22 March 2009

Should we move?? [Shooting at apartments]

Mike and I have been debating whether we should move or not. There are a lot of things to consider: moving, in and of itself; buying or renting - that brings in whether Mike will stay in the Air Force or not; staying at Coachlight - a notoriously quiet apartment or moving to another apartment with a washer and dryer hook up in the apartment and possible a bigger apartment. Well, now there is another factor to consider: safety.

Mike and I went out to eat with Jason, Marilyn, Michelle, Josh and Sarah tonight to the Cheesecake Factory. We left about 1500 and just got home, right after 2100. Well, as we were walking to our building, we have to walk through another building and one of the residents was out and said that was a shooting earlier somewhere in the middle of the apartment complex. We had seen a Crime Scene Investigation truck at the gas station next door, but we thought maybe someone tried to rob the convenience store.

So, we got home and after we went inside and I went to the restroom, I planned on going across the hall to ask if Amber, our new neighbor, was all right and to see if she knew what happened. Her husband was sitting out on the porch smoking, so I sat down and talked with him. He said that he heard four or five shots and that there was a guy in critical condition at the hospital. We both also talked about how this apartment complex was so quiet and he said he had actually looked up the history of the complex as far as crime goes and said that there was virtually nothing in its history (we are across the street from the police station, and the fire station).

When I went back inside, I decided to look up on the news on the internet to see if there was anything. Here is the article I found at http://www.newsok.com/two-injured-in-midwest-city-shooting/article/3355466?custom_click=headlines_widget:

Two injured in Midwest City shooting
Published: March 22, 2009

"MIDWEST CITY – A man kicked open an apartment door and opened fire on two people Sunday night, injuring them.

The victims’ names were not released. One refused treatment at the scene. The other was taken to OU Medical Center with injuries that are not considered life-threatening, Police Chief Brandon Clabes said.
The shooting occurred about 6:45 p.m. at the Coachlight Apartments in the 2600 block of Coachlight Drive, Clabes said.
“The suspect then fled the scene with witnesses in chase. We were able to apprehend the suspect at a nearby restaurant,” Clabes said.
Terrell Glaze, 20, was arrested on a complaint of shooting with intent to kill. "

So, we live at 2600 Coachlight Drive . . . .

It is scary in reality, but I'm not feeling all that frightened, not even when I first heard that there was a shooting. Now, with Mike possibly deploying in August (if he re-enlists), I might feel a little differently later. Mike is apparently thinking and feeling differently, probably out of wanting to protect his family and wants to buy a gun. Which I agree with, and we have talked about in the past, just now we have a lot more incentive to get one.

I've always had the impression that this apartment complex is safe (compared to a lot of others around the area, such as Ashwood, where I used to live . . .) and there are some residents who have lived here for over 10 years, and these are older ladies who live alone . . . I still feel pretty safe here, mostly I think, because of my faith in the Lord, but it does present a time to put some serious thought into continuing to live here or not. Mike and I are getting ready to bring a baby home and I will be home by myself a lot (while Mike is at work). Our lease is up at the end of May and we have been debating moving for quite a few weeks now. We both feel the base would be the safest place to live; however we would lose money from BAH moving on base. Although, now that we don't have the truck payment, maybe it won't matter as much . . .

I have felt more vulnerable since I've been pregnant, simply because I know that I'm not as fast or agile or strong as I was before I was pregnant. And my motherly instincts tell me to protect the baby. Now whether that was simply false security back then or not, I have changed my views on defending myself knowing that I am heavy with child and after Sophie is born I will have a newborn with me at all times. You can't exactly fight off a potential attacker with a newborn in your arms. . . or run, for that matter. . . .

Well, if anyone has any suggestions or comments, please post them and I will share them with Mike. And of course, please keep us and the other families (many with small children/babies) who live here in your prayers for safety.

17 March 2009

Apartment Pics

Mike and I have made a lot of changes in our apartment recently, so I wanted to post a few pictures. :)

This is the table today. I think it's the first time since Christmas that you can actually see the table!! That was my goal for yesterday. I wanted to clean off the table and get it set up for eating at again. It was actually harder than I thought it would be! Lol . . . Here is the end result though. I even cleaned the salt and pepper shakers with a sponge and soap (would you call that nesting??) :)

For some reason, I have really been in the flowers mood, so we have some [fake] flowers around apartment. Mike and I also bought a beautiful salad dish set which came with two pourers, one for oil and one for vinegar, along with four little dipping dishes. The BX had a really great price on it and I couldn't resist! So yesterday I made some french bread, and we had pasta and salad for dinner. :) And that's white grape juice, not wine in the wine glasses!

