Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

Well, we've all made it to the end of the 4th month of this "new" year, and the time continues to just move on by. I really assumed that Jason's wounds would have been just about all healed up by now, and am sorry to report that they are in fact, not making much progress at all, right now. In fact they have gone a little on the reverse direction. Still, they are much better than they were a year ago, and Jason is still in very strong spirits. I believe the biggest issue is the seating challenges he is dealing with, and I am hopeful that the different teams that are looking at the problem will be able to come up with some solution. Now on with the days activities.

We got the girls up this morning and though it was a little on the unusual side, to have them here on a Thursday, it all felt very much like it was a Tuesday or Wednesday (maybe even a Monday). They both got up, a little slowly and we were out the door with the time needed to get to school on time. The funny part is that no matter how "tired" they claim to be in the morning, when we are going to school, they both take off and kind of race each other, to see who can get to the entrance first. Typically Stacy wins, though I think Jackie is starting to pick up a little speed. All the while, Grandma and Grandpa are bringing up the rear, by a few steps.

Linda and I had a few errands to take care of this morning, and then wanted to be sure to be here, at the house, by the afternoon. Robert, Joselyn's husband, was coming over to take a look at the door of the Fusion. The handle broke yesterday, and I was unable to open it from inside, from the drivers seat - but more on that in a minute. Jason also had a couple of errands to take care of, all related to Kojak.
Kojak is still with the vet, and it looks like he will be there until Monday, at the least. The little guy is really sick, and it is taking a little longer to get him  over it than first thought. Jason wanted to go spend some time with him, and give as much support as he could. The good part is that Kojak responded to Jason very well, and when Jason came in he was noticeably happy that Jason was there. Jason also had to go out and purchase new bedding for the pup, as the doctor said the virus could still be in the old stuff, so that was another errand he had to take care of. Tomorrow, Linda is going to be cleaning the carpet and hopefully getting everything cleaned up for Kojak's return.

Now the car, on the other hand was another issue to be dealt with. Robert was able to come over and take a look at the car, and within just a few minutes, maybe 10, he had the door apart, and the unit removed. He figured out what was wrong and got a replacement part, via a phone call. Robert had one other job to go take care of, and said he would be back shortly, and he was. This time I don't think he took more than five minutes to put the new part in, and the door back together. I have to say that he is probably the most knowledgeable guy I know, when it comes to autos. I was talking with Joselyn a bit later and she told me that dealerships will sometimes call him, when they run into a particularly difficult problem, and he never fails to figure it out. I guess that is one of the reasons his own auto shop is so successful. We are so grateful that we have gotten to know them, as they have become truly good friends. Oh, and just to be sure it is understood, the door is working just like new.

The rest of the day was much more relaxed and we really didn't do much, other than a quick run to Target and Jason's shower. Tomorrow we will be going to Pala Casino/Hotel, to see Gabriel Iglesias ('Fluffy') on stage. This is actually for Jason's birthday, which is at the end of the month, but the show is tomorrow. We were able to get tickets to the show through the Gary Sinise Foundation, and Jason is very happy about going. Fluffy is one of Jason's favorite comedians, and has commented a couple of times that he would really like to see him, live. I saw that he was coming to the area (Pala) and spoke with the Gary Sinise Foundation about it. The Foundation always seems to want to do all they can to help Jason, and I am very pleased with the out come. One other thing, because we will be spending a night at the Pala Resort-Hotel, I won't be posting tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 29, 2015

Another day of life in the fast lane for the Ross family, down in San Diego. We got up to get the girls ready and out the door, for school. As usual, it was organized chaos, and the girls had great fun (as did Grandma and Grandpa). We got to their respective classes and then came right back to the house, so we could get breakfast for Jason. It was also a good time for me to get out on my bike, again, and get in a nice little 19+ miles. It was a very nice ride out to the beach and then around Fiesta Island, then back to the house. While I was on my bike ride Linda took Jackie to her weekly Wednesday speech therapy.

Jason wanted to take care of some errands he has been wanting to get done for the past week or so, and so once he was done eating he brought out Gracie's bedding and decided it was time to get it down to the laundromat, so that it could be cleaned. With Kojak being sick, I guess Jason wanted to be sure he could provide the cleanest of environments for the new puppy, as well as for Gracie and the rest of the family.

Linda and I had to get up to Oceanside, as we both had appointments today, and the funny thing is, they were both kind of close to each other, physically, so it worked out very well. Linda's appointment was with one of the local businesses, and I had a dermatology appointment at the VA. Both of us are doing well and no problem to worry about right now.  After the appointments were done we called Anthony and Angelica, to see if they were going to be home (they live in Oceanside) and to see if they were interested in heading up to Fallbrook. As it turned out, they did want to go with us to check out the progress of the house. The house is looking excellent, and (drum roll please) the exterior of the house has the first application of stucco, and the texturing work on the sheet rock has begun.  All the walls are now completely defined, and my guess is that they will soon be painted!

After our quick visit we jumped back in to the Fusion (our car) and headed over to get some early dinner - or late lunch. Both Anthony and Angelica were very impressed with the house and how fast they are moving on getting it built. I guess the next biggest question to going to be ... "What does the paint look like in the house? And, when will it be fully painted? We left the property and headed over to Tekila and I had one of those great bowls of soup, and Linda had her favorite - - fish tacos.

We actually had to get going, as the girls were coming back to Jason's place, to spend the night. We will again take them to school, and then they will head back to their mom' place. I did get some pictures taken today, though I think they won't be down loaded until tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

One of the things that we were dealing with over these past several weeks was making sure we had the right amount of medical supplies for Jason. I have written about it a few times, and as an update to that small drama - we now have plenty of supplies, and in fact, some items that we don't need, and fortunately, those are only a few. I am hopeful that going forward they have been able to iron out the kinks and we won't run into those supply gaps as we had in the past.

Today was a bit like yesterday, quiet and comfortable for the most part. It is Taco Tuesday, so we had that to look forward to, for most of the day, and the girls really like their Taco Tuesday. The one thing that has happened that is a little more on the concern side, is that Kojak is not feeling well, and we had to take him to the doctor. Actually, Jason had made the appointment already, for a well puppy check up, only this time the puppy wasn't well. He is now on some antibiotics and we are expecting him to be feeling much better in a matter of a few days.

One thing that did happen was that the Gary Sinise Foundation was at a fundraiser function in the Midwest somewhere (sorry I don't remember exactly where it took place) and a presentation was made to a good sized audience and it went well. I found out that one of the topics highlighted by that presentation was us. More and more people are learning about Jason and his family, including Linda and I, kind of makes me feel humbled, though I hope it was helpful in raising awareness of those that are still in need of support.

