Friday, June 29, 2012

Reorganizing Life

It seems like forever since I last posted and there was even a large gap in between there.  Life has been a bit unorganized, crazy and even hectic. 

The "Reader's Digest" version is that my four daughters and I left South Korea in April.  Due to a mistake on my husband's paperwork, he had to stay a month longer than his original DEROS date.  During the remaining time my husband had in Korea, the girls and I spent at my parent's house in Pennsylvania getting adjusted back to life in the USA and having time with the family that we had not seen in the last year or even two years. 

My husband arrived in the states at the end of May and we were on the go from the time he arrived.  Three days after his arrival we took a family vacation to Puerto Rico for 8 days where my girls met their grandfather (Angel's dad) for the first time.  We had a great vacation as we swam, went sightseeing and enjoyed a hike in the rainforest...which ended at a neat waterfall. 

Upon our return from Puerto Rico, our van arrived from South Korea and we were able to pick it up.  The next few days involved getting recalls and modifications on the van, packing and saying goodbye to my family.

Since my mother and sister-in-laws moved from NYC to North Carolina, we made our way south to spend a few days with them in their new home.  Time flew by and the next thing we knew we were on our way to Fort Campbell. 

In some ways I feel like we've been here for awhile, but in reality we have only been here for 9 days.  With signing a lease, moving in and getting our shipment of stuff from Korea....life has been a whirlwind.  I just unpacked that last box today, though I still have much to put away.  Our small shipment (mainly personal items Angel used his last month in Korea) from Korea arrives tomorrow. 
And next week our shipment of belongings that has been in storage for the last 2 plus years in Texas should be arriving also.  WOW!!!

I am trying to take this time of transition and new things as a time to reorganize my life....and those of our family.  We are purging our stuff, taking a look at what is important and what can we really do without.  I am looking to God for the strength to get through each crazy day.

Maybe you haven't had all the changes taking place that we have had lately....but sometimes you need to just step back from the circle you are running in and re-evaluate what is going on in your life and ask yourself some hard questions.

Is what I am committed to helping or hindering my family?

Is my stuff getting in the way of my relationship with the Lord?

What is really important in life and are the things that we (as a family) are doing helping us grow closer to each other and God or not?

With a deployment looming in the future.....it makes me even more reflective and digging a little deeper as I answer these questions.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

You Know You're a Military Wife When....

~You show your military ID to the greeter at Walmart
~You've ever been referred to as "Household 6"
~You've ever had a pet named Scout, Ranger or Sergeant
~It only cost you $40 to have a child
~You can't remember the last time you saw a doctor who wasn't wearing ACUs
~You know that a 3 month separation IS short, no matter what your civilian friends say, heck 9 months is a breeze!
~Your husband's work and dress clothes cost more than yours do
~You can unpack a house and have everything in place in 48 hours
~You need a translator to talk to your civilian friends, only because they have no idea what DFAS, AER, TDY, ACS, NPD, PCS, ACU's, AAR and ETS mean
~You string Constantina wire to keep the neighbor's kids out of your flower beds
~You've changed more oil and mowed more lawns than your husband because he's never there to do it himself
~You use a crook-neck flashlight with a red lens during power outages because it's the only one you can ever find in the house
~Your children say "hoo ah" or "roger that" instead of "ok"
~You know that it's normal to light shoe polish on fire and that the best way to spit-shine boots is with cotton balls
~Your husband does a route recon and takes a GPS for a trip to the mall
~You only write in pencil because EVERYTHING is subject to change
~You have a larger selection of curtains than Walmart does
~You can remember where you kept the Scotch tape in your last house, but unfortunately, not in this one
~You mark time in duty stations, not years
~You refer to friends not only by name but by the state that they live in
~You know that "back home" doesn't mean at the house you live in now
~You tear up when you hear "Proud to Be An American," even though you've heard it 50 times by now
~You ALWAYS know when payday is and get ticked off if there are more than 2 weekends during that pay period
~You know better than to go to the PX or commissary between 11:30 and 13:00 unless it's a life or death emergency
~You know that any reference to "sand" or a "box" describes NTC at Ft. Irwin, not your kid's backyard toys
~You know that "Ft. Puke" is a completely accurate description of Ft. Polk
~You find yourself explaining your husband's LES to him
~You have enough camouflage in your house to wallpaper the White House
~You don't have to think about what time 21:30 is
~You're the TC, not a backseat driver
~You start ripping open MREs and looking for the M&Ms when you run out of Halloween candy
~You stand for the National Anthem at a movie theatre
~The local dry cleaner knows you by your first name
~You find that a large number of your clothes and household items are olive drab or loam, even though you never planned it that way
~You pick apart uniforms on TV and in the movies, even though you used to yell at your husband for doing the same thing
~You have a stock in flat rate shipping boxes, in varying sizes.
~You’ve spent more time apart than you have together.
~When the cashier ask you for your zip code you just stand there and stare
~You wish you could go to CIF to DX your old stuff like your husband can
~You've learned to sleep through the sounds of tanks, planes, helicopters and artillery rounds
~You give your kids a hand receipt when they take your Tupperware to school
~You can hate military life but be terrified to leave it all in the same breath
~You defend your lifestyle no matter how bad things get because you know there's no other life for you.


