Cammo Style Love: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

#MilitaryMonday The Wingman Project and Real Warriors Campaign

It's the last day of September, therefore the last day of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (check out my post here); so now do we just move on to the next awareness month?  I get the idea of awareness months, but sometimes I worry that after that month passes, it will be forgotten.  People tend to take up the mantle of a cause when its cool or profitable, and then it eventually falls by the wayside.  For those that are living through these sorts of things, one month of recognition just simply isn't enough.

I wanted to highlight some resources that concentrate on keeping this issue at the forefront all the time.  It isn't until issues of mental health because a concern all the time, that things will change.  There shouldn't be a negative stigma attached to someone living well.  As someone that has personally struggled with depression and anxiety

The Wingman Project, of the Air National Guard - 

was created in August 2007 by the Deputy Director of Safety of the Air National Guard as a collaborative solution, including chaplains, family support, medical community, and safety, for all Airmen and their families to address suicide intervention. Since then, the project has been endorsed by the US Air Force and the Department of Defense, receiving an HQ Air Force “Best Practice” in July 2009. 

On their website you can access ACE training for family and friends, and also request comprehensive ACE training, where you could then train others to be a Wingman.  


The New StepUp Campaign encourages everyone to spread the word about the Wingman project and suicide prevention awareness.  Learn ACE, download the mobile app and find your local DPH.  Talking about it, and not sweeping it under the rug is the way to make it "normal" and acceptable!




I met some of these wonderful people this summer at the National Training Seminar for Military Child Education Coalition.

The Acadia Military Support Services Program is specially designed to help our Active Duty Service Members and their families focus on healing from the trauma of living through life-threatening events and human tragedy while courageously performing their military duties to maintain our freedom.  Our highly qualified professionals stand ready to provide first-class mental health care, and unequaled substance abuse recovery and rehabilitation through  our network of TRICARE certified facilities.

There's a wide range of resources and treatments available through this program, and they are prepared to handle anything that comes their way.  They have compassion and love for our troops and their families; and providing care in a stress-free and safe environment is their goal.  They have residential treatment facilities scattered about the US, and provide assistance to the service member and their families from all five branches including the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.


The Real Warriors Campaign is a multimedia public awareness campaign designed to encourage help-seeking behavior among service members, veterans and military families coping with invisible wounds. Launched by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) in 2009, the campaign is an integral part of the Defense Department’s overall effort to encourage warriors and families to seek appropriate care and support for psychological health concerns.

What I love the most about the Real Warriors Campaign is that they feature, and regularly talk about, real service members that have sought out mental health and psychological treatment.  I think that really is 
the best way to address this issue.  These real warriors have continued on with successful military careers, maintaining security clearances and learning coping skills to do all those things.  They also provide confidential assistance through phone, live chat and email in partnership with the Defense Centers of Excellence Outreach Center.

Service Members can log into service member forums to talk with men and women who have 
been where you are.

I wish I could post every single video and PSA.  I urge you to watch more of them, spread the word, show them to your friends, husbands, wives, friends....




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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Social, Week 69

Happy Sunday Ya'll!  It's another week.  Is it just me or is time flying by faster?  I'm not sure if its because I specifically don't want it to, or life is super busy right now, or a combination of all of that.  Maybe I'm just old?  Needless to say we're plugging along.  Is life flying for anyone else right now?  Before we get going make sure to check out the giveaway on the blog.  It's a wonderful little animated children's film, Legend of Kung Fu Panda!

Sunday Social


Time for my favorite linky, thanks Ashley Lately and A Complete Waste of Make-up.  Seriously, I can't believe I missed last week.  It was all about purses...come on man!!!! 

1. What is your dream job?

Well my degree is in Criminal Justice/Psychology.  There was a time where I wanted to be a sentence report writer.  Kind of the best of all worlds, a little police, a little law, a little investigative.  I would still love to do something like that, but being a mom is a pretty awesome job.  Right now though, being in DC, I feel like dream jobs surround me.  I would absolutely love to work in politics.  It would probably be a love/hate sort of deal; but if I could do something in the advocacy area for the military that would be awesome!  Maybe get paid to do some of the awesome volunteer work that I do. 

2. If you won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time?

Definitely do more of volunteering and attending conferences and seminars so that I could educate myself more.  The hardest part for me is really the babysitting issue.  Mr. Air Force is gone quite a bit, so that can be really hard.  I have some amazing babysitters, but they do cost money.  I'm so thankful that he is so supportive of me and tries to make sure I do as much as I can.  However, I wish I could do more.

