We are very excited about this for many reasons.
1. Our family is less than 5 hours away. It would have been farther for us to visit family at any of those other locations. We wanted to be close to family because both of our moms are not in good health, and because I am expecting Baby Blake #3 in October.
2. We would have had to sell our house for much less than what it was worth to be able to sell it quick and buy a new house in a new location.
3. We like it here in Fort Worth. It is very family oriented. We have a strong church family support system here, an established business, and many friends. Plus, we live near Eagle Mountain Lake, and we are planning to buy a boat. The cost of living here is awesome!
4. Ben's main stress-relieving hobby is hunting. Here we are closer to the land where his hunting cabin sits. With the money we saved by NOT moving, he can buy a 4 wheeler to drive around on our land.
5. We never would have been able to get into another house with as much space as ours has for the money we would have had to spend on a new house. Our house is 3,000 sq. feet with 4 bdrms, 2.5 bath, a dining room and a large loft/second living area. It sits in an extra large cul-de-sac lot and backs up to a large field where several hundred yards away sits the playground of the school Jackson will start Kindergarten in. We bought it in 2007 for a base price of $119,000. It was a promotional house. Our builder builds spacious (but NON-CUSTOM) homes. (There is nothing customized about our house. No ceiling fans, no curved entryways, no vaulted ceilings or crown moldings. It is just pure space. Which was fine with us because Ben is quite handy and could add that stuff -and has - as we wanted it.) It WAS worth almost $170,000 before the housing market crashed. Now it is worth about $140-150,000.
When we move Sam into Jackson's room, so they share and each have a twin bed, we will STILL have a nursery, our master bedroom AND a guest room/office. The rooms are very nicely sized.
6. Because we saved so much money to move and now don't have to, we have an abundance of extra spending money to buy fun toys and things we want like a hot tub, a used four wheeler and boat, a new computer, a shed for the backyard, updates on the house, etc. Plus, I don't have to work next year if I don't want to. My days of running a child care facility with 10-12 kids are OVER, unless I want to. If I do, I have made a reputation for myself. I can easily pick up a few kids if need be.
7. At JPS, Ben only has to work 8 hour shifts in the ER, and makes a higher salary than those other places, and gets full insurance for the whole family paid.
To sum up, I am ecstatic. This was the best choice for our family. Other choices may have had more competitive programs, but this is, by far, the best choice for our family.