Thursday, September 10, 2015

How I Survived SERE

If you do not know, SERE is a three week survival course for soldiers. Not all soldiers receive this training, but Chris has to have it. It's like some super secret training. The soldiers have to sign a contract stating they will not disclose details about their training. Not even to their wives.  Since I am not sure what it took for Chris to survive SERE, I will give you a detailed account of how the kids and I barely survived.  Because we all know I'm the weakest and the most dramatic.

The day Chris left set the tone for the three weeks that would follow. Kids were crabby. My house was a wreck. (My house is ALWAYS a wreck when Chris leaves. I don't understand why, but it is).  The children were less than stellar at church and the quick trip to the store. We were eating lunch before I dropped him off and Simon and Becket were screaming. Amelia and Owen were bickering. Blood pressures were rising. I turned to him and said "bugs and rattlesnakes sounds pretty good right now, huh?" He chuckled and said "yeah".  That first week really was challenging.  It took several days for us to find a groove.  The house was out of control! 
Our poor school room is still recovering.

Once I got this cleaned up we moved our school day to here.

This room felt worse when I took this picture.
I have NEVER claimed to be an organized person.  With every bone in my body, I wish I was.  I'm in awe of those with natural organizational skills.  The kids had soccer and dance to keep us busy.  It helped, though slowing down Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was nice too.  

The second week I ended up with a low grade fever.  ME!  I was completely thrown for a loop.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  Super Why on Netflix and snacks while I did my best keep my insides down.  Owen and Amelia did a great job helping me with the babes by fetching diapers and what not.  It was another reminder that I have some really great kids that I take for granted more often than I would ever want to admit.

Even though a sore throat and cough remained, things did turn around about halfway through.  We managed to do some school work.  The kids asked for and received a poetry tea party.  We pulled out our nature journals.  

A little bit of Morning Time.

Poetry Tea Party as promised.

Owen is reading without being told to do so.  First and only time so far, but worth documenting.

The week smoothed out, but you can see the chaos and Netflix were not completely eliminated, sadly. 
We finished out the three weeks by reading The Adventures of Reddy Fox by Thornton W. Burgess. We just finished it and started The Adventures of Chatterer The Red Squirrel.  I'm having a hard time gauging how my kids are handling chapter books as read alouds.  My kids ask for more chapters when I read.  I'm not sure if it is to delay bedtime or if they are really enjoying them, but they were thrilled to start the next book.  

The Friday before Chris returned the kids were drawing for two hours.  I was shocked!  They were working their fine motor skills so I called it school while I tried to catch up on house work.  They really impressed me with their work.  

On a whim I decided to take the kids grocery shopping.  I was going to wait until Chris was home so I could do it alone, but I must have felt ambitious.  It went really well! One lady stopped me to tell me how well behaved they were.  And they were well behaved.  The last 20 minutes Simon was getting bored so it started to get iffy.  He was calmed by giving him a pack of hot dog buns that he later used to beat his sister with.  She didn't seem to mind, it got us out of the store without a scene, and we were still able to eat the buns.  A win, I say!

Sunday we collected Chris.  He wasn't as famished as I had expected.  He had lost some weight, but not as bad as I had built up in my head.  Ya know sunken eyes and visible rib cage.  I told you I'm the dramatic one.  He was covered in chigger bite and was clearly sore.  Poor guy.  But he was in good spirits.  I think he was just glad to be home.

Now we are just waiting for the next phase of flight school.  It will be a new type of stress.  Lots of studying on his part.  The kids and I finding ways to give him space so he can get things done.  So prayers are always appreciated.   


  1. Go Chris! Jeff did a round of that before we were married although I'm not sure why since his MOS doesn't require it. But hey, what's a little torture between work buddies, right?

    I think you passed your training too, girl! Way to go momma!

    1. "Torture between work buddies"...Sooo funny!!! I have some pretty great momma's setting some great examples! :)