My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Not proud or anything July 23, 2017

Filed under: Boys,Church,Family,Hubby,Military,Navy — blankenmom @ 9:56 pm
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After finally fully recovering from the excitement, not only from my first trip on my own, but seeing my second-born graduate from basic, I can finally boast… eh er… post about it.


After our three conversations totaling 30 minutes over six weeks, it was nice to just see him again without interruption.  He graduated from the same place his dad did, 20 years ago, but his dad wasn’t able to revisit due do his own military duty.  I missed my dentist man’s graduation, so it was great to see what he did too, but from what I hear, the ceremony is a bit different now.


TWT 2017


First-things-first – after the first and second days ceremony, you have to go out onto the field to “tap out” your graduate.  That means, finding someone who may or may not have completely changed, AND all the men look the same with shaved heads and uniforms!  On top of that, there were two recruits with the same last name.  So, walking through the whole crowd of graduates and families, all taller than I am, looking at name tapes for matching last names and then looking under their pulled down brims probably entirely too close for their comfort, to find the one you hope is yours… tapping them on the shoulder so they can relax.  THE ONE YOU HOPE IS YOURS!  Otherwise you’re tapping some random person!   Not that they might mind, that means they get to go relax… maybe I should have just “tapped” random people – bwahaha!

(After feeling horrible for several days, picturing my husband standing there at his graduation, without anyone to “tap him out”, I sheepishly asked him about it, and told him how sorry I was for not making it.  “We didn’t do that?  Sounds stupid.”  Oh thank heavens!)

Just in case you were worried – they do the buddy system.  Anyone who didn’t have family to tap them, their buddies came and got them.  No one is left behind!


Watching the pomp-and-circumstance was neat, and he was excited that so many important people happened to show up to his graduation.  Including the governor of Texas and the head of the Air Force.




That weekend ended up being incredibly hot – that Saturday topping out at 118*.  And of course that’s the day we picked to go to Six Flags.  We didn’t last long.


The San Antonio river walk was amazing – unfortunately I have no pictures.  Heat and humidity apparently don’t help old phones work well.  Which also made for some comical directions.  The guys weren’t allowed out of uniform, so while we enjoyed our walk, we also enjoyed the wonderful people giving all the newest graduates their thanks and congrats.

He showed us his dorms.  It was the first time in 19 years I’ve ever seen his bed made.  We did all the touristy things.  He enjoyed some local go-cart/race track time with his fellow graduates.  And lots of food!  We just basically ate where ever we went.


My favorite part of the whole trip – Sunday church service.  (No pics allowed)

This is everyone’s one hour of rest per week.  Where they don’t get yelled at.  Where they get to dance, or just relax a bit.  They get sat according to their weeks in, different services (this base trains all services), and graduates and their families.  Every week they call the groups out by week, service or graduates – and that group sounds off with a big “WHOOOP”.

And then they worshiped.  Marines, lifting their hands in praise.  Three weekers dancing in the pews.  Army guys in front of us, on their knees saying their prayers.

I loved every minute of it!


And then it was time to go.


He’s currently at tech school, where his dad and I had our first apartment together.  And then off to two other bases for training before his final duty station, where he’ll be diagnosing problems to be repaired for F-35’s.  He’s loving it so far.  Well, he loves most of it.  No one enjoys a 6:00 am death-by-power point, or 3:30 am workouts.


Here’s the deal though, less than 2% of the US population has ever joined the military.  Knowing someone who has been, or is in the military, may not even be something people do on a daily basis.  Him signing up, even if he hadn’t made it through, made me proud.  It’s not everyone who understands that it takes a big person to give up their attitude; their ability to be in control.  That takes a lot of self control – a lot of strength, to willingly give up, even temporarily.

So am I proud – heck yeah!  I’m proud of my husband, and my son (and hopefully a few others in the future).  They proved just how strong of men they are, not only possibly handing over their lives, but also by allowing someone else to be in charge, at least temporarily.


Plus… they just look so good in their uniforms, don’t they!  (Totally not biased.)




