Thursday, March 27, 2008


Taken just after the Coin Ceremony.

More to come. Promise!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

According to J

Italian Cheese Bread Missile

Seriously folks, I adore this kid.

For the insatiably curious (moi!)


Specialty Summary: Services and maintains, or supervises these actions on missiles, unmanned air vehicles (UAV), boosters, payloads, research and development (R&D) systems, environmental blast doors and valves, associated subsystems, components, and support equipment (SE). Launches, tracks, and recovers UAVs. Operates and maintains related equipment. Designs R&D systems. Performs acquisition and activation activities. Related DoD Occupational Subgroup: 163200.

Duties and Responsibilities: Performs missile maintenance actions at flightline, railhead, support base, and launch, launch control, and storage facilities, and insures compliance with international treaties. Inspects, repairs, adjusts, and replaces, or supervises these actions, on components and subcomponents. Mechanically or electrically connects or disconnects reentry systems, guidance and control sections, missile stages, propulsion systems, and secondary ordnance devices at the launch facility. Prepares missile and launch facility for simulated launch and follow-on test and evaluation. Performs preventive maintenance inspections and electrical tests on missiles; missile components; launch and launch control facilities; support vehicles; hydraulic, pneudraulic, and pneumatic systems; and SE. Initiates unsatisfactory reports, failure reports, or proposed modifications. Performs intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) coding activities.

Supervises transportation, assembly, and inspection of booster and payload functions, their subsystems, and SE. Directs and controls activities of contractor personnel during space launch activities. Supervises loading, transportation, unloading, inspection, assembly, and hoisting of boosters, payloads, component parts, and satellites at space launch facilities; preparation of space launch complexes; and erection and mating of booster sections, payloads, and SE. Supervises or performs preventive maintenance inspections. Practices and supervises safety procedures when handling nitrogen, liquid fuels, oxidizers, and ordnance devices. Uses technical publications to evaluate malfunctions, and recommends corrective action.

Performs and evaluates laboratory R&D activities. Assembles, installs, and tests R & D systems such as laser, electromagnetic launcher, energetic materials, propulsion, high powered microwave, satellite, telescope, and pointing and tracking. Maintains and resolves SE problems such as data acquisition, fiber optic, instrumentation, wind tunnel, high and low pressure gas, propellant mixing and molding, and exotic fuel storage systems.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Are we there yet???

I just got a call from Avivah. Her flight is babysitting a "baby flight" tonight so she was set for EC (Entry Control) and had some time to chat.

Even though her security clearance is still in-progress, she FINALLY got her job today! My baby is headed for Vandenberg AFB in CA for Tech School. This is a huge change from everything she'd been thinking, but she's delighted with it. Her job is going to be (dig this): Missle and Space Systems Maintenance (AFSC 2M032). Basically, my kid (heaven help us) is going to be working on ICBMs. Look out world!

I took the advice of my list and found out which flight she'll be in parade with (250). I also asked her to pick up her pictures. Then she volunteered to get us flight Tshirts, wahoo! Can't wait to see them.

V had a list of things she wanted from home for Tech: comfy PJ pants and tank tops were high on her list. She is desperate for anything Soft and Cozy!

Guess there's not much more to do now but GET THERE and HUG her!!

Thank you all for the love and support. I'll tell you all about it while we're there and more when I return too!

Getting Ready

I sorted and washed some summer clothes last night and switched over my heavy black handbag to a lighter woven one.

I never realized how impractical and cumbersome a women's wallet is! I have used a purse with an organizer and a inner pocket for cash and change for many years now but this one wasn't set up that way and I really like it so...

After getting everything into a wallet, that I actually own and was able to find, I decided I hated it! Ugh, what a pain! Grabbed this gorgeous leather man's billfold I got at a garage sale to give to Joshua (he prefers his duct tape wallet) and slid everything in. Voila! Accessiblility without more zippers and snaps than a pair of "date pants"!

There's no milk in the house. Today is trash day so that will be done. Mooch will be well cared for. Joshua has new sunglasses. All is set for tomorrow's departure.

Last but not least, I will change my beloved AF Moms and Dads list to "Digest" setting, generating only a couple posts a day (vs - well I won't even tell you how many, it's shocking). They really are the most supportive group imaginable. If your child ever undertakes the dream of serving our country in the Air Force, I cannot possibly recommend them more.

