Germany – one month later

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Life one month after our move to Germany is just as we dreamed it. It’s busy – no doubt. It’s exciting! It’s eventful!! And sooooo much fun! :-)) We are surrounded by family, we bumped into old friends AND we are making new ones. kids have successfullyfinished of the school year here in Germany after graduating their grades back in Texas in early June. Now they are officially on summer break – but not so fast. I signed them up for a two week camp just down the street from the house. We have been so fortunate to squeeze them in for two weeks on such last minute notice. Kids get to hang out with other kids, half of which speak english! Some have american, others british and one little girl has an australian parent. Kids felt at home from day one. They have even gone on a field trip together! Best of all the facility is only a skip and a hop from home and next door to the Elementary school they will eventually go to once they’ve caught up on their German. Who knows once they’ve transferred hopefully in the fall I might sign them up for after school care here. It’ll be great to keep speaking German and play with friends. Afterall, school is only until 11:30 am for Seda and 12:30 for Isaiah.

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Once all camps are done we still have three more weeks of vacation. Kids and I have been brainstorming what we’d like to do and see in our new hood… Top of the list is a little one day cruise with a beautiful ship we see almost everyday. There is also a day trip to one of the island in the North Sea… Then there is the beautiful city of Hamburg, of course the capital city of Berlin. In Hamburg we would visit our dear friends Christiane & Torsten, in Berlin my Hala (aunt) and cousins and of course the famous sites…

This weekend we have already visited the beach in Laboe.

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We took the almost hour long bus ride there and a relaxing boatride back. Now the kids have had a chance to swim in the Pacific, the atlantic, the mediterrean, and the Baltic Sea. Maybe by thee d of the summer we’ll be able to add the North Sea to it. It’s been 28 or so yeRs since I went to the island of Amrum in the north sea on a school trip. ¬†It was such a unique experience. I would love to experience that with the kids soon.

As far as the new apartment is concerned we have been spending time and money at Ikea – of course! Lots of bare wooden floors and white walls needed attention…

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Some measurements were taken by two – I mean ONE guy! :-)) I don’t blame the guy though… There are some ladies sun bathing at the park across the street. So Germany!

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A couple of gifts & multiple Ikea trips later…we ended up with white sofas And multiple yards of fabric that I am going to turn into curtains -ahem – at least I’ll give it a shot. I have my Hala (aunt) as a back up!! ūüôā

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The curtain rods alone will take up to three weeks to install. So will the floors in Isaiah’s room. Even a basic wireless internet can take up to three weeks to hook up here in the land of steep salaries and long summer vacations… Oh well, I waited this long. A few extra weeks won’t make a difference now.

In the meantime we have lots of sightseeing to do. With the Fjord in our backyard we are not getting board at all.

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Oh and then we missed this:

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My hubby’s birthday :-(( the kids made these wood tiles at this cute fish restaurant called Fishbar. We are planning on taking him there in a few weeks when he comes to visit and see for himself how beautiful and colorful life is for us here in Kiel.

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Until then hang in there my love,

Yasemin

P.S. All the waiting gave me an opportunity to try out the antique sewing machine my aunt gifted me.

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Germany 2014, Week two

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A lesson in gratefullness. We dreamed of, we planned it, we executed it and so far our expectations of what life would be like in Germany were way exceeded. So many friends and strangers made our transition smooth, successful and even fun! my heart is grateful for all the good fortune we have encountered since moving here. Life is colorful, new, exciting, busy, fun, stimulating and full of love. So many positive attributes.

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I feel so fortunate to have the choice to live in the US and in Germany or anywhere else within Europe. The system is so well organized that with the proper knowledge and preparation a move such as ours is manageable and easy, so easy. I wished more people took advantage of our globalized world and experience the world like we are able to do. The children have completely immersed in the German life and are loving school, their sweet teacher and the cute friends they are making everyday. Stella and I get into gear just as soon as the big kids are dropped of at school and walk the streets, run our errands, get things done! Not a dull moment. Stella loves all the hustle and bustle of the city, she loves the many parks and green areas, but most importantly she loves the water!! She squeals as soon as she spies the smallest body of water. WASSER she says WASSER!!!!!

