Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October 31, 2013

So much has changed in the past two years, and yet there are still many things that are still the same. Jason has gotten much stronger, and more independent, and the girls have grown so much. We are now looking for a piece of land where the Gary Sinise Foundation will be building him a home, and he intends to settle down here in the San Diego area. Actually, we talked about the possibility of settling back home, up in Livermore, but after the two visits he determined that the weather in San Diego is more to what he needs. He really doesn't do well in hot weather, nor in cold weather, and neither is experienced down here. He thought about other places, and parts of the country, but still San Diego seems to have won out.

Today was a nice relaxed day, and Jason only had a couple of appointments to take care of, as well as picking up of his meds. Actually, the pharmacy was kind of surprising today, as we walked in and there were probably 15 people in line to just pick up their prescriptions, and usually there are only maybe four. On top of this, there were multiple windows open, so we weren't too sure about what there was a delay. While Jason was waiting, I got a chance to speak with a couple of his doctors, and we have tentatively set up a date in late November for the next laser treatment and for the next biopsy. There is a concern that there might be an infection and they want to be sure of a course of action. The really good news is that apparently there isn't a great concern about it, as they don't mind waiting another couple of weeks.

With today being Halloween, the house was visited by a bunch of trick-or-treaters, and we nearly ran out of candy. I didn't actually count the number of kids that came by, but I think there were close to 40 kids who knocked on the door. The great thing about living in military housing is that the vast majority of the homes have kids, and most of them are small. It was fun seeing them all have a great time, and the parents stayed with them for their journeys from house to house.

About 19:00 (7pm) the kids pretty much stopped coming and Jason wanted to go see that new movie, "Enders Game." It was a 20:00 (8pm) showing, and the theater was only about 1/3 full (an unadvertised showing, that Jason only heard about). The movie was pretty good, and Jason had read the book and felt that they followed the story line really well. I would give it an 8.5 out of 10, and recommend it to others. We are home now, and I need to get to bed, so with that I'll say good night. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 30, 2013

Wow, to thing that two years ago I was doing my best to pack up all our stuff in Bethesda, MD, knowing we would be leaving early tomorrow morning for San Diego. To look back on those times, and on Jason specifically, I think if I was given that same choice today I would have said let's hold on for another few weeks. Jason was much stronger and recovering nicely, but no where near as strong as he is today, and even today I still worry about some of the things we need to be aware of when traveling. I am glad we made the journey, and since coming out this way we have met even more great people, so over all it has been a good choice. However, we do miss some of the folks and all our friends we made back in Bethesda. The good news is that we've made some new friends out here and making new ones all the time.

We got the girls up and to their respective day cares this morning, and then Jason went to his PT, with Dawn. The session was good, and Gracie was a funny as ever - she likes to "talk" to everyone while at PT, and that is the only place I think I've seen her act that way. I even went and got a haircut while Jason was finishing up his appointments, and all was good.

We were back on our way back home by 11:30, and both of us were kind of hungry so Jason said he wanted to go to Taco Bell. We are doing my better with buying our food there and only purchasing what we need, rather than getting more than we need. We got back to the house and ate lunch, and just relaxed a little. Around 14:00 (2pm) Jason took his shower and I did a dressing change on his wounds, and they are all looking better all the time. I am very happy with how they are developing now, and hope they continue that way.

Otherwise, not much more happened today. I had plenty of time to catch up on my email and paper work, and then simply relaxed. I promised to have some pictures posted today, so here they are - of the girls and Jason, with the pumpkins, getting ready for Halloween. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 29, 2013

Turned out that today went from a pretty ordinary day to a special day. We got the girls up at about 07:00 this morning, and I fixed a simple breakfast for them. Sometimes we have "special" cereal here, and today it was Frosted Mini Wheats (Nabisco). Both of the girls were very pleased with the availability for that choice and both wanted a larger than normal serving (okay, that probably wasn't a surprise). We then packed up and headed out, first to get the girls to their day care/pre-schools, and then... to get Jason over to his first driver evaluation at the Scripts Hospital.

His appointment was at 09:00, and we had him over to the location (as stated on the letter) at 08:45. Only problem with this was that the building we went into had no idea of what he wanted or who he was supposed to deal with. Fortunately there was this one young man, Paul C. (that's all there was on his name badge) who was resourceful. He made a couple of phone calls and then directed up over to the correct building. It was amazing that they could be that close together, on the same campus, and not know about what was done in each other's buildings. Anyway, Jason made it to his appointment by 09:30, and they were able to still get him in.

The evaluation and testing took two hours to complete, and the lady working with him was totally amazed at not only what he could do, but also by how up-beat he was. The testing they had included this one eye exam that Jason wanted me to take. It was a series of letters printed on this eye chart that progressively faded as it went down the chart. I could see all the letters down to the second to the last line. As far as I could tell there wasn't a line after the one I could barely make out, but I was assured one was there. The examiner said that she has been doing this for close to 20 years and no one has ever been able to see that bottom line. As it was, that was the last thing we did before leaving and on the way out we ended up talking to a few other guys who were also in wheelchairs, for one reason on another. Again, just about everyone who meets Jason is impressed with his attitude and how well he speaks to them about how the future will be. We also handed out several pieces of information on Stand-Up-And-Play, and hope they can get some benefit from the information. When we finally did get outside Gracie apparently needed to be there. She left a small "gift" on their lawn, and I simply grabbed one of the bags we carry with us, and put it in the trash.

