Thursday, October 30, 2008

Letter 25: Some things good, some things bad

Oct. 27, 2008

Hi Family!

Ok I've got good news, bad news, good news, and other news.

Good news will be last. Bad news, I didn't pass my last PT Test. I was 3 freaking sit-ups away! I was so mad!! I did 50 altogether but it still wasn't enough. I should get two more chances to retake it but I don't know. I might have to redo it on family day. I really hope not. But I did improve. I went from doing 35 to 50 so that's not bad.

Ok good news: I may not have passed sit-ups, but I did pass my push-ups and my run. Remember how I need 19 push-ups and my run in 18:54? Well... last time I did 18 push-ups and my run in 18:36. This time (BIG SMILE) I did 34 push-ups and my run in 17:32!!! I was way happy about that!

Ok, my other news ... I need ya'll to stop sending letters. :( because we go to Victory Forge on Friday and then we clean and prepare for Graduation. I'll still write, you just can't write back. (pass on the information please)

I'm enclosing a few post cards too. Just of things I've done here. They're pretty nifty I think.

But I'll send you my AIT address when I get it.

Millions of hugs and kisses



Letter 24: Souvenirs Gallore

Oct. 26, 2008

Dear Family,

Hi! How's it going? Me, I'm doin ok. I have my final PT test tomorrow. Eeks! Wish me luck! I'll pass it though. I got a blessing today to help me and comfort me. So I should be ok. But wish me luck just in case.

We are finally on our 8th week! It's gone by so freaking fast! At first it seemed like the time was slowly ticking by and now it's speeding. That means only two more weeks with these freaking females! Thank goodness!!! So we go do Victory Forge on Friday. I'm so excited! That should be interesting.

Oh I bought my platoon t-shirt. Yeah I've spent way too much money here lol. I bought my platoon t-shirt, a sweatshirt, some U.S. Army shirts that are way freaking cool, and a jacket that is kinda like a Letterman's jacket only it's for the army. Then I bought my pictures and the yearbook and the DVD. Yeah it's fun.

Um I think that's about it. We did Omaha already if I haven't told you yet. That was fun. There were a lot of mud puddles on the range and we all dove into them! Our uniforms are so dirty! lol And it's funny because the other platoons came back not dirty and our DS was like, "That's what a platoon should look like" to the other platoons. He said they didn't do it properly because they weren't dirty.Yeah it was great.

But I'm going to bed. Long day tomorrow.

Love and miss you!



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Letter 23: "Vegas, you're a fighter..."

October 18,2008

Dear Mom, Dad, Jeff, Kyle, Karlee, Maggie, Natalee, and Jacob,

Hi guys! How's it going? I hope you all are doing well. Me, at the moment in time am sore. We have done combatives for two days in a row. That was so much fun! The first day we did it I got my butt kicked. But that 's only because the girl I fought cheated. She used her finger nails and bit and grabbed hair. Yeah it wasn't fun at all. The second time however, I won. That was a much better fight because the girl didn't cheat. My drill sergeant (DS Pellew) came up to me afterwards and said, "Vegas, you're a fighter. I didn't think you had it in you." Ever since he found out I was from Vegas he's called me that. Which is pretty cool, I guess.

Um we go on our 3 day tomorrow. That should be interesting. I really ope my platoon doesn't screw up on that one. It would really suck if they did. Who knows what DS Stephens would do to us. We'd probably get 0 hours of sleep. It's a 6 mile walk there. Yeah, not too excited about that. I hope I don't fall out. Keep prayers for me!!

Oh I got good news! I did 50 sit ups today! Can I get a high five? I think I did them in 2 min. But I don't know. I'm planning on doing more tonight (timed) just to make sure I can do my 53 in 2 minutes. Hopefully I can. Cross your fingers.

Um what else can I tell you ... Um shoot I really don't know what else to tell you. Oh next week is supposed to be all mandatory training. We have our 3 day, Nic at Night, Omaha and some other stuff. Oh yeah and grenades! I'm excited about that one! Oh yeah and our final PT test is on the 27th. Eek! I'm kinda nervous but I know I'll do good. I'll let you know how that goes. Well I'm off to go knock out some push ups and sit ups before I go to sleep.

I love and miss you all!



