We were so sad to hear the news yesterday that our neighbors are moving. They've been renting the house next door for almost two years now, but their landlord is basically kicking them out because she broke up with her boyfriend and needs to reclaim the house for herself. Since we've lived here, there've been no less than six different tenants in that house - some families, a couple of single people - and we've liked just about all of them. But this family has been our favorite.
Zeke, the dad, is so wonderful with our boys. I can tell he would love to have a son of his own. He has whittled them little wooden guns, invited them down to the lake for bonfires and to go fishing, and a couple of years ago made them a leaf pile that was UNBELIEVABLE!
Shanda, the mom, works a lot but is such a loving and attentive mother to Ashlyn (age 5). She had tried her hand at homeschooling Ashlyn last year for preschool, but made the decision this year to send her to kindergarten. With Zeke working midnights, he was having a really hard time getting any sleep with having to tend to Ashlyn all day. Shanda told me that once the decision was made to send her to public school, she had mentally made the commitment to stay in the house for several years because she didn't want Ashlyn to have to change schools once she started. The plan lasted all of a month before this turn of events, so Shanda is pretty upset.
Then there's Ashlyn, who has been a wonderful friend for William and Luke. She just loves my little boys and the three of them play so nicely together. I got a few pictures of them today so William and Luke would always remember her. I also plan on putting together a care package with a few pictures for Ashlyn to take with her when they move.
Both Shanda and Zeke have family in Knoxville, TN so they have quit their jobs and are driving down there on Friday. They don't have any real ties to Wisconsin and figured if they are ever going to make that kind of a big move, now is the time. We said prayers for them tonight that they will have a safe trip and find great jobs and a nice place to live when they get there. I told Shanda that there's a reason this happened and that someday they will look back and know what that reason was, but that we will miss them terribly. I do hope we keep in touch and are able to meet up with them when we go to Tennessee in the spring.