Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30, 2015

Tomorrow ends the first month of this new year. Wow, I guess this is going to be another one of those fast years. Hope I don't blink and miss something... ;-)

We went to Stacy and Jackie's school today, to participate in Grandparent's Day. They provided a little breakfast and then each grade was allowed to sing a patriotic song in front of the crowd. The food was acceptable and I had plenty of water to drink. We then went to their class rooms where we were treated to all the activities they were doing, and in Jackie's class they did a separate presentation for the parents - they didn't sing in the hall. Once that was all over we came back to the house and began taking care of other things we needed to get done, like getting the Fusion smogged.

Its that time of year when we need to get new license for the Fusion, and it is time for the smog check to be done. The car passed just fine and so now it is just a matter of getting the license updated in a matter of a couple of days.

The big thing done today though, was to get our travel arrangements completed for the retreat we are going to, with EOD Warrior Foundation. We'll be flying out to Virginia at the end of February and staying for a few days, then coming home on March 2. We will be arranging care for Jason and making sure everything is in place that should make his life a little easier. Joselyn will be coming in for frequent visits and helping him with his daily showers, along with other stuff.

Tomorrow I hope to get a bike ride in, early in the morning and then we can head over to Stacy's soccer game. Not really sure where it is, but it can't be too far away, as none of them are... I hope. We should be back relatively early in the afternoon, and we can see what else we need to get done. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 29, 2015

This morning I got up at about 05:45, so that I could ride my bike over to a breakfast meeting with one of the men's groups from the Point Loma Presbyterian Church. Funny part was that I was the second person to arrive (I was still pretty early), and the other person already there was also new to the group. Within a few minutes a larger group showed up and the meeting took place. It was very nice and I enjoyed the discussions that went on. They wanted to know more about Jason and exactly what had happened to him, and then also more about the family in general. I was glad I went and think I will go again - I rode my bike so that I could just go from there to the rest of my ride, and I did. The down part was that at about 15 miles I got a flat, and had to turn and walk the rest of the way back home. At that location I was only about 1 1/2 miles form the house, so it wasn't too bad.

I headed back to the house because I also knew that Linda and I had to go to Jackie's "Cowboy Days" celebration with her preschool. It was fun and the kids had a great time, though the teacher sure did have to work hard. Jason also attended the event and Jackie was happy to see us all there. She came and gave Jason a big hug when she saw us.

 After getting back to the house we all sat down and had our lunch, and relaxed a little. After the brief rest we went back to work again. The paramobile was still in the truck so I needed Jason to move the truck, in order for me to be able to get it out of the truck. It really didn't take that long to accomplish, and once that was done we, Jason and I, went down to the auto repair shop to get the truck tire fixed. The guy saw the tire and fixed it, and then told us that the hole in the tire was pretty big. He was able to plug it, then cautioned us on driving too long with that repair. Because of the size of the hole he said that the plug might not last very long. Jason decided to buy a new tire, and we'll pick it up tomorrow afternoon.

Speaking of tomorrow ... Linda and I will again be headed back over to the girls' school, because it is Grandparents Day. We will be going for breakfast and then get to visit the class rooms as well as a presentation in the hall. Linda said we should be done by 11:00 so it will allow me to finish up on a few more chores I have here at the house. The rest of today was pretty quiet, and in the evening Linda and I went to see Selma, the movie. That was a very rough time for this country and thank God for Dr. Martin Luther King. He led the movement that was very uncomfortable, yet necessary. If you have the time and want to see a good movie, please go see it. On top of the quality of the movie and enjoying our date night, the tickets were super cheap - the theater has special prices on Tuesday and Thursday. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January 28, 2015

Not sure when it happened, but yesterday sometime the blog broke 200,000 page hits. That is pretty cool for me.

Today was another busy day, and we had the girls with us an extra day this week. We love having them with us, but because of the normal schedule we do try to plan things around when they're with us and when they're not. Anyway, they will be going with their mother tomorrow, and we'll have a few days to do some catch up.

On top of that the van is still not working and I had to schedule a couple of visits from the Ability Center to see if they can figure out why it isn't working, and then possibly repair it. As it turned out I got quite a nice bit of training on how their system is put together (I hung around with the tech while he trouble shot the system). From all that I could see, the issue is with Ford and not their system. Simply put, the van won't come out of Park, and therefore we can't drive it. It was taken over to Ford, by the Ability Center folks, and now we just have to wait to see what they can find out.

The rest of the day was spent taking care of some errands and working with the girls. We had a good day, just didn't get done some of those things we would have liked to have gotten done. One of the big ones is Jason's new chair. Jason hasn't been able to ride it because I haven't transferred the chest belt from his old chair to the new chair. It isn't a simple change over. I am going to have to head over to Home Depot or Ace Hardware to find the parts I need to secure it to the new chair. Once that is done Jason will be able to use the chair, and get to take advantage of the new features.

