Operation Candy Buy Back

{Originally from last year I wanted to re-share this great idea! We’ll be doing it this year!}

In the October edition of Fitness Magazine they shared about an awesome program I wanted to share! It’s called Operation Candy Buy Back and you can ship the excess Halloween goodies to a U.S. Service Member (kids get $1 per pound of treat) This is perfect if your family is like ours and you don’t want your 3 year old consuming massive amounts of junk (or yourself for that matter–I’m definitely guilty of sneaking treats out of the candy bowl/bag) ! Plus it’s a great way to send a pick me up to our troops!

To find a participating dentist in your area go here to visit the website you can also like their page on Facebook Here

Fearless by Eric Blehm

As you know I’m a military spouse of 7 years now. Even having my husband in a safe(r) branch with “easy” deployments has been extremely difficult at times. Because I have had a taste of all of this my heart and my admiration runs deep for the military wives who are married to US Navy Seals. Experiencing what I have–yet compounded several times over–is not a job for the faint of heart.

Fearless is the incredible, true, and deeply moving story of Adam Brown and his family. It’s one of those stories where it must be true because no movie would put someone pushing as hard as Adam did, overcoming what Adam overcame, or having the sad ending that this story has.

It was truly a book that I laughed and cried through. I love Eric’s perspective on the story. Even though it’s a book about an incredible Christian man and his deep devotion and faith nothing is sugar coated or glossed over. There is cussing in the book along with details that many other writers might have been tempted to gloss over in a Christian book. The fact that these things are included and not smoothed out make it have a very authentic and real feel. As a military spouse I’ve been around a whole lot servicemen and know how they act and talk–I can only imagine that as amazing and wonderful Navy Seals are they are not a bunch of sweet, smooth talking guys–and I actually appreciated the truth and rawness this book contained. It feels a bit rough around the edges–just like Adam Young himself was.

Through Fearless you see the God of sinners like David and Paul–a God who can take the biggest of sins and the most broken of lives and turn them around just so His amazing Glory and Power and Triumph might be shown.

An absolutely amazing story of an amazing man and his family-it is definitely a must read!

Enjoy this review? Please take a second to go rank it!

Find out more one the Fearless Website and Read Chapter One

Oh Say Can You See

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,

as a baby enters this world, gasping and crying for air, the mommy cries too for the daddy who is thousands of miles away and missing this precious moment

What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?

a wife exhausted, dejected, and feeling utterly alone reaches out to the empty spot beside her in bed and cries herself to sleep

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,

first birthday, first steps, first words…all missed..skype and email never doing justice to the real thing

O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?

a preschooler stumbles into the room at 3 a.m. sobbing and crying about why is Daddy gone and I miss him so much

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

a mother sits on the end of her bed, sifting through a box of  old playthings, wondering when her son traded his onsie for a uniform

Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.

white stones, stretching as far as eye can see on a quiet hill in Washington

O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave

each a testament of a life lived, lost, and given-a son, a daugher, a mother, a father, a wife, a husband

The Ultimate Sacrifice. 

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Never, never, never forget.

Freedom isn’t Free.

Making A Rental Feel Like Home

When you’ve moved and/or temporarily re-located 8 times in the past 7 years like I have it means one thing–renting is an absolute must.

Once you move out of the newly wed stage though, renting can begin to feel like a bummer-especially if you grew up in home owning families, like hubby and I both did. As I’ve mentioned recently, however, I’ve purposed to let go of all my If Onlys and focus in on how to live the wonderful life I’ve been given and blessed with to its fullest!

While renting means no painting and no renovating there are SO many ways to make a place a home without ever lifting a brush!

My favorite way to make our latest rental feel like home is to use personalized pictures

Now, you’ll never find my apartment within the covers of Home and Garden, but me and hubby both LOVE our decor because every single piece and picture on our wall has a very special meaning behind it.

As soon as we get our pictures up on the wall, whatever rental we happen to be in at that moment instantly becomes our home.

Above is our mantlepiece collection. Along with the pictures of our wonderful kiddos and family we have candles from our wedding and if you read about my Uncle Robert you’ll understand why we chose the amazing and moving art piece.

Down our hall we have all our Coast Guard pride-(does the picture on the bottom look familiar at all??? Hmmm…can you tell that I love it?! I included the Owl City lyrics from one of my favorite songs on it) The artwork is of the boat and lighthouse that Bob worked on when we lived in North Carolina, and the picture on the far right is one of him that was taken by a co-worker in NC.

This wall is my favorite–proudly displayed in our front room it contains three pictures of my beautiful home state–Wyoming. The top two pictures were taken by my super talented younger brother of places we spent a bunch of time in growing up. The picture on the bottom I took last summer when we got to go visit the Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

Here is our latest addition to our humble abode. If you hadn’t noticed I tend to have a great love for canvas prints. There is just something about them that adds depth and richness to a photo. This is hanging happily in Tyler & Amber’s nursery. I have wanted to add a picture to tie into the quote for awhile now and I  feel like this canvas is the absolutely perfect thing!

Do you love hanging custom art and pictures in your home? How do you make a rental feel like a home?

There You Go Again ~ Beautiful Military Song

This song is so beautiful–it made me cry as it brought back so many of my thoughts and actions through Bob’s deployment last year!!!!

Here is a little from the artist–which makes it even more beautiful!