MANY of these are soooo true! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

USA Bound!!

Just a quick update...we are heading to the USA next week.  So after some time to adjust to the new timezone, which is 13 hours behind our current one, we should be rip, roaring and ready to get together with all the wonderful friends and family that we have been missing these last two years living in Korea.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Free Ultimate Membership for Military Members


The Old Schoolhouse Store is offering a free one year Ultimate SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership to all Active Duty, Reserve and Retired United States Armed Forces.  This free membership gives you access to a members-only website with unlimited access to daily resources, daily recipe calendar, This Day in History Calendar, and more! Expert teachers in various subject areas like geography, history, home economics, literature, music/voice, and technology provide weekly, daily, and/or monthly lessons plus daily recipe and history calendars.

The value of this membership is $64.26. This offer is valid through December 31, 2013.

To sign up for your free SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership, click here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

More Waiting

While we received the paperwork we needed to get our orders, things were not quite right.  Someone moved the date that we can leave Korea to the day before we are suppose to report to our next duty station....which happens to be three months from now.  I am beside myself.  Things have become even more frustrating.  This extension complicates my so called life as I know it.

I have cried more in the last two days than I have in a while.  You see I have only paced myself to get to the original date we were given for leaving Korea.  An extra two and a half months is just too much for me right now.

I am really trying to trust God, knowing that He knows the bigger picture which I can't quite see.  I am so thankful for my friends who have emailed me, called me and prayed with me.  Thank you all so much! Yes, the body of Christ is at work in the lives of fellow believers.  I appreciate your encouragement!

There are people trying to help us get some things fixed but we have been told that we will not get back the original date to leave Korea BUT we might be able to leave in 1 1/2 months instead of  2 1/2 months.  So each day, I am leaning on God...trusting Him in each step of the way.  Which is not always easy!

Through the ups and downs that we have been going through lately, I have been encouraged by a few songs.  You can follow the links here to YouTube to listen to them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmaBhMOXXHg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knuHDPbE5es

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Bad Attitude

Lately I have not posted anything on my blog.  Part of the reason is that I did not want to poison my blog with my bad attitude.  With our family being close to our DEROS (Date Eligible for Return from OverSeas - the date we are suppose to leave Korea) and having no orders, I have been frustrated.  I have been barely surviving as our family is so ready to be back in the United States. 

My bad attitude has flowed over into every aspect of my life and the lives of those around me.  It has not been a pretty sight.  Hopefully things will change now.

Today we received some good news and some not so great news.  We finally received our paperwork for us to move back to the United States. That's the good news.  The not so great news is that we will be here past our DEROS date.  Instead of leaving Korea in April, my husband will be here longer.  Until we submit his RFO and fill out leave forms, we are not sure how much longer, though it could be up to 2 months.

So I hope to get back to blogging with a good attitude.  There is much to look forward to as we prepare to move back to the states.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Putting the Fun Back in Homeschooling

For the past few months, I have been in survival mode.  That's where I do what needs to get done not because I am passionate about what I am doing, but because ....it's what needs to be done.  I am in box checking mode.  Have you ever been there?  Being a first born, some what perfectionist, I tend to lean that way rather than the other.

Yes, I'd rather being lying in bed all day eating bon bons and watching NCIS, but that's not gonna happen. 

I have this pull that keeps me doing at least the minimum things for my husband and family.  I have been in survival mode not just with homemaking and my husband and children but with homeschooling.  I am at the point where I so want to NOT be in Korea, that I have only been doing what needs to be done...and I am so over it.



I'm not saying that I now have this wonderful sense of motivation, because I don't.  But what I can tell you is that my kids are bored with the mundane work that I have been giving them and they are looking for more out of their day.  The problem with that is I had hoped the paperwork we filed to return to the states early would have been approved already and we would be at my parents' house by now.  But we are not there yet, so all of my prep work for a move, which included packing up the games, paints, craft supplies and other homeschool fun things, was premature.



