I’ve enjoyed my 15 days of leave. Tonight is my last night in the US. I have to fly back to Iraq tomorrow. It will be sad to leave. But on the bright side, when I get back I’ll have about 90 days left before I return home for good!
In my last post, we were at Chuck E Cheese’s with my family, celebrating daughter Rebecca’s 4th birthday. My children have grown up a lot in 7 months. Judy is 5 and a half, and she can read entire books by herself, it is really amazing to see Judy who is not yet in Kindergarten who can read so well! Rebecca can talk a lot more, and recognizes all the letters. She is eager to learn to read also. I can have conversations with both of them now, it is much better in person than when we are on the phone from Iraq. Skype video calls are the best way to talk, because my children like to see me, it makes them realize that they are actually talking to me.
So much has happened during the last 2 weeks! Here is a partial list of things that I did:
- Went to Disneyland with my family, and stayed overnight (the kids had a lot of fun on this trip, but Disneyland is EXTREMELY crowded in summer now that school is out, even though we went on a Monday):
- Went to the Santa Barbara Zoo with my family.
- Went to the last days of pre-school with my kids before summer break, and attended a singing presentation for both of my kids.
- Met my friend Lindsay Nielson and others at the Saticoy Country Club:
- Built a playhouse with my kids in the living room.
- Visited the pet store with my kids (almost as good as the zoo).
- Fixed several things around the house.
- Gave my cat a bath.
- Visited my Grandma in Los Angeles. She is nearly 100 years old now!
- Cleaned up my office a bit.
- Took my kids to a doctor’s appointment.
And so much more. It’s hard to believe I did all this in 2 weeks.
Anyway, I am flying out of LAX at around 6AM tomorrow. This will start another harrowing trip to Iraq. I don’t even mind going back to Iraq, it’s just the uncomfortable and very long trip that bothers me the most. The weather in Camarillo, CA has been very pleasant. Mostly in the 70’s and usually cloudy. It is very different than the 110 to 120 degree brutal sunshine Iraq is currently enjoying.
I will be missing my family, and they will miss me. But I’ll be back in 90 days. Here is a letter from daughter Judy (5 years old) that sums things up well: