Our Family

Our Family

Monday, May 30, 2011

How do you do this?

I can't tell you how many times I have heard " I dont know how you do this."

 Sometimes I wonder how many times we all here that very same question. The thing is most people don't realize some days we ask ourselves that. How do I do this every day? How do I help the kids through this every day? How do you explain to them that people we do not know and never will, need daddy. How do you make a child understand that even though daddy loves us he loves his country too? Do they really understand? I think the answers sometimes surprise us. There are easy answers to those questions. We just dont always see the easy answers.
 How do I do this every day? - Well it starts by getting up. You decide to put your feet on the floor and do something. You may not have a choice because things must be done but you could have just as easily said it is too hard to make it without him. But you didn't. You make a list of what has to be done. Your life revolves around lists, and piles of paperwork, and calendars with three sets of numbers on them. You know what each number represents even if no one else does. These tasks that you fill your days with may be trivial to some but they get you through another day. They distract your mind and hinder the tears. So how do you do this every day? One day at a time. Because each day is different. And you can't get to the end result unless you make it one day at a time.
How do you help your kids through it? You give them tangible things to relate to. Kiss jars, their own calenders to  keep track of the days on, they have their daddy dolls, they write letters, and emails, when he can call you give them their own time with him. You do things to help keep them busy. And when they have a bad day you are there for them. Because you are their strength.
How do you explain to them that people we don't know need their daddy too? We all need him. There are people in this world who want to do bad things and your daddy is one of the many heros who gets to make sure they cant do bad things. He has a special job not everyone can have. He does things most people would never do so that we can do the things we like doing everyday. We all like to talk and say what we want to say, daddy helps make that possible. It may not always be fair because sometimes that means daddy has to miss birthdays and holidays but we get to live each day know that daddy is special. And we get to share him with people that are not as lucky as we are to get to know him. We get to hug him and give him kisses for all he does, not everyone knows everything he does so really we are the lucky ones.
How do you make a child understand that even though daddy loves us he loves his country too? You let them see him in uniform. That one is that simple. A serviceman even on a bad day looks proud in uniform. You let them know the story of why daddy joined. What they feel when they here the Star Spangled Banner. Or see a fly over. Or a flag at half mast. You tell them that daddy loves them above all else but he also loves what this country is about and that by serving he helps make it a better place for them.
Do they really understand? Watch them. Listen to them. You don't even have to ask them to get that answer. A military child is a special child. By the age of 3 they know how to properly salute. They know the difference in a M-60 and M-90. Why a boat goes underwater and a ship is above water. That it is not a Tomcat doing the fly over but it is a F/A 18. They can tell you the name and rank of their dad without missing a beat. They can tell you about every base they ever lived at in order. They know the words the the Star Spangled Banner by heart and will sing them loud and proud. They know to stand and cover their heart when it is played too. They know what a yellow ribbon family is and what a blue star stands for. Most importantly they will let anyone and everyone know that THEIR daddy is a solider. And above anything else HE is their hero. While other kids play with cars and super hero figures they are playing with tanks and GI Joes. They know what ACUs and NWUs are. When you take them to a public place and they do a salute to our Nations vets and active duty members they are quite and take it all in. But they have a gleam in their eye because they know 50,000 people are on their feet for their daddy. They will grow up with the knowledge that even though daddy has to say See you later sometimes it is because their are millions of people who need him to go do what he does. Yes they do understand. They understand way more than we will ever know.

So how do I do this? It's actually very simple. I do this because he does what he does. I stand beside him and he stands beside me. I may not physically be there at his side everyday but I am on one finger. A little piece of metal that reminds us both of why we do this. Because love tells us we can.It tells us that even half of the Earth can't separate us.So while the life of a military wife may not be for everyone it is definitely do able. We arent angels or even saints. What we are is the Silent Ranks. And I would never for a million years change anything about my life. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I am not perfect.

I do not handle things the same way as other people. I can't always be the strong, funny, smart person everyone usually sees. I have flaws, many no one else but me notices. I try my best each day and sometimes it isn't always good enough. I am hard on myself and see the things that are wrong in my life and judge myself daily. I often think I do or say things that are wrong even if I haven't. I do not like when people see me cry. I do not like when people tell me how strong I am when I feel like I am drowning in life. I know I can make it through things but I have to do it in my own way. Applying other peoples methods to my life in general does not work for me. When I am told how I should act and do things it makes me feel like I am failing miserably, even more than normal, and I tend to start shutting down. When I ask for help I feel like a burden. I am use to taking care of things by myself. I have control issues. I like being the one who controls things, so when then are taken out of my control I start spiraling.

I know I am not expected to be perfect but I feel like I should be. I have been told many times growing up how, what, when, and where to do things, I think by now I should have it down.