Not much else to write about today, so once again I close - Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015

This has got to be one of the busiest days we've had, in the past couple of years. We got up pretty much our normal time, but the girls weren't going to be going to school today. We had a different destination for this morning - The Ground-Breaking Ceremony for Jason's future home! We wanted to be out of the house by about 08:00 and we made it at 08:01, so I considered that a total win. The  time constraint was something I had put on, as a result of the need to drive up to Fallbrook, and be there by 09:30, for the ceremony. As it turned out we got to the staging area (a Park and Ride parking lot, just off I-15), where we met up with a group of Freedom Riders (it looked like there were about 12 of them), who were to escort us to the actual ceremony, on Jason's property.

We arrived at 09:15, which I found out later was a little on the early side. This was both good and bad, because it did provide us a chance to get our feet on the ground and see what was going on and see what was going on; the down side was that the Fire Department had sent over a truck to go with us, as well as two CHP officers, and they all arrived after we had already left. It didn't impact the ceremony at all, just that it would have been fun to have had all of them there and we would have made a bigger entrance... and Jason deserved the bigger entrance. He drove himself in his truck, with Gracie, and the rest of us followed close behind in our car (and obviously the Freedom Riders).

The ceremony it self was done very well, and there were several news teams filming and cameras set up everywhere. There was at least five others with professional cameras, and then the guests with their cameras. I think I was able to get maybe 6 or 7 shots, and handed my camera to a few other people, who took some pictures for us. Bottom line is that there were a bunch of pictures taken and we were shown on a couple of the news stations, as well as being posted on the Gary Sinise Foundation web site - www.garysinisefoundation.org and on their FaceBook page. I'm posting a few pictures here as well. We got to see a rendering of the house, and what it is to look like when it is built, and it looks wonderful. One of the things I didn't do was to take a picture of the rendering, so I will have to see if I can find it somewhere else.

The actual ceremony only lasted for about 30 minutes, and then another hour of working with the news organizations. I initially thought that only Jason was going to be interviewed, and discovered that Linda and I were sot out by them, so we were all kept busy. I was thankful for all the people who chipped in and helped with the girls, and the best part was that the girls new several of the people who were there, so it made it that much easier. After all was done we were able to head out and get some lunch, and checked out a Mexican restaurant in Fallbrook. The name of the restaurant is Tekila (sort of a twist on blending tequila and technology) and the bottom line is that the food was good, so we will probably be going back.

We headed back to the house, and found out that going down I15 and then 163 to 5 to the house was faster than going straight down I5. I took the shorter route and didn't drive any faster than I would normally go - I had the girls in the car with me. Jason and Linda were in the truck, this way we could both take advantage of the commuter lanes. I got home ahead of Jason by almost 5 minutes.

We did get to see Billy Wagasy one last time to end the day. He came by to check on Jason's new chair, to make sure it was working properly and that Jason was happy with it. He stayed for a short visit (he still had to drive back up to Los Angeles) and we got a few more pictures, then he was on his way. After this there were several phone calls, and then we were able to get dinner ready and we sat down and ate. Linda gave the girls a bath, and shortly thereafter, they were in bed. The day was finally winding down. We are hoping to be able to catch some of the late news to see if any of it made it on, so we could see it. We know it was shown because people have told us, we'd just like to see it for ourselves. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Jason with 8 of the Freedom Riders

People gathering for the ceremony

Getting ready for the presentation of the colors

A nice couple 

One of the interviews

This is Jackie

This is Stacy

Stacy and Jackie with Jason's Godfather, Steve

Stacy and Jackie with Jason's Godmother, Yolanda

I think you probably know everyone here

Stacy and Jackie by the fountain

Jason with his grandparents - Joe and Jess

Billy presenting Jason with the new chair

Billy holding Stacy

Billy holding Jackie

Jason in his new chair

Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 25, 2015

This has been a very nice, kick-back kind'a day. We got up this morning at about 07:00 and I went for a quick 15 mile ride, while the girls spent some time with Daddy (Jason), in his bed. Linda got breakfast going for them and when I got back I took over. This gave Linda a chance to go up stairs and get ready for church and for me to cool down a little. After the girls finished their breakfast I helped them start to get ready to go to church, and even Jason came in to provide some support. Linda came down and took over so I could go up and get ready, and then we were off.

It was nice to have Jason at church with us, as several of the folks were happy to see him. After the services we came back to the house and shortly there after I fixed lunch. Then it was rest time, and we all just relaxed for a little while. I eventually went out and did a couple of finishing touches on the new chair, and brought it into the house; and that was pretty much it. The rest of the evening was just doing a little clean up in the kitchen and living room; the girls played in their room (they took all their stuffed toys and pillows and put a blanket over the pile. Then they took turns jumping on it).

Not much else happened today, other than dinner and the girls watching the movie Wall-E. I think they have seen it a few times, but like many other movies, they can watch it over and over, and besides it does have a nice message. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015

Nice day for us today, though it started out a little on the crazy side. Stacy had a soccer game this morning, and we were supposed to have gotten up a little earlier than we actually did. As a result we had to move quickly to make sure we were not only ready, but also got to the game on time... and we did. We actually arrived before most of the rest of the team did, and a few minutes before the coach. Stacy had a great game, and both teams (kindergartners) played their hearts out. As far as both teams are concerned, both teams won - me personally, I believe the score was 2 - 2.

