Jun 30, 2008

He did it!!!

Reamer is graduating Ranger School on the 3rd of July! He made it through without being recycled! I'm so proud of him for doing such a great job!! Go Reamer!

Jun 27, 2008

Junk Food Wish List!

Reamer has two days during Ranger School that he is allowed to get care packages. The first day is during the Mountain Phase, and the other is the last day of Florida Phase. This is typically spread by word of mouth by the army wives or by letters from the guys (which are few and far between). The first time that we sent the care packages I recruited my mom, Reamer's mom, my mom's friend Debbie and of course myself to send them to him. I thought the more, the better. I thought that even if he wasn't able to eat it all he would be able to share.

Apparently when he was able to get the Moutain Phase Care package, they fed him two meals (they usually are barely eating anything) right before they gave him the packages and only gave them 1 hour to eat it and call home. So basically, a ton of food went to waste. Reamer wrote me and told me that he really appreciated that everyone cared so much to send him so much food but that in the Florida Phase he didn't need as much. He couldn't even carry everything that he got last time. In his letter he sent me a list of items that he wanted me to include and even directed me to put everything in one of his boot boxes so that it would be easy to carry.

I thought that the list he gave me was quite funny and it reminded me of a kid's junk food wish list. Here is what the man who is starving wanted me to send.
-Reeces Cups

-Snickers Bars
-Toblerone Candy Bar
-Beef Jerky
-Mt. Dew

Wow! Sounds good, huh? I was just thinking about what I would be craving if I were literally starving. I bet that when he gets this junk food it will be the best meal he has ever had!! He should be getting the package tomorrow so let's hope that history repeats itself and he will receive a phone priviledge as well. Keep him in your prayers. (And go eat some junk food, it is good for the soul!)

Jun 26, 2008

Check One Two... Is Anybody Out There?

I really enjoy writing my blog and every now and then I get the occasional comment from someone who has read something that I posted. But I have been wondering if anyone out there is actually reading this thing. Even if no one is reading it, I will continue to write because it is an outlet for me. I can't help but wonder if my life's happenings are an interest to anyone out there. I know that it interests me (because it is my life), but is anyone else interested in what I have to say? Let me know if you are reading this. Write me a comment or tell me in person, if nothing else it will encourage me to continue writing. Thanks to anyone out there that is listening to me ramble!

Jun 25, 2008

No more Suits and Heels!!

I'm about to start a new chapter in my life. Who knew? From suits and heels to becoming a housewife. I have to admit I'm a little excited but extremely scared to venture into this new phase. I have been a working girl who supported herself ever since I can remember. I have always felt that by earning a living I had control over my life's events. This new change that I am going to encounter takes that control away. I feel confident that I will adjust well to this and that I will have the cleanist house, the best food (ummm... not sure about that one), the best behaved dog, the most toned body, and a strictly regimented household. But Seriously, I'm scared out of my wits.
As soon as Reamer comes home we will be getting ready to leave for Italy. So it is not like I am going to be lacking for things to do. And I already have my "to-do-list" that we must accomplish before we leave. We also want to try to spend some time visiting family and friends before we leave so this will also help keep us busy.

But I am somewhat struggling with leaving my job. I feel that in my higher profile job that I am an important person. (this sounds conceited) I know that God does not want me to so closely identify myself with my job or my accomplishments, but this is something that I have always done throughout my life. I am getting used to the idea of "just" being a housewife. (J/K) Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about eating bon-bons all day and watching soapoperas but there is a part of me that will miss working.

I have been looking forward to reducing my stress levels and moving on to the next chapter in mine and Reamer's life but I am sadly saying goodbye to the good life/job that I have created for myself here. I know that this blog sounds like I'm upset about leaving, but trust me I am so excited to start our next journey. I can't wait to move to Italy and possibly start a new job and definately new life. I think that I will somewhat feel this way as I leave whatever place Reamer and I will live. I hope that I will try to see the positive in every place that we go and try to create my own identity in every place that we go.

Monday is my last day at SunTrust Bank as a Commercial Banker. My next venture is yet to be figured out, but at least I'm going to have great surroundings! Italy here we come!!!

Jun 24, 2008

The Hometown Dates!

Wow! What an exciting evening. These eliminations are becoming more painful for everyone! This is just getting harder and harder every week. I can't wait until next week when the men tell all. I wonder what is going to happen!!

I'm proud of DeDe for letting Graham go. I was starting to get worried last week that she might be falling for the wrong guy. To me, it looked like she might have picked him, but at least she saw the light. I think that they definately had chemistry and a bond that was just starting to form, but I didn't think that Graham was ready for a "real" relationship with her. Graham never looked her in the eyes and never "opened up" to her. I think that he was interested in her, but not ready for the type of relationship that she is looking for. The fact that he is 29 years old and has never had a real realtionship or ever dated a girl for longer than four weeks says something. He proved to me that he definately was not ready when she didn't give him a rose. He started acting very immature and almost verbally abusing her. This illustrates how he would react in a normal argument and it didn't make him look that great. I think that DeDe felt something for him, but she is smart enough to realize that he isn't ready for a long term relationship. Good Job DeDe!

