Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Emily Illies! I want to thank everyone who entered my first giveaway. A special "thank you" to Hero On My Arm for the cute keychain they gave me to give away!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My First Giveaway!!

One Army Wife and Mom reader will win
an "Army Wife" keychain made by Hero On My Arm.
Ends 11/15/11 at 9PM CST. Open to US Only.

- Mandatory Entry -
Visit Hero On My Arm and tell me one item you would like that they make.
- Bonus Entries -
+1  Follow Army Wife and Mom publicly on Google Friend Connect
- Rules -
To enter, comment below. Leave one comment for each entry you qualify for. Mandatory entry is required before any other entries will count. If I can't verify your entry, it will not count. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be picked.
By entering you agree to the rules of the contest.
Good luck!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kisses From Daddy

One of the first ideas I came across while preparing for deployment was a deployment countdown jar. I started by filling a jar with Hershey kisses (hence the "kisses") - one kiss for each day your loved one is gone. We obviously don't have enough room to hold a piece of candy for each day (x2 because each of the boys get one) so I fill it up every couple days so they don't see the level going down. It'll be REALLY exciting once we're counting down our last few weeks because we'll actually see the candy level disappear!

Once we moved, unpacked and got situated I set up the jar. I explained the concept of the jar to our boys who nodded in excitement about the thought of getting a piece of candy every night. Considering they're only 4 and 2 years old I can't imagine they really comprehend the idea. The original plan was to get a "kiss" from daddy every night after dinner. I was surprised when we went to get their first piece of candy. I picked up our 2 yr. old so he could reach in and choose his kiss on his own. When I took the lid off, little man raised his hand to his mouth and blew a kiss into the jar before choosing his chocolaty treat. Our 4 yr. old then followed in his steps...

Hershey's was nice enough to give us milk chocolate and the NEW air delight kisses to help us get our Kisses From Daddy jar started. I've always been in love with the regular milk chocolate kisses, but was pleasantly surprised when I tried the air delights. It was like my favorite chocolate kiss, but lighter! My oldest son asked me where we got the "fun" Hershey's kisses from and all I could do was smile and laugh to myself. We all love the cute little kisses and the boys look forward to them every night after dinner (and I look forward to them when the boys are in bed).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So Much To Do - So Little Time

Every night I plan to grab the laptop and write about what's going on, what new links I've come across or ideas that we've implented while we're adjusting to a new temporary norm. As you can see, every night I've failed...until now.
As you may already know, we've recently moved so we've been busy unpacking and adjusting to our new life. I've also started a new job. I know, did I really need to throw that in the mix too? Why not, right? Things have actually started to settle down and we're getting comfortable in our somewhat new life.

I have several posts that I need to do in the next few days because they will talk about a few of the new things we've adopted in our daily routine.
1. Our Kisses From Daddy jar - What is it, you ask. Well, I'm hoping to talk about that and post some pictures in the next day or so.
2. Our Flat Daddy - Daddy can't be here, but a flat daddy can be! We love ours and will recommend it to anyone!
3. My first giveaway! I have an Army Wife keychain and will be more than happy to give it to some special. I'd really like to keep it, but that wouldn't be very nice.

I hope the week is flying by for eveyone!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I'm proud to say that we're all moved and settled in at our new apartment. This place is great - unless you ask our 4 yr. old who will tell you "I don't like our new house." The first time he told me that he started crying. It broke my heart! He said he didn't like it because he didn't like having to be quiet. It is a huge adjustment considering our house is the only home he's ever known. I feel so bad that he's sad. I explained to him that it's only temporary until dad gets home and then we can build a house. Now every time he tells me he's sad we talk about what kind of house we should build.

(This is our "welcome" can outside our apartment.)

Just recently I came across a special that Tiny Prints was having. This was my chance to help make my boys a little happier. I made each of the boys their own Santa card. I was able to get one for free so I figured I would buy a second one (one for each of the boys) at full price. It was great! I personalized them, had them sent in the mail addressed to the boys themselves and the return address read: Santa Claus, North Pole. I even added a sentence from Santa: "I can't wait to bring your presents to your new apartment." My 4 yr. old LOVED it!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Blue Star Flag

I recently went online to My Blue Star Flag to order my free flag to put in our balcony window. While I was ordering I noticed I could sign up for a FREE custom blue star flag, so, of course I did. A few weeks later I received an email stating I won!! I emailed them what I wanted my custom flag to say and a soon enough it was delivered to my door. I couldn't be happier - it's beautiful!!

