23 June 2011

Plans for the 4th of July

Every year we've had a nice BBQ at our home where ever we've lived- with crafts for the kids and some of their friends, with a nice patriotic message, and fun watching the fireworks display. 
This year we've decided to get out of Dodge for the Fourth. We're going to take the kids to LegoLand-California.  Our 8 year old is very excited and our 12 year old is looking forward to the water park.  The 14 year old, we're not sure if he's going to enjoy himself or be a grumpy teenager.  we'll see..

What are your plans for the Fourth?

21 June 2011

Summer Activities

The Blue Star Museums initiative is a partnership among Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts, and more than 1,000 museums across America. First launched in the summer of 2010, Blue Star Museums once again are offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, through Labor Day, September 5, 2011. See the map below for Blue Star Museums participating this summer in each state. Read more >>

The kids are once again enrolled in the annual summer reading program.   The rewards are not so great this year, and they aren't that motivated so I'm having to supplement the rewards with some of my own.

14 June 2011

Flag Day

From http://www.usflag.org/flag.day.html
 The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.
On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.
Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th.

11 June 2011

Summer is Here!

This will be our first summer at this new duty station. We're excited. And with every new place we've lived it has helped to look for community centers or local tourist information centers, either in person or online, to find fun things to do with the kids.
A friend of mine from church has a list of all the free things to do in the city. We'll be going through the list and planning out the summer.
We're a few hours away from the amusement parks in southern CA so those are on our list, as well has some of the fun trips Outdoor Rec has planned.

10 June 2011

Military Wife Stereotype?

The military wife stereotype: Fact or fictional?

By Heather Clouse, Richmond Military Marriage Examiner
Anyone involved in the military community has heard about the military wife stereotype, and if you haven't you're probably hiding under a rock. You know how it goes, they're all lazy, all they do is pop out kids, none of them work, they're bullies who hide behind their husband's rank, or spend their days online picking on other girls, pretending to be something they're not. I'm sure there's more, but you get the point. Does it hold any truth? Is it the military's fault?
Are all military wives lazy? Of course not, that wouldn't make any sense. A generalization of "all" is a joke anyways. Do they have lazy days? Of course. You try going through a deployment, being mom and dad, and getting no time to yourself. There are going to be days where you just don't feel like throwing that load of laundry in the wash, or mowing your lawn. Does that make them lazy? No, that makes them human.

08 June 2011

Tricare Health Benefits

For the last 17 years we've had no problems with Tricare- health insurance for military.  But now that we have a child who is special needs/autistic, we're finding out they aren't so helpful in this area.  I think they're doing better than they have in years, but I also feel they could be doing more. And I'm reading about several other military families with Autism who aren't having such a good experience with Tricare either.
We PCS's here last fall and were doing fine until this spring when the current meds weren't working for our child.  We had really bad rages and nothing was getting through to this child.  We contacted the Tricare office and were given 2 names of child psychiatrist/psychologists.  The psychologist wasn't accepting any new patients, so we've gone with the psychiatrist- which is good because we don't have to go to a third party to manage any new medications. 
He's told us that he thinks she has Aspergers, but this Dr doesn't believe in labeling children and won't give us a definitive diagnoses. Right now he's simply managing symptoms.  I totally get it, but to start a new IEP with the school- our current 504 isn't working well enough- or to access services that Tricare will cover, we need a diagnosis. 
So I had to go back to the Tricare office and find out if they had any referrals for autism/aspergers specialists.  They do but they're about 45 minutes away.  So we start a whole new process over again.