A worthwhile cause

I absolutely meant to post about this earlier in the month but I looked at the calendar and thought “Hey, it’s only the 11th, I have plenty of time”. Then I looked at the calendar again yesterday and thought “Holy crap, I better get my butt in gear!”

Sometime in the last year(it all sort of bleeds together to be honest with you) I started seeing comments on the Flat Daddy blog from a woman named Annette. After a little interaction and with some helpful hints from an internet friend I learned a bit more about her and what she does. Turns out she’s an LDS author and it was a surreal experience to go to my in-laws’ house and see each one of her books in their collection. (Seriously, I get to meet the dopest people on teh internets). Anyhow she’s been working on a book which she recently finished that hits fairly close to home for me and our family. It’s titled “Band of Sisters” and it’s a fictional account of 5 LDS women whose husbands deploy to the Middle East. Well, semi-fictional, since some of the things she writes about really happen irl. Kind of a “names have been changed” kind of deal if you ask me. I was skeptical in the beginning, but I perused the first 3 chapters and totally had to laugh because there are some things that Annette totally nailed, even little bits of my own “Ugh, I’m so not a typical military wife” attitude, which I guess means I’m more typical than I realize! Deployment home repair disasters, waiting by the computer for a little chat time, family members getting sick or dying when your spouse is too far away to come home, yep, been there done that. I’m not one for the schmaltz, but this all hit close enough to home to wring a couple(small, extremely tough *grrrr*) tears from my eyes.
Not only did Annette embark up a journey into territory she knew little about at the time, she also decided to use this as an opportunity to do some good for a cause I personally love. In conjuncture with FlatDaddies.com she has a special link from her website that allows you to donate to the program without having to pony up the full 50 bucks for a Flat Daddy. You can donate as much or as little as you can afford, and you don’t have to have a specific recipient in mind. Of course you’re always welcome to donate the full amount to provide a family with their very own Flat Daddy, or Flat Mommy as the case maybe.
Please please please send these links on to anyone you can, as the increasing number of Iraq and Afghanistan deployments have so many families grasping for whatever extra bit of comfort the world has to offer and I can personally attest that Flat Daddies provide just that.
I am so thankful to Annette for the chance to be involved in this wonderful charitable opportunity for something I wholeheartedly endorse. I hope that you can show her, her book, and her Flat Daddy link at the very least as much support as you’ve shown me. Let’s get the word out there people!!
Annette is published by Covenant Communications and her books, including “Band Of Sisters”, are available at Deseret Bookstores or at Deseret Books online. While her books are LDS centered, I think we could all use a little comfort and spiritual uplifting when we’re taking on the challenges of supporting our military family member or friends.

Real Jared came home safe and sound and everyone was beyond happy to see him. Even the baby (now 2) didn’t shy away and I credit our Flat Jared with much of that.
It’s been quite the adventure since RJ came home, nothing’s really the same after so long apart and it’s hard to figure everything out. Accept that it’s much like starting all over and try to keep the right perspective. Be willing to talk and be willing to ask for help. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America website has links for soldiers about the transition, as well as a section for friends and family. Remember that it won’t be perfect and you’ll at least start out headed down the right path.
We had a fun family vacation a few weeks after RJ returned and it was a ton of fun watching him and the kids interact. Mira became quite the daddy’s girl and the boys were just happy to have someone to wrestle with. Now RJ is back to work and almost done with his degree. FJ is tucked away in a closet awaiting his next adventures, though we’re not really in a rush for that to happen!
I hope to have very random updates about other Flat Daddy news from time to time, and please send the link(or at least the Flat Daddy idea) out to anyone you think could use it. Deployment can be excruciatingly lonely for families, particularly Reserve and National Guard families, and it’s always nice to have a connection to others in your position. Thanks to all of you for your visits and support here. Lots of love from our family to yours!

This is the perfect time of year for some fresh baked cookies straight to your door. Look no further than Cookies Direct!

The best thing is that if you join Club Nine and pay a mere nine dollars more for your order(sure you can just donate the nine dollars, but why would you do that when you could just as easily buy yourself some cookies too?) you will be adding an extra dozen cookies to an order being sent overseas!  Click here for more info on how treating yourself to some fresh baked cookies can also help treat a soldier to an extra taste of home!

P.S. Their selection of rubber duckies is truly awesome. I personally love the ninja duck, which one is your favorite?

to run around like a crazy person!!
We’re jumping on a plane tomorrow to head to Seattle for a visit with the family for Christmas. We hope to get some family pictures taken while we’re there and of course we’ll be taking pictures of the whole plane ride and all the people we can con into posing with FJ. I’ll have all the kids with me which seriously ups the sympathy factor and the likelihood that people will agree. I know, I’m shameless….
I hope everyone has had some success digging out of the insane snow that’s been pretty much everywhere and that you’re all ready to enjoy a few days surrounded by family and loved ones. Take a moment to check on any seniors or others who may need help around you and make sure they’re taken care, walks are shoveled, heat’s working, etc.
Please keep all those who are away from their families in your prayers and send them some loving thoughts. Of course the troops, but also civilian employees supporting our troops, those serving as volunteers, missionaries, or anyone out there doing their very best to support the ones they love. This is, after all, a pretty lame time of year to be alone.
It’s never to late to send a kind message to our troops. It’s quick and free to rattle off a note and send a postcard through Let’s Say Thanks. Make it a family project, encourage others to take the time, and know that you’ve given someone a much needed bit of love during a difficult time.
If you’re looking to get more involved, take a look at the Patriot Guard Riders. They serve at memorials AND welcome home ceremonies and do all sorts of other great things. You don’t have to be a biker to participate and it’s a great thing to be involved with.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

I’ve been in a little funk lately and have spent my “free” time trying to run errands and get stuff done. So not much has happened around here lately. Tomorrow we’re going bowling with FJ and Jeff’s best friend, that should provide some fun pictures. Jeff’s class project today was to write letters to Real Jared, which will end up getting sent to him in Iraq. I can’t wait to hear what all those 6 and 7 year olds have to say. When I was a Cub Scout leader we sent letters to a soldier we adopted and they were hilarious. One kid wrote about nothing but his hissing cockroaches and all his other exotic pets, it was great.

If you’re looking for a worthwhile cause while waiting for more pictures, please visit IraqWarHeroes.org. This man has taken it upon himself to assemble pictures and bios of every service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has devoted his entire life to this task and what he has accomplished is without measure. Please consider donating a little money if you can, I know we’ve got 30 of our dollars headed his way. Every little bit helps and I think it’s important that we let him know we’re supporting him in this incredible undertaking. Consider adding him to your friends list on MySpace too and spread the word to your friends.

If you hear of any other great Soldier related projects I can highlight here (for the 4 people who read this, lol), please send links and info to SpitfireArmyWife@gmail.com and I’ll do what I can! Thanks for your support everyone, and remember…..Hug A Soldier, But Not Mine!!