I am realizing that if we are here for another 10 days or another 50 days, I need to go back to adding in the fun elements of our homeschooling day that we had been doing last year.
What fun in checking boxes, just to say you did it?

So without unpacking everything that I have already packed up, how can I make our homeschooling day fun again?

Here are a few ideas that I have come up with so far:

Go back to following a schedule ( I know this sounds simple, but it made the day go smoother with everyone knowing what was going to happen, instead of just waiting until I was tired of the whining to have them do something)

Add art and craft time back into the weekly schedule.

Make time to get out of the house and do something fun.  (With the weather varying from day to day, this is not always easy.  We could at least head to the library regularly like we used to.)

Learn Spanish (my husband's first language) and hand's on fun about Puerto Rico (where my husband's parents are from)

Find topics the girls are interested in and add them to our learning each day.

Since we are limited by living in another country where we don't speak the language and there are no other local homeschool families, I am hoping the ideas I came up with will add at least some fun to our daily homeschooling routine.

What do you do to make your homeschool day fun with your children? 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pick Me Up

The day is done and I am sitting at my computer.  I really could use a pick me up right now.  I'm feeling down and I'm not sure if it's the weather here in Korea, the fact that our paperwork to leave early is not pushing through like we were told it would or that I am just so ready for change.  We are at less than 60 days until we are suppose to PCS and we still don't have orders. 

Sorry for venting..but I know that there are times when we all go through things and our emotions seem to get the best of us.  I think I will go to YouTube and find an encouraging video to post here along with my ranting.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Creative Carrier

The other week was my daughter's seventh birthday. We had hoped to be back in the states before her birthday so I hadn't really made plans for a party.  Our plan was to have a party with her cousins, aunt and uncle and grandparents.  Since we are still in Korea, I had to throw something together last minute.

I check the movies that were playing on the local posts and found the post closest to our home was showing "Big Miracle",  so we decided to go out to dinner and then to the movies for her birthday. I wanted to make a dessert for Victoria's birthday, so I decided upon cupcakes baked into ice cream cones. The idea was great, until I realized that I did not have a way to transport them.

I little ingenuity and some help from big sister and we were ready to go.



We took a cereal box and taped the top and bottom up real tight. Then I had my daughter cut Xs into the one side of the box. We pushed down the Xs and squeezed the ice cream cones into the box. It worked perfectly.

It may not look the greatest but it met our needs.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Military Protocol is Important

It seems that life in the military is dictated by rules, regulations and more rules.  It is true what they say that when you sign on the line and join the military, Uncle Sam owns you.  When you hear about some rules that the military has in place you might just think, why on earth would they make a rule like that....it's common sense.  And then there are those rules that you know why they have them.

This past week, one of those rules was not followed and it was not a good result.  I'll tell you about that in a minute, but let's take a refresher course of military 101.

One thing that the military stresses, especially to families is OPSEC.


What is OPSEC? 

Operations Security, or OPSEC, is keeping potential adversaries
from discovering our critical information. As the name suggests,
it protects our operations – planned, in progress, and those completed.
Success depends on secrecy and surprise, so the military can accomplish
the mission faster and with less risk. Our adversaries want our information,
and they don’t concentrate on only soldiers to get it. 
They want you, the family member.

Protecting Critical Information

Even though information may not be secret, it can be what we call
“critical information.” Critical information deals with specific facts about military intentions, capabilities, operations or activities. If an adversary knew this detailed information, our mission accomplishment and personnel safety could be jeopardized.It must be protected to ensure an adversary doesn’t gain a significant advantage. By being a member of the military family, you will often know some bits of critical information. Do not discuss them outside of your
immediate family and especially not over the telephone.


 
Now let's talk about what happened this past week.
Since my husband is a chaplain, he has been trained to provide support when a family member is notified of a casultyrecieved a text message from another spouse of a soldier in her husband's unit.  Then it was posted on facebook....all before the spouse was ever notified by the Army.

Folks, this is NOT RIGHT!!!  This should NOT have happened. No spouse should ever find out that their soldier died because of a post on facebook or a text message.  You can read more information about this horrible mistake at the following news link.
                                                      WSAV of Savannah
As military spouses, we really need to be extremely careful about what we are posting, texting, and saying about the things we know. 
For a military family guide on social media, visit Blue Star Families. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sewing Project- Kid's Stroller Seat

My youngest child has been saving up her dollars to purchase a stroller for her doll.  She was so excited when her grandmother sent her some money for Valentine's Day.  So this weekend we went to Daiso to get her stroller. 

