A family of 5, Super Mom, USMC Dad, & three boys ages 5, 7, & 9. This is glimpse into the daily life of raising 3 American boys while living in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Our First Overseas PCS (permanent change of station)

****This was written a couple weeks ago and I tried to post, but only this part of it saved.  There was a lot more that I had written detailing the week before our move.  I refuse to go back and add any more info to it...  Moving forward, not backwards, but I wanted to at least get this out there***

When I last posted, we had just found out that we were moving to Bangkok, Thailand. Now, 5 months later we are days away from boarding a plane and heading to our new home. The last few weeks have probably...no, they HAVE been, the most stressful weeks of my life. Short version for now, but on May 30, my middle son Brosnan (6) was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He was immediately admitted to Yuma Regional Medical Center. Three days later after we were released from the hospital we went home to begin our new life of needles, insulin, glucose monitors, and finger pricks. I will elaborate on that whole story later. Right now lets focus on the move...

Our original scheduled departure date was June 15th, 17 days after B was diagnosed. There are several factors that go into allowing a service member and their family to move overseas. One major factor is the families health (physical, educational, mental, etc.). Every member of the family is screened through the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) to determine if there are any concerns that can not be adequately treated at the next duty station. We were approved a few months ago but with Brosnans new diagnosis we had to start over with him. The original response we received was basically, "sorry, you can't move to Thailand." Thankfully, my husband is not one to take no for an answer so we began doing our own research, making sure that there are pediatric endocrinologists and medicine available. After lots of emails and phone calls my husband had finally received a verbal yes from all the necessary parties, next step was to get all those parties to say yes to each other. So we proceeded as planned with the movers, keeping our fingers crossed that everything would come together.

Which brings us to Friday, June 7th.
Last day of school for Justice, my mom was visiting from Washington state and we were preparing for a garage sale. Saturday morning we woke early and started selling.
Two days and a few hundred dollars later the garage sale was over. We loaded the car with remaining items and donated to the family readiness officer (FRO) to give to young Marines and their families. Sunday night was a mad dash to figure out and separate any and all items that we wanted the movers to take the next day in our express shipment.

We made it to Thailand!!

We made it to Bangkok!
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand

My husband pretty much summed up the last few weeks via a facebook post during our travels.: 

"5 people, 15 checked bags, 11 carry ons, 5 medical and dental clearances and one re-cleared, 1 top secret clearance, 5 diplomatic passports, 5 regular passports, 5 diplomatic visas, 1 vehicle totaled, 1 vehicle traded in, 1 vehicle shipped overseas, 10 weeks with a rental car, 8 days in a hotel, 3 kids enrolled in the international school, 1 shipment of household goods to arrive in 30 days, 1 shipment of household goods to arrive in 90 days, 1 shipment of storage for the next 3 years, and 1 house in Thailand waiting for us. Just a 20 hour flight to go."

    We are finally here.  The stress of all of the above is behind us and we are now living a more relaxed life.  Still some stress exists  of trying to find our place in a brand new culture but it is fun and exciting.   Now we wait for our Express Shipment, Household goods, and our car to arrive. 

     The above picture was taken at about 11:30 pm Bangkok time which was 9:30 am, Yuma, Arizona time.  That equates to almost 30 hours after we left our hotel at MCAS Yuma. We are all pretty tired.  The excitement wore off pretty quick during the airplane rides.  Our flight from Yuma to LAX was about an hour long. 

Yuma International Airport, 6ish am June 22, 2013

When we boarded the plan everyone was happy and energetic!

       Shortly after we boarded the plane from Tokyo, Japan to Bangkok all of the boys (including the husband) were passed out.  Luckily it was not a full flight so they all had a little bit of room to stretch out.

 All-in-all, traveling went smooth.  The kids behaved themselves as much as expected considering the length of the flights, we arrived safely, no delays, and with all of our luggage waiting for us!   Our Sponsor, and Justice's co-worker, Captain Green, met us at the airport and helped coordinate a van to take us to our new home.

    Our house is in a community called Nichada Thani, rumored to be the nicest housing area in all of Thailand.   It is a gated community with several sub-divisions each with their own security guard.   I feel very comfortable living here as far as security is concerned.  Our house is the first on our street in Premier Place 2.  We live right next to the community pool (each sub-division has one, and there is also an olympic sized pool at the clubhouse about a mile away). There is a small playground directly behind our house.  
       The house itself is pretty big.  There are 3 living areas, 4 bedrooms, and 5 bathrooms.  The kids are all pretty excited to have their very own bathrooms!  There is not much of a yard, but there is a small patch of grass in the front.
Front Yard

Family Room (kids TV room)

Downstairs bathroom

Dining Room


Living room

Den Area

Ceiling in Living room

Looking down the stairs into living room

Justice's bedroom

Green outside Justice's window

Brosnan's Bathroom

Master bedroom

Master Closet

Master Bath

Master Bath

Looking down the street

Other direction / Security guard station
Front of House

Main Living room
    I think that is enough for now.   I will write again soon with how life has been since we arrived.