31/ 05/ 14
It’s feeling like summer here in SW MO. Since graduation, I’ve been working full time at the pharmacy until I start my new job in August. I’m having an adjustment to all the free time. Those of you who know me, know that I have a tough time sitting still. At the pharm, I’ve rearranged every drawer and drug section, so they will all thank me later for organizing the life time supply of rubber bands and “refrigerate this med” stickers. I’m filling my time with catching with friends, family and Mad Men. (Disappointing this year on a side note.). In between doing wedding things and watching my little brother’s baseball games, I am still working on care packages. GI Joel is a huge STL Cardinals fans so I thought a baseball themed care package would be fun.
I’m not much of sports person, which funny because Joel once told me that one of the qualities that were mandatory in his future wife was being an athlete. (I showed him!)
I do enjoy going to a baseball game or watching Joel play in a league…unless it’s cold, then it’s not much fun. I once “surprised” (I’m terrible at keeping surprises) Joel with St.Louis tickets and I picked the coldest baseball game I’m every been to. Joel is pretty cheap, and he even broke down and bought a hoodie in the stadium. 40 degrees is just too cold. This care package is much warmer.
I threw in: *Sunflower Seeds *Cracker Jacks *Powerade *Sriracha Sauce *Nutter Butters *Reusable Cup *Letter Writing Materials *Movies *More Magazines
This was a fun one and I think he enjoyed it.
12/ 05/ 14
I want to brag a little on this kid! Blake (my brother) decided this year for his 10th birthday that he would opt out of gifts, and ask people to bring items to put in a package for Joel! What a stud!
Family and friends brought a ton of things, I felt like I was playing Tetris to package all of the items into one box!
The theme for this package was “Welcome to Fabulous Afghanistan”
The younger kiddos drew pictures and wrote letters.
Everyone brought some creative items from Spam to homemade beef jerky. Lots of stuff to stay clean, magazines and sweet treats from home.
I’m very thankful to have such a sweet kid as a brother and very supportive friends and family while Joel is away! Here’s to you guys!
19/ 04/ 14
I am writing this post from my backyard attempting to freckle! It’s finally warm in SW MO!!! Very exciting. Currently I’m less than four weeks away from graduating with my masters in speech language pathology, I defended and passed my thesis and survived filling out my first customs form. Lots of positive things happening around here. Easter snuck up on me, so I doubt Joel’s package will arrive on time (It’s somewhere over there…but….?). Here it though, an Easter deployment package. Easter is the first holiday Joel and I ever spent together. The woman who set up convinced me he had no where to go and I felt “obligated” to invite him to mine. This was about two days after our first date, and you know what…..he stuck around. It’s a miracle really.
I feel like these care packages just keep getting more cheesy…but…. Contents of the Easter package:
*Different eggs with candy *Hanging basketball hoop *Bubbles *Chalk *Water balloons *Koolaid flavor burst thing *Peeps *Jelly Beans *Gum *Poprocks
I tried to burry everything under Easter grass (I love the smell of it!). My family has an egg hunt every year and even the “big kids” have to participate. To motviate everyone my mom always throws in a little cash. I think Joel thinks it’s ridiculous that he has to hunt, however I thought I would try to recreate that tradition for him the best I could this year. Happy Easter to you all!
12/ 04/ 14
Today my GI turns 25! In honor of his birthday, the ARMY sent him to a different country. What a gift! 😉 We celebrate a lot in April, we’ve been dating for two years and of course his birthday. I combined our anniversary and his birthday into one big package.