Tomorrow I am looking to get a nice bike ride in the morning - after the girls are dropped off. Then a little later in the day, Linda and I are headed back up to Fallbrook. We like to get up there to check on the progress of the house and see just what is going on that is new. This is so very exciting to us, as well as the rest of the family. The girls constantly talk about when they get their rooms, so we just like to stay on top of all that is going on with the build. I will do my best to get more pictures posted, and to continue to share our excitement. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 26, 2015

Today has been one very relaxed and quiet Sunday. About the only thing we did, or maybe I should say, "didn't" do was go to church. I got up at about 06:30 and got out on my bike. I wanted to get in a few miles and managed to do 16+ miles. I returned to the house and fixed some breakfast for Jason and I, and then went up to see what Linda was doing. It was almost 09:00 and I figured she needed to get up, so that there would be plenty of time to go to church. What I didn't plan on was that she wasn't feeling well. I checked her out and she didn't have a temperature we needed to worry about, just that she didn't feel right, and she wanted to just stay down, and she did. By the time everything was settled it was well past going to church, so I just didn't go.

Other than a quick trip to Target, where I picked up a few things, and Jason taking the dogs for a walk, we all just stayed home. Kojak, Jason's new pup is still a little on the nervous side, though he seems to be slowly warming up to us. He's gotten a bit more familiar with the leash and doesn't fight it as much, so I figure it will take a couple more weeks, and then he'll be feeling more like one of the family. I have posted a picture (below), so that all of you can see what he looks like, and as a reminder, he is almost 15 weeks old now. What has really been a blessing ... he hasn't had an accident in the house, yet, and really enjoys going out side with Jason.

Linda went to bed early this evening, and I think I might turn in a little early as well. Tomorrow I will be going down to the DMV with Jason to get his disability plates for the van. With all the streamlining that has been done in the government offices, it now takes forever to get things done. We'll (Jason is planning on going with me) get there early and see how long it takes. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Kojak's first day, hiding under a chair

House is getting readied for exterior work

Walking through the hosue with our friend Kare - Yes, the walls are sheet rocked!

A picture from the upper northern corner of Jason's property

Linda and I enjoying our time together as the house is built.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

April 25, 2015

Got up this morning with the full intention of going out for a bike ride, and maybe getting in 25 miles or so. Didn't happen though, I got busy doing some things around the house and before I knew it, it was nearly 10:00, and that didn't give me enough time to do anything but a very short ride, and then I decided to just head over to Trader Joe's, to pick up a few things. Jason and I were expecting some guests at about 13:00 (1pm) and I realized that I had no munchies or drinks - other than water and milk. Linda was still out with Karen, and though Karen was leaving today I didn't know what time she was going to be getting back home.

After getting back from Trader Joe's we were ready and there was still plenty of time, so I kicked back and started watching some T.V., Modern Marvels was on, and they were showing the top 100 things that impacted the development of humans on Earth. Some of them were very interesting, like the Rosetta Stone, and Tesla's earthquake machine. I think though, that they were correct in selecting the number one item, and that was the Bible (Gutenberg's Press was also in the list, mostly because of the printing of the Bible). It was a fun and interesting program and I learned a bit more, so I was very happy with it, and at about the time they were coming to the number one item, it was now 13:00 (1pm), and I noticed that Linda had just parked the car. I went to open the door and see if she needed any help and she said, "Hello, and look who I found." It was the folks from Cal Poly.

Professor Lily Laiho and three students, James, Matthew and Jim (I think I got their names right), all from the Quality of Life program, where they work to improve the life of one or more people with their engineering creations. In Jason's case, it is to come up with a better seating solution than what he currently has. I was very pleased to see Linda, as she frequently sees aspects of things different and more clearly than I do, and always helpful in these discussions. The best part of this discussion, though, is that Jason did more of the talking than ever, and I was pleased to see him do this. The team asked a number of questions and took a number of measurements and a bunch of pictures. They stayed for about 90 minutes and then headed on back. They said that they will be coming back down from time to time, as well as communicating via phone, email and Skype. However, if there was a desire for us to get up to Cal Poly, they would be happy to show us around and we just might take them up on that offer.

The rest of the evening was relaxed and Jason worked a little with Kojak, his new dog, and we all had dinner by the dinning room table. We had a great family type discussion and I really felt almost like it was back like it would have been, had it not been for that I.E.D. Kojak is still a little nervous around us and likes to hide a bit, but then it has only been 1-day. I'm sure over the next couple of weeks he will be getting more warmed up to us. Gracie is doing her best to make him feel welcome, so with all of us working together it will be just a matter of time.

One last thing - a number of you have contacted me and said that you were unable to make comments. I believe you should be able to now, if you are still experiencing difficulties, please contact me and I will do my best to figure out why. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015

Today was a very interesting day, and a change to the Ross household. We have a "new" member, and I'll get to that in a little bit. First, it began with me getting up and going down and checking on Jason, to see what he was interested in, for breakfast. It was going to be a busy day, so a relatively quick and easy breakfast would be best, and we both had a bowl of Cheerios. We had to get ready for the flight up north.

Neither of us really knew where the plane was taking off from, though we did have the address. Because we hadn't been there in the past we wanted to leave a little on the early side, and we did. As it turned out, we found it despite the directions the GPS was giving - it wanted us to go in the opposite direction of where it was, and I attribute that to signal interference, since we were right next to an airport. Anyway, we got to the building for Crownair, where we were to meet up with the pilot and crew for our trip ... we just happened to get there 1/2 an hour early. And that was okay, as the weather wasn't raining, at least not yet.

We met the pilot and crew and they were all great guys (Craig, Doug, and John), and the ground crew was very helpful as well. There was even another gentleman there, regrettably I don't recall his name, just that he is a former Navy Seal and he wanted to meet Jason (he gave Jason a challenge coin and a shirt), though he wasn't going on the trip. They told us the plane was ready and we all got on and we were off. Getting on, was a little different, as they had this lift system that allowed Jason to actually roll up on to a platform and then they lifted him up to the plane and he rolled on to the plane. Probably the easiest and best method we've encountered yet.

The ride was pretty exciting, as there was a little turbulence at both the take off and landing, and as one might expect, Jason does not like being bounced around. We were just very pleased that it was only for a couple of moments, and everything else went very smoothly. We flew into Yolo County Airport, and the folks there were very helpful as well. From what we could see and from what the pilots were saying, it is a very nice airport, and they intend to fly into it again. It is pretty much out in the middle of no where, yet very modern looking and well taken care of. The one down side is that we took longer to get off the ground than originally planned, and then we also hit some very strong head wind and that added an additional 30 minutes to our travel.