A few weeks ago I had bought some garlands to put in the kitchen at Michael's. I was hoping that Mike would help me put them up, but whenever the opportune moment was around, he was usually engaged in helping with something else or was really tired, and I hated to bother him with one more thing that I couldn't do. (He already does so much around the apartment.) So this morning I decided that I would put them up myself, so I did. Don't ask how a nine-month plus pregnant woman got them up there . . . but there they are. :)

I got two different colors - blue flowers and white ones. They are to match the placemats (see the table picture) and towel (see hanging on the cubbard) that Ruth got for me when Mike and I were visiting last Thanksgiving. (Gregory was having a fall craft fair, and they are home-made!) :) I had ideas in mind at the time, it just took me some time to get around to them . . .

This is Sophie's bassinet, which is right next to the bed in our bedroom. This is the stuffed animal/blanket that Mike kept re-arranging that I wrote about previously. :) The bassinet is about two feet from me, so I'll be able to hear Sophie at night when she gets hungry. And when she gets older, the top part comes out and it becomes a pack-n-play/play pen. And it's really light and has a little case, so I can take it with me when I want to go somewhere where she'll need to take a nap (like over to a friend's house or to Bible study, etc).

Tom gave Mike and I some furniture that he didn't want anymore (because he's going to be getting more after he moves). Tom is very generous and always has been with Mike and I, and we are extremely grateful. :) He gave us a hutch and a matching coffee table. They were originally a wood color, and he sanded them down, then painted them black, then sanded that down, then painted the green over it. The effect is really beautiful! And they are extremely heavy! Jack (top) and Missy (bottom) were checking out the new merchandise. I now have my David Winter Cottages displayed in the top part. The gold and blue that you are seeing is my wall hanging reflected in the mirror. The TV goes in the middle part and we have all our games and movies, along with the DVD player and Thomas' Sony Play Station in the bottom part.

Here is the matching coffee table. I love how it matches our furniture as well! I have more floweres displayed on the coffee table in the vase that Sarah gave me for my birthday last year. :) I also have two (only one shown here) of the placemats that Ruth gave me on the coffee table. I like how it brings the apartment together. :) One of the other things I love about the coffee table is that it is really sturdy. I.e. when Sophie starts pulling up and crawling, it won't fall on her. Mike and I were really worried about that with the glass coffee table that we had (we gave it to Jake).

Mike put Sophie's crib together a few weeks ago, and all the sheets and blankets have been washed, so it's all ready to go (for when she graduates from the bassinet that is).

Here's the inside of the crib with the butterfly quilt and a stuffed animal that Sophie got at the baby shower Ruth threw for us in South Dakota.
I need to take some other pictures of other stuff we've done around the apartment. We have Sophie's glider all set up in the living room (which Jack just loves to sleep in, even when it's turned on); and the changing table is set up and our bed has been moved into the corner of the bedroom. . . I guess I have been nesting a bit . . . I also have all of Sophie's clothes organized (and labeled with index cards on the outside of the dresser), and clothes hung up and the blankets/sheets/cloths/towels/washcloths put in the changing table. The top of the changing table is all organized with things that I need, such as baby wipes, hand sanitizer, etc. I also hung up a little toy for Sophie to look out (but out of reach) while she's getting her diaper changed. I know she won't be able to actually see it for a few weeks, but at least it's there. I haven't hung up the diaper stacker yet because honestly I can't figure out how it hangs up where you can still see the top decorative part (it matches the quilt). I'm also worried about the cats eating the diapers . . . or least attempting to play with them . . . (the weird worries of a new mother . . .).
That's all I've got for right now. Mike will be walking in the door any minute from work and I'll need to start fixing dinner. We're having enchilladas tonight! Then at 2000 we're going over to Joey and Heather's for a little St. Patrick's day get together. I heard there was going to be dessert there! Yum! :D

15 March 2009

Early labor

I went in for my non-stress test on Friday, (which I have to go in for every Friday), and they said that I am officially in "early labor". For the non-stress tests, basically I go in and the nurse puts me on the fetal monitor for 20 or 30 minutes and monitor Sophie and any contractions I might be having and her reaction to them. While I was there I was having contractions every 11 minutes. She said that I coud have the baby this weekend or in two weeks; it was really wasn't that big of an indication.

