Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Benefits of Being 10!!!

It's now official. McKenzie is 10. She has her own dependant military ID and now she can stay at home alone. Granted, mom won't leave her long or while I'm off base, but she is allowed to stay there for a little while. I had TONS of paperwork to take care of today....thanks to the AF and their mess ups and my husband being deployed. I was able to leave Kenzie and take Miranda to run errands several times today. I only had to tote one and they weren't fighting!!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dance Recital

Miranda had her end of the year recital last night. Miss. Tonya, Mirnada's teacher, was so excited that Miranda's "dad" could be there, she wanted pictures and even kissed him!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Summer Has Arrived!

The temperature has been in the 90s most of this week. The humidity isn't too bad yet, but maybe I am used to it. I am sure all of you from the Northwest would say that it was really muggy, but we haven't seen the worst of it yet.

The girls had their final day of school yesterday. I am excited, but very apprehensive! They are completely excited!!!!! I have been "bribing" them in hopes of good behavior and helping around the house. (It worked) They earned their reward the last day of scooters! (good planning mom :) I wanted them to have a new little entertainment for summer. It has worked for a day! Hopefully it will continue.

Thank You Starbucks!

Our buddy Blake from Starbucks has donated coffee supplies for the troops in Baghdad. I will be trying to ship these through the Air Force in the next couple of days. Dave, more coffee syrup is on it's way.
He tried to buy a bottle from somebody in Iraq and they offered to sell it to him per shot. It figured up to be $60 a bottle....he didn't need it that bad :)

Thanks Blake!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tooth Fairy is Loosing Money Fast!

McKenzie lost a tooth yesterday and now Miranda lost a tooth today. We have nicknamed Miranda...Gummy Bear. We normally call her Randa Panda or Panda Bear, but now she is going to be Gummy Bear for a few weeks!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

American Idol Tour Stops at Maxwell

McKenzie's 10th Birthday party was this Friday. This year, I put together a party that all the girls will be talking about for some time! We had a fabulous time. I booked several special guests. We sang Karaoke and had a wonderful time!

Our very own Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell (our neighbors Dallas & KC)

I was even able to have Dad home for the night. He wouldn't miss Kenzie's 10th birthday party...OK, it wasn't quite dad, but it fooled the cat!

We sang Karaoke and played dress-up. The real dad is going to have quite the competition to come home to. This one is pretty fun!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dave has arrived.

I talked to Dave on the phone for a few minutes today. He has arrived in Baghdad safely to his camp. He said that things there are "nice." He is excited that milk is accessible....lattes :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chappy's Bike

Look who's riding! McKenzie and Miranda got a surprise visitor today. It is our fellow Foursquare Chaplain "Chappy" Watties. The girls adore Mr. Chappy and Ms. Anna. He was playing in a baseball game on base and knew that one of the girls would love to go. The only problem was deciding who. McKenzie went and Miranda and I went shopping, played a game, rode bikes and painted in her watercolor book. Chappy promised that he will be back before he moves and let Miranda have a ride too!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Abe & George

Miranda brought these pictures home and I couldn't stop laughing. I absolutely LOVED them! I get a giggle every time I see them.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was a great day. The girls were very thoughtful. Dave had taken them shopping before he left and McKenzie had it all planned out. She picked up a card when we were at the store the day before and hid in her room and wrapped up the gift. She had it waiting for me on Sunday morning in the living room. They couldn't wait for me to open it. It was scrapbooking stapler! I always need more "tools." We went to church and out to lunch and then to the craft store, where else would we go? We took a bike ride and made Kenzie's birthday inviations for this Friday. The girls made it a great day for me!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Crazy Picture Day

We had a great Saturday. It rained and changed some of our plans. When it wasn't raining we played with friends and after it was dark, I did pedicures for the girls. I couldn't find the white fingernail polish for their french manicures. They were disappointed. I'll have to stop by the store tomorrow for some.

We stopped by Walmart to get cards for Mothers. Sorry! They are going to be late. I am guessing that you can excuse them being late, considering the week that we have had. It's a good excuse this year, not that it would be any different. I never give myself enough mailing time. After Walmart, we stopped at the Dollar Tree and purchased the teeth in McKenzie's photos. The girls have had several hours of enjoyment out of the little prank kit they got. Miranda picked up another Care Bear puzzle. She LOVES games....anything to do together with another family member.

This is the famous surviving egg from the 50-60 foot didn't survive 5 minutes at home after school. I am not sure how it survived the rest of the day of school. McKenzie wanted to commemorate the occasion with a picture.

Dave called around 4:30 this afternoon. He has checked in at the staging point in "Theater." He should be flying out to his duty station in a few days. He was tired because of the time changes and all of the travel. He was very excited. He was able to stop over in Ireland. That was a true treat for him. He has always wanted to go. Unfortunately, it was just in the airport.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

McKenzie's Egg Drop a Success!

McKenzie's 4th grade class performed an egg drop from the aircraft control tower on base. After a little research on the internet....oh the power of the > internet.....she discovered that marshmallows are a great cushion. She packaged her egg tightly surrounded by marshmallows in an empty large soup can. We closed it tight with duct tape and attached an umbrella. The umbrella didn't work as a chute, but turned upside down and carried the tin can to the ground.
There were three drops from the tower. The first was from the lower level, the second was from the higher level and the third was from the higher level without a chute and removing some of the packing. It was a lot of fun and her egg was safe after all three drops. It worked! Great job McKenzie!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Chaplain Leonard off to Iraq

Dave is off.....We said good bye to him at the airport this morning. The travel should take him around three-four days to arrive.

