Monday, February 26, 2007

We're homeowners!!!

It's official, the Old Man and I bought our first house!! Unfortunately, he wasn't able to call, but he was with me in spirit... In fact, he was very much with me- all day today!


This is us driving to the closing. We were pretty nervous at this point.

The Old Man was reviewing the paperwork.

Signing away!!

We got the keys!!

This was our celebratory crab fest dinner afterwards.

And our well deserved beers!! :)

Today wasn't so bad after all! Except that I had to sign 500 papers with my signature, his signature, and mine saying it was for him. Our lawyers and realtors got a good laugh! Thankfully, one of them was a former Marine so he seemed to understand. They all even made some choice selections on how to pose the Old Man! :) We move in next week!

Wish me luck!!!

I'm going to close on the house this afternoon! Unfortunately, I'm a little more sad than I am excited cause I wish the Old Man can be here, but ohmygosh!!!! We're gonna have a house!!! And a nice one!!!!!! :)

We pushed the closing up to 3 today so I'm taking the day off to get a few other important things done. It's pretty tough being the man and the woman of the house!

Cross your fingers and pray for us! Maybe I'll get lucky and the Old Man will be able to call today.

I'll give everyone a call tonight and let them know how things went. I love and miss you guys!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Google: the answer to all of life's important questions!

I always get a laugh when I read my web counter to see what sorts of things brought people to my blog. Sometimes people will Google search names of Marines that I might have posted about, or "1/6 Marines", or I even had someone directed to my blog by searching "A man bride". Today was the icing on the cake and I just couldn't resist posting about it.

I admit that I've Google-d myself before to see if I'm worthy enough to have something on the Internet about me, but so far no luck. And my friend Gena and I would spend way too much time Google-ing our friends or potential dates we had. And I maaaay have Google-d a boyfriend of mine's ex girlfriend or two before. (As if this isn't enough) my sister and I laugh about the time when she lost her keys after frantically tearing up her house so she Google-d "Where are my keys?" OK, so maybe I spend too much time Google-ing, but I'll tell ya, you can really Google anyone or anything and find your answer. You should try it sometime.

Today someone searched, "I'm in a heartbreaking love with an old man," and it brought them to my blog. Funny thing is, it wasn't even a question, just a statement! I can barely type this without cracking up, but if the Google-r who searched this is reading my blog right now, I sincerely hope you find what you're looking for! :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I love this girl!!!!!

(Scroll down for Thursday Thirteen)

Everyone, meet Cara! Cara's boyfriend (or pretty much legal husband at this point) re-enlisted to Quantico with the Old Man. She's moving to VA with him in a few months and it just so happens she's the coolest ever!

Her boyfriend is just like the Old Man. He fishes, he hunts, he plays baseball, he's closer to 15 than 30. (hahah just kidding!) I'm so excited!

We had the best weekend! We had drinks at The Front Page, visited my new 'hood, went to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center to visit with injured Marines, and bonded blogging! :) She made a really fun blog! To visit, Click Here!!

Her boyfriend is stationed with the Old Man so be sure to keep him, Cara, and their families in your thoughts and prayers!

We're on the countdown!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pray for our injured Marines

This weekend Cara and I visited Lcpl Matthew Bradford at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Matt was stationed in Haditha, Iraq when he was injured on January 18, 2007. He is slowly recovering and will be for quite some time.

Please don't forget to keep those injured Marines and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

To visit the blog his father created and subscribe to get daily updates on his recovery, Click Here!

Thursday Thirteen #13

My 13th Thursday Thirteen isn't so lucky! They're discontinuing it!!! I'm panicking, I'm disappointed, I'm heartbroken, I'm overwhelmed, I'm- I'm...gonna write my list on 13 lists I would have written if Thursday Thirteen lived on! (always wanted to use this graphic too, even though there's no real reason!)

1. 13 hilarious quirks about the Old Man

2. 13 things people have googled to get to my blog

3. 13 vacations the Old Man and I went on

4. 13 people I pray for regularly

5. 13 reasons why we have the best families ever!

6. 13 renovations we want to make on our new house

7. 13 ways our marriage has improved throughout the deployment

8. 13 ways I de stress (but I might have only made it to 5-it's pretty hard to do)

9. 13 habits I've gained from being a military wife

10. 13 things I'm thankful for

11. 13 things that have got me through the second half of the deployment

12. 13 movies I can recite line by line by line

13. 13 reasons I love that my husband is home!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

An update on the Old Man

The Old Man called for about 5 minutes on Sunday. He's doing OK, counting down the days. He wanted me to say "Hi" to everyone for him and that he loves and misses us all. He didn't say too much, but he'll be back from rotation shortly and will (hopefully) be able to call more often.

