Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 - The Year of the Blog

I am resolved to make 2010 the year I return to blogging. Facebook sucked me in with it's instant gratification and I forgot the importance of writing beyond a status report. It may take some time to remember how to write in complete sentences and dare I say paragraphs, but I am going to make an effort to do that very thing.

2009 Year in Review Highlights
We had lots of Jay's family visit this year thanks to his parents serving a mission at the Washington DC temple and lots of the siblings coming to visit them. Jay did a brief 3 month deployment to South America over the summer. We had Megan (Jay's nephew, James's fiance) come to live with us for the summer. The children, Megan and I went to Nebraska for the Forsgren Family Reunion and lived to tell about it. We found out that we were going to Japan for Jay's next tour of duty. Jay came home from deployment. Sarah was baptized. Jay pinned on Lieutenant Commander. The fall was spent watching high school football games and watching my niece as the drum major for the marching band. Alex won 2nd place in both a writing competition and an poster contest. We prepared with all we were worth to go to Japan and then 36 hours before the movers were to come we found out that we would not be going to Japan. Too many children. The rest of the year was spent putting things back together.

Now we know that Jay will stay in Virginia until at least August of 2011. Jay is temporarily working for SURFLANT (Surface Forces Atlantic). In February he will report to the USS WASP (LHD 1) as the Training Officer. We are very pleased with how everything has worked out.

Our cat died this summer from cancer and our dog went to live with another family because of the Japan move so we got kittens for Christmas and named them Holly and Ivy.

Now we look forward to life being more settled and more time with Jay this coming year. It will be a year with much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Day of School 2009

One didn't want to go.

One was nervous.

One was excited.

One didn't have time for pictures until after school.

Lieutenant Commander Forsgren

September 1, 2009 Jay became a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. He was sworn into the Navy on January 22, 1999 and Commissioned an Officer on April 21, 2000.
Taking the oath

Pinning it on

A Family Affair

Sarah's Baptism

August 21, 2009 Sarah was baptised. Jay baptised and confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many people came to share in her wonderful experience. Alex gave a talk on Baptism and Uncle Pete gave a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost.
At home before the baptism

Jay and Sarah

As a family

Homecoming August 2009

Jay came home August 21, 2009 from his deployment to South America. It was a short deployment (less than 3 months) but sometimes they all feel long.
Sarah before the ship came in.

Here it comes.


Going to board the ship.

Together again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Going to Japan

Sometimes it takes something big to get a person back to writing. This is big enough for me. Jay is getting orders to Sasebo, Japan. We don't know when he will go or when we will go, but ultimately sometime around November or December it looks like we will be headed to Japan for 18 month.
I am shocked and excited. I am glad that excitement is the main emotion because I would hate to be sad with the same intensity as I am excited. Spencer and Sarah are both thrilled. They knew that Japan was a possibility and were very happy. Alex didn't want to move and was disappointed. He has put on his game face though and is trying very hard to get into the spirit of it all. He is checking out kid websites about Japan to help him get excited about it. Nathan of course has no clue. My mother says that when he realizes what is happening he is going to say he is staying with Grandmama. That's what he does whenever I want him to do something he doesn't like.
My favorite part of all the excitement surrounding the announcement was Spencer's response to why he wants to go. I asked him what made him so happy about going to Japan, "Is it that Pokemon is from Japan?" He didn't even know that and his eyes got huge. Then he said, "No, I didn't know that, I just wanted to see what is on the other side of the world." What a great thing to remember, we are lucky to have this opportunity.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Yummy Trees

The Bradford Pear trees are in bloom here. Actually they are almost finished blooming. On Friday we were driving down the road giving the Sister Missionaries a ride when Nathan points out the beautiful trees and tells one of the sisters, "See, Yummy Trees!" At first we were all confused but after a couple of seconds we figured out he was talking about popcorn trees. One of the sisters said that she had never realized what that song really meant until she came here on her mission and saw the "popcorn trees" in bloom. Nathan has regularly called them popcorn trees, but yummy trees was something new. We love yummy trees.
I looked out the window and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.
Spring has brought me such a nice surprise!
Popcorn popping right before my eyes.
I can take a handful and make a treat.
A popcorn ball that smells so sweet.
It wasn't really so, but it seemed to be
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

