4.30.2008

I'm going on a trip!!!

I can't divulge details right now but it's incredibly exciting and I'll be sure to post pictures and write about it when I'm back! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!




Pau.




- hfs

4.29.2008

New look, same stuff

So the new template is up. I'm still tweaking a few things - need to rearrange the links on the sidebar, reinstall HaloScan, SiteMeter, etc.

I'm still getting used to it. I don't do change well so this will take me a while to get used to. Let me know what you think!




Pau.




- hfs

4.25.2008

Changes...

they are a-coming. I found someone to "stylize my blog" and she's going to start working on it soon. So don't be surprised if you click in one day and the place looks completely different. I think, after 4+ years, it's time for a change. And part of the cost will go to a good cause.




Pau.




- hfs

4.24.2008

Hooter Hooker pr0n

John asks the question that all Apache pilots want to know the answer to...where can they find this crew?


Heh, John. They're in the back of the Chinook, just like the Hooters girls, hanging out with real crew chiefs.


Photobucket




Pau.




- hfs

4.17.2008

What if...?

Today I received an email from my FRG leader informing me that the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account has been opened up to all military spouses, regardless of rank (prior to this, it was only available to spouses whose sponsors were certain ranks). What a blessing!


But hearing about this gives me pause. Makes me think, "What if...?"


But it's not the "What if...?" that I bet you're thinking.


A little history:

I graduated from high school and went directly to a 4-year university. Granted, I was not sure of what I wanted to be when I grew up but I went anyway. State-run college, lived in the dorm, etc. I don't even remember what the cost was but if I were to look it up in today's dollars, it would run about $20K per year for tuition, fees, room/board, and books. Twenty thousand dollars for a kid who really didn't know what she wanted to be when she grew up.

I bailed after a year.

I wasn't ready for college. I had no clue what I wanted to be/do/study. Hell, I didn't know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt. I had no business being there. I should never have gone in the first place. At the time, though, community college was presented as some place the kids that we're "worthy" of a 4-year college went. That's where the "dummies" went. That was the impression I got from those around me. And having been raised to believe that I would go to college, I could not step outside of myself long enough to see that a 4-year university was not the right place for me at the time.

So I chalked it up to a "learning experience". A damned expensive one, at that.


I moved back down south - back "home" - and found my way to the local community college. I tackled my General Education courses and worked and quickly pinpointed what it was I wanted to be when I grew up - a teacher. Sweet. Then I met MacGyver and together, we decided to head to Colorado to complete our college educations. We knew from the beginning that we would get married. At that point, we did not know that he would enlist 4 years later but looking back, I can see that he was headed that direction.


So here I am, 15 years later (well, 18 since graduation, to be precise) and I am a stay-at-home-mom. I graduated with a degree in a field that allowed me to teach and I did - for 4 years. Then we started a family and I made the decision to stay home with my children. And I love it. And I wouldn't change a single thing.


Well, maybe. The "What if...?" is this: What if I had put off going to college? What if I had spent that entire time (18 years to this point or 12 to the point where I chose to stay home with my children) working rather than racking up student loans and credit card debt? What would be different?


I don't know that anything about my life would be different other than our balance sheet. I would still be married to MacGyver. We would still have our two beautiful children (the older of whom lost her second tooth this evening!). We would still be a military family. We just wouldn't have student loans that have been around so long that we now consider them family pets. Oh, gee. Bummer.


I look at the resources available now to spouses that are working on their degrees and I see how I could have made this work - quite easily, in fact - for me now. And, in the end, I might very well have found myself in EXACTLY the same spot (only without the $60K pricetag on my diploma!).


Huh.


Am I bitter? Nope. The way I see it is this: you have a choice. Bitter or better. Pick a vowel. I have several friends and acquaintances who are bitter over their lot in life. The rail against the military and they rail against their husband's job and they rail against where they live and they rail against this and they rail against that. Seems like an awful lot of railing. Yes, from time to time, military life SUCKS. But you know what? From time to time, LIFE sucks. Like my friend Maggie said to me, "If you stood in a circle and threw your problems in the middle.....you'd take your own back."


Military life - like everything else IN life - is what you make of it. You can either focus on the negative and spend your time bitching and moaning about your circumstances and choices or you can get busy living. Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." He didn't say "Bitch about the change you want to see in the world."


Seriously.