3. What piece of career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?

So this is kind of funny.  If you happen to be expecting your first little one, surround yourself with those that are like minded in your parenting style and choices.  Supportive friends that will be there for you.  I have a few friends that I always go to to bounce stuff off of, or ask questions.  Many of our friends have similar parenting styles and we support each other in our decisions. 

If you're a blogger - get out there.  Jump in with both feet.  I started making friends, networking, talking about what I like.  You don't necessarily have to find one specific niche, although there are many successful bloggers that talk about only one subject.  Keep it light and fun.  Whenever I start to get overwhelmed blogging is the first thing to go, in more then one respect.  I take a break for a day or two or else my blogging goes down hill.  I want to be on my A Game when I'm here.

If you are interested in more volunteering, find what your passionate about in life.  If you like working with kids, volunteer with kids; if you like animals, work at a shelter.  There's nothing better then giving back and helping someone in need.  Who knows, maybe someday it might lead to a paid gig.  Volunteer work can not only be rewarding, it can be priceless experience.

4. What would be your ideal "just for fun" job?

probably something retail, like clothing (Old Navy maybe), or maybe a craft store.  Who needs a pay-check right?!

5. What was your first "real" job?

I've definitely had some awesome jobs.  I worked at a very awesome collectibles store in "old" part of town, it was so fun.  I was a dance teacher for awhile; but my first "real" job was at a law office.  It was pretty awesome - reception and errand runner, but I learned some cool things.

Can't wait to read everyone's responses.  Make sure to enter the giveaway mentioned above, and start checking out my updated resource tabs up top as well.  If you are military, or know someone in the military, hopefully they will be a great help.  I'm still working on growing the resources, but its a start!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit *review and giveaway*


 
 Experience the adventure in the all-new animated feature Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit arriving on
DVD, Digital Download and Video on Demand September 24 from Lionsgate Home
Entertainment. With a cast headlined by Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Tom Arnold (Hit and
Run) and Academy Award® nominee Michael Clarke Duncan (Best Actor in a Supporting Role,
The Green Mile, 1999) along with pop singing sensation (the smash hit “Friday”) Rebecca Black
in her feature film debut, the Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit follows Fu as he embarks on a journey
to become a kung fu master. Awarded the DOVE Foundation Seal of Approval, the Legend of
Kung Fu Rabbit DVD, including a behind the scenes featurette and a sneak peak at “Miniscule,”
with four award-winning animated shorts, will be available for the suggested retail price of
$19.98
In order to keep his promise to aging kung fu master Sifu, Fu the rabbit, a humble chef, must
venture out of the comfort of his kitchen. He teams up with Penny, a kung fu prodigy, and her
sidekick Biggie to go on a heroic quest to defeat Sifu’s arch-nemesis, Slash to save their kung fu
academy from peril.

 

The Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit is another great film brought to you by Lionsgate.  We here in the Cammo Love house are big fans of anything martial arts related right now.  My two oldest are in Tae Kwon Do, so we have been spending some time checking out board breaking and the like on YouTube.  The story is sweet and it definitely teaches the lessons of honesty and perseverance.  But what I really liked about the film was the animation.  It seemed more like a beautifully written storybook in the an animated feature.  It looked more like it was hand-painted, rather then stark computer animation.  The colors are beautiful, especially in the dream sequence.  My eight year old wasn't as interested in this as my almost five year daughter was.

There is martial arts violence and use of weaponry.  The Dove Foundation (which this film gave its seal of approval) recommends this film for 12+.  You can visit the Dove Foundation's website to see a more broken down description of why they suggested the age range.  It is very comparable to many other animated films out there, so the rating seems a little high in my opinion.

Click below to see some clips from the movie and a short interview
with Rebecca Black and John Heder


And its your lucky day, I have a copy of the movie to giveaway, thanks to the awesome people at Lionsgate!  Good Luck and thanks for stopping by.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


**Disclaimer: I received this film in partnership with Entertainment New Media Network.  I was not compensated in any other way.  As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Disney's Frozen...even the bad guys are pretty

Happy Saturday Ya'll!!  To celebrate I have the trailer for Disney's Frozen to check out.  I've been excited for another Disney animated movie; and this one looks fun!

FROZN_009_USA.jpg 

Today when I was scanning the news I saw the headline for an article about the movie, and how we have our first bad Disney princess.  For the life of me I can't find it (if you find it leave me the link), and now I'm wondering what they were saying.  There isn't usually a pretty bad guy, this is true.  But it remains to be seen what Disney will do with this.  I'm not up in arms about it, I mean bad guys come in all shapes and sizes.  They aren't always some ogre or evil witch, living in the forest.  This particular bad guy just happens to be the equally as pretty sister of our heroine (voiced by Kristen Bell).  This looks to be like a great cast, and it is sure to be a great Thanksgiving option for you and your little ones.


Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck It Ralph,” presents “Frozen,” a stunning
big screen comedy adventure.  Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey, teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.
Check out the trailer and have a great weekend!!

I don't know if it will quite measure up to the my Snow White, Ariel, Aurora or Belle...but I realize that these are ridiculously high standards!  What's your favorite Disney Princess?

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Friday, September 27, 2013

What's up with TriCare and the FluShot

It's flu season again!   We usually get a flu shot, although we don't live and die by the decision on this particular immunization.  Last year we didn't (or I didn't, because I completely forgot and ran out of time), but this year I'm determined to figure out a way to get it done.  One of the questions that I usually have is where the heck can I get the flu shot and not have it cost me an arm and a leg, right?  Sometimes I miss the free or discounted flu clinics, and for years I didn't think my insurance covered them (which at one point I don't believe TriCare did).  

Here's a link to some Flu Season information from HealthNet and TriCare; as well as Healthy Homefront, a great blog from TriWest.



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Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Suicide Prevention Awareness Month....now what?

There are many months of the year that are dedicated to some sort of cause or awareness, some of which are great, some of which you're thinking "okay, we need a specific month to think about this?"  Some, like September and its Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, make me stop and think.  We have this month, to think about it,  but so what?  I mean, its great that we're thinking about it, but what are we actually DOING about it?  I think we are just now starting to really pay attention to this, things are just starting to move, and people are admitting we have a problem.   Resources are being put out there, by Veterans and civilians alike, because I think the realization that the numbers are becoming staggering is coming into play.  Too many military members are committing suicide because its their only way out, and their only way to deal with things.  And what about all the people who are left behind, and the trauma they have now experienced by a friend or family member, or just a fellow soldier in their unit ending their life?



The statistics are there, we see them in every article.  In the 2011 DoDSER (DoD Suicide Event Report) it cited the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, and its report that stated 301 service members died by suicide, and a staggering 915 attempted it.  Programs are created, talks are given, and even last year the Army had an entire 'Stand Down' day, where no one (except essential personnel) worked.  Instead they all attended training.  The numbers keep on rising despite all this, and the military seems to be baffled.  But what is the answer?  I was talking to few friends, originally wanting to get their thoughts on where the disconnect might actually be.  Is it fear, is it lack of training and resources for family members, is it lack of the right resources, or is it something else.  As I began to think about it, in the five seconds it took me to ask the all, I wondered something.  Maybe its the fact that there isn't one right answer.  Maybe that's how we operate, or how the military operates.  There is a solution to the problem, you apply it, its fixed.  One of my friends was thinking the same thing I was.  There isn't one right answer, "there's as many reasons for suicide as there are people," one of the my friends said.  You know, I think she's right.  Maybe its not the solution that we should be looking for.  Maybe we should be looking at how we get the solutions (plural) to the people they need to go to.



In a conversation with Major Ed Puldio (WarriorsForFreedom.org) and Dr. Dan Reidenberg (SAVE.org) the focus wasn't on a specific program, but making sure those that needed help, go the help they needed.  In 2004 Major Pulido was injured by an IED.  He realized that despite what he wanted for himself, to go on with his military career despite his physical and emotional injuries, there were other things for him to do out there.  He hopes that others won't be scared to finally get that help either.  Fear of losing your career isn't worth the long term loss to yourself, your friends and your family.

There seems to be a multi-solution for all of those involved in the conversation last week.   Peer-to-Peer mentors, education in the workplace (for National Guard and Reserve), raising awareness for general medical providers, for law enforcement and giving tools to family members.  One of the most unique of these programs was the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, a unique program that has set its sights on changing the face of mental illness and suicide.  Their program, Working Minds, provides tools and training to enable business to battle suicide head on.  Please read more about the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, a Colorado based organization, on their website.   It's organizations like these that are realizing, like I did, that there is no one way to "solve" the issue of suicide.  There's a magic pill that everyone can take a suddenly everything will be okay.

How is your community, base and/or state tackling the issue of mental health and wellness?  How would you help those dealing with thoughts of suicide?

You can find a growing list of resources by clicking on the Military Mental Health tab at the top of my blog.  See that I'm missing a resource, please let me know!








