24 December 2009


Home sweet home. I know a lot of you that read this have seen the videos of me coming home and some of the photos on Tiffs facebook page. So...I wont have a lot of that stuff on here. Just an FYI.

But I will tell you that other than 1-Getting married to Tiffany 2-Having my kiddos- This has been the best experience of my life. Being separated from them for so long, and then reunited is a feeling that I really can not even put to words. I wanted to explode....scream....run around....cry.....just such a mix! It was so awesome. To see Coop and have him run to me yelling DADDY!...wow.

And Chase (Chaz....Chasey-bud...) He has gotten so big. He really did not know what to think about me at first, but after a few hours...he knew that this was not "web cam or picture" daddy. It was the real thing. And we have had a blast re-connecting over the last 2 weeks. HE IS SO FRIGGIN CUTE!

Then there is my best friend. To see her beautiful eyes looking back at me...her amazing smile, and to smell her hair....ah.. it was perfect. (And not to mention we were not together for more than 3 hours before I heard the most amazing laugh in the wide world!) To hold her hand and to taste her sweet kiss again, time stopped. She is so amazing. And I knew this all along, but there is something about being away for so long that makes you realize how much you take for granted. And I appreciate and cherish her so much, and coming back just made all of that come to the surface. It was almost too much....almost.

Our time here has been great together. Lots of laughs. And even more love. Cooper has been attached to my hip the whole time. Chase loves to cuddle, and I get to see my Tifi be her amazing super mom self........which brings me to my next point..

I HAVE NO IDEA HOW SHE EVER LEAVES THE HOUSE!!!!! I am not even kidding. I don't know how she has the time or anything else to keep this house the way she likes it let alone herself! She is amazing. I know that I am at times dodging bullets and IEDs....but she has a MUCH harder job!

We have done lots....shopping for Christmas gifts....celebrating our favorite season...eating out ( LOVE BJs and the Original pancake house)... Just hanging as a fam... its been great. And Weird.

When I first got here that is what I told Tiff one of our first nights together. I said that it was so odd that I was just in a combat zone a week before. (I had about 3 days leading up to my leave "off" and not on missions) And then I was cuddling on the couch with my wife. To go from one extreme to the other was just something that I have never experienced before. I mean, soldiers in WW2 did not get this. They went to Paris...but they were still there with other soldiers. I am with my family...far removed from all things war. Its good....just weird.

But...our time is drawing to a close. The Lord answered a prayer of ours and time did not fly. I am a little excited to get back..because every day I am there...is a day close to being DONE! And the next time I come back...I wont GO back. But we have enjoyed our time together, and thank you to everyone who has helped.

And a special thank you to our parents. Especially mine. I am sure that it was the hardest thing you have ever done in not coming out here. I know it would be if Coop or Chaz were in my shoes and I in yours. Thank you. It means the world the sacrifice you made. I love you.

Be on the look out if you are on "The List" for some updates...

Thanks for your prayers and support in all of this. I cant wait to say all of that in person.


03 November 2009

Bullet points about a deployment

-Afghanistan smells like a curry covered turd most of the time
-most explosions don’t involve a fire ball-the movies have it all wrong
-When RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) are shot…they are hard to track. Again…the movies got it wrong.
-Pictures mean the world to you
-Music keeps you sane
-The Lord will show up both during, and immediately after a firefight to let you know that He is -there and you will be OK.
-The sound of helicopter rotor blades is music to the ears
-Hearing your son on the phone makes your day
-Hearing your wife smile over the phone gets you through
-Web cams are the best invention ever.
-Afghan bread is AMAZING
-Getting boxes is like Christmas
-Being here makes you realize there is so much about life that you had taken for granted. And you will not do that ever again.
-AK47 gunfire is VERY distinctive…and it makes you angry.
-My wife is the most beautiful woman in the world…no really Im not just saying that…I have been over here….she is. BY FAR!
-War brings out the best…and worst in people.
-Changing a tire on a stryker is NOT fun

25 October 2009

Update from "THE STAN"!!!!