From there we jumped in to the van that we rented from Ability Center of Sacramento. They had delivered the van and left it there for our use, even though we were over an hour late.  When we came back I just left it at the airport for them to pick up, probably tomorrow.  Pretty amazing folks, and trusting, and I like that. We drove to the address that we were given, to pick up the puppy, and this is where things kind of went a little wrong. There was no answer at the door, and we weren't sure what to do next, other than try to reach the person we were told would be there. Jason sent a text message, made a phone call and sent an email - no response to any of it. We were now standing across the street, because that's where the shade tree was, and I said I was going to go back across the street to knock on the door again. This time, when no one answered, and I started to walk back over to Jason, an Animal Control officer drove up and asked me if I lived in the house. I explained to her why I was there and that we were attempting to pick up a dog for Jason. She got involved because they, the county Sheriff and Animal Control were trying to get in touch with her. Actually, a Sheriff Deputy showed up a short while later and he was finally able to get someone to answer the door. Jason and I had been there for nearly two hours by now, and we were thinking we needed to get going, because Stacy was part of a concert at the school, and we wanted to be there.

Well, it took about another 30 minutes and we finally got the puppy. He, Kojak is his name, is a very cute little guy with huge feet, and he is the newest member of the family that I was talking about at the beginning. We headed back to the airport and flew back down to San Diego, and soon found out that Stacy was sick and won't be going to the performance. Actually, I am kind of glad that Jason was able to just lay back down (after a shower) and get some rest, he already had enough for one day. I made a simple soup and sandwich dinner and we called it a day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 23, 2015

I'll start this post off with a minor disclaimer - I don't have my regular editor (Linda) looking at my post tonight. She is off with a friend, Karen Ryan, and will be gone for a couple of days - sort of a girl's weekend out.

We did get up this morning and I took off for a quick bike ride, I got a total of 14 miles in and managed to get it done in an hour, even with all the traffic stops, so I was pretty happy about that. I was also quite exhausted and out of breath.  I just don't have that same level of stamina as I used to, when I was in my 20's (or 30's, or 40's...). I got home with enough time to cool down a little; take a quick shower; get dressed, and then go pick up Karen at the airport. Actually, the timing was pretty close to perfect, as she had just gotten out to the curb as we drove up.

We drove up to the construction site of Jason's new house and the progress is coming along very nicely. The sheet rocking is just about completed, and they will be moving on to the next thing, which I think is texturing the walls and maybe working on the roof. The real good thing is that with the end of the work on the walls, Jason can safely come and visit again. After the house visit we decided to head over to Teckillas, a local restaurant and had lunch. Jason was out taking care of some personal issues and making a few purchases.

Tomorrow we (Jason and I) will be heading north to pick up a new service dog for him. Gracie is still doing well, but an opportunity presented it self to Jason and he wanted to take advantage of it. By the time the new dog (to be named Kojak) is ready to begin working, Gracie will be getting closer to her own retirement, so it is a good transition. At least that's the theory. We will be flying up to Yolo County, up by Sacramento, and flying back home in a matter of just a few hours. It will be a new experience for us, and I am hopeful that all will go well.

Not much else to go over right now, just that Jason is doing well and we have the medical supplies all in place now (everything came today). Now the big thing is to see if they can remain consistent so that we don't have to cause any more problems. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 22, 2015

It has been another good day for Jason, and the Ross family, here in San Diego. We did have to take the girls to school this morning, and now won't see them again for five days, then the cycle all begins again. Over the past few weeks we have been running into some difficulties getting wound care supplies and making sure that we have all that is needed to help Jason. I think, as a result of working with Dr. Sheu and Sarah with the V.A. most, if not all the issues have been addressed and by the end of this week we will have the supplies rolling like they're supposed to. That makes me feel much more comfortable, and I think it makes Jason feel better as well.

Tomorrow Karen Ryan, a family friend, will be coming down to spend some time with us, and she and Linda plan to take off for a couple of days for some "girls time" together. We will be getting up a little on the early side and I'll take off for a quick bike ride. At about 10:30 Linda and I will head over to the airport to pick up Karen and then we'll come back to the house, so she can say, "Hi!" to Jason. From there I'm not really sure how it is going to roll out, as it depends on how Jason is feeling. I am still looking for it to be a very nice day, even if it rains (it rained yesterday and early this morning). Actually, if it rains I'll be kind of happy.

Linda and I watched a movie, Enemy at the Gates, as we hadn't seen it in quite a while. One of the benefits of having a bunch of movies is that sometimes you can go back to your "collection" and find something that you haven 't seen in a while, and it is a really good movie. I even made some popcorn and we kind of felt like we had our own little theater. Then we decided to go to bed, as we were getting tired. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 21, 2015

This has been a nice day to transition back in to our regular routine of living down here in San Diego. We got up this morning and went down stairs to get the girls up and ready for school. The big surprise was that both Stacy and Jackie got up and were moving with little encouragement from Linda. We both expected that they were going to want to stay in bed and rest, since the last few days have been pretty busy. I went to the kitchen, while Linda was with the girls, and I got their breakfasts ready as well as their lunches. At about 15 minutes before the school bell we were out the door and on our way. The girls were both feeling great and literally ran to school. Linda and I had to walk much faster than we usually do, and needless to say, we got their a little early. Fortunately there were no teacher meetings this morning (or at least none we know of) and getting there a little on the early side worked out just fine.

Linda had a few errands she wanted to take care of and I wanted to get a bike ride in. Jason had told us that he had no appointments, so everything was going rather smoothly. As it turned out, Jason did have a couple of things he wanted to get done, so he took off for the bank while I was out on my bike. I got home, after a 19 mile ride, and as I approached the house Linda was taking off to head to the store and told me that Jason wanted to go to Balboa. I wanted to go to Balboa too, so Jason was now waiting on me. I wanted to get there to pick up some supplies (for whatever reason there has been a bit of a problem with getting Jason's medical supplies shipped to us, and we were very low on one particular item.). Jason wanted to pick up a prescription (actually several) while I went to pick up the item from Wound Care. While there we stopped in at PT and said, "hello" to a few of the folks, and then ended up over at Dr. Sheu's area and visited with him for a few minutes. During that conversation he assured us that after he found out there was a problem with the supplier and the insurance company; he got on the phone and spoke with somebody and now he feels that the issues have been taken care of. Dr. Sheu definitely has a way with dealing with the insurance people. We are supposed to get back with him, if we don't get the supplies in a matter of a couple of days. Once that was done we just headed on back to the house.

