4 weeks after 'the break' I took the boy in to have his pins removed....He was so excited and couldn't wait to to get them out!  (Nice ORANGE picture huh? :o)
Mr. Happy
Edward scissor elbow!
Boy 3 watched the entire thing!
WOW! She pulled them out with vice grips!
He did really well - the only time he got a little pale was after the first pin came out and blood followed. Unfortunately they wouldn't let him keep the pins.....
It is just amazing to me how quickly little people heal.  He has to remain 'inactive' for 3 more weeks (haha) and will need another x-ray when we arrive in Korea, but so far so good!  :o)
One week after 'the break' I took Boy 3 in for a new cast and X-rays.  Everything is healing BEAUTIFULLY!  Here, check it out for yourself:
Doesn't that just make you want to gag? I wish I had an x-ray of BEFORE the pins!
Please excuse the spot...I spilled coffee...But can you see the break? Isn't it freaky?
In true CAV spirit Boy 3 picked a black and yellow cast (you know since glow in the dark wasn't an option).  He wanted to make sure he looked good for his Daddy's Change of Command. 

Per his doctor: best case scenario cast will be off before we leave for Seattle on the 11th.  YES!  We will all get to swim, fish and go boating!  Worst case scenario, it won't be off and he will have to go on vacation with a cast on which reduces our fun in the sun...WAIT, we are going to Seattle, there won't be sun - or so I have heard......
The movers arrived an hour late on Tuesday, 8 May.  I thought this was a bad omen.  I wasn't thrilled.  Really?  Late the first day? I can't stand it when people are late.   However after they arrived and got straight to work and didn't take a smoke break after 10 minutes I was beginning to forgive them.  (I'm not sure why/how anyone would forget their ID Card when coming onto a military instillation, but whateve's) After they worked for an HOUR NONSTOP I was really starting to like these ladies.  I loved the fact that they were all LADIES doing my pack out, and they were good at it.  They weren't just tossing my household goods in a box taping it up and marking it 'shoes' when it was really kitchen plates.  They actually LABELED everything that was in the box....This isn't a great picture, but you can see all the writing on the boxes:
The EXACT moment the packers won me over was when I ask them if I could pack my own shoes.  Our conversation went something like this:
Me:  I would like to pack my own shoes, do you guys mind if I grab a box and paper?
Movers: (looking at me like I am nuts) Sure we will fix a box up for you, but just so you know, we wrap EACH SHOE INDIVIDUALLY and place them in the box.
Me: YOU DO WHAT?!?! 
Movers: we wrap EACH SHOE INDIVIDUALLY and place them in the box.
Me: You are kidding me?  You are not serious...?
Movers: Really, that is how we pack shoes.
Me: OK, you can pack my shoes.

OK, I'm in LOVE.  Rocky's Moving and Storage, why can't all moving companies be like you?

Day 2 of the pack out was even better when one of the ladies ask me: "is there anything else you want me to put in
this box? I really don't like to mix boxes."  

I MUST be in the Twilight Zone.

By the end of Day 2 all of our household goods going to Korea were boxed and ready for the movers the next day. 

It was about 6PM in the afternoon, Hubby went to play golf.  I had just poured myself a little 'after the movers leave' cocktail, I had the remote control to the DVR in hand and was about to sit down to watch Private Practice when my neighbors daughter Kenzie came bursting in my house yelling "Mrs Trish, Mrs Trish, YOU NEED TO GET TO THE ER NOW!!  HURRY!!" and she ran back to her house yelling for me to follow her  - What the what, what?  

You see, Boys 2 & 3 were playing at the neighbor's house.  As I was running towards the neighbor's house I was expecting to hear screaming, but I didn't and in the few seconds it took me to get there I thought that Kenzie must have been exaggerating.  There was no yelling and I was seeing no signs of blood.  As I am trying to catch up with her (and with 1000 thoughts swirling through my head) I heard her say it was Boy 3.  He was hurt.  But I was confused.  There was no screaming, crying or sounds of any kind.  That is when I saw my neighbor Kayla with phone in hand leaning over Boy 3 (he was on her couch) asking me if I thought she should call 911.  My first reaction was 'why' - he was lying calmly on her couch, not even crying, but coddling his arm.  When he saw me, the tears started, he moved his hand that was covering his arm and that is when I almost vomited right then and there and said (not very calmly) YES, CALL 911!  I went into a mini panic. I sat beside him while Kayla called 911.  She ask for an ambulance, things were taking too long for me...I ask Kayla if they were sending an ambulance, she shrugged her shoulders and continued answering the questions the dispatcher was asking her.  Again, in my small state of panic the 10 seconds Kayla was on the phone seemed like 10 minutes so I ask her again if the ambulance was coming she shrugged once again and mouthed 'I don't know'. That is when Momma Bear went into growl mode and said 'GIVE ME THE PHONE.'  I took the phone out of her hand and ask in a not very nice way "is an ambulance coming or do I need to put him in the car and drive him to the ER?!?!"  That is when the very nice dispatcher said 'Yes, the ambulance is on the way, I just need to ask a few more questions' - I said thank you - again not very nicely and gave her back to my friend.  Grrrr..... Why couldn't she just tell us the ambulance was on the way before asking a million more questions?

