I have been singing the Mississippi song for two days. You know, that one you learn in elementary school that helps you remember all the S's and P's. I remember being so excited the day I learned to spell it backward. I wish all the states had fun songs... or atleast several sets of double letters, or were worth trying to spell backward.
Andy received news yesterday that he is the recipient of a Department of Defense SMART Scholarship. It's a prestigious scholarship awarded to students in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering. I never doubted he'd get it, I mean, he has a 4.0 GPA in a Civil Engineering Masters Program, his undergrad is in mathematics and let's be honest here, he is the most diligent, determined man I know. Yet, for some reason, he was worried. He underestimates himself... I don't. I know what he is capable of and I know others recognize his abilities and potential.
So, he got the scholarship. Hooray! Here's what it means: Tuition - PAID. Books - PAID. Living expenses next school year - PAID. Basically, what it comes down to is a whole year of school with NO STUDENT LOANS! What a relief! Andy will graduate next April and from there, he immediately begins work at an Army Corp of Engineers facility in... wait for it... the thriving metropolis of VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI!!! So, the Kleinmans will soon become Mississippians, Mississippites, Mississippers? I dunno. We're moving to Mississippi. To be honest, initially, I was shocked and a little disappointed. However, after letting it sink in for a day and after doing some research on Vicksburg, I'm actually excited for the adventure. Vicksburg is right on the MS, Louisiana border and right along the good ol' Mississip... oh, and smack dab in the middle of Hurricane Alley. That aside, there is plenty of rich history in the area, plenty to do with the kids outside of Vicksburg and we'll have the chance to visit states and cities that interest us, but have never been near enough to make a trip. There are some details that will definitely take some getting use to -- namely, humidity (90% most days), southern vernacular, living someplace where the church has a very small presence (there's only one ward in the area), being a minority (although, I am so excited to introduce my children to a new culture) and being so far from family. But, it will all be worth it. We have been praying about this scholarship since Andy applied in December. There are dozens of facilities throughout the country Andy could have been sent to, but for some reason, we're going to Mississippi. Not sure why, but we know there's a purpose. Heavenly Father definitely has a plan for us --- and we'll learn along the way.
We are committed to one year at this facility. After that, we can ask to be transferred or leave the ACE altogether. We'll just see how it goes when the time comes. For now, we have a year left in Utah, and then it's Mississippi or bust!