Monday, January 23, 2012

Smiles to Go...

This is Tyler... (see more here)
He is one of my sister's half dozen children.  He's the fourth one.  The two oldest have already graduated from college and have jobs.  The third is in college now and just started an impressive internship.  The two youngest are still in school (7th grade and 12th grade).  And then there's Tyler; who has always followed his own path.  He always knew he would join the military.  He participated in ROTC and planned on joining the Air Force.  Some where along the way he changed his mind on the Air Force part and decided he was meant to be a Marine.  He found a recruiter, signed the papers and waited.  And waited.  He then went to boot camp and passed with flying colors.  We are all so proud of him. 

Last Fall we found out that Tyler would be going to Afghanistan in January.  My sister wanted to have a party for him before he left.  The day after Christmas, we packed up and drove to my sister's house (about 5 hours away).  This was an extremely hectic time for us (right after Christmas, right before our cruise) but I wouldn't have missed it for anything!

As you scroll through these pictures, you will find one thing in common...Tyler is smiling no matter what.  It's goofy.  Even when he tries to looks serious, you can tell he is busting to smile.  It is contagious, and I love that about him.

Tammy worked so hard to make sure everything was perfect.  There was tons of delicious food, lots of family and friends and a relaxed atmosphere. 

My gorgeous niece, Tara, made sure the table was just right...pleasing to the eyes and easy to get around.

This is Tyler with his recruiter. 

Showing some love...

Tammy asked me to get a picture of her whole family.  Since we would all be in the same house for several hours, I thought this would be an easy job...let's just wasn't!   Every time I thought I had them all, some one would mysteriously go missing.  But I got's not the best, but I got it!

 Tara, Tyler, Tammy, Gabe, Cory, Adam, Ernest and Evan

I thought it would be cool for the family to all look at Tyler in admiration.  Tara was a little less thrilled about gazing into her brother's eyes!

Oh well...I know she loves him anyways!

Every day I thank my Heavenly Father for the brave men and women that have chosen to serve our country. These days my prayers have a little more passion and meaning.   Today Tyler is in Afghanistan.  In my sister's words, "he has left the comforts of a civilized base that had phones, internet, stores, etc. We have not heard from him, and he could not, of course, give many details as to where he will be-just that it won't be as comfortable."  I hope he continues to smile and bring joy to those around him.  He won't be home soon enough!

Please keep all of our military men and women in your prayers.  They each belong to someone!

My Military Men!

Monday, January 2, 2012


We have been waiting for this trip for a long time!

 Yesterday we ate lunch, toured the boat, found the teen club, ate a snack, sat on the deck, participated in a rescue drill, ate dinner, went to a game show and one of the nightly shows with dancers, comedians and a band.  The days are all packed with activities...

I don't know how much I will be able to keep you updated this week...satellite internet is REALLY, REALLY S-L-O-W!  And I have to pay for it by the minute! Last night at midnight it took 10 minutes to connect to my blog.  This morning it has been quicker. But in case I don't get to talk to you again...