I wish sometimes I could turn my mind off from always thinking. It goes non-stop daily. What am I going to make for supper? Did I turn the lights off when I left? I need to work on my paper. I wonder Roger is doing right now. What do I do to help my middle schooler do better in school? Am I trying not to let everyone see how much deployment sucks? Why in the hell do they let drivers drive so horrible here? I miss being in Texas. I miss getting to see my family. I wish I was done with school already. What if I have not done enough while he was gone? What if he gets mad because I didn't do everything we talked about? I don't want to disappoint him. I want to see him so bad. Why can't it just be time for him to come home now? This is just some of what runs through my head. Some days I don't even answer one thing before another thought pops into my head and I feel like I am going to go crazy! ( Crazier correction. )  

I have tried for so long to make everyone else happy and make their lives easier/better that I forget sometimes about me. I try not to ask to do things for me much because I have kids and I don't like asking people to watch them just so I can do something for me. I can wait. The kids are more important right now. I will have time for me......eventually. It drives me crazy when I do ask to do something for me because I spend most of the time worrying that I am being thought of as a horrible mother, or that I am annoying because I am not back yet, among other things.

Things are the things that live in my head everyday. Most days I can put them aside and go about my day and not let them bother me. Some days I focus on all the many things I see wrong in myself. More often than not the angel wins out on my shoulder but for the days the devil wins I try and just close up inside myself. I don't like being a negative influence on anyone. So I just retreat into my own little world until the angel can get up and help me win again.

When you hear enough your a military dependent ( in what ever shape or form, wife, mother, sister, or  daughter ) that you should be able to handle this. It could be worse. Look what you do have. You will have great times when they get back! All sounds like helping but in reality when your in the mind set that you don't like you. Hearing how much better things will be later or whatever only makes life more bleak.

I think a lot of people do not understand why I do these things. Oddly enough though I have found out I am not alone in the way I think and feel. I am just one of the few with support to help pull me out of the depths of despair. So as to not stay focused on what is wrong and focus on what is right. There are plenty of people who don't have that same help though. So before you judge anyone else because they are hard on themselves or they are emotional shut ins, stop and think we all have our moments. We all have these tendencies.We can all have self doubt and self worth issues. Some just pull out of them faster than others. Instead of trying to fix the situation just be supportive. Fixing it for them doesn't help, it just makes that person feel worse. What they need is love and strength from those close to them to help show them their own way of fighting back.

When all else fails the only thing I can actually do is repeat over and over in my head :
        God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
         The courage to change the things I can,
         And the wisdom to know the difference.

If nothing else it just takes a few days and go back to normal. I just need the time to figure out what is going on in my head that is bringing me down and work through it and figure out that is ok for me not to always be ................... perfect.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life in its ahhhh moments......

We often live our lives waiting for the ahhh moments when so often they come and pass us by and we miss them. Take time to cherish little things so as not to let your ahhh moments pass you by.
We have all heard LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE. A lot of people have the words hanging in their house. Most have their own interpretation of the saying.
LIVE- each moment for THAT moment, not as a means to get to the next. 

LAUGH- at yourself so others may laugh with you. Hear the laughter and let it flood your soul. For laughter can cure even the most devastated of hearts. 

LOVE- you can only love others if you first love yourself. Love purely and simply. Love to the depth of your soul and to the stars. Love honestly. And most importantly love completely, holding nothing back. With holding love starts a wall that only gets bigger as time passes until one day you look up and see the Great Wall of China.

Not a lot actually matters in life when you stop and think about it. The laundry be done right now doesn't matter, nor does the house always being super clean, or the yard being perfect. 

There are things that do matter. Most people take these things for granted. The love you see reflected back in your child's or loved one's eyes. The way a hug feels when you have been separated by distance and time. The power three words can have on your mood. The emotions and feelings of life MATTER. It is simply a matter of taking time to stop and appreciate moments most take for granted.

Most people who are not military families under appreciate certain moments. I often see people take things for granted and while sometimes I want to just shake them and say " Don't you see what you are missing?" I actually usually feel sorry for them.They don't have the same appreciation of life the way we do. As the most people go about their lives we a blessed with certain opportunities. 

We get the chance to rekindle love OFTEN. We may have to go through hell to get there. But when your loved one returns you get that honeymoon phase all over again.
We get to look forward to small things making our day. A card, an email, a phone call, or a web date. Most do not truly understand the power of words on a screen or piece of paper and how they can completely fill your heart with joy.
We get to experience life in seconds. Seconds that count. Seconds that we live fully because we have to fit weeks in seconds. 
We get to celebrate special days whenever we want. Just because the calendar says Christmas is December does not mean it can't be celebrated in July. 

