Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31, 2013 - Happy New Year!

Well, it is time to sign off of 2013 and maybe even reflect a little on the progress that Jason has made. It is a little on the strange side to think that we started this year in Bethesda, MD, and yet are now back here in San Diego, CA. He was an inpatient, not really knowing what was going to be happening and now he is nearly healed, and feeling better, AND Gracie, the service dog, has come into his life. The next steps are an upcoming surgery; the acquisition of a vehicle; and, having a home built for him. All of this is very exciting, and we are looking forward to getting to a more independent and productive life. Heck, he's even looking into enrolling into some college courses, just to get his brain working in that direction again.

Thank you, to all of you. Over these past 2+ years (getting close to 3) you have been showing support and letting us know you're there. All your continued prayers have been keeping us strong and helping to keep Jason moving in the right direction. This is the 860th posting for the blog, and though it is short (I really am kind of tired) I hope you can feel the appreciation being sent with it. Again, thank you, for all the continued support. Take care and stay positive. This blog to be continued into the next year and probably beyond. Happy New Year - 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

Today has been another of those great days where we didn't do much but we did enjoy each other's company. We went to Jason's formation this morning and because I was guessing it was going to be a shorter engagement at the base (meaning I really didn't think they would have classes) and I guess I was right because at a short while after 08:00 Jason called me and let me know that he was done. I met him over at the same place I dropped him off for formation and then we were on our way back to the house.

We got back to the house to find the ladies (Linda and the girls) all having fun and still in their pajamas. Jason said he wanted to take us all out for breakfast, and then go on to Costco to pick up some things. It was decided to head on over to a restaurant that was close to Costco and that way we wouldn't have far to drive, after we were done. Breakfast was over, and we all decided that we wouldn't want to go there again; service was poor and the food was done poorly. Anyway, we headed over to Costco.

We got there is less than a minute (it was close to the restaurant, remember), and there were no parking slots open; or, at least none that we saw. We quickly realized that there were a bunch of folks out doing their last minute shopping for the new year parties that were going to be happening, and on top of that it was close to a payday. We decided that going to Costco was probably not such a good idea right now, and that we could just pick up a few things at the Grocery store. As a result we simply turned around (actually not as easy as it sounds) and headed back to the house.

Once at the house we all got going with doing some straightening up of the place, since there were definite signs that Christmas happened just a short time ago. After this was accomplished, the girls went down for a nap. What is really good about that is that they both will tell us they're tired and want to lay down... Really, they do tell us.

Linda and I decided to head over to the grocery store and pick up the things we needed, and since Joselyn was now here we could do it without any concerns or worry about time. Thanks to a gift from the ASYMCA (Armed Services YMCA), we had been given a Honey Baked ham, so I said I would cook that for dinner, which I did. It was very tasty, and the best thing was that I didn't have to clean up afterward. Linda said since I did the cooking she would do the clean up... worked for me.

The rest of the evening was spent having more fun with the girls and then Jason reading a couple of stories with them. Grandma and Grandpa put the girls down for the night and then we got a chance to just be with the two of us, not doing anything. Not sure what tomorrow is going to bring, but if it is anything like today it should be a very nice one. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013

We got up early this morning and made ready to head up to Los Angeles to visit with our son David and his family. The only thing was that Jason and Gracie were not going to be going with us. Because of the trouble she is having with her right front leg, the vet said she simply needed to rest as much as possible, and she can only do that if she just stays home. The good news is that the rest seems to have done some good. When we came home this evening she was walking around in a much more normal manner so I am guessing that the pills she has been taking are acting much like an anti-inflammatory medication as well as a pain relief. We'll see over the next couple of days how that goes.

Anyway, we spent the day up with David and Miriam and had a very relaxing and fun time. The four grand kids were great and had a great time together. their ages are (or will be in a couple of weeks) 1 1/2, 3, 4, 5, and they alternate between David and Jason... believe it or not, they didn't do that on purpose.

I was pleased with the drive up and back, as we didn't experience too much traffic, and only saw a couple of smaller accidents. The accidents still did gum up the traffic, but not to the point that it ruined the trip and we still made pretty good time. Tomorrow Jason has formation, and I know it is the last one for this year because this is the last Monday of the year, and there are no more Fridays. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28, 2013

Kind of a laid back day, with not much going on. We put the trash and recycle bins out last night, but there was still more to put in. Most of it was recycle, and even afterward I found a box full of cardboard that didn't make it out. That's okay, it is only one box, and they'll get it next week.

After getting up this morning, I went for a quick ride (I'm attempting to stay more dedicated to my riding so that I will be ready for the EOD ride this coming year) and put in a quick 10 miles. Jason had made an appointment for Gracie, with the vet, so I had to be sure I was back in time to clean up. We left for the vet appointment and once at the doctor's office we didn't have to wait very long at all. The doctor is a thorough look at Gracie and couldn't find anything definitive about why she is limping, but there is a noticeable limp. After he and Jason discussed it, it was determined to provide her with some pain meds and Gracie was to be put on bed rest for the next two weeks. After that we bring her back if there is still a problem and the doc will take another look. There is a high likelihood that x-rays are going to be on the agenda, if she continues to limp. The vet said that she may have just sprained something, but couldn't identify specifically where it came from. The real important thing was that Gracie was comfortable with him checking, and he seemed to know how to handle her.

Other than that we just stayed at home and let the girls play with all their new toys and things. This also gave Linda an extra moment to get some rest, and that is a good thing for sure. Tomorrow we will be headed up to see David, Miriam and the boys, Dylan and Ethan (our son David and his family). The only down part is that Gracie isn't supposed to travel so Jason is staying home with her. Perhaps that is a better thing, since the house will be quiet and the two of them can get some real rest. Jason has been left alone before, for several hours, and we anticipate this time won't be any different. Worst case he has his cell phone and Medic Alert within reach. We've already spoken with David and he understands that we won't be staying very late, we just want to get some time to let the kids play, and we would like to see the family too.

