27 July 2011

Survival Straps

I won a Blog Give-Away recently and I have to share!  I won a Survival Strap.
It's a wide one, and a little big for my small wrists but I love it!

Survival Straps are pretty cool.  I'm thinking these would be great Christmas stocking-stuffers for family members. Not only are they cool but they're a cool company.  From their website:

"We are going to raise some serious awareness and dollars for our nation's heroes.
We are extremely passionate in our support for our Men and Women in uniform.  We realize that we are able to lay our heads down on our pillows safely at night because of the work that they do.  We must honor those who serve our country and protect our freedom.  They come from all walks of life and from every part of our country.  We really hope that our customers use our gear as a vehicle to show support for the members of our armed services, and to help spread the word about the needs they have.  Just as they have stood tall for our country, we must always stand by and support the Men and Women in uniform and their families.
Many of these brave Men and Women now need all of our help.  That is why we have partnered Wounded Warrior Project.  The struggles that our wounded soldiers face when they get back home from Iraq and Afghanistan are enormous.  We are a small company, but we hope to do something big in raising awareness and dollars for our Men and Women who have sacrificed so much for us.  A portion of every purchase from our website will be going towards our support for our nations heroes."
DH used to work for a USArmy Colonel Sutherland on the Joint Staff who was passionate about the Wounded Warrior Project and worked rather closely with them.  He was a hero in his own right and had survived many attacks thanks to the efforts of many other soldiers.  So we are happy to blog about such a great company and their valiant cause to support the Troops.

21 July 2011

New Military ID

It's been in the news for while now- the new dependent military IDs. No longer will they display the sponsor's social security number or the dependent's social. Which is a long needed change. I could never understand why they needed the dependent's social when everything was done under the sponsor's. I'm glad for the new change. Now can they do something about the awful black and white cameras they use? Talk about unforgiving! Anyway ... my ID was going to expire soon. So I planned a day when hubby wasn't in meetings and after sports camp so ONE could babysit. At every base we've been stationed, getting a new ID has been a nightmare. Usually taking at least an hour- not to mention the only time hubby has, since he sponsor has to be there, is around lunch time. We were amazed when we walked into Pass & ID this afternoon. No one was there! We picked up a number from the automated kiosk and were called right away. It took less than 10 minutes! But then we wondered about the 4 employees who were simply standing around doing nothing. Oh well... I have my new ID and got to go out to eat with my husband.

19 July 2011

San Diego revisted

Hubby has a 2 day conference in a few weeks.  In San Diego!  We've decided to pack up the kids again and get away from the heat.  We'll go down a few days before and stay a few days after the conference.  We won't do any of the amusement parks, but simply enjoy the beach and walking around Old Town San Diego.
We'll stay at the Navy's new beach cottages on Coronado Island and then back up on Camp Pendleton's Del Mar Beach Cottages.  But this is pretty good.  The cottages are less per night than the cost of where they would put him up in a major hotel chain in downtown San Diego.

The kids say we should have just stayed there the last time we went. If only life worked that nicely. :)

I love Skype

Someone asked me today how we communicated throughout hubby's deployment.  I was happy to report that we were quite lucky in that we were able to call every morning for family prayer (his lunch time), and "Skyped" later during my lunchtime (his evening).  Email was always a special thing for us.  I've saved all of hubby's emails (love notes) and have them in a binder.  It's one of my most treasured keepsakes.
I remember talking with my Mom during hte deployment- she's a retired Army wife.  She says we are so lucky today to have the technology to communicate almost instantly.  She shared stories of how she would wait for the mail for 2 weeks before getting word from my Dad once he left on extended exercises. She shared how one of my sisters would sit at her window crying for Daddy and once he got back wouldn't speak to him because she was mad that he left. 
I've read stories of families of WWI and WWII veterans who would wait months to receive word from their husbands and loved ones.

How do you guys communicate with your Sig Others during deployments? Do you write love letters?

15 July 2011

Dealing with Deployments

I'm curious by nature.  I think every wife probably wants to know what sort of things their husbands experienced in war, to somehow be able to understand.
It's been several years since hubby was in Iraq, but it hasn't been until recently that he's finally in a place to share stories from those months. He shared one experience the other night.  The kids were put to bed and we had a few moments to talk.  He just started talking about the men under his command, their personalities, their first days out in the area, and  then shared an experience of when they were caught off guard in a bad situation. 