It was now getting to be a little after noon and both Jason and I were getting kind of hungry. Anthony Netto had contacted Jason earlier, about lunch, so we all met at Red Lobster. It was a nice relaxed lunch, and we enjoyed each other's company. Jason and I got home at about 13:40 (1:40pm), and I had a few things I needed to take care of, not the least was getting a few things done for the girls, with Halloween coming up soon. I had picked up a couple of pumpkins and had promised Stacy that we would carve them today. Only problem with that was that I didn't have any pumpkin carving knives, you know, the ones that allow for the carving, but aren't very sharp and relatively safe for small children. I ran over to Target and they were sold out, so I had to get back home and figured I be doing the carving and just have the girls involved with the design work. As it was, that turned out to be the best anyway (I'll post pictures tomorrow).

After the pumpkin work we had dinner - yeah, I found time to prepare dinner, though Joselyn did some of the prep work for me. After dinner was a little play time and then bath time. Funny how the both of them really enjoy playing in the water so much. I washed their hair and by 20:15 (8:15pm) they were ready for bed. I let them pick out a couple of stories and read to them, and then said good night. Finally back to the kitchen for clean up and now I get to catch up on my email and the blog. Not sure how tomorrow is going to turn out, but if it is even half as good as today, it was be an excellent one. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

I guess there is an effort going on right now for the Marines (and probably the other branches as well) to get the troops trained up for non-combat type issues. I say this because of two things that are going on right now: 1) The war is supposed to be coming to a close in 2014; and, 2) there are a bunch of training sessions going on for the folks, at least on Balboa. Jason is going to be teaching a class, in another week or two. I know he is working on a power point presentation and he is pretty happy with it, and I think that is about all I can tell you about it, without saying something stupid on my part.

We got up early this morning and headed over to Balboa for one of these classes. Jason was a student this time, and I think he was more interested in HOW the class was presented, more than what the content of the instruction was. I do know it started on time and seemed to have ended on time, as well. Once the training was over we went over to visit with some of the folks in C5, and then a PT session. Neither of us had eaten anything, so by 11:00 we were both pretty hungry, and so Jason wanted to head over to the Broken Yoke. They have an eating challenge there, where the have this giant omelette, with potatoes and other fixings, and if you can eat it all in an hour its free. Jason is thinking that he would like to do that at some point - I told him I would not be able to even consider doing that now. I just don't eat like I used to.

We headed back over to the house and took care of a few things, then at about 14:30 (2:30pm) I took off to go to the cleaners to get some clothes cleaned, and then on to go pick up the girls. I went and picked up Stacy first and then Jackie. I got them back to the house and they Stacy wanted to watch the Incredibles. There was plenty of time until dinner so I was okay with it. I fixed baked chicken, rice and vegetables for dinner, and the chicken turned out better than I thought it would. I had planned on barbeque for the chicken but because it looked like rain I decided to play it safe.

Later tonight, after the girls were ready for bed, they ran in to say good night to Daddy, and then I read them a couple of stories. They each got to pick one story out, and it was fun sitting there with them. Tomorrow Jason has to go to another class, and that is one about driving! He is pretty excited about going, and with a successful completion he can take the next step and see about ordering his vehicle, one that he will be driving. The idea of him gaining a bit more independence is wonderful, and I hope everything comes together just like it should. I will still have the opportunity to go with him and do things with him, but it will no longer be a requirement for me to tag along. We'll continue working to get those wounds healed, though most of them are now almost closed. Stay tuned for the latest updates and progress with his healing. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27, 2013

Well, I got up this morning and went for a nice bike ride. It was just a little over 12 miles and I did it in 1 hour and 3 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the old legs worked, and I managed to keep a relatively steady pace for the entire hour, though there were some stops due to traffic signals. There were enough hills to provide me with a little work, but those hills also have a down side... ;-)

Jason was asleep when I left and still asleep when I returned. Of course it was still only 09:05 when I got back so we still had plenty of day left to take care of all the stuff we wanted to do. We were ready to head out to go look at some property, later in the morning, and decided to go grab a brunch, since it was on the way. When we got to the property we were surprised, to say the least. The large lot was zoned commercial and there were no houses even remotely close. Of course on the good side, there was a railroad crossing going right past one end of the property. It could have been worse... it could have been going through the property. I suggested to Jason that we contact a Realtor before we do any more "looking."

Tomorrow Jason has formation, so we need to get up and going by 07:30. Not much else happened around the house and we just had chili dogs for dinner. They were the Costco Dogs, so they were pretty good sized, and we had extra buns that needed to be used. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 26, 2013

I got to sleep in a bit today, and that was nice. Jason didn't need to be up or getting Gracie ready to go to their training for another couple of hours, so that meant I could go for a short ride. Funny thing is, neither of us were hungry, so I ate a banana and had some orange juice, and went for the ride. Jason didn't have anything, and I figured I'd just get him something when I got back. I was only gone for just over a half an hour (not quite 6 miles) and check with him, and he still wasn't hungry, so there was no breakfast. I took my shower and when I came down I said, "Time to get ready." We took off and made it to the training session about 10 minutes late.

The rest of the day, and evening was laid back and not much accomplished, other than to fix lunch and dinner (we did eat those), and watch Young Frankenstein. I hadn't seen that one in such a long time, and was happy to have it available. Tomorrow we will be going to take a look at some property, and perhaps in the near future Jason will begin the steps needed to purchase the property where his house is going to be built. He wants to get a place where he will have enough land for the house, a good sized yard, and enough room to put in a good sized garden. Actually, the garden is my idea... ;-)

Have a restful evening and thank you, all for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, October 25, 2013

October 25, 2013

We went in for Jason's PT and also to speak with the folks over at Bldg 26. Otherwise we really didn't have much to do this morning. We got to the base at about 09:30, and back at the house at about 12:15. I fixed a quick lunch and then took off for a short bike ride. Actually, the ride was to get down to the bike shop, so I could get some air into the tires, and know what the pressure is. Apparently I was riding with softer tires and that was part of the reason the short rides I had been doing were kind of tough. Okay, perhaps me being a bit out of shape had something to do with it also.

