Monday, November 27, 2006

Thank you all...

...for your prayers for the safe return of my son-in-law, Michael Lightner. We are awaiting hearing from him, but he should be safe on American soil again. This picture was taken before he left for Iraq.

I am asking for prayers for Jonathan who is in the hospital on IV's in Norfolk with an infection, he should be fine but some positive prayers won't hurt, that's for sure! He was taken from his base this morning to the Medical center where he will be for at least a few days.

Table for 20?

We just got back from our wonderful Thanksgiving trip to see Nanny and Poppa and the family. There were 20 for dinner and the usual house full of family that we so love and don't get to see often enough. The whole gang went to the photography studio to have a family portrait done as we hadn't had one done in 5 years. We had single family shots done as well as the whole group. Jonathan flew in from Ft. Eustis which is outside of Newport News, Virginia for the holiday and to introduce his Fiance, Laura to the family. Jon brought a present for Poppa, a set of ACU's with his rank patches on them so that the military kids could get in a picture with their Grandfather. Even Jenn's dog Nutmeg got along with Bandit, Nanny and Poppa's dog. Next year we hope to get another military picture with the addition of Nick to the Air Force, and the return of Michael from Iraq. (He should be on US soil today!)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A weekend in Gettysburg

We spent our Saturday with the 1st Maryland Calvary in Gettysburg at the Remembrance Day parade. It was a cold morning but we had a great turn out for the event. There were more reenactors in the parade than I'd ever seen before (I'm sure it was in excess of 6-7000 people that marched). Here are a couple of photos our getting prepared stage in the morning as well as one from the parade itself.

(From the National Park Service Gettysburg National Battlefield Park Website) November 18, 2006
Remembrance Day Parade
Annual parade of Civil War living history and reenactment groups through Gettysburg to the battlefield park. Sponsored by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the parade begins at 1:00 p.m.
You'll notice that the Gentleman in the background is wearing a three cornered hat. He is wearing the Uniform of a soldier from the Maryland Line that fought in the Revolutionary War. There were also folks in attendance from the WWII era, in fact they looked just like my Dad in his dress uniform pictures from that Era. There were so very many people, it made me proud to be a part of the history of this event.
After a fun lunch at a local resteraunt for 15 hungry marchers from our unit, Mark and I went back to town to change clothes and get ready for the Evening's festivities. We attended a Dinner and Ball at the historic Gettysburg Hotel in the room which you see in this drawing. It was, except for the old style curtains, just as you see it here. We danced the night away to our favorite Victorian era music, ending our evening with the Virginia Reel. We very much enjoyed the company of our friends at dinner and at the dance, and we look forward to next year! I got to wear my new ball gown, though we did have our portrait done, they will be mailed to us later on so I can't post it here. The dresses were exquisite and the men looked very handsome in their uniforms or civilian period suits.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A happy day in South Carolina

It was an emotional but happy trip to South Carolina for Jon's Basic Training graduation. We had a family day with him on Thursday when we were able to get some things he needed at the PX and just spend time talking and hanging out, and the graduation ceremony was Friday. We were glad to bring his girlfriend with us on this trip. He had a big question to ask Laura on Thursday, complete with a beautiful new ring! (And she said yes, not to worry!) Graduation was Friday. It was a blustery day outdoors in the stands, but the nearly 1500 new soldiers looked fantastic in their new dress uniforms in formation. It was a great ceremony and we enjoyed it immensely. We were able to pick Jon up and have his portrait made, then we all went to (what else) a National Park after we fed him a "real lunch"!On Saturday after a big breakfast, we drove down to Ft. Eustis, Virginia which is right outside of Williamsburg. He will be doing his advanced training there through March or April. His company is called the Alpha-Gators and their mascot is the Gator...they have all kinds of Florida Gator stuff all over the place. I felt so at home! lol

Sharing pictures of my baby girl's weekend

This weekend while we were driving to South Carolina, Jenn was driving in a Humvee north into Pennsylvania to do her periodic requalification at the rifle range. These are some pictures she sent me of herself that really came out nicely!

We were sorry that she couldn't join us for Jon's graduation, but we completely understood that she couldn't reschedule the weekend's activities. Still, we talked quite a few times and she successfully requalified. She's in the Military Police, and we're very proud of her. (I'm sure that you can tell!)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


If you've ever traveled I-95 near the NC/SC Border you've seen the hundreds of signs advertising South of the Border. I begged for years when my parents were driving us up to SC to spend the summers on their farm for them to stop.

Needless to say, we had to turn off before reaching it and I never got to go to this horrible but wonderful tourist trap during childhood, and since then, I've only driven past it in the middle of the night. I begged and whined this trip too, and on the way from SC to Virgina today with Jon and Laura we finally stopped and I took some pictures of the place for proof that I finally made it there. I'm sure my mom and dad are rolling their eyes and smiling at the thought that I finally made it there during business hours! As you can see it's full of circa 1950's roadside kitsch and the shops are full of tourist tees and other junk, but it was a lot of fun!