i’m not even kidding

You’d think that I’d be kidding if I posted a picture like this..

…and said that this is where I now live.

But I’m not.

Kidding, that is.

You’re looking at our new diggs.

It’s an 18th century chateau, named Chateau du Rouveroy.

But you have to say it all French-like, and start the “Rou” part down in your throat, and give it a “rwah” sort of sound at the end. I still can’t say it right.

We only occupy the right half of the 3rd and 4th floors. You would think that it would make for a tiny apartment. But the inside of our place is very spacious and open.

My friend, Kara, thinks that we should have the theme song from Downton Abbey played when we enter the gates. I told her that her idea was entirely appropriate and that she should make arrangements for this.

Around the chateau property is a moat (again, not kidding).

You can see the ice and snow from last night. Apparently when it gets good and solid, the families who live here play ice hockey on it. I haven’t heard any rumors of alligators in the moat, so I think we’d be good to play on it.

There are so many cool things about this place, and I’m blown away by the Lord’s provision. When I prayed for our new home, I asked if we could live in the country in a carriage house on an estate of sorts (I had heard that sometimes American military families did that if/when those were available). I know…it was a long-shot and a bit ridiculous to pray for something like that, but I wanted to be out of the city and suburbs, and in the country so that our kids could run and play. And I was hoping that we could have an “old” European experience on this assignment.

Not only did He provide this house to live in, but He provided community. Which is huge here (to have instant community, that is…I’ve heard that it can get lonely). There are six American families (including us) who live in the chateau and surrounding out-buildings on the property. The landlord and his wife also live in the big-house. So it’s like a commune. And all the families seem to be really wonderful, and they all have kids who love to run and play outside.

The property is gated (and moat-ed), so the kids can play in safety. And the property is immense, so there’s tons of room to explore. There are farm animals…chickens, donkeys and sheep. One of the sheep is pregnant with twins and due any day. Apparently when animals are born around here, all the kids get to watch the birth. I hope I’m there, too.

The landlord and his wife are wonderful and so helpful. They speak excellent English and love to be social. I’ve hear rumors that Catherine (the landlord’s wife) likes to grow organic gardens in the summer and will help me grown one too, if I’m so inclined.

Which I am.

This is the church across the street.

And I took this picture a few days ago from my bedroom window on a rare sunny day.

(That van in the church parking lot was one of my movers, waiting for the big truck to bring me my first shipment of stuff. Hi, mover! Thanks for my stuff!)

I took this one from my bedroom window, too, but looking off to the left.

The moat flows into that bigger pond, and across the pond is one of the out-buildings I was talking about earlier where one of the American families live.

And over to the left of this pond is what’s called The Magic Tree.

And it truly is magic.

But that’s a post all it’s own…in the spring…when it’s greener.

We are so thankful for our little corner of this big ol’ place, and can’t wait to start making memories.

My camera is gonna be happy.

Sonia - February 25, 2013 - 9:07 am

Oh. My. Goodness. Ohhhhhhh. Myyyyyyyyy. Gooooodnesssssssss!!

Sorry for repeating myself….I’m just racking my brain to say something other than ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??!!!!!!

Do not envy, do not envy, do not envy, do not envy…Yes Lord. Yes Lord.

Lord forgive me for my envy.

Sonia - February 25, 2013 - 9:08 am

PS Indoor pictures please~!!!!!!!

Colleen - February 25, 2013 - 9:11 am

You are cracking.me.up, Sonia! I’ll take some indoors-y ones after we get our furniture and I actually unpack. No one wants to see the lovely FMO loaner furniture and boxes. No one.

Vicki H. - February 25, 2013 - 9:20 am

What a great experience for you all! We Americans tear things down and build stupid, modern stuff. I would love a place like this. I agree with the Downton theme song…or Falcon Crest…(I think they had open gates on their theme song…it’s too long ago to remember for sure…any you are too young to even know what Falcon Crest is…LOL.

Can’t wait to see inside pics!

Melissa - February 25, 2013 - 9:21 am

OH MY LANTA!!!!!!! I like double stoked to come see you now! lol Like before I was SUPER DUPER 124495793672x excited and now double that! haha Dang thats kind of beautiful! :) Well Uganda sends its love! ;)

Michele Chapman - February 25, 2013 - 9:47 am

Colleen, all I can do is echo the above comments! Looking forward to seeing the “Magic Tree” pics!

Maybe it will take you to Narnia! What an amazing family and wonderful adventure that the Lord has you on!