I must say that I should have checked it out before I let her purchase it because less than two days later, it ripped.  The seat portion of the stroller was only made from a cheap fabric. I felt so bad for her that even with my lack of sewing skills, I decided to try my hand at recreating the broken fabric seat.

This is what the seat looked like.




If you notice the fraying at the bottom left of the picture...this is where the stroller seat has broken.  I took the original seat and attempted to create a pattern from which I can make the new one. 

Considering sewing is not my forte, I think the seat turned out pretty good.  Here is a picture of the finished product.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Are you a D6 Family?

This past fall I was a workshop speaker at the PWOC Asia Region Women's Conference.  My topic was on Leaving a Legacy of Faith.  As I was preparing for my session, I was doing research on possible resources to help parents (and/or grandparents) to connect with the next generation as they endeavor to pass along their faith to their children or grandchildren.



One of those resources that I came across was a website titled D6Family.   "D6 stands for Deuteronomy 6:5-7 which commands dads and moms to take everyday opportunities to impress God’s Word upon the hearts of their children. D6 is foundational to raising spiritual champions for Christ."

Their website "offers simple resources that can help you make an impact on your family, such as inspiring and entertaining D6 Stories, D6 Curriculum that connects church and home, Splinks – Simple ways to link your family together (a free, weekly resource), D6 Devotional Magazines for the entire family, D6 Books, streaming video from today’s leading family experts, and the upcoming event that will change the face of the American family, the D6 Conference."

So if you are looking for a way to connect with your children as you pass along your faith to them, check out D6Family for resources and ideas.


Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.   These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.   
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NIV

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lasagna Roll Ups

I am always on the lookout for new recipes.  Especially those that are healthy and taste good.

I make lasagna about once every other month because it is a requested favorite.  Not necessarily by my family, even though they enjoy it too but by the Korean civilians who attend my husband's weekly Bible Study on post.

So when I came across this alternative to regular lasagna, I decided to give it a try with my family.

I found the recipe at Confessions of a Homeschooler blog.  You can check it out here.



Recipe for Lasagna Roll Ups

Ingredients:
  • 1 box lasagna sheets (the real kind, not the no-bake ones)
  • 1 cup browned lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef)
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, squeeze out excess water
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, separated
  • 15 oz. low fat or skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Your favorite spaghetti sauce, or a jar if you are pressed for time
  • 1 cup (approximately) mozzarella sprinkled on top.
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil water in large stock pot and cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. (Cook 1-2 noodles per person, plus a few extras just in case some tear.)
  3. Brown meat, along with garlic powder, onion salt, basil, oregano, and parsley.
  4. In medium sized bowl, mix browned meat, ricotta, spinach, and 1/4 c Parmesan.
  5. Spray baking dish with non-stick spray and cover bottom of pan lightly with sauce.
  6. Drain cooked noodles in colander and lay on towel to dry.
  7. Spread meat filling along one noodle and roll up. Place completed roll into pan. Repeat with remaining noodles.
  8. Top completed rolls with sauce, then sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese and a handful of mozzarella if desired.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for approximately 30-40 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Since we are counting down our days left on my husband's tour here in South Korea, I have been letting the items in my refrigerator and pantry run out.  Thus I had no Parmesan cheese, so instead I put mozzarella into the meat mixture and only topped the completed rolls with mozzarella.

The girls all liked this new recipe so we will have to make it again in the near future!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Making plans

While we are still waiting on the Army to give us official paperwork for our upcoming move, I am beginning to make plans for the future.  It is so hard to be totally dependent upon someone else or another entity to make decisions for our future.  Trust me....their timing is not like mine.  But in the midst of waiting, I need to keep moving forward.  I can't just sit in my apartment and do nothing while I wait.  I might be here a long time.

I am looking to the future and making plans for what I would like to see happen.  My first order of business is to get back to the United States and see my family.  That has been one of the hardest parts of living overseas these past two years. With the time difference, it is hard to communicate with friends and family in the states at a conducive time.  When I really want to talk to my mom or sister, they are in bed sleeping. 

Another thing I am looking forward to is going to a church that has programs for my children.  We have been in a chapel for the last two years and there is no local programs in English for my girls.  For awhile, we were driving 1 1/2 hours to Seoul for my oldest to attend youth group.  Life is hard for kids that age and to not have a positive Christian influence in their lives is even harder.  I am looking forward to sitting in a service every week instead of teaching the children's church so often.