The rest of the day was spent relaxed at home. There were some of the basic chores to be done, and about the most strenuous thing I had to do was clean and change Mr. Jingles' cage. For a rat, he sure is a pretty neat pet. When Jason got him originally my thought was, "What are you thinking?" Now he just seems to be a regular part of the environment and he does help to entertain Jason, so I guess it was the right thing to do.

Tomorrow we'll be going to church in the morning and then coming back to the house. I don't have much else planned for the day, though I might consider trying to get an early bike ride in. I'll see if I can get Jason on to his new chair a little, so that he can get comfortable with it, and that is about the extent of what is happening. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, January 23, 2015

January 23, 2015

One of the nice things about blogspot is that they have plenty of data to show how your blog is doing and what kind of readership you might be collecting. All of this data is great, IF you take the time to look at it, and sometimes I don't. I just noticed that I've past the 1200 posting mark with the blog, and that is a bunch of posts. I thank you all, whoever you are, for continuing to read and follow Jason's development. It started out as a recovery from the injuries, and now has morphed into simply what life has continued to toss his way (and in many aspects, OUR way). Getting this blog started was something that Linda suggested all those years ago, and I'm glad she did, for many reason, this has been very therapeutic for me.

Linda and I got up to a nice little surprise this morning, and that was that they recycle guys had already come by, and they picked up the large cardboard box Jason's new chair came in, and I "knew" that I was going to have to go down this morning and ask them to. I guess that was a wrong guess on my part. We really didn't have much to do this morning, except wait for Brian and Billy to show up, so that the chair could be put together, so I decided that it was time for me to clean up the backyard.

And cleaning it needed. I spent about four hours raking and pulling and moving and just plain taking care of the stuff that needed to be taken care of. I worked up a good sweat, to say the least. On top of all that my phone was busy and I was talking with all kinds of folks, making appointments and either getting or giving information. Bottom line is that it was all very positive. Just about the time I had all the piles of leaves and twigs done in the backyard Brian showed up, with his girl friend, Lindsey and his dog Mia. Also found out that Billy wasn't going to be able to get here, as he had another issue he needed to take care of.

As it turned Brian and I worked on Jason's chair (Brian was providing me with the "training" for what I was able to do). Jason had an appointment he needed to get to, though he was able to sit in the chair to help with Brian getting the correct adjustments made. Shortly after Jason left, Linda and Lindsey came out to watch and in a little while we were able to finish the chair. There are still a couple of adjustments I can do, if they're needed. Then Jason will have himself a new chair all ready for his use. He will need to get it over to the Ability Center, so that they can put the connector latch on the chair, so he can use it to drive his truck, and this way he'll have two chairs.

Brian waited for a little while, to see if Jason would be able to get back before he had to leave, but it wasn't to be. Linda got some pictures of the efforts, and I've shown them below, so you can see what we were working on. We found Brian to be a very knowledgeable and skilled technician, especially considering that he is a triple amputee - amazing to say the least. For those who have seen the movie American Sniper, yes, this is the same guy in that movie - like I said, pretty amazing.

When Jason got home, he was pretty happy with what he saw, and we'll be working to get everything else that needs to be done - done. We want to be able to have the chair for the ground breaking event coming up, as the chair is another gift from the Gary Sinise Foundation. The more we find out about Gary and the Foundation, the more we are humbled by all of this. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.
Getting the controller arm in place

Making one of the many adjustments

Look how high this thing can lift 
Taking the chair for a test ride

Here are the two of them and Mia below

By the way, for those wondering... I had five 33-gallon bags of plant material when I was done with the backyard.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 22, 2015

Today was a pretty nice day, for all of us. I got up at about 07:30, and I understand that Linda got up a couple hours later - but more on that later. Jason and I had a couple of bowls of cereal and then just a few minutes later (maybe as much as 15, I really wasn't tracking) I went out for a bike ride. Before getting our cereal, I finished cleaning the kitchen - something I was supposed to do last night - so that kind of delayed my getting on the bike. I went for a nice 27 mile ride, and probably could have gone much farther but it was getting later than I like and I felt compelled to get back to the house.

When I got back, Linda was out in the garage and Jason was in his room. Linda was doing some laundry and Gracie was, being Gracie, you know laying around and sometimes getting underfoot. As it turned out I could have stayed out a bit longer and there wouldn't have been any problems. I guess I'm just a "worry wart."

A little later in the day Linda and I went to Costco to get some food, and also to get some gas for the car. And that was pretty much our day. I did make some orange-sesame chicken for Jason and I, for lunch (Linda had a bite, too), and it was pretty good. Tonight Linda and I watched a Denzel Washington movie, The Equalizer, and found it to be entertaining, though a bit bloody as his movies sometimes do. The story starts a bit slow, then gains some momentum about 15 minutes into it. After that it is pretty non-stop, and intense. I'm glad we got to see it, and that Jason had it in his collection.

