Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Yes, as usual, a significant break in my blog (lack of) consistency.

But, I will try to catch you up this week while I'm on Spring Break, and then ideally keep up with it going forward!

I liked what whitney did on her blog with a little listy update, so here I go.

1) Last week was a LONG week for me AND Matthew. Mine included grading about 80 English 1020 papers, handing in midterms, going to a 5 hour FRG Leader training, my first "Steering committee" meeting, and a few other things. Matthew's was a bit more intense and included a 2am wake up call to deal with a soldier who committed a felony, and on Wednesday he got up at 4:30am for the day, worked through the night on his staff duty shift and continued to work until about 3:30pm the next day... a REALLY long day.

By the end of the week, we were both exhausted! Fortunately we had a restorative, though busy, weekend.

2) Friday night and Saturday morning we went to the "Inquirer's Weekend" at our church here-- learned a LOT and were left with some huge things to think about. We found it encouraging, and spiritually challenging. We are still contemplating membership and are pretty sure we'll take that step even though we don't completely agree with everything-- it is a great community!

3) We got to see Josh and Laura! They are leading a trip to Memphis right now, staying with the Castles (Joanna's mom and dad). They made a pit stop in downtown Nashville and we got to spend about 3 hours just hanging out with them! It was so wonderful to see them WITH Matthew and get to hear about their lives now, their marriage, and their thoughts on the coming months. Thanks for stopping by to see us friends!

4) The weather here has been absolutely glorious. It is a high of 79 today.. INSANITY! We had a wonderfully warm weekend and got to grill outside and have our windows open, just heavenly! Tomorrow it is supposed to get colder again, but it is still highs in the 50s, so not too bad.

5) I am the E Company FRG leader now, officially. I am still learning exactly what this means, but I am REALLY excited about it. For the next 2-3 months I won't serve in as central a capacity because the company commander (and this Matt's commander) is leaving. The FRG (Family Readiness Group) is officially the commander's program so he directs it. He will be replaced, and so the new company commander will really determine what our FRG looks like. I'm very excited! It will be good to have this time of transition, and even better because the commander's wife is also a "co-leader" for the next few months. I'll have some help and a bit easier work load while she's around and i'm still working on my semester, hooray! I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more about the FRG adventures in the future.

6) We had our first military ball! It was really fun, we had a surprisingly good time. I did take the suggested hair dos to heart and tried a few of them... I ended up being pretty boring (pictures to come) but I did TRY the other options. I'm just an up-do wuss, and ended up wearing it down :)

7) HAPPY BIRTHDAY! To: Megan Smith! Jay Telford! Chanel Sohl! Leslie Cragwall! Beth Parent! And an upcoming happy birthday to mrs. Kamie Barnes!

8) School is going well. I'm using my spring break to read and get ahead a bit, but still trying to relax. I'm also doing taxes, going to the dentist, and having a few medical check ups.

9) The big news: FRANK AND VINNEY ARE GETTIN' KICKED OUT! That is, I'll be having surgery on my thyroid in May and the tumors are getting cut out (I just thought of Joey on Full house.." Cut...it...out" Did you do the hand motions?). I'll keep you copiously posted on this venture.

10) Things are blooming here! Our tree out back is starting to burst with bright pink/purpley blossoms- it is GLORIOUS! (Pictures to come).

11) Honestly, we are blissfully happy. Work and school are at times stressful (work for him more than school) but we are really loving life and are enjoying the many blessings in our lives!

12) We are looking in to a vacation. We love Clarksville, love our house, love the area... but we are ready for a quick respite from the norm. Matthew will be leaving for some unknown period of time (fear not! Not overseas.... to cushy ol' West Point, NY) this summer and the guys are given a short block leave time. We have a few days of leave to spend and are contemplating:
a) Orlando Florida! We have wanted to go to Disney world, and we found
out Matthew can get like a 5 day pass for free and up to 5 family
members can get theirs for like 100$!!!
b) Las Vegas! This is one we probably will wait til after the summer to do.
We will keep you all posted about what we decide on, and you will all be
welcome to join us when we go!
c) Memphis/Gatlinburg/ Ashville, NC: These places are all driving distance.
If it seems like too much of a hassle we may do a driving trip to Memphis or somewhere close where we can drive and enjoy time away, but not have to pay for plane tickets.
And so! There you have it! If you have heard of any steals and deals, or you think you might want to join us (Block leave is May 22-June 7. We will be taking a trip during that time) let us know!

I think that is pretty much a good update. Of course, Dutch-a-lutch is doing well, he is a giant! (10 lbs!!!) And he is becoming an expert "goal keeper" like Matthew-- you'll have to see it to believe it :)

More soon....


Leslie said...

YEA!!! An update on your blog - can't wait to see your pictures that are coming soon... oh and thanks for the birthday shout out! :)

Joanna said...

You know,Memphis is pretty romantic if you can keep away from all the... unromantic parts. But how could you turn down such an amazing chance to see Mickey? Disneyworld is magic!

I look forward to seeing pictures. Tell Matt hi!

Kaytee said...

Check out www.afvclub.com. It's the Armed Forces Vacation Club website. I just found out about it but they have places all over the world that you can stay at for only $329 a week if you are in the armed forces!! Talk about a total steal!

melissa said...

Hey wait - I didn't know about this FRG stuff!! Very cool!

The Barnes Family said...

Thanks Claire. I can't believe how old we are getting. It's so nice to read your blog and keep up with everything is your life. Happy Spring!

Miss W said...

I am so jealous of your weather. It's -2 degrees in good ol' Minnesota today. Bring on spring...
Also, my cousin honeymooned in Gatlinburg and had a great time.

Kimber said...

Great update miss, glad to hear about all the happenings. Still looking forward to that E mail :)

Ashley said...

I definitely recommend Gatlinburg. It is a lot of fun and you can even rent your own private cabin/suite. Very romantic.