So, Brett finally has an address in which we can reach him in A-stan...and if you haven't already received an email with the new address, comment and I'll get it to you as soon as possible!
And since we've now got a solid address ( at least for now! hahaha!), I'll go forward with a helpful question that I got over the weekend of suggestions of nice things to send Brett:
Postage for letters is the same as it would be to send any letter within the US, and you can buy the set-rate boxes for $10.95 ( that's total shipping! That's awesome!) -sadly I don't know what its like in NZ...it might be a bit different...
First of all, letters:
I think more than anything you could send Brett...letters would be at the top of his list. In fact, I don't just think, I KNOW! Because I asked him and that's what he asked for! So, write the boy a letter. And if you're not the letter writing type let me give you a few suggestions:
-tell Brett about your day...including what you ate for dinner ( this is a question my father always asks and its a funny one and always gets "the party started" conversation wise. ;-)
-tell him about movies you've seen, books you've read, friends you've met, what you've gotten in your quiet time recently ( this is one of my favorite things to email people!), and all about sermons or lectures you've heard recently. ( hey! By the end of this deployment Brett's going to be smarter than all the rest of us with all this shared knowledge!)
-Send pictures. Pictures are ALWAYS a good idea...if you've got kids send pictures of them, if you've got pets, send pictures of them...if you have neither than take a nice self portrait of you brushing your teeth in the bathroom mirror and send that....I'm sure you get the picture that pictures are a good idea ;-) ( *ahem*)
From what I've been told if you'd like a package to get to Brett before Christmas than the deadline in Dec. 4th. Although, please do not let this stop you, because Brett's birthday is Jan. 26th ( its his GOLDEN birthday! He's turning 26!!!!!!) and so even if a package is late it'll be nice to make January a fun month for him too!
As far as what to put in a package here are some suggestions...hopefully I'll be able to add more to this list soon, once I know what his new surrounds are like and things he might need...but for now we'll just stick with the fun stuff!
-Magazines, Newspapers ( clippings of an article you thought was extra good...that kinda thing).
-Books ( Brett is a sucker for a good book...especially in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy department...but he's really not picky!) to make it even more fun, send him something that you've read that YOU'VE really liked! I know Brett will enjoy getting to know you better through your choices!
-Candy, Brett is not super picky on his favorites...but he DOES like M&Ms ( peanut are his favorite but peanut butter are yummy too...hey! they're all good!). But, once again-stick with you're own favorites and he'll enjoy it I'm sure!
-Cookies. You can send store-bought or homemade cookies-but make sure they are wrapped securely and bare in mind that the softer the cookie the more likely it will arrive in a large pile of crumbs!
-Sunscreen, lip balm, lotion, baby wipes...all of these things are nice extras that I know he will need in the next year so they will probably never go wrong!
-DVDs and AT&T international phone cards are both things that are kinda expensive but if you feel like you'd like to send something like that, well, that'd be fabulous! Of course, I'm always finding DVDs on sale for $5 these days so if you see something you think Brett might like ( or even just laugh at!) those are also a plus...I know the guys over there do a TON of movie watching, so SOMEONE will enjoy it!
*In fact, with all of these items its nice to know that even if Brett is not in need of something or its candy or food that he doesn't like...there are a bunch of other guys that he can share with, nice to know that these boxes can NEVER go wrong!! :-)
-Coffee....really, I hate to say this, but this request is mostly just for people in Nacogdoches. Brett is an avid fan of Java Jacks coffee....so any dark roast, full bean ( not grounded) coffee will always be accepted with delight hehehe...in fact, I'm going to be sending him a french press and a grinder in the mail as soon as I can! That boy does love his coffee!
-Last of all, be creative! Art work you're kids made, decorations for his room... From what I can tell, the sky is the limit of what you can send, but make sure its something that if, in the off chance, that it got lost you wouldnt be totally devastated...
Also, I've been told its best to be as "vague" as possible on the customs slip and just "round down" on the money cost...that always helps things get through a little easier ;-)
But, I'm just going to go ahead and repeat that most of all Brett just wants to hear from you, even if its just an email to say "Hi"....to know that you love him and are supporting him during this year means more than anything! We are already so grateful for your emails of support to him and to myself! We are terribly lucky!