Here's a picture of my free flag hanging up:

Here's a picture of our custom flag hanging up (I love it!!):
A special "Thank You' to www.mybluestarflag.com for my free flag and the opportunity to win my custom flag. Another special "Thank You" to Dave England for the emboidered custom flag I won. I looks beautiful and it fits perfectly in our new home!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Personalized Bracelets - Close At Heart

I signed up for a giveaway on FB just hoping to win something fun. I was excited when I read an email saying I won a personalized bracelet of my choice! Anyone who knows me knows I love pink. So I picked pink crystals with a LOVE charm and sent a photo to use. Jessica was great to work with! After I sent her our photo, she sent me several different background colors to choose from. Once the decisions were made the only thing I had left to do was wait. My bracelet arrived a lot sooner than I expected and I LOVE it! My husband was able to see it before he left too.

 If anyone is looking for a beautiful, personalized gift I'd tell you to check out Close To Heart by Jessica or look her up on Facebook. You can choose from bracelets, necklaces, charms and more. You pick everything out and Jessica makes it for you. I can tell you that you won't be disappointed! Thank you, Jessica!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Army Pride

I've been receiving a TON of compliments on my purse so I figured I should repost this for anyone who missed it the first time. There are several styles of purses/bags that you can choose from. I chose this one because I knew it would be used as a purse and diaper bag all in one. Because of this I splurged and went for the large size. I can't tell you how much I love it!! The best part? I have a piece of my husband with me at all times...I love it!

Click here to order your Hero On My Arm bag

If you don't have a uniform top available to send in, you can choose to use one they have in stock for an additional price. They have seeveral different styles and sizes you can choose from. You can also choose your interior color/pattern, accessories and more. Don't need a purse? They have several other items you can purchase such as wallets, teddy bears and keychains. (They also have a summer special going on right now with their keychains.) I know Christmas is still several months away, but these purses would make a wonderful gift for any military spouse or mother.

Soldier Comin' Home Video

There is a website, http://www.soldiercominghomecontest.com/, where people can upload videos of when their loved ones came home. They're going to feature them on the website and then pick their favorite 10 and add them to a music video that will air on music channels like GAC and CMT. Whoever has the favorite video will win a trip to Nashville to be on TV when the video premiers on GAC.

The video is for a song called "Soldier Comin' Home" by Jamie O'Neal. It is on a CD they put out called My Country Smash Hits 2. The CD benefits The Fisher House, which provides housing for wounded and ill service members families so they can stay near their loved ones while they're recovering.

Good luck to everyone that enters!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Beginning of a New Chapter

A LOT has been going on lately. Just a week after we said our good-byes to daddy we received an offer on our house! As soon as I received the phone that we had an offer my eye started twitching. It was twitching on and off for over a week. I'm excited that we've sold our house, but that meant trying to find an apartment, a storage unit, a moving company, etc. We found an apartment the next week which has made my eye twitching stop. Finally.

We'll be closing in about 3 1/2 weeks so I've been trying to pack up what we can. I still need to find a storage unit and some muscles to help me move metal shelving and garage stuff. I still need to call a moving company too, but for some reason I keep putting it off until tomorrow. I better make some phone calls this weekend and get the ball rolling.

Now that I think about it, it's pretty convenient for my husband to be deployment during this whole thing. He doesn't have to search for apts., pack, load, move and unpack. Don't get me wrong though, I wouldn't want to trade places. I can barely stand it outside when it's 80+ degrees out, let alone over 120 degrees.

Our boys have been handling everything nicely so far. They have no idea that there are more changes ahead of them though. They know we sold our house and will be moving to an apt., but I don't think they understand the concept. Poor things...first daddy leaves to help people and  now we're taking them out of the only house they've known and moving into a new place. I know they'll do great, but I still worry about them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Welcome Wednesday Blog Hop

I'm SO excited to be listed under Blog Spotlights of the Week over at Take It From Me's blog hop! I didn't even have to do anything which makes it that much better! I want to thank everyone who stops by to visit during the blog hop. I can't wait to meet you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Army Pride

I've been receiving a TON of compliments on my purse so I figured I should repost this for anyone who missed it the first time. There are several styles of purses/bags that you can choose from. I chose this one because I knew it would be used as a purse and diaper bag all in one. Because of this I splurged and went for the large size. I can't tell you how much I love it!! The best part? I have a piece of my husband with me at all times...I love it!

