06 May 2015

Day 3 - Creative Comms

I love Big Sexy. He is literally the man of my dreams. He isn't perfect - there should be a picture of him next to the words "Strong Silent Type". There is one thing we struggle to connect on during deployment, I've tried different ways to explain it, I've begged (nagged), pleaded (nagged), nagged (bitched)...


After years of trying I remembered something:

In an effort to inspire our middle guy's struggle with reading and writing, I had snagged a journal from Walmart (it's a marvel avengers journal - seriously - awesome). We told him he could write whatever he wants - and encouraged him to draw his own comic books.

Before we knew it he'd created 5 pages of text and graphics.. an idea was born. 

Remember the old game where one person would tell part of the story - and the next would pick up where they left off? We're taking a page from their playbook; each kid and Daddy will be creating a story together.

I grabbed a few more journals from Walmart, they've got a big variety and some of them will take the work out of it for you. Each kid has their own, my husband will wait for the journal to arrive, add his drawings and story then ship it back (I recommend a pre-addressed flat rate envelope). So far this is what we've got ~

Through my deployment and my husband's, honestly it can be hard to come up with something new to say. Mission First doesn't always lend to the excitement they create in Hollywood. We'll start letters and find them shallow... so they never get sent. You never know which way a story can turn, so give it a try. ((by the way - Mr. "I hate reading" is now knocking out books like a champ #winning ))

Next - let's play 20 questions - Navy Family Style (Surface):

1. How many bathrooms are on the ship?
2. Where does the poop go?
3. Do you have to do homework?
4. Do you get sea sick?
5. Is there a doctor on your ship?
6. Do you have to get shots?
7. What does your bed look like?
8. Do you have to share your room?
9. Where do you put your stuff?
10. If you share your room who snores the loudest?
11. Who is the youngest person on the ship?
12. Who is the oldest person on the ship?
13. Where do you play games?
14. Does anything funny happen on the ship?
15. How tall is the tallest person on the ship?
16. If its your birthday who will make you a cake?
17. What happens if you get hurt?
18. How fast does the ship go?
19. Does Santa visit the ship?
20. What makes you feel better when you are sad?

Check back for additional branches & new questions.
Comment with your ideas and I'll add them to the list!

This list is mostly geared toward children w/ a parent who is deployed, but can be easily adapted to inspire letter writing or journal entries for adult. As always please feel free to contribute ideas and I'll add them to the list. 

1. Write a thank you card to the person who farted and made your mom/dad laugh.
2. Describe how you imagine homecoming will be. In the morning? At night? Surprise or waiting on the pier (airport, hanger, parade field...)
3. What kind of gear would you invent for your mom/dad to wear? How does it work?
4. Tell a story about a dog who lives on the ship (goes on convoys, flies the plane, mans the gun...)
5. What is a role model? How do you grow up to be one?
6. Create a poem using the letters U. S. A. or RED WHITE & BLUE
7. What are some goals you have? How will you reach them?
8. If you were on the ship and playing hide and seek where would you hide?
9. Pretend there are no phones, computers or letters - invent a new way to communicate with mom/dad?
10. Tell us about the first place you want to go after mom/dad gets home.
11. If you could control the clouds what kind of shapes would you make?
12. Write a list of different ways you can make yourself feel better when you're sad.
13. Who is your favorite character in a book?
14. Make a list of 20 great things you've learned to do this year.
15. If you could train any animal to help mom or dad win the fight what animal would you choose? What would it be able to do?
16. Tell us how you countdown 'til homecoming.
17. How do you think we should celebrate mom/dad coming home?
18. Write a happy birthday card to your mom/dad's ship/unit. How old are they this year?
19. Create the perfect menu for the ship/unit. Don't forget to tell them how to make the food!
20. All of your toys have joined the __insert branch here__ who's the boss? Where are they going on deployment?
21. Design a new tool your mom/dad can use at work.
22. You're all grown up, what are you going to do on vacation?
23. You're a teacher, and there is a kid in class who feels sad - what would you do to make them feel better?
24. Aliens are coming! Are they nice? or mean? You tell me...
25. Tell us how you think they celebrate Christmas where your mom/dad is going.
26. How many houses have you lived in? Write about your favorite thing at each home.
27. What is your hometown?
28. Where is your favorite place to visit? Why?
29. Make up a story where the envelope who carries your letters is a Ninja!
30. When mom/dad misses a special day how do you make yourself feel better?
31. What is your favorite thing to send to mom/dad?
32. Your mom/dad has to wear a uniform, draw a picture of what they look like. How would you change the uniform draw a new one that you designed just for them!
33. Write a thank you card to someone who's helped you feel better when you're missing your mom/dad.
34. What would you tell a kid who is going through deployment for the first time? How would you help them?
35. What makes you special? How do you know?
36. How do you know someone is your friend?
37. Make a list of 10 ways to make new friends.
38. What are some good things to put in a carepackage?
39. What are your favorite jokes?
40. Write about your biggest secret then hide the page!!
41. Draw a picture of your favorite animal - now write a story about how its a spec ops super hero.
42. What is your favorite thing to do? Why?
43. Make a list of all the different places where you know someone who lives there.
44. Write down your favorite 10 people - who would you visit first?
45. How do you know your mom/dad is in a bad mood? How can you help?
46. How long does it take for your mom/dad to get your letters? Why does it take that long?
48. Were your grandparents in the military too? Did they go any place interesting?
49. Make up a story about a hero, use your mom/dad's unit as the hero.
50. Tell other people why being a military kid is hard - and why you are so GOOD at making it through tough times.

That's all I've got for now y'all - Even if you don't use any of the above material I hope it inspires you to think outside the care package box and get creative. We can't all be Noah & Allie.

XOXO & Stuff,



  1. Jinger,
    you could have a journal sent to the ship that is passed around the mess or a division with questioned pasted on each page. Why did you join the Navy? What is your specialty/rating? What are you're goals? What's your 5 year plan look like or where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years. Then during halfway, the ship sends a new journal back with questions in it FROM the sailors. Now that would be so neat.

  2. That is a great idea! It would also be a wonderful way for The Mess or a division to get to know each other/ other famlies! Thank you for sharing.