There has been a lot of activity in the area lately. Keep the Marines and their families in your thoughts and prayers. They'll be home soon!

Oliver North, Fox News treat 1/6 wives to luncheon

This is another nice story. If you want to see it online, I put the link in my sidebar with the rest of the news articles.

Submitted by: 2nd Marine Division
Story by: Computed Name: Cpl. Lucian Friel
Story Identification #: 200726143618

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Feb. 6, 2007) -- “War Stories” host, Oliver North, and the Fox News Channel treated spouses of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment to a luncheon thanking them for their support in the filming of an episode at the Officer’s Club here.

The battalion is currently serving in Ramadi, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The episode of “War Stories” shows what it’s like for the Marines out in Iraq and also their spouses back home in the U.S.

North, a former lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps explained the uniqueness of this episode.

“Though I’ve now been to Iraq eight times and Afghanistan twice with U.S. Forces, this is the first time we have been able to show the American people the parallel commitment being made by their families,” he said. “It was, for me, a vivid reminder of the true meaning of the Marine Corps motto ‘Semper Fidelis.’”

The luncheon, thrown at the conclusion of North’s visit to Camp Lejeune, was also a way for North and Fox News to show their appreciation for all the spouses’ sacrifices.

“Having left my family behind numerous times when I deployed from Camp Lejeune, I wanted to do something to honor the wives and the families of the Marines and sailors who had been so gracious and protected us on our most recent trip to Iraq,” North explained.

Many of the spouses invited Fox News into their homes for interviews and to show what it’s like without their loved ones at home. Sue Jurney, the wife of Lt. Col. Bill Jurney, the commanding officer of the battalion, said the experience was good for the spouses of the battalion.

“With the recent announcement that this deployment would be extended, it was nice timing for all of us to feel that our sacrifice here at home is not only acknowledged but appreciated,” Sue explained. “It was also a very generous gesture for Lt. Col North and Fox to host such a nice luncheon for us to honor our commitment and sacrifice.”

Toward the conclusion of the luncheon, North expressed his gratitude to the women supporting their Marines fighting in the Global War on Terrorism. He also explained what he and Fox News hope to accomplish as a result of this episode of “War Stories.”

“Our goal is to show the American people the remarkable young Americans we have serving in harm’s way and those who support, pray and wait for them at home,” he said. “I’m convinced that this unique episode of ‘War Stories’ does just that.”

“War Stories Iraq: The Homefront to the Frontlines” is scheduled to air on the Fox News Channel Feb. 11 at 10 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #12

If there was any doubt on my last list (I wrote when we first got married) that I was cut out to be a Marine Corps wife, there's not anymore! Here are:

Thirteen MORE reasons that seal the deal. Yup, I'm officially a Marine Corps wife!

1. I still sing cadences in the shower. PT...Good for you...Good for me!

2. I've added Marine Corps winter wear to my wardrobe including two sweatshirts and a zip up jacket. Not to mention my "USMC" coffee mug and "Marine Wife" travel cup...

3. I've grown to LOVE Jarhead Red wine.

4. I know my mailman's Valentine's Day plans.

5. I race home everyday to see if there's any "Free Mail" waiting for me.

6. I understand the military pay system. Although I'm still figuring out how the health insurance works.

7. I'm a frequent caller of Military OneSource, an amazing one stop shop to answer ANY questions I have.

8. My new best friend is the blanket my sister and Evan gave me for Christmas with a huuuge picture of the Old Man. We watch TV together, listen to music together, have staring contests against each other...

9. I'm finally well equipped with one liners to respond to protesters and those who "support the troops, but not their job".

10. I've swapped deployment stories, or should I say fiasco's that of course would only happen while our husbands aren't home, with other Corps wives.

11. I have found a place in the house for my husband's cammies and 15 pairs of combat/training boots.

12. My anxiety attacks from knocking visitors has eased up considerably and I'm one with this emotional rollercoster, I'm one with this emotional rollercoaster, I'm one with this emotional rollercoster. ;)

13. Some time's I wake up to the Marine Corps hymn...and it's not on the radio. Da, da, dadatda, da, dadadadada!!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Project Valentine- a huge success!!!