Click here to order your Hero On My Arm bag

If you don't have a uniform top available to send in, you can choose to use one they have in stock for an additional price. They have seeveral different styles and sizes you can choose from. You can also choose your interior color/pattern, accessories and more. Don't need a purse? They have several other items you can purchase such as wallets, teddy bears and keychains. (They also have a summer special going on right now with their keychains.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And So It Begins...

Our house has been on the market for almost a year now and because of that we just switched realtors hoping that might help! My husband just left and guess what happens...we have a million tent worm/army caterpillars on our beautiful tree in the front yard. My wonderful dad came over to spray them for me because I HATE those things. (They are so disgusting and there were so many of them.) Well, in the process of spraying them there was a lack of water pressure coming from the hose. Hmmm, I wonder why that is? After a little investigating we found out our crawl space was flooding because we had a pipe that had burst!! I called my wonderful cousin (he's a plumber) to come over and he fixed it. So last  night I went to bed feeling pretty good. No more caterpillars, a fixed pipe and life was good again. So I thought! This morning I went to the laundry room to grab something and I heard dripping. "This can't be good!!" I thought. I turned the water off, called my cousin and now I'm at work hoping everything will be back to normal when I get home!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Here's To The Heroes

Any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission under the Here's to the Heroes program. As many as three direct dependents of military personnel also are entitled to free admission. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minor dependents, and dependent ages 10 and over must present valid dependent I.D.

Valid for one complimentary single-day admission per person, per year, during the regular operating schedules at one of the following: SeaWorld Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Williamsburg, Sesame Place, Water Country USA, Adventure Island. Not valid at Discovery Cove and Aquatica. Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. is not included as part of this program.

Click here to sign up and for more information. Please pass this on to any military families you know.  

Free Admission to Blue Star Museums

All active duty military families get free admission to any Blue Star Museum, Memorial Day (5/30) through Labor Day (9/5) 2011. 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. Click on the link above, select your state and can view a list of all the Blue Star Museums in your state.

Oneida = Happy Boys

Oh Oneida, thank you for making my boys SUPER happy! We just received your package in the mail and the boys couldn't wait for me to open their new flatware! We were lucky enough to receive two of Oneida's 3pc. Chateau Child Sets.

I've been looking for children's flatware for quite a while without any luck. My boys are always fighting over the set at grandpa's house and now they both have a set of their very own! They use their flatware daily and they LOVE it! We no longer need to use the other sets that barely pick up food. Cole feels like "daddy" when he uses his set because he can use his knife and fork to cut all by himself. Henry loves the little spoon and fork because they are just his size.

I LOVE Oneida because of their quality! Our family has used Oneida for generations - my grandparents, parents and now US! These sets are perfect for little hands AND they're dishwasher safe. I highly recommend this flatware for anyone with small children. It would also make a wonderful gift for any mom-to-be!

*I received two free sets of flatware to keep and use in order to form an opinion. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own and any claims should be verified on the sponsor’s site. Actual experience may vary. A special THANK YOU to Oneida for allowing me to review their flatware!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Armed Forces Day

I'd like to take a moment to pay tribute to all the men in women in our armed forces. I'd like to recognize the patriotic sercvice and sacrifices of men and women who have served and are currently serving our country, as well as their family members.  We remain the land of the free because of these brave service members. Our prayers are with you and your familes. Thank you for all you do!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fun & fitness at the YMCA!

I'm excited to announce that I just signed up for a FREE 6 month membership at the YMCA. Families of deployed National Guard and Reserve with active duty title 10 orders are eligible with the following criteria:

*Families of Guard/Reserve personnel who are deployed for a minimum of six months.

*Deploying service members are eligible for YMCA memberships with their family for three months pre- and post- deployment.

*Families are eligible for the duration of the deployment, not to exceed 18 months (which includes service member three months pre- and post- deployment).

*Memberships are renewable in six month increments contingent upon use.

*MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL REQUIREMENT: 8 Individual Calendar Days Per Month (Either Individual or Family Members)

*Minimum length of membership is six months.