The rest of the day was spent with Jason staying in bed and relaxing, and also checking out some of the local area for available property, in San Diego. Not sure what tomorrow is going to bring, other than taking Gracie to her training, but I hope the weather continues to hold and maybe I can get in a longer ride on Saturday.

This evening, Jason and I went to see a movie that Jason wanted to see - Bad Grandpa. I do not endorse this movie, at all. Jason loved it and I tolerated sitting through it. I guess it is a generational thing, but for the most part I thought it was a bit on the immature side. I will say that some of the stunts were funny, so I have to admit that I did laugh at part of the movie, but I don't recommend it to anyone. Once the movie was over we simply came back to the house and because it was so late, we simply called it a day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013

Okay, today it finally happened... Jason finally got his dress Blues from Miramar! It took quite a while to finally get them, and they look pretty good on him, even without all the medals and buttons. His collar fits like it is supposed to as well. All around we're very happy with the way it looks, and Jason feels pretty special now that it is completed. The next step is to get is Charlies done, sometime next month, so that he can wear them at formation. I guess you have to be a Marine to truly appreciate what he is talking about, but I can see it in his eyes that it is a very special thing for him to wear his uniforms. What I particularly like is that he has worked pretty hard to keep himself in as good a shape as he can. There are some guys we've seen who have let themselves go and it is unlikely they will ever see a uniform that fits again.

We went to PT this morning, and then a couple of other stops at the hospital, when we were just about to leave when we ran into Bennadine. She is Jason's case worker/manager and it was an opportunity to do some catching up. She bought us lunch, sandwiches from Subway, on base there. It was nice catching up and also just relaxing for a bit, and then we had to head up to Miramar (see first paragraph). The beauty of that trip was (besides getting the uniform) that it went quick, and then we were headed back to the house.

Once at the house Jason got busy on some communications he wanted to get done, as well as putting together an ethics class that he has been requested to teach. Apparently he had gained a reputation for teaching and so now he finally gets to teach another class. I was watching him work on it, and I could tell he was very happy with being that busy. Not sure when he will give the class, but I don't think it will be too long out from now. He is also working with Joselyn on creating a new "vest" for Gracie, the dog. The one he has is okay, but now he wants something a bit better.

Not much else going on right now, and tomorrow we will be getting up and moving relatively early, so that Jason can get to his appointments. If I can get up early enough, and the sun is up, I may go for another bike ride, just as I did this morning. A few more days like today and I can probably be going for 12+ miles again and start rebuilding that stamina. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 23, 2013

Jason and I did a little relaxing today. We took the girls to their day care centers; headed over to the hospital for the physical therapy sessions; and, then went to meet up with Anthony Netto. He was over at one of the local golf ranges were he was practicing with Jim and Gar, a retired admiral. It was nice to get to meet and talk with Gar, and also to spend a little time with Jim, who we don't see enough of. Gar is interested in learning more about the work that Anthony does and looking for ways he might be able to assist. Jason and I did not practice any golf while there (my clubs should show up on another couple weeks), it was more of a social visit, and actually we arrived only about 1/2 an hour before they were ready to leave.

After this we went to lunch and had some of the local barbeque, from Phil's BBQ, and it was good. The we simply came back to the house and I worked on some of my paper work and Jason worked on some of his. I also caught up on some of my email, and called Linda. Earlier in the day a good friend of mine, Larry, called and let me know his mom was very ill and still has a rough road ahead of her. I felt bad that I would not be able to get up to visit for sometime in the future, and that made me feel very helpless. I informed Linda about this and she said she would go to visit for the both of us. Life continues to move on, no matter what your circumstances are, and sometimes the direction it takes isn't one you like.

Not wishing to end on a down note... After Jason's shower I did my usual dressing change and then an expected guest arrived. The tech witth Jason's new chair. Jason's wounds are looking better every day, and we hope that trend continues. However, this new chair has that new feature where it can tilt back to relieve some of the pressure on the wounds, and possibly help to heal even more. Anyway, it was good to get this in and tomorrow will be the first day of working with it. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22, 2013

Kind of a crazy day, but crazy in a good way.

We started off getting the girls their breakfast and then taking them to their respective pre-K programs. Actually there was one other thing we did, this morning, and that was get his "new" power chair picked up so that the new module could be put on. They are to return the chair later this afternoon. Both of the girls were having a great time, going to class, and Jason did all the escorting (I got to stay back with the van). After that was done we headed over to Anthony's place where we were to meet with him, and others, or at least we thought we were. Actually, Anthony was up in Los Angeles and we're meeting with him tomorrow. We had a bit of a chuckle over that and then Jason decided he wanted to go take in a movie.

The movie was Escape Plan (Sylvester and Arnold movie), and I have to admit, I wasn't too excited about going. After the movie though, I was very pleased with the story line and the acting. It was a bit on the fringe but still enjoyable and I would recommend it for those who enjoy thinking thrillers. Considering who the two main actors are, one should not be surprised at the explosions and fights, as well as some of the over-the-top situations, so don't expect anything out of character, for those two.

After the movie we simply headed back to the house, as it was getting close to when the chair was to be delivered. Trouble is, it wasn't going to be delivered. Apparently Van, the man who owns the company, isn't in today and the techs left running the place didn't know what to do with the module. It is fortunate that Jason still has his former chair, and it works fine, just looks a bit worn. He will be using it again tomorrow until the "new" chair is delivered. The important thing is that the new seat is supposed to be coming also, and that is the more important item, as far as I am concerned.

