Technical Orientation begins!!

It’s been a roller coaster of emotions in the last week as we prepared to move from central WI – freezing weather – to Waxhaw, NC.  Phil’s dad and his friend Jim drove the pick up truck pulling a Uhaul trailer for us.  By the end of the two day drive, our second son Benji says “Hitches, we install.  I am SO SICK of seeing the back of that trailer!” 

The boys and grandpa in our new living room.

The boys and grandpa in our new living room.

Haha. We battled the weather, the mountains, and small glitch in the trailer lights, but we made it in late on Sunday, March 1.

Matthew and Michael both have cough/stuffy nose that Andrew had a week or more ago.  Could be weather too.  We’ve had two different days of really nice sunny weather, so boys want to wear shorts and tshirt – and I say NO!  Wear a sweatshirt cuz it’s still chilly – it just doesn’t feel like it compared to WI.  40’s and 50’s is still sweatshirt weather for this Momma!

Lots of red clay here – Matthew’s nice white tennis shoes are not white anymore.  Glad we brought the boys’ rain boots.  Our driveway is gravel, so that helps a little with the mud.  Reminds me of when we lived in southern Kentucky though, so it’s not completely unfamiliar.  We took a walk near the fishing pond – called Crystal Lake.  Which is interesting because there is a Crystal Lake in our hometown and we used to travel Crystal Lake Road all the time.  Only this little late doesn’t look so Crystal and someone told me that there are poisonous snakes near the water, so that is enough for me to avoid it.

The airport hangar is just a 4 min walk from our house, so that is nice.  Everything shuts down here at noon for lunch – a full hour!  So Phil can come home from lunch at this point.  I take each day as it comes and don’t assume anything. I’ve learned that much from being involved with aviation.

As for the Orientation itself, he’s the only full time maintenance orientee – although some of the other guys are pilot/mechanic.  They are doing a bunch of stuff all together in mornings, and then Phil will do more maintenance type projects and things in afternoon.  The main instructor is out sick this week with flu, so the schedule has been flipped a bit.  He’s trying to read ahead on the classes that will be crammed into next week. 

Our house is pretty big – I am lost with 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms!  After having a cabin with only two bedrooms and one bath, we feel rich! The hallway from the bedroom area to the dining room is quite long – I did 10 lunges this morning to get down it.  Haha!

The kitchen is open to the dining room – very small.  Can’t open the fridge if you’re at the stove.  Seriously a one person place.  BUT – the sink overlooks the backyard, and it’s been a really long time since I’ve had a window by the sink.  And I told the boys there is just enough room for them to keep up with the dishes for me and I won’t interfere. 

We moved things around a bit to get my keyboard in the living room.  Now I’m glad that we did.  I almost left it with our folks.

Across the street is a little woods, and then to the right is the Olive Branch building, which is where the youth meet on a weekly basis and the pool is.  To the right of the that is a playground, basketball court, volleyball, picnic tables, open fields, and the fenced off areas of the runways.  Here is a pdf link to a map.  We are at the top left side of the map in Rossi House.   

https://www.jaars.org/sites/default/files/pdf/JAARSCampusMap.pdf

We have appts here at the Clinic for the boys next week to have their blood typed – we need to know what kind they are.  Then on 17th I go in for immunization consult – they will go over all our immunizations and see what else we need.  They offer services pretty cheaply, so that is nice.  Phil got handed a white slip this morning when he got to the hanger – random drug testing for those over in aviation department.  He and two other guys had to go over to clinic.

There is a Boutique here – all free stuff that we can borrow or keep – clothes, baskets, fancy dishes, toys, etc.  I visited today and found a a skirt and some baskets to use.  There is a family library on site as well – behind our house and down the hill a little bit.  Very easy walk.  They also have a food distribution program – a couple times a week they’ve have donations brought in from Panera or Costco.  That will seriously help with our food costs – having 3 teenagers is not an easy deal! 🙂 

Having a guy over for lunch today who works with the teenagers in a mentoring program.  I warned him that we might just have peanut butter and jelly, and it didn’t seem to phase him much.  haha.  They have a mentor on the job type thing where the kids can learn while they help.  We’ll see how that goes – and if the boys are interested at all.  I need them to have something to look forward to.  Youth group for high school is at the Olive Branch place on Thurs nights.  Maybe mike can tag along.  Middle school youth group meets on Friday nights, but we won’t be around the next two Fridays. 

This Friday is pot luck (they call it pot providence) for all orientation peoples and staff and families.  Should be good.  Next Friday we are going to dinner at someone’s house.  I met the wife today at the Housekeeping office and Boutique – she works at both places.  Lots of volunteers here – lots of older folks around – and it’s been fun to hear their stories.  I met one older man in the aviation department who does all the technical drawings for the airplane manuals and curriculum and stuff.  He uses CAD programming (think engineering).  He volunteers his time each day – just because he loves God and aviation.  Quite amazing really.  Many of these folks have had overseas experience to some extent. 

The term “hit the ground running” would best describe how things have been for us.  I am working hard at everything – paperwork stuff, support raising stuff, school started today for boys or at least attempted to start, unpacking and organizing, etc.  had to remind myself to eat lunch.  

Phil has several binders of info/class schedules/class notes to read and keep track of.  I appreciated the fact that I also got a copy of the schedule.  There are some classes I will be doing with him, but not too many.  I have a weekly meeting with the wives – there are 4 of us. 

We are so grateful to be here – it’s been a long time in coming.  God has provided every step of the way and I know He will continue.