So, I am really not good at updating this blog. Not at all…never have been. But I hope the “I have been in Afghanistan for the better part of 4 months” excuse will fly. LOL. So, as I sit in my room….most of you all are fast asleep, I felt that I need to write. (by felt…I mean my wife suggested I update my blog….but I really was planning on it myself….really..I was!)
Lots of people ask how I am doing. And I always say OK. But really, that is the best way to describe me. I am ok. Some days…I am really good, others, its really hard. I will say, there are more good than bad. But the bad…is REALLY bad. Weather we have lost someone…or I am really homesick missing my bride and my boys…the hard is really hard, and seems to outweigh the good. But like I said…there is more good than bad. So..that is what I mean by ok. Its 70/30.
What I will say, the Lord is here. Wow. He shows himself to me EVERY DAY! At night…it’s the milky way. During the day, it could be a cool breeze, or the smile from an Afghan child that reminds me of home, or the pictures on my wall. He is also here in the worship services and bible studies that I am involved with. I am not in the island that I thought I would be here. There are other very strong believers here. It is AWESOME! The Lord knew this would be an encouragement to me…as well as to others to know that we are not alone. Praise Him!

I have been playing guitar and leading worship every time I am here when we get together. Sometimes I am on mission but can not make it…and that is a bummer, but I still have my Zune…so I have my own little worship service if I am able. We have a Sunday morning service, and on Sunday evenings we have a bible study and we are currently going through Ephesians. On Tuesdays we have another bible study, most of the time I am out during that one. Thursdays are a praise and worship night with a lot of prayer. We are usually together for at least an hour and a half. It is such a blessing for the heart! I feel charged up every time I go, it really is something to look forward to.

The last 3 months have been hard. This is the closest I have had to deal with death, and destruction. It is not fun. There is nothing glorious about it. War truly is hell. It has made me really appreciate all that I had taken for granted back at home. But like I said, the Lord is here and He alone is sustaining me. Thank you for your prayers, they are felt, and I know that is why I have the peace in my heart that I do.

I am really looking forward to December, I will be going on leave then, and CAN NOT WAIT to see Tiff and the boys. Please pray that I am there for Christmas day and that my travels go well. (and that time comes to a STOP while I am there) I look forward to phone calls and webcamming!

BOXES. Oh my gosh! THANK YOU a thousand times. They make my day! Really, each time I get a box, its like Christmas! (BTW…Kelli and Lee…the dave glover CD, Are you kidding?? YOU ARE AMAZING!) I have been able to spread the love and generosity around my platoon. Some give me a hard time for how much I get…until they need shampoo, soap, a brownie (miss krosley…amazing), or something else. Really, the inside of my CHU looks like the PX!
Now that I can do this…I will try to update more. (yea…I will try. Mom…stop rolling your eyes.) This one really has no theme other than a shotgun blast update…and unfortunately…my stories may have to wait till we all see each other in person. But..we will see.

Again, thank you all for your support, prayers, boxes, and love. All are needed and felt. You all truly show what it means to love.
Tiff-you’re beautiful.

03 July 2009

Is it bad?

So I was inspired by my good friend to do an is it bad post...

Is it bad that I think the 10 second rule can apply to 90% of the places you go for anyone?

Is it bad that I think the TV is a perfectly fine substitute for parental supervision at times?

Is it bad that not everyone will get that because they might not know me that well?

Is it bad that when we are driving around...walking places...going to the mall, that I am looking for spots we COULD be ambushed...or get ambushed....sizing EVERYONE up to see who could pose a "problem" if something awful came up.

Kinda like above...
Is it bad that I have a thing about standing/congregating in doorways? (at work we call them the fatal funnel) And I have to know and will look for all exits when we are out anywhere...ya know...just in case.

Is it bad that if you are a police officer I feel it is your duty to carry your weapon concealed to church?

Is it bad that my thoughts are like those above?

Is it bad that I want my boys to be tender, caring, strong young men of God who are fiercely devoted to their family, that are well loved by others, but those that may not like or love them, know that if they dis-honor their mother, sister (if they have one) or are just mean to others around them...that those people will have a "bad day"?

Is it bad that I think video games are a true hobby?

Is it bad that I really think I could go toe to toe with a cougar and win......seriously.

Is it bad that I feel I should be able to open hand...or back of the hand (you all know what that is) smack, the Jonas brothers, Perez Hilton, most of the cast of high school musical, The pres of Iran, and the entire congregation at the West Boro Baptist church?

OK...there ya go...
What are yours?

29 June 2009

Beer Review #5

Name:Shiner Romanian Black Lager
Temp:Same as the other 4
Vehicle:Frozen Pint Glass

Ok...its official, I have a thing for Porters! Dunno what it is...but they are so friggin good! LOVE THEM!!! I did notice something with this beer, that I can say about the other porters but not of the traditional beers. They are almost better a little warmer than Ice Ice cold. (for those of you that are like me that are now 2/3 of the way through ICE ICE BABY in your head...rock on!) It was a strange find to me. Finnaly I dont feel like I have to slam a beer so it wont taste like warm urine! WOOT.

