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Dealing With Stupid People

September 30, 2010 - Author: Michy

I feel like I need to take a deep breath and pray a bit before I write this…

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Colossians 3:12-13 (NIV)

Can I just start by saying that I feel like I’ve had an abundance of experience with stupid people lately? And I don’t handle it well. I’m usually impatient, unkind, condescending, and sometimes downright rude. It’s hard not to be!

I mean, when it takes a doctor’s secretary a month to get your appointment set, and when you have to give her your phone number again each of the dozen times you call her, and wait as she seems to spend five seconds writing down each digit… It’s hard not to get just a little impatient.

Dearly Loved

I lay in bed at night and thank God for his perfect, unconditional love, acknowledging that even my husband and I cannot love each other in the same way He loves both of us. The next morning, I get up, and I raise my voice at the customer service agent at Tricare. (Don’t get me started on Tricare!)

Human nature says, “I’m number one!” Self is the most important. And other peoples’ worth is judged by many factors: intelligence, humor, whether they’ve done you harm.

But human nature is sinful, and God doesn’t appreciate the judgments we pass on his creation.

Instead, He says that we should be motivated by his love and his sacrifice to pour that love on others.

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:10-11 (NIV)

  • Compassion, a deep sympathy for another’s suffering.
  • Kindness, being warm-hearted and considerate.
  • Humility, accepting ourselves as we really are before God.
  • Gentleness, being amiable and tender.
  • Patience, waiting or enduring good-naturedly and without complaint
  • Forgiveness, to excuse or pardon, to renounce anger and resentment.

These are all just aspects of one love, a love that we are to give to others. It’s not something that is dependant on whether they love us first. It’s something that is dependant on the fact that God already loved us first. Now we love others.

What if they don’t deserve it?

Sorry to tell you, but they don’t deserve it. But God says their worth isn’t judged by the factors we like to use. They’re worth something because they are God’s creation, too, and he loves them.

Tricare will probably thank me for taking this lesson to heart.

Life by the Spirit

“I sure can’t just make myself more loving!”

We aren’t really capable of unconditional love, but God is. And as Christians, we have his Holy Spirit within us. The only way we can really accomplish God’s will is by allowing the Spirit to work in and through us. It’s a process of being aware, being in constant prayer, and being open to the Spirit’s leading. We won’t get it right all the time, but the more we work at it, trusting Him to work in us, the more we’ll start seeing the fruits of the Spirit. And, hey, those look pretty similar to the loving qualities we’re supposed to show others… :)

“…Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. …The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
Galatians 5:16-17, 22-26 (NIV)

 

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Categories: Christianity

Recipe: Beef Chuck Yummy Steak

September 29, 2010 - Author: Michy

This is a recipe for beef chuck steak in a yummy sauce of my own creation. Now, let me just warn you that I haven’t tried this recipe on anyone else yet, so I don’t even have Hubby to vouch for me. But, just trust me. It’s good.

Ingredients

  • beef chuck steak (one large or two individual-sized)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • dill weed
  • garlic powder
  • ground red pepper
  • marjoram
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced
  • salt
  • thyme

*The Sauce:

  • ¼ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp steak sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp warm water

Directions

1. Prepare the sauce in a small bowl by mixing the warm water and cornstarch and then adding the rest of the ingredients. Stir well!

2. Melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add and sauté the onion and bell pepper. (The onion should just begin to turn translucent.)

3. Clear a space in the middle of the vegetables and add the steak. Raise the burner to high and cook the steak very briefly on each side, so it is just barely brown, then reduce to low heat.

4. Season the top of the steak lightly with garlic powder, ground red pepper, marjoram, thyme, and dill weed.

5. Stir the sauce again, then cover the steak with it.

6. Cook 30 seconds, turn steak over, season with salt.

7. Increase heat until the sauce begins to simmer and cook, turning the steak often and stirring the sauce so that it constantly covers the steak. Continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and the meat is cooked to taste. You can serve this as I did, with green beans and toast, or however else you like. Serves 2!

Categories: Recipes

Dealing With the Big D

September 24, 2010 - Author: Michy

Deployment sucks. There’s no denying it, and, unfortunately, there’s no way to magically make it easier. It’s not so simple as one more person telling you to keep your chin up, as if, maybe after you hear it enough times something will click in your head and you’ll no longer feel down. Nope. Sorry! Not gonna happen.

I’m new to this, and I’m taking everyone else on their word and hoping that it will get better and easier. I hear the first month is the hardest. We’ll see! But in the meantime, I’ve found some comfort in some resources I found online. I’d like to share them in hopes that someone else might also enjoy them – whether you’re a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend of a deployed soldier! So, here we go, in chronological order…

Before He Leaves

1. If you are feeling a bit frazzled and trying to remember what needs to be covered before he leaves, here are a few tips from eHow.com: Finances, vehicles, holidays, and household maintenance – all important things to add to your pre-deployment to-do list. See the full article by clicking here.

