Harbor attended his first Razorback Homecoming game a few weeks ago with my family. David, unfortunately, had to oversee a crew at work, but Harbor and I joined up with my parents and the rest of our extended family for tailgating and the game.
My cousin, Rachel, is a junior at the UofA and is in the Razorback Marching Band. I feel so lucky because we usually get to go behind the scenes at the games and see and meet lots of neat people. She always invites us into the Razorback football players training field where the band warms up. It is lots of fun and it makes my heart beat fast- all the anticipation before a big game! Her roommate is also Sue E., the official Razorback "girl" mascot. We get definitely get special attention from Sue E. at the games and Harbor thinks she is a wonderful pig! : )
Entering the practice field area and the indoor training facilities on campus....
Good luck, Rachel! Go Hogs!!
We love you, Sue E.! Great job supporting and encouraging the fans! : )
Rachel and Sue E- Sue E. pretended to play the piccolo with Rachel as she marched by.
Rachel on the field during the half time show
My parents, Karen and Les
My aunt, Rachel's mom, Cathy
Harbor finally fell asleep under this coat in the 4th quarter. He was great the entire game and sat still on the bleachers with me. It was a bit crowded with no leg room, so I was really proud of him for not wiggling down and running away! Ha!
After the game, Harbor slept in the RV and we tailgated some more. Rachel and Sue E. joined us for smores and we had fun being together as a family. It was a chilly night- the first night of "fall" it felt!
My family and close friends- had fun girls!
Harbor was a giraffe for Halloween this year. He liked visiting his friends and family and knocking on their doors the best of all! Having a small child makes all the holidays merry! We have just as much fun as he does. : )
Too much Halloween!
There are lots of new babies on their way! My mom and I have been busy sewing, painting, and crafting lots of fun goodies!
One new baby just arrived last weekend, Mattix. We took a few minutes to go to the hospital to visit him and his parents. They are such wonderful, sweet people and we look forward to playdates with Mattix when he is up and ready for it! : ) Congrats on your new bundle, Matt and family!
The University always has some fun event going on- it is what I love most about living in a college town. David and I both graduated from the University of Arkansas with Bachelor's Degrees, so it is also our Alma Mater, which makes it even more special to us. When you walk its leaf-covered sidewalks in the fall and trudge its steep hills in the snow, the Univeristy of Arkansas becomes something more to you- I have five years worth of memories attending class on the campus.
Rachel invited us to a pep rally last weekend to get ready for today's big game and to showcase their music from this season. The cheerleaders, flags, and twirlers were also there, along with our Sue E. and Porkchop mascots. As a big surprise, many of the University football players came and played drums with the band. It was great fun to see them join together to support one another. David especially loved seeing the football players and experiencing their sense of humors up close and personal.
I quickly sketched a free handed poster for Rachel to see us from the floor- we had a good time at the good ol' UofA that night!
One of our starting players, DJ Williams, was a hoot on the drums and kept us laughing- they were really actually very good drum players, but Rachel said they had been practicing with the real drum line for weeks! Ha!
Veterans' Day is very special in our family. I am an Army brat, as many of you already know. My dad graduated from the University of Arkansas with an Engineering degree and was commissioned into the Army as an intelligence officer. When I was three years old, we moved out of the country to Nuremberg, Germany for three years. I attended an American/German school preK- 1st grade. I still remember some German, though I am not as good as I used to be.
When I turned seven, we moved to Fort Hauchuca, Arizona where I attended 2nd grade for only 6 months. We then moved to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where I finished 2nd grade and attended 3rd through 6th grade.
My entire 6th grade year, my mom and I stayed in Fort Leavenworth while my dad did a mission in Seoul, Korea alone. It was a rough year, but as a military family, we didn't bat an eye. Life continued. It made me very independent, which I am still am to this day. I am very nomadic and have the urge to pack up and to move a lot- which we have! Ha!
We then moved to Fort Gordon, Georgia where I attended 7th grade for 6 months at a private school complete with uniform requirements and the whole nine yards. It was a very strict environment.
After that, we moved here to Northwest Arkansas where I attended the last 6 months of 7th grade. My first time in a public school was at 13 years of age- it was very different than what I had been used to! I remember thinking I had entered the twilight zone. Thank goodness I made lots of great friends- many of which I am still very close to today.
I definitely had an adventurous childhood- we vacationed in the Alps, picnicked in the same places where the Sound of Music was filmed, snow skied in Switzerland for many years, hung out weekends in Holland and Amsterdam, and castle hunted for years. I actually learned to ski in the Alps where my parents put me in private lessons. We lived in Adolf Hitler's soldiers' barracks for three years on the American base, and I woke everyday to see Hitler's famous stadium out our windows. We drove European cars on the Autobahn, and bought one and had it shipped home eventually. In kindergarten, I took my first overnight field trip to the Black Forest of Europe to see the cuckoo clocks. We went camping in Holland during the Tulip Festival and loved Oktoberfest- the real one! Ha!
I have memories of crying at Neuschwanstein's Castle out of boredom- we took every single guest who visited us there. Ha! We probably went there five times, but I would give anything to go back now!
We shopped in the economy market off post, visited Catholic cathedrals, ate authentic food and drank wonderfully made wine, and took lots of sight seeing tours, as you can imagine. We even swam on partially nude beaches -yuck!- which was the norm in that part of Germany. Ha! We wore our suits, mind you.
We also had mandatory evacuation drills where we practiced leaving school, getting on a plane, and then they had us rehearse that we "knew nothing." I learned how to hide my dog tags for identification and how to lie to adults who may try to use me to extort intelligence information. We practiced flying procedures in the case that a war should separate me from my parents and I memorized "speaking lines" to protect my identify from terrorists. My mom never liked the routine drills, but they were necessary. My dad worked on some very, very big intelligence deals.
So, dad, thanks for an amazing childhood. We did some incredible things- in fact, most people can't fathom half the things we have done and seen during our time in the service. I could go on and on about the adventures we went on, but I won't bore you. Ha! I am thankful for a father and mother who valued freedom and instilled in me that it doesn't come without a heavy cost.
I am a better wife and teacher and mother because of my upbringing. I know what it means to leave home and move away. I know what it means to be the new kid, and as a teacher, I have a BIG heart for those kids. I know what it means to function as a single parent and keep the house running- my mom did it all the time. I know that what we have has to be fought for tooth and nail.
When you know more about my background, I think you really understand who I am on a deeper level. Aren't we all made up of wonderfully intricate experiences, woven together? Don't they seem to define you and explain away so many of your "quirks"? : )
Thank a veteran!
Today, we had our Christmas card pictures taken, tonight I am going out to dinner with my 5th grade teachers, and tomorrow is Harbor's 2nd birthday party! So many reasons to be thankful! Have a great weekend!