All you need to do is bring in a copy of your spouse's orders and your military ID. They help you with the rest!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Things you should NEVER say to an Army wife

I found this the other day and was laughing so hard. Most of you might not find this as funny as I do but I can totally relate. Please don't feel bad if any of you have said these things to me. I know none of you have ever meant any harm. And please don't take this too seriously, just maybe laugh a little at the funny things people say to us poor little army wives.

Things you should never say to an army wife:

1. “Aren’t you afraid that he’ll be killed?”
(This one ranks in at number one on the “duh” list. Of course we’re afraid. We’re terrified. The thought always lingers at the backs of our minds —but thanks brilliant, you just brought it back to the front. Maybe next you can go ask someone with cancer if they’re scared of dying.)

2. “I don’t know how you manage. I don’t think I could do it.”
(This is intended to be a compliment. Though, its just a little annoying. Here’s why: it’s not like all of us military wives have been dreaming since childhood of the day we’d get to be anxious single moms who carry cell phones with us to the bathroom and in the shower. We’re not made of some mysterious matter that makes us more capable, we just got asked to take on a challenging job. So we rose to the challenge and found the strength to make sacrifices.)

3. “At least he’s not in Afghanistan.”
(This is the number one most annoying comment for those whose husbands are in Iraq. What do they think is happening in Iraq? An international game of golf? Guys are fighting and dying over there.)

4. “Do you think he’ll get to come home for Christmas/anniversary/birthday/birth of a child/wedding/family reunion, etc?”
(Don’t you watch the news? No! They don’t get to come home for any of these things. Please don’t ask again.)

5. “What are you going to do to keep yourself busy while he’s gone?”
(Short answer: Try to keep my sanity. Maybe there’s a military wife out there who gets bored when her husband leaves, but I have yet to meet her. For the rest of us, those with and without children, we find ourselves having to be two people. That keeps us plenty busy. We do get lonely, but we don’t get bored, and eating massive amounts of chocolate always helps keep me busy.)

6. “How much longer does he have until he can get out?”
(This one is annoying to many of us whether our husbands are deployed or not. Many of our husbands aren’t counting down the days until they “can” get out. Many of them keep signing back up again and again because they actually love what they do or they VOLUNTEER AGAIN and AGAIN to go back to Iraq b/c there is work that needs to be done.)

7. “This deployment shouldn’t be so bad, now that you’re used to it.”
(Sure, we do learn coping skills and its true the more deployments you’ve gone through, the easier dealing with it becomes. But it never gets “easy” and the bullets and bombs don’t skip over our guys just because they’ve been there before. The worry never goes away.)

8. “My husband had to go to Europe for business once for three weeks. I totally know what you’re going through.”
(This one is similar to number two. Do not equate your husband’s three week trip to London/Omaha/Tokyo/etc. with a 12-15 month or more deployment to a war zone. Aside from the obvious time difference, nobody shot at your husband or tried to blow him up with an I.E.D., your husband could call home pretty much any time he wanted to, he flew comfortably on a commercial plane, slept between crisp white sheets and ate well, paying for everything with an expense account. There is no comparison. We do not feel bonded to you in the slightest because of this comment and, if anything, we probably resent you a bit for it. Comparing a 12 month combat deployment to a few weeks business trip is like comparing a shitty ford taurus with mercedes convertible.)

9. “Wow you must miss him?”
(This one also gets another big “duh”. Of course we miss our men. There are some wives who do not and they’re now divorced.)

10. “Well, he signed up for it, so it’s his own fault whatever happens over there."
(Yes, ignorant, he did sign up. Each and every day he protects your right to make stupid comments like that. He didn’t sign up and ask to be hit by anything, he signed up to protect his country. Oh, and by the way, he asked me to tell you that “You’re welcome.” He’s still fighting for your freedom.)

11. “Don’t you miss sex! I couldn’t do it!”
(hmmm, no i don’t miss sex. i’m a robot. seriously…military spouses learn quickly that our relationships must be founded on something greater than sex. We learn to appreciate the important things, like simply hearing their voices and seeing their faces. The hard truth is, most relationships probably couldn’t withstand 12 months of sex deprivation.)

12. “Well in my opinion…..”
(Stop right there. Yo, I didn’t ask for your personal political opinions. Hey, I love a heated political debate, but not in the grocery store, not at DQ, not at Target and not in a restaurant when I’m out with my girls trying to forget the war.)

last but not least….

