And here we are again..reflecting on 2010 and recalling the joys and the sorrows.
And so we began 2010 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
A week later we had flown home (thanks to the expat benefits that Chevron offers---last minute plane reservations for 5 would be very pricey!). It was a very beautiful funeral Mass. At the reception afterward my siblings and I were able to say a few words about my Dad. I spoke about how his death gave me hope....he really did die well. He died with the sacraments, with his family by his side. He knew it was coming. He chose Jesus even in his suffering. I admire him.
But, what I wasn't able to share at that time, and I am not sure I have ever shared, is my admiration for my siblings and my mother. They were there. They stood vigil. I will be eternally grateful for the gift of their courage and fortitude. It was very difficult to be far away, but I knew at the time, that the far more difficult task was to be there and watch it all first hand.
February was when the speculation of when and where we might go next began in earnest. On the outside life was quite normal. The kids continued to take weekly swim lessons and go the Tae Kwon Do twice a week. We enjoyed following the World Cup and any number of teams we could root for. Once the U.S. was eliminated we could choose from any of the countries we all or Jim alone had visited.
In the mean time, M. turned 8 in the midst of more wild horses. Her affection for horses is closely connected to a favorite movie for the year (The Man From Snowy River) and a new interest in the American Girl books (Felicity).
|We had a Seder Supper....|
|and spent a day together in Edinburgh.|
In June we took a trip south to the Isle of Mull and Iona, islands in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland. We stayed near the seaside town of Oban and took the ferry to Mull. From there we took a bus ride to the other side of the island. The views were incredible, but photos seemed futile from the inside of a huge tour bus that winds along narrow mountain roads. At the other end of the Isle of Mull we took another short ferry ride to Iona, which was the center of the evangelizing mission of St. Columba (an irish monk who brought Christianity to Scotland around 563).
We spent an hour or two walking the island and then the bus ride back to the ferry to Oban. The next day we took our car to the Isle of Mull and drove north to the picturesque town of Tobermory, well known in the UK because of a popular children's show that our kids watched some when we lived in England.
|The colored houses you see in the background are the hallmark of "Balamory".|
This was the month of lots of "lasts" since we finally had our date for moving home. You can read about and see those days here.
After lots of boxing up and moving out and living temporarily, we flew to LA to live temporarily some more.
One of the perks of expat life is flying first class when you arrive and when you finally leave (in between you fly coach with all the regular folk). This particular flight was a really cushy one...those seats lay out flat for cozy sleeping!
|"Look Mama, I can press here and watch ANY MOVIE I WANT!"|
By August we were here:
We got to relax....for what felt like a few hours...then started the getting-up-and-going-again-tasks like buying a car. With that task done we were free to enjoy a week of hanging out with Grandma and the California Cousins.
Finally we took the old familiar drive north, only this time we weren't going to be there on vacation, and we weren't going to be living in our own house (yet) either. Instead, we spent a good six weeks or so in an apartment near our neighborhood, until mid September when the truck arrived.
|This day seemed a long time coming. We spent so many other days waiting for workmen, or watching them do their jobs. We were so happy to be finally moving out of the apartment.|
followed by the best birthday present I ever got...a new homeschool room finally finished.
|The cast of the semi-annual Thanksgiving play.|
|It took three large round tables to seat us all.|
In December we ended the year with the season of Advent and Christmas. Thankfully, I have already blogged about those days, because this post is waayyyytooooloooong.