Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011

What a busy, yet wonderful Easter weekend we had! Seems like it has been awhile since Kev has been home for Easter and we have been able to enjoy this holiday as a family. Friday we had a doctors appointment, then met some friends at our house and headed a few miles down the road to the Wild Horse Auction. BLM gathers wild horses  and burros, then sets up auctions with these horses across the nation. They had yearlings and up in age.

"The Bureau of Land Management’s top priority is to ensure the health of the public lands so that the species depending on them – including the nation’s wild horses and burros – can thrive.   To achieve that end, the BLM’s wild horse and burro program must be put on a sustainable course that benefits the animals, the land, and the American taxpayer."
~BLM Director Bob Abbey

We found a female yearling that we wanted to bring home with us then! All the horses were skittish, with the exception of a couple yearlings. The one that we fell in love with was gorgeous and very sweet. She came right to us and let us pet her and even loved on the kids. It was amazing to watch. Breanna and I watched as they loaded many of the horses into trailers after someone purchased them. They had real good prices on the horses, but keep in mind, you still have to get them home and break them. They are wild! If we had land and the money, the sweet one that we hated to leave, would have been coming home with us that day!

We spent Saturday around the house preparing for Sunday. On Saturday we made some of the food for the lunch planned on Sunday. I made a ton of chocolate lollipops, which I must say turned out real cute and were a total hit on Easter! Other than that, we had a low key day and just sat around. It was nice to be do nothing for once!

Following dinner on Saturday, the kids watched a movie with us, then one by one took a bath and got ready for bed. Once they were in bed and the house quieted down, the Easter Bunny decided to visit and leave each little one their goodies!

A little too early on Sunday morning, we were awakened by the little ones of the house. It never fails, Christmas and Easter mean a very early start to the day! We all got up and moving around the then headed downstairs and let the kids enjoy their buckets and pails filled with all kinds of goodies, candies, and crafts!

Following our morning of fun and baskets, we then cleaned house and made sugar cookies in preparation of The Miller's coming over to eat lunch with us and let all the kids get into some serious egg hunting! Easter was not a big lunch this year. Instead, we stuck to hamburgers, hotdogs, and sides! A meal that you just can't go wrong with. Before lunch, we hid eggs, then set the kids loose in my backyard. The backyards in El Paso are very small, but we really didn't realize just how small until it came time to hide the eggs and we ended up being very limited on hiding spots!

We hope each and every one of you had a blessed Easter and remembered the reason behind this special day. 

Happy Easter from 
The Biddle's

Monday, April 25, 2011

Just want to take a moment to say Happy Easter to our family, friends, and readers! We hope you have all had a wonderful day that has left you full of memories. Always cherish the time with loved ones because none of us know what to expect of tomorrow.

I will update more later when I am not so tired! Pictures and weekend update to come!

Happy First Easter to our baby nephew, Gavin!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Little Bit Stronger

Two nights ago left me feeling overwhelmed with numerous emotions based on the past week, months, and years of an emotional roller coaster that has stemmed from deployments and health problems. I am sure many of you know me are probably wondering what got into me because the post is not like the majority of other postings; and I do apologize if at any  point I went on and on. I was just an emotional wreck and things really hit me Friday night. I don't know too many people that can take on even half of what Kev and I have been through and are facing in the future. I say that because I have seen first hand the ones that cave and honestly cannot handle when life gets difficult or complications arise. It's hard to hold my head up at all times and to keep moving. Yet, we have no other choices. Sulking is not an option. I was raised to not pout just because life doesn't go my way; and instead to work harder  to enjoy the finer things in life that I am fortunate enough to have. These are just a few things that we try so hard to instill in our kids in order to make them better adults.

I won't sit here and take back my negative and harsh feelings to other's realities and yes, I do know and agree, that we are fighting our own battles. Life is never easy, but it does make us much stronger than when we began. I have many mixed emotions on everything that my family and I have battled recently. One day I am great because I am here, then there are moments that bad news hits or I have time to just sit and thing and my heart aches because of everything and because of what has been taken. Try being 27 and going through menopause or facing many medical issues that at any moment could take your life for the slightest thing that could go wrong. I don't cry and complain to anyone when I am having my moments, instead I just pick myself up and walk on...which is why many are not aware of my personal daily struggles and battles within myself. Other than my husband, there is only one person that I have fully turned to who periodically will receive an email or phone call with me feeling like I am falling apart. And you know, for a second I do feel like I am. That's only human though, right? If you read through my vent the other day, Thank You!

