Homecoming Box Workshop, part of yellow Ribbon Program

November 16, 2010

We were invited by the Wyoming Air National Guard to participate in a Yellow Ribbon Program this past week!

Paula, Ramona and Beth, our We Serve Too! kids team,  traveled on to Wyoming this past weekend while I stayed home after a minor surgery. I was fortunate that they brought back pictures of all the fun! Though I missed out on the activities, the kids made some wonderful boxes, so we wanted to share with you the adventures of the workshop:

Here the kids begin work on their Homecoming Boxes. They have played the game of taking items out of our Homecoming box and hearing the stories of each one. Now they are taking time to carefully craft a box that reflects who they are , and is a special place to hold memories while they wait for deployed parents to return home.

Here are some of our participants showing off their finished boxes!

Another activity is writing their own book. We show the children a mock up  (the real way we plan a book) then we read them the storyline as they do the illustrations. We give lots of choices so that no one has a book that is the same. They love this activity, and then they endorse each others books with testimonials on the back  cover! This group got a sneak peek at our newest book that will be published the first of the year called The Homecoming Box.

Kids need to get some energy out , and an obstacle course is just the thing! They love rearranging the course themselves!

Another activity was an Afghan snack of grapes, pomegranates and naan…then they voted with a purple fingerprint on what the favorite was… pomegranates win!

The day ended with children singing The Creed of a Soldiers Child to their parents.

Each child took home a finished Homecoming Box, a copy of both We Serve Too! books on deployment and reunion, our ABC Military Coloring Book,Our new

We Serve too! Around theWorld Afghanistan Coloring Booklet and a Dog tag that says “I will be Strong and courageous”.  We hope that they will remember this day,and that their parents will benefit from this Homecoming Box craft that helps to keep Families connected.

Thank you Wyoming National Guard for inviting us to be part of this wonderful day!

Big Christmas Cards and Banners for your Military Love

December 14, 2009

1422No matter if it is your husband, son , or the kids want to get in on a giant card for Daddy, this company is wonderful! They have offered free banners for quite some time now, and we have had the joy of placing the huge banner over our garage to welcome home our soldier!
While Justin was in Iraq, we sent him the giant card (it is really big!) It comes in a big box to send it in ,and we had everyone from family and friends to former coaches and teachers sign it. It was fun to send it as a Christmas card!
To all Military Families who have a loved one away from home, here is a way to put a smile on their face, or to welcome them home!

Click here

Troop Tube Video on Dogs for Wounded Soldiers

September 5, 2009

Troop tube has a video for everyone in the Military Family. I came upon this one on service dogs for wounded vets. The story of how these dogs can help is a good one for children who may be coping with a wounded parent…of course they will want a dog to join their family, so make that adult decision before showing the video to the kids! This is a program well worth exploring if you or a loved one are in this situation.

Paula and I are in the research and development phase of our third book for children. This book will address the experiences of a parent returning home wounded.

To those Families living this, we just want to say thank you for the sacrifices you have made and are making. We also want to offer our prayers for the recovery of your family.

Therapy Dogs Help Wounded Warriors Heal

Campus Crusade Military Ministry…great resources for Families!

July 29, 2009

Paula and I have had the privilege this week of meeting many from the Military Ministry as they have gathered in Ft. Collins at a conference this week. We were invited to attend to get to know this Ministry and the work they are doing supporting Military Families. The commitment and heart of this Ministry is so inspiring! They truly love and honor our troops and the family members that hold down the home-front.

http://www.militaryministry.org/

On the website above you can access help with all the commonly experienced problems that Military Families face . They have materials and people to help you with your marriage, parenting, PSTD, combat trauma, substance abuse,  spiritual growth, devotionals that you can do as a couple  and for the whole family.  They do marriage conferences, Bible studies to strengthen you as you face deployment and reunion, and many other resources that can help you stay a strong , intact family. This is not an exhaustive list of what they offer, so please make contact with this wonderful ministry and see how they can help you and your family.

It's Here! We Serve Too! 2 A Child's Reunion Book!

April 28, 2009

We finally have it in our hands, and it is everything we had hoped it would be!

It is vibrant in color,  is of good quality ,and we are really proud to offer it to the Military Families whose children serve too!

This book is also good for those civilian children as well, who also have hard times missing parents, or coping with difficult feelings.  I will be writing soon about this past weekend, when we were invited to present a program to children at Warren AFB in Wyoming. We met some wonderful kids there. We learned alot of things. One thing was that even older children, age 12, loved the books. This  confirmed what we had hoped… that the whole family can relate to our simple stories, and that it is a catalyst for family conversations.

I can’t wait to post some pictures of our adventures with books, Homecoming Boxes, and all that went into a wonderful weekend! Right now though, we are celebrating our new release, and are thrilled with the reponses we are getting!

Military Families, We Are Behind You!