13. “OH, that’s horrible…I’m so sorry!”
(He’s doing his job and he’s tough. Don’t be sorry. Be appreciative and please take a moment out of your comfortable American lives to realize that our soldiers fight the wars abroad so those wars stay abroad.)

If you want to say anything, say thank you. After all, we are sexually deprived for your freedom.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Everyday Chores

And now it begins...Plenty of rain + lots of sunshine = growing grass! Playing "single mommy" to small boys and mowing the lawn don't mix very well. Yesterday my dad emailed me and told me he would stop by after work. Thank you, dad!! He spent quality time with the boys while I got some exercise and mowed the lawn. I have to admit that our lawn looks like a work of art - it's beautiful! Now we just have to see if we can make this a weekly ritual for the next several months or until we sell our house...which ever comes first!

For those of you preparing for deployment you might want to think about responsibilities like mowing the lawn, snow removal, etc. Ask friends and family to take turns helping you out. Hire someone for the season or as needed. American Legions, VFWs, local rotary clubs are all very good resources. They will know people available to help with almost anything. Your FRG will also have several resources for you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I'm happy to announce the party was a hit! I was pleasantly surprised to see almost everyone showed up. We had plenty of food for everyone (including cake - what's a party without cake?). I bought postcards so people could fill them out. Once my husband is overseas and we have his address I'll send them over to him. It's always nice getting FUN mail, but it's even better when it's from someone you don't hear from that often. We had a wonderful time catching up with friends and relatives we haven't seen in a LONG time! Too bad we can't get together more often - under better circumstances.

A Very Special THANK YOU to:
  • The Homewood Suites for letting us use their party room at no charge. They were SO helpful and wonderful to work with!
  • Tiny Prints for waiving the Rush shipping fees on our adorable invitations.
  • Cash Wise Foods for giving us a $25 gift card for the cake.
  • My friends and relatives who helped make this day possible!
My husband had a great time! Even though he wasn't sure about a party in the beginning, he was so very happy that we had one!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

MN Newborn Screening Needs Your Help!!

Please take a moment to sign this petition. We know first hand how important newborn screening it, just ask our son Henry! Don't let it become an "opt-in" program. This program saves lives! Please help us place the health of our babies at the top of our prority list for Minnesota.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Party Preparation Continues

The invitations have been ordered so it's official now!! A very special THANK YOU to Tiny Prints! They said they would Super Rush the order to us for free because they were for a deploying soldier's going away party. I have to say Tiny Prints has SUPER AWESOME customer service and I highly recommend them.  This is the card we went with (except we switched the information about the 4th of July).   

Now on to the party planning. I'm going to buy post cards so people can write them out and I can send them once we have his address. People can wish him well and not worry about postage or trying to remember to send it out. Now I just have to go find some fun post cards!!

I'm trying to think of food and decorations next. I think we'll be sticking with the red, white and blue theme. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Special Thank You To ???

My husband works full time for the military so he wears his uniform everyday. The other night we went to dinner at a little, local cafe and were surprised when the waitress told us our bill had been paid by another guest. I've heard stories about things like this, but it's never happened to us. Thank you to everyone out there who supports our troops and their families. We appreciate it very much! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Deployment Bling

A deployment bracelet was on my wish list for 2 reasons:
1. I want to show my support for my husband and our troops!
2. I think they're super cute!

My Bracelet - LOVE IT!!
Sheree (from Beadwork by Sheree) was nice enough to make a bracelet for me. I knew by looking at the bracelets online that I'd LOVE it, but it's SO much better in person. The sterling silver beads are bright and shiny and the colored crystals are vibrant! I love the fact that you can personalize these bracelets any way you want...you can put your soldier's name on it or you can do a Support Our Troops bracelet. There are also several (I mean A LOT of) charms to choose from that will make the bracelet yours. Once you finally decide what charms you want and what you want it to say you have one more decision...what kind of clasp do you want? I opted for the lobster clasp so I don't have to worry about losing it. Wha-laa, you're done! Now you just need to wait for it in the mail! Oh, did I mention you get FREE SHIPPING?

Sheree gives 10% from each Deployment Bracelet® sold to the USO. She chose the USO because they cover both the soldiers and their families. She also likes that they cater to all the branches of the military. Charitable giving is a large part of who she is and the donations she gives from the Deployment Bracelets® is just a small way she can show her support.

