I went through the roller coaster of emotions that one does when you finally get the call that your soldier has 'orders in hand'
Squeal in delight
Take a deep breath
Said "okay" multiple times
Praised the Lord
Cried a little
Called my Mother
Googled South Korea
Called a bestie
Allowed myself to get excited
When we sat the kids down and told them we had orders to Korea I got to see them pile onto the roller coaster and each hit their highs and lows at different times. It was quite obvious that this was going to be a move for the books or in this case, blog!
Mr. LbF and I took to the calendar to hatch our master plan of attack! It would look something like this:
May- Ship HHG (household goods) and hold baggage (small shipment that arrives at destination first), kids finish school, move out of our rental house and into our RV.
June- Live in RV 1-15th, stay with friends 15-21st, start cross country trip to CA on 21st after church.
July- Live in our house in CA after cross country trip, stay with family July 24th to Aug 10th
Aug- Fly to Seattle on the 10th and South Korea on the 11th, get house/car right away, have kids start school on the 31st.
Looking at it in hindsight it still seems like a solid plan. But no journey or PCS (permanent change of station) is with out it's charms..
Here is our short list of what Mr. LbF likes to call building scar tissue or broadening experiences.
May flew by and before I knew it I was sitting in our RV with 4 kids 1 small dog and lots of rain. Like flash flood kind of rain. The fridge in the RV went on the fritz and the mosquitos were the size of my thumb.
June brought a welcome change when we moved in with the Wonderfuls! These amazing people took on six Bomars and one small dog, without batting an eye. Three days before we planned on starting our trek I was sprucing up in the RV and caught the glimpse of what appeared to be mold, on the inside above the cab. Twenty minutes later, Mrs. Wonderful found me in our RV covered in sweat, tears and the walls of our RV. I had begun to tear away at what I could see and as I worked the damage I uncovered just got bigger and bigger.
This is where Mr. Wonderful comes into the story. By night he saves lives by sharing the gospel, by day he owns his own construction company. The very next day our RV turned work site and by sunset all damage was fixed, leaks were gone and we were cleared for take off.
|Working construction miracles|
|A couple that cleans mold together!|
|Mrs. Wonderful getting in on the mold busting|
|Does not have to be pretty to be dry!|
We had many loving folks ask us how they could pray for us. My answer was always the same, please pray for safe travel and no puke. Day one I puked. Chicken fried steak at an Ihop attached to a gas station, not a wise or healthy choice.
By the time we hit Colorado a simple GPS mistake turned into burning up the RV brakes on a one lane hairpin turn road. When we pulled into the RV park Mr LbF had no brakes and took out a stop sign and left our side steps smeared against a concrete curb. We bought a two day delay and a lesson on the function of a brake master cylinder.
Taking turns who drove the RV and who drove the van we trekked across this great nation hitting some of the hot spots. Mt. Rushmore was worth the drive. Yellowstone did not disappoint. Dipped our toes in Montana. The RV blew three tires in three different states. By Idaho we bought all new tires and received peace of mind.
Oregon and California were filled with family and friends loving on us. Highlights included laughs with high school pals and taking the kids to do things we did when we were their age. I sat on the back porch for coffee with my dear friends and neighbors the Decausemakers. Watched my kids learn how to play domino's with their Great, great Uncle at a back yard BBQ. Dinner out in San Fran with my hubby. First Sunday at our families church!
All to soon it was the day to fly. I had spent days packing everything just right. I am a machine. Mechanical about it. Going through every scenario in which I reach into the right pocket and pull out the item that saves the day! Every kid had their own backpack filled (but not to heavy) with objects to amuse. I had travel size first aid kit, changes of clothes rolled tight, antibacterial/baby/flushable wipes, new toys the kids had not seen before, small craft projects to be done on the planes, healthy snacks, and plenty of puke bags. I even have a little plastic thingy that goes over a strangers mouth in case I need to preform CPR. Mary Poppins herself even gave me her seal of approval. And that does not come easy my friend.
Sitting at our gate I felt relief..... and a bit of a breeze. I went to the bathroom and while sitting I could see clear to the floor, through my pants. At some point while juggling all my well packed bags and shoving kids through security with a fake smile on my face as not to alarm them.. "It's ok children, a uniformed person sliding the back of their gloved hand over Mommy's boobs is perfectly normal. As is, swiping a 11 year old girl's hands and testing the swab. All in a day's travel"! I had split a giant hole in my "casual yet comfy, with pockets" pants. So the first person's day I saved, was my own. I dug out my carefully rolled up backup pants and pitched my draws into the bin in San Francisco.
The flight to Seattle was uneventful and a great start. When we landed however.... juggling six people, ten suitcases, six backpacks, a dog in a crate, car seat and my sanity proved challenging. Delta lost Mr. LbF's suitcase (we still do not have any idea where it is).
Aug 11th we paraded into the airport from our hotel at 5:00 am to check-in to our South Korea bound flight. You know what you can't prepare for? Being told that the passport belonging to your three year old has his birth year as 1981.... No one to blame but ourselves. Fifty-plus days and nine states earlier was the time to notice such things. Had it been a commercial flight (we flew military) I do not believe they would have let us through but for whatever reason, we got the green light to fly and take care of it on the other end. The other end of course was two very long flights and two bus rides half way around the world. We were given a stern head shake and 72hrs to find the U.S Embassy and purchase a temporary passport. Needless to say our first Korean adventure had real purpose! God is good and no Bomars will be deported!
Two weeks after landing we had a roof over our heads to call our own and slept in our own beds! The girls started school. We are praying for a car. My fantasy of walking hand in hand across this beautiful country looks more like a relay team coming in last and they know it. The humid air here hates me and I am drenched in sweat before I can lock the door behind me. So far we have been able to stagger our fits of disgust from the heat and the fact we are walking in it, so that there is at least one person leading the soggy pack in the right direction. That person being Mr. LbF.... as I am sure you guessed.
Our family motto for this trip has turned into our motto for our time we will spend here in Korea, "Try New Things"! And there are so many things to try!
Below is a home video of our journey. It is basically a step up from sitting through vacation slide shows. Enjoy!