Tag Archive for Holidays

Military Mondays – Thankfulness Edition!

Welcome to the Military Monday Family Blogger Carnival – November 22 Edition! Please help spread the word so that this can become a fun way to learn more from each other!

Plus, I will be happy to tweet, stumble, and share your posts…so please do join in! The linky is open all week so jump in any time!

Stumped as to what to write about? Thanksgiving is this week so it would be a great time to share what you are grateful for as part of the military family…but you can post on any topic you like!

*** The only Military Mondays Blog Carnival rules are: ***

  • In the “Link Title” field, please place the title of your post, plus the name of your blog and/or your name. (e.g. “Grow Where You Are Planted @Army Wives’ Lives”)
  • In the “URL” field, please place the direct “permalink” to the specific post, not to your main page of your blog. (e.g. “http://armywiveslives.com/2009/10/coping-during-deployment/” not “http://ArmyWivesLives.com”)
  • Your post must be relevant to the military family experience. I also retain the right to delete links to any posts that contain hate speech, plans to commit illegal acts, or anything that violates the spirit of this carnival or U.S. law.

Please make this a post from sometime in the last month or so.

Need a reminder that the carnival is up? Subscribe to Army Wives Lives by Email and you will get a digest of posts, no more than once a day (probably more like 1-3 times a week) when I post.

Want MORE Army Wives’ Lives? Fan the facebook page!

Want to share more of the FABULOUSNESS that is you? I accept guest posts and post interviews!

Want to share the carnival? Please feel free to grab the code for the button if you are interested:

<a href="http://armywiveslives.com/category/military-mondays-carnival/" target="_BLANK"><img src="http://armywiveslives.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/military-mondays-300x238.jpg" alt="Military Mondays Family and Spouse Carnival at Army Wives' Lives" border=0 /></a>

Without further ado, let’s get to the posts–I hope you’ll participate and visit these wonderful Military Family Bloggers–and feel free to check out previous editions for more great Military Family Posts!

Valentine’s Love for Veterans, Soldiers, Military

Dscn0504B

Show our troops (and vets) some love on Valentine’s Day!

Veterans

To send Valentines to Veterans, you can locate a facility through the VA Home Page. This is a great project to do with kids! If you have a facility nearby, you can call and ask if you can deliver them in person. And I also found this site for sending Valentines to Canadian Veterans.

Stars and Stripes Valentines

The deadline for printed Valentines in Stars and Stripes is January 26; if you miss it, you can still get in the online Valentine’s section. I sent one a few years ago for the print version for DH and he loved it.

Care Packages

When my husband was deployed, I sent him a picnic in a box. What have you sent/are sending? Share your tips!!!

Nestle has some Tips for Sending Baked Goods. Others suggest adding a slice of bread to absorb excess moisture and wrapping in tin foil. I’ve also heard that Pringles containers make for good packaging. I found a food sealer was awesome for cookies, but squished the brownies too much.

Agencies and Organizations

Soldier’s Angels and Any Soldier can match you with a soldier. Businesses, groups, and schools may want to consider Adopting a Platoon.

USO Operation Care Package enables you to make a donation–they pack and ship for you and you can still send a personal message with your package.

Please add some other ways to show our troops some Valentine’s love!

Photo Credit: Valentine’s Day

Captain Dad is Now COMMANDER Dad!

My most awesome and beloved husband took command of a great group of National Guard soldiers on Saturday.

Following the change of command, the unit threw its annual Christmas party and I was impressed, delighted, and struck by some of the differences between the National Guard and the Active Duty Army.

The First Sergeant’s amazing and dedicated wife organized the party with help from a small group of regulars and created a real festive scene. There was tons of food–turkey, baked ham, roast pig, fried chicken, sweet potatoes, salad, arroz con frijoles, breads, pies, cookies, well…you get the idea. A local teacher and his band provided the entertainment–a mix of 70s dance music, popular latin numbers, and some Christmas classics. Besides the soldiers, there were unit alumni, junior cadets, the teacher’s class of “troubled teens,” and other community members.

Without the red tape of the regular rules and bureacracy, the party planners had more freedom to make the event work.

There were so many adorable children running around, playing on the castle bounce, making hand painted ornaments, and playing with new toys. The highlight for the younger set was Santa’s arrival on a Humvee!

I really got the sense that the soldiers and families love children as babies were passed from friend to friend, toddlers entertained, and older kids drawn into the singing and dancing.

Because not all of the soldiers had Class As, there was an interesting mix of uniforms and civilian wear on display, including a nehru jacket and a zoot suit.

With the vibrant neighborhood relationship and the obvious unit esprit de corps, I did not miss the regular army’s commitment to precision and uniformity.

