[Quick Announcement for Foreign Service Folks/Families: Amy at the blog Crafty Foreign Service is hosting a wonderful way for Foreign Service folks to meet each other! It's called a "Swap," and it sounds like a ton of fun, so don't miss out!]
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Back when I was a brand-new Diplomatic Security Service (DS) wife (which is to say, back when James got hired in 2008 and even before then, when he was applying), I spent gigantic amounts of time on the internet, trying to find as many snippets of information as I could about the job, the lifestyle, etc.
When my ravenous internet searches turned up Donna, Jill, and Jen, I about lost my mind for joy. Oh, the countless hours I spent, reading each blog from its beginning! And how much I learned! Oh yes, my friends, Donna, Jill and Jen were the queens of this information-thirsty brand-new DS wife's universe. I owe a debt to each of them that I can never repay.
Which doesn't mean that I'm not up for trying! So when I heard that one of Donna's children (Hi, Aidan!) was hoping to find a host for his Flat Stanley, we were all over that.
And, behold!! A Flat Stanley after our own hearts! For, indeed, he's packin' some serious heat:
Wearing not just ONE gun, but two! Well, this is totally awesome, of course, because our family likes guns, as you know. In fact, we all had a very serious discussion about whether he's wearing Sigs or Glocks. Perhaps one of each?
But this camo-wearin', gun-totin', manly Flat Stanely isn't just carrying guns, he's got some other gear going on in his hands... he's got some grenades, or flash-bangs, or something awesome like that. Our family decided that he was Tactical Flat Stanley (or TFS, not to be confused with the also-totally-awesome TSB, who I'm sure thinks TFS is totally awesome, as well!).
Anyway, TFS totally fit in with our family over the holidays, and he and his wicked awesome gear made themselves at home with us all at my Mom & Dad's house in Florida. He loved our Christmas tree:
And he loved playing family games with all of us. I'm wondering if TFS might have just gotten back from an MSD assignment or something? We were too polite to ask him, of course, if he and his wicked awesome gear have seen some serious action lately, but TFS was quick to soak up the family time on his short break, almost like he knows intuitively that every moment of family time is to be relished in between assignments...
Note to Aidan: TFS loves playing board games.
Note to Donna: TFS loves the beach.
Yes, indeedy, TFS spent some quality time on one of Florida's finest pieces of real estate:
You can be jealous of us all you want, because tomorrow we all drive back to Virginia, and then you can only covet our close proximity to Targets and Americana. But the fine weather and the beaches will be only memories.
TFS had company on the beach - he went with my younger son, Zachary, my husband, and their personal photographer (um, me):
TFS had as much fun on the beach as one printed with ink jet ink on a piece of paper can:
He loved the sand, which can't make ink run like water can:
And he hung out with us at the hot tub:
Our family had a wonderful time with TFS, and being discreet, we will not ask him where he and his ample weaponry plan to travel next. Our prayers go with you, TFS!
And Aidan, thanks for sharing!
Happy New Year, everyone!