While waiting for the ambulance I collected myself, called Hubby, told Boy 1 he was in charge, let him know where Girl was and grabbed my purse.

It took the ambulance a little longer than it should have because our street is not in any GPS system.  To me, this seems like a problem that should have already been fixed (especially for EMS) since our street is now 4 years old, but I'm not in charge of that.....

The whole time Boy 3 was pretty calm.  He wasn't freaking out crying, screaming or anything.  In fact he was so calm it freaked me out a little. When I ask him what happened he said, "I fell off the slide (a little tykes slide mind you) and Boy 2 fell on top of me and then I heard my bone crack."  
A little while later as he was lying on the couch still waiting for the ambulance he asks - "Mom, are you going to take a picture now?"   I just love that kid!  :o)

Upon arrival to the ER at Darnell they immediately gave Boy 3 morphine.  I ask if they had some for me, but I think they thought I was joking.  I wasn't.

See that big lump on his arm?  That is his bone sticking up.  No joke.  Compound fracture.  Thank GOD it didn't break through the skin.
Post morphine. He knew that his bone was broken and was telling everyone that he heard it crack.
Before they gave him the morphine, they ask him what his pain level was and showed him the chart.  He told them a 10. While I was talking to him I ask him again about his pain level and explained that a 10 is the worst pain ever and that at a 10 most people are crying.  I ask him if his pain was that bad - he said yes - but he had no tears, at all.  Since I am SO in touch with my feelings (some call it 'emotional basket case', but they are just mean) this didn't sit well with me, so I told him that it was OK to cry if he was in that much pain.  He told me he could cry, but he didn't want to annoy people.  MY HEART BROKE.  I told him to annoy away...this is a time that it was perfectly fine to annoy people.  That is when he said, "Mom, I didn't do my random act of kindness today, so this is my random act of kindness.  I'm not going to cry so I don't annoy people." 

How freaking precious is that?
I thought it was cool that they brought the x-ray machine to him. Look at that lump on his arm....my stomach is churning just looking at it.
Finally after about 4 hours in Darnell, they decided to send him to Dell Children's Hospital in Austin.  At this point I hopped in the car and headed home to grab a few things as I knew we were in it for the long haul now.  When I got home, I started throwing things in my bag getting ready to leave - that is when Boy 1 came in freaking out telling me something is wrong with Max (our dog).  OH DEAR GOD....are you kidding me?!?! I don't have time for this!!  Apparently after someone (I won't mention any names here) cleaned the kitchen after dinner they didn't put the trash away....(we had a roasted chicken for dinner) and Max decided to help himself to the garbage.  As he was enjoying a nice chicken bone (yes, I KNOW they are bad for dogs) it got stuck in between his teeth and across the roof of his mouth.  Again...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  I have a kid in the ER and a dog that needs to go to the Vet ER.  OH MY GOSH - where is that drink I poured myself hours ago?  I tried to get the bone out, but couldn't.  I needed to get back to the ER so I could ride in the ambulance it with Boy 3.  CALGON!!  When I got back to the ER I told Hubby about the dog - he headed home to shower and to see what he could do about the dog...

Once we got to Dell Children's Hospital we had to wait again.  They didn't want to do surgery until 12 hours after Boy 3 had eaten dinner.  SO we WAITED some more.  At about 4:30AM they wheeled us into the room he would be in after surgery.  At 5:30AM they took him down to surgery.   Boy 3 needed a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and he needed another type of pediatric surgeon (I can't remember the name...) on stand-by as the main artery that does down the front of the humerus bone had been displaced and if anything went wrong, he needed to be close by.  Boy 3's doc was amazing!  He told us that best case scenario he would be out of surgery in 1 hour.  If he wasn't out in 1 hour he would have someone come talk to us.  He was out in 50 minutes!   

