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ESSO 77 (Shared)

Once again the Rooster is ever grateful for another family member making my Blogging easy. I share with you the most recent Blog of grandaughter,, Captain Samantha Berthiaume-Davies, USAF. Thanks Sammy.

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20 years ago due to an airplane malfunction 20 Washington State Air National Guardsmen lost their lives on Geilenkirchen Air Base.

I had great plans to write this post on Monday night. Then on Tuesday I planned to write it, but from a very different angle. Today, I finally have some time to sit down and try to do this post justice.

I was asked to help with the execution of the memorial service. This being my first event of any scale I was on edge. 75 people had flown from the US to honor their comrades and family members lost on Jan 13, 1999. There was a 20 minute ceremony and a lunch that I was responsible for. Though the weather didn’t cooperate, the entire day went off without a hitch.

I didn’t realize how much of myself I had invested into the event until Tuesday morning. We forgot Ana’s book bag at the house (thanks to Zed for running home to grab it), forgot my cell phone at home (a whole day without a cell phone is hard), after my shower from the gym I realized I hadn’t brought boot socks or an uniform shirt, oh and I left my hat in my car so I got to do that walk of shame.

As I walked out the of gym in a smelly uniform shirt, with no hat on, and ankle socks I saw the school bus pull up. At that moment I just needed a hug from my girls. I got two amazing hugs before they headed off to school with their pony tails wagging behind them and went back to my car to figure out what had just happened.

Why was I in tears at 830am over such trivial things? It was then I realized how much effort I had put into this event to ensure the family and friends of ESSO 77 had a memorable time. For some of them this was the first time they had ever been to GK and for others the first time they had been back since their squadron mates had passed away.

It was also then that I remembered the importance of hugging those you love and making sure they know how you feel. And finally, it was when a new friend tapped on my window to ask if I was ok and gave me a hug.

So to ESSO 77, thank you for your service to not just the nation, but serving with NATO means you’ve provided service to the world.

Articles if you want to learn more about ESSO 77.

Snow

As many of you know we have Grands and Greats. The Greats live in Brunssum, Netherlands with our granddaughter Samantha & husband Zed. Both the kids, as we still call them are USAFA grads and Captains in the USAF. Presently they are stationed at a NATO base in Geilenkirchen, Germany,  which is part of the Allied Joint Forces Command, it lies at the Tri-border of Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.

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The Tri-border area.


Zed is a pilot and Sam is a support services officer.

470th Air Base Squadron

This young couple have four (4) children, ages five (5) and under. Mia, Ana, Dax and, Zoe. Since we are the Greats from Maryland in their lives, they are of course, beautiful, smart and wonderful children. Some would say a grand bag of chips.

They woke up today, Sunday, 16 December, 2018 to snow. Samantha posted on FB the following outbursts from the kids.

Until this morning I always thought one of the best things was to wake up to a snow scene. Now the best thing is to listen to my kids wake up to a snow scene.

Mia- oh my goodness, guys you’re never going to believe this
Ana – Oh my hay
Dax – who brought the snow
Zoe – woah
Mia – this is so butiful
Ana – I want to make a snow angel
Dax – how did this get here
Zoe – snow

The Kids back in October: 

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The father of Samantha is also a world traveler and is also in Europe at this moment. You know the man if you follow the Rooster regularly. “Where in the world is Jeff Berthiaume”? Well, he’s departed a recent stay in Sofia, Bulgaria and is now in Bucharest, Romania and has sent these photos along. 

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Jeff will hopefully return to the states later this week and get to enjoy the holidays at home. When he’s away I’m in charge of taking care of Attack Dog Lady Liberty. Like the military, she keeps things safe and secure. Not a K-9 you’d like to sneak up on in the dark, if you know what eye (dang, did it again) mean. 

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Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A Share & Remembrance

I can not help but share the beauty that is SE Oregon, so I share my granddaughter’s Blog.

Today in the tiny Village of Allen, MD we bury our Fire Chief David Barry, who tragically died in a car accident on 15 July, may he rest in peace.

 

.Reposted 21 July 2018 A rainy Saturday on the Eastern Shore.

S 1 E 3: Ranch Life

by c12samb

If you haven’t been out to the Roaring Springs Ranch, or really this part of Oregon, you need to find a way to make it out here. Each time we come out I am reminded of the beauty of it. This trip out was a little more relaxed than normal because I have no ties to anyone but my family right now. We have out-processed from Tinker and have yet to in-process to our temporary duty at Maxwell AFB.

