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Family Night - USMC

    I really don't stalk too many blogs of people I don't know, but there is one that I read periodically b/c I enjoy reading about her family nights. Weekly, she comes up with an idea and the entire evening revolves around this theme - anything from Cowboy Night to Turtle Night. Another friend has started doing family nights as well - they are always so fun to read about. Anyway, I have thought about starting this tradition in our home for a while, but figured that Adeline was a little too young to appreciate it. Well, I decided that I would make an attempt and see how things would turn out. It definitely wasn't perfect, but we made memories :)

    Today, November 10th, is the United States Marine Corps birthday. Most of you know that Jeff was in the Marine Reserves for 6 years and back in the day, before we were married, we went to the Marine Corps Ball (the celebration of the Corps Birthday). So, I thought that Jeff would appreciate a Marine Corps Ball themed evening. Adeline and I got up in the morning and went to the party store to get a few balloons and a blow up sword. I explained to her that it was a surprise for Baba, but as soon as we got home, Adeline said "Baba, we went to the party store and got balloons for tonight!" Anyway, the day went okay, except I completely ran out of time getting everything ready before Jeff got home from work (no excuses, but the yard man did come today and I spent a good part of the afternoon outside with him - didn't plan on that one). So, I didn't even have time to put make-up on or dry my hair (not very ball-like), but I don't think Jeff even noticed. He knew we were having some sort of party, but he was pretty surprised when Adeline went and knocked on our bedroom door and he opened to her saying "Baba, would you like to be my date to the Marine Corps Ball?" I tried to get her to call him Sergeant Smith, but she kept saying "Sergeant Jeff" instead - too cute. Overall, the evening was a semi-success, but I'm still debating on whether Family Nights will continue or if we should postpone a few months. We'll see how much Adeline talks about it tomorrow - that will tell me whether she really enjoyed it or not.

    Walking under the sword (usually crossed swords).

    Lylah, completely content to hang out while we ate dinner.

    Dancing at the Ball with Baba.

    Mama and Lylah doin a little dancing, too.

    The spread. I even busted out the wedding china (which had NEVER been opened). It was a simple meal, but one of Jeff's faves. Also, a VERY simple cake sporting the words Semper Fi. We made little "plaques" with the three Corps values: Honor, Commitment and Courage.

    Sergeant Smith standing at attention during the playing of the Marine Corps Hymn. He cracks us up, but we love our Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine - don't you know?)!!
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    11/11/08 4:51 AM

    So fun! You must know that it really is just doing something different that makes the kids feel so loved. You did a wonderful job! Thanks for delurking, its nice to meet you. :) H    

    11/11/08 7:27 AM

    Yeah for going for it and trying family nights! It looks like you guys had lots of fun.    

    11/11/08 12:08 PM

    Silver Star Winner's New Book Trailer.


    I have learned more about the Marines from this book.

    Below is a link to a Hollywood-style book trailer for "Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery," by Nick Popaditch with Mike Steere (Savas Beatie, October 1, 2008).

    Make sure you watch to the very end for a "special" photo message from "Gunny Pop" Nick. I know you will appreciate seeing him.

    Nick "Gunny Pop" Popaditch is a former marine Gunnery Sergeant, a Silver Star winner, a 15-year veteran of the USMC, and was widely known around the world as "The Cigar Marine:" (Google it.). His tanks captured Firdos "Saddam" square in April 2003 and pulled down the hated statue. Nick was severely wounded one year later with an RPG to the head, which was captured live by a media news crew. He had to fight his way through an incredible odyssey of turmoil, heartbreak, and bureaucracy to recover everything he had lost. His website is

    If you know anyone in the media who you think would be interested in interviewing "Gunny Pop," don't hesitate to call or email them and let them know.

    We appreciate your support of Nick and his family in any way you are able. The success of this book will open doors for this blind warrior, and hopefully provide revenue and success to someone who has sacrificed so much for his country.

    Thank you.

    Tammy Hall
    Sacramento, California    

    12/11/08 8:11 AM

    How fun! Sounds like you guys had a great time! Yeah, I know about those Marines! You're welcome to stalk my blog anytime.    

    12/11/08 11:17 AM

    What precious memories for your family. Your girls are beautiful! J, J, M and M    

    24/11/08 6:50 PM

    sounds fun. family night is a great idea. i might steal it from you. and, i'm a major blog-stalker!!! some people I keep up with I have NO clue who they are.    

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