Sunday, September 20, 2009
The picture was titled Happy Homecoming. The caption read, Air Force Capt. Ryan... assigned to... greets his 3-year-old son Clayton after a four-month unit deployment to Southwest Asia. Ryan is a 1997 graduate of Green Valley High School. The caption also gave me credit as the photographer. Ha ha. A photographer I am not. You just couldn't miss when trying to capture this boy's excitement.
PS Clayton still reminds me at least three times a day, "Mom, my Dada's home."
On Day 2 of our vacation to Branson, we got up and went down to the fish hatchery. In all my online research parent after parent raved about how much their kids loved the fish hatchery and feeding the fish. Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery produces rainbow and brown trout for Missouri lakes, as well as eggs and "pre-egg stuff" for other hatcheries in the state. After visiting there, the process of fishing for your food seems so much less natural than I previously thought. Almost all the trout caught in Missouri are produced in hatcheries like this one. Boring, I know. Anyway, Clayton really did enjoy feeding all the fish, and although fish production was not one of my lifelong interests, I did learn a lot.
Friday, September 18, 2009
The safari also had a walk through zoo section with lots of exotic animals and several petting zoo type animals. Clayton loved feeding the pigs and goats.
After lunch at a nice little pizza place, the boys napped on the drive back to Branson, and we headed into town to Ride the Ducks. The Ducks are amphibious vehicles that take you on a little tour of town and then drive you into the water for a tour of the lake. It's definitely the touristy thing to do, but we had a very relaxing ride and learned a little about Branson and the area.
Clayton was in heaven the entire ride, especially when the captain allowed him to steer on the lake. The captain was keeping one hand on the wheel while talking to the rest of the passengers. That was until Clayton, in full three year old glory, kindly, yet somewhat forcefully, removed the captain's hand from the wheel. It was pretty funny. Clayton just wanted to do it by himself, which is the theme of his life lately.
After the boating we rested for a little while and then headed out for a late dinner. A warning to all Branson vacationers: this is not Las Vegas. At eight o'clock we had a bit of a difficult time finding an open restaurant. We were finally successful, had a quick dinner, and then headed home to put the kiddos to bed.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday was the big day, and Clayton was pumped. It was absolutely pouring outside, but we made it on time for drop off. I tried so hard to get a good "first day of school" picture, but this boy would have none of it. He knew where he needed to go and didn't have time for pictures. While several other children and parents were crying, Clayton ran into his classroom, and I didn't see him again. Ryan went back down the hall a few minutes later and said Clayton was in the middle of the playroom, playing with toys, while all the other children were standing around him looking shell shocked.
Pick up was actually the hard part of the day for Clayton. His teacher said he had laid quietly on his mat all through naptime, but he didn't fall asleep. This boy was tired and cranky. We could not get him in his bed fast enough when we got home. After an hour of protesting, he finally fell asleep, and it was needed. This morning he is currently sleeping in, as I think he's worn out.
I'm so proud of my big boy, but more importantly, I'm so grateful he's had the opportunity to reach this milestone. He's living life like a regular kid, and that is always the goal.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Ryan calls these the most useless piece of issued gear. Clayton disagrees and has been wearing them around the house the last several days.
We just had to go to Chick-fil-A on Monday for their team logo day. Clayton finally got to pose with the Chick-fil-A cow, whom he loves. We were definitely the only Aggies in the restaurant. Surprisingly we evaded any harassment, which may or may not have been the result of the Sooner's loss to BYU over the weekend.
We feel blessed to have Ryan around the house for the next couple weeks. We've been soaking up all this family time. Eli is starting to get used to having his Dad around. He doesn't quite have the "deer in the headlights" look on his face whenever Ryan walks into the room anymore.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Ryan and two of his boys
I know. Where's the whole family shot or at least one with myself and Ryan? I thought about it right before Ryan walked up, but I didn't think about it again until we got home. Oh well. We'll just have to remember it.
We're so excited and thankful to have Ryan home safe and sound. Deployments certainly give you a greater appreciation for your marriage and each other.