HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WJZY) - "We didn't tell his family, we didn't tell anybody. I talked to my neighbor and she came over, i got all dressed up and everyone was wondering "why are you all dressed up miss Katrina." I said "I was going to go have drinks with some friends," Katrina Rockel said.
Actually, Katrina Rockel went to pick up her husband from the airport to surprise the kids.
Katrina had planned to put Devin in a box, like a present for the kids to open, but his flight kept getting delayed. She had to improvise her plan because they arrived that late
"Miss Jen, she said 'I think this doorbell is for you,'" Bella Rockel said.
"You saw mommy right," Captain Devin Rockel said.
"And then you and then I started screaming," Bella said.
Bella was told her dad wasn't arriving until Friday. The surprise had Bella asking questions.
"'So you didn't have drinks with your friends,' and I said no and then she was like 'is that why you kept me awake Miss Jen?' She kept asking my neighbor and it was really cute cause she couldn't put it together. "
The family has spent the last four months adjusting to not having him around. Katrina has had to take care of the kids alone, but says she's thankful she has family nearby for support.
"It was difficult at times trying to balance work and the kids and sports and do everything by yourself but you manage, you get into a routine," Katrina said.
The family is excited he's home safe and sound and already have a few jobs for him.
"The kids are really enjoying having him home. Somebody to help change diapers is great," Katrina said.
And some fun jobs
"Movie night, go to the beach, game night, play games, watch TV," Bella said.
But over all.
"I'm just happy to be home and get to hug everybody," Devin said.
Watch the emotional reunion here