Jesse is still slowing growing on me (and I emphasize the word "slowly"). I think that their personalities work well together and that they really honestly enjoy eachother, but I still feel like they are missing the sparks. He seems like a really good guy and has good intentions, but the romance factor seems like it is still missing. We will have to check it out next week to see if there is a better connection.

Jason is a sweetheart. When he got to see his son Ty it was so adorable. You can't help but fall in love with this guy. I think that they would have a good relationship, but it is hard to tell. It seems that we get a lot of focused attention on Ty and the fact that Jason is a dad, but I don't see as much progression with DeDe and Jason's relationship. Maybe there is something else happening with them that the camera's don't show us. I'm happy that DeDe is keeping an open mind about him and the prospect of having a son, but I wonder if this will factor into her decision in the end. An ex-wife may be more than she is bargaining for.

Jeremy was my favorite from the start, but after last night I'm a little worried. I wonder if he is ready for a relationship. It seems that he is putting a lot of pressure on her to be the one to pick up the pieces after his parents death. I think that they share a bond that no one else can understand, but I wonder if Jeremy has handled the greiving process. I do not want them to base their relationship on the tradgedies that they have sufferered. I don't think that is a healthy basis for a relationship. I'm hoping that next week we will see that they have more in common than the their losses that they have suffered.

I am getting more and more excited to see what happens next week and I'm hoping that we will start to see a stand out guy. But for now, I think that she made the right decision. I will follow up next week!

Jun 19, 2008

Lonely Ranger "Wife"

I enjoy talking to some of the guys who have gotten recycled or have been dropped from Ranger School. I like to hear their stories, but one common thing that I usually pick up on is their description of their classmates and themselves. When I hear these stories, a common type of Phrase usually will pop up in the conversation. I think that it is kind of funny how all of the guys in Ranger School describe themselves with an adjective before Ranger when talking about their feelings. Like for instance if they were hungry, they say "Hungry Ranger". If they see someone falling asleep they say "Sleepy Ranger". If they are mad, "Angry Ranger" and so on. It is kind of an endearing phrase when you hear them describe oneanother in such a way but at the same time, it illustrates their inability (or unwillingness) to talk about their feelings to eachother.

It seems like this common type of language/phrase helps them to convey their feelings to eachother. I know that it is difficult for guys to talk about their feelings, but this just cracks me up. They seriously use only one word to describe how the school is effecting them. Obviously this extreme situation causes many feelings and stresses, but these guys limit their expression to one word adjectives to describe what is going on with them.

I guess that I want to be a part of this cool club too. I have decided that I am a "Lonely Ranger" (wife). I probably have not earned the right to use this phrase, but I'm going to anyway. I have't endured what these Rangers have, but I have had my share of feelings throughout this class too. Hopefully this will all be over soon and I will be a "Happy Ranger" wife from now on!

Jun 17, 2008

Final Four

Deanna is down to her final four on the race to win her heart (or rose). Wow, this is getting intense. I think that she has done a pretty good job thus far choosing the good ones. Originally, I wanted to see Jeremy recieve the final rose, but now I'm torn. I like each of these guys in their own way.

Jesse. Jesse's personality seems like it is the best for Deanna out of all four of them. He is outgoing, adventurous, and a great guy. I think that they are actually relating on a personal level and could have a very strong relationship. The only problem that I see with Jesse is that I haven't seen them have a "real" romantic moment. Maybe this has occured off camera, but I haven't seen the "sparks" yet. I'm afraid that Jesse is quickly moving into the "friend zone" and if he wants to win her heart he is going to need to step up his game!

Jason. Now this guy is serious marriage material. He is such a sweet, genuine person. I'm starting to root for this one. He seems to be able to get her to open up and talk about serious things and is able to relate to her on a deeper level. I think that he would be a great husband and would treat her very well. Deanna doesn't seem to mind that he has a son and is a single dad. Actually, I think that this helps her (and the viewers) see a softer side to him. He seems like a good person who could bring her a life of happiness. I just wonder if she will end up having an issue about dealing with a child and an exwife!! (This could be a potential problem).

