Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Does This Mean?

Someone put our plans in a blender and hit puree. Again. Why do we even bother with a plan anyway? It's not like a single thing that we have made a plan on has EVER made it from start to finish. By the time that we do anything at all, we have had to redo or completely scrap the plan at LEAST one time. Lots of people have heard the line that you should "write your goals in granite and your plans in sand." Still, you expect that the tweaks to the plan will not require major course changes on a regular basis. In the last year and a half or so, we have changed course so often that we are suffering from some severe emotional and mental whiplash. 

The last 24 hours have been no exception to this. We have had a lot of new information dumped on us. A lot of people have asked what the new information means for us, and we honestly have no idea. We are going to need some time to process it all and determine what, if anything, needs to change about our current plan. We are not trying to be evasive or hide anything from people. We just don't know.

What we do know is this:
  1. Miss Gibbs called Lloyd yesterday to inform him that the NARSUM is ready for him, and he should be able to sign it next week. The "normal" time from when a soldier signs the NARSUM and when he/she is discharged to go home is 6-8 weeks. (Keep in mind that the "normal" time for the med board process in its entirety is 3-6 months. Lloyd started the process in February 2010, so the clock is at 20 months. We don't necessarily put much stock in "normal" time frames.) 
  2. The bank called. They finally got the report from the appraisal. It came in lower than we wanted, so we only have 10% equity instead of 20%. We will not be able to get as good of terms in the refinance. We will, at least, be out from under the conditions of the WHEDA loan that were severely limiting our options. 
That's it. That is all that we know. This new information needs to be incorporated into a decision about how to move forward from this point. Until that is done, we will be tentatively moving forward with the original most recent version of our plan. There are still a couple of weeks where we can continue on the path without reaching any critical points. We will be going ahead with the paperwork on the loan and packing the house for relocation. If we decide to cancel the relocation, it is still easy enough to stop the process.

On a side note, there has been a lot of tomfoolery and jackassery going on in Lloyd's unit. This has resulted in a lot of additional stress for Lloyd due to increased inspections, extra duties for the unit, and general all around suckiness. Combine that with the fact that he's got a nasty head cold, and he's having a pretty miserable week. 

For our prayin' peeps, we have an updated list:
  1. Discernment as we decide how to proceed with the new information about Lloyd's status.
  2. For us to keep our priorities and goals in the front of our minds and allow us to keep the main things the main things.
  3. A quick recovery from the bug that Lloyd caught.
  4. For the others in Lloyd's unit to see the error of their ways and start behaving themselves at least well enough to avoid punishment.
  5. Peace in the uncertainty.
  6. The ability to maintain focus in the day to day of life.
We appreciate you all so much.

God Bless!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

That Bastard Murphy Strikes Again

A large portion of our possessions are packed and either in the storage unit or piled in the second bedroom awaiting transport to Oklahoma. Everything is rolling with bank and employer for the relocation. We are just waiting for the appraisal to come back and the power of attorney (POA) paperwork to be ready, so a date can be set to sign for the new loan.

Today, Miss Gibbs called Lloyd to let him know that the NARSUM is (finally) all ready and he could be signing his packet next week. Provided there are no more delays, they could be discharging him in six weeks. Seriously? All we needed to do to get Muphy's Law to kick in was to pack everything in the house and start the ball rolling for a relocation?

In all seriousness, we are so very grateful for all of the prayers and encouragement through this all. We know that it is not our strength that is getting us through these trials. Every single one of you makes a huge difference for us.

We haven't had a chance to discuss what this means for the relocation plans yet. We have always known that it would be easier and faster for him to deal with all of the stuff with the V.A. while at Fort Sill, so it might still be in the cards for us to move down their to finish those forms and appointments. We are going to need lots of extra prayers for discernment as we go forward from here.

God Bless!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Special Request

This has been a long week for both of us, and we didn't get nearly as much accomplished as we would have liked. One major thing to report is that all of Lloyd's things have been moved out of his parents' house and are now piled in the living room and kitchen. This evening's project will be to start going through boxes and repacking them all to either go to Oklahoma or to the storage unit. It's going to be the primary project over the next few days.