I picked up the girls and brought them back to the house and both of them decided to play dress-up. Jackie is trying so hard to do all the same things that Stacy is doing, but just doesn't have the skill set yet. They both did look cute, though, and it was fun watching them run around. Dinner was a bit later and then finally it was bed time. The main difference tonight was that Jason didn't want to take his shower and dressing change until after the girls were in bed, so that is how it was done. Tomorrow we will be going to meet with Anthony and it is hoped that we will be also picking up Jason's dress Blues... we'll just have to wait and see. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Easy morning and actually kind of exciting to get back going with the treatment plan for Jason. We ended up at Physical Therapy (PT) today at just before 09:00. The funny part was that Dawn was working with this other patient, who apparently was a newer guy, and for the first half hour, or so (maybe closer to 45min) Jason was working mostly on his own. I set up the table, as I've done in the past, and I handed him equipment as things progressed. Dawn came over a couple of times and apologized that she was so tied up with the new guy, but Jason was perfectly happy with what he was doing, kind of warming up, that when she finally did come over to focus on Jason it worked rather well. She worked on his shoulders and upper body, to get some of the muscles loosened up and Jason felt pretty good after the session.

We went to MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) so Jason could get a hair cut, and then we went and had lunch. Back at the house, after lunch, Jason wanted to get his shower in and that would give me a chance to change his dressings. The wounds are still looking better, yet still not closing like I'd like, and I need to pick up more supplies on the Hydraphera Blue pads that I use (maybe at a later date I'll explain more about what they are - right now just know they keep the chance of infection way down). Jason laid down and I went to go get the girls, after Joselyn came to the house, of course.

The girls are always happy to see Joselyn and it does give me a little bit of a break, so for about an hour I was able to take a look at my email. After that I decided to start fixing dinner and then Jason called and asked me if I'd forgotten about Anthony Netto inviting us over for dinner tonight - he fixed some spaghetti. I said I was glad he didn't delay any longer, asking, because yes, I did forget. In fact, we were actually late at this point. We hurried up and got the girls ready, and I loaded everything up into the car and we were off after the we said good-bye to Joselyn.

The dinner was nice and relaxing and we were able to have a nice conversation about nothing and everything. We got back to the house at about 20:00 (8pm) and the girls were actually almost ready for bed. Jason and I got them ready and I read them a book, and we sang a couple of songs, then they were ready for bed - and now, so am I. I actually sat down on the couch to relax a bit an opened my eyes and it was already 21:15 (9:15pm). I had now idea of what was going on, on the TV, so I decided to do the blog and go to bed. Of course there was a call to Linda mixed in there, and now I am going to bed. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

October 20, 2013

A very nice day for us today. We got up a little on the late side and decided to take the girls to the 10:15 service at the Big Red Church (it is the local Presbyterian Church and has many similarities to ours in Livermore). The girls had fun at Sunday School and afterward we came back to the house and I fixed a nice lunch for all of us. The girls went down for their nap, and I really don't think they slept much, because in about an hour and a half they were running around the house again, and pretty  much just stayed in their PJs the rest of the day. While the girls were "napping" I helped Jason with his shower and dressing change. His wounds look better than they ever have and I am hopeful that with a little more treatment from the laser treatment, and they will close completely.

I played with the two of them for a while, and helped them first build a "tent" our of a couple of blankets, and then Stacy wanted to build a fort. Of course, if you looked at the two structures they pretty much looked the same. I then finished up on some cleaning  and began dinner, and we all were able to eat by about 18:30 (6:30pm). I then got to sit down and watched a little football, and the girls decided that they wanted to watch it with me. This lasted for about 20 minutes and then they wanted to watch some Bugs Bunny. We don't have any Bugs Bunny videos or DVDs, so I knew we would have to pull it down from YouTube. I asked Jason if he was up for getting the show going and he was, so the girls went and watched the cartoons with him for close to an hour. This was great as it gave me some time to finish up on some of the cleaning and put the food away. Jason then read them a couple of books and then it was time to go to bed. Stacy wanted me to read one more book, so I did, and then got them to go to bed. This time, though, I think they went to sleep a little after going down. I think they were tired this time... ;-) Tomorrow, Jason's leave ends, and he will have to get back to the base for his treatment and other appointments. Right now the only thing he has going on is PT, and then I think another on Wednesday, but that will probably change quickly. I do know he plans on getting a hair cut.

Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 19, 2013

Slow day with nothing much going on, other than Jason wanting to take Gracie out to the training and the park. As their training was going on I had the girls over at the park playing on the swings, on the play structures, and... playing with Stacy's Stomp Rocket. One of the presents Stacy received for her birthday was a rocket launcher and four rockets. The rockets are made out of Styrofoam and the "launch" mechanism is this balloon like device that has a hose top a rigid tube and the rockets sit on top of that. She jumps on the "balloon" and the rocket goes up. The harder you jump, the higher it flies. We were there for about 90 minutes and then headed back home.

The rest of the day was relaxing at the house and not doing much of anything, though I did take the girls to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Tomorrow is going to be another easy day, and other than go to church I don't think we have much of anything planned. I guess you'll just have to wait until the next exciting entry to see what, if anything, we did. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 17, 2013

We had a great day today, with me being able to get out for another short bike ride (just under 5 miles this time); our friend (ret. General) Tom Lightner came by for a visit and nice gift from Grace Presbyterian church; we had a great visit with Gary Sinise, and discussed some of what Jason's future is going to very possibly look like; and, the girls are with us again, for the next five days.

I didn't get up to particularly early today, though I still do call Linda for a wake up call at about 05:45 on weekday morning. I went down and checked on Jason and let him know that I was planning on going out for another short bike ride, and I wanted to eat a little breakfast before I went. He said he wasn't quite ready for breakfast, and would eat when I returned. I was only out for about half an hour, and felt pretty good after the ride, and realized I have gotten out of shape. When I returned I got him some breakfast and then took a shower. After that Jason was ready for his shower, and then we headed over to the hospital at Balboa. We had a meeting sett with Gary Sinise, and didn't want to be late. We got there and had a great time with him, as we talked for nearly an hour. Gary's Foundation is wanting to build Jason a house and so Gary was out gathering some information about just what that house might be. There is still a great deal to be done and to be finalized, and it just felt great that the wheels are rolling on this.

