Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

A nice day of relaxation with the girls, and getting a few things tidied up around the house. No appointments, other than the phone call (conference call) with the team responsible for designing Jason's house. It was a good call, with a few more adjustments identified, and then once that is accomplished the plans get submitted to one of the governing bodies that say what can and can not be done. We don't expect too much in the way of delays, just that it is a lengthy process.

This afternoon, around 16:30 (4:30pm) we all decided to go for a walk. When I say, "we all" I mean Jason, too. In truth, I think that Linda and I are the only ones to actually walked. Both Stacy and Jackie ran most of the way, and Jason was close behind, with Gracie right there with him. They'd get up to a corner or driveway and Grandma and Grandpa would come walking up a short while later. We made it all the way around the block (about .35 miles) and then back in the house.

We all settled in to the front room/living room area, where we had a nice family chat. Something we don't do very often, and it was kind of fun. I know this all probably sounds kind of corny, but it is nice to kind of act like a more normal family once in a while. Jason read a few books to the girls and this was after dinner. I came in to my work area and was working away, with the Stand Up and Play stuff, and then it was bed time for Stacy and Jackie. They came running in and gave me a nice hug and they were off to bed. Life is good... Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 29, 2014

Today started out with a little extra excitement, and it wasn't the kind of excitement that we want to happen. We were getting ready to head over to the church, and Linda's stomach began to bother her. To the point where she didn't want to leave the house, if it wasn't necessary. We decided to continue with the focus of going to church, because Stacy was performing, with the other children, and signing a couple of songs they learned at Vacation Bible School (VBS). Jason was anxious to go, as he didn't get to see the performance at VBS, due to his procedure last week; so, going was kind of important to him. We all walked out the front door; I walked over to the van; and then the door for Jason wouldn't open. 

We've had similar issues in the past, where the door gave us some challenge, but in the past, we have always been able to get it to work. Today was different. I spent about 15 minutes trying every combination I could come up with to get the door to open, and get the ramp extended, and it wouldn't work. We finally gave up and I took the girls to church on my own, and we got there about 5 minutes prior to services. Stacy had a good time, as did Jackie, though I know she wanted to sing for Daddy. I also know Jason wanted to be there, and Linda told me afterward that right after we left, in the Fusion, that Jason went for a "walk" around the block. He was pretty upset and wanted to calm down. I felt bad for Jason, but there really wasn't much I could do, with so little time to do it.

When we came home I immediately contacted the Marines and made arrangements to get the Semper Fi van, again, and within an hour we had the better van available for our use. We are going to see if we can just keep that van until Jason's new one is finally built, and we won't have to even think about that other one. I will simply give it back to the folks who gave it to us, and ask them to either get rid of it, or attempt to fix it for another person to use.

The afternoon was much better, as Anna, Jason's cousin, was able to come for a visit. Linda's parents were able to bring her by, since she is visiting with them. Anna is now 20 years old and going to college. The last time I saw her she was in junior high or maybe the sixth grade. She has grown into quite a pretty young woman, and she is a joy to be around. I would have liked for her, and Joe and Jess (Linda's parents) to have been able to stay longer, but they needed to get back home, so they left early evening, and we hope to get to see her again before she goes back home.

The rest of the evening and night went more relaxed and Stacy and Jackie were full of energy, as usual. Jason purchased them some swim goggles, to use for their up coming swim lessons, and they were running all over the house wearing them, and in their bathing suits. Finally things calmed down and we had a nice dinner and finally the day was over and they went to bed. The day started a bit rough but ended positive, and over all... I like it better that way. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 28, 2014

Today was an excellent day for the Ross family, in San Diego. I got up early, while most of the rest of the house was still asleep, and took off for a nice bike ride. I went a little over 24 miles, with a trek up this awful hill, right in the middle of the ride. I was determined to get to the top, and had to stop on the way up, though I did make it all the way, after resting. The ride back down the hill was much faster than going up - go figure. Linda and I talked about it and agreed that I will be getting a couple of days during the week, and then one day on the weekend to ride on a more regular basis. Right now it seems like I'm maintaining my leg condition but not gaining any strength or stamina, and that is what I really want to do.

When I made it back to the house we all got busy with a few chores and taking care of a few things, and then tried to get a little rest. The girls went down for a nap, but didn't sleep, and after a short while in bed they got up and we decided to head over to the carousel at Sea Side Park. The girls love riding on it, and it really isn't too expensive. The interesting thing was that my phone had been plugged in when I got back from my ride, and when we left for the family time, I forgot to grab the phone. I managed to spend most of the day without a phone, and it felt kind of unusual.

Not much else going on, other than tomorrow I will be working with Jason, on his resume. Northrup Grumman wants him to come in for an interview and want him to have a resume written up when he does. I think it is pretty exciting, and I think he does too. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 27, 2014

This morning started of pretty early, as Jason needed to be at the hospital, for a procedure, at 06:15, and that meant I had to get up at 05:15. Now I know there are a few of you out there saying to yourself, "Hey, that isn't so early, I used to get up at XX:XX (fill in the time you want) all the time." Well, as it was, Linda and I got to bed late last night, and due to other things, didn't sleep well. Funny thing is, I woke up at 05:16, without an alarm clock, and just got moving. Funny how the body works...