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And water there is in this beautiful city of Kiel. Lots of water, ponds, the fjord and rocky and sandy beaches. I am definitely happiest by the water. I am glad my kids, especially the youngest appreciate it just as much.

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Any day now we will be moving into our new home. So far my mom has been a life saver and money saver too for letting us take over her tiny apartment and replace picture frames and vases with toys and books and other trinkets the kids collect every day. She has been doing our laundry, at least a load a day, and washing our dishes, buying groceries etc. Her little quite life has been enriched by three little happy faces and my smile as been as the State of Texas.

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I don’t know what divine power is working here but I am grateful that it is working for us. Thank you thank you universe for this experience. And thank you to all our friends in the US and in Germany for their well wishes. Your positive energy is working. ūüôā

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Love,

Yasemin

 

Germany 2014, Week One

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The three dual citizens have arrived! It was a loooong trip but well worth it. The clean air, the blue sky, being surrounded by water, drinking clean water straight from the tap, having family close by and much more. It all feels like a dream come true. Each day is full of new experiences.

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Playing at one of the many parks around our neighborhood, visiting the bi-weekly farmers market across the street, meeting new people…

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A little world cup soccer by the fj√∂rd anyone? Even Stella couldn’t resist.

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The kids finished school in the US. A week later they are back to school in Germany. What troopers they are.

We have quite the commute to this elementary school but it is designed to teach new kids the language as soon as possible so that they can be sent to their respective ¬†neighborhood schools once they acquire the necessary skills. This can happen as early as three months from now but won’t take longer than a year. Our neighborhood elementary school is only a two minute walk from our new home! My dream come true! Also coincidentally is the same elementary school that I went to 1982! Say what? ūüôā

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Of course, school isn’t everything and one has to play too. In our case that means: soccer – better yet Fussball!

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Isaiah is so excited about his upcoming soccer camp at Holstein Kiel. My brother kindly offered to take him to the facility for a tour. That was sweet.

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Here he is playing table tennis with a complete stranger cause mama is chasing after this one:

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Generally, this first week in Germany has been especially sweetened by the support that my family has given us. Whether we needed a ride, a high chair, help setting up a new cell phone or ‘handy’ as it’s called here it has been absolutely wonderful. In the 13 years that I’ve spent in the US I’ve never had that kind of support. So far i was able to secure a whole room full of loot:¬†a marble top dining table & 6 chairs, an antique sailor’s chest with custom pillow made from famous toile du jus fabric from France, an antique sewing console (can you say Biedermeier??), a mirror you have to see to believe it, an original piece of art, lots of household items including two teapots, plates from France!, several baskets, lots of fabric, and the list goes on and on…

Overall, this week has been eventful, exciting, emotional, full of energy and not enough sleep. Tomorrow we are signing the lease to our new apartment. Although we won’t be moving in just yet it feels so good to know that our new home is going to be in Kiel, my hometown, the place where I met my husband 19 years ago.

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This is the place the foundation for the future Mosby family was laid. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to this all over again with my children. Now, all that’s missing is daddy! He is still in Texas tying up some loose ends. We cannot wait to be reunited!

Love,

Yasemin

P.S. And just for the sake of continuity here are the final pictures from our countdown to #GermanyHereWeCome:

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One day until departure we all squeeze onto a sofa on the patio of a quaint South Beach hotel in Miami.

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And finally bye bye USA, at the Miami International airport right before we went through security.

This is it! It’s Moving Day!

How did this happen?

Just the other day we started a countdown to moving day and I am pretty sure it said: 30!

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Today, my daughter is posing in front of the chalkboard at our favorite grocery store and it reads: 3 days left!

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This can’t be! What a whirlwind of events! The kids are out of school, the house is emptying out, a storage unit of 5 x 5 is filling up, suitcases and piles of clothes in random places begging my attention… It happened so fast – all of this. The transition. The preparation of a new chapter!

These are the pictures we posted for our friends on Facebook (days 10 – 3):

#10, My husband spoiled the kids with a dozen donuts!

#9, The next day he had jury duty – how ironic is the timing! (I am guessing the gods punished him for the donuts :-))!

#8, My babies finished third grade & Kindergarten respectively.