Hmm . . .

So I have been waiting for a) my water to break (a sure sign that I'm in labor) or b) my contractions to get to 3-5 minutes apart after resting for an hour and drinking a lot of water.

So far neither of those things have happened. My contractions do get 6-8 minutes for hours at a time, and wake me up during the night, but that it's it. Last night I did have 3 contractions that were 5 minutes apart on the way home from Sarah and James', but they didn't last and after I got home and took a hot shower and laid down, they slowed down and stopped by the early hours of the morning.

I'm really confused as to what all of this means . . . is my uterus just practicing? A lot?? I'm pretty much just waiting for my water to break at this point, because then I will know for sure.

Every night I go to sleep having contractions 6-8 minutes apart and every morning I am quite suprised that I made it through the night without having to go to urgent care. I really don't like the not knowing and I am definitely ready to have her. I doubt there is any more room in there! :)

So we shall see. Maybe I'll go into labor tonight and Mike and I will get to meet our daughter or maybe I won't and won't go into labor for two more weeks . . . only the Lord knows.

11 March 2009

Baby Update

Well, things are going well with Sophie. I'm still pregnant and I'll be term (37 weeks) tomorrow. She's growing bigger and bigger (and consequently I'm getting more and more uncomfortable). I have Non-Stress Tests every Friday to monitor her heart rate and any contractions, and her response to those contractions. I'm also at the point where I go for a weekly check up with my midwife. At my last appointment, last Thursday, she said it could be any day.

I honestly have no idea of when I'll have her. Last Wednesday I thought for sure I was going into labor, but it turns out my body was just "practicing". Practice can be painful!! So far this week though, I haven't really had any contractions, just a lot of round ligament pain. So who knows?

Mike and I have been attending childbirth classes and a breast feeding class. I'm so glad that he's so willing to participate in all of these things with me. It is comforting to know that he is as excited (if not, more) than I am about bringing Sophie into the world. I have really been praying about making it through labor without asking for any pain medications or an epidural. I really don't want those things, but I know the reality of the pain can change your mind. And if the intensity of some of the contractions that I've had are any indication, it's going to be really painful. I keep thinking of Michelle and Abby and my Mom and Ruth, how they made it through and they are still alive and aren't horribly scarred (to my knowledge). I feel the Lord has been giving me confidence and strength and preparing me for that time. And Mike has really been paying attention to all the comfort techniques that he can do during labor to help me, which is a comfort to me.

I really feel like Mike is going to be a great Dad. The other day, I had finished setting up the bassinet (putting blankets nearby, etc) and I had put the little half stuffed animal, half blanket that Michelle got for Sophie in the bassinet. Mike saw it, and walked over and picked it up, examining it, and then put it back. And he rearranged it about half a dozen times to make sure it was "just right". I just smiled and smiled at him. When he does little things like that, I just fall more and more in love with him.