My handsome younger cousin Ethan Kamps and his mother Robin just finished doing a wonderful, wonderful donation drive for our boys in 1/6 called Project Valentine. In less than 3 weeks, they raised thousands of dollars and donations to send to the Old Man and his Marines in Ramadi.

Ethan's classmates and the boys and girls of the entire first grade at the Consolidated School in New Fairfield, CT raised money for Project Valentine by making beds, cleaning rooms, doing dishes, and other household chores then they turned in their hard earned money and were awarded a star to be placed on American flags that decorated the halls of the school.

The kids decorated Valentine's cards and wrote letters. Some students sent compasses so the Marines can "find their way home". Parents baked cookies and pastries for the Marines. Local business donated money for shipping. And the town's First Selectman presented the school and each first grader with a framed proclamation stamped with a gold seal for all their hard work.

47 boxes and less than three weeks later, the students, parents, and teachers who participated in Project Valentine have touched the lives of the Marines in 1/6 and succeeded in letting our boys overseas know they are truly loved and appreciated.

In fact, I talked to the Old Man last night and he said they're all 100% addicted to Prison Break and they made a good dent in the snacks and cookies already. He told me to let everyone know how much he and his Marines appreciate everyone's love and support and to keep an eye in the mail for those cameras!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Give your loved ones a big kiss, squeeze them tight tonight, and remember our boys who are sacrificing everyday to make this world a safer place.

First-graders send love to the troops

By Brian Saxton

NEW FAIRFIELD -- Shannon Broderick tidied up her brother's room and the kitchen and earned herself $6.75. Sean King cleaned his room and the downstairs of his family's home and was rewarded with $39. Ethan Kamps helped vacuum his home and picked up $6. The three 6-year-olds and the remaining 197 first-graders at Consolidated School earned $1,200 this month by doing household chores to help pay for a Valentine's Day project supporting U.S. Marines in Iraq.

"It makes me feel good to be able to help them," Ethan said Tuesday as the children packed Valentine's Day cards and care packages to send to the troops.

Ethan's mother, Robyn, helped spearhead the project after reading a Web blog kept by her cousin Anna Hancock of Washington, D.C., whose husband is serving with the Marines in Iraq. Cpl. Hancock is based with 200 other Marines in Iraq, helping to train Iraqi soldiers.

"Anna keeps the blog to let everyone know how he is," Kamps said. "When I read one day that his favorite mail comes from a 4-year-old niece, I thought I'd tell my son's class about it."

A room mother at the school, 40-year-old Kamps said the idea of supporting Hancock's unit quickly won approval. "We decided to call it 'Valentines for Marines' and it just blossomed from there," Kamps said. "Writing and creating the cards was good exercise for the children and nice for the soldiers. The kids have done a wonderful job. They should be very proud of themselves."

Along with the cards came the idea of sending care packages. "We turned it into a class project," said first-grade teacher Roseann Vicare. "Everyone became really excited."

To earn the money needed to buy the contents of the packages, it was decided the children should do chores at home. "The response was amazing," said Vicare. "In the end the children raised $1,200." Other support came from outside the school. The New Fairfield Lions Club donated $200 and two parents each gave $250 to help pay for the shipping. Knowing the best gifts would be nonperishable items, Vicare and Kamps bought coffee, soup, crackers, games, Frisbees and playing cards. They even included copies of area newspapers, among them The News-Times.

"It was everyday stuff, things to remind them of home," Kamps said. The packages also included coloring books and crayons, as well as soccer balls and old uniforms from the New Fairfield Soccer Club, for distribution to a school close to where the Marines are stationed. Kamps hopes the Marines will use the disposable cameras they are mailing to take pictures of themselves opening the packages and them return them to the class.

Vicare believes the project has had an academic impact on the children, as well as making a humanitarian statement. "They're only 6 years old and have such a small view of the world. I think this gives them a global appreciation of what's going on outside their classrooms," Vicare said.

"The soldiers have been there so long, we also don't want them to think we've forgotten them." Each handmade Valentine's Day card, written and signed by one of the children, also contained a heart-shaped key ring they made.

Most cards echoed the sentiments expressed by students Ryne Cleary. "Dear Marine -Happy Valentine's Day," Ryne wrote. "Thank you for keeping us safe. I love you. Please be safe."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Ramadi rebirth - one block at a time

I usually put the articles on the side of the page, but I thought this one is pretty good. To see it on Click here!