Spencer turns 10

This past week Spencer turned 10. Ten years ago he was born in the middle of the night by emergency c-section. I never saw him because I was unconscious when they rushed him of to the NICU. The next day they brought me a Polaroid and I asked Jay why my baby looked like a three month old. He was a big baby and it was really a surprise to me to see how big he looked. The nurses would come into my room and comment on the fact that I was the mother of the BIG baby in the NICU. Finally that night they let me go down to see him and he really was a big baby. They had his 9 and a half pound body next to a baby who weighed about 4 pounds. But he was beyond BEAUTIFUL.

When he was little we used to call Spencer Happy because he was just a happy go lucky baby and little boy. He is still my best snuggler and cuddler. He knows that he is his Mother's precious.

He had a great birthday week that we drug out over several days. We celebrated with Grandma and Grandpa on Sunday, Grandmama and Granddaddy on Monday, our friend Carol and her children joined us for dinner out on Spencer's actual birthday and then he had a Laser Tag birthday party with his friends on Friday. I think that is enough celebrating to declare him officially 10.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog depression

I have been feeling a little bit blog of depression lately. I don't have any pictures of anything we are doing and I certainly don't feel witty. I'm not depressed and I am very thankful, but I am just not feeling creative and I hate to write a boring blog knowingly.
Under things that I am thankful for, my trip to SC two weeks ago would be a big one. I really needed that vacation. Sadly after the week I just had I really need another one. My big thankful for the week is a little bit wrong. I am so very thankful that Jay has 14 days off. The problem is that he has 14 days off because he had his appendix removed. I would love to take a picture of him all laid out sleeping, but it seems unkind.
Jay started not feeling good on Monday after lunch, but just kept pushing on. Monday night I suggested that he go to the ER and get checked out because I was suspecting appendix. He couldn't do that because he said that after spending hours in the ER he wouldn't be fit for duty the next day so he did nothing. Tuesday morning he had a slight fever and went into work, but was sent on to the Portsmouth Naval Hospital by mid morning. It was his appendix and Tuesday night they operated. He came home Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday night Nathan got an ear infection and had massive throwing up followed by Friday in the wee hours of the morning Sarah starting the throwing up and she is still not quite right.
I am so very glad that Jay's surgery went well and in spite of all he had to go through I am deliriously happy that he will be home with us for another 8 days.

Friday, March 13, 2009

2009 Girlfriend Survey

2009 Girl Friend Survey
Welcome to the 2009 edition of getting to know your Friends. ' press FORWARD ' then change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to your friends including the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:15 with throwing up child. Again at 7:25 with child saying, Mom you were supposed to get up at 7:00 when I woke you, we need to leave in 5 mins.

2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Bolt

4. What is your favorite TV show? CMT music, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance

5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Fruity Dino Bites

6. What is your middle name? McMillan

7. What food do you dislike? Liver

8. What is your favorite CD at moment? Jason Alden

9. What kind of car do you drive? Hyundai Entourage

10. Favorite sandwich? Turkey & Cheese

11. What characteristic do you despise? Self importance

12. Favorite item of clothing? Levi's

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Italy

14. Favorite brand of clothing? Coldwater Creek

15. Where would you retire to? Yorktown, VA, Raleigh, NC or the Blue Ridge Mountains

16. What was your most memorable birthday? 7th, my parents took me to the Ice Capades

17. Favorite sport to watch? March Madness Basketball

18. Furthest place you are sending this? don't know yet

19. Person you expect to send it back first? don't know yet

20. When is your birthday? January 6, 1975

21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night

22. What is your shoe size? 6 1/2 - 7

23. Pets? Family Dog - Dutchess the cat, Cheyanne the dog

24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? We have company coming

25. What did you want to be when you were little? A teacher, then a nurse

26. How are you today? Tired

27. What is your favorite candy? Whatchamacallit

28. What is your favorite flower? Hyacinth

29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? March 24th, our next family birthday