We began this leg of our trip with a much needed nap. The kids played with all of PaPa and Grandmas toys while Zed and I enjoyed some sleep. After waking up we had a date with 11 bulls. After getting them loaded in a trailer we drove 3.5 hours and dropped them at a ranch who would be leasing them for the summer. Along the way we stopped at Dairy Queen (more popular than McDonald’s out there) for dinner and ice cream. You’ll see that ice cream is a common thread for this trip. Once dropping the bulls we headed back towards the ranch and spent the night in the apartment over the office in Burns. On top of running the ranch Stacy also runs a co-op of ranchers who make up Country Natural Beef. They supply beef to places like Whole Foods, Blue Apron, and Burgerville. The next day we woke early, picked up kid horses and finished the drive to the ranch.

The kids enjoyed riding horses, helping PaPa work cows (it’s AI season currently), and riding toys. Zed and I are storing our four wheelers at the ranch while we’re in Germany and they bought 2 little motorcycles for the kids. Mia mastered the one without training wheels while Ana claimed the one with the extra help. Zed taught the kids how to climb rocks (I missed the photo op). It was great to see him in his element and sharing that with the kids. While we were there the ranch was hosting an AI school. Those who take part in the school learn something new and Stacy gets a few more hands to help out. Ana also adopted a calf and it was her responsibility to feed it each day.

One of the most fun days was when we enjoyed a trip to Fields for burgers and shakes. The kids (Jonah and Dallen (brother #3) had made it out and joined us) climbed trees and played in the mud while we waited for our food. This is another most stop when you come to visit the ranch. We then headed out on four wheelers and motorcycles to enjoy the reservoir.

While there Zed found a nest, where two of the eggs were beginning to hatch. The kids insisted we stay until they were out, but we explained we couldn’t wait that long and had to go see Sadie.

On the drive back, 3/5 kiddos fell asleep and we met up with Wes (brother #2) and Sadie. That night the couples went into town and enjoyed a benefit dinner for the boys’ high school English teacher.

The final day on the ranch we took a Steen’s Mountain tour and truly enjoyed the south eastern Oregon landscape.

One of the many gorges along the Steen’s. There should be some snow still visible on the peaks, but it wasn’t a great snow year.

This looks out over the historic Riddle Ranch.

Mia and Ana attempting to throw rocks into Wild Horse Lake. The angle of the picture deceives the eyes. Ana’s right foot is hanging over a sheer face that drops a “couple” feet.

Behind Zed and me is the Alvord Desert.

We concluded the tour with a stop at the Frenchglen Mercantile for some ice cream. The ability to easily come to the ranch for a break is going to be missed while we’re in Germany. It will be an amazing treat to be welcomed back to.

-S

c12samb | July 6, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p7p01n-3J
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Off They Go

 

cv687WCAS6GQRKfL10bS+wThey arrived on the 3’rd with all their stuff and were gone on the 8’th. Who you might ask, the “USAF Family Davies,” granddaughter and hubby, 4 great grandchildren and all the joy and happiness they bring on their visit.

They arrived in time to decorate a float and ride in the Allen, MD Fourth of July parade. They ate Grandmom (G) and Grandpop (Pappy) out of house and home. Lady Liberty of the Yellow Lab variety has been pulled, prodded, sent fetching, and loved for 5 continuous days. She has responded by eating all dropped food items well befor the 30 second rule could take hold. Weight Watchers has a new client.

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They got to go on a boat ride, swim in Uncle Greg’s pool and G & Pappy’s blow up pool next to the fish pond and watch the frogs. They fished Miss Sue’s pond for the big one with Pappy and Abby.

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Abby helps get the BIG ONE off the hook for Dax.

They were loved by all who came by to wish them safe journey as they head to Germany by way of Michigan and Alabama.

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Aunt Rachael got a warm up exercise for her upcoming stint of six weeks of being a Nanny while Mom and Dad attend Squadron Officer’s School at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL.

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Mama Sam & Nanny Rachael

Once the school is completed it will be off on Big Bird to cross the pond to Germany. So, God Speed my children, Granny and G shall be there to greet you and spoil you and help get you settled. I’m sure you’ll have many visitations over the next few years, I plan to be one of those visiting.

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Just a part of the Rooster’s Clan.