ON Point | Andrew Lubin | February 13, 2007

There's more news from Ramadi than just gunfire, IEDs, and Marine casualties. This is a city that is slowly returning to life.

The catastrophic destruction, visible throughout the town, was inflicted both by Iraqi insurgent and militia groups, as well as by Marines. But recently, the local residents have said "enough," fought back, and started rebuilding their city.

The most visible symbol in Ramadi -- a city of over 400,000 and the capital of Al Anbar Province -- is the Government Center. This building is the political heart of the province. And despite the presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and a smattering of other local insurgents, the Government Center is open for business.

Inside the building, Al Anbar Province Governor Mamouon Sami Rasheed presides over a council of Deputy Governors. His ministries include Education, Water, Sewage, Housing, Fire Stations, Health, and Communications & Telecom. Also represented is an elected Provincial Council. Like any provincial council, they meet, they discuss, and they work on plans for rebuilding their city. The new mayor, Latif Obaid Ayadah, just took office two weeks ago.

“I want to give the work to those who have come forward to help secure our city,” said Mayor Latif, according to a recent Marine Corps News article. “We don’t want to concentrate on certain individuals, but spread the work to involve more of the people.”

According to the article, the growth of Ramadi’s police force is the mayor’s top goal for the near future. “I hope for the return of all the police to the city for its security, because reconstruction cannot happen without it,” Mayor Latif said in the report.

But until the police return in full strength, the Marines will be on the streets. One recent result of the Marine presence is the reopening of markets. People shop -- during the day, at least -- for food, petrol, and clothing.

While American dollars are always welcome, the Iraqi Dinar is increasing in value. The local currency has strengthened 10 % since October 2006 against the Dollar, decreasing from D1500 to D1300 against U.S. $1. Ramadi’s contractors prefer payment in dinars instead of dollars. In Ramadi, the government’s food distribution system now operates as it did before the war. People don’t eat well, but they don’t starve.

The men of 1st Battalion, 6th Marines (1/6) have contributed to Ramadi’s resuscitation. Lieutenant Colonel William Jurney, 1/6 commanding officer, took the Marine concept of “clear -- hold -- build” and refined it. Instead of making these three separate tasks, he had his Marines work them simultaneously in each Marine outpost, in conjunction with Iraqi soldiers, policeman, and neighborhood citizens as the situation allowed.

Schools are also re-opening. Marines from Captain Kyle Sloan’s Alpha Company keep tabs on two schools that have 2,000 students. Teachers operate 4 shifts each day, the Marines said. With Ramadi having an educated, middle-class populace, a combination of retired Sunni Iraqi Army officers and educated civilian professionals, the locals are trying to regain a normal life for themselves and their children. By patrolling the area, the Marines say, they have enabled the residents to regain the normal life that “the terrorists” had forced away.

Shortly after the Marines arrived in Al Anbar in 2004, Al Qaeda in Iraq, or AQI, destabilized the government -- which had remained relatively intact -- through a reign of terror and brutal intimidation. Some of the smaller sheiks and tribal leaders tried to stand against them. They were killed, decapitated, or simply disappeared.

Unlike the civil war in Baghdad, the brutality in Ramadi has been slightly easier to define. Although multiple Sunni insurgent groups emerged -- AQI, Ba’ath loyalists, fundamentalists, and Mafioso-style sheiks -- they all attacked anyone who worked with Americans. The local government was equally targeted. The result? Tribes refused to cooperate with the Americans. To do so meant death.

In referring to AQI, the term “terrorist” was used commonly by the locals, as it accurately described the tactics used. These men and their hired local guns targeted Iraqi Police, their families, the IP stations, Marines, their convoys, and any other high visibility targets available.

Because massive artillery, air, and infantry attacks could not be used to stabilize the city, the Marines have employed classic counterinsurgency concepts. They have pushed outposts into the city, handled security on a block-by-block basis, and then promptly handed over newly-secured areas to the Iraqi Police. Then, the battalion moves further into the city.

Although suicide attacks, firefights and IED explosions continue, those attacks are measured now in how many per week, instead of how many per day. As the “Outpost Concept” has proven successful, the local citizenry has bought into the idea and begun to co-operate. The largest tribes banded together, effectively saying that they’d “had enough” of AQI’s killing sprees. The elders sent their young men to join the Iraqi Police and root out “the terrorists.”

Last year only 40 local men volunteered to join the IPs. But this December, 800 volunteered to serve. In Ramadi, a job as an IP is now considered an honorable and respected position.

