Well it has obviously been a long time since Tam and I have updated our blog. Things have been very hectic, chaotic, and stressful. Basically, everything is normal. However, a lot has happened since we last posted in June. Because nobody would want to sit through a recounting of everything that has gone on, including me, I will just give you the highlights.
On November 23, 2010, Tam gave birth to a beautiful Elizabeth Nan Maschger. She is a gem and seems to be not as demanding as our other babies were. She is growing very large very quickly. She is a joy to have in the house and her three older sisters have taken to her very well. Sometimes we have to protect Lizzie from them. Now that we are the parents of four daughters, I have officially put my man-card in a safety deposit box until such time as it is safe to pull it out, and I fear for the time when the girls start dating. After all they are already taking about marriage.
Madelynn is growing into a beautiful young woman. In fact she is convinced that she is a grown up because she is in size one women’s shoes. She LOVES to read, and will read anything she can get her hands on. She often would prefer to read over just about anything else including eating, playing, sleeping, etc. Sometimes Mom and Dad have to force her to put her books down. One book that she enjoyed a lot was a medical book that talked about the human body and sicknesses. It was created to help the reader understand various common diseases and injuries and help a patient “diagnose” common ailments. More than once Maddie would diagnosis someone with a broken bone or skull because they hit their head, or when Emma was sick with a cold Maddie would be the nurse and have Emma lay on the couch and so she could take care of Emma. (Emma ate all of this attention up.) She recently read a book about the Sun and our Galaxy and was so enthralled by it that she declared that she wanted to now become a space scientist. Of course, she also wants to become a nurse, teacher, and writer too. She is going to be busy.
Emma is also developing into a beautiful young woman. She has an incredible ability and desire to see what people need and then attempts to serve them. She also is very competitive so she will often race to help someone so she can beat her sister at it. This usually is not a problem until the tempers fly and someone gets hit or clotheslined. Emma has a special relationship with her sister Eleanor. Emma can get Ellie to stop and play (freeing up mom for other essential household activities). Emma is a very responsible girl who, even though she would rather play her own game, will help Mom by taking care of Ellie.
Eleanor is a force to be reckoned with. She never stops moving and getting into things. Tam and I are unable to leave her alone. She certainly keeps us on our toes. If we do not know where Ellie is something valuable is getting broken. There are two things that she cannot possibly leave alone, computers and bathrooms. Both present an irresistible pleasure for her, even though she gets in trouble every time. She is smart and very capable of figuring out ways to get into what she wants. It is exhausting trying to keep up with her.
Tamara is busy being the mother of four. She is homeschooling our daughters and is doing a phenomenal job. She runs a tight ship at home, and is doing an awesome job keeping it all together. (She of course would disagree) However, I as an unbiased husband, have claimed the right to say that she is rocking the family thing and making miracles happen everyday in the home.
I have finally finished my masters degree from the National Defense Intelligence College. It took a bit longer then expected but I finished my 88 page thesis and will finally get my wall art this summer. It was a long, exhausting, mentally strenuous experience but I am glad I did it. I really enjoyed the classes, most of the teachers, and the topics discussed.
Another major family event is that I got orders at the end of last year and on December 15, 2010 Tam and I moved the family to live with her parents in Blue Springs, MO. Because the Navy is sending me to the Middle East for an Unaccompanied tour. I have about six months worth of training state-side before I leave for the region and then I will be there for a year tour. Altogether, that is around 18 months away from the family. I left on January 2, 2011 for Pensacola, FL for aircrew training, because my orders will have me riding in airplanes. The schooling so far has been difficult and has caused me several times to question what I was doing, but with the faith and prayers of my wife and the blessings of the Lord, I will be graduating this Thursday, and moving on to three more schools. I do not relish being away from my family, but we are not the first military family being asked to make these sacrifices. I am to my core a family man, and miss them terribly. However, this tour will hit a lot milestones that are important for the career path that Tam and I have chosen.