Thursday, March 29, 2012

Before Our Goodbyes

Right before the ship was scheduled to deploy, the three of us helped Ryan take his last load of belongings aboard.  We wanted the chance to see his new stateroom (that he only shares with one other guy!!!).  I think it helps the boys to see where Daddy lives when he's away from home.
They had a great time hanging out on Ryan's top rack and posing for pictures with Daddy in this cramped space.
The following day the four of us returned to see the ship as it pulled away from port.  This is the first time Ryan has flown aboard the ship with the squadron as opposed to heading out to sea with the ship.  I'm sure it must have been a little odd for him to watch the ship deploy without him...although he was "lucky" enough to fly aboard just a couple days later.
We rushed around the corner to attempt to capture one picture of the boys with the ship (and not crowds of people and cars) in the background as it headed out to sea.
Our last stop for the day was the squadron to snap a few photos of the E-2's before they deployed.  Ian was very excited when he finally spotted Daddy's name on one of the planes.
Of course, I made the three of them pose for yet another photo on this exceptionally sunny day.
And another...
Last one, I promise!!! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's That Time Again

Goodbye USS ENTERPRISE.  It's time for another deployment.  This is the 22nd and final deployment for the ENTERPRISE and our final deployment with the SCREWTOPS of VAW-123. 

The ENTERPRISE departed Naval Station Norfolk yesterday.  Starting a deployment on a Sunday is awful.  Whoever thought this was a good idea has clearly never been the spouse left behind.  A deployment that begins on a weekday makes so much more sense.  It's much easier to wake up and just get on with your weekday routine.  Sundays are family days. 

Oddly, Ryan is still home.  He is part of the CQ (Carrier Qualifications) crew so he will be flying to/from the ship today and tonight while all the pilots meet their qualifications.  He may deploy (stay on the ship) as early as tonight or as late as Wednesday.  While it is nice to have "extra" time with him home, the stress of not knowing is something that is new to us.  It's especially difficult trying to explain this to the boys.  I'm very used to the unpredictability associated with the Navy so I just roll my eyes and wave my hand these days.  :)

Wish us luck as we endure another deployment full of uncertainty.  We've never experienced a "predictable" deployment so this is normal to us.  We are lucky that Ryan will be transferring to his next command this Summer so he will not have to complete the entire deployment.  This is only our second "good deal" in almost 14 years in the Navy.  Woo hoo!!!

**All photos are from the USS ENTERPRISE Facebook page**

Friday, March 9, 2012

Monster Party Part 3: Let's Eat!

I cannot imagine hosting a birthday party and not serving food.  That being said, it can be incredibly difficult to present a well-balanced meal while still entertaining parents and eleven 5 and 6-year-old children.  Thank goodness Ryan was home for this party!

Theme food is also a must if at all possible.  I wanted to take things further than I did, but Ryan calling me "crazy" the entire week leading up to the party combined with real life forced me to draw the line eventually.

Pretty sure that the fruit monster throwing up was the highlight of the party for a few kids.  I will have to remember this for future Halloween parties.

These monster pizzas were very simple to make, but we needed plain cheese mini pizzas for the picky children.  I always fail to accurately predict how picky other people's children will be.  I don't really tolerate that sort of behavior from my own boys and didn't think it would be a big deal to just pick off 2 olives or 2 pieces of pepperoni.  For the most part, that was the case at this party.  Thank goodness!

Most of the remaining food is pictured below, but I completely forgot to take a picture of the "monster toes" aka pigs in a blanket.  We also threw together some "monster mix" which contained preztels, popcorn, cheese crackers and dried plantains.

The dining room before the kids covered it all in crumbs, frosting, etc.