Anyway, we made it to the hospital with time to spare (about 10 minutes), and when we left the house we knew that Linda was already getting up as well, so the girls would be able to get to their activities this morning. Jason and I went in and in a short while a corpsman came in and began to work with Jason, by taking the basics and his vitals (blood pressure, pulse, temp, etc.), and then a few moments later we were led down to the P.A.C.U. to get ready for the procedure. There was plenty of time for Jason and I to talk about nothing and discuss some of the silly things we'd seen on the web - most of it was stuff that Jason saw - and that took about 30 minutes. Then the stream of visitors started to come in; most of them were nurses, though there were plenty of them were doctors, too. By the time all the "visiting" was done, it was almost 08:30 and it was time for Jason to go off to the O.R. I know it is a safety thing, but it is amazing how many times Jason had to tell them his full name and a bunch of other identifying information. In the end everything went as it should and he was alright, so I guess it is a good thing to have them do.

When Jason was done I met him on the fourth floor of the hospital, in the North wing. He was feeling uncomfortable, and that was pretty much related to the fact that he hadn't taken his pain meds, and it was now nearly 1/2 a day later. Fortunately they were able to jump on it right away and within a short while he was starting to feel better. As it was, he needed to stay at the hospital for another couple of hours, so that gave me a chance to head over to Stacy's Vacation Bible School, where a "show" was going to be going on. Grandma (Linda) has been going with Stacy all week and was a big part of putting their class together. I think it was probably one of the best fun filled weeks of Stacy's life (and maybe Linda's too). The best part was that I was able to get there in time and enjoyed the show.

After the show I had to head back to the hospital while Linda took the girls (when I came I had picked up Jackie from her day care) to lunch, and they all had a little more fun time together. When I got back to the hospital Jason was not only ready to get out, he was anxious to get out. You might even think he was getting tired of hospitals. One of the doctors who worked on Jason today was the same doctor who told him he needed to get out and do more things living and less time in the hospital. That was a big part of what was going on with this procedure. He wanted to be sure that Jason was able to get out and that there were no infections that would prevent him from going to have fun. Over the next couple of weeks that is what we are going to be working on, finding things to do and places to go.

Another reason that we want to get out more is that Jason also received a call from Northrup Grumman, and they want him to come in for an interview. I guess they were keeping an eye on him, as it has only been a few days since he retired, and they're asking him to come in for a possible position. To be honest, I'm pretty excited for him, and think he is going to have a great time. I told him I would help him with his resume, over these next few days, and that he should feel comfortable about going in.

The rest of the day has been pretty relaxed. I have the pictures ready for posting, that I was going to post yesterday (ran into some technical issues). This weekend is looking like we should have some fun, as well as a chance for me to get back on to the bike and go for a little longer ride. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive. (I posted the pictures on yesterdays post, since that was where I was going to put them originally.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 25, 2014

Today was a good day, with Jason going to Wound Care and all of us seeing some solid progress. They said they liked what they were seeing and asked me to continue doing whatever it is I'm doing. The hope is that by me going back to my previous methods of care we can again see progress, and I think it is working. Jason has taken steps to help the girls with adjusting to their new life, by signing them up with a counselor, so we think he is going in the right direction for them.

Not much else done today, other than taking care of some personal stuff and getting some paperwork taken care of. We found ourselves, Jason, Linda and I, being without the girls this evening so we decided to go take in a movie. Jason wanted to check out a movie he was hoping he could take Stacy to see, so we all went to see it first. How To Train Your Dragon 2 had a showing tonight and so we went to grab a quick bite and then to the movie. To be honest, it was kind of mild yet with enough excitement that a five year old would probably enjoy it very much, without being scared. The length of the movie is just right, and will hold her interest and she'll probably be able to sit through the entire movie, without having to go to the restroom.

Tomorrow, Jason and I will be heading up to talk with the guys about Jason's future truck. This will be our first visit with this team, and Robb, from the Nice Guys will also be there so that we can all "get on the same page," to get this done. I'll update you all tomorrow, when I have more to say about this. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive...

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

A short blog for an amazingly BIG day. Today was Jason's last day as a Marine, though he won't actually stop serving until the end of August. He had his retirement ceremony today at Balboa Naval Hospital, and it was the largest enlisted retirement ceremony that they have seen in a very long time. There were Marines from the Wounded Warrior Battalion; Marines from Camp Pendleton; Marines from Miramar; Marines from MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot); and even Navy EOD representatives. Marines from 1st EOD Company were there, and then on top of all that there were a number of retired folk, civilian folks, and a large number of people who work at Balboa, both military and civilian who attended. Some very amazing and special things were said about Jason, and I feel so blessed that I was able to not only attend, I was able to sit in the front row to see everything.

A large portion of the family was there as well, including Jason's brother David, and his family. Linda's parents were there, and several friends, all just because we wanted to show our support for Jason. Of all the different retirements I've seen, this one was the best... but then I guess I'm biased.

