Friday, July 29, 2005

What the world needs now.... is Love... Sweet Love!

Time for Friday's Linky Love-fest!

First off, and most important... we had not one, not two, but THREE Denizen birthdays this week! Today is John's birthday, so stop by with a picture of your virtual present, and stick around for a 'rita. The chandeliers have been set on free-swing and the PG17C has been disabled.... *grin*. Wendesday was FbL's birthday, and she gave herself a present- HER OWN BLOG! And last, but certainly not least... Keith's daughter, Katie, gave birth to a baby girl on Wendesday. Welcome to your zero-birthday, Eleanor.

Next... Currie's unit is seeing hard times. Go offer some support. He's one of the good guys and needs a lift.

Ciggy has some SERIOUSLY funny pictures on his blog today... Oh man.... Thanks for the laughs, Bud!

Redleg reminds us that "We can't lose the war in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world. We can lose it right here at home. Check your history. It should be right under the title: Vietnam."

What's this? A Helen Thomas suicide note? *if only*

Well... what do you think? Is it art, or just a publicity stunt?? Anyway you look at it, the Leopold Museum in Vienna was an interesting place to be today.

Feeling hungry? I am... especially after reading the recipe for Chicken Picata posted on today's Carnival of Recipes.

OK... hit the streets everyone.... get outta here. It's FRIDAY! Go have some FUN!!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Arrest made

Remember the post I did about the idiots who vandalized a deceased soldier's family's house? Someone set flags on fire under his sister-in-law's car outside his parent's house the day after his funeral.

Tonight... some disturbing, yet satisfying news. Two teenagers were arrested today and charged with the crime. A 13 year old and a 15 year old admitted setting the fire, but also claimed that they did not know about the death of PFC. Hines, or the funeral the day before.

Does this excuse their behavior? NO WAY. Last time I checked, being stupid, irresponsible and hateful is NOT a valid defense.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It had to happen eventually....

I got TAGGED. John of Argghhh tagged me with a "what's on your nightstand" meme. Where to begin!?!

Let's see.... a crystal lamp, alarm clock, various hair construction devices (otherwise known as barrettes and rubber bands), an extension cord, a phone (WOW... a land-line phone! They DO exist- and so does Santa), my glasses, an ink pen, an empty photo album and a stack of unknown papers that just sorta ended up there. OH- and a towel protecting the wood from my little leopard cat, Squeaker, who uses the nightstand as a launching pad to get to the top of the armoire. Both of which are now covered with claw marks... *sigh*

Sorry- nothing exciting. No toys or weapons- unless you count the rubber bands- and anyone who has been in a rubber band fight can attest to the red welts they can leave.

John tagged me with a movie meme too... but that will have to wait until later because I have an errand to run right now. So... while I'm gone, Dude, Alix, Jen, Trek and Ciggy can think about their answers. TAG! You're IT!

OK... on to the movie meme...
Favorite childhood movie: Can I just say "Disney"??? I don't think they've ever put out a movie I didn't like- even as an adult I don't mind watching Disney movies again and again. Oh- and the Wizard of Oz. CLASSIC.

Favorite high school movie: Like John... I used to LOVE going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show! Oh man...what a good time that was!

Favorite college movie: Dirty Dancing. *sigh* What young lady wouldn't want to be in Baby's shoes?

Favorite action movie: xXx. I know.. I know.. Vin Diesel. But you have to admit, the stunts are pretty darn cool.

Favorite chick flick: Pretty Woman. Need I say more? And also Somewhere In Time. If you haven't ever seen it... you should. Christopher Reeves stars as a man staying at an old hotel who finds a pathway back to a previous era and falls in love.

Favorite comedy: It's a toss-up between Napoleon Dynamite and Something About Mary. In order to be a good comedy movie, it has to make you laugh every time you see it. Not always in the same spots... and sometimes, you laugh just thinking about scenes in the movie. I've never looked at hair gel the same way since seeing Mary...know what I mean? OH! And Full Monty is a great one too.

Favorite musical: I love musicals... I'm a dork. Chicago, however, is my current favorite.

Favorite war movies: Saving Private Ryan; Apocolypse Now; The Killing Fields; Gunner Palace; Team America: World Police. So many good war movies... so little space to write them all down.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The second time is NOT a charm, Jane.

