Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Year in Review

I can’t believe that 2010 is a thing of the past already.  At times it seemed liked it would never end .  This last year was full of changes….some good ones…some not so good ones.

In January, we were celebrating having Angel back with us after a year long deployment to Iraq.  He was on a month of leave and we were doing all sorts of things together to reintegrate our family.  We took a Caribbean cruise and as we turned on our phones after arriving back to Tampa we got some news… Angel’s next assignment.  South Korea.  Since it was the last place on earth I wanted to go, the news was not what we were hoping to hear.  BUT in this life we live, we trust that it is the Army who cuts the orders but it is God who determines our steps.

February became busy with all the preparations of an overseas move…that would take place in less than 90 days.  Passports had to be applied for….screening appointments to be made….briefings to attend.  At that point we also realized that moving overseas might mean that we don’t get back to the United States for two years, so we began making plans for the girls and I to visit family before our move.  In February we also found out that we were expecting baby #5.

March was full of sorting and purging. Since we could only bring 50% of our allowance of HHG (stuff) to Korea, we had to decide what was important enough to make the move.  This was also the month that the packers came.  Three shipments later the house was empty and ready to be cleaned.  During the week of packing, I began bleeding and ended up in the clinic. I received the news that I was not expecting to hear.  I was in the middle of a miscarriage. I was numb.  Besides there was too much to do to stop and mourn.  I had to clean the apartment and drive from Texas to my parent’s house in PA.

April was spent in Pennsylvania at my parent’s house.  Angel remained in Texas for another 3 weeks to out process and then flew in to join us for two weeks before he left for Korea.  We drove to NYC to see his family for a few days and the remaining time we enjoyed as a family before we would be separated again.

In May, Angel left for Korea.  We were informed that since there was no post housing where we were assigned, he would have to find and rent and apartment before the girls and I could join him.  By the end of the month, the task had been accomplished and plane tickets were in our hands.

The girls and I left the states in June for our new home in Korea.  It took about a week of jet leg to get orientated to our new home and time zone (13 hours ahead of EST).  It was so exciting….living in a foreign country.  I was optimistic at this time.  We also met another military family in our apartment complex, the Rawlins.

During July, we did some sightseeing and tried to get into a routine in our new country.  It was a bit hard considering we still didn’t have our stuff, but our van arrived from the states and that helped out tremendously.

In August, our belongings finally arrived and it was like Christmas for us.  We also decided to let the older two girls try the DODDs school here in Korea.  There were not a lot of families in our apartment complex with girls who were the same age as ours and they were hoping to meet some friends.

September, we celebrated Katelyn’s 10th Birthday.  I also began homeschooling Victoria and Breanna for Kindergarten.  We began to have some issues with the school but hoped that things would end up being good in the end.

October brought another big celebration…Marissa turned 13 year old.  Wow, I’m the parent of a teenager!  I also pulled Katelyn out of the public school, at her request.  The bullying there is not good but to Marissa it is her life line, so even though she was picked on, the friends she had made going to school her reason to go.  October was also the time of my due date, which in the midst of celebration, brought some sadness to our home.  Victoria is quick to say that she had a baby brother (we did not know the gender) who died in mommy’s belly and Katelyn struggled with “why did God take our baby?”

Wow, we have been in Korea for 5 months now and November brings the beginning of the holiday season.  We had also met more families in our complex over the last few month, some with children around the same age as our girls.  At the beginning of the month,  we reflected back on a year ago when we were in lock down in our home at Fort Hood as an unknown shooter, at the time, had begun taking the lives of the at the SRP center just over a mile from our home.  We also had another birthday to celebrate this month….Breanna, our baby, turned 4 years old.  She had been waiting so long...according to her…for her birthday to finally arrive.  We spent Thanksgiving at a neighbor’s home with more than 7 other military families.  It was a great way to spend the holiday away from family.

December marked the last month of the year.  We put up our tree and pulled out the Christmas movies.  Angel had to go to Hawaii for a week of Strong Bonds training and unfortunately, the girls and I could not join him.  This month happened to be the time where we passed colds, fevers and sickness around to each other.  The only ones who did not get sick were me and Angel.  Christmas was celebrated with Angel’s assistants and two neighbors.  It was a quiet day, which was nice.  New Years was spent at home…in bed.  I must say I am not the partying type and saw no reason to stay up so late.

We are now in a new year, trying to embrace all that is before us.  Some days life in a foreign country is difficult.  We all miss family, friends and being able to communicate when we go out of the house.  We shall see what this year brings our way.  May the Lord continue to lead us and give us strength to face whatever we may go through. Blessings to you and your family this New Year.  May you see God's hand in your lives and trust Him for your future.

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