Tomorrow we will be working on Jason's new chair, and I hope to see him ride it. The challenge is that Jason has an appointment in the early afternoon, and I think that's about the time Brian was going to be showing up. I'll be getting on this first thing in the morning, and probably no bike ride tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January 21, 2015

Today started out very relaxed and kind of "normal", whatever that is. We got the girls up and off to school, and they'll be gone for a couple of days, then we'll have them again for the next five. Towards the end of that five day period is the ground breaking for Jason's new house. Actually, the ground breaking ceremony played a big part of today, as Jason and I went to Balboa for his appointments, and while there I checked with as many people I could, to make sure they all were aware of the ground breaking, and all but two of them were. It looks like there is going to be a nice sized crowd and that should make it fun.

Tonight Jason wanted to take us to the movies, so we went and saw American Sniper, and it was not only a very good movie, we actually knew one of the Wounded Warriors in the movie. He is the guy in the wheel chair who is typically dressed in black - for those who saw the movie, he was the "smoker." Funny thing is, we didn't know he was in the movie, until we saw it tonight - and he is going to be here on Friday. I intend to give him a hard time about not telling us. He's coming over to help Jason with his new power chair, so it will be good to see  him for sure.

Tomorrow I intend to get up, a little on the early side, but not too early, and then go for a bike ride. Linda said she is planning to stay in bed for a little while, as this is going to be a nice chance for her to just relax and enjoy it. I don't know what Jason's plans are for the morning, but I'm sure he will be relaxing a bit as well. Thank you, for continuing to support and pray for us. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015

We got the girls up this morning and they were both a bit slow in rising. Neither of them seemed too excited about going to school this morning, but once we got them moving it was much better. Linda and I have basically worked out a team effort in getting them up and moving in the morning. Basically Linda goes in and starts to get the girls moving, and I may go in to help initially. My focus is more on the food side of the equation. I make sure they have a breakfast before going off to school and to insure they have a lunch that is both delicious and nutritious (I learned that phrase from Linda) when she ran her day care. Anyway, the girls were out the door with time to get to the school and ready for their new day.

After we got back to the house Jason needed to get over to the VA, by Mission Valley, and I wanted to be with him at this particular appointment. I also wanted to get a bike ride in, so I decided to ride my bike over, and let him drive. There was also the factor that he would be heading over to La Jolla VA afterward, and I didn't need to go to that appointment, so by taking my bike I could just ride on home and it would work for both of us. The only glitch in that schedule was that Jason's appointments were actually about an hour later than he thought so he just ended up driving back to the house, and by the time I arrived he was getting ready to leave again.

Jason received a new power wheelchair today, and it is now sitting in the garage. I had to move a few things around to make room, and it also allowed me the ability to get rid of some things. Linda was also out in the garage for most of that time, and we worked together pretty well. The chair will be fully assembled this weekend, baring any issues. Brian Anderson will be coming by to put it together on Friday, and Billy Wagasy from Gary Sinise Foundation will also coming by. The chair was arranged through them and they would like to get some pictures of Jason with his chair. Speaking of chairs, and seating solutions ... while Jason was at the La Jolla VA he was able to meet with some of the specialists there and they have a possible new option for Jason, and it sounds rather promising. It may be a while before we see it, but at least they are working towards something to help Jason be more comfortable. My guess is that it will be a couple of months before anything happens, but maybe that is a good thing. Too many things, too fast can be very uncomfortable.

Stacy had a nice soccer practice this evening, and while we were there Jackie kept us entertained with all her running around. I eventually walked with her, Jackie, over to a new playground area that is attached to the park. When Stacy's practice was over she came over to join us and both the girls played on the equipment for a few minutes. We couldn't stay too long as dinner still needed to be cooked, and it was getting later in the evening.

Linda gave the girls a bath tonight, and I helped Jason with his shower. Jason's progress over these past several days has been very good. Effectively, he is down to just a single open wound on his right side, and that is much smaller than it was. It might be Spring before it is closed, but at least it feels like closure is a real possibility, and that hasn't been that way in a long time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015

This morning began with a slow moving me, getting out of bed. It felt good to sleep in our own bed again, and I guess I was kind of tired. I still woke at about 06:30, but didn't get out of bed until after 07:00. I knew the girls were going to be coming and I wanted to be sure we were ready for them. As it turned out they didn't arrive until after 09:00, so I actually had plenty of time to get some of the stuff we had taken with us, put away. When they did arrive Stacy was full of energy and happy to see us and Jackie was feeling a bit cranky, so I am guessing she didn't get enough sleep the night before. Once in the house she came to me and I picked her up for a little while, with her head on my shoulder. And, in a little while longer she was feeling much better.