L to R – Pappy, Abby, Zed & Dax, Mia & G, Sam, Rooster & Wife, Ana & the All American Girl ZOE.

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Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

The Grands and Greats take to the Road

Many of you are already aware that granddaughter Samantha, Captain, USAF, and husband Zed, Captain, USAF are relocating from OKC, Oklahoma to Geilenkirchen, Germany. For those who did not know this, now you do.

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Photo from: idiotsbooks.com

 

So, to further enlighten you on their upcoming adventure and cross-country journey, I share with you Sam’s most recent blog. Should their schedule hold true, we might even have them on a float in the famous “Allen, MD Fourth of July Parade.” If you’re close by, the parade is an enjoyable experience with a picnic at the end.

Season 1: American Road Trip

by c12samb

Sung to the tune of Little Einsteins

We’re going on a trip in our big blue rocket truck

Zooming down the road, Davies Family

Climb aboard, get ready to explore

There’s so much to see, Davies Family

We’re going on a vacation, start the countdown

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Everyone to the truck, rev it up now

RRRRRRRRR

We’re going on a trip in our big blue rocket truck

Zooming down the road, Davies Family

Climb aboard, get ready to explore

There’s so much to see, Davies Family

Come on, let’s go, Davies Family

Can’t wait to see you, Davies Family

Yeah!

On this season follow the Davies Family as we leave Tinker AFB in our rear view and head out on a 3 week family vacation. Follow us as we go from Oklahoma City to Vernal, UT to Frenchglen, OR, to Boise, ID, to Oklahoma City, OK, to Allen, MD, to Bay City, MI, to Montgomery, AL. You’ll get an inside look at the chaos of traveling as a family of six from sea to shining sea.

Enjoy!

-S

c12samb | June 26, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p7p01n-3y
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Sharing a Grand and 4 Greats

PREAMBLE: As many of you know we have been blessed with three children, nine Grands, and four Greats. The author below, (Sam,) whose day follows, is the first-born of our daughter Kathryn and her husband Jeff. Sam is an Air Force Academy grad, wife, mother, and daily protector of us as a Captain on active duty in the Air Force. She and Husband Zed, also an Academy grad, live in Oklahoma City and are stationed at Tinker Air Force Base. Did I mention Kathryn and Jeff met in the Air Force in Berlin Germany?

Herself, after being away for a day caring for others, will often ask on her arrival home, “what did you do today?” On some occasions I consult my journal, so much busyness causes me to forget all I have done in her absence. Giving our and daughter Kathryn’s dog their potty breaks consumes some of the day. Cleaning up the kitchen, especially after great breakfast of Scrapple, Eggs, and fried Potato and Onions consumes some time. Emails, Blog follows and a dryer full of clothes is taxing on the time schedule. Be it a MAC day, exercise and a class for Stretch, Range of Motion & Flexibility consumes even more time. If time permits I try also to get a bit of a snooze in somewhere between 2:00 & 4:00 PM. I’m feeling the exhaustion.

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A man’s work is never done.

So folks, on that note, read on as Sam takes you on a true day in her life.

A True Day in My Life

Let me give you a quick run down of my day. Let me also say I’m not looking for praise or compassion.

0015 – Comforted a 4 year old with a nightmare

0045 – Last numbers I saw on the clock before falling asleep

0345 – Comforted a 3 year old with a nightmare

0400 – Doctored a sick 30 year old

0430 – Fed a no longer sick 1 year old

0445 – Laid down and reset alarm

0505 – Woke up to reset alarm

0510 – Notified my flight of a mandatory recall (For non-military…We run a phone tree of everyone I’m over telling them to show up at a specific location with specific items)

0515 – Showered/dressed/did my hair

0530 – Dressed/Fed 4 kiddos (All kids were helpful and happy. Chocolate peanut butter sandwiches all around)

0545 – Warmed up the car and checked on sick 30 year old

0555 – Loaded the car

0605 – Left the house

0620 – Dropped the kiddos off at school (only took me 10min…ooo yah)

0630 – Opened up the office/led a mock deployment bag check/gave a motivational speech (at least I hope it was motivational)

0730 – Logged into a Professional Development class

1130 – Logged out of class/did homework for the class (a discussion post and two responses to others posts, it’s kinda like a master’s class, but put on by the Air Force)

1230 – Checked email (had to sign a couple documents)

