Ellsworth Connections Holiday Meals Program

We are very excited to share a new community-sponsored program with you – Ellsworth Connections: Home Away From Home Holiday Meal Program. 

The Holiday Meal Program is designed to connect the Black Hills community with Airmen and their families to build relationships and provide support during the holiday season.  

Starting now, interested Airmen and host families can apply online for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s meals through BlackHillswire.com or complete a hard copy (see links below).   This program is operated by our community partners and is open to all ranks, married and single.

Airmen can list preferences for host families, including dietary restrictions or pet concerns. Matches will be made once the application window closes (for Thanksgiving it is 6 Nov and for Christmas and New Year’s it is 4 Dec), and both hosts and Airmen will be notified, as well as the Airmen’s leadership.  Notification will include contact information and tips for a successful meal, with host families responsible for initiating communication to make arrangements. 

Ellsworth Connection expects the Holiday Meal Program will become an annual event, and will use feedback from this year’s program to improve the process for future events. Local families and Airmen will also have the opportunity to continue their relationship within the Ellsworth Connection: A Home Away From Home Program should they choose to do so.

This program does require coordination from the member’s unit just to ensure we make the best matches possible and to provide the host families a good contact if they have questions or concerns.  On line applications will be sent to the respective units for coordination.  Hard copies can be dropped off with the A&FRC or with Ms. Loretta Vega, 28 MSG/DD.

As with all things we do these days, we will continue to monitor COVID status and may need to adjust as we get closer to the holidays.  Our option would be to see if the families could provide a meal to pick up if restrictions prevent an in-person gathering.  We’ll let all participants know if we have to make this change. 

Please get the word and applications out to anyone you think may be interested in participating.  We really hope this will be a great experience for all – the community already has sign ups of host families.

Relationship Minute: Showstopper

Imagine you are watching a play—a serious drama. The cast, costuming, and set are minimal, the acting restrained. The audience is on the edge of their seats, captivated by the tension created by this quiet performance.

All of a sudden, the lights change, glitter cannons shoot out on the stage, and the cast breaks out into a rousing, buoyant musical number.

What?!

Why are they singing and dancing? Why is there a marching band on stage? Why am I covered in confetti?

Before you have time to figure out what’s going on, the number is over and the play resumes as though nothing happened.

Don’t let Valentine’s Day be an out-of-place musical number in your relationship.

When you go to see a musical, the audience expects the actors to sing and dance. There is an agreement that it won’t catch anyone off-guard when the music starts to play, even though that’s not how people behave in “real life.”

Every day is an opportunity to show your partner that you love them.

Every interaction creates context, which determines how out-of-place a big “musical number” might seem.

The key to lasting love is showing care and affection in the small moments. Over time, the little stuff sets the scene for grander gestures to have a bigger impact.

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 13 February 2020. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Never stop being curious about your partner

The big secret to creating a love that lasts and grows over time is simple.

Never stop being curious about your partner.

Never stop asking questions.

Don’t assume you know everything about them, even if you’ve been together for decades.

There’s always more to learn.

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated  6 February 2020. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Don’t ask. Do.

Chances are, with the best intentions, you’ve asked someone, “Is there anything I can do?”

People have probably asked you this question, too. But how often have you assigned them a task in return?

If you need help, you don’t always have the bandwidth to request it in the form of specific actions.

It might even surprise the person who asked if you told them, “Yes, actually, could you take my garbage out right now?”

A better way to show up for someone who is grieving, busy, in pain, or overwhelmed is to offer something specific and authentic to you. Ask yourself, “What can I give?”

In There Is No Good Card for This, Kelsey Crowe, Ph.D. and Emily McDowell write, “If you care, doing something is important. But doing something you like to do, and not something you would normally resist doing, is invaluable.”

“Would you like to go for a walk?”
“Do you want to talk about it? Or we can watch The Bachelor and put it out of your mind for a little while.”
“Here, I made you my famous mac and cheese.”
They might say no, and that’s okay.
What ways do you genuinely enjoy helping people? What do you have to offer that is special and joyful to you?
Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 30 January 2020. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Anger simply is

In The Dance of Anger, Dr. Harriet Lerner writes,

Anger is neither legitimate nor illegitimate, meaningful nor pointless. Anger simply is.

To ask, “Is my anger legitimate?” is similar to asking, “Do I have the right to be thirsty? After all, I just had a glass of water fifteen minutes ago. Surely my thirst is not legitimate. And besides, what’s the point of getting thirsty when I can’t get anything to drink now, anyway?”

Anger is something we feel.

It exists for a reason and always deserves our respect and attention.

We all have a right to everything we feel—and certainly our anger is no exception.

All feelings, whether we label them as “good” or not, exist for a reason.Pain shows us what to pay attention to.

Pay attention to all your feelings, without judgment. They might hold some answers for you.

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 23 January 2020. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Your 2020 Vision

Happy new year! Resolution-making and change may be on your mind this time of year. As the chaos of the holiday season subsides, take a moment to think about what shared meaning you would like to create in your relationship this year.

Talk about your goals together.

What would you like to accomplish as an individual this year? How can you support each other in those dreams?

What would you like to accomplish together?

Focus on what is truly meaningful for you, and what is realistic.

What rituals or regular moments of connection would you like to implement together? What would you like to keep doing?

When couples share a dream or vision for their future, the inevitable ups and downs of any relationship are more manageable. Even when the sea gets choppy, there’s comfort in knowing where you’re going and that everyone is on board.

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 1 January 2020. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Give a Stress-Reducing Conversation

The holiday season is in full swing, which can mean extra stress, tension, and obligation to be “merry and bright.”

Treat your relationship to a Stress-Reducing Conversation and give each other the opportunity to vent about external factors without it affecting the relationship.

A few guidelines:

  • Take turns being the Complainer and the Listener.
  • When it’s your turn to complain, don’t complain about the relationship. Keep your complaints located in stressors outside of the dynamic between the two of you.
  • When it’s your turn to listen, take your partner’s side. Now is not the time to “play devil’s advocate.”
  • Stay in it. Tune in to your partner when you are the Listener and keep complaints from sliding into something personal when you are the Complainer.
  • Don’t try to solve your partner’s problems if they didn’t ask you to. Let it just be a time to vent.
  • Be kind. Offer affection and compassion to your partner with useful phrases like, “I can see why that would be stressful,” “That must have been hard,” or even just, “That sucks.”
A listening ear or a shoulder to cry on is a great gift to give your partner and something that could only come from you!
Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 12 December 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.