Exciting!

Much love from the Chapman Family!

Sue Hunt - February 25, 2013 - 10:21 am

Wow. THis is an amazing place. I am sure that your kids are thinking it is a castle and they are loving it. Enjoy your stay there and do lots of work for the KINGDOM there. God will continue to bless you and keep you. Much love coming your way from Derby. Love SUE

Sharon Gieseke - February 25, 2013 - 10:22 am

Absolutely majestic! I’m totally jelly here, in the rain, on a cloudy day, in a state I love even!

What a beautiful experience for one of the most beautiful families I know. Enjoy!

Stefanie - February 25, 2013 - 1:16 pm

Praise the Lord and hallelujah for blessing your sweet self with this ah-mazing home. And the moat? And the pregnant animals due with twins? And the organic garden? And all the cool peeps? All sprinkles and cherries and homemade (not no Cool Whip) on top!
He is GOOD!!
Love you!!!

Kelli - February 25, 2013 - 4:11 pm

This is so cool! I want to see those indoorsy pics also!!!! So glad you shared and are doing well.

Kathy - February 25, 2013 - 4:49 pm

Fantastic!!!!!
When can we visit????

LauraC - February 25, 2013 - 7:00 pm

You don’t know me but I love your blog (so glad you’re back!). Not gonna kid here, I just gave up fighting jealousy. Totally jealous! I’m glad there are still cool places to live; so beautiful!

Kate Hawk - February 26, 2013 - 3:55 pm

I can just see Mr. Carson walking out the front door when you all arrive at the gate! ; )

So happy you all were able to find a place with instant community! I hope you all are getting settled, and feeling more and more at home each day. Please let your husband know we are so grateful for his service to our country! God’s favor, blessing, and protection goes before you and behind you!

Thanks for sharing! Look forward to hearing about more of your life in Belgium!

Hugs to your sister!

Kelly Raudenbush - March 1, 2013 - 1:15 pm

Alright, so I WAS feeling sorry that you moved so far and didn’t know anyone and could be having a hard time. No more sorries. This is AMAZING. Oh my. Yes, Downton’s got nothing on your moat surrounded castle. Sweet. Did you get a lady’s maid too? Please tell me you did.

Paula - March 1, 2013 - 9:53 pm

Ummmmm – you could live anywhere more excellent in Belguim? I think NOT! And, how I really need to come and visit you now just so I can say that you were telling the truth and not all full of neener-neener saucy-sauce! Sooooo happy for you guys. What an incredible experience for the whole family. The kids are never gonna wanna leave! Hope to drop in on ya one day (I’ll email first!)

Ashley - March 5, 2013 - 8:56 am

Shut the front door! Or gate….

This is stinking awesome!!! So excited for you guys!!

Nora - March 7, 2013 - 2:17 pm

You are living the life Jobe family! So glad you have settled in nicely to your quaint little home!

Jennifer van Rouveroy - August 11, 2013 - 12:28 am

Hi There, so you live in Chateau de Rouveroy?

Well my last name is van- Rouveroy meaning from- Rouveroy and this is the place my ancestors came from/ lived in.

I have never seen the place but it is obviously a huge part of my history.

You are lucky! It is beautiful!

Jennifer in New Zealand

Matthew Bender - March 12, 2014 - 1:07 pm

I miss that place. I saw a picture of Joseph when I looked up Le Chateau de Rouveroy. He was at the bowling ally. Just to let you know it’s MAtthew, the kid who lived in the chateau. Say hi to Matthew and Joseph for me. I do not remember you having an ugly couch.

Matthew Bender - March 12, 2014 - 1:09 pm

And the Freys live next to them, and the Liendeckers live below them, and the Piets live below them.

Matthew Bender - March 12, 2014 - 1:14 pm

The alligator part is funny, there was a joke about that before you moved there. When the family started the joke moved we put a plastic floaty alligator in the moat. I’m not sure what happened to it.

Matthew Bender - March 12, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Do you guys still have my pocket knive? It’s a black swiss army one.

Matthew Bender - March 12, 2014 - 1:19 pm

Nice snow, it snowed in Washington too. I camped in it. It sucked.

valerie Greene - November 27, 2014 - 9:27 pm

Just saying we were stationed in Belgium at SHAPE. went to Chateau Rouveroy lots of times Was owned at the time by a lady named Alice . have the same large photo as shown . Friends lived in one of the cottages . This was a lot of years ago but looks the same . thanks for posting this many memories .

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