Sunday, June 17, 2012

Way Too Long Since the Last Update

Hello Friends!

    Well I think the title sums it up pretty well.  It has been almost 5 months since our last posting and so much has happened!  We will try to get everyone caught up as much as possible.  Tyler found out that he would be learning to fly the latest variant of the Blackhawk (the Mike model) and that we would end up being here for a month longer than originally planned since the new variant requires extra training.  Tyler started training in the Blackhawk at the beginning of March.  He has loved getting to fly such an amazing aircraft, but the training is very intense (tons of studying and flight planning) and time consuming.  During the 3 week Basic Combat Skills phase (learning to fly tactically) he was usually gone from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 or 8:00 P.M. either at the flight line or planning his flights.  After coming home and grabbing some dinner it was usually studying until going to bed at about 10:00 or 10:30 and then starting again the next day.  Luckily his schedule has slowed down somewhat since.  He got to fly the older model blackhawk for the first 10 weeks and is now flying the Mike model.  He has taken two check rides in the Mike model and only has 1 more left.  This coming Friday he begins his final phase of training, Nights.  His schedule will change from work beginning at 4:45 A.M. to work beginning at 5:00 P.M.  It will be interesting to see how the schedule change affects us.

    Shanonn is no longer working at the school since the school year is up.  After a couple of days break she was right back to work, babysitting twin 10 year old girls for the summer.  She usually works from 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.  The girls keep her busy as she tries to find ways to keep them from getting bored.  Kahlua had a vet appointment this last week and we learned that she has lost almost 16 pounds in the last year.  She now weighs about 30 lbs.  It's hard to believe she has lost 1/3 of her weight.  She is feeling more energetic than ever and would like any available bachelor dogs out there to know that she is available these days.

   In other news, we have a tentative graduation date of August 9th, which means we will most likely be in Oklahoma by mid August.  The Oklahoma Guard hasn't told us yet which unit Tyler will be in.  The possibilities will be either in Tulsa or Lexington.  If we get Lexington, we will definitely be living on Oklahoma City.  If we get the Tulsa unit, we haven't decided yet if we will live in Oklahoma City and Tyler will commute to fly or if we would move to Tulsa.  This has made looking for a place to live very difficult, so please pray that we find out soon which unit we will get!

   We have had a great time watching the Thunder in the playoffs this year.  Seeing all the shots of Downtown OKC make us really miss it and very ready to move back.  Their are a couple of Oklahoma Guard guys that live down the street from us so we've been keeping up with the Thunder and representing them from Alabama together.  We really hope they win the Championship and that we get to go to some games next year!

     Tyler was able to make a quick weekend trip to see his sister graduate from college in early May.  It was great to see the family again and our nephew Brady is now learning to say "Ty" for Uncle Tyler and "Shan" for Aunt Shanonn.  He has "Ty" down pretty well but is currently pronouncing "Shan" as "Shish" (also what he calls Tyler's parents Goldfish) so perhaps he will get it down by the next time we see him.  Tyler's parents came down to visit for Memorial day and we enjoyed a trip to Pensacola to go to the Naval Aviation Museum and the Beach.  We drove along the coast on the way back and the views were beautiful.  We will definitely miss being close to the beach.  We also got to make a day trip to Montgomery to eat barbecue and go shopping.  Tyler's parents are planning on coming to graduation so we are excited for that!

   Well I think that's a pretty good synopsis on the last few months in Alabama.  We are excited to enter our last month of flight school and counting down the days till we get to move back.  We miss everyone and can't wait to see you all again!  You are in our prayers and we hope everyone is having a great start to the summer!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Moving forward

Tyler has officially ended his course in Instrument readings and will begin BWS (Basic Warfighter Skills) on Wednesday. This will teach him how to fly like an Army Aviator in different situations. It's a four week course, then when that is through it will be onto the Blackhawk course! It's strange to think that our time has gone by so quickly and we are over half-way through our time in Alabama. It's a great feeling to know that soon we will be back in Oklahoma with our church family though! We definitely miss everyone there. Then Shanonn will only be a few hours from her family, who she has missed being around, especially the past couple months.
Other than the class change, everything is pretty much the same around here! We hosted a party for the military members at our church on Saturday, which turned out to be really fun (and delicious!). Hope all of you have been doing well!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Update on Ed-

