Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fiscal Cliff !!????&%$#^$%^$%&$%&

Wow this fiscal cliff is gonna throw me over the edge.  These tax hikes are really gonna hit home for me.  In my tax bracket I stand to pay about $2800 more in taxes, SS tax up, loss of half my child tax credit.  Ugh.  Not good for people living pay check to pay check (hand raised).  Not even looking forward to tax time.    What really gets me is all the talk about furloughing State workers because of the budget but a lot of state workers do very important jobs in public service to our communities.  Umm like workers for the State Police, Veterans Homes (Big one)  These workers are productive and provide important services more than I can say for our Congress and Senate right now.  If we were as productive as they are we'd be long gone.

Oh I forgot about the price doubling for a gallon of milk!  They've let these matters just drag on and on and on.  These two parties of government remind me of stubborn parents in a custody battle who just refuse to compromise for the sake of the children.  We are the children who suffer.

I think it will most likely work out, they will fix things at the last minute but this waiting and uncertainty gets your blood boilin'.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Child Custody for Deploying Soldiers

Article from LAW.COM

With recent legislation that was unanimously passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate and went into effect in June, SB 1167, Pennsylvania is now among the growing number of states in the nation granting extraordinary child custody rights to deployed military parents. For several years, states, including Pennsylvania, have been enacting laws in an effort to protect military parents from losing custody of their children because of their decision to serve the country.
Child custody rights afforded to military parents vary considerably from state to state and may include: (1) a restriction on change of custody during deployment; (2) reinstatement of custody rights upon return; (3) not having deployment considered in the determination of a child's best interests; (4) not having a failure to personally appear in court during deployment be the sole reason for modifying custody; (5) expedited hearings; (6) electronic hearings; and (7) assignment of custody rights to family members during deployment.
In 2008, Pennsylvania created Section 4109 of the Military and Veterans Code, 51 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4109, which provided deployed military parents with the first four of these rights. This year, Section 4109 was amended to include the right to petition to assign temporary child custody to family members, and Section 4110 was added to give deployed military parents the rights to both expedited and electronic hearings.

Restriction on Change of Custody During Deployment

The right of a military parent to not have a child custody order entered or modified if a petition is filed during his or her deployment, 51 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4109(a), has been Pennsylvania law since 2008. The purpose of this law was to prevent a military parent from returning home after deployment with no custody or less than he or she had before deployment. But this right is not without exception. The statute explicitly permits a court to enter a temporary custody order during deployment if it is in the best interests of a child.

Reinstatement of Custody Rights

If a temporary child custody order is entered during a military parent's deployment, then upon his or her return, Section 4109(b) requires the court to reinstate the cutody order that was previously in effect, 51 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4109(b). This reinstatement after an extended absence and without court review has troubled many who point out that some military parents may be returning home after deployment with physical or psychological impairments that render them incapable of properly caring for a child. Pennsylvania's adherence to the longstanding best interests of the child principle has also been questioned in Section 4109(c).

Deployment Not Considered

If a custody modification is sought after a military parent returns from deployment, Section 4109(c) prevents a court from considering his or her deployment absence in its determination of the best interests of the child, 51 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4109(c). Normally, an extended absence by a parent from his or her child's life would be a relevant factor for a court to consider in making a determination of a child's best interests. Some believe that because a military parent's previous deployment absence is expressly prohibited from simple consideration among numerous factors in the determination, the interests of the military parent are superseding the best interests of the child. It has also been discussed that the ramifications of such an extended absence on a child, particularly a young child, are a separate issue that a court should evaluate.
Furthermore, this statute does not specifically address consideration of anticipated future deployments. Wisconsin, for example, extends its prohibition to future deployments, Wis. Stat. §767.451(5m)(c), whereas Tennessee explicitly provides that courts are not kept from taking into account a military parent's volunteering for frequent or successive duties out of state, Tenn. Code Ann. §36-6-113(e). Pennsylvania's omission of reference to future deployments indicates that they may be considered in the best interests of the child analysis.

Failure to Appear

Section 4109(d) states that a military parent's failure to appear in court during his or her deployment cannot alone justify modifying a child custody order, 51 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4109(d). The language of the statute therefore suggests that it may be one of several factors a court may consider, but that may have no practical consequence given the clear intent of the legislature to protect the custody rights of military parents. The 2012 amendments to the Military and Veterans Code permitting both expedited and electronic hearings may have rendered this law less significant now as well.

Expedited Hearings

The recently added Section 4110(a) requires a court to hold an expedited hearing upon the motion of a soon-to-be-deployed military parent and a finding of good cause, 51 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4110(a). Nothing in the language of the statute, however, allows a military parent to request an expedited hearing date during or after deployment. If a hearing date before deployment is not possible or requested, Section 4110(b) provides deployed military parents with another way to participate at a child custody hearing.

Electronic Hearings

If a child custody hearing is set for a date during deployment, the newly enacted Section 4110(b) requires a court to permit a deployed military parent to present evidence and testify electronically upon his motion, reasonable advance notice and a finding of good cause, 51 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4110(b). He or she may do this by telephone, videoconference or the Internet.

