Monday, February 29, 2016

Their Favorite Time of the Week

There's nothing the kiddos and I love more than sharing an amazing book together. We have countless favorites and sweet memories wrapped up in each one, it's too hard to choose which we've liked the best. I love, love, love reading aloud to them and I love even more how much they enjoy it. And when they ask "Plllllleeeeease Mama, read to us?" I never can say no! 
But, there is something a little more special than Mama reading, cause they get to hear that everyday,
 and that's when DADDY reads. :)

When Daddy is home, he reads often to them before bed when his schedule allows. But since being deployed the children have really missed it...Daddy does all the cool voices for each character... 
(WAY better than Mommy does! LOL!)



So their awesome Daddy decided to start recording himself reading aloud and is 
sending us a chapter at a time to listen to. The kids are THRILLED!

Their sweet Daddy snapped a picture for me to use while he was recording a chapter for them. :)

He sends them to me using Dropbox and I can open them up and play them through the Jambox. 
The incredible technology of this day and age and this amazing little speaker brings Daddy's voice into our home from the other side of the world and allows us to share stories together, 
something we Adams' treasure. 


I waited until he had recorded several chapters before I surprised the kids with it. 
I knew it would be torture for them if I only had one chapter and then we had to stop.


Sure enough, that first chapter ended and there were wails of sadness!...
"Oh no! Is there more? Please let there be more than one to listen to tonight!" 


It was pretty awesome for these kiddos to be able to connect and share something with their Daddy while he's so far away. We are thankful for the phone calls, mail and Face-Time too, but this is extra special for them. We have finished all the chapters we have so far and eagerly await more! 


When we read aloud they often like to draw or crochet or build, so that's what they did for awhile, while they were snuggled down enjoying every word and then one by one they stopped being busy with their hands and just listened. What a comfort to a military kid to get to regularly be read to by Daddy while he's deployed. Hearing his voice makes him feel not so far away. I'm so thankful for Peter for taking the time to do this! The kids have said many times how this is their very favorite thing and they hope he never stops sending new chapters! (So Honey, there's no foreseeable end to this or you are going to have some disappointed kiddos! Better plan ahead for that next book!)



Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Little Things

Peter has deployed before, but the last time he did I had a dear friend and her sweet kiddos (Love you Kim!) living with me. So this kinda feels like the first one. Last time, I had one of my best friends at home with me all the time! :) Not to say that the kids and I didn't miss him, or it wasn't hard, but it certainly didn't feel as difficult or lonely when we had the distraction and awesome company of another family with us through the whole thing. And let me tell you, having another Mom in the house all day, every day, was amazing! The two of us tag teamed and handled every kid issue/need, chore, errand or tear and I didn't feel during that whole time the single-parentness that often comes with deployment. Now, I have amazing neighbors around who have offered to help if I need anything or watch the kids if something comes up, and that is so sweet and wonderful, but not quite the same as another live-in parent sharing all the responsibilities of daily life with you.

So this week I looked at my sweet boys and thought...Wow, they are getting shaggy! and I realized that for this first time in a year I need to take them to get their hair cut...And that I will need to remember to do that several times over the next nine months! That isn't one of the things I'm use to having on my to-do list. Daddy get's his hair cut every two weeks and about every other time he takes the boys and I don't ever see the process, they just come home as handsome as ever, all clean cut. After I noticed this I told the boys we needed to go get cuts and my oldest said, "Yes! Thank you Mom, my hair is getting SO BIG!"...I had no idea he was concerned about it LOL! But Daddy gets it cut so often he's use to it being pretty short. We went to the closest barber shop near our neighborhood and Samuel says to me with a serious face, "This isn't where Daddy takes us." I assured him that they would do just as good of a job at this place, but he wasn't so sure.



Well Samuel was right, it wasn't quite the same. But I think that was my fault! My mind went blank when the lady asked me how they wanted their hair cut. Uhh.....no, I don't actually. So I asked Joshua, "Do you know what Daddy usually asks them to do?" He couldn't remember exactly but told her what he thought it might be. So she clipped away and it turned out alright in the end. :)


It's amazing how much older they look after a haircut! I wish time would slow down. :/


So another busy week goes by and haircuts, among other things, are slowly revealing themselves as I realize what is left undone when Daddy isn't home to take care of it. While my to-do list grows and schedules get adjusted to make room for other things, I'm super thankful for my 4 helpers as we feel Daddy's absence, even in the little things. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Comfort Crew Care Packages!

We received some special packages this week! I signed the kids each up at www.comfortcrew.org to receive a deployment care package (free!) from the organization. They didn't know that they were coming so they were very excited to get mail! 


The Comfort Crew puts together these sweet boxes for children of deployed parents. 


