Lately we've been preparing.
We are preparing for our own departure to the USA. JB will accompany me and the kiddos home at the end of this month. He'll spend a week with us before returning to the island. He'll then come back to the USA right before the new baby's scheduled arrival. The kids and I will be in America until baby's scheduled arrival on or before September 5th. Not only does my new OB want me there by 35 weeks or so, but you aren't allowed to fly after 36 weeks. We would appreciate prayers that we make one of two scheduled military flights into the Baltimore or Norfolk area during the last week of July. If we weren't to get on one of those flights, we'd have to fly commercially which would cost us a lot of money! Flying with JB not only will allow me help with the kids and my big pregnant self, but it also pushes us up higher on the "category" list, allowing for a greater chance of success in getting seats off the island. We've been told that the time we are leaving is a good time to get seats off so we are hopeful.
We are preparing to say good bye to the Seeligers. Nick Seeliger was one year ahead of JB when we were all at Eglin together. They then went to Turkey. We followed them there. They then came to Lajes one year ahead of us. And we followed them here. Now, Nick is separating. (Yes, this is what they call it in the military which always makes me think people are getting a divorce.) Separating means he is leaving the military. His payback time is done, and he is going to join the medical school teaching staff at Tulane in New Orleans. They start their pack-out tomorrow, so I've been trying to stay close to the house in order to help Kristy with their two eldest boys (Noah and Jonah) whenever we can. We are very sad to see Nick and Kristy go. Nick and JB are the two doctors here on the island, and they work very well together. In addition, they are fantastic neighbors living right around the block. They will be staying at our house with us for the week before they leave so we are also preparing to have house guests.
We are preparing to say good bye to the Clemens family. I met Carla through Kristy. She drove me to VBS last year for a week straight, and we got to know each other. She's been an amazing around-the-corner friend for me. And she has two boys that play just amazingly with my two boys. Saying good bye to Carla and her boys: Max and Jackson will stink! (We'll also miss her husband Mike but not as much as we'll miss her.) They will, however, not be leaving until after we are back in America which will make things less painful. They pack-out the week after the Seeligers so I'll be helping watch her kids as well.
We are preparing to welcome the new doctor and his wife. We know them! Their names are Josh & Rebekah and they have three sons: Elijah (6), Judah (3), and Joel (2). Josh was beginning his residency at Eglin when we were leaving Eglin back in 2010. While our paths did not cross for long, they are a wonderful Christian family and Rebekah and I connected nearly instantly. (She has since become fantastic friends with Joia who is still at Eglin.) They are actually going to move into Nick & Kristy's house here -- right around the corner from us. They are due in one week before we leave for the USA. Not great timing. But we are hoping to get them set up and ready to go before we hit the road.
We are preparing to add a new baby to the mix. Yeah. There's that. No biggie, right? A new little girl will be returning with us to the island in September! We will be a family of six. Craziness. As I feel better, I get more excited to meet her. I also get more excited to meet her the bigger and more uncomfortable I get. She doesn't have a name yet. (We thought we had one but we have been rethinking it.) And she doesn't really have a room either. (We only have three bedrooms on the 2nd floor. Our master bedroom is mighty small. So we are trying to figure out where she will "go" until she is ready to move in with big sister Abigail.)
We are preparing to have some very special people come live with us on the island. Stay tuned. Still sort of a secret. But our house will be adding a wonderful couple to the third floor upon our return in September. Can't wait!