Too often we forget all the ways we can incorporate joy into our lives. We get hung up on the misery of deployments and constant PCSing and the day to day grind. We get settled into the world is against us and forget that the world consists of those who matter not the people who populate the Earth. The times we spend with our military loves are precious. The love we share with them can surpass time, distance, and communication black outs. We have so much to be thankful for and yet most days we focus on what we can't or didn't do. 

I am thankful for my husband. My children. My family. My friends. I am thankful this country stands for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am proud that I have this amazing man and many friends and family who fight for liberty. I have this life to give to serve others. And that happiness is mine to make the most of each day.If you have taken the time to read this, then please take the time to do these 3 things:
1. Thank a service member and/or their family.
2. Be thankful for one thing in your life whether it is perfect or not.
3. Take 3 seconds to stop and appreciate something small. ( The way the sun feels on your skin, or the way you feel when you see a flower. )

If you do these things it may not change your life. But it will change your mood even if for just a minute. Life is not about working so hard and moving so fast you one day think where did all the time go. It is about living for the moments as they are and not rushing through them as fast as you can to get to the next one.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Do you know her?

She loves without recourse or knowledge of distance.
She can love through pain, distance, and tears.
She can love even when she hasn't heard from him in days.
She can love though parted by large expanses of time because even time can not tear down the walls that love built.
She can make a home and move it many times, on short notice, no notice, and across countries and states to be with her heart.
She wears a tag on her neck to remind her what he does, a ring on her finger to symbolize the promise they made, and keeps an eye on the horizon to catch the first glimpse she can of him when he comes back to her arms.
She deals with the ups and downs of life often alone.
She takes care of the children and meets the need of both mom and dad until he comes home.
She will sleep with a phone in her hand, holding a pillow that smells like him in a bed that stays made on one side months out of the year.
She has friends all over the world that are better known as sisters. She can talk to them about anything and they understand because they have been there too.
She loves with all her heart and soul but chooses to live alone because she knows he can not stay.
She gives her heart to a country that was based on freedom and liberty because those truths she always holds dear.
She will hold her head up high as she sheds a tear when she hears the National Anthem, or TAPS, or sees Old Glory fly high.
The sound of a jet gives her goose bumps.

The heart of a military spouse knows no bounds.

You may not understand why she does what she does. But if you take the time to ask her she will tell you with a humble smile, Because I love him and its what I do.

If you love your country and appreciate the soldiers that fight for it everyday. Take the time every once and a while to thank the ones that stay at home. The may not wear any uniform but serve as well.

The Silent Ranks

I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens.
But I am in the military in the ranks rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulders.
Salutes I do not give.
But the military world is the place where I live.
I'm not in the chain of command, orders I do not get.
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget.
I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line.
But my job is just as tough.
I'm the one that's left behind.
My husband is a patriot, a brave and prideful man and the call to serve his
country not all can understand.
Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free.
My husband makes the sacrifice.
But so do our kids and me.
I love the man I married.
Soldiering is his life.
But I stand among the silent ranks
known as the Military Wife.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Decleration Of Independence

I know I had to memorize a great deal of this as a child. I wonder how many High School students can say they took the time to even read these words much less memorize them? I have eeven taken my children to ROOM they signed it in!

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

Land of the Free and home of the Brave

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

As children we said these words, one hand across our heart, and knew what the words meant as we recited them. Today many children have heard of the Pledge of Allegiance but do not know all the words. Many also do not know the words to our National Anthem. In this day and age we are slowly becoming a country whose values are one by one being lost.

Once upon a time sounds like you are starting a fairytale, unfortunately this once upon a time refers to a time when morals were high and people taught their children faith, values, respect, and humbleness. Now  I wont say my childhood was perfect BUT I will say it is far better than those that are growing up now. I had a family that cared enough to teach me how to speak to my elders with the respect and dignity they deserved. They thought me that to have enough humbleness to know that you are only on this earth to contribute to the bettering of this world. It is not what the world can do for you but what you can give the world. These traits are lost on most young people today. Just this past weekend I listen to a 13 year old girl talk back to her mother in such a way that if I had ever even thought of saying what she said, I would have woke up in next week.

I think that we should really take a step back and look at ourselves and what we are doing to our young people. The values that founded are country are not so bad. ( I mean they got us through the last couple of hundred years or so but hey ) Respect your elders. Give back more than you receive. Stand up for your fellow man. God and Country come first everything else is second. And Power by the People for the People.

Maybe instead of taking things out of our education system we should add a few things back. Like the pledge of allegiance. The memorizing of the Declaration of Independence. And that it is NOT ok to bully. ( Paddling is also ok in my book. We had paddles when I was growing up and I turned out just fine. Learned a few lessons the hard way but I learned them after one try. ) If we would just go back about 15 years to the way things were then and start raising our children that way maybe this country would have a chance still. Otherwise I am terribly afraid we are heading down an awfully dark direction.