Much love to all the moms and dads, step and adopted too.
I'm taking you all with me tomorrow!

Monday, March 24, 2008

wait for it....


It's here.

I had to wait til midnight to write this, but now...

V is officially on...

WOT 6 !!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Button, button who's got the button?!


My lovely cat sitter, Cheryl, offered up her brother Don's services as a button-maker to make squadron buttons we can wear to support V on Grad weekend (NEXT WEEKEND!!!!!). I sent him a picture of the squadron crest and also attached a .jpg of the pic to an e-mail.

These very cool buttons, with the 324 crest on them, arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Quick delivery too! (Yes mom, I got one for each of us!) :)

On the back of each button is a sticker "Buttons by Don, Any Quantity, 989-843-7336" so I know he won't mind the free advertising here. His e-mail addy is: I can highly recommend his button-making service. Thanks Don, we'll wear them with pride!

Be forewarned, he may send a pic with him dressed as a *shudder* clown. :( (Yes, I'm Coulrophobic.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Dedication

This post is dedicated to my girlfriend Sharon who won't post a comment here on the blog.

I asked her... no comment.

I teased her... no comment.

I even told a funny story (her trademark) and mentioned her... still no comment.

Yes, she has a very busy full life and her own set of challenges. But sheesh, Gurl, a few words wouldn't hurt ya'!

So today, I dedicate this post to her and to our fabulous friendship. May it survive her comment boycott! :-P
LOVE YOU SHAR!!! (((sharlea)))

Friday, March 21, 2008

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot... or not

Last week the temps here in MI we running in the low 30's. Upon talking with Avivah the last time she said they had three "Black Flag" days in a row - which I believe means that it's over 90 with substantial humidity. Maybe they go by the heat index (?)

No outdoor marching allowed, it's that dangerous to the trainees. Hydration there is paramount, especially when running or doing other PT outdoors. (I'm not sure what they have for indoor PT/drill, she didn't say.) Hydration is a lesson they learn early on at BMT. Even when it's not that hot... it's that physically demanding! V said they are required to have a minimum of three glasses of unsweetened, uncarbonated beverages with every meal. Heck I have enough trouble committing to one glass of water with every meal, but I have and I'm doing it.

Given the temperature difference between here and there, I have started to delve through my summer clothes a little early. What happened to Spring?! It'll be here when I return. Yay.

It's a little disconcerting that I have changed sizes again and may have to look in the storage bins in the garage for things that fit. (up and down... and up :( once more) On the other hand it's motivating too. I'm anxious to be outdoors again, in my garden and walking around the neighborhood. I'm even looking forward to getting back to learning to golf! :)

So - thinking about the sweat box that I know San Antonio can be (been there a handfull of times before) I went looking for the forecast this morning. After all, even the 7-day forecast goes to the time we'll be there now! YAY!

Imagine my surprise to find that it's going to be AMAZING while we're there. Temps from the high 70's to mid 80's. Maybe one day of rain (Charles, can you fix that, please?). Of course, it'll feel warmer to us coming from the fridge, but in reality it will be simply gorgeous.

5 days til we leave... LET THE EXCITEMENT BEGIN!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Today I am fantastically grateful, blessed and happy!

6 years ago today I was awaiting some news. I was out stalking clearance racks for a bargain to occupy my mind when a phone call came in. It wasn't the number I was expecting but I answered anyways. The call went something like this:

"Hello, Mrs. Thomas?"
I recognized the voice "This is she. Dr. Kolin?" My heart was in my feet.
"Yeah, hi. I was just calling to ask you who is treating Joshua's sinus infection."
"He has a sinus infection?"
"Oh yeah, both sides poor kid. How's he feeling? Wait, the oncologist didn't call you?"
At this point my stomach joined my feet. "No. I thought this call might be him. He's feeling ok. Can you tell me anything?"
"Oh, Oh sure! Joshua's scans are clear. He's ok. He's in remission."

This part (above) I will forever remember almost verbatim. The rest of the conversation is a blur. I leaned on a wall and had to hold myself from sliding down it as I talked.

Somehow prescriptions were written to take care of the sinus infection and I thanked her (profusely, I'm sure) and hung up. I remember calling Tim and having to leave him a message. I remember calling my mother, still in the store, and both of us crying for joy.

