life is generally full of transition. I come from a very "normal" family... Dad. Mom. Brother. And me. We lived in the same town for 26 years now... we go to church every time the door is open (actually daddy had to open it some times!). we went on family vacations driving the car all over the country every summer. we shopped at the grocery store with the best sales that week. we drove to visit family for every major holiday. we do things like the typical American family does. And then, there is now. The life that Ryan and I are building for our little family is not normal in the same way we grew up. But in some ways, its just the same. Dad. Mom. Brothers. we go to church every time we can. we go on vacations every 6 months (for our visa renewal, but we can't drive, we must fly). we shop where I can find the best prices on food, which might be a market, or online shopping. we can't make it to our family on the holidays, but we meet with other Americans who become our family over here. we do things in a non typical American way, since we don't live in America. But we are still American. We still want to teach our boys about Thanksgiving and to be grateful for the freedoms that we enjoy. We want them to know what it is to be American, but more than that, I want them to know what its like to be a follower of Jesus. I want them to learn about the freedom that comes from giving your life to Jesus and allowing Him to guide you in the journey. I want Christmas to be more about Jesus and less about the elf on the shelf. I want meals to be about family being together. I want my boys to see that mornings include Momma sitting at the table with her coffee and the word. I want them to learn that skin color is only on the outside, and inside, we are all the same... loved by God and created to worship HIM. I want them to see Momma and Daddy working hard sharing Jesus with others so they can also know the freedom that we find in Christ. I want them to know that they are wanted and loved and they cannot do anything to change the Love that their Daddy and Momma and God has for them. So I feel like we are creating a New Normal in our lives, which involves change. Thats where the transition comes in... We head out for 6 months of time in the US with great excitement... But it is going to involve a new everyday normal for the boys. Even as we shifted out of our house the boys see the suitcases and different beds... and it creates more breakdowns and frustrations. I tried to bring some of their favorite books and their blankets so things did not seem to be quite so upside down. I know they will be fine, but its hard to help them to see that what is coming is going to be great. They talk about going home, and now the only home they ever remember is not going to be our home again. Ryan is finishing up with the movers today and we may go back to clean, but our stuff is not there so it will not feel like home again. The boys new normal includes airplane rides, new houses, new people, new church, new friends, new foods, new EVERYTHING. A new normal is that nothing stays the same forever. Saying "See ya soon" never seems to get easier. Maybe one day I will perfect the good bye... one would think with how many times I do it, I would be great at it by now, but no, its still difficult. I am just so grateful that we serve a savior who never leaves us... so there are no goodbyes with Him. So I will make thanksgiving food with our American friends here... and prepare for a few more goodbyes, and THEN... some "HELLO"S with our family in America and prepare to help the boys understand more about the celebration of the birth of the one who came to die to save them... Hallelujah what a Savior!