Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dave Comes Home From Djibouti.........Early!

Welcome Home Dave!

Dave surprised the kids by coming home from Djibouti two weeks early! We have grown accustomed to him being delayed or late so to find out that he was coming home early was very unexpected. The person that replaced Dave arrived in Djibouti early so Dave was able to go ahead and come home. He wanted it to be a surprise for Grace and Zachary so I didn't tell them.

Zach had speech therapy this afternoon and then we ran some errands. I had told them that we would go out for dinner and they were ready to go when I told them we had one more errand to run. Neither one was very pleased about that and Grace asked me, "Do you just have to pick up something?" and I told her "yes". I thought for sure that they would figure out what we were doing when we headed in the direction of the airport but they were both watching a movie and weren't paying any attention.

When we finally turned on the road to the airport, Grace asked if we were going to the airport. I told her that we were and she wanted to know where we were going. I told her that we were not going anywhere so she wanted to know who was coming to visit. Either Grace or Zachary one guessed that it was Daddy, and the other one said "No, he's in Africa for 2 more weeks". Then they started guessing who it might be and begged me to tell them.

We got to the airport and Dave's flight was supposed to arrive at 5:25 p.m. so I thought we had a few minutes to wait. I noticed there was a plane at the gate but I thought it must have been another one then I checked the status of his flight and it said that it had arrived at the gate at 5:10 so I knew that was his plane! I hurried the kids to the window and about that time, the passengers started coming off the plane and Dave was the first one off. Grace and Zachary both yelled out "Daddy!" and were so excited.

He gave us all a big hug when he saw us and we were all happy to be reunited once again. The kids just wanted to know if he was home for good. After we got his bags, we celebrated his homecoming by going out to dinner for sushi.


Welcome home Daddy!



Grace with one of the presents that Dave brought her.

Dave showing the kids many of his great pictures.


This is a walking stick that he brought back for Zachary.



Big hug!!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Friends

We met some more of our neighbors tonight and they are so nice! They live back behind us and have two daughters close to Grace's age. The girls hit it off immediately and had a great time together playing dress-up.

Grace with Annika and Emberly


Waterslide Fun

Some friends of ours, Angie and Jeff Opsitos, bought a huge waterslide that they set up in their backyard. Grace and Zachary went over there this afternoon with a few of the other neighborhood kids for some waterslide fun. They had a blast!

I bet this is going to be where all the neighborhood kids want to hang out this summer.





Friday, June 26, 2009

Zach and Ethan

We had a fun day of going to the pool and then tonight we went to see Night at the Museum 2 with friends. After the movie, Grace went and spent the night with friends and Zachary and I came to Gia's house. Zachary and Ethan played so well together before crashing! They got on their PJs and crawled up in the chair together with cover and watched a little TV before falling fast asleep. Aren't they adorable?


Defense Meritorious Service Medal Awarded to Major David H. Williams

Right before Dave came home, he was awarded the Defense meritorious Service Medal. Capt Huegel presented him with the award, which according to Dave it's the award for being a boondoggle expert for all of his trips abroad. Just kidding.








Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pool Fun

We have spent all afternoon at the pool and the kids are having a blast!






Saturday, June 20, 2009

Funtastic!

I took Grace and Zachary to Funtastic II this afternoon and our friends, Gia, Ava and Ethan met us there. Funtastic is sponsored by the Marines and Family Services Center and it's free activities and entertainment for kids of all ages to celebrate military kids. It was miserably hot and humid but the kids had a good time until we just couldn't handle the heat any longer. They had things such as arts and crafts, sand art, balloon art, face painting, finger painting, dunk tank, music, military static displays and more. The kids really enjoyed getting up into the various military trucks and vehicles. They thought they were so cool!





Zachary, Grace, Ava and Ethan



African Safari

One of Dave's goals when he found out he was going to deploy to Africa was to fulfill a childhood dream by going on a safari. He even bought an expensive Nikon camera just for the occasion. Because Dave was so busy, he was unable to use his 96 to go on a proper safari. But just before he was to come home, he had to go back to Kenya for business and was able to get on a one day safari. He went to the Tsavo East National Park, the area made famous in the movie "The Ghost and the Darkness" for the man eating lions of Tsavo.

After a four hour drive from Mombasa, Dave along with the other members of his party, finally made it to the gates of the park. He didn't know what to expect; he really didn't think he would see any animals in just one day. Little did he know that he was to see a multitude of animals within three hours. He said it was just like Kilimanjaro Safari's at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Almost as soon as he entered the park, he saw a family of elephants. He saw antelope, gazelle, dic dics, and other horned animals that he forgot the names of. He also saw zebras, water buffalo, male lions and 3-4 lionesses on the hunt. Dave said that he couldn't go 1/2 mile without seeing another family of elephants, to include a family that was at a water hole with the baby playing in the water only a car length away. Like many American national parks, there are different lodges in the park and that is where Dave had a scrumptious lunch. By the end of lunch, everyone in the group felt more than satisfied with all of the animals that they saw and were ready to head back. Dave took over 600 pictures and had the time of his life!
































Elephants are close family. After an elephant is born, it stays with its mother for several years. This could be a picture of a family with the mother and the siblings.







The giraffe are nature's pruners. The umbrella shape to the trees is caused by the giraffes eating the vegetation. What is left on the tree is what the giraffes can't reach.






There were 3 lionesses, of which we only saw one at first, that were stalking some animals that were at a watering hole. It was interesting that as soon as the heads of those animals popped up alerted to their presence, the lionesses went and congregated in the shade of a tree as they lost the element of surprise.



Two male (gazelles or impalas maybe?) fought for a group of females that were nearby.