Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours

We hope you all had a great Thanksgiving
Ours was great with the one exception of
Ben not being with us on this thankful holiday.
We spent the day with family...
It started off at home getting ready, Camey was here with us
and we watched the Thanksgiving day parade.
Then we headed out to My Dad and Ami's house.
We truly are so blessed with the love of such a great big family!
After we ate the first of three amazing dinners we went through the
Black Friday
Then we went out front to do a little picture taking.
It is always so much fun to hangout and let the kids play.
After we left my dads house we stopped off over at Jan and Marc's to see them and take picture while there was still day light. We came back over here later but I wanted pictures with them before there was no sun. Then we headed over to Pat and Ken's house to have dinner with my Mom's side of the family. This was the first time in 9 years that we all ate as a family with this many people. Michale and Aunt Jeanette, Jayson and De Vona, Camey, Chelsey and Michael, Mom ans Kevin, Me and the special guest that we haven't had a Thanksgiving with in 9 years was Grandpa Jack! It was also another great meal and I was so happy to see Grandpa sitting at the other end of the table.
After we finished there the kids and I headed back over to Jan and Marc's. I was so glad to get to see Joe, Kalynn and Kelsea for the first time in a long time also. They had moved up to Tahoe at the end of August and we haven't seen them since Halloween.
What a great Thanksgiving we had this year.
We all missed Ben a bunch and even though we got to talk to
him throughout the day it still wasn't the same without him.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Look who came and trick or treated...

Okay this is a little out of order but I wanted to get these all up.
We had our family from Utah come out and visit this Halloween.
It was so much fun hanging out for 4 days full of total fun.
Blake was Peter Pan this year. I talked him into it
so that he and Bayleigh could match.
What a great sport he is for his mom!
Brooklyn was The Little Mermaid.
(Ashley sent this wig for her to wear)
Miss Bella was Princess Jasmin
and of course Bayleigh was none other then the
feisty Tinker Bell, so perfect for her.
Kelsea was the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.
Kalynn was Alice and Joe was the Mad Hatter.
They always come up with the greatest family costumes.
Sweet Alyssa was also Tinker Bell and her brothers were
(Colby) Captin Hook and (Jaxson) Peter Pan.
We looked like a Disney parade.

I was so glad they came to visit.
When I was little we did all these things with the
cousins and it makes me so happy that our kids get to also.
Emry and Isa were also there.
Emry was Jason and Isa was Freddie.
We all went trick or treating at Grandpa Duane's and Grandma Ami's.
What a great night...
Happy Halloween

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ben's Graduation from basic training

Let me just start off by saying how amazing my husband is!
I am so proud of all the hard work that he has done.
This post is about all the stuff we got to do on
our fast, 4 day trip back to Missouri.
We got on the plane in Sacramento at 10:05 in the morning,
it was going to be a day full of traveling.
With one stop in Phoenix
and a safe landing in St. Louis,
we were that much closer to seeing Ben.
After getting the rental car and a
2 1/2 hour car ride we were at our hotel.
We all just wanted to go to sleep so that we could get
up and head over to the base.
It sure is a little nerve racking being on a military base.
They do things a little different then us civilians.
We all went to Shea Gym and waited for about an hour for our soldiers to come in. When they did it was so amazing. They marched in chanting at the tops of their voices and it filled that gym.
It made me cry (happy tears) as soon as I spotted Ben. I was in pure amazement seeing him for the first time in 10 weeks.
He was so into everything he was doing!
All the families were sitting in bleachers, so once the soldiers were allowed to join their families we all started calling out our soldiers names. It took Ben no time at all to find us. Blake got down to him first and Ben gave him a huge hug.
Next came Bella and she just jumped into her daddy's arms.
She was so happy to finally be in his grasp again.
We all sat and talked for a few minutes and then decided to head back outside.
We got to meet a lot of his new Army friends.
They had so many nice things to say about Ben,
He sure seemed to be a good guy to
have around during basic training.
With so many families there to support their soldiers there wasn't a lot of places to hang out at and we had to keep them close to the Delta company territory, so we walked back to our Van.
This is the phone booth Ben would sit in when
he called home every Sunday to talk to us!
Everyone wanted to fill his ears with stories.
Or just be in his arms...
Here are so more of his battle buddies

They were all so nice and they all told great stories.
Group Shot
It took the kids no time at all to start playing with their Daddy.

We spent most of our time hanging out by the van, just catching up and listening to whatever Ben wanted to tell us. It was so interesting to hear all the things he went through while he was here.
Not to sure what Bella and Blake were doing?
Silly faces
Of course the Drill Sargent decided to smoke everyone
while their families were there.

Thursday was his graduation and I
was so glad we were all there to see it.

Ben looked sooooo good in class A's.
I must say,
I have a very good looking husband.

As soon as he was released again the kids all ran over for a great big hug. We got to take him back to our hotel and he spent almost 9 hours with us. I couldn't believe how much Ben has embraced everything he has learned since he has been here. Of course the 9 hours just flow by and before we knew it it was time to take him back to base.
None of us took this very good!
Saying goodbye all over again was very difficult.
He won't be gone for to long.
He gets to come home for Christmas for a little while.
I think we're pretty close to our half way mark,
if not already there.
Ben is doing an incredible job. He was given the Army Value of Honor, which is all 7 Army values. They did a fire ceremony Monday before we got there. His Drill Sergeant said that Ben totally had all 7 of the Army Values covered and was given this for a very special reason.
We were so blessed to be able to go back to Missouri and share in this time with Ben. I am filled with so much happiness and pride for everything my husband has been able to do. You can't truly understand what it is like to be a part of this until you are.
I want to thank all the Men and Women out there serving in our military services. You are doing amazing things and I am so proud and honored to have my husband stand by your side. Also I would like to thank all the families who stand by them, supporting them to get through this. You too are an amazing group of people and I couldn't be happier to now be a part of this group!
Congratulations Ben on all you hard work and success. You have worked so long and hard and I am glad that this part of the journey is over for you. We will always be here by your side and love you so much.
Thank you for being such a brave man!