30. What's your full name? Susan McMillan Stubbs Forsgren

31. What are you listening to right now? Lord of the Rings, not by choice

32. What was the last thing you ate? Scallops, my mom made me dinner

33. Do you wish on stars? Sometimes, when I am feeling whimsical

34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Gold

35. How is the weather right now? Rainy and cold

36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? My Mom

37. Favorite soft drink? Wild Cherry Pepsi

38. Favorite restaurant? Olive Garden

39. Real hair color? Can't remember

40. What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbie

41. Summer or winter? Summer

42. Hugs or kisses? Kisses

43. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate

44. Coffee or tea? Sleepytime Herbal Tea

45. Do you want your friends to email you back? Of course

46. When was the last time you cried? This morning reading my SIL's blog

47. What is under your bed? Books

48. What did you do last night? Worked until I fell asleep

49. What are you afraid of? Ticks

50. Salty or sweet? Sweet

51. How many keys on your key ring? 3

52. How many years at your current job? 12.5

53. Favorite day of the week? Friday, date night

54. How many towns have you lived in? Yorktown, VA; Raleigh, NC; Provo, UT; Raleigh, NC; Yorktown, VA; Goose Creek, SC; Portsmouth, RI; Yorktown, VA; Portsmouth, RI; Yorktown, VA

55. Do you make friends easily? I try

Please feel free to copy and answer on your own blogs, I would love to know your answers.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Doing the Charleston

Jay had a port visit this weekend in Charleston, SC and my parents wonderfully agreed to take care of the children for me to come down to Charleston for a little vacation. Jay and I had a great time driving all over town reminiscing. We went to the Naval Weapon's Station and visited Charlie who is big as ever. Also there were two smaller alligators in the water inside his fence. We drove down Hickory Hall Lane and over to Keklico remembering all of our friends from our year in Charleston. We had lunch at Hyman's seafood and dinner at T-Bonz and Kaminsky's. One of the things that we reminisced about was when we passed the Outback Steakhouse and Jay reminded me of our going to dinner with two other couples and how everyone changed their drink orders after I ordered Dr. Pepper. You know who you are.

Charleston was a fabulous year and we are still friends with so many people from that year. I swore I wouldn't have any friends in Charleston, but I don't think I have ever had so many friends in one place. We had a great time this weekend. I am so grateful for a great vacation.


I haven't been blogging lately. Jay has been very disappointed in me for not keeping up with the blog, but life has been crazy. Spencer spent the month of January suffering severely with migraine headaches. He only made it through 5 full days of school in the month of January. We fell way behind trying to help Spencer through that time. He started an antidepressant medicine four weeks ago and has not had a single headache since. We are so very thankful that he is doing better. Not to mention the medicine has also brought back the Spencer that we haven't seen in a very long time. The difference is amazing and wonderful. He is so happy and talkative and fun. Big thankful on that front.

Jay began sea work at the end of January. February he was in and out every other week. The ship came out of the shipyard and is now based in Little Creek. The best part of this is that the children and I can go and see Jay on the ship sometimes. Nathan really loves to go to the ship. In March Jay will be out three weeks, in one.

Our favorite thing this past month was the few really warm days that we had. We were able to get several great playground days in during February. Now we are all waiting for spring. Bring it on.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gratitude Weekly - Week 4

I have a new favorite thing. My baby has become a bed snuggler. We have had children who slept with us because of nightmares, fear, no bed of their own (only while Jay was gone) and various other things. I never minded so much if they need us for a while, but it wasn't my favorite thing because I prefer to be the only bed hog in the bed. This is different. My baby has been coming in the morning at just about the time I have to get up anyway and just snuggling with me. He is such a busy baby that he hardly ever stops moving so this is such a treat and I am very grateful for every minute of it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gratitude Weekly - Week 3

Missions. Our nephew James enters the MTC tomorrow. Our good friend Gregory also enters the MTC tomorrow. I am grateful that they have both chosen to perform this great service and make this sacrifice. Their work in preparing for their missions and the experiences that they will have over the next two years will bless their lives forever and also bless their families and their friends and like a ripple everyone they come in contact with. May God bless them and their families and their loved ones throughout this time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What service is

A good friend brought us some treats tonight with a Get Well note since we have three men down tonight. I read her note to Sarah and asked her if it made her feel better. Sarah said, "It doesn't make my ear feel better, but it make my heart feel better." There is in a child's words the meaning of serving others.

