Tag Archives: military

Book Review: Founding Mothers

Earlier this week I was at the library with my kids. After finding books about trucks, monkeys, bugs, and firefighters, I was heading to the front to check them out when I walked by this book:

I knew my boys wouldn’t sit through it and I almost walked past. But it made me curious and I grabbed it off the shelf. The next day Daddy was getting ready to read to the boys and I told him, “Oh no, not that one. That one is for me.” With eyebrows raised he asked why I checked out a kids book for myself. 🙂 Because I wanted to read it!

So this book as all about a few ladies in our nation’s history that did great things during the Revolutionary War. Each double page spread is about a different lady, how she met her husband and what she did for this country. The artist, Diane Goode, took great pains to try and copy each lady’s signature exactly how they wrote it themselves.  It’s a great book, one that our daughters and sons alike should read.  Of course you will read about the very famous ladies we all know about:

Dolley Madison (Did you know that she was so well known and powerful that people asked her to find them jobs with the government?)

Martha Washington (Did you know she was afraid of the sounds of guns, but still bravely lived at military camps for 8 winters?)

Abigail Adams (Did you know that she sent her husband advice about government and current updates about politics?)

I also learned about:

Esther Reed (Did you know that shortly after giving birth to her 6th child she organized a fundraiser to raise money for the troops?)

Mercy Otis Warren (Did you know that her letters to congress helped convince them to send army troops to Massachusetts?)

These are only a handful of the ladies covered in this book.  This book should inspire you to raise strong women. These women were strong, brave, and yet feminine. That is a picture of godly womanhood! I also noticed how these women embraced the role of a helpmeet as a spouse. They were constantly helping their husbands whether it was on the battle field or holding down the home front. They supported their husbands, and I’ll be that meant a lot to their men!

Margaret Corbin took over her husband’s gun after he died and was wounded so bad that she never worked again. She is buried at the military academy at West Point.

Mary Murray gave the British so much to drink that the Americans were able to escape without the British knowing about it.

Lydia Darragh spied on the British that used her house as a headquarters. She would write messages on paper then sew them under the buttons of her son’s coat when he went to visit his brother in the army.

George Washington wrote “You ladies are in the number of the best Patriots America can boast.”

If you have a little history lover in your home (or you want a quick 5-min history lesson yourself), I highly recommend this book. Inspire her (and yourself!) to become a strong but feminine woman! (Plus it has cute pictures!)

Our last date (for a long long time)

Last night Titus and I went on our last date for who knows how long.  Emma left this morning to go back to Minnesota but she very nicely let us go on a date before she left.  We went to eat at the Olive Garden, one of our very favorite places to eat.  We don’t live very far from one either!  Titus always orders the same thing, Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp.  I get something different every time.  The last time I was there I got a wonderful Garlic Chicken that I really wanted again, but they didn’t have it. So I got the Braised Beef & Tortelloni instead.  I almost never order beef at restaurants, especially with pasta but this was very very good.  They also had wine samples that night, which Titus likes to try, even though we have never found one we like.  So Titus got half a glass of wine to drink with his meal.  I also rarely order desserts because I’m too full, but I went all out last night.  It is, after all our last date for a while.


That my friends would be a pumpkin cheese cake and in the corner is some kind of chocolate mousse.  Both were excellent. Now we aren’t sure what happened next.  Titus was in a military talkative mood last night, and I just kept nodding while he talked on and on about it.  He was also wearing his red Marines t-shirt last night.  Whatever it was, when we ordered our dessert the waiter came back to tell us that the people sitting at the table behind us wanted to buy Titus a beer. A what???  That has never happened to us before, I was terribly confused.  We turned to look at the four people sitting at the table and the guy lifted his glass to Titus and said, “Semper Fi.”. LOL  Once a Marine always a Marine.  So they exchanged rank and such for a bit.  I told Titus to just say thanks but no thanks to the beer since he doesn’t drink beer (he would have been more excited to try a glass of wine. But of course a Marine isn’t going to buy another Marine a glass of wine ;)).  Titus said he’d order the beer but with the tab on and just take it home.  “There are some things you don’t turn down.” he told me.  I obviously don’t totally understand military pleasantries. 😉 