Not even knowing why the heck I was there in the first place, I left the store and had a good cry in my car. Minutes later I started calling everyone I knew and shared the good news. Joshua's battle with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma Nodular Sclerosis was over. He had won. We all did.

To this day. Today. We celebrate it as his birthday. Lucky boy has 2 of them! In November he will be 17. Today he is 6. Last year we had a big gathering for his 5th birthday. It was the banner year we could say he was "cured". This year will be quieter but no less joyous.

On his birthday in November he gets presents and stuff. Today we celebrate the greatest gift anyone can be given, the gift of a healthy life.

Today I am outraged.
5 years ago today we declared war on Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his regime.
5 years and so many senseless casualties.
5 years of questionable and downright faulty government intelligence.
5 years of looking for WMD that may never have existed.
5 years of oil moguls and contractors getting filthy rich off supplying the war and the ever-escalating cost of fossil fuel.
5 years of a quandry. How do we as a nation express our pride in America and our military, yet mourn thousands of innocents caught in the web of a war for which our nation bares a lion's share of responsibility?
5 years of praying for this war to end, for our leaders to wake up and solve the problems that face US here in OUR nation and to make US their top priority, for change, for a victory that can only come when there is no need for the power of one nation over another.
5 years of praying for peace, for salaam, for shalom.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sing it Like You're Preachin'!

This morning brought a short road trip with good friends Gary & Lynne. First we met up with Mark for breakfast at the Something Coney Island, which is oddly akin to the Insert-Name-Here Coney Island (aka: I can't remember what it's called), then we all went over to my favorite shopping and home-idea mecca:

(Which one must SING like the word "Hallelujah!" according to my sister Julie.)

Since finding IKEA Gary and Lynne have become more proficient than I am at navigating the aisles and shortcuts through the "Human Habitrail" designed like a Vegas casino to disorient and get you to lose track of time. It's impressive.
I didn't have much on my shopping list today. I needed 'red label' coffee (I can't pronounce the Swedish name for it to save my life). But ended up replacing my long-lost LemonZester too. Yay!
I got home in time to change clothes and dash to work. Just got home not too long ago.
An IKEA giggle:

Also today, a warm welcome to friend and fellow blogger Di, whom I have been blessed to have known for... wow... is it 10 years now?! eek!

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm almost embarrassed to say it...

I know that I have been told that "No news from BMT is good news" but in our case it's been, "Hi V. You ok?" It's a tad inconsistent and certainly NOT what other BMT parents should expect. Leave it to MY kid to find a way to talk on the phone a bunch!!!

Today it was a call asking about my citizenship to complete the input for her security clearance. You'd think that was an easy question but in my particular case it isn't.

You see, like a Conehead, I was born in France, in a US Army field hospital. My dad was stationed there and my mom, well obviously she was there too (Hi Mom!) It's not like *I* had a choice! So I have a French birth certificate and a US Army birth certificate. This means that from the get-go I had dual citizenship.

However, at the age of 18 I automatically forfeit the French and became a full American citizen. No paperwork. Nothing to do. I have no "naturalization papers" and no document to prove anything actually happened to change my standing. Just *poof*... 100% American (as I really always had been).

So where, on this computerized form that V was filling out, is there a place to tell that kind of tale? Nowhere. In the end she had to take the information I told her and ask the TSgt. on duty. I have no idea what happened but I doubt it will stand in her way (at least it had BETTER NOT!)
Meanwhile she had a few minutes to talk (am I blessed or what?!) and I heard about FTX and AEF (Air Expeditionary Force) Harlow, which is the section she was in while there. (Still no official word on if they made AEF Flight of excellence.)

I told her about the plans we have for coming to grad and that I bought her a bathing suit so she can relax and have fun in the hotel pool. I brought her up to speed on her fellow AB, Breanna, and V sent a big, "HooRah! Hi Bre!" back to her!

