February, 2015

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February, you short, cold, frozen month! But we survived and had fun too! Sledding, building tiny snowmen, and dressing up for Fasching! Glad March is here though and with it the promise of spring! And a short trip in the books come April! All very exciting!

Although this might have been the coldest winter I’ve experienced since I moved to the US 13 years ago, I do appreciate the light here in Germany. Already mid-March the sun rises at 6:30 am and sets at 6:30 pm! And the days are getting longer in huge leaps. Unlike the US, we haven’t ‘sprung’ forward yet. We are still on wintertime. We also haven’t been on spring break from school either. Spring forward, spring break, Easter, visit from daddy and a trip to Brussels – coming soon! Welcome spring! Looking forward to a nice time together.

Love,

Yasemin

 

 

January 2015

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The year started of on the wrong note for me. Butch had to fly back to the US early January 2. After 6 weeks of family bliss it was hard to let him go. Just as soon as those many fireworks went of into the brisk night my mood went from happy, blissful, content to gloomy, dark & cold … Thankfully, I was distracted by the schedule renovation of Isaiah’s room. That got me busy and motivated again.

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Once school started back on January 7th there was no time to sit around and mope. We quickly got back into our daily routine. Stella went back to her favorite Wednesday activity: dance class!

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Isaiah had indoor soccer tournaments EVERY weekend!

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Seda started guitar lessons.

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Isaiah started playing the keyboard.

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And I squeezed in some sewing here and there:

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I also did some (Ikea) shopping while the kids were at school. Isaiah’s room is finally done!

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He got to spend one whole week in there before he (happily) vacated it for my friend Jen who visited from Texas. Oh, how I love getting ready for company. The anticipation and the preparation for days leading up to the arrival are my favorite. And then just like that she arrived! No jetlag, no nothing! A real trooper! She didn’t miss a minute of her very short week stay in Kiel.

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We picked up the kids from school together.

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We celebrated my birthday together.

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We went tea shopping together.

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We had tea together.

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and some more tea:

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We also had coffee together.

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We ate out together.

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We ate in:

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We went into every tea shop.

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And of course we took selfies. Lots of selfies!

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Dear Jen, thank you so much for making the long journey over the Atlantic  to spend time with us – away from your own. You are by far the easiest, most pleasant guest I’ve ever hosted in my house ever since I got married 13 years ago. Every day with you here was exceptional. XO

As if that wasn’t already enough of joy and good fortune in one month, my boy got invited to try out for Kiel’s best soccer club! We’d been waiting for this day all summer but there were no dates for try outs scheduled. Long story short, Isaiah joined Holstein Kiel on the spot! Little did I know how busy my life was really going to get NOW!!

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Wow! Busy is no exaggeration but we are all very excited for Isaiah. He has to work really hard, practice OUTSIDE in below freezing temps but he is so excited & proud to wear those red, white & blue jerseys of Holstein Kiel.

And talking about freezing temperatures: January was full of winter’s beauty! We got just enough powder to get a good taste of what winter is supposed to be like. We haven’t had enough to bring out the sleighs yet but spending time outdoors has become interesting & fun again.

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No matter what the weather, I hope you feel warm & loved. I am curious to see what else 2015 has in store for us!

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Love,

Yasemin

P.S. February brings another VIP to Kiel! Stay tuned.

Christmas in Germany

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! AND this time we are in Germany!! I feel extra fortunate. Aaaand… Daddy has been home since Thanksgiving!

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Oh, how I love this time of year. All of the anticipation, the preparation, the holiday shopping, the get-togethers make me feel like a kid. Talking about:kids, they especially enjoy counting down to Dec 25 with the help of their advent calendars. This year both big kids got creative and helped make 24 little fabric bags.

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First they drew holiday inspired motives onto fabric, then they cut them out and sewed them together into cute little pouches which I filled with 24 little surprises. Every year I try not to go overboard with candy. This year I DID opt for candy in half of the bags though simply because it’s our first holiday in Germany and so much of the candy here reminds me of my own childhood… 🙂 I couldn’t help myself. But the other half of the bags had toys in them. I have to say the kids enjoyed each little surprise. A few mornings they fought over who gets to open the bag… Overall though a big success.

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The wait until Santa’s arrival seemed especially short this year with all the hoopla around town, around school etc. the Weihnachtsmarkt that started right after Thanksgiving, the skating ring that opens downtown at the same time, the events at school, Seda’s dance recital, the advent teas, and of course the gift shopping all made December busy, enjoyable, but really short:

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image The kid’s LOVED their gifts from Santa. They have been practicing and performing! My husband is a very good teacher in all things sports and music. That freed up some time for me to do my own creative juices and sew, craft, glue, read… 🙂 Couldn’t have asked for a better gift.