Busy doing nothing June 7, 2017






School for us ended last week.  In typical fashion we ended with one child finishing at the very last moment.  1:00 am, on the final day.

These are my final two – one becoming a sophomore and one a junior, but heading off to college (not uncommon in our state – and something his oldest brother did also).  So I’m down to one.  I’m sure he’s thrilled at the prospect of being the only one left for me to hover over.


With their “finals” done for school, and the third-born done with testing for college entrance, I am off on my summer schedule.


Redecorating the clinic I volunteer at.

Renovations coming along quite nicely (picture coming soon… it’s a looooong tedious project I’m working on).

Some summer schooling (I don’t want them going brain-dead after all that work).  But it’s a light schedule.

Getting ready for the third-born’s mission trip to Costa Rica this summer.


Family reunion.

Two-week-tour.  (In Hawaii… ppffffttttt – that’s camp!)

And, of course, my trip to see the second-born’s graduation from basic next week!  Eek! Not only do I get to see him follow in his dad’s footsteps, but it’s also my first trip alone.  I am both looking forward to it, and nervous.


So much to do, and only three months to fit it all in.   Along with all the usual stuff like yearly testing, working on the quilt still and babies showing up at the end of the summer.

I am enjoying the weather, and the schedule.



Office photo



I love being busy doing “nothing”.





Funny thing happened…. February 13, 2014

Filed under: Dentist,Hubby,Navy,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 12:36 am
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…..on the way to the dentist.


Hubby 5


I finally did it.  I finally had to go in and be seen by my dentist man.  It’s bad enough to have to be seen by a regular dentist, but to be seen by the guy who already knows that you skipped brushing two days ago…. after that soda and maybe even a glass of enamel eating wine – is just too much.  Uhg.


To be honest though, I am truly the worst patient ever.  Not only do I *really* REALLY dislike going in, but I’m complicated too.  I freak out over the shots (I’ve been known to not open my mouth, or jump out of the chair).  I’ve got the wrong number of teeth.  I *always* have cavities no matter how well I brush (and yes I do actually floss!).  My mouth is the size of 6 year old’s and to top it off, my mouth will get stuck open if it’s left open too long.  (Stop snickering at the imagery thank you…..)  And I’ve been told I bite.  *heeheehee*


Dentists dread hearing I’m coming in that day.


I’ve seen him in his element through pictures on the ship.  I love those pictures – I may hang those pictures.  But that was different, those were guys stuck on a ship.  Where were they going to go if they didn’t want to come in – swim for it?


But that was the amazing thing.  For the first time I got to see him do his job.  Like, actually do it, not just talk about it with his “dental geeks” or look in my mouth and go “Yup, that’s pretty gross!”  I got to see him in his lab coat, with his instruments, with his assistants – fixing people.  Fixing me!


And that’s when it hit me…..


……my dentist man is really, really good at what he does!  And to see him do what he does, first hand and to be able to honestly say he’s pretty amazing at it – was a great day.


If he were a janitor, plumber, paper pusher, electrician, painter, or whatever he had ended up otherwise – if he did it as well as he did this, I’d be just as excited to see him do his work.


Seeing your spouse do what they love and do it well, no matter the job, is something not to be taken for granted.


I felt very proud to claim him as mine.


Not so sure he’d say the same about me as patient though?


Moving on…. May 5, 2013







I have been ignoring you…. could you tell?  Don’t take it personal, it’s for a good reason I swear!


With my dentist man being home, it’s been a whirl-wind of activities.  Visiting friends and family all last week.  This weekend “that house” is getting its final touches, we went out to the “dry side” and checked out a few homes and the place he’ll be practicing.



cle elum



And what a perfect week to do it too – it’s been gorgeous!  I mean really  – it’s never like this?  Nearly 90* in May?  Sorry mid-west, we stole your sunshine.  We’ll give it back, I promise… maybe.


We left the oldest two home, since they have a life and all.  I felt like I was forgetting something the whole time?  But the younger two enjoyed their time “alone”.