Today is Taco Tuesday, and the girls were happy about that. They really do seem to like their tacos. I like them too, though I wouldn't mind something different on Tuesday every now and then. After dinner it was bath time and while Linda was up with the girls getting their bath, I was down with Jason getting things ready for his shower. His wounds are improving again, and I was happy to see that, now we just need to continue in that direction. Finally it was time for bed and it is in effect, the end of the day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015

Not much to write about for today, other than we had a great time in Livermore (and San Jose and San Francisco). Our host, Debbie Vargas, was wonderful, and we do owe a big thank you, to her, for allowing us to stay with her, it really makes our trips much easier. The day began with a breakfast at IHop, with Marilyn Carter, and we finally got to visit with her for just over an hour - Her schedule is almost as crazy as ours (maybe more). We drove back down to San Diego with a quick stop at Linda's folk's place. It is always great to see Joe and Jess, and this time we had the girls with us, so there was a special treat for everyone. Jess made a great dinner and I ate too much, again, then we finished the drive on home. Jason was resting in bed and the girls ran in to say, "Hi! and then good night!" to Daddy. Linda and I talked with Jason for a few minutes to make sure everything was okay, and that was pretty much the end of the day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 19, 2015

A great end to a wonderful weekend -

We came down, primarily to help celebrate a couple of birthdays, and we did. Yesterday was fun and we got to see and visit with a bunch of folks we hadn't seen in a while. Today, we started off by going to our old church and we were well received, by everyone. We were here a couple of weeks ago, and the minister was gone, as well as a number of the parishioners we know. Today, everyone was there and we felt special.. We could barely take three steps without having to stop and talk with someone. It felt very warm and loving, to have all these people welcome us back, even knowing that we were only there for a visit. Unfortunately, I believe it is our last visit for a few months, and maybe even longer.

We stayed with a friend, Debbie, and she has been a wonderful hostess. Debbie has felt the loss of her nephew who served with the Marines in Afghanistan. She can relate to some of the emotional stress associated with a combat loss.She allows us free reign and we come and go as we need. We have had a little more time, this time, to spend with her, but it still isn't enough, and we need to appropriately thank her for all that she has done. Linda and I will be working on this over the next couple of days.

Today we also got up to San Francisco, to visit with our youngest son, Sean. Before going we stopped to pick up George, our oldest son, and we took BART  (Bay Area Rapid Transit)in to the City. The girls had not ridden on BART in the past, so they were quite excited to go. Sean is looking much better than the last time we saw him, and I felt much better because of that. Last time we were here he was getting over food poisoning or the flu or something, but he didn't look too good. He is already on the slender side, and he had lost some weight - today he looked like he put all that weight back on, and his color was much better.

We ended the day by heading over to Mike and Karen's place to have dinner, and it was excellent. All the food was excellent and Ross, Karen's son, grilled the chicken to perfection. Karen's folks were there as well and it is always great to see them, so the evening went very well. Stacy was exhausted from the day and fell asleep before we ate, and Jackie was acting like it was just another day - she has some impressive stamina. We are now back and Debbie's and getting ready for bed. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

April 18, 2015

We had a great day today, and got to visit with a bunch of different friends we haven't seen in quite a long time. First it was a 90th birthday for Isabel, a wonderful woman who helped me through some times as a teenager, and NEVER said an angry word to me or anyone that I saw. She is the mother of a very good friend of mine and he and I have stayed in touch over the many years. Even though I kind of disappeared for a while, she still calls me her second son, Larry, my friend is an only child. Anyway, it was great to see her and to get to spend some time with Larry and the rest of the family, including cousins and other extended family. Linda and I had to keep helping each other remember people's names and partners. Stacy and Jackie stayed with us, during this event and behaved themselves just as we would have expected. We even received complements on how well they were behaving.

The second birthday was the 70th birthday for Russ Greenlaw, and he was as cheerful as he ever was and it was so good to see my old Boy Scout partner again. He and I spent about 24 years together as adult leaders for the Boy Scouts, in the Livermore area, and we had some really good times together, and with the boys. We even took them to Japan a couple of times and hiked Mt. Fuji (I believe Russ has actually been there 3 times). Again, Linda and I didn't know everybody in attendance, and that didn't matter, it was good to get together with the people we did know and renew some friendships. While we were at this gathering the girls stayed at a friend's house from church and their daughter, Sarah, who used to work for Linda when she had her day care business watched the girls.

We called Jason tonight, and woke him up. That wasn't the plan, just that's what happened. We wanted to give the girls a chance to say good night to Daddy, and I think he was happy to be disturbed this time.  He said all was going well and we would be able to connect up with him tomorrow ... so we will. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April 15, 2015

Today was a nice day, and we managed to get a few things done, including a trip up to the new house. We did take some photos, though I won't be posting any of them today. The progress on the house is moving along very nicely, and I remain hopeful that we will be in it sometime around August, and be able to get things set up there, before the new school year. Jason, is working on this, and I am very proud at how he is handling it, with very little intervention for either myself or Linda.

I did get a chance to get out on the bike this morning, and it was kind of a strange ride. I felt like I was working very hard, and I did mange to get in 17 miles, but it felt more like 30 when I was done. I was breathing harder than I typically do and my lungs were definitely feeling it. After a little while I was feeling much better and I just went on doing the same old things I normally do, like coordinate a flight to Yolo County (for those that don't know, Yolo County is in California, and is close to Sacramento). We are gong to be going up there to pick up Jason's new service dog, and we'll be flying up on the 24th and flying back on the 24th. The dog is ready for him to pick up and I think he is feeling pretty anxious to go get it.

Linda and I will also be heading up to Livermore, tomorrow, and staying until Monday. There are a couple of birthdays we have been invited to, and we really want to go to. One if for a very dear friend of ours who is turning 90. We haven't seen her in a couple of years, I think, so this is a very good reason to be heading up there. The other is for another close friend who I spent many years with, in the Boy Scouts, as an adult leader. We had a lot of fun together - He'll be turning 70 years old. We'll be leaving early in the morning and the girls will be taking school work along with us.

Linda has been doing all the heavy lifting today, as my energy level has been relatively low. I'm feeling better now, and that's a good thing, as I don't want to have to sleep during the driving. Besides, Linda hates it when I sleep and drive... Only kidding, I don't sleep and drive! Not sure about posts over these next few days, though I will attempt to get some in. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015

Happy Tax Day! Then, again, I guess every day is tax day.

Today was a good day, in that we got the girls off to school on time and then Jason and I headed off to the hospital for his appointment. Linda had her own appointment to get to, so she was not able to go with us. We met with the doctors for internal medicine and general surgery and they examined Jason, three different times. First it was the Lieutenant and she came in and did the basic exam and I guess she wanted to have a more senior guy come in, so the Lieutenant Commander (also a doctor) came in and took a look at Jason, while asking questions. He felt compelled to bring in his boss and the Navy Captain came in and he was definitely the guy in charge. He also asked some of the same questions, again, and had a good look at Jason and the issue, and this time there was no mention of any kind of alternate option. He just said this needs to be corrected and surgery is the only way to do that. We now have a date for surgery, May 19, 2015 and Jason will be staying in the hospital for a few days (we really don't know how many right now, but probably 3 or 4).

I know Jason will be glad to get this out of the way, as it is an inconvenience and he'd like to get on with his life again. Otherwise he is doing well and his overall attitude is as positive as ever. I think a big factor behind that is the amount of time he gets to spend with his daughters and also the fact that the house is moving along very well. We are all looking forward to moving in, while also recognizing that there are a bunch of things we need to get done before then .