1300 – Ran to the kids school and checked up on 1 year old

1330 – Went to staff meeting (12 people that make up the leadership team of our unit solving problems and passing along information to the boss)

1500 – Changed for unit fitness

1545 – Unit Fitness (we played ultimate football)

1630 – Ran 2 miles (no, it did not take me 30 mins. to run 2 miles, more like 17)

1700 – Picked up the kids from school

1745 – Bought Happy Meals for the kids

1746 – All kids, without my prompting, say thank you for their Happy Meal (all except Zoe)

1747 – Pulled over to pick up spilled Happy Meal from the floor

1749 – Pulled over to swap the boy and girl Happy Meal toy (Ana is not a boy if anyone was curious)

1805 – Arrived at gymnastics and picked up the second spilled Happy Meal

1820 – Changed Mia into her leotard

1823 – Convinced Ana that her usual gymnastics outfit was dirty (honestly I didn’t have time this morning to look for it)

1830 – Dropped Mia and Ana off for class

1830-1920 – Entertained Dax and Zoe and ran inside to check on Mia and Ana occasionally

1920 – Went inside to pick up the girls

1923 – Doctored a rolled ankle and convinced Mia it wasn’t that bad if she still wanted to run back in and get a stamp

1927 – Doctored a stubbed toe and Ana convinced me that drinking her chocolate milk left over from her Happy Meal would make her foot feel better

1930 – Headed home

1943 – Upon entering I turned left (if you’ve ever driven my children home you know what this means, if you don’t please remind me to tell you before you do)

1950 – Hugs to Zed and bath time

2010 – PJs and kids/daddy snuggle time

2015 – Bedtime for Zoe

2020 – Shower time for this tired Momma

2030 – Put my boys (Zed and Dax) to bed

2035 – Did the big girls hair

2040 – Snuggle time with my big girls

Multiple times today I questioned why I do this. Why did I think it would be a good idea to have everyone show an hour early to work? Why do we keep the girls going in gymnastics? Why do I choose to have a very demanding job? I am exhausted. I am sore. But, I am happy. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. I’m sticking to my goals. My kids are learning new skills. I am tired, but I am happily successful. Happily Successful is the answer I always gave when teachers would ask what do you want to be when you grow up successful, famous, or rich.

My why is because I cherish the hugs they give me as I leave them at a school they love, with teachers who fight and request to have the Davies come to their class as they move up in age. As I walk around their school during nap and give them each a kiss on their head I remind their subconscious self that they have a mom who would give up her lunch just to be near them for a few seconds. My life is insane. I’ve said before we live in survival mode. But this crazy life detailed down to the minute has taught me to slow down. It’s taught me the moments I have with my kids should never be taken for granted.

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The participants

We’re called the Davies Crazies. We’re the first asked to handle special events at work. The teachers ask us to request for our kids to go to their class. We laugh. We cry. We yell, though we do our best to reserve it for when one or more of the kids run into the road. But most importantly we love and we work hard. My why is because why not. My kids, my husband, me, and our family are happily successful and I could not ask for anything more.

Thanks for reading, this probably meaningless post and very long post. Hopefully if nothing else it made you laugh, remember your days raising kids, or hopefully did not scare you away from having kids in the future.

-S

*I knew at 0445 today would be interesting so I’ve been writing this post throughout the day. For any of you who were impressed I remembered exact times after a day like I’ve had, sorry to let you down. After 4 kids this mom has serious mom brain.

And I think I have busy days. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks Sam for all the smiles and joy you give us.

PS: Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Great Grandchild #4Arrives

Touched

by c12samb

My granddaughter, eldest daughter of my eldest daughter arrived here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore a week prior to Christmas from Oklahoma City,OK.  Sam’s Mom and Dad had flown to OKC, jumped into the Cow Pusher Suburban with children # 1, 2 & 3 and headed East to Maryland. Sam was with child and would deliver that child here in Maryland. PRMC would be the hospital, no barn stall for this child due shortly after Christmas.

Husband Z was in the Gulf or Desert if you wish, acting as a Taxi Driver in a A-3 ,AWACS, 707. Both Father and Mother 2B are U.S. Air Force Captains on active duty. Mama would deliver her newest child here on the Eastern Shore and if all went well, dad would view the coming attraction on the Internet. ( If you follow my writing at all your aware this might not happen in this suspect IT zone).

