Twisted Stitcher

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ok, who said it could be February already?

Holy Smokes, time sure is flying by! I have nearly gotten used to writing 2007, but the fact that February showed up this fast is boggling my little mind. So much has happened since I wrote last. This is going to be one long post! Also, when I get the pictures in, it will be rather picture heavy. My apologies to the people with slow connections.

The photos are going to be added later. I have a ton of photos from our trip that will probably go into PhotoBucket shortly. I got a new camera and have to play with the software for it before the pictures go up. Links will be added later as well.


The Big Event of January for our family was Mike’s boot camp graduation. Yes, we now have an official Marine in the family. The trip out to San Diego was short but packed with lots and lots of activity and fun. We left really early on the 10th out of Denver. When we got to San Diego, the weather was overcast and cold for them, but felt warm to us. Meg was pretty impressed by the palm trees, and the fact that bird of paradise flowers grow everyplace and that jade plants are used as shrubs was very cool.

We were all so tired from the early flight that we spent some time napping in the car at a neat little place downtown call Seaside Village (I think). It was a neat touristy place and we had a snack there before picking up my sister at the airport in the afternoon. We expected the California prices to be higher, but over $7.00 for a smoothie was a little shocking.

We found our way to the hotel in Del Mar, checked in, got showered and dressed and then out to dinner at Red Robin. We had a great time. One of the things the kids noticed was that there weren’t any dirty cars. Anywhere. And no older, slightly “used” looking ones either.

On Thursday, we got over to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot early. We got to see the guys practicing for their Eagle, Globe, and Anchor ceremony, and finally figured out which one was Mike. Then we strolled around the base mall (a small open shopping and food area) a little bit before being guided over to the place the guys would be for the start of their “Motivational Run”. It’s their last company wide event before graduation, and the company commander, battalion commander, chaplain, and other important people including the senior drill instructors and drill instructors all run as a group. This is a big deal for the recruits, and it gives the families a chance to see their sons for the first time in 13 weeks. It was really an emotional time for me, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. It was great seeing him again, and I seemed to get pictures mostly of Mike trying not to cough. Megan made fun of their running shorts.

We all lined up by the Theatre and waited for the 3-mile run to finish. It was cool. Then they ran off to get ready for the ceremony and we saw a short presentation in the Theatre. The base commander is Brig. General Angela something. (I’ll look it up later). The Drill instructors were introduced, and I have a short video of that. I’ll try to get that posted someplace.

The EGA ceremony is where they officially become Marines. It was awesome. Mike was a squad leader and got to hold the pins while the Drill instructor went down the line giving each one of the guys in his squad their pin. The sound of all those marching feet and of them all snapping to attention was something special. There were over 480 men in the company. The ceremony started at 11am and when it was over we got to spend until 5pm with Mike. He was thrilled and surprised that Margie came with us.

He got to eat “real” food for the first time at the Food Court. Meg thought it was really funny that his posture was so perfect, that he had to salute people, and that he stood at attention at the credit union. She made me take a picture of that. She loved the prices at the store. He showed us around as much of the base that he could. It was so nice just to spend time with him.

We went back to the hotel and then out to dinner at Rubio’s. It’s a Mexican fast food franchise that had nice fresh food. It was delicious, but Meg was a little put out that when she asked for “queso” she got grated cheese instead of what she was expecting, which was melted cheese dip.

Everybody else went to bed fairly early, but I was up until the wee hours of the morning finishing the sweater. It did get finished, and I like it a lot, but there are a few small things I’ll be tweaking to get it put together better. So that makes two sweaters finished in the last two months. Not bad for a girl who never made herself a sweater before!

We got to the base early Friday as well. We had breakfast and then went over to the parade deck for graduation. It was a fantastic ceremony. The sun was shining, the Marine Band was playing, and the excitement was everywhere. The Marines looked so good and the families looked so proud.

