Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers. "
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.

I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC,
USN 30t h Naval Construc tion Regiment OIC,
Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum , Iraq.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving weekend

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend in Arizona with Darrel's parents. They cooked three turkeys, one in the oven and two fried. The food was amazing, there was so much. We had about 30 people for the Thanksgiving meal. There was just madness and mayhem at Darrel's parent's house but it was all fun. We watched two movies. We saw Bee Movie and Enchanted. They were both really fun but my favorite was Enchanted. It was so cute and so funny. I took an amazing amount of pictures also. I took Rebecca's senior portraits (my niece) and she was the most perfect model. She smiled and posed and we just had a great time. I appreciated her patience and I think we got some amazing shots that she will be happy with giving out to friends and family. Also, this past weekend was the first time in quite a few years that all the boys were back together with their dad. It was so fun to see them together and to see them interact. They really are amazing men and awesome brothers. This first picture is of Darrel's dad, Rollin, Martin, and Darrel. Behind Martin's feet is his youngest - he was hiding behind his dad's legs.

This is Darrel's dad and mom. They are an amazing couple who love their family very much.
OK - here are just a few pictures of Rebecca. Isn't she beautiful?!!! This was so much fun!

Sorry, I just had to finish with a picture of Zach. He is such a hambone. I just love this kid!

More pictures to come later...just wanted to give you something for tonight. Sorry it took me so long to update.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Crazy hair day

It was crazy hair day at school boys had a blast getting their hair ready. I love that they're not embarrased to do this kind of thing. I was always too nervous to do this stuff when I was growing up, I thought that I would be made fun of...look at what I missed out on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Alex's birthday celebration

Tonight we celebrated Alex's 11th birthday by going to Red Robin for dinner. A big thank you to Joy, Steve, and family for coming and treating us to dinner. We loved being able to celebrate with family. Alex noticed that he "graduated" from kids meals because at Red Robin the kids meals are for 10 and younger. He is now officially 11 and no longer a "kid" at Red Robin. After dinner we came home and gave Alex his present from us. He has been saving for this for about 6 months. Darrel told him that if he saved and earned the money for half then Darrel would kick in the other half. This has been a long time in coming. This is a LEGO Mindstorm. It is a robot that you build and program on the computer. This is very sophisticated stuff and Alex is pumped. The bottom two pictures that I posted are just the boys being silly. This is a fun time in our lives and I'm trying to appreciate each day as much as I can. Thanks for reading and happy birthday to Alex!!

Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday Alex

Happy Birthday to Alex today! He is now 11. I can't believe he is growing up so fast. He is such a good boy. I am very proud of him and the young man that he is becoming and I love him with all of my heart. Happy Birthday son!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We have grass!!

Now, keep in mind that this is not a finished yard, BUT, we put down sod this morning and it looks AWESOME!! A big thank you to Joy, Steve and Kenneth for helping our family put down the grass. Diesel and Shelby are so happy and so am I. This is so great! I am so excited!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 15, 2007

cement and rocks

We have been able to get a cement patio in the backyard and we are so excited. It was finished about a week ago. Darrel has since laid sprinkler down and ordered fill dirt and sod. We are so pumped to have a backyard. This first picture is of Johnathan running up our steps and into the house. The second picture was taken right after the second part of concrete was laid - it was still wet and the forms were still on it, but you get the idea. The last picture is my favorite. Darrel dug all the trenches for the sprinklers by himself and this is a pile of rocks that he pulled out. The big one took a piece of rebar leveraged to get out. We grow some seriously big rocks here in our backyard! And by the way, digging trenches here involves mostly the pick.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oh, I have been a slacker

I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post. I guess I just have to plead busy. It seems like we have just been running this way and that for the last little while. Darrel has laid all the sprinklers in our backyard, he pretty much just needs to bury them now. Our new concrete looks awesome (I think) and we are gearing up to have a very cool backyard.

Amanda came for a visit this past weekend. She was just going to stay for a few days to get Diesel settled but she extended her stay until this coming Saturday - we are all so excited. Right now Joy and Amanda, Kenneth, Johnathan, and Caitlin are all out on the boat for the afternoon. The weather here is in the 70s - they aren't going to get in the water (much to Johnathan's dismay) but they will have a good time just riding around in the boat. Diesel is getting settled in. He is such a sweet dog and even was in our preschool for awhile this morning. All the kids seem okay with him and I'm so glad. He will be a welcome addition to our family and we're glad that we'll get the opportunity to take care of him for this coming year.

The boys had a few days of school this week. Monday was Veteran's Day Observed and today is Staff Development Day at the area schools. Next week is only a three-day week also because of Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to going down to Arizona to be with Darrel's family for Thanksgiving. He will have three siblings plus him and all the families there this Thanksgiving. It's going to be a blast. There is even a rumor floating around that his younger brother, Rollin, is going to fry a turkey. This ought to be fun!!!

Amanda and I are going to watch "The Office" season two (part) and season three (part) tonight. We are both way excited. The Office is a very funny show (I think). It is the epitomy of politically incorrect.

We'll I guess I better get going. I have some pictures to order - some re-orders to do and a house to clean. Thanks for reading! I'll hopefully get some more pictures posted soon.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

a picture weekend

I had a picture weekend. I took one family's pictures on Friday night, a soccer team on Saturday morning and another family's pictures Saturday evening. Both families and the soccer team were super cool to work with. I am posting just a select few from the Friday night shoot. I'll post some more later. These kids were just cuter than cute and I loved having the opportunity to take their picture. I have lots of pictures to get ready and to show proofs for so I better get going, just wanted to share. Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween everyone! (a day late)

OK so I took these pictures last night but I'm not getting them posted until this morning. I'll have a new post very soon but until then, enjoy the halloween pictures.