Poor Titus had it all worked out until the waiter told him in the state of Colorado it’s illegal to take the alcohol out of the restaurants, you have to drink it there.  Well that totally turned his very well made plan into mush.  He had already ordered it and had it at the table. He looked at me and said, “Am I really going to drink this?”  And he did, every drop.  When we left and he couldn’t find the truck in the parking lot I told him I was driving home. ha ha ha ha  Who is this man I married???  He said it didn’t sit well with his stomach at all, but he did sleep very well that night. 😉


Thanks Emma for the great last date! You are a gem.  Thanks honey, for taking me on a date.  And thanks random stranger for buying my husband a beer.  Ummm, wait, maybe not. 😀

The happiest day of my life.

I just finished reading a two-part series that went through 4 generations of women. It started with the great-grandma and ended with her great-granddaughter.  The great-grandma immigrated to the states and the rest of the story takes place there.  Needless to say the story included at least three wars: WW2, Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Titus has a medal for serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom).   If I had known that 3 of the 4 husbands would have gone to war I’m not sure I would have read it.  Even now so many years later war stories and movies still bring it all back.  July 4th will mark 3 years and 7 months since the day that Titus flew into Oahu, completely safe and sound.

It’s kind of a funny story.  I had bought a plane ticket for Nov 5th but a few weeks before Titus’ return date changed to Nov 4th.  I will be forever grateful to the man from the airlines that talked me into spending the $150 to change my ticket a measly 24 hours.  “Just do it. It’s worth it.  You need to be there.” And he was right.  Two of Titus’ friends’ wives picked me up from the airport, took me out to eat (Cheeseburger in Paradise) and let me stay the night with them.  I’ll admit I might not have told the whole truth when I talked to Titus, but is it a lie if you tell the truth in the end? 😉  Titus’ friends on the plane with him told him they had a surprise waiting for him when they landed.  He thought it was a gallon of milk.  He’s such a country, dairy farmer boy. 😉

I didn’t sleep well that night.  It had been 10 months since I had seen him, about six of those he had been in Afghan.  Did we still love each other?  Did we still have things in common? Were we the same people? So much had happened in those few months.  I had moved back to the states after living in Ecuador for 8 months.  My dad almost died.  Titus had been in a IED blast that totaled the truck he was driving. He lost a friend, Garcia, the same week Dad got sick.  He was in a fire fight. He was drained, emotionally and physically.

Nov 4th was hot.  I remember being so warm in the capris and poke a dot shirt I was wearing.  We drove to the military hanger.  It was everything you’d see in a movie: a band was playing, there were flags every where, some people had made big banners that said things like, “Welcome home Daddy”.

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We all watched  the sky, waiting for the plane.

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A wrong one came first, which made us all mad that they would get our hopes up like that.  Someone in the crowd told us that the men are let off the plane alphabetically by last name.  I had to wait for P. Sigh.  When the plane came there was a line of higher-ups that gave them leis and welcomed them home, then they were left to find their loved ones in the crowd of people waiting.

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Titus was one of the first guys off, the whole alphabetically thing was not true. We looked at this picture and we both think the guy at the very very top might be Titus. 😀

