We will remain confident in the Lord's direction for our lives....

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Orders in, hello California

B.L.U.F.(Bottom line up front): I (Garth) received my orders to 1st Medical Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California. I will detach from Naval Hospital Corpus Christi in May 2008 and I will report to 1st Medical Battalion, Camp Pendleton, CA in June 2008.

Expanded Notes: Okay, welcome to your first military acronym: B.L.U.F. Believe me, there are thousands of acronyms and I will attempt to stay away from them as much as possible in my explanation of my new set of orders and what the orders mean to me and my family.

  • What is the 1st Medical Battalion? Think of the TV series MASH. The 1st MDBTLN is kind of like that--A clinic--only now days, much more sophisticated.

  • How long will you be at the 1st MDBTLN? 3 years, starting June 2008 and will complete my commitment in June 2011.

  • Is the 1st MDBTLN with the Marines? Absolutely. I will be considered "Green side" (Marines) as opposed to "Blue side" (Navy) or "Grey side" (Navy Ships). I will be working alongside and for the Marines.

  • What will you do at 1st MDBTLN? I will serve as either a Company Commander of 80 people, an admin officer or a staff officer.

  • Will you have to deploy? Yes. Unfortunately, we are a Nation at War and our Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and Airman who are fighting this War deserve the best medical care during battle. The 1st MDBTLN will provide that care. I will be inside the Wire as opposed to outside the Wire (US Military territory).

  • How Long will you have to go? Well, that is undetermined. Currently, they are 6-7 month deployments.

  • How many times will you have to go? I don't know. I know people who have gone once and others that have gone twice.

  • Can you deploy to other places? Yes. In fact, I could be assigned to a MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit). With the MEU, I will be attached to a ship and I will oversee patient movement from the ground to the ships and vice-versa.

  • Why are you going with the Marines and not another hospital? Ah, yes. This is the million dollar question, isn't it? Okay, in order for you to understand why I have chosen this operational billet (job), you need to have some background information:

First, Not all Officers will have the luxury of reaching the 20 years needed to retire. Congress mandates the number of Officers the Military can have; Therefore, Officers during promotion periods will have to go through a selection board. This selection board will select the Officers that deserve to be promoted and stay in the Navy. As for the rest that did not get selected, is your severance check, no healthcare coverage and thank you for serving. In order for me to be competitive, I need to do an operational tour. Although it doesn't guarantee that I will be selected, it definitely will help.

Secondly, a chance for unlimited Healthcare coverage for the future. For those who know us, you know we can not go without this very important benefit. If I can reach the 20yr mark, we will have healthcare coverage and a retirement check for the rest of our lives(how huge is that!) If I have to deploy to have an opportunity for this benefit, I am going to do it.

Thirdly, I truly believe I would regret not serving. So many fellow Officers have served and I need to also.

  • What about your family? Are you going to miss them? To say that I would miss them would be an understatement. I am consistently somber and think about it all the time, it keeps me up at night sometimes. I am about to make the biggest sacrifice of my life: leaving my family (not forever!). There is nothing better in life than having my family by me. In fact, my son Dylan is sleeping at my feet as I am typing. I will be able to stay in touch, often daily and will be able to do video conferences. On the topic of my family, I could write forever. Bottom line: My family needs come before mine; I will do whatever it takes for them to be taken care of, for now and for the future.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Winter Tea

Christmas break has officially begun for the Aldrich's. Today Dylan's school put on a little Christmas program for their friends and family and then we went to their classrooms to be served some treats prepared by the kids. It was so cute!! This is really the first time Dylan has ever been in a program and it was so much fun to watch. The kids wore their "Sunday best" and sang Christmas carols. They did such a good job. Dylan even sang!!
The room was decorated with a peice of artwork by each child. Dylan attends a charter school so as a way to earn money the artwork was auctioned off in a Silent Auction. My $10 went to a beautiful Christmas tree made by Dylan. (I personally think grandparents would have definately been in their element today.) There was a live auction to sell some paper-mache animals. Dylan's class made a sea turtle. It was the cutest thing. It went for about $300, so someone else will get the luxury of enjoying it. Two of the pieces went for $1000 a piece. There were some parents and grandparents with some deep pockets!! It all went to a good cause though. The school has been great for Dylan.
Well, after getting my prized artwork, it was off the the classroom for treats. Mrs. Fernandez had a beautiful spread of snacks. Dylan served me, and then gave me a present he had made in his class. We wished everyone a Merry Christmas and headed home. Dylan and Jaydon both crashed fast asleep and are napping as I type.

