1. The Map of Lost Mail got yet ANOTHER pin!!
It seems like just yesterday that my mail was going to Muscat, Oman. Now we have a new location: Wiesbaden, Germany. This is the second time my mail has been to Germany in less than a month.
The package? My husband's Christmas present. The Christmas present I ordered online in November. As I have said before, my mail is better traveled than I am.
3. A couple of times in the last week I've been reminded about the blessings of living here. STILL no Diet Coke, but I did smile a couple of days ago and had 3 guys clambering to open the door for me. (Funny, since it was an automatic door). My students have been so sweet and have worked really hard since I got back to work. I stopped twice in 2 days for iguanas crossing the road. Recently, Cuban radio was playing an entire cheesy album of Air Supply (and I sang along---loudly and badly). Y'all know how it is---it's the little things that make your day that much better.
4. My youngest has said more than once this week, "Mom, you need to get surgery more often. That food was GOOD!" Should I be offended? Of course not. I totally agree. That food WAS good, and so very appreciated.
5. The best news of all for last---there is definitely a transfer round this year, and I definitely qualify. The sky's the limit (although who knows, when it comes down to it, what will be available). The kids both want to make their wish lists to make sure that we all in agreement as to locations. We don't have total control of the situation, but it's the first time in three years that we feel we have a little control over what comes next. H made his list of stipulations on the location list. He's a real list-maker, that kid.
It doesn't say, "No unicorns." I mean, who wouldn't want to live with unicorns, right??
Instead, it says, "No uniforms." That leaves all locations. Why is my little guy worried about uniforms? I asked and he said, "I don't like wearing pacific clothes unless I have to." I'm not quite sure what "pacific clothes" are, or specific clothes, for that matter. But he doesn't want to wear them, and thankfully, no DoDDS schools require them.
Also: "seasons." That narrows it down a bit. It's been fun in the land of eternal summer, but we are all a little ready for some change. "Good internet." Compared to here, that's the rest of the free world. "Toys." Again, most places have more than here. He doesn't just want toys; he wants different toys. Or more than 3-4 choices of toys. He would also like to live somewhere with real castles and "a real dungeon."
Oh, to be nine again. At his age, there wasn't a possibility of life's next great adventure involving toys, castles, dungeons, and maybe a little snow. (That would be my husband's childhood in Belgium and Germany). I had a wonderful, stable, loving family and home, but he is going to have a much different childhood than I did (or even as his older brother). We are both lucky---and I don't think he has any concept yet of just how lucky he is.
He also mentioned living in a house bigger than this one. We are crammed into a very small house (less than half the size of our last house, but with 2/3 of our furniture). We have supposedly been on a list for a while to move to a larger house, but who knows. . . it's an all-around disagreeable procedure to deal with the whole moving thing (and list thing), so I'm glad we stuck it out here. Free is free. It's nice to have a free house with free utilities, and we have great neighbors. Also, living in a small space makes you more ruthless when it comes to deciding what stays and what goes.
Hopefully in 3 months from now, we will have a definitive answer as to where we are going (and then the real ruthless sorting and throwing out will begin). In the meanwhile---having a tentative end date helps me mentally prepare for the end of the school year. I can then look at this place with new eyes---and instead of "firsts," it will be "lasts."