Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day

Take time to remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice...

Friday, May 18, 2012

An Opportunity to Command...

Yesterday was a special day for our family...Brad took command of the 48th Flying Training Squadron Possum Town Alleycats at Columbus Air Force Base, MS.   This is a phenomenal opportunity for Brad and a real honor.   I'm so proud of him and I know he'll do a great job in this role.  I inherit some of my own responsibilities as a Commander's spouse.   I'm fortunate to be in the midst of a great group of spouses that have things running well already.

The ceremony itself was very patriotic and a neat experience for the girls to witness...
The actual handing over of command to Brad...
Addressing the airman of the 48th...
Making his welcoming remarks...
Afterwards in a reception line...the girls did a great job with the entire morning
Pretty fun to have daddy's name on a plane...
It was nice that Grandma and Grandpa and Nana were able to attend
A new favorite picture...
Another picture I like a lot...

What is there to say about this...4 cute girls in red white and blue sitting on the wing of daddy's speaks for itself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kindergarten Graduation

Brooke's school had a cute kindergarten graduation to celebrate the end of the school year...cap and gown and all!  She was all smiles...SO excited!
Waving hello to her sisters!  Can you tell she is proud!
                                              Her class saying the Lord's Prayer...too cute.
                                         Receiving her diploma from Mrs. Howell...her teacher.

This was a great half of year for Brooke...considering she we did home school in the fall she did a great job making friends and getting all caught up with her classmates.   She is very excited for First Grade!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Last Day of School...

Can't believe the school year is OVER! May 16 and we're out of school...completely foreign to this Midwest girl who is accustomed to starting school after Labor Day and getting out mid June. So we're off...summer 2012, wonder what is in store!        

       First Day of School,  2011                                             Last Day of School,  2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

This Mother's Day was extra special because my mom was in town for the occasion! The girls haven't seen Nana in almost 7 months so they are enjoying having here visit for the week!
I'm a very blessed mommy!
Daddy and all his girls!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

One week from today...

Colonel Steven H. Stater
Commander, 14th Operations Group
cordially invites you to attend a
Change of Command Ceremony
at which
Lieutenant Colonel Michael A. O’Connor 

will relinquish command
of the 48th Flying Training Squadron to
Lieutenant Colonel James B. Hall 

on Thursday, the seventeenth day of May
two thousand and twelve
at eight forty-eight o’clock in the morning
BLAZE Hangar
Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi
Reception to follow immediately in the BLAZE Hangar

Monday, May 07, 2012

Returning to Columbus...surreal.

Returning to Columbus has been surreal.  It feels like coming full circle in a sense.  For those of you unaware, Columbus was our first assignment in the Air Force. We were known as FAIPS (First Assignment Instructor Pilots).  We came here in approximately August of 1998...we were young Lieutenants straight out of pilot training.  Low man on the totem pole.  We were newlyweds.  We were young.  We were enthusiastic.  We were naive.

We moved away in the summer of 2001. I had earned my Masters degree.   I was pregnant.  We left a family of 4.5...hubby and wife, baby to be and our sweet Yellow Lab and Golden Retriever!   It was pre the 9/11 days...things were so different.  We were so different.  We were young.  We were enthusiastic.  We were naive.

Fast Forward 11 years.  Wow, things have changed.  Times have changed.  The Air Force has changed.  We have changed!  Base housing has changed (thank God!).   So we return to where we began in so many a career, as a family etc.  We now have 4 kids.  We are down to one dog.  We've endured years of TDY's and Deployments.  Literally.  We added "Colonel" behind our title of Lieutenant.    Brad has gone from being the Executive Officer to the Commander of the Squadron, to being the Squadron Commander.  We aren't as young. Perhaps a little less enthusiastic. Definitely not naive.

While surreal, coming back has been fun.  AETC (Air Education and Training Command) bases are disproportionately young compared to many other air force bases due to the nature of their mission.  This type of base trains new pilots...the majority being straight out of college or a service academy.  A large number of those students remain at the base for additional three years to be instructors (FAIPS). In light of that there is a big demographic of "kids" here in their young to mid twenties.  It makes me feel old and at the same time I'm hoping it keeps me young.  I've enjoyed playing intramural volleyball for the first time in ten years. I'm supposed to play in a flag football tournament in a few weeks.  It's that college campus type environment and activities that are one of the fun elements of being here and living on base.

So returning to Columbus has a sense of coming home.  We're glad to be here.  I'm not saying I wouldn't prefer moving Columbus  to a metropolitan area a little further north...but then I guess it wouldn't be Columbus.   We have lived places that are "cooler"...both literally and figuratively...but "cool" loses something when you're husband is constantly TDY or deployed for a year.  So we're thankful to be together and we're glad to call this small town home for now and to call this community our family.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Finding Our Niche

It is hard to believe that Mississippi has only been home for less than 5 months! I suppose I should find this fact encouraging as I think about how adjusted life feels in that short amount of time. I already have several junk drawers in the kitchen...isn't that a sign of having lived somewhere awhile?    

The girls are growing up too fast! Baileigh is ten in a half and 5 feet tall. I think by fifth grade I'll be looking her in the eye. Mckenna is 8 and still keeping things exciting! She has started guitar lessons and is still hoping we can figure out how to work gymnastics back into her life (closest gym is in a town 45 minutes away). Brooke is finally starting to read and I'm hoping that she doesn't regress this summer. Morgan,despite being three, keeps up with her older sister's schedule and pace. She is a roller coaster...more highs than lows thankfully.

A highlight to this move to MS is that the girls have been able to attend a small private Christian school. It is SO much like my school growing up that I attended K-12! It's crazy for me to think about the fact that I spent 13 years in one school and my ten year old is already on her third school in fourth grade (and it would be her fourth if I hadn't home schooled briefly this past fall!). The tight knit community and small environment of their school have been a good fit for the girls...instead of being eaten alive in a big pool they have quickly gained acceptance and have each seemed to find their own niche.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

I'm Back! Take Two!

Okay...Take 2! I know I posted a few months back saying I was back to blogging. And then, as you can see...I quickly failed! I've spent all day contemplating my first post as I make my return...again...but I'm just so excited about the look of my new blog that I can't wait to be inspired. And, as you can see, I'm not inpired. But I am excited, and I figured that is good enough. So I'm back in the blogging saddle. I know you're all thrilled...well, maybe just my mom! I know blogging has taken a backseat to Twitter and Facebook these days...but it is still unique in and of itself that it offers a format more similar to journaling. My beautiful refaced blog is thanks to my talented friend, Heather. She does lots of other great things so check out her site! Maybe I'll gain some new readers off of FB...let me know if you visit. I figure if I build it they will I'm building.