Great news! Ed is finally home from the hospital, as of this afternoon. He had a bit of a small setback a few days ago, but is doing wonderfully now. His heart wasn't catching a normal rhythm and the external pacemaker he had (standard after heart surgery) was doing more work than they were hoping, so he had to have an internal pacemaker put in. This wasn't something that they were planning on doing, but it's something that the doctors felt was necessary.
The important thing is that he is home now! Please continue to keep him (and my mom) in your thoughts as he continues to heal and rely on my mom for support.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Update from Shanonn-

Hello loved ones!! Now that we've managed to miss all the major holidays, it's probably time for an update on us. We've definitely been very busy, but most of that has been due to travel, rather than changes in our schedules and lives.
November- The beginning of November, for the most part, was pretty calm for us. Tyler's schedule started to change more frequently, but he was still doing the same things, just at different hours. He is in the simulators right now, learning how to fly by his instruments (for flying in clouds, at night, etc.) instead of being able to simply see. For Thanksgiving, Lyle, Ethelyn (Tyler's parents), Mary K. (Tyler's sister), Josh (Mary K.'s boyfriend) and Brady (the nephew!) all came to stay with us for 5 days. We ended up going to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving day lunch, saw The Muppets' movie (so cute!) and ate out again that night. We ate out a lot... haha. The next day (Friday), everyone except Ethelyn and Brady went deep sea fishing. Mary K. and myself didn't have the best time, but the boys loved it and we did come home with some fish! The rest of the month rushed by, and I started to work full-time in the 2 year-old room, plus working after-care 3 times a week. Thank goodness that Christmas break has taken 2 weeks out of that schedule- haha! I actually like the new schedule better than my regular 12:30-5:30 shift  because time seems to go by more quickly and I feel like I get more done.
December- This was one of the hardest times in my life. On December 5, 2011, I lost one of the greatest influences and important people in my life: my grandpa Johnie. He had been sick for a while and in pain, so this was a good thing, yet my heart is still broken thinking about what a wonderful father, grandfather and husband he was. He taught 3 daughters, 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren how to love with all of their hearts, laugh at the funny things and to not take anything too seriously. He will, truly, be missed. I got to go home to see my family for several days, so that was wonderful since this was Tyler's family's year to have us, but it was definitely bitter-sweet because of the occasion.
The rest of the month (at least the 18-Jan.1) was spent at the Sharpes' in Wyoming. Merry Christmas! We had a great time being with his family and taking some time off from work and school, while also having an amazing Christmas. We are spoiled for sure!
January- Happy New Year! The beginning to 2012 was a bit of a rough start for us. Our flight from Denver to Charlotte was delayed by 2 hours. Not only was it delayed, but we were sitting on the plane, at the gate, with the cabin door shut, for two hours. After we finally took off, we discovered that we missed our connection to Atlanta, but luckily they had placed us on a new flight, a little later, so we had time to eat dinner. The flight to Atlanta was nice, we had to wait a bit on our bags to arrive, but we walked away with all our luggage! There was also a man being arrested and escorted out by 3 security/police officers, so that added to our happiness. We made it to the hotel just fine, thanks for our shuttle, but the joy of finally ending our travel for the day ended when we talked to the desk clerk. She told us that some kids had tried to steal our truck while we were gone. Luckily they were scared off before they could finish the job and do too much damage. They did manage to pry part of the steering column off and detach our key cylinder, so we were stuck at the hotel until a locksmith could come out the next morning. Several hours (and some money) later, about noon, we were able to leave to drive back to For Rucker. We made it safely, picked up the dog, unpacked, then it was time to rest and get to bed for work and class the next day. Work and class have gone well for us this week, Tyler starts a new schedule tomorrow and will be back to flying a real helicopter again. (Finally!) I go back to my old schedule starting Monday, so it will be back to the late nights once again.
That's all our news for now- hope everyone is doing well and had a great start to their new year!
We love you all!
P.S.- Please keep my dad, Ed Elsass, in your thoughts. He had minor surgery done on his heart (Jan. 3), but has had a few, minor, complications along the way. Though it was a fairly simply procedure, it was still heart surgery and he has a long recovery ahead of him. He's doing very well, but is still under close supervision to ensure a proper recovery. Everything is looking good so far, so keep up the wishful thinking. Thank you!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sorry Friends...

