Friday, November 28, 2008



In keeping with the Thanksgiving holiday spirit…..the gang headed out to Jumbo for a little shopping trip. Jumbo is our equivalent of Toys-R-us / Wal-Mart. It is a 2-story building stacked full of kids merchandise, baby supplies, toys, household goodies, with anything and everything in between. I should included…this is not Wal-Mart or Target….not even close, but its all we have!

The fire department at NSA Souda Bay is sponsoring the Greek version of Toys for Tots. The toys collected are given to the local orphanages and children’s charities. So the Chapel women decided to plan a hopping trip to Jumbo. We wanted to give rides to any of the sailors who wanted to buy toys, but did not have a ride. We also collected money to purchase the toys for any of the sailors who preferred to stay home….which should have included Harry in that category.

Harry is not a shopper. Well not a shopper I enjoy shopping with. He is one of those husbands that push the cart around….aisle after aisle…watching like a hawk every item tossed into the cart. Only then does his look of total boredom turn into a look of total horror. The man has a mental calculator inside his head….constantly tally my goods. Questioning each item I touch… “You sure the kids will like that?” “That does not look very sturdy.” “How much does that cost?” “How much do you plan on spending today?” “What are the age groups…that looks kind of young.” “When I was a kid….I played with guns, not building blocks!” Then when I debate the toy guns for the toy drive, he says, “They may not be appropriate for the Chapel to support violence with guns.”

See how happy he looks!

But because another husband was going…Harry thought he too would venture the marathon shopping trip with the women.

Many moons and several carts later…… we had our loot. Any more and we would not fit in the van with our purchases. Shopping carts filled to the brim with goodies for a good cause. I love shopping for charities….I feal no guilt when Harry sees the bill.

Unfortunately, I forgot the foreworn the Chapel attendees on the trip about Harry. Not that he is a bag of laughs while we are shopping, but the aftermath is worse. I call it sticker shock. Harry calls it bankruptcy court.

It takes him about an hour to get all the blood rushing back to all parts of his body. In about an hour his face muscles begin to work again and his scowl becomes just a normal frown….then about 30 minutes later and he might talk again. Depending on the amount spent determines the length of time it actually takes. That and how close we are to payday again.

But all in all we had a blast. We even went to a second store….and get this…. It’s called….“Euro Store” …where everything is a Euro. Harry drove round and round in circles with the driver….too hard to find a place to park downtown on a Saturday. So he did not have to go through the ritual again so soon after decompressing from the first shopping stop.

Blessings to those die hard shoppers for a good cause,


Thursday, November 27, 2008



Thanksgiving in Greek is eucharustia. And this past Sunday we celebrated the NSA Souda Bay Chapel Thanksgiving Meal. We had a great time with a rather large turn out. Translation: we almost ran out of food. Harry was so dissapointed he was not able to take home a plate of leftovers. which serves him right after what he did to me....

I have never in my 30+ years of life cooked a turkey....never even bought one.... an uncooked frozen one that is....therefore when Harrry nominated me to cook a 22 pound turkey for the Chapel I could have beat him with the frozen fowl! Thankfully, Paul and Tina recognized my limitations and agreed to cook the bird. I do not even have a pan to put such a large creature in. It would not have fit in our miniscule european oven.

Thank you Cargill family for donating the bird. And thank you Paul and Tina.....even though you were up all hours of the night tending to the 22 pound montroucity, had to defrost it in your bathtub, carry it on a rather large cooler... it was delicous. And if you had not agreed.... I would have tossed the bird and went looking for the nearest "Honey Baked Ham drive thru" ...and not sure they have those here in Greece.

Also, I do not think I have told you guys about the story of our new building..... in short....we were given a new (old...pretty run down...scheduled to be torn down if they had the $$)...Chapel building. We have been in the process of knocking down walls, painting, landscaping, and everything but call Ty Pennington in for a new building. "Does anyone happen to have his number?" I would love to hear Ty say, "Move that bus"... and see a brand new Chapel building where the old previously sat! Anyway, from the photos you can see the newly acquired fellowship hall has yet to be painted, decorated, or have permanate furniture. Navy things take a while. But its a work in progress! And we are thankful for what we have.

So Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving blessings,


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terrorism in Thailand

Harry and I have been keeping up to date with the current events of Bangkok, Thailand. The day after we left Bangkok...the city was racked with an act of national terrorism. On November 12 the city's famous open air market was targeted in a bombing attack.

Here is an article I found...

Bangkok - A bomb hurled Thursday morning at protestors at Klong Toey Market in Bangkok injured 13 people, two of whom were in critical condition, police said. 'Eyewitnesses said the bomb was thrown by a man on a motorcycle from the bridge that overlooks the market,' said Police Colonel Suthip Palitkusontat, of the Klong Toey Port Police Station. Vendors at the famed open air market - the largest in the capital - have been protesting efforts to evict them by a private company that won a new lease on the area on October 29.

Then today...we woke up to the take over at the Bangkok International Airport.

There are reports of blasts at Bangkok's international airport and grenade attacks elsewhere in the city that have wounded at least seven people as lawlessness spread amid anti-government protests, officials said.