It took a year before the people of Ramadi were convinced that the Marines could and would provide the protection and security they needed. But now that they understand this, the tribal elders have banded together, joined forces with the Marines, and worked together to begin Ramadi’s restoration.

The city of Ramadi still has years of recovery ahead. Fortunately, the locals have begun taking the lead in the reconstruction. With the Marine concept of “simultaneous clear-hold-build” enabling the sheiks and locals to fight back against AQI and their hired thugs, the future of Ramadi might be one of the brightest in the Sunni Triangle.

“It’s neighborhoodism before nationalism,” said Major Daniel Zappa, 1/6 executive officer. To their credit, the Marines of 1/6 have aggressively used this motto to their advantage in their fight against Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Monday, February 12, 2007

It'll be pink if I say it's pink!

It's almost Valentine's Day so in honor of, my Old Man's blog is now pink. And you know what, I don't care that it's not manly!

So what do you think of that!! (as I'm Karate chopping wildly into the air like Ben Stiller on Meet the Parents)

Happy Almost Valentine's Day! I have a great story to post on Wednesday, so stay tuned! (oooohhh, the cliff hanger! :)

The countdown (re)begins!!

Let's try this again, shall we? :)

We're out of the triple digits!!

...and over the halfway hump!

(I can't say exactly how long, but they'll be home pretty darn soon!)

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

—Romans 12:12

So, what did you think?

"War Stories" aired last night. Did you watch it? Did you empty out your Kleenex box like me? Did you like it, hate it, love it? I know one thing's for sure, I'm prouder than ever of all of us!

Leave a comment (click on Anonymous and type your name in the comment box) and I know you're reading this cause I can see you! :)

For more information on the show Click here!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Get your TiVo's and your TV recorder's ready!!!

Watch the 1st Battalion 6 Marines on Fox News Channel's "War Stories" this weekend. To read more about the show's upcoming season, Click here!

Season SEVEN begins on "War Stories" hosted by Oliver North

Sunday, February 11 at 10 p.m. ET
War Stories Iraq: The Homefront to the Frontlines

On our 8th trip to the frontline of the War on Terror, FOX News’ "War Stories" team embedded with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines in Ramadi, the capital city of Iraq's bloody al Anbar Province. To document how the families of these deployed Marines have been affected by the war, "War Stories" also traveled to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Satellite, cell phone and internet technologies have dramatically changed how troops on the frontlines stay connected to their families on the homefront. But juggling stresses at home and supporting their loved ones in harm's way still requires remarkable perseverance and a delicate balance. All of this is made evident when you see how these families react to the Commander-in-Chief's orders extending the Marines' tour of duty.

In an exclusive interview with a powerful Sunni Sheikh, "War Stories" reveals how a little-known alliance among Sunni, Shia and U.S. forces is taking the fight to foreign terrorists in Al Anbar province. Our cameras are there to document how Sheikh Abdul Sattar Baziya and his American advisors are recruiting, training and deploying thousands of Sunni police officers to fight side by side with Shia soldiers in the battle against Al Qaeda.

With unprecedented access to American and Iraqi troops on the frontlines — and their families on the homefront — this episode of "War Stories" destroys the myth that sectarian rivalries can't be overcome — while showing the extraordinary commitment of our troops — and their families — to winning the war.

Staff for this episode:
Executive Producer: Pam Browne
Senior Producer: Martin Hinton
Produced and Written by: Gregory Johnson, Greg Ebben, Andy Stenner
Editor: Anthony Ciancio
Designer: Yong Kim

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #11

Here's my super mushy, lovey, dovey list in honor of Valentine's Day. Feel free to grab your barf bags. Just kidding about that last part. (Do people actually use the word barf anymore? :)
13 reasons why I love my Marine!

1. Because he's really funny. He does the best Robert Goulet impression ever and he can tear up a dance floor with his shopping cart!

2. Because he's family oriented. He and I are super excited about starting a family and we love being around our own.

3. Because he's thoughtful. He does the nicest things ever and always knows the perfect thing to say when I have my "moments".

4. Because he's great to talk to. He has strong opinions and I love that! Not that it's not frustrating sometimes, but we can talk, talk, talk, talk, and talk some more. And get this, he actually listens! :)

5. Because he's goofy and fun. If we're having a serious discussion or separated but in the same room, he'll sometimes stop everything and make some silly face to lighten things up. He's also up for anything and is so easily pleased.