This stuff is awesome! Love it! Smooth finish, great taste (see the other porter review) If yo like porters or are looking to get into them....go here!!! Plus the bottle looks cool!

Beer Review #4

Name:Mandarin Hefeweisen
Temp:Back of the fridge cold
Vehicle:Frozen Pint Glass

For me Hefe's have been hit and miss...almost 50/50. This one was good. It had some type of chinese beer influences (So sayith the label). It was good, stronger than the other to lighter beers in the previous posts. But good. Not my fav. 6/10. I think the saving grace was the hint of citrus. If not for that...just kinda of a blah beer.

Beer review #3

Name:Blue Star
Temp:Back of the fridge cold
Vehicle:Ice cold pint glass

A little different than the Honey beer in the previous post. It is an unfiltered wheat ale. AND IT WAS GREAT! Of the 3 lighter colored beers I have had so far...this was my fav! Smooth taste. Had a GREAT after taste. Kinda like some of the porters I have it has a great finish! Again, if you are like I was a few short years ago...another great beer to start to expand your horizons on!

Beer Review #2

Name:Oregon Honey Beer
Temp:Back of the fridge cold
Vehicle:Frozen pint glass

The first of some of the lighter colored beers I have. It was very sweet, refreshing... tasted great! Not too weak...but this was no IPA or some other bitter beer. Very smooth, easy to drink. A good Beer for the first timer going out on a limb away from the Budweiser tree.

23 June 2009

Beer Review #1

About 8 years ago I enjoyed my first beer. Yes...it was almost that long ago. I was with some friends from work (Kevin and Mark) and it was so cold...so GOOD! I am NO lush, but I enjoy the taste of a brewski!

My brother can attest to the fact that my palate was limited. I would never go past a Bud-Select for the longest time...no matter how hard he tried.

But over the last year or so...I have broadened my beer horizons. Thus I will be giving my review (although I dont have alot of knowledge on beer...I just know what tastes good to me) on some brews that were recently purchased that I have not either tried before...or have limited time drinking.

So this is for us Beer retards that are not educated on the
brews...but like the taste. So this will be in layman's terms to say the least.

But before I begin...here is what I like to drink.
Blue Moon
Pyramid line of beers
The Michelob line of Micro-Brews
Stuff at the Ram or The Rock restaurants
Henry Weinhards
Shiner Bach
Black Butte Porter
Other stuff like Blue Moon

Ok, so on to my first review..

Name: Henry Weinhard's Classic Dark
Temp:Back of the fridge cold!
Vehicle: Pint Glass

First impression was a DARK beer. It was NOT see through. Poured into the glass...no head (because of the pour)
First taste....SMOOTH! Oh so smooth. Nice taste...not bitter...did I mention how smooth it was? Not really a coffee taste...kinda "woody" if that makes any sense... My wife thought it was amazing! If you are skeptical about dark beers...let this be your first! VERY GOOD!!

So this was the first of at least 6 that I will do over the next week or so...maybe sooner depending on how "hard" my day was. HA!

So...if you are a NOVICE beer connoisseur like I am...I hope this helps!

17 February 2009

Got official word...

We are going to Afghanistan this summer. Like I said on my facebook page...

Then taliban are gonna have a rough year.

08 February 2009

What a week

So this was a weird week.

It started with a wedding and a birth. And has ended with a death.

Yea. The last one is a little morbid...but that is where I will start.

This morning I talked to my Dad and my grandma passed away. She died earlier this morning in Texas after a battle with cancer that was pretty much over when we found out the cancer was there. She told the nurse just before letting go that she was ready to go home. So she is there now...with my grandpa (Nevil...my dads parents) and is not hurting or sick anymore.

Please keep my dad and aunt and uncles and my grandmas husband Lionel in your prayers. (She and Lionel have been married for the last 10 or so years. He told her that she should be buried next to Grandpa and when she sees him to thank him for letting her spend a few years with him.) That was really sweet. She was a barrel of laughs and even though we fell out of touch over the last few years. I will still miss her smile...and laugh. She was one of the sweetest hug-you-on-first-sight women you will ever meet. She will be missed.

