Friday, September 24, 2010

Spouse Buzz Live at Schofield Hawaii Nov 8th

Spouse Buzz Live is going to be at Schofield on the 8th November.  Register Today.. "Every year SpouseBUZZ LIVE brings hundreds of military spouses together to celebrate the women and men who serve on the homefront. Join us in 2010 for a day of celebration and share your experiences, make friends and win incredible prizes"  Check out full details and register at

Julie The Army Wife: Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride Guest Post

Julie The Army Wife: Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride Guest Post: " Renee from 1-800-PACK-RAT has provided a guest post for my blog on the Wounded Warrior’s Soldier Ride. Renee was not only raised in the m..."

Richard Branson: Five Secrets to Business Success -

Richard Branson: Five Secrets to Business Success -

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Military Wives are Made Of by Married to the Military

What Military Wives Are Made Of

by Married to the Military on Friday, September 10, 2010 at 4:12am
It was just another harried Wednesday afternoon trip to the commissary (grocery store on military bases). My husband was off teaching young men to fly. My daughters were going about their daily activities knowing I would return to them at the appointed time, bearing, among other things, their favorite fruit snacks, frozen pizza, and all the little extras that never had to be written down on a grocery list. My grocery list, by the way, was in my 16-month-old daughter's mouth, and I was lamenting the fact that the next four aisles of needed items would wait while extracting the last of my list from my daughter's mouth, when I nearly ran over an old man.
This man clearly had no appreciation for the fact that I had 45 minutes left to finish the grocery shopping, pick up my 4-year old from tumbling class, and get to school, where my 12-year-old and her carpool mates would be waiting.
I knew men didn't belong in a commissary, and this old guy was no exception. He stood in front of the soap selection staring blankly, as if he'd never had to choose a bar of soap in his life. I was ready to bark an order at him when I realized there was a tear on his face.
Instantly, this grocery aisle roadblock transformed into a human..."Can I help you find something?" I asked. He hesitated, and then told me he was looking for soap.
"Any one in particular?" I continued.

"Well, I'm trying to find my wife's brand of soap." I started to loan him my cell phone to call her when he said, "She died a year ago, and I just want to smell her again."
Chills ran down my spine. I don't think the 22,000-pound Mother of all Bombs could have had the same impact. As tears welled up in my eyes, my half-eaten grocery list didn't seem so important. Neither did fruit snacks or frozen pizza.
I spent the remainder of my time in the commissary that day listening to a man tell the story of how important his wife was to him -- how she took care of their children while he served our country. A retired, decorated World War II pilot who flew missions to protect Americans still needed the protection of a woman who served him at home.
My life was forever changed that day. Every time my husband works too late or leaves before the crack of dawn, I try to remember the sense of importance I felt that day in the commissary.

Some times the monotony of laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping, and taxi driving leaves military wives feeling empty -- the kind of emptiness that is rarely fulfilled when our husbands come home and don't want to or can't talk about work.

 We need to be reminded, at times; of the important role we fill for our family and for our country. Over the years, I've talked a lot about military special they are and the price they pay for freedom too. The funny thing is; most military spouses don't consider themselves different from other spouses. They do what they have to do, bound together not by blood or merely friendship, but with a shared spirit whose origin is in the very essence of what love truly is. Is there truly a difference? I think there is. You have to decide for yourself...
Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a home and putting down family roots. Military spouses get married and know they'll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they can be transplanted frequently.
Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will last a lifetime. Military spouses decorate a home with flare tempered with the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same size rooms.
Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus. Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces.
Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used. Military spouses have immaculate living room/dining room combos. The coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany, but it still looks pretty good.
Other spouses say goodbye to their spouse for a business trip and know they won't see them for a week. They are lonely, but can survive. Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they won't see them for months, or a year, or longer. They are lonely, but will survive.
Other spouses, when a washer hose blows off, call Maytag and then write a check out for having the hose reconnected. Military spouses have to cut the water off and fix it themselves.
Other spouses get used to saying "hello" to friends they see all the time. Military spouses get used to saying "goodbye" to friends made the last two years.
Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president next year. Military spouses worry about whether their child will be accepted in yet another school next year and whether that school will be the worst in the city...again.
Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special events...birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation, and even the birth of a child. Military spouses only count on each other; because they realize that the flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. It has to be that way.
Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled across the globe and take them down when the troops come home. Military spouses wear yellow ribbons around their hearts and they never go away.
Other spouses worry about being late for mom's Thanksgiving dinner. Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for dad's funeral.
The television program showing an elderly lady putting a card down in front of a long, black wall that has names on it touches other spouses. The card simply says, "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. You would have been sixty today." A military spouse is the lady with the card, and the wall is the Vietnam Memorial.
I would NEVER say military spouses are better than other spouses. But I will say there is a difference. I will say, without hesitation, that military spouses pay just as high a price for freedom as do their active duty husbands and wives.
Perhaps the price they pay is even higher. Dying in service to our country isn't near as hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country, and having to live without them.
God bless our military spouses for all they freely give.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shopping in the Heartland of America