I know I said I was going to be putting up some pictures, I am not able to just yet, though a number of them have made it to FaceBook, from other people. Linda and I simply wanted to enjoy the event and didn't want to be behind a camera so we gave ours to a friend and asked her to take pictures, and not worry about how many she took. Well, she took that very seriously and apparently took over 1,000 pictures, so now we'll need to take some time to go through them all, and that may take us a couple of days to get it all done. There will be posted soon though, I promise.

Tomorrow starts a new phase in his life (and ours), so I don't  know how it is going to go. We have some appointments this week, and we even need to get over to the pharmacy, but that is about the end of the similarities with the "old" life. Please keep watching and reading the blog, and I will do my best to continue to post updates on how Jason and the family are doing. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 22, 2014

These past two days have been very busy for us, and yet I really don't have much to blog about. Jason is doing well, and we're working to get those last two areas healed up, and he is managing to keep a strong and positive out look on life. Sometimes his strength is what keeps me going. He never complains about the amount of time he ends up spending in bed, when I know he would rather be out and about, and his attitude is always so positive. I guess that is the real reason we're able to get through all this... he keeps the rest of us on a positive flow and focused in the right direction.

Last night Steve and Yolanda Camerena, Jason's Nino and Nina (God Parents) arrived from the S.F. Bay Area, and they are staying for Jason's retirement ceremony. The very good part of that is that Steve is also a retired military guy, from the Air Force, so he can get on base with no problems. We went to dinner with them last night and didn't get home until almost 23:00 (11pm), so we went to bed relatively early. Then this morning we ended up getting up early and I got started on putting together a breakfast. I fixed pancakes and eggs this morning and Steve and Yolanda came over for breakfast. Stacy and Jackie came early this morning and had already had breakfast, so I didn't need to fix any additional pancakes or eggs, but that didn't matter, they still ate some of the food while they played.

After breakfast we packed everybody up (except Jason) and headed over to the Presbyterian Church of Point Loma and we all got a chance to relax. I hadn't been to church in a couple of weeks, so it felt good to get back and see some of the folks there. They also made me feel comfortable and welcome, asking about Jason and letting us know we were welcome. Linda has been going with the girls on a more regular basis, and the girls are quite happy being there.

This evening Linda's parents arrived, as did David, Miriam and the boys, Dylan and Ethan (our other Grandchildren). I had made a spaghetti dinner and it was kind of a dry run of tomorrow's activities. Dinner was good, and we all enjoyed each other's company. Tomorrow we are expecting several of the folks to come back over to the house for some refreshments and a nice brunch like meal. Not sure how many will be coming, but I would not be surprised to see over 30. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 20, 2014

Today is June 20, the last day of "active" duty for the Marine known as SSGT Jason M. Ross. He finished his sign-out requirements as of 10:35 this morning, up at Camp Pendleton, and is now on terminal leave. He is still active duty, and won't be out of the Marines until August 30, a bit more than two months from now. It almost seems like a dream or something, and next week we will still be required to do all the same things we have been doing for the past few years.

Right after completing all the requirements and signing all the documents (and there were several), we went over to visit the guys at the EOD detachment, 1st Company, and got a chance to meet some of them. On Monday, a bunch of them plan to be at his retirement ceremony. We also found out that a few of them also live in the Fallbrook area, where Jason's new house is slated to be built. It is good to have a chance to meet some of our 'neighbors' before we actually move in.

One of the surprises of today was the chance to have breakfast with our nephew Eric Lascurain, and his family. We had not seen any of them in quite a while, so it was a nice chance to do some catching up. Eric contacted me, and let me know he was in the area and wanted to know if we could meet. I let him know what we were up to, and as it turned out, everything clicked and we got to have a late breakfast with them. I couldn't believe how big his children have grown, but then, I guess that's what happens, as Eric said, when you feed them. The only down side was that Linda was not able to come up to have breakfast with us.

The drive back down south wasn't too bad, though a little heavy, and the drive for all the folks going north was terrible. Not sure what happened, or when, but traffic was crawling in the north bound direction, and perhaps it was better that it didn't work out for Linda to try to meet us. It was nice getting back home and relaxing a little. It feels like some of the efforts we have been working on are now coming together and both Stacy and Jackie will be enjoying a fun Summer with the activities that have been put together.

Monday is going to be a big day here, and especially a big day for Jason. We have a bunch of family and friends coming over and I fully intend to have a happy crazy day. As long as I am not too tired, at the end of it, I'll be able to tell you all about it, and I might even post a few new pictures. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers coming our way. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19, 2014

Not a great deal to report yesterday, other than Jason going all over the base getting signatures, and working to have his final tally done. He and I did attend the command change ceremony, that took place yesterday, and was interesting, so that was a chance for me to sit down and relax a bit. We did have Stacy with us, so I was kept kind of busy just taking care of her, and as you might expect, a lengthy ceremony wasn't something that a five year old tolerates well. Much to her credit, she remained quiet and did sit on my lap for most of the talking. Fortunately, the next long ceremony we have is Jason's retirement ceremony, and that happens on Monday, the 23rd, this one should be fun for Stacy. The other big thing that happened yesterday was a nice dinner visit by Robb Frank and his wife Pauline. We have gotten to know them as a result of Robb being one of the Nice Guys, and they are the folks who are helping to get Jason the truck he wants.