BANGKOK, Thailand — Thailand's main international airport canceled all flights Wednesday as protesters thronged the complex and stormed the control tower in efforts to bring down the government, stranding thousands of tourists and buffeting the country's already-fragile tourism industry.

The demonstrators are now in the control tower, and say airlines must seek their permission to land.

The airport takeover was one of the boldest gambles yet by the People's Alliance for Democracy in its four-month campaign to topple Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, whom it accuses of being the puppet of a disgraced fugitive predecessor, billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra.,2933,457156,00.html

Exhausted travelers tried to sleep on suitcases, on luggage carts, on security conveyer belts, behind vacated check-in counters. Protesters dressed in yellow shirts walked around distributing food, ham sandwiches and packets of rice.

So today... our prayers and thoughts are with the Thai people as they deal with the another day of terrorism within their borders.

I cannot get it out of my head that we were just there. I am thankful for God's timing and His guided steps. Harry and I tossed around the dates of our travel and entertained the idea of staying longer in a city we became enthralled with.

Our travels tend to stress out my family.... they never really know where or when we will turn up. So I am thankful we left the day we did. On our honeymoon...there was a horrific accident in a Swiss mom was terrified and we were not even in Switzerland.



Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh Happy Day


Oh Happy Day.... the pretend kitchen has arrived! Normally, I would not sing praises for anything kitchen related....but since we have moved into our "new / old" building, and actually have a kids room for the NSA Souda Bay Children's Ministry... we have begun remodeling the once storage room for Emergency Managementt disaster supplies into our kids. They are going to love it....if we could ever finish it.....

Everything here is so we ordered the furniture and various toys and supplies from US based companies. Items larger than the USPS specifications or if the items weighing over 70 pounds were shipped to the base in Norfolk…then placed on a ship and sent via the ocean express. I say ocean express, but express it is not. The average wait time is about 3 months.

The pretend kitchen has been a little project of mine since April. So I am extremely happy to have it in country and assembled….with all the pieces.

You see, we ordered a kids rectangle navy blue sides with speckled grey top table (with matching chairs). Oh…ordered around August….recently the table was delivered by the good ole ocean express….but without its legs. I am not kidding. No legs! Not 1 of the 4 legs were sent. We are back and forth with the company trying to find our tables legs.

Although, instead of the legs…we received the round version of table in addition to the rectangle table. So we have scored a $500 round table that the company has no clue how to return so they are going to let us keep it …I think? Maybe God knew we needed a round one as well. Slight problem….the round table was sent without its legs.

So we are waiting on…2 sets of table legs (1 round and 1 rectangle) and a rug. Once these arrive…not sure exactly when… and we finish the remodeling project I will post the pictures!

If anyone out there has seen our legs….please let me know!

Blessings to those with a good pair of sturdy legs,


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not a Bonfire


Last week Harry scheduled a bonfire for the Chapel community. A time of fellowship on the local beach…grilling hotdogs and melting smores….a little guitar playing by the fire….for the youth and single sailors of the Chapel community.

However, he ran into a little problem…. when advertising the event.... the Chapel sent a base wide email (instead of the Chapel wide email roster). Base wide means every single person with an email account on the entire base. Yes, many, many, many people were invited to the “Chapel Bonfire on Stavros Beach”.

Problem #1….. any gathering over 50 people requires force protection. Translation: security for our sailors. …. which requires from security a lot of work and many hours of prep time. The email sent base wide invited a lot more than 50 people.

Problem #2… is illegal to have a bonfire in Greece. Fires on the beach must be contained in a fire pit. No open fires are allowed. Also large gatherings around a large fire are frowned upon by the locals. Therefore, a small gathering at the beach is allowed, but NOT a humongous bonfire.

Within minutes of the base wide email….Harry had a call from the security department, Protocol Officer, and the XO. News had spread and the chapel was rumored to be having a Texas A&M style bonfire on the beach. Harry had to explain the email was only supposed to go to the Chapel community and not the entire base, so no... he did not expect over 50 people and yes the fire will be legally and safely inside a fire pit.

A retraction email was sent to the entire base uninviting them…several people were disappointed! There goes our opportunity for outreach!

Notice the legally contained fire

Peabody enjoyed the night.....

...and so did our only youngster Gracie

The government truck bringing the supplies kind of bogged down in the soft wet sand….. Oh, Harry would have been in soooo much trouble had the crew not dug in and helped the 4X4 truck out its “situation”. I was seriously thinking Harry might get fired and we might be home for the holidays!!

So after all the hooplah….little bit of rain…and a few small mishaps…. the night was great fun for all those who were “officially” invited.

Blessings to those in the fire,


Friday, November 21, 2008

Euro Pass


AFN or Armed Forces Network (our only source of U.S. satellite television) produced a segment on life at NSA Souda Bay.

The following is a link to the video.... enjoy!



Monday, November 17, 2008

I thought I was bad...

Miss Peabody in her new Thai outfit.

Red is so her color! If she would stay still long enough... I would paint her toenails!

And I thought I was bad...

And this is my absolute favorite....

Blessings to those with a crazy sense of humor and too much time on their hands,


**I have so many ideas for next year!**


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