Afterward we went back to the house and had a quick lunch, and then Gen. Lightner (ret.) came by. It was good to see him and do some catching up. While Jason and Tom were still talking I had to get going to go pick up the girls, and Tom said he was going to be going soon, so I said my good-byes then. When I came back home, with the girls, Tom was gone. Both of them were full of energy and I told them that I was walking over to check the mail and they both asked to come with me. Our mailbox is about 100 meters away, and they just about ran the entire way. This was good as it got some of the energy out of them. We played a little while, and then Joselyn started to fix dinner (it is one of the things she likes to do, and I am totally okay with that). She left a little while after and then I finished up on the dinner - chicken pot pies. The girls ate their dinner and then went to go in and play with daddy for a little while. The next thing was to start getting ready for bed and I told them they could each pick out a book, and I'd read them both. The funny part was that Jason had gotten out of bed by now (there was a problem with the cable box and he wanted to fix it -- and he did), and he was right next to us, as I read the books. All and all, it was a very good day. We will be getting out a little early tomorrow, as Gracie needs to attend one of her training sessions. Jason will be going to the training and the girls and I will be going over to the play area. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 17, 2013

We really didn't do much of anything today, other than a load of clothes and I went for a short (very short) bike ride. It was the first time for me being on the bike in several weeks, so I figured I'd better take it easy and not try to start out with a 15 mile ride. I plan on doing the same tomorrow, and get a short ride in, in the morning, and then continue getting some ride time in next week, and rebuilding slowly. The only other thing we did was to go to a taco dinner, over at building 26.

Apparently, every Thursday there is a meal put on by the Purple Heart folks (Ladies) and Jason decided that he was ready to investigate. The tacos were good and more importantly the social gathering was even better. The down side is that I don't have anything else to really talk about today, and maybe that is a good thing. Instead I am going to put some of the pictures from the event we went to, last week, on the blog today, as I finally got around to loading them on to the laptop. I won't be showing all the pictures, some weren't particularly clear, and some were duplicates, and some were, well - a little more personal. Anyway, here they are, and I hope you enjoy them. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Another relaxed day, to say the least, for the two of us and the girls. We really didn't do much of anything around the house, except for a couple of loads of laundry (I find that doing laundry is actually kind of relaxing for me - especially when I can just sit in front of the TV and fold clothes), and some dishes. When I did the dressing change for Jason I was pleased to see that the effects of the trip up to Livermore were already starting to reverse and all was looking better again. About 18:00 (6PM) we went over to have dinner with Anthony Netto. He wanted to show us his new grilling unit that is actually close to real barbeque, though still far enough removed that you honestly can't call it a barbeque. Anyway, the burgers were good and the girls had a great time. Jackie was all over the place, as always, and I think she wore all three of the adults down pretty well. Stacy was happy staying close to where we were sitting and we didn't have to expend too much energy keeping up with her. Jackie, on the other hand, is just an amazing little girl who has unbounded energy.

Tomorrow we will be heading over to the hospital, and starting to get back into our old routine. We'll drop the girls off at the Child Development Center (CDC), so they can get back into their respective classes, and Jason will be heading over to get his appointment schedule and prescriptions all back to where they need to be. Even I have to call the VA to see what appointments I may need to get going, and that's just the morning. Other than that, we don't have much planned for the rest of the day, and we'll simply take things as they come. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 13, 2013

Well, considering how I started yesterday's post I felt I should follow it up with a little more information. I will be going to the folks here, at Balboa, who were directly responsible for establishing our travel, and check with them on what was or was not done. Of course I will have to wait until Tuesday, as tomorrow is an official government holiday, so those that are not impacted by the shut down (I think there might be as many as 7 civilians still working) will have the day off anyway.

Today was a nice day for us, with nothing to do except some laundry and shopping. Jason did want to go see Captain Philips, so we went to the early morning showing, and then on to Costco. The movie was good, I would recommend it to just about anyone. It gave a good portrayal of what happened, and even though I knew what happened, based on news reports, the suspense was still there. We went to the matinee, but only because the time slot was available, and we would have enjoyed it at a later showing as well.

Our visit to Costco was less exciting, though Jason did buy a new bed for Gracie (the dog) and perhaps I am only imagining things, but we seemed to have gotten in and out relatively quickly. They were very busy, yet moving people really well.

The girls are back with us tomorrow, so we should see them in the morning, though I don't know if I'll have to fix them breakfast. Doesn't matter though, we went to Costco and we have all the food we need in the house - especially breakfast food. Not sure what else we might be doing, as Jason sounded like he might want to stay down, so I might just walk the girls over to the park and let them play on the structures and burn off some of their energy that way. Not much else to write about right now, so I'll be signing off and in a short while, going to bed. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 12, 2013

Okay, what happened to the October 11 post? Well, we traveled back to San Diego on the 11th, and because our flight got changed, at the very last moment, we didn't get home until almost midnight, and the girls didn't get to bed until almost 00:30 (12:30am) as a result. What happened was that we arrived at the airport later than I had wanted, but still 45 minutes prior to our flight. Should have been enough time to get to the plane, but wait - we were traveling with a wheelchair and a service dog, and both issues perplexed the folks at the ticket counter. But wait, there's more - United didn't know Jason was traveling with anyone else, even though this was a return flight; they didn't know he even had a wheelchair; and, they didn't know he had a service dog. I guess they don't track that sort of thing. It also took them nearly 10 minutes to find me and both girls on their terminals. AND, there were already two other service dogs on the plane, and therefore, since they apparently got on the plane before we did (like I said we arrived later than I wanted to - more on that later) and they can't have more than one animal per cabin. They only have two cabins so therefore Jason wouldn't have been allowed on anyway. Who cares that this causes him to be up in his chair an additional three hours, and that there are two little girls traveling with him. If he wanted to stay up in his chair and generate extra pain he would have stayed longer at the concert the night before, where he was enjoying himself.