Hanoi Jane is at it again, planning a bus tour in the spring to promote the end of the war in Iraq. (I HIGHLY recommend you click on the "Hanoi Jane" link- very interesting quotes) During her current book tour she has been approached by Vietnam Veterans- both for and against the war. Claiming that the Veterans who oppose the war "encouraged" her to speak out, Hanoi Jane is "coming out" again. Speaking to a crowd in New Mexico, she said "I can't go into any detail except to say that it's going to be pretty exciting".

Oh... JOY!

An "exciting" anti-war tour featuring Hanoi Jane and her vegetable-oil powered bus. “I have not taken a stand on any war since Vietnam,” she said. “I carry a lot of baggage from that.” Poor baby... don't you just feel sorry for her? ***NOT***

Talk about a opportunity for moonbats to unite! Thanks and your kind will only promote Conservative politics in the United States. Why don't you take Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll and Howard Dean with you? Make an even better case for getting rid of the Liberal pukes in Washington. Hey- make it a real party and invite Ted Kennedy and Jon Stewart.

Go ahead Jane... do your best. Because when it comes to politics- your *best* is the *worst* thing that could happen to your political party, and we Conservatives appreciate that.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

He could have been buried at Arlington....

US Army PFC Timothy Hines, Jr. died last week at Walter Reed Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in Baghdad on June 19. His family elected to bury him here in Cincinnati, at Spring Grove Cemetery with full military honors, even though he earned the right to be buried at Arlington. His wife and parents wanted him close by, so that they could go visit his grave with his 2 year old daughter and unborn baby. The funeral, held this past Friday, was attended by over 400 people. It was a fitting tribute to one of America's sons.

The very next morning, however, something disrespectful, hateful, and vile happened. Some idiot a$$hats removed the 20 American flags which were lining the Hines' front yard, piled them under Timothy's sister-in-law's car and set on fire. Mere words cannot express my anger and disappointment! However, before the afternoon was over, those 20 flags had been replaced by 200, planted in their yard by neighbors, friends and family.

I'm embarrassed to admit that this sort of thing happened here in Cincinnati. Hell, I'm embarrassed to admit that this sort of thing happened ANYWHERE in the United States. Military funerals across the nation have been used as protest grounds, and used for political advancement, but this is the only case I personally know of where actual vandalism occurred. The fact that flags were used to start the fire just makes it that much worse. The good news? If these puney-assed punks are caught, they can and will be prosecuted because their little anti-war statement resulted in property loss.

To the family of PFC. Hines: I'm sorry. Sorry for the idiots who do not understand the proper way to honor our dead, honor our Soldiers, or honor our flag. I offer you this song, by Trace Adkins, called "Arlington". Your son/husband/father deserves to be honored by Americans- not vilified. Godspeed, PFC. Hines.

(Jeremy Spillman/Dave Turnbull)

I never thought that this is where I'd settle down.
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown.
They gave me this plot of land,
Me and some other men, for a job well done.

There's a big White House sits on a hill just up the road.
The man inside, he cried the day they brought me home.
They folded up a flag and told my Mom and Dad:
"We're proud of your son."

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And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done.
I can rest in peace;
I'm one of the chosen ones:
I made it to Arlington.

I remember Daddy brought me here when I was eight.
We searched all day to find out where my grand-dad lay.
And when we finally found that cross,
He said: "Son, this is what it cost to keep us free."

Now here I am, a thousand stones away from him.
He recognized me on the first day I came in.
And it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels,
And saluted me.

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And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done.
I can rest in peace;
I'm one of the chosen ones:
I made it to Arlington.

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And everytime I hear twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home to us.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property.
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company.
We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done.
We can rest in peace;
'Cause we are the chosen ones:
We made it to Arlington.

Yeah, dust to dust,
Don't cry for us:
We made it to Arlington.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Another quiz for ya....

Found this today, and since it's a quickie, and I liked it... I put it up.

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

So.... click on the underlined phrase above and play along, kids.


I am NOT a Gummi Bear fan... but online quizes do not lie- they *are* gospel, you know...

discover what candy you are @ quiz me

Well, at least I like the description. *sigh*

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Zoomie Sibs UNITE!

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Hanoi Taxi

The Dayton Air Show was this past weekend, so I got to see my little bro at work, showing off his plane.

Bill is a Crew Chief for the Air Force's big cargo planes. The C-141 is one of them. I'm so proud of my little brother. He's following his heart and his dream of becoming a Flight Engineer someday. For now... he's in the Reserves, currently deployed full time at his home base in Dayton.

