Monday, April 28, 2008
Dear Natalie, Matthew, and Nathaniel…
I decided to write you a letter this way because I have been trying many times for several weeks to reach you by phone and email with no luck. I have called every number that I can think of where you might be and can't get anyone. I have also emailed you many times, and you don’t seem to be getting those either. This makes me very sad. So it is my hope, for whatever reason I can’t seem to reach you by phone or email that maybe you or one of your friends will see this and you will know that I haven’t forgotten about you. I also don’t know if you get to listen to the many messages I’ve left on your answering machine, but please know this:
I love you!
I miss you!
I can’t wait to come home and see you again!
I also wanted to bring you up-to-date on several things that have been happening here and back home:
Ellie had to go to the vet last week because she was hurting and couldn’t walk very well. The doctor says that she has arthritis in her hind legs. When the doctor asked how old she was, Dawn told her she was only two years old. Then the doctor asked, “Are you sure she isn’t 5 to 7 years old?” When she told her that she had just turned two in April, the doctor seemed concerned because Ellie is too young for this to be happening. This is something that normally happens in dogs much older. She is doing fine now, but has to be kept inside for two weeks to limit her movement and give her legs a chance to recover. I just wanted you to know what was happening. Ellie, I know, misses you too and can’t wait to see you again once I get home and can bring you back to the house to see her. Also, since you didn’t seem to get the email I sent with the pictures of of Ellie (and her BFF Izzy), I’m putting them in this blog too for you to see. They sure look like they’re having fun don’t they! *smile*
You may have heard the news recently about the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai and some of the things going on here in Kabul. Please don’t worry because I am safe and God is watching over me and my buddies.
I have been putting together a picture book for you of all the travels of Ellie Mae, my Webkinz you gave me. She and I have traveled all over Afghanistan, Qatar and even Iraq these past few months and I have taken pictures of her at every location. She is quite the world traveler! *smile* You would be so proud of her, she has been very brave traveling to some of the locations I’ve been. I hope to finish the book shortly after I get home this year. I hope you like it!
(Here is Ellie Mae sliding down the banister at Saddam's palace in Iraq)
(Here is Ellie Mae trying to email you because she misses you.)
(I invited a few of Ellie Mae's friends over for a cookout on her birthday in April. I guess she's pretty popular! *smile* Can you find Ellie Mae?)
Matthew, I hear you are wearing glasses now! Can you have someone take a picture of you so I can see? Maybe you can have someone help you email it to me. I can’t wait to see how much older and studious you look now. *grin*
Grammy and Grandad also miss you very much and are very sad that they have not been able to see you while I’ve been away. I know they got to come to school to have lunch with you a few times, but they would like to be able to see you more, and can’t wait to be able to spend some real time with you once I get back. They wanted me to tell you that they love you and miss you very much. Did you get the package of gifts and goodies they mailed to you? Have you gotten any of the emails they’ve sent you? Did you get the package in the mail from my church? Did you get to watch the DVD of music videos I made using our pictures?
And finally, your goofy, but tired 40-year old Daddy is doing fine too. (I know you love to kid me now about my age. *wink*) My finger that I broke is not doing so well however. It is mostly useless and just hangs off to the side of my hand, making it very difficult to type. In my line of work, that is not a good thing, huh?! I don't know if I ever told you for sure, but the first doctors who X-rayed my hand were wrong. It turns out my finger was broken after all - in two spots! - and there were bone fragments floating around and all the tendons on one side of my knuckle were torn off. My finger has not been healing well, it is permanently stuck in a half-bent curve. It won't bend very far, and it also won't straighten all the way out. I've had two different orthopedic surgeons tell me that I will have to have surgery on it to fix it, but can't have it done here. I will have to wait until I get home, and then once the surgery is over, it will take 4 months of rehabilitation and exercise to help it heal correctly. (can you imagine me doing daily "exercises" with my pinky??! *LOL* Doesn't that sound funny?) Other than that, I work very long hours – sometimes 16-20 hour days – 7 days a week, and don’t get near enough sleep, but it is all part of the job we do here. Me and the guys talk about our kids and our families every day to keep our spirits up. We have one spot on the base here that actually has a couple trees and sometimes when we’re all stressed we’ll go sit under the tree and talk about home. Sometime when some of my guys are in a bad mood, I’ll take them for a walk to go get a coffee and we’ll talk. One time, I even took one of my troops for a banana split! Yummy! Sometimes, to get the guys to smile, I'll do something crazy, like when I went shopping off base last week and put on a crazy hat and shield and screamed out loud! *LOL* (see picture) Since we’re all “guys” we like to talk about stuff like “home remodeling” or our “kids’ activities & sports”, or just about what we’ll do for a vacation once we get back home. I hope to be able to take you on a vacation when I get home too. Where would you like to go? I have some ideas but want to talk to you about it and get your input. *smile*
I hope this letter gets to you. I hope you are all happy and well, and excited to see me again when I get home. It breaks my heart to not be able to talk to you, but I’ll never give up trying to call or email you because you are the most important things in the world to me! I love all of you with my life, and I will do whatever it takes to make your life a happy one. Please be good!!
Hugs and Kisses!!!!
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