Graham. Hmmmm??? I don't know what to say about this one. It is extremely obvious that they have a physical connection. Also, this guy seems like the type of guy Deanna would normally go for. But, I have to say, I'm not sure that this would be a lifelong relationship?? If you watch carefully, Graham never looks her in the eye. He seems like he is a little bit immature for her and for what she wants out of this experience. I think out of all the guys, this seems to be a real relationship with fights and a match of wits, but I don't think that if she gives him the final rose that the relationship will last. Although, we aren't able to see everything that is happening off camera, so maybe things are playing out differently in real life. It is evident that they have a connection, but a lifetime of marital bliss seems like a far stretch for this one.

Jeremy. This was my original sweetiepie. Even though all of the other guys were dissing him in the beginning I thought that he was a keeper. He is attractive, smart, sweet and seems to have a lot in common with our lovely Bachelorette. He is definatley "in to her" and I think would make a great husband. My concern is that he may be a little too low key for her. He seems to be a little laid back and Deanna needs some excitement in her life. He gave me a little hope on the last episode when he talked about riding his motorcycles. It made him look a little more adventerous. I'm still rooting for Jeremy, but I think that he has a lot of competition to win Deanna's heart.

As of now, I'm torn between Jason and Jeremy. I think that both of these guys would make Deanna very happy. Jesse isn't far behind, but needs to step up his romantic side to move out of the "friend zone". It seems that Deanna is falling for Graham, but I'm not sure that this is the best move. I guess we will have to find out what happens next week in the hometown dates to see who stands out then. I can't wait!!
**Side Note:
Thank God Twilley went home!!! He was really weird.

Jun 16, 2008

Wikipedia's definition of Ranger School

Everyone has been asking me what Ranger School is and I have to explain what Reamer is going through all of the time. So, I thought that I would post Wikipedia's definition and explaination of Ranger School. It is actually a pretty accurate description and if you are wondering about how Ranger School works, here it is!

Ranger School was formed in 1950, during the Korean War, in order to train soldiers in Ranger tactics. The first class graduated in November of 1950. [1]

Many Ranger students come from the 75th Ranger Regiment, where completing and passing Ranger School is required for any leadership position, but many other students come from regular Army units, and return to them with greater leadership skills. The Army also allocates a select number of training slots each year to other service branches. These highly valued school slots are often competed for and used to augment the training of specialized combat career fields that directly support Army units.
Since the 1950s, students have received a copy of Rangers Standing Orders, a version of the guidance Major Robert Rogers composed for his unit, Rogers' Rangers.

Ranger School training has a basic scenario: the flourishing drug and terrorist operations of the enemy forces, “the Aragon Liberation Front,” must be stopped. To do so, the Rangers will take the fight to their territory, the rough terrain surrounding Fort Benning, the mountains of northern Georgia, and the swamps and coast of Florida. Ranger students are given a clear mission, but they determine how best to execute it.
The purpose of the course is learning to soldier as a combat leader while enduring the great mental and psychological stresses and physical fatigue of combat; the Ranger Instructors (RI) create and cultivate such a physical and mental environment. Field craft instruction is most of the coursework; students wear and carry some 45kg (100lbs) of equipment; plan and execute daily patrolling, perform reconnaissance, ambushes, and raids against dispersed targets, followed by stealthy movement to a new patrol base to plan the next mission. Daily training averages 20 hours, two, or fewer, meals daily, and some 3.5 hours of sleep a day. Rangers sleep more before a parachute jump.

Training Capabilities
Ranger School students will participate in three airborne, and several air-assault operations throughout the duration of the course, relying on C-130 cargo planes, as well as UH-60 (Blackhawk) and Chinook helicopters, for insertion and extraction. For non-airborne personnel, they will work drop-zone details while the other students jump. The students also have the ability to call-in and utilize close air support in the form of Apache attack helicopters and AC-130 Spectre gunships during many of their missions. All aircraft are provided by other nearby units as part of a training co-operative.

Benning Phase
Fort Benning is the home of the Ranger Training Brigade and its 4th Ranger Training Battalion, which hosts the “crawl” phase of Ranger School, where students learn the fundamentals of squad-level mission planning. This phase is critical to success, as it lays the groundwork for the “walk” and “run” phases. At Benning, training is separated into two parts, the Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP) and Camp Darby.

Water confidence course.
The Ranger Assessment Phase has traditionally included:[2]
Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) requiring:
Push-ups - 49+
Sit-ups - 59+
5 mile individual run in uniform and running shoes in 40 minutes or less
Concluding with 6 chin-ups.
Combat Water Survival Assessment and Water Confidence Test, conducted at Victory Pond
Combination Night/Day land navigation test
Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) training, conducted for several hours nightly in the sawdust pits
A 1.63 mile terrain run, followed by the Malvesti Field Obstacle Course, featuring the notorious "worm pit": a shallow, muddy, 25-meter obstacle covered by knee-high barbed wire. The obstacle must be negotiated - usually several times - on one's back and belly
Demolitions training and airborne refresher training
A 12 mile individual ruck march in 3 hours and 15 minutes or less.

