May 09, 2009

Our last month in Hawaii

We're enjoying a lovely day in Hawaii today.  We notice it because the last month or two have been wet, cold, cloudy or voggy.  Vog is the haze that comes from the volcano on the Big Island, and many of us have allergic reactions to it.  Without the breeze that usually comes with the tradewinds, the Vog had built up and hung stagnant over our islands for a few days.

One month from tomorrow, we'll be flying off this island to the mainland, as we move from this duty station to Ft. Carson, CO.  A lot of things are happening in the  meantime.  This Sunday and next will be my final times as chapel pianist.  We are having some friends over for on birthday for BBQ pork chops.  The two older girls are doing swimming lessons this week and next each afternoon.  They also continue in their gymnastics class throughout the month.  My husband will lead a portion of this weekend's marriage retreat for over 100 couples.  The following weekend, he'll lead the entirety of two back-to-back marriage retreats.  We have a couple of social events to attend - hail and farewells which are common in May and December when lots of people are coming and going; a couple of coffees which are for the wives; and some random other things with the spouse's club and the chapel.

The last week of May we'll start prepping our house for the move:
- unhang pictures and curtains
- sort things so that like things are together that I want to be packed together (and hopefully the movers will oblige)
- give away food and cleaners that we can't move with us
- Separate the "unaccompanied baggage" that gets shipped faster (things we want sooner, like linens, dishes, other necessities, as well as my husband's "professional gear" - the stuff he has in his office for work) from the "household goods" that come to us last, and includes everything else.
- Pack our suitcases that we'll take with us on the plane, and that will sustain us through 3 weeks of travel around the Midwest to see family and friends.

The unaccompanied baggage gets packed June 1st.  The household goods get packed June 3-5.  June 4-10 we stay at the hotel on post.  We have final inspection and check-out of our house June 8.  June 10 we fly to St. Louis.  The next morning we'll go to the VPC (Vehicle Processing Center) and pick up our car, which we shipped 3 days ago.

After that, we'll be driving figure 8's around IL, IN, OH, and WV to catch up with family and friends.  June 30 we leave for CO, and arrive there July 1st.

Once we arrive in CO, there will be a continued flurry of activity as:
- my husband reports to his duty station and begins inprocessing.
- we set up a P.O. box to have our mail forwarded to us
- we search for a house to buy in the area that fits our needs
- we find a church home, which may be the on-post chapel, or a civilian church in the area
- we explore our new surroundings, see what the area has to offer
- we order and gather together supplies for beginning homeschool for M's 2nd grade year
- we hopefully close on a house soon after (or if we're lucky, right before) our household goods arrive
- we settle into our new house
- my husband finds and purchases a used Honda S2000 (hopefully yellow) for our 2nd car

We're searching online for houses on the market and are finding several that fit our needs, and in the price range we want to pay.

Three months from now we should finally be settling down into a routine and a "normal" lifestyle.

I plan to start homeschool in August, with M in 2nd grade, and J in as much K material as she seems ready for.  A will just absorb and imitate whatever they're doing.  (Bonus learning!)  We've chosen to use Sonlight Curriculum for 2nd grade.  Their headquarters is in Littleton, CO, less than an hour's drive North of Colorado Springs.  For Kindergarten, I'll use the multiple resources I have lying around that I used with M already.

There is a good chance my husband will deploy mid 2010 to Afghanistan, so we are thinking ahead to that.  With the Army trying to make the necessary changes to retain soldiers and keep families healthy, they are moving toward 9 months as the longest deployment, and 24 months as the dwell time between deployments.  We're hoping that will be instituted before my husband's deployment begins.  Whereas we thought he would be going to a Cavalry unit, now it looks like he'll actually go to another Infantry unit.

So there is definitely a lot happening for us this summer, and we're excited about it.

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