Saturday, March 29, 2008

John's new Home...

Well it's official we now own a camping trailer. After years of waiting and wishing we finally got one. We have been tent camping ever since Tyler has been 3, and those of you that have ever tent camped with kids no that this is not any easy thing to do. After last summer's camping trip when our tent flooded after a heavy rain, I swore I would never tent camp again. So after talking with my very generous Mother in law we were able to buy hers for a steal. And we don't even have to start making payments to her right away, I mean how cool is that. They have not used it in 2 years so it was pretty dirty. All day John and I scrubbed and scrubbed, well I did most of the scrubbing, he was busy trying to figure every little thing out. By 5pm my hands were so sore and red I just wanted to cry. So John took me out to dinner and shopping, he sure knows how to make a girl feel better. I have never seen so many mouse turds, and anyone that knows me well, knows I do not do well with mice, they really creep me out. I was bringing things inside from the trailer to wash and a dead mouse fell out right in front of me. That did not go over so well, I literally was gagging at least 15 minutes, Tyler went running when he thought I was going to be sick. Made the day really interesting though and we got to spend some quality time as a family working on it. Now I just can't wait to camp. Some of my best memories as a kid were spent camping with my parents or grand parents I sure hope I can provide the same for mine. I am so grateful to my Mother in law for making this possible for us, it was so very nice of her. We still have a lot of work and cleaning to do, so tomorrow after church we will be back at it as if I don't have enough to do already, but it will be so worth it in the end. Especially now I will have somewhere to send John when he is in the dog house. He calls it his new home.....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Pictures

Monday, March 24, 2008

Can you believe that Todd is one of these 4,000 Soldiers?

U.S. officials said Monday they will press forward in the fight against extremists in Iraq a day after the overall U.S. death toll in the five-year conflict rose to 4,000.

The White House called the grim milestone "a sober moment" and said President Bush spends time every day thinking about those who have lost their lives in battle.

"He bears the responsibility for the decisions that he made," White House press secretary Dana Perino said. "He also bears the responsibility to continue to focus on succeeding."

The American deaths came Sunday, the same day rockets pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad and a wave of attacks left at least 61 Iraqis dead nationwide.

No group claimed responsibility for the Green Zone attacks, but suspicion fell on Shiite extremists based on the location of the launching sites.

The deaths of four U.S. soldiers in a roadside bombing about 10 p.m. Sunday in southern Baghdad pushed to 4,000 the number of American service members killed as the war enters its sixth year. Another soldier was wounded in the attack, the military said.

The Associated Press count of 4,000 deaths is based on U.S. military reports and includes eight civilians who worked for the Department of Defense.

"You regret every casualty, every loss," Vice President Dick Cheney said. "The president is the one that has to make that decision to send young men and women into harm's way. It never gets any easier."

An American military official in Baghdad said each U.S. death is "equally tragic" and underscored the need to keep up the fight.

"There have been some significant gains. However, this enemy is resilient and will not give up, nor will we," military spokesman Navy Lt. Patrick Evans said. "There's still a lot of work to be done."

Last year, U.S. military deaths spiked as U.S. troops sought to regain control of Baghdad and surrounding areas. The death toll has seesawed since, with 2007 ending as the deadliest year for American troops at 901 deaths. That was 51 more deaths than 2004, the second deadliest year for U.S. soldiers.

May God Bless each and every one of these Hereo's and all their families...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My post from last Easter....

Sunday, April 8, 2007
My Life/ Tragedy
My Easter did not turn out as planned. In fact today will be a day my family will never forget. At about four in the afternoon, my mom called my house wanting my sister to return home asap. My mom just lives down the road from me and that is where my sister and her daughter have been staying while her husband has been in Iraq. My husband went with her because my mom sounded very upset and I stayed home with her daughter and my kids. Two men were waiting in their military vehicle and I am sure you know where I am going with this. Her husband had been killed in Iraq today. It still feels so unreal to even write about this. I just don't know what else to do. I had my neighbor come over and sit will all the kids so I could be there. It felt like a movie. The two men in uniform, the paper work. My husband said my sister just lost it and he just held her tight. I feel so bad for her. He was due to come home for a two week visit at the end of this month. He was looking so forward to coming home to see his 6 month old daughter. She was just 2 weeks old when he had to return to Iraq for the second time. What sticks in my mind the most was that he was so scared to go back for a second time. My sister said he had nightmares about it and was afraid he was going to die. I can't stop thinking about it. They have not released any of the details yet. I just pray he died quickly and he was in no pain. The thought of him dying alone or wounded just does not settle with me. What a tragedy he would have been 25 in June. He will never know his daughter and his daughter will never know him. I think of how this will affect her life. My sister is in shock. She was surrounded by friends and family all night. We all cried, my heart just aches for her. I feel sad, mad and most of all I just don't know what to do. I can't believe he is really gone. My kids don't really understand. He loved my kids he always played with them, teased them. When my oldest daughter was born he was one of the first people up at the hospital to hold her. He got to spend more time with my kids than he got with his own daughter. My niece looks just like him. I kept starring at her all night. Smiling and happy to young to understand that she will never know her father. What a terrible day. I have to be strong for my sister, which I did, I made calls for her which was so difficult for me. But when I got back home to my house I just lost it. It feels like a bad dream. I don't know how any of us are going to sleep. One of the hardest things is that we have to wait 7 to 10 days before his body can return home. I can't believe he is really gone. Every day families are going through this. Every day those men in informs are telling families that there loved one was killed at war. We hear about it every day but until it happens to your family you can never understand.