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Friday, September 20, 2013

#FF Feature and Follow #167

Increase Blog Followers 


Welcome to Feature Follow with Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.  It's been forever since I've participated in this link-up, so I thought I needed to rectify that.  Both of these awesome blogs are my go to for book reviews when I'm looking for a new and unique book to read.   You never know what books might be interesting to someone else, and you might not think to read it.  Following book blogs is a sure fire way to find some cool people and cool books.  For this link-up we also answer a question so that we can get to know each other better.   You can follow me any way you would like!  Make sure to let me know if you are a new follower so that I can make sure I return the favor.  Thank you so much.

Question of the Day: What were some of your favorite picture books as a kid?  If you have kids, what are your favorite picture books to read to them?

I've always been a huge book reader.  Reading was an important part of my childhood.  I still have many of the books that were mine as a child.  I remember a book about horses, and loving that.  Little Golden Books where the bees knees, and Amelia Bedilia.  Can you get enough of Amelia Bedelia?

For my kids, Elephant and Piggie books are my number one recommendation!!!  We love them!





They are the best books and all of my children love them.  My little reader reads them with ease.  They laugh hysterically at them and it cracks me up.


 

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Rhe's Bookshelf - A Plain Disappearance

 

Summary:  It’s Christmastime in Amish Country, and Chloe Humphrey has begun settling into her life in Appleseed Creek excited to see where her new relationship with Timothy Troyer will lead. Unfortunately it leads to murder when the couple discovers the body of Amish teenager Katie Lambright while on their first date.

Near the scene there is evidence that Timothy’s friend and auto mechanic Billy Thorpe is involved with the crime. The police reveal Billy is not really who he said he was and has been living the last decade in Knox County under a stolen alias. Now, Chloe and Timothy must find Billy, bring him to justice, or prove his innocence.

What I thought: If you have been reading any of my reviews as of late, you know that I have been reading some Amish books.  It's usually not my genre at all, but when I saw the words "Amish" and "mysteries" together I thought I would give it a try.  Amanda Flower pulled me in 100% with this book, and now I'm just mad I started with book 3 and not book 1.   This story centers around both the Amish and those that have decided to leave the Amish.  It truly is a great mystery and well written.  Another thing you might have heard me mentioned is that it takes a lot to sell me on most Christian novels.  But Ms Flower, man, not only is it well written, the characters are developed, and you love them.  If you like Amish themed books you may or may not like this.  I'm still trying to decide how realistic it is that they co-exist so well (to some extent).  It doesn't necessarily center on the Amish and their way of life, but on the blending of lives; and really on Chloe and she is settling in this small town of Applecreek.  I can't wait to read the first two books in the series...and a little birdy told me that there are more coming!  I would read this series again and again.

5 out of 5 stars

*I received this book in partnership with Handlebar Media and Handlebar Publications.  I was not compensated in any other way.  My views and opinions are my own.
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to School with Pillsbury

"Back to School" time is always a crazy time in our house.  Between martial arts, AWANA, and Phillip's nap time, it takes us a couple weeks to really get acclimated to our new schedule.  Dinner time can prove to be the most challenging, especially on the nights we have an evening activity.  Because of that I'm always looking for easy meals that my kids like.  Something that is not only easy to make, but easy for them to eat!  Pillsbury to the rescue!


Look at that happy face!  Happy kids equals happy mama.  They get a quick and yummy meal, without having to go the "fast food" route.  This is homemade fast food.  Pillsbury has tons of great and easy dinner recipes.  I chose to whip up the Pillsbury Grands Mini Pizzas.  The best part about this recipe is you can make it what you want.  The kids can be involved in the cooking.  Set out the ingredients you want and let them have at it.  The easiest version takes four simple ingredients.



1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands original bisquits

1 cup of pizza sauce

2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese

1 package of pepperoni slices

I never seem to have pizza sauce around when I need it; so, when I'm in a pinch I reach for the spaghetti sauce.  It's a quick substitute for pizza sauce, and just as yummy!  Depending on what you have around it can also provide some additional flavor.  This is just the beginning of the fun you can have with Pillsbury Grands.  You can download the Pillisbury Grands Recipe Booklet and find all sorts of other fun and kid-friendly recipes for those after school rush hours.  I know I can't be the only one out there!


 doesn't that look yummy?

Do you have a go-to meal for those busy times?  
What's your favorite meal to include the kids in the making of?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of General Mills. Compensation was provided by General Mills via Clever Girls Collective.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

MOAA and the #MilSpouse Employment Survey #MilitarySupportSeries

As I'm prepping this post (its already Monday) I am glued to my television set watching the coverage of the shooting at the Navy Yard.  It brings back too many memories of the shooting near our old duty station in Nevada.  When our military members are unsafe even at home, it is almost too much to handle.  I have a friend at the Navy Yard so prayers and thoughts for him and his family, and for all those involved especially first responders.