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I was in the back and my plan was to wait until he saw me.  He wasn’t after all expecting to see me.  He thought he was going to pick me up later that day at the Honolulu airport.  But I was so happy to see him I ran up to him, put a lei around his neck and hugged him like there was no tomorrow. 😀  He had his gun in one hand and his computer case in the other, and he didn’t hug me back. It was like hugging a pine board. After a second he said, “Um, okay?”.  Ha ha ha, he didn’t know who it was hugging him.  He told me later that he thought I was one of his friend’s wives or something.  So I stepped back so he could get a good look at me.  Once the shock wore off he said, “You aren’t supposed to be here yet.” Now I had kinda thought it would take him awhile to process everything, so I wasn’t mad that he wasn’t more excited to see me.  Men need to think things through for a while sometimes.  We stood at the back and watched other people greeting each other. I distinctly remember this big guy with two huge duffel bags walking up to his girl, throwing the bags on the ground, and grabbing her and kissing her like there was no tomorrow. 🙂  It is a good memory, but at the time slightly awkward since Titus and I weren’t kissing each other yet (we waited until our wedding day).  Then they all had to leave on a bus to go turn in their guns, more waiting for us.  When they came back Titus was mentally ready to see me.  And gave me a big happy  hug.  It was the happiest day of my life.  Some women say it’s their wedding day, the day their first baby is born, maybe it’s your 16th birthday and your dad bought you a car, or the day you graduated from college.  But for me it is Nov 4th about 9:45 a.m.  The day God brought Titus safely home.  Thank you Jesus.

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A quick note, I did not take any of these pictures.  My camera was broken and I didn’t have another one.  All the credit goes to Dog Barney Productions.  Thank you for being there and taking these pictures!  It’s the only picture I have of that week in Hawaii after Titus’ homecoming.

Reading books or watching movies that have war things in them is good for me in a way.  Even though I cry through them all (I almost cried writing this post!) it reminds me of how close I came to losing Titus.  It reminds me that I need to treat him like a hero every day, because that is what he is to me.  It reminds me of the things we went through, to have the very happy life we have now.  Just this week he cleaned the very messy house for me, and had flowers delivered just because.

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He is so sweet, and I don’t deserve him.  I love you honey.  Thank you for serving, and thank you for marrying me.

12 books in 3 months!

I am so happy and proud to say that I finished the adult library reading program by finishing my last book a few days ago.  I thought I was nuts when I let the librarian signed me up last Jan.  12 books in three months????  I don’t have that kind of time! I then went home and figured out that I had to read 4 books very month…..yeah right!  But I did it.  And I feel so happy to have accomplished it!  And as a prize I got a beautiful yellow mug! 


On a side note, I am still pregnant. Last Sunday, March 25 was the official due date, not that I really planned on going before that time but you know…..it happens to some people.  I’m about a week over now.  I had planned on going late, but I hadn’t planned on having a baby in April!  Right now the little person has 11 hours to be a March baby…..probably not going to happen.  I feel great not miserable at all, so other than the (seemingly) endless waiting, and all the annoying phone calls (“How do you feel today??”) I really don’t mind going late.  I think with all the people being induced these days our society has forgotten how to wait for the baby.    Plus I’m really enjoying these last few days being a mom of just one.  I still can’t comprehend having two kids, there is only one of me!  God will have to give me the grace and patients that I’m going to need I guess.  And hopefully bless us with a happy baby. 


We still don’t have names picked out.  We like the name Hope Samantha, but I’m worried about Hope ending in a p considering our last name.  So we might go with Hopeful Cara.  Which this week I really like, last week didn’t like.  As for a boy, I like the name Gideon but I haven’t found a middle name yet.  I got another baby name book from the library today to help out. 🙂


On a very positive note, Titus got a steroid shot in both shoulders a few weeks ago and after a week and half of serious pain they seem to be working! Ever since getting out of the military a year ago he has suffered from shoulder pain and we have seen doctor after doctor about it with no results.  The last doctor we went to told us that Titus had tendonitis (which we had been told before but not told what to do about it) and that steroid shots should fix the problem!  Wow!  Then I asked the doctor if he saw a lot of guys Titus’ age with this problem and he said yes. Another wow! What was wrong with all the other doctors we saw????  We even went to a shoulder specialist with no results or diagnoses!


I could probably go on since I haven’t blogged for so long but James is up now and I really want to post this before something happens and I can’t.  Like the water James’ just spilled. 😀