P.S. We are now on our 7th week!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Letter 22: It's amazing what starts to look good when you're away from civilization!

Oct. 13, 2008

Hey Family,

What's going on? I'm bored. Today was one of the easiest days in BCT ever. We watched movies and did a mini talent show with one of the Drill Sergeants. That was interesting.

So the males here are starting to look really cute. Lol They weren't kidding when they said after a few weeks some of those males would look cute. Yeah. They were right. But I'm behaving of course. :)

I'm starting to get use to the food here. Now I'm not as hungry and I can't seem to eat as much as I use to. And I use to eat a lot. But I eat Cheerios at least once a day for breakfast. They're really good.

Oh! We got to sleep in till 5:30 this morning. I never thought I'd say that I jumped for joy because I had to wake up at 5:30 in the morning.

Um I think that's everything. I miss you all! Keep writing me and everything!

Love and miss you!




Letter 21: PT Tests

Oct. 11, 2008

Hey Family!

So we had our 3rd PT test today. I didn't pass my sit ups or my push-ups but oh my gosh I came so close. Like I'm suppose to have 53 sit-ups and 19 push-ups. My run is suppose to be 18:54. I did 18 push-ups, 35 sit-ups and my run was 18:36 or 38. I'm so proud of myself! I have so much more confidence in myself now!

Oh Mom! I need Mentholatum! No one here knows what it is lol. And I know it'll help if I get another cold or if I have bruises etc. etc.. I love that stuff! And pictures! I could use more pictures!

Um other than that there really isn't anything new to report. We do our 3 day next Sunday and combatives sometime this week or next. I can't remember.

Oh! If you want, mom and dad, you can drive me to AIT after graduation. If you want more details on that I'll tell you.

But I'm going to sleep. It was a long day!!!

Love and miss you all!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Letter 20: IVs and a Great Day!

Oct 9, 2008


Hi everyone! So today has been the ultimate best day of the entire cycle!

We are the only platoon that is in White phase! All 3 of the other platoons are in Red phase! When the 1st Sgt. asked the platoon Sgts if they were ready I swear I felt like our DS was going to say we weren't ready. But we were! All 3 of the platoons were so jealous! It ROCKS! lol

I've improved on my sit ups. Today I did 49 in 3 mins. but that's not bad. Going from 15 to 49. Can I get a high five? Oh and tomorrow we get to shoot our M16s at night. That sounds like so much fun. We're also doing combatives soon. That'll be interesting.

Oh, lol we got to do first aid today. OMGOSH! That was an experience! We poked each other with IVs. Luckily my buddy paid attention. It was a great learning experience. Of course my veins were practically invisible but luckily I only got poked once.

Oh the coolest letter arrived today. I got my own personal letter from Elder Oaks from the 70. I was so excited. It really helped. I'll send it or a copy if you want it.

What else? Nothin else I can really think of at the moment.

How's everything in Vegas? Is it cold yet? What are you doing for Halloween? Are you going to Homecoming Jeff? Or did you go? Do I get pics?! lol Ok I think I'm good for the night.

I love and miss you all!



Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Letter from The Seventy

October 1, 2008

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen:

We recently learned that Katelynn has joined the military and is attending basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC. We are pleased to inform you that she has been attending the Church services on base and are grateful for the spirit she brings to the meetings. President Robinson is the Church leader at Ft. Jackson and will do all he can to help strengthen Katelynn's faith and testimony. We appreciate your support and know you join with us in asking that the Lord will guide and protect her during this time of uncertainty and turmoil in the world.

In these troubled times, it is heartwarming to see sons and daughters courageously step forward to help preserve our freedom and way of life. You can be proud of the part you played in molding Katelynn's character. Courage and patriotism do not come automatically; they are planted in the hearts of children by their parents. We express our gratitude to you for your selfless service in her behalf.

We have a deep and abiding interest in Katelynn's welfare and want to ensure the blessings of Church membership are available wherever she is stationed. As military members move around, occasionally they are unable to find out where and when the Church meetings are held. Our Military Relations Division can assist them. Likewise, we are able to help concerned parents locate the bishop or branch president where their son or daughter is stationed. In addition, many times we can assist in locating the name of a group leader aboard a ship or at a deployed location around the world.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Military Relations Division .... We know that the Lord is mindful of Katelynn and the challenges she will face as she valiantly serves in the military.


