One thing I wanted to be able to do for the boys is to have a visual for them to see that Daddy will be coming home soon. So we have a Countdown Jar. Actually, it is a clear water bottle filled with M&Ms.
I filled it up with 300 M&Ms first (deployment orders said 276 days so I added a few extra). It only filled the bottle half way. Plus they are M&Ms. So I decided to go ahead and fill the bottle. That way if the boys decided they all want to take an M&M each day, they can. Hopefully this will give them something to look forward to.