I was able to share the 'Ryan and Rebecca' story with her. She'll keep an eye out for both of them. Apparently they have a "baby flight" moving in upstairs who are 2nd WOT's so who knows! The kids are all 324 KNIGHTS so there's a chance. I told her to say something to them about being from MI. That'll freak 'em out. hee hee

She did get a chance or two to write letters home. So why haven't we received any, you ask? Well it seems that they haven't earned the priviledge of MAILING them yet! Oy vey. On the flip side I suppose it's only fair... She has a bunch of everyone's letters in her mailbox and hasn't earned the priveledge of READING them yet! Sorry, I find it twistedly amusing.

Wishing y'all a Happy St. Paddy's Day (Bring Back The Snakes!) and happy wearing o' the Orange (oops, green). ;) Ciao for now!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I have a funny story

And yes, Sharon, it's really a story and it's really funny!

More than a month ago some very nice parents, Jackie and Ken, joined the AF list because their son Ryan was in the delayed enlistment program (like V was). They happen to live in Michigan, about 20 miles south east of me. We've yet to meet (I promise we will!) but have been talking via e-mail and phone. I called Jackie on the evening of March 3rd as her son was preparing to leave the next morning. She was just as sweet in voice and personality as she is in the written word.

Ryan is beginning his second week of BMT tomorrow and Jackie has become yet another wonderful voice on the list. It's really nice to have someone understand how excited I am about going to BMT grad not just to see my child... but to get WARM too!!!

This past week it was my responsibility to find someone to come in daily to see to Mooch's needs, bring in the mail and water my plants. I e-mailed a few, called a few, was disappointed to find some that sounded great in print but were out of business (several). In my e-mail I said that we were going to be out of town attending our daughter's graduation from AF Basic Training. In the end only heard back from three of them out of about 10.

One was more into dog training so was calling to tell me 'no thanks'. One called, e-mailed paperwork and was waiting on my schedule to set up an appointment to meet. This sounded like it was an easy, positive solution so I was prepared to go with it. Simple is good, yes? I printed out the forms.

Later that evening I sat down to fill out the forms and an e-mail came in from yet a third pet sitter. The first thing she wrote was, "First of all, I want to tell you how proud I am of your daughter!! My daughter has also just gone in to the AFB, and she's on week 1." I set the paperwork aside and read more. This deserved my attention.

Not only did I respond, but I did a good turn as Deb did with me, I invited her to join the list of AF Moms and Dads. I knew that there were other parents who had kids at BMT, as do I, right now so Cheryl was in good hands and would no longer be alone with her MilitaryAcronym websites trying to decipher it all by herself.

She joined the list and I soon decided that I would rather support an AF Mom than an impersonal company any day. Cheryl lives about 15 miles to the north west of me so this will work out well. I hired her to be Mooch's buddy while we're away. She has a bubbly, enthusiastic personality. Mooch will love her.

Well it took less than 24 hours but Jackie posted that her son left about the same time that Cheryl's daughter Rebecca did and that it was nice to 'meet' her. Chatter got to discussing the swearing in ceremony which Jackie and Ken attended, but at the request of her daughter Rebecca, Cheryl did not.
So in comes this e-mail from Jackie... something to the affect of: "Cheryl, I think I may have a picture of Rebecca at the swearing in!" Now seriously folks, what are the odds of this happening on a national list?

Jackie posted the picture and sure enough Cheryl responded... Rebecca is standing directly in front of Ryan! Check it out!

What I didn't tell either one of them is that Rebecca is standing in the exact same spot as Avivah did just three weeks prior. *sniff!*

So that's my funny story of serendipity. I feel like the list 'matchmaker' LoL I know I'll meet Cheryl in person this week and I intend to meet Jackie and Ken soon, if not before V's grad then just after. Can't wait.

And just for Cheryl, I'm signing off with a picture of Mooch today!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sign of the Times

A photo blog of Joshua and I creating the Airman's Run Sign.

It all starts with measuring the bottom of the suitcase...

With those measurements, we went as large as we thought we could reasonably hold... and still watch V run by! Posterboards cut to be taken apart and reassembled to full size in TX!

Joshua designed the letters using a can of Monster energy drink as his font inspiration. It was pretty remarkable.

Enter the hot pink "V", also designed and drawn by Joshua. (Mom does all the letter cutting and gluing.)

Totally glued, assembled and silver glittered (around the V).


And to top it all off... She called!

"Hey, V! How are you?!"

"I'm GREAT!" and so it went.

