Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Deployment Counter

It's that time again! We kissed our favorite soldier boy goodbye for a while.

 We had a pretty decent first week. I was a bit surprised! BUT then day one of week two hit. The kids had their first bad day! The older two got in trouble at school and the other two were just ornery. I needed something to change their attitudes and help them cope.

I had seen many different count down calendars that I thought we could do. My problem with count down calendars are I lose track, weeks/days/months it works for a time or two but I would be counting every time the remaining chain, marble, Hershey Kisses. It would be overwhelming for me. Not to mention the initial time put into it I just didn't have the energy. They focus on a future date which in the army is never certain!

I really wanted something exciting, and uplifting. I'd done enough yelling, I wanted something to build them up, to have fun. Something my kids couldn't fight over. Something everyone was involved in. As I made my kids clean there rooms while I made dinner I was inspired. I knew just the thing for us.

We normally have a family night on Mondays. Our soldier left on a Monday. So we had our first family celebration party! The kids loved it! We celebrated surviving a week without daddy. I shared my coveted nine months supply of brownies my soldier boy left me with (SERIOUSLY BEST ANNIVERSARY PRESENT EVER!). We had ice cream and we talked about the things we did and wanted to do the following week.

A friend of mine had pinned journaling cards on Pinterest. I printed a few off and we wrote down the fun things we did that we wanted to share with daddy, each person got to add what they remembered. Later I had him email me a brief rundown of what he did and wrote it on the back. Our goal is to write one card every Monday and our soldier boy will contribute when he has internet access. When we are all done this deployment we will show daddy how we celebrated each week and then read thru our ups and downs. A way to celebrate our successes and acknowledge our failures and rough times.

My kids love it! They plan the meal for the following week's party at the end of our family celebration, they discuss all week long how they want to celebrate. I got off easy this week with Hamburgers and fries with ice cream as a treat. I am sure their requests will get more elaborate as time goes on. 

Here is our deployment COUNT UP board.

I had an old board we used as a desk top, just a 1x16 piece of pine that I had wrapped in batting and muslin. We found some patriotic material in my stash and quickly rewrapped it securing the material with a staple gun. The three older kids each picked a title and they designed a simple banner for the top that we just pinned on with stick pins. I found a few links for journal cards I printed them off (from HERE).

Two weeks down! Lots more to go...