Our Young Military Marriage: Training, Tutwiler, and Thievery

Our Young Military Marriage: Training, Tutwiler, and Thievery

Home Sweet Tutwiler. My freshman year I lived on the 13th floor, aka the 14th floor. My junior and senior years I lived on the 6th floor.

For previous posts on our young military marriage, click here. This is part of the series I’m writing called The Real Army Wives.

As I mentioned before, Alan was away at training the first 4 months of our marriage, while I finished up my degree at the University of Alabama.

I lived in Tutwiler Hall. The funny thing about Tutwiler Hall, which is the freshman girls’ dormitory, is that there were actually 2 different buildings in the state of Alabama named Tutwiler.  The other Tutwiler is the women’s prison.

As you can imagine, everyone had jokes about that, especially Alan. He prided himself, once we got married, on coming to town to stay with me for my “conjugal visit.” Ha!

Our Young Military Marriage: Training, Tutwiler, and Thievery

Tutwiler Hall still stands today, right across the street from the University of Alabama’s famous football stadium.

Even though we lived apart, we took turns visiting one another.

I loved it when Alan would visit and handle all of my Excel homework. 15 years later, I wish I had taken the time to learn how to use Excel. It’s probably the only computer system that is still mostly the same, and I’m still clueless as to how to use it.

When Alan came to town, we slept on an air bed in the floor of my living room at Tutwiler. As the 6th floor Resident Assistant, I had my own living room, bedroom, and bathroom.

It wasn’t much better when I’d go to visit Alan in Oklahoma. I only visited for one extended weekend. It was Thanksgiving. Alan was training to be a field artillery officer. In layman’s terms, that’s the Army’s big guns (cannons), which Alan insists I call “howitzers.”

We had Thanksgiving dinner at Golden Corral that year because Alan called every place in town to see where we could get the most affordable steak.

I will never forget that Thanksgiving because of the crazy person who stole from me. I was staying at the Batchelor Officers’ Quarters with Alan, sharing a bed that could only be described as a 3/4 bed. It wasn’t even quite as big as a full size bed.

Down the hall from our room was the community laundry room. No big deal. I was used to that. We had community laundry at Tutwiler. I wasn’t the kind to sit with my clothes either. I left my clothes in the dryer and returned to my room. On the way out of the laundry room, Alan introduced me to a guy who seemed a little strange in a creepy way, but whatever. I didn’t think too much of it.

You can imagine my dismay when I took my clothes out of the dryer and discovered that all 5 pairs of my panties were missing from the load!!! The rest of my clothes were all there.

Only my underwear was missing!

I’d been stolen from before, but this was weird weird weird. Icky.

I looked at every man in the building with a healthy dose of skepticism after that.

Our Young Military Marriage: Training, Tutwiler, and Thievery

Beautiful bluffs near where Alan lived in Lawton, Oklahoma. Geronimo is buried near there. We visited his grave once.

Strange incidents aside, it was a semester of sacrifices. So much separation is hard on a marriage.

We worked hard. Alan was steadily training to lead soldiers to war, and I was squeezing my senior year of college into one semester.

That’s why we decided to do something way exciting and outside the box for fun that October. Remember how we had that free plane ticket left over from the mishap where we missed the military ball? We decided to cash in that ticket and have a 2nd honeymoon in a place neither of us had ever been before but where we’d always wanted to go.

We are both frugal people, but when it comes to relationships, we always fork over the money.

That’s why we fly in to visit our families every summer and Christmas, no matter how many tickets that costs us.

And that’s why we spared no expense going to see each other when we were living separately for a while.

People regret many things, but people never regret spending time with loved ones. No one on their death-bed ever said, “Man, I wish I hadn’t spent so much time with my family.” Nope. Doesn’t happen.

Relationships are always worth the money.

We decided to meet somewhere new and exciting. Alan would fly out from Oklahoma, and I’d fly up from Alabama.

So do you want to know where we went? Come back next Monday! I’ll tell ya all about it.

 

 

 

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Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel’s Recipe Printable

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel’s Recipe Printable
Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel's Recipe Printable

I love watching my boys play ball.