Anyhow, I know that I have not been active in the world of socialization lately, but I have needed to get myself together. However, I will be back on and in full force come Monday. Right now, I need to continue spending the time with Kev and the kids and enjoying our Easter weekend!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to the ladies that have helped keep me together and going over the past few days.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Easter and is able to spend it with the ones you love! If you are spending it without your other half due to these deployments and trainings, you are in our thoughts! I know first hand how the days are hard when they are away and even harder when the holidays roll around.  Keep you heads up and know that your sacrifices never go unnoticed!

Happy Easter

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Stong Can't Always be Strong

Here it is, a little after eleven...not too terribly late, but late enough that I should be in bed. Seems like there have been many nights when I just can't get to sleep and I spend awhile tossing and turning before I finally find myself sitting in the living room, in front of the computer. I spend my time either chatting with friends on facebook (thank you to the ladies who have been here for me lately! I can never show my appreciation enough!) or updating stories and articles with the an amazing non-profit organization I am now working with. I have to say, the ladies that I work with have been an amazing support system and I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people lately! Off subject on where I was going with this, but check us out www.familyofavet.com. We are also on facebook, www.facebook.com/familyofavet.

Anyhow, it seems that lately life has thrown so many curve balls our way; more so than usual. I have always managed to see the light at the end of the tunnel and see the best in things. I have always managed to be the strong one, knowing that everything will always turn out just fine. After all, we are the ones that ultimately have the choice to make the best out of every situation and experience life throws out way, or we can be miserable and kill ourselves early. I think I will choose to make the best out of it all. That' is just me and I know my optimistic side can become somewhat annoying to certain individuals. I just get frustrated in hearing how hard someones life is or how nothing is going right, when they have so much to be thankful for and when they have never faced true, trying times. I know that every person has their own issues just as I know no one has it "easy". But what it boils down to, many people do have it "easier" than others and take straight advantage of life in place of cherishing it. I know there are people that have it harder than what I have had to face and accept, but I also know that life has been hard as hell at times and this strong girl just wants to step back and evaluate things. I just don't understand why so much has been thrown at me and my family over the years. It has been one obstacle after another, and at times, we can't even find the time to work through one thing before something else occurs.

For those of you who may not know, I have battled life threatening health problems for many years. When I was a young child I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid gland. May not seem like anything big to some, but the thyroid gland controls many aspects of the human body and to put it bluntly, without it functioning properly, you will not survive. In 2005 I was told that it had quit functioning and compound masses were found. There were so many that they could not even get the accurate diagnosis from the biopsy when looking for cancer. Turns out it was pre-cancerous, which we found out about after the thyroidectomy. I am 100% dependent on medication for the rest of my life since I no longer have a thyroid. Over the years, my body has gone through phases that makes it to where I won't accept the meds and more work has had to be done. I have spent time in the hospital just praying while hooked up to many machines and on too many medications to count... Since then there have been struggles with maintaining my levels that come back on my thyroid panels, which are done ever 8-12 weeks. For the past six months my levels have stayed in the normal range and I go next week for more lab work to be done. I am not sure how it will turn out since I have not felt the best lately. Guess we will find out more next week.

Past that, since I was 14 I have battled endometreosis and reoccurring ovarian cysts. The cysts have led to emergency surgeries in the past from the ruptures. I was told at a young age I would never conceive, so I find it a true blessing to have my three little ones. Breanna was my tiny preemie that to this day amazes me that she is even here. It was a true struggle throughout my pregnancy and her first year. I spent more time the last 15 weeks of my pregnancy in the hospital admitted than I did at home. She ended up being an emergency c-section right under 35 weeks gestation due to her heart stopping or slowing too many times with the inability to fall back into the rapid beats. Then her first year she was hooked up to an apnea monitor for the majority of it. In the end, all three turned into c-sections. After having Nicholas in 2007, my "female" problems turned more severe and left me in intense pain and unable to function on a day to day basis. In October of 2008 I ended up having to have a hysterectomy. This surgical procedure made it impossible for me to ever carry a baby again... Talk about a lot to take on at 25.