6. Because every time I tell him I want a kiss, no matter what he's doing he always kisses me. I just love that!!

7. Because he fights fair. This is super important. Of course not everything is perfect, but he always consciously tries not to yell or curse or throw things when he's mad. (Just kidding about the throwing things part)

8. Because he's romantic. He used to bring me flowers every Friday, make me candlelit dinners all the time, and do tons of other mushy stuff.

9. Because he's awesome at everything he does. Playing sports, at work, cooking, whatever, he's really good at it. Or if not, he catches on pretty fast then thinks he's really good. ;)

10. Because he's dependable and supportive. He always has the best advice and follows through on the big stuff. Except for picking out tuxes for our wedding...he learned though, cause I had to instead and our guys ended up with pink ties to match the bridesmaids dresses! :) (sorry guys)

11. Because we can talk without saying a word. Don't you love that? How you can see something then look at each other and know exactly what the other is thinking?!

12. Because he's smart. I always learn things from him. Like how shooting a shotgun from 1902 will cause serious shoulder damage and mental trauma, even if he's standing behind me to catch me after the kickback nearly throws me on my can.

13. Because he's genuine and has a good heart. Underneath all that Marine-y, tough image stuff, he's super sensitive. He remembers everything and isn't happy unless those around him are. This is, by far, the best thing about him.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, February 05, 2007

A letter to the friends and families of 1/6 from the Chaplain

Dear families, former members, and friends of 1/6,

One of my favorite accomplishments in life is keeping my 1998 Jeep Wrangler running for 234000, 00 miles. There were several times when I was certain it was about to take a dirt nap for all eternity, but some how I resurrected it to live again. I remember one time when I was sure it was over and that was the first time the clutch went. I thought to myself, this is real bad. I have very little money, I do not know an honest mechanic, what am I going to do? Well I brought it to a shop and the head mechanic full of honesty said, “this is an easy one, we’ll have it done in four hours, at 300.00.” That made my day; I was thinking a week and 1000.00.

A few weeks back we heard we got extended not good news as far as I am concerned. To make a long story short, the mechanic has come out and said “this is an easy one, 1/3 of what you expected and we’ll pay you a 1000.00.” Well that just made my day, and I am sure it made yours also. Yes no extension feels good, but we are doing great stuff out here. We owe it to Ramadi to keep up the quality of service until another battalion can come in here, and continue to serve these people the way we have.

So hang in there and soon we will be home with many stories of our struggles and successes.
These next few months are crucial to our success. Please only give us good news, encourage us to stay focused on our jobs, and pray consistently for the people of Iraq.

If you are a person of faith please know God is here with us, and it feels great. Soon we will be celebrating Easter a sign of new life, a sign of freedom.

We are 1/6 and we are HARD at every thing we do, but we are especially HARD at loving all of you.

Chaplain Jamie

The Old Man is on TV!

OK, he's really not. But it sure does look like him if that counts! Has anybody seen that Rembrandt commercial? The one where the camera closes in on two models kissing and the guy sings, “Hoooold on to your love, it might not be coming back,” in the background? I actually should say, has anyone seen the Old Man after he’s grown in his 5 o’clock shadow (really I mean his shadow that he grows on demand) then seen that commercial? I get all warm and fuzzies when it comes on. It’s uncanny how much that guy looks like the Old Man! (Yes ladies, my husband is HOT!) :) FYI-This was before I realized what the song in the background was saying.

Normally watching a commercial this up close and personal might gross me out a little bit, but lucky for me I have this big black rectangle across my TV screen that blocks out most of the main picture. It allows me to get the point of the picture and so far, well, a week's worth of watching with it so far, that's good enough for me. Apparently its level of annoyance doesn’t hold a candle to waiting on hold for RCN Cable, because I have yet to call and ask what the heck the blurb is all about. In fact, I’m starting to think it’s not RCN at all, but may be God censoring the screen to subtly tell me to quit watching so much TV and do my homework. But I digressed…

The funny thing is, as I’m writing this thinking, “Oh, I’ll YouTube it! I know it’s on there and I can show everyone my husband looks as cute as a model!” Then I remembered that one time my mom and I made the Old Man try on clothes and hats in Urban Outfitters and he looked so gorgeous that another girl actually asked him if he was in a poster downstairs. Anywho, I searched YouTube and sure enough it’s on there! Only back to the funny thing, it’s not at all what I thought. In fact, after seeing that commercial I’m almost willing to delete this post altogether cause seeing it without the black box across the screen gives it a whole other type of viewing.

