Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
- What he thought was a sinus infection was actually bronchitis - it wasn't bad enough hold him back at the time and that was a week ago. The fact that I haven't heard from him means all is well, but keep him in your prayers nonetheless.
- He got 20 minutes of hygiene time (shower, shave, brush teeth, etc) and was SO excited. Apparently, that sort of thing is a luxury.
- He got his BCGs (birth control glasses). They're military glasses that are so ugly that they're called birth control. Sure can't wait to see those.
- He's starting to get to know many of the guys in his class and seems to have a lot of respect for them.
- He still has no regrets. Praise the Lord.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I hate that I haven't written you more. Every night I wish that I could but I'm usually busy preparing for the next day and trying not to fall asleep. We've had to write chow hall procedures several times (the choreographed movements and script at dinner) and it's always a fight to stay awake. Several times I've dozed off but kept writing gibberish - one time I started writing about bananas!
Times like when I'm at church or when we're, for whatever reason, allowed to talk like normal people again, to think and feel, are especially difficult. The other day we were marching somewhere when the flag was being raised so everyone stopped to salute. For about one minute, everything was silent except the national anthem and I noticed birds singing for the first time in a while. As I watched the flag being raised I remembered why I'm doing what I'm doing. And while I know that instance has nothing to do with you, I let my guard down for that brief moment and it took me back to somewhere away from here. I thought about you, the principles that our nation stands for and the men that I'm going to lead, and I got choked up.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
- Be supportive. Even though being a wife demands cooperation and support regardless, there's a new level of flexibility that I need to be comfortable with for the next few years. I need to be understanding when his responsibilities require his attention beyond the typical 9-5. I need to be okay with being told to pick up and move, even though my friends are nearby and I like the house we're in. I need to recognize the greater purpose when selfishness starts to creep in.
- Be patient. Definitely not one of my strong points. So much of this lifestyle will challenge that and if I don't make a conscious effort to allow the Lord to grow me in that area, I will make difficult situations even harder.
- Be encouraging. If there is one thing I have learned about my sweet husband, it's that he thrives on my affirmation. I've noticed that while he appreciates that sort of thing from others, he beams when it comes from me. Which is so flattering, by the way. In an environment where he will be charged with demanding tasks, he has to know that I believe in him. Whether that's while he's at OCS or leaving on a submarine for six months. He must know that I'm proud and confident in him.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
This is such an odd experience. It's easy, hard, fun, miserable, flying by and dragging on. We met the DI on Thursday and we've been doing all kinds of crazy exercise since then. I've also been eating three plates of food per day and getting about 5 hours of mediocre at best sleep per night. But surprisingly I'm not tired during the day unless we sit down for an extended period of time and then I could just about fall asleep standing up. But knowing you, that information might make you worry, so please know that I'm really alright and my spirits are fine.I like our class DI a lot. He's at least as hardcore and intense as in movies, but I'm not scared of him or anything. He's made a few people cry, shake with fear and close to (??) people have rolled into holding class because they couldn't keep up. But the DI really just wants us to learn things and get in shape. I have a lot of respect for him and am looking forward to speaking candidly with him on graduation day.From what we can tell, things will be like this for about 3-5 more weeks. It won't be easy after that, but it'll transition to more academic work around that time.
I'm praying that I'll start receiving his mail soon, but I don't expect to hear from him for a few more weeks. Maybe Easter weekend?
