Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tour of our house!

We had to take a picture before it was officially "ours," since Mark will be gone the day we close.

Below is a link to a video of Mark giving you a tour of our house! 
It's not our stuff obviously, we don't close for a little while.
Check it out!

H & M

Monday, December 28, 2009

The last of the pictures and care package list!

Just to warn you, the commentary is by Heather, so it may or may not be accurate, i'll try my best :)

Walking into their tent. The thing hanging down is a vent where they unvelcro a flap if they want it warmer/colder.

A family hanging out. (Note, the woman in full burka)

Marks "humble abode," as he calls it. He has the bottom bunk (note the leopard print sheets hehe). The person up top gets the shaft with the air vent in their face.

I'm convinced the 5 year olds babysit the 4 year olds. Mark says there are never adults around. Free daycare!

A jingle truck on fire.

Where they work on the trucks. They built it up around the area so they wouldn't have to be working in the sun. They also made a floor for it so it wouldn't be so muddy.

Mark with the hand mic for a radio conveniently placed. He made the other guy drive.

Some guy and his camel. There were also wild camels walking around.

Efficient use of space. Wonder how long it took to pack that up? Mark says they always overfill the vehicles and things are just strapped on by a little piece of twine.

A touch of the holiday spirit.

Windshield wiper covers. Wonder if they sell any of those in the US?

Now really, how did they get those up there and how are they going to get them down?

"She thinks my tractors sexy..." (it's a song if your confused).
Nice ride.

A police outpost

A truck that flipped. No one was hurt, but there was some Skittles lodged up in the ceiling of it afterward.

In other news, i've made mark go through the care package list. Sorry it took us so long to get this together!

  • granola bars
  • trail mix
  • Cheeze-it's
  • Pop-Tarts
  • gum
  • nuts
  • individual drink powders that go into a water bottle (Crystal Lite makes them I know)
  • magazines (Mark says they like anything about fitness, guns, trucks, 'popular science,' 'Men's Health' etc...)
  • soduku books- or something similar
  • deodorant
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes- inexpensive ones- and caps to keep the top from getting dirty
  • baby wipes/ Wet Ones
  • q-tips
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Tylenol/Advil
  • Body wash/ shampoo (remind me to pack this separately, Mark said some people's boxes food tasted like soap- woops!)
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • disposable razors
  • Chips (like Pringles)
  • Ziplock bags
  • Nail clippers
  • Candy (anything good, that won't melt)
Mark says that they like food the best- of course! So any non- perishable food that you can think of, they would probably like.

There were several female boxes that we made last time as well, so among the magazines, throw in something a 20-something year old female would like to read (Cosmo, Women's Health, People etc...)

Mark also said they have enough games to last them a while, but people always like a crossword or something similar.

I think that's about it. E-mail me if you have any specific questions. (hj.pound@yahoo.com). The party is Jan 23rd at Salem Covenant Church. I'll update again before then about all the details.

Afghanistan Pictures part 2

Removing a transfer case from a vehicle

Afghan Mtn Dew

The base in the morning

We made a grill, and we're testing it out.

Stavick with the first leaf we saw in three months.

Showing how cold it gets

Our "frs," it has our tools, a crane, air compressor and a plasma torch


All my boxes!

More boxes, thanks guys!

One more round of pics to come. They take a while to upload so I can only do a few at a time.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Afghanistan Pictures

When the convoy drives by, they have to stop their vehicles. This day it was about 130 degrees, which is why they are hanging out in the shade. They are wearing "man jammies."

Afghan National Army- like their uniforms and flip flops?

Any single ladies out there???

A "Jingle Truck" on fire, blocking the road.

Police outpost

Electronics store
Osspray helicopter.

The sand makes him a blond.

Kandahar City

Bike parking for work. Classy

At least they don't have to pick out what they are wearing the next day. It's "man jammies" and a vest.

We'll have more to post later- there are tons!

EXCITEMENT of the house kind!

Cute house huh?






We found out this morning that our offer on the house got accepted. I just have to mention, it has a 50's PINK kitchen. Some of you probably just moaned, and some were like "ahhh!! CUTE!" I'm the latter of the two, and Mark thinks it's "cute" too.

We are so excited. We've been eyeing this one for a while now, and thought what the heck, we'll just throw out an offer and maybe we'll get lucky and they will accept. We worked out a good deal, and it is a really good house for us!

Housewarming party in the future? I think SO!