My health refused to remain stable and in 2010 it got to the point of leaving me in continuous pain and staying sick. After many doctor appointments, they finally decided to send me to gynecology. Long story short, gynecology decided to perform an oopherectomy. This time my ovaries were coming out because the endometreosis was getting worse. Endo grows as your ovaries produce hormones. There is no cure and the only way to get it under control is to remove the ovaries. This was done and it was not done properly. You can find the details to the surgical procedure here that left me on my death bed, fighting for my life, and with more health problems that I face today. Due to the doctor's incompetence that led me to kidney failure in August following the oopherectomy, I also went into kidney failure a second time on October 31. I had to spend Halloween in the hospital and ended up spending a week there, again, fighting for my life. Details on that visit, can be found here. Since then, I have not been able to get back to a normal life and everyday I pray for the strength I had before the surgery in August. The surgery also put me into menopause. Surgical menopause is a lot more intense that falling into it naturally. Naturally it comes on slowly, surgery brings it on immediately. And, let me just tell you...IT SUCKS!!! : )  I tire over the simplest tasks. I am not the same person I was a year ago. Yet, through it all, at the end of the day, regardless of how I feel...I am blessed to still be here and blessed for the husband, kids, family, and friends that I have in life. Without my family and friends, I am not sure where I would be today.

In November while in the hospital it was also discovered that I have a benign tumor in my colon. Today I found out that my symptoms are in fact getting worse and I now have to undergo another colonoscopy on May 11. The doctor is very concerned about what the tumor may be doing as well as what is going on with me. I haven't gained weight, yet my pants and shirts no longer fit because I am so bloated in the lower abdomen. The doctor picked up on this right away. Truthfully, I am quite scared....

I am also having surgery on my lower back, which I have already explained in a recent post, so there is no reason for me to go back into it again. I am currently waiting on my insurance to approve everything. The pain is still intense and I am trying my best to tolerate it to the best of my ability. At times I just have to take the pain meds that I have been given.

I haven't even listed all that I am going through with my health, because it is just too much to think through. If you know me, then you may know my battles...

Aside from what all I have going on, we also have a lot on our plate with all that Kev is facing and battling every day. Since returning from his deployment in 2007 (and second one in 2009), he has been a different man. He battles severe PTSD, TBI, permanent nerve damage in both arms (causing surgery in each arm), bone spurs in his back, degenerative disc disease, sleep apnea (which has him sleeping with a CPAP machine every night), arthritis in his back, crushed vertebra throughout his back, skin cancer, and more. All stemming from combat. He is being medically retired from the army and should be out no later than the end of this year. To read more about his conditions, click here. I go more into detail in this posting. I am so angry about what the war has done to my husband, but there is nothing I can do to change it. All I can do is continue cherishing the times we have and just be grateful that he is here with me today. I am one of the "lucky" spouses of the wars...

Through all of this, there are days that I don't want to be the strong one anymore. I just want to break and cry. I want to be like many others and scream, shout, and yell at the world. I want to shake people and just make them understand. I want to beat the people that cry and complain because of how "unfair" life is or how they are upset their spouse has to work a little later than normal or because things don't go as planned. What are plans? We don't even live by plans anymore because we can't. And you know what, that is okay. We have adapted to the changes that we are faced with and we have done it together. Life isn't easy, but it is what we make of it. I am told by some that it is okay to cry and to not always be strong, but I don't know how to do that. All I know is to keep pushing on. Yet, today I honestly couldn't help but to think...what happens when the strong one finally breaks? Not that I will, because that is not my style. I don't know though, right now I feel at a loss. I see others my age with no health problems and they are able to keep going. They can work and live life. Things I am limited to being able to do. I see my friends complain because their husband doesn't want to go out or just wants to relax and I can't help but to think of what war has done to mine. I am just feeling so many emotions right now. I don't want anyone to feel bad for me or us, I just want people to understand that life has been hard and it hasn't always dealt us the best hand when it comes to things, but we keep striving for more and we make the best out of it. Even when we think we can't keep going, we find a way.