Having my kids home all day cracks me up. I mean literally, by 5:30, when my husband gets home, I’m a little cracked in the head.

But I love it. I do.

What do you do on the lazy days of Spring break? Well, for any parent who decides to stay home with the kiddos during their week off of school, these are definitely not lazy days. Duh, right?

But it’s still fun. I cooked 3 meals yesterday. Do you think anyone will notice if I only “cook” 2 today?

Daniel helped me make last night’s dinner. He even helped come up with a recipe.

“Mom, can we have a bowl of carrots for dinner?”

“Um, well…”

“And bwocowi! Bwocowi and carwats for supper. Nothing else.”

“Um, well…we do need to have some kind of meat. Chicken, maybe?”

“No. How about if you put the meat in with the bwocowi and the carwots, all in 1 big bowl?”

“Hmmm. Yes, that sounds good. How about this sausage?”

“Yes! Yes.”

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel’s Recipe Printable

helping me bake his cake….Actually, at this point he was lickin’ the bowl.

So Daniel and I made a delicious dinner that, believe it or not, was heartily consumed by all SIX residents of the House of Tiny Men.  Here’s the recipe. Alan made me write it down.

So I typed it out for you to print for yourself.

Just click on the link below to download and print the recipe.

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel’s Recipe Printable

Daniel’s Sort of Gazpacho

Okay, it may not be that pretty, but I promise it was yummy. Even my picky eaters did eat it, believe it or not.

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Daniel tries to hang out with the neighborhood boys, who are all 2 to 3 years older than he is. They are Caleb’s age, and as far as they are concerned, Daniel is just Caleb’s little brother. Daniel has been persona non grata to them.

I told Caleb he was going to have to tell them we can’t play if they can’t include Daniel.

Yesterday I sent them out to play, and I asked Caleb later how it went.

“Oh, I told ’em, ‘If you guys can’t accept the little guy, I’m going to turn you into rotten flesh.”

!!!!!??????

“Ew, Caleb! What does that even mean???”

“It’s from Minecraft.”

“What did they say?”

Caleb made a face that looked sort of like this          8 /

Nothing more was said. So no one said anything unwelcoming to Daniel. Raising boys is apparently not for the easily offended or overly refined….

__________________________

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel's Recipe Printable

The leprechaun came to John David’s class. I asked him who the leprechaun was. He said, “Jesus!” I couldn’t help it. I busted out laughing before I tried to explain Jesus isn’t the leprechaun.

It’s been a fun week so far. Lots of driveway basketball, Lego Star Wars video games, and popcorn eating has taken place.

Caleb’s genius plan for spring break was announced on Day 1:

“Let’s make a rest schedule for this week.”

I laughed, but he appears to be sticking to it.

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel's Recipe Printable

JD loves playing with the magnet letters he got from my friend Amy. Also, JD loves pajamas. He changes back into his pjs the moment he re-enters the house. Sometimes, when I’m going somewhere in the afternoon, I don’t even have time to change him for the 3rd time that day and he picks up his big bros in his pjs.

People probably think I never dress him. hehehe

Hope y’all had a great week too!

SaveSave

Spring Break Day 1: The Shirt War, Full House, Jesus, and The Vote

 

***This post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, April receives advertising fees.***

As we speak, Joshua and Caleb are playing basketball in the driveway while John David and Daniel are rolling around on the trampoline together. Alan is eating supper, and I am updating my blog for the first time in a week. Slacker.

I’ve been working on photo albums through Snapfish lately. Y’all, photo books are 70% off this month (March), so I am making as many photo books as I possibly can. I have about a hundred I could make since the last time I was caught up on photo printing was 2013…

One of my newly created albums came in the mail today, of photos from 2 years ago. One of the boys was a little embarrassed to realize that in this album was an adorable photo of the 4 boys reading together in a chair, and he was in his underwear. Just his underwear. I might have jokingly threatened to share said photo album with future dates. He might have retorted back that the page will definitely be torn out long before that. Sigh. Oh well.

The photo is safe for now, and the picture is so cute. I’d show you, but well, I am at least nicer than that.