Linda had been feeling that yo-yo affect of being sick with the flu, when you're right at the end of being sick. First you feel better then you feel like you need to lay back down and over and over a few times. Finally she is feeling much better now (tonight), though this morning she was only up for a short time. While she laid back down I took the girls back over to the school (closed today for MLK day) so they could ride their bikes. They both really had fun scooting around the parking lot, and getting better with how to handle the bikes. We stayed there about an hour then headed back to the house.

Jason had a couple of errands and things to do today, but otherwise he stayed down. He took off on his own, for the errands, and he is becoming much more independent with his truck. This is a very good thing for all of us, as well as for him. Along the lines of getting around, we will be heading over to the VA tomorrow to take care of a couple of those appointments, as well as a meeting on the Ground Breaking that's coming up. The only other item that is happening tomorrow is that the girls are going to be going back to school. They have been out of school for several days, due to illness and today with the holiday it seems like they haven't been there for quite some time.

The rest of the day, today, was pretty much laid back. The great folks at Serving Spoons came by today with a nice dinner for us. It was Spinach Lasagna, salad and bread. They also provided a nice little dessert to make it a complete meal. We'er going to miss them once we move up to Fallbrook. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 18, 2015

We are back home now, as we left Livermore this morning. I had planned on getting out at about 09:00 and we made it - I felt pretty good about that, considering how Linda was still feeling. On a big plus side, she is feeling much better now, than she did yesterday, and even better than she did this morning. I think she is over the worst of the illness, and now it is just a matter of dealing with the lingering aspects, such as the cough.

We did stop to visit with David, and his family, though we really didn't stay too long. As it turns out Miriam is a bit under the weather as well, so we kept the interfacing down to a minimum. Yesterday was Dylan's birthday, and we wanted to be sure to deliver his birthday gifts. We also had some other gifts, from Christmas, and that included Ethan. Ethan was also dealing with a bug, and probably the same thing that Linda and Miriam have. He was sleeping when we arrived so we didn't get a chance to see him, and that is probably a better thing. We'll see him on the next trip.

The drive down to David's was pretty easy and the traffic was relatively light, and then on the drive back down to San Diego, from David's  was also much easier than I anticipated. We were both very happy about this, and we arrived home at about 19:05 (7:05pm) - that's about an hour sooner than I thought we'd get here. As we walked up to the door, it opened and Joselyn was there to great us. She had been taking care of Jason while we were gone, and now she was there to greet us. The house was very clean and everything nice and tidy. Jason was in great spirits and apparently he even cooked the dinner last night, for himself. There were some left overs in the refrigerator.

We didn't stay up too late, and in fact Linda went to bed by 20:00 (8pm), and I stayed up a little longer. Like I said, Linda is feeling better, though she is still pretty tired and just wanted to get some sleep. The girls will be here in the morning (no school because of MLK day), so we want to be as refreshed as possible. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

January 17, 2015

Today was supposed to be another day of visiting with some friends and just plain relaxing. As it turned out, Linda woke up not feeling very good, and it was simply a continuation from yesterday, only a little worse. I let her stay in bed and I went to go visit George and Jane Bowen, and spent about two hours just talking with them. After that I went to visit with Joe and Toni Smith, and had a nice lunch at their place, then later I got together with a bunch of friends from the Presbyterian Church. It would have been so much better to have had Linda with me, but it turned out to be a better idea to have her just stay down. I am hoping that tomorrow she'll feel at least a little better, since we will be driving back down to Southern California. Anyway, the day is at an end and I think I'm going to be going to bed. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 16, 2015

Today we managed to stay in the Tri-valley area and visited with family and friends. First off we went over and picked up George and then over Linda's friend Terry's house. Linda and Terry were going to breakfast and George and I decided we were going to go to breakfast too. Terry's husband, Joe was there, so that was kind of nice to be able to see him, but he apparently had caught some sort of "bug" and we didn't want to risk catching anything ourselves. Our visit there was no more than maybe 10 minutes, though we were still able to get a couple of pictures.

Yesterday I think I said I was going to be able to put some pictures out on the blog, but discovered I had left the cable at home. This means to dumping of the camera on to the laptop, and I'll just have to wait until we get back to post some shots.

After breakfast, George and I did a little running around and taking care of errands, and then I dropped him off at Safeway, where he works. He really loves his job at Safeway, and apparently they think he is wonderful. We are very grateful for that, as we know he will be taken care of without us having to be around.

We did go over and see Larry and Joyce, Linda's brother and his wife, and give them a little send-off, since they are going off on a trip. It was another short visit and we were gone in a matter of a few minutes, and off to our next stop. We went to visit a friend of ours, Judy, at New Oceanic, a Chinese restaurant. She is an amazing little lady who remembers us and many details that continue to surprise both of us.

When we left there we headed over to Karen and Mike's place to have some dinner, with them and several other people. The food was great and it was really nice seeing everyone, and I hope we get to do it every time we come to visit. The day was pretty much done and we headed back to the hotel, and that gave me a chance to blog. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 15, 2015

As many of you are aware, we are traveling right now, and as a result, getting to put a posting out on the blog is a bit challenging. The trip up to Livermore was uneventful, just the way I like travel to be, and yet still faster than anticipated. I thought it would take close to 8 hours and it was closer to 7 hours for that long drive. We even had an opportunity to stop in and visit with Linda's parents, Joe and Jess, for about 90 minutes, and it was both an nice rest as well as refreshing for us. It is always good to visit with them.