For this week's Military Monday, Military Support Series, I am highlighting MOAA (Military Officers Association of America).   I have had the extreme pleasure to work with some of the volunteers at some events, and they are the most wonderfully passionate people that I have met.  They are truly here to help you, and are very approachable and know what they are talking about.

 MOAA is one of the Nation's largest and most influential association of military officers.  It is an independent, non-profit, politically nonpartisan organization.  With over 380,000 members from every branch of service - including active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, former officers and their families - we are a powerful force, speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their career.  MOAA's highest priority is providing first-class service to our members.  We are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community.  We provide expert advice and guidance to our members.

Membership is open to active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired and former commissioned officers and warrant officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Auxiliary membership is also available to spouses of deceased service members.
MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization.
With more than 380,000 members from every branch of service - including active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, former officers, and their families - we are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their careers.
MOAA's highest priority is providing first-class service to our members. We are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community. We provide expert advice and guidance to our members.
- See more at: http://www.moaa.org/main_article.aspx?id=982#sthash.UabCGEax.dpuf
MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization.
With more than 380,000 members from every branch of service - including active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, former officers, and their families - we are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their careers.
MOAA's highest priority is providing first-class service to our members. We are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community. We provide expert advice and guidance to our members.
- See more at: http://www.moaa.org/main_article.aspx?id=982#sthash.UabCGEax.dpuf
MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization.
With more than 380,000 members from every branch of service - including active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, former officers, and their families - we are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their careers.
MOAA's highest priority is providing first-class service to our members. We are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community. We provide expert advice and guidance to our members.
- See more at: http://www.moaa.org/main_article.aspx?id=982#sthash.UabCGEax.dpuf


As a member you have access to so much support, provided by this amazing organization and their chapters near you.  Assistance is provided in areas of Finance, Health, Education, Professional Development, Pay and Benefits, Careers, Discounts and Travel.   This year MOAA also co-hosted the 2013 Warrior-Family Symposium just last week.  I was unable to attend, but have to keeping up with all the information from the event on MOAA's website.  You can access video from the event on the site. 




One of the main reasons why I chose to cover MOAA this week is because of the #MilSpouseSurvey that is going on right now.  This survey is not just for MOAA members, or the spouses of Officers.  We know that the employment of military spouses is a huge issue right now.  In the milspouse universe right now, its everywhere.  Everyone is working on it I feel like.  I was just at a hiring fair directed specifically towards spouses.  MOAA is doing its part, partnering with several other spouse and business organizations, to find out how to best address this significant issue in our community.  Please take the survey, and watch for its release in Spring of 2014.

Thanks for stopping by today.  If you can't use this information please pass it on to someone you know!
Connect with MOAA on social media as well - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Day of Too Many Things....

My mom woke me up that day. The towers had been hit and the second had just fallen. I remember calling my boyfriend (now husband), asking him to come over. We sat and watched in disbelief at what was happening. It must be joke. How could something like this happen, here, to us? That day would become etched into my memory, much like the assassination of JFK for my parents. It was so emotional and remains that way for me today. Much in my life has changed since then. Today I’m the stay at home mom of three children, wife to eleven year veteran, and we live a stone’s throw from one of the day’s targets.



Twelve years have come and gone and I still don’t feel like it has gotten any easier. So when will it; do I want it to? Most every generation has some type of event in their history that remains with them; the whole “I remember where I was” type of event. My mom tells me the story of the day when President John F. Kennedy was killed. She was in the third grade, and her teacher took a little boy out of the class room and he came back in crying. She remembers that the little boy was a particular fan of the President. When we watch History Channel events about JFK she doesn’t cry like I do when I see something that is about 9/11. Was it because she was so much younger than I was when her significant event happened? It wasn’t a prolonged event like the terrorists attacks of that day. The sheer magnitude of the events that took place answers the question for me, but there are still times I wonder if it will ever get any easier. There are times where I still can’t fathom that it actually happened. Once we moved to DC those feelings became stronger. When we drove by the Pentagon for the first time it was such a surreal experience. You see these things on the news, they seem unreal.


But should it get easier? Should it stop affecting me the same way it did that day? I don’t want to ever lose sight of the event, for it to become one of those things that I reflect upon once a year while wearing my flag pin. My children will one day ask me where I was and what I remember, just like I did my mom. The world they grow up in now is so different than before, so it will be more than just the specific event that will be important to talk about. Their view of the world right now is one of happiness and relative peace. Frankly I’m glad that there life is sweet and simple. Very soon they will have to know  of all the world's ugliness.  They will learn about it in school and we will talk about it at home.  It will just simply be a part of their lives.  I hate that for them.  Things are so different now.  The realities of war and terrorism are simply a part of life and that's just strange.  That's now how I grew up.  I realize the Gulf War was going on when I was little but it was different somehow.  They weren't on our turf and my dad wasn't fighting them.