I’m trying to hold the boys to just family parties this year. Well, family parties + just 1 or 2 friends.

I took a vote this morning, asking everyone here if they’d rather go hiking today or stay home. Everyone but Daniel voted to stay home, so here we are.

I tried to go walking, but it started raining on me so I cut that short. I passed Joshua on my way inside. Apparently, rain drops don’t phase him. He came in with soaking wet hair.

Y’all don’t want to know how many squabbles I have refereed today. Ugh. This should definitely count as a special skill on my resume. I am extremely experienced at sending everyone to different rooms.

We did have an epic game of driveway birdie tonight, though…wait. No, that’s not what they called it…badminton! I had to ask them what the game was called. Ha! But it was super fun!

Remember that Mother’s Day that they bought me a Badminton set, and so we played that for Mother’s Day? Only now, the boys are actually way better at it than I am!

Joshua, Alan, and I were sitting in the living room today getting quite a show from a new sport taking place on our trampoline. Daniel and John David were out there together, and we watched them take their shirts off and have a shirt war.

Joshua observed, “John David sure is good at whipping Daniel with his shirt!” They had a better view than I did, and they kept saying, “Ohhhh Owww  Whoa! Ho! hahahaha! Is he okay…..yeah.”

For some reason this game made Daniel and JD quite happy, so we didn’t intervene. Perhaps we should all try it…. ha!

**************

I came home a couple of weeks ago with the complete DVD set of the original Full House. Why? Because I’m the world’s worst person at sticking to any sort of budget…..also because we have already watched Fuller House, so I felt like the boys had to see the first series to understand it better.

Alan took so long at Walmart this afternoon, on a trip to buy Daniel’s birthday present and Tostitos, that we watched 4 episodes of Full House while he was gone. Our family is all about it right now, so don’t be surprised if you hear the boys say “How rude!” or “Have mercy!”

*************

I heard 2 funny quotes this week that I wanted to share.

1.”Who is I love Lucy? Were they zombies?”

2. A leprechaun visited John David’s school. He left them Skittles and a messy classroom of confetti and such. I asked J.D. who the leprechaun was. He didn’t miss a beat, “Jesus.”

**************************

I came across some encouraging Bible verses in my reading today:

“Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.”   John 6: 15

I’ve been thinking lately about how apolitical Jesus was. He was never interested in power or rule or talking politics. He wanted to teach about God, love, and healing people. I feel like as Christians we need to persist in getting our message of love out to the world. Things of this world are temporary, but our souls are eternal. Love is eternal.

“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”    John 6: 27-29

 

Believe. Faith. Hope. Love. Against such things there is no law.

And now on to the rest of Spring Break. 1 day down, 8 days to go. I’m excited. I still have a  great deal of refereeing ahead of me, but it’s worth it because I also have days of Badminton and shirt-whipping.

I’d upload photos for you to have a peek into our adventures, but my computer is so full it won’t let me upload anything new. Issues. I can only give you pictures that I can steal from Facebook. Triple sigh. You know that’s driving me crazy. But don’t worry. I will not rest until I fix this problem!

Okay, one more hilarious quote from tonight:

“Hey, Mom, I am five, and you are thirteen. No! 14. You are 14.”

hehehe Nope. I didn’t correct him. Is that wrong? I say no.

Have a great Spring Break, y’all!

 

 

 

 

Our Funny Valentine Stories

Our Funny Valentine Stories

Caleb got himself this awesome Star Wars set. We take our Legos very seriously around here.

Now y’all know I love me some Valentine’s Day. I love any reason to celebrate…..so long as it does not cost me too much money. And Valentine’s Day is just that, an inexpensive holiday full of chocolate and people saying “I love you.” So I mean, really! What’s not to love???

For us, the key is to be low maintenance about it. Everyone gets chocolate as a gift, and I get the added bonus of flowers. No stress.

Yes, we had to do 4 kids’ classes of valentines this year, but we are not high maintenance  about that either. SOME of the parents are, and I just tell myself that those parents clearly just enjoy being crafty or have money to spare, and I do not let that ruin my holiday.

I’ll admit I did feel a little inferior when I saw what John David brought home though….

