I can't belive how big the boy's are getting! We got our first shipment of fall clothes in the mail, now just waiting for one more. I love having these 2 beautiful boy's in my life, they are truly a blessing. And look how much they look like Josh, Rykkar especially.
So Josh shared a very cool experience that he had just the other night and I thought I would pass it on....
Josh and another soldier were put on guard watching over some nationals working an elder and 4 other boy's in between the ages of 10 and 14. At first the boy's were acting as if they were talking badly on Josh and the other soldier, kind of making fun of them I guess you could say. Later on in night Josh approached the boy's and elder and started talking to them in their native language, Pashto. The boy's helped Josh with the translation and they all had a real conversation. The boy's thought this was the coolest thing ever that a soldier was speaking to them in their launguage, trying to converse. So after this the elder smiled at Josh and looked at his watch and then wanted to see Josh's watch. So Josh lifts up his sleeve to show the elder his watch and the elder makes a gesture to trade.... Soooo without even thinking about it Josh starts taking off his watch to hand to the guy and trade him. The elder asks Josh in Pashto if his watch is waterproof but Josh doesn't understand. So the elder walked over to the ice chest put his watch on top of all the ice and looked at Josh. Once Josh understood he laughed because of what the elder was asking (seeing as we have had waterproof watches in the states forever). Josh takes his own watch opens the ice cooler and places his watch clear to the bottom. All the boy's and the elder started laughing hilariously and Josh joined in. The elder walked over to the ice cooler and dug into the bottom to grab Josh's watch and put it on. Josh then took the elder's watch off the top of the ice and put it on. They shook hands and said "Thank You" in Pashto.
This was such an amazing and bonding experience for Josh and it was so neat of him to share this with me. It goes to show how much we take for granted and don't even think about here in the states.
I don't know about anyone else but I can not wait for fall. I'm pretty sure fall is the best season of all. Love buying the boy's their new fall clothes, burning yummy fall candles like pumpkin pie and vanilla spice and we get to go to Utah! I can't wait to go to the states in October. I am very intimidated on how we're getting there, but I'm sure it will all work out. We are planning to fly Space A but that means I have to drive to Ramstein which is 3 hours away. For those of you who don't know what a german highway is like, the autobahn, then you wouldn't understand. Just imagine Ferrari's driving past you so close and so fast that your car almost blows off the road lol. That's a pretty good description of how it's like. I personally haven't driven on the autobahn so I'm a little terrified of this. Thank goodness for our trusty GPS or I wouldn't go. The roads and autobahn's out here are crazy and you can get lost easily. Also once we get to Utah the end of October, we only have like 1 1/2 months until Josh comes to Utah for R&R! So excited and looking forward to fall.
Josh and Jon just so happen to be stationed in the same area and were able to meet up with eachother. How fun is this picture! No war can seperate these brothers :) I'm glad Josh and Jon were able to reunite before Jon ends his 12 month tour and Josh finishes his 12 month tour. We love you both and are extremely greatful for the sacrifice that you so willingly give. God bless you.
Josh has been deployed now for a month and he seems to be making the best out of it. We have all pulled together as a family and are making due until we are back together in the same household. I thought it might be fun for everyone to see a picture of him while he's down range. Here's one... Enjoy!
I'm using this as an outlet for this post so bare with me... I hate today. I hate that we are at war. I don't understand why people hate other people. Aren't we all from the same place. Didn't we all come down here for the same reason? I love you so much Joshua. It is almost unbareable to be this far away from you knowing the circumstances that you are put in. I am at a loss as to what to do without you. It's so incredibly hard to put a strong face on and go on with my day. Raising our 2 beautiful boy's is sooooo hard without you. They remind me so much of you. Rykkar is the spitting image of his daddy with your big loving heart. Bentley has your adventurous, mischievous side and is always one step ahead of me. It feels twice as hard having you gone as you are not just my husband and companion, but you are my true best friend. I tell you everything. I never hold back with you. I can confide in you and express myself in every way. While you are gone I just talk to my heart. You are in there, as close to me as possible. To the average stranger I would sound like a crazy person, yakking to myself... But I know that you are in there, always listening and understanding me. Be safe, and come home to us. I love you always and forever no matter what!