We made it to our favorite Mexican restaurant at about the time we wanted to and had a great visit with Steve and Yolanda, and then finally pushed on to our final destination in Livermore. We got to bed at a reasonable hour, so that we would be sure to have enough rest/sleep for today's activities, with Sean.

We did, in fact get up when we wanted to and made our way over to San Francisco, to spend some time with Sean. He is looking great (pictures tomorrow, I hope. I need to either find the cable or possibly purchase one, so that I can transfer pictures to the laptop). He has a couple of dogs, he calls them his boys, and they are looking great too. We all took them for a nice walk, and visit around the city, and it turned out to be a very nice day for all of us.

We finally had to leave and head back in, where we had dinner with Larry and Joyce, Linda's brother and his wife. They treated us to a nice dinner at Outback Steak House, and it wasn't too far from the hotel we're staying at. The time with them was enjoyable and the conversation was basically all about catching up on the different things happening with us, as well as those happening with them.

Finally, we got back to the hotel and I got on to my email, and saw that I had a couple hundred waiting for me. This is always a time consuming aspect, yet it is one of the best ways to keep in touch with all the friends. One of the emails was from Gary Sinise Foundation, and it was an invitation to the ground breaking for Jason's new home. It is officially set for the 27th, and at 10:00. We will be sending it out to a bunch of our family and friends, close by and even some who are farther away. It should be a fun time for all, and I promise, more pictures. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015

Another day with the girls doing a little better, but still far from being 100% of their normal selves. They both had temps of over 101 and we did end up taking them to the doctor's office. Apparently we are still doing the right things with them, we just wish we could get them to be feeling better faster. We kept them home from school and looks like tomorrow is going to be more of the same. The big difference is that they go back to their mom's place, and Linda and I are headed up to Livermore. We won't be able to tell how they are doing for five days. The good news is that they are progressively getting better, so we think they should get back to that 100% level soon.

Not much else going on today, other than the normal things we tend to do every day. About the only two things that would be classified as different would be taking the girls to the doctor's office and us packing for the trip. We plan on driving up to Livermore to check on some personal things and visit with some of our friends, and most importantly, spend some time with Sean and George. They are the two that get the least amount of time with us, and we feel that we need to figure out how to remedy that situation. Neither of them make much money, so regular travel just isn't a viable solution, at the moment, though I am sure we'll be able to come up with something, a little down the road.

We'll be leaving mid-morning, tomorrow and stopping at Linda's parents for a short visit. From there we'll drive straight up to Milpitas  where we plan to stop and have dinner (one of our favorite restaurants is in Milpitas, called La Milpa - wonderful Mexican food). While there we plan on having that dinner with Jason's Godparents, Steve and Yolanda and start with some catching up right there. From there we'll continue on to Livermore and check in at our hotel and get some sleep. The next day will begin with a visit to Sean, in San Francisco then George the next day and we'll just do our best to meet with as many people as we can. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

These past couple of days have been challenging, to say the least. The bad news is that the girls got pretty sick with the flu, or something, before we go them, and they progressively got sicker. Both of them were running temps of up to 102.2, and we spent a few late night hours comforting them. We gave them fever reducer and cough medicine, as well as other care and that brings us to the good news. They seem to be over whatever it was, and as of this afternoon they're back to their normal happy selves. Jason spoke with their pediatrician a couple times, or at least their advice nurse, and it seems we were doing everything we were supposed to be doing, and if their conditions hadn't improved today, they would be going in tomorrow. Now it seems that isn't going to be happening, and we can work towards getting back to normal ... whatever that is.

There was one kind of funny thing that happened, and I guess it was the result of crossed communications. Linda said something to Jason about needing some milk from Costco and Jason thought she had said something else. Linda told me that Jason wanted to go to Costco, so I went back and asked him when we were going to be going. He and I got to Costco, a short while later and when we both were in the store we kind of looked at each other and wanted to know who had the list. We ended up calling Linda and asked what we needed to get, besides milk, and she provided us a quick list of things. It felt like someone was filming a sitcom or something, and we were the stars.

Otherwise there isn't much change or update to report on, other than a specific date for ground breaking on Jason's new home has been set. We are looking forward to January 27th, morning, to put those shovels in the ground and getting this thing going. Once it does happen we will be taking some pictures and you'll be able to watch some of the progress here. Stay tuned for the exciting adventures to come. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

January 10, 2015

Hey, it even rained last night ... not much, but it was wet out. Its supposed to rain again tomorrow, so I'll be keeping an eye on that as well.

Linda and I were awoken this morning shortly before 06:00 by both the girls, and it was still dark outside. They were running fevers and coughing so we got up to do our best to make them more comfortable. Shortly after giving them a fever reducer and cough medicine they were doing pretty well, so that was a good start for the day. I did have to go pick up some Pedialyte and fortunately they both like drinking it.