Thank you God for giving me my boys so I can experience special times like these.

Many Blessings and Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Baby Jesus Update

We found Baby Jesus!!! He was hiding under the couch. I'm sure I will have to search for Him again, but I will just use that as a simple reminder to search for Christ Jesus more this season.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Missing: Baby Jesus

The Christmas season is upon us. Even down here in the 80 degree weather the malls are decked out and the neighborhoods are full of beautiful lights and decorations. The talk around the Aldrich house has quickly turned from pilgrims, the Mayflower, and turkey to presents, Santa, and Jesus's birthday. (I am convinced that Dylan throws in that bit about Jesus's birthday for Garth's and my sake, but at least he is talking about it.) On that note.... we have a Little People Manger scene that Grammy gave us a couple of years ago. I love it because it is a decoration that little hands can play with. I put it out a couple of days ago and Jaydon took to it quickly. Well, I as I was picking up the various pieces around the house last night, I realized that I had found them all except Baby Jesus. Go figure. So Baby Jesus is missing at the moment. Isn't that so true in life. This beautiful season meant to celebrate the true King's birthday and He somehow gets lost in our busy schedules and shopping. I hope that we can all take some time and give this holiday season to Him. I hope to find Baby Jesus so he can complete the manger scene, but mostly I pray we all find Jesus the King of Kings and Lord of Lords the Christmas Season.

Many blessings!!

P.S. You know I couldn't not post at least one picture.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful for..........

Ok, so we are one week from Thanksgiving. I though I would share a few things that I am thankful for in my life.

1. My salvation. I am thankful that God sent his only son, Jesus to die for me because He loves me so much.
2. My family. My husband. He is patient and loving and makes me laugh. He gets up everyday to provide for his family. My boys. They are so full of life and bring me so much joy. I consider both of them a gift. My parents. They are so supportive and love us so very much. My sister and brother-in-law. They are caring and loving and just plain fun. My brother. He is kind-hearted and recently has poured his life into a new mission - . Check it out. My in-laws. They are great people who also love and support us.
3. My country and those who fight for it. Thanks to all who fight from here or abroad to keep our great nation free.
4. My friends. Those who I see everyday and those who we stay in contact through mail and phone. Thanks for your encouragement and support.
5. God's provision. I am thankful that as long as I allow Him to come first, no matter what the situation I can always know that God has the perfect plan and is in total control.

I could go on and on, but I do have laundry, dishes and a 15 mo. old calling me. (I guess I am thankful for those things too.) :) I may add more over the next few days as I have time. I am so greatly blessed. Leave me a comment about some of the things you are thankful for this special holiday season.

Many blessings.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Yesterday, Garth was promoted from Lieutenant j.g. to full Lieutenant. The ceremony was done in a conference room at the clinic. Many of Garth's co-workers, employees, and friends were on hand to celebrate this special time with him. The XO, Captain Albia led Garth in the oath and Dylan and I placed his new LT boards on his uniform. Dylan is a very proud son informing everyone that, "My dad is a Lieutenant." We are all very proud of your accomplishments Lieutenant Garth Aldrich!! We love you! Congrats!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another 1st

Well, I finally did it!!! I took Jaydon to have his first haircut last Thursday. Yes, I finally broke down and did it. I had a little help from Garth mentioning almost everyday that his son needed a haircut. Jaydon did great considering he had to sit still for longer than one minute. I, of course, have a little baggy full of long locks to put in his baby book. I miss his long wavy hair, but since the haircut no one has mistaken him for a girl. He truly does look like a little boy now. Here are some before and after pictures:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Here You Go........

I love my boys. I think God speaks to us where we are in life. So, maybe, because I am a mom of two young boys, it is a relavent way for me to be taught by Him.

Jaydon plays a game, and because I lack any sort of creativity, I call it "Here you go". The rules of the game are that he holds out an object towards me and says "here you go" and I take the object and say "thank you". Strangely, Jaydon can happily pass an object back and forth for quite a while. Usually I don't mind playing; however, today he picked the most inopportune time to play. We were trying to get ready to go to a friends house for a 1st birthday party. I thought that I would ignoranty try to put on a little makeup and fix the hair. Jaydon on the other hand had a magnificent idea to play "here you go" with the q-tips out of the bathroom cabinet. (I know, q-tips are probably not the best thing for a 14 month old to play with, but he was happy.) :) Being all the the while annoyed, I managed to do my best to get ready with one hand and play the game with the other hand.