Why we arrived later than I wanted was that we had a rental van, and like all rental vehicles it was requested that it come back with a full tank of gas. That took an extra 5 minutes - close gas station and we were in and out very quickly. Turning in the van took a few minutes longer than we had wanted, and between the two it caused us to be later, by an extra 15 minutes. I know I should have pushed everyone to move a little faster, but I didn't know what was going to happen at SFO. As it turned out, the flight crews on all of the United flights we've been on have been great and very helpful. It is simply the coordination of the folks on the ground that seem to be causing the greatest challenge. To their credit, they did provide us with a little better service, once they figured out that we were supposed to be there, and checked all the bags and car seats (no extra charge). Jason and I talked about this and have said we really need to focus on making sure our travel arrangements are rock solid so that these things don't happen again.

Now, what about today, October 12 - Well, we all got up a bit later than usual, as one might guess, and then Jason was contacted by the girls mother. Apparently there was another change in plans and we had to get Stacy and Jackie up and over to her, as she was not going anywhere. Originally they were to stay with us until Monday and Tuesday, which our our regular days. We don't mind taking them over, we were just a little surprised by the sudden change, as I think everyone was. The government shut down is affecting all kinds of aspects of people's lives, and this was one of the impacts to us. Anyway, the girls were excited to go, yet sad they had to leave, Stacy said she was going to miss us, and already misses Grandma. It will be good to get the routine back in order, I think, for everybody.

I did do one load of clothes today, but that was about it. Other than Jason's dressing change, and fixing a couple of meals, I really didn't do much of anything, and neither did Jason. We both just kind of loafed. I will be washing more clothes tomorrow, and getting things going again, with as much of a regular routine as we can, just to get back to a more regular life. Thank you, to everyone for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 10, 2013

Wow, what a day.

It started off with Linda heading over to the house open the daycare and finish packing before Home Depot arrived with their army of workers to modify the house. I stayed at the hotel  with Jason and the girls. As usual, both of the girls were full of energy and were excited with the idea that they could go down stairs and get their breakfast. Granted, their breakfast was simply a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice, but it was still exciting to them, because they get to pick out their own cereal.

The work on the house was scheduled to be completed today, and it was amazing how much work had been accomplished when Jason, the girls and I arrived at the house for lunch compliments of Carl's Junior. A short while later Linda showed up (she was still out running other errands). It is very gratifying to be recognized, and to meet and thank all the volunteers.  What was particularly nice to see was that there were a bunch of folks there that we actually knew. Friends of ours who just wanted to help us get through this bit of troubled times, and we appreciate it. The outside of house has been completely painted, along with some trim work and fascia replacement.

I then took Jason and the girls back to the hotel, so that they could get some rest, as tonight was going to be a busy night, and I didn't want them to be tired. The benefit concert was tonight and I knew it was going to be a stretch to make it all the way through. As it turned out the girls were taken back to the hotel, by a good friend of ours, Coreen, and then Jason asked to get back to the hotel prior to the end of the concert as well, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The concert and auctions were great, we had an awesome audience to go along with fantastic players and performers. Jason was the main focus for the Wounded Warriors, though there were other guys there, and that was nice to see. It needs to be remembered that there are several Wounded Warriors, and that's just in the local area. There are some places that have more and some that have less, but the bottom line is that these men and women, who have given so much for our freedom, are everywhere. I just hope the people of this country don't forget them. I don't know how much was raised, but based on the auctions and the turn out, I'd have to say it felt like a successful evening, and it is nice to know that we helped that to happen. There are so many people I should thank, and I will attempt to over the next several days/weeks, but for right now I just want to say, "Thank you!" to everyone involved.

Jason and I had to leave the concert, when Kenny Loggins was performing, because it was starting to get too cold, and he was getting very uncomfortable and it had also been several hours for him to have been up and that was affecting him as well. We got some great pictures, and I'll post some of them either tomorrow or the next day, but right now I'm just a bit tired. Thank you, all for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013

Today started with us taking advantage of the free breakfast, down stairs and then heading off to take care of some simple errands. Not a great deal was accomplished, other than to connect up with Anthony Netto and Angelica, and to talk a bit about the rest of the week. This evening Linda's parents (Jason's grandparents) arrived and are going to be here for the next few days, so Jason has more family around. All of his brothers should be here in the next day or two as well, along with a few others.

As a result of the running around this morning it kind of wore out Jason and the girls and when we got back to the hotel they all laid down for a nap, and slept right up until dinner. Linda and I had a night out, together, and that was great. Marilyn Carter came by to stay with the girls and we went to dinner with her parents. After dinner we went to see a movie (Gravity - good movie, I recommend it, but don't be surprised by the number of characters in the movie) then we came back to the hotel, where we both felt a bit more relaxed, since we finally got some time with just the two of us... I recommend that too... ;-)

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day and it may be such that I don't get a chance to write up the blog, so I can say for the next two days there may not be much of an entry. As time permits I will blog, but that all depends on how things go. Thank you, for your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 6, 2013

Today was a good productive day for all of us, and it was also filled with some new challenges. The challenges were things like trying to figure out how to balance the day, and still get the girls their afternoon naps; how to be available for all the materials that were coming in for the remodeling work, courtesy of Home Depot; and, the new one being how to get the pool cleaned. Apparently the pool has not been cared for as well as I would have liked, and now the water was all green. I ended up putting in four gallons of the pool shock, and I hope it does the trick. I'll know tomorrow - if needed I'll put in more. Not sure where I'll get the time to really clean it, but I'll do what I can.

Anyway, because the laptop is giving me some challenges today, I'm going to be making this a relatively short post, yet attempt to get in all the information.