Inside each were these adorable teddy bears, complete with dog-tags, a camo printed scarf, and some other accessory items to dress them up. Every one of them was given a name in minutes! We now have a "Chaplain Huggie Bear," one called just "Airborne" (LOL!) one who is "General Cuddles" 
and another "Captain Snuggles." 




Each box also had an animated dvd about a few different kids and how they were dealing with deployment, a deployment journal with all sorts of activities inside, postcards to send Daddy, a family fun deployment guide, and card inside with this message... 


They loved all of it, but those bears were the prized possession from each box! The bears played all the rest of the day along side them and even went to the commissary with us. :)







The bears stayed in their arms all through the rest of the day. 



They played hard, and the littles passed out on the couch by late afternoon, still clutching them!



It was a sweet gift to brighten our week and they are so thankful for the box of fun, 
but especially the teddy bears to snuggle. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

OUR Side of Deployment...How We're Really Doing

I haven't blogged in a very long time! Peter is keeping it up (over here) pretty regularly now while he's deployed and it's been fun for the kiddos and I to read about his days.


But I have had several inquires from family about how we're doing over here on OUR side of the deployment, telling me now is the perfect time to be blogging so they, and Daddy, can have a peek into our daily life while he's away. So here I am, posting again about this amazing life we've been blessed with, albeit challenging at times, and the adventures we Adams' are having. :)

A fairly recent pic of the crew :)
For those wondering how we're all holding up...We are a few weeks in, and it already feels like it's been MUCH longer! Haha! :) Does that give you a clue?! I know it'll get easier as we get use to our new routine and find our own battle rhythm here at home, but we're definitely enduring a challenging adjustment period.

The day he left was full of tears and hugs and something no other can really understand unless they've been through a deployment. The most difficult thing for me (after saying goodbye to my hubby for 9 months!) was watching my babies have to say goodbye to their most favorite person, and helping them go through all the emotions of those first days and weeks.


It was a daily roller coaster at first, going from sad... "I miss Daddy"..."Nine months is FOREVER!" ...to anger..."I hate the army!"..."Why does the army have to send Daddy away!?"...to disgust..."It isn't fair that he has to go!"..."I just want Daddy to have a normal job." :/

Amidst all the emotions were lots of snuggles and conversation about the Army being not just Daddy's job, but what God has called him to, how the soldiers need Daddy and he has to go where they are so that he can serve them and help them. Slowly, the comments changed from pain filled to hopeful, from selfish to selfless. We talked about the things we will be doing here at home over the deployment, what we have to look forward to, and what could help the time seemingly go quicker for us. We brainstormed ideas for future care packages, began making cards and pictures and mail to send. One kiddo suggested praying everyday for Daddy and the soldiers he's serving, another said, "I miss Daddy, but we can't be selfish about him. God wants us to share him so the soldiers will know God loves them." And once again, this Mama is floored that these kids can look beyond themselves and could see purpose and mission in what Daddy is doing and why he has to be gone. - They are the ones helping ME to have a better attitude about it all!



We are surrounded by amazing friends and neighbors who are going through or have been through the same thing, so we have an abundance of support and love here! One example of this love in action was the day we dropped him off, the kids and I came home to the loveliest hug of a care package on our doorstep from a couple of sweet families. It was filled with notes of encouragement, yummy dessert and delicious breakfast all ready for the next day so Mama didn't have to think about what to make, and beautiful flowers to brighten our sad day! Needless to say, coming home to all that made me tear up too...Grateful tears for such a treasure of friends! Everywhere we have lived, God has always provided that, He loves us so much!



So each of us is handling the beginning of this new, hard adventure in our own way and I'm doing my best to help the kids as their little hearts are aching missing their Daddy. They love to look at pictures and talk about him and the older two especially, love to read his blog and read about what he did each day. Samuel has asked almost everyday to watch old movies of Daddy on the ipad. We have several that I recorded of him singing and playing his guitar and they are everyone's favorite to watch. Sometimes they even turn it on and just listen to it as they are doing schoolwork or chores, and for a little bit it feels like he's just in the other room playing his guitar like he does when he's home. It's nice. I'm very glad for those videos. Especially for this little guy, it's helping him through.


So to all of those who have asked and been worried about us, thank you for thinking of us, we're doing okay. We are so thankful for the love and prayers of our family and friends. These children constantly amaze me at how resilient they are. On those particularly hard days when Mommy just wants to cry, they let me and tell me,"It's ok to be sad," "Daddy misses you too," or "I think you need a hug"...and they're right! I am amazed at their sweet, grace filled wisdom and I definitely think Peter has the more difficult side of the deployment, at least I have our awesome kiddos to walk through it with me!