Isn't it funny how God can use these little moments to teach great lessons. This is what God taught me through Jaydon today.........

God wants to play the "here you go" game. Think about it!! We carry so much stuff around with us. We are constantly weighed down with the cares of this world. Yet we have a Father who wants us to be free and is patiently waiting for us to say "Here YOU Go". He will not be annoyed or say He doesn't have time to hear our stuggles or hold our burdens. He desperatley wants us to choose to play the game, so He can be the Father to us He desires to be. He wants us to pick up our struggles, heartaches, hurts, etc. and give them over to Him, so He can say "thank you my child" and allow us to rest knowing that He now has everything under control because we have relinquished control.

With that said, I pray I will learn to play "here you go" more often with God. I hope this little entry inspires you to play "here you go" with the Father too.

Many blessings!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fun-filled Weekend

Well, Garth and I are now officially parents of a six year old. Unbelievable!!! Dylan turned six this weekend, and we celebrated with a visit to the State Fair of Texas and another Pirate Party.

We left Thursday afternoon to head up north to visit my family. (For me, it was a much needed visit.) The Lord blessed us with a beautiful (a bit warm, but still beautiful) day, and we headed to the State Fair on Friday morning. Let me clarify because when I say we, I mean a whole crew. My grandparents, parents, Buddo, Nissy (Uncle Blake was working, yucky tax deadline), and our family. This isn't something we just decided to do, this has been an ongoing Lloyd tradition for years. So we did what any good fairgoers do. We rode "merry rides", ate all things fried, and watched the human cannonball and the parade. Dylan had a great time riding the rides, eating cotton candy, and seeing "Bumblebee", the Transformer. We had a great day with the family and hope to enjoy it again in the years to come.

Saturday we had everyone over to Granddad and Grammy's for a big 6th Birthday Party. Mom made the cutest cake (again). Dylan received lots of Hot Wheels stuff and a super Spider-man arm(thanks to Aunt Nissy). Thanks to everyone for making it a special day and weekend for us, but especially Dylan.

Now for the mom in me to come out -- I just want to say how wondefully blessed I feel to have been able to enjoy and watch Dylan grow these past six years. I never imagined we would have a son so handsome, full of life, kind hearted, and so very busy. We, of course, have had our trying times and I know more will come, but it is worth it. Dylan, we love you more than words can express and we know that we serve a God who loves you so much more than us. We pray that you will continue to grow up in His ways and continue to walk in the path He has planned for you. Daddy and I love you very much and look forward to year #6.

Many blessings!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pirate Party

We are planning to be out of town next weekend, so we celebrated Dylan's 6th Birthday last night here with his friends. This year we celebrated with pirates. Dylan dressed up like a pirate and gave all his friends skull caps, eye patches, and tattoos to so they could be part of the pirate crew. The kids played toss the ring on the ship, a bean bag toss, pin the patch on Pirate Pete, and a treasure hunt to find the pinata shaped like a pirate ship. Garth and the guys grilled burgers and hot dogs for everyone to enjoy. We then sang "Happy Birthday" and indulged in pirate topped cupcakes and ice cream. Finally to the gifts!!! Dylan got so many neat things -- GI Joe stuff, pirate ship, transformer stuff, pirate puzzle and paints, Spiderman costumes, gift cards. He had a really great time. Here are some more pictures from the party!!

Of course at about 6:00am today, Dylan was ready to play with the new stuff. Here are some "the morning after" pictures.

Well with every great party there are always troubles. Yesterday Jaydon ran a fever, and Garth has been a bit under the weather. Maybe, just maybe, there will be a nap in store for everyone today!!

Have a blessed weekend!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Huey Circle of Friends

We have been so blessed with our neighbors. We live on base, so we are surrounded by young military families. We moved in Jan 1, 2006. We had plenty nice neighbors, but no one that we just could hang out with. Well, about July 2006 the Albarado's moved in. They have a son named Hayden (Dylan's age), Ella is 3 now and Graham is 5 weeks younger than Jaydon. Garth and I hit it off with Ray and Tara and Dylan and Hayden are like brothers now. A few months later Angie and JD moved in. They have a 2 yr old daugher named Burke. She and Ella are (as they put it) BFF's (Best Friends Forever). Burke has taken to Dylan and calls him "Boyfriend". We thought that completed the circle, but thankfully our circle is growing because Angie is due any day with Baby Brennan. We have other families that we visit with and enjoy being around also. Recently another family (the Brotherton's) moved in and we are really enjoying getting to know them too.