OH, and while he was in surgery we were finally able to get ahold of our moving company and put them on hold for the day.  AND Hubby told me that he was able to get bone out of the dog's mouth. 
Boy 3 on his way to surgery.
Moments after surgery - we call that blue thing his big blue lego. He had to wear it for 48 hours after surgery.
About 24 hours after surgery he took his first walk to check out this AWESOME hospital.
These next pictures were taken about 36 hours after surgery.  This is when we went to explore this amazing hospital.  There were things for kids to do all over!   They had play rooms, where the kids could do anything from art, to video games to build with legos.  There was a butterfly wall, a bat wall and a huge wall that was a ball maze (in the picture above).  The pictures below are in the MIDDLE of the hospital!  They had an atrium with waterfalls and gardens on each floor.  Boy 3 wanted his picture taken on every floor.
As Boy 3 was checking out of the hospital the toy cart came by!  Boy 3 got to pick out a toy and a book to take home!  How fun is that?!
OH, and through it all we did manage to get our stuff on the moving truck - even though the rain held us up for a while. 
Really.  I couldn't make this shit up if I wanted to.

Now, where is that bottle of wine one should always have on hand when PCSing? 
If you have never done this, do yourself and your kids a favor, go out and buy a 2 liter of Coke, a pack of Mentos and have a little fun!
Last week I was talking to my brother over Facebook when I nonchalantly said, "I'm not even going to bother getting it fixed, I move to Korea in less than three months."  As I typed those 4 words, LESS. THAN. THREE. MONTHS I had an internal freak out.  Are you kidding me?  LESS. THAN. THREE. MONTHS.  That part isn't the real kicker, the kicker is all the thing I have to do BEFORE we move that have nothing to do with the move itself.   Not to mention that we don't have family orders yet.  Hubby has them for himself, but we are waiting for our family command sponsorship to come through, and if you think I'm sending him away for two years without our family, think again!  HEY KOREA, USFK, anyone out there listening?!?!  I would REALLY like to have our family orders IN HAND so I can finish up what needs to be done on this end!!  Fort Hood  sent the request over a month ago!!   I've got work to do over here and my time is dwindling.  Did I mention that I'm a planner?  (Yes, I do realize I should just be happy that I know this far out where we are moving to next.)

I need orders in hand to:  book travel, book moving companies (we will have 3 different pack outs), get Boy 1's drivers license since we have to report to Korea 6 Days before his 16th birthday....they tell me that if I have ORDERS WITH HIS NAME on them he should be able to get his driver's license BEFORE he turns 16, but I'm still waiting for those orders.  Hello people in high places in Korea...  I know I can wait for Hubby to get some of this done, but I would really like to get it done before he gets back (because I am good wife - stop laughing!  :)  so we can spend the last 6 weeks of our time here at Hood doing all the things that need to be done as a commander is changing out of command Not to mention that he will have just come back from a war zone and will need a tiny bit of a break before he moves overseas again...

Let me break it down for you:
4 weeks till Hubby comes home
9 weeks till Hubby's Change of Command
11 weeks till we clear Fort Hood
13 weeks till we are in South Korea
 And SO MANY THINGS in between.  Breathe.  Just breathe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, all things that are happening are good it is just that my head is just swirling! 

(And yes, I do realize we will not be IN Korea in less than 3 months, but our household goods will be packed and shipped in less than 3 months.)
Today I unexpectantly found myself in a waiting room sitting by a super cute little old lady, we were making small talk when I noticed this:
Of course I flipped out over it, I mean who wouldn't?  It's a freaking BEDAZZLED cane!  With her initials bedazzled on it, and the periods are hearts (as she proudly pointed out to me) AND did you see the hand sanitizer hanging from the handle?!?!  OMG! I love everything about it!   I ask her where you buy a cane like this because I want one even though I don't need it! She told me she when was visiting her granddaughter in California her granddaughter ask her if she could 'borrow' her cane for a couple of days because she wanted to 'jazz it up' a little.  When the little old lady got her cane back this is she did to it!    I ask her how old her granddaughter was and she told me in her 30's.  This is when I told the little old lady that her granddaughter should go into the cane bedazzling business!  Then the little old lady told me 'that's what everyone says when I tell them my granddaughter made this, but then I always say to them - ' I don't think you would want my granddaughter to quit her job.  My granddaughters name is Jennifer Love Hewitt".  I laughed and said "really", in somewhat disbelief.   The little old lady grinning ear to ear said yes - to with which I responded "THE Jennifer Love Hewitt?" The little old lady was beaming with pride and said "Yes, THE Jennifer Love Hewitt!"  We exchanged more pleasantries and I told her that she (the little old lady) was now my claim to fame! 