May 30, 2008

Last night I attended a meeting in Niwot Colorado of American Military Family. A room full of people who have a passion and excitement about doing everything possible to help military families. As the mother of an Army Sargent and the grandma of two fabulous military kids, my heart was warmed by the deep caring present in that room. Debbie Quackenbush is the energy behind this organization, and her leadership qualities are a blessing to those she serves.

There are two events being planned in Colorado . Thunder in the Rockies will take place August 30th, this promises to be a huge thank you to all military families no matter what era you served in. The Heroes Hoedown in September will raise funds to provide many amazing opportunities and services, for those wounded, and for all of you out there who keep our country free. I will be writing more about these opportunities to celebrate our military and to raise funds for AMF as they get closer. They have been graciously supporting our book for children, and we thank them for that!

I also want to mention a program I just learned about in that room last night, and that is Project Sanctuary. You can find them at www.ProjectSanctuary.us. This group provides a retreat for veterans and their families. Check this out if your family will soon be reunited after deployment, They provide our returning heroes time in a beautiful Rocky Mountain setting ,to reunite and bond with their families. Everything for this time of refuge is free to the military family.

We have found that those who serve the military, do so out of a heart for our country and a sense of love for those who risk so much and ask so little. Military families, we are behind you!

Blue star connection

May 22, 2008

I wrote a blog on Army Wife Talk Radio awhile back about the blue star mothers, those of us who have, or have had a child in the active duty military. The house down the street has had a flag in the window for months now, and I have been too busy, or too worried about bothering people I don’t know, to go and introduce myself. Finally I got up the nerve to knock on their door and begin the blue star connection! You know , people connect in many different ways, but there is something about a shared honor, and pain, that makes the lines fade between us. We are just mothers, with sons (or daughters) in places we wish they weren’t, but for a cause we believe wholeheartedly is necessary. Funny, as we talked on her porch, a cool evening breeze fluttering the red while and blue in the neighboring yard, I thought about all the military families and how I love them for what they do to protect us. We has not even exchanged names until the last few sentences, both of us Kathy! So if you see a banner of white, bordered by red and a blue star in the center, you will know that is a family who loves a service-member (the number of stars denotes the number of serving family members). If you see a house with a banner in the window, I would like to suggest you overcome your fears , stop and let them know you appreciate the service of their loved one, do it, you may find a new friend!

American Military Family…honoring our troops!

April 12, 2008

 I caught a great story on 9 news , about the groundbreaking for Matthew and his wife Tracy, a couple who are looking forward to a home that is accessible and comfortable. They found themselves needing such accommodations after  Matthew was shot while serving in Iraq. 

As we searched for organizations dedicated to serving military families, we were honored to find American Military Family. This was the first time we heard about this wonderful project to benefit Matthew and Tracy. I sent founder Debbie Quackenbush a copy of our book We Serve Too!-A Child’s Deployment Book and got a wonderful reception. They placed our book on their “kids making a difference” page. This group is just interested in providing whatever will help military families and are not caught up in getting the recognition.

This organization  cares for the troops in the field with their program of adopt -a- soldier,  find joy in providing new homes for wounded soldiers, and are available for military families in any kind of need. They have  a number of fundraising opportunities coming up : a spaghetti dinner on April 26th in Longmont to benefit a wounded local soldier, Hoedown for Heroes…their website is full of ways to help our military.

This group is energetic and passionate. Their website is one that all families and friends of the military should check out. Please consider supporting this group, getting involved, and in turn really offering help to the ones we are so grateful to-our military families!

www.AmericanMilitaryFamily.org

Operation Military Kids Hero Packs

April 4, 2008

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I want to acquaint all of you to a wonderful project being newly set up in Colorado (it is a nationwide project). Operation Military kids is a program put together by the U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command, National 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, American Legion, the Military Child Education Coalition and several other supporters.

The goal of Operation Military Kids is very similar to our goal at Wee The People Publishing, to provide Military kids and families with resources that can make the difficult time of deployment easier, and to give support in many ways to military children. In Colorado, we have been working to add We Serve Too, A Child’s Deployment Book to the contents of the hero pack. These packs are a wonderful resource for children, and are given out to children who have a parent deployed or soon to be deployed.

The packs are very high quality, and the supporters of OMK , give generously to fill the packs with things that can help kids stay connected to a parent far away. 4-H children compile these donations into the pack to give out to military kids.The book We Serve Too!, is a useful addition that allows parents and caretakers to have truly meaningful discussions that can help young children find a purpose and understanding of what their parent may be doing while far from home.

If you would like to participate in getting our book into the hero pack, you can purchase the book on our website and note in the comment area, that it is a gift to a military child, and to be added to an OMK hero pack .

We hope to soon have a way for you to directly donate books through 4-H, so you can get a tax deduction for your gift, but as of now we just thank you for your gifts to our littlest heroes!