Well, the latest of our many military moves is nearly over and I have to say, this one was a doozy. Plans changed about 52 times before we finally were able to make a definite plan of action and go with it. As the saying goes “When Plan A doesn’t work there are 25 other letters of the alphabet.” I think we may have been embarking on X,Y AND Z! Such is life as a military family, and we are happy with our choices and ready to move on with life as “usual”.
Probably the biggest change we’ve made was downsizing. We started off in a house that was 3,700 square feet, moved to one that was 2,600 square feet, and are now living “comfortably” in our 1,680 square foot ranch home in Alabama. 9 people in a 1,680 square foot house…it can be done. This is how we roll.
We’ve lived in big fancy houses; we’ve lived in medium-sized fancy houses; now we’re back living in OUR house. Gone are the days of renting from someone else, having to live by someone else’s rules in someone else’s house where we have to think twice before painting a wall, hanging a photo, or doing anything else to make the house feel like “home”. We now have the freedom to surround ourselves with photos of the kids, paint walls pink with purple polka dots if we want and plant a garden or move a flowerbed. I like that. I like that a lot.
Something else I have noticed is how our kids are reacting to our move. Everything we have is still in boxes. Most kids I know would whine or complain…our kids made their own fun. Our 14 year old son got all of the younger kids together and they developed a “government” that was run by voting for everything. They set up rules and a monetary system, and a few have even been banished for a time for bad behavior. The kids have learned how to play poker…and cheat at poker. They have taught themselves how to build card houses and the ultimate vacation get-away from Lincoln logs. Our 13 year old son is using his free time to expand upon his Master Lego Creations while our 10 year old daughter is working her way through the entire Harry Potter series…and loving every minute of it. The part my husband and I love the most; no video games, no TV, no cell phones and minimal fighting! Our oldest daughter (15 going on 21) has even taken to spending time being silly and care-free with her younger siblings rather than sitting in her room attached to her iPod while she draws.
This whole life change reminds me of a song I used to love called “Little Houses” by Doug Stone. Here’s the chorus:
“But you know, love grows best in little houses
With fewer walls to separate
Where you eat and sleep so close together
You can’t help but communicate
Oh, and if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss
Love grows best in houses just like this.”
How great it that? With all we have in this world that interrupts a family’s ability to simply bond and grow in love together, who would have thought that the very house you live in could be considered one of them? I am so grateful for our choice to downsize and simplify our lives. I am grateful that, even though the road to get to this point was incredibly difficult, we were shown exactly where we needed to be and what we needed to do…and that we had the wisdom to open our ears and listen.
Our family is starting yet another chapter in the book that is our life together. Our children have learned that family comes first and that “things and stuff” are nice but can be replaced. When all is said and done there simply is no substitute for the love of a family. For us, love certainly does grow best in little houses…and we are blessed to call ours home.
And for your viewing pleasure, Doug Stone with “Little Houses”
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