How fun is that?  I could have sat and listened to her all day; her hubby joined the army during WWII and served our country for over 40 years!  We sat and talked for about 30 minutes - what a sweet blessing she was to me today.

When I am 85 years old and I need a cane I hope to God that my famous granddaughter bedazzles my cane for me.
Today Fort Hood kicked off Child Abuse Prevention Month and Month of the Military Child and three of our kids were not only in attendance, they also participated in the program.   When we got the call a month ago asking if one of our kids would introduce the General of Fort Hood at the kickoff I wasn't sure they could/would do it.  When I ask them they said yes, but only if the three of them could do it together - none of them wanted to be on stage alone.

Today we showed up in true 'Cav' spirit sporting black and yellow and wearing our "Until They All Come Home" wristbands.  The kids seemed excited and were ready to do this, I on the other hand was a nervous wreck for them!  (Girl and Boy 2 are pretty shy.) However when the time came, they NAILED it!  They spoke loud and clear!  They were applauded several times and Boy 2 brought many laughs when he check his hand when it came to the word "proclamation"! 
This is what they said when they introduced General Campbell:
They each introduced themselves:
And then all together they said: We are proud military kids! (Lots of applause...)
They waited for the applause to die down and then they all said "Our Dad is a soldier in the 1st Cavalry Division" 
Boy 2 said "and he is also deployed to Afghanistan" (more applause!)
Girl Said, "We would like to thank General Campbell for dedicating this day to kick off a month of honoring and celebrating Military children."
Boy 2, "Thank you for taking the time to sign the (look at hand) proclamation and for supporting Military children like us."
Boy 3 ended it by saying, "Please welcome General Campbell."

           After General Campbell spoke briefly he invited all the children up while he signed the proclamation.
And then we went for ice cream.  :o)
It is that time of year again when Mom's all over Texas dress their kids up and take them to bluer pastures.  That's right, it is Bluebonnet season across the state of Texas!  The highways are linned as far as the eye can see with those glorious little flowers that only show up for a few weeks in the spring.  

Today the conversation in our house went something like this:
Me (upbeat with a smile):  Today we are taking pictures in the bluebonnets!  
THEM (grumpilly): Do we have to? I don't want to take pictures....
Me (with a bigger smile):  Yes, you have to.  This will probably be the last picture I get of all my children together in the bluebonnets.  Now go get your clothes on.  I picked out what I want you to wear.
The grumbling starts  in one room and I hear it travel thoughout house.....I can feel the fights about to start breaking out.... from Girl's room I hear: I don't want to wear this! From Boy 2: I don't have any clothes that fit me.  Boy 3 comes out with his shirt on backwards.  Boy 1 knows better than to complain.
I call them into the kitchen and tell them (with an even BIGGER smile and as much sweetness as I can muster in my voice) :  LOOK, this isn't about you. This is about me.  This is probably going to be the last time I get pictures of the four of you in the bluebonnets all together.  (Boy 1 is silently cheering!) You WILL put the clothes on that I picked out for you and you WILL be happy about it.  When we get to the bluebonnets you WILL get out of the car, you WILL sit or stand where I tell you to and you WILL be happy.  If you are not internally happy you will pretend to be happy so that when I am old and gray and my memory is failing me I will forget that you were really grumpy in these pictures.  Understand? 
Them: Yes Ma'am.
Me (still smiling and I said this as sweet as possible):  If ANY one of you complains about doing this you will be grounded for three days and you will become my house slave.  Do you understand?
Them: Yes Ma'am.
Me:  Now go get dressed and come back out with a smile...Love you guys! 
The Texas sun was VERY bright today!
This one cracks me up because they were smiling even though their eyes were closed!
My handsome boys!
I got the pictures.  :o)
OH my gosh! I forgot to post about Rosie (the whole Korea thing threw me off for a few days)!!  Last week Girl was worried about Rosie, her Chilean Rose Hair tarantula, she was lethargic and wasn't moving....as it turns out Rosie was getting ready to molt!  We discovered (after the fact) that Chilean Rose Hairs actually lay down webbing before molting.  This is something Texas Brown tarantulas do not do (you remember Guess right - yes we still have him too...).  Anyway, before school one morning Girl came running out of her room saying, Rosie isn't sick - she is molting!  The kiddos got to see most of the molting before they headed to school!  And I must admit it was super cool to watch the process! 
The black part is the "new and improved Rosie" the brown is her old skin.
It took another 10 minutes for her to get this far...
And another 10 minutes to get this far. You can really see her 'fangs' well in this photo.
After 30 minutes she is out! She stayed on her back for about 30 more minutes.
Rosie's old skin!
A few hours after molting
Each New Year I try to think of a creative way to become a better person.  A few years back it was to perform random acts of kindness each day. Now mind you, random acts of kindness can cost you NOTHING!  I remember back in the day I would see someone with ROCKIN' shoes and I would think to myself "I LOVE those shoe", or I would see that mom with three kids in toe with two of them screaming their heads off and the third one lost a shoe and the mom has the look of 'dear God, please help me on her face' and I would think 'Oh sweetie, I feel your pain' and I would move on.  But with my new 'resolution' I started saying those things out loud.  I would say to that lady with rockin' shoes, "Wow! I love your shoes" or to that crazed mom I offered a smile and say 'I feel your pain, hang in there sweetie'.   Such simple jesters of kindness can go a long way; it can turn what started out as a bad day into a good day, all from someone being kind. 

