Wordy Wednesday…AFTB!

Okay, folks, it’s that time again.  It’s Wednesday and today’s word is AFTB or Army Family Team Building.  Here is the mission statement for the AFTB classes:

Army Family Team Building Mission Statement

“Our mission is to educate and empower members of the military community to develop skills and encourage behaviors that strengthen self-reliance, promote retention, and enhance readiness.”

Okay, AFTB classes  aren't usually this big.  They are in a smaller, more personal setting so it's a great place to make new friends.  But, you get the idea, right?  :)

Okay, AFTB classes aren’t usually this big. They are in a smaller, more personal setting so it’s a great place to make new friends. But, you get the idea, right? 🙂

I had taken the classes back in 2006 when I was a brand new army wife and was trying to make some sense of this crazy military life.  The curriculum has just been revamped and I had the opportunity to take Level II (now called Level G) last week and it was great!  It was a small class and I got to meet a couple of really cool ladies (and we now have some plans to hang out outside of class- new friends, always a bonus!).  Here are the topics covered in each of the levels:

You don’t have to take the levels in order, so stop by ACS on-post and see which classes they have coming up!  If you don’t live close to an army post or have trouble making it to class, check them out on-line.  It’s not as fun as meeting new people and taking the class in person, but it’s still a way to get some great information.  Check it out at:  http://www.arfp.org/index.php/training/64-aftb-online-training-and-classes


Wordy Wednesday…PCS!

I should get a T-shirt with this on it to wear while we PCS.

I should get a T-shirt with this on it to wear while we PCS.

Okay, this week’s word is one that all military families become very acquainted with.  Some hear it and sense adventure and excitement.  To others, it brings a feeling of dread and foreboding (a little dramatic, I know, but drama makes things more exciting!).

PCS (Permanent Change of Station)…

This phrase itself is a little misleading, I mean, if it’s a permanent change, why are we doing it again?  And again?  (and again, you get the point).  Since joining the army 9 years ago, my hubby has gotten PCS orders 7 times (with some deployments thrown in), and we have moved as a family 5 times.  With each move, we are more organized and better equipped to deal with the change.  However, each move also gets more complicated as our family grows and we accumulate more stuff.  I am getting better about getting rid of things, but it is definitely still hard for me.  As a former teacher, I am still generally a keeper.  A “you-never-know-when-you-might-need-that” type of person.

Check out the wall o’ boxes in my garage…


True, a lot of it is Christmas decorations, my husband’s pro gear, and some of my teaching stuff, but I know I should be whittling it down.  We just found out that we will soon be on the move again.  Number six as a family!  I am looking forward to it one minute and then filled with anxiety the next.  I started thinking that there are several phases of deployment that we go through as military spouses:

1.  Initial reaction:  This will largely depend on if you actually wanted to go to the place you are assigned.  It can range from, “Seriously!  We got that?!?!?!” to, “Seriously!!!!  We got that &8$%@#!?!?!?”

2.  Reconnaissance:  Whether you wanted it or not, you’ve got it.  The next step is most likely going on Facebook to get info from others on whether it’s a good duty station or not, checking the housing on-line, or doing frantic google searches about the area.

3.  Acceptance:  Usually this phase has a sort of serene calm to it.  “We have to move, but it’s going to be okay.”  The length of this phase depends on how much forward notice you got about your move.  We are a little more than two months out, so I’m hoping that for me, it lasts a little while.

4.  Refusal:  This usually starts when you start doing the actual legwork of the move, like starting to pack or getting your kids lined up for therapy, healthcare, or school in the new place.  “This will never work!” or “There is no way we are going to make it!” are common thoughts at this time.  This is my least favorite, most stressful part.

5.  Resolution:  This starts when things begin to fall into place, like when there is no wait list for housing, or that the school your kids will be attending is an awesome one.  You begin to see things working out and that there is a light at the end of the PCS tunnel.  This phase ends when the movers load up and pull out and you are on the way to your next home.

Now, there is a whole new cycle of actually moving and getting settled in the new place.  But, that’s a little too much for me to think about right now…Maybe I’ll tackle that in a few months when we’re in the thick of it 😉

In the meantime, here are some awesome resources to help you the next time you PCS…

Go to http://www.militaryonesource.com and type “PCS” into the search bar

Top 5 PCS Money Tips

Military Children and PCS

PCS:  10th Time’s the Charm

Military Moving:  Sell It or Save It?