What do I love more than shopping ?  Shopping at a small gift store, either owned and operated by Women or Military Spouses.
     I have spent the last few days driving around the countryside in Leavenworth, Kansas.  Admiring the sights and loving life.  I have been here on several occasion but I never have the time to truly relax and enjoy, as I am always busy working.  Last week was work, this week is me time.
     Yesterday I arrived at June's Cottage and Cafe .  It is a Historic home overflowing with antiques, unique gifts and collectibles.   There is so much to look at, you have to literally walk around at least three times to take it all in.  June also has a Cafe, that looks so welcoming that you want to sit down and have a cup of tea.  I, unfortunately had already had lunch but there is always tomorrow.  The staff in the cottage are so friendly and helpful that you feel like you are visiting friends.
   My next stop, on the recommendation of June's Cottage, was to Picket Fences and Petals .  Another awesome gift store founded by Deanne Montgomery with a slightly different theme than June's Cottage.  Here you will find a large selection of Vera Bradley  and Brighton products  as well as baby products, candles, jewelry, lotions and much more.  Both stores were decorated with a Fall/Halloween theme.  You have to take your time and browse in order to appreciate all there is to offer.  It does not surprise me that both stores have a huge clientele.  To decorate these stores takes finesse and I believe a gift of vision.  Looking through June's Cottage and Picket Fences and Petals is comparable to walking around a museum and enjoying fine art, both stores were breathtaking.
     Today I arrived on the door step of the Ruby Slippers Shoppe, " a non profit, volunteer,  community gift shop, organized and run by military spouses who are members of the Ft. Leavenworth Spouses' Club"  It is a quaint Historic building nestled on the backside of Post at the corner of Organ and Warehouse Rd.  There was a candle burning in the window and when I opened the door, the room was filled with the beautiful scent of Fall.   Magical !!!  like the others, this charming little shop had it's own personality.  It had Americana, crafts, jewelry, pictures, cards, signs and so much more.  For such a small space, it is remarkable the amount of merchandise that they have displayed.
To me displays are the key to sales.  When a customer can visualize an item in there own home or see a grouping of products that reminds them of a friend, then you have hit a home run and are on your way to a sale.

  Not quite sure yet how I am getting all my great finds home since I am flying but with a will there is a way.
So the next time your out shopping , stop in to your local home town gift store or Spouse store if you are lucky enough to have one on your Post, and go searching for those little treasures that make you smile.  Remember Christmas is slowly approaching and will be here before you know it.   Shop til you Drop...

Meaning of a Flag Draped Coffin by Debra Hays

Learn Something Everyday

Meaning of Flag Draped Coffin

All Americans should be given this lesson. Those who think that America is an arrogant nation
should really reconsider that thought. Our founding fathers used GOD's word and teachings to
establish our Great Nation and I think it's high time Americans get re-educated about this Nation's
Pass it along and be proud of the country we live in and even more proud of those who serve to
protect our 'GOD GIVEN' rights and freedoms.

I hope you take the time to read this ... To understand what the flag draped coffin really
means ... Here is how to understand the flag that laid upon it and is surrendered to so many
widows and widowers.

Do you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the
year 1776?

Have you ever noticed the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United
States of America Flag 13 times? You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13
colonies, but we learn something new every day!

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a
portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him
we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, 'Our
Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country,
right or wrong.'

The 6th fold is for where people's hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance
to the flag of the United States Of America , and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation
under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they
protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or
without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we
might see the light of day.

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their
love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great
has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and
daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and
glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the
Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of
their nations motto, 'In God We Trust.'

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever
reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and
Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning.

In the future, you'll see flags folded and now you will know why.

Share this with the children you love and all others who love what is referred to, the
symbol of ' Liberty and Freedom.'

Friday, September 10, 2010

Service to Others

It was another great day to be an Army Spouse. The Hui O Wahine had their first luncheon of the season with special guest, Miss Hawaii 2010, Jalee Fuselier.