Then last year, the attack on Benghazi.  The same day.  All the controversy surrounding it, the lies, the questions, the speculation.  The images that I saw and couldn't look away fast enough.   Hillary Clinton crying over a colleague and friend.  Stories of heroism came forth that day, stories that cause you to simultaneously be saddened and inspired by the fact that the America you love isn't gone.  The memory of those men need to be remembered as well.

The day has one final memory, one that is more personal.  Less than a month after my husband and I were married a friend from high school died in an accident.  He was our age and that was really difficult.  Contemplating mortality that personally.  I came home from work that day to a message from my mom to call.  I called her back and she uttered the words.  I fell to the floor in a heap screaming "no!"  You see our friend was also dating one of my very best friends, so not only was my heart breaking for the loss of him, for his amazing family, but for my friend who was there when it happened.  I scrambled around trying to find the phone number for my husband, who was a couple hours away in a different state at a new job.  Somehow I managed to find the number on our lease and called him.  I drove to my parents house and we crumbled in the front yard.   Why?  I don't pretend to understand why things happen the way they do.  We live in a world of Sin and nothing is perfect.  I get that....but why?  I remember as a large group of us huddled in the atrium of our church, we all wondered why.  We listened to our pastors give us words of peace, but we still wondered why.   We named our son after him.



We aren't meant to know the reasons why things happen.  This is the conclusion that I've come to.  No matter how much I think about something, things that are senseless just don't make sense.  I don't think they will ever.  Because of that, I don't think it will ever get any easier.
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LaLa-Oopsies Brand New Movie! *Review*

I am absolutely thrilled to share with you the brand new LaLa-Oopsies Movie, from Lionsgate Media,  with you today.  If you have never heard of LaLa-Oopsies (I don't know how that's possible if  you a little girl between the ages of 4 and 10) then this is a perfect introduction for you.  We had the pleasure of taking a sneak-peak at the new DVD, A Sew Magical Tale


From the creators of Lalaloopsy™ comes a sew magical movie with Lala-Oopsies: A Sew Magical Tale – The Movie! Experience a whimsical land of ballerinas, fairies, mermaids and more when Lala-Oopsies: A Sew Magical Tale.  In this fun adventure, the Lala-Oopsies must work together with their fantastical friends to save their home when their magical world is turned upside down.  



Journey beyond the rolling green hills of Lalaloopsy Land to a magical place never seen before to meet the Lala-Oopsies! On islands that float on strawberry milk rivers, surrounded by tall mushroom trees, live the whimsical Lala-Oopsies, princess ballerinas, fairies and mermaids. Join the magical creatures as they embark on a fantastical journey to save their precious homes when the strawberry milk, which powers Lala-Oopsies Land, suddenly stops flowing.

My daughter carried around for several days just looking at the pictures on it.  Watching the DVD was the highlight of her day, she was so excited!  As a mom I was excited too.  The Lala-Oopsies are something that I don't worry about my daughter watching.  I don't have to monitor it, for fear something might slip in, like you do so many cartoons out there.  The story lines are all about friendship, caring, politeness and all the things you want to teach your children.

 

As you can see, one of the greatest things about these characters is how they look.  Aren't they darling?!  The colors are vibrant, and they really pull the children in.  Ami's favorite part about this movie was the introduction of the mermaids and fairies.  She had never seen these before in the cartoon.  Mermaids are a her favorite thing right now, so that made this movie all the better in her book.  The DVD features two mini adventures as well, which really makes it worth it to me.  Having the movie also encourages her imaginative play.  We are also the proud owners of several of the little LaLa-Oopsie toys (which are a reasonable price as well).  So not only does she use the toys to mimic the movie, but I caught her having a magical strawberry milk tea party the other day.  The whole line is a welcome addition in my home, and I would highly recommend the LaLa-Oopsies for your daughter as well.

5 out of 5 Stars

LaLa-Oopsies A Sew Magical Tale premiered on DVD, Digital Download and On Demand, September 3rd.  It is available for $14.98, however one reader has the chance to win a copy of their very own!