Because National Guard members may spend their entire career with the unit, it was clear we were joining a close-knit family.

A lot of this also has to do with the community and how the armory is integrated into its urban neighborhood.

The one somber note came with a presentation of memorial plaques to family members of two fallen soldiers–some volunteers from the unit are part of a deployment to Afghanistan.

Even that sad note was a beautiful reminder of how much these soldiers care for one another.

I am proud to be a part of the family of this new unit and very proud of my husband’s service to our country.

Valentine’s Day Love for Soldiers, Veterans, and Other Warriors

Veterans

To send Valentines to Veterans, you can locate a facility through the VA Home Page. This is a great project to do with kids! If you have a facility nearby, you can call and ask if you can deliver them in person.

Stars and Stripes Valentines

The deadline (late January) for printed Valentines in Stars and Stripes has passed, but you can still get in the online Valentine’s section. I sent one two years ago for the print version for DH and he loved it.

Care Packages

Here’s the care package I sent my soldier while he was deployed during Valentine’s Day. What have you sent/are sending? Share your tips!!!

Nestle has some Tips for Sending Baked Goods. Others suggest adding a slice of bread to absorb excess moisture and wrapping in tin foil. I’ve also heard that Pringles containers make for good packaging. I found a food sealer was awesome for cookies, but squished the brownies too much.

Agencies and Organizations

Soldier’s Angels and Any Soldier can match you with a soldier. Businesses, groups, and schools may want to consider Adopting a Platoon.

USO Operation Care Package enables you to make a donation–they pack and ship for you and you can still send a personal message with your package.

Please add some other ways to show our troops some Valentine’s love that we can either do this year or put on our calendar for next year!

Being part of the Military Family makes me thankful for… (Military Family Blog Carnival)

Welcome to the third edition of the (hopefully) growing Military Family Carnival.

Being part of the Military Family makes me thankful for…

Thanksgiving can be a beautiful celebration of all the blessings we enjoy. Many families lay the best table they can, express gratitude for the best of the year, and enjoy the company of family and close friends.

For many military families, this Thanksgiving will be spend apart from those they love most.

Last year on Thanksgiving, we had much cause for joy. My husband had returned home from Iraq, our daughter’s heart condition had been successfully repaired, and the rest of the soldiers from his unit were either home or on their way.

Since baby was still recovering, we could not yet travel. So, we invited the unit soldiers who had no where to go to come join us.

Baby was still having major anxiety about being separated from mommy, Captain Dad was experimenting with cooking a turkey for the first time, we had never hosted Thanksgiving before, and we had no idea how many guests to expect.

In the end, I held the baby while passing along words of encouragement and instructions about the side dishes to Captain Dad, we pressed another spouse into service, and we had plenty of good food.

Although I certainly missed being around our extended family, I think that impromptu celebration will always be one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories.

Being a part of the military family reminds me what really counts in life. We have freedom, continually renewed for us by our active participation and the efforts of our warriors. And we have each other, a gift made even more precious by the times we spend apart.

I hope you are spending this Thanksgiving with your soldier…but if you are not, you have my prayers for a safe and quick reunion. May this Holiday and others be filled with blessings for you.

I hope you will join me this week and share a post about why you are thankful:

  1. Please post on the theme. If you do not have a blog, ask to hijack a friend’s for the day or consider Guest Blogging your post on An Army Wife’s Life.
  2. Please link back to this post so your readers will come read and maybe participate, too.
  3. Add your post title (to get readers interested in visiting you) and specific post URL (not your entire blog) to Mr. Linky.

To encourage participation, I will be offering a prize. At the end of the month, one participant will be chosen at random to win a copy of Doonesbury.com’s The Sandbox: Dispatches from Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Halloween Homecoming

I’ll never forget Halloween, October 31, 2006…because that is the day that my husband called to say he would be arriving in Killeen, TX, in hours, from Iraq.

A Halloween Homecoming, that was a real treat. However, there was a trick, or a catch, if you will.

He was home a couple of weeks early because my dear little baby was due in surgery on November 6…the day after my husband’s 30th birthday.

My husband never got to journey home with his men, all of whom survived the deployment, thank the Lord. My husband never got the big reception in the gym. And he was never able to really celebrate his 30th birthday.

But he came home. His men came home. And our baby’s heart was healed.

So, on the balance, Halloween is still my favorite celebration of the year, bringing more treats than tricks. I am hoping to enjoy a calmer, less eventful Halloween today.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Memorial Day!

Enjoy your barbecues and remember.

Here’s a health to the dead already, and here’s to the next one that dies…