I also came across some people today that were complaining about how much life sucks and I ask why. Their responses are always based around the material things in life... There is more to life that not being able to buy that car you want or the prices on things. People complain to much and forget all that they are blessed to have. They put too many pity parties on themselves and there is nothing attractive about that.

So, next time people want to complain about things that really won't matter ten minutes or a year from now, I pray they find it in themselves to think about what others are going through. It could always be worse. I know life has been difficult and that I have overcome many obstacles, but I also know that I have so much to be grateful for. I am not saying I don't complain, because I know I do over some things. Even when I hit close to bottom, I always find the bright side.

Right now I have the choice to play the pity card and I refuse to. Am I scared of the outcome on my colonoscopy? You bet your butt I am. But, I also know that whatever comes out of it, I have Kevin, my kids, family, and friends to help me through it. I know that I will get through it. I always do. Am I scared of my kidneys failing again because everyday I stand a high chance of it? Of course! But, what good would it do to live life based on the what ifs? Honestly, I would love nothing more than to not worry about any of it and to just live normal. Yet,  normal is out of the question with all that I have been through and all that Kevin faces.

At the end of the day, Kevin and I will be okay and we will get through whatever life throws. As always it is one day at a time and one foot in front of the other. It is all we can do. So, if I get down for a moment, please forgive me. Life isn't easy right now and I can't always be strong. Within time though, I will always pick myself and my family back up. I will continue putting the pieces back together and keep pushing forward. We have a long road ahead of us, but I am ready to face it head on with my family.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Our Week in a Glance

Wow, am I behind on updating and posting! Sorry! What can I say, other than it has been one crazy and chaotic week! I had no downtime in between attending briefings with Kevin and home life with my family. I am still trying to recover from a week on the go. My body is straight exhausted and it leaves me a little frustrated just knowing that even after months of recovering I am still struggling in some areas. This past week we passed the eight month mark from the first kidney failure.

Last weekend we decided to head downtown on Friday night to see the view of El Paso from the parking garage as before. We were told that it is beautiful with all the lights. Honestly, it was a pretty site, but not as beautiful as others have made it seem. Caitlin was terrified to get out of the car for the first few minutes, then decided to join the rest of us. We left Nicholas in the car so that he would not try to climb on anything to look over. He did love looking at the pictures I took on my IPhone!

Once last Saturday morning rolled around Kevin had to leave us and head to work for his 24 hour Staff Duty. We are so tired of him spending every weekend with either Staff Duty or CQ.  The kids and I just hung around the house until that evening, when we joined the neighbors at the park for a huge birthday party. I didn't take pictures, but did get videos of the kids playing some of the games over there. I will add the videos later. The kids had a blast and thankfully wore themselves out!

I thought the sun looked pretty cool. We had real bad wind and sand storms over the weekend!

Past that, not much happened over the weekend. Just the usual housework, laundry, cooking, and time spent together.

Monday began a week of us being on the go and a lot of note taking! Monday through Friday I attended so many briefings with Kev for things that we have to accomplish to things that we need to know since he is getting out of the army. We attended ACAP (Army Career and Alumni Program), TAP (Transition Assistance Program), DTAP (Disabled Transition Assistance Program), and VA Benefits and Claims. The briefs typically lasted all day, except for two that were half days. On the half days we had appointments with his PEBLO (Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officer) and other medical appointments. I felt like we ended up all over Fort Bliss, Biggs, and Beaumont; and this place covers a lot of territory! However, at the end of the week and crazy moments, I will say that it was nice to spend the week with my husband like I was able to. Even if he was grumpy at times from having to sit around privates and soldiers that have never done anything yet want all the same perks and benefits as us. There were also the typical soldiers that would try and talk big then the truth (normally no combat patch) would come out and the ones that have been deployed would get pretty irritated looking. There was also a day that we found out that if the unit of Rear Detachment (unit that has soldiers here while the unit is deployed) awards the soldiers for being back here they can be awarded the same as combat soldiers and are entitled to certain things as the ones who have been in the war zone. Let me just say, this really set our COMBAT VETS off. I have to agree with our combat vets. If you have never been deployed you should not be entitled to the same things that are for the combat vets. I find it very upsetting that they are when they are back here, spending time with their families, doing as they want, drinking, partying, not having the worries or the stresses from being over there.