That's about it for now. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26, 2013 - The Day AFTER Christmas

It was the night after Christmas, when all through the house, everybody was resting and not wanting to grouse. All the energy expended; all the participants drained. Now what do we do, but start over again. The girls came back, to spend the day after with their dad, and Grandma and Grandpa, too. It was Christmas all over again, YEAH! It's Christmas take two!

Okay, so much for my poetry, I suppose I could continue for a few stanzas, but it was starting to feel a little like work, so I'll just use regular prose and see where that takes me... ;-)

The day was spent with Linda heading out early to go mingle with the day-after shoppers, as this is something she really enjoys doing. She sometimes buys a few things, and other times she doesn't; what she really tries to do is just watch the shoppers as they go on their way exchanging or looking for bargains. Jason was engrossed in a program that he found on YouTube, and was happy to just sit back and relax, so I put together a quick breakfast for him and then I took off for a bike ride. I figured that the traffic was going to be lite, and it was, so I was able to comfortably head on out for a 15 miler, and really enjoyed the fact that not too many cars were on the road. It was still pretty early (about 07:45) when I left, and traffic wasn't picking up until I was well on my way back home. Funny thing is, even with low volume traffic, there was this really nasty four car accident right at the end of the ride. Two of the cars were about 50 meters apart and a couple of others in between, and the two that were at the extremes really looked mangled. It was right where I had to turn to get back into the housing complex where we live, so I got a pretty good look. My guess is that it was somebody going way too fast for conditions and was thinking that because of easy traffic they could get away with it... wrong.

The rest of the day was us taking care of a few things and then Linda and I going back out to pick up a few things, and having a nice quiet lunch together. We found this great little Mexican restaurant and will probably be going back there, now that we know where it is. When we got back Jason wanted to head over to the pet store to get a new cage for Mr. Jingles (the rat), and a few more things. The other cage was getting a little beat up by Mr. Jingles chewing on it all the time, so Jason wanted to set something up where he would be happier and occupied with other things to do, like a wheel to run in.

Anyway, we were all back at the house and Linda put out a few more decorations that she found and we just sort of waited for the girls to show up. Of course there was dinner in there and the usual cleaning up of everything, then finally, as I stepped out to see one of the "new" decorations Linda had put up, I saw the girls coming up the walk. Actually more like running up. They saw me come out and yelled out, "Grandpa!" and started to run up to see me. Obviously they weren't alone, so the girls came in and Stacy was particularly excited. Stacy's tooth had come out since our last visit and she was so proud to show us. Then it was down to looking at all the presents under the tree.

We were all in the front room and Jason was doing the directing, which made me particularly happy, and he had the girls open up a couple of the presents. We didn't want to go through all of them because the needed to get to bed (it was already past their regular bed time), and on top of that Jason has an early formation call in the morning and we need to get some sleep too. Jason and I will be heading out early tomorrow and the girls will be staying here with Grandma, and after we get back home, then they get to open the rest of their gifts. Tonight Jason went in to tell them their bed time story and made sure they were all down and settled for the night. Jason has a couple of other appointments tomorrow, so my guess is that we'll be back home in the morning, though it could be late morning. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive. Merry Christmas TWO all and to all a good night... ;-)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25, 2013 - Merry Christmas

Today has been a very good day for all of us and it started out just as we would want it to. Since there were no kids here, this morning, we all slept in... at least for a little while. I was up at about 08:00 and went out for a bike ride. Both Linda and Jason were still sleeping and it was a wonderful day out. I got on the bike and went in the direction I normally do, and found that there weren't too many vehicles on the road. This made it a very nice ride, and I considered it my Christmas present to me. The cool part was that I was feeling pretty good and made the 12 mile loop in almost exactly an hour - and that includes stops for red lights (there was just enough traffic to trigger a few of the lights).

I got home from the ride and started to work on getting the two of them up and moving. Just as I was becoming a pest to Linda, my brother called from West Virginia. It really wasn't a surprise, I was just happy that his timing was excellent. If he had called sooner he might have connected with me while I was out on my ride and then I wouldn't have been able to talk with him very long. Actually, I did get a call while riding, and I got to talk with my son Sean. I spoke with him for a couple of minutes and then suggested that he call the house - I found out that he did. Anyway, after getting off the phone with Bruce I moved to take a shower and eventually we were all up. After that we headed over to The Broken Yoke and then off to Alpine to look at some properties. We wanted to do this on our own, just to get a feel for the area and to see what was there.

We did find a couple of interesting places, but I don't think they really fit into the scheme that Jason is working towards. We'll have to sit down with the Realty folks and talk to them about it. Just a few minutes after we returned home I received another phone call, and it was from our son David. He and his family were also enjoying the Christmas Day fun, with their kids, and Miriam's mom at the mom's house. We need to figure out a good time when we can all go up and visit with them again, perhaps in a few days or next week some time.

The rest of the evening was spent just relaxing and enjoying being around each other. The interesting thing was that the food we at The Broken Yoke was still with me, and I really didn't feel hungry at all. We still put together a simple dinner, and now we're coming to the close of the day. Not sure what is going to be happening tomorrow, but I would guess it will be enjoyable. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 24, 2013

This morning the girls came running into our room and jumped into bed with both of us still attempting to wake up. Stacy announced that Christmas is tomorrow and we needed to be ready for it. As it tuned out the girls ran back down stairs and I took the opportunity to get up and at least brush my teeth. I was actually planning on going for a bike ride when I walked into Jason's room and he reminded me that there was an appointment today, this morning at about 10:00. I went back up stairs and let Linda know what was going on and then headed back down to get breakfast for Jason, and the girls.