Robert C. Oaks

["...of the Presidency of the Quorums of the Seventy,(a retired four-star general and commander of NATO air forces in Central Europe)"] www.LDS.Org, 10-08-08 (search results)

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Powder Puff and Homecoming

Yes, it is Little Jeff. He is all dressed up with some where to go. He is one of the cheerleaders for his high school's Powder Puff game. The game is played by the girls who deck themselves up in the football garb while the boys try their best to ... well... try their best.

They do this yearly at Homecoming. It's quite a spectacle and a load of fun!

Speaking of Homecoming, I failed to announce Karlee's candidacy for Homecoming Queen! She was nominated for the Freshman Queen but won't find out if she was chosen until the dance. We'll keep you informed. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

In Other News ...

The rest of the family is doing really well.

Natalee made the chorale at her school and is very excited. This is a good place for her.
Jacob loves his new glasses even though the kids did call him four eyes. He decided it was more important to be able to see than worry what they had to say. Kudos to him.
Maggie is Maggie. :) She is writing and we are looking into some children's venues to submit a few of her things.
Karlee's volleyball team is doing really well. She usually starts and ends the games. She's doing fantastic and plans on trying out for softball.
Kyle has found his niche. He is excelling in Auto-tech. He always was a hands-on kinda kid.
Jeffrey Tanner has fallen in love with the guitar and practices non-stop. He is getting good!
You all know about Katie. :)
Big Jeff is plugging along at his job. Still looking for something new, but that will happen when it's supposed to. He had the privilege of baptizing a woman in our ward a week ago. He was touched by her asking and it was beautiful.
June just got notification that one of her stories will be published in a Science Fiction/Horror Anthology next summer. She's getting paid a whopping $14! And is thrilled that she is!

That's about it. We'll update again soon.

Letter 19: Gee Ma I wanna go but they won't let me go ...

Oct. 1, 2008

Hey family!

Wow it's October already? Time is going by so fast. And it's Wednesday! Wow. Well we did some more BRM today making it a LONG day! And some how we pissed off one of our Drill Sergeants and he made us sprint, army press and forward lunge all through a sand pit for a good 1/2 hour or more. Oh it sucked! And we were in full battle rattle. So I am exhausted!

I got Sister Taylor's letter. It helped cheer up my day.

Oh man you have no idea how bad I wanna go home right now. I mean I'm pushing myself but I just miss you all so bad and so much. Plus I wouldn't mind being lazy at the moment. lol No but mainly it's because I miss you all. I didn't think moving away from home would feel like this. sigh

Oh! Mom you gotta try this new thing. OK for dinner I had fried pork chops and OMGOSH! They were so good! All you do is make them like you make fried chicken except use pork chops! I highly recommend it.

I'm still on the verge of killing some females. I'm telling ya that is part of the worst parts of BCT. Um I still haven't gotten Elder Taylor's letter. Either it's on the way or lost. But I dunno.

What else ... We qualify with our weapons in about a week and unfortunately we are still in red phase. I really wish we'd change to white phase. That way we'd be closer to getting this over and done with.

Oh and I got paid!

Oh yeah and Jeff I figured out your birthday present. hehe But it'll be a late one since I won't be able to get it to you or buy it until I get back home.

So I finally have a best friend at basic training. Her name is Elyssa and she is way cool. We hang our at least every night at free time.

But yeah, I need to go to sleep.

I love you all!



Thursday, October 2, 2008

Letter 18: Is Cheesecake contraband??

Sept. 29, 2008

Hey Family!

Man I miss you guys! 5 more weeks to go! The heavens are singing! Keep me in your prayers!

Oh so I did finally find out what's going on with graduation! I don't leave early after all. I do graduate with my company and all that jazz. So I get my family day and everything! Graduation is November 14th! Ok? So you should be getting a packet that has all the info on graduation in a few weeks. But family day will be on the 13th Nov. 2008 mkay? I think it starts at like 8:00 or something like that. Oh well I don't care. I'm just so freakin glad that I get to walk across the field and have my family day!

