The big surprise at the Head Start Child Care Center in Pekin Friday wasn't the guest reader for story time, or the kid's stirring rendition of Frosty the Snowman, complete with egg shakers.
The surprise was for four year old Mylie Adkinson who hasn't spent a Christmas with her dad, ever. So when Corporal Jacob Adkinson of the Marine Corps found out he'd be home this Christmas he had an idea.
Marine Corps Corporal Jacob Adkinson thought, "I was just talking to my fiancee and we decided that it would be a good way to surprise Mylie."
When her dad walked into her classroom she was speechless. This was the first time she had seen her dad since May.
Corporal Adkinson says, "I contact her every day, I talk to her on the phone. On deployment it was a little tough, we had to go through emails back and forth."
Mylie was not the only excited one. The entire school wanted to show Corporal Adkinson their appreciation for his service, and presented him with a giant thank you card, and a heartfelt, thank you.
Mylie's teachers also were happy to be in on the surprise.
They said, "We were just thrilled, we were so excited to be a part of it, when they mentioned that this might happen, we were excited to just be part of it."
And what did Mylie think about all of the excitement Friday?
Mylie says, "I'm glad my daddy's home."