Today was a final visit back to the base, where he was asked to come in and speak with the Executive Officer, who wanted to learn a little more about Jason's history. Apparently he has been given the honor of talking about Jason, on Monday and simply wanted to have some facts, right from Jason. It was a good visit, and as soon as we were done with that, we came back to the house. Stacy stayed home with Linda and Jackie was at the child care center. The only other thing that I did was to get a hair cut. Actually, that was kind of a strange situation, where I found myself outside the barber shop and there were no customers inside. That was the first time I think I have ever seen it empty. I kind of needed a hair cut so I went inside and got it done. I'll look better for Jason's ceremony now... ;-)

The rest of today was spent just relaxing and taking care of a couple of errands. I even had the chance to take a little nap. It was a nice day and I felt a relief of some stress, with the opportunities to take care of the errands, and not have to worry about how long they took or when I needed to be back home. I don't get many like today, so perhaps that is why it felt nice. Tomorrow we, Jason and I, will be headed up to Camp Pendleton, to do is final check out, with IPAC (I think that's the acronym). We have to be there early so we can get everything done, and from what we understand it will take several hours to accomplish all. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 17, 2014

Another day closer to retirement, for Jason. Effectively he has 3 days left, and then the retirement ceremony on Monday (23rd). We spent a good portion of the morning getting sign-off signatures and as it turned out, we went to the C.O.'s going away luncheon that was held today. Yep, as Jason retires the C.O. is also moving on. It is a big week for the Wounded Warrior Battalion, here at Balboa. Actually we had been going around attempting to find people so that there signatures could be acquired when we heard about the luncheon. Jason knew there would be several of the signatures he needs, so we ended up just being there before everybody else showed up (by about 10 minutes) and they weren't going to kick us out of the room, so it worked out nicely. Jason picked up about half a dozen signatures - very nice.

Tomorrow we are going back to the hospital and I hope we can get most of the rest of the signatures, if not all of them. We have a special day tomorrow also, because Stacy is getting to come along with us, and be a part of Daddy's day. We will be attending a couple of appointments, and seeing other people, so Stacy will get a chance to see what Daddy's "work" is.

Tonight dinner was a little different, we all went to the USO. One evening a month they put on a dinner for all the military families, and we have never gone. Today was kind of fun and it was a little like exploring. The dinner was roasted chicken or pulled pork along with baked beans and potato salad, and a bread roll. The girls were excited about going and then after dinner they gave us brownies. Of course all who know me, know that I don't care for chocolate, so I skipped that part, but they enjoyed it.

Otherwise, today has been a nice and productive day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Today was Jason's last formation, though he will have to go through one more for his retirement ceremony on Monday, the 23rd (next week). He didn't seem to be bothered or excited about it, just that it was another step that was required. The big thing for today was to get more of the sign-out paperwork completed, and that was what we worked on today.

This morning we brought George along with us, so that he could get a glimpse of what it is Jason does on a regular basis, as a Wounded Warrior. George seemed moderately impressed, though like Jason, it is sometimes hard to tell. We traveled all around the hospital campus and effectively showed him around, and by noon (actually a little prior) we were heading back to the house. We also had in mind that George was to catch a 15:30 (3:30pm) flight back home, and that meant we needed to be at the airport by 14:30 (2:30pm). I was a little concerned at first, because sometimes that airport can be very busy. As it turned out, it was a little busy, but not too bad, and we made it to the gate with several minutes to spare. A sincere thank you to Roger and Linda Marley for assisting George to and from Oakland Airport.

It was good to have George come visit, and I know there will be other opportunities. This evening was fun and games with the girls, and especially because Grandma (Linda) took them to the library, where they came back with 20 new books. Stacy is so excited about being in the summer reading program, and wanted to be sure to share all her books with us. Jason, Linda and I read several of them with her already and Jackie was having a happy time as well. This is pretty much what I anticipate the summer to be, and as far as I am concerned, it is a good way to expect the summer to be. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and all the support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day, to all those dads out there...

It has been a good day, and enjoyed by the family. It is nice having our eldest son, George visit this weekend,  as we don't get to see him that often.  The girls being here are also a nice plus, as they get to know their Uncle George a little bit better, and it gives him some time to be around two little girls. George has no kids, and aside from his long time girls friend Jessica, he is a confirmed bachelor... though we still have our hopes that some day he might announce a "change" in his life. I did get to hear from all the boys today, well, Sean called yesterday when he thought it was Sunday, so he meant to call on the correct day. He is (was?) traveling today so his ability to call was limited, and a call yesterday worked better for the both of us. David called, and he wished me a happy Father's Day, along with his two sons, and then they all talked with everybody via speaker phone. We even got a chance to wish Linda's dad a happy Father's Day.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed. One of my gifts was a tire pump, so I used it on a couple of the bikes that had low tires. They happened to be two of the bikes the girls use, and it was very exciting for them to see the bikes "fixed" and exciting to me to know that the pump works. My bike is in the shop right now, so I didn't get a chance to use it on my bike, though I guess I could have inflated the tires on my mountain bike. My bike will be ready next week, and I will begin riding again and start building up longer rides.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the last week for Jason to be doing things with the Marines, other than his retirement ceremony, on the 23rd (a week from Monday). It is going to be a busy week for him, to get all the required paperwork done and signatures in place. Actually he started it last week, and now he has to put a little more effort into it, as it is the final week. I said it was going to be a busy week for him, and by default that makes it a busy week for me... ;-) Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14, 2014

We took the girls to the fair today, and had a great time... Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself here.