I can not say any plaudits that would be inadequate in describing the love and sacrifice the  grandparents to be have put forth for this child and grandchild to be. Oh, and the three come priors, S p O I L e D! There is also a BiG YeLLoW Lab, Lady Liberty is her name who has given nothing but licks of love to all involved. Oh, did I mention Libby is just thrilled with on the floor food droppings during this entire event.

Mama is amazing, as she waited and she goes this adventure alone. Aunt Abby was right there day in and day out until she said, “Mississippi State her I come”. Love you girl, and we all miss you, including the mail box  (It’s a family thing). Aunt Sarah and Aunt Ray have been there also doing their bit to help make things as smooth as they can be.

Last but not least, the Matriarch of this clan, Granny ,(Herself), you are so-so special, I love you.

So, enjoy the new mothers post, she’s an amazing young lady, wife, mother and Air Force officer and Proud to be an American

Touched

təCHt/

adjective

  1. 1.feeling gratitude or sympathy; moved.

    “the star said he was ‘very touched’ to receive his medal”

  2. 2.informal

    slightly insane; crazy.

    “you have to be a little touched to do my job”

This word was used numerous times the 36hrs I was in the hospital; by the nurses, midwives, and birth photographer.

It all started with a stress test at my OBs office. No signs of contractions, no signs of stress on the baby, no signs of labor starting any time soon. I was able to delay setting an induce date and scheduled my next appointment. I picked up the girls and headed home (well to my parents home that I’ve adopted these past few weeks). I settled them in, made some dinner for them, ate a delicious dinner prepared by my grandmother and got ready for another evening of chasing 3 hoping it would get things going.

About 6pm I started noticing tightening in my belly, but this had happened before and I didn’t pay much attention to it. It was tub time for the kiddos after all. With kids smelling yummy and dressed I couldn’t ignore the tightening anymore. I started tracking it…30sec long and 4min apart.

By 7pm they were about 45sec long and 3mim apart. This is when it finally hit me that Z would not be in the room when this baby was born. I packed up my hospital bag (trying to delay as long as possible) and broke down and called Z. Thankfully we had made a plan months ago and timing worked out great that he wasn’t busy and was able to answer. He told me I needed to get to the hospital and to call again when I’m settled in and ready to go. I got my mom and grandmother and we were off.

I am not the nicest laboring mama (think Jekyll and Hyde). Thank you Mom and Granny for putting up with me. We arrive to the hospital at 8:05pm, 6hrs after my OB had told me see you next week and 2hrs after noticing labor starting.

The nurses at PRMC were fantastic. I told them I have super short labors and they listened. I had three nurses working together to get me admitted, in a room, and an epidural as quickly as possible. Now that I was in a happy place the nurses asked my story.

They knew this was baby #4 in 4yrs. I told them a birth photographer was on her way and they told me to tell her to hurry. I then said Z would be here via FaceTime from his deployed location. The midwife came in and heard my story too.

In walked the birth photographer. She had never had the opportunity to photograph a live birth, she had only ever worked with stillborns. She was so excited that she could help capture these moments for Z.

We got Z on FaceTime and on the next contraction Baby Z was born at 10:05. 8hrs after my OB saying see you next week, 4hrs after noticing labor starting, and 2hrs after arriving at the hospital. She weighed 7lbs 1oz and was 19in long. She came into this world healthy and alert. Seeing Z’s face upon meeting his little girl via FaceTime had the entire room quiet and in awe. It was an amazing image that I will have for the rest of my life.

Thank you Jennifer Seay Photography for capturing it.

For the next 36hrs Baby Z and I spent as much time with Z as we could (having two Z’s may get tough…Need to figure that out). Each time anyone would walk in the room and see the iPad on they would ask if Daddy was on, if he was they would leave if not they would come in and do whatever checks they needed.

Everyone knew our story. Everyone expressed their appreciation for our family’s sacrifice. Everyone said our family had touched them. The outpouring of support from the hospital was amazing and completely unexpected (I’m in a town that never sees a military member in uniform, people rarely move away, and who proudly display Confederate flags). This experience made me appreciate my little hometown so much more.

When I looked up the definition for touched I love that both apply. Our family had touched the lives of others, but we are also touched…As in insane…As in who would have 4 under 4 while both parents are active duty military. We love our life and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s chaos, but it’s a lot of fun.

Baby Z’s current stats at 2wks old…20in/7lbs1oz

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