Soldier negotiates the Darby Queen Obstacle Course.
The emphasis at Camp Darby is on the instruction in and execution of squad combat operations. The Ranger student receives instruction on airborne/air assault operations, demolitions, environmental and "field craft" training, executes the infamous "Darby Queen" obstacle course, and learns the fundamentals of patrolling, warning and operations orders, and communications. The fundamentals of combat operations include battle drills (React to Contact, Break Contact, React to Ambush, Platoon Raid), which are focused on providing the principles and techniques that enable the squad-level element to successfully conduct reconnaissance and raid missions. The Ranger student must then demonstrate his expertise in both leadership and support roles through a series of cadre and student led tactical operations. As a result, the Ranger student gains tactical and technical proficiency, confidence in himself, and prepares to move to the next phase of the course--the Mountain Phase.

Mountain phase
During the Mountain Phase, students are taught military mountaineering and techniques for employing a platoon in combat in mountains. They further develop command ability, and controlling a platoon through planning, preparing, and executing a combat missions. The Ranger student continues learning how to sustain himself and his subordinates in the mountains. The rugged terrain, severe weather, hunger, mental and physical fatigue, and the psychological stress the student encounters allow him the measure his capabilities and limitations and those of his fellow soldiers.

In addition to combat operations, the student receives five days of military mountaineering training. In the first three days he learns knots, belays, anchor points, rope management and the fundamentals of climbing and rappelling. The training ends in a two-day Upper mountaineering exercise at Yonah Mountain, to apply the skills learned during Lower mountaineering. Each student must make all prescribed climbs at Mt. Yonah to continue in the course. During the field training exercise (FTX), students execute a mission requiring mountaineering skills.
Combat missions are against a conventionally-equipped threat force in a Mid-Intensity Conflict. These missions are both day and night in an eight-day FTX, and include moving cross country over mountains, vehicle ambushes, raiding communications and mortar sites, and a river crossing or scaling a steep sloped mountain.

The Ranger student reaches his objective in several ways: cross-country movement, parachuting into small drop zones, air assaults into small, mountain-side landing zones, or a 10 mile march across the Tennessee Valley Divide. The student's commitment and physico-mental stamina are tested to the maximum. At any time, he may be selected to lead tired, hungry, physically expended Ranger students to execute and accomplish another mission. At the end of the Mountain Phase, the students travel by bus to a nearby airfield and conduct an airborne operation, jumping into Florida Phase. For non-airborne students, or "legs", they are bused to Eglin AFB for Florida Phase.

Florida phase
The Third Phase of Ranger School is conducted at Camp James E. Rudder (Auxiliary Field #6), Eglin AFB, Florida. Emphasis during this phase is to continue the development of the Ranger student's combat arms functional skills. He must be capable of operating effectively under conditions of extreme mental and physical stress. This is accomplished through practical exercises in extended platoon level operations in a jungle/swamp environment. Training further develops the students' ability to plan for and lead small units on independent and coordinated airborne, air assault, small boat, and dismounted combat operations in a mid-intensity combat environment against a well-trained, sophisticated enemy.

The Florida Phase continues the progressive, realistic OPFOR (Opposing Forces) scenario. As the scenario develops, the students receive "in-country" technique training that assists them in accomplishing the tactical missions later in the phase. Technique training includes: small boat operations, expedient stream crossing techniques, and skills needed to survive and operate in a jungle/swamp environment involving learning how to deal with reptiles, and how to determine the difference between venomous snakes and non-venomous snakes. The camp has specially trained reptile experts that teach how to not be afraid of them.
The Ranger students are updated on the scenario that eventually commits the unit to combat during techniques training. The 9-day FTX is a fast-paced, highly stressful, challenging exercise in which the students are further trained, but are also evaluated on their ability to apply small unit tactics/techniques. They apply the tactics/techniques of raids, ambushes and movement to contact to accomplish their missions. The capstone of the course is the extensively-planned raid of the ALF's island stronghold. This small boat operation involves each platoon in the class, all working together on separate missions to take down the cartel's final point of strength.
Afterwards, students who earned graduation spend several days cleaning their weapons and equipment before returning to Ft. Benning. By then they have earned PX (Post Exchange ) privileges, and access to the "Gator Lounge", a place where they can use a telephone, eat civilian food and drink beers and watch television. During that time students are fed three daily meals. The graduation is at Camp Rogers in Ft. Benning. In an elaborate ceremony at Victory Pond, the black-and-gold Ranger tab is pinned to the graduating soldier's left shoulder (usually by a relative, a respected RI, or soldier from the student's original unit). The Ranger tab is permanently worn above the soldier's unit patch.