Yesterday was a very hard day. We all knew it was coming but it felt so surreal. As you can see Rykkar had a very hard time once he understood that this is the day that we have been talking about for a long time. Here's a picture of Josh saying his last goodbye to Rykkar. Very hard to wath.
At home before Josh left. Rykkar got a hat of daddy's to keep while Daddy is gone.
My 3 boys. They enjoyed spending the day with their dad.
Rykkar's very anticipated moment.... Getting to see daddy's gun. He was very excited to get to see this. Right before we sent daddy off.
The love of my life. Very few people will ever understand how much I truly love this man. He is forever my best friend. Sending him off to war is not the highlight of my life but I DO know that he is very well trained to do his job and that he is really needed in this war.
Rykkar says that when he gets big he wants to be a soldier and shoot guns lol.
Formation time. Getting ready to be issued weapons then lockdown until the buses come.
Last family picture before Daddy leaves for a little bit.
We love you so much Joshua. Keep your spirits high and your head down. We will see you in a few months. Stay safe.
For anyone that would like Josh's address let me know. I am sure he would enjoy letters and a few packages every once in a while. You know what they say, care packages and letters are like gold to a soldier........ May God bless our soldiers and their families.
We are glad to announce to the world that little Bentley Coupe is finally walking!!! He started a couple of days ago. He will walk around if he want something. He might fall after 5 or so steps but he'll just pick himself up and start walking again. We had to bribe him with food to get him to walk but that did the trick. He might not look like a pig but HE IS. He will eat anything and everything that you put in front of him. He's our crazy little adventurer. Rykkar is sure happy that Bentley can walk around with him. It's so cute to watch them play. They are best friends and play together all day. They fight like brothers but love like brothers. I am so happy with these 2 beautiful boys.
YAY! We just got the best news ever. Because of some very generous people we are going to be coming home in May. One of the soldiers in Josh's unit had his dad put together a fund raiser and they raised enough money to help families that didn't have tickets to go home before the deployment. Yesterday we got confirmation that we will all be coming hom May 15th through the 25th. It will be so nice to see everyone before josh deploys for 12 months. So keep your schedules open and we will see you soon :)
It's so crazy that we have come this far with our militairy journey. In less than 90 days Josh will be deploying to a war zone for a 12 month tour. I can't believe it's actually here. Signing up for the Army and knowing that this day would come is very differen't when it's actually here and aproaching. I am so proud of Josh. What an amazing man to be willing to go to war for his country. Also another exciting day for us was last week when Josh was promoted again to Specialist Clements. I believe that he should be getting his Sgt while he's down range. Anyways, we have gotten a tip from Josh's battery that there is a rather wealthy billionare (lol) who knows one of the Sgt's in the battery. He would like to do something for the soldiers and is thinking about flying the soldiers and their families home for block leave in May before the deployment. SO this means anyone who hasn't boughten tickets which means us. I really hope this happens. It sounds a little too good to be true but I am trying not to think that way and trying to positive image this really happening. It would be so nice to come to Utah for even just a week. Josh called me this morning and told me to get our passports ready to give to his Commander so I hope that is a good sign that this really might be happening. Pray for us that this really can happen and that we will get the opportunity to come home in May.
Have I mentioned how much I love my husband??? I can't believe how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband. It's a great thing to know that you've married your best friend. Josh has been out in the field since February 27th and won't return home until March 21st. I hope I can make it until then. It's funny, I miss him so much that I keep having dreams of him every night lol. The boys and I have definately had to find hobbies to do and routines to keep while Josh has been gone. The boy's have been excellent in keeping their schedules, going to bed, eating, taking naps. It's been pretty good for the most part, I mean they are still little boys. One of the fun crafts that I have done while Josh was gone is to make cute picture frames for the boys's rooms. I still need to put pictures in them but it was a lot of fun. All I did was get 4 picture frames each and chose 4 colors of paint that are in the bedroom sets. Then I got some coordinating fabric. I painted the frames, tore the fabric into strips and then attatched them to the back of the frames. Then all I had to do was tie them and hang them. A fun idea to spruce up a room. I just hate huge empty spaces on walls and Bentley had a whole empty wall with just a border on it. This fixed that.