On Friday we went to my orthosurgeon appointment. I have to have another surgery in two weeks. I fell on three different occasions, the last one a couple months ago and managed to break my coccyx (tail bone) and messed up my lower back. Every time I have fallen has been due to my levels not being monitored and being inaccurate. Anyhow, from the breaks and fractures, I never healed properly. I now have to have a small incision on my lower back/coccyx area for this to be corrected. The recovery is approximately six weeks before I can get around without  a lot of problems... However, it does take about a year for the full recovery. Let me just say, I am dreading this, but I know it won't be at all as bad as the others I have done. Of course, as any surgery there can be complications but I am not even stressed over it. NO, I am not being seen at William Beaumont. Lol, I know many of you are wondering that. This surgery is fully off post by a civilian doctor.

We also found out that Kevin has to go in for another procedure on his face for his skin cancer. We go the first week of May for this surgery to be completed. Another spot formed on his face that has to now be surgically removed. The procedure should last about an hour then we will be able to come home. There was about five spots on his face, four of which were burned off. He has had multiple spots burned off, killed by laser treatment and topic chemo. We are hoping this next procedure will be the last one for awhile! So, say your prayers!

That is our past week in a glance! Now, I am going to work on the sites I am now with and put together some of my articles!

Girls School Pictures, Spring 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Welcome Home Sweet Scarlette

If you have been following my blog over the past few months, then  you know that a friend of mine from high school had her baby at 25 weeks gestation. You also know of all the ups and downs, the tears of joys and fear, the way my heart ached for Kayla and her family and you also know the prayers that I have asked and begged for, as well as the ones that I have said.

Well, after five months and five days, I am VERY excited to announce.... SCARLETTE IS HOME!!!! Ka and Jeff have known for the past week that as long as all went well, she would be able to come home at some point this week. Kayla and Jeff were able to stay the night in NICU with her to learn all the details as far as the medical side goes. Little did they know that today would be the day that they would finally leave the NICU for the first time with their sweet, adorable, and strong baby girl, Scarlette.

There are no amount of words that could describe the emotions I feel and the pure relief just to know that Scarlette is now in her mothers arm for every waking cry, smile, feeding, diaper change, and everything. I cannot help but to cry as I think of all the times Ka has had to leave the hospital, head home, and sleep at night without her little one by her side. Now, those days are behind her and she can face the days a bit stronger and happier.

Congrats Kayla and Jeff and Welcome Home Scarlette!

All our love,
The Biddle Family

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

100 Facts, Part 4

Here it is, the final post of the 100 Facts that I have taken place in. No worries, I am sure there will be another fun adventure that lies ahead! Thanks for tuning in and following this fun little way to know each other!

Being that I am not on my laptop I do not have the logo icon for www.meganwrites.com, but please check out her site! Megan is the one that decided to get us all involved in the 100 Facts fun posts!

76. I LOVE Nick-at-Nite, especially when it comes to watching The Nanny... However, I do miss watching the older shows, such as I Love Lucy.

77. I absolutely adore hearing wonderful news from a friend!

78. I have noticed lately that I use exclamation points a lot! Texting, blogging, facebooking...you name it.

79. Since Kev enlisted and we have been living this life, The National Anthem makes me cry when I hear it and I cringe when people butcher it.

80. One of my favorite pasttime memories is my grandmother taking me to church every Sunday morning. I would wake up to the smell of her cooking breakfast, then after church we would stop by Wendy's for a burger, fries, and frosty.

81. I can't wait to go to church with my Grandmother again in a few months! I have been longing for that Sunday morning with her for years now.

82. After a lot of thought, Kevin and I choose someone to leave our children to if something were to happen to us. There is nothing but confidence and good, pure thoughts in the decision we made. We still pray everyday that we are around to see our kids grow up, but knowing that if God has other plans our babies will be taken care of takes a lot off our shoulders. We couldn't have chosen a better person!