Sheree came up with the idea of the Deployment Bracelet® when her close friend's husband was going to be deployed in 2002. Her friend's reaction to the bracelet is what made her decide to make it available to others. Sheree's hope is that the bracelet will make people feel a little more in touch with their deployed loved one and at the same time it shows their loved one that they are being supported. She takes a digital photo of each bracelet she makes and sends it to the customer. They can then send the photo on to those who are deployed via email so they can actually see what the bracelet looks like. She also offers Men's and Children's bracelets.

Thank you, Sheree!! I love it and so does my husband!!

 *I received a free Deployment Bracelet® to keep in order to form an opinion. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own and any claims should be verified on the sponsor’s site. Actual experience may vary. A special THANK YOU to Beadwork by Sheree for allowing me to review this product!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lightscoop = Awesome Pictures!!

With deployment looming right around the corner, I've been looking for anything to help make life easier or better. Then I found the Lightscoop for SLR cameras! You slip the Lightscoop over the pop up flash for more natural pictures. Click here for a list of compatible cameras.
This helps eliminate pictures with washed out/white faces, dark shadows and red eyes. It even made a huge difference on my son's glasses by reducing the amount of glare.

The Lightscoop lets you use professional techniques without having to learn or buy expensive equipment. It uses the light from the flash and redirects it to the ceiling and walls which creates a larger source of light that comes from a natural direction.
This little gadget is awesome!! I'll be able to send natural pictures to my husband once he deploys and I'll be able to print great pictures for scrapbooking!
There are 2 Lightscoops available: Standard and Warming and they are only $29.95. They are for indoor use only since they need walls ceilings to reflect the light. This is a must for your wish list!! I hope you love it as much as I love mine!

*I received a free Lightscoop to keep and use in order to form an opinion. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own and any claims should be verified on the sponsor’s site. Actual experience may vary. A special THANK YOU to Professor Kobré's Lightscoop for allowing me to review this product!

Friday, March 18, 2011

And We're Off!

This weekend my husband and I are going to a marriage retreat! I'm so excited! I have no idea what to expect, but I believe we'll be working on communication skills to help us during deployment. Tomorrow night we're given the evening for date night and I've been looking online for nice restaurants to go to for dinner. I'm not not sure what to do after dinner, but bowling sounds like a lot of fun! It'll be nice to spend the weekend together without the boys...not to mention the 3 hour drive - I can't just hear the silence:) Hopefully I'll have some fun tips I can post Sun. night when I get home since I've been updating the Ideas and Links pages the last few days.
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!! I know we will!

Monday, March 14, 2011

100 Followers...Can I Do It?

I had a goal of reaching 100 followers by March 15th and just realized that tomorrow is the 15th. I'm 22 followers away from my goal. Please follow and let others know about this blog if you think it may be able to help you or someone you know.

I started this blog as a place to add websites, ideas, discounts...anything related to the military or deployment. I know there's only a handful of people who will understand what we're going through as we prepare our family for our first deployment with children. But I also know that there are several more people who are there just for the support. THANK YOU!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Meet and Follow Sunday

I'm hoping to meet lots of new people. I'm getting closer to meeting my goal...100 followers by Mar. 15th. I hope you like what you read!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Night Catch Book Review

What a wonderful book! This book combines two things my sons love...playing ball with dad, and looking at the stars. Our family is currently preparing for my husband's deployment and the hardest thing for me is trying to prepare the boys for something they don't (and won't) understand.

When a Soldier's work takes him half-way around the world, he enlists the help of the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son. Night Catch is a timeless story that connects families while they are apart and offers comforting hope for their reunion. This synopsis from the Bubblegum Press is exact and fitting!

Brenda definitely captured the emotions a military family goes through and makes a unique tradition out of the situation. It gives a creative idea of something simple your kids can do while remembering dad at bedtime. It also easily illustrates the distance and time difference in a way a yound child can begin to understand.
I highly recommend this book to anyone with small children who are preparing or currently going through a deployment! Brenda wrote what is now one of our favorite books...Thank You, Brenda!
Night Catch is written by Brenda Ehrmantraut and illustrated by Vicki Wehrman.
*I received a free copy of Night Catch to keep and read in order to form an opinion. I was not compensated in any other manner. The opinions expressed above are my own and any claims should be verified on the sponsor’s site. Actual experience may vary. A special THANK YOU to the sponsor for allowing me to review this book!