I am hopeful that our family will be able to spend the holidays with aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents.  The distance from Korea to the USA has prevented us from participating in holiday events but with our move stateside, I hope that this will change.

One of the things that I have learned since my husband joined the Army just over 4 years ago is to make plans BUT always be flexible.  I am still learning this as things are not going the way I plan but I have to just be patient and wait. 

Maybe you are in a similar situation.  Things in your life are not falling into place the way you planned for them to.  Be flexible!  Be hopeful!  God has a plan for you and your life.  It may not be what you were thinking....but it will be good!  It might even be better. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Your words


The things you speak to and over your children
will effect them forever.


 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

True friend

Last week I came down with the flu.  For more than three days, I was in bed with a fever, aches, chills and cold symptoms.  I barely ate.  I mostly slept.  Thankfully I have older children at home who can help take care of the younger ones because if I didn’t, they would have been fending for themselves for a few days.  Aside from asking my family for help, I am not one to usually call someone and ask for help.  I am good at getting people involved to help other individuals out…but not myself. I just can’t do it.  So even though I was sick in bed, the only people I was asking to do anything were my own kids. I knew that the normal things that I do might not get done, but I was ok with that.  At least the younger ones would be fed and supervised so that I could sleep.

In the middle of the week, my friend Su Hui, who lives upstairs called down to see if I could help her with a project on the computer.  My oldest answered the call and told my friend that I was sick but that she could help her, so Su Hui came down.  After she and Marissa finished up, she popped her head into my room to tell me that she would be back with some orange tea.
Not long after she returned with the orange tea.  She also proceeded to pick up the Kleenex from the floor of my room and noticed that I did not have time to fold laundry, which was piled on the sofa at the end of my bed.  She carried the baskets of laundry into the family room and encouraged my girls to help her to fold the laundry for mommy.  With the laundry folded and tea served, Su Hui left me to rest for the day only to return the next afternoon with a meal for dinner.



I wanted to share this story because of how much it touched me.  Su Hui is a true friend.  She saw a need and came to meet the need.  The scriptures encourage us in the gospel of Matthew.

…..Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’    Matthew 25:34-40
I want to challenge you.  Take a look around you.  Is there someone in need? Could your neighbor use a helping hand?  Is there some in your circle of influence who could use a friend today?  You may feel that you don’t have anything to offer, but let me encourage you that you have something to give.  Maybe you can send them a song to lift their spirits, a meal to feed their bodies or a scripture to encourage their soul.

Step out and meet the need of someone who is struggling or hurting today.  You will be blessed!

Monday, February 13, 2012

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought this would be a good time to explore ways that we can enhance our marriages.  In May, my husband and I will celebrate 18th years of marriage.  In some ways, I feel like I know him better today than when we first met 20 years ago, while other days leave me wondering who is this person in the bed next to me.


All relationships will have good times, bad times and those times when we don’t know what we are going through.  One of the things that I have realized over the last 20 years, we must be intentional.  If our marriages are to grown and get better, we must put the time and effort into them.  Nothing happens by chance.  To make a garden grow, it needs to be cultivated.  To make a marriage thrive, it too needs to be cultivated.

While there are many things that we can do to help our marriages be stronger, I think there are three that we can start with today.

1.        Pray for your spouse

2.       Get to know your spouse by spending time with them

3.       Learn your spouses’ love language and speak it frequently

Don’t forget to take time each day to pray for your spouse. If you are not sure how to begin, here are a few links to get you started.

For the relationship with our spouse to grow, we need to spend time together.  And sleeping next to a snoring husband does not count.  The time together needs to be personal, open and intimate.  My marriage doesn’t grow because we sit at the same dinner table with our four kids or because we ride in the car together to church.  We need to make time apart from the daily grind of life for just the two of us.  The type of investment you put into your marriage will determine the return of your dividends.
Focus on the Family has a “Date Night” challenge  going on right now.  The challenge is 3 dates in 3 weeks.  For some people with kids, that can sound like a lot, especially if you have childcare to arrange and sitters to pay.  But let me give you some ideas of things you can do that won’t break the bank.

Family Life puts out a book called Dates on a Dime that has some interesting ways you can spend time with your loved one. 
Available for FREE at Amazon.com is the kindle version of 40 Unforgettable Date with Your Mate.

