February Update

Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone (great game) and we are finally into the month of February…tax season and Cupid’s day!! Both of which I am like “eh” about. All is well here in the Isla casa as we continue to figure out what the heck is going to transpire with our PCS move. George is still in the hopes of getting Korea, but it is unlikely. The other option is since he will inevitably be getting deployed no matter what…he may try to ask for Kuwait since it is a predominantly safer area to get sent to (I am just guessing, from what I’ve heard). But, I must say that I am leaning more and more towards Germany every day that goes by. I know my family and close friends don’t understand why we would want to stay overseas…well there’s a few reasons. Primarily, it’s the education factor. I am not too keen on getting shipped somewhere in the states where my kids have the odds of being frisked upon entering the school grounds. Also, JD’s services would be in tact and would not have to be reassessed/retested if we continue with DODDs schools. The other factor is opportunity. There are not many chances to “live” in another country and I have to say that it has been one of the best experiences our family has ever had. We have seen and learned so much just from traveling via the military. When it’s over, it’s over. We have to take what opportunities we can before we bid farewell to this lifestyle. Lastly, the money is fabulous. We have banked living here and when it’s time to finally buy our first home, we will be more than ready. The pros just outweigh the cons!! So wish us luck as the months draw closer and that we end up in the best place for our family. Either way, we will make the best of it…we always do!!

On another note, I wanted to update on JD’s medicine trial. He is doing GREAT!! Yes, I said it. I spent over a week trying to find something wrong with it and for it to give me a reason to say “STOP”, but it has been quite the opposite. He leaves my car every morning when I drop him off just as he does when I pick him up…happy and engaged. His appetite has remained the same, his sleep patterns are consistent, and he is doing his homework without prompting. The school has noticed the major differences though…those like completing his work in 1/4 of the time it took him prior to the meds, actively participating in social activities on his own, raising his hand to answer questions in class discussions…etc. The differences are more than they could have ever hoped for and I am blown away. So, you don’t fix what isn’t broken as they say. He is making great strides and George and I will continue to support and encourage that. I am so excited to watch him the next few months left in school. I know he will do wonderful things for himself.

No pics this time, but we will be going to a BBQ today with all my girlfriends and all the peers George works with so I will post about it soon. All I know is I will be having more than one glass of wine!! It has been a long week….

Love to all and as always, thanks for reading….

What is FRG?

So…many of the people I know outside my military world, don’t really have the exact idea of what I mean when I talk about the FRG. The Family Readiness Group is a “team” of people that provide support and assistance and communication among its Family members, Command, and Community. It consists of the Command, a Soldier Liaison, an FRG Leader and his/her Committee Chairs and of course all the Soldiers and Family members. My role as an FRG Leader has given me internal pride not only because it just feels good to give back, but because of the Families I have helped to become resilient. When I think about how many Spouses have come out of their shell and actually “experienced” a military life because of the FRG, I realize it is all worth it. I don’t do it for the glory and it’s definitely not for the pay…I do it because its MY contribution to the Army. I live a pretty fabulous life of traveling, proud patriotism, and a secured income all because of the Army. What better way to show my appreciation than to help other Spouses become self-reliant, especially during deployment times. BUT, there is the occasion that you can run into that “Army Wife”…you know, the one that likes to talk all about her husband’s rank and job and is always trying to get the scoop about people’s personal business. These ones need the FRG the most (at least what I’m passing down). Being demeaning, snooty and self-centered will get you no where when it comes to being a successful Military Spouse. Besides, I will just dismiss you if you persist on making it awful for the rest of us. My job is to squash that nonsense and create a “team” who looks out for one another. I have absolutely met my share of crazies and know-it-alls and I take it with a grain of salt. I remember that I am doing something they will never do….I am making my life even fuller than it already is. When the time comes that I am no longer an FRG Leader, I will always volunteer somewhere for the Military because it allows me to truly visualize the potential my heart can give. Thanks for bearing with me as I sat firm on my soapbox for the last few minutes. Here are a few tips I go by to successfully make things happen for my team (my creed if you will):

Remember spouses have no rank
Get involved!
Encourage all-ranks activities
Meet regularly
Keep updated Rosters
Keep information flowing in both directions
Get to know the other spouses
Ask questions, offer suggestions, volunteer!
Be yourself and have fun!

Would you believe that this is even necessary to say? You would think it was a given. Unfortunately it’s NOT. I love my fellow fab five and the fact they do know this! This goes out to my FRG girls…thanks for what you do!!