Good Friends Just Click ~ Link Up Here!


Let's be friends, link, click, and connect! No rules!

Now just follow as many as you can on the link below and become friends- because you know, blog friends are some of the best friends you can have in life -just ask us!
Leaving comments is a plus on your way to new friendships. Stumbles, Tweets, and FB Likes are a great way to show love too!
Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you around soon-(like every Tuesday!)
A Mom's Take, Queen B,  Dealicious Mom, Mom to Bed by 8 and Guest Host Army Wife and Mom! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Going Away Party Planning

I recently started planning my husband's going away party and so far I've only picked the date and place. I wanted to have it somewhere other than our house that is relatively easy to find. I decided to have it the Homewood Suites since it's right off a major highway and any out of town guests will be able to find it easily (I hope). 
After talking to them about having a send-off party for my deploying husband they were wonderful enough to waive the rental fee of the meeting room. I can't tell you how much it means to me (and to our family) that people are so understanding and willing to help us out. Complete strangers helping complete strangers! These are the stories you don't hear about on the news or in the newspapers. THANK YOU to the people at the Homewood Suites!! We look forward to our party (as soon as I get the rest of it planned)!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Our Deployment Ducks in a Row (For the Kids)

We attended a Family Prep course this weekend to help us prepare for our upcoming deployment. Some things weren't new, but I did come out with a lot of info. regarding our boys. We haven't mentioned anything about the deployment even though it's just a few months out and after this weekend I think we'll be breaking the news this week. I guess it's never too early to start talking about it. We'll let the boys know that they can always come to us (or myself after he leaves) to ask us any questions. It's nice that they're not old enough to understand what's going on when we watch the news. We received the Elmo dvd along with several books that will help us explain what's going to happen. (Once I go through them I'll let you know which ones I think are better than the others.) We were told we shouldn't use the term "deployment" when we talk to the boys and that we should come up with our own term. Some people said daddy is "helping people" or "playing army." I will be updating the "Fun Ideas" page with other suggestions people shared with us.
Now the question is...what term do we use when we talk about daddy going away?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Social Parade on Friday

It's my lucky day! I've found two new Blog Hops today! I'd like to WELCOME everyone visiting today! Hopefully I'm on my way to 100 followers by March 15th!

Boost My Blog Friday!

This is my first time participating in Boost my Blog Friday by Design It Chic. I'm glad I stumbled upon this fun Blog Hop! Perfect timing actually...I've wanted to set a goal of 100 followers, but wasn't sure how long it would (or should) take me. So here it goes...I'd like to have 100 followers by March 15th! Let's see how I do.
I've been asking companies if they'd be willing to donate an item so I can do a giveaway...wouldn't that be fun? So please "follow" if you like what you read and want to hear more. I can't wait to read other blogs too! Thank you in advance for stopping by!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good People, Good Deeds

I had this great idea to buy holiday cards for our boys that my husband can bring with when he deploys. The only problem??? I didn't think about it before some of the holidays passed us by. Today I went into a locally owned card/gift shop, explained my situation and asked if I would be able to buy a few Halloween and Christmas cards for kids. The owner was working and she was MORE than happy to help me out. I now have cards for Halloween, Christmas, next Valentine's Day and some thinking about you/miss you cards. She thanked me for my husband's contribution and thanked me for being a military wife. Now I have to pay it forward!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dropping the Deployment Bomb!

My husband's deployment will be here before we know it. How (and when) do you explain it to a 4 year old? Three weeks of training here and there are easier to explain, but a whole year? I have ideas to help him count down the days until daddy comes home once he leaves, but I don't know how to break the news to him. How do you tell a 4 year old that daddy is going half way across the world and won't be here for holidays, birthdays, etc?
If anyone has any ideas I'd LOVE to hear them. Let me know what works and what doesn't work.

Friday, February 4, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Each week, Wife of a Sailor posts a list of questions on Thursday (so you can have your blog ready on Friday). Go back to her blog and enter your blog so we can all visit other blogs and get to know each other!

1. Since most of the country has had nasty weather, what has your weather been like this week?
This week we had temps. around 10 degress, but it was still below zero with our windchill. I can't wait until spring gets here...it can't get here soon enough!!

2. What is/are your best money saving tip(s)?
I shop the store ads and I TRY to use coupons as much as I can. We have a radio station that sells store/restaurant certificates at a % off so you can save money going places you're already planning to go to. I'm always looking for new ways to save money. I love the menu planning idea...now I just have to implement it.

