Monday, February 24, 2014

AFTB Courses

For those of you who don't know, the Army offers free classes to families which cover a myriad of subjects relating to Army family life. These are called Army Family Team Building classes (AFTB). I began taking these classes shortly after the new year, but have waited to post about them, as I took them out of order, and just recently completed Level 1.

One thing you may find interesting are the 7 core values of the Army, which is also known as the acronym LDRSHP (pronounced Leadership). Basically, these are:

  1. Loyalty - Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers.
  2. Duty - Fulfill your obligations.
  3. Respect - Treat people as they should be treated.
  4. Selfless Service - Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.
  5. Honor - Live up to all the Army values.
  6. Integrity - Do what’s right, legally and morally.
  7. Personal Courage - Face fear, danger, or adversity [physical or moral].
To read a longer description for each value, go to the official army site:

Okay, some are kind of vague... and some actually remind me of Bible verses. Comment if you know which ones ;)

What do you think of this list? Have you ever written out a list of values to live by? Why might such a list be useful to you... or to a soldier? Just some questions that came to my mind...

Thank you for your love and support, family and friends.

Friday, February 7, 2014

For Your Military Family Friends

There are things that you can do to make your friends' lives so much better when they leave to go to their first duty station. My friends knew just what to do, and you will too, if you give it some thought! Everyone is different, but I'll give you some ideas from my life.

1. I wasn't excited about moving to Kansas until Rebecca gave me a book about Kansas oddities to visit and a road map. I laughed at the first things I read in that book and was much more curious thanks to "Kansas Curiosities."

Thoughtful and useful!

2. Cold weather gear. A coworker gave me a coat, and I use it all the time! She barely even knew me, but she was not using it and I was super thankful for the new coat.

My dear friend Amy gave me gloves and lotion shortly before I left!

My GrandMaMa sent me a little something and told me to get long johns. That note made me laugh.

And the other GGFG staff member, Megan, made me a scarf! (And a potholder!)

These are gifts that made the transition easier, because they were things I needed a lot! They also comfort me.


3. Thoughtful award! Ms. Cheryl took the time to make me something I will have everywhere I go on my front door - she made me a Christmas wreath. Holidays can be hard to deal with because of missing people, and being able to decorate my new home with something that welcomes new people in, made by someone who cares so much, was really nice.


4. Something I'll never forget is when Kaeyla sent me what was supposed to be an anonymous  Starbucks gift card - I figured it out, but I felt so blessed that day!

5. When I got to Kansas, my house was warmed by a very surprising delivery of my first house plant! Thank you Rebecca, Amy, and Alyssa!

6. Mrs. Kilby gave me something to remember the South by - a cute little tea towel with a saying on it. I enjoyed the thought of having something from SC to show off to my Kansas friends!

7. Letters - there's nothing like getting a note in the mail! I really cherish every note. It was cool to get all of my Christmas cards out here, as well!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What Does Your Name Mean?

In my house in Florida, for most of my life, I remember there being a little framed artwork in the hallway outside of my bedroom. I saw this multiple times a day. There were two columns, one for Hillary Beth and one for Holland Bianca. I remember only one thing from my sister's side "she who works with her hands" or something like that. I remember from mine - Hillary means cheerful, and Beth means house of God. I know there was a whole list for each, but that's what I remember reading.

When I chose names for characters in my stories, I often went on elaborate searches for names that meant something that revealed a particular trait. I also named each of my future daughters, just in case I had three daughters, first and middle names included - but unless you are Alex Campbell or Rebecca Kilby, you probably don't know those names.

When I got married, I decided that if anyone asked, my official new name meaning read, "Cheerful house of God, who is my King," as Koenig means King.

What does your name mean? How has your family shaped this meaning for you? What do you consider when picking a name?