The rest of the day was relaxed and not much else went on. I took care of some business and Linda took care of us. I think I had the easier job.. ;-). There was a nice visit from Tom Lightener and Fred Thomson, two of the most dedicated guys we've met. They have been running a wood turning program for a few years now and the benefit to the Wounded Warriors is wonderful They have helped Jason a number of times and continue to stop by just to say hello, every now and again. Tom even thought to drop off a couple of wood tops, for the girls, and they'll love them. We are getting ready for another trip up to Livermore, as there are a couple of birthday parties we have been invited to, so we will be leaving Friday morning, and more on that tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 14, 2015

Today turned out to be a very nice day for us. Not because we had the girls with us or because I was able to get a 28 mile ride in. Not because the weather was great or that Linda and I visited our stored things. All those things are really nice and all, but today, this evening after the girls had gone to bed, Linda and I were able to just have a wonderful conversation with Jason, in the kitchen. We must have talked for a couple of hours and we went over all kinds of topics, from the girls to his recovery to the people he has been able to help in their healing process. Most of our conversations don't last much more than 30 minutes, and those are good conversations, it is just that to have that much time in an engaged conversation was a special treat.

The rest of the day was just a normal day and not really that much to write about. We got the girls up and took them to school. Linda had a couple of errands to run, as did Jason, and I went out on a nice ride out to Cabrillo National Monument. One of the things I found out as a result of that ride is that Jason is eligible for a life-time pass to all national parks, and the ranger at Cabrillo is the first person to say anything about it to me. Jason will be following up on that one, it could be quite handy. There isn't much else to go on about, so this is going to be a relatively short post. Thank you, for all  the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

Well, I guess Friday the 13th came on a Monday, this month. Only it hasn't been a bad day at all for the Ross clan in San Diego. It has actually been a rather nicer, almost relaxing kind of day with Linda getting a chance to catch up a little with our niece Katie and Jason and I having a nice visit at Balboa.

We got up this morning and kind of piddled around slowly getting ready, and not really knowing what we were going to see today. Linda had a more focused view, and in a relatively short period she was ready to go and Jason and I were still finishing our breakfast cereals (we had Cheerios today). Linda initially had some trouble with the GPS (it insisted that she was up in Laguna) so I just printed the direction out from Google Maps, and she was on her way. Funny thing is, when she was returning she found that the GPS was now working correctly... go figure.

Jason and I had to get down town to get some documents notarized and that was actually more fun than I anticipated. There wasn't much traffic and it kind of gave us a chance to look around a little. Because of my bike riding and taking some time to learn the city a little better I was able to show Jason how to get from where we were to the base. It didn't take long and with lite traffic the drive wasn't too bad. We did get to see Jennifer Town and we had a nice visit with her. Parking is a real challenge still, and some of the changes they've made are tough on the C5 guys, and we told Jennifer about this, and she said she would look into it. One thing we've learned about Jennifer, when she says she is going to do something, it happens.

One of the main reasons for going in was to look at setting an appointment to figure out when surgery could be done, and we have an appointment now, to do just that. We will be going back on Wednesday to speak with the right folks (Dr. Sheu is in Denver, so we'll be speaking with the other doctors to get this set up), and when we get back home, in the afternoon - on Wednesday, we should have a surgery scheduled. The rest of the time there was at PT, and there turned out to be another Marine there and he and Jason hit it off pretty well. Apparently, Tennet (I believe that's how you spell his name) wants to start working with Jason on learning how to play the banjo. I think that's pretty cool, and I'm glad to hear that the instruments Jason has may finally get used.

We got back home and shortly thereafter, Linda came home (it was about 1 minute between the time of our arrival and her arrival). We went and picked up the girls  and the rest of the day was pretty much routine. I think we may have to go to Costco tomorrow, though it is Taco Tuesday, if not we'll go for sure on Wednesday. I may even try to get a bike ride in tomorrow, though that isn't solid at this time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 12, 2015

Today started off with a bowl of oatmeal and raisins - you know, one of those comfortable days that just can't get in a hurry. We went to church and it was the youth service, and they did an excellent job of it. as well as the social gathering afterward. I was glad we went, though it would have been fun to have had the girls with us, they always enjoy Sunday School.

Other than taking care of a few things around the house, and finishing up some tax preparations (yeah, we still haven't filed for 2014) it has just been a basic easy day. This evening we were invited to a meal with Bruce and Rosemary R. of the Carrington Corporation, a memorial for Bruce's father who passed away recently. Hal was just shy of 90 years, and died of cancer, he will be missed. Linda and I were very pleased at being invited, as we got to see some friends we usually don't see very often, and the meal it self was wonderful.

The drive up to Mare (the restaurant where we ate), in Laguna Beach was easier than expected, and the ride back home was even easier. I thought it was going to take over two hours to get there, and it turned out to be just under, while the ride home was just over 90 minutes.

Tomorrow we will be going in to Balboa, to see Dr. Sheu, and discussing what and when the next steps will be taken for Jason. Jason didn't come to the dinner because of the challenges he is dealing with right now, and why he is in need of another surgery. Other than that, and picking up the girls, I would have to say the only other thing we need to do is go food shopping. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

April 11, 2015

A very nice day, for us, though there were enough challenges to keep us on our toes. We got up at about 07:30 and each of us had a goal we wanted to get done. Jason wanted to get Gracie over to a training session; Linda wanted to go to a Blue Star Mothers meeting; and, I wanted to go for a longer bike ride. I was the first one out, and that was almost 09:00 when I left. I had no idea where I was going to go, but I knew I wanted to get some miles in, and attempt to ride where there was less traffic to deal with. I got up to the Pacific Coast Highway and turned to head toward Mission Bay. I knew there was a good 14 miles where the traffic was relatively lite. However, as I was making my way in that direction a car passed me. It was an older, restored car, in very good shape. Then there was another one and then another, and this caused me to take a look behind me. There was now a line of these different cars all heading somewhat in the same direction as I was. That would have been cool, except that about 50 meters up they were all turning right, into a driveway ahead of me. On top of this, there were motorcycle cops directing them and stopping traffic - which meant I had to stop. I waited for about 30 of them to enter, then they had to stop so I called over to the office and asked if I could go, and he said, "Yeah, sure. Come on through." It was great seeing all these great cars, but I would have rather just kept riding on. Anyway, the ride continued on for about 27 1/2 miles and then I got home.

Linda left just a little while after I did, for her meeting up near Fallbrook. She was very happy about getting a chance to get together with these women, and to discuss all the stuff they were doing. She misses all the things she had gotten involved with in the SF Bay Area, so this has been a relief of sorts, and also a chance to socialize. She did say that she still misses the folks from the Bay Area, and will probably stay in touch with them, just because of what they mean to her. She came back home about an hour (maybe a little more) after I had gotten home, and immediately got involved with taking care of some other things around the house.