Anyways, MERRY CHRISTMAS all! Drive safe :)

H & M

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's good to be home

This is Mark (and Heather) blogging to you from good 'ol Minnesota

I got in on Thursday evening and was welcomed at the airport by Heather and my parents. It was really nice to see them. I hadn't showered in 4 days (besides the "baby wipe bath"). A warm shower, some pizza and a beer also welcomed me back :)

It took 4 days to get home. We went from Leatherneck to Kandahar to Kuwait to Germany to Atlanta and finally home. The military planes were really cramped, so it was nice to know when I landed that I wouldn't have to be flying again for 2 weeks. 

I took a bunch of pictures and Heather will help me put some up here before I go back. 

We've been busy....relaxing.

All the guys talk about back at the base was what they wanted to eat when they got home. I can't wait to get started on mine.

Everyone really liked the care packages, and they say thank you. 

Also, thank you for supporting me while i've been gone. I look forward to your continuing support. 

Mark (and Heather)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Christmas gift is arriving!

Mark is coming back soon, I didn't think of writing this here until now.

Answer's to many many questions i've gotten...

1- I don't know when Mark will be back, and he doesn't either. There are many factors that play into his travels. He has several flights, some of them being military aircrafts, which are random and don't leave at specific times.

2- he will be back for two weeks

3- his leave starts when he gets to the states.

Hopefully the next post will be from him, and we will have several pictures!!!

The two weeks will fly by, but I had a thought about it when I was running this morning...

I am thankful that I get two entire weeks with him, rather than being upset that I only get two weeks.
Soldiers used to be away from their families for years with no breaks. To boost soldier moral they started giving them "R & R."

Neither of us could possibly be more excited. I've been forgetting things (The in-laws can confirm this, haha) and not been able to concentrate on anything, i'm just too excited!!

Finals are next week, and i'll finally be able to put college behind me. Mark will likely come back next week as well. We are also buying a house within the next 2 months, and I am starting a full time job in Jan. Waaayyyy too much going on, but it is all so exciting!

We will try to see as many of you as possible, but I know that Mark wants to spend a lot of time relaxing, being with his friends and family, and we are still possibly traveling over his leave.

For Salem go-ers, we will likely be there the service of Wed the 23rd.

Thanks for the prayers and especially getting ME through the 7 months, only 6 left!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Care package party 2 details

The second care package party will be on January 23rd from 11am-2pm.

It will be at Salem Covenant Church which is at:
2655 5th Street Northwest
New Brighton, MN 55112
(same church Mark and I were married at if you were at the wedding)

We are having it in the library of the church, which is upstairs, so you'll see us when you walk in the front door. I plan on ordering some pizza around noon for those who are there, and have some beverages as well.

From the last care package party we learned a couple of things, which I will elaborate for those who weren't able to come...
--When people came in, we had boxes set up with different categories (personal hygiene, reading materials, other, games/entertainment, food, things specifically for Mark, female things, etc), and everyone dropped their things off when they walked in. I am anticipating having the same type of thing, as it worked out really well.
--We had something similar to an assembly line for the filling and people doing different tasks such as a box maker/taper, people to fill out customs forms (which really helped me out!)
--We left all of the boxes open so that I could add more at to the boxes if we had a left over items at the end.
(It might seem like I'm organized, but I'm not that much...everything just seemed to workout.)

I will put a list up after Mark comes home, so that I can talk to him about what they liked etc. I know for sure that most things were a hit, which is good! If your already out looking for good deals, just base your purchases off of the previous list. Also, any amount of $ that was donated, really helped us out with the mailing of the packages (it cost over $500 to mail them all--but was well worth the cause!) so if you want to pitch in, but can't make it or don't have time to get anything this is a good way to help out too (any leftover money will go towards buying other donations for soldiers)!

We also learned from the first party, that since most people came around the beginning of the festivities, we had most of the boxes filled and put together after 2 hours. I would suggest that if you want to take part in all the goodness, to come earlier if possible. If it doesn't work with your schedule, come whenever...we'll be there until 2pm for sure and probably a little while later to load up all of the boxes.

No need to tell me if your coming to this one, since we will have plenty of space, and will be ordering food (another reason to come earlier! :)

Feel free to bring friends, or spread the word of our efforts. The soldiers are very thankful for everything we are doing for them, and I am thankful for everyone who has and can make this happen! Just a note, they have 189 (or so) soldiers in their unit, so I don't think making too many boxes will be an issue.


Mark will be back in about 15 days, and has told me that he has several pictures that I'll be able to share with you guys! I haven't seen any pictures since the last ones I put up, so I'm anxious to see how they've been living!

Since the last post, they have switched Mark BACK to day shifts (poor guy is exhausted).