Here at Beale, the Quarterly Hearts Apart dinner was held first. This is a special time for the spouses and families of those who have loved ones deployed or on an extended temporary duty. They are served a nice meal, the Wing Commander visits with them, Santa visits the kids, there are door prizes from the BX and gifts for the kids. Then.......
They met the rest of the base community to light the tree.
|Testing the mic|
|Local Bell Choir|
|I love Ros.....|
And THIS is how I almost lost my Grandma card. Young military kids are often raised in chapels without a lot of "age diversity." It would seem I've become a surrogate grandma. I first noted this in Misawa.....and there's no denying it here.
Kelsey's a young mom at our chapel whose husband will be gone a year. Her girls were very shy of strangers - but NOW they run to me....and the kids....Arielle and Stacia below....
I was happy when Arielle and Melody ran to join me. I love cuddling with them.....it was very exciting when Col Lee began the count down and Mel got to go right up on the stand and help "push the plunger." I needed to capture the moment.
Stacia was right next to us. I set Arielle down to take a photo....see Mel has the backpack and Arielle is the little cutie in the right corner looking up at her. I snapped this photo....
...and one of the tree lighting up.
Then I turned to pick Arielle up again and she was GONE. The crowd was dispersing, I was calling for her...she wasn't turning up. My heart sunk. I imagined trying to help Kelsey and now I'd LOST HER BABY! I asked Chaplain C to announce we'd lost Arielle - blond, 2 yo, teal jacket with owls..... but he knows our family and must have only heard "Arielle." ::snort::
He announced, "Arielle will you please come to the microphone."
Then he realized we were looking for 2 yo Arielle. It's amazing how crowds jump to and help when they understand a 2 yo is missing...and where was she? She'd gone to Nolan and he was holding her....while I thought for sure I'd have to forfeit my grandma card.
Random woman, Arielle, Melody and Stacia
Stacia, Zander, Nolan and Arielle
I couldn't help but think this is our last Base Tree Lighting - at least as Active Duty members. We walked over and looked at the cards.
|Mel, Cynthia, Daniel|
|Mel, Arielle, Zander, Nolan, Arielle, Stacia and Kelsey|
Stacia was happy to get through 4 chapters of Little House.
Living all of life before the face of God...