By Julie Provost

When my grandmother was an Army wife back in the 1940s, the only way she was able to communicate with my grandfather was through letters. They were numbered so that if she received them out of order, she would know. There were no phone calls and no video chats. Any photos she saw of her husband were ones he sent to her, most likely months after they were taken.

Military spouses today have so many other ways to communicate with their spouse when they are away. On Skype, dads can watch their children be born. Children can hear their moms read bedtime stories. Thank goodness for technology!

1. Skype

Skype with the kids from Flickr via Wylio
© 2011 Clintus, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

With Skype–or any other video chat app–we can talk to our deployed spouse, we can talk to our parents and family back home, and they can talk with their grandchildren from across the country. We are lucky to be able to live in a time when we can use this technology.

2. WhatsApp

WhatsApp / iOS from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Álvaro Ibáñez, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

This app for your smartphone is easy to use, free, and allows you to message anyone in the world. This means you can text with your spouse overseas and your best friend who just moved to South Korea. You can also send photos and videos through this app as well by using the call feature.

3. Alexa

amazon from Flickr via Wylio
© 2008 Claudio Toledo, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Alexa is Amazon’s wireless butler. So what can Alexa do? Lots of things. Alexa is hands-free. She can start timers, make grocery lists, answer random questions, play music, report the weather, make jokes, search the web, and control certain home products. Alexa is a great way to free up time, stay more organized, and help entertain your kids.

4. Netflix

Netflix Logo from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Global Panorama, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Put Netflix on your TVs, phones, and tablets to catch up on your favorite shows, have binge nights, and work your way through seasons of new-to-you stories. Since Netflix has so much of their own content, there will always have something new to watch. Hulu and Amazon are also great streaming subscriptions for military families.

5. Groupon

groupon from Flickr via Wylio
© 2016 Tony H, Flickr | PD-MK | via Wylio

Milspouses are always on the hunt for fun activities for kids and families. We want to keep busy during deployments. We want to make fun memories when our spouse is home. And we want to do all of this on a budget. Groupon can be a great place to go to find deep discounts on activities and events in your area. Often you can find 50%-off admission tickets or discounts for restaurants, hotels, and featured products.

6. Cozi

Calendar from Flickr via Wylio
© 2008 Andreanna Moya Photography, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The days of leaving a note for your spouse on the kitchen table are long gone. These days, families are mobile.. Cozi is an online family calendar. You can share a color-coded calendar, make lists, have a family journal, and share shopping lists. Cozi will send a weekly email with the family agenda to everyone on your list. Not only is Cozi a great way to stay organized, but it can also allow the service member to be more apart of what is going on, even when they are away from home.