A Boy and His Dog

Our dog Cheyanne has a life of hardship and blessing these days. She has a little boy who will not let her sleep or rest. She is constantly followed from room to room and sometimes has her tail pulled or a toy thrown at her. Sometimes she is body slammed or pulled around as she will allow. On the flip side of that Cheyanne has a little boy who comes to see her first thing in the morning. Lets her in and out as much as she wants all day. Plays with her, pets her, snuggles her and ususally has some kind of snack in his hand that he will share with her. No one has ever loved her more in her whole life and because of that she bears with the tail pulling and lack of sleep. Sometimes though I swear she is rolling her eyes at me.

Gratitude Weekly - Week 2

This past week we spent dealing with illness. Spencer has been having chronic migraines. When I say chronic I mean he had one everyday except one for 10 days. Then he spiked a high fever for three days and the headaches stopped. Sarah has also had an ear infection for over a week and now Nathan has a fever. Those are not the things that I am thankful. What I am thankful for are for doctors and nurses who study and train and research and learn to help us all be healthier. I would say that I am very unsatisfied with how hard it is for us to obtain care for our family due to the way our medical care is set up, but I am thankful to those who provide us care when we finally get seen. There is nothing like a smiling caring face who wants to help when you feel awful.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam

Nathan started Sunbeams class at Church this week. Our family has been debating for the last month whether Jesus really wants Nathan to be a Sunbeam or not. When discussing Sunbeams Nathan was adament about "No Sunbeam". Nathan was Nursery challenged and didn't make it to Nursery for the first year he was able to go. He only just turned 3 three weeks ago and in general Nathan hates to sit or be quiet. He survived the first week and so did his teachers. He managed Sharing Time with the help of his daddy and went to class on his own, but didn't really paticipate. He didn't cry much so we count it as a victory. We hope things will continue to improve each week. We are still going to pray for Nathan and his teachers everyday and hopefully some day soon he and Jesus will want him to be a Sunbeam.

Gratitude Weekly - Week 1

Last year I began my weekly gratitude listing on my blog. This first week of January 2009 I would have to say that I am glad I did that. I enjoyed having my blog to look back over and let me know what happened in our family this year, but more than that I am grateful for having an optimistic attitude throughout the year and finding that there really is something to be thankful for every day. I had some weeks where there were too many things to list and some where it felt like all there was was gratitude that the week was over. So here we go again. This week I am grateful for my gratitude weeklies from last year and I am grateful to my dear, sweet, beautiful, stylish friend Emily who taught me to blog.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Movies at Little Creek

Last night Jay and I went on a great date. We went to The Cheesecake Factory and then went to Little Creek Amphibious Base to see Twilight. First, dinner was great, I had Chicken Piccata and Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, both were delicious. Now let me tell you about the movie experience. I had never been to a movie on base before. My first impressions was "Cool, it is a theater with a stage." Next thought was, "Wow, I haven't been in a bathroom like that since High School." If I was a sailor I would wait a date or two before taking a girl there. It was only $4 for both of us so that was great. The refreshments were at least half the price and before the movie started they played the National Anthem. We had a great time and it was a fabulous experience. Very enjoyable movie too.
It was so great that we went back today and took the children to see Bolt. We paid $12 to get in and $11.75 for snacks for everyone. The children loved the experience as much as the movie. I would recommend Little Creek to anyone, just avoid the bathroom.

Friday, January 02, 2009


Time for a new start. After looking back on the past year I am a little disappointed in my progress. I am not discouraged however; I am excited because I feel like there are so many little things that I can do that will make huge improvements in the coming year. I hope to at this time next year be able to say, I still have a long way to go, but I am making steps in the right direction.
I am grateful for a chance to look back at the past year and assess where I was a year ago and where I am now. I am able to make some directional changes that will help to straighten out my path and get me back on target. I love new beginnings and hope everyone takes the time to reevaluate and looks forward to their own changes.