Before you go check out the trailer for the A Sew Magical Tale movie below, and the rafflecopter!  Do as many of the entries as you'd like.  Good luck and thanks for stopping by!


video






a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Military Monday - Military Support Series *Guest Post* MilSpouse Minute

Happy Military Monday!  Today I have a guest post, so it is kind of a three-for deal here.  Military Monday+Military Support Series+Guest Post= Amber Turner and MilSpouse Minute.  I first discovered MilSpouse Minute only a couple weeks ago; so when Amber asked if she could snag a few moments to share her cool new site with my readers, I said "of course!"  Here's a little bit about Amber ~

Amber Turner is an Air Force wife and mother of 2. She started blogging with HippyFitMom.com to share her passion of motherhood, fitness, health and wellness.  She created www.MilSpouseMinute.com for other military spouse entrepreneurs to help spread the word about their ventures.  She has B.S. in Business and Information Technology and is pursuing her Master’s in Human Services.
Thanks for stopping by everyone and I hope your week is a great one.




As military spouses, many of us are faced with several challenges when it comes to our careers.  This is why I created MilSpouse Minute.  MilSpouse Minute is our moment or “15 minutes” so to speak. Our mission is to create a platform for military spouses to share and promote who they are and their ventures with others using video. Video has a huge impact on consumers and customers. 

I know that military spouses are talented individuals and it is my goal to bring them to the forefront and have them share it with the world.  The forum will give military spouses that voice that they desperately need. My goal is to be a blog platform for military spouses that will lead to business growth and success. I solicit business owners, Etsy shop owners, crafters and everything in-between to create a MilSpouse Minute. 

Why do I use Youtube and social media?  Because these are key ways to get immediate feedback, cut down time, waste and increase virality.  What is virality you say?  Virality is the degree in which internet content is shared via the internet therefore increasing the reach of the content.  In my struggles, I realized as military spouse entrepreneurs and business owners we have to rely on our best resource and that is ourselves.  Relying on our fellow military spouses to promote our ventures other via social media can help us to succeed.

Where it all started (dream sequence/blurry dreams lines)….

“Honey, I got an assignment to New York…” These were the words that I echoed in my head when I found out my family and I would be leaving the longest place I ever lived, Georgia. Needless to say Georgia is not New York, so the drastic change had me a little nervous. Besides the culture shock I knew I was going to experience, the second thought I had was “I gotta find myself another job!”.  The frustration and pressure from not finding employment proved to have affected me mentally as well. I didn’t have an outlet. So I created one for myself. One that gave me my voice and visibility in a world where I felt I didn’t have one.  The struggles I faced led me to Milspouse Minute.

So come join me and let us be each other’s support for success!
visit MilSpouse Minute and their Brother site http://veteransvoiceonline.com/

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rhe's Bookshelf - My Mama and Me *giveaway*

Time or another Rhe's Bookshelf review.  This time, I am happy to give you all a chance to win a copy of the
book yourself.   Good luck.

take a look inside on Amazon!


Summary:

A companion book to My Grandma and Me, this book is specifically written for mother and child. My Mama and Me is designed around four questions: Can You Tell Me about God? Can You Tell Me about Jesus? What Does God Think about Me? How Can I Show God I Love Him?

Through 25 rhyming devotions and fun activities, Mom can answer these questions for the curious little one. It’s a great way to introduce kids to faith at an early age yet in an age-appropriate and understandable manner. Each devotion also includes a short Bible verse and a prayer that mother and child can recite together. Some of the activities include creating a card, making a heart wreath, and singing—all of the activities are directly related to the theme for the devotion. These devotions translate to hours of meaningful, faith-filled fun.

The book ends with a touching prayer every mother will want to pray for her children.

What I Thought:

 I have a couple different devotions that I've used with the kids.  I prefer ones that are interactive.  My kids seem to learn, engaged and remember better when there is an activity associated with whatever it is we are talking about.  Plus it usually gets a moving, or having a discussion for longer.  This particular devotion, beautifully illustrated by the way, is perfect for smaller children, probably about 3 I would say.  The devotions are short enough that your smaller children could sit and read and stay engaged as well.

The devotions are set up simply: Bible Verse, devotion (something that the children learn - God keeps us safe, God gives us what we need, God is your friend), prayer and an activity.  The activities range from simply going outside and looking for things, while some are more artsy.

4 out of 5 stars

This is a great devotional for very young children.  While I'm sure older children (my 5 and 7 year old included) wold enjoy this, I prefer a little more in-depth study, and one where they would sit for just a smidge longer.  The illustrations are sweet and this would make a great gift and/or heirloom.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, September 2, 2013

#MilitaryMonday - What's the Deal with TriCare?



