Monday, June 7, 2010

Italy, Italy, Italy!

First, I'll apologize for the huge gap in our blog. We have been so busy, and this is our first chance to breath for a moment. Here's a recap of the last couple of months!

In December, Mike was able to come home for 3-1/2 weeks for his mid-tour. We were lucky because he got to spend his 27th birthday, Christmas, and New Years with us! We had such a great time, and MJ even took his first steps while Mike was home!

January was a busy month. We applied for and received our tourist passports, Mike's orders came down for Aviano AB, Italy and S.O.S. (Squadron Officer School) at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, and MJ started full-on walking. It was so exciting!

On February 13, MJ turned 1. We had a big party for him at "The Little Gym." He had such a good time with his friends and family. Mike watched from S. Korea via Skype. It was such a blessing that he could be “there” with us! A few days later, Mike's mom came to visit. She and MJ had a busy and fun filled 10 days together.

March rolled around, and before I knew it, it was time to get Military Passports and Italian VISAs started. Packing came along with that. Whew, looking back, that month makes me tired just even talking about it. The movers came the last week of March, and handed the keys over to our landlord on April 1. During moving week, MJ and Mommy came down with the stomach flu, and MJ got teeth 4-6. Needless to say, I was glad when March ended!

April was a wonderful month. Easter was the first weekend, which happens to be my fave! What a wonderful day to celebrate our Lord and Savior's resurrection! MJ even got a little visit from the Easter Bunny, which he loved. Again, Easter was spent with Mike over Skype. A few days later, MJ and Mommy got on a plane, and we were off to meet Daddy...a long awaited moment! Mike flew in the same day, and we started our lives physically together again! April, and a few weeks in May, were spent at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. We made some really wonderful friends there.

Mike graduated from S.O.S. on May 14, and on May 15 we were all on a plane back to Colorado. My parents threw an "Arrivederci" party for us on May 16, and all of our friends and family came. Some of my very best friends even made it! It was such a blessing to be able to see everyone before we left. May 20 came quickly, and before we knew it, we were on a plane again, only this time we were finally moving to Italy!

So, here we are! We have been in Italy for a few weeks now, and so far, it has been amazing! We've found a house, gone wine and cheese tasting, seen amazing cars (Ferrari's and Masserati's), seen Venice, and made some new and wonderful friends! MJ even says “Ciao!” We are so excited for this new adventure!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kunsan Update

Well, I have finally had the time to update the blog after several requests from my beautiful and patient wife. Hopefully, that scores me a few points for taking so long to write in the blog. I have been back for three weeks now and have been busy updating policy and re-writing plans/programs. UCI year, got to love it. Most of what I have been doing, though not classified, I cannot discuss in this format due to opsec. However, I am happy to report that our squadron football team won the other day and that I have fell back into my work out routine. I miss my wife Heather and my son, Michael, very much and have been counting the days to Mid tour, since I got off the plane. I am very grateful for the time we were able to spend together, it was such a joy to hold my wife and play with my son. Last weekend was the Air Force ball, a shame that Heather was not with me, but hopefully there will be more in our future. Was nice to make it up to the capital and see old friends, as it seems that most of my Tech school buddies all came to Korea. Seoul was a good time, I know that heather would have loved all the shopping. We just hit a few bars and waled around the city. Nice to be in a city again. Thats really it, spend the rest of the time either at work, in the gym or sitting around my room watching movies. Oh, such an exciting time. Took the Security Forces Advanced Officer Distance Learning Test last week, so maybe I will get picked up for another TDY opportunity in the future. One can hope. Now, I need to get serious with Squadron Officer School. Have a year to complete the three tests and what seems to be a million powerpoint lectures. I would like to knock it out before my time in Korea is over, then when we get to our next assignment back on the Masters Program bandwagon.

Well thats about all to report, I will try to update more frequently. Need to buy a camera and start documenting my time in Korea. Maybe a Christmas present, hint hint. LOL


Monday, October 5, 2009

Air Force Ball

Flag Football

Jackson, Brush and me up in Seoul, S. Korea

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

To Our Fallen Soldiers

God works in mysterious ways, and we are not to understand them. We just have to trust that his plan is always much bigger and greater than we are. We are not to take for granted the time we have on this earth or the blessings he bestows upon each and every one of us every single day.

To Our Fallen Soldier:
Jessica Lynn Jopek
Copyright ©2006 Jessica Jopek
"He has a strong heart
and great amount of stubborn pride
He's a brave one
and he shows it with every stride
I know he won't let us down
as he serves our country over
in a dangerous land
For, even though he won't admit it,
he's holding God's hand
He'll fight for their freedom
while helping us hold on to ours
Even though he may come back
with some frightening scars
I love this man,
they call an American Soldier
I love him,
he is my brother."

Today we got the terrible news that a friend passed on to be with the Lord. He was running a convoy in Iraq when his team got hit with an IED. Joe, you will be greatly missed. You were a joy to know and to work with. Rest In Peace.

Family Days

On Lackland AFB, there is an awesome park right next to the church, so Sunday morning, before church, we decided to have some fun. Jr.’s first time on the swing, slide, and driving (in the little wooden car they had in the infant playground). He really enjoyed it. Mom even went climbing through the slides and tunnels! Finally, when we went into church, we realized it was the Southern Baptist service, and being that we are Lutheran/Catholic, it made for an interesting, yet fun time of worshipping the Lord.

On Monday, Labor Day, we decided it would be fun to take a trip to Corpus Christi. Road trip!! We had a great time on the way down. We spent the four hours (2 hours each way) talking and jamming out to some awesome tunes; Queen, Led Zeppelin, and Journey, just to name a few! This was little man’s first time swimming in the ocean. Mommy and Daddy were so concerned with the baby, making sure he was lathered with SPF50/covered/comfortable/safe and having fun, guess what we forgot? I’m sure you guessed it! Sunscreen! AH!! So, three bottles of aloe later, Mommy still has the funniest tan lines and Daddy’s shoulders are purple. We had such a great time though, it was worth it!

Today, Mike graduated from “Integrated Command and Control Defense Course.”Received a diploma and everything! He even received the honorary “Airmando” patch, which is apparently what Security Forces Officers were supposed to be called back in the day! Haha! We have had such a great time together in San Antonio, it’s sad to see it end. God works in great ways though. This training was able to break up the year away from the family a little bit more. Mike will leave for Korea Thursday and Heather and MJ are going back to Colorado. Mike will come home in December for his mid tour. Counting the days. 90 to go!!