Friday, March 28, 2008

Hawaiian Word of the Week i have been a little slack this month with the Hawaiian vocab--so sorry, sometimes life is just plain busy, ya know?

Anyway, our new word (actually words) is chicken skin. Definition: goose bumps, especially when afraid or frightened.

I think this one is pretty funny. Derived to describe the tingly feeling you get when something scary or moving is happening, it basically is just their word for goose bumps.

The classroom i have been working in the past 3 weeks is seriously the coldest place i have ever had to suffer sitting through. I really don't have warm enough clothes with me here to make it through some days in that room. And although slightly out of context from what it was originally meant, the locals do not really use the phrase "chill bumps" at all, so when you are cold, you get chicken skin. So it would be safe to say that throughout today, i had blue toes, a numb nose and perma chicken skin. And geez, do i hate being cold!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

and the World's Best Husband award goes to....

...CW2 Michael C Burns!

Last week, I found at my front door a box of beautiful flowers from my hubby with the inscription " because you are the most remarkable woman i know..." WOW. I am not really sure what I did to deserve that or him, but again...WOW. I am really so blessed! In the midst of everything else Mike is doing right now for our country and especially all of us, he still finds time to take care of me. So just a little tip for all you husbands and wives out there, no matter how busy you are or how much you may get to spend time with each other, make sure you let your loved ones know how special and important they are to you by doing something for them for no other reason than "just because".

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March Down Range

The month of February has sped by incredibly fast here in Iraq as we get a little more settled in and used to the daily redundancy that a deployment creates. Although I do not care for the “Groundhogs Day Effect” for reasons I am sure you all can understand, looking on the optimistic side of things, I am still luckier than most. Highlights are few and far between to come by out here so I here goes my schedule on any given day. The alarm usually decides it must go off at 0400, only because my roommate Jordan sets it so we can go to the gym. I admit I am a morning person, but getting out of the rack at that time to throw weights around is not what I consider fun. Thank goodness for IPOD’s and Scope! The gyms here are really nice in comparison to what I have had in the past. There are all types of equipment, free weights, and cardio equipment which gives everyone the opportunity to stay in shape during their tour. After a good workout it is time for a shower and little something to eat. We always go to what they call the CSM Cooke DFAC (Dining Facility) which is the closet to our CHU (Containerized Housing Unit). The military makes acronyms for everything….I promise I will devote one whole BLOG to just acronyms very soon. Now getting back to having breakfast there is a multitude of choices to choose from on a daily basis. In fact you might even say that I am getting spoiled when the hardest decision I have to make is between the fresh fruit or fresh omelets but who’s askin! The coffee could be better, but they have to make it such abundance that they just never can get it right unless you creamer it to death. After breakfast it is time for my daily devotional and then off to work. This is a 2 mile walk so I usually make it there after about 25 minutes. My work schedule differs everyday but generally I do not get out of the ammo before 1900, and then it is time for the nightly meeting. I might as well be asleep during this meeting but my 15 second piece is just too mission essential…sarcasm? After I grab a bite to eat, it is time to go back to the gym and call it a night….Usually we have a season of something to watch like 24 or Sopranos, but here lately there just hasn’t been any time.

Our room is far more comfortable that any I have ever had before while being deployed. Usually I have been in a tent, so these trailers are a major upgrade. The heat and AC work great although the real test for that will be later this summer when 125 degrees roll around. I guarantee I won't be leaving any doors or windows open! The CHU’s are well protected by the concrete overhead, and the sandbags around from any rounds that may find themselves in our area. I have been receiving plenty of letters and cards from home and I try and place most of them on my wall. Please keep them coming as they are appreciated.

All of you wishing to email me my email problems and access issues have been resolved, so please email me at any time to

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Video Teleconference with Mike

Tonight I got to have my first VTC with Mike. Even though we do get to talk, this was the first time I have gotten to see Mike since he left in Nov. The silly girl in me started getting a little nervous and i dealt with those feelings by spending longer than necessary in the bathroom getting ready for the "big event". I just recently got a new dress and decided to wear it, tried to curl my hair a bit (not that the humid weather allowed one curl to stay) and I even lotioned up and put on body spray (like anyone was actually going to smell me--the things we girls do for our loves!). The end result for the bathroom was a bit disastrous and will need to be dealt with tomorrow--but it was all worth it to see my sweet husbands' smiling face.

There is a classroom set up for these meetings and I was in it all by myself --and Mike was on a screen in the front of the room. It was really the first time since he has been gone that it felt like we had any privacy. His normal calls are always in rooms with lots of other people--and for this, it really was just the two of us. The reception was really good and there was hardly any delay. We were supposed to have a full hour, but there was a mix up and we just had 30 minutes. Still, it was so great to see him and very easy to set up. We are going to hopefully try and make this a more regular thing.

I know the pic seems a little crazy, but i just couldn't resist. We even took a little time to make a few videos for family. It's kinda funny to think about taking pictures and videos of a video image of Mike...but if that's the best you got, what do you do?

Anyway, Mike is good and should be sending another blog update in the next few days so check back soon! Holler.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Hawaiian Word of the Week

Auntie: Respectable term for a female older than you
Ok, its an easy one this week--but this is also one i particularly like. Almost everyone who has spent any time here in the islands adopts this term. It is a good way to teach kids to respect their elders, but it is also implies inclusion in a family that you are not related to.

The girls on my soccer team go between calling me Coach Jessi and Auntie Jessi. My friends kids all call me Auntie Jessi and at school sometimes, instead of the kids calling me Ms. Burns or Ms. Jessi, they may call me simply "Auntie". Kids aren't the only ones to use this term though. Many times I notice grown adults referring to their elders, whether we are in a store, or church or in the schools as Auntie.

"Uncle" is used the same way when referring to males. So Mike and I are almost always Auntie Jessi and Uncle Mike. With the absence of blood family here HI, hearing a kid call me Auntie Jessi helps my feel included and a part of a family here. I believe that is one reason it has been so easy fitting in here.

Fire Fairies 2008

2 Little Girls and all their Aunties