It seems that God has spent a lot of time and effort teaching me to take life one step at a time. Lately the theme has been GRACE.
If you're not where you want to be, show yourself some GRACE.
If your family is not moving as quickly as you'd like them to, show them some GRACE.
If you feel guilty and tired and depressed, accept GRACE.
So on and so forth.
As a general rule, I like to have some idea of what my life will look like in the coming weeks and months. I'm a terrible planner (always have been) and I'm the kind of person who works well under pressure-so I tend to put things off, but just comlpetely not knowing what in the world is going on with our lives is kinda crazy.
And yet this is what we're signing up for. I know that Allan is *supposed* to deploy to Afghanistan. I also know that in the last 9 months we thought he was going to Africa and Afghanistan (once before) and neither happened. So while it seems like a pretty sure bet, it's never a guarantee.
I know that when he deploys, the kids and I have no one place we'd like to stay. We are currently in Northern New York, and while we all adore it for summer, autumn is coming fast and furious and winter will be around the corner. If you don't know this about me already, let me just emphasize...I do NOT like winter. Snow is great for the month of December and then I am DONE. So I know that when he goes we *will* leave, but we're not sure where yet, because we don't know when he's leaving.
I also know that we will have to decide what to do about homeschooling soon. I haven't had a reliable enough computer to comfortably research all of my options. I know that while we all love Sonlight, I can't carry boxes and boxes of books with me. I have considered purchasing the curricula (4th and K, oh my goodness!) teacher's guides and just downloading all the books onto our Nooks (I got 2 Nook HD+ tablets to help with our homeschooling plans. It looks like school will "start" while Allan is still here, so I feel a need to "get on it."
Our current (liquid) plan past deployment is to travel wherever we want when the opportunity arises. I've looked at vacation rentals (during the off-season it's fairly inexpensive to live in beach houses!) and I've looked at house sitting, but I can't really decide on anything hard and fast since we don't have a leave date yet. I am also considering a pop-up camper to tow behind the suburban, for a few reasons.
1. We will always have a place to stay, even while we're on the road
2. It won't increase our gas mileage much, since it is light
3. They are short enough in stature that I could see behind me and actually feel comfortable towing it. I am not a fan of towing things and I cannot back up with a trailer. This seems like a good compromise. Anyone out there ever have one? What was your opinion?
A little bit more recent than those plans, though...we will be in Kansas for a couple days this month to see Corbin's surgeon and to visit the pediatrician. Since we are going to be "transient" we are keeping the kids' PCM and surgeon. That means we will travel back every 3 months to see the surgeon and pick up supplies (turns out there is no Costco here and NNY is much more expensive than other places we've lived.)
We are also planning to move to a new house at the end of this month. We found a place that is right on the water (as in, step off the back deck into the bay). It is a 3-bedroom with a nice lawn, so it'll be great for us to stretch out a bit. It's also less expensive than the apartment we are in right now. The only down side is no internet and no potable water, but we are looking into getting a mobile HotSpot and a Berkey Filter and making the best of it. This will be just one more learning experience. One day we will be self-sustaining!
Despite the fact that we're learning to live moment-by-moment and take 1 day at a time, time is flying. The kids and I have been here almost 2 months already and with temperatures only getting to the low 70's during the day now, it is evident that time is going much more quickly than I imagined it could. Allan and I are both struggling with divided feelings on the deployment. On the one hand, we both really want him gone sooner than later. First, it will offer job security and second, it'll increase pay and third, it will get him home all the sooner. We talk about this and as his discussions with the people involved progress, he tells them to get him out of here, pronto. (With my blessing) On the other hand, this is the most unnatural thing we could be doing right now. To send our husband/dad halfway across the world for however long. No matter Skype, phone calls, internet chats, etc, it isn't the same. I know it's hard for him, too, as he tells them "let me go now!" and further separates himself from the reality we've made the last 10 years...the reality of home life with him 100% involved.
So one thing we are planning for, is being able to keep him home after this job (or the next one...who knows how long it will take) is up. We are currently getting lots of education on investing and owning rental properties so that we can have our assets pay for our expenses instead of him being forced to work so we can survive. I want him to work because he wants to and loves his job and feels called by the Lord to do what he chooses to do, not to take the next position because we'll be able to afford the types of foods we like to eat. (organic, local, gluten-free...we're not eating caviar, but it gets pricey) Please do not get me wrong here, he WILL and DOES work hard to take care of us. He has been thrown way out of his comfort zone these last couple of years, but we're both tired of it and ready to find some way for our money to work for us instead of us working for the money. It should be an interesting journey and transition.
So what does this post have to do with anything? Not much I suppose. But there it is. Now you know as much as we do. haha!