I'll start with what I miss or know I WILL miss:
-Our neighbors. This has been the one thing that has made us tear up this week. (Ken and I, not the kids!) The kids have the best friends there as well as adults who are such a great influence on the Brownies' lives. We will stay connected with our Dickinson neighbors, but it won't be the same.
-Our own pool. We are going back to the Dickinson house almost daily and the kids swim when we are there. Even though the community pool here is right out our door, I know we'll miss having our own private place to swim any time we want.
-The storage space I had in the school room. Truly, that room was a blessing and a curse. While we rarely did school in that room, I loved having a place to hide away all of our school books and supplies. The curse was that I accumulated a lot of unnecessary junk because I had a place to put it. It's been nice to go through what I have and downsize our school items.
What's better so far?
-Cleaning is easier. I wiped down the kitchen and bathroom surfaces the other day and it took me about 5 minutes. Going from 4 bathrooms (two of which were very large) to 2 bathrooms (we have a third, but it's downstairs with Ken's office) makes cleaning quick!
-Laundry is getting done. In our other house, the laundry was downstairs, so we carried laundry up and down, to and from the bedrooms. I also had lots of places downstairs to "hide" a basket of clean laundry. Often, I would do several loads and leave them downstairs until we went up for the night or even until the next day when we needed clean clothes. Now, the laundry room is on the same floor and within a few steps of all bedrooms. In addition to being close, I don't have a place to pile my laundry baskets, so the kids and I put away clean laundry immediately.
-Ken and I can hang out in the living room after putting the kids to bed. We didn't do this before because our family room was so far away from the kids' bedrooms. At night, we would put the kids to bed, then go in our room and get on our computers. This is a small difference, but it's nice to be able to watch a movie, get some work done in the kitchen, or just sit on the couch and talk, but still be right here where we can manage the kids as they are going to sleep. This will be major when the boys get home.
-Amenities with out the labor or cash. We have a pool and outdoor fireplace right outside our door, playgrounds, sand volleyball, basketball court, pretty landscaping, a pond and trails. We don't have to any of the work to maintain it. Ahhh.
-Diversity. We are loving that every day. I like it for me, I like it for the kids, I like it for our boys.
There you have it! We have had no problems with noisy neighbors (we don't live above or below anyone) or bugs, two things I've heard can be issues in apartment communities. I promise to be honest regarding the good, the bad and the ugly.
Our main goal here is to represent Christ well and to grow closer as a family. This "trial" and adventure is knitting our family together. I'm looking forward to settling into a schedule between now and June so we will be completely ready to welcome home our two sons/brothers.
From Matthew 6
25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.