Today I would like to share a few more Creative Care Packages with you. These were shared with me from Johanna, a reader of The Patriotic Pam. I loved her ideas so much, I asked her to write a guest post to share with other readers. First, here is a little about Johanna:
My name is Johanna and I am an Army girlfriend. I am a Cajun country girl living in southern Louisiana. I love to cook, do crafts, and spend lots of time in the outdoors. I am also a mother of two and a full time college student studying to become a teacher. I have less than nine months left until I graduate and its an amazing feeling to be almost done with school. My two children are Hayden and Madelynn ages nine and five.
Matt and I have only been together for a short period of time, most of which he has been deployed. During his last deployment he experienced very rough times of which he talks about very little. He was very stressed out about returning to Afghanistan for a second tour but he did so without hesitation. I have done my very best in making sure he has everything he needs and to ensure that he is as comfortable as possible. We talk via email/im every day, one one hour phone call every one to two weeks and flowers once a month with a sweet card attached. I am so relieved that this tour has been much better than the last for him and I know that he is relieved as well.
During this deployment, the kids and I have put together many thoughtful care packages for him. Always including things that are consumable. He is a pilot and has lots of equipment to bring home so we have made sure to send things that don't need to be brought home with him since he has a good bit of baggage as it is. Our favorite things to pack and send to him are things from the heart. The kids enjoy writing him letters and coloring pictures for him. They also really enjoy decorating the inside of the box which we have done several times now and he absolutely loves it!
We are so happy to announce that this deployment is almost over. He will be coming home next month (October 2013) or as we like to look at it, less than thirty days from now!!! During these past nine months of deployment I have learned a few things about myself, about him, and about us. The first thing I learned was that deployment is hard not just on him, but on the kids and I as well. I learned that I can be strong even when I am miles away from him and the FRG and that there are people who truly do care. When I come across another army wife or girlfriend miles away from a support group I always make sure to ask how she is holding up. These are the kindest things that others have done for me and I appreciate it, so I know she will as well. The second thing I learned and not because I did this, but just because I felt that it was the right thing to do, is that I kept negative things from home to myself. I don't want him to be worrying about things that are going on back home. I want him to do his job and not be thinking about things that are out of his control. So no matter how bad of a day I have had and how much I may want to vent, I always tell him I had a good day and then I ask about his. The third and final thing I have learned is that love conquers all. I love what he does and why he does it and I am so very proud of him ever minute of every day. Even though deployment is hard I would stand by him and wait for him through 1 deployment, 10 deployments, or as many as the army deems that he is fit for.
Below are a few of the projects that I did for him.
This was the first box we decorated for him! In it was a letter from me and a color page from each of my kids with a short note to him, and a few of his favorite foods.
This was the next and last box to him since he will be coming home in October. Packed in it were a few comfort items but mostly items in preparation to come home. Good smelling shower gel and deodorant, a good razor and shaving cream, airborn vitamins, and ziplock bags as per his request!
He was super excited with this box!!!
Also in the last box were "Open When" cards!
I loved the idea, but had no idea what topics to put on the cards. I wanted to share the topics in case anyone else was having the same question as I had.
He loved the cards and thought it was the best use of creative resources yet!
Some envelopes just have a card with comforting thoughts for him and some have a card and practical items. the first envelope said open me and had instructions.
1. You are only allowed to open one card per day. You don't have to open one every day but do not open multiple cards in one day.
2. Play fair!
Ps. open the card that says "open when you are curious" to see how this works.
The envelope titles included are as follows:
1. You are curious (first card on top because of course he was curious) (practical item included DVDs for down time)
2. You are having a bad day
3. You need a shower (practice item included was a small bar of soap)
4. You are lonely
5. You are horny (practical item was a few pictures from home)
6. You are happy
7. You have a headache (practical item individual packs of Tylenol)
8. You need a lift
9. You are board (practical items were crossword puzzles)
10. You want a kiss
11. You need a hug
12. You are hungry (practical item were note cards to write down all the meals he missed most so that I can cook what is listed when he comes home.)
13. You get up in the morning
14. You are homesick
15. You are sad (practical item was travel pack of tissues)
16. You go to bed
17. You miss me
18. You have had a long day
19. It's your last night
20. You get on the plane (practical item packed was a pair of ear plugs)
This was the last item I made. I am flying in to greet him and don't have enough time to make a sign when I get there or the means of packing it. So I made a sign for our hotel room door.
It's a sheet of scrapbook paper and it's small enough to pack in my suit case. I will hang it on our door using a removable command strip/hook.
Hopeful one day soon, I will become a army wife but until then I love him just the same.
Stay Strong Ladies, Army Strong!
(Pam says...) I am SO thrilled that Johanna shared these with us. I love her envelope project, it's a great thing to send on that final month when it is tough to continue to send packages. Also sometimes communication in the last month as they begin to rip out isn't as good. So this is a great way to stay in touch with each other!!!
If you missed our first Creative Care Package blog here is the link:
Another great place to find many great Care Package ideas is on Deployment Diva blog. She is a life coach and offers great advice and tips for surviving deployment.
|photo from Deployment Diva|
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