Our Funny Valentine Stories

Oh, pre-school….That big red bag was not the bag to hold it all. That was just another one of the valentines.

You might say I was out-given. That’s okay. I have four kids and little interest in crafts. Here’s what John David gave in exchange for all this candy and toys:

Our Funny Valentine Stories

We’ll call it the minimalist’s valentine.

Yeah…..it’s just a card. It was good enough for me when I was a kid, so I figured it’s good enough today. Now, in my defense, it did come with a tattoo inside!

…Of course, I had trouble figuring out how to get the tattoos to stay in the little cards. It took me about 10 cards before I realized there was a little perforated slot for the tattoos. So most of JD’s class actually did not get a tattoo because they fell right out.

Oops. Oh well. By the time I got to Daniel’s cards I had the tattoo slot routine down, so his class got them.

Thankfully, Daniel has a small kindergarten class of about 13 kids because he painstakingly picked out exactly which card to give to which kid .

Our Funny Valentine Stories

Daniel’s valentine cards

He was so adorable. He insisted on putting extra heart stickers on all the girls’ cards and extra-extra heart stickers on his sweet teacher’s card.

Daniel is my first perfectionist child, so he had quite a large trash pile of cards that he wrote and then decided that he messed up on because he wrote Daniel in the wrong place or his handwriting wasn’t up to his standards:

Our Funny Valentine Stories

hehehe I love these kids. They looked pretty happy when they came home.

Our Funny Valentine Stories

Yes, he did pass out on my sofa in a sugar-induced coma.

As for me, I had an awesome day. Alan took a few boys with him to buy my flowers the day before. He said the boys all grabbed arm-loads and arm-loads of the grocery store flower bouquets, and he had to put most of them back. “Whoa! Okay, boys, we love mama, but here. Just a couple.” They brought me home these beauties:

Our Funny Valentine Stories

I love them.

Alan also got me my favorite Valentine candy:

Our Funny Valentine Stories

I ate them all in a day, except for those nasty flavors.

Unfortunately, Alan actually bought me THREE bags of these goodies, so I gained a couple of pounds last week. Literally. I gained three pounds, one for each bag. Also when I look at sugar-food now I get nauseous.

Now before I go, I wanted to also say a big THANK YOU to all who voted for me for Military Spouse of the Year. No, I didn’t win the grand prize. But guess what!!!!!

I DID win for our local base. So this was a fun thing to be a part of.

THANK YOU for your votes!!!!! Hope you all have a sweet week full of chocolate and sunshine!

 

3 Funny Stories and a New Page

Daniel did a fantastic job with this underwater robot at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Robotics Fair.

We have now been a military family for 15 years. I know. I can’t believe it’s been that long either. It really doesn’t seem possible, seeing as how I’m only 29…wink, wink.

So I took the time to compile a tab on my menu bar that will take you directly to a list of links to articles that I wrote about this crazy military life that we are leading.

See it up there?

Check it out here.

Hope your week is off to a good start! I’ve heard a few funny things around here lately, and it’s been a while since I shared those, so here we go….

1.) The 1900s

Joshua, getting ready to watch Parent Trap for the first time, said, “Sure, Mom! I like your movies from the 1900s.”

And just like that I aged 100 years.

2.) Frozen again

Snicker if you want, but I still have Frozen songs on my playlist. (Seriously, someone give me some new song ideas to download!)

I was singing “Love is an Open Door” right along with Anna and Hans, and Caleb said:

“No. Love is locked in a safe. Please lock it in a safe.”

I let JD go walking with me. It took us like an hour to walk half a mile because we had to stop every few feet for him to collect acorns, stow them in his stroller, and drop and pick back up his Lego mini figures repeatedly. I have since been sneaking out stealthily whenever I want to get my walks in.

3.) J.D.’s new home

Remember how J.D. started preschool? Well, he’s so excited about this, and he’s going to school at the same place his brothers go to school and we go to church. We are there a good bit, you might say.

So John David has been walking around the building enthusiastically telling every adult who speaks to him, “I live here now!”

hehehe! I hope you will go check out my new Military Family page! Have a great week!

 

 

 

 

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