom she can confide. I wonder if she is healthy. If her run time is improving. If the hair gel she took is good enough to do the job of holding every strand of that gorgeous hair in place. I wonder if she'll call again some day in the next 5 weeks and if she will sound more like the determined, headstrong child I know and love...........

I wonder as I wander... at work, while driving, sitting here at the computer, in the grocery store, while making dinner, everywhere.

Just now, standing outside in the freezing cold watching the lunar eclipse, I wondered if she saw it too and if she thought of me, or home at all. We have always watched the moon together, she and I. When V was very little I taught her a poem (J too) we'd say every night we saw the moon...

Hail fair moon
Ruler of the night
Guard me and mine
'til it be light.

and we have a family tradition of singing moon songs like this one I've passed along from my childhood...

I see the moon and the moon sees me
Down through the leaves of the old oak tree.
Hope that moon that shines on me
Shines on the one I love.

So tonight I wonder; and I pray that the V I love so dearly is sleeping a well-earned sleep in the glow of the moonlight.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

V's First Call

To say it was traumatic is an understatement.

Right off the bat she was in tears. "Mom, I have the meanest TI..." and it went downhill from there. It was all I could do to keep a stiff upper lip and be the encouraging mom I needed to be for her. I succeeded and got her to calm down enough to give me her address clearly. She came through, clear as a bell - even with the TI's in the background yelling "45 seconds!" and later "20 seconds!"

In the end - after a whole 2 minutes - she was a little calmer. I told her that I loved her as many times as I could squeeze it in and we said goodbye.

Family members, please know that it is perfectly normal for 1st phone calls from BMT to be exactly as bad as V's was. I knew from talking to many other AF parents it wouldn't be all "sweetness and cheer" but I am convinced that nothing can prepare a mom to hear this call and not utterly flip out (afterwards).

Did I? Oh yeah. But I have the benefit of a great support system of people who understand. I immediately talked to Bre in Colorado and Deb in Ohio and many other AF personnel, parents and spouses who have had this experience and more and live to tell the tales. Thanks guys, you helped see me through this one with flying colors.

I have been advised, since this is a public blog and anyone can come across it, not to post V's addy on the page. It's sad that people would send a recruit anti-war hate mail, but evidently it happens. For her protection, if you'd like to send a letter ~ and she can use the encouragement! ~ I am asking you to e-mail me with your name and I will respond to you with the address.

Now... about the second phone call...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Still Waiting

I think the picture says it all.

I slept with my phone plugged in and the ringer on HIGH, the address template dutifully next to me with a pen clipped on the paper, a pencil just in case the pen didn't work and my reading glasses right on top of that.

If it makes any difference... I'm ready!


Worked 5 hours this afternoon and went out tonight and still no word from our V yet.

Going to sleep. Maybe she'll be my wake up call?

I can hope, anyways.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I hate not hearing from V yet. My poor hamsters are working over time in their wheel.
Another mom whose daughter started the same day as V just got her phone call. (Hi Carol. I'm jealous of you!)
Does this mean that Avivah's flight isn't working hard enough to earn their call? Is there a problem with her phone card? That they're being kept from calling when they know others have talked to their loved ones??? Oh gosh, just the thought of that happening hurts my heart.
Grrr... keeping busy... and quiet... and staring at the phone... and the clock... and the phone... and the clock...

tick tick tick

Is it time yet? Is it time yet?


How about now?


Waiting for Avivah's call is making me crazy(er).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I see a theme

Remember a few days ago when I posted the beautiful angel "Serenity" pic that Deb sent me? Of course you do. (And if you just fibbed, quickly scroll down and see her... quick... I'll wait... See?! Ok, let's go back to the point.)

For Valentine's Day my mom (Hi mom) gave me this delicate little "angel of the heart". I'd never seen these pretty figurines before and now I have two of them. How cool is that?

I set her right here in front of my screen so I always remember how loved I am and how much I love those special people around me even when they're far away and I have to write to them (or leave comments on their blog so they know I'm paying attention, hint!).

So today, for V Day (how appropriate, eh?), I give you a pic of my newest angel. With Love, moi

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

V's Recruiter

Each of the "shippers" had to introduce who, if anyone, came to the swearing in ceremony. Avivah was the only one whose recruiter was there and she proudly introduced him.

My turn... This is Ssgt. Marunick. As recruiters go, and from some of the horror stories I've heard, I think she's pretty lucky to have him and his partner, Ssgt. Harper, as recruiters.

And this is him talking to his commanding officer. Of course, what you can't see is the sign right next to him that says "No cell phones"! LOL

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Briefings, tickets, a bus and goodbyes :(

Waited for...

Avivah's Swearing-In Ceremony!
*tissue alert!*

Tuesday Morning

And it's off to MEPS

Where we saw Avivah... and we waited.....