We really didn't do much except stay around the house (aside from a couple of runs I made to the store). The girls weren't feeling good and Jason wasn't either. We both kind of stepped up our efforts to disinfect everything right after the girls go through, and even in some of the areas around Jason's bedroom. By the end of the day everyone seemed to be doing a little better, so I am hopeful that it won't get too much worse and perhaps by Monday they will all be doing much better.

Tomorrow it is supposed to rain again, though I don't know when. If it seems like there is a clear spot I just might attempt to get out on my bike. Otherwise everyone is, again, staying home. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, January 9, 2015

January 9, 2015

Today started out with Linda and I getting up with specific thoughts in our heads, as to what we wanted to accomplish. Linda was going to be going out with Joselyn, to have some fun at consignment stores and go out to lunch, and I was going to go for a longer bike ride. My target was at least 30 miles, and I was able to get in 31.32 miles, and it was done in just over two hours (at 24 miles I stopped to eat some apples and drink some water, and it helped allot). Jason had his appointment with PT so we all had somewhere to go, and we all left the house in the morning. I think it was the first time for this to happen; that is, all of us leave and have different agendas. It was one of those "steps" where it seemed like we almost had a more normal life, at least for a little while.

As a result of my ride I discovered I will need to stop in at the bike shop tomorrow to correct a small problem with the front derail-er. It wasn't a big problem, just that it made hills a little more challenging, if they were steep and long. Linda came back with some items she found at an estate sale. Mostly little things that are needed at this house right now. Jason was the first one back at the house, and he just simply went back to his room, and relaxed. The good part is that later this evening, when he took his shower and I did the dressing change, things are looking pretty good. I still wish they'd heal faster, but then I am his dad and want him to be better, NOW.

The girls came to the house, after I picked them up from school. I picked Jackie up from preschool first and we walked over to meet Stacy. Stacy came running over to us and gave me a big hug. As we walked back to the house (we live really close to the school) she kind of transformed from happy and energetic to tired and not feeling well. Linda got home just a few minutes after we did and checked Stacy's temp and found it to be 101.8. She is sick.... We gave her some fever reducer and let her sleep a little, and Jackie wanted to show her support and laid down also, saying she was sick. They both got up a little later, Stacy first, and Jackie showed signs of not feeling well. Jackie's was 100, so she also got the fever reducer. They both went to bed quietly and I suspect that they will sleep pretty well, even with taking that mid afternoon nap.

We were supposed to be taking Stacy to her first soccer game tomorrow, but that isn't going to be happening now. Jason called the coach and let her know the situation. The other interesting aspect was that Linda's parents were supposed to be coming over tomorrow and now they are not. Not because the girls are sick, but because Nana (Linda's mother) is also not feeling well. Linda and I are constantly washing our hands because we don't want to get sick, too. We have a trip coming up in a few days (we're driving up to Livermore to visit with our other two sons, Sean and George - but more on that tomorrow) and getting sick would not be a good thing. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

January 8, 2015

Well, here we are, into the second week of 2015, and still no time machine or flying trains (flying cars and hoover-boards do exist now, just limited in usefulness). This is going to be an exciting year, and I hope that excitement is mostly positive. There are so many things to be happy and joyous about, yet there are groups still trying to force their opinion on the rest of the world. I guess I need to be mindful of what this blog is about, and it isn't a political commentary,

Jason continued to improve, and on top of that he took Gracie to the dog groomer and she got a very nice make over. It is probably the best I've see Gracie look since we took her in. Not sure where he took her, but I think it was at the shop inside Petco.

While he was doing that I was out on a bike ride and got in 24.24 miles, and managed to maintain a solid 14.5 mph average. The nice part was that when I got back to the house I didn't feel like I was exhausted, and I honestly think I should have continued for another couple of miles. I am going to go for a longer ride tomorrow, and see if I can get over 30 miles. How much more I don't know, just 30+ miles is a good target.

Our son David had a meeting with a client today, in San Diego, so when he was done he stopped by and we all went to dinner. It was good seeing him and getting a chance to visit with him. We, Linda and I, sure would like to have more opportunities to spend time with our other sons, and when an opportunity like tonight happens we feel like we've been blessed.

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

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 7, 2015

Today began as many for these past days have, with the girls getting up and getting ready for school. I even made some hot oatmeal for breakfast (Jackie likes to call it porridge and pretend she is baby bear). Lunches were made and Linda and I walked the girls to school (Just for the record - Jason had oatmeal, too). Once we got back to the house we all had things to work on and take care of, and Jason and I were headed for the hospital at Balboa. I guess that's about where the similarities stop.