#7, A week before our departure our social commitments exploded as everyone demanded QT! Thanks friends.

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#6, My husband the self-declared WaterPoPo found some water wasters!

#5, I’ve spent way to much time labeling and numbering all boxes.

#4, We got to spend some quality time with our dear friends Nick & Jen and their cool kids.

#3, We are eating out every meal since all our household goods went to Andy and Peyton.

imageAs far as logistics,  the international moving company that I am working with is pretty east to work with Рso far. They were very informative and up front with the cost and time involved.  They have a international minimum of 100 cubic feet. A 5 x 5 unit holds about half of that. Our alternative to ship everything via fedex UPS would have cost much more! Benefit: it would have taken them a week or so. The container on a boat option we are going for will take up to 9 weeks in transit!!!

Here is a view of a typical storage facility. That place looks like a high-security prison to me… not a real fun place to spent an afternoon.

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For customs purposes I was instructed to label each box with the content and number them as well. I did’t mind since labeling a box is obviously handy when moving.

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These 40-something boxes will have to remain ‘locked up’ for a while. ¬†At least until I sign the contract to our new living quarters. Once we give the shippers the ok they will retrieve these boxes from the storage unit and deliver them within 9 to 12 weeks to iur new address! I am sure by then I wont even remember what I packed in the first place….¬†In order to avoid paying taxes and import fees all of the things being shipped need to be your own property, you’ve owned it for 6 months at least, you are subject to bringing the same amount of alcohol, cigarettes, perfume etc as if you were putting them on your suitcase on the plane… Well, i wont have that problem. I never purchase wine and definitely no cigarettes when I am traveling overseas. About 80% of the content of our boxes are toys, kid’s artwork since preschool, yearbooks, their books, photos, photos and more photos! The rest is winter clothes, my sewing stuff (let’s just leave it at that!), and only the most precious plates and tea cups i’ve owned for almost two decades now.

And because these boxes will be en route tht long I am maximizing my baggage allowance for the first time. We each get to check in a suitcase, and have a carry on plus a personal item each on the airplane. I think I am allowed an additional carry-on for the baby but I had to stop myself there… That would have been eay to much for us to carry around once we land in Duesseldorf. The second plane to Hamburg is relatively small and full of business travellers. I am going to liok like a pack rat with my three children and a handful of bags to squeeze through the tiny aisles. Never ind there is never any overhead compartment space left by the time we board anyway… First world problems really.

Ok friends, this is it. It’s time to say good-bye to the life as we knew it in North Texas. Tomorrow morning I’ll zip up the suitcases, check all travel documents, pack a huge diaper bag, make sure kid’s backpacks are full of snacks and entertainment. We are ready for the next chapter!

Love,

Yasemin

May in pictures

May meant packing for us! The shelves started emptying, the boxes started filling. But with school still in full swing and soccer season in session there was still a lot of non-moving things happening in the Mosby house.

My May Instagram looked liked this:

Field trip to the Perot Museum in Dallas chaperoning my son’s 3rd grade:

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My sweet girl finished a very successful and fun soccer season with her Darlin’ Daisies:

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No matter how busy I am, play time with Stella always comes first:

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And a little break on Memorial Day yielded this family picture at the DMA and another one with only us girls:

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Of course the older kids still needed to play with friends & at sunset at the park:

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And then there was the daily countdown to Germany picture, of course: Days 30 through 11

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Now it’s time to get serious. With only nine days until departure there is still more work than time left!

Let’s go!

Yasemin

I LOVE to read – about sewing that is!!

There is a big beautiful world of sewing bloggers out there that only keeps growing. I keep adding more favorites to my list (see my ‘I like to read‘ page). interestingly enough most of these ladies started a web log for the same reasons – to document their growing portfolio of self made clothes mostly for their little girls who’s birth sparked the fire of DIY in them. My story is the same. I had this beautiful Singer sewing machine since Christmas of 2005, two years prior to my daughter’s birth.

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I used it mainly to make pillow cases :-). That’s all I knew how to do. In 2007 I was expecting my first daughter and that summer before her birth the sewing fire in me got a new spark. I went fabric shopping at JoAnn’s and made all her bedding. ¬†All pink!! ūüôā It would have been too easy (& expensive!) to go to Pottery Barn Kids and buy their bassinet & bedding. This special girl needed something one-of-a-kind.