Miss you Sheila…

Cooking for Soldiers

This evening the FRG hosted its annual Single Soldier Thanksgiving meal. I was in charge of mass-producing the desserts (my Pumpkin Roll rocked, I’m just sayin’). When I looked upon all the guys…and gals of course…standing in line to get their much anticipated home-cooked meal, I realized that I had never had a Thanksgiving alone. Sure George had been gone before during the Holidays, but I always cooked, spent it with extended family, or went to a close friend’s. I could never imagine being ALONE with no kitchen, no family, NO ONE on Thanksgiving (well maybe except that dude you are forced to share a floor with that reeks and plays WOW all the time LOL). These Soldiers work just as hard as the next and yet they don’t have that pat on the back to go home to like married Soldiers do. The most enjoyable part of the night for me was when they all stopped one by one to say thank you for cooking for them. Something the hubby here fails to do almost regularly (subconsciously of course). :o) I know these Soldiers really meant it. They truly were thankful and I was thankful for them. I felt like I could have gone into “mom mode” asking them what they were going to get into tonight and that they better be safe, but they probably would have thought I was weird, which I am. Ultimately what I mean is, I would cook for them any day if it meant taking care of these unsung heroes. If you get the chance I highly suggest that you cook for a Soldier, too. And if they don’t say thank you all the time, don’t hold it against them!!

Here’s a clip my friend Tanja sent me that really sums it up!!! Remember, give thanks….

http://www.cpmsglife.org/tg/2006tdm1.html

Abe for Pres?…and such!!

So I am not going to go on and on and mimic what positivity everyone has already expressed about the election. All I will say is GOBAMA!! For all the McCain supporters, give it a chance before you reveal how you feel our country is doomed. Actions speak louder than words…so let’s see people!!! In correalation with the National election, JD’s class held a Presidential wax museum if you will. The class got to all pick a US President or First Lady and prepare a speech about them. On Election day, they lined up in the library with a “push button” to activate their live speech. JD picked Abraham Lincoln as his President. Perfect!!! He even used the low voice to channel his inner Abe. I think the beard was a nice touch…thx dad!!

Here he is with his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln!!

They even went into their makeshift voting booths to choose their candidate. JD wouldn’t tell me who he voted for…I taught him well!!

Amongst all the election hype, it was also 58th week for George’s Battalion. It’s basically a week long of sports/competitions and ends with Organizational Day complete with BBQ and all. So I’m sure this goes without saying that George played in every dang event. I’m talking anything from Bowling to Track to Soccer to Basketball to Volleyball to Dodgeball to Football. He has no self-control when it comes to sports. Anyway, the only thing he couldn’t compete in was the Drill and Cermonies portion. (Mainly because he was in charge of this event). But it didn’t stop him from getting in on some of the action. Here he is giving the ‘go ahead’ to some Soldiers in his Company to start the cermonies…

And honing his soccer skills…

At the Org Day, they decided to put all the First Sergeants in the dunk tank for a little fundraising action. George was not all that thrilled, but he went in reluctantly…

JD dunked all but his dad…he knows where his loyalty lies. Another tidbit about JD, he has been growing his hair out since school has started. He wants to “be like a rockstar”. Not until it started raining and he began to sculpt his hair did I realize how far he’s coming to achieve that goal…

I also hosted my Pampered Chef party this week (I’m all about the stoneware and it’s been a long time). We played this Amazing Race game where the guests in two teams had to cook a recipe Nascar style. It was fricking hilarious. Nothing screams comedy like women racing to cook…

There’s my girls…

And the winners were…

Thanks to all of you that came.

One more thing, who doesn’t love a pair of cutie boys working the 3D glasses??

P.S. I love Fall!! Love ya…

Team 58 Catches Another Victory!

So all this softball has got me tired and weary…and Saige’s season hasn’t even started yet. The emotional roller coaster we have had to endure through each game has been intense, nevermind that I have to keep score which means less heckling for me, but last night it finally paid off! 58th Signal BN is the Army Softball Champions once again on Okinawa!!! The playoffs started Monday night, which we won because the team actually decided not to show and so it was a forfeit….they were scurred. Wed there was another game where if we won that one we were playing right after for 1st place. Despite a few shady absences by teammates, we managed to win in the last inning. The next game was a slaughter…23 to 15! We were all so geeked about it and I took tons of photos. The lighting there was crappy, but I guess it made everything look Signal Orange…SWEET!

Since George was the coach (big surprise) he gets the big ol trophy that he proudly shows off…who cares about the dirt all over his body. I swear he has a superstition that he needs to eat dirt at every game.

This win was for Sheila. She would have been so proud of those guys. She loved the game and loved to win. They sucked it up for ya girl!

See ya next year for a three-peat!!!