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I am eternally grateful how 2014 ended up for us. Started out in a small town in Texas and now we are here!! So so grateful. So so blessed.

May 2015 be filled with joy, love and good health for you and yours!

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Love,

Yasemin

 

Fall in Germany – A love affair

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Days are definetely shorter. I don’t get to write as frequently as I would like to but with the temps falling and our first European winter scratching at the window life is best spent outdoors. We bundle up in our cozy coats and hats and scarves and march through the colorful leafage – rain or shine. Actually we didn’t have as much rain as I expected. The air is brisk though. On the way to school and as soon as the sun sets at 4:30’ish. We’ve stayed well above 40 degrees and that’s just perfect! It feels GOOD to experience the seasons though. Just as we arrived in Germany mid June the temperatures were still moderate, spring-like. Then came two months of amble sunshine with bathing in the Baltic Sea … Now, a perfectly sunny, crisp fall! It’s perfect! It really is! We take lots of walks in the nearby woods, by the water or go window shopping in our gorgeous Holtenauer Strasse. But no matter where we end up getting our 10k-steps in we finish of our day with a yummy treat.

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Oh the gorgeous bakeries and cafes! Oh the lattes and the hot chocolates! It’s delicious no matter where you go! Haven’t had a bad cup of  java since moving to Germany.

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I could literally be content just sitting in a cafe all day but then I’d miss all the wildlife!

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Also, I’ll never get tired of being by the sea:

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Awwww, fall, I could really get used to this! It’s like spring minus the allergies! I am in love! Stay a little longer, will you?

Now, you probably get the impression that all we do here is take long walks by the sea and eat delicious bread… Not so fast! The kids do go to school. After all, their learning the language is a top priority for us but they are only at school until 12:30! That gives us lots of time to eat lunch together every day, explore Kiel, do sports and be in bed by 8 pm – full of unforgettable impressions.

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These three littles monkeys are thoroughly enjoying this new pace of life.

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And so do I!!! 🙂

In deepest gratitude,

Yasemin

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Back to school and a very special visit

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The last couple of months have flown by. We enjoyed every little sunray we could get and have spent more time out than in… No time to sit and reflect on all that was going on. After all, moving into our new home and settling in right before the two big kids had to go back to school. With only six weeks of summer break in Germany there is no day wasted!!! In a blink of an eye it was seaside to school bench! Isaiah started fourth grade this year! His last year in Elementary School! Wow! Where did time go?

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Seda got to enjoy two more days at home as first grade means the first day of school for all six-year olds in Germany. Germany doesn’t have a Kindergarten year which makes first grade a big deal. Einschulung, as the first day of first grade is called is celebrated with a service at a near to school church and a little program at the school’s gym in the morning. Kids get these huge cones – called Schultuete – filled with candy, toys, art & craft supplies and whatever else parents decide to put in. There she is my big school kid (in her Anna Maria Horner paper fan dress) proudly holding her Schultuete!

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By the way, school days are really short here in Germany. First graders are at school from 7:45 am – 11:25 am. There is after-school care however for those with working parents. Since class starts rather early in the morning the kids eat breakfast in their classroom together after the first period. Afterwards there is recess after each additional period! That’s lots of outdoor time every single day!

Fourth graders stay at school an hour longer. I like having the kids home for lunch every day. With only 15 minutes of daily homework the kids get lots of time to play outside and do sports in the afternoon, too. Or like in our case wave good bye to the Color Line cruise ship at two pm! 🙂

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Being able to spend time by the sea every day is one of the many improvements to our life quality since moving here… We have been very fortunate with the weather this summer too! With only a short dip in temps in August, the mild, long summer days have spoiled us with ample sunshine And clean fresh air. It served as the perfect setting to welcome a very special visitor at the end of August! ButchMo! Finally after a very very long time of separation our family was complete again!

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Welcome daddy! Kiel showed off her most beautiful side :

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We had a month to enjoy as many of our favorite places and take as many pictures as possible. Selfie here and here…

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And even an opportunity for an annual family portrait in the studio here:

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The above shot is sure to get a very special place on one our new bare walls. The Mosbys 2014, in Kiel. A new chapter! Grateful for this special moment in our lives.

More studio shots:

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And super adorable individual shots of this big girl:

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Grateful we are also to be able to celebrate not one, not two, but three birthdays this month. Starting off the birthday month: Happy 7th birthday Seda!