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But it wasn’t until the spring of 2008 when I discovered this precious little sewing book that I had found my passion.

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Making children’s clothing, especially skirts and dresses!! I love every single page in this book and have sewn many many things from it. The below night dress I have altered many times into tops, dresses and tunics.

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I have a feeling that if I ever ventured into pattern making, I’d make this my first! Hello 2015! ūüôā

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Anyway, ever since that discovery at Barnes & Noble in beautiful Newport Beach I have added several other sewing books to my growing library.

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Little did I know then what a huge online world of free patterns and tutorials there was!! So, now my online library of blogs that I read on a daily basis is getting long!

Here are some of my latest finds:

These ladies aren’t just inspiring me to sew more for myself and kids but also take better pictures! That is my priority number one for the rest of the year. I have just sold my first Canon Rebel XS (below) that I owned for many years.

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Now I am shopping around for an upgrade and waiting for a sale. The Canon Rebel series comes highly recommended but this time around I need a better lens. So far I am looking at spending $600 with basis lens. The superior lens runs another another $200. With the imminent move overseas (18 days to go but who’s counting?!) But imagine the gorgeous pictures I could be taking on our journey!!! Plus the same camera in Germany is over 600 Euro!! So, getting this purchase out of the way will be¬†wise.

This time I am going to do my due diligence on how to maximize the camera’s many functions and in addition equip myself with a photo processing program. I am determined to make photography my next passion! Thank you ladies of the sewing blogesphere for all the inspiration.

Love,

Yasemin

P.S. Looking at the above pictures I am sure you agree: I NEED A NEW CAMERA & better photography skills. Yikes!

Packing & wondering

We’ve been burried in moving boxes and paperwork these last couple of days. We are in the homestretch of the biggest adventure of our lives – so far! Our dream of giving our three children a well-rounded life is taking one huge leap. We are bracing ourselves for a huge culture shock, a huge change of pace, or Tapetenwechsel like the Germans would say. It all happens in less than 20 days.

On day 30 we started a picture countdown on Facebook. We’ve kept it up and love reading all the comments and well wishes from our friends.

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24 days to go: Eating at DQ for the first time. It’s Texas y’all!

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At 23 days to go we are still playing soccer ALL WEEKEND!

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Days until departure: 22! Stella is ‘helping’ decorate the chalk board! Thanks baby! ūüôā

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21 days to go! Isaiah with his team – pure joy!

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20 days to go and I realize moving in general but especially overseas ain’t no picnic! It’s A LOT OF WORK!!!

Duh! We are moving a family of five overseas!

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(Must take: piles and piles of family pictures and photo albums!)

It all boils down to four categories: take on the plane, store & ship later, donate, and save for Andy! Andy, by the way, is an old high school friend of my husbands who, after living and working in China the last 10 years, decided to move to Dallas. He is moving into his new house in June which is perfectly timed with our move out date. All my precious possessions (my Rosenthal china, my samovar, closet organizers etc. etc.) will find a new home in his house. Great deal for him and less hassle for me to sell/donate/take every single dish, spoon or office supply! Win Рwin! Thanks Andy! Glad our paths have crossed this way. Perfect timing!

As for the boxes that we are storing first, they will have to patiently await their departure in a cozy little storage unit Here in North Texas. Once I’ve locked down our new place they will be shipped to our door after a nine- week journey on a boat! Sounds fun!

Originally this pile was much smaller – about 30 cubic feet which is the volume of 20 small moving boxes. Weight in this an international move didn’t matter. The mover that I am working with has a minimum of 100 cubic feet which is approx. three times of what I intended to move at first. Oh well, back to the drawing table to identify more things to take. I am not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Sometimes starting with as little as possible is pretty refreshing. On the other hand, I can always find some fabric that would take up the additional 70 cubic feet on a container headed overseas. :-)) I’m just sayin’. ūüôā like these pretties I just HAD to have last week.

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(To be honest, there are still 20 days of shopping opportunities ūüôā That container can fill up pretty quickly if I don’t stop myself.)