We all eventually got ready and we headed out to the hospital. Linda wanted to get in some last minute visits prior to the Christmas "shut down" and Jason and I to the appointment. The appointment was with Plastics and Dermatology, at Wound Care. Everyone was amazed at how well the wounds were doing and we got a chance to discuss the next steps with the doctors. We are now looking at the end (or at least the second half) of February for the surgery that is going to be taking place. As soon as a date is set we will be notified and we can look forward to Jason's healing process being that much closer to being as complete as we can get it. There was also a second conversation about a conference that will be held, in about a year, and they would like both Jason and I to participate in it. They want a perspective of a patient as well as the care giver, of a very serious injury. Jason and I said we would be happy to help, especially since the purpose of the conference is to bring awareness to others in the medical world.

The rest of the day was spent back at the house. We had some time to play with the girls and then they were taken over to the other house, where they will spend Christmas. Effectively it will simply be back on the established schedule, and we're just going to have to have Christmas a little later in the week. Tomorrow we are going to figure out what we'er doing, as we get into the day. I have already let Jason and Linda know I would like to go for a bike ride, so that will be in the morning. After that I can't say what we're doing. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night (apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)... :-)

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013

Jason was required to go to formation this morning, as I mentioned yesterday in the blog. The formation turned into a class, so Jason sent me a text and said he would be at a class, but anticipated it would be short. I took the opportunity to go speak to a few people there, and wish them a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and the timing worked out pretty good. As it turned out, I was done and back to the building he was meeting at the class, and I only had to wait for about 10 minutes. Actually, I found out, that he was done with the training class and there was a different meeting going on; one in which he received a few more gifts for the girls. The tree is really looking pretty good with a bunch of stuff for the girls.

While Jason and I were at the base (Balboa hospital and Wounded Warrior Battalion) Linda was back at the house working on wrapping a few more gifts and a few more decorations. When we got back to the house we picked up Linda and headed over to pick up the girls, it was now close to 10:30. Jason wanted to go and take the girls to see Frozen, the new animation movie, and so we did, with first a stop for lunch. Typically we don't like to spend money for lunch, because we usually have plenty of food at the house, but this time we felt it would be faster, since the restaurant is right next to the theater. Well, we had plenty of time and the meal was paid for by someone else. An anonymous person covered our bill, and we don't even know who to thank. The movie was fun, though a little longer than we thought it would be. We headed back to the house after the movie, and the girls went to take a nap - they were tired.

Tonight we had a fun and relaxing evening with the girls. We watched a Christmas animation movie, that lasted about 20 minutes, then it was story time and off to bed. Dinner was simple, and that was okay, as it got rid of some of the left overs we had in the fridge. I did get to see some of the Niner game against the Flacons, and was very surprised at the results. I thought the Niners were going to win, but for a while it did look very much like it was going to go the other way around. Tomorrow I'm not sure what we will be doing, other than tomorrow evening when the girls will be going back to their other house. We won't see them again until Friday, and that's when we will have our day of opening gifts. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 22, 2013

Apologies, that there was no update yesterday... though there really wasn't much to update about. Jason did take Gracie to her training, while Linda and I stayed in the van. We stayed back so that we could catch up on some of the paper work we had to take care of. Otherwise we stayed at home or went to the grocery store. Oh, yes, and one other thing, Linda and I put up some Christmas decorations up, both inside and outside. So now on to today's update.

Jason spent the entire day in bed, and I was glad to see it. He said he was feeling like he had the flu or a bad cold. By the end of the day though, he was feeling much better. The day was spent wrapping some gifts and getting ready for the girls to come back tomorrow. I did get to watch some football, and it was enjoyable as I really didn't care who won the games played today. The Niners play tomorrow and that one I really care about. Okay, I do care a little about a couple of the other teams, but only because of how it could impact how the Niners end their season and go into the playoffs, but otherwise I didn't care much about the scores. Linda was having a great time with the gift wrapping and actually stayed up a little while tonight wrapping some of the packages.

Tomorrow Jason has formation at 07:30, so we will be going off early. It is anticipated that the formation won't last too long, and there really isn't much else to be done at the base, so we'll head right back to the house. We may stop and pick up the girls, but that depends on the time. In any event, they will be with us relatively early. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

Well, the big day finally has arrived. Linda is coming in tonight and I am happy to see that happen. Actually right now I am just waiting for the flight to get in, and then I'm headed off to the airport to go pick her up. Jason said he wants to go also, though he is asleep right now... guess I'll have to wake him up... ;-)

The day started out like most of the past Fridays, with Jason and I getting out of the house early to get over to the base for his formation. I was even talking to him, on the way over, about why they would still have this formation, this close to the holiday. He said he just had to go, and that the schedule is something that he has to work with. Anyway, as I dropped him off I said I was going to be headed back to the house so I could get a short bike ride in, and that he should call me when he was done. He was expecting to have to attend a training class or two, and that usually means he would not be ready to come back until close to 10:00.

As it turned out, about 20 minutes after I got back to the house he did call me. Luckily I had not gotten out on my ride yet, though I was just ready to walk out the door (actually just putting on my shoes). Turned out that there was an activity planned and for whatever reason the message didn't get back to him, or apparently several other guys who were all trying to figure out what was going on. Everything turned out okay. I still got my bike ride in, and this time I decided to go a little longer, since I wasn't concerned about having to get back to pick him up. The rest of the morning he just stayed down and after I got back from my ride and showered, we both took off to do a little Christmas shopping.

We were gone for a little over an hour, maybe two, and we picked up a few things. We got back to the house and shortly afterward a "new" refrigerator showed up. It is nice to have the refrigerator in the place where it is supposed to be, again. The rest of the day is pretty much just the two of us staying at the house, and me doing a couple of loads of clothes. Now I'm off to go pick up Linda. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers and take care and stay positive.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 19, 2013

Another great day for Jason, in San Diego. We had an early start and we were done before 11:00. We came back to the house and I fixed lunch. We both just sort of laid back and watched the TV for a little while. Then I decided that I needed to do something. It was time for tree decorating. Yes, we have had our tree up for several days now, and there are some small decorations on it, all from the girls. I just wanted to have a few more decorations on the tree for when they get back. I also put a few more gifts under the tree, that came in the mail, so now it looks more like the Christmas tree I remember. I think the girls will be excited to see the changes.

