Friday, February 22, 2013

The General's Kids ... for our little warriors

This week has been an extremely hectic week in our household. On Tuesday, just before the strike of midnight 
The General's Kids, LLC  (CLICK HERE) 
was launched.  We are so excited for our daughter & her family! This is her project & her company ... birthed in the moment when "the phone call" came through one year ago.  It really doesn't seem like it's been a whole year since Joe's injuries.  God has been faithful & He has blessed each one of us traveling on this wounded warrior journey.  (By the way, we just celebrated 'Joes first Alive Day ... God is good!)

The launch date was specifically chosen as February 19th ...  "the day before life changed".

On the morning of February 20, 2012 (which was also Joe's birthday) Mrs. Joe was lying in bed with newborn Tag (just 11 days old) by her side. I had Lucy downstairs doing our morning routine when our daughter's cell phone rang ... 
'Joe's command calling to inform her that his base had come under attack in Afghanistan & he was injured ...  shattered jaw with shrapnel debris, deep leg wounds from the shrapnel, Purple Heart medal, will be enroute to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for more surgeries ...
And so the life of the wounded warrior family began. 

To read from her own words prior to launching The General's Kids, here's the link to 
Mrs. Joe's blog ACUs, Stiletto Shoes and Pretty Pink Tutus ... 

She would love to hear from some of my friends & I know she would love some encouragement too. Her Daddy & I are so proud of her steadfast faith in God to lead her family through this process. 

So, enough from her Mommy, now ... 

a little snippet from The General's Kids' website:

Who We Are

About Us

The General's Kids, L.L.C. was designed for our nation's little warriors. Whether they are infants or teenagers, facing the life-changing injury or illness of a parent leaves a lasting impression. There are so many wonderful organizations out there that benefit wounded warriors and their families, and children often benefit from these. But at The General's Kids we are proud to focus 100% on the children and young siblings of the wounded, ill, and injured. We can help connect children and teenagers of various ages with others across the country who are going through similar struggles, provide sponsors who will send encouraging cards or care packages, and will soon be able to offer financial assistance for things like special interests or school funding. Children living the Wounded Warrior life are faced with a harsh sense of reality. We intend to help bring back some of the things that help comfort and lighten these kids' hearts. Our goals are big and extend all the way up to wanting to fund Disney vacations and college scholarships. Our belief is that whether there are 10,000 wounded warrior kids or just one, each and every one is a priority and deserves to have their sacrifice for our freedom acknowledged. Learn more about how you can help here.

About Our Founder

Please stop by The General's Kids website (CLICK HERE) and take a look around. Grandad & I are so proud of our daughter & her family giving back & having a heart for our wounded warrior kids.  These little ones serve our country in ways that we will never imagine.  I still wonder at times what goes through Lucy's mind as she still processes her Daddy's injuries & how life has changed since then. 
She's my hero & there are many other children who are going through the same life-changing event. We will never be able to thank these children enough, but maybe we can help give them a little sense of normalcy as they travel their own wounded warrior path with their parents.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Celebrating Lucy & Tag's Mommy!

From February 9th to March 9th, four out of six people in our household celebrate their birthdays 
(right at Grandad's busiest time of the year!)  

So, tomorrow -- February 13th -- we celebrate the birthday of 
Lucy & Tag's Mommy -- 
our daughter.

Doesn't seem possible that she should be old enough to have a family of her own ... 
still remember every detail of the day she was born ... 
for that matter, I still remember when we found out that our little family of 2 was expanding to our little family of 3.  
Soon after my husband & I were married, the medical profession informed us that we would never have any children -- 
a 1 in a billion chance ... 
well, obviously The Great Physician had other plans for us.

February 13, 1986 would be the day we celebrate our daughter ... 
and May 16, 1986 my husband & I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary.
God really does know the plans He has for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11).  

We are very thankful to be able to celebrate our daughter ... 
God blessed our little family with a wonderful daughter who has given us 2 of the most awesome & remarkable grandchildren ever.

Happy Birthday, Mrs G.I. Joe ...
Your Mommy & Daddy love you very much and are so proud of you & all you do ~~~
You are definitely our blessing from The Most High ... 
~~~ And Thank You, God, for knowing the plans You have for our family and
for keeping watch over all of us. ~~~

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sir Thomas Alexander's First Year

Hard to believe it's been one year since Tag made his grand entrance into our world.
Here's a look back through the first year of our little man ...
February 9, 2013 ...
~~~ Happy 1st Birthday, Thomas Alexander ~~~

Lucy meeting her little brother for the first time ... Lucy was 3 years old and Tag was 3 hours old.  I absolutely LOVE her expressions & giggles when she found out that her little brother was actually a little tiny baby!

Grandad had gotten maybe a couple hours of sleep before taking Mommy to the hospital baby place in the middle of the night. He held Mommy's hand as she gave birth *naturally* to his grandson & namesake ("Thomas" is my husband's middle name & also his grandfather's name).  My husband is so very proud of both his grandchildren!

GG & Grandpa were so surprised when I told them that Tag had made his grand entrance just 2 1/2 hours after Mommy getting to the baby place. The proud great-grandparents drove an hour & a half to see their 1st great-grandson ... and of course their 1st great-granddaughter.