So if this is a little awkward for Mama Hancock I apologize ahead of time, but even after the lip biting and spit swapping that I admit isn’t the most attractive thing to watch (and no we don’t do that) the point of this post after all is to show that the Old Man looks just like this guy..Not that there’s a point in proving that either. That, and I maybe just realized I should finally call the cable company... Actually, maybe you should just not hit play and look at the picture for what it's worth, then take my word for the rest.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I LOVE this!!

Whoever thought of this bumper sticker rocks!!! To get yours, Click here!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

An update on the Old Man (and his Old Lady)

Whew!!, has this month been a whirlwind! The two of us have no idea where January went! The Old Man is off to his rotation already and is grateful for the change of pace. He's being consistently recognized for his efforts and working around the clock. He does have a bit of a cold though. His Marines must be thrilled to work with him right now. :) He really hasn't had any news to report lately, he just explained a little bit about when they transitioned a part of Ramadi over to Iraqi officials. I posted a news article on the side of this site called 1/6 hands over a piece of Ramadi to Iraq if you're interested.

On the homefront, there's tons of news!! We are buying a condo!!! The third time was a charm! We had our eagle eye out for Park Fairfax, a community right on the DC/VA border and have been relentlessly trying to get our contract signed. We were outbid on the first house, which was amazing by the way. Our timing was off on the second, but we got the third!! It needs some major painting, but it has so much charm and cuteness! We even have a front porch! We're gonna be homeowners!!! Yay!!! Thank's to the Old Man who was praying like heck to St. Joe, who he learned was the finder of houses, our prayers were answered. Luckily we found out right before he left for rotation so he has some great news to think about while he's gone.

Here's what the outside looks like..

But the good news doesn't stop here! :) Little Aidan started crawling!!! My sister caught it on video and posted it to her blog. Click here! to see it. My cousins organized an AMAZING Valentine's Day Bonanza with their son, Ethan, and his class that spread like wildfire to the entire first grade! (I'm working on a post about that now) And the Old Man's family got the grandkids and their classmates to send over Valentine's to the Marines too! As for me, school is wonderful! I absolutely love it so far. (Picture me kicking wildly in the air like the Licensed Joyolgist going, I love it, I love it, I loove it!!) It's amazing how much more enjoyable it is to get your Master's and focus on something you love to study! It's also kinda cool that I'm going to Hhhhhopkins (the Old Man and I drag the H out like all the rich and famous who go to Hhhharvard and all of a sudden have English accents...) Good thing maturity level isn't on the admissions application! hahaha

Happy February! Keep on counting down!! We may have had an unexpected extension, but we're halfway through!!

Thursday Thirteen #10

I'm back in action!! Of course, not until 7:20pm when Thursday Thirteen is almost over... Nonetheless, here are:

13 reasons why I haven't done a Thursday Thirteen in a month and a half. (Yikes!!)

1. My parents were visiting for a week and a half.
2. My sister came immediately after.
3. My husband was back from rotation so we were likely on the phone every Thursday.
4. I started school and the only computing I was doing was homework.
5. I was looking for houses so the only other computing I was doing was searching
6. I was bummed for quite some time after learning my husband's homecoming date was delayed nearly three months. (only 1 now, thank God!!)
7. I was taking a shower.
8. I was reading one of the million books my husband sent me instead.
9. I was on travel for work.
10. I was down for the count with a nasty cold. (AGAIN!! Aghhh!!)
11. I went to Happy Hour.
12. I was having a 16th St. Field Day. (what my husband calls it when I let the house go for a while and have to clean it Marine style.
13. I was drinking my Jarhead Red. The best wine ever!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen! Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

The Mr. & Mrs. Happy Handbook

I just HAVE to put a plug in for this book. My sister's mother-in-law bought this book for the Old Man and he was ranting and raving about it so much, I bought it too! If you have some free time, go buy this book. Please! It'll have you rolling on the ground laughing!!! It was such a pick me up over the holidays...and so true!!

To buy or read more about this book, Click here!

Video- "Bringing Home our Heroes"

Grab your kleenex and watch this video, Bringing Home our Heroes.

Picture perfect

Isn't this beautiful! This is the Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I drive by this everyday to go to work and it reminds me of how much I love DC. And the snow!!

Marine Pulls Driver From Burning Car

This is a really nice story.