One of the things that has happened recently is that Jason's water bottle broke. It was a CamelBak brand water bottle, and was actually the second bottle he's gone through. I went down to the store today, while he was napping and bought a new, and different type bottle. It has a little greater capacity, and a different pouring system. I am hoping that it lasts as long as the previous two, but just in case I bought two extras.

Tomorrow is Friday, and Linda is going to be joining us, to spend Christmas with us. Actually, it will be Christmas and New Years. Both Jason and I are looking forward to her arrival, and will enjoy our time together. The girls are going to be happy to see her too, as they keep asking about when is grandma coming back. I see a time when we're all together, on a more permanent basis, but I just don't have a solid date on that. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 18, 2013

Kind of a laid back day for us today. We really didn't do much out of the ordinary, at least not until this evening. Tonight we had the honor of attending a Christmas pageant, at Stacy's pre-school. She asked us to be sure to come, so we did, and it was great fun. She sang (well, okay, she and the rest of the class sang) The 12 Days of Christmas and another song (right now I honestly don't remember the name of the song). She was very happy to see us there, and the church was packed. It was actually kind of amusing how the parents all acted. Each grade level came up to do their song and each time you would see a few parents come up to make sure they could get some photos. When Stacy's class came up it looked like each of the student's parents and grandparents were all trying to get the best shot. As it turned out,  Jason and I were fortunate enough to already be in the front, so we had clear shots to get pictures. I'll post some tomorrow, as I am too tired right now, and I need to get up early. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers, take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December 17, 2013

What a day...

We started out, very much the way we normally start our days, when we have the girls with us, by getting them up and dressed; and, then making sure they get some breakfast. We had an early meeting set up with the Realtor, Tim K. and so we had to make sure we had the girls to their respective pre-schools and then go to meet with him.

We met at the hospital, by the flag pole, and then headed out to take a look at the first piece of property. On the way I let Tim drive as I was needed on a conference call with Linda (and even that call went well), so the beginning of the day was continuing to be busy. The funny thing is that at just about the time I was getting ready to hang up I lost the signal and was disconnected. From that point on my focus was on the search for property. I did get some pictures, and a couple of the lots really looked good. I won't be posting any pictures, though, until a final location has been selected by Jason. On a positive note, one of the properties we looked at today has been rejected, so that at least helps to narrow down the selection... ;-) We plan on doing another trip next week, maybe two, and Jason would like to identify the specific property before the end of the year.

We were gone for well over four hours, probably more like six, and Jason was very worn out by the time we got back to the house. He laid down and in a matter of a few hours of resting he was totally sleeping and out. Actually, I would loved to have been able to do the same but conditions were such that it wasn't going to happen. The girls were very good for me, so that made it so much easier, and by the time the got to bed they were ready to be there. I did do another Rudolf story, and it was another participation type, so it went a little longer than typically others do. That was okay though, as Stacy was able to participate and had a bunch of fun. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

Today has been a very good and fun day. We got the girls up early this morning because of the need to get Jason to his formation. Still, there was time for breakfast and a little horsing around, and that continued on into the evening, after I picked them up - but I get ahead of myself.

After dropping everyone off, and getting back to the house, this morning, I took care of a few things and then got my bike out. I needed to top off the tires, as they were a little softer than I like and then I got all my things together. I was making my final arrangements to get out for a ride when I receive a text message from Jason - he's done. As a result I put off going on the ride and headed back over to the base to pick him up. While there I also pick up a few things (med supplies) and then we head on back to the house. Jason wants to take a shower and have breakfast. I get all this done and then I can go for my ride. The ride isn't long, but still long enough for me to get a good work out (11.5 miles) and then I get back home. I cool down for a few minutes and then take my shower. At this point I head over to the mail box and pick up our mail, including a couple of packages. One of them is a small box from a friend Stephen E., to Jason, and the other is a package from Nana and Tata, with gifts for the girls. We had been informed that the smaller packages inside the bigger package were already wrapped, so we could open it without concern. The girls were very excited to see the envelops and packages, and helped place them under the tree.

Dinner was a simple chicken, rice and vegetables, and the girls did an amazing job of eating everything. Jason also had all he wanted so we were all happy. Tonight, after dinner and staying up a little while, it was time for the girls to get to bed. I did something a little different, instead of telling them a regular story or reading them a story from a book I had them participate in the story and Stacy had a great time. I had fun with it too, and think I might just do that again. The story was about Rudolf and Santa at the North Pole.

Tomorrow we will be heading out to check out some land for Jason's house. Don't know much about where we will be going, or how long we will be gone. I did set a parameter that we needed to be back no later than 15:00 (3pm), since that is about when I go to pick up the girls. I hope the properties have what Jason is looking for, as this would allow things to get moving towards the building of his home. Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 15, 2013

Not a great deal to report on today, other than we had a great lunch with Bob and Debbie Hamer, and a small group of Wounded Warriors, over at Boll Weevil. Generally I have a hamburger when we have gone in the past, but today I tried their chicken. It was pretty good, so I just might try it again when we go next time. It was good seeing Bob and Deb, and they had a Christmas gift for each of the kids there. Stacy and Jackie were pretty excited when they saw theirs.

After the lunch we headed back over to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) where Jason wanted to get a hair cut. Jason wanted me to just drop him off so I could get on back to the house to get the girls down for their nap. By the time I got the girls down and quieted, and a chance to sit down Jason comes through the door. I was quite surprised to see him get to the house so quickly; I guess the line was either very short or no waiting at all. Anyway, he wanted to take a shower because of the hair cut, so that was what we worked on. It was his second shower of the day, and he was much more comfortable afterward.

