24 February 2009

ALS graduation

I'm a week late with this post, but better late than never. I started feeling bad that I hadn't posted about Dan's ALS graduation since our families do read this to keep up with us.

On Thursday, Feb 12th, bebe graduated from his 6 weeks of ALS. He was so glad to be done!


We made signs before the ceremony. As usual, when I'm rushing, my handwriting is sloppy and I ran out of room for "CONGRATS". Genie drew on the bottom and randomly wrote "sit" on there as well. lol


As we waited for his name to be called up to the stage, I couldn't help but think about how proud I was of him. I knew that he busted his ass studying, doing homework, and preparing for briefings. I remember what it was like when I went through 2 years prior. Seeing him standing in line, I knew he had a bittersweet feeling surging through his body; relieved and glad that it was over and he had passed, a little sad that he it was all over.


As his name was called to the stage, we all cheered him own. Genie jumped up and down, calling out "YAY, DADDY!" I was in the middle aisle taking pictures of him and the next thing I knew, genie was running up on stage!! I tried to call out for her to come back, but the big boss, the wing king, Col Dillon, welcomed her up on stage with open arms so she could congratulate Dan. Of course, the room was filled with awes and comments of how cute it was.

col dillon helping genie on stage


After the ceremony, we headed upstairs to watch the slide shows that the flights all made. The last part of the day ceremony was retreat; the last and final time that they would lower the flag as a class, as ALS 09-B.


Another funny coincidence about Dan's class; he was on color guard as I was when I went though. lol I'll have to ask my buddy for a copy of our last retreat. :p

When retreat was over, the flts met up with their instructors for instructions for when to be back to set up for the banquet later that night.


He went to eat lunch with the parents and Genie while I headed back to work to try and finish what I could. We were going to the banquet later that night together, but didn't since he had to rush over to the center since he had to help set up and practice bringing in the flag. When I got there, I waited for them to open the doors since they wouldn't let anyone enter the dining area until 1630. I did get to chit chat with some people that showed up, so I wasn't a complete loner. :p

When they let us into the hall, I found our table and pretty much waited for people to filter into the room and for them to start dinner. The students walked in and Dan walked in with the rest of the color guard. The students were released to their tables after the nat'l anthem and the invocation.

They did the typical explanations about what it is to be a leader and the course that they went through to finally join the ranks of front line supervisors. After the initial speeches, it was time to eat. I think everyone at our table ordered the pork dish, which was rather enjoyable. After the meal was intermission, which meant that it was almost time to give out the awards.

The first award mentioned after we came back from intermission was the leadership award. Each flt nominated one of their peers that demonstrated the most leadership qualities. Dan was still shocked that he was picked for his flight.

leadership nominee for his flight

He stood up as the nominee for his flight, but did not receive the award. We actually thought it would be him as the announcing instructor said,
"And the leadership award goes to SrA Daniel......blah blah blah."

Wrong Daniel. Oh well. The next award was the academic achievement, the person that received the highest overall score in all areas (writing, interpersonal, academics, and briefs). Then came DG, distinguished graduate, top 10% of the ALS class. Dan and another one of his mates from his flight were DGs.

making his way through the sea of tables

On his way back, he was congratulated by the MXG CC, MXG chief, his squadron CC, first shirt, and everyone at our table. I was so proud of him for winning something. :)

mxg cc congratulating him

At the end of the night, you could find every one of the ALS students trying to round up their class mates from their flt for a final flt picture. Everyone talking about keeping in touch and hanging out soon to keep their newly formed friendships strong.

D Flight 09-B

Dan went out to celebrate with the rest of his class and I took genie home after picking her up from our friend's house. Hopefully Dan keeps in touch with his new friends and does keep the thought about bring an instructor alive. I think he'd be a great instructor. :)

05 February 2009


work has had a steady work flow despite our squadron having so many people out on the road right now. as much as i wasn't looking forward to WAPS testing today, i was looking forward to the break in the middle of the week. this is my first year testing for the next rank of E-6, and frankly, i didn't really prepare for it nor do i really care if i make it. they say that tech (technical sergeant, E-6 in AF) is the hardest test and it's hard to make it first time. i'm still trying to figure out how to get out next year and don't plan on staying 20 if i have to reenlist again. we'll see what happens when the results come out in june or july.

yesterday was the birthday of my husband and my step mom. mama turned 49 and bebe is now 24. yes, he is younger (1.5 years younger). it worked out that i had their birthday off only because it was supposed to be my study day since my test date was today. i tried to persuade dan to take genie into daycare in the morning since i didn't have to go into work. he told me tues night that he had a hectic schedule on his birthday and asked me to still take her in.