Posted by Shelly at 6:53 PM

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My New Nephew.. Alexander Robert...

I am very happy to announce that I have a new nephew born today, Alexander Robert Carnes, he weighed 6lbs 10 oz, and was 20 inches long. He is so very cute. He came about 2 weeks early but it was such a nice surprise for him to arrive before Easter. My soon to be sister in law Margie looks great and is feeling wonderful. They are such a cute family. I think he has Tyler's nose but it is to soon to tell. I already can't wait to see him again.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Invitation....

Here is a copy of just one of the email invites I have been receieving. On April 9, 2008 will make the five year mark of the fall of Baghdad, obviously I will not be attending but it is so nice to know that our hero's are still being recognized.

The National Observance to Remember Iraq Liberation Day

9 April 2008

The Host Committee for the

National Observance to Remember Iraq Liberation Day

Major General Francis D. Vavala, USA , Chair

Adjutant General , Delaware and

President, Adjutant General Association of the United States

respectfully request the honor of your company for

The National Remembrance to Honor America ’s Fallen Heroes.

Arlington National Cemetery

Section 60

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

4:15 p.m.

ANC Main Gate Opens AT 3:45PM

(On-Time Arrival Requested)

An Evening Serenade and Dinner to follow –

(Location to be announced).

April 9, 2008 marks the 5th Anniversary of the Fall of Baghdad . Please, join the Host Committee, comprising the Adjutant General of the United States , as Americans commemorate the sacrifice of our Fallen, and as we celebrate our Armed Forces, our troops our veterans, our military families. The families of our Iraq and Afghanistan fallen heroes, who lay at rest at Arlington National Cemetery , are especially warmly invited to this observance, as we pay special tribute to them.

In celebrating the hope given to the Iraqi people because of the courageous actions of the Armed Forces of the United States and Multinational Forces, we honor those, who have made this possible, especially those, who have given their lives for freedom.

Freedom for our families in the United States and Freedom for the families in Iraq, our women, men and, above all, our children – America’s future, Iraq’s future. Our shared future. As H.E. Mr. Abdul al Qadir al Mufriji, the Iraqi Defense Minister stated, upon presenting the Iraqi Defense Ministry Plaque to America ’s Iraq Fallen in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, 6 March 2008: “As Iraqis, we are eternally grateful to America ’s fighting sons and daughters for restoring to us the dignity of a free people. America ’s fallen heroes, along with their fallen Iraqi comrades, may have been robbed of their future, but in laying down their lives they have handed us ours. We shall remember them, their names forever inked in the history books of the new and democratic Iraq .”

A Joint U.S.-Iraqi wreath-laying shall mark the highlight of the National Remembrance, with H. E. Mr. Samir Sumaida’ie, the Ambassador of Iraq to the United States , confirmed as principal celebrant. States Ambassador Sumaida: “There is no ceremony capable of adequately conveying the gratitude of the Iraqi people for the American men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the people and freedom of Iraq . Iraqis will be eternally grateful. These heroes shall never be forgotten.”