The rest of the day was spent doing things with the girls and then preparing dinner. Actually both girls surprised me with their appetites, then again it was salmon and they both do like it. Tomorrow Jason has an early formation, then training, so I'll be dropping him off first then the girls. I might try to get a bike ride in, as I haven't gone in several days now. I'll have to see how things go. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013

Today I was greeted by Stacy, while I was still in bed, and she wanted to know when I was going to be getting up. It is unusual for Stacy to be up and Jackie remaining in bed, but I guess she was tired.  Anyway, by the time I did get out of bed (just a few minutes) Jackie had come up and now both of the wanted to play on Grandpa's bed. They like to jump on it, and since it is so much bigger than their beds it is much more fun. I let them play for a few moments then told them they needed to get back down to their room and that I would be done in just a couple of minutes... which I was.

After breakfast we (Stacy, Jackie and I) put together the Christmas tree that was have had for a couple of years now. The girls were very excited, especially since we already have some presents under it. We had a good time or an hour or so and then I told them they needed to get out of their pajamas and into regular clothes, so we could go shopping - Costco specifically. I told Jason that we would be going soon and he said he wanted to go with us. This kind of surprised me, since he said he was planning to stay down all day, but I try to be flexible. As we got into the van Jason said he wanted to go to the hospital, to go visit the new Marine who had recently been injured in a motorcycle accident. He lost his leg, up to the hip when a car ran a red light and hit him - it was a hit-and-run type accident, and I do not know if the other driver was caught. Anyway, we ended up going over there first.

The visit was a good visit, and I'm glad we went. It was good for Jason to get out and go visit another injured Marine, where Jason could provide some support and encouragement. It was also good to meet the guy's family, and I was able to speak with them for a few minutes. The girls were remarkably good, though they are pretty comfortable being in the hospital now. I was able to have the conversation without too much distraction. The visit lasted for about an hour, and Jason gave them some good information and felt the guy was doing very well, considering that the accident only happened about two weeks ago.

When we first got to the base we noticed a bunch of older cars there, and then a rather special one. The Ghost Busters Mobile was also there. None of the actors, just the vehicle. It was kind of neat to see, though the girls didn't think anything about it. Found out later it was all part of the Toys-for-Tots program that the Marines are involved with. Anyway, we just kind of walked on past it and didn't even stoop.

Our next stop was Costco, and we went in ready to pick up some things. I even had a list that I put in my pocket. I have a regular route I take, when I go through Costco, and today was no different. By the time we were done picking up the cereal we needed I stopped and looked at the list (first time since coming into the store) and found that we had in fact loaded up the basket with exactly what was on the list. I felt pretty good because I have a reputation for going to Costco and almost always picking up stuff I really don't need.

We got back to the house and it was past the girls' nap time. Fortunately we did take the time to stop and get them some lunch, so now as they are saying they are tired we can quickly get them to bed and not have to worry about putting a lunch together. The rest of the day was just a matter of relaxing and enjoying each other's company. Tomorrow should be another laid back day. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13, 2013

Jason and I got up early this morning, with the intention of Jason going to formation, and then on to the "regularly" scheduled classes, that are frequently a part of Friday formations. When we got to Balboa, and only a few guys were there, Jason knew something was up. He contacted his section leader and found out that there was no formation today, and that the only thing to worry about was the Holiday Party going on tonight over at the Crown Plaza. I was going to attempt to get in a bike ride, but that wasn't going to be happening this time.

What we decided to do was to head back to the house and just go to a movie. Jason wanted to get over to The Men's Warehouse, but it was still too early for that, and besides, the new Hobbit movie was out, Desolation of Smaug. If you're in to Tolkien stories you won't be disappointing with movie. It followed the Hobbit very closely, and they didn't attempt to put too much of the story into one movie. The down side is that the movie, itself, is quite long, and by the time you see the credits you are probably going to need to find your way to the restroom.

After the movie we went back to The Men's Warehouse, where he bought a couple of new shirts. Actually he only bought one shirt and the second shirt was "free." It was now past noon so we decided to grab some lunch and then just kick back at home. I went to get the girls at about 15:10 (3:10pm), and had them back at the house by 15:35 (3:35pm). Why this is important is because at 16:00 a Christmas party, for the Marines, was going to begin at the Crown Plaza Hotel, and we didn't want to be too late. As it turned out we managed to get there at close to 17:00, just before the dinner was served. The party was very exciting, especially for the girls, but I'm afraid it was a bit tiring on Jason. This has been a busy week, and the party was just a bit more than he needed. We did stay for a couple of hours, and had a good time, though we did seem to leave prior to most of the other folks.

There was a nice raffle type door prize, set up for the kids, and both Stacy and Jackie each won. I told them that because it was Christmas presents they would have to wait until then to actually open them. I don't think they were particularly happy with that directive, but they were pretty excited to see the presents. Tomorrow is going to be spent pretty much just at the house. I think I may go grocery shopping with the girls, and let Jason just rest. Thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 12, 2013

I got up in a leisurely manner this morning, since we didn't need to be anywhere until 10:30. I took a shower and went down stairs and asked Jason if he'd like a bowl of cereal. He said yes, so I brought him one. That's about when everything changed - Apparently there was a need for Jason to be over at building 26 by 07:30 and it was now 07:15. My reaction was, "That's not going to happen." I still needed to get my shoes on, and Jason wasn't dressed at all. Anyway we hurried and were over to building 26 by 07:53, looking for a place to park. Since we were called in, apparently so was everybody else, and they all got there before we did. As it turned out, I let Jason out at the front of the building and then drove off to find a parking spot. I pulled away from the curb, went about 50 feet and right there, in front of the building (sort of) was a parking spot, and it was actually very accessible for Jason as well. Typically there are trucks parked in these spots, so I generally don't even notice them.