And waited.....

And waited...........


Makin' Memories

Complete and utter silliness at the hotel... (I think they're doing a bad KISS imitation)
While mom showered and showed that she really IS starting to feel human again.... (Wow, my nose is pink and my eyes are sunken. Remind me why I put this pic up for all to see?!)

Dinner time at Penn's Thai Cafe, and the theories on why shrimp chips stick to one's tongue began to abound. I think V had the last (and most plausible) word.

"How does it feel when I stare at your head? HMMMM?!?!"

The fine art of spoon hanging, by V. Don't try this at home kids! V is a trained spoon hanging professional with years of experience.

And Yep! You guessed it! More silliness!! :)

But can't you feel the love? I can. *sniff*
Such was the Thomas-foolery last night. There wasn't time to be sad or weepy - we had too many memories to make - so we did!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hall Walking

We're here at the hotel where V will spend the night before her final in-processing and swearing-in around 10 tomorrow. I hope she gets some sleep because tomorrow's going to be a long day and she's fighting a cold too.

Oh, and Trainee Thomas wants Thai food for dinner. So off we'll go soon!


I have to tell you how humbling it is to see the "kids" coming in to the Command Center here. Some with parents and siblings, some alone and others delivered by their recruiter. Each of them with their heads held high, looking ready for the next step towards their future.

Got to tell you how dang proud I felt to be a mom of one of these terrific kids. I saw another mom in the hall. In an instant we knew what the other was thinking. We both smiled and stood a little taller - and braver - for our kids.

I suspect I'll tear up more than once just walking down the halls looking at these young soon-to-be-soldiers.

Bear with me, please. It's gonna be a long night.

Packin' Light

This one tiny bag is all she's taking to Basic Training. We all had a good laugh remembering the piles upon piles she packed for 3 weeks of summer camp.
The duffel bag she took to camp was longer than she was tall... and she carried it on her back! Funny how we never thought of it as good training.
About an hour ago she kissed Mooch goodbye and headed to the recruiting station to complete paperwork and attend DEP call for the last time.
Gosh it was tough to watch her say goodbye to her cat. Lord help me tomorrow when she says goodbye to her brother.
6.5.weeks, mom. A phone call (all 2 minutes of it) in less than a week.
I can do this! right?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kerrrr- WHOMPPED!!!

Yep, I'm sick. Sinus infection (I already knew that), bronchitis and dig this... walking pneumonia too. I'm on a Z-pack and sleeping a lot.
Life goes on.

My sister Karen and nephew Hunter are here from MD for the weekend. Gosh it's wonderful to see them. Karen'd kill me if I put a pic of her here for all to see, but Hunter might not....

That's him in the cockpit of the plane! I know he's just a speck in the pic, but we're mighty proud of him. He's in Junior Civil Air Patrol and, we love this, he outranks Avivah! Cadet Airman! hee hee

I understand that there's a pic of him in his dress blues coming my way soon. You betcha it'll be here. :)

So I'm back to being horizontal for a bit. More later.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tough Day

Party was fun.
Spent money we don't necessarily have but was happy to have done it.
Hosted mostly V & Justin's friends.
About 15 ppl braved the weather all told.
Put my plans on hold today to be home helping and doing my own cleaning while V works on the room from hell.
4 months of "I'm working on it!" and it's knee-high to a giant.
Did laundry, transferred loads and folded clothes for her.
Helped her organize her bag for BMT.

Instead of working on what was to her a problem with me, she thanks me with a blog post that pisses on my help.

She's really stressed right now.
I know. And I'm an easy target.

It's Parenting 101. Kids lash out at those they know love them most, someone in whose love they feel secure, that their emotional slashing will not drive away from them. She's not wrong.

SO... lucky you, dear Reader! You get to hear me whine today. But you also get to hear that I am loved enough to take the crap and adore the kid too.

I'm pretty sure that days like today is the reason my friend Deb, from the Air Force Moms and Dads list, sent me this beautiful angel. She knows all too well that you need an angel by your side at times like these. She's also one of those people I count as one of my personal angels. (That was after I forgave her for living in OH.) She found V through the blog she had just started, and through that found me and invited me to join the AF moms and Dads list I talk about all the time.

Deb is sweet, artistic, spiritual and wonderful. Her son Vinny (also V) has been in the Air Force for a few years now, so if ever there's someone who knows what's in my head now, it's her!

Pop by her blog if you get the chance. She also dedicated a blog post to me because of a message I had sent her on the occassion of her 50th Birthday this week (HB again, Deb!):
I was soooo flattered :) You're an angel.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Party time... please!

Tonight is the going away party for V & Justin's friends and a few freinds and family members of ours.

