Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy 40th Birthday Jon!!

Happy, Happy Birthday to Jon,my wonderful husband of 15 1/2 years.

He can't be with us today, the Army has him away on business for another couple of weeks, but we are thinking of him and wishing we were in the same city. I miss that guy!.

Today his mom and stepdad are here still enjoying their visit. We climbed Diamond Head crater. It was our 4th time, their 1st. They did GREAT! A couple of stops here and there, but it didn't feel nearly as hard as the last 3 times I've climbed.

Either the 4th time is the charm, or all that crazy running I've done has finally started to pay off.

And at the top, we honored Jon(Dad) and let him know that we miss him and that we're thinking of him on his special day.

Happy birthday Jon. We love you and miss you. We're grateful to have you in our lives.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Back to School tomorrow and other thoughts for today...

The 2 younger kids finally go back to school tomorrow. They've been on break since December 18. YIKES! The Hawaii school system is horrible, and weird, and unlike anything we've ever been exposed to. The kids are on a track system, so they're in school for 8 weeks, then break for 3. Well, the grading period ended on December 18 so their "break" falls in line with Christmas break.

That means 5 weeks off - in a row - and it's not even summertime. (Alissa's school is on a traditional calendar, so thank goodness she is not exposed to this madness.)

I love these girls but it's time for them to go back to school. They're starting to bicker, and quite frankly they're getting bored. I like being here alone to work, and not have to listen to SpongeBob on the TV or girls fighting about whose turn it is to play on the Wii or with that Barbie or who was last to leave the room and needs to turn the light off. While I love having the house full of little girls (both mine and the neighbors'), I am tired of cleaning up or reminding little girls to clean up.

Bottom line, if you're ever finding that you have the opportunity to live in Hawaii, really take time explore other alternatives to the public school system. There's an excellent homeschool program here that I almost wish I would have tried, much to Alissa's dismay.

Meanwhile, Jon's mom and stepdad are here. It's been nice and relaxing, and we've spent a lot of time laughing. I think once the kids are all back in school tomorrow, they will start to venture out for more sightseeing, but for now they are content to live our everyday lives with us. It makes me sad that Jon is so far away and can't be here for any of the visit. I am even sadder that we can't go away for his birthday like I wanted, because (1) he won't be here for it, and (2) they'll be gone by the time he gets back and unable to take the kids for a night or 2.

What I wouldn't give for a night/weekend away, alone, just the 2 of us. We really could use that. Not that we're in a bad place or anything like that, but with him travelling so much, and our busy everyday lives compounding things, we don't get too many date nights, let alone time away by ourselves. I think the last time we did that was house-hunting in 2004. (NOTE: If there are any volunteers to take the kids for a day or 2 this summer, let me know....We'll be house-hunting again, wherever we end up.)

I haven't been running since the in-laws have been here. But surprisingly, I know I've lost a couple of pounds. I can tell by the way my pants fit. We've been eating healthy, and eating less. (Although we did have Peanut Butter Pie for dessert last night...)

I gotta get out to run today. There's no excuse. And, I need to spend some time alone. I miss that hour a day to myself. I miss my daily date with Chris Daughtry and Will Schuester ("Glee").

There's no "alone time" when I'm here. Someone under 18 always seems to need my help/attention/advice. One of the many side effects of military life. The girls and I are so close, they don't want to go to anyone else for help except me. It's a wonderful blessing, having such a close relationship with them. But it's also difficult, because I am always reminding them that Dad/Grandma/Grandpa/Ms. Tania/Ms. Nicole/their sister/etc. can help too, especially if that person is standing right beside them.

Well, back to the grind. No new news on the job/move. You all will definitely know if something changes...

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A New Year Begins...

photo courtesy of

So, 2010 is here. I'm not ready.

2010 is bringing a lot of changes to the Heffner household.

For starters, I am begging for a PCS move. Yes, I did the same thing when it was time to leave Germany. Yes, years later I long to re-visit that place and I also realize that we didn't take full advantage of our time there.

I'm sure the same thing will probably happen with this tour - we'll miss Hawaii when we leave. Except that we have taken advantage of our time here. Our copy of "O'ahu Revealed", which I highly recommend to anyone visiting this island, is bookmarked, worn, written in, highlighted, and water-stained.

We've seen and done so many cool things here. It's hard to choose our favorites! But, I'm ready to head back to the mainland. It's time.

Second, I hope to see Jon promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

He's worked hard for this honor, and I hope that the Army Promotion Board sees what I see and rewards him. The board meets next month, so I've added it to the prayer list.

Third, Alissa will turn 16. Sixteen!! Am I old enough to have a sixteen year old??? Most days I don't feel much older than that myself. Don't worry, though, Alissa does her best to remind me that I am routinely uncool, un-hip, and couldn't possibly know what she's going through. Alissa will start to drive this year. (Don't worry, that won't happen until we leave this crazy state and its "Drive With Aloha" ridiculosity.)

Fourth, my career will change. Even if I get to stay with IBM, which is my true hope, I will not be on the same team that I am now. The team itself has already moved, changed names, changed management, and changed the way it runs. I am a "legacy team member", still around until they decide that they don't need me anymore. I hope that some of the networking I've done works out, but rest assured that the job I have now probably won't last for the full year.

And fifth, with the PCS move, we'll have a new place to live, new schools, a new town, new neighbors, and we'll all be the "new kid" again. Jon thinks this could be our last move before retirement. Since he has less than 5 years left, we could conceivably stay in the new place for all of that time, and then move one last time - for good - when he retires. (I said "could", so please don't read anything into that. It's just a statement right now...)

Wow, a lot of stuff is scheduled to happen this year.

Maybe I am ready after all. I think that one of the many things that Army life has taught me, besides profound independence, is the ability to handle change, and lots of it, all at the same time.

This isn't our first trip to Crazytown, and we know what we need to do to prepare ourselves for the journey ahead. There will be bumps, but we've got our battle gear on and our training manuals open.

Most importantly, we've asked God for help. And He's listening. (I can't always hear his cheers, but I know he's rooting for our team.)

So, as our life prepares to change again, stay tuned. And you might want to get your battle gear ready, too. It's better to be prepared for whatever is ahead.