Aloha!!! I’m an Army wife at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and I just released a video for a song that I wrote for military spouses who (like me) have endured countless deployments and separations.

No actors were used in the video – only active duty Army soldiers & their families who were preparing for deployments at the time of filming. Those soldiers are now deployed to Afghanistan, so the video is very much “art-meets-life.”

In addition, I have pledged to donate half of my proceeds from the song to the Fisher House Foundation to support military families. 

Armed Forces Day ~ Military Deals, Specials, and Tips to Save

A very happy Armed Forces Day!

To help celebrate I thought I’d share some *awesome* deals and specials that I’ve come across lately for military as well as some of our own money saving tips. Because I truly believe that everyone who serves their country are entirely underpaid, and I love it when businesses reach out with thank yous in the form of discounts or freebies!

Hotels: A great traveling tip is to always ask if the hotel provides a military discount. I think that in all our travels across the country we have only been told no once. This normally knocks off anywhere from $10 – $30 per night and that adds up fast!

Many cell phone carriers provide military discounts, we’ve been with both Verizon and Sprint and they both give military discounts.

Always ask if a car dealership gives a military discount-we were given one on my vehicle but not on hubbies–it never hurts to ask though. (be sure that you do it *after* any other prices have been knocked off though–or they’ll probably take that $500 off they were going to anyways under the name of a “military discount”)

Waves Of Honor: Free Admission and Discounts to the Busch Gardens and Sea World Parks

Military Families can also get a FREE Annual Pass to the Nation’s National Parks (reg. $80)  – the pass can be picked up at any National Park or Wildlife Refuge that charges an entrance fee, and an ID must be shown to obtain the pass.

Blue Star Museums : over 1600 museums nationwide that are offering free admission to military members this summer.

Veteran Tickets: Free tickets to major events for Veterans and Active Duty

Free One Year Membership to Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Free Custom Military Support T-Shirts (just pay shipping!)

Deployment Resources:

Free Deployment Photography: Photographers offer free sessions pre/ during/ post deployment.

 Free Welcome Home banners for military

Restaurants that provide military discounts

Do you have any great deals/specials/sites that I’ve missed? If so please comment and I’ll add them in!

Cooper & Me & the Military

As I mentioned in my Deployment Resources for Kids video, when Bob was deploying last year I was shocked at the complete void of resources for kids whose parents were gone–especially when it came to books!

I was so happy to see our friends at  Cooper and Me are helping to solve this problem! Cooper and Me and the Military is about Cooper’s best doggie friend, Trooper. He’s a former military dog who comes to live with two military brats while their parents are deployed. I thought the perspective of two parents being deployed at once was a very interesting one.

The book is fun and was very easy to read aloud. Amber loves it and we’ve been reading it over and over and OVER for bedtime each night! I think we’re both excited to see a military book! This book is great for military kids or non-military families, as it is written from the non-military child’s point of view. It would be great to use for building empathy and understanding-something I think it really needed!

I also loved that there are activities that help children name and process their own feelings about what they’ve read included at the back of the book to help take everything one step further.

Be sure to connect with Cooper & Me on Facebook & Twitter

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Cooper & Me & the Military

As I mentioned in my Deployment Resources for Kids video, when Bob was deploying last year I was shocked at the complete void of resources for kids whose parents were gone–especially when it came to books!

I was so happy to see our friends at  Cooper and Me are helping to solve this problem! Cooper and Me and the Military is about Cooper’s best doggie friend, Trooper. He’s a former military dog who comes to live with two military brats while their parents are deployed. I thought the perspective of two parents being deployed at once was a very interesting one.

The book is fun and was very easy to read aloud. Amber loves it and we’ve been reading it over and over and OVER for bedtime each night! I think we’re both excited to see a military book! This book is great for military kids or non-military families, as it is written from the non-military child’s point of view. It would be great to use for building empathy and understanding-something I think it really needed!

I also loved that there are activities that help children name and process their own feelings about what they’ve read included at the back of the book to help take everything one step further.

Be sure to connect with Cooper & Me on Facebook & Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

PCS Moving Tips

PCS Moving Tips

It’s that time of year again! For many people Spring signifies the end of winter, the budding of new life, and putting away of coats. For many military families it means time to pack those coats up in boxes and haul them across the USA as PCS season begins! (permanent change of station for all my civilian readers!) Having done 4 PCS moves and 7 out of state locations within the past 7 years I feel like I’m some what qualified to give a few tips!

Even if you’re not in the military if you’re planning on paying a moving company to pack and move your family these tips will definitely benefit you!

Continue reading PCS Moving Tips

Koasty Kids *Giveaway*

My last Koasty Kids giveaway got such a great response that I couldn’t resist hosting another one! Just in case you missed it Koasty Kids is an amazing company ran by fellow Coastie Wives who make beyond adorable Coast Guard apparel and do it all while supporting some great causes! This time I get to giveaway these uber cute legwarmers, love them!!!

As I mentioned they are sincere about helping out other military spouses, especially Coast Guard wives, and right now they are gathering information on schools in different areas and physicians as well. If you could take just a few minutes and fill out either of these it would be such a valuable resource to other Coastie wives! I just went in and recommend the OB/GYN who delivered Amber in NC.

Fill out the Physician Form Here


Fill out the School Form Here

PS–if you fill out the forms it’ll get you extra entries! Just sayin 😉



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