Miss Hawaii and me
She adorned the podium with a gorgeous Hawaiian dress and of course, her crown. Jalee shared that she had researched the Hui O Wahine and new what  our Club represented. She thanked all the ladies present for their commitment to the Hui Club and what they give back to their community through volunteering. Jalee informed us that the four points on her crown represented, SERVICE, SCHOLARSHIP, STYLE and SUCCESS and a large part of being Miss Hawaii was about service to others.

Miss Hawaii shared that she has drawn her inspiration for volunteering from her sister.
Jalee's sister, who is 7 years older, has cerebral palsy. Her parents were told that she would probably never walk and that she could be deaf.
Today, Jalee's sister walks with the use of crutches and volunteers on a daily basis at a preschool. Miss Hawaii said about her sister "she is not just living, she is thriving." "Her gift is service to others". Jalee told us "we all have abilities and talents to give back to others and we should use our gift".
Miss Hawaii is no stranger to giving back or volunteering. She founded a non profit, Ready for the Real World. " began in 2005 when Jalee Fuselier started a reading and mentoring program for at risk youth in her hometown on the Northshore of Oahu. Since then, she has worked with hundreds of young people getting them involved in serving their communities." you can read the full story at there is also a link on the website to their facebook page.
Miss Hawaii finished her appearance with the Hui by singing 'Feeling Good'. I have only heard Michael Buble' sing this song but she hit it out of the ballpark with her beautiful voice.

Annelle Amaral who is the Native Hawaiian Liaison for the Garrison gave the blessing in Hawaiian before we ate lunch and then briefly educated us on Hawaiian history and her role in bridging the gap between Native Hawaiians and the military.
After we had lunch and listened to our guest speakers, it was time to do the drawing. There were many wonderful opportunity gifts available and as always one group of ladies were extremely lucky and today it was the ladies at Allison Gipson table. Every lady at the table won at least one gift. Allison received The OutPost gift.

Allison and son Adam
The OutPost Opportunity winner
The ladies finished off the afternoon the same way it began..Shopping with the vendors.

Pam after shopping from the OutPost and Sabina
I am definitely blessed and my life is enriched by spending quality time with a wonderful array of Military Spouses who I get to call friends.  It is a Sisterhood like no other. 

 Lunch with Friends
So I will bid you Aloha until next time and as Miss Hawaii said " we all have abilities and talents",
Find yours and give back in some way.
Inspire and be Inspired.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Military Spouses and Business

Wow, what a night.  The Hui O Na Wahine spouses group had their Super sign up last night and boy was it busy.  There must have been over 300+ people come through the doors to sign up for membership, activities, eat and of course shop. There was a wide array of vendors and information booths but it always amazes me the talent that our military spouses possess.
     There are a pool of spouses who are Independent Consultants for Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tupperware and the list goes on, but it is the spouses who have taken their unique talents and turned them into a business that has me in awe.  These spouses make Ceramic Jewelry, Hand Blown Glass, Handbags, Clothes, Candles and Signs.  You can also find Painters, Photographers, Bakers and Quilters all selling one of a kind items at a reasonable price.  It reminds me of the great Bazaars that are held on military installations in Germany every year.     I on the other hand took a different route, I don't create my products because I can't stay focused long enough to finish a project that I start.  I have two partial finished quilts lying collecting dust in my closet, embossing tools and card stock keeping them company, yarn, fabric and patterns that are taking up valuable space but I can't seem to throw away, all because at some point over the years, I got a bee in the my bonnet and came up with great ideas but I had no follow through.
     I am not an Independent consultant for a large corporation but an individual who buys selected pieces from large wholesale companies, puts a line together and sells retail on a smaller scale than a department store.   I have found something I truly enjoy doing and I am having fun doing it and last night was no exception.  I had a great time, met an abundance of fabulous women, introduced them to my company, products and of course me. Talked, laughed, ate, caught up with old friends and met a group of new folks who I know I will see again,  Therefor, if you are a new spouse just arriving at a duty station and don't know a soul, seek out your nearest spouses club and give it a whirl ,chances are you will meet your next dear friend at one of their monthly events or you may decide to turn one of your hidden talents into a thriving business.
At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what type of business we posses, whether we are unique in what we are creating, Independent Consultants or a one of a kind business entrepreneur,  but the fact we are all striving for the same thing, to live The American Dream.....
Military Spouses Enjoying work
Elizabeth winner of
The OutPost's Opportunity Gift Donation
Jackie hard at work