This morning Linda took off early to go meet with the San Diego North County Chapter  Blue Star Moms, and to check out their organization in this area. She was moderately active with them up in the S.F. Bay Area and thought it would be a good idea to connect down here. The meeting was early, and also at the Fair Grounds, so she made a couple of trips to the fair today. The meeting was exactly what she was hoping for and Linda felt very positive about the people she met, as well as being able to help with the group down here.

While she was up in Del Mar (where the Fair Grounds are) I was down here with Jason and the girls, and then later in the morning, with George, our eldest son. He flew in to spend Father's Day weekend with us so we had our own "meeting" and it was fun. We, the girls and I, went to the airport to pick him up and then came back to the house. We did a little visiting and goofing around, that's what uncles are supposed to do, and then the girls went down for their nap. The deal was that they would get to go to the fair, after they had their nap, so it was an easy trip to the bedroom this time. Shortly after they went down Linda got home and we all got in a little rest and visiting, so we would be able to go to the fair as well.

When the girls got up, one of the first things out of their mouth was, "Are we going to the fair now?" Obviously they were anxious, so we pulled everything together, and then got ready to go. The only down side was that Jason wasn't going with us. He was dealing with a bad headache and didn't want to go. He gets them every now and then, and the quiet house was probably the best thing for him. When we got back from the fair he was feeling better, and the headache was almost gone.

At the fair we had a great time. We went over to visit at the Liberty Foundation, and rang the bell they had there, to honor people in the military, both past and present. I had actually rung the bell previously, for Jason, and this time I rang it for my father, who was a WWII veteran (Navy). I was glad to see that they were kind of busy, and some money was coming in for their organization. We all moved on to get something to eat, and actually had our meal with Anthony Netto (founder of Stand Up And Play), who we saw at the fair. The meal was exactly what you would expect to eat at the fair, and Linda even had a turkey leg (we all helped to eat). From there we took the girls to the rides and to visit with the farm animals. Stacy was a little nervous around some of them, but Jackie wasn't intimidated in the least. Both of them really enjoyed the rabbits the best, and the best part was they were the last thing we saw, prior to leaving.

We came home and found that Jason was feeling better, and we were all tired. The girls didn't fall asleep on the way home though, and that surprised me. I think Linda  managed to keep them active enough, on the drive home so that they wouldn't fall asleep. They went to bed easily and the end of the day was with us. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 13, 2014

Hey, Friday the 13th actually came on a Friday this month! Funny how some folks are superstitious about it, and so many other things. I try not to worry too much about such stuff, as I really don't feel it impacts me in any way. So with that, I'll start my blog....

Today was a busy day, and Jason got a bunch of things done. One of those things was to sign up his daughters to Karate, at a dojo quite close to us. We'll be taking the girls there next week to see if it is going to be a good fit, and I think it will. He also attempted to get the girls signed up for swimming lessons, something Linda and I have been pushing for, and found out that he has to wait until next week. The person who does all the sign-ups had just left, just a few minutes prior to us arriving. Seems no one else was able to do the sign-up. Linda and I also got a number of things done, and for the most part we were all pretty tired by the middle of the afternoon.

Yesterday was also a busy day, but not anywhere near as tiring. Linda's parents were able to come down for a visit, and brought along more family. Tom and his new wife Palmiera (not sure if I'm  spelling it right, and she goes by "Pam" anyway) came with them. Tom is Linda's youngest brother, and the other member of the family who retired from the military. He was in the Air Force, and though you really can't compare Air Force to Marines, at least Tom and Jason had some common ground to speak from and they enjoyed spending some time together. The down side was that they weren't able to spend as much time as we would have liked, but then again, Linda's folks will be coming back for Jason's retirement. The retirement ceremony will be taking place on June 23, at the Hospital, by the flag pole.

Tomorrow we will be heading up to the fair, and taking the girls to have some fun. We may end up taking the Paramobile with us, as Jason can usually tolerate being up a bit longer when he uses it. It just means we have to drive a second vehicle, to carry the chair. Unfortunately, with the van we currently have, it won't fit in side. There is supposed to be a second van coming soon, so that should help things out, much better. Another good thing is that the house is moving forward, and we now have some plans to work with, that we get to go over with the designer, in a few days. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 11, 2014

Another day behind us, and another day closer to retirement. Jason is looking at 9 more days until Jason's last day as an active Marine, and then three days later he will have his retirement ceremony. Funny thing though, he will then be on what they call terminal leave, and still considered active duty until the end of August. Actually, there are still a couple of other things that could happen that would extend him even longer, but we aren't going to worry about those right now.