The boys got room makeovers... Rykkar chose everything for his and Bentley's new rooms. He wanted his and Bentley's bed stuff to be the same so Bentley got toddler bedding that will fit his toddler bed when he moves to it but still fits in his crib for now and Rykkar got the same bedding but he got a big boy down comforter and a duvet cover to go over. We did red curtains in both of their rooms as well.
Then Rykkar got to choose wall decals to put in each of their rooms. Rykkar of course chose dragons and knights with swords for his room. And of course because Rykkar is a big boy he got to choose a lamp for is room, which he chose a very cute blue shaded lamp. For Bentley's room Rykkar chose baby jungle animals to go on Bentley's walls. They are really cute and it was an easy cheap way to decorate seeing as we are limited on what we can do here in government housing.
Josh and I have had our mattresses on the floor for a year because our bed was broken when it got here from the states. We have never owned any bedroom furniture except a bed so we thought we'd treat ourselves. We went to the furniture store here on base on New Years day and they were having a huge sale. We got a great deal on a bedroom suite. We got a long dresser with a mirror, 2 nighstands, and a king size bed for our mattresses that were on the floor. We got everything delivered except the bed. To make a long story short I had to fight to get it but it got here after 2 1/2 months of waiting. Then we decorated our room a little with some new bedding and curtains. Here's the finished product...
So we got this big love sac type thing yesterday and the boy's just love it, I had to post pictures. It's so cute to see them sitting on it together watching cartoons and movies. My 2 little love boys!!!!
We had a great Valentines day weekend. We all headed up to Ramstein area near the Air Force Base there. It was a lot of fun. We stayed in 2 differen't hotels. The first wasn't bad, but not the best. And the second was amazing! It was a castle that we found in Potzberg which was 20 minutes away from the base. It's called Turm Hotel which translated means Tower Hotel. It was very cool. It was all still olden day german decorated. Very medevil feeling. All of the workers wore medevil attire and it was just breathtaking. It snowed (of course) so it was very pretty but very cold. While we went on base we enjoyed their amazing PX/BX with some shopping. They are so spoiled there. We have nothing at our PX. Also we went swimming at the base pool which was a lot of fun. Rykkar loved the slides. And Bentley loved splashing in the water. They have a Chilis on base... It has been over a year since we have eaten there so we waited 2 hours to be seated, but it was well worth it! As we were getting ready to start the drive home back to Vilseck, Josh gave me my valentines present. It was so beautiful! He picked out a white gold necklace with 3 hearts and a diamond. He explained that the three hearts represented Him, Rykkar, and Bentley and that the diamond represented me. I absolutely love it. I have the best husband! How thoughtful. Well I hope you enjoy the pictures. Bentley also had his first birthday on the 12th. I will post pics of that later.
Driving wow it is cold here! German street signs
Bentley enjoying some milk at the first hotel (hotel Europa)
Rykkar and Bentley caught hiding in the cabinet. I opened the door and said "Boo" this is what I got!
The Knight that is awaiting you upon entry... Rykkar loved this because he had a sword
Thought we'd give everyone a heads up on our block leave. It's May 15th through the 30th. If all goes as planned and our dates get approved we will be heading to Utah, yay! Our plans are to fly out on May 12th and return on May 27th back to Germany. We will keep everyone posted but so far these are the plans. We should be setting everything in stone next week and purchasing our tickets. Hope to see you all during our trip. Love you all.
