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'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

  • 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.
  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 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