Saturday, November 27, 2010

Anlieger FREI... residents ONLY

One of these days, I know we'll laugh about our first weeks in Germany... I just know {hope} we will! I'm trying to be optimistic, really I am. The other day, while on a quick trip to a new friend's house, we made a wrong {seriously wrong} turn. Looked like a normal road for a minute- the roads here are all super narrow, so the fact that it was super skinny and lacked a dotted line down the middle didn't tip us off. We passed an old man (completely white hair) on an old, old bike casually strolling. Many, many people were out walking as well with their dogs. Again, nothing unusual since everyone here walks their dogs. Doesn't matter if it's raining, snowing or winter- they take their walks.

It wasn't until we were a few miles down the road that we realized we were actually driving on a {b i k e} trail, rather than a real road. Oops. No wonder we received a few scowls. I'm sure they were saying, "stupid Americans..."
We went back to look at the signs- I knew frei meant free, but when I translated (Google translator is wonderful) Anlieger Frei... together it means Residents ONLY... slight difference. We were just happy that we got off of the 2nd turn of the round-a-bout... or we thought we did. Guess I should be studying all of these signs so I can take my driver's test... Jim took his in Kansas before getting here, so he's been driving us everywhere. Have to admit- I'm a little nervous, kinda like being 16 again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

5d Hauptstrasse, Oberstaufenbach, Germany

We have a house! Not so easy to find here with four kids and a dog. We were strongly advised if we found one that would work to take it so, here it is… Housing on base has a 12-18 month wait list, so we had to find a place to rent off base. Actually have keys and a contract but won't be moving in yet since we don't have beds or sheets or towels or dishes or.... pretty much anymore than the clothes on our backs! Fortunately, temporary housing is loaning us beds, wardrobes, microwave, kitchen table and other basics which will be delivered on Dec. 3rd. Until then, we'll stay in our hotel.
It's a 3-story house with three bedrooms/ 1 ½ bath on the top level. The garage/entry and master bedroom/bath are on the main level. On the lower level is the kitchen/living room/laundry room/bathroom. Plenty of room for anyone & everyone to come visit…. Our yard is a mostly concrete with a little grass. I think we could just weed wack it after maintaining five acres. We're not on a dirt road, but just read it's against the law to wash your car in your driveway- Tammy, you'll have to let Steve know this… he'll get a laugh!
Our landlords are from Kasakstan (? Russian) but have been in Germany for 20 years. It's been a little tricky communicating, but the German I studied in high school is slowly coming back. I'm so grateful I have a little knowledge of the language I never thought I would use!
This is the view across the living room which is connected to the kitchen.

Here's the kitchen. Don't know what we're going to do with all that cabinet space…

Here's the view back across the living room/kitchen.

This is the view across the street. There are sheep and cows behind those houses… maybe, it will feel a little like Kansas?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We're on day 7 in Germany... still struggling with culture shock, but starting to get our bearings {just a tad}. Everything still just feels soooo difficult- nothing has been easy. It took two days to get the European map downloaded to our GPS (T H A N K S , Laura) which has made a world of difference. Caden's done most of the running with us, so we've just had to leave Coleman in the hotel with Justin and Ty. As a result, he's been with us as we've driven in circles and been lost numerous times. While using the GPS every time you screw up, it says, "recalculating" just in case you don't already feel stupid enough.

Yesterday, while driving on base- we thought we knew where we were. Actually, Jim did but I told him to make a wrong turn. (I can take the blame for this one) We didn't have the GPS on since the base doesn't show up on it. As we hit the dead end and started to turn around Caden chimed in from the back seat... "recalculating..." Definitely broke the tension, we had to laugh. On a good note, we have a car and we signed a contract on a house today... some progress.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guten Tag

We made it... landed in Germany this morning! Here's the view from the porch on our hotel room. After waking up at 2:30am yesterday, we drove just over an hour to get to the St. Louis airport. Flights from St. Louis to Atlanta (1 hr layover) and then on to Baltimore. We claimed all of our luggage and our slightly-drugged Lady in Baltimore, then re-checked for our International flight straight to Ramstein. We arrived about 8am local time, or 1am CST time with Germany being 7 hours ahead in time. The guys from Jim's work were at the airport to pick us up and took him around today- SO nice. Naps this afternoon for all of us and we're ready for bed already tonight. Switching to German time will be an adjustment like everything else. Ty's first question was how to flush the toilet... Justin headed straight to the breakfast here at our hotel, then couldn't figure out what was cream cheese to put on his bagel. He ended up using peanut butter. Lots to do... a little overwelming, but I know we'll get there... We have our Skype set up... it's pretty cool if anyone wants to get on! I'll update as much as I can...

Monday, November 15, 2010

on our way... in Illinois...

Leaving Kansas had to be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. We made it to Illinois, shipped our van and are enjoying time with family before heading out Wednesday morning on our long trip to Germany. I'll update with photos as we can find Internet connections along the way...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

AMAZING bi-district CHAMPS

WOW! SO proud of our boys who won their football game and earned the title of bi-conference champs last night. Below is a re-cap from the local news. They all played their hearts out... Justin was {still} smiling this morning. They play again Saturday night against the team ranked first in 4A.
Mulvane and Maize South locked horns in a thriller in Mulvane as the Wildcats pulled out a 39-38 win over the upstart Mavericks. There were nine lead changes in the game as neither team could get a firm grasp on the game. Maize South took a 32-19 lead with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter, but Brandon Ward took the ensuing kickoff 79 yards to the house to get Mulvane back within six points. The Wildcats then forced a fumble on Maize South’s next drive to claim a one-point lead with 6:57 left in the game. Maize South would get the lead back off of a three-yard touchdown run with 3:24 left in the game, but Mulvane would answer and get the score out to 39-38 to secure the win. Mulvane picked the ball off on the final play of the game to secure the win.

Singing the alma mater after the game... such happy boys!

Halloween Fun

Our little cowboy & Mulvane football player had a great Halloween! As much as their mama doesn't like Halloween, it was quite pleasant trick-or-treating in flip flops with temps around 70 degrees. Not bad for almost November! Fun times hangin with friends!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Our packers started yesterday... oh, how nice not to pack a single thing. If there is a nice thing about moving. I'm trying to be positive, but am really sad leaving since we've grown to LOVE it here in just three short years. Three women showed up and had most of our house boxed up in a day. Finishing up today, then tomorrow the movers come to do the larger stuff and start loading it. Cancelled our satellite and phone service today, so it's getting more real by the minute. We'll be in Kansas another week (until the 9th) before we drive to St. Louis to ship our van and spend time with family. November 17th we fly out of St. Louis into Germany (via Baltimore). I'll post photos and updates as I am able to. I know our hotel in Germany has Internet access which will be nice to keep in touch as well!