She LOVED FTX though it was really hard in many ways. Nothing was said about any physical pain or problems (yay). Her wingman that wasn't getting any mail is loving hearing her name read at mail call. (Thank you, AF MOMS!) She actually thought the Gas Chamber experience was "cool" and said that their group of females did just fine... it was the males that had a few wimp out! LoL

She loved firing the M16, though through her scratched and foggy used chem suit mask she didn't do as well in evals as she wanted. I loved that she then used 'my line': "It is what it is." Yep, true. Always is. :)

As she spoke they were on pins and needles waiting to see who made top AEF (I don't know this one but I'm assuming F=flight).

Nutshell version? Although she has a very intense week coming up, with a lot of classes, tests and her run eval... she's having the time of her life!!!


Saturday 3/8 was the 10th wedding anniversary of my dear friends Stefani & Rob. To commemorate the day (and to have the wedding they never had) they renewed their vows in a beautiful ceremony I was honored to have attended.

So to pretty up the blog a bit, I present to you my friends Stef and Rob!

I am pleased as punch to have these wonderful people and their 2 children as friends. Wishing you two much joy always, Moi

Friday, March 14, 2008

They're Here

My sheet of 20 custom made "Proud Parent" stamps arrived in yesterday's mail!

Ooo, I am so tempted to use them, but I know that I really can't be sending those to BMT. The wrath V would endure would be so not cool. Can you hear it now? "Who do you think you are? You THINK you're an Airman? Well you're NOT!"... and on and on and on.

I have to admit... there's a teeny tiny evil streak inside me that wants to do it anyways. ROFL!!! Baaaaad Mommy!

G. S. A.

No, it's not a military acronym.
This is a shout out of thanks to AF mom Deb, who helped me with GSA = Graphic Snitching Assistance, in order to get his Faboo graphic you see
<--- where it says Proud AF mom.

Thanks Deb! You're a Whiz!

Nice Evening

I finally got to spend time with Joshua yesterday evening. What a gift.

The 3 of us (I'm still getting used to that) went out for our favorite dinner salads (Hellenic's Chicken Greek, OMG) where the funniest discussion of shampoos manly-men find acceptable ensued.

Nothing fruity, or girlie-scented, but the bright-green-bottle kind of fruity (turned out to be Garnier) is ok. Some that smell good just aren't good enough quality and I was informed of the 'rule' that you can't mix Old Spice body spray with Axe shampoo or vice versa (he has both).

I gave up.

Since he and I wanted to get the supplies for the Airman's Run sign we're designing together, we made a plan to go to Target so he could find whatever hereby dubbed ManPoo he wanted and get poster board too!

He ended up getting the Garnier ManPoo he wanted (not the upside down stuff, that was 'weird'), I got more Ricola (did I tell you I'm STILL coughing?) and we found the black and white posterboards. They didn't have Neon Pink (V's least fave color, LoL) or any silver glitter so I'll head out today to grab those.

At home, J got down the suitcase I'll be taking to TX (in 12 days!) and we started measuring and creating (bwahahahaha!). I'll post the whole sign-making process complete with pics soon.

Oh! And school for him is good, Econ is boring. He's wrapping up the testing he's been taking so he hasn't had a full normal day yet. So far so good.

On another topic...

V FINISHES FTX WEEK TODAY! Not sure if phone time is something they will get after completing FTX but my phone is charged and ready. I'll ask for an exception to carry my phone during work later today. Don't call for fun... I'll jump right out of my skin! :-o

Thursday, March 13, 2008

J update

A week or so ago Joshua took part in the All City Concert with about 600 other kids in the school district from grades 4-12. I couldn't get all the kids in the shot - and we were sitting in the bleachers! You need a microscope, but J is waaaay on top in a tux, probably next to a pretty girl. The kids all sounded great.

Another night, as a part of the Troy Police Explorers, Joshua and his friend Ryan helped run the annual fundraiser hockey game that pitted the Troy Police Hockey team against the Red Wing Alumni team. This is the RWA line up. I wrote down the last names of the players but most of them meant nothing to me. Sorry!

And this is the color guard in full dress. I was impressed!

The game itself was fun. It was exactly like you'd imagine it'd be to watch a Harlem Globetrotters game! Trick shots, comaraderie, terribly non-kosher plays that cracked us up and they slaughtered the Troy Team 9-2 (or was it 3? It didn't matter, that wasn't the point.)