Jason and I drove separate vehicles to his appointments, as I had to come back and pick up Linda before Jason was finished with his appointments. Trying to get on to the base was a little bit of a challenge, and as a result I spoke with Jennifer Townsend (ret. Navy Capt) about what happened and she said she would work with the security folks on coming up with a solution. Apparently this is something that has been going on for several weeks now and there really is no easy answer, at least none that they can see right now. Bottom line is that it looks like Linda and I will be challenged each time we come on to the base, until they figure out an answer to the puzzle.

Jason and I went through the first part of his appointments and then I headed back to the house to pick up Linda. I had gotten an appointment schedule with one of the doctor's information, including her phone number, and that seemed to be enough to satisfy the guard, so when we got back to the base we got on rather easily. I hope they can come up with a relatively simple solution, so that there isn't a big cost to get this resolved.

When we got back to the house is when it really seemed like it was a "different" day for us. The girls weren't here, and wouldn't be back for a couple of days. This is the first time in about three weeks we didn't have the girls with us. The house felt so odd and quiet. It did allow me to take the car over to the auto repair place and get some work done on it. Since we're headed back up to Livermore we want to be sure the car will in as good a working order as it can be. The only challenge was that the car needs more work than I was expecting, and our total bill went from about $40.00 to almost $900.00. I talked with the manager and he brought it down to $800.00 even, but still that is more than I was hoping to have to pay right now. It isn't going to prevent us from going, but it will cause us to be a bit more "thrifty" than first planned.

That was the end of the activities for the day - Linda prepared a nice pork chop and baked potato dinner. We ended up watching Princess Bride tonight, just to relax and enjoy a movie. We both like the Princess Bride, so that made the choice pretty easy. Tomorrow I will be picking up the car after I go for a bike ride, and we'll see what the rest of the day has in store for us. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January 6, 2014

We kind of got up a little later than anticipated this morning, though there was still plenty of time to get the girls ready for school. The girls were awake, just hadn't come up to get us out of bed, that is until we were ready to come down. As we were headed down the stairs Jackie was on her way up. It all worked out pretty well actually. Linda got the girls dressed and I got them fed - and made their lunches.

After the girls were walked to school we came back to the house and we were going to get ready for the things we were scheduled to do, only shortly after getting home Jason received a call and his appointment with the VA was cancelled (it got moved to next week), so that freed up some time. Then within a few minutes of that I received another phone call and a meeting was scheduled for noon, with the Gary Sinise Foundation - they wanted to talk about scheduling the official ground breaking ceremony. I looked at the clock and decided that I now had a few hours to get a nice bike ride in. Well, at least a couple of hours worth of riding and cool down time. I was able to get in about 23 miles and back at the house before 11:00, so I could cool down and clean up before the phone call (I didn't want to smell bad on the phone... ;-)).

The call itself was really kind of short, but full of information. There is coordination of guests to have at the ceremony, and invitations to be sent out. We get to invite family and friends who have expressed an interest in the ground breaking ceremony, and there are those who are connected with the Gary Sinise Foundation, directly or indirectly. The actual date is sometime after the 19th, and before the 28th - so it is a ten day window to work with, and the actual date to be selected in the next day or two. As soon as I know I will post it in the blog.

Today is also Taco Tuesday (not really sure where that came from, but the girls have it in their heads that we have to have tacos on Tuesday now), so that means dinner is already planned. It worked out really well, and we all had plenty to eat - and ran out of tacos. Linda made the tacos with re-fried beans and ground beef, and then cheese for the girls. For the adults we added lettuce and hot sauce. There were also some tomatoes available, and I think I ate most of those. It was kind of fun and really not that messy to do, so I consider it a win-win.

Below I have added some pictures, and they cover several days. I will do my best to label them, but generally they start with Christmas and work there way through the bicycle rides and zoo visits with Uncle George (he came and stayed with us for a few days over the Christmas break). Any how, with the pictures you will be able to see how Jason is coming along, and how long his hair is getting. He almost never wears a shirt while at home, so apologies to anyone who is shocked by the hairy guy. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Starts with making cookies with grandpa

Jackie clowning around while Stacy and Grandpa work

You need to separate each one

Christmas is almost here

"The stockings were all hung by the chimney with care..." Okay, so we don't have a fireplace... 

Setting out the cookies and reindeer food

Grandpa got a new helmet for Christmas

This is Daddy's stocking

"This was in my stocking!"

Brothers are always so nice to each other

Stacy and Jackie telling Daddy, "Thank you."

Can we open more presents?

George got a new bicycle outfit from Jason

Linda got a new coffee maker from Jason

Jason got George two DVDs he hadn't seen before.

The girls love their Uncle George

"This is the best Christmas ever!"

Hey! It's a picture of pictures.

Jackie and Stacy received watches from Uncle David and Aunt Miriam.

New Bicycles for Christmas

Jackie riding the bike for the first time

Jason helping Stacy

Jason chasing Stacy and Stacy loving it...

Daddy comforting Jackie

"I know the first time on the bike is hard, you can do it."

Making a helmet adjustment

Daddy helping Jackie - with Gracie in tow

Riding fast enough to keep up with big sister

Happy New Year

More New Year celebrations

Thank you, to GSF and WWFS for the new van