Keep praying...I wish I could say it gets easier, but it definitely doesn't. It sounds like anything could happen at any time that could set him back. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind if I could just sleep through the next 10 weeks.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
- Finish napkins for Spring table setting
- Make a journal
- Make a beach bag
- Buy fabric that I fall in love with and find something to do with it. I know that's against the rules, but I can't help it.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Today will be your last test of Indoc week. Prepare to PT like you never have before. There are any number of ways your DI can decide to put your class through this last test so it's hard to say what will occur. DIs will be circling like sharks and there will be many, many RPT sessions. Keep your bearing, give all you've got, yell loud and it will be over before you know it. Realize one thing: today, no one will do anything right in the eyes of the DI. By the end of the day, you will be exhausted, filthy, your uniform will be drenched in sweat and you will stink beyond comprehension.In the afternoon, your class DI will normally brief you on your RLP that occurs during the 3rd week. There will usually be examples laid out of how he wants everything folded and stamped. Be prepared to pay close attention and even take notes. You will need to start prepping for this inspection this afternoon even though the inspection is two weeks away. Your DI may also assign class billets: Class President, Class VP, PT Body, RLP Body, Knowledge Body, Drill Body, Watch Bill Coordinator and 1st Lieutenant to name a few. These are positions of leadership within your class and could be a good way to distinguish yourself. However, be careful if you decide to pursue one of these positions. You don't want to over exert yourself and end up causing yourself more heartache in the future.
Friday, March 12, 2010
The Class Officer enters your space and "Attention on Deck" is called. Other Class Officers enter and proceed to gouge you the "Big Three" Knowledge (General Orders of a Sentry, Code of Contact, Chain of Command) and inspect your uniform. Class Officers will not make you push or do any RPT. Simply keep your bearing and do not become frustrated. If you do not know the answer to the question, reply, "Sir/Ma'am this Indoctrination Candidate does not know but will find out." If you make a mistake while answering knowledge questions, keep your bearing and remain confident in your answer. This is an important quality to have throughout OCS with regards to required knowledge. Confidence will often give you a second chance to answer the question correctly.This is the part of Outpost where you really want to put your best foot forward. You shouldn't be up all night preparing your locker inspection. DIs hardly even look at it. If you stay up the night before, the only things you should be worried about is making sure your uniform is IP free (Irish Pennants - a loose string), and reviewing your knowledge. Do not waste sleep making sure your PT gear is folded to the exact dimensions - that is not what is important now.Once everyone has been inspected by the Class Officers, they will leave and you will call "Attention on Deck" again followed by the greeting of the day. You will then wait for the room inspectors to enter (both DIs and your Chief Petty Officer). Be as loud as you can. It will be noisy, stressful and just plain ugly; however, it will last for a maximum of 15 minutes. The DIs will immediately have you on the deck pushing. While you and your class are pushing, doing flutter kicks, etc, the rest of the DIs will ransack your locker, finding IPs (which they know you have not had time to remove), clothing not folded to correct specs, etc. Regardless, you are not expected to do well. It is meant to serve as a "welcome to the real world" experience.After the inspection, you will be instructed to pack your sea bag. Things will still be hectic. Your DI will be yelling out commands for you to return to your locker, grab certain items, return to your spot on line and pack it in your sea bag. By the end of this process, your locker will be completely empty. Be prepared to have your things thrown around and mixed with other candidates' things. The DIs love taking your sea bag and dumping everything out and then yelling at candidates to clean everything up. There isn't time to split things up, so just be prepared to stuff whatever is on the floor in your bag and have your things mixed with others.You will then march over to Battalion and leave your things in your new space. The remainder of the day will be spent in briefs, unpacking and receiving other issue. What is key at this point is that you recognize the nature of OCS. Every time you complete a difficult and stressful evolution, you will move to something that you have to fight falling asleep in. This is how everything works at OCS.The evening is basically yours. You will spend it unpacking, cleaning and organizing the mess of clothes the DI made. You will also make a trip back to gather the rest of your things and clean. Try to enjoy this time. Get a good night's sleep and drink plenty of water, as Saturday is a physically demanding day.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
So that's that. I'm aching for a phone call on Sunday. I have so many questions after this first week. I'm worried about him, but only because I don't want him to be uncomfortable (as I'm sure he is).
If you have not made your DI's acquaintance by now, today will be the day.
