>Here is the “upcoming post” as I mentioned at the bottom of the previous one that discusses our next assignment. 🙂
I have had so much fun in the state of Colorado observing wild life. We have seen elk, rams, deer, and plenty of ground hogs, moles, and prairie dogs. But I really wanted to see a bear! Not in the zoo, anyone can see a bear in the zoo. Many of my friends have had bears visit them at their house, even having them peek in their windows. While I don’t want to be in danger, nor do I want to put my family in danger, I would LOVE to see a wild bear just roaming around. I even joked that I didn’t want to move from here until I got to see that bear.
Well, in early June we were driving home going South on 115. (For those of you who are familiar with Colorado Springs, we were on Nevada/115 leaving downtown. We had just passed Southgate on our left and were coming up on the Myron Stratton Home.) Just as we passed the Home, I saw a bear on the right hand side of the street. I about jumped out of my seat, which was not good, as I was the driver! But I pointed and yelled for everyone to look! As we passed it, we noticed it crossing the street behind us. I made a u-turn and headed back toward him (now facing toward downtown).
The bear walked to the entrance of the Home and climbed over the fence, while just 3 feet to the left was the wide open drive way. (Not the smartest bear in the wild.) http://www.youtube.com/get_playerWe followed him for about 15 minutes and I got some very poor quality videos. He came within about 5 feet of the front of my van, making Matt a bit nervous since I had my window down.
On the way home from this momentous experience I said, “We can move now.” Strangely enough, I really meant it. While I love Colorado, I really do feel like I am ready to move on.
The next few weeks brought us to the point where we needed to get CO drivers’ licenses and tags. We began one of the most annoying aspects of the nomadic lifestyle and it was quite painful, requiring several trips to the MP station for VIN verification and then to the license offices. But in the end, we left with new tags and licenses on the way. Here, they mail you the actual driver’s license and you use your old one (that they punch a hole in) along with a printed piece of paper in the meantime. Matt’s comment during this very annoying ordeal was, “Just watch…as soon as we get this process completed we’ll get orders.
A couple of weeks later, on June 30th I had one of our New Life friends’ kids for a couple of nights. In order to keep everyone entertained the boys and I went out to the motor pool to climb in and on all the bradleys and humvees that belong to 4-10. I grabbed the mail on the way out the door and flipped through it. THEY HAD ARRIVED! Our official, COLORADO driver’s licenses! When we got to the motor pool the first thing I did was give Matt’s his to inspect his picture (you know you do that too!). He glanced at it and then said, “You wanna know where we’re going next?!?!?” First of all, I was DYING to know! When he told me Germany I could NOT believe it! This is what we had wanted all along! We really want to see as much of the world as the Army will allow (except for certain parts of the Middle East, at least for a while). Living in Germany will provide our boys amazing educational opportunities that don’t “feel” educational at all! They’ll get to see where major world events took place…and honestly, I want to see these places. (I must say, they’re mostly excited about LegoLand, but we’ll work on that!) What was so interesting was that, just as Matt had joked, we got the word about our move on the day we got our licenses!
We waited about a week before we told anyone. We were hoping to get some more information as to when/where. But eventually we needed to share this so our families could begin to get used to the idea. (And we want them to start saving so they can come visit us!)
Fast forward a few weeks and we still didn’t have information, but we were told that someone here wants Matt to stay on with 4-1o for the next deployment. This deflated our excitement to a degree, but we kept trying to keep our hopes up. There are definitely pros and cons to both options. I may list them, if I have the time.
And now to today, August 12, 2009, we’re still at the point where we are keeping our fingers crossed. We would like to report to Germany on or around December 3rd. This MIGHT just allow us a very quick visit back to NC before flying out. (If so, this visit most likely not be a whirlwind of activity as our previous visits have been, but we’ll try to lay low and relax as much as possible.) After as much research as one can do without knowing which unit he’d be sent to, Matt thinks the earliest he’d deploy would be May 2010. That means our baby would be about 8 weeks old when he deployed, IF he deployed soon. Still a slim chance we could get over there to a unit that didn’t deploy for a year or so.
However, we’re still hearing that “they” want to keep Matt here. If that is the case, he’d deploy in March, same month the baby is due. Maybe even before he/she arrives.
If this happens, we’ll look at the positive note: we love Colorado and at least the boys and I are happy in this neighborhood; we would get to continue going to New Life, a place that feels like home to us; several of my New Life friends have vowed to help me take care of the older boys a little bit in the weeks after the baby comes…THIS will be huge!!; and the #1 reason we could keep our chin up?!? Deployment means extra income and we would KILL our debt! We could be calling Dave Ramsey to give our FREEDOM SCREAM sooner than we ever expected! (Stupid Student Loan, bye-bye!!! – also known as albatross of debt!).
But as you probably know, our hearts are really set toward going to Germany. As an adventurous family, one who loves to travel, Germany would offer us the chance of a lifetime to visit MANY countries in just a few hour’s drive. I plan to take the boys to see the Ann Frank House. I have always been fascinated with how people can follow a monster like Hitler, so I want to teach the boys (on their appropriate levels, of course) about Auschwitz and how following any MAN the way one is supposed to follow God leads to destruction. On a lighter note, I want to take the boys to Austria to show parts of where The Sound of Music was filmed. I want my boys to witness the lifestyles of other cultures, the stuff that makes our world so colorful! To experience the German culture by being there and interacting (especially if we end up living off post) with German neighbors… Some German culture is simple to learn, like, if you order water at a restaurant it will have “bubbles.” Meaning, it is plain soda water. If I want regular water, I may or may not get it, but I ask for it by saying (in English until I learn German), “water, no bubbles.” (This lesson was given to me by a neighbor who IS German!) Other cultural considerations will be more difficult to discover. Growing up in America, the word “German” was synonymous with “Hitler” or “Schindler’s List.” I don’t think that’s exactly what the German people would like to be remembered for. But these are the kinds of things I want to learn, to experience, and to offer to my children. If we get the blessing of living there, they will, of course, learn the history of Nazi Germany, but they will KNOW the beauty of the country and the people as they are today.
Or, we could stay in Colorado for another few years.
My heart is really trying to stay objective on this. I know what it’s like to force God’s hand in order to get what I want…say, a big, pretty, yellow house. But I’ve also experience the consequences of doing so. (Losing MONEY at the sale of the house just to be done with it.) I’d rather face the immediate and relatively minor disappointment of not getting to go than FORCE God’s hand and suffer the unbearable consequences of disobedience.
So, if you have made it this far in my wordy blog entry, please join us in prayer that Matt and I will gladly accept God’s will for our next assignment, even if it is disappointing. (But I also don’t think it hurts to pray for what we want, and we want to go to Germany, so we’re praying for both! Germany, but for a peace regardless of whichever way the orders send us.)