I had a table set up with cards for everyone to write a message to Jerome and put in a jar. I will be sending him these cards with packages we will be sending, a few cards at a time throughout his deployment.
I made these jars for each of the tables. The sand represents Afghanistan. Each jar had a different set of pictures, his Chief pinning, his brother Joey pinning his ESWAS pin on him, him and his buddy Aaron on the USS Hayler, his last deployment to Afghanistan, marching in a Memorial Day parade and our kids waving their little American flags and many, many more pictures.
The cake was made by my cousin's wife and turned out beautiful. I had her make it as a service members flag. Natalie and Katie iced the cupcakes I made. Jerome's brother Joey did a wonderful job with the cooking for the party.
His friend Alex gave both Jerome and Noah a wonderful send off toast. It was very well written and spoken. There was a lot of laughter and tears.
Our girls enjoyed dancing with their Daddy.
Jerome loved having all of his family there.
We danced to our song, The Longer The Waiting, by Josh Turner. Jerome started singing to me while we were dancing which made it even more special.
Our dance was cut short because Katie started crying seeing us dancing together. She and Natalie both were crying. She later told me that it made her sad seeing us dancing together because she was going to miss seeing us together when her daddy leaves.
Spencer became emotional once during the party as well. He was crying and Jerome was crying as he was giving him his "be strong, I'll be back in a year" talk.
Our kids went home with friends and Jerome and I made it a long night and enjoyed the rest of the night (morning) with his friends and brother.