At Thriving Family, you can read their article about Dates on a Dime.
A few years ago we had sick kids on Valentine’s Day and I could not go out with my husband.  Instead, I put the kids to bed early and I cooked my husband a candlelight dinner.  

Get creative!  It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to spend time with your spouse.  The hardest part is getting started.  So pick your date and mark it on your calendar today!


Thirdly, we need to learn what our spouses Love Language is and then we need to speak it frequently.  If you have never heard of the 5 Love Languages, let me give you a summary.

  1.  Words of Affirmation - "Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten."
  2.  Quality Time - "In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful."
  3.  Receiving Gifts - "Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures."
  4.  Acts of Service - "Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter."
  5.  Physical Touch - "This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive."

So as Valentine's Day comes, remember to put your spouse first, but not just for the day but for every day.  As you pray for him/her, spend time with them and speak his/her love language, I hope you will see and be rewarded with wonderful dividends in your marriage.


"Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Mark 10:9

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sick Day

Today is a sick day and I need to go to bed and get some sleep. Hopefully I'll be feeling better tomorrow and have something to say.  Have a blessed day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Superbowl Monday

Since we are in a timezone that is 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, we had the privilege of watching Superbowl XLVI between the New York Giant and New England Patriots today. We don't have US television at our apartment so we drove to post where Angel works to watch the game. We woke the kids up a 6:30AM so that we could get everyone ready and out of the house to arrive in time for the kick off.

I must say, it is so strange to watch the Superbowl on Monday morning. Instead of eating chips and soda, we had eggs and homemade cinnamon rolls.


While I am not a super huge football fan, my husband is from NYC and the Giants are his team, so he was excited to be watching his team.  It was even more exciting when the game came to an end and his team was on top.


Congratulations New York Giants!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cool pic

A friend of mine posted this photo on her facebook.  I am not sure who to give the credit for this photo but it was so cool that I just had to share it with you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC)



Today I attended my local PWOC's Kick Off for it's new permanent home. At the beginning of the school year, we were meeting in the local chapel building, but in October, renovations began on the chapel and we were forced to relocate. Our temporary location was still on post in an older, smaller chapel. A few weeks ago, we found out that the a building that was previously used by ACS (Army Community Services) would be given to the chapel The ladies who attend PWOC have been working to clean and organize this new to us facility and today we held our first PWOC in this new permanent location. We had a great group of ladies attend today and I am excited to see what God is going to do in the lives of the women in Area 1 of South Korea PWOC.

So since PWOC was on my mind, I want to tell you a little bit about Protestant Women of the Chapel

PWOC has four aims:
  1. to LEAD women to accept Christ as personal Savior and Lord;
  2. to TEACH women the history, beliefs, and programs of the church, all built on a solid foundation of worship and Bible study;
  3. to DEVELOP in women the skills of prayer, evangelism, stewardship, and social service, against a background of personal spiritual development;
  4. to INVOLVE women in the work of the Chapel, in keeping with their abilities and interests.
According to their website, "The Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) is an integral part of the installation's religious support mission, which directly assists the commander in caring for his/her Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families.  PWOC's part of the religious program is to minister to the unique needs of the military woman and female military spouse. PWOC equips women to flourish in the unique challenges of the military lifestyle through its emphasis on nurturing and mentoring. This is accomplished by seasoned military spouses and mature military women.

It provides the environment to nurture a spiritually enriching community that enhances personal enrichment and family readiness. During times of deployment, the Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine can be assured that PWOC will be a close, caring group who will be there to support his spouse and provide a helping hand when needed."

"PWOC is grounded in spiritual principles, and is a unique force multiplier for the commander. This is accomplished by training women in personal and family skills, by being a compassionate safety net to hurting women, and by supporting the ideals that military personnel are called to protect and defend."

So what does PWOC mean to me?  It means that no matter where we are stationed, I can find a group of Christian women, who will encourage and support me.  A place where I can receive prayer, attend Bible studies and have fellowship with other women who are going through the same or similar things that I am going through. 

When we were stationed at Fort Hood, it was the great group of women at my local PWOC that encouraged me and got me through our first duty station and our first deployment. 

If you are looking for a PWOC, where you can get involved, check out their installation locator to find one near you.  You can also find PWOC International on facebook.

I know that if you are stationed in the USA, there are many churches and para-church ministries that you can be a part of, but if you end up overseas, your options are not as broad as they would be in the states.  It was a blessing to be able to come to Korea and find a place to be challenged to grow in my faith and relationship with the Lord.


Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.  Hebrews 10:23-25

Monday, January 30, 2012

Where to Next?

I'm glad the wait of knowing where the Army is sending us is over but things are just starting to get rolling.  We know the location but there is a difference in knowing WHERE we are going and knowing the area WHERE we are going to.  Does that make sense?  I hope so.



I must say...I am starting to feel overwhelmed.

The post where we have been assigned is actually located in two different states, with the state line running down the middle. If we live on post or off post (KY or TN), there are three different school districts represented.

I can google homes to rent or to purchase but finding out if the address of the house you found online is located in a decent area is another thing.  I have talked to people who live or have lived in this area but I am getting conflicting information.  I have heard that there are no "bad areas" and then I have heard that yes, there are some bad areas but I don't know where...I live in the other state.

I am praying that things work out and that the girls and I can return to the United States a few weeks early so I can do some recon on the area where we will be moving.  Since this is only our second duty station in the United States, I am wondering how do military families do it?

How do they move so often, to such different Army posts and find the right place to call home?  So if you've done this before and have any advice to offer me, I'm all ears.  Please, let me in on the secrets or tricks of the trade.  I'm ready with a pen in hand.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Make New Friends....

One summer when I was little, my mom helped at a local Girl Scout camp.  My sister and I went along as my mom volunteered.  I remember learning a song that week that went like this.

Make new friends
Keep the old
One is silver
And the other gold.


This song hits home to me as we count down to our upcoming PCS (military move).  While at each duty station, we make friends and build relationships with people.  Some of those individuals become like family to us.  And then it happens.  You get new orders and it's time to move again.

I know many people in the military who will never say "Goodbye."  Instead they say "See you later." 

There are those of you that I will miss as we move on.  There are those who I went to high school with that I will get to see again, once we are back in the states.  And there are the new friends that I continue to meet and will meet in the future. 

You are all precious to me and I thank God for you.  So whether you are a silver or a gold friend, know that you are appreciated. 

Philippians 1: 3-4
I thank my God every time I remember you. 
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Story I Read on Facebook

Lately I have seen a story being posted around on Facebook.  I did some investigating to see where it came from and if it was true, but I did not find a confirmation of whether it was truthful or made up.  But I thought it shared some interesting insights, so I decided to share it with you.


An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. 

 The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

 The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that.

 Remember, there IS a test coming up. The 2012 elections.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

 1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

 2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

 3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

 4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

 5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Random Acts of Kindness

The girls and I were heading to post for PWOC(Protestant Women of the Chapel) Bible Study.  The weather was quite colder than it has been.  The average temperature has been around 22F but this particular morning, it was only 14F. 

Since the Army is in the middle of hiring new gate guards, soldiers have been tasked with the responsibility of manning the gates and checking vehicles and IDs. As we pulled up to the gate, I mentioned to the soldiers that it was quite a morning to be working outside.  I told them what they needed what a cup of hot chocolate to warm them up.  One of the soldiers said, "Yeh, that would be nice" while his partner told me not to listen to that guy.

I asked them how long their shift would be and they informed me they would be there until 4:00PM.  I told them that I would be back....with some hot chocolate.



So the girls and I went to Bible Study, had lunch, and went in search of hot chocolate.  I wasn't sure how many soldiers would be manning this particular gate, so we made 6 cups and headed out.  I had to go off post, to come back on post. 

When it was my turn at the gate, I handed over our ID cards and proceeded to hand out the hot chocolate. The guys began laughing...asking if I was serious.  Of course, I told them yes and that I had six cups.  I hoped it was enough.  They told me I didn't have to do that....and really I didn't BUT I wanted them to know that they were appreciated and in the middle of a cold day, they could use a little cheering up. 

They were thankful and it was wonderful to see the smiles on their faces.

So my question to you today is, what have you done for someone else today?  What COULD you do for someone today that would bless them?  Your random act of kindness may touch someone's life and leave an imprint of God's love for them.  I encourage you, take a moment this week to do something special for someone else.


A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The news we've been waiting for...

You may have noticed that I am a bit late for posting Tuesday's post. Actually the day had an unexpected turn of events.

We had decided last week that when my husband received his next duty assignment, that he would tell us to "make dessert."  So yesterday, he called me and asked if I got his email.  I told him that I had not been on my computer for a few hours since our oldest daughter was using it for her online school.  He said to check my email.  I asked him if he could just tell me what he sent....then he said to make dessert.

Of course I had to ask him if he was serious and he said yes.  I asked if he could tell me and he said that as long as I don't tell the girls, so I agreed. 

