Monday, August 23, 2010

day 143: spouses of deployed soldiers retreat

About a week ago the kids (minus Nick who was still in MD with my parents) and I headed to Myrtle Beach, SC, for a Spouses of Deployed Soldiers Retreat through the Strong Bonds program.

Strong Bonds is a unit-based, chaplain led program that helps Soldiers and their families build strong relationships.  The program's mission is to build Soldier readiness by providing skills the Soldier can use to strengthen his or her marriage and other relationships.  Initially, Strong Bonds was intended solely for married couples, but it has now been expanded to include single Soldiers, families with children, and the special needs associated with deployment and redeployment.

On Friday we met up with some friends here in town for lunch and then drove down to Myrtle Beach together- with a quick stop at the store for some forgotten necessities.  We arrived at the hotel and checked into our rooms just before a big storm came through.

Stormy Sea
Storm rolling in- view from the balcony

Ben and Lexie were excited to be at the beach and loved playing on the balcony.

On Friday evening we headed to the conference room for dinner and then dropped the kids off at child care and went to our Meet and Greet event.  We started off the evening with some getting to know you games and then briefly went over the plans for the weekend.  The kids and I went to bed early since we knew it would be an early morning on Saturday.

Saturday morning we had breakfast and then took the kids back to child care.  We were in sessions all morning and went over the 7 Habits for Highly Effective Families and how we could apply those to life during deployment.  Then it was time for lunch and we were free for the afternoon.  We took full advantage of that and headed to the beach.

Covered in Sand
Fun in the sand!

Ben on the Run
Ben on the run.

Sandy Mouth
Sand is tasty!!

Sandy Smile
Silly girl.

Sandy Laugh
Say "sand"!!

Sandy Boy
Sandy Ben- he loved how the sand would stick to his wet hands.

Model pose

After the beach we hit up the hotel pool for awhile before heading upstairs to clean up and rest before the evening activities.  Surprisingly, the kids all laid on the bed watching iCarly while I got ready.

Rest Time
Rest time.

After our afternoon rest we headed back to the conference room so the kids could eat dinner and then go to child care for the evening.  The girls and I went to Miyabi for some hibachi and sushi and had a nice, childless dinner and adult conversation!!

Beach at Night
Goodnight Myrtle Beach

We wrapped up on Sunday morning with breakfast and one last session.  Then it was time to check-out of the hotel and head home.  Or in our case, further up the coast to North Myrtle Beach to spend the week with Grandma and Grandpa.

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