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This is my brother's plane- the Hanoi Taxi. It was built in 1966, and this particular plane was the first one to take POW's home from Vietnam. When you tour the plane, pictures of Freedom Flights, POW camps (including the Hanoi Hilton), POW's, and Welcome Home ceremonies line the walls. There are rubbings from The Wall for each MIA from Ohio, regardless of branch of service. The pictures and the rubbings were haunting, but most haunting of all was the story of the signature board below.
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The board, as you can see, is behind plexiglass, and says "Hanoi Taxi" on it. There are 109 signatures; 108 of which are former Vietnam POW's. The last one is from the widow of a POW who was touring the plane at an air show two years ago. While you are in line to get to the cockpit, they show you a slideshow (in addition to the pictures on the walls) with current and historical photos. During the slideshow, she recognized someone. HER HUSBAND. After researching the plane's manifests, the crew discovered that THIS plan was the one used for his actual Freedom Flight. How cool is that?!?!?! So... her signature is the 109th, on behalf of her deceased husband.

We saw other aircraft too, both in the air and on the ground, including some trainers, a Canadian helo, the new Raptor...and THE THUNDERBIRDS! The weather wasn't very kind (windy... threatened rain all day), so the fly-bys were limited and fairly "basic". They did some 4-man formations, some individual high speed flyovers, and a beautiful 6-man formation. Even with the cloudy skies, they were still a gorgeous sight!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I don't like Mondays....

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Especially when they involve my children going under the knife. Kevin was born with a herniated belly button. They usually close up on their own within two years, but his didn't. After years of it not bothering him, it started causing pain earlier this year. So.....Monday was The Big Day to get it fixed.

In typical Kevin fashion, he was unphased by the day up until it was time to go into the OR. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck, not sleeping well the night before and mentally drained by noon on Monday. The surgery went as scheduled, without any problems or complications with anesthesia. What a blessing!

Children's Hospital is one of the top hospitals in the country, and we are so lucky to have them here. Everything is kid-oriented, from the cafeteria menu (which includes chicken fingers, hamburgers, Pizza Hut, fries, and Gold Star Chili), to the playrooms, methods of transportation, and decorations. It's a fantastic place, and the staff is top notch.

We went back with Kevin when they put him under, and got to be at his side about 45 minutes after he came out of surgery. He was eating a grape popsicle and shaking just a bit from the anesthesia. His left arm was taped to a tiny board to prevent him from bending his wrist and pulling out the IV. One more popsicle (cherry this time), and IV removal... and he was ready to go!

He fell asleep in the car on the way home, and once home, spent most of the evening laying on me (Happy Happy Joy Joy! Reminded me of my cuddley little Baby Kevin. *smile*). Pain management was an issue yesterday, and continues to be today. He's on Tylenol with Codeine every 4 hours- and it's really making a difference. When it gets close to time to re-dose...he starts complaining about the pain, and shook sometimes yesterday. Ug... so sad. He slept OK last night- until 3AM, and ended up in our bed for the rest of the night. So needless to say, Kevin and I are BOTH experiencing pain management and sleep issues today.

He's getting better.... playing for short stretches and eating well. Popsicles are a food group, aren't they? Bill said so- told me they were in the same group as chicken wings, pizza and garlic bread. *grin*

John, knowing this was a tough couple of days for me, posted a caption contest in my honor, which is bringing me lots of smiles and giggles. Thanks to John and everyone who has commented, and thanks to those of you who knew ahead of time and sent your GA's our way.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Friday Linky-Love

I thought I'd start out with some love advice from BillT.

Also at The Castle, John posted some awesome videos. Pay special attention to the dog bone one and the one that is marked "not safe for work" (which, in my case, WAS safe for work). FUNNY STUFF

I've never been much of a biker babe... the non-motorized ones, I mean. I've always respected Lance Armstrong and his struggles and triumphs, but after this interview posted by Blackfive.... I have a whole new level of respect for that man.

Redleg points us to this tribute to an incredible Marine. Thank you, Captain Chontosh.

American Soldier is celebrating his blogaversary this week.

Frank J is running for SCOTUS! Go check out his platform, and have a good laugh.

The Carnival of Recipes is up, and can be found HERE this week.

That Dude relates a hilarious story about his run-in with some kitties.

Hurl lays it on the line about Iraq. Scroll through his recent posts... see what he's seeing.

And last but not least, I thought I'd throw this "new" blog out at you. Grouchy Old Cripple is hilarious! Oh man... check it out.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

You're a BLOGGER?!?!?!?!