I used a divider to make it a little more personal. In the anniversary side I included: -I recorded 25 of my favorite moments together and burned it onto a CD for him to listen to. -I made a 4×6 photobook off of Shutterfly for him to be able to pack lightly. -A Mizzou Shirt -Some popcorn
I knew Joel wouldn’t have much space to pack things and I had already given him a GoPro early for his birthday, so I went to the dollar store and individually wrapped a bunch of silly stuff. In the birthday side I put:
*Lots of DumDum suckers *A birthday card with me singing *Chapstick *Fruitstripes gum *Homemade cookies *Silly string *Noise makers *Party hats *Birthday candles *Peanuts
I also had some of his family send me videos of them singing him happy birthday and I e-mailed them to him. It was a nice piece of home. Here’s the finished product!
We each celebrated respectively. I had Chinese food and he went for a steak. A group of the boys used the candles on a cake to celebrate “12 months” of birthdays.
We even got to Skype from 7,500 miles away.
A very cheesy Easter package is up next.
19/ 03/ 14
I got my first handwritten letter from GI Joel in the mail this week. I wanted to make it into something really special so this is what I did.
I scanned the front of the letter and sent it to the Copy and Print Station at Staples. It’s pretty simple, you can do everything online and print it as an engineer print. It cost me a whole $1.71. Since my frame was 16×20, I photoshopped it to the appropriate size and then cut out the extra white space. (Engineer prints don’t come in the exact size that I wanted.)
I bought the frame at a flea market ($5) and repainted it with some extra chalk paint I had (The large frame is the same color as the side table in the photo above.) I did the same with the smaller frame and placed a piece of scrapbook paper ($1) in it. Simple and affordable!
Now every morning and night I get to see my GI’s thoughts and handwriting!
17/ 03/ 14
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, my GI got a box full of “green items” to make the holiday a little closer to home.
This package contained: Sour War Heads Green Hand Sanitizer Green Kleenex Gain pods for Laundry Sour Cream and Onion Pringles Lucky Charms Breakfast Bars Joel’s favorite Girl Scout Cookies, Caramel Delites Doublemint Gum Pistachios The King of Green, Yoda YoYo and Stick On Mustaches
Also for this box I put green construction paper in my printer and printed out shamrocks.
I added a reason why I’m lucky to each shamrock and added them to the box.
Here’s the box complete and packed! Another fun one!
04/ 03/ 14
Here’s another thing I sent with Joel when he left a few weeks ago. I stocked up on mini envelopes from Hobby Lobby and wrote a letter for every situation I could think of that Joel might have while were apart.
Here’s a picture of all of them. I had fun with this. Almost all of the letters have a Bible verse to go along with each situation. This way he has something to read if we don’t get to talk immediately.
26/ 02/ 14
This care package is…killer. We are pretty big Walking Dead fans and since GI Joel is missing out on the rest of this season I decided a zombie survial care package was needed.
I wanted to send some cookies his way and learned this trick from a seasoned Army Wife.
I packed my chocolate chip cookies in a Pringles can. I figured that the can would reek of chips, but with some soap and water I couldn’t smell anything.
I made sure my cookies were the right size for the can and stuffed in as many cookies as I could without smashing them too much. (About a dozen cookies or so fit!)
I think GI J really liked this one!
22/ 02/ 14
Monday the 17th we said our official goodbyes surrounded by friends and family. The ceremony was held at the Pierce City high school and the turn out did not disappoint. We had a few days off together so we went on a “Marathon of Dates” to make up for the next year.
We enjoyed spending our Valentine’s Day watching our favorite ball player on my hometown’s Special Gene’s Basketball Team.
We spent some time in Branson and one of the dates included ice skating.
I’ve never seen a person have to pack some much stuff into one tiny bag. It was stressing me out enough that I just had to sit back and watch. This was probably what he preferred anyway if the truth be told.
Lots of friends and family showed up to the send off. As much as I had dreaded the experience, it really wasn’t too terrible. I experienced a mixture of patrioltism, pride, and sadness. Here’s a few more ceremony pictures and some family.
I’m pretty overwhelmed from all the support I’ve had from family, friends, future family and strangers. So here’s a giant thank you to you all.
Let the countdown begin.
05/ 02/ 14