After the graduation ceremony Mike got his bags and stuck them in the incredibly cool mini van that we rented. We spent a little time on base, and then went back to the hotel so Mike could change into civvies. He spent some time in the boys’ room showing stuff to Bob and Matt. Then we went to the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Park and rode the tram around and saw all sorts of great animals. We got there late, so we didn’t get to see the lions for Megan. She wants to own a lion cub, and was planning on taking one home from there, so maybe it was just as well.

We ate at a pizza place that night and had a wonderful time. The kids spent some time in the gym and hot tub. It was nice to know they had a chance to catch up without the parents around.

Saturday I drove Margie back to the airport and then we took Mike to an emergency health clinic to get something to fix his pink eye. We ate lunch at an In-n-Out burger place and then went to Legoland. It was very cool. The kids went their way and Bob and I wandered around looking at the neat Lego creations. Meg and Matt got their Lego Driver’s licenses. They all went on the roller coasters, which look really tame, and they all thought the rides would be mild. But I guess they were more exciting than they looked. Maybe because they were all open cars, not like the monster roller coasters with tons of safety bars and padding.

We had a really good time at Legoland and then drove south on the Pacific Coast Highway. We stopped at a beach that I was for sure going to remember the name of and stuck our feet into the Pacific Ocean. The kids had never seen an ocean before, so it was a neat thing for them to be able to do. We found some seashells and watched the sunset. It was peaceful and relaxing. After that, we went to Marie Calendars for supper. The food was wonderful, and the desserts were perfect. Thank you very much to the person or persons responsible for making that happen. It was so nice to have everybody together again. We spent a lot of time talking and laughing, it was really good.

Sunday we got a late checkout and watched the Bears win the NFC Championship. That was great, but we won’t mention last Sunday’s game. Remember, there’s always next year! We flew back into Denver Sunday night. What a rude greeting, weather wise. Man it was cold!

Mike spent the rest of his 10 days of leave at home and is now back in California at Camp Pendleton doing his Marine Combat Training. He graduates from that on the 13th of this month, and will be headed for Fort Sill (that’s in Lawton, OK) right after that for his MOS (military operations school). He again made squad leader, which is good, but he describes it as a lot “like herding cats”. He will be there until the beginning of April. He has a cell phone that he can use now, and we will be able to send letters and cards there as well. I’ll have that address in a couple of weeks. Let me know if you want his contact info.

Okay, so on to the rest of my life.

Meg’s doing fine. Working hard, going to school, and playing rugby. Yes, even in this weather. They have a tournament somewhere the weekend.

Matt’s doing great also. He’s getting excited about graduating in May. We are going to look at a college over President’s Day weekend. He also has a new job at Quizno’s.

I started and finished a pair of socks from some yarn I got on my trip to Wisconsin in September. They are very comfortable and bright. They cheer me up on gray, cold days. What more could you want from socks?

I also started the Fair Isle cardigan that we are doing as a Knit-a-long in our Saturday knit group. I am a little behind everyone, but no matter, I’m enjoying it and there is no deadline. I had to change needles, the first ones I tried caused a lot of struggle and readjustments. The new Addi’s I’m using are, as expected, so much easier to knit this sweater with.

I have changed the first orange and green checkerboard stripe to fawn and green. The fawn is an orange-y brown, it’s a little more subdued than the straight up orange. I like it a little better, it’s not so…oh what do I want to say? It is more me than the orange/green combo. The next orange and green stripe will also be changed slightly.

Here’s a neat little thing I found online. It gives you a description of you and your “perfect” color, based on your birthday. I’ve looked up the birthdays of some of my family and friends and it seems fairly accurate. It was a fun way to waste some time in between calls at work.

Also in knitting news, my friend Christy of Crazy Monkey Creations, was mentioned in Lime and Violet’s yarn p0rn segment of their podcast. Issue 22, if I remember correctly. So Christy, if you were wondering about a spike in your hits after January 10th, this may be why. They loved your stuff, especially the tropical colorway.

I plan on updating all of my links and buttons, as well as pictures very soon. Of course I planned on doing that before, so it will be a pleasant surprise for all of us when it actually happens!