"BABE. i still managed to get to ALS early every morning after dropping of genie when i went through. kindercare opens at 0600!"
"i know you did baby, but you said you would help me. please? i can't."

it didn't ruin any plans, but it meant that i wouldn't be able to start cooking/baking until later than i expected. yesterday morning, i was supposed to be up before 0600 to start the pulled pork in the slow cooker (12 hrs on slow). i didn't get up until 0700! lol it didn't matter because i still needed to pick up a bottle of coke that was in the recipe. i dropped off genie, stopped at a gas station on the way home for coke, and then rushed inside to start on the pork.


i got the pork in the slow cooker and started it on high to make up for not starting it earlier. slow cookers are so simple!!! for this recipe, one hr on high = 2 hours on low. it all worked out in the end! :D i had to immediately start on red velvet cupcakes for dan's class. i got them baked and started getting ready while they cooled. dan had taken the cake caddy to bring the amish friendship bread to school that we made the night before (yep, still keeping it going lol) so i was left with nothing to bring the cupcakes in. i almost used a roaster since it was the biggest thing i could find, but that would mean squeezing the cupcakes together. i rushed to micheal's and bought the 3-1 cupcake-cake caddy. lol the cupcakes were still cooling and i still had a lot of time so i blew up balloons...

always has to be even
yes, OCD in me needs everything to be in EVEN numbers... LOL

i decided to go ahead and frost the cupcakes after i finished with the balloons. even though i put the piping bag in the fridge to try and firm up the cream cheese frosting, it still melted since the cupcakes were still warm. oh well. they still looked good, but could've done a way better job decorating. lol


i didn't have to be at ALS bldg until noon, but left around 1120 anyway to get their early and go over details with leslee (his teacher). they were all upstairs in their classroom, and i just prayed that no one in his class was going to suddenly open up the blinds and see me walking up.

i talked to leslee and she told me about the class duct taping dan to one of the pillars in the auditorium. LOL i'll post pics of that as soon as his classmates send them to him. the game plan was she was going to teach a lesson in the auditorium so i can decorate the room. i went back out to the car to grab the bags of stuff and watched from outside for all of the class to head into the auditorium. awesome! of course she'd want the door closed! perfect! i rushed upstairs and walked up to the familiar door to d flight (i was in the same flight when i went through ALS).
"AWWWW damnit."

i forgot that every classroom had cipher locks on them. i was in luck though, tsgt daniels, c flt instructor right next door, saw me and let me in. she knew that i was getting the instructors to give dan a hard time and heard that i was going to embarrass him.
"if you need to get in again, just knock."

decorated the classroom


cinderella game

button for the birthday princess LOL

i would've bought more decorations if they weren't so damn expensive. plus dan would've noticed the large charge on my account and probably would've caught on. :p he was pleasantly surprised! (more here)

he did not suspect... LOL

OH! it's cinderella themed because that's his nickname in class from his instructor. he made the mistake of cleaning out his binder during class one day, and genie left her cinderella sticker card (thanks auntie for them!) in his binder. he pulled it out and of course was given a hard time about it. lol

sparkler candles relight... :p

after he blew out the candles, i headed home to finally start studying/reviewing. before bebe came home, i started on a red velvet cake to have for him to munch on at the house since i knew there would be no cupcakes left. lol

he came home and we finished up the pulled pork. IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!!!!! we're both used to the east coast style pulled pork (thanks to living in NC) where they use more vinegar in their sauce, but this was still fantastic!!!! there was so much of it too.

pulled pork- finished!shredded!DSC_2092

after the scrumptious dinner, it was time for cake....


yes, i still need practice decorating. at least i improved on writing on cakes. lol it was nice being able to celebrate bebe's birthday yesterday. his last birthday in the states was 2006. yep. last year he spent it in kuwait, and 2007 was spent in afghanistan. even though we weren't able to really do much for his birthday, it was still lovely. :)

tomorrow is friday! YAY!!!