It’s a very strange feeling to be looking for what’s supposed to be your final home?  It just seems so…. final?  I’m so not used to this concept and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.  How do you look around a town and think “Yup, these are the same faces I want to see for the next 60 years”?


To relieve some of my anxiety we are getting land though.  My time with neighbor’s is done!  I know, that seems a bit harsh, but let’s admit here and now that we haven’t had the best track record the last few years them?  Not to mention, it saves my neighbors from having to deal with me!






While it’s not my first choice of places to live, it is dry – dry is the key word here.  I can’t take anymore rain and the “dry side” has four distinct season.  I do love a good reason to knit and snow does that for you!  And I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve thought I wouldn’t like a place before and changed my mind, so please don’t take my hesitation as complaint, it’s merely caution before a new situation.  After this year, I would rather have familiarity than excitement and adventure, but adventure is what I’ll get none-the-less!






Life is like that.


We’re moving again, but this time on to a new kind of adventure.






Hey there, sailor man! April 5, 2013

Filed under: Hubby,Navy,Navy,What's happening — blankenmom @ 8:53 pm
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I’m glad to say that my sailor man’s ship is on its way home.  Don’t worry OPSEC Nazi’s, I didn’t say the date, time, where they were at or anything that wasn’t already on FB – BREATH!


While I’m still holding my breath with all the N. Korea craziness, I think they’ll actually come home to stay this time.  This last cruise wasn’t planned, but that’s part and parcel when you sign up!


What makes me laugh is all the posts on the several different pages I belong to.  You can always tell when things are getting closer.  Every cruise you read things like “OMG’sh – does anyone have this workout video, I need to get back into shape before the ship pulls in!”  Oh honey – you’re not going to lose those 20 lbs and 6 inches you put on in the two weeks before they get here.  But thanks for the entertainment!


I know – that’s harsh….


We all do it in various ways.  Getting our hair done, tanned up, nails done, some new clothes.  You may recall my post from the last cruise on this subject?  I’m sure there are more ways to get “purdy-fied” than I can… or want to even imagine.


After 3,6,9 or 12 months, can anyone blame us for wanting to look good?  Granted, our husbands and boyfriends (girlfriends and wives), will just be happy to finally see us again, but after that long, memories may have changed.  “Is that a new wrinkle – DANG-IT!”  It’s bad enough when you live with them and they see the changes on a daily basis, but when they come home and a long, harsh deployment has left you with some new “wisdom lines” and “silver” hairs or as above, a few extra inches; this can be a bit shocking when they pull back in and expect the person they left behind.


Let’s be honest, all the work that was just put in, those few extra lines, grey’s, inches, pounds and pasty white legs, don’t really matter when they step off that boat and see their loved ones again, we all know what’s really on everyone’s mind!



devil grin


This is your brain….. March 19, 2013

Filed under: Boys,Family,Hubby,Military,Navy — blankenmom @ 8:05 pm
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This is your brain on deployment!






If all goes well, my dentist man should be home on time – which is good.  Especially since my brain left me a few weeks ago and I can’t seem to find it?  I could be in the flood paperwork, tax paperwork, the new move paperwork (and if you’re mil, you KNOW what that website is like – bringing grown military men to tears!!), graduation paperwork, school work, church work, soccer paperwork or medical paperwork.


And yes, I’m fully aware that if it’s small enough to fit into the paperwork folder I didn’t have much to begin with.  Hush you!


After this weekends mishap of getting one of my sons to their soccer game 30 minutes late, “Game time’s at 3:00, but we need to be there at 2:30 for warm-up – got it.  Leave the house at 3:00 to get there on time.”  Yeah, you read that right!


Today I called to get tax info on “that house” and after the initial “Hello”…. it was all down hill from there.  Actually, it was a cliff.  That’s all that would come out.  That poor, wonderful woman managed to piece together what I needed from my few studdered, fractured words, let alone any sentences, that managed to make it out of my mouth.


I’m still not even sure what I said?  I hope I was polite?