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She got a weekend with a huge party and all our family members present! Something we’ve never had before! And how about that gorgeous little sewing machine she got from her god mother? Perfect for my little crafty lady!

A week later it was Stella’s turn! Happy second birthday baby Stella!

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We decided to hop on the train and spend the day on the other coast in Sylt! It was the first time for the kids and Butch in the North Sea.  More family pics at the beach.

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What a beautiful sunny day at probably the best beach in Germany!

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Last but not least it was our first born’s turn to be spoiled on his double-digit birthday!

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 Happy 10th birthday Isaiah the playa! We ditched the train for his special day and got in the car to fulfill one of his birthday wishes: driving on the Autobahn! (He is such a boy!) Our ride took us from beach, this time in beautiful places like Kalifornia and Brasil! Just a short car ride from Kiel! Who says you have to get on the plane to get some vacation feeling!

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Isaiah also wanted to visit this place by the North-Ostsee Kanal. One of the world’s busiest water ways where ships are announced via loud speaker and greeted with their national anthem. What a beautiful welcome. And again all boy standing by the shore expecting every little detail of this process. This was indeed a special treat for all of us.

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Hopefully you didn’t get sea sick from this water logged post about cruise ships, container ships, canals and seas… 🙂 I sure appreciate you stopping by and hope to share more of my sewing in between school, birthdays and travel.

Happy fall friends!

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Love,

Yasemin

We LOVE to travel, summer 2014

imageAt the Brandenburger Tor with family. Summer 2014

We got to live our dream of travelling this summer. In the short six weeks of summer break here in Germany we explored near and far. We travelled an hour south to Hamburg:

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After some sight seeing in the heart of the city we spend the afternoon at a playground  in front of the Queen Mary 2. A cup of strong Assam tea at Mesmer Tea house rounded out our day trip to gorgeous Hamburg.

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Above: My girls in YaseminTea skirt & dress en route to the big City.

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In between our busy travels some home decorating was in place too. As decorators measured and installed curtain hardware my sweet Hala and I sewed away covering the bare windows of our living room.

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Love the warmth that fabric brings into a room.

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Warm it was a few days in mid August too when the best place in town was the Seebar where we cought craps, rented paddle boards and people watched while enjoying our ice cream.

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Below: on a much cooler end of August day we had friends visiting from out of town.

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And last but not least we squeezed in a final little day trip to a town just 30 short minutes by train: Eckernfoerde! We even got to play on the beach, did some shopping and enjoyed this quaint nautical town just north of us.

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I know this summer was one we will remember for many years to come. It was the start to our new life in Germany. We really made the most of it. We got to explore our neighborhood, we rested, we explored, we shopped and made our apartment feel like home. It’s so easy to love this place. It’s easy with all the lakes, canals and the seas surrounding us. I for one know for sure: #ilovethesea!

Thank you Kiel for such a sweet & warm welcome! I think we are going to stay awhile. 🙂

Love,

Yasemin

Finally summer

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 ICH WILL FERIEN! – I want vacation! The poster of a pouting child in front of the many travel agencies here in Germany. I feel like my kiddos should be screaming that by now. For almost eight weeks we have been on the go go go. The kids didn’t get much of a summer break once we arrived in Germany. First four weeks of school then two weeks of summer camp plus an additional week of soccer camp for Isaiah.

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That’ll make you melt down, act up, go coo coo all kinds of ways… Isaiah enjoyed his first soccer camp with the Holstein Kiel Stoerche (storks) very much but he was also all worn out by the end of the week.

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The girls had a little down time at least while big brother showed off his skills and learned many new ones.

We all have been giving it our all this summer. We wanted to settle into our new home town quickly, soak up our new environment, make new friends, get to know our neighbors, catch up on all the family get-togethers.

But it’s about time that summer comes for us too with all its lazy afternoons and re-lax-ations… We are slowing down this week. Finally no schedules, no appointments, no running… Instead we are chillin’ and enjoying these absolutely gorgeous long sunny summer days. Because we are worth it! Because we earned it! Oh, if only daddy was here too … He could admire these gorgeous sailboats and cruise ships with us:

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Even the youngest Mosby is always mesmerized by the water.

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 Stella LOVES water!!!

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Seda loves ice cream!

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And Isaiah loves to read – though still not German books.

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We all love these: berries!!! Straight from the bush on the side of the road or from our bi-weekly farmers market.

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 We are also very content exploring the many playgrounds of our neighborhood.

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A little hike in the woods behind our place.

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The girls love posing in front of this brick wall every morning although you couldn’t tell by the look on Stella’s face. 🙂

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Hope you all have found your happy place this summer.

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Love,

The Mosbys