Well, I went inside and found Jason up on the 2nd floor, where they were giving out goody bags and other things, even a new pillow. After all the rushing to get there, we were done in less than 10 minutes. That was okay, though, as we just went over to the other part of the base and went to talk with a couple of the doctors' offices to make some appointments. When we went to Dermatology we actually got to speak with the doctors, and felt kind of lucky, since we didn't have an appointment. They provided us with some updates on what was going on, and a big one was that the biopsy that was taken a few months back, came back with some very good results, allowing for a "next" step in treatment for Jason. The doctor said he had just gotten the information on the results last night, so this was excellent timing. Jason will be going in sometime next month for this next step procedure. We talked with them about other things too, like the medical conference they attended, and Jason happened to be a big subject item there; next year they might even have Jason attend as a special guest.

Wound Care was no where near as exciting, but we did get an appointment set up. Again, it will be sometime in January, and probably much less eventful, other than being able to show them that the wounds are doing well, and Jason is making great progress. By the time we were done with Wound Care it was time to consider heading back over to building 12, where the big event was supposed to take place, and where we were going to meet with Gary Sinise. As we walked to the van (it was now parked over in C5) we happened to see Gary being escorted over to the main hospital building. We went over and made our greetings, and found out that he was going in to see the Admiral. We were actually invited to come in at that point, but respectfully declined as this was supposed to be a meeting with just Gary and the Admiral. We ended up simply going back to the van and then over to building 12. Again, parking was an issue and it took us a few extra minutes to get situated.

By the time we were set, Gary shows up again so we all walked in together. We went up to the meeting room and all the players got together to discuss Jason's house and the property where it would be built. Tim, from Trident Realty was there to show us some of the property he has been scouting out and we felt like there was some serious progress being made. Tim and Jason talked about going out next week to check out some of the properties, and see if any of them looked good, or if he needed to change his search process. I think things are looking pretty good, so I don't see that happening.

At the holiday celebration Jason received another goody bag and more stuff; had his picture taken with the San Diego Chargers Cheerleaders; Was able to visit with Gary, Judy, Stephanie and others from the  foundation; and a special treat of sitting down with Jason Redman, the Navy Seal. All of this was good and very much something that I think Jason needed, as he needs to exercise his social skills more and not just stay cooped up in the house.

Once the event was over (for us) we loaded up the van and headed up to the second half of that resume class he started yesterday. This afternoon session was particularly important because it was going to allow the guys to practice interviewing, and the interviewers were real hiring managers from some of the businesses in the area. It was interesting for me, since I didn't sit in on the first class, to sit in the room and simply observe what was going on, and how Jason did. I think all went well, and Jason did well.

Tomorrow we get the girls again, and we will be taking them to a Christmas event, down town, at one of the hotels. It is being put on to allow the children of the Wounded Warriors to have some extra fun, and we're all looking forward to this. Thank you, for all the continued prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013

Not much to write about today, and probably that's a good thing. Jason had a single appointment with the Physical Therapy department, and a few appointments with some of the folks over in building 26; with a focus on getting all the right paperwork and forms done and in at the correct times. Tomorrow, however, is another story...

First we have to get the girls up early and over to their respective pre-schools/day care, by, or before, 07:30. After that we will be heading up to Carlsbad for an 08:00 start time for a class he will be taking. The good news on this is that the instructor has already been informed that he is likely to come in late. This is an all day class, that he is not expected to sit through. I will be dropping him off and then heading back down to the San Diego home area, to get ready for a job interview (but that's all about tomorrow - I still need to update what happened today).

There really wasn't much to be done around the house, and besides Joselyn took care of the laundry, so all I really had to worry about was cooking dinner. That being done the girls and I watched Shrek III (for about the 8th time), and they thoroughly enjoyed it. That brought us up to bed time and that took about another half an hour to get accomplished, and now I'm ready to hit the sack myself. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

Jason and I got the girls up this morning and had time to play with them, for a little while, and then got them breakfast. They are two typical little girls, full of energy and they love to play, which includes running around when you're trying to dress them. I have been known to break out in a sweat just trying to keep up with them. Today, Jason was there to help, and I have learned that what I attempt to do is to get them to agree to clothes, the night before, so that a bunch of time is saved in the morning, and I don't have to get them to "pick something out."

They had their Cheerios (that has got to be one of their favorite cereals) and in a few minutes we were getting loaded into the van. Jason needed to be at formation this morning, at 07:30, so he and I talked and I would drop him off first, and then take the girls to their respective schools. It all worked well, and I decided to just get back to the house. The truck from Father Joe's was supposed to be arriving sometime between 09:00 and noon. I originally planned to go for a bike ride but thought it would be better for me to wait around until they arrived. Finally, at about 10:45 I called and was told they wouldn't be there until 15:00 (3pm) at the soonest. About five minutes after that, Jason contacted me and said he was done, and that there was going to be a luncheon over at building 26. Funny thing is, when I arrived at bldg 26, he was just getting there, so we walked in together.

The San Diego Police were hosting the lunch, so Jason was able to meet some of them, and enjoyed the company of the other Marines as well. We hung around for a little over an hour, then needed to head on back to the house. He had been up for several hours and was ready to lay back down, as well as take a shower and change his dressings.

You can always tell how these type events take a lot out of him, because by about 13:30 (1:30pm) he was asleep, and I didn't wake him until dinner... he ate at about 18:30 (6:30pm). Anyway, the rest of the day was relaxed - The truck from Father Joe's did come by and picked up all the stuff. Linda called and let me know that the weather challenges in New York did not cause her to have to stay there. Actually, as I write this she is probably getting very close to landing back in Oakland. She had a nice visit and I will get to hear all about it tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, Jason only has the one appointment, and we should be back at the house relatively early. There are a couple of errands he wants to do, and then that will be pretty much it for the day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 8, 2013

A little different format today -

Jason spent most of the day in bed, again, and that is a good thing, as his wounds are really making some positive healing. It seems the more he is down the better the wounds close up. My guess is that there is going to be only one area left in about a week, though that one area has been particularly stubborn. This coming week is going to be different, and fun, as we should be able to start making some headway with the selection and possible purchase of his OWN vehicle. Still a couple of things to work on, but it all looks good.