Leadership Positions
A student's graduation is highly dependent on his performance in graded positions of leadership. This leadership ability is evaluated at various levels in various situations, and is observed while he is in one of his typically two graded leadership roles per phase. He can either meet the high standards and be given a "GO" by the R.I., or he can fail to meet this standard and receive the dreaded "NO GO". He must demonstrate the ability to meet the standard in order to move forward, and can thus only afford one blown patrol. His success will lie in his ability to essentially manipulate the men directly underneath his charge of leadership. At times, this will be as few as 2 to 3 men - while he may be given charge of up to an entire 50 or 60 man platoon. His success is dependent on the performance of these individuals, whom he must motivate and lead. Missions are broken up into 3 stages: planning, movement, and action on the objective. Key leadership positions, as well as important support positions like the medic and the RTO (Radiotelephone Operator), are reassigned for each of the three stages of a mission.

Peer Evaluations
Another part of the evaluation of the student is a peer evaluation; failing a peer evaluation (scoring less than a 60% approval rating from your squad) can result in disqualification, though usually only if it happens twice. Due to unit loyalties, certain individuals within a squad who may be "the odd man out" will sometimes be singled out by the squad arbitrarily. Because of this, someone who has been "peered out", or "peered", will be moved to another squad, sometimes within another platoon, in order to ensure that this was not the reason the student was peered. If it happens within this new squad, however, this is generally an indication that student is being singled out because he is either lazy, incompetent, or cannot keep up. At this time he will usually be removed from the course.
It should be noted that the evaluation process is often completed via "agreement" within a squad. This means that when the evaluation is issued at the end of a phase, the squad members all agree to rate one another in such a manner that no one is "singled out".

If a student performs successfully, but suffers an injury that keeps him from finishing, he may be re-cycled at the discretion of either the battalion or the brigade commander; he’ll be given an opportunity to heal and finish the course with the next class. While in the status of waiting to re-join another class, the student lives in the "Gulag" attempting not to draw attention and when that fails, getting stuck on detail.
Students can also be re-cycled for failing a leadership evaluation on patrol; however, if a student fails patrols in a given phase twice, he will usually be offered a "day one re-start" and have to begin Ranger school from RAP week onwards. Day one restarts can also be given (the other option being removed from training, never to return) in the case of soldiers who fail patrol leadership positions and peer evaluations. In rare cases, those assessed of integrity violations (lying, cheating, stealing) will also be given the ability to take a day one restart, however these soldiers are usually permanently removed from the course.
Historically, the graduation rate has been around 40%, but this has fluctuated in both directions at certain points. Only around 20% of soldiers make it through all three phases without having to repeat a phase.

Physical Effects
It is not uncommon for soldiers to lose 15-30 pounds. Military folk wisdom has it that Ranger School's physical toll is like years of natural aging; high levels of fight-or-flight stress hormones (adrenalin, noradrenalin, cortisol), along with standard sleep deprivation and continual physical strain, inhibit full physical and mental recovery throughout the course.
Common maladies during the course include weight loss, dehydration, trench foot, heatstroke, frostbite, chilblains, fractures, tissue tears (ligaments, tendons, muscles), swollen hands, feet, knees, nerve damage, loss of limb sensitivity, cellulitis, contact dermatitis, cuts, and insect, spider, and wildlife bites.

Because of the physical and psychological effect of low calorie intake over an extended period of time, it is not uncommon for many Ranger School graduates to encounter weight problems as they return to their units and their bodies and minds slowly adjust to routine again. A drastically lowered metabolic rate, combined with a nearly insatiable appetite (the result of food deprivation and the ensuing survivalist mentality) can cause quick weight gain, as the body is already in energy (fat) storing mode.

One more Phase to go!

Reamer made it through Mountain Phase! Hooray! He only has Florida Phase left until he will be finished. I am praying that he makes it through without being recycled. Hopefully if all goes as planned we will be having a big 4th of July celebration.

I was able to talk to him for about 2 minutes on Friday. He sounds like he is doing well and is glad that this crazy school is almost over. I'm really happy that we are over 1/3 of the way finished. Keep your fingers crossed that the 4th of July will be the best holiday ever!

Jun 13, 2008

Trails and Tribulations of Ranger School (for wives)

Seriously, this Ranger School thing really sucks. I haven't heard from Reamer since his 8 hour pass and that was several weeks ago. I'm supposed to find out tonight if he is moving on to the next phase (florida phase) or if he is getting recycled, but I have no idea when or if I will actually get that call. Needless to say, I'm keeping my phone at my fingertips all day today.

Well, I went to the mailbox today hoping to get a letter from my beloved Ranger, but of course no such luck. The letters are few and far between in this school, but a girl can hope can't she? Instead, I find a Department of Defense letter addressed to Reamer. Of course I open the letter to find that it is a survey from the Army's Medical Center. The letter states, "We would like you to complete a survey about your satisfaction with your visit with Captain Dustin S Martin at Troop Medical Clinic on 6/5/2008."

