Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Phase 2 of the Brooks' move...cleaning out the Hartland house for the housesitters!  This is a good thing, right?  Purging the house of all our unnecessary stuff is a good thing.  I have a new rule...something old must be thrown/given/donated away before something new is purchased.  The yard sale was successful and much has been given away and consigned.  We had two beautiful days to hang around outside and the girls set up a lemonade stand.

We found out that our household goods weighted 7700 pounds and we can't wait to see them again!  Anticipation to settle into our new house is growing.  I can't wait to be on the road headed south!  But until then you can find me under the big pile in whatever room I happen to be sorting, throwing things into totes or onto the Yard Sale pile.  Feel free to stop in anytime and pull me out!  Just don't laugh at the state of my house....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Good-bye Household Goods!

Did you know the stuff in your house is Household Goods?  I have the ability to take 17,500 pounds with me to the War College, anything over that, I pay big bucks for.  How exactly does one go about knowing how many pounds of household goods one has, you ask?  Yeah, I'm asking that same question.

Can I tell you about packers and movers?  They are not the same thing.  The packers pack and the movers move.  I know this is a simple concept, but I didn't know there were two teams.  Can I tell you how thankful I am for the movers and packers?  At 8:30am last Friday morning, 5 packers came and conquered all my household goods by 1:30, complete with a pizza break.  Julia was my ambassador of good will, she won them all over by taking and filling coffee orders.  I was chatting with the packer of my kitchen and I asked him how he doesn't get overwhelmed, I would just sit and cry.  He said that he just does it little by little and gets it all done.  Those boys could move boxes too!  Two huge boxes at at time, on his back!  I wish I took a picture of them moving those boxes like that, but I did grab a pic of the Man Cave with boxes stacked high....

Then there are the movers.  Three movers came Monday morning around 8.  They stacked that truck with such precision that I don't think you could have put a piece of paper between anything in that truck.  The furniture was wrapped with what looked like the heavy duty Saran wrap that I used to wrap ice to my athletes after practices and games, only bigger.  It was quite fascinating to see them work like puzzle-makers inside that truck with the boxes and furniture.  They pulled out with the truck filled about 1pm.  Amazing!

Then reality sets in.  We have moved out of the County.  The people that we have met, and hopefully will return to after this year is over, are some of the most amazing people that I have ever met.  They welcomed us outsiders with open arms and we are forever grateful.  As Mark and I were pondering this, Randy, husband to Mark's sister Dawn, calls and says...How about a bonfire at our house with the Seekins crew?  In all my exhaustion, this was just about the most wonderful thing I could think of!  What a fun night of laughter to off set the sadness of our day.

Our plan is to head to Carlisle on July 9th, after the girls' dentist appointments, arrive on the 10th to our new house, and our stuff will arrive on the 11th!

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...our household goods,  estimated at 10,000 pounds, exact number to be determinted.  How they figured that, I have no idea, but I'm thankful!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thanks for applying, but....

Have you ever had one of those moments where you thought you knew what was best and found out you were wrong?  We just had one of those moments.  Here's the story....

We really wanted to have on-post housing, the sense of community was something that we really wanted to be a part of, not to mention the ease of commute for Mark.  Obviously we wanted to be in the hub of all the activities that will be going on for the year.  But, you knew that word was coming, we found out about a month ago that we did not get on-post housing.  We got one of those e-mails that started out as, Thanks for applying, but you were not placed in on-post housing, however we did put you on a waiting list.  Come to find out we were #36 on the waiting list.  However, we were in Washington, DC, when we got the word.  That was Wednesday.

That night Mark and I checked out the off-post housing website and picked out 8-10 favorites.  The next day Mark called on those houses and each time the response was the same, Sorry Mr. Brooks, we have had so many calls on that house and I will put you on a waiting list, you will be #4.  He finally got a sympathetic realtor who explained that she felt so sorry for the students this year because of the housing situation.  (Here's the situation....there is finally enough money in the budget to tear down about 60 houses that were tiny and old to make new housing, great for next years class, not so good for our class.)  She said that her demand far out weighed her the number of houses she had available for rent.  That was Thursday.

Thursday night we poured over the listings again, prayed, expanded our search and found a few more to call on.  We decided that we would go to Carlisle on our way home from DC and see what we could see.  Friday morning, Mark chatted with the realtor again and she asked if we had pets and said that she had a house for us to look at since we did not.  On the way to Carlisle, Mark showed me the listing and tells me that the realtor said it was in walking distance.  Checking the listing, it said that was 4 miles away and we had a giggle together about 4 miles being walking distance.  We knew that we wouldn't be able to get into the house to see it, but driving past it would be great.  Our list of "musts" were down to the bare essentials:  making sure that the neighborhood was okay for the kids and that rent was under our housing allowance.  Half way between Carlisle and DC, we got a call saying that the realtor had gotten a hold of the current renters and they had said it would be okay for us to see inside.  As we get closer and see where our GPS was taking us, we realize that the house is very close to the back gate, walking distance indeed!  The house is adorable, new and in a nice neighborhood with sidewalks, it has plenty of room for our family, even a spot to do school in.  As Mark headed out to get the checkbook to write out a deposit check, he runs into the neighbor and finds out they are Christians, homeschool and he is on staff at the War College.  He said the walk for Mark will be 5 minutes to class each morning. Their daughter is Hope's age and their son is a year younger than Julia.  How cool is that?  What an answer to prayer!

As we were driving away from seeing the house, after having dinner with our wonderful new neighbors, while the kids chatting away in the back about their new friends, Mark and I sigh that contented sigh and thanked God for putting us right where He wanted us.  It wasn't what we thought was best, but how awesome is it that the new plan is so much better than our plan.

We got the call Friday that our application was accepted and it's official, the house is ours!

How cute is this house?!

We are headed to the Amish store this morning to get one of those glider rockers I have been eying since we moved to New Limerick that will look PERFECT on this porch painted white!  Many morning cups of coffee will be enjoyed out here.