In honor of National Southern Food day, I wanted to share one of our family’s go-to Southern recipes for sausage balls. They are perfect for any party menu, potluck or to make ahead for a quick breakfast.[Read more…] about Simple Southern Sausage Balls Recipe
Do you have a child who dreams of flying? If your aviation-loving military child will be a rising 7-12th grader this summer, you don’t want to miss the opportunity of a Delta Air Lines scholarship to attend the National Flight Academy.[Read more…] about Military Kids Scholarship for National Flight Academy
Social media is a normal part of life for most kids today. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok (and all the other apps I’m not trendy enough to understand or know about) can be a useful tool for military kids who move often. Social media can provide a way to stay connected with friends they’ve left behind.
In today’s crazy world all parents should monitor their children on social media for personal safety, but military families need to take an extra step in safety to ensure their child understands Operational Security (OPSEC).[Read more…] about Operational Security (OPSEC) for Military Kids
While active duty military pay dates are the 1st and the 15th of each month, when the 1st or 15th falls on a weekend, the pay date shifts slightly.
One of the perks of using a bank like USAA or Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) is the ability to have your pay check funds available early. Typically the early pay date is one business day before the regular pay day, but when the regular pay day falls on a Monday, NFCU members receive their early pay on Saturday and USAA members receive their early pay the Friday before.[Read more…] about 2020 Military Pay Dates and Early Pay USAA & NFCU
Life comes in seasons. Some years are wonderful with few worries and plenty of everything. Others are leaner, more troublesome, and just plain sad. In the good years, the holidays are a lot of fun, but during the sad times, we may not enjoy Christmas all that much. Sometimes Christmas sucks …and that’s ok.[Read more…] about Sometimes Christmas Sucks and That’s Ok
The 2020 Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates have been released!
The first day the BAH rates are released the online BAH calculator tends to get overwhelmed and crashes. Inquiring minds all want to know, “Did my rate increase?” or “What is the BAH at our next duty station?”[Read more…] about Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) Rates Released for 2020
Does your child attend school in the U.S. while the rest of the family is stationed overseas? If so, make sure to utilize the annual Dependent Student Travel program!
Choosing to stay behind in the U.S. for high school or college is a difficult decision for many students who are in families serving overseas. While military kids have overcome obstacles of relocation often too many times to count, it is usually as a family unit.
Many students find the transition to college a challenge. Being homesick is not unusual for students just starting their college journey. College is the first time being away from the only home they’ve known for many students.
This transition is increasingly hard for those military kids living on a different continent than their family. For the military dependent student, feelings of homesickness is not necessarily for a location. It is for their family, separated by a permanent overseas assignment.
Dependent Student Travel program provides a way to get home
Thankfully, the Joint Travel Regulations provides an option for our students to come home! Military kids who attend school in the U.S., while the rest of their family is stationed overseas, have a way to travel to family for free each year. The Dependent Student Travel Program allows these students to visit their family overseas (between October 1 and September 30) for FREE.
To be eligible for the Dependent Student Travel Program, your child must meet the following requirements:
- Your child must be an unmarried dependent child who is under 23.
- Your child must be a student formally attending one of the following:
- 9-12 grade at a public or private school
- an undergraduate college
- a full-time graduate education
- a full-time vocational program at a postsecondary vocational institution
Unfortunately your student will not be able to book this travel himself or herself. In order to utilize this benefit, the Dependent Student Travel program requires the military parent arrange the transportation through his or her overseas command.
Be sure to read all of the information about the Dependent Student Travel program, paragraph 050816, in the most recent Joint Travel Regulations (updated on December 1, 2019).
Whether you choose for your student utilizes the program for Christmas break, Spring break or summer vacation, sometimes just knowing they will get to be together with the ones they love is a boost to their spirit!
One of my least favorite parts of my husband’s career is the long amount of time that he is kept away from home. This is especially hard on kids who love routine. The impact of his work demands seem to hit them hardest at bedtime when Dad isn’t home to read them stories and put them to bed.[Read more…] about Recorded Bedtime Stories to Ease Heartache
As kids get older, it’s important to let them take charge of a few things around the house. Even simple chores early on help kids learn responsibility and appreciate all they have.