Today, as I was looking at the stacks of moving boxes everywhere, I started to imagine what life will be like for us in a few weeks? Where will we be home? When will we feel home? How will the kids like school in Germany? When will they start speaking German? So many things are going through my head. It is getting harder to relax and be in the moment. My mind wanders and wonders… so much to think about but also SO MUCH to look forward to!

See the map below? Kiel is right on the water – the Baltic Sea. Denmark is only hours away so is the North Sea in the west. I LOVE being by the water. I love boats! Kiel is the perfect mix of a quaint smaller city with access to nature as well as to nearby Hamburg. ¬†The air in this region – Schleswig Holstein- is crisp, clean. Perfect for raising a family! My mom will be at the most 15 minutes away! That alone is priceless! The walkability and bike-ability of this city would rank it in the top 10 of most desirable places to live in the world! The bi-weekly farmers markets in each neighborhood, the annual sailing event Kieler Woche… And so much more. Oh, the places we will go!

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Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Kiel:

Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 242,041 (2011).

Kiel lies approximately 90 kilometres (56 mi) north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutlandpeninsula, and the southwestern shore of the Baltic Sea, Kiel has become one of the major maritime centres of Germany. For instance, the city is known for a variety of international sailing events, including the annual Kiel Week, which is the biggest sailing event in the world. The Olympic sailing competitions of the1936 and the 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Kiel.[2]

Kiel has also been one of the traditional homes of the¬†German Navy‘s¬†Balticfleet, and continues to be a major high-tech¬†shipbuilding¬†centre. Located in Kiel is the¬†Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences¬†(IFM-GEOMAR) at theUniversity of Kiel. Kiel is an important sea transport hub, thanks to its location at the¬†Kiel Fjord¬†(Kieler F√∂rde) and the busiest artificial waterway in the world,Kiel Canal¬†(Nord-Ostsee-Kanal). A number of passenger ferries to¬†Sweden,Norway,¬†Russia, and other countries operate from here. Moreover, today Kiel harbour is an important port of call for¬†cruise ships¬†touring the Baltic Sea.

In 2005 Kiel’s¬†GDP¬†per capita was¬†‚ā¨35,618, well above¬†Germany‘s national average, and 159% of the¬†European Union‘s average.[3]

Within Germany and parts of Europe, the city is known for its leading handballteam, THW Kiel. The city is home to the University of Kiel (established in 1665).

Seriously, what else could I possibly wish for? Come, visit sometime! We’d love to have you.

Love,

Yasemin

Never stop moving & the countdown begins!

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We decided that our family motto was: Never stop moving! (Read about our biggest upcoming move here.) It is true. We have been on the move. It hasn’t even been two years since we left our beloved Southern California and again we have started packing up our belongings. It’s time to put all that planning of the last months into action. We’ve been selling bits and pieces of furniture, cleaning out our closets, and clearing out one room of the house at a time. I have even gotten into my sewing room and SOLD some fabric & other crafting supplies and have given away some, too. This purging feels good. It is refreshing. A perfect new start. Time to have a real hard look at all that we have accumulated and hopefully be more thoughtful before we purchase any new things.

So far, I think we will end up having to store 20 small moving boxes. These boxes are filled with our family memories, photos, video tapes, kid’s baby books, school work, journals, trophies, and other emotional items that we cannot part with. Two of those boxes hold my favorite sewing books and other sewing related items. And then there are winter clothes that we won’t need in Germany – immediately. Although sometimes June can be pretty cold ūüôĀ and wet, too!

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With the stacks of boxes filling the kids are understanding that this is REALLY happening. I caught my sweet Seda¬†scribbling ‘I Love Germany’ on the side walk yesterday. It made me happy to know that she is just as excited as I was. It also inspired me to start a countdown today using this cute chalkboard I bought at Michael’s. So starting today, we are going to count down to June 10th – our moving day!

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#GermanyHereWeCome

We are going to do our best to enjoy the next 30 that we will be here in the US.

Ready? Let the countdown begin!

Love,

Yasemin 

 

 

Soccer

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My sweet Seda turns into a fighter every time she steps foot on a soccer field. She never showed much interest in kicking the ball around outside of her weekly hour-long practice with her wonderful coaches and darling teammates but