On Monday of this week, we were honored to be the official witnesses for Scott and Krista Tillman's wedding. It was a small ceremony with a justice of the peace in Olympia, but it was not the sterile "civic" ceremony that we all expected. It was really nice, and the words that the judge said actually got everyone a little emotional! It was a great night, and we will always cherish the honor! Thanks guys!

The next MORNING at 2 am Tiffs water broke after 2 hours of contractions! HA! and after a very "Hollywood" (screaming and fast driving) trip to the hospital... Chase Evan was PUSHED out by 5:14 that morning. Au natural might I add! My wife is a stud! She has put up pics on our flickr site and you should go and see our expanded family! he is super cute!

I know that was short...but, tiffs blog also has everything in print for you to read...and she is a MUCH better writer!

13 January 2009

How the heck????

So my son just came out of the bathroom after saying he had to go pee. And he went. And somehow...he got pee all over the front of his shirt! Seriously! It was alot...and a straight line up!
I know the physics behind the issue...I have the same plumbing. I do think its funny!

Mom, did I do stuff like this?

05 January 2009


Everyone knows about the fighting that is going on over in Israel. Hamas has been shooting rockets to just..well..inflict damage on they-don't-care-who, and Israel has had enough. I will be honest...I can't go back dozens of years in my head to see why Hamas would do all of this. But...Israel was made a nation. And ANY nation has the right and duty to protect itself and its people.

So...what do you think? Is Israel going too far? What would be the solution?

My 2 cents.

You are dealing with terrorists. They are organized. But they are terrorists that hide among civilians. They are the SCUM of the earth. They understand one thing. Death. They have no problem dishing it out. But when the pendulum of violence swings the other direction...usually with enough force to HOPEFULLY break the will of the other to fight...everyone freaks out. Collateral damage is awful. Children and women dieing is awful. But I fully believe that the Israeli army is not INTENTIONALLY targeting civilians! But...they are trying to be as precise as humanly possible. But...they bad guys are in the middle of them...and they are there on purpose. They can not stand and fight. So they hid behind women and children, and waive their fists when one of them is unfortunately hit.

Does that make sense. It is a little different for me now that I am on a different side of the line. I can see where Israel is coming from. And I bet it is very hard to be on the ground over there. I do pray that this can be resolved quickly. But I also pray that terrorists will be wiped from the face of the earth. All of them. But...I have a feeling I will not see that on this side of heaven.

What are your thoughts?

03 January 2009

What goes up...gets on Dad

Well, I am back on here. My family and I just got back from a visit to Saint Louis and it was a great trip! It is home. It really is. As soon as the wheels hit the ground...we just felt it. Thanks to all of those that made the trip AMAZING!

It was amazing...and by amazing I mean...fun, tiring, restful..(kinda) and a good time to catch up.

The first day in town I had a little date with my nieces. It was a blast! That night we had a guys night and got together with a few friends. We talked...had some AMAZING beer (thanks Chubs) and had a great time.

Christmas eve was great. We went to church with my mom and I was in my Class "A" uniform. (Fancy green suit). It was fun to see alot of old friends. But...we went to STL with a boy that had a manageable cold. But on Christmas eve...it took a turn for the worst.

He woke up from his nap before we left with a fever around 102. But...we went anyway. He was UBER lethargic..but we gave him some meds and after the service he was back to normal. At about 3:15 Christmas morning I was in his room...laying next to him comforting him as he was upset. Didn't know why...but I was enjoying some cuddle time with my boy.

Till he started puking.

Yep...that poor boy wretched everything he ate that day all over his bed. Twice. THEN I took him to the bathroom....and he did it again.

He got a bath. We put the sheets in the washer...and I cleaned up the chunks.

Back to bed at 4. I was with him...to comfort him...he was really scared. We fell asleep. Heads together....on our backs looking at the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. At 4:30 he said..looking up, almost cheek to cheek with daddy..."Daddy...my froat hur..:dfjaue;n dfsadfkjshdlkfjh;dfa<>:{)(*"}{|:>?:>?^@#(^%*@$*@#^*&!!!!!!!!!!!" Yep...puked again...this time looking straight up....CHEEK TO FRIGGIN CHEEK with dad. And what goes up....comes down in your sons face and the "back blast" gets all over yours. And then your poor little boy sits up and looks at you like he just came out of a pool he was so soaked. WITH chunks in his eye lashes. GROSSSS!!!

He got another bath...we took the previous sheets out of the dryer...and put those on the bed. UGH...it was rough.

The poor kid was not himself until the last 3 days of our trip. It was a bummer. But other than that...it was fun!