WHAT!?!? What the heck does that mean???? Apparently Reamer went to the hospital on 6/5/08?? At this point my heart feels so heavy. I know that it is nothing serious (hopefully I would get a call if it were), but I can't help but worry about it. I don't understand why the army would send out a letter to alert me to the fact that he has been to the hospital, but give me no way of finding out what happened to him. At this point I feel very frustrated with the situation at hand and am even more anxiously waiting by the phone to find out how my husband is doing.

Ranger school is not only hard on the guys that are earning the tab, but it is really hard on all of their spouses, family and friends. When Reamer finishes this class it will be an accomplishment for both of us. He will have accomplished something that most people could never even attempt to do, and I will have survived the worry and heartache that comes with the territory of being a Ranger School Wife! I guess I'm getting my induction into the Military Spouse world through Ranger School. I'm realizing that I'm going to have to be one tough lady.

Exciting Day at Work!!

My office over looks the street in Downtown Columbus. All day, everyday, I see crazy people walking around the streets just kind of hanging out. Today brought an interesting turn of events outside of the normal craziness. I look out the window and see that a police officer is talking to a man on the street. The man is insanely flapping his arms in the air as though he is telling a very animated story. Suddenly another police car pulls over and joins the other to watch the show. Next, another policeman comes on a motorcycle and yet another cop joins them a few minutes later. So that gives us four policemen. My window is literally a few feet from the entire ordeal and I am captivated by the drama. Obviously, since I work in a bank, everyone in the bank starts to stare out the window and wonders what is going on. People begin to pour out of their offices to take a look at the scene.

The guy is stumbling around and acting pretty drunk. I even see the police officer's sort of laughing at him a few times. It is a little scary and hilarious all at the same time. Then a few minutes later a fire truck and an EMT vehicle pull up to join in all the fuss. The man seriously has about 10-12 people surrounding him as he flails his arms around and staggers back and forth. He slams himself into the brick wall column and is acting insanely. At this point the entire bank is looking out the window mezmorized by the drama ensuing out our window. A few minutes later the police officers, EMT's and Firemen get the Crazy Man to enter the EMT vehicle and eventually leave our street.

Although it sounds like it wasn't a big deal, it was a very entertaining part of my day. I was imagining and hoping that our dear drunk, crazy friend got tazered by the officers but alas it wasn't so. I've always wanted to see someone get tazered. I think it would be kind of funny. I know that it is kind of mean, but I guess that there is always next time..... (At least I hope so).

Jun 12, 2008

Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian

I had the pleasure of watching Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian. After the movie ended, my family began a discussion of the film. Because our church emphasized the Christian theme of the first movie, I knew that the Christian overtones would be in this movie. My family wasn't aware of the themes until we started discussing it and I realized that this movie is a great way to talk about Jesus in our own lives.

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first movie, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie go through a magical wardrobe and discover a kingdom ruled by the evil White Witch (devil/evil figure). Along with Aslan the lion (a Christ figure -who sacraficed himself and rose from the dead), the children defeat the witch and become kings and queens of Narnia.
Prince Caspian, the second movie, also features a classic battle of good and evil. The King took over Prince Caspian's righful throne, and he summons the Pensive children to Narnia to help him recover it. Along the way, characters learn to find hope in the face of doubt.
Because most of the Pevensie children are not looking for Aslan, they are forced to figure things out for themselves, with varying results. Peter's hunger for power and glory leads him to act for his own reputation, but since he is leading armies into battle now, his rashness has lethal, devastating consequences. Peter is strongly tempted to make a deal with the devil (the witch) to win the battle. This is something we all deal with in our own lives. We are all tempted to defy God in order to acheive our earthly desires.

Lucy is the strength of the Pensive family in this movie. She brings them back to focusing on Aslan (Jesus) in order to help them save Narnia from evil. Lucy reminds Peter that they need to actually look for Aslan and be faithful to what they already know of him. When Lucy sees Aslan (Jesus) for the first time she wants to follow him like he is asking her to do. Lucy is unable to convince her siblings to follow something that they did not see for themselves so she does not go where he asks her to go. This creates a much harder path for the children which can be paralleled into our own lives. At times instead of listening to God and following His "ways" we make life much more difficult on ourselves. When Lucy finally gets to Aslan he asks her why she didn't follow him when he asked her to the first time. The young innocent girl responded that she wasn't brave enough to follow him by herself. Aslan tells Lucy that if she asked he would help her to be brave. Again, this is something that we should transfer to our own lives. Sometimes we do not want to take the hard way because we are scared to do it alone. If we only ask for God's help to give us the courage to face our adversity our path would become much more bearable.