As for Jason ... he never got out to the training. He has run into a bit of a problem that is going to have to be dealt with at Balboa. We had a little discussion when I came home and we'll be getting with Dr. Sheu early next week. Bottom line is that there is probably surgery on the horizon for Jason, and it is not something we are looking forward to. It is something we have discussed in the past, and knew would eventually come up, I guess we were just hoping that it would be a little longer before we would have to revisit. As Dr. Sheu once said, it is a relatively simple surgery, but then when working with Jason, nothing is as simple as with other people. Jason spent most of the rest of the day in bed, and he still remained in good spirits, despite the set back. I grilled some stakes and we had a nice dinner.

Linda and I relaxed by watching Sea Biscuit. We hadn't seen that movie in a long time and found it to be very entertaining and relaxing. Tomorrow we will be going to church and then maybe doing some work with the storage areas. We need to start packing stuff up and getting ready for the move - even if it is five months away. We also need to identify what we are taking and what is being sold or donated. The idea of the new house is pretty exciting, and also daunting. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015

This has been a couple of busy days for us, for multiple reasons, and kind of taxing as well.

Yesterday was a memorial/funeral of a fallen Wounded Warrior we had gotten to know over the past few years. Artem Lazukin was laid to rest and will be sleeping in his blues until the end of time, and then today we learned of another death, of a father of another friend of ours. Hal Rose had been fighting liver cancer for the past 20 years, or so, and he finally succumb to it. He was almost 90 years old. Artem was 27 years. Hal also served his country and will have an honor guard at his funeral, on Sunday.

We did manage to have some enjoyable things to do, like today we went with the builder, of Jason's new house, to look at tile and counter tops. We picked out some very nice colors and designs, where I put in my opinion, and then let Jason and Linda do all the serious picking. A real nice aspect of it was that it was relatively close to our current residence, so we didn't have to do too much driving.

The rest of the days have been relaxed and some time for contemplation of life in general. I think we have been blessed by God, to have been able to enjoy the life we have and to have each other to support and help as time goes on. Tomorrow Jason is going to be taking Gracie up to her training, and I just might get a nice bike ride it. This should give Linda some free time to take care of more of the work she has been trying to get out of the way.

Soon we're going to have to start packing and identifying just exactly what we want to keep and what is going to be going with us when we move to Fallbrook. I'm both looking forward to the effort and cringing at the thought of going through all our stuff, and trying to do it in an organized manner. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015

Today was a good day.

We took the girls over to their mother's home and dropped them off. They both gave us big hugs and then we were on our way back to our house. Jason had an appointment this morning, though it wasn't for a couple of hours, and I had some things to do, like communications with the builder of Jason's new house, as well as with some other folks. Jason and I are planning a trip up to Northern California to pick up his new puppy. This puppy is going to begin training to become the next service dog, and Jason wants to be there to pick up the dog. There is a big challenge though, and that is that Jason has a difficult time with traveling long distance. I think we have that issue behind us now, and once we have confirmation that it is resolved I will put more about it, here in the blog.

We got to the hospital at Balboa, where Jason needed to go into Wound Care, and the good news is that the wounds are looking better again, and I am feeling much better as a result (I think Jason is feeling better, too). I also managed to get a hair cut, while we were there, and a beard trim - both were getting a little wild and I was tired of it. Linda was happier with the results also, and that's really the most important thing. Now, it also has to be understood that only I got a hair cut, and not Jason. He is still working on growing his hair longer, and I do believe he wants to get the hair long enough to put it into a ponytail.

We did have some good news, and that is that Gary Sinise is back on television, working with the Criminal Minds folks. The episode that was on tonight, at 21:00 (9 pm) had both Gary Sinise and Joe Montegna, two actors we are happy to identify as friends, and we know that they are good friends of each other. The show was excellent and I look forward to seeing more with the two of them.

Tomorrow we will be going up to Camp Pendelton to attend a funeral for a friend of Jason, Artim Lazukin, a fellow Marine, who took his own life. He is one of those statistics that I hope our government is going to do something about. Every day 22 wounded service members kill themselves. Not all these wounds are visible, and are frequently related to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). In this case, though, he was a double amputee, as well as TBI (traumatic brain injury). We, as a country and society, ask these people to go fight for us, but then don't do enough to help them when they come home afterward. We need to do more, much more. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

April 7, 2015

It is Tuesday, and the last full day of Spring Break, for the girls to be with us. We decided to go to the zoo, and spend a few hours there, and just have a nice time - which we did. I got up pretty early, so that I could get a short ride in, and managed a 14 mile ride in just over an hour. I had hoped to go farther but traffic lights were not cooperating with me, and then there was the train. Anyway, I knew I only had about an hour and decided to cut it short and still made it back in a reasonable time.

Linda was getting the girls going, and dressed and since I was still a little on the sweaty side she asked me to get the girls breakfast while she got ready. I was happy to do so, and in a little while the girls were done eating and I had cooled off, and we were ready to go to the zoo (I managed to get my shower in before we left).

The zoo was packed when we arrived, and since we're members it is much easier to just walk to the entry turn styles, and the girls wanted to get up on the tour bus. Getting on to the bus didn't take too long, and the ride seemed a bit slower than the previous rides we've been on. I guess with the slower ride it gave the driver/guide more time to provide more information, and we learned a few more things about the zoo, we hadn't known before. Linda was in charge of the camera, for the most part. I took 2 or 3 pictures and she took 20 or 30 (maybe more).

We had lunch at the zoo and even went on the sky ride (a round trip) across the zoo. The girls were very excited and had a great time, and by about 13:00 (1 pm) they were worn out. The day was over for them and we decided to head on back home. We thought about possibly coming back to the zoo, a little later tonight, but that didn't happen. Over all, it was a wonderful visit, and the parking lot, that was getting full when we arrived, was completely full when we left.

Tonight was also Taco Tuesday, and the girls reminded us of that several times. It was great watching them in the front room, playing. Stacy and Jackie decided it was time to have an egg carrying race, and they came up with the rules all on their own. We simply got a chance to watch. Stacy won most of the races, but not all of them, and I think that it might have surprised her a little that her little sister is beginning to catch up to her in some areas of ability.

Linda did an awesome job on the tacos, again, and we all enjoyed the evening. Jason spent most of the day resting, though he did take off to take care of some "banking" issues. He actually left before we did, and returned just a short while before we did. He seemed pretty well tuckered out when we got home, so I was quite happy to let him rest.