A few months ago, my in-laws were in town. They're kinda stuffy... belong to this private dinner club in town called the University Club. They invited us to dinner there, so off we went. During the normal dinner chit-chat, my husband mentioned that I have this little website- that I'm a blogger. All of a sudden, my Father-in-law's eyes popped wide open, jaw dropped, looked me straight in the eye, and spit out his food while saying, "YOU'RE A BLOGGER?!?!?!?!" I might as well have said I was a hooker, judging by his reaction! There we were, in the middle of the University Club... the socialite family and THE BLOGGER!?!??! Being who I am... I couldn't help but to bust out laughing. (we all did, actually- it was quite funny) Oh well.... another opportunity to blend in with "their" crowd blown away.

I’m sure you’ve all tried to explain why we blog, and what the appeal is. And if you’re anything like me, you usually fail miserably. Anyone else feel like the hopeless 16 year old “Nobody understands meeeee”??? Funny… because all of US understand each other… so why don’t the non-bloggers (readers, commenters or writers) understand us? It’s not that hard to get, is it? I mean… where else in the world could I go to get first hand stories from troops overseas, TINS from retired Vets, political commentary from just about every end of the spectrum, and unfiltered opinions on everything from stupid laws to elections? Only blogs allow me to do that.

A few months ago, ALa asked the question “WHAT IS THIS?” and wrote a post about blogging and the interaction between all of us blogbuds. She wrote:

“But where are the lines? Am I who I present here? Are you? Are we friends if we’ve never met? Many of you I speak with more than people in my “real” life…And what about when this world crosses over… on the phone… does that make it “real” then, or was it “real” all along?… are they friends or do internet interactions fall into a separate category…”

My answer back was:

“There’s a lot of truth in what you’re saying today, ALa. I refer to all of you as my “friends”, even though I’ve never spoken to most of you on the phone, and have never met any of you in person. We have an open forum here, one in which you can come and go as you please. One in which you can be anonymous, and represent yourself without having to “put on the dog” (or let loose, and be someone you’re not for a while)”

ALa’s post inspired Barb and Cassandra to do posts of their own on the same subject. Barb wrote “First of all, friends are friends- whether we met first through the Internet or in person matters not. Secondly, I think that not only can we form true friendships without meeting one another, it may lead to a purer form of friendship. We didn’t form these friendships because we happened to work together, live next to one another, etc. We formed them because we shared ideas with each other, and came back for more….the bonds between us are not based on age or physical parameters, or on other accidents of location. Instead the bonds are based on how we think- and that is a better, stronger bond to me.”

I couldn’t agree with you more, Barb. The Internet gives us the opportunity to speak our minds when our real lives don’t give us that luxury. We are equal here- no biases based upon gender, race, age or positions of power. You can speak your mind here, without fear of the “looks” you’ll get from others around you. And here, as Sgt. B noted, “in the blogsphere, no one shouts anybody down. You HAVE to read the words… and even the little folks have an opinion”. You don’t have to worry about someone with a louder voice, or more commanding presence overshadowing you. Your words speak for themselves.

In her post, Cassandra noted “There is something far more powerful (than writing) that attracts me to blogging: the exchange of ideas. I believe the key lies in the interactive nature of blogging and the type of person who is drawn to it.” She goes on to say “I can’t help seeing each and every reader as a person. To me, you are ALL real: not abstract, virtual “friends”, but in a very real sense, some of you have come to be REAL friends, at least in my mind…. When I find out that something is wrong in your life, I worry. Or if there’s a disagreement or someone says something nasty or gets their feelings hurt, I take it too much to heart.” So do I, Cass. We all do. We all consider each other to be REAL people, and REAL friends (and in some cases, real enemies, LOL).

Why did I decide to revisit this topic, you might be asking. The ladies already covered it so completely, what could I possibly add that is new. The other night, my husband told me I should rely more upon my “real life” friends, and how you all aren’t “real” because I’ve never met you (except for John) in person. BULL. You are ALL real… and you are all real friends to me. In some cases, I’ve had very REAL fights with you too. And in all cases, I have very REAL feelings about you. My husband said that I couldn’t know the “real you” because I’ve never seen your facial expressions, or heard the inflection in your voice. Said I couldn’t know the “real you” because I haven’t been with you, physically, on a day to day basis. BULL.