Be prepared. It will be loud, stressful and he will RPT (push, flutter kicks,
bear crawl, curl ups, etc) you a lot. You will do nothing right and you will
never move fast enough. His requests will be impossible. Let there be no
mistake, today will be one of the more unpleasant days at OCS. However, it is a
"weeding out" process implemented to break those who really do not want to be
Naval Officers. Push, be loud and put forth effort and the day will end before
you know it. Just remember that it does get better.
The evening will be spent doing busy work, being yelled at and doing plenty of RPT. Get used to the RPTsessions because it will be a common occurrence at OCS. Also, try not to worry about the RPT sessions because your body will adjust to them over time. Not only will your DI and possibly even your Class Chief Petty Officer RPT you, but you will get RPT'd by other DIs as well. At the risk of sounding redundant, keep your head in the game and take nothing personally. No matter what is said, these people know nothing about you nor are they saying anything different than what they said to the Candidate Officers when they first arrived. Always remember that they will salute you at the end of OCS.
It's strange, though. I find myself wondering if his strength and his spirit are still in tact, but I never think that he won't get through this. He's so committed to this and the opportunity that it's giving us, that I know he'll follow through. I'm so thankful that the Lord has provided me with husband like him and that He's given me the courage neither doubt Him or Andrew. This would be a completely different story if any of that was missing. God is good in the good and not so good, no?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
One of the girls posted on navy4moms.com that her uncle lives in RI and saw the new recruits running around base at 6:15 this morning with freshly shaven heads. When I read that, I couldn't decide if I wanted burst with pride or burst into tears! Either way, I'm glad I haven't heard from him because I think that means all is well...
The most important evaluation today is your PRT. Other than physical problems
discovered at the Newport Naval Hospital, this is the first evaluation that can
cause you to roll. The PRT consists of three parts: push-ups, sit-ups and the
1.5 mile run. The standards are low, however, you want to do as well as
possible, so put forth as much effort as you can into it. Males should be able
to do at least 50 push-ups and 60 sit-ups in the two minutes allowed, as well as
complete the run in less than 12 minutes. Keep in mind that push-ups and sit-ups
must be done properly or they will not be counted.
The CandiOs will be administering the PRT. Your Class DI and other DIs will be there watching. They will correct you if you are doing the push-ups or sit-ups incorrectly. If you fail to correct your form, they will deduct push ups or sit ups from your count. The DIs may also yell at you or run alongside you during the run to encourage you to run a faster time. This will especially happen if you are one of the slower candidates in your class. It is highly advisable to be ready to perform in the upper portion of your class from day one. That way, the DI will develop a more positive impression of you right of the bat. This may also allow you the
opportunity to gain a leadership position early on.
The rest of the day is spent completing physical evaluations at the hospital for those who didn't complete on day two. The rest of the class will study. Make sure you get plenty of sleep tonight and hydrate. Tomorrow morning will be very intense and you want to make sure you are well rested and hydrated.
By this point in the program, you will have noticed the number of people in your class decreasing. Your entire time at OCS, people will be joining and leaving your class. People will "roll out" of your class for physical problems, academimc and military deficiencies. A standard "roll" is two weeks, into the next class that enters the program. Candidates who have rolled will be kept in what is called H-Class (holding) until they are ready to class up. You are there to complete the program in 12 weeks and not one day longer. It should be your goal not to roll. Keep your
priorities straight and this will not happen.
Tomorrow is Wake Up Wednesday, when they meet their drill instructors for the first time (at 4:30am). Pray pray pray, ya'll.
You will spend the majority of today at hospital for a physical evaluation. Take advantage of the time to study gouge, more importantly, however, take the time to relax. The day is relatively easy if you keep your head in the game and recognize what is going on around you. Until you complete your physical evaluation and PRT (physical readiness test), no one can make you do any physical activity. However, make sure you regain your military bearing and be locked on when you leave the clinic because it is likely that your Class DI will be watching.
