Friday, December 28, 2007

Carrot Christmas!

On Christmas morning I received the following email from Sean:
Merry Christmas! I made a little nativity scene for the Mess Decks thismorning. The figurines are all made of carrots, and the stable is madeof a loaf of bread...that's what I had to work with.
Love, Sean
Can you believe this guy?! I've been married to him for almost four years and I had no idea he could whittle, and do a pretty decent job as well. Really, is there anything he can't do? My mom saw this picture, and after laughing at my husband's hidden talents, said she needed to print this picture and hang it up at the next Creche exhibit titled, "A Sailor's Nativity." Whittling. . . who knew?! Maybe I should ask him for a chess set?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Our Trip to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

If you know the Barrow family, you know that we LOVE to tell stories. Almost as much as we love to tell stories, we love to have the adventures that make up the stories we later tell. Well, here's another to add to the collection. . .

Aunt Charlene was having Todd and Sara and their two kids (Riley 3 and Tanner 10 months) over for Christmas so we all planned a trip on Saturday to go to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. They are trying to start a tradition of opening for the Christmas season and have a Christmas theme, like at Hershey, PA. I was excited to go. We packed up and our plan was to leave by 8am and get there around 10am and spend the morning and leave in the afternoon, before it got too cold. It took a while to get going and from what I hear, Charlene's house was a circus also so we didnt' leave until close to 9am. No worries, we were off and ready for a day of fun. We pull up to the park and no one is there. All of a sudden, we were the Griswolds pulling up to Wally World and it's closed. There is a sign telling us that the park is opened that EVENING from 4-10pm! What on earth are we going to do with 2 babies and a 3 year old for six hours?!

We decided that the Jelly Belly factory was nearby so we took the tour there. It was pretty lame because it was a Saturday and no one was working the factory. We lined up to look at a bunch of still machinery. Oooooh ahhhhh!

After the factory, we went to grab lunch. It took quite a while to decide what to have and where to go, and getting lost by taking the wrong exit didn't help. Finally, after an hour, we stopped at McDonalds. I go to get my wallet out and it's not there. Oh no. I got such a pit in my stomach. I have everything in that wallet: ID, military ID, bank card, credit card, temple recommend, insurance cards, and other vitals that make modern life possible. I tried calling over there but their phones were only running an automated message about their hours and tour information. I grabbed my mom's keys and said, "You all eat, I'm going back to Jelly Belly." I raced back to the factory, a 10 minute drive, and drove up to the door (I didn't have time to park in the parking lot) and ran up to the information desk. I told the lady there my problem. The lady was very nice and asked my name and handed back my wallet (with everything in it!). I was so grateful for honest people. Disaster averted.
After meeting up with the group we went to the Nut Tree Family Park in Vacaville. There was a carousel and some carnival rides. It was $3.50 a ride so forget it! I took William to the *free* Rocking Horse Corral and he had a big time. Until he slid off the side. I had his arm, but he twisted around the front and bumped his head. He bit his lip and there was blood gushing from his mouth. Poor guy. We went to the bathroom and cleaned him up. He was done. He fell asleep in the stroller soon after. After killing time for a couple of hours, we headed off to Discovery Kingdom. It was all lit up and the Looney Toon Characters were dressed in Santa hats and scarves. We spent most of the time in the kid park. William got to ride the tea cups, the submarine ride, the carousel, and the hot air balloons. He loved the rides. I loved getting him all bundled up, especially his hat! We played until about 8pm then there were tired kids ready to go home and their babies as well! William and I fell asleep in the car and my mom drove us home.
So that was my adventure. Like I said, it was fun, but not quite as fun as it will be retelling it with the whole family sitting around to listen to my adventures. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

William's Portraits

I went to The Picture People on Monday and I couldn't be happier with the whole experience. They are a little pricier than say your WalMart or Target photography, but you really get your money's worth. I got William all dressed up, brought his teddy bear and they did the rest. I wish I could have bought all of the poses, but I settled on these three. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Letters From Sean

I got a few emails from Sean about his first port of call in Tuloun, France. I'll include the pictures and commentary he sent. I thought it was pretty funny.

Here's a picture I took of me in Toulon, France with some guys I had just met. They pretty much just ignored me, but that's okay, because they were a couple of stiffs anyway.

This is a picture of me with some visitors from the French ship Jean de Vienne. It was kinda fun trying to communicate with them, but when they left, I was glad to see them go.
This is a picture of me and my guys after we'd finished prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. Left to right, it's me, FC2 Brown, GM2 Dodgin, and ET3 Smith. Aren't we pretty?

*I like how Sean is making the moves on FC2 Brown!

This is the smashed sandwich shack by the front gate of Arsenal Toulon.

Dear Mrs. Payne,

It is with a sad heart that I write to inform you about a tragic mishap on board USS San Jacinto this morning. At about 1000, your husband went to get his hair cut at the barbershop, requesting that 1½” be left on the top. Due to a misunderstanding between your husband and the barber, your husband’s hair was cut to a length of ¼”, top and sides. Valiant efforts were made to reattach the hair, including an experimental operation with a glue stick, but at 1030, the hair was declared DOA. I understand what a shock this must be, and you have my condolences.

I have included a picture of the victim, in order to assure you that he is surviving the mishap, although still in poor condition.


ENS Sean Payne
Food Service Officer
USS San Jacinto

Monday, December 3, 2007

USO Hampton Roads Christmas Party

Last Saturday there was a big Christmas party for all military and their families that live in the Hampton Roads area. This is a LOT of people. There are 4 bases that I know of, including the largest Naval base in the world (NAS Norfolk) in the area and we all squeezed into a gym the size of two basketball courts. It started at 10am and went until 2pm. I had vaguely heard from a emailed newsletter that I receive about the party and I mentioned to Sean that I would probably go. On Saturday, I just didn't feel like packing up William and going anywhere. But I know I would have felt guilty after telling Sean I would so I ended up going.
It was in Virginia Beach at the Little Creek Amphibious Base (where the SEALS are trained). I get there and the gym is crammed with people, mostly kids. There are vendor booths lining the walls handing out freebies, mostly cheap crap with advertising on it, and a couple of food booths with free hot dogs or pizza. Every booth had a very long line in front. In fact the whole place seemed to be one long line that everyone was standing in. I wheeled my stroller around, unsure what exactly I was to do there. I saw many families with moms and dads and I started to miss Sean and wanted to leave.
I found an information booth and a nice lady told me that there would be a Christmas party for my ship at 1pm in a designated curtained off room. I decided to stick around for that and the video shoot at 2pm. I made a poster to hold up during the video so Sean could see us. Then at one I went to the small room where our party was to be. There was no one there. I thought, "How sad." Especially when the room next door had cookies, and carols, and gift exchanges going on. I almost joined with them when a few moms came in with their kids. They decided to make posters for our allotted time. I had already done this so I just stood around. I made friends with Beth Hedrick, another officer's wife. Her husband and Sean are the only LDS officers on board so we have a lot in common.
We finished up and went to make our video. There were only about 15 of us so our video Christmas greeting should have a good close up on all of us. I didn't need the poster. Good thing, because William chose that time to start acting out and I had to hold him on my lap, instead of the poster.
Overall, I had a pretty good time. It was craziness, but then I realized that there were lots and lots of people who are going through the same thing that I am. I got out of the house, made a good friend, and said, "Merry Christmas!" to my husband. It was a pretty good day.