The PackRat storage container, that is currently sitting in the driveway is now empty. I spent a few hours working on it, and even had the help of the girls for a little while. I let them "move" a couple of the very light pieces, and so much of it was different, that it kept them quite entertained. After lunch and they went down for their naps, I was able to finish unloading everything else, mostly because one of the Marines came by and he helped me move some of the heavier pieces. Without his help it would have taken me two to three hours more, so I was very happy to see him. I also set up the donations that we are giving to Father Joe's Village. When all that stuff is gone we will, again, be able to move around easily.

Tonight we had a nice ham dinner, prepared by Serving Spoons, a group of young women who want to help out with preparing meals for the Wounded Warrior families. The food was quite good and the girls enjoyed having something different. The amount of food they brought would have feed a family of 8, so needless to say, we have some left overs. That's okay, I'm already planning on how to have the rest of it, over the next two days. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 7, 2013 - Peal Harbor Day

Today started out a little different, in that it was raining a little, more of a drizzle than a rain, but then the rain did show up a bit later in the day. Because of the wet weather there was no need for a trip to the training park, and so I made pancakes and fried eggs for breakfast, and we just kind of kicked back for a little while. The only thing I was considering doing was getting over to the Post Office to check on the status of the Priority Package, and it was still a little early for that.

When I did get over to the Annex (that's where we're supposed to go, rather than the main post office, which is actually closer. My guess is that it has something to do with the fact that we're in military housing) and went to ask about the package, there was this helicopter flying around, closer to the beach area (we're only about a mile from the ocean) with a loud speaker wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. My thought was that they should have picked a different day, or waited for the weather to clear. Anyway, I went into the annex and spoke with the clerk, who didn't know what to do, so he went to his supervisor to ask. He came back a few minutes later and said that the package wasn't in, and that the super would be calling me later. I left them my contact information and that was the last I heard from them.

I ended up just calling a lock smith, who came and opened the unit, so that I could start to unload. I got about 1/3 of it done when it really started to rain. I decided to just go get another lock and would work on it tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be much better and I should be able to get it done, or close to it. It was good to see some of the stuff that was in the container, and now I have a good idea of what I need to do to make everything fit. On top of that I know that some of the items already in the garage will be picked up, and I'll have plenty of room to make it all fit.

The rest of the day was spent at the house, and doing a few things. Then Jason called me in and let me know the girls were coming tonight, to be with us. I was a bit surprised, as I wasn't expecting them until Sunday, but that's okay, as I k now Jason really likes to have them around, and besides they'll be big help when I need to work on the container... ;-). Actually they showed up just a few minutes before they were to be in bed, and that turned into almost an hour. Jason read them a story and then said good night, and I got them to bed. We'll see how tomorrow plays out. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Decmber 6, 2013

Jason had formation today, but instead of a uniform he wore a polo type shirt. It seems that the "required" uniform of the day is something that he simply doesn't have right now, and his section leader said not to worry about it. So, he didn't and simply put on something that looked nice, even if it was a little out of place. Anyway, after dropping him off I came back to the house to get in a quick bike ride and did about 11 miles before taking a quick shower and heading back to meet up with Jason. Actually he contacted me before I left the house and asked me to grab an envelop that contained some documents. He was meeting with a VA rep who would be helping secure the financing for his vehicle, and this was the VA grant document. The VA helps to pay for a vehicle, but more importantly they provide funds to help with the required modifications that will need to be done. Actually the meeting went very quickly and we were soon on our way back to the house, where he asked me if I was in the mood for a movie.

Since the U.S. Postal Service still hasn't delivered a package has a needed key, I really didn't have a great deal to do. The container is still sitting on the driveway with the lock on it, and its one of those locks that don't get cut very easily, so the best thing is to simply wait for the key. Okay, I'll quit complaining now... I agreed to go to the movie with him, and he wanted to see Homefront, and it was much better than I expected. It stars Jason Statham and James Franco, and both of them played their respective characters quite well; lots of suspense and a solid story line. I would recommend it if you'd like to spend an evening with a friend, or even by yourself.

We came back and there was a message that an organization was interested in picking up some of the older items that we no longer need. Father Joe's Village will be coming by on Monday to remove some of the stuff we have in the garage, thus making some room for the stuff in the unit sitting in the driveway. I was actually hoping to get some stuff moved tomorrow, but now that it looks like it is supposed to be a rainy day, I guess I should just be happy the way things have worked out. I'll give everyone an update tomorrow.

We won't be going to take Gracie to her Saturday training session, since it takes place at a park, out side. The rain is going to impact that as well. We'll probably go do some grocery shopping, and see what else the day brings. Thank you, all for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 5, 2013

Had a great start to a nice day, and finished with ice cream... ;-)

Jason and I went to his session at the C5 PT clinic, and while there I got to use their stationary bike. I really didn't do much, other than sit on it, mostly because I wasn't familiar with it, but I think if I get the opportunity again I at least know how to use it this time.

After the session we headed over to building 26, to meet with a few folks, who basically make up some of the support "team" for guiding Jason on what he wants to do with his military career. Jason is thinking that the best coarse of action is to remain with the Marines for a little while longer, maybe as much as a year, and then "retire." His biggest concern is sitting around with little or nothing to do, so we are all engaged in looking for a solid transition, into a job that he will be happy doing. The nice thing is that financially, with the retirement, he should be set for the rest of his life. He won't get rich, and he won't have any debt concerns, as long as he continues to live his life style. What he wants (needs?) to do is find something that he wants to do, and enjoys doing. We've even talked about setting up a work shop so that he can get more into wood working and create things for people. There are also possible job he could go to, and that is something else to be explored.

We came back to the house and I checked the mail, and found that the key to the PackRat storage container on the driveway, still had not come. Linda sent it out Priority Mail (USPS) and was told it would be here in two days.  It was mailed early Tuesday morning. I tried to go on line to see what was going on but their tools are either not working correctly, or simply don't fill the need; and, their customer help line closes at 17:30 (5:30pm). I didn't get all the information from Linda until after that time. I will call in the morning and see if I can get in touch with someone. I am getting to the point where I don't want to use the post office for anything, and especially if it is important.