While our kids have been doing chores, like feeding the dog or making their bed, since they were toddlers, it was time to have them remember to do their daily tasks without having to be reminded (or nagged tirelessly).
Chore charts can be a perfect way to help kids remember what their responsibilities are and help them stay on track while completing their list of chores.
I’ve come up with a super easy way to create a chore chart that goes any farmhouse style home décor. Joanna Gaines would be so proud! It just takes a few materials (I love a reason for to take a trip to Hobby Lobby) and can be completely customized to your family’s needs. Plus with this free printable you can easily print the chores for your chart on labels.[Read more…] about Simple DIY Farmhouse Chore Chart + Free Printable
The Holiday Stress is Real
Most people look forward to the holidays with great expectations for family, friends and time to enjoy the seasons. The holidays often mean great food, much needed time off from work and the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones.
While the holidays can be a joyous time, for many, they are also stressful and can cause anxiety. Whether finances, family dynamics or other worries are at play, no one is excited about the added stresses that the holidays can bring.
One of the most common reasons that the holidays become stressful is the expectation placed on families who are sometimes overextended emotionally and financially.[Read more…] about Reduce Stress This Holiday Season
What is Trees for Troops?
Trees for Troops, a program of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation, provides free, farm-grown Christmas Trees to United States armed forces members in all branches of the military and their families, through donations, sponsorships, grants and the work of many volunteers.
Last holiday season, 16,599 trees were delivered to more 70 military bases in the U.S. and overseas. This brought the total to more than 225,319 Real Christmas Trees delivered through Trees for Troops since 2005.
“Trees for Troops is a very rewarding program to everyone involved,” said Richard Darling, Christmas SPIRIT Foundation chairman. “It is such an honor to have the opportunity to say thank you to our troops, and help ensure military families have the kind of joyful, traditional Christmas memories that we would wish for America’s heroes.”
Each year, hundreds of military families visit the Trees for Troops website and Facebook page to leave heartfelt thank you messages and pictures of their families celebrating around their beautifully decorated Christmas tree. For example, a message from a Camp Pendleton family read, “Thank you for our beautiful Christmas tree! We weren’t sure what we were going to do this year…Trees for Troops was an answer to our prayers.”
Trees For Troops Program Stats:
- For the past several years FedEx has helped to deliver, on average, 17,000 Real Christmas Trees to 70+ military bases throughout the U.S. and overseas. This year, our goal is to reach over 240,000 Christmas trees delivered since 2005.
- Approximately 200 trees are shipped overseas for troops in the Middle East and other countries; the rest are distributed to military families throughout the United States.
- The trees are provided by more than 400 Christmas tree growers and retailers in 29 states.
Military Families: Check with your MWR for Delivery Details!
The Trees for Troops program, sponsored by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and FedEx Corp., will be making a stop at military bases to deliver real Christmas trees to troops and military families.
If you are a military family in need of a tree this holiday season, please check with your Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) officer or equivalent for details on delivery time, location, how to obtain a tree as each base has its own procedures.
Delivery dates for Christmas trees start in early December. You can find the delivery dates for selected bases this year on the program website. Please check on base for distribution details.
How Can I Get Involved?
- Buy a tree for a military family online and support the program through the One Thousand Tree Campaign. Go to www.TreesForTroops.org for details.
- Follow Trees for Troops on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and share our posts with your social networks.
- Donate funds online at www.TreesForTroops.org. The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and donations are tax deductible.
- Double your donation: some employers will match your charitable donations. Check with your company’s human resources department to see if your employer offers a charitable matching program.
- If you are a federal employee, select #12283 in the Combined Federal Campaign.
- When you purchase your family’s tree, ask your Christmas Tree retailer if they are involved in the program (look for “We Support Trees for Troops” signs). Many Christmas Tree retailers accept donations or provide other opportunities to support the program.
About Trees for Troops and the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation
The Christmas SPIRIT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that works to recognize and support the true spirit of Christmas for U.S. troops through the Trees for Troops® program. The foundation was established in 2005 as the charitable branch of the National Christmas Tree Association and is among fewer than 5 percent of U.S. charities to be awarded the “Best in America” seal of excellence by Independent Charities of America. To learn more, visit www.treesfortroops.org or call (800) 965-1653.
Amazon is honoring all those who have served in the U.S. Military in a big way November 6-11.