2. I did not have to face the problem addressed in this article on ChristianMilitaryWives.com. However, I still found some really good advice in it, and would recommend it to you, especially if you find that your soldier is seeming more distant the closer deployment gets.

“Don’t let your sour, bitter thoughts get in the way of your relationship with Christ or your husband.  Don’t let pre-deployment jitters get you down! You are armed with something that non-Christians do not have.  You have God on your side, ‘if God be for us, who can be against us?’ Romans 8:31
-Patti Katter

3. There are several good all-inclusive articles I found. They include advice for Pre-, During, and Post-Deployment. Twoofus.org focuses on Preparing Your Marriage for a Military Deployment with advice about things like patience, blame, and infidelity. Red Cross has an article on Deployment Tips that focuses mostly on homecoming, but it also has a really thorough checklist that will prove useful throughout the entire deployment.

I saved the best for last, though. As far as an overview of the whole process of deployment, I liked this article by Stacey the best. She touched on some things that I really was beginning to think I was alone in feeling. The truth is that, as she says, “just about any emotion you have during this time period is normal.” Reading this article really helped me remember I’m not alone, and, believe me, it’s good to have constant reminders of that fact.

“Depending on your husband’s unit, you could have months of notice before they deploy or as little as a few hours. Your first reaction could very well be shock, disbelief and a feeling of helplessness. You may have thoughts run through your head about flying off to another country and disappearing. Although this is common, it’s NOT recommended! They will find you and then not only will he be deployed, he will probably serve jail time as well and have pay and rank stripped from him.”
-Stacey – MarriedtotheArmy.com (Dealing With the Emotional Roller Coaster of Deployment)

While He’s Gone

1. I’ve already mentioned this article in my post SMW Syndrome. Check it out, if you missed it, or go straight over to Anita’s article about Super Military Wife Syndrome.

2. Your soldier deserves to come home to the real you, so take care of yourself while he’s gone. Exercise, journal, work on projects, set goals, et cetera! Read eHow’s article (this is a different article than that mentioned in the first section) for more thoughts on the subject. And, I would also recommend this Military Mama’s post called Lessons Deployment Has Taught Me. It’s okay to be sad! Finally, read quotes from other wives at ivillage.com that are, supposedly, the best 21 tips you can find!

“People are just going to say things in hopes it makes you feel better. Let them.”
Lessons Deployment Has Taught Me

3. Meanwhile, aside from keeping your body and mind cared for, your soldier is off in a distant, probably harsh, land. He (or she) is separated, not only from his spouse, but also from all of his loved ones. He is probably sleeping on a cot most nights, in a room with little in it to speak of home. He needs care, too, and don’t forget it. So, tell him frequently how you feel about him and that he is in your thoughts and prayers. Thank him for his service; express your pride. Send letters!

4. Care packages are another great thing to do for deployed soldiers. Ask your soldier (or his wife) for a list of items he would like to receive. There are lots of websites, some of which are listed below, which will give suggestions on items you might choose to send. Here’s a compiled list:

  • Foods they can’t get from the DFAC or PX
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Photos
  • Stationary
  • Stamps
  • Pictures or posters for walls, if they have any
  • Travel-sized medicines and toiletries
  • Moist towlettes/cleansing cloths
  • Reading material
  • Batteries
  • Puzzles/other games he might enjoy
  • Visit these websites for more info: How to Support…, How to Make…, How to Ship…, US Army Care…

DO NOT send any of the following:

  • Melt-able Items (Chocolate, et cetera)
  • Alcohol/Drugs
  • Pork
  • Pornography

Make sure you have your soldiers full, correct address before you mail anything! And, before you go off packing things into just any old box, check your local post office for FREE boxes. They are called flat-rate boxes, and you do not have to pay for them. Take as many as you want! They come in several sizes. No matter how much they weigh, they have a flat rate for shipping, and it’s a very good deal. You can also visit USPS.com and order 10 or 20 boxes, which they will deliver to your door for free! You will also need a customs form (2976-A) for each package, and you can get those for free at the post office or free from USPS.com. Additionally, everyone should check out THIS website which tells you how to get an entire Military Care Kit for free. It has everything you need all included.

Closing Thoughts

Once more, I want to link you to the following articles which include a few homecoming tips.

Finally, there are a few bright-sides to deployment, as outlined at Milspouse.com. Head on over there to see what they are. And I would love it if you had suggestions on additions to that list. The more bright sides we can come up with, the better! My favorite from their list is how much easier cleaning is when he’s gone. Especially with no kids, yet, to dirty things up. :-)

 

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Categories: Army

SMW Syndrome

September 21, 2010 - Author: Michy

It’s time for another confession! After my Hubby Honey leaving on the 11th, I found myself struggling more and more with…something. A nagging urge that grew day by day told me that I had a billion things to do, and the more I thought about it, the longer my lists became. And the longer my lists because, the more stressed I grew over getting it all done. I didn’t know what to attribute this problem to until reading an article by Anita Tedaldi on Milspouse.com.