Assignment of Custody Rights

A deploying military parent now has the ability to temporarily assign his or her child custody rights to his or her family members, 51 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4109(a.1). This new law requires that: (1) the military parent petition the court for a temporary order; (2) the military parent be joined in the petition with the selected family members; (3) the petition include a proposed revised custody schedule for the care of the child by the family members; (4) the proposed schedule not include, and the court not grant, custody rights to family members that exceed those of the military parent that were in effect at the time of the filing of the petition; and (5) the court apply the best interests of the child standard to the assignment determination. If found to be in the child's best interests, the court may issue a temporary custody order with the proposed schedule or another revised schedule as the court sees fit.
This section was originally drafted with the term "biological relatives," but the Senate struck that term, replaced it with "family members," then adopted its broad definition from the Child Protective Services Law: "Spouses, parents and children or other persons related by consanguinity or affinity." In expanding the pool of potential assignees and not requiring them to have had a previous relationship with the child, Pennsylvania's approach with respect to whom a deploying military parent may assign his or her child custody rights is less child-focused than other states such as North Carolina, which expressly limits a child custody assignment to only those family members having a "close and substantial relationship" with the child, N.C. Gen. Stat. §50-13.7A(d). A possible result of this new law is a situation in which nonmilitary parents are sharing custody with people that neither they nor their children know or know well.
Those who are co-parenting with deploying service members must understand that assignment of custody rights is not automatic, but rather that the statute provides a means for it to be accomplished. Because the court must perform a best interest of the child analysis, the opposing party will have an opportunity to challenge the assignment at a hearing. With the new law permitting expedited hearings, however, both military parents and those wishing to challenge an assignment may have little time to prepare effectively.

New Laws in Effect

Pennsylvania first enacted laws protecting the rights of deployed military parents back in 2008. This year, three new laws went into effect concerning expedited and electronic hearings and assignment of custody rights.
All Pennsylvania family law practitioners should carefully review Sections 4109 and 4110 of the Military and Veterans Code for more details to not only better assist their military parent clients but also their nonmilitary clients involved in custody matters with military parents. •
Caroline L. Vodzak has a broad-based general law practice in Pittsburgh that includes family law. She can be contacted through her website,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Uh Oh talk of deployment

Another drill after two months off, getting back into the swing of things, losing weight, trying to get in shape, stepping up to fulfull my responsibility, things are looking up.  Then talk of deploying again.  What to do....What to do....I have some hard life choices to make.  Now that I have two little ones at home.  We'll see.  But drill was great, sooooo many new soldiers, to include my 19 yr old nephew who made a great first impression.  Alot of things to do and learn and practice and train and ..........

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

After Drill Review

Another great drill with my battles.  It's great feeling like family and having each others back to get through everything and anything together.  We have been through so much together.  Soon my nephew, who has recently joined the military, will be coming to my unit and I hope he feels right at home.  I really try to not sweat any petty stuff.  Try to limit gossip and trash talk.  I enjoy some gossip as much as the next person but they say "If someone will talk to you about someone, they will be talking about you to someone."  You know females always have these issues and one of my petpieves people who feel the need to cut other people down, especially females.  I love to see successful females and it motivates me.

Speaking of being like famliy, we are expecting some new additions and will be having a group baby shower after drill with drinks of course for us non-pregos.  Always a good reason to celebrate.  Alot of us women choose to stay in the military after we have babies.  Some because we love it and most because we are making a living.  Me, a little of both.  What would they do without us......

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back to Civilian Job, Another AT down!

Well another Annual Training down, two weeks this year, next year will be three weeks. A few days in the feild and the rest in some brand new barracks, with AC!  I'm one of the older females now and we kind of feel like the Den mothers, whatever they call them.  I love to see women working hard and being successful.  I wish we women would always have each others back, lift each other up instead of tear each other down.  Theres always some of that and I give my little lecture about us all getting along and looking out for each other.  So we had our usual little he said/she said misunderstandings, etc.  Overall it was a good two weeks.  Now back to civilian employment.  I think soldiers who go back to their civilian jobs after training have much less tolerance for certain things that we civilians do at work like whining & bitching, disrespect, etc, etc..  Sweating the petty small stuff, gossip.  Wait, I like gossip.  Just listening, not repeating.  Who am I kidding soldiers do all those things but it just seems not to affect the job they way it does in the civilian workplace.  Anywho...good to have a break and good to be back.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Annual Training

Well, 4th day of training.   So much for thinking I was going to be working out everyday, but I am sweating of the pounds while training in the field.  Last night in the woods though, YES.  I'm over this roughing it.  Cant wait to sleep on  my twin bed in the barracks, and take a shower anytime I want.  Enough complaining though because we did have some good training.  Now I'm sitting here on Guard duty at 4am (my partner is knocked out) waiting for the sun to come up over the mountain and waiting until breakfast when I can have my coffee.   Coffee is my only pleasure in the field.  Love coffee, even army coffee.