When Lucy says that she saw Aslan, Peter asks why he didn't see Aslan too. Lucy replies, "Maybe you weren't looking." This is a clear message of realizing that we must look for Jesus in order to recieve his blessings. When Lucy realizes that she must search for Aslan to ask for his help she then is able to find him. In another scene, Peter says he wishes Aslan had given them some "proof" of his presence in the forest, and Lucy replies, "Maybe we're the ones who need to prove ourselves to him." This statement is another important theme to think about. The overlying theme of this movie is that it is necessary to ask for Jesus' help throughout our earthly struggles.

This movie series is a great way to discuss the importance of keeping Jesus with us during our lives. I would recommend anyone to see this movie and to discuss the topics that are emphacized in the movie. There are going to be several more movie to follow this one, so if you would like to follow along with this series now's a good time to start! Go see it!

Jun 6, 2008


My sister told me to look at this skit. After watching it I am amazed and I would love to share it with everyone. God is love. Thank you Erin for showing me this video.


Jun 5, 2008

Our Legal System...

For our wedding, we decided on a friend of my Aunt to do the photography. We thought that we got a great deal on the photographer and were excited about having him do our pictures. Well needless to say some deals are too good to be true. He was very difficult to work with and in the end he canceled on us last minute. We frantically searched for a new photographer and luckily ended up with a very talented one. We had given our first photographer a deposit and assumed that after he cancelled his contract we would recieve our deposit back. Well guess what? He refused to give it back!

Fast forward to after the wedding....

We decided to sue the negligent photographer and WE WON! My mom, my grandma, my dad and I were so happy after leaving our court case. We felt like we had conquered the world. We thought that we had gotten our revenge for him doing this to us on such an important day! Well, little did we know. The battle had only just begun.

Just because you win the lawsuit doens't mean you will actually get the money. We were dismayed to say the least with the process and tried to think of a way to get our money back. We were doing this more on principal than on the actual monetary gain. My parents racked their brains and came up with the idea of garnishing his bank account. Well, we had to figure out where he banked. My parents thought they were genuiuses and came up with the idea of looking at the check that we had given him to see where he deposited the money. After spending months waiting for their bank to send us copies of their checks they finally got some information. They were so proud of their crafty ideas and wanted to quickly file for garnishment of the photographers account.

They sent off for the paperwork to garnish the account and after a month of waiting and spending more money to get the paperwork they realized their plan was doomed. The legal paperwork explained that the court would give the photographer 6 months to pay us our money before they would garnish his account. Also, we would be chared $75 just to serve him the warning of his account garnishment. He also had every right to move his account before that date. WOW! We were stunned. Our big victory had been taken away from us and our hope of revenge had turned to defeat. We then realized that the time and effort that we had already put into this and the energy that it would require to win the battle was not worth the deposit money. We have now given up the battle against the neglectful photographer in order to save our own sanity.

I contacted an attorney that I work closely with and told him our situation. He let me know that garnishing someone's bank account was actually a long, drawn out, ugly legal battle and advised me to get an attorney or to drop it for such a small amount of money. Of course, we agreed but are disheartened with the complexity of our legal system for the common citizen.

Jun 4, 2008

Skinny does not mean Beautiful!

"Thin is in, and fat is ugly." That is what some women believe to be true. Many of these women starve themselves, do countless hours of vigorous exercising, or even purge after excessive eating. Or if they believe themselves to be too "fat" they obsess about their imperfection. Society, today, is very hard on "non-skinny" people. I use the term "non-skinny" because I'm referring to overweight people as well as an average body size that is not skin and bones. The media portrays "non-skinny" people as ugly and unatractive. Unfortunately, women of today get caught in the middle of the health and exercise cycle, which may eventually lead to eating disorders, depression and low self esteem.

When a thin model walks down a runway, men usually do not think about what size clothes she wears, or how much she weighs. Their thought is, "Man, that girl is hot." Most women, however, would respond "Wow, I wish I could look like that." This may seem like a big difference between men and women's attitude of thin women, but in reality these two statements share similar ideas than an average person might assume. Both of these comments suggest that the model looks great. In the minds of both men and women, they associate the model with the words, "beauty" and "perfect." Is this what many think beauty really is? A five-foot ten, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, size zero? The world is full of different types of people with different ideas of beauty. Why do some people associate being skinny with being beautiful? Being a skinny person does not make them a more worthy or special individual. If a "beautiful" size ten were to walk down the runway with attractive features and attractive clothes, I believe that the men would comment that the model is "hot" and the women would comment that she is "fat". This is an interesting and sad look into the minds of women in our society.