Tomorrow the girls leave for their five-day stay with their mother, and the house is going to seem very empty again. We have busy lives and the time will go by quickly, then they'll be back again. Below are some pictures from our most recent visit to Jason's new house  and our trip to the zoo. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.
The house 2-weeks ago

Jason giving some direction

The northern end of the house

Exterior Fire Place

I believe this is our first attempt at a "selfie"

Grandma and Grandpa (Nana and Tata) standing in the hallway

Stacy getting a feel for her new  bedroom

Jackie getting a feel for her new  bedroom

Stacy and Jackie standing in the front door - Notice the roof is beginning (taken 2-days ago)

Jason and Dad discussing something

Stacy enjoying the zoo

The girls enjoying their lunch drinks

Jackie having a fun time on the sky ride

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015

A very nice day for us today, as we all got up a little on the early side and decided to head up to take a look at the new house. First though, we needed to get some breakfast, and Joe and Jess (Linda's folks) wanted to take us all to breakfast at the local waffle house. It provided a chance to just sit and relax, and have some good conversation before the drive up - we were taking two vehicles - and after the stop at Jason's new house, they were heading on home, back to Lake Forest.

The drive up to the property was much easier than anticipated, though we already knew the traffic would be reduced some, because of the people on vacation. We targeted 10:00 as our arrival time and we managed to get there by 10:05, so we didn't take too long at the restaurant after all.

The progress on the house looks great and they are now working on the roof as well as the electrical. I am still very hopeful that the house will be ready before the end of August, and we can get all moved in before the start of the new school year. Jason has already begun the process of looking for a school in the Fallbrook area, and the school where the girls are currently going already know they will not be coming back next year. Therefore, timing is very important on the progress of the house.

We left the property just a few minutes after Joe and Jess said their good-bye's, and we made it back down to Point Loma at a little after noon. Funny thing is, about two minutes after walking in to the house here, Jess called to let us know they had just gotten home also, so even though we went in opposite directions we ended at about the same time.

Linda fixed some lunch and the girls laid down for a nap and we took care of a few things around the house. Joselyn came in and was working with Jason when Linda and I decided to go lay down for a little while - a much needed nap. I got up first and went down stairs, and Linda came down a little later. I made sure the girls were up, as I want them to enjoy the rest of the day, and besides they were already stirring when I checked on them.

I fixed a bunch of left overs and we had some great family time through the evening. It got to be bed-time and the girls decided they wanted to do something a little different. It was totally their decision and Stacy came over and jumped up on my lap and said she was going to read a book to me. I was very happy, and proud for this to happen, and I think Stacy was very proud that she is getting so much better at reading now. Jackie then decided that she wanted to also read a story to me, and when Stacy was done, Jackie jumped up. Jackie wasn't able to read the story as well as Stacy, but she did know it and I helped her along the way. We still had a great time and then the girls were ready for bed.

Tomorrow we'll be heading over to the zoo, and spend a few hours there, in the morning. Jason said he has an appointment, so he won't be joining us, and that's okay, he'll be able to take them again in a few days, if they want to go. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday, and a nice relaxing day, as it should be ...

I got up a little after 07:00 this morning and found Joe and Jess (Linda's parents) down stairs having a nice conversation. Jess asked me if I could make her a cup of coffee (Linda received one of those new style coffee makers from Jason, so we don't have a regular coffee maker. I've learned how to use it, even though I don't drink coffee. Every now and then the knowledge comes in handy.) so I did. We were still deciding on which church service to go to, so we either had to get moving quickly, or we had a little extra time to get ready.

We ended up with a little extra time ... Actually we thought the first service was at 08:30 and later found out it was at 08:00. We would have been horribly late, rather than a little early, as we were. The pews were all full, AND there were extra chairs set up on the side isles. I understand the first service was almost full, as was the third, and the second service, the one we went to, was packed. I hadn't seen that many people in the church before, though we have only been going to that church for a couple of years. Made me feel pretty good that the pastor still made a point to come say hello and meet Joe and Jess.

We got back to the house and had a late breakfast of French Toast (Linda cooked - and it was great - I think I ate too much), and then I did a quick clean up of the kitchen. After that we all just sat around the kitchen table and had a wonderful family conversation. Joe and Jess had brought along a photo album with them, from Joe's family, so Linda was really loving the pictures and the discussion. She learned a few things (I learned a bunch) and it was one of those family times that really makes you glad that you have a great family.

Jason came out about 16:00 (4 pm) to begin working on dinner. He had decided that he wanted to make one of his wonderful soups (almost a stew) so we just basically cleared out the kitchen and let him take over. I helped a little, and the rest was all him. About 17:30 (5:30 pm), the girls came back to the house, and that meant there was going to be an Easter Egg hunt. Jess and I had hidden most of the eggs in the backyard, about the same time Jason began working on the soup. First things first, though - the girls got to check out their baskets, inside the house first. This went on for about 20 minutes, then they were ready to go to the backyard and look for all the "other" eggs.  Stacy found most of them, though Jackie did a respectable collection of her own. Shortly after this dinner was ready and the soup was excellent. Each of us had at least two bowls and there was still some left, when we were done.

The only thing left to do was to get the girls down and then the rest of the household down for the night. They asked me to tell them a story tonight, instead of reading, so I made up a story about the Easter Bunny, and how he came to be. It was a simply story, and they liked it, so I was quite happy with the out come. Tomorrow we'll be going up to the house, in the morning and from there Joe and Jess will be heading on back up to their place, as we come back down to here. I suspect that it is going to be another fun day, for all of us. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 4, 2015

A nice day and a day for a personal best on my bike. I rode out to Santee this morning, and that was by way of Mission Gorge. Getting up over that hill was a little more difficult than I thought it was going to be, yet I was still able to get it done. I did ask Jason to come pick me up because of the time. I was afraid that it would take me another two hours to get back up over the hill again, for the return trip, and there were too many things to still be done ... though, I am getting ahead of myself.

I woke up at 06:15 this morning and decided that a bike ride was in order. The girls had not come up yet, so I just went and brushed my teeth, and cleaned up a little, then got dressed for a bike ride. As I was heading down stairs both of them came up and I asked them to go in and just lay down with Grandma (Linda), and I thought that was all I needed to do. Jackie had different ideas and wanted to not only lay down with Grandma, she also wanted to play and discuss anything and everything. Linda didn't get to stay in bed for very long, and so before I was able to get out of the house, Linda was up and began getting breakfast for the girls. My ride was only 22 miles, and that was because I only went the one way. If I'd completed a round trip I would have gone over 40 miles today.

The rest of the day was kind of relaxed and I just had to make dinner for the family. Linda's parents, Joe and Jess, did come down to spend a couple of days with us, and the girls went over to their mom's place for a one-day stay, because of Easter. I made spaghetti, and made a couple of alterations from my usual, and one of those changes was a spicier (hotter) sauce. It wasn't too spicy just a little bit of a zing, and since the girls were not having dinner with us, it seemed like a good time for a change. Everyone liked it, and there wasn't much left once we were done eating.

