Let’s shop at Sears!

I came across the following in a military spouses forum that I participate in.  Like the author of the message, Sears is usually not my first choice.  However, I am going to pledge to buy at least 1 gift there this holiday season just on principle.  I hope you will do the same.  All of this information can be verified at:  http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/sears.asp  http://www.searsholdings.com/communityrelations/hero/military.htm


 Sears – Christmas shopping has already started

I know I needed this reminder since Sears isn’t always my first choice. Amazing when you think of how long the war has lasted and they haven’t withdrawn from their commitment.

Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up.

Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years.

I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on.

Decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service  Department:

I received this e-mail and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it’s cheaper at that store. 

This is their answer to my e-mail:

Dear Customer: 

Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual.  We appreciate your positive feedback.  Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn
Sears Customer Care

Please pass this on to all your friends. Sears needs to be recognized for this outstanding contribution and we need to show them as Americans, we do appreciate what they are doing for our military!!!

 I think we all should shop there, and again tell the store manger why!

Halloween Candy

Here’s a good use for all that Halloween candy you have – if it hasn’t been eaten already!



HALLOWEEN CANDY:  We welcome your excess Halloween Candy for our care packages!  Please collect from all you know and send to us for the Holiday Packages. 
OCTOBER 1-DECEMBER 5 for the Holiday Drive

All items and letters can be shipped or delivered between October 1-December 5 to:

 Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard

17330 Victory Boulevard

Van Nuys, California 91406

ATTN:  Charlie Othold


Your only shipping cost is in sending the items to Operation Gratitude.  However, any contributions toward the cost of shipping the packages overseas would be greatly appreciated.  Please mail checks separately from cartons of items.  All financial donations will be acknowledged by mail.  If you would like to receive an acknowledgment for donated items, please include your name and email or mailing address inside the shipment (email acknowledgments will help us save the cost of postage!).   Acknowledgments will be sent within three months. 

On the way!

I spoke to my husband this morning as he was preparing to leave his FOB.  The next time I hear from him, he will have completed the first leg of his journey home for R&R.  Although he has only been deployed for about 6 months, it has been closer to 9 since we lived under the same roof.  I am trying to remain patient, but my excitement is starting to get the best of me.  It is going to be so wonderful to have him home for a couple of weeks.  I can’t wait to see him and M interact.  There is a big difference between a 6 month old who is barely mobile and a 1 year old who is into everything!  I know he will love every second of chasing her around though, and I will love watching it! 

I am just praying that he has a quick and safe journey home.   Hopefully, I can be patient enough to survive the rest of the week!

Eating Before and After Exercise

I was recently asked by someone what they should eat after working out. Fitness instructors are highly encouraged not to give dietary advice since we are certified in fitness and not nutrition. I will however offer some general advice on eating before and after exercise. Please remember, however, that it is best for you to get specific advice from a dietician.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is good to use as a guideline for eating prior to and after working out. The GI is a ranking that measures how much a certain carbohydrate elevates blood sugar above normal. Foods low on the GI are known as slow digesting carbohydrates. They provide a prolonged, sustained entry of glucose into the bloodstream. This means that they supply long lasting fuel to power you through your workout. These foods make good pre-exercise snacks. Some examples of foods low on the GI are:
-apples, oranges, or another medium piece of fruit
-raw carrots
-cup of cooked oatmeal
-small sweet potato
-2 slices of whole wheat bread

Foods high on the GI are released more quickly into the blood and also referred to as fast digesting carbohydrates. They are better for recovery and refueling after exercise. It is recommended that you eat at least 50 grams (200 calories) of a high or moderate glycemic carb as soon as possible after exercise. Two hours later you should eat another 50 grams of a high glycemic carbohydrate. Some example of these foods are:
-plain baked potato
-20 ounce Gatorade
-slice of plain angel food cake
-cup of sorbet
-2-3 slices of white bread

Foods high in electrolytes (minerals like potassium, calcium, and sodium) are important for recovery after prolonged exercise that lasts 2 or more hours. Good choices for these kinds of foods are:
-low fat yogurt
-orange juice

I hope this will help you next time you exercise and are trying to figure out what to eat!