“(Super Military Wife Syndrome) often lies dormant until triggered by a major stressor, namely a husband’s deployment.  The primary symptom is a nagging urge to bite off more than you can chew.”
-Anita Tedaldi

From Personal Experience

I have all the time in the world. I work from home and have no kids. Surely, nothing will hinder me from filling my plate with stuff. Tasks.

  • I want to research RV-buying and how to live in an RV, including the cost.
  • I want to research vegan diets, knowing that Hubby would probably be interested in trying one out when he gets home if I can figure out how to make it work and how to cook in vegan recipes.
  • I want to make curtains for the house!
  • I want to draw my best buddy’s portrait as a wedding gift!
  • I want to finish my novel!
  • I want to have an immaculate house!
  • I want to find a new doctor and dentist.
  • I want to finish potty training my cat.
  • I want to read a billion books and finish a million videogames.
  • I want to scrapbook that box of stuff I’ve been saving.
  • I want to blog and vlog every day.
  • I want to start practicing drawing more so that I can consider selling some artwork.
  • I want to visit my friends that are two hours away every weekend, while spending the week visiting with my local friends as much as possible.
  • I want to attend 3 different churches.
  • I want to go clubbing, go to church, and run away to Florida, all at once.
  • I want to go back to school, which means finding funding and the right school.
  • I want to pay off all our debts.
  • I want to work out every day and lose 60-100 lbs before my hubby comes home.
  • I want to babysit for my friend so I can help her out, spend time with kids (which I love), and get a little tiny bit more income for the debts and the schools.
  • Oh, and I want to be available 24/7 in case Hubby has free time to contact me.

I want, I want, I want! I need to do so many things! I don’t have enough time!

I’ve worked myself into a corner, and now I face the process of slowly working myself out. My main goal at this point is to remember that I’m not super woman, but that I do indeed have all the time I need. There’s no need to stress. Breathe, drink some soothing tea, and just do a little bit every day while being proud of each thing you accomplish.

If you need some encouragement, I would highly recommend reading both Anita’s original post and the comments that followed. Remember, you aren’t alone. We’re going through the same things!

 

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Categories: Army, Marriage

Recipe: LEGENDARY Stroganoff

September 20, 2010 - Author: Michy

This is a recipe for hamburger stroganoff that my husband and I loved. It wasn’t completely my creation, as I based it initially off of a recipe I was given by my Aunt Monica. However, so many changes were made that it was really a different recipe, deserving of a new name. This recipe can be easily adapted to make more or less, depending on how many you are trying to serve. And, one additional note: For the first time, I wrote down the measurements for my spices as “sprinkles,” because this is something I know I can duplicate. I did not exactly measure them, so I’m going to estimate that a sprinkle is about ¼ teaspoon. However, I would advise using your best judgment in that area.

Ingredients

  • noodles (Egg noodles or macaroni)
  • 1 lb ground beef, thawed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can mushrooms, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced
  • thickener*
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2+ tsp salt, to taste
  • 2-4 tsp. sugar
  • dash of vinegar
  • spices: marjoram, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme

*For the thickener, you may choose to use about 1 tsp cornstarch stirred into about a half cup of warm water, as I did. Or, you may use about 2 tbsp flour, which I have not tried, but it should have a similar effect.

Directions

1. Sauté the onion and garlic in a small amount of oil or butter very briefly, then add and brown the beef. If you are using non-lean beef, you may wish to drain off most of the fat after browning it.

2. Add thickener and stir in quickly, reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms and spices – (Half a sprinkle of rosemary. One sprinkle each of oregano and marjoram. Two sprinkles of tarragon. Three to four sprinkles of thyme.) – including vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar.

3. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, allowing everything to mix together. Stir occasionally.

4. Add sour cream and simmer until the sauce reaches the desired consistency (it should be fairly thick).

5. Serve over salted noodles for the most flavor. Goes well with peas on the side. Should make 3-4 servings.

 

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Categories: Recipes

Lonely Putty Tat

September 18, 2010 - Author: Michy

Tumbles misses daddy

Tumbles: I don’t miss him. I just, you know, wish he was here.
To feed me and stuff. I don’t need him, okay?!

Categories: Personal

Five For Friday 9/17

September 17, 2010 - Author: Michy

Previous Fridays

Five reasons I love my hubby this Friday!

1. You argued and almost convinced me that you might miss me more than I miss you.

2. You tried to make a ribbon for me from your old ACUs.

3. You were so cute, hugging Amanda. I cried for her when you gave her your name velcro from the bus. That was too sweet for words.

4. The booing and cheering on the bus as you got the window stuck and then un-stuck was cute.

5. Fifth and foremost, I loved that first surprise call from Maine. It made me so happy.

😀

Categories: Marriage, Personal