3. What was your favorite vehicle you’ve ever owned??
My first car was a white '98 Chevy Corsica. His name was Herbert and he was awesome! I loved that car and he loved me. 

4. What is a question you’d like to see asked in a future fill-in? (Your question & blog just may appear one week!)
I'd love to see a question about your favorite recipe. I'm always looking for new meals or a twist on our traditional meals.

5. Fill in the blank: You might be a MilSpouse if….
You might be a MilSpouse if you're a single parent, but married. I joke with my friends that I'm a single mom for next few weeks/months when my husband leaves for training.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blizzard Bloghop

Thank you for stopping by! I'm happy to be a part this (and my first) BlogHop.

My name is Dawn and I'm a 31 yr. old Army wife and mother of two boys. My husband is preparing for deployment in the next few months and this blog is to help me through it. We've been through a deployment before, but this is our first one being married and with kids. I'm always looking for advice and tips to help the boys prepare and get through this. Fun ideas, helpful hints...anything.
We've been together for 9 years and married for over 5 1/2 years. We have two boys Cole (4 yrs) and Henry (1.5 yrs). I work full time for a granite company and my husband is full time in the ARNG. I can tell you that it's more than 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year. (A lot more...at least for us.)

I'm new to blogging so you'll have to bear with me for a while. Again, any advice is welcome. I'm excited to be here and meet so many new people.

Friday, January 28, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

Each week, Wife of a Sailor posts a list of questions on Thursday (so you can have your blog ready on Friday). Go back to her blog and enter your blog so we can all visit other blogs and get to know each other!

If you were a famous movie star, what types of movies would you star in?
I would be in a romantic comedy...I'm thinking something similar to "The Wedding Planner."

What is a vacation you would like to take if money were no object?
I would love to go to Hawaii! Or tour Europe! Maybe I could tour Europe and then stop in Hawaii on my way home. Sounds like a plan!

Did you have pets growing up?
Nope! I always wanted a dog. I asked for a dog every year for my birthday and Christmas. I finally got 2 teacup chihuahuas as a college graduation gift!

What do you do for exercise?
Exercise? I knew I forgot something!! I want to start jogging and plan to do a 5k this summer. Summer will be here before I know it so I better get my butt in gear and start training, huh?

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received as a MilSpouse?
The only advice I've ever received was to ignore rumors. I don't know a lot of military spouses so that makes military life a little easier. I'm always open to advice!

Recipe for a Military Wife

1 1/2 cups Patience
1 lb. Adaptability
3/4 cup Tolerance
1 tsp. Courage
A Dash of Adventure

Combine above ingredients and add 2 tablespoons elbow grease. Let sit alone for one year. Marinate frequently with salty tears. Pour off excess fat. Sprinkle lightly with money. "Knead" dough until payday. Season with international spices. Bake 20 years or until done.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Good News...

A few weeks ago I bought a bayberry candle. "So what?" you're thinking. Well, I was told burning a bayberry candle from tip to socket puts luck in the home and gold in the pocket. So I lit it and watched it burn, and burn and burn. Several hours later it was as low as it could go. I didn't feel any different, but I thought this could be the thing we need to sell our house!
This evening I received an email stating we have a showing tomorrow afternoon. This could be the one! All of them can be the one, but I like to think it everytime. Please cross your fingers and wish us luck because we can definitely use it. Especially after I read an article in the paper that home sales are down again. I will let you know how everything goes. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Preparing for Deployment

I've been researching deployments lately. Not sure exactly what I'm looking for, but I welcome any little tips I can find.

I found a few nice ideas to help the boys count down the days until dad's return. One is a paper chain...one link for each day he's gone. The other (which I like better because chocolate is involved) is filling a jar/basket with Hershey kisses so they can get a kiss from dad each day.

I also found some cute deployment bracelets. I've asked my friend's daughter if she'd be willing to make a bracelet for me once I buy the beads. Of course she said "yes" so I'm excited to go bead shopping now!

I've been taking tons of pictures of the boys with dad. I can't remember off the top of my head which organization does this, but they will make a memory quilt for the boys with pictures of their dad. I also found a website that will make handbags out of military uniforms. There are several out there, but this one caught my eye. http://militaryhandbag.com I'm excited to see what the finished product will look like.