One of my soldiers saw a little bear out here in the field, hope no animals get brave and come into our area.  I'm not prepared for that, I don't have my weapon all I have is bug spray and some folding chairs.   The folding chair that I was trying to figure out how to get comfortable on and doze off but that wasn't working.  The sunrise is so nice, can't wait to see what today holds!
Time to get back in shape! ;)
     Well getting ready for another couple of weeks of Annual Training.  We're a couple of years home from deployment so the tempo has slowed somewhat for our unit and we have alot of new young soldiers. Especially young new females some of whom are expecting.  It will be nice to see my battle buddies and catch up on each others lives and train together again.  Hope we are fortunate enough to be in barracks with air conditioning.  I always overpack, we try to make the barracks a home away from home for a couple of weeks.  Although we females don't usually go all out like the guys who bring their flat screens, xbox's, playstations etc.....  We do have fun on our down time though.  We have a good time training too. 

     I've have two children back to back so this is my first time back with the unit and it's time to get back in shape.  I'm starting from scratch because I didn't work out while I was pregnant, shame on me.  Now that I'm older the army standard for me is not too hard, once I get myself there I'll be fine.  My 13 yr old son is my motivator and workout partner.  Annual Training is a good chance to be away from all the responsibilities of home and have a chance to work out everyday or more than once a day so I better make the most of it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Money Class on PBS and OWN.  Suze Orman gives great advice on this show.  I've watched most of the shows.  The biggest lesson for me is that my financial situation is directly related to my emotions.  When I get my surroundings organized and get rid of certain things that are causing drama in my life I will be on a much better financial path.  It is really all related, I dont know if it's the case for both men and women or just most women.  Suze always emphasizses being honest and organized.  Honest about what we really need and what we can really afford.  I am definately not trying to keep up with the Jones's or the Kardashians.  So this is my project for awhile.  This is especially important for military members because we never know when we could have to leave our families and homes so having things in order and ready to go is critical.  On my last deployment I really wish I had my finances more organized and had a real plan for the money I made.  I won't make that mistake again on my next deployment which is inevitable :( .  Prepaid debit card - I mostly think prepaid cards are SUCH a rip off, why not just use the one with your checking account?  The Rush card?  Why should I help make Russell and Kimora Simmons more rich than they already are?  I don't think it looks cool to have a celebrity's face on your debit card, it just makes you stand out that for some reason you can't get a real credit card or traditional debit card.  There are so many fees on the prepaid cards, that you would most likely not get with a checking account debit card.  Annual Fees, Monthly Fees, ATM fee, balance inquiry fee, fee for calling customer service, overdraft fee, and on and on.  But Suze has a good idea with her debit card that in the future may report to one of the credit bureaus, TransUnion.  Suze Orman's Approved card has a small $3 per month fee.  This is perfect for people who cannot get a credit card, to build up their credit.  I'm a fan of Suze! Plus she is very pro-Military!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cropped Picture
Okay, everyone is STILL talking about the breastfeeding military moms.  Fox News reports the woman responsible for this controversy has been fired from her civilian job as an X-ray technician.  These soldiers have also been reprimanded by the Air Force because you cannot use the uniform to promote a cause.  Well I am all for breastfeeding and I did so publicly a few times.  Although I do feel it is in bad taste and unprofessional to have your picture taken in uniform knowing it will be shown nationally.  Im for the cause but I seriously doubt these women breast feed outside in the open in uniform as the picture appears.

Any service man or woman in uniform, including those in the Reserve and National Guard, returning home from deployment in support of OIF, OEF or Operation New Dawn can come to Sandy Cove with their immediate family for FREE! This includes comfortable accommodations in the Chesapeake Lodge or Pioneer Campground cabins, all meals, recreation and program if scheduled. 5-nights for a family of four would normally cost up to $2900, but through generous donations, Sandy Cove is able to offer this as a FREE gift to military families to help you bond together and relax in a Christian atmosphere. One FREE visit per family.  Also a 10% discount for all soldiers ANYTIME!

I have not had a chance to take advantage of this but I will this summer if it's not too late, because I returned from my deployment awhile ago.  You cant beat a free stay by the water for your family.  I believe they do not have TV's in the rooms so it will be interesting for me to spend time with my children with NO distractions.   We'll have fun together free from Facebook, Youtube, all of that.  I'm positive it will be fun and I'm also sure my 13 yr old son wouldn't admit it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

How are being a Mother and a Soldier alike?

Mothers and Soldiers have much in common ;)
  • Most rewarding job in the world
  • Can be a thankless job
  • Must make many sacrifices
  • You can be loved and hated at times, you must be respected
  • Don't expect much sleep
  • You can never be more proud of what you do
  • No matter how tough it gets; you'd do it all over again
  • Your peers are Heros
  • 24/7 Job

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Random thoughts

random thought; I hate when they restrict fast forwarding on the On Demand shows!!!! I watch On Demand because I don't have a lot of time. Especially no time for commercials.