Is God real? I believe so, but I’ve never seen him, or talked to him (except through prayer). Do rainbows really exist? Sure… I’ve seen one or two in my lifetime, but I’ve never been able to touch one. But just because I could see it, and couldn’t touch it, is the rainbow any less real? No. It isn’t. Just because I’ve never seen God walking down the street, doesn’t mean I don’t see his works in everything I see every day. I’ve only met one blogger, John Donovan. I even ate dinner and drank with him, so I know he exists. But so do BillT, Sgt. B, KLKK, ALa, AB, Barb, Cassandra, Neffi, JMH, Punctilious, Boquisucio, TrekMedic, SWWBO, Jen, Alix, Kat, Free, Ciggy, Jpck, Dude, Tesco, G-Man, Redleg, Nimbus, FbL, Cricket, and Blue. So do CBTFW, Blackfive, Doc, Michael, Currie, Maj. K, Red Six, Thunder 6, Smink, Ma Deuce Gunner, and Capt. Z. So do so many others I haven’t mentioned here at all. All very real.

It’s about FAITH. It’s about TRUST. It’s about FRIENDSHIP. It’s about…. BLOGGING.

Send your well wishes to Capt. Z, Carren and Alice

Carren rented a post office box to handle the influx of mail. Your cards and letters are welcome to be sent to them here:
CPT Charles W. Ziegenfuss (or Carren Ziegenfuss or Alice Ziegenfuss)
PO Box 59051
Washington, DC 20012

That is all.

Oh- and in case you've forgotten who Capt. Z is... look HERE.

NOW... that is all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Our Heroes

I first watched this video a few months ago, and was so moved. I found it again today, and it still had such a powerful effect on me, I wanted to share it. It's a tribute to our Soldiers, put together by Mikko, from Finland.

So here you go.... "Our Heroes" by Mikko.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

We're not afraid either

Blackfive posted a link to this yesterday. When I first looked, there were about 200 entries. Now.. there are nearly 2,000!!!!

Yes, London, we are with you.

No, you lilly-livered terrorist assholes... we're NOT afraid of you, and attacks like this only make us more resolved about kicking your muthafuckin' ASS! You want to die a "martyr"?? Please... give us the opportunity to help you achieve that goal, you spineless pukes. We'll be more than happy to send you off to your "virgins". Bu-Bye...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Fourth of July Reunion- and this time, it's not mine.

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Jonathan... meet your Daddy, Spc. Brent Goolsby

Soldiers surprise families in July 4th reunion
By Spc. Bryce S. Dubee
July 6, 2005

ATLANTA (Army News Service, July 6, 2005) – Four Soldiers serving in Iraq returned to surprise their families with a reunion at the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Fourth of July Parade.

Organizers for the parade contacted the Army and found four Soldiers eligible to take leave for rest and recuperation and arranged to reunite them with their families in Georgia.

Arriving on Sunday, the Soldiers had a day to relax, get cleaned up and enjoy a dinner with Miss America. The next morning, they waited, hidden on a hotel shuttle bus for the parade to begin, while their wives sat in the grandstands, clueless to the fact that their husbands were less than 200 yards away.

In the bus, the Soldiers grew nervous, excited with the anticipation of seeing their families.

“Do you think my daughter will remember me?” Staff Sgt. Terrence Alford asked 2nd Lt. Stephen Lucas and the other two returning fathers on the bus, who reassured him that she definitely would.

Spc. Brent Goolsby was not only reuniting with his wife Arianna -- who he hadn’t seen in half a year -- but seeing a member of his family who he had never met, Jonathan Aiden Goolsby, his newborn son.

“I just want to meet my son,” said Goolsby. “I’m a father, but I’m not really yet a father.”

The four wives and their children were called out to the starting line of the parade as honorary grand marshals where Miss America performed a song for them. During the song, from around the corner, the shuttle bus slowly pulled out into the street in front of where the families stood. As the song ended, the doors opened and out leapt the four Soldiers with bouquets and smiles, to the total shock of their wives.

The emotional reunion in the middle of Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta created many a teary eye among the spectators. After the ceremony, the families, now whole, took their seats back in the grandstands to watch the rest of the parade before heading home to enjoy the rest of their leave.

“I’m still in a state of shock, I mean I really can’t believe he’s here,” said Jo Anne Griffen, wife of Sgt. Robert Griffen.

“This is a great experience, I feel so lucky to be here,” Sgt Griffin said. “My only wish is that we could have brought more people back with us.”

Sitting with his son in the stands, Goolsby looked up with a smile from ear to ear, “This feels good, this feels really, really good.”

