June 29, 2009
The first glimpse of the toy box. digging in!
Well, as I wrote , our son Justin is home on leave. His children are here and when I began to hear moans of I,m booooored, I remembered a box that was sitting in our garage. I went out and got the box. “What is it?” a sullen little voice asked. “It is a toybox full of toys that were your Daddy’s when he was your age!” Suddenly interest was peaked, and the kids had a ball looking through Daddy’s strange playthings and imagining him as a little boy.
Master of the Universe toys, Ninja Turtles , many, many platoons of green plastic Army men, complete with tanks, planes and sandbags were excavated. It was good for several hours of fun.
Keeping a few things that give kids a window into the life of a parent, brings both closer. One with memories of things past, but familiar. The other with the new idea, that big strong Daddy, that brave soldier, was once a little boy too.
And it seems to me, not as distant a past as for them.
June 25, 2009
Well, we have all been beside ourselves with anticipation and the day finally arrived! Justin came home for his 15 day leave, and his little ones could hardly contain themselves! Papa (my husband ) and I (gramma) took the two grandchildren to the airport for his arrival. On the way we were asked 535 times if we were there yet. I turned to Don asking if he remembered car trips with our small children many years ago, he sort of did , but thought ours had been quieter….no, this sounds pretty familiar to me.
We had planned the big welcome thing with the banner made by Devon Victoria, but as all well laid plans, that did not happen. I had imagined a page out of our second book being true, as we would wait in the terminal with our banner unfurled waiting for him to come through the doorways, but he called and was already in Denver! No time to call and say he had gotten a flight out sooner from Dallas (not that we minded him being home four hours early!)
One part of the book was true for me though, I did cry when I saw him. You don’t really know how much those days of knowing enemies are out there planning the demise of your loved one, strains a persons resources. I, (and I think most military Families) just go on with the day to day…but the relief and joy of actually seeing my son, was more than I could suppress!
So, here we go, 15 days of being together and we will soak in every possible moment. We know he has to go back to the sands of Iraq, but we also see the end in sight…his tour (this time) is almost done. Another chapter of Army life is about to unfold, and like all good Military Families, we have no idea what is coming at us!
Thank you for your prayers for Justin and for our family, we appreciate each and every one!
June 21, 2009
Well, here is the link to our hometown newspaper article, http://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20090615/NEWS/906149986&parentprofile=search.
There Paula and I are on the front page (Paula on the left, me on the right). Though it is not explained in the article, the basket of balls are something we had made for kids to go with the second book. In the second book the father throws the ball against the wall with these words: “We bounced back last time he said with a wink, We’ll bounce back again and a again don’t you think? Our Family’s a tough squishy rubbery ball, you can’t keep us flat We bounce back, that is all!” Our balls say: Can’t keep us flat, we bounce back!”
Well, check it out, I told you we would let you know how it went!
June 11, 2009
Well, Paula and I had an interview with our local paper about We Serve Too! It was an interesting time with a very nice reporter who sat with us at the kitchen table. Paula’s cat decided that not enough attention was being paid to the house feline, and walked past the french door windows with his catch…a squirrel he had successfully hunted.
Short of that, we had a nice visit and look forward to the story coming out next week. The photographer came today to get a shot of us in the barn. This had to be a quick photography session because we were having wild weather and possible tornado in the area, which as anyone knows, is just a little more exciting than two grandmas who have written a couple of books. We understand completely, and breathed a sigh of relief, when our photographer did not fall off the table he was on to get the right angle.
Well, it has been a fun experince really, even though we have felt media shy for the last year, and so never pursued any attention. My grandson’s sweet preschool teacher Marsha, was the one who decided that we should get a little press.
We’ll let you know how it goes…we hope it will mean that more little ones will get a book to help the lonely days of deployment and the readjustment times of reunion!
June 1, 2009
I am enjoying the things of early summer with my two grandchildren. A garden of persistent weeds, but still sprouting some radishes, assorted flowers, one large cabbage, and a stalk of corn, two pumpkin plants. . OK, so I am not a farmer like my esteemed partner, but the kids are learning about the wonder of putting a seed in the ground and watching it actually sprout. Our neighbor across the street has a new puppy, who provided an hour of pure delight as the kids frolicked with this little one…kids ,puppies and summer go together!
As Paula and I work on new ideas all the time for Military Kids, some of those things are about to be put to the test. Today my husband and I took the two kiddos to the movies…Up, is absolutely wonderful and if you can take your kids I highly recommend it..(I became teary at about three intervals) anyhow, on the way home my granddaughter says, what can we put in our Homecoming Box so that Daddy will know we saw Up ? I, handed each child the ticket stubs and they were thrilled that I had not forgotten. On the way home from church, Devon wanted to remember a story she had heard and wants to tell Daddy, so we thought of something to put in the box to remind her of this. So..it works! Our kids think even before thay are reminded, that the box is a special gift, and that Daddy will soon be home to enjoy the contents.
We have only three weeks left before Daddy comes home. Three more weeks of preparing our hearts to welcome him for a quick 15 days. The hardest part is that since this is not the real Homecoming, but a leave, we have to say goodbye again. I have noticed that the kids are looking forward to the day he gets home, but are also on an emotional roller coaster. Tears are the needed outlet at times and we have to adjust to that.
Landen runs around with his squirt gun getting bad guys, and telling me that when he is a Daddy, he will join the Army with his Daddy. He is four. This is how I know his mind is focused on his Daddy’s returning. I too am looking forward and preparing for the day he comes home. My focus on hanging the banner I got , declaring to the neighborhood that our hero has returned home.