Military Deployment: Waiting for Dad to Come Home

Books! You find a good one and you jump into it, lost in another world. A good book can teach you sympathy, empathy, show you that you are not alone or that the world is much bigger than you.

Sometimes it is nice to know it's not just you... and when a military child is missing his or her Mom or Dad a good book about other children coping with separation can be just what they need!

I had the pleasure of reading a new book by author Kristin Ayyar.  She is an Air Force wife, mom, author and so much more.  The title is Countdown 'Til Daddy Comes Home and shows how a young child copes with Daddy being gone, from special visits from Nana, care packages to Daddy and special kisses from Mom.

Tell Us About Your Installation

Ah... the power of a recommendation. You move to a new place and you need to get your hair cut, you need to find a new church, you need child care, you NEED to find a good place for pizza!  This was the thought that was born on and we continue to build on that.

We make it easy for businesses that offer a military-discount, as a way to show appreciation to local military families, to advertise.  In fact, they can advertise for free!

But we want your input, too, as the military-family that has lived there, been there, called "that place" home.

So tell us more:

On Your Way to a Smooth Move: DoD Roundtable

It is that time! PCS season is upon us and many military families are negotiating orders and beginning the process of planning for a move. With that in mind, I had a great chance to listen to and speak with Barbara Thompson, Director, Office of Family Policy/Children & Youth, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense.

Taking Advantage of a Military Discount > Wordless Wednesday

Taking advantage of the Disney World Military Discounts!

The 'busy-ness' of Spring

Ah... Spring.  A perfect adjective would be refreshing.  We get out of the house.  We start the garden.  We clean off the deck.  We pull out our soccer cleats, baseball gloves and running shorts.  We pump up our bike tires, clean out our cars and hose off the outdoor dump trucks, bubble wands and kiddie pools.  We open windows, smell the flowers, take long hikes.  We start to fill the family calendar with all sorts of events.

As military families we also might be looking at orders.  We clean out our closets, get rid of the 'extras', plan for the future.  We make last ditch moments to see the town we called home for 15 months, 2 years, maybe even 5.

Impact of the Sequestration

A Compilation of Articles about the Sequestration and the impact on Military Families

From the Department of Defense & other relevant news sources:

Carter Reassures Defense Industry Amid Budget Uncertainty
March 12, 2013 – Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter pledged today that the Pentagon will not allow a $46 billion cut in spending and uncertainty over future funding to keep it from focusing on challenges facing the nation even though the current fiscal situation will lead to “perverse, unsafe and wasteful consequences.” (continued)

Sequestration Pinch Includes Tuition Assistance Suspension
March 12, 2013 – Though budget woes led the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force to suspend their tuition assistance programs and the Navy continues to consider its options, the program is important to the Defense Department and to service members, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today. (continued)

Sequestration Will Affect Programs, Readiness
March 12, 2013 – The Defense Department will see effects to long-term military readiness and support programs such as the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors under sequestration’s fiscal constraints, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here yesterday. (continued)

What to Expect From the Federal Fiscal Fallout
March 11, 2013 – With no alternative plan emerging in Washington, D.C., $85 billion in automatic 2013 federal spending cuts are set to kick in on March 1, and the government's response will affect the income of hundreds of thousands of federal workers, contractors and their employees. (continued)

Furloughs Can Begin April 26, DOD Comptroller Says
March 11, 2013 – Unless Congress acts to end sequestration, furloughs for Defense Department civilian employees can begin April 26, the department’s comptroller said here today. (continued)

Although no laughing matter to the military community, the sequestration may find us
being creative with our personal finances as well.

“Mondays in My Garden”: Four Easy Ways to Save Money when starting your Garden

There are a few blogs that I just love. Household 6 Diva is one of them.  Ann Marie is a down to earth Army spouse recently relocated from Germany to Texas and there are so many times that I think, "Wow, would we be good friends if our lives had ever crossed."

She started a series called "Mondays in My Garden".  Be sure to read her inaugural post here: Welcome to “Mondays in My Garden”

Ah... my garden.  Just the thought of it has my heart smiling. Yesterday it was 72 degrees out in NE Ohio.  The back door was open all day.  The front door was filled with sunshine.  Smiles, laughs, giggles could be heart throughout the neighborhood.  (Didn't know you could hear a smile?  I know exactly what they sound like!)

Some Tools to Help You Be Fit for Spring!

Time to get outside! For many Americans including our military community, winter means indoor workouts, hiding from the cold weather, snow, rain, storms and more.  A good challenge is always helpful for individuals to be ready for the next season. While winter storms pounded much of the country some parts of the country are far ahead with spring time flowers and warmer weather.

Spring brings outdoor activity and I found some interesting ways to stay active during winter this year! Yes, I know it is almost spring but I think these were good enough to tell you about so next winter you can be outside and be fit and ready for spring activities. 

The first one is not unique to winter but was an App for my phone that helped me track my workouts when hiking or walking.  A tech savvy son pointed this one out to me and I found it very helpful!  I am a numbers guy and like to compete with myself!  So seeing my workout result is fun and encourages me to continue.  It tracks distance, time, calories, route and provides voice updates as you pass every mile.  The calorie count is a general one and does not include the conditions you are hiking in such as temperature, surface conditions, etc.  It can be posted to social media such as Facebook and Twitter as well.  It keeps a log of your workouts so you can compare week to week activity to see improvement or need for more effort. 

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRun

Your Heart and that Energy Drink

Too much of a "good thing"

I bought myself a tray of bakery cookies at the grocery store the other day under the guise that they were 'peanut free' so my 2 year old (with major confirmed allergies) could enjoy them while the rest of us dined on a nut-cake I bought for a group of friends.

Here's the problem.  I have no self-control.  And I've been eating the cookies. all. week.  I stepped on the scale last night and Wowzers... I know who was eating the cookies.

The point... one cookie? No problem.  Two cookies? eh.  Three cookies?  Not healthy!

So how about those Energy Drinks you are consuming?

Starting Seeds in Milk Jugs

I've got the itch as anyone who follows my Gardening Pinterest Board very well knows. It's the beginning of March and I want to be outside, in the dirt, enjoying the sunshine, hard work and noises and smells of Spring.

But it isn't that time in NE Ohio.  Instead the forecast still includes snow, the temperatures are still in the 30s and getting the rototiller out is no where in site.  Sigh...

That is why I LOVE starting seeds this time of year.  I get my hands dirty.  I get to watch my plants start.  I get to dream about what my garden will look like this year.

A good friend of mine told me about starting seeds in milk jugs!  What a novel idea.  Not only am I 'reusing' milk jugs (which we go through at about three or four a week), I am also saving money not having to buy as many seed starting trays (although I do save those from year to year too) and I am renewing my mind as I get to play in the dirt.  (Dirt plus me equals love!)  OH and once they are started they go right outside into the cold and snow.  Therefore leaving more room for more seed trays inside leaving more room in my otherwise very busy kitchen.

Starting Seeds in Milk Jugs: Step by step instructions
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