Happy Monday everyone!  I usually do a 'Military Monday type post, but today is my first time linking up with Ashley over at Eights on the Move.  I'm super excited to have found Ashley's blog because I've been thinking about an officially 'Military Monday' Link-up and low and behold there it was!  I'm thinking about re-visiting some of her previous topics and playing catch up, but first thing's first.  This week's topic is TriCare - dun dun duuuunnnnn!  Did you hear the creepy music?

As with all things in life there are multiple experiences.  Truth be told we've had an almost impeccable experience with Tri-Care and United Concordia one could have in an eleven year career.  The only problems that we've had was something that I don't know that they necessarily had control over, and was mostly due to the oddity that is my husband's job.  The other unique experience that we have had is the fact that we were remote.  Because of that we had TriCare Prime Remote.  TriCare Prime is the standard plan that most active duty people receive.  Prime Remote meant that standard of care was received by all civilian doctors since we weren't anywhere near an MTF.  There is no cost for TriCare prime and we never had to pay a co-pay.  Our prescriptions were dirt cheap; and I had three babies, a wrist surgery and several specialty visits and paid not one cent!  The one thing that did cost us a bit was when there wasn't a generic prescription for something, but then compared to what someone else might pay for name brand meds, it was nothing.

When we moved here to Virginia and my husband took a civilian contract we first took the insurance available through his work.  After one year we were like forget this nonsense!  A part of the decision to take the civilian insurance was because of our location.  There are about five military bases within a stone's throw of us.  For us, personally, MTFs and military health care was not for us.  However, we had other options!   Currently we have TriCare Reserve Select, which other than the annual fee has been a seemless transition from active to traditional guard.

Here they are broken down for you:

TriCare Standard and Extra - This plan provides so much flexibility to its users.  You are allowed to see any authorized provider whether they are in your network or not.  When you see a non-network provider (standard option) you will pay a little bit out of pocket.  You will not need a referral but some appointments might need prior-authorization.  For example when I decided to see someone for my depression I called and made an initial appointment and the doctor submitted the paperwork.  I then received a letter from TriCare stating that I was approved to see this doctor for a certain number of visits.  There is a small deductible based on your rank..  This plan is available to all the eligible beneficiaries except the active-duty service member.  ** if your sponsor is National Guard or Reserve, the deductible is waived if they were activated in support of a contingency operation.

TriCare Standard and Extra info page

US Family Health Plan - This is an additional Prime option.  It is available through networks of community-based, not for profit health care providers.  There are designated areas that this option is available, and it is available for a wide variety of people including the following - active duty, retired families, active guard and reserve families, non-activated guard and reserve families who qualify for Transitional Assistance Management Program, survivors, Medal of Honor recipients and their families, and qualified former spouses.  Like I mentioned before this plan is available only in certain areas, mostly on the East Coast.  You can view the areas and the areas on the TriCare info page.  There is no enrollment fee for active duty families and transitional survivors.  Other families pay an enrollment fee of of a little over $500.00 (which can be paid quarterly or monthly).  There are no other fees as long as you see an approved provider.

TriCare Prime - Here's a great article about Prime from Military.com

TriCare Reserve Select - This is for my National Guard and Reserve peeps!  This is very similar to the Standard and Extra plan.  When you see a network provider it costs less, then if you see a non-network provider.  There is a small enrollment fee of just under $200.00 for a family.  Deductibles vary based on the sponsor's rank.  After the deductible is met there is a percentage that is paid for outpatient visits.  Learn more by visiting the info page for TRS.

When you visit the TriCare main page you can answer questions about who you are, where you live and your service member's status.  It will pull up available plans for you and break them down even further.  I have to say the TriCare website has come a long way in being way more user friendly.  It is explained clearly and is very easy to navigate.

I guess the final question would be "how do I get this insurance?"  In order to receive this you must be enrolled in DEERS.  Service members are automatically enrolled in DEERS.  In order for family members to be enrolled you have to go on your base or armory.  The service member will take his/her spouse to the local ID office to get your ID as well.  You will a birth certificate and/or marriage certificate.  You can locate the nearest office here.  Unfortunately our guard/reserve families may have to travel further to get this done if you are not near your unit.  The good part about those that are far (and close as well) is that if you can't make it with your service member that's okay.  My husband enrolled me right after we were married without me being there.  He just took my birth certificate and our marriage certificate with him.  And all children can be enrolled without you lugging them out to the office.  The service member will just take the birth certificate to the office to get them officially enrolled.  TriCare does make allowances for new births and the initial pediatrician visits before you have the official birth certificate, just make sure you have your information (tricare card and the id) when you go to the office.

We are huge fans of TriCare in the Cammo Style Love house.  Do you use TriCare?  What's been your experience?

If you have any other questions please ask here or email me!!


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