In my opinion, "Skinny" does not always mean beautiful. Many people are obsessed with trying to be, what is considered by so many, the perfect size and weight. They want to be skinny. There is nothing wrong with being thin if a person exercises and eats healthy. Although, I think that most women's obsessive desire to be skinny, can lead them to compulsive disorders. Exercising and eating a healthy diet takes time, effort, and most of all dedication and I think that this should be a part of women's healthy lifestyle. But obsession with reaching the goal of "perfection" through weight loss is insane. By focusing our thoughts and behaviors, only on losing weight and being skinny, I believe that many women are missing out on true meaning in their life. I do not believe that God put us on earth to strive to be skinny or attractive. Although I think that keeping up with yourself and trying to look your best and being healthy is ONE important part of good self esteem. It is my hope that we are here for a bigger purpose.

By associating one's self worth with the idea of being skinny, we are creating a huge problem for all people in society. If God judged us by our ability to be skinny or attractive, I think that the world's focus would change to one of starvation, but this is not the case. I wish that women (especially of my generation) would look beyond the sterotypes of skinny means beauty and focus more on loving themselves and other people for what is truly beautiful about them. Look beyond your own idea's of skinny is beauty and beauty is happy. I challenge women to focus on bigger issues and not to be so consumed day to day with trying to be thin.

Jun 2, 2008

Tom's Ranger School Blog

I have been reading a blog written by a 1st Lutenient (Tom) that had gone through Ranger School. The blog narrates his time at Ranger school and it has really helped me follow along with what the guys are doing on a day to day basis. I have been diligently reading it everyday and trying to give myself a little bit of insight on what Reamer has been going through. I think that he(Tom--the blog author) probably had a journal in Ranger School and published it when he returned.

When I pulled it up today to find out what Reamer had in store for day 30, I noticed that there was an additional link to Tom's Ranger Blog. This link took me to another page with several more of Tom's journals that describe his entire time in the army. I was interested to find out more about him because I felt that by reading his Ranger School experiences, I had gotten to know him. In his account of Ranger School, he talks about his girlfriend and his family and his life's experiences. As I looked at his personal information I discovered that he had been blogging about the army and his life since he graduated West Point. I noticed that after Ranger School the next step of his journey was IRAQ. The final entry said that he had been advised to stop writing his blog because of security concerns. It sounded like the army told him to stop. I looked at the pictures he posted of his family and his girlfriend and felt a little closer to him. And in a way, reading Tom's Blog helps me feel closer to Reamer.

I have been very grateful to have this blog so that I can feel some form of closeness to my husband and everything that he is experiencing. I know that several other "army wives" are reading along as well.

I saw that Tom had a guest book on his webpage that you could sign and comment, so I thought it would be an opportune time for me to thank him for his insight and for sharing his experiences. As I read the comments from all of the other people that were his regular blog readers I started to feel anxious. As I read more and more I realized that Tom had been killed in Iraq. As I read on I saw condolences and messages concerning sorrow over his death. I uncontrollably felt tears welling up in my eyes and pit of my stomach just hit the ground. It felt like one of my friends had died. I know that I don't even know him, but I felt like his blog was bringing me closer to Reamer. After realizing that he died, it really hit me like a ton of bricks. The story that I had been reading for the past few weeks didn't have a happy ending. The person/blog that I was identifying my husband with had suddenly been taken from me. You never expect to read a such tragic ending but I guess, such is life. Here is part of his blog that I discovered today:

1st Lt. Thomas M. Martin, 27, of Ward, Ark., died Oct 14 in Al Busayifi, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire during combat operations. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Those of you who have been avid readers throughout the years know that Tom stopped updating his website in the summer of 2006 due to OPSEC concerns. Shortly after that he deployed to Southern Baghdad where he served as the Scout Sniper Platoon Leader for 1/40 CAV, 4/25 (ABN). Tom had been in Iraq for more than a year, participated in over 300 missions, and walked nearly 1000 kilometers when he was killed-in-action.
Although he stopped writing online updates when he deployed, Tom continued to send emails home and intended to post those messages to this site upon his return. In celebration of an incredible life and man, we are trying to fulfill his desire. We invite you to share in Tom’s last year through his email updates, and hope that by doing so he will continue to be remembered and maybe others will be inspired- to try a little harder, to push a little farther, and to live a little better.

I am going to continue reading along with Tom's Ranger School blog, and I encourage anyone who doesn't know what Ranger School really is to read along. It is amazing what these strong, brave, and mentally tough men go through to protect our country. After thinking about the meaning of everything that we go through as military spouses, friends and family it makes me feel proud to support these amazing men. I somehow feel a little less sorry for myself and realize that there is a much bigger picture. I'm so proud of Reamer and his strength to handle what he is going through. Here is a link to Tom's Blog: http://www.tommym1080.com/ Please pay a tribute the all of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to ensure our safety as Americans!