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Wednesday, December 31

Brighten Someone's Day

Every year there are several landmark dates that I remember to take a moment and pay respects in honor of “that day”.  Most of these “days” usually leave me wondering, “What now?”

Now what?  Be content and file it away until next year?

Not likely, at least not for a couple of weeks.  About a week before the “day”, it’s on my radar and is there until about a week thereafter.

…A week before, so I don’t forget.

…A week after agonizing that I didn’t do more.

When one of these days arrived this year, I observed my moment of silence.  I pondered and researched and Googled.

It was November 11th and I was getting ready to do my usual.  At the right time, I stop, take time to remember, research, mourn, remind others of the day, and send off an email just asking others to take a moment.

But I didn’t remind anyone this year.

Not to mention, December 7th is only a month away and is another day that has been forever etched into my memory for remembrance.

I never forget these two days.  No matter where I am.

So what and do I do to do more?

I am only one person.  I have three children, three and under.  What can I do for others when there are many days that I pray someone will come and rescue me?

This year, I did something different.  I Googled some more and I found what I was looking for.

“adopt a veteran”

I didn’t even know if such a thing existed, but I always hear about Veterans in need in one way or another and I wanted to know what was needed to see if I could offer support.  Not to mention, I want my children to grow up and have a better understanding and appreciation of these heroes than I did when I was growing up.

Angels ‘N Camouflage was my answer.

Did you know that many of our Troops don’t get regular care packages, mail or even messages from home?  Having been enlisted in the National Guard and going through Boot Camp and skills training, I know first hand how heart breaking and spirit crushing it is to be at “Mail Call” and not get anything…  from anyone.

So, through Angels ‘N Camoflage, I have “adopted” a soldier who is serving over in Iraq right now.  I will be writing to them, supporting them each week, so that when it’s time for “Mail Call”, they’ll be getting letters from home.  I use "adopted" loosely and consider them more as a new friend and pen pal.

Here is my first correspondence, beginnings are usually difficult for me – I’m not good with ice breakers.  Many more letter and cards will be sent until they come home.  This was a card with the following graphic and message.


You deserve
to be really proud
of the important things
you're doing --
but at the same time,
it's only natural
to be scared, lonely,
homesick, or even bored...

in case you ever are,
hope it helps to remember
that people back home
are thinking about you,
are proud of you,
and are wishing you
only the best.

I hope to continue to brighten their day and feel good about doing something “about it” this year.

Do you know someone who has served or is currently serving in the armed forces?  Drop them a note or give them a call just to say thank you for their sacrifce.  Don't forget their spouse.  Being away from home is hard for the whole family.  A quick note or sincere call can be all it takes to brighten their day.

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Sunday, December 28

Re-Decorating

I'm doing some more redecorating...  again!  Some links, badges and elements will be gone for a while, but they'll be back.  Have a great day and as always, thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, December 17

A Different Christmas Poem

A new friend forwarded this to me and I wanted to share with as many people as possible.  I hope you do the same.

Note from Allison:
Whatever your beliefs on the war is, we can at least support the men and women and their families who are fighting for us and sacrificing for us, whether we agree with it or not. 

Poem that followed:


A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. 
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight. 

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. 
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream. 

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. 
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near. 

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. 
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child. 

'What are you doing?' I asked without fear,
'Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! 
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!'
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said 'Its really all right, 
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.'
'It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times. 

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. 
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,'
Then he sighed, 'That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.'
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile. 
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home. 

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. 
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.' 

' So go back inside,' he said, 'harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right.'
'But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
'Give you money,' I asked, 'or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done, 
For being away from your wife and your son.'

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
'Just tell us you love us, and never forget. 
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, 
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.'

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many 
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people 
stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. 

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

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Wordless Wednesday - Strike a Pose!

Gosh!  Where has the time gone?  Taken 2 years ago today!
More Wordless Wednesday here and here - enjoy!!

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Monday, December 15

Yummy Fun!

While searching for a Greek recipe this evening, I perused through my usual suspects of online recipe sites Recipe ZaarallrecipesTaste of Home, and others.

Not that I didn't find a lot of yummy recipes, but I found one site to allow for some fun too!  This would be great for your young chef/cook to do to help you.

Here is a quick snippet of the fun, but you can go to Cooks.com to find your own favorite and add the fun.  I think we'll try this one.  :)

You can also print a regular version without the fun crossword if you choose.  However, if you do choose to circle the fun...  towards the middle of the recipe, you are given a few options and it'll look like this.

Enjoy!

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Email Santa!

Back when I was growing up, we wrote letters, you know, actually putting pen to paper and mailed it at the post office with a stamp to the North Pole.


Never to hear anything back.  And once that little letter was dropped off, panic would over-shadow any holiday spirit.

I forgot to add something or I changed my mind, now what?
Did it get there in time?
Did it get lost?
Did he have a chance to read it before Christmas?
Does he know that I won't be at home for Christmas?

Well Hello 21st Century!  Now we can email Santa and get an immediate response!  You can ask Santa for 3 things (and if you really want something, you can ask for it 3 times).  Since you only fill in the blanks, it is really simple and you don't have to sign up for an account, give them your email or phone or home address.  (If you want to be reminded next year to send a letter, they will ask for your email at the end, but that is it - they don't ask for it to send the letter - it's great!)

If you have more than one child, don't worry cause they can each do it and will get different responses.  It is really neat!

I did one too and it even commented on my age not necessarily be that of a youngster.  ha ha

Thank you to Adventures in JuJuBoo for posting about it.

Have fun!  Happy Holidays!

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Wednesday, December 10

Shrimp Boats in Port

Having fun with Wordless Wednesday every week here and here!

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