Also I ordered my pictures of me in my uniform and all that. It was expensive as heck but it's worth it. I got one of me in my uniform (includes wallets and other stuff) one of my whole platoon, one of the cadre, one of me in my dress greens and also a yearbook and a yearbook dvd. All that together it added up to like $124. But that's not bad. And it's totally worth it. On the dvd is all of the pictures that they took during training. I can't wait to see them! So we'll have to make copies of the other ones to send out to people. Like grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc..

Um so today was an ok day. I'm really tired but that's normal. That comes from training and not getting enough sleep.

Oh Mom, it was so nice to finally talk to you! I never realized how much I could miss the sound of your voice. I still can't believe that you smushed Maggie's fingers! Maggie are your fingers ok? lol I send kisses to make them better!

So there's this guy here who's name is Tate and he's been here for 24 weeks! I feel so bad for him. He missed half a cycle because of surgery but he knows a lot about training so he helps people out a lot. Which is nice. Makes this less of a mell of a hess.

We go to the range again tomorrow. Hopefully I can get it this time. Cross your fingers.

Oh you'll never believe what I ate today. Cheesecake. I know I'm not supposed to eat it but it was so good. One piece won't hurt. :D hehe

Have you gone and seen any new movies that are out? I can't even remember what new ones came out. *sigh* I miss television.

Oh! Can you talk to David for me about working with him when I come home for Christmas cuz I only get a few leave days and after those get used up the start taking my pay. And tell him to write me! I could use a few more letters of encouragement. lol

There was something else I wanted to tell ya'll but I honestly can't remember. lol Christmas isn't coming soon enough though I can promise you that!

Um um um Oh Jeff, would you like me to send you some cadences? They're pretty much like motivational songs. You know like, "everywhere we go people wanna know who we are so we tell them we are the Army the mighty mighty Army". That's one. I'll send more if you want some. And I'll teach you some also. They're lots of fun.

But I gotta go.

Love and miss you all so much!



Letter 17: Food?? Where ... I'm starving!

Sept. 28, 2008

Hey family,

How's it going? I miss you all terribly!

So we are finally on our 4th week of BCT! Yay! 5 more weeks to go!

We did our zeroing yesterday and I failed miserably. I was so depressed. But what can you do? Guess I gotta try harder. Oh well.

I'm sitting in church right now. And I have at least 9 bug bites on my right arm and they are itchy! Really sucks.

Um there really isn't anything new that I can think of.

I'm always hungry. Yet I eat enough food for two people. Like this morning we ate chow at 8:00 or 7:48 something like that and I had two pancakes, a McMuffin thingy, a yogurt, an apple and something else but it was a lot of food! And somehow I'm still hungry. Oh well.

So tell me about Vegas. Is it cold yet? It's cold here and I swear all it does is rain. But it's kinda nice I guess. I don't really know ...

Oh yeah. Sundays rock! They're easy days and we get to sleep in for like and hour. It ROCKS!

Ok, I'm going to listen to the speaker but I love and miss you all!



Letter 16: Colder than a dead man in a freezer ...

Sept. 26, 2008

Dear Family,

Hi! I miss you all like crazy!

So we did our shooting and we are almost in white phase. I think by next week we'll be there! I'm so excited!!!!!! So for shooting, we had to group which is where you want at least 6 out of 10 of your shots in a tight 4cm circle. I got 8 out of 10! :D I was so happy when the DS told me that! And I was only like 3 clicks away from hitting dead center. I had to strain to resist myself from jumping up and down on the range.

So we are so close to going into white phase! Our DS said that possibly by next week we should be squared away and phased. I really hope so! That'll make my day!

It is beyond freezing here! It rained since about 19:00 yesterday to about 15:00 today it stopped but continued again around 17:00. Then I think it's done. But man it was colder than a dead man! Correction, a dead man in a freezer! I was so cold! Really sucked.

But anways how are all of you? Anything new happen? Are you writing me??? You better be! Or else! I will beat you when I get home and that's a promise!

Oh funny thing, there are geese that fly in on post and if you hit them, you can get fined 10 grand or go to jail. So one of the DS was yelling at them to get our of the way & off the road (yelling like they were soldiers) and they moved in a marching formation. It was funny!

Well I need to go to sleep.

I love and miss you all.