Here we are... January is almost done and February is on it's way. This is when the time is going to start going by fast. I start to cry just writing this because it's such a reality check..... It's coming, the Deployment. There is no hiding from it, no running, no pretending that it's not going to come. IT IS. I try to stay positive. I know that it is just a small stepping stone in our life. But it is hard. I am not going to pretend that it's not hard to think about. Why was I given this challenge? I have had a very hard time in my life when it comes to religion. I have a very logical way of thinking, and when it comes to religion, logical is not the best way to think. Faith is a key stone to religion. I am interested to see why God has given me the challenge of having 2 children in Germany while my husband is deployed to a war zone. What am I going to learn and how am I going to grow through this? I know that a lot is going to happen and that I am going to have to embrace my Heavenly Father's love and lean on him and my faith. I know that Josh will be looked after. I know that I need to rely on my role as a mother during that time and just enjoy spending time with my 2 beautiful boys. I have been so blessed throughout my life. And I am overwhelmed at the moment thinking about all that I have been given. I am excited to visit Utah next fall through the winter. But as for now we have a pretty busy schedule. February we have Bentley's first birthday, valentines day, my 23rd birthday. March is Josh's 25th birthday. Also March will be a little practice deployment. Not far only about 20 minutes away, but Josh might as well be in a differen't country. He will be gone for 21 days. I'm sure glad I just got my German license. Then we have April and May... Josh will be in the field and training a lot during this time. We have block leave in May the 15th through the 31st. And then they deploy around June 17th. We are still deciding whether we are going to come home during block leave. It's around $2,500 for all of us to fly back so we will have to see.... That's all for now. We love and miss you all.
Every time we go into our PX in Grafenwoehr Rykkar always begs us for a sword. Inside the PX there is a little german kiosk where they sell wood goodies such as swords, shields, family placks, bouncy wooden animals and such. Of course Rykkar wants the sword! Well today we just happened to surprise him into getting a sword on our way out of the PX. It is so cute and he just loves it. When you purchasse your goodie the german man will engrave what you want by using his wood burner and burning the words onto your item. Rykkar got Germany '10 on the handle of his sword, and on the "blade" he got Sir Rykkar. Here is a picture of him with his most prized posetion lol.
So it's been 11 months after having Bentley and my body is finally getting back to normal. I have let my body take the time that it needs to get back down to size. Although I did want starve myself and get a quick fix, I fought that urge and just changed my eating. I did walk a little in the summer but most of all I watched the portion size of what I ate and tried cutting out soda and sweets. I still have an occassional soda or candy but I've done alright with that. I am very proud to say that I am officially 2o POUNDS lighter than after I had Bentley. YAY!!!!
We had a great Christmas this year. It was a lot of fun having 2 kids to share in the fun. Rykkar and Bentley loved their Christmas Eve pj's. Of course Rykkar had Transformer pj's and Bentley got Toy Story.
Here are the boy's on Christmas Eve opening their pj's.
Here's Josh and I on Christmas Eve...
One of Rykkar's favorite toys he got from GG, his Elefun game, Bentley enjoyed all the butterflies that fly out of the elephants nose. It was cute to watch them play.
Bentley enjoy's doing a little yoga while he plays with his toys lol...
A candid of Bentley with some of his toys...
Bentley really enjoyed all of the toys that Santa brought him, so cute!
And of course the NERF Gun!!! Rykkar wanted this more than anything. I'm pretty sure the gun is as big as he is.
Smiling Bentley always happy.
Grandma Huntsman got Rykkar his very own video game system and 2 games yay!
Rykkar loved his dragon and played with it alot.
Opening all the toys and putting them together was exhausting!
LOL more elefun...
We hope all of you had a good Christmas. It was differen't not having all of our friends and family to go visit and share the holidays with but we still had a good time. We miss you all very much and look forward to moving back to Utah in 2 years lol. That's so long.
Now it's crunch time for us... Getting ready for the deployment this summer. Sometime around June this year Josh will be leaving for Afghanistan. They will be in the field a lot training up until the deployment. We will keep you all posted for any changes and when we find out the exact date for deployment. Love you all <3 Keep safe!
A little about us... Josh is active duty in the U.S Army and we have been stationed in Vilseck, Germany. We will be here for 3 years and we are so excited to travel around Europe! Rykkar is just over 2 and growing up way too fast. Amanda is very pregnant due with Bentley Coupe the end of February 2009. Rykkar is very excited to be a "Big Brother" and he loves to give Bentley loves and kisses through mommys belly. He also loves to shine a flash light through mommys belly to make Bentley move.