Sunday, August 4, 2013

Goodbye Dallas Hello Alabama

Our final family picture in our tree house which we finished in May... half way through we knew we might move but decided to finish it so the kids would at least get to play with it for a while, hopefully someone else gets to love it now! Another small miracle... this was as we were packed up ready to drive off and I prayed that we'd have someone show up to take the picture and up drove my friend!
 This last month we took the leap... in a matter of very short weeks (that felt like days) we changed EVERYTHING. Although to most of our friends and neighbors this came as a total surprise, to us this had been in the making for the past 4 years! To tell you our life story, minus a few details, Ben NEVER like the idea of debt, even for student loans, until he felt guided to become a Heli pilot, which all my other Heli pilot friends (at least those without a super rich daddy ;) know what kind of debt I'm talking about. Despite the debt, he loves what he's doing, and as the wife I can attest that he is happier doing this than anything else, especially when he can teach. Training was step 1, step 2 was getting a job, which we were very blessed to get right away, but the search for a place that he can do what he loves and get paid enough to pay back loans, and still allow a decent family life has been tricky. Along comes Fort Rucker... Home of Army Aviation. Almost 4 years ago exactly we heard about this job... good pay, BENEFITS, great schedule, oh ya, did I say BENEFITS :) So he applied, and was short on hours, so no go. Later, talked to some people, said they would only hire those with military experience, again, no go. That's when we moved to Dallas where Ben was replacing their Assistant Chief who got a job at Ft. Rucker... say what? No military experience, how'd he do that. BUT, we'd bought a house and moved already, so no go. After almost two years in Dallas and working looong hours, no benefits, too much stress, time came to look for another job. We didn't know what to do, but in March we knew one thing, Ben needed to look for a new job. Our options were Ft. Rucker or the Gulf  (aka flying to and from the oil rigs and being gone from home half of the year... yuck). So we talked to the kids and decided to apply for Ft. Rucker. We did NOT want to move again... but especially I prayed that I didn't have to move the kids mid-year again. And we heard NOTHING. Then we heard Ft. Rucker would probably not be hiring for a long time, budget cuts, and realized our only option left was the Gulf. So new plan, finish his UVU degree, then get ATP, then apply at the Gulf. This is when the miracles started to happen. The first day of the kids summer vacation Ben was getting ready for work in the morning and was talking about Fort Rucker. I don't remember what he said or why he was talking about it, just that he was. Then that afternoon he gets an email from Fort Rucker HR asking for him to send more information come to find out Ben was not in the hiring system, they were hiring, and the man "stumbled upon" Ben's email with resume while he was looking for something else. At that moment we knew we were moving. We felt such peace with every decision from then on. We didn't go by the book, but by our guts, really by the Spirit. He gave his notice before he interviewed, a lot scary, but we felt right about it. We booked the moving truck before the job offer, and our house was on the truck and shipped out before everything was official, but we knew what we needed to do and we did it. IT WAS HARD WORK! We literally packed our house in a week and squeezed it into an ABF trailer but we had a LOT of help for which we were SO grateful. My phone ring tone used to be the song "Sweet Home Alabama" and now it really is our Sweet Home! Ben's nearly done with his training, which everyone warned as being really difficult... big understatement. He says it's been the hardest thing he's ever done. But we hope it will be worth it and that this place will be a place we can call home. We've been here 4 weeks and we're just about all moved in. I've given up the idea of ever settling somewhere forever, but I'm ok going where we are called, because I know we'll get the help we need. And for now I'm glad we've been called here.  

So Ben is almost a Primary IP (Instructor Pilot) at Ft. Rucker... he gets to wear all the army gear... looks a little hot, but at least the Heli he flies has AC ;)
The front of our house... we live on the outskirts of a small military town.

As you walk in the front door... this seemed like a ridiculously long and wide hallway, but the kids have found it a great place to rollerblade. The first door on the right goes to the boys teeny bedroom and the next door on the right is a bathroom.
The first room on the left as you walk through the front door... it's our library/study/piano/game room.
First room on the right as you come in the front door. Supposed to be a formal dining room, but since our table doesn't fit in the breakfast nook of the kitchen so this is where we eat dinner.
Office nook between the kitchen and the dining room.

This is the wall opposite that office nook above, and I have to admit that one of the reasons I love having so many kids is to see all their cute things lined up in a row!

This is what you come to at the end of that long hallway, taken from the kitchen angle. The master bedroom is through that little doorway at the back and there are two opening on the sides of the fireplace that go into the bonus room.

This is obviously the kitchen, and I'd love to tell you those food storage boxes acting as bar stools are only temporary but that'd be a big fat lie... lol... I thought about doing a whole blog on all the furniture we've made from our food storage but it's just tacky.

This is the bonus room that shares a fire place with the great room. the kids LIVE in this room all day playing legos.

This is taken from another angle... there's a wet bar on the right which will hold all my craft stuff, but for now it's holdng all our camping gear since we have no garage, but more on that later. I get a sewing corner by the hiding window.

This is the view out our backdoor... I LOVE it! The yard is actually very large, then at there's a wire fence that starts a field that houses about 100 cows. So far no stink ;)

Down the other hallway are two bedrooms, with a jack and jill bath, a laundry room and then this little beauty of a man cave.

Yes, it's a movie theater, which you'd think would be awesome, and it is, except that it was the garage meaning we have no garage, and no storage shed, so our tools and camping and holiday decor are homeless... aka on our porch and in my craft corner.

So this is Ben's man cave, even though he says we'd rather have had a garage there, but that's why we're renting and not buying ;)

Theater room from the other side.

This is what our street looks like.. only about 30 houses on a country road. I'd say it's quiet, but we're in the path of the Blackhawk training pilots, so we see those all day, and hear them half the night, but I still think it's cool... even saw a Chinook the other day.


Beard Family said...

I am so glad you guys are happy!!! Have fun!!!

Chris and Jessie said...

You unpack & decorate a house faster than anyone else I know! The house looks great and the job sounds awesome. So proud of you for taking such a huge leap of faith. Congratulations! Best wishes on your new adventure.

Wendy said...

I Love it there!!! I cant wait to come and visit!!! I think you guys are amazing and am so grateful that you guys listened to the Spirit!! So exciting for all of you!! Love you guys and the house looks awesome!!!