29 February 2012

Old pics Part 1

wife, me, sister, BIL


my cat

One of my favorite sahwiches!


28 February 2012

Old written piece....

I wrote this some years ago, and just found it cause a couple of my friends have it on their profiles.  I was totally surprised by that, but its cool that they still read my words, so many years later....

sometimes you just need to break free of the mold that is your life and take a  few chances. go sky diving, ride an elephant, just try something you've never done before. get off the wagon and make sure that you've lived a little before you hop back on and acheive the "american dream". because i'm sure every kid wants to grow up to be middle-aged, with kids who hate you enough to screw up their lives just to get back at you. no kid wants to grow up to the reality of mortgages, debts, and cheating spouses. to have their kids go out and do drugs, have sex, and break the law, even if you did it too. before that happens to you, take a chance, do something unexpected. drive to california just to watch the sun set on the pacifc ocean, go to the toy store and buy that action figure you asked santa for when you were ten, but never got; deep down you still want to try it out, don't worry, i won't tell your friends. its your last stand, your last youthful indulgence before you are sucked into the vortex of modern life, where the objective is to finish everything as quick as possible. please, enjoy one last snowcone from the ice-cream-man before the "real world" destroys you, chewing up your dreams and spitting them in your face. only 16 out of every 10,000 athletes goes professional; it takes 10 years to become an astronaut (and even then you only have a 1 in 350 chance of ever flying), oh and being the president, king, or queen means living in constant fear for your life, a life where people you dont even know hate you for no specific reason; the little princesses of the world don't live happily ever after, look at england's rose-princess diana. 

what do you say to taking chances?

26 February 2012

Burned Qur'ans, Dead Soldiers, an Angry Nation

As you may have heard by now, NATO forces accidentally burned copies of the Qur'an.  This single act has led to riots, attacks, and now the deaths of 4 coalition force members.
The holy books, removed from a detention center because of certain content written into the margins, were accidentally burned with garbage, and native workers discovered the charred remnants of the holy scripts, and that is how it all got started.

To understand the magnitude of the situation, you must first understand the significance of this holy book.  Unlike the bible, which to many is treated as just another book (physically), the Koran is the direct words of God (Allah), in its most original form.  The Koran is considered the least changed holy book over the last 1400 years.  The Koran is composed of ayah (verses) that make up 114 suras (chapters) of unequal length.  The Koran is God's words, spoken to the prophet Muhammad, through the angel Gabriel, over the course of 23 years.
All the suras, except the 9th, begin with the phrase "Basmala" meaning "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful".
It is a very intricately written script, in that the decorative Arabic used to write the words cannot even be adequately rendered by computers, even.

The Koran is the most highly respected of anything within the Muslim culture.  Any disrespect, even verbal, of the Koran is seen as highly disrespectful of God, himself.  The Koran is ceremonially taken care of, and respected.  It should NEVER be touched by a non-Muslim.  If a non-Muslim must handle it, it is imperative that they use a clean cloth, or clean gloves, when handling it.  Muslims do ceremonial washings before they even touch the Koran.
The Koran is kept away from the floor, and feet.  It is kept in a clean place, away from garbage, and NEVER brought to the bathroom.  It is stored closed.  It is highly disrespectful for you to bring animals (ie search dogs) near the Koran.  NOTHING is EVER put on top of the Koran.  And very important: Non-Muslims should NEVER dispose of the Koran.
This all also applies to any written or printed Koranic phrases, or anything speaking of Allah.  We have interpreters to help us distinguish between religious material and other writings.

If a Koran is worn out, and unusable, there are several ceremonial ways to respectfully retire the copy.  Muslims will wrap it in a pure cloth and either bury it in a remote location, or set it loose in free flowing water.

Koran desecration is considered blasphemy, and is punishable by Death, in Afghanistan (as well as Somalia and Pakistan).

Since the incident occurred, Muslims across Afghanistan have been rioting, and attacking coalition forces.  And by God's law, they are rightful in doing so.  There has been almost nonstop attacks on FOBs across the country, and so far 27 Afghans,  2 soldiers, and 2 officers have been killed because of this event.

This incident was similar to someone, say, burning the American Flag at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, but about 10x worse.  We have disrespected their Religion, their country, and their God....all in a simple act of ignorance, and a mistake.

We are currently at increased security levels because of this incident.  The night it happened, there were nonstop rocket interceptions and explosions here.  Now, we have increased weapon levels, and are having ID cards checked everywhere.  Rioters tried to storm military bases in Kabul, and we are preparing for more violence here, as well.

24 February 2012

Photo Essay: too lazy to caption, too!

my swan

my bed lamp


coming soon....

Sooooo glad yall told me the mirror was unclassified!!!

Our orphan toothpaste....for the Chaplain to hand out

BRAND NEW BOX.......and what the hell is going on with the teal one up front, and the "pepperoni" in the back???

And why is that one shorter?

On our meal truck....for dinner before our mission....

Influenza is bigger than you.....it will eat you!

One of these things is not like the others....

They FINALLY have my patch!

And we have more outside the poop pond!

What I needed the crayons for!

Our stress ball!

the *FINALLY* promotion!

23 February 2012

Guess Who! -Wife

See if you can tell who is who...
One is basically completely potty trained: the other is not at all interested (although does ask for privacy when doing the deed...in the playroom!)
One warms up to new situations in about a nanosecond:  the other seems to take light years to become comfortable with new people and places.
One knows all the rules, I mean all of them.  Not saying that this child follows all the rules, but they know them inside and out: the other, I constantly question myself if this child can literally hear me when I talk to them...if they can't hear, they wouldn't know the rules right?
One literally faces plants in the sand box: the other wouldn't be caught dead dumping sand on their head.
One snores:  the other we often (still!) check to see if they are breathing when they are asleep!
One can get dressed completely on their own: the other can not put on or take off their shoes.
One plays trains for hours on end: the other requests dress up at all hours of the day.
One basically darts or turns away any time I have the camera out:  the other has a pretty perfect camera pose (whether of not they actually like getting their picture taken is another story).
One will be the last one at the table at every meal:  the other is usual saying, "I'm done" by the time E and I can sit down to dinner.
One throws huge, typical 2 year old, crying tantrums: the other says, "Mommy, I'm talking, you listen.  I will come upstairs when I am done with coloring."
One snuggles their lovey close:  the other roars like a dinosaur intermittently during conversations.
One still needs to eat meals basically naked because they are so messy;  the other drank a blueberry Jamba Juice smoothie in a white shirt today and I didn't even give them a bib.
One says, "Maybe I can't do it?" when trying new things (we are working on getting that thought out of their head!):  the other I have to physically restrain from not trying out anything and everything that they see someone else doing or that looks fun (which is everything!)
A dear friend asked me recently if I thought I had it harder raising boy/girl twins versus same sex twins.  I have no idea how same sex twins would be, just like I don't have experience with a singleton (in this day and age) or higher order multiples.  All I know if that these two keep us so busy and at the same time fill our days with immeasurable amounts of love.  I am thrilled that they are so different and each their own little person.  I can only hope that by learning (each and every minute) how to parent these two, that Number 3 won't bring any surprises...a girl can dream right;)

22 February 2012

Photo Essay: My Angel Girl

She was always a sleepy little thing

The only duck face that was ever cute

Chris was a very loving and doting big brother.

Shanna and Victoria