Priceless ... Soldier Daddy had called all the way from Afghanistan to talk to Mommy & Lucy to hear all about his son.  And Tag just slept all the way through the phone call.

Granny normally doesn't like to have pictures taken, but my grandchildren make up for it in their cuteness ... I am so stinkin' blessed. Sometimes it amazes me that God has favored me with these 2 little blessings.

While dealing with her own anxieties of seeing Daddy at the "Soldier Get Better Place", aka Walter Reed Military Medical Center, Lucy was preparing Tag to meet their Daddy for the first time.  Tag was 11 days old when their Daddy was wounded and 17 days old when he first his Daddy. Look at how Lucy was comforting her little brother ... she is still such a blessing to him.

Here are some random pictures taken throughout the year of
Thomas Alexander and his family:





Tag spent the last couple of days of 2012 in the hospital -- not quite sure why his fever wouldn't regulate. It had spiked at one point to 105.  The only thing the doctors can guess is that he is allergic to dairy products.  As you can see from this picture with Grandad, Tag is not very happy that he has to stay an extra night away from his Lucy. 

Just a few short hours left in 2012 ... Tag says
"I'm comin' home to ya, Lulu!!!!!"

~~~ Happy 1st Birthday, Thomas Alexander "Tag" ~~~

Granny & Grandad love you very much and we know God has big plans for your future!

PS --- I apologize for the sporadic pics ... Blogger definitely was not Granny's friend today. 
But, I think everyone can still see how our little man has wrapped Granny & Grandad around
his little fingers just like little our princess! 
There is absolutely no better name I've been called than "Granny".

Friday, February 1, 2013

... And the 2nd Half of 2012

... and now the continuation of 2012 ...

In mid to late June, the 'Joe family received the news that 'Joe was being transitioned from the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) over to the Community Based Warrior Transition Unit (CBWTU).  This meant they had only a couple of weeks to prepare to leave WRMMC and return home where 'Joe would continue his weekly physical therapy and finish his recovery/rehabilitation from our home-base.
He has a wonderful PT team close to home and travels to the nearest Army Post for his medical needs.  Not all aspects of his recovery/rehabilitation have been addressed, but it's good to have everyone here at home. 

So, here's some highlights of the "rest of 2012"... 

Oh, one more thing though ... we had planned a big "Welcome Home from Deployment" celebration last January (just in to his deployment).  Grandad booked 12 days in
Disney World (surprise, surprise ~~ yes, we "heart" Disney) ... so, we decided to keep the trip since we would still be celebrating "family".  Well, one of the wounded warrior/Purple Heart non-profits awarded the 'Joe family with a week stay in Orlando, tickets to Disney and tickets to Universal Studios.  So, Grandad & I went along on that trip too -- we just stayed at a separate resort.  Two trips to Disney just a couple of months apart. We celebrated Lucy's birthday during the September trip (she had her first flight on her birthday) ... even Tag loved the characters and sights.  

So now ... some pictures to highlight the last half of 2012 ... 

Mid-July was the Homecoming for 
Daddy, Mommy & Tag ...
Lucy was soooo excited :)

I celebrated my "silent milestone" with my favorite people in August ... 
not a "milestone" by definition, 
but a milestone to me ... 
Happy 48th Birthday to Granny!!! 

It's good having everyone home together!

Lucy started preschool in September!!!! 
Wait a minute ... isn't she still supposed to be Granny's baby???

Our Princess celebrated her 4th birthday at 
Disney World ... 

her favorite is Princess Aurora (also known as Sleeping Beauty) ...

Lucy knows all of the princesses and 
even which prince belongs to them ... 

And Tag got to meet the mischievous 
but ever-so-lovable

Please, Tink ~~~
Tag doesn't need any new ideas
in getting into mischief ...
But, he can still be your new best friend! 

 Oh ... and Lucy & Tag had their first airplane flights right on her birthday!

Pumpkin Patch Time ~~~ Lucy had fun showing her little brother all around ... 
and Grandad even left work early to join in the fun!

We had *the cutest* Merida and her little brother Hamish for Trick or Treat ...

And then Lucy's preschool had a special Fall Festival Treat ~~ and look who showed up .... 
it's Tinkerbell's friend Rosetta ~~~

I hadn't realized until posting these pictures what a busy September & October we had ... 
time really does fly when you're having fun with your grands!

And we all had much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving ... 

Right after Thanksgiving, we had our "Welcome Home" celebration in Disney World --- remember, the family vacation we booked in January 2012 to celebrate what would have been 'Joe's homecoming from deployment ... well, we celebrated our family -- especially our grands!

Tag ended up in the ER at a hospital near Disney close to our last night there -- little guy had developed the croup ... but he was on the mend to come home!
And then ... our first Christmas with everyone!!!

New Year's weekend Tag started running a high fever again ... it landed him another visit to the ER (but very close to home), and another ambulance ride across town to another hospital.  He stayed there a couple of days got home just a few short hours before midnight.  He said 
"I'm coming home to you Lulu!!! I've missed my big sister!!"

We've been through the highs and the lows during our 2012 ... 
but one thing is for certain ...

God has blessed us tremendously.  

Although we're not really sure what to look forward to in 2013, 
we know God is still in control and we are trusting in Him to see us through whatever comes our way.

~~~ May God bless you & your family for a wonderful 2013 ~~~