""For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."" Jer 29:11

World War II MIA's recovered in Germany

February 25, 2009Air Force Print News

HENRI-CHAPELLE, Belgium - A line in the Airman's creed states, "I will never leave an Airman behind."
For the McMurray Crew 801 with the 492nd Bombardment Group, that promise was fulfilled, albeit 60-plus years after their B-24 bomber went down during World War II.
An international crowd gathered Feb. 20 at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium to honor the McMurray Crew's nine members who were listed as missing in action. Their remains were recovered in a field southwest of Berlin in 2002.
At the ceremony, nine rosettes -- small flower-shaped pendants -- were placed next to each crew member's engraved name to signify they are no longer missing.
"When we actually find a rosette by the names of the missing, it's closure. For these parents, there's not a grave, so that's why the name on the wall is so important," said Army retired Brig. Gen. Steven R. Hawkins, director of the European region for the American Battle Monuments Commission.
Relishing a rarityOf the 3.5 years General Hawkins has spent working as the director for American cemeteries and battle grounds in Europe, he has only seen three other rosettes placed next to MIA servicemembers' names. Finding the remains of missing military members, especially from World Wars I and II, is rare.
And the story of how the Airmen with the McMurray Crew were found is even rarer.
Enrico Schwartz, a German native who works for an IBM company, has been part of the Allied Aircrew Research Team since 1998. During the past decade, he's helped recover the remains of American servicemembers, including the nine with the McMurray crew.
"The main part for me is giving closure," Mr. Schwartz said. "There's no closure when there are still open wounds."
It took four years of researching and interviewing witnesses to find the nine men's remains.
"It started as a favor, and when I learned how much impact this has, I carried on," Mr. Schwartz said. "This, to me, I eliminated the war issue and the historical issue and saw it as the current case -- there are sisters, brothers, mothers out there still -- this is what drives me."
From the years of personal time and expenses Mr. Schwartz spent, to the number of Belgians, Germans and other non-Americans present, it was clear these nine American Airmen had an impact beyond their graves.
"I'm glad I'm here today to pay respects to those who secured our freedom," said Rick Vissers, a Belgian native who works on infrastructure at the NATO Programming Centre. "Two words: Thank you."
Mr. Vissers spoke of the long-time friendship between Belgians and Americans that stems from their support for one another during the war.
"My town was a rest area in World War II -- Americans needed ammunition and fuel and were invited by local the people to get inside," he said. "They became so close that after 60 years, they still know each other."
Ralf Klodt, a German photojournalist at the ceremony, echoed Mr. Visser's gratitude toward American troops, as the 78th infantry division liberated his hometown, Konigswinter, during World War II. Mr. Klodt said regardless of which side of the war people were on, it's important to remember the positive stories that still thrive today.
"It's about the human aspect of war; what have they experienced," he said. "It's the German side, the Allied side, the civilian side. It's important to keep it alive and to tell the right stories."
Fog of warA thick fog and steady rain didn't deter the patriotic group of onlookers at the ceremony. A row of Belgian children waved small American flags as a group of older Belgian men clutched their full-sized Belgian flags. Also present were local mayors, and military representatives from Greece, Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Slovakia.
Airmen from NATO headquarters in Brussels, NPC, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Belgium; the U.S. Embassy; Aviano Air Base, Italy; Geilenkirchen AB, Germany; and Spangdahlem AB, Germany, were present for the ceremony.
Staff Sgt. Ralph Oliver, a NPC material manager, stood at parade rest next to a pedestal holding the rosettes during the entire ceremony.
"For me, it was an honor. This is one of the things I enjoy doing in the military," Sergeant Oliver said. "I'm glad and grateful to be honoring our fallen comrades. It was cold, but I think it was well worth it. I held my military bearing as much as I could."
The SHAPE International Band played "Ruffles and Flourishes" and other patriotic music, and the Spangdahlem AB honor fuard gave a 21-gun salute to the fallen Airmen.
Capt. Apphia Fairhurst, deputy project leader for Network-interoperable Realtime Information Services and NPC Integrated Solaris Platform, read some of the Airmens' biographies during the ceremony, and said the event was a wake-up call for young military members.
"The biggest thing had been all of us are about 21 to 28 and that was the age of (the B-24 crew)," she said. "A lot of us took it a lot more seriously once we found out the ages of the people involved."
For each of the nine fallen Airmen, someone from their home state placed a rosette next to their names. Staff Sgt. Melissa Johnson, from the NPC customer service desk, placed a rosette next to Staff Sgt. Walter Schlosser's name, as they both are from Michigan.
"Especially when you hear about personal stories, it's just unbelievable after this many years that they're finally being given the proper respect," Sergeant Johnson said.
Tech. Sgt. Tommy Van, a NPC computer programmer, was the NCO in charge of the event, and had his hands in the process since November 2008. "The most rewarding thing for me has been getting in contact with the families and learning the history," he said. "It gives you a sense that these are real people. This really puts a name on a face with a personal impact."
Honoring AirmenAir Force leaders at the ceremony reminded today's generation that we can never leave Airmen behind.
"I think it's an attribute that should stick with all our Airmen. No matter when, there's always people looking for those who are lost," said Maj. Gen. Thomas B. Wright, the SHAPE deputy chief of staff of operations.
General Wright was the keynote speaker at the ceremony, and during his speech, he referenced the Airman's creed and the significance it should hold for all Airmen, past and present.
The responsibility given to the members of the McMurray crew was astounding by today's standards, said Lt. Col. Cindi Deiana, a SHAPE special adviser for international affairs, as they were all under the age of 30 and the highest ranking officers were first lieutenants.
"I think that the crew is an example of so many of the Army Air Corps that took an extraordinary request and made it common place," Colonel Deiana said. "It's amazing what we asked of Airmen in World War II. It was typical. We asked things of Airmen that are inconceivable today."