Holding a secret from your kids is hard...especially when they see you making dessert.  See we don't make dessert during the week, so they knew that something was up.  Marissa and I made an apple pie as she pondered the news....where might we be going?

As soon as my husband got home from work, he was bombarded by excited children.  We calmed them down, sat them down and broke the news.

Well, we didn't get anything on our list (dream sheet of where we would like to go). We will be going back to the United States.  We will be within 14 hours driving of family. 

They all gave their guesses as to where we would be moving next, but none of the girls guessed correctly

So in case you are not on facebook and have seen my post, we are heading to Fort Campbell, KY.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Lunar New Year!

While the eve of January 1st brings much celebration for those who live in the United States, the Lunar New Year is a big holiday here in Korea.  Our celebrations are done according to the calendar year but in Korea, China and other Asian countries, the lunar calendar decides when the celebrating begins.

Here in Korea, the Lunar New Year is a time when people return to their hometowns to pay their respect to their relatives.  Many people are travelling during this time and we were warned not to travel during this holiday, which lasts three days.  Someone told my husband that that a 4 hour trip might end up taking 20 hours to reach your destination.  Since I really don't need to shop or do some site seeing that bad, our family opted to just stay home during this holiday.

Since my husband was off for the day, we took a walk on the trails near our apartment and went into town to see if by chance any of the stores were open where we could get a snack.  Most of the restaurants and businesses were closed with the exception of a few convenience stores, fast food, Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins.

Since it was only 23 degrees today, Baskin Robbins would not do....so Dunkin Donuts it was!  We had an enjoyable family time in spite of the cold weather.  When we arrived home we warmed up with some hot chocolate. 

So whether you celebrate a calendar or lunar new year.....  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Free Tax Filing for Military

With the tax season almost upon us, it is time to start thinking about filing your taxes.  All Active Duty W-2s will be available online at myPay.gov on January 24th and many tax centers on Army posts will begin to open soon after.  One of the great advantages of being military is that you can have your taxes done for free at the tax center on your local post.



If you would rather not take the time to wait at the tax center you can go to MilitaryOneSource where, through H &R Block, you can prepare your own taxes at home using their software and file them for free.

If your solider is deployed, you can still take advantage of the free tax filing service offered by the military.  Just make sure you have a Power of Attorney with you when you go for your appointment at the tax center.  For more information on filing your taxes while your spouse is deployed, click here.

While I have not used H & R Block's free tax filing service before, I have filed our taxes using the on post tax center.  Check them out and find what will work best for your family and situation.  Happy Tax Filing!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Who are you relying on?

Some days I love my life!!  Other days, I am frustrated with how things in my life are going. One of those frustrations is that because we are a military family that lives overseas and we are dependent upon the military systems that are in place. Sometimes they work well, while others times, not so good.  I'm trying not to complain, but it's hard when we are limited by our circumstances. 

While we have access to US Postal system, once our mail gets delivered to the drop point in California, the military takes over from there.  Christmas gifts that should have been delivered three weeks ago are still lost in space somewhere.

While I am blessed to have access to the Commissary and PX, they don't always stock what we need and at times there are shortages or they stop carrying a product that our family has been used to having.

Waiting to get our assignment and orders all depends upon a group of people meeting to make decisions and us waiting for the information to flow down through the right chain of people to eventually get to us at the bottom.

I know these are just minor things in the larger, grand picture of life, but when it all hits at once, it can be quite overwhelming and frustrating.  And this momma does not do well when I feel bombarded.

As I have been praying during my quiet time lately, the Lord has impressed upon me, "Who am I putting my trust in?  Who am I relying on?"  

Unfortunately, I must say...I have been trusting in man and in earthly systems.  I have taken my eyes off of Christ in my situation and I have been ruled by my emotions instead of trusting God.  Whew, that's a hard pill to swallow.  Where is my faith?  I know where it should be.  Now I just have to get it there.

Knowing and doing are two entirely different things.

Just like David did in the book of Psalm, he commanded his soul to bless the Lord. I need to remind myself that my life is not ruled by people or circumstances and that I should not allow my emotions to be swayed like a boat being tossed about in a storm BUT that my hope and my trust is in the Lord God and that He is in control.

Maybe you are struggling with a similar things in your life.  You are letting stuff influence you and change you, not for the good.  Don't be ruled by the things of this world which are temporary, but allow God to be on the throne of your heart. Tell yourself that you will praise Him anyway.  That you will trust Him today!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight
Proverbs 3:5-6