Exactly 8 days from now, we will be moving out of our home and into a hotel.  9 days from now, I will get up early, feed the children, load them (and the dog) and a few belongings all into our van and head toward our new base.  9 days from now, I will see this city for probably the last time.  S will then spend that day loading the truck with a help from some friends, complete his work sign outs (we hope), and leave the next day.  The goodbyes started last week, with the big ones taking place over the weekend when our family worship group from church threw us a very meaningful and memorable farewell party.  Moving is such a bittersweet endeavor–bitter in saying goodbyes, but at the same time, sweet in the anticipation of what God has in store for us in the near future.

The house is almost packed.  All pictures and wall hangings have been removed.  The decor is packed.  We will mostly complete the packing this weekend.  The kids are definitely getting a bit more difficult than usual.  The chaos of ever-present changes in environment and routine that aren’t understood leaves the babies quite cranky.  S and M are bickering a bit more than usual.  Even the dog is becoming more clingy, following me around like a shadow half the time (a big deal when he weighs about 80 pounds!).  I’m sure I’m becoming a little tired of the changes in attitudes and getting a little more impatient myself.   

Thank the Lord for dear friends who have offered to help in so many ways.  One friend brought her little boy over and just hung out for several hours yesterday.  It was a wonderful distraction for us, allowing me time to just fellowship with another mother, and giving the kids an opportunity to play with someone new.  I was then invited to join them and another friend with children later in the day for dinner.  Since S was gone last night, I jumped at the opportunity to get out and fellowship probably one last time.  This same friend offered to take all my children one whole morning this week to let me get much-needed tasks accomplished without interruption.  We received another offer for this weekend.  2 families will each be taking 2 of our children for an evening and a night to allow S and I some time to celebrate my upcoming birthday and just have time to remember that our relationships as a family are more important than any of the stressors we are facing now.  I cannot thank all of you enough for the help! 

As far as the move is concerned, we have little resolution on any issues since my last moving post.  We are still planning on base housing, nothing new there.  We have not yet received any news regarding the medical paperwork that is holding up the process.  S has been trying to contact people to find out the status, but no one is responding.  Because I cannot technically live on the base, S will be officially done with his job here, yet cannot officially sign out without the paperwork process being completed, we will unload the truck into the house and then head to the farm within 2 days.  Essentially, 14 days from now, I will be at Red Gate.  We don’t know for how long, since I can’t return to my new “home”  until we get word the paperwork is completed and S can officially out-process from this base. 

Thus the adventure is now in full swing.  The next few weeks could be challenging as we complete packing and cleaning, live in hotels, me driving 13 hours, inspecting houses, and signing a lease with 4 children in tow, meeting up with S to unload the truck into the new house, getting all our addresses changed, heading on another day-long drive to the farm.  In the midst of all that, I have to pack all the supplies (including my medical supplies) for an undetermined amount of time. 

My prayer at this point is that we can go with the flow, complete our tasks one thing at the time, take each day as it comes, keep our focus on God and family, and look forward to starting this new chapter in our lives.  I know things may be difficult for a while, but I also know God has a great plan and a purpose for all this.  I am indeed eager to witness how everything plays out, and to look back a few years from now, and hopefully have all the mysteries of this time make sense.