Today is also the day to begin paying close attention to the procedures at chow hall. Once you have met your DI, one of his primary concerns will be your adherence to chow hall procedures. If your class knows these well, you will be more likely to escape very difficult RPT (remedial physical training) sessions right before you eat. The class cannot do RPT within 30 minutes of eating.
At around 1700 (5pm), your class will receive haircuts. No matter how short your hair is when you arrive, you will still receive a haircut today.
Before hitting your rack tonight, it may be advisable to do a short set of pushups and curlups to remind yourself of proper form and to briefly loosen up the muscles. Do not try to max out tonight, just make sure your form is good and that you are good and loose before bed.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
On the day you are to check in, it is highly advisable to get enough sleep the night before and get a good breakfast, brunch or any other meal before checking in. Your first encounter will be with the Candidate Officers (CandiOs). These are candidates in their last two or three weeks of training so realize that they have been in your position as well. You will refer to yourself as Indoctrination Candidate for the first week. Emphasis will be placed on military bearing, ballistics (being as loud as possible and teaching you information crucial to your survival. You will check in at the seawall and move all your belongings to a clear trash bag. From there, they will shuttle you and some of your other classmates that have arrived to the Regimental Building, where you will get your poopy suits, war belts, canteens and chrome domes (helmets).The majority of the first day is spent receiving your first issue (poopy greens, gouge book, locks, etc), unpacking and learning the basics of OCS. You will meet your Class Officer and possibly your Class Chief Petty Officer. Beware, your class Drill Instructor (DI) will be watching, though you will not see him.By the end of the day, you will feel belittled, filled with doubt and ready to sleep when the time comes. Take advantage of your sleep. You need not fear people entering your space in the middle of the night - sleep is required and you cannot be disturbed between 2200 and 0500 (10pm to 5am).
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
- Organize/set up/use my craft room:
- Don't give up on jewelry making, even though Impatient Page wants me to
- Sew comforter for newly designed Charleston bedroom
- Sew curtains and headboard cover for newly designed Charleston guest bedroom (taking reservations now for future guests)
- Also, Jessica: this sounds like a girls’ weekend project, don’t you think? :)
- Take up journal making (it's looking like I'm going to have enough stuff to get my own table at the market in Charleston!)
- Learn how to cook for one and enjoy food that Andrew could do without (i.e. pasta salad)Develop some sort of exercise routine using the rowing machine, my pilates mat and TWC exercise on demand channel
- Study, study, study the Bible - if I don't look at this time as an opportunity to learn and grow, I think I might be missing a major blessing
- Take some trips and visit some of my favorites:
- Stay with my precious grandparents in Black Mountain
- Girls' weekend with Aunt Rita
- Maybe visit Anne I in DC? I think I may have just invited myself, Aunt Anne!
- Day trip to the beach with Mom if it gets warmer
- Lots of day trips to Youngsville so Rudy can play with Uncle Jake
- Dinner with Grandma C
- Martha? Meet me half way?
- Warsaw, so Nanny Johnson can teach me how to make sugar cookies. And biscuits. And creamed corn.
- Then, it appears I have to go see Sarah and her babies and pass on the biscuit making magic :) Okay!
- IKEA, duh
- Concord craft weekend!
- Girls night/day with some work friends (note: transform living room into craft central; make snacks!)
- Take Rudy to the dog park
- Watch A LOT of girl movies - Netflix is going to love me
- Maybe babysit some sweet cousins in Clayton?
- Make some oatmeal cookies, just because
- Watch Dancing with the Stars, 24, What Not to Wear and a lot of Food Network
- Find a place to live in Charleston - and daydream about it
- Start looking for a job in Charleston
- Write my sweetie lots of letters
- Take care of Rudy, who will be devastated/heartbroken when Andrew leaves
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
My motto? Get him good and fattened up before he leaves. He’ll lose it all anyway :)