We are outside together or at each other's houses all the time. When my sis came for a visit one weekend, she made mention and our bond and friendship reminded her of being in college. That is kind of what is it like except we are all now married with children. If any of the above mentioned ever get to read this, we want them to know that we will treasure this special time and their friendship always. You get so close so quickly because you share everything together. The bad times when - Ray was deployed for 6 months, I was in the hospital for a few days, Hayden broke his hand. The good times, Tara having Graham and me having Jaydon, Angie having a smooth pregnancy, the boys playing T-ball together. There are just too many to count. I think we will most remember just coming outside after work and school and just visiting and watching the kids play. What a special time!!!
Many Blessings!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

True Joy

Let me give you a glimpse of an afternoon at our house. Keep reading because I want to share with you the new revelation I have been given.

Dylan has now started kindergarten and is adjusting well. I stay at home and enjoy my "just me n' Jaydon" time. It is relatively quiet around the house. We go for a walk in the morning or run some errands, go to Bible Study, or just hang out and try to clean up our never ending messes. He naps for a couple of hours, and I do the "can't possibly do that while Jaydon is up" stuff.

Now at about 3:00pm everything changes. Dylan comes through the door and we are off to the races. "Mom, I'm hungry." "Mom, I'm thirsty." "Mom, I need my Heely's on." So, we get a drink and a snack and on to homework. You read correctly, kidergarten homework. Well as I sit down to help Dylan, Jaydon begins to chime in. There is nothing pleasant about his chiming in either. He has this terrible high pitched squeally thing he does and it can drive a person crazy. So, I get Jaydon a snack and now back to Dylan. Today we practice writing 3's and 4's, learn three new site words (a, that, my), and read a story. Did you know it is hard work to write the number 3? My favorite is when he gets an entire row of 3's done and he messes up on one and instead of erasing the one he messed up on he erases ALL the 3's. Can you hear me growling?! In the meantime don't forget we still have Jaydon clamoring for my attention. After much too long on 3's it is off to the 4's and those are not any easier. On to sight words, oh joy. Dylan still may not know, but I can tell you that you spell that -- T-H-A-T!!! Now it is story time. Fun right? WRONG!! "How many more pages?" "Can I go out to play?" YES, finally. Both of you outside, now!!!

I have recently discovered I can still have true joy even after an afternoon like that. I have started a Bible study and am really learning so much. This is just a nugget I would like to share. No matter the crazy circumstances you go through, you too can still have joy. Are you ready for this, our TRUE joy comes from Jesus Christ. You will not receive it from your spouse, kids, job, hobby, etc. All these people and things bring us happiness, but they will let us down at some point. Only through our salvation in Jesus can we have true Joy. This has just been a real revelation to me this week. I have placed my joy in Garth, and the boys, my health, so many things other than Him. Don't get me wrong, all three of my boys bring me great joy and happiness, but it is so wonderful to know that I can leap with joy JUST because Jesus called me to be His. He has done the same for you too.

I just thought I would share. I am so enjoying having my eyes opened more and more to God's greatness.

Many blessings!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Just experimenting........................

Wow two posts in one day. I'm sure this will be a rare occurance. I just wanted to see if I could add pictures to our posts.

Well here is our little punkin'. Just sitting out in the yard.

Go ahead take a second look if you need to. I couldn't believe it either. Usually Dylan and best bud Hayden are Heely brothers, Skateboard brothers, or playing "fight". Not today..... today they were Reading brothers. Every boy should have the chance to read Transformers and Star Wars.

First Entry

Hopefully this will be the first of many Aldrich Adventures posts. We have been wanting to create a website of sorts for our family for a while now. I took it upon myself today to give this blogging thing a shot. We desire for this to be a place where we can share our lives and stay in touch with family and friends. We hope this serves as a place where we can share the different things we are going though, pictures, words of encouragement and much more. Well here we go, this should be an adventure in itself.

Many blessings!!