Don't like something about your life? Either do something to effect a change (in the direction you want the change to take you) or shut up and accept the circumstances of your life. Otherwise, you're just wasting oxygen.


So, is there something I want to change about my situation? Yes - I'd love to be free of the student loans. So, to effect that change, I'm buying lottery tickets. Heh.




Pau.




- hfs

4.15.2008

Do something.

Got an email from a friend whose husband was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq Memorial Day 2007. She's running in the Marine Corps Marathon through the generosity of TAPS (Tragedy ). In order to do so, she needs to raise $1,000. If you could find it in your hearts (and wallets) to help her out, I'd be grateful.

**Her personal TAPS page (where you can make a donation to help her reach her goal) is HERE.

From Mindi:
Ok, so I have signed up to run another marathon. Yes, I am crazy! This time however there is a bit of method to my madness. I'm going to run the Marine Corps Marathon. Normally you have to be put in this lottery thing to try and get a slot but TAPS(Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) has 150 slots available to them. All they ask us to do is to raise at least $1000.00. No prob right? Ok, so this is where all of you (my wonderful, loving and generous friends and family) come in. Please if you are able, donate. It is a wonderful cause. Just to note(tug at heartstrings) the kids and I will be heading to the TAPS national conference and Good Grief camp the weekend of Memorial Day. If you are not able to donate, please help by forwarding this to as many people as you can. Thank you for your support, Mindi





And I also heard from Chuck:

I am participating in this, and am trying to raise between $5K (personal goal) and $10K (team goal). I am $3k short of my personal goal right now, and the event is only a scant 3 weeks away.

I am writing to not only ask for your contributions, but to also as for you to spread this information through your address books, word of mouth, web pages, and any other means at your disposal.

ANY amount, even a single dollar is appreciated. This is my personal achievement after being wounded. Completing this ride will mark almost three years or rehabilitation, over 30 reconstructive surgeries, and healing from being wounded in 2005. It is my honor to ride along with other wounded warriors. Please donate what you can, and ask others to do likewise.

Link for donations: 2008 Face of America Bike Ride
More information from the website:


On May 3rd & 4th 2008 World Team Sports, working with The Walter Reed Army Medical Center, The National Naval Medical Center, The Brooke Army Medical Center, The Soldiers Angel Fund, The Injured Semper Fi Fund, and others will be hosting our 2008 Face of America Bike Ride, a two-day inclusive bike ride from Bethesda, MD to historic Gettysburg, PA the National Naval Medical Center to honor and assist our disabled veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This ride is an opportunity to welcome these disabled servicemen and women ,and able-bodied servicemen and women, as teammates and show them how much we appreciate their efforts. We will also have the opportunity to show them that they can still be a part of the TEAM.

There is no charge for any active duty servicemen or women, both able-bodied and disabled, to participate. There is a $ 400 minimum fundraising goal for all other participants. The money raised will pay for all the costs of the active duty participants, including accommodations, food, outreach, providing usage of bikes, cycling clinics,and all other costs associated with the ride.




So, should you find yourselves with a few of your hard-earned tax dollars handed abck to you from Uncle Sam, you might consider supporting these two as they try to reach their goals. Or, you can throw a few dollars toward Soldiers' Angelst to help them out (for a reason I'll post about tomorrow).


Chuck, Mindi...you both are amazing. Thanks for letting me know you!




Pau.




- hfs

4.06.2008

Hey Moe!

What the Presidential race is beginning to look like...


Photobucket




(h/t April!)




Pau.




- hfs

It's all about context

"But is she hot?"


That's the question that my 4 year old son asked his sister in the backseat on the way to dinner tonight. Not something you would expect to hear come out of the mouth of a 4 year old boy.


MacGyver about fell out of the car, laughing.


I was pretty sure he wasn't asking in the context we thought he was asking. And he wasn't. His sister had drawn a picture of a "girl in Africa" and he wanted to know if she was hot. Because, in his mind, it's always hot in Africa.


Context is everything.




Pau.




- hfs

4.04.2008

SEE?!?!?

Men Create More Housework for Women


Having a husband creates an extra seven hours of housework each week for women, according to a new study. For men, tying the knot saves an hour of weekly chores.



I'm dying here. *snicker*


Why is it that getting married saves a man ONE hour but causes SEVEN extra hours for the woman?? And, if the roles are reversed and the woman works and the MAN stays home, does marriage cost HIM an extra seven hours of work? Hmm...




Pau.




- hfs