Stacy had her "moving on" ceremony today, at the Catholic School,  where she is moving up from the pre-school to Kindergarten. It was a fun little ceremony; Jason, Linda and I were there to watch all the fun. Stacy and her class, sang some patriotic songs and they really did a great job of it. I did take some pictures and will do my best to get some of them on to the blog, over the next couple of days. I know I haven't been as good lately, as I have in the past with posting pictures, so I will work on getting better.

Otherwise, today, or more accurately, this evening - has been relaxed and enjoyable. Jason offered to take us out to the Olive Garden, and we had a great time. The conversation was lively and the three of us had a great chance to relax, seems a little more than usual, and it was nice. Tomorrow I plan on getting up a little early and taking off for a bike ride. Jason has no appointments so it should be a nice ride with no time pressures to worry about. Later in the morning Linda's parents and brother are going to be coming over for a visit. I think I will be back from the ride, but even if I'm not, I should be shortly after they arrive. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014

Today was a good day, and started out with another exciting morning with the girls. They are always so full of energy, once you get them out of bed. Getting them moving sometimes is a bit of a challenge, but once you do, you better look out, they go from stopped to over drive in about 2 seconds flat. I guess sometimes we feed off their energy and it feels good to be having all that fun in the morning. Of course by the end of the day we tend to be a bit worn down, and they barely look like they need any rest at all. One of the joys of getting older, I guess.

Jason had an appointment out at Pendleton, at the new hospital there. We were meeting with a new surgeon and Jason wanted to discuss some possible steps going forward. The doctor's name is, Dr. Edson, and I was particularly impressed with him. He came in and introduced himself and began to ask all the right questions about Jason's injuries and wounds, and how they were being treated. We talked about some of the steps that have been taken, and what future steps might be taken, and he answered about as many questions as he asked. It was an excellent exchange. I guess the one main factor that I liked about this guy was that he didn't pull any punches, nor did he seem to go with a hard sell on anything/idea. In the end, after listening to Jason, and answering the questions, he suggested that Jason not go forward with any more surgeries, and that he simply take the next year, or so, and just LIVE.

He told Jason that he has been through so much and had to deal with all this healing for so long that he needs to now take some time to just live and enjoy life. A year from now, if it is still something that Jason would like to consider, he can come and revisit the idea, and who knows, new things are coming up all the time. There is going to be a follow up visit, in a couple of weeks, to include some of the other doctors who are familiar with Jason and his wounds, and I think that will be a good meeting. I like the idea that Jason should stop with all the medical treatments that are not needed, and just start to enjoy life and his two little girls. To help get things going, he and I are scheduled to go for a fishing trip next month, out on the ocean, and I am looking forward to it... and so is he.

Tomorrow is back to more of the same stuff we normally do, such as going to wound care and other stuff, and we should feel pretty relaxed and good about all that is going on. Jason has 10 more days before going on leave, and then he will effectively be out of the Marines. This is a big step, and I think he is ready for it. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

June 9, 2014

Today was one of the busiest days we've had in a while. We did get a few things done, and that was good, though it would have been better if we hadn't had to deal with all the delays and communication drops. Jason and I headed over to the base, with the regular schedule being his formation. After that I ran over to the VA to get some lab work started (to give some credit, where credit is due... I was in and out of the VA in about 10 minutes and didn't have to sit around much at all), and then headed by to the Naval Hospital, Balboa. I went over to building 26 parking area and just waited for Jason, since he was in a class. He showed up a little while later and we headed on back to the house. That was the end of the smooth running day.

It was getting close to 12:30 so Jason and I got back in the van and headed back to the Hospital. This time it was to meet with general surgery to discuss some of the future surgeries that might be coming up. Trouble is that when we got there they were expecting him to be wanting to do some pre-op work and then simply get stuff ready for a specific surgery. Jason handled it much more calmly than I think I would have, and he treated the Nurse Practitioner very professionally. It was the right thing to do, as you could tell she was very embarrassed by the goof up, and the both of them still tried to make the best of it. We are going to be headed up to Camp Pendleton tomorrow to meet with the doctor, so we can finally get some answers that are needed, to make the right decisions, for Jason's next move or two. We ended up staying longer than we thought we were going to be staying, and as a result decided to just go pick up the girls from their preschools.

Jason and I got back to the house at about 15:00 (3pm) and Linda was wondering what was going on, as she and I were going to be heading out to run a couple of other errands. Now the timing was off by about an hour, and that basically messes up the rest of the day. We did, however manage to get one thing done, and it too took longer than originally planned. Maybe it was a good thing the other delays and goofs happened along the way, otherwise we wouldn't have any appreciation for what we did get done... ;-)

Anyway, tomorrow is an early trip up to Camp Pendleton, and then we need to find the new hospital medical center that was recently built. Once there we find the doctor and we'll sit down and go over the issues that Jason wants addressed. Because of what happened today, I am hoping that tomorrow turns out to be much more productive, and I think it will. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 8, 2014

Today started as a bit of a laid back kind of day, with Linda and Jason both sleeping in a bit. I, on the other hand, got up at about 06:30 and made myself a little breakfast (small bowl of cereal). I was getting ready to go for a bike ride and I always have to have something in my tummy before I take off. I rode a little over 14 miles (over 16 yesterday), and still managed to get back before either of them had gotten to the point of moving around. Jason was doing fine and so I sat down and just cooled down a bit, and then went up to find that Linda had woken, so we were all up and going. After the shower and getting dressed I came back down stairs and then began the rest of the day.