We're still here!
    Sorry that we haven't updated for quite some time. It seems like not enough happens to update every week, but then a lot of small things add up and we're behind! We'll start a few weeks back, then work toward today.
Shanonn went home the week of the 10-15 and spent some time with family and had a relaxing week off from work. That Friday, she ventured down to OKC to visit Vanessa and finally meet baby Denver and also to see Erin. She had a really great time getting to catch up with them and see them after several months. Sometime during the week that Shanonn was gone, Tyler took his first check-flight and did really well! His second one should be happening in the near-future.
The next Friday (the 21st) Tyler had his Family Day, so Shanonn got to see him fly his training helicopter. It was a fun day, but it wasn't without it's problems. Tyler was supposed to be out at the stage field about 1 o'clock, but didn't end up getting there until almost 3 because his first helicopter had a maintenance issue and they ended up having to get an entirely new aircraft. Shanonn had waited for Tyler to show up to eat lunch, so she was very hungry by the time he got there! It was a good day and we both got to meet and talk to flight students and their wives that we hadn't met before. Just when the day was scheduled to be over, Tyler landed the helicopter in a smaller landing area and shut it down, so that his stick-buddy and his wife could take pictures with it and meet the IP that flies with them everyday. It was simply an interesting moment.
The weather here is still very nice, a little cool this weekend, but nothing compared to what the rest of you have been experiencing, it seems! Tyler is still doing really well in school and has found some good friends to study with, while Shanonn is still working and will start subbing full-time in just a few weeks. On Monday, Tyler should be completing his first cross-country flight to Albany, Georgia, then back. Hopefully, that's all the exciting news we have for now! We will try to be better about updating.
Hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for checking in on us and feel free to call or e-mail us!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Long Overdue Update

Hello to everyone!
       It's been awhile since we've updated our blog and lots has happened since!  Tyler graduated from SERE school and came back hungry and 10 lbs lighter.  After a few days off he was back into class.  He started Aeromedical training (medical factors affecting aviation) and then started his helicopter systems classes, learning all about the training helicopter's various systems and how they work.  He had his first flight on Friday and had a blast, but realizes that flying helicopters is extremely tough.  Tyler was on morning flight line last week so he had to be at the bus stop at about 4:15 AM to catch the bus to the airfield and got out of his academic classes at about 4:00 P.M.  This week he will be on afternoons so will go to academics in the morning, then to the flightline in the afternoon, and get home at about 6:00 P.M.  He has been studying lots and has done well on his tests so far.  Shanonn has been staying busy working and taking care of the house.  We took a trip to Atlanta for Labor day and got to see the World of Coke and went on the Inside the Studios Tour at the CNN studio.  We also got to make a trip to Ikea and purchased a new bed frame.  This past weekend we had dinner with a fellow flight student who is in Tyler's Guard unit and lives right down the street.  Saturday we spent most of the day putting in a fence for Kahlua, so now she has room to roam and we can leave her outside for the day when we travel.  The weather has been cooling off and we are looking forward to the fall weather fully setting in.  We have stayed busy with all the new friends we have made here but miss all of our friends back in Oklahoma.  Well, this was kind of a brief update but hopefully a longer one will soon follow!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Big News!

It Finally Happened!
     Shanonn has found a job! It is though our church and will be mostly part-time, with the possibility of becoming full-time temporarily. One of the teachers (2 year old) is having a baby in November, so Shanonn will take over her shift for the 6+ weeks the teacher will be gone. Also, she will be working as a substitute whenever a teacher needs to take off work. So that is exciting for us!
Also, Tyler (finally) has a SERE date... for Monday! We got the good news yesterday, so he will at least have a few days to make sure he has everything purchased, packed, and ready to go. He will be gone for 3 weeks without any contact with anyone other than his classmates and and instructors, so it will be a challenge for both of us.
Other than those two major things, life has been pretty laid back and uneventful. We hope all of you have been doing well and we appreciate all of your love and support as we go through this phase in our lives!