Marine Corps News | January 09, 2007

MARINE FORCES RESERVE, New Orleans -- A machine gunner with Anti-Tank Platoon, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, earned the Navy/Marine Corps Medal for saving the life of a stranger.

Pfc. Michael Kifowit received the award Jan. 12, for saving Amanda Stevens’ life.

“Pfc. Kifowit is a great Marine,” said Capt. Jose F. Vengoechea, inspector instructor for Machine Gun Platoon, Anti-Terrorism Battalion. “I think it’s great he’s being recognized.”

Stevens was hit by a drunk driver Aug. 16, 2006. Kifowit was in his car behind Stevens and said as soon as he caught up to her car, it was already ablaze.

“I didn’t know what to think when I got there,” Kifowit said. “I just thought, ‘Oh my God!’ I shook her to wake her up, because she was unconscious, and told her I was going to get her out. Her leg was stuck underneath the crushed dashboard, so I had to shake it out.”

Eventually, Kifowit was able to free Stevens from her car and pulled her out of her broken window.

By the time the ambulance left taking Stevens to the hospital, people were already taking notice of Kifowit’s actions.

“The police were shaking my hand and telling me that I did a good job,” he said.

Kifowit believes his newfound fame strange.

“It feels good,” he said of the veritable spotlight he’s in now. “At the same time, I try to be humble. It was just something that needed to be done at the time, and I hope anybody in my position would do the same thing.”

To see the story on Click here!

A letter to the 1/6 family and friends from the H&S CO

Dear friends and families of Headquarters and Service Company,

Our deployment continues to go well. H&S Marines have been working around the clock to support battalion operations. Your Marines are working extraordinarily hard and it is making a difference in the city. The company’s operational tempo has increased significantly and everyone has been doing their share of the work.

Engineers have worked non-stop since our arrival and over the past two months they have been called upon to conduct 24-hour operations for extended periods of time. They have performed magnificently. Their hard work has saved the lives of countless Marines and kept our battalion’s multiple outposts safe from enemy attack.

Marines in the S-1 shop have found themselves swamped with awards submissions and fitreps. Their shop is a veritable flood of paperwork. Not to worry though, we let them out for sunshine and food for at least fifteen minutes a day.

S-2 Marines continue to work 18-20 hour days providing the battalion with the necessary intelligence analysis, ensuring that we “bring the fight to the enemy.” Their tireless efforts have resulted in multiple enemies captured and the city as a whole being a much safer place.
The Marines of the S-3 shop continue to drive the battalion’s actions. As the brains of the H&S body, they have provided the direction needed to secure our battalion’s area of responsibility. Shouldering the responsibility for all actions within our battalion area, they live off of coffee and red bull and have to coordinate with an “alphabet soup” of units operating in our area.

The Marines of the S-4 shop (Motor-T, Armory, Food Services, and Supply) continue to act as the battalion “postal service.” Neither mud, rain, ice, nor more mud will keep them from their appointed rounds throughout the battalion area. Providing logistical support to company’s throughout the city, S-4 has kept us all well-fed and warm (it has been pretty cold here these last few months). Often a thankless job, the support they provide has allowed the company’s to continue the fight and to help out the citizens of our city.

Communications platoon has provided flawless support throughout the deployment. As the voice and voice box of the battalion, they have ensured that every company always has “someone to talk to.” Their proficiency and technical expertise has kept the battalion moving forward and allowed our efforts to be tied together over vast distances.

Guard Force Marines continue to improve the security of the city. Interacting with locals, the Iraqi Police, and Iraqi Army on a daily basis, they have improved relations with the citizens around their sites. One metric of their success is the delicious Iraqi cuisine their Iraqi counterparts “force” them to eat on a regular basis. Needless to say, they are finding time to PT off the falafels and pastries.

The corpsman of the company has officially pushed us through the worst of flu season. We have all heard the stories of how magnificent corpsman are in combat, and the members of 1/6 BAS have lived up to that reputation. They have proven multiple times that they are in fact a Marine’s best friend.

Overall the company continues to work hard and provide the line companies with everything they need. We all take great pride in our jobs and are bolstered by the support you all at home give us. Of course, we recently received news that we would be staying in Iraq longer than planned. Although none of us are happy about being away from loved ones any longer than we have to, we are all motivated to keep making a difference here in Iraq. It is your continued support (and cookies) that keep us going out here. We miss all of you and look forward to being home sooner than later.

Captain Dynan