Months ago we had it all planned out. Gabriel was due home from his six month deployment mid-December. He was going to go find a new house in San Diego, visit Alayna's family in Memphis for Christmas, then he and Alayna would visit Colorado for a few days and arrive back in San Diego to move in January 1st. Since Alayna's family and my parents live only miles apart in Memphis, it was the perfect occasion to let all the kids be together for Christmas. In spite of my normal rule to never travel at Christmas, we thought it would be ideal and rented a house in Memphis from the 20th-27th. All was on track until the proposed typhoon was supposed to hit the Philippines. The admiral in charge of Gabriel's battle group turned his ship around to assist if the Philippines needed it. In short, Gabriel's new home arrival date is the 27th or later. We asked the home owner about coming a later week; she was very agreeable, except the house is already rented for the week that Gabriel plans to be in Memphis. So, in short, we are not going. We are going to go later in the year and hope that Gabriel, Alayna and the baby will be able to visit as well.
We have disappointed children; some of the girls have only seen Gabriel two days in the last two years. And, so, once again, the military is messing up my plans - we kind of thought these days were over when JD retired. Not so.
The good side of all of this is that we aren't leaving Alei home alone for Christmas, since she had to work and wasn't coming. The bad news is that Gabriel has spent almost all his holidays alone the last two years.
So, our plans are altered, but we are going to do some things that I thought we wouldn't be able to this year - like finish decorating and making and delivering Christmas cookies. We are also reading Bartholomew's Passage; most nights we only read one chapter. Last night I read two chapters and four girls fell asleep in the second chapter.
Today I attended Julia's class Christmas party. I planned on attending Selah and Tori's tomorrow, but Selah got off the bus to inform me that hers was also today. Sorry, dear, I always miss something, or someone, somewhere.
We have never done an Advent wreath and candles, but we are definitely going to add that to our traditions next year as well!