Early last week I challenged my kids to perform random acts of kindness towards one person at school AND  towards EACH SIBLING each day.  I told them we would talk about what we all did at dinner that night.  Well, that didn't work very well because as soon as I picked the kids they couldn't WAIT to tell me what kindness act they performed!  Here are a few acts of kindness they passed on last week:
*Boy 3 asks two kids to be his friend while playing on the playground and then he played tag with them. (He still does not know their names and that was on Tuesday! :)
*Girl ask a little girl that always plays by herself to play come play with her and her friends.
*Boy 2 helped a little boy with his math.
*On lollipop day each child took extra money (their own money) to buy lollipops for kids that didn't bring money to school.
*Boy 2 told a girl he liked her shirt.
*Boy 3 gave his teacher a fossil.
Boy 1 even got into it, his act of kindness is the same each day though - he tells random girls that they are pretty.  Yeah, remember - he is 15.

The kids did great with acts of kindness towards friends and people they don't know.  However it was harder for them to perform act of kindness towards their siblings.  When I started thinking about this it made me realize that it is the same is true for me.  Why am I not nicer to the people I love? Sure, I do act of kindness towards people I love, BUT I don't typically go out of my way to do extra acts of kindness for the people I love.  For example, I send my husband a care package every week or so, but I never include a note telling him how much he means to me.  I just brush it off as "I am too busy, and he knows how I feel - I'm sending him a package - that is enough".  But does he? And really, how long does it take to write a note?  And for the kids, yes, I do all kinds of things for them day in and day out, but do I make them feel special by showing them that extra kindness?  Sometimes, but I can totally improve on it.  This New Year, I am going to work on 'acts of kindness' towards my family.  Last night for example, I let the kids wrestle in the living room, I didn't freak out about the noise level (I have issues with noise - I know, I know) and even got in on the action and guess what - it was FUN! 

If you are interested in getting in on the fun, here are a few more ideas:
Make cookies for your neighbors for no reason.
Make dinner for a family that has a busy night.
Hold the door open for strangers.
Wake up before your spouse and make coffee for them.
Next time you find yourself in a drive-thru buy an extra meal for the homeless person on the corner.
Offer free babysitting for a mom that would never ask.
Help someone with their yard work.
Let someone go in front of you in line.
Bake cookies for your mail carrier, UPS person, garbage collector...(you get the idea)
Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life, or tell them in person.
Write a letter.
Write your child a letter and put it in the mail.
Have a busy friend and you are going to the grocery store?  Call and ask if you can pick something up for them.
Pick up trash that didn't make it to a trash can.
Put love notes in your husband's lunchbox.
Put love notes in your child's lunchbox.
Leave a generous tip!
Pay someone a compliment at least once a day!
Thank a soldier.
Say Good Morning to strangers (with a smile on your face!)
Send flowers for no reason.
Thank a firefighter.
Coach a youth sports team.
Put coins in a stranger's parking meter.
Donate used clothes.
Donate blood.
Invite someone who is alone over for dinner.
Send a little something special to your child's teacher to thank them for what they do.
Visit a retirement home.
Thank a police officer.
Make a love note for your child with crayons and construction paper, just like they do for you.
Do art projects that are messy with your children. (And don't fret about the cleanup!)
Breakfast in bed!

The most fun random act of kindness was at a Starbucks one day last year.  I was inside the store; I was at the front of the line paying for my coffee.  I looked up as a car was driving away and I told the cashier I wanted to pay the bill for the next person that came through the drive-thru.  I did, they were very thankful and they paid it forward to the next person in the drive-thru, and then same with the next car!  This continued through SEVEN CARS!!!  Inside Starbucks everyone was going wild! The cashier would announce "It happened again" and the inside folks would get all excited!  That was a fun random act of kindness. 

Now go out and make someone's day!