Ah... da BOYZ, in their official TPE jackets just after the game.

You only Rabbit Ears the ones you love... RIGHT!?

Joshua started his third Trimester yesterday but I worked a double, J worked til 7 and I went to my friend Lorie's for dinner and a much-needed, hour-long hot tub, so I missed seeing him last night. I'll catch him today and check in on how it's going. I know he's really excited to go to TX in... 13 days! :) Me Too!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

... and counting

15 days til we go to Texas
16 days til I HOPE to see V go by in the Airman's Run
17 days til graduation and finally A HUG!

Of course, that is based on the faith that I have in her coming through FTX week with flying colors ~ no matter how muddy!


Monday, March 10, 2008


Yes, for those of us who are new at this... Military acronyms are a PITA! (Look it up!)

WOT = Week Of Training

4 = 4 LoL!

Yep "our females", Avivah, Monika and Jessica are in their 4th week of BMT which means they're off to Field Training Experience (FTX) also known as WarriorWeek . They left yesterday and will return on Friday around lunchtime.

The week for them will be filled with MREs, M16 training and firing, a Gas Mask/Chamber experience, putting up big tents, lots of testing of their 'memory work', running a challenge [read: obstacle] course and much more.

It's also, just their luck, forecast to be a pretty "volitile" weather-week in San Antonio!

Monday, 4pm: Currently 58F. Showers early, then partly cloudy overnight. Low 49F. Chance of rain 50%.
Tuesday: Sun and a few passing clouds. High 74F. Low 49F.
Wednesday: Sunshine. Highs in the low 80s. Lows in the low 50s.
Thursday: Partly cloudy, thunderstorms likely late in the day. Highs in the mid 80s. Lows in the mid 50s.
Friday: Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 90s and lows in the upper 50s.

As far as I can figure they're going to be a very grundgy, muddy crew when they return! Can't wait to hear how it went and all the details, but wow, I don't envy them all that sloggin' through the Texas mud OR the clean up duties!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Shout Outs! - updated*

First: Two good news shout outs:
AF mom Michelle's son is coming home from Quatar very soon!

AF mom Lyn's son came home from Kuwait! In fact, Lyn's son is safely back in Oklahoma on his base already. That was fast!

*Shout outs to Deb, Mom, Shar, Mark, Lolly & Brenda 1 who all need light and to be returned to good health. I send you a wish for R'fuah Shlema (complete healing).

And to my son, Joshua. Finals are over and he thinks he did pretty well. He has Monday off for records day, but takes the ACT and other grade level testing on Tuesday. Besides, he's a terrific kid. LOVE YOU!

I stole the idea of sending 'shout outs' from my friend and celeb uber-blogger Trent . So HA! There's a shout out to YOU!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fair Warning

I'm being controversial this evening. Feel free to look the other way if you choose. After all, this is America!
* * *
I did it. I wore a red shirt on a Friday specifically to "see whatever it is I'd see".

I wear my AF "wings" pin every day; Ssgt. Marunick gave them to me afer I helped with recruiting at V's HS and they're very special to me. I actually feel closer to Avivah when I wear them. Today I added my safety pin flag too. To make a point? To see if people would comment? I'm not certain. It looked good so I wore it.

Add to that, that I saw around 100 people between 10am and 3pm (our store has a HUGE sale going on) and I ran errands after work too so I think it was a decent 'sample'.

Survey says: I felt nothing different today vs. when I wear red shirts (I do it a lot, it's a good color on me) on any other day of the week. I didn't feel as though I was supporting my daughter or our troops. I didn't feel a part of a larger movement or noble statement. No one said anything or looked twice. I was a woman wearing a sweater that may as well have been olive drab.

I'm giving it another week or so and then I'll try doing it again. Maybe it's habit-forming?!
* * *
End controversial post.

Not what I expected

All those wonderful AF moms and dads out there in www land prepared me well for hearing nothing from my daughter for 6.5 weeks. No news IS good news. Well, after the first mandatory address call that is.
My experience has been a little different.

You see, Avivah called again.

It's the middle of the morning, with me in the middle of Michael's, buying ribbon for the tables at Stef & Rob's vow renewal this Saturday, and off my phone goes. I just about dropped all the stuff I was carrying when I saw area code 210.