We'll all be going to Easter services tomorrow and then seeing where the day takes us. The girls will be coming back to the house at about 17:30 (5:30 pm), so we'll have an Easter Egg Hunt after they get back to the house. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015

Today was a much more relaxed kind of day, though still plenty busy. We didn't have to get up to take the girls to school, so instead they came up to get us out of bed. They were up to our room at just before 07:00, and it was Jackie first, this time (Stacy came up a couple of minutes later). It was fun and we did manage to lay around for a short while then I announced I was going down to make some pancakes and eggs for breakfast. This announcement was well received and in just a few seconds the girls were following me down. Of course this left Linda up in bed and she decided to take advantage of the opportunity and got a little more sleep (I don't think she got more than an hour - but still it was nice for her).

Shortly after breakfast, which, by-the-way, was quite good, I took care of some things and then the girls and I were off to the park, to ride their bikes. Well, first we went to the school, where they could ride in the parking lot - always nice when no one else is around - and then over to the park. They were having a great time when this other woman showed up, along with her daycare, all around Jackie's age. This made Stacy the oldest, but that was okay with her. They all played very well and we ended up staying there for about an hour. I think they would have stayed longer but we'd been out for close to two hours at this time and I wanted to get them back to the house for lunch and besides I was getting  a little hungry, too.

Lunch was simple, just soup and sandwich, and then the girls went down for a nap. Joselyn had arrived a short while after they went down for a nap and she and Linda got to talking about flowers (Linda likes fresh flowers in the house). With this they asked if I'd mind if they went to get some flowers at a local wholesale distributor and I said to go ahead and go. Of course now this gave me an opportunity to just kick back and relax, and like any good male - I fell asleep on the couch. They were only gone for an hour and brought back some very nice flowers, so we all got what we wanted. :-)

The evening was right in-line with the rest of the day and we had a good evening. I fixed some chicken and rice and Linda fixed the vegetables. It was a nice balanced meal and the girls always enjoy the chicken. Linda gave the girls their bath while I helped Jason with his and shortly, the girls were in bed and we were finishing the clean up in the kitchen. Tomorrow, Linda's parents, Joe and Jess, will be coming for a nice visit and staying through Easter. Speaking of Easter, I almost forgot - The girls colored some eggs today with Grandma, and had a great time. My involvement was boiling the eggs and making the coloring solutions for the eggs. They enjoyed it, but wanted to do more eggs, so we said next year I would boil more (they only got 10 today - the rest will be plastic). Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015

One of our busier days and right now I am pretty tired. I felt I needed to get this post in just the same, otherwise I'd be likely to forget what happened today.

We started out by sleeping in - neither Linda or myself got up before 07:00 this morning, and that is really sleeping in for us. I wasn't going to go for a bike ride but then Linda said she was going to do some of her exercises and I figured I'd better go for the ride - I need to keep up with her. For those that don't know, she is looking great! She has been exercising and eating healthy and ... looking great! I got out before 07:30 and decided I didn't "need" much of a breakfast, and that was a mistake. I ate a banana and was on the road. At one point I was peddling on a relatively flat area and able to maintain a consistent 21 mph or higher pace, for about half a mile I was hitting  25 mph. I did this for just a little over a mile and then slowed down. I didn't know there was a group of younger guys riding behind me (four of them I think), and when I dropped down to about 17 mph they all passed me. I felt like I had put in a good day right there, but still had a few more miles to go. My total ride was just a little over 15 miles - and I'm not riding tomorrow, I want to give my legs a little recovery time.

After getting back to the house and cooling down Linda and I went to Costco, with Jason. We picked up a few things and then headed back to the house. It was a pretty fast trip to Costco because we needed to pick up the girls from school. We don't normally pick up the girls on Thursdays, but needed to today, and so when we got home Linda went immediately to the school while I put the groceries away - then I followed her. The girls were all very excited for a couple of reasons, as Easter is one of their favorite holidays and it also meant they were going on Spring break/vacation.

Once we got the girls home Linda made them a quick lunch and then they went to go lay down and nap. We were headed to the church tonight for Maundy Thursday, and the girls were excited about going. The next thing we needed to prepare for was for the memorial service the skeet club wanted to do for Artim Lazukin, a friend of Jason and fellow Marine, who recently died. We needed to be there a 15:45 (3:45 pm), or as close as possible. We left the house at just about the time I wanted and hit a little more traffic than I thought. We still managed to arrive before 16:00 (4 pm) and the services were very nice. It was on Camp Pendleton with the Chaplin from the Wounded Warrior Battalion helping out. There was also a ceremonial shoot in Artim's honor, and it was nice, but it also took longer than I thought it was going to and that made me late for Maundy Thursday. Linda took the girls and I came in late, but still in time for most of it.

We came back to the house and managed to get Jason some food and Linda managed to get the girls to bed. The Maundy services were very nice and the girls had a great time with the Children's time that was put together for all the kids. It also managed to get all the kids excited and wanting to tell us all about Moses and Jesus and how Passover and Easter came to be. Still the girls were ready to go to bed and Linda managed to get them slowed down while she read them a story. This all took place while I worked with Jason and he got his shower in  and a dressing change. Tomorrow shouldn't be quite as busy, though we still have plenty to do. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015

This morning started out a little on the kookier side - as you might expect with it being April Fools' Day. About every 5 seconds one of the girls would attempt their best joke, and of course Grandma and Grandpa had to play along. After about a dozen of these they started to get a little worn, from my perspective, but it did make the girls happy so we continued. Finally I said they had to eat their breakfast, or they might be late for school, and it helped.

We walked the girls to school and came back to the house to begin a little bit of a clean up and also to help Jason get ready for his appointments. Actually he was headed over to Balboa to visit the folks in the PT area and then later, about 13:00 (1pm) he had an appointment to see the dentist at the VA. The only thing I wanted to do was to get in a bike ride, and so at about 09:00 I took off on my bike. It was a nice ride and I put in just a little over 24 miles, and it felt pretty good. I had a good workout and as I was cooling down Jason asked me to go with him to the dentist, because he didn't know if they were going to be doing anything more than a cleaning. Linda stayed back to work on cleaning some things up around the house and also to do some prep work for Easter.

As it turned out the dental appointment lasted much longer than either of us had figured it would, yet all they did was clean his teeth, take some X-rays, and get in a full exam. They did find a cavity that they hadn't seen on the X-rays, and said he was going to have to come back to have it worked on, so I know I will be going back to help for sure this time.

When we did get back to the house Jason let us know that the girls would be coming back to us on Thursday, rather than Friday, so that meant a few changes in our plans. Linda and I had to head over to Target to pick up a few things, and perhaps that was a good thing, since Target was looking like it had been shopped over  pretty well already. Fortunately Linda already had most of the needed items, and this was just a few other things to complete the picture.

Jason said he had, had a busy day and therefore he took an early shower and dressing change, and Linda and I decided to just kick back to relax and watch a dvd. This has been a good and fun day, and like so many, it had some surprises. Thank you, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.