(Editor’s note: Spc. Bryce S. Dubee writes for the Third U.S. Army Public Affairs Office.)

A little Now and Then for you.

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This article appeared in the Opp, AL (my Dad's hometown) newspaper my Sophmore year.

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My first marching band practice in over 20 years

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The alumni drumline- Debbie, Steve, Me and Liz, plus a few "new" kids.

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Senior Prom

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Just before the reunion Saturday night.

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The old band gang- Debbie, Tom, Me, Cheryl, Shawn, Rick, Hugh and Liz.

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Shawn, Me and Kevin


(This area left blank on purpose, since, as I tell my children... they were still in my heart back "then" and hadn't worked their way down to my belly yet.)

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Thomas hiding in the bushes at the reunion picnic

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Kevin Murphy's daughter, Bailey, and my youngest, Kevin, who are about the same age, drawing with sidewalk chalk at the picnic

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

We'll always beeeee .... TOGETHER!

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Me, Doris, Shawn, Cheryl, ??, Debbie, Rick, Tom, Hugh, Liz

What a weekend....
Have you ever had one of those weekends, where you thought you didn't have anything special planned, and it turns out to be one of the most special weekends ever? Well, I just had one of those weekends. On my way home from work friday, it suddenly dawned on me that THIS WAS THE WEEKEND OF MY 20TH HIGH SCHOOL REUNION!

HOLY CRAP! Where does the time go? 20 years...

Actually, it's been 21 years since I've seen this crowd because I moved at the beginning of my Senior year. 21 years erased in a weekend... ZAP. I found some of my old marching band friends right away- Cheryl Tyson, Liz Hunter, Debbie Tuttle, Mary Lou Latham, Rick Franklin and Tom Dichero. All are married with kids except Tom, and he had his girlfriend with him. It took a little while longer, but I also hooked up with Shawn Farrell (band and theater friend) and Kevin Murphy (theater friend and ex-boyfriend). I also found Doris.. my BEST FRIEND from 5th grade on up. We were like sisters and kept in contact until about 4 years ago... and then *poof* she just disappeared. God... it was SO GOOD to see everyone! I even got to march in the Centerville Fourth Of July parade with my old band buddies in the alumni marching band. What a riot!

This is gonna take way to long to write up in one sitting, so you'll be getting it in bits and pieces. I'm trying to find some pictures of way back when to publish next to the current ones, so it will take some time for me to finish this.

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!

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Me holding Kevin's tiny foot, when he was only a couple of weeks old.

My "baby" is 5. FIVE!!!!! I can't believe it.
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Kevin at 2 months

Five years and two days ago my Dad was lamenting the fact that his new grandson wasn't going to share a birthday with him. You see, my oldest was born on my husband's father's birthday, so naturally, my Dad wanted the same honor when the second was born. It just wasn't meant to be. Try as I might... he just wouldn't come out. *Stubborn little bugger takes after his Mom*

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Kevin this past spring, playing Soldier in the backyard.

So... when I went to the doctor on the 5th, she said "You have GOT to have this baby. It's time." I was like "HELL YES IT'S TIME!" I went into labor two weeks before he was actually born, and my body just stopped the labor after 8 hours or so. DAMNIT! So rude. So when she said it was "time"... I couldn't have agreed more. I was scheduled to be induced the next day around 5pm.

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Kevin at age 4, showing off his karate kick

So, on the 6th of July, 2000, I got up, and did what any other normal woman would do... I WENT SHOPPING! YAY! Because I knew that I wouldn't be able to for a while without taking a newborn with me, I got a lot of errands done that morning. Funny what a little thing like labor will motivate you to do.

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Kevin's formal 4 year old picture

Around 5pm, I was admitted to the hospital, and around 11:30pm... I was once again a new Mother. Welcome to the world, Kevin Alexander! He made a grand entrance. How could he not? He was "only" 10 pounds, 3 ounces.... *wince* How did THAT happen? The ultrasound the week prior estimated his weight at only 7 pounds! (yeah, right... I'll show you 7 pounds!) I couldn't walk without pain for two months- no kidding. He was so big they had to give me size 1 diapers in the hospital instead of the cute little newborn ones. He was so big, he only wore his newborn outfits ONCE before he outgrew them all.

Did I mention he was big?

Anyway.... Happy birthday, my sweet baby boy. We love you so much!

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Taken this morning, as he was opening his birthday presents.