How great to be asked this question. Well for those that do not know what a Dream Sheet is in the military... A list that you have and keep updated on your 'preference' of bases you would like to go to.. but that does not mean you will get any of those options. I remember when my husband joined the military and he was gone to Basic and Tech School. I was so excited to hear where we would be stationed... I just knew it was going to be somewhere cool like say, Maine? Germany? Italy? When I received word we were going to Mississippi I CRIED! Yes, I cried. We are from Texas, which I LOVE, and Mississippi was just so close to home. In the beginning, like many of you, we were only in the military for FOUR years, and then we would come home. Riiiight! I just couldn't believe all of the work he had put into getting into the military and then moving us just for our four years... was going to be to Mississippi--- a mere 8 hours from home. Now, don't get me wrong... I did not want to leave my family... we are super close. But if we were going to do this... we needed to do this the WHOLE WAY! I just couldn't believe it.
Fast forward four years, one deployment, a reenlistment, a bachelors degree on my part, and December of my first year teaching... (See, Mississippi WAS good to us)... It was early in the day in December when my husband texted me. My cell was in my podium at school and we were doing our morning work in the 5th grade class that I taught at in Northern Mississippi. I get a text from my husband that read "So, you like sushi, right?" I was thinking ?? 'well yes, he knows I like sushi.. hm.. maybe dinner tonight" So I just responded "uh.. yea?" When the text that sent me to tears was "We got orders, baby! We are moving to Japan!" WHAT IN THE WORLD! This is not happening. Japan?? There are bases in Japan?? Who knew that.. and WHO PUT THAT ON OUR DREAM SHEET!!!!! I was mortified. I was blessed to have a coworker in my room as I broke down... so I walked out of the room. I walked upstairs to call my husband for him to confirm that this was no joke. I actually said to him on the phone 'but, Japan isn't even on your dream sheet...' and in response he says, 'yea... it was.' It was then that I learned that he can change his dream sheet at any time... I remember calling my mom crying. After about 20 minutes I regained composure and returned to my class. I would be lying if I told you that we had a productive day that day. We didn't. During lunch my coworker and I googled Misawa, Japan to find out we were going to be buried in snow!!! Six more months and we would be in Japan! By the end of the day I was excited.....
Fast forward three years, another reenlistment, meeting friends that will be with me forever, climbing Mt. Fuji 5 weeks pregnant, teaching three years for the Department of Defense, getting my Masters degree, losing my brother in a car wreck, my baby sister getting married 16 days later, having a precious little boy, trip to Thailand, and a breaking heart because I was leaving Japan.... It was the February before we were due to leave Japan and we received word that our choices were out... we could choose from California, Florida, South Carolina, South Dakota. OF COURSE the one base the husband had wanted since he joined was on the list... the one base I never wanted.. California. I struggled with Florida because it was so close to home... again, not because I wanted to be far away, but if we were living this life, I wanted to live this life. South Carolina is not what we wanted... and strangely enough, I had decided on South Dakota- weird, I know. I was heartbroken that Abilene, Texas wasn't on there.. where my sister lives and 5 hours from home or Barksdale, Louisiana... two hours from home. We talked about it and in the end decided to put in California and oddly enough... two weeks later we had orders- to California (our now home). So we began looking at homes to buy as we started this next chapter where we made the decision that I would not teach but stay home with the precious boy the Lord had given us... California has been good so far.. :)
BUT, if it were MY DREAM SHEET!!! This is what I would put:
1. Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas: I would love to live in Abilene. I would love to be in the same area with my sister and have my mom be able to visit regularly. I would love to be able to drive home in a moments notice or for holidays. I would love just to be there. I would love to be an everyday part of her life as we grow together and be amazing Aunts to each others' kids. I have to trust that the Lord has a plan and that we will end up there one day... and that is the reason He did not send us there this time. Oh, how I would love to live in Abilene.
2. Anderson AFB in Guam: I think Guam would be a lovely place to live. I have never been there but I have seen pictures and have friends that have been there. I think it would be an awesome place to have my kids grow up and enjoy the beach. I am not really a beach person, but I really do think we could love it there for a short while as we did Japan.
3. Elmendorf, Alaska: I think living in Alaska and having my family visit there would be nice. Alaska is a beautiful place and I think it would be fun to find all kinds of adventures to get into while we were there. I think my children would enjoy the snow and building snow men. All in all, I think it would be an adventure worth having and who wouldn't want to see the Northern Lights?
4. Aviano AB, Italy: I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Italy. You can travel to so many places from this base. Everyone I know that is there has gotten to go to so many different places... I think it would be fantastic. What a great learning experience for my future homeschooling excursions with my kids. Italy seems so dreamy and I would love to visit there once in my lifetime.
5. Langley or McGuire AFB: I would love to go to the East Coast. I have never been to the Northeast and would love to experience going over there. I have always wanted to go to Maine and I think living in one of those places would help me get there easier.. and maybe even NYC.. just to visit.
So there you have it.. my dream sheet. But in reality the only one that I really, really want is Dyess. Other than that I am not picky. I just want to be where my husband is happy... he is the one that has to work on the base, not me. If we were to return overseas it would be so tempting to get back into the DoDDs school systems there instead of homeschooling... so praying the Lord just can keep that temptation away by keeping us stateside. It is true:
My home is where the Air Force send US!