Fitness FUN

Last week the topic on Navy Wife Radio was Fitness Fun.  I think the title is great because we need to get back to focusing on enjoying exercise.  Even though I’m a certified fitness instructor I still have my down days when it comes to exercise.  As a mom to a baby girl and wife of a deployed soldier, I’m doing good when I can just shower and eat sometimes.  There are times when many of us are guilty of the all or nothing way of thinking when it comes to exercise.  If we know we won’t be able to get in a good hour or more at the gym, we don’t exercise at all.  Just try to remember that something is better than nothing!  I was recently discussing this with another Army wife.  She is a mother of twin babies and expressed her frustration with not being able to exercise regularly.  The following is just a tiny bit of the message I sent to her.  I hope it will help encourage other ladies who feel guilty and frustrated when they aren’t able to do it all.

I think our biggest thing is learning not to be hard on ourselves if we can’t always live up to our fitness/weight expectations. We have to change our mindset. Before we were moms, if we didn’t workout or eat right, we felt guilty because we had no excuse not to do better. Now we have to put our babies before ourselves and sometimes we may not be able to accomplish EVERYTHING that we want to. If all you can work in during a day is running up and down the stairs and a few situps and pushups – that’s still something to be proud of!

CPT Greg Dalessio

When we lived in Germany, I was the officer records clerk for our post/brigade.  I loved my job and one of the main reasons why was the people I served.  I knew almost all of the officers on our small post and enjoyed being able to help them.  They always knew that if they needed anything or had a question, I was there for them.  It was such a pleasure to work with them because they were always so nice and very grateful.  When the brigade deployed, my job became very slow.  Sometimes the officers would email me from downrange and I would help them.  Otherwise, I mainly worked with new officers that were arriving to the brigade.  The first time that the rear detachment came to “pull a file” from my office, my heart sank.  It took all I had to stay professional and keep from crying.  They came to get the file so that they could reference the officer’s emergency contact information.  Unfortunately, the same scenario played out multiple times during that deployment.  It was difficult for me because these were more than just files, I knew each officer that the file represented. 

I recently learned that an officer from our old brigade and post was killed in action in Iraq last month.  He was one of “my” officers and I was sad to hear about his death.  I know all too well that we lose more servicemembers everyday, but I just wanted to bring attention to this man today.  Please pray for the friends and family that CPT Greg Dalessio leaves behind. 

Here is a link with more information about CPT Dalessio: http://www.militarycity.com/valor/3600610.html

Thank you!

I wanted to take a few minutes out of what is sure to be a busy Independence Day to express my gratitude to those who allow us to live in a wonderful, free country.  Thank you to all of those that currently serve and have served honorably in our military.  I would love to be able to celebrate with my husband today, but I know that he and all the other servicemembers who are separated from their families are doing their jobs so that we may continue to live in an independent country.  I am so grateful that their service allows my daughter to grow up in a place where she can truly do anything that she wants to do. 

There are some other people I would like to acknowledge today that you may not neccesarily think of on July 4th.  As a military wife, people often say to me – “I don’t know how you do it”.  I’m know many other military wives are constantly told that too.  One reason we are able to thrive is because of those around us who support us.  Everyone who supports a military family member is in turn supporting the servicemember.  When a servicemember knows that their family is taken care of, they are able to focus on their job and do it more effectively.  There is no way that I could list all the people who have helped me but I will try to mention a few.  My extended family, among other things, helps take care of my daughter sometimes.  This allows me to have a short break every once in a while that is very much needed.  My friends have been there to help me have fun and take my mind off the stresses of everyday life, but they have also been there to help me up when I’ve been down.  The ladies at the post office encourage me by always being so friendly when we go to send my husband his regular care packages, and they always ask about him.  The staff at the vet’s office would always help me when I showed up at the clinic with a dog and baby in tow.  I appreciate the people who just stop to ask me how B is and tell me that they are praying for him.  Those few words have the power to lift my spirit immensely.  Thanks to all of you who encourage and uplift a military family member.  When you bring a smile to our face, you are serving our country in your own little way.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed 4th of July weekend!