Saturday, October 22, 2011

Homecoming!! Aka Deployment Over!!

Well, we did it, we survived another deployment!! It has been such a wonderful day. The ceremony was at 11am and we were there with a friend of mine at 945. This was my first homecoming ceremony. Last deployment I was at Advance Camp (Warrior Forge) when Hubby's unit got home, so he elected to come home (to Germany) via the boat, getting in a month behind the main body. Time wise it made sense for us! Anyway, it was quit the experience to get to be there for it. Well, really it was nice having friends to talk to and the kids to watch play that last hour while we waited.

So, when we got there we were told to grab a seat in the floor seating section on the side. My first thought was "great, I'll never find him from the side/back!" BUT, how awesome is this, he ended up coming in and was right in front of us in formation! Not only did we get to watch him walk into the building and directly toward us, but then got to enjoy making faces at each other until the were dismissed! Thankfully, there were no long speeches or anything so it was all very quick!

My friend Kendra just started a photography business this past year and wanted to get experience in doing Homecomings and I needed someone to take photos for me, so we helped each other out and she got to watch her first homecoming ceremony! (Yes. She is a military wife also, but like me, circumstances have kept her from attending one before!) I am so excited to see the pictures!! She did the boys last pictures (Keirnan's 2 year and James' 6 month) and they were just amazing so I know these photos will be just as great! And anyone who really knows me will agree if not for having Kendra there, there would be no photos since I have an amazing talent for remembering to take my camera everywhere, but forgetting to use it! lol

The boys did great with Will from the get go! Keirnan was a little shy about it when I pointed Will out from our seats. He sat in his seat with feet dangling (so cute!) and just smiled a little unsure. But, when the guys were dismissed and Will started walking over I told Keirnan he could go get Daddy and he took off! Just like at R&R he gave Will the biggest hug and wouldn't let go for awhile! James did so well also. He went to Will right away and was happy to be held with brother and laugh at me making faces! He didn't even mind when he got squished between us in a hug!

So, after our hugs and waiting for it to clear out a bit so we could get the stroller back out the door, we loaded the boys up and drove across the parking lot to get Will's bags and give his special 'gift' to all his soldiers he could find. They were all very happy to receive a Bud and a shot of Gentleman Jack! (Jack for then, and the Bud to go!!)

Finally we got on our way and headed to Manhattan Chili's for lunch! Yum... The afternoon was spent at the train park for a little bit before heading home for naps! The evening has been a bit difficult as Will came home with a cold, and combined with the lack of sleep and his thrown off schedule, he isn't feeling so well tonight!

But, I have my other half safely home. So even sick, I'm thankful to have him. Especially since he came bearing gifts!! I now have a beautiful wool sweater from Ireland and the boys have Ireland rugby (I think) shirts!! My sweater is the good gift though, its just so pretty and I can't wait for it to get just a little colder so I can wear it! The company website is if you want to check them out!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Christmas Update!

Over the past few weeks I have been working on our Christmas trip and presents, etc. This is the first year that I am actually ahead of the game and have everything not only figured out, but paid for and ready ahead of time! So, for my own figuring and for the fun of it, here we go!!

Day 1:  Home to Mt. Vernon, IL (12/16/11)
Day 2: Mt. Vernon, IL to Marrow, GA (12/17/11)
Day 3:  Marrow, GA to Orlando, FL (12/18/11)
            - Check-in to Disney All Star Music
Day 4: Orlando (12/19/11)
            - Magic Kingdom
            - Chef Mickey Character Breakfast
            - Fantasmic at MGM in the evening
Day 5: Orlando, FL (12/20/11)
           - Sea World
           - Captain Jack’s  @ Downtown Disney
Day 6: Orlando, FL (12/21/11)
           -  Animal Kingdom
           - Character Lunch  @ Tusker House
Day 7: Orlando, FL to Clearwater, FL (12/22/11)
           - Check-out Disney Hotel
           - Character Breakfast @ Hollywood & Vine, MGM
Day 8: Clearwater, FL (12/23/11)
Day 9: Clearwater, FL (12/24/11)
Day 10: Clearwater, FL (12/25/11)
Day 11: Clearwater, FL (12/26/11)
Day 12: Clearwater, FL (12/27/11)
Day 13: Clearwater, FL (12/28/11)
Day 14: Clearwater, FL to Panama City, FL (12/29/11)
Day 15: Panama City, FL (12/30/11)
Day 16: Panama City, FL (12/31/11)
Day 17: Panama City, FL (1/1/12)
Day 18: Panama City, FL to Athens, AL (1/2/12)
Day 19: Athens, AL to Mt. Vernon, IL (1/3/12)
Day 20: Mt. Vernon, IL to Home (1/4/12)

• Disney Trip; includes Hotel, Tickets, and Dining plan. $950
• About $1000 for Gas and hotels round trip between Kansas and Florida. (3035 highway miles)
• Hotel in Clearwater: Queen Suite (Bedroom separated by door) $500
* The dogs will be about $600

Disney is completely paid for already and money has been set aside to cover the dogs and the hotel in Clearwater! That only leaves gas and hotels during the actual trip, which will come out of Will's TDY money and regular month pay.

As I have said before gifts are figured out all except for a few family members. But, I budgeted $100 to cover them and have found something for them that will fall within the amount and I think/hope they will all like! I just have to order it all! I think I am going to supplement the parents' gifts with similar items also!!

That leaves only figuring out what to get my husband!! I currently have to figure out his birthday gift as well! He wants the windows of his truck re-tinted so I'll probably tell him to get that done for his birthday! lol (I'm not even going to try to get the logistics of that figured out alone! Though maybe I'll enlist Ashley and Justin's help when they get here next week! Hmm...) Ok, still stuck on what to get him for Christmas!! Grrr.

We did get the Sears Heroes at Home gift, but we won't know how much that is for until the beginning of December, so its going to go to the boys' presents leaving that money to go towards Will's gift! Yay! Now off I go to start trolling the Internet for some idea of what to get my wonderful hubby!!