The girls did exceptionally well. We warned them that there were several people deploying and that making a scene could be distracting to the others. We were afraid that they may hang on Dave and not let him go. They did great. They were a little tired of waiting. I stopped by the store and let them pick out their favorite lunch for school and dropped them off to eat with their friends. I think I will try to plan a special dinner. McKenzie has already requested fondue.....TONS of calories, but lots of fun! Of course she doesn't really care about the cheese fondue or the vegetables, it's the chocolate that she likes! You can tell that she is my girl :)We will miss him, but we won't let it stop us from having some fun.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dance Photos

Miranda received her dance photos today. She is part of a tap/ballet class in Montgomery. She is on the bottom row in the middle. McKenzie danced the first part of the year, but her school work was getting to be too much, so she had to resign. She is looking forward to cheerleading next year.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Big News!

I received big news last night! My brother called and said that Krystal is expecting their first little one. I am going to be a new Auntie! The girls are very excited about the news too! Their reaction was "cool, cousins!" Note, the plural version of their excitement! (Brian and Krystal are pictured in the "countdown" blog standing in the Gulf of Mexico.)

We had dinner with some friends here at Maxwell last night and they had the same exciting news! Please pray for both of the new little lives and that the pregnancies go smoothly and the babies will be perfect and healthy!

This all sounds like a good excuse to fly back to Oregon! I say that now, but we'll see how it works out in January.

Chapel hosts going away for Dave and Luke

This afternoon the chapel had a small going away ceremony for Dave and Armn. Luke Duran, his chapel assistant. Now you have a face to put with your prayers for Luke too!

It is tradition at the Maxwell Chapel for the deployed member to take one of the hands of a set of praying hands and the chapel displays the remaining hands. It was so reassuring to have all of the chaplains and staff offer their help to me and pray over Dave and Luke before they leave. We have a wonderful staff to work with.

Miranda's Field Trip to the Zoo

Miranda's kindergarten class went to the zoo this morning. I was able to get Dave away from work this morning to tag along.....he doesn't have too many responsibilities this week.

We weren't terribly excited about walking around to view animals that we had seen several times before after a huge vacation to Orlando. I have plenty of laundry waiting for me back home. But it was more about spending a few hours with Miranda before Dave leaves. Besides the family time, the highlight for me was the baby Chimpanzee. I don't think I had seen one before. It was a lot of fun to watch her.

Monday, May 08, 2006


We went around the corner from our house, just behind the golf course to one of the base lakes. We fished for about two hours.....I forgot how much fun it is. I now have another fun item to put on our summer to-do list. The girls enjoyed it, but didn't like baiting the hook....I guess they aren't supposed to like that part. I am not sure if you can get a close up of Kenzie's face, but it is priceless. She didn't like it at all. Now Miranda, she loved the thought of touching chicken livers, but was scared of the hook. I think she did it just to spite her sister. The only successful fisherman was Dave. He brought in a catfish. We didn't measure it....but as you can see it was pretty good sized. He had another one on the line about the same size and it got away. It wasn't just a fish story. I saw it too! It got away right as the security guard came up to tell us that we had to fish on the other side of the road.
So, we went to the other side and no luck. I wanted to stay a lot longer, but the rest of the family decided to pack up. It was painful to go home and have Dave be the only one who caught a didn't seem quite fair :)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Countdown....

We are down to the last week before Dave leaves.
He is expected to fly out soon. We just returned from a vacation in Orlando. We had a blast. It was hard to drive back, knowing that Dave will be leaving soon.
Our vacation included three days at Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, and lots of food. We didn't want to have to go home and called and extended a day and stayed for a Medeival Times dinner show.
It was great! The girls loved it as much as Dave and I. I will include some pictures for you to see.

I wanted to get a picture of him in his desert camo, but they are too stinky with bug repellant. I'll let him air them out in the desert and send me a photo. I'll try to update it shortly.

He has heard that the Baghdad chapel can use some more coffee beans. He has already shipped an espresso machine....he wanted to make sure it was waiting there for him.

Starbucks was generous enough to donate it to the troops there. Thanks Blake!

The girls seem to be doing well. We'll see how Thursday goes.
I am trying to keep it exciting with a "girl summer" theme.

I am doing well too! I have a cruise booked for after Dave returns. He should be returning around the end of September. It will give me a little incentive to loose the lagging 5 pounds and prepare for his return.

We have been blessed with LOTS of visitors this year. My parents came in January, then our mentors John and Nadine Simmons were able to stop in while on the way to help hurricane Katrina victims in Mississippi. In March we had Dave's parents

and just a few weeks ago, my brother an his wife were able to come! We are so thankful that they could all come and visit.

I almost forgot the animals.....our mean cat! Mickey isn't so nice. He's lucky he is so good to McKenzie. Everybody else is ready to get rid of him. Then there is the wildlife that shows up every once in a while.
While my brother was in town we had an armadillo and a turtle show up in our front yard....last year it was a snake!

Hopefully we will be making a trip back to the Northwest next summer on our way to our new base. The Air Force puts its needs ahead of ours.....I am trying to remember that. So, we'll see how the move works, and where. Who knows...we could be extended and stay another year in Alabama. Currently, I am just thankful that Dave is full-time active duty Air Force. When and where we move or live is unimportant. We are blessed for Dave to be allowed to be an Air Force Chaplain. We love it! (We'll see how I feel about that after 4 months with him in Iraq :)

Blessings to you all! Thank you so much for the phone calls and e-mails to check on us! I am going to try to keep this site updated so that you can be updated with Dave's experiences. Thanks for your prayers.