83. I think the DVR was one of the best things ever invented! I would be lost without it now. Lol

83. When I went into kidney failure the first time last year, my dad was the first person I wanted to call and needed to hear. (Kev was sitting with me, so of course he would have been my first choice had he not). As soon as I heard my dads voice I broke into tears, scared.

84. My cousin passed away almost three years due to a drunk driver hitting him while driving. Since then, I have become a huge advocate against drinking and driving. I still cry often over his passing. (picture when we were babies).

85. I have never seen an episode of Jersey Shore or Teen Mom. Honestly, I think Teen Mom sends bad signals to teenage girls and pregnancy. I have no respect for the moms that are all over the news acting trashy. Yes, I feel I can say this being that I was a teenager when my first two were born. (18&19)

86. My husband proposed to me in our kitchen while I was cooking dinner. He had our daughters with him. To this day, I think his proposal was PERFECT!

87. When we got married I was 20 years old, not even old enough to have a glass of wine at my wedding during the toast...however, I still had one! 

88. I LOVE doing laundry because it has the most amazing smell!

89. My IPhone is the first cell phone that I have had for over a year. I normally get a new one every year.

90. I love a great thunderstorm, yet since Kev has a hard time with the loud noises and flashes of light, I now have a fear of them due to his reaction.

91. I am going to be 28 in May and have not had my husband home for a single birthday since I turned 20. He has either been in the field, deployed, in school, training, or something else military related that has him away for more than 24 hours...or a year.

92. When Kevin is away overnight, I tend to sleep with the TV on because of the sound.

93. Two of my three kids were preemies. My first one weighed less than five pounds when we brought her home.

94. My daughters are just two days shy of being 15 months apart.

95. I love quotes and finding a quote for certain situations! 

96. I have more health issues that I know what to do with, yet try my best not to stand in the way of my everyday life.

97. I am life dependent on synthroid because my thyroid gland was surgically removed when I was 22.

98. I never imagined myself as a stay at home mom, but between the army and now my health issues I could not imagine not being home as often to see my kids grow up.

99. I live for today because I never know what is in store tomorrow. Today is what counts, so make the most of it and smile!

100. My husband and kids are my life and no one comes close to comparing what these four mean to me.

Thanks for reading my post about 100 Facts! Hope you enjoyed! Now, feel free to comment! : )

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

100 Facts, Part 3

Here we go again... 100 Facts About Me, Part 3. Part 4 will more than likely be done either tonight or tomorrow morning... So Stay Tuned!!! 

*Check out www.meganwrites.com for more details!*

51. If I could get away with wearing flip flops all year, I totally would.

52. I hate wearing socks and shoes that cover my feet.

53. I would love to move somewhere that is warm all year round; however, I know that will not happen in the near future.

54. My birthday falls on Mother’s Day every so often.

55. I have not even had one full (alcoholic) drink since October of last year in fear of going into kidney failure again.

56. Yet, I love wineries and still have my husband stop when we are near one.

57. Before I die, I want to go to Alaska and Italy for an extended vacation.

58. Every morning I start off by watching The Today Show… something I never thought I would watch.

59. I secretly love watching The Singing Bee with my daughters.

60. My husband and I are planning to renew our vows on our 10th Anniversary… That leaves me two years to plan. ♥

61. I think that chick fights are trashy. It shows a woman has no class.

62. I have found that people really do not stay in touch as they say they will when distance comes into play and I find that incredibly sad.

63. After I try for so long with friendships and get nothing in return, I walk away and move on.

64. I am very hesitant in giving a person multiple chances in my life.

65. My husband is the one person I can always and fully count on in life. He is truly my backbone.

66. I can’t stand when a person tries to give their opinion on things they know nothing about or the ones that think they know everything. It makes them look ugly.

