And we now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. We made it back to the midwest last week and are currently drowning in a sea of cardboard boxes. I cannot stand cardboard. We are probably about 60% unpacked but we have not yet found homes for everything just yet and the things that have found homes aren't neat or tidy so we still have some serious work ahead of us.
Oh, and MacGyver starts classes next week and I start work on the same day. Needless to say, this weekend will be all about getting this house put together. And fixing the car. We had a friend store our car while we were in Korea - it is an older sedan but it's solid (structurally...not necessarily mechanically) and we really like it so we wanted to keep it. The thermostat housing has been an on-going issue with this car and, once again, it's leaking. I want to say this is the fourth time MacGyver has had to replace it since we bought it back in 2009. Maybe fourth time is the charm? But it needs to get fixed - we only have one other car and with him going to school (about an hour away) and me going to work, we both need cars and we don't have room in our budget for a car payment. Thank goodness I married a competent mechanic!
The house is good - nothing that some elbow grease, a few power tools, and a home equity line of credit won't fix. Heh. The renter was a bit of a knucklehead but nothing that we can't fix. The kids are settling in to their own rooms and will be even more settled once we buy them beds. The dogs are absolutely LOVING all of the space to run and play and the kids are loving the opportunity to get out and explore since the temps this week have been unseasonably mild. MacGyver is loving the big garage, especially as he tries to get the car up and running. And I am loving that we are just stepping back into our lives here as though we never left. The Girl has started back with her sports. The Boy has hopped right back in with his friends and will pick back up with his Scout troop soon. We are surrounded by friends and happy to be home.
The VA will take some straightening out. MacGyver didn't really get a chance to be seen and evaluated by a VA doc here before heading out of country and there was a hiccup with his meds so we have some untangling to do on that side of things. Thankfully the VA office here locally has been super helpful. Along a similar line, I had to do some 'adulting' this week and get us signed up for health care (i.e. Obamacare). Going without health insurance scares me - I have seen how expensive even small medical situations can be and the idea of being without that safety net makes me very nervous. So I put my big-girl pants on and blew a few hours of my life getting us enrolled (two hours because I had to delete the first application when a job possibility fell through and our financial picture changed abruptly). Now we're just waiting on the invoice so I can pay it and get us rolling. The premiums (even the unsubsidized ones) are a lot more tolerable than what we were paying for COBRA.
Then I kept my big-girl pants on and contacted our local IRS Tax Advocate because our amended Federal return had gone MIA and the website wasn't giving me any useful information. Thankfully the Tax Advocate was able to access our files, give me some good information, and assure me that the IRS does actually have (and is working on) our amended returns. Hopefully we'll see that money soon - the moving expenses have piled up. In the mean time, I get to go back to the days of squeezing every last penny out of our budget for the next few months. It's doable and thankfully our local Aldi is wonderfully stocked. We have a few more months of access on post so we'll be making at least 2 or 3 more runs to the commissary and PX to stock up on necessities. We should be ok. And it's not like rice and beans/beans and rice is bad for you! Time to get back to my Dave Ramsey mindset! I can't wait to get a garden planted and skip buying veggies at the grocery store. Mother Earth News, here I come!
The war on cardboard will continue tomorrow. In the meantime, I am going to go to bed...in my own bed...in my own home. Life is good.