How do your spouses deal with their deployments?

13 July 2011

What's for Dinner?

I don't know what I picked up or where I picked it up, but I have caught a bug of some kind. I had a queezy stomach yesterday afternoon (nope, no chance of being pregnant).  Then when I was getting ready for bed, I had chills like I've never experienced before. Sometime around midnight I woke up and had to put the ceiling fan on- something I never do- because I was so hot.  Still feeling a little tired today, so when I asked the kids what they wanted for dinner, they each had their own response.
TWO said "Corn dogs and Mozarella Sticks!", and THREE said "Chicken Nuggets!".  ONE didn't care so long as there was food.
So we had corn dogs, mozarella sticks, chicken nuggets, and there had to be a veggie so I steamed up some broccoli.
What do you feed your troop when you aren't feeling well?

08 July 2011

Samuel Adams

They don't teach you very much about Samuel Adams when you learn about the patriots of the American Revolution in school. Over the last 16+ years of marriage to a native New Englander and descendant of the Plymouth plantation leaders, I've had many occasion to learn more about the great men and women of Revolution.
A great book we like to recommend to others "Patriots: The Men Who Started The American Revolution" by A J Langguth.
Another favorite is "1776" by David McCullough.
Right now I'm reading a book "Samuel Adams" by Ira Stoll. I'm not that far into but its good so far. This book is giving me a better insight to the real Sam Adams- the father of the revolution. 

San Diego

We spent the long weekend in southern California.  It was so nice to get away from the heat.  San Diego was beautiful!  The kids enjoyed seeing LegoLand (twice) and spending a day on the beach. 

We stayed on Camp Pendleton in a very small TLF.  I think I mentioned before about our service envy.  It didn't last long.  Yes, we were near the beach.  Yes, it was a lot cheaper than renting a house for a few days.  But this was by far the worse TLF we had stayed in since being in the middle east. 
At other AF lodging facilities, there is a laundry room where you don't have to pay for using the washer/dryer machines.  We had to pay $1 for a small load of wash and another $1 for the dryer.  Thank goodness I brought our own laundry detergent and dryer sheets.  That would have cost us even more. 
At other AF TLF's we've stayed in there is at least one separate bedroom for some kind of privacy.  Not so where we stayed.  It was all one big room crammed with 2 queen beds, and a twin added in at the end of the two beds (we requested a cot for one of our kids).  They advertised a kitchenette but there was only a stove top and no oven.  No baking dishes other than the 2 pots- one large and one small.
It wasn't all bad.  We were close to LegoLand, right near the beach, access to a commissary, church wasn't far, and it was a nice drive to downtown San Diego and the airport. 

We picked up our oldest child at the airport on Sunday and spent the afternoon driving around- there was a brand new Navy Destroyer in the port that was just built in Mississippi and traveled through the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal to it's home port of San Diego.  We drove on to the Naval Station and drove by all the cool Navy ships, saw where the SEALs train on Coronado, and stopped by to see the San Diego Mormon Temple.

We also stopped in the Old Town Sand Diego and walked around the old Victorian houses and visited the Mormon Battalion Visitor Center.

05 July 2011

What does the 4th mean to you?

From SpouseBuzz

Someone asked me recently what, exactly, Independence Day means to military families and I did not have an immediate, good answer. There’s no question what Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day mean to me as a military spouse. But July 4th? I had to give that one a little bit more of a think.

And so here it is: To me, July 4 is a time of a pride in my Soldier and all servicemembers for loving American independence so much that they are willing to go out and defend it. Of course, like all of our patriotic holidays, it is also a time to remember those who gladly gave their lives for that freedom.

While others may wave flags and recall those who bravely signed their names on that independence declaration long ago, my heart swells with pride for those who are willing to sign their names today, promising to defend that independent with their lives.

What about you? What does the 4th of July mean to your military family?
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01 July 2011

Service Envy

It's not often that I think it would be nice to be in another branch of the military. Buy having visited Camp Pendleton and the San Diego area, hubby said, "I should've gone into the Navy. All their bases are on the beach!"

It really is a great base. Big and not so updated, but they are right on the beach and lodging has cottages and villas on the beach. My eldest think it's cool that he's on the same beach that the Navy Seals train on.