Tomorrow is an early day with Jason having 07:30 formation. The rest of the day should be busy, but I'm not sure just how yet. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 4, 2013

Another interesting day, with a busy morning start. We got the girls to their pre-schools after a breakfast of Cheerios (seems to be their favorite), and then we went up to Camp Pendleton, for a USO "event." Actually it wasn't much of an event, it was simply a time that was requested by the USO, to interview some of the Wounded Warriors, and how the USO has been a factor in their military lives. Jason was volun-told to be there, and it was strongly encouraged that he wear his Dress Blues. Jason, being the good Marine, did just that, and went through the effort to make sure everything was set up correctly. He looked good, and as we dropped Jackie off (Stacy was dropped off first) we headed up to Camp Pendleton.

The interview took about 25 minutes, and it seemed like we were the first ones to get there, so actually that was a good thing. As soon as they were set up, Jason was in front of the camera. He had already seen most of the questions, so he was basically ready for what they were going to ask, and he did quite well. We were thanked for coming and we said our good-bye's, and then we were headed back home. Traffic wasn't too bad on the return journey, and we made it back in just over 30 minutes. There wasn't much to do afterward, so Jason took his shower (wounds looking good) and then he laid down. We actually stopped for lunch on the way back, so that wasn't even an issue at this point.

Tonight was quiet, since the girls are not with us for the next five days. I did a few things around the house, but it is so much more quiet with no little ones running around. I guess I was just too used to having them here. I only have a few more days and they'll be back. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013

Today started much like many of the other mornings, when we have the girls. We were able to get them to their respective pre-schools / Day Care centers with time to spare. We then headed over to the base, and then I happened to head on in to see CMD Ledyard, Jason's Medical Recovery Case Manager - she handed me a document that she just recently received and it was something Jason and I have been waiting on, for a few weeks. It is the document that basically says that Jason is capable of driving a vehicle and that with appropriate adaptations he should be allow to go get the vehicle he wants. This is a big thing for him (and me), and now we just need to get things moving with the other aspects of getting it done.

The rest of the day was spent with me going over to the VA and taking care of a couple of things. Actually I was pleased with how well it went, and how quickly I was done. The girls were picked up after I finished and we spent the rest of the day at the house, and just enjoying being inside - it was drizzling and generally kind of yucky outside. If I had thought a little more I would have gone to pick up some things and we could have made a batch of cookies.

Tomorrow Jason will be going to a USO event, where he and another Marine will be doing something with them to celebrate some of the achievements from the USO (at least I think that is what it is about). He will be dressed in his Dress Blues and I think on stage, responding to some questions. Obviously I will be able to tell you more about it tomorrow, after it is over... ;-) Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Well, it was a busy Monday morning, with getting the girls up and Jason over to formation, though we managed to get everybody to where they needed to be, in the time they needed to be there. After doing all that, Linda and I actually took some time (FINALLY) for the two of us to have some time together, just the two of us. We went to breakfast and took over an hour to eat and enjoy each other's company. Then we needed to get back to work, as Jason's day was coming to a close at the base, and needed to get back home.

We (Linda and I) went and did a little shopping and then headed over to pick up Jackie, since we were closer to her location, anyway. After that we headed over to pick up Stacy and she was feeling particularly energetic and wanted to walk back to the house. Linda agreed to go with her, and of course Jackie had to go as well. I drove back to the house and waited for them. We live, literally on the other side of the fence from where Stacy goes to pre-school.

One thing that was different for today was the replacement of our refrigerator. Over the past month and a half we have had to call for service three times on the unit that came with the house. It is covered by the lease that Jason has, so with the advent of the third call it was decided that we needed a new refrigerator. The third call happened on Sunday, this past Sunday, and they told me that a new fridge would be coming soon, and we should expect it possibly on Tuesday. I said Wednesday would actually be better for us, so instead it showed up today, while Linda and I were shopping of course. Anyway, the only problem they had was that it was 3/4" too wide. The old fridge had to be taken out; not sure why, but that was the rule. We now have a refrigerator sitting in the dinning area and an open space in the kitchen. It should be corrected in a matter of a couple of weeks. On top of that Linda packed up a PackRat mobile storage unit and sent down a bunch of stuff to be down here, with some of it being from the boys (our sons) and some of it being mine. I need to have it unloaded in a matter of about a week.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, except for the need to pack for Linda. She is going back home tonight, and won't be back down for a couple of weeks. The flight she took, from Southwest was scheduled to take off at about 20:50(8:50pm), but then they called and told us that the flight was delayed and would be leaving at 21:50(9:50pm). At about 15 minutes later I received another call and now the flight was delayed until 23:55(11:55pm). Needless to say, this made it tough in coordinating a pick up for Linda, when she arrived. Fortunately we have some very good friends at the church and it was worked out. As it turned out we received a couple more phone calls with the time changing again, back to 21:50 (9:50pm) and finally 21:30 (9:30pm). I took her over to to the airport, and she headed back home.

Tomorrow Jason has a couple of appointments, an otherwise relatively lite day. I need to get a few things done with the VA (for me), and get some updates going with the different groups I deal with. I hope it is a sign that this holiday season is going to be a real nice one, but I approach with cautious optimism. Thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1, 2013

This morning started off with a family breakfast and then David and his family had to get going, back up to Los Angeles. It was really nice having them down here for a couple of days, and more importantly giving some time for the cousins to get to know each other. We will see them again around Christmas, so it won't be too long until we all get together again.

The rest of the day was spent around the house. I did spend a little time working on the back yard, and doing a little clean up. At the same time the girls were running around and playing. Other than that it was just pretty much a lay back and relax kind of day. Tomorrow begins another week for Jason and it also marks the date when Linda will have to go on back to Livermore. She will be back down in a matter of a couple of weeks, or so, so we won't be separated too long. Thanks, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.