This time there was no tact to be had... "OMG V. Are you ok?" I said.

"Umm, yeah Mom. I'm ok. I'm ok, but are you sitting down?"

Oh crap. My heart took a dive and I lied. "Sure, lay it on me."

"I'm in an office building most of the day today. The jobs I want need me to have a security clearance so I'm testing and working on that today. I need some numbers from you so they gave me a phone pass. There's no one around me here and I can talk!"

This is what I heard: Everything's fine and they want to give MY daughter a high security clearance! Eek!

Here's more of what I heard after that... her MTI went ballistic after their limited base liberty (the Subway feast) because SOME trainees did things they weren't allowed to do (not her), the MTI got taken off their flight for a day and apologized when she returned, there's another inspection coming up (isn't there always?!) which is very important (isn't it always?!).

This security clearance testing includes things like "fear testing". Is she afraid of guns, of combat... Sheesh, do I really want to know??? Ok, yes, you're right, I do.

They're getting ready for Field Training week (Warrior Week) which means a "bay" of them (about 22 girls) will be putting up a huge tent. In her words: "This is a HUGE tent, Mom. And I'm in a SHORT BAY!" I cracked up. Her wingmen aren't much taller than she. Not sure how they're going to solve that one, but I have faith that they will.

She's having a little trouble with her left knee but is doing all she can to take care of it while still keeping it strong.

At the end of this week is a Blue (rope/line... i dunno what) where they line up as a flight and, if they're name is called, they step up and fall back... which means they're being recycled. Oy.

"V, is there any chance that you'll be called?"

"I don't think so mom. I'm doing pretty well as long as my run time keeps improving."

Ok, breathing again.

OH! and since this is a really long post titled "Not what I expected"...

I got home from work around 7:15 and was greeted by Tim saying "V CALLED!" This time it was dad's turn to be flabberghasted.

She put him through his paces though, LOL. She needed something from her bedroom. Now if you remember back to my description of this war zone she calls a room you'll have some smidgen of an idea what a big request this was. But we're parents and dumpster diving (homage to Hallie ) is what we do if asked. Avivah needed her passport number as part of this security clearance process.

Well Dad faithfully tried for about 5 minutes while holding the phone with V guiding him in one hand. I can't imagine how funny looking that must've been. V was called away and Tim gave up but we still needed this number for her.

It was a good thing he suggested going out to dinner before diving in. I needed the fortitude! In the end we came home, dove and found it. So now both of us are walking around with this number in our pockets for the next time she calls.

So... Who was it that prepared me for not hearing a peep?!?!? :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


My girlfriend Sharon and I followed a link (long distance from DC via Instant Message) yesterday evening to the PitneyBowes sight and there, I found that I can make custom postage. Oh, the possibilities!

Of course I had to make an AF parent stamp for letters I'll send after BMT. Can't use anything now that will attract attention! I used a graphic another AF mom sent me that I really like.

Here it is! I ordered a sheet (20) of my own custom-made, .41 stamps.

Nifty, eh?

Isn't it Ironic?!

Ok, kind of like Alanis' song, the answer is "No, it isn't". This isn't irony either... but it sounds like it is!

You read the end of the blog post yesterday where I said Joshua was taking more of his Finals today??? Well we got whalloped by snow over night (between 6-8" + blowing and drifting) and voila - SNOW DAY!

So now there's no school today and there IS school on Friday when they were supposed to have had it off.

Those parents who had plans to go out of town are probably freaking out. The kids are freaking out because it's Finals week. The Administration's freaking out because they now need to change everything... they're giving the kids MONDAY off now - which will be records day for teachers (as opposed to Friday). And the new Trimester will start a day late. Sheesh!

Me? I have a half acre long driveway to shovel before I can leave for work! Got to be there for 9:30. Heck, I'm off to wake "Snow Day Boy" to help!

Big thanks to AF mom Brenda for the smiling snowman graphic!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Time Warp Time

A week or two ago I showed you a pic of my nephew (The teeny tiny speck in the plane, remember?! Of course you do!)

THIS is what Joshua and Hunter looked like for most of the time he and my sister Karen were visiting (from MD). There's a computer, on YouTube no doubt, in the cabinet!