67. I try to surround myself around positive people, because negativity eats at me.

68. I learned last year that kidney failure is SO much worse than labor could EVER be!

69. I adore my nephew who is four months old, yet have not had the opportunity to meet him.

70. I have met amazing people through blogging and websites!

71. It is nice to tell a friend that it is just “one of those days” and know they understand without further details.

72.  Whenever we go anywhere, I always over pack! I am terrible about adding too much in fear of not having enough.

73. I have two younger brothers and two younger sisters…only one brother being from the same set of parents.

74. I played the violin for a few years and can still pick it up to play… I kind of miss it at times.

75. I love music and feel there is a song for every situation out there. I tend to match songs to moods and situations.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fun in the Sun, Car Shows, & Volcanic Ash

We started off our weekend on not such a good foot, yet managed to turn it into a lot of smiles and laughter! Kevin was placed on a 24 hour duty as the NCO for Staff Duty on Friday-Saturday. He was supposed to be off work at 9am...and needless to say, the replacement for him did not show until after 1030. Talk about a not-so-happy husband I had for a short while. Once he got home, he got ready and we headed out to Columbus, NM with The Miller Family. Glenn, Debbie, and their girls met us at the house and followed us out.

The drive ended up taking over an hour to get there, driving down a "in the middle of nowhere" type road. At one point Kevin and I began to notice an ashy color all over the ground, followed by what looked like lava rocks. Instantly we began to think "no way, those can't be lava rocks...". They were everywhere and the ground was covered by ashes. It was unreal. Had we taken that route back home, we probably would have stopped to pick one up. Today, I decided to look it up on the internet to check that area out. Turns out that what we thought was accurate as can be! What we saw was reminisce of an ancient volcanic explosion! How cool is that? Needless to say, we will be going back out there to check the area out even more. It is called the Kilbourne Hole.

This picture does not show the volcanic ash or the lava rocks. This is just an area we drove through. 

After driving for well over an hour, we ended in Columbus, NM. Columbus is a border town, sharing the border with Puerto Palomas, Chihuahua Mexico. This is one of the smallest towns we have ever been to! We were able to visit and tour the Depot Museum that held all different types of things from around 1916 in relation to Francisco "Pancho" Villa and The Battle of Columbus.

A little history I pulled up on it:

On March 9, 1916, on the orders of Mexican revolutionary leader Francisco "Pancho" Villa, (Colonel) Francisco Beltrán, (Colonel) Candelario Cervantes, (General) Nicolás Fernández, (General) Pablo López and others led five hundred men in an attack against the town, which was garrisoned by a detachment of the U.S. 13th Cavalry Regiment.[1] Villa's army burned a part of the town and killed seven or eight soldiers and 10 residents before retreating back into Mexico.
United States President Woodrow Wilson responded to the Columbus raid by sending 10,000 troops under Brigadier General John J. Pershing to Mexico to pursue Villa. This was known as the Punitive Mexican Expedition or Pancho Villa Expedition. The expedition was eventually called off after failing to find Villa, who had successfully escaped.

It was a real neat experience and the kids had a blast! 

Following our outing at the museum, we decided to head over to the Open House at the Fire Department. They had drinks, food, goodies for the kids, Smokey the Bear, and more! The kids were able to play in water when the firemen loaded up on the truck and sprayed them all with the water hose. They played games, including Bean Bag Toss and a Cake Walk. Kevin and I each won a raffle. Candles and a gift card! Each on of the kids came home with two bags full of coloring books, stickers, pencils, frisbees, and much more! 

We finished up at the fire department around three that afternoon and headed to Deming, NM on our way home for a quick look around the town. We have been there before and visited museums, which was a way cool experience and some of the best pictures. As we arrived into Deming, we came across an Oldies Car Show that was coming to an end, but still really neat to check out. We missed the music and a lot of the vendors, but were still lucky enough to see the cars. Talk about an AWESOME thirty minutes of strolling through the park. Of course, Nic became obsessed with all the models... kind of like his dad! : ) After the car show we decided it was time to make the 1.5 hour drive home. We cooked out at the house with the Millers and spent the evening just relaxing! I must say, I fully enjoy the weekends that the only money that is spent is gas money!

After the car show we decided it was time to make the 1.5 hour drive home. However, we stopped by the gas station to pick up a drink and I spotted one of the streets that leads to a Winery... Wine tasting is ALWAYS so good! Of course, we had to make a pit stop at St. Clair Winery! Then, we were able to head home! We cooked out at the house with the Millers and spent the evening just relaxing! I must say, I fully enjoy the weekends that the only money that is spent is gas money!