Actually, not much happened, and that was fine with all of us. Jason didn't want to be going out or doing any travel, so he pretty much just stayed in bed, except for a couple of short visits when he came out of his room. Lunch was easy and then dinner was actually prepared for us by a group called Serving Spoons. We didn't have to do anything, except serve, and that is what happened. Tomorrow we have a few things to do, and Jason has his formation, and that is about it. I hope you all had as nice a day, and evening as we did. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, June 6, 2014

June 6, 2014 - Anniversary of D-Day

Jason and I had to get going a little early this morning, for a formation with the Wounded Warrior Battalion, at Balboa Hospital. The only thing different was that today one of the guys was retiring and there was going to be a ceremony... at least that was what we were told. Jason was told to come to building 14, and to be there before 07:30, when these things typically take place. Well, we managed to get there before 07:30, but there was no formation; so we headed over to building 26, in the turn-around. There was no formation there either. Jason started to contact Jinks (that's the name of his section leader) and before he was able to connect one of the other staff sergeants came by and we asked him. He said the formation was going to be down at the main flag poll, by building 1. We still made it before 07:30, but just barely. However, now we were told the formation was beginning at 08:00, so again we were there with plenty of time, it just would have been nice to have been told this before we did all the running around. I guess those sorts of things are going to happen from time to time, and Jason took it in stride. It was a nice ceremony, and quite short. I don't think the Marine who was retiring wanted much of a ceremony.

We then took off for Jason's appointment, which only took a few minutes, and ended up with another appointment for Tuesday, only this time it would be up at Camp Pendleton, so we're going to finally see the new hospital that was recently built there. There were no other appointments after that, so we headed back to the house. This was a good thing as Stacy was having a special Father's Day event and we wanted to be there. Again, we arrived with time to spare, and this was a good thing as it provided us a little time to see Stacy in her class, as they were still getting ready for the show. The theme was Baseball, and Stacy was dressed up in her Giants shirt and skirt - she looked very cute. The class sang "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" for all the dads that were there (and Grandpas too) and we stayed for the entire program. I actually had to leave a few minutes early, as Linda and I were going to be heading up to the Del Mar Fair Grounds, to meet up with Anthony, and Mike from the Liberty Bell Foundation. We volunteered to help with some of the activities during the fair, and it looks like it is going to be fun.

Soon we were headed back to the house where we had lunch and then just relaxed a bit. Jason was relaxing and soon fell asleep, as all the morning activities wore him down a bit. Soon Linda took a nap as well, and I just relaxed for a little while. As the day progressed, Jason woke up and he wanted to go see the new X-men movie. Linda was still feeling a little tired and wanted to remain at the house, so it was just Jason and I. The movie was entertaining, and the story line was a bit on the complex side so you had to pay attention to keep up with everything going on. The title of "Future Past" suggests that there is going to be something done about the past, and ultimately the future, and it does. I am not going to spoil anything more than that, though I have to admit there were a few things that just didn't work for the time periods being worked with, and I pointed a few of them out to Jason. He only commented that I should just watch the movie and not nit pick the details... Sounds like Linda.

That was pretty much the end of the day, and when we got home Linda was asleep. I'm hoping that she is feeling better tomorrow. I would like to get a bike ride in, but you never know what is going to be going on. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Today was an informative kind of day, where Jason and I learned a few more things about his pending separation from the Marines; and probably the biggest was that we still don't know as much as we need to know. We went into the first appointment, with Admin, from his command, and it was scheduled to be a one hour sit down discussion. We actually got there at 08:45, which was 15 minutes early, and didn't leave until 10:40, about 40 minutes later than we planned. This kind of messed up the next stop/appointment, as Jason was going to be checking out the Segway chair. This is a wheel-chair built on a Segway base that Jason might be able to use. The Segway rep has been asking Jason to just come by and check it out, so we attempted to set something up for today. Because of the time-sync at Admin, that meeting has now been pushed to 13:00 (1pm) tomorrow. We did get a chance to see the chair, and it looks interesting, and I think it might be an interesting addition to the rest of Jason's chairs.

I will be getting out on my bike again, tomorrow, and it will be the first ride in a week for me, and I really need to get a ride in. I plan on doing it prior to the visit for the chair, and that is part of the reason the meeting is going to be so late in the day. There are a few more things I am going to be attempting to accomplish tomorrow, so I'll just see what I can get done. Linda is also going to be focusing on a number of tasks that have been sitting on the side lines, so I hope we both get the time we need.