Think: an inch or more of sleet and ice with at least 2" of snow on top. That's what we'll have later this evening with more snow falling... basically all night. Oh joy.

As I type, it's snowing HORIZONTALLY!

Either it'll cut down on the bar tab and we'll have cake and chips for a month at our house because people will stay home, or we'll have a bunch of happy cold people holed up in a PUB!

Either way it's all good and we'll have fun with whomever is there...
So be there... PLEASE!

Tired Kids, Tired Mom

I worked all day today while Joshua was at school and then work and Avivah and Justin were running errands, so finding time to hang out was at a premium and we're all really tired today. We decided to meet for dinner.

All in all an enjoyable time was had... and now they're back in V's room, wading through more STUFF with a capital "S". Sigh... it seems unending, but I know that can't be true!

Ok, onward...

Tomorrow will be fun. We're having a send-off at a local pub for the kids (don't worry - they make their own sodas too!) Avivah and I will do the shopping midday (chips & candy mostly) and pick up the cake together. We always have a good time no matter what we do so I'm looking forward to it.

In order to get the gathering rolling I want to entice people to roast/toast the kids. To that end I have beaucoodles of Air Force "bling" to give away!!! (Thanks, Ssgt. Marunick!) C'mon over and raise a glass with us!

One small smack of reality: This very time next week my darling 1st born child will be anxiously bedding down in her dorm/barracks.


One pic from tonight to share...
They may not be getting much sleep lately, but they're still cute!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Is this the little boy at play?

About three weeks ago Joshua, his friend Ryan and I attended an Open House that I was surprised he wanted so much to attend. The city of Troy sponsors an Explorer group through their Police Department. It is for young people from ages 15-18 who want to experience facets of police work.

Now I know that Josh is a huge CSI (Vegas) fan and that he finds applied sciences exceedingly cool (Mythbusters), but the whole 'group joining' thing and the real police work the group does was a very pleasant surprise.

So far they have seen a K9 demo that was impressive (I was there for that one) and had a class in Tactical Defense that left him sore and happy. I'm missing something else they did but I'm positive that his response to the evening was "It was cool, mom!". (Does it hurt that there are two cute girls in the group too?)

In the coming weeks they will apply Strategic Tactics on a Lazer Tag field, learn and be certified in CPR (a re-do for J), and work his first official function with the Explorers and mentoring officers, a charity hockey game.

Crime scene investigation, defensive weapons and firing range experience, SWAT classes, ride-alongs, search and rescue (which includes rapelling off a 3 story training tower) and lots more are in store for them, Ryan also joined, and they're really excited about it all.

He'll have "Class A" and "Class B" uniforms (provided by the group, which is completely self-supporting - how cool is that?!) though he has to buy his own black boots. Can you hear him complaining? Me neither!!

So, without further ado, I give you my "rookie", Joshua, in his class B shirt, lookin' coooool, as always.


When you're preggers, one of the last things you do before having the baby is something they call "nesting". Suddenly you have all this energy for getting the 'nest' ready. You assemble the crib, unpack the clothes and make sure they're freshly washed, if you're ambitious you put a fresh coat of paint on the nursery walls.

Not that she is in ANY way, shape or form "with child" but today Avivah is nesting. (Cue the bird calls!)

She (and Justin) got up early to go to the gym, went to her former employer for a goodbye visit (that lasted 4 hours! LOL), stopped in at my store to give me a hug and a smile, went to the grocery store with V's dad, she and Justin made dinner for me that was hot and ready when I got home from work, we all ate together... and now???

Now she's cleaning her room!

I think I need to take her temperature. But no, that would call attention to all these positive AF preparations ~ which we moms know would call a screaming HALT to anything positive happening.

So I think I'll just blog about it and keep my happy dance to myself. ;)

Friday, February 1, 2008


Tonight Avivah and I went to our monthly chant group, Women with Wings West. It is a group of women who get together to do nothing more than share songs and sing them. We are blessed to belong to this group of incredible people. No instruments, no reading music, no song sheets. We teach each other the melodies and words all by rote. We value and strive to retain traditional oral teaching methods and keep the chatter of fellowship to a minimum. The time is for the work of singing.

This evening was V's last time with this group as a civilian... at least for the next several years... Both she and I were (are!) tired and emotions were (are!) running high as she curled up next to me as we sang. Dang we had a great time tonight.

I found that one song really ambushed me tonight but it spoke my mind so strongly that I HAD to put it here. I made it through one time (we do each chant/song at least 3 or 4x) and kinda 'lost it' as I felt each word get caught in my heart, and then my throat.

I think many of you will understand. So tonight I bid you goodnight with a chant that I dedicate to my butterfly, my V. "I love you, baby"

Rise, rise
Little butterfly, rise
To the calling of your spirit
Fly free
And know you are held in love.