I’ve officially named one of the girls on my soccer team “Not Bonnie” due to the fact that  that’s all I can get out when I see her….. her name is Brooke and Brooke would really like me to stop calling her “Not Bonnie”.  And as team manager, I really should!  Right Benny, Becky, Bennet….. Not Bonnie – dang-it!


As I down another cup of coffee and the boys check their soccer practice schedule to make sure we’re headed to the right field, at the right time, on the right day, with the right child, we speed off and I hope I remember where I’m going before we get there!


“Where was I going again?”




images (2)




Surfing life’s waves January 27, 2013

Filed under: Broken/Repaired,Family,Hubby,Navy,Pets,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 10:00 pm
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I’ve been trying to blog for a week or so now, but without sucking everyone down with me into the weirdness that has been our life these last few months.  As things drag on with “that house”, the upcoming move…. the loss of the dogs…. and the appliances…. and the renters…. and doctors appt’s…. and now an unsure date for the return of my dentist man, I’m starting to even ignore myself.


I can either succumb to what seems like overwhelming circumstances, become bitter, mean and grouchy or I can do what the good Lord is intending and learn from all of this making me the awesome imp He’s been working towards for thirty-some-odd years now.


We all know that I’m dying to learn to surf (ok, maybe not dying but I *really* want to) so a surfing analogy works best for me to describe what has been going on in my head for the last month or so…. follow me please as we take a walk through the pictures in my brain.








I hold on to my board while the waves get bigger and faster as they come to me, knocking me off each time.  It get’s harder to pull myself up and out of the surf with the weight of the water and salt sticking to my burnt skin.  My tired muscles from pulling myself up over and over and the usually friendly sun, suck what little energy I have left with each wave.

With one last-ditch effort I pull myself up on my board and lay on it for a while, feeling the still frequent waves pass under me while I catch my breath during a lull in their strength.  I turn to see others in the distance still being knocked over, going under, walking away, leaving.  I could do this too.  It would feel so good to just walk away, mumbling under my breath that it’s all too hard.  I’m tired.  This isn’t fun any more.  The sun is too hot, the water too cold.  The salt is hurting my eyes.  There’s too many people.  The boards too heavy.  I have no one to help me.  There’s too many waves and they’re so big that I can’t see passed them.

I turn my head to look out into the surf and see someone riding a huge wave – they’re amazing!  Totally wish I could do that too – AND make it look so easy.  As they come in, they see me sitting up on my board watching, probably looking like a half-drown kitten.  They yell something to me, but I can’t hear them over my own discouraging thoughts and the waves crashing in around me.  Swimming over to me, they ask if I’d like a little help? 

Well ya!  I want to surf that way too!

We swim out to where the waves start.  Holding my board to keep my feet steady and shouting out just the right advice that seem’s to be exactly what I need to hear, the next wave comes.  With them holding on to me, this time, I glide – it feels so perfect!  All of a sudden the water feels satisfying against my salted skin again and the sun gives me energy like it did before.  I still shake, and wobble, even fall, but I hear their words behind me that tell me what to do next, to keep steady and holding out their hand when I need help up.  Not only do I have their advice – but they’re encouragement too!  They point out what I do well, what I could improve on.  They remind me how great the water is again.  

From this, I become more steady on my own, with each passing wave I feel stronger and more confident, but always referring back to those words, to this friend, to this time.  Knowing how to ride out the big waves makes the little ones seem so easy now and seeking out the next big wave, exciting – so I can learn something new.  

It wasn’t the waves, the ocean or the sun that had changed, it was me.  Becoming stronger and better able to see through the sting is what makes the ride worth while.

Knowing what I know now, when I see the others around me falling, struggling, going under, I will be able to swim to them and show them how to be steady through the strongest waves.  I can cheer them on.  It’s no fun to be on the water alone; I want to stand as many people as I can on their boards so we can share the fun back on the cool beach when the sun goes down.  With a beer in our hand, a fire in the sand and music in the background we can share our stories like warriors of the past.







Surf’s up!