Saturday, May 09, 2009

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions and the BIGGEST To Do list ever

So, as most of you know from facebook, we are moving to England this summer.  To Durham, in fact.  It is in northern England about 2 hours south of Scotland.  Jon will be continuing his studies there and we are along for the ride.  

I cannot even begin to tell you all the things that have happened in the last few months to get us to where we are now.  We waited for months to hear back from school whether or not Jon was accepted into Ph.D. programs.  We got a yes from Durham University to go for a 1 year Masters program before rolling over into the Ph.D. the following year and a yes from Wyclif College in Toronto.  We prayed and talked, prayed and talked, asked friends, prayed some more, talked some more and decided that God was leading us to England.  

It feels exciting and crazy to move our little family of 5 + another one on the way overseas.  And the To Do list to actually get over there is so unbelievably long.  I know once we get there it will be easy-breezy.  But what to do with all of our STUFF?  George Carlin has a hysterical bit about how the purpose of life is to find a place for our stuff.  It sure feels that way.  We are working on storing most of our belongings with family up in Canada but we are in the process of decluttering/selling/getting rid of TONS of STUFF.  It is overwhelming.  

We just bought some crates and duffle bags that we will be using to take the necessities with us.  We decided against suitcases for a few reasons: 1) they are heavy to begin with and limit what you can take 2) they are hard to store.  The crates are multifunctional and stack on top of each other and the duffle bags can be stored under a bed easily.

So many things are still up in the air--We just found out we are getting family housing which is GREAT!  A 3 bedroom flat will be wonderful for our 6 person family.  But, we DON'T know when we can move in.  Ewan and Isaac will both be in school full time and school starts September 3rd.  Our housing is available starting September 30.  Unless someone moves out sooner we won't be able to show up until the 30th which means that the boys miss the first month of school.  We are looking into the possibility of getting temporary housing if moving in early is not possible.  The school will notify us in the next few months if someone moves out earlier and we can move in.  

Now we have to fill out a school application for the Local Education Authority.  We have to research what schools are nearby and which schools might be a good fit for our kids.  They have schools in the UK which are run by churches but funded partially by the government and the church.  It doesn't cost anything and is a good choice if you wish to have some religious education taught to your kids.  They are apparently difficult to get into because many people want their children to go to those schools.  The school system works differently there in that you apply to the Local Education Authority and the school finds a spot for you in a nearby school.  You don't just automatically go to the school nearest to your house.  

So, we know we are moving to England, but we aren't exactly sure when.  Mid August or sometime in September? No idea.  We can't apply for Visas until we know when we can move so we can either opt for waiting until Sept. 30 or take our chances at moving earlier.  

Three words on my mind all the time are: Downsize, downsize, downsize!  Everytime I walk into a room I see something that we either need to give away, sell, or throw away.  I don't have the patience to post everything on CraigsList but I have to do it.  I haven't had any results with that yet.  I want to try selling some things on Ebay but I'm a little intimidated by the whole process.  The part where you figure out how much to charge for shipping paralyzes me.  We are planning on a yard sale sometime in late May or early June.  Freecycle is a fabulous way to declutter. 

 I recently went through my closet and got ride of 2 giant trash bags of clothes.  Then I went through all my maternity clothes for an initial downsizing.  I have mostly summer maternity clothes since I've mostly been pregnant in the summer or living in a place where it is still blazing in October.  I doubt I'll need to take all the short sleeved maternity shirts that I have since I will be majorly pregnant in northern England in the late fall/early winter.  

And now comes the sorting process.  Everything will be sorted into 5 categories: it's going with us, we are getting rid of it, we're storing it, or we think we want to store it but we may not have room.  Deciding how to store our things is a bit complicated and we are praying about it but this is what is stressing me out.  We'll also be getting the house ready to rent out.  We have renters (praise the Lord!!!) and there are a few projects that need to get finished before we take off.  We can't actually do anything until Jon is finished with his school work and takes a deaconal exam for ordination.  

The deaconal exam is for the church, not school, but it is a long test and he'll need a few days to study for that and take the test.  Jon will be getting ordained sometime later this summer at our church back in Texas.  

Speaking of Texas, the plan is to move back there at the end of June/early July.  We'll stay there until we take off in a plane to England.  We are planning on making a trip to San Antonio to visit friends while we are in Texas.  

I know I have been a very lame blogger for a few months now but I am planning on getting back into the groove of posting things and pictures.  It isn't that life has been boring--just the opposite!  

So, that is what is going on in our world.  Please pray we get it all done without going crazy!


lemonapple said...

Congratulations on everything! England! How exciting...and a baby on the way!!!!!! Yay!

We'll be in the area starting around June for a month or so...we'll have to get in touch then :-)

Dawn said...

Wow, I am exhausted after reading in detail about what you've been doing. So much to consider and plan!! So much moving!! So many people to be responsible for!!

I will be praying for you all.

The Herd said...

WOW!! Congrats on another on the way and ENGLAND--wow! Too cool about the housing...may the timing work out perfectly for you.

Amanda said...

thanks for sharing your story. I like hearing about what it takes to move a family overseas. I am praying that some housing opens up and your boys get into right schools!

Let me know when you are Texas! I would drive to Dallas to give ya a hug. :)

Kelly said...

Wow, wow, wow! How exciting for your family. You will be in our prayers as you start out on this new adventure :)

allison said...

Oh, congratulations! I am THRILLED for you all. When Erik told me you were moving a lump rose in my throat because I miss England so. PLEASE let me know if there is any way we can help you. I know it's an overwhelming but process but will be unbelievably rewarding. Hooray!