Americans are called upon to join in a MOMENT OF NATIONAL REFLECTION on 9 April 2008, 5PM, EASTERN DAYLIGHT SAVINGS. As the sun sets across the National Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery , the Dutch Carillion striking the hour, Americans are called upon TO HONK THEIR CAR HORNS in celebration, honor, and recognition of freedom and all those who have made it possible! We encourage you to have your local churches ring their church bells, LET FREEDOM RING!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I've been struggling with what to write on here latley, I am struggling with this whole one year mark of Todd's death. I can't get past it all of a sudden, it seems like it is all my sister and I talk about. She wants to skip the whole Easter thing this year and I can't say I blame her. Easter falls so early I feel like we have to re-live that terrible day twice. First of course on Easter because that was the day it happened but because Easter falls on different days each year, April 8th is actually the date of his death, which was Easter Sunday last year. We are changing Easter Sunday up a bit for that reason. My whole family, (Hopefully my Dad too) will attend church and go to my Grandma's house for dinner, which is something we have not done in a very long time. Although it will be odd not having my Grandpa there. Stephanie, John, and the kids & I will visit Todd's gravesite in the afternoon, then we are going to my Mother in laws in the evening. So for the most part I will be kept very busy, but I just can't shake this sad feeling. It's been a while since I have felt this down. Three times today I just busted out in tears and I so badly wanted to go and bury my head in my bed. I went tanning tonight and I was listening to my Zune and I just started bawling at every sad song that played. I wanted to listen to the sad stuff, I looked like a train wreck. It does not help that John got thrown back on third shift for the week. He does not understand why I hate it so much, not only does it mess up my schedule with the kids but it reminds me of when Todd was killed. John was working third up until that happened. I asked him to talk to his boss about switching him back to the day shift at that time because I could not handle being alone at night. Whenever anyone that I know dies, I feel scared and my emotions make me crazy. I can't be alone, and luckily for me, Johns work was very understanding. He not only had a week off, they put him back on first shift and that is where he has stayed for the past year. Until he went back on first shift, I never realized how much I hated him on thirds. We have zero time for one another, and it just sucks going to bed every night without him. Hopefully it will only be for this week. The Washington Post contacted me and wanted a story on a year later and how are family is doing. I said I would think about it, but she was generous enough to send me pictures of Todd's stone at Arlington. She explained to me that someone had left 3 Easter eggs on the stone. She said that I would be amazed at all the people who come through there in a day just to read the stones and pray. I have also been receiving Emails from all around, remembering Todd, some who knew him, others who just know he died on Easter and want to know how my sister is doing. I can't tell you how much it means to have strangers sending you emails, these are people I have never met or have never met my sister but still find the time to say, hey we are thinking of you. There are still kind people in this world. Thanks to all my friends who read my blog and take the time to comment and show such compasion. It means alot to me....


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Miss Me - But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road

and the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom filled room

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little - But not too long

and not with your head bowed low

Remember the love that we once shared

Miss me - But Let Me Go.

For this is a journey that we all must take

and each must go alone

It's all part of the Master's plan

a step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart

go to the friends we know

and bury your sorrow in doing good deeds

Miss me - But Let Me Go

Author Unknown

Friday, March 7, 2008

Please check out this video

Thanks Lisa, you are so thoughtful and such a wonderful friend. Love you...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Life/ Thinking to much...

Somedays I really hate being a women. No it's not my time of the month or anything, I'm just cranky. I have not had many of these days in the past few months but when I get them, I just want to run in my room and hide. Last night at about 7pm, I got so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, so I went to bed by 8pm which is very rare for me. I layed there watched some TV, snuggled with my girls, of which one was in her bikini. (Thats a whole other story) But I could not sleep, finally at like midnight I took a muscle relaxer and I finally went to sleep. I can't tell you the last time I could not go to sleep, usually within 10 minutes I am out. I think some of it might have to do with Easter coming up. The good thing is Easter falls earlier this year. April 8th will mark the one year of Todd's death and last year that was Easter Sunday. That day that plays over and over in my mind. If I think about it long enough I still can hear everyone sobbing in disbelief. If I allow myself to really think about that day, I can still feel the hurt in the pit of my stomach. I replay that day over and over in my mind. Easter dinner at my Moms, then my sisters coming back here to play games. Meeting Rich for the first time. Getting that phone call from my Mom saying that Steph needed to come home, and sending John with her, when I should have gone. Hearing the officers in the background break the terrible news to my family right in the driveway, and me being on the phone not able to do a darn thing. Hearing my sister cry like that is something I will never forget. After making it over there, finding my family in such disbelief, my Dad and husband crying like I have never seen them cry before. The next month would be such a haze. Sometimes I wonder how in the hell did we all make it through all that? Whats strange is that my sister called me this morning telling me that she had a really rough night also. She said she was thinking of Todd and just started crying and she could not stop. I wish I would have known she was awake, we probably could have helped each other. It's hard because as time passes everyone moves on, they remember but because it is not in their family, they forget. We can't forget. I look at Emma and Todd is all I see. I think of all those things that he will miss and that she will miss by not knowing him. Every time I see my sister struggle with something, it brings me back to his death, what if it never happened? He would be home with his wife and daughter, but now instead Steph is trying to make a new life for Emma & herself. I will never forget April 8, 2007. That was certainly a day of change for all of us.