This evening was a short visit with the cats, and then we had to take one of them to the vet (Pumpkin) as she has an ear infection. This was our first vet visit, so we had to both meet the vet and make a decision on whether we felt she was a good fit for the cats. We both decided we liked her and so we moved ahead. She, the vet, is a straight talker and had a good way with Pumpkin. The challenge now is going to be able to pay for the vet bill. Pumpkin and Candy are both doing well, and look to be happy at their foster home, so we are grateful Anne and Glenn for opening their home to them.

The rest of the evening was spent going to a movie, with Jason - We went to see Maleficent, from Disney. It is rated PG, though it is probably a bit "darker" than most PG rated movies. We all enjoyed it and found it to be an interesting twist on the story of Sleeping Beauty. I would recommend that if you enjoy that kind of movie (Disney), then you'll enjoy this one. Angelina Jolie did an excellent job of delivering the main character. We came right home and now I'm completing the blog. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 3, 2014

I really don't know where to start with today's blog, as we learned something new today, so I'll just start... Jason has a little over two (2) weeks left in the Marines (sort of). First though, the day began pretty much like many of the others, with the girls being full of energy and getting prepared for the day. They picked out their own clothes this morning, and they both did a pretty good job of it. Jason had one appointment when we got up this morning, but it was cancelled before he had gotten dressed, so that actually allowed us to relax a bit, and when I walked Stacy to her class, Jackie walked along with us. Jackie and I walked back to the house and then Jason and I took her to the hospital on Balboa, where she had an audiology appointment. It was actually a hearing test, and it came back that she was fine, and that the infection she had back in April didn't do anything to her hearing.

Jason had to get over to building 26, and that is where things got a little different, as referenced above. He found out just exactly how much leave time he had left, and based on the current end date of his Marine career, he was informed that June 20 would be his last day of active duty, and that he would be on terminal leave after that. That means he only has 17 days to go, or just over two weeks. When he told me I was surprised, to say the least. I had hoped that we would have at least a minimum of a month to put together a small/simple retirement ceremony, but now it looks like it is going to be simpler/smaller than we wanted. We will still plan to have a little bit of a celebration, though Jason really isn't in to that kind of celebrating. To him, it is just another day, and signifies the end of the career, and the beginning of a new one.

As the time moves on, I will be "counting down" the days, so I guess I'll be updating the blog on a daily basis, at least Monday through Friday. I don't think I'll be updating the weekend activities, unless something significant comes along. Otherwise, we had a pretty relaxed day today, and Linda made tacos and other Mexican style food for dinner. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014

Jason and I went in for his formation this morning, after dropping Jackie off at her pre-school, and saw a little bit of a different gathering. The Sergeant Major was actually scheduled to retire at the end of this month, much like Jason is (Jason is scheduled to actually retire at the end of August, and will be going on terminal leave for two months prior to that, so effectively he retires at the end of June), only things didn't work out as well as he had hoped. Apparently some family or personal issue(s) came up and he has to leave tomorrow. We are going to miss the Sergeant Major, as he is a very good guy to know and always has a story or two to tell. He is the ranking enlisted man of the Wounded Warriors; the next highest rank is Gunny.

After we came back to the house we had a quick breakfast (got back before 10:00) and then Linda suggested that we all (the 3 of us) go to a movie, and of course she had one picked out. It turned out to be "A Million Ways to Die in The West." All she knew about it was that it was a comedy and we were all in the mood for a comedy, so we agreed to go. We found out just exactly what kind of comedy it was, once it started playing, and it wasn't a typical type that we would go see. It was funny, very funny in some places, and it was also very crude. If you're a Seth McFarland fan then I would suggest that you go see the movie, and if you're not, don't go.

We got back to the house after the movie and then went to go pick up the girls. We had told them that we would all go to the library today and that is where we were headed. Stacy was pretty excited to be able to return her previous books, and then get to check out more. I think she likes the idea of what a library is, and how it works. We actually stayed at the library until they were just about closed, and then headed back home.

The rest of the evening was relaxed, though Linda's stomach started to act up a bit, so she went to lay down, and then just fell asleep. I think she needed a little extra rest since these past few days have been pretty busy and active for us. She generally proof reads my posts, so if today's has type-o's, or just sometimes makes no sense... I apologize. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1, 2014

Wow, June already... This year has been going by pretty quickly.

Today was a nice relaxed kind of day, where we got up a little later today, and had plenty of time to have breakfast and then get the girls ready for church. Well, actually for them it was Sunday School. Stacy and Jackie both enjoy going, and they make a point to be sure we're going, well in advance of actually going. We got back to the house, just a little before noon, and I considered that a good thing, since we still had some clean up to do from yesterday's birthday party.

Linda worked on the house and I worked on the backyard. Everything was done by the end of the day, so obviously we had the time to do it. Not sure just how these next couple of days, weeks, months are going to go, but I do know that it is probably some of the busiest times we are going to have, so we'll need to stay focused on what we need to get done, and do our best to avoid getting side tracked.

Jason has formation in the morning, and then the rest of the day to just relax or run a few errands. Because of the way the days are rolling now, I am thinking that perhaps I should start to cut back on the number of posts to the blog, and unless there is a significant update, I'll just post every other day now, starting with tomorrow as the first day of the new routine. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.