We got up early and everybody was ready to go by 08:30. Linda took the girls down to the breakfast that is being offered here, at the hotel, and both of them thought it was really fun. While they were doing that I took my shower and got dressed and then got Jason going. The folks from Home Depot were delivering all the materials for the remodel and Linda wanted (needed?) to be there, and the girls wanted to see the house, so she took them with her. Jason and I left just a little while after they did and went to get some breakfast (we missed the free stuff down stairs). Jason and I also had some errands to take care of so we worked out a route that would allow us to do it most efficiently, but first we went to eat. While eating Linda called and asked us to come by the house to see the materials coming in. There was a bunch, and now it is all in the front room, and the work is scheduled to begin in a couple of days.

It took us a couple of hours to get all our errands out of the way, and then we came back to the hotel. Jason wanted to get his shower and dressing change completed, and then get some rest. While he was resting is when I was working on the pool. I was happy to see that the water was flowing nicely, but I also realize that I still need to take the filter apart and see how it is doing. Again, that will probably be done tomorrow.

Linda's day care is still operating, so now she not only has all the materials for the work to be done, in the house, she also has a bunch of kids there. They came back to the house, from school, and were all excited to see all the new stuff, and even more excited to see all the furniture and other things moved around, to allow for the work to be accomplished. Several of them recognized me and were happy to see me and asking me a bunch of questions, and then also wanting to interact with me, just like they did all those months ago. It was a nice welcome home, so-to-speak,  for me.

I eventually headed back to the hotel and we decided to take Linda and the girls out to dinner, to one of my favorite places - New Oceanic. We walked in and Judy, one of the owners, recognized us immediately and came over to give us all big hugs, and even new how to prepare our food without having to say much. While we were eating we got a second welcome... Roger and Arlynn Grimm came in and they sat down and had dinner with us. Apparently they're having some work done on their place, too.

With dinner done we headed back to the hotel where Grandma gave the girls their bath and Grandpa worked on the blog. Tomorrow is going to be another nice day, and I even checked the weather, the entire week is supposed to be good weather. This is going to be a very nice visit. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

October 5, 2013

Okay, first - sorry that I didn't get a post out yesterday, but it was a busy day (and night) and I was just plain tired by the time I would have had to get the post in. That seems to have worked out okay, though, as today was pretty laid back and not much happened, other than taking the girls to see the Cloudy With A Chance Of Meat Balls 2. It was, as far as we know, Jackie's first theater movie, and it was a little rough. She isn't one to just sit and enjoy and likes to continue to move around, looking for other things to do. Linda basically held her on her lap through about half the movie. Stacy, on the other hand, enjoyed the movie from Grandpa's lap for about the same amount of time. The difference is that Stacy wanted to and Jackie wanted to run around the theater. The movie it self was enjoyable and silly, and that is about what I expected.

The day yesterday was challenging as we arrived at the San Diego air port with more than enough time to get to the gate, and again Jackie was the biggest challenge. She was absolutely amazed by all the new things she saw once we arrived and I was carrying a couple extra bags (we do that when traveling with small children) so that made keeping up with her a bit more of a challenge. Jason was keeping tabs on Stacy and also keeping Gracie in line. It was a relatively new place so Gracie was a bit cautious with everything she did and not really paying attention to what Jason was doing. Anyway, we got to the gate with plenty of time to spare and had wonderful help from our escort (a volunteer at the airport). United (that's who we flew with again) did a very nice job of making the travel easier as well. Originally I was seated in row 11, with the girls, and the person at the gate moved us up to the bulkhead and we were now on row 07. That was particularly good since Jason was up in first class. The agent at the gate did this without me requesting it, and basically only asked for permission - obviously I said, "Yes." Once we were on the plane, another passenger in first class offered to give me her seat, but I had to refuse, as I needed to stay with the girls. I thanked her for the nice offer, though.

When we first got on the plane I had to get the girls seated first and one of the flight attendants stayed with them (even gave them "wings"). One of the other attendants held Gracie and then I carried Jason in. That part went very well, and the flight was comfortable and smooth. When we arrived at the airport we again got some extra help from the people on the plane, but the ground and baggage people were apparently stumped by Jason's chair. It took them nearly 30 minutes to get it up to us, and obviously we can't leave the plane until the chair is there. The flight crew were wondering what was going on as well. Anyway, we finally got off the plane and I was scurrying around trying to keep all of us together while picking up the luggage, and then we got more help from the people at the luggage area. We got all the bags out to the curb and waited a few minutes for our rental van to arrive. The driver was circling and apparently we had just missed him. We got all the stuff on the van, including the car seats and we were off. Now that sounds all well and good except I forgot one of the bags. Fortunately it wasn't something we needed immediately so I was able to go EARLY this morning, and picked it up. The drive back out to SFO was fast, and so was the return. I even had time to stop off at Target and got back home in just under 2 hours.

The rooms are the same as we had the last time we came up to Livermore, and so we were already familiar with the Hawthorn, and are very comfortable being here. The rooms share an adjoining door, so all we have to do is keep the doors from closing and we can go back and forth between them. We've had some visitors already and were even greeted by Marilyn Carter upon our arrival. All this made it just a little easier to get here. I was a bit wound up from the travel and it took me awhile to unwind and finally get to sleep, when we did go to bed. Fortunately, the same did not hold for the girls.

Like I said, today was much more relaxed, and we went to our church this morning, and it was really nice to see everybody again. Linda spent the time with the girls in Sunday School. Tomorrow we have a few things to do, but I am going to do my best to just relax - I am supposed to be on vacation. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, October 4, 2013

October 4, 2013

Days never seem to work out the way one expects (or wants) them to. I have been attempting to get to the bank for the past couple of days, and because of other interrupts I have not been able to do so. Fortunately we will be heading up to Livermore tomorrow and I can get to the bank up there. Funny thing about the bank we use, and have been using for 30 + years, they seem to be plentiful up in the Bay Area, and sparse down in San Diego. Not sure why, but for right now we can still get our business done.