(This post probably contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)
Starting today you can save $40 off a year membership to Amazon Prime! Amazon is offering a Veterans Day deal that discounts the one-year Prime membership from $119 per year to just $79 for one-year!
The best part of this deal is you don’t have to be a new Prime member!
New and existing Amazon Prime members are eligible. If you are a current Prime member, your purchase during the discount period will extend your membership by one year.
If your family is like ours, you will be doing much of your holiday shopping online. This is a great way to get some savings in before the holidays are even here!
How Do I Sign Up for the Amazon.com Veterans Day Prime Discount?
To receive this promotion, you must be a verified U.S. veteran, Active Duty or Reserve or National Guard member.
- This promotion is available Nov 6–11
- If eligible, you can sign up for Prime at $79/year (normally $119/year) for the first year
- You can attempt verification a maximum of three times
- Prime Student and discounted Prime members are not eligible for this promotion
- Amazon and Partner Rewards points can’t be applied towards this promotion
Click the button below to learn more about the terms and conditions. After clicking the below, sign in to your Amazon account or create a new account. Then you will be prompted to verify your military service.
Don’t forget you only have until November 11th to catch this deal!
Share this savings on Amazon Prime with your military family friends!
8 Things Not To Buy At Disney World to Save You Money
A trip to Disney World is often a once in a lifetime experience for many families. Thankfully there are discounts available to military families for accommodations and tickets. Another great way to save money at Disney is to plan ahead to reduce your spending within the parks.
Making smart purchases ahead of time can save you from spur of the moment expenses at Disney World. Saving money on the little things you can buy before you leave home can make your trip to Disney World even more magical![Read more…] about Save money at Disney World by packing these 8 things
I’m a parent of a new student in your district and wanted to take just a moment of your time to introduce my student and myself, as well as to draw your attention to the calendar of events in the local schools.
My family is new to your district this year because we have recently relocated to the area. No, not just from across town, but many, many miles away. We are here alone, far from home and family members because my spouse answered the call to serve our country.[Read more…] about Isolating Military Children with Donuts and Muffins
This floor road map activity is perfect for kids who love vehicles!
Having a cheap, indoor toddler activity that can entertain your child independently for an extended period of time is vital. For the child that loves to play with cars, the floor road map activity is the perfect play plan to have on hand.[Read more…] about Play Plan: Floor Road Map Activity
As a military spouse I’ve had many jobs in my life that cover a wide range of fields: from technology to teaching and academic advising to animal welfare. In every job I have served, none have been quite as demanding as my days spent as a stay at home mom of two boys…under two!
I transitioned from a career mom to being home full-time when my first son was 10 months old and I had a few weeks left before the arrival of our second son. (My boys are only 13 months apart!)
As a new stay at home mom I quickly learned that it takes quite the effort to entertain a baby and toddler, as they quickly get bored with the same toys and activities. Even though I had been a teacher, I had no idea how exhausting it would be to try to entertain and engage a little one all day![Read more…] about Simple Toddler Activities to Escape Survival Mode
No matter what the weather, we have always liked to get out of the house everyday. When my kids were little, going for a stroll was one of our favorite things to do. A toddler strolling activity that allows your little one to be a nature explorer is perfect for when you need some fresh air![Read more…] about Play Plan: Nature Explorer Toddler Activity
Creating a toddler sorting activity
One of my favorite phases of toddlerhood was when my boys enjoyed grouping and sorting things. I still remember my oldest son getting so annoyed when I would intentionally put a ball in his car storage bin.
I wanted to capitalize on this natural desire for order in a play activity that would work on fine motor skills and identifying colors when we were focusing on learning color names.[Read more…] about Play Plan: Simple Sorting Toddler Activity
We use a large quantity of paper towels in our home so we frequently have an abundance of cardboard tubes. When paired with just a few materials from around the house, these tubes are a great tool for planned play cardboard tube toddler activity![Read more…] about Play Plan: Cardboard Tube Toddler Activity
There is so much learning that comes with play during the toddler years. One of our favorite cheap and simple toddler play plans at home was bowling using items from the recycle bin. This bowling activity is perfect for babies and toddlers who love to knock things down![Read more…] about Play Plan: Baby and Toddler Bowling Activity