Friday, September 25, 2009

Home Again

We're very happy to report that we're in our new home together in El Paso, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves!

Hannah loves her new school; Steve is very busy at work and enjoying his new responsibilities of caring for 700 Soldiers and their families; Cali and I are enjoying Mom's Day Out and getting the house in order. The Army doesn't expect our household goods to arrive until mid-October so in the meantime, we're camping out on an air mattress in our new home and spending much time enjoying the mountain views. The large picture shown here is at the end of our street. The pictures below are of our neighborhood. Yes, it's truly that beautiful!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Grader!

Time flies! Hannah's in First Grade -- oh my goodness!

Although we're still looking for a place to live (we have to find a place out in town because the waiting list for housing is VERY long), we got Hannah started at Fort Bliss Elementary. She has a great, very artistic, teacher and has already made many friends, of course. She also has to wear a uniform. Navy blue bottoms and a red, white or blue shirt each day. She looks so all-American cute!

Three Blessed Amigos

Although this is a picture from our first "Formal" and could have been in the previous "First Formal" section, I wanted to dedicate a section to this picture alone because it represents such a blessing. During school, Steve had the privilege of meeting two other Chaplains who were on their way to Fort Bliss, just like us. During the last week of school, a Wive's Seminar brought us ladies together and, immediately, we all hit it off. We have been great buddies ever since. We laughed because two of these three Chaplain families (us and the Wrights) had a car break down on the way from South Carolina to Texas. Ours died completely, with no hope of revival. Theirs was on its last leg but is now being repaired half-way across country for them to pick up at some much later date. The third family, the Pridgens, had only a flat tire and yet they had the oldest cars! Ed Wright said it seems some evil force didn't want the Chaplains here but God prevailed! Since then, we all got to live at the Lodge together and we're slowly finding housing and all are looking for cars to replace our old ones! In the meantime, we're having great times each time we see each other and our kids get along fantastically! The kids stayed back at our rooms the other night (8 kids altogether) while the six of us went out to a wonderful authentic Mexican restaurant and had a perfectly wonderful time! We're looking forward to years together, hoping we'll be stationed together many times throughout our careers. God is so good to give us such love and support!

In the picture above, meet Charles and Ada Pridgen (right), us (of course), and Ed and Shawn Wright. All but Shawn are former military. All have been pastors and pastor's wives and are now Chaplains and Chaplain's wives! All are truly blessed by God!

CH-BOLC Graduation

The graduation of Chaplain's Basic Officer Leadership Course 09-002, including Steve's 5th Platoon known as "First Team", graduated on August 28, 2009, with great pomp and circumstance! Mom and Dad (Zaremba) and Uncle Don and Aunt Ann all drove down to attend and it was such a wonderful time! The Platoons all sang "Soldiers of God," the Chaplains' Anthem, and their platoon songs, and it was so beautiful to hear all of those mens (and a few womens) voices raised in the auditorium. Unfortuntaly, my camera was acting up that day so I got few pictures; but I'll attach the few I did get. We were all so proud of our Soldier!

Our First "Formal"

Two days before graduation, we had the pleasure of attending our first, of what we've been told will be many, formal dinners. There was a receiving line where we were introduced, a beautiful procession of colors (flags), a fun skit by the graduates, singing by each platoon and lots and lots of food! We had a great time with our many new friends including Steve's Battle Buddy Tony and his beautiful wife, Marie, Ed and his wife Shawn, Charles and his wife Ada (pictured below) and a very sweet, sweet lady named Dextricia (also pictured below) whose husband will be the first Muslim chaplain in the National Guard.

When the girls first saw us, they both said I looked like a princess and that Daddy looked like a band leader!!! They proceeded to try on his "band" hat and act the part!

Love you, Sis!

It's been a while, so I'm going to try to catch up. Steve came the second weekend in August to take his family to South Carolina with him to see him graduate. We had to say good-bye to Aunt Deana, which was no small feat. I've always loved her as my sister-in-law, but now I have a chance to love her as my best friend! We had a wonderful summer together and the girls and I miss her dearly, but wouldn't trade the time for anything! Blessings, Sis! We love you so much!