I began the day with doing some packing, and getting ready to do more packing. Jason had to be over at a formation, at Building 26, at 07:30 this morning, so we got an early start. The reason he was asked to come in on his leave was because he was being recognized for achieving his fourth Good Conduct Medal. I guess there aren't too many Marines who achieve this level of behavior with their Marine careers. All you have to do is stay out of trouble for three years and you qualify for the medal. Jason has been in for 12 years now, so he received his fourth one. He told me a little later that it was the first time that it was actually "presented" to him, rather than a simply notification and a First Sergeant or section leader handing it to him. Anyway, that took a  little more than half an hour and then we went to get some breakfast.

After breakfast we headed back to the house where I did more packing  and Jason played in the water. Well, I guess it really wasn't "play" so much as a chance to give Gracie her bath. Gracie didn't want to get a bath, but she did need one. I was surprised and pleased that Jason wanted to take care of it, for multiple reasons, not just because I was attempting to get bags packed, but I think it built a little stronger bond for him and Gracie. Funny thing is, Jason brushed her just prior to the bath, and got quite a lot of hair off her, and then in the shower/bath there was all kinds of hair down be the drain, and then he brushed her again and removed more hair. I think Jason's comment was, "Dog, how can you have so much hair?" Anyway, right after he was done with that, Jason wanted to take his own shower and get cleaned up.

A short while after that I went to go pick up the girls and let their respective teachers know that we were going to be gone all next week, so not to look for them in class. Once we got home both of them wanted to help pack, though Stacy was much more helpful than Jackie. As things were put into the bags, sometimes Jackie would want to remove them and play with them. I finally gave her, her own bag to pack and she was kept busy for a little while. Tomorrow, about the only thing left to pack are their hair brushes and accessories and tooth brushes.

Tonight we went over to Anthony Netto's, for dinner, and had a very nice time. The girls enjoyed the new grill that Anthony has, and we ended up making burritos and fajitas. Both of them were getting tired so we came back home and I read them Bible stories and finally got them to bed. This allowed me to finish doing my packing, or almost finish. I still need to pack up my toiletries and such. Heading up to Livermore tomorrow and I think I can honestly say that all of us are looking forward to it. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers, Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October 3, 2013

Today was an interesting day, in that I got up early enough, and went through my emails this morning, then fixed breakfast for the two of us. Jason was up and he was just a little hungry, so we had cereal. After that I cleaned up the dishes, or more accurately, but them in the dishwasher, it wasn't even half full so I didn't start it. Then I told Jason that I wanted to get over to the bank to take care of some business. Jason said he wanted to get over to the base, and Miramar and get a hair cut and wanted to come along with me, so we could get everything taken care of in one trip.

Jason wanted to get to the base (Balboa) to pick up some meds, since we're going to be gone all next week; he wanted to head over to Miramar to pick up the clothes he was having tailored (Dress Blues and Charlie uniforms); and, then he wanted to get a haircut because he found out that he needed to go to formation tomorrow - he is being recognized and awarded a good conduct medal. This will be his fourth in 12 years, and apparently this is something that usually doesn't happen.

So we first headed over to Balboa, and took care of picking up his prescription and I also picked up extra supplies to bring with us next week. After that we headed for Miramar. As it turned out, his Blues are still not ready, because they have to make one more alteration and then he can pick them up in two weeks. While we were at Miramar Anthony Netto showed up and we all decided to go to lunch together, and he knew the perfect place, as it was on the way back. We finished lunch at almost 14:00 (2pm) so we hurried back to the house, because Joselyn was going to be waiting for us. She gets here at 14:00 Monday through Friday, and sometimes we're late. Fortunately she has gotten used to us and just waits. As soon as we did arrive we asked her to hop in the van and we headed over to The Depot, to get Jason's hair cut.

We went back to the house and Jason took his shower and I took care of his dressings, and then he laid down for the rest of the day. I took a short nap in the front room and that was about the rest of the day. Joselyn leaves at 18:00 (6pm) and that's about the time I fixed Jason a lite dinner. Our lunch was pretty big and neither of us were hungry. Tomorrow we have to get started early, so that he can make formation, and then.... I think I'll again try to get to the bank. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2, 2013

Another quiet day with just Jason and I at the house. We took care of a couple of small errands and then Jason said he wanted to go to the movies. The previews for Don Jon looked pretty funny so he decided that he wanted to see that one. I do not recommend it unless you really enjoy crude humor. It did have some funny spots, but not enough, as far as I was concerned. Anyway, after the movie we came back to the house and while Jason was taking his shower (yeah, we got started late today so he wanted to push it off until tonight) Anthony Netto came by to pick up the ParaMobile, since he is transporting it up to Livermore for us. Right after that we had some left overs for dinner and then he fell asleep, and I guess I did too. I woke up on the couch, with the TV on and figured I better get up stairs to take care of the blog and go to bed.  Thank you, to everyone for all their continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1, 2013

Today was a day that was taken up by a number of personal issues that Jason is dealing with and therefore I don't have much to blog about... at least not yet. The girls went to their daycare at the CDC and were happy and healthy, prior to going over to their mom's place. They went over early because  the mom asked if they could come early, so she could take them to an event on MCRD (a.k.a. "The Depot"). It sounds like some sort of activity that the kids will enjoy so Jason agreed. After we finished our dinner we walked them over to the house and dropped them off. So now we're in the house on a Tuesday evening, without the girls... something that hasn't happened in several months... feels a little strange. Tomorrow should be another quiet day, as we have some errands to take care of, but by late morning we should be completely done for the day. Thank you, for all the support and continued prayers. Take care and stay positive.