10 March 2009

Obama at it again destroying the nation

Since Barack Obama has taken office, he has single handedly done so much to destroy our great nation, it sickens me.

Here is an excerpt from an article on yahoo:

"The Taliban's new top operations officer in southern Afghanistan had been a prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the latest example of a freed detainee who took a militant leadership role and a potential complication for the Obama administration's efforts to close the prison. U.S. authorities handed over the detainee to the Afghan government, which in turn released him, according to Pentagon and CIA officials." http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090311/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/guantanamo_detainee_taliban

So what else is Obama going to do? We had a major leader of the taliban (who played a key role in the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001) and Obama turned him over so he could be freed! This is Obama's idea of protecting our nation? He should be tried for treason!

Blast from the Past

The first pic was taken April 28th, 2006. James had only been married a few weeks, Joe wasn't going to be married for eight months.

I found some pictures on my desktop computer from a long time ago.

The second one is when Abby, Asher, Jake, James, Sarah, Tazz, Mike and myself went to the Mercy Me concert on Oct 22nd, 2006 (almost a year to the day before we got married). :)

The third picture is at my old apartment at Ashwood Apartments at dinner night. Michelle, Kyle and Joe are enjoying themselves before dinner. This was back in early February 07, before Michelle was even pregnant with Josh - she and Joe had only been married about two weeks.

The fourth picture was taken at Sarah's house on Meench Street when she and James lived in Del City. We had a ladies lunch and Sarah, Abby, Caylee, Sheila and myself enjoyed enchilladas. This was October 22, 2006. For those of you paying attention to dates, that was the same day as the Mercy Me concert.

This last picture was taken at Bible Study at Mike Warren's house, April 28th, 2006. Mike and Asher look so young! I don't know who the guy in the middle is; I didn't know all the guys at the Bible study at that time.

This really got me thinking about all the changes that have happened since then! We all look so different (younger) and our lives were all so different than they are now.

06 March 2009

Fare Thee Well :(

As I stated in my opening sentence for my advanced comp class blog, this is the last blog that I "have" to post for this class. However, I may continue to write about different books that I read, as sort of a running commentary for myself. I have such a long "to-read" book list, I'm sure I'll not be short of material to comment on. :)

I have really enjoyed this class. Some of the texts were hard for me to grasp, and consequently I found myself re-reading quite often. I am a fan of Charles Dickens and of Virginia Woolf, so it was nice to have an "excuse" to have read some of their work, which I hadn't previously read. I had started Great Expectations when I was 15, after reading A Tale of Two Cities, but for whatever reason, I never finished it, and it has been on my "to-read" list since then (that's over 10 years!! I know, I know, that's really terrible!)

English is not my major and though I have always wanted to take English classes, they never held precedence on my college courses list (science usually won out). I have read many classics on my own, simply because I was interested in the author or the book; I suppose that interest in literature comes from my Mom, being an English teacher herself. The same goes for writing. She taught my brother and I Shakespeare to memorize when we were kids. My brother was always much better at that than I was, and he had whole scenes memorized when he was only 8 or 9 year old! Needless to say, my brother is a very adept and capable reader and writer and is actually quite well read. When he does write, his writing is some of the best I've seen. You can't tell him that though . . . perhaps while he is in Iraq for the next few months, he'll start writing a bit . . .

Anyway, I have digressed from where I was originally going with this post. I have also really enjoyed reading everyone's discussion responses and was actually rather pleasantly surprised to find people who agreed with my interpretation of a certain text! I also like that everyone had a chance to say what they wanted, whereas in the classroom setting, there are always those intraverts who prefer to remain silent and absorb everything and not return their own feedback.

I may look into taking more lit classes in the future and at the very least getting a hold of some syllabi so I can do some reading on my own. . . . :)