Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fun, fun and more fun.....

Well, the day started off with a bang. The alarm clock went off at 0645 that was intended to wake Maria up so she could get up and get going to start the preps for her "End of Summer Party" with her daycare children and parents.

Now, as you all know this type of thing isn't my cup of tea. But I knew it was the right thing to do to support Maria. So I waited until everything was set up (LOL!) then I went over. Again, she went all out with a 75 foot blow-up dragon obstacle couse and a 35 foot high blow up water slide (you know the blow up "bounce house" things). She held it at the park at the end of our block and we were there with noone else around. So that was nice. ALL of her kids showed up and most parents, but as usual some parents dropped their kids off for FIVE hours and then picked them up!

OK, I'm going on my soapbox. This was an event for the kids and parents, NOT a "daycare day". Some of these parents treated this like a "birthday party" event, and I just don't understand that. I could rattle on, but won't.

Maria had a great time with the kids, and at the conclusion of this fun-filled time were TWO pinatas, the kids (and Maria) had a good time. I guess that's all that counts.

And yes, our boys (Joey and Tom) helped her set-up and tear-down, although Joey wasn't too thrilled, but he knew it wasn't an option. (I know all you parents out there know what I'm talking about....).

OK, so now time for Steve! So after all that way too much excitement, I went home got ready to meet some of my Sailors at the Grizzlies Game in Fresno. They are the minor-league baseball team for Fresno. The played the Sacramento River Cats, and unfortunately, Fresno lost....bummer.

But here's the best part. My Mom is the HR Director for Karsyn Construction in Fresno and Karsyn has a season luxury box suite! So each game Karsyn gets 10 tickets and 5 VIP parking passes and the owner, Joe, gave me tickets for the game. So I asked all my Sailors and 8 of them went with me. We had a great time. That was the first time most of them had even been in a luxury suite, so they really enjoyed it. I will get tickets again next year and we'll go again.

So this Saturday was a fun-filled day. But certainly not as fun as if we were in our RV either on the ocean or the Sequoias. Speaking of that, we're scheduling a trip for 3-5 October to the Sequoias.

As always, safe travels to all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fair Winds and Following Seas, Shipmate!

I had some very bad news at 0630 on the morning of Saturday, 16 August 2008. One my Sailors, HM2(AW) Athan Scott Allen had died while on a command detachment to Fairbanks, Alaska.

I have known Athan since 2003 when I met him at my last command. He was our command's Hospital Corpsman and a great "Doc" he was. When I heard in 2006 that he was going to the same squadron that I would be going to (where I'm stationed now) I was very excited. He was a great Sailor, Corpsman and friend to everyone.

I told my Commanding Officer that I wanted to be the Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO) (the military that walk to the front door and notify the PNOK/SNOK). That was by the far the hardest thing I've had to do. But I felt it my duty because I was close to him and I am his Leading Chief Petty Officer.

So I've been helping his wife get through this time and assisting her with all the appropriate arrangements. We are no where near coming to conclusion, it will probably be a good 6 months before I have all her benefits 100% completed, but I'm with her until it's completed.

It's been my honor to know Athan Allen and help his wife and daughter through this time.

I ask that all my readers say a prayer for Athan's wife, daughter, mom & dad and family and friends as they go through the grieving process.

The United States Navy has lost a true patriot!

Thank you Athan for touching the lives of those you came in contact with. You will truly be missed. Good bye Athan, you were loved.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

We've been busy!

I realize it has been exactly four weeks since I last posted. Well in the last four weeks we have all been very busy. Lots to catch up on.

Me: My usual working.....2 years, 1 month and 14 days until I retire from the USN! Also, I completed my last two college courses (Marketing MGMT and HR MGMT). I have now started to more; ORG Behavior and Social Psychology. Both classes are interesting and I'll have fun with them.

Maria: She's had 9 full time kids during the summer! I still don't know how she does that, way too much for me. The kids range from 1 to 12....that's alot of drama in the house, but she does it.

Joey: Well, his car was hit from behind by our neighbors brother. They weren't even on our block, they were about 1/2 mile from our house. Joey is fine but the car has a huge dent in the trunk and it won't close, so we have it tied down. His insurance company has not been very good, so I'm getting involved Monday. He worked the entire summer for one of our neighbors that has rentals and needed some work. Well our neighbor is a very handy-man guy, so he showed Joey how to install windows, lay wood flooring, tile bathroom, plumbing...quite a bit of work. I wish I knew how to do all that, it sure would save me a bundle with our home. But he's had a good time and made $8.00/hour!

Tom: He's completly recovered from his appendectomy on 7 July. He recovered quickly and was back to his self within a week. During the last few weeks he has spent a lot of time with his friends and cousins. He has also been a big help for Maria with her daycare. He has been practicing his driving, and should have his driver's license around the end of next month. He's a good driver, so I'm sure he'll do good on the test.

We had our niece and nephew for a few weeks during the summer. They were here at different times most of the time, except for last weekend when they were both here. Maria took the kids and my Mom to the portrait studio to take "grandkids" photos. They weren't too happy about it, but the got through it. This will be the last opportunity we would have as Joey graduates in June 09 and then going into the Marines. So my Mom wanted to get that done. OK, mission accomplished.

One bad thing to report is that we have not been RVing. We're not happy about that at all, but with Tom's surgery in July and then we had our niece and nephew..we just couldn't get away. But I'm pretty sure we'll be going in a few weeks. Our plan is to make it over to Morro Bay and also Sequoia National Park.

Well, that should catch everyone up, and as I've stated before...I'll try to get better about posting to keep everyone informed on what's going on.