And now, as promised... a pic of my nephew, Junior Civil Air Patrol Cadet Airman Hunter B., in his dress blues.

Impressive, eh? We're incredibly proud of him and I know he's just as proud of Avivah. I can't wait to get a pic of all our kids in their uniforms. Joshua will be getting his Police Explorer uniform soon. Too cool.


Back in the time warp... My sister Julie had a family lunch at her house just before V left. This pic is from that day. My neice Hannah (not the little one pictured, that's her sister Tillie) took pics for a "magazine" she wanted to create titled Boys In Barrettes. Lucky Justin got selected for the cover.

Are you cracking up yet???

That's it from the mayhem for now. Joshua is taking one final today and the rest over the next two days. Wish him luck!

Monday, March 3, 2008


Avivah Just Called!!!!

Awesome news from her - V's flight passed an inspection and did so well they made HONOR FLIGHT! Because of that they earned long showers, a trip to the mini mall and patio time, which means phone calls.

They'll have another inspection (not sure when) to try to make Honor Flight at Graduation. I have no idea what that means in the scheme of things, but she sounded absolutely delighted with what they've accomplished so far! LOL

Classes are going well. She loved self defense (helps that she was a third degree Green sash in Wushu Kung Fu) and is looking forward to more of that. She still rocks with her M16. She got her official ID card. It's one of the first official things that says AIRMAN on it so she was tickled.

She mentioned that she got to open all of her letters today. She says thank you so much to everyone who's written so far.

Drew, She was THRILLED that you wrote. Do it again!

Trills, you sneaky blessed people. I love you all soooo much. I had no idea you all wrote to her last weekend. Guess what? Yours was the only letter that made her cry. Thank you for touching her heart (and mine) so deeply.

Mom, Deb, Corinne, Debbie and everyone else, she says that the support you've sent means so much to her. She feels the LURVE! :)

She got to talk directly to Joshua for the first time since 2/12 and she thanked him personally for his letter. Gosh, the two of them miss each other so much. It was cool that it was Joshua who got to tell her that we had just made our reservations for graduation. She told him how many days until their reunion. He really got a kick out of her countdown.

She also gave me the name of one of her Wingmen who gets very little mail. You can comment or e-mail me for the information if you'd be so kind as to send a note to this young female trainee.

Avivah and her boyfriend Justin got to hold hands in Chapel today. When they were questioned about it she spoke up saying that this has been her 'partner' for two years now. To her surprise, the TI in Chapel was supportive and let them HUG! Outside of the chapel they aren't really supposed to even talk to each other. Talk about making her day!

She went to the dispensary today to get a "Cold Pack" (Advil, Sudafed and cough drops) because she has fluid in her ear that hurts when she runs. I encouraged her to really keep up with the Sudafed and to stay hydrated. I don't want the Advil to mask an ear infection if she has one. Told her to get it seen ASAP if she feels it getting even a little bit worse.

The most telling part of the conversation was that today in Chapel they did a guided meditation where they were to "go" to a place where they were safe and happy. When it ended they shared a little about "where they were" and why. She said, "Mom, I was right here." I just about cried to hear her this proud of herself and the teamwork of which she's a part. THAT'S the pride in herself I've wanted for her all along.

Of course, it could have been that V was just "high" on having taken a really long hot shower and eating at SUBWAY! No matter - I couldn't be happier for her.

One verrrrrryyyy proud mom, signing off for the night.



Here is it, Day 1 of Week of Training 3. This is almost it. Almost "Half Way" through BMT.

To celebrate, today Tim made our plane/hotel/rental car reservations for graduation. YIPEE!

We got a very good deal as far as I can tell. Huge thanks to a BMT Grad wife (Barbara) and an AF Mom (Peggy) from my beloved list. They both suggested
Expedia and to look for (air/car/hotel) package deals. Another mom from the list (Judy) suggested the hotel we've booked. We were able to get cancellation coverage for the whole package through Expedia too so now we're pretty much set.

Have I told you how thankful I am for these amazing AF Moms & Dads and BMTGrad people?! Mucho!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Thanks, I think

It's good to know that I have every single song I could ever want on my playlist already. So much so that you have nothing to add to my list.

I suppose I should take that as a compliment! Glad you're enjoying it.