Saturday, December 10, 2011
2011 for the Koeppel Clan
It's that time of year again. Christmas is here. This year has been a momentous year for the Koeppel Clan. Just as February 2010 saw Daddy coming home from deployment and a year of funerals and no job prospects, February 2011 saw change coming to our house.
Shortly after the New Years 2011 Chris and I both sensed that God had something over the horizon for us. But as January dragged on, we started to worry a bit. Chris began searching for a unit with which he could deploy. We hated the idea, but he had sent out 2,000 job applications and we were getting a big fat nothing. The closest thing we saw to something promising was an interview he had with Boeing. They said they'd be in touch in a couple of weeks, but it turned into several more weeks and so Chris started looking into deploying again. He found a unit with which to deploy but we weren't thrilled about the idea of it happening. The unit Chris was deployed with in 2009/2010 was a terrible unit. They didn't take care of all of their soldiers, only the ones from Nebraska, they degrade, humiliated and kept information for the leading soldiers and to cover their butts they threw Chris under the bus. The unit he was looking at promised to be no better and possibly worse, but we were running out of options. So Chris put out feelers and I started praying. I knew there had to be something different than deployment for us.
The day Chris was getting ready to sign the papers to transfer him to the deploying unit, actually the moment before he was going to sign the papers, his phone rang. It was Boeing requesting a second interview but for a different position. They set up the interview time and date in a week and the Unit Administator (who was also the Commander as luck would have it) agree to hold his transfer papers until he knew what was happening. One week later, Chris went in to interview and after waiting patiently for a short time was given an offer to work for Boeing! They even paid for us to move, they hired the movers and paid for our temporary lodging. I spent 2010 praying that God would send Chris the right job, the one He wanted Chris to have and one that would realize Chris' leadership skills and where he would love his job and have an opportunity to move up the ladder. Boeing has proven to be that and more. So we knew then we were moving, to Washington and we were excited. We'd talked about it before the second interview. Yes, we worried a bit about the girls and especially Elizabeth but I also knew God would have a plan for her too and it would all work out.
Monday, March 21st the movers arrived and began packing up our house. You don't realize how much stuff you have until you are packing it up. Tuesday they loaded up the moving truck with the gray Plymouth Acclaim as well and we headed to our hotel. We met with friends, we had dinner with all of our friends and family one last time and at 5 a.m. Wednesday, March 23rd we drove out of Wichita, KS and headed towards a new adventure.
After a short but nice visit with Chris' mom, Mary in Nampa, Idaho Chris, Elizabeth, Beka and I all drove to Everett and found a nice place to stay. We met with an apartment hunter and found our current apartment complex. While it's not always perfect, it is a cozy little place and it fit into our budget nicely while Chris was getting established in his job and learned the ins and outs of inspection.
The nice thing about Chris' experiences at Cessna is that it has made learning the job at Boeing fairly streamlined for him. While they have different lingo and some different systems the principal is still the same so he's picked up the tasks he needs to do rather quickly. Which has been nice, but he has to deal with some changes, as do all of us in our family these days.
Elizabeth seems to struggle the most. She had a tough time getting adjusted to her new school and an even tougher time making friends. After a lot of talking and praying we decided it was time to bite the bullet and to home school her and Rebekah. Washington is not at the bottom of the list but after living in Wichita, which is ranked number 9 Nation wide for academics, Washington had a tough time living up to our expectations - they are ranked number 19 and their special needs program isn't what we were used to in Wichita. Add learning a different system and Elizabeth never having moved before and it was just time. We'd discussed it before but if we had stayed in Wichita, we would have started home schooling her in middle school, this just bumped me up a few years. So this year we are intermixing 3rd grade and 4th grade and next year we'll do all 4th grade curriculum. It might be a small step backwards, but I want her to know her stuff before I move forward.
2011 has been a year of changes for our family, but also a year of new adventures. We've enjoyed having our family come and visit us (Mary, Mom & Bud) and getting to show them around the area. We've enjoyed finding our current church home, and making new friends. While it's going to take us a while to learn all of the ins and outs of being in Washington, we are willing to learn and willing to explore and find new things out.
I hope you all have a good week.
The Koeppel Family.