The other project is going to require the help of others. While we are living in Oklahoma (and probably after that), we would like to put pictures of all of our family and friends in a digital frame. The idea is to have a constant reminder of fun times and the people who are supporting us through all of this. We would love it if you helped us to choose the pictures. Pick a few favorites and send them our way. Yes, part of it is that there are a ton of pictures and going through them would be overwhelming. However, it would be more fun, and more meaningful, if they were ones that you all actually really liked. Thank you all in advance!

God Bless!

Eight Weeks

A few minutes ago, our postal carrier Jill rang the doorbell on Chez Sheffer. Two letters to Lloyd were returned as unable to deliver....postmarked July 25. For those of you not looking at a calendar right now, that's EIGHT WEEKS AGO! It took them EIGHT WEEKS to process a piece of mail. Ok, 7.5 weeks - the USPS had the letter for a day or two on either end. But still...a wedding invite last year was sent to the wrong address and came back in THREE DAYS - NOT EIGHT WEEKS! 

If anyone out there still has any question as to why Lloyd is still languishing at Fort Suck Sill, this should shine some light on the subject. This is just one more example of the bureaucratic black hole of all things paper that exists on the northern edge of Lawton, OK. Just how big of a SNAFU is this going to be anyway? Are months of letters suddenly going to start showing up back here in Wisconsin? Unbelievable.

Please pray for sanity and calm.

God Bless! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No news isn't always good news.

Sometimes, it's just no news.

We've been a little light on news this last week. The assessor was here this morning, and we now get to wait for the results. They're supposed to take about a week. We're hoping for Friday news even though it's unlikely. It would just be nice to have the uncertainty removed before heading into the weekend.

Other than that, the big news has been that the kitchen floor food magnet has been turned on (the floor was scrubbed this morning), and there are TWO colors of Kool-aid in the fridge right now.....both red AND blue are available for those visiting or dining at Chez Sheffer. Pretty exciting stuff for sure.

This week, we're praying for quick and positive news from the assessor/bank as well as calm during the waiting time.

God Bless!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Can we take the short cut? Please?

We have got more up in the air right now than the EAA Fly-in. Here's a quick recap to start your work week.

Lloyd is still in Charlie Battery. It still sucks rotten seaweed. He is still waiting for Miss Gibbs to finish pushing his paperwork though. The big delay in it is still that the doctors all need to sign off on the narrative summary (NARSUM) of all his medical conditions caused by his time in the service. As soon as all of the signatures are in place, Lloyd's packet will still need to go to the medical review board where he will be assigned a disability percentage rating.

Sarah is still working on all of the pieces for the move. It's a bit of a mess. Here's a quick summary.
  • The mortgage that we currently have on the house is a WHEDA loan. It is causing a bit of an issue for us right now because it requires that the house be owner occupied as the primary residence. It's not possible to comply with this and live in Oklahoma, so we need to refinance the loan.
  • In order to refinance the loan, they need to do an assessment of the current property value to determine how much equity we have in the house. Problem? The housing market is pretty volatile right now, and we are a little nervous about the value that the assessor is going to assign. The assessment should be done sometime this week. We'd appreciate lots of prayers.
  • The packing has been going well. Special thanks goes out to Jen for giving up all sorts of her "free" time   during the boys' nap time. There is no way that this much would be done without the help.
  • After the refinance is done, we can officially start trying to find an apartment in Lawton, and when a move in date can be arranged, set a date for the move. We have to wait until then though because otherwise they will deny the loan. (At the time that the loan is signed, the house needs to be a primary residence and notice can not have been given to the employer.)
  • We are still trying to find a place to store the Comet. Ideally, we would prefer to have it stored by family or friends instead of at a storage unit. Lloyd is (justifiably) nervous about just leaving it just anywhere. Anyone who has an idea, please let us know.
Some days, it's hard to even know where to work next on all of this. It seems like every time something gets checked off the to-do list, its completion adds two or three new things to the list. We are trying to remember our blessings, stay positive, and keep moving forward. Some days we do better at this than others, but we keep doing our best.

God Bless!