After much deliberation, we've decided to move ourselves, rather than letting the Army do it for us. It was such a mess last time. For example, they used a whole large box to pack legos... wrapped in a ton of paper. LEGOS! I mean, come on. We could barely fit all of the unpacked boxes into the garage. I couldn't find anything for months. The Army is "supposed" to pay us 95% of what it would cost them to move us. Since they spent $25,000 to move us from California to South Carolina, we're hoping to make a profit on our move to Washington. Brent graduates on the 29th of July and we'll be loading the truck on the 30th. We considered using PODS, but Brent decided that we'll save a lot of money by renting a Penske. We'll see if it's worth the headache... Brent's mom has graciously offered to fly out and drive back with us. I honestly can not stay awake for more than a few hours while driving, so we'll take turns. I hope that she doesn't disown us after spending three days driving with three young kids!
We'll drive to Utah, drop off some of our stuff there, and then Brent will drive the truck up to Olympia. We'll keep our stuff in storage there until he gets back from Afghanistan. Brent's date to report for service at Ft. Lewis is August 17th, so he'll have a couple of weeks to spend with us. Then he'll probably spend two months in Washington, getting ready to ship out.
My parents, being the greatest people in the world, have offered to let us stay with them while Brent's gone. My dad is finishing two more rooms in the basement, so that we'll have three bedrooms and a playroom down there. Mercedes will start first grade on August 20th.
We're not sure when Brent will get back from Afghanistan, but we're expecting it to be around July of next year. There's so much that we don't know. We don't know if he'll get leave to come home while he's gone. We don't know if he'll have decent internet access, so we might not be able to do much skyping.
I'm trying to focus on the good. We're hoping to save some money and pay off one of our student loans. The kids will get to know their grandparents and cousins. Mercedes will have great friends living on our street. Cooper will have an awesome swing set to play on. We'll live just a few miles from the temple. We can walk to church, rather than driving 20 minutes. We can watch general conference on TV. I told Mercedes that just like she sometimes has a "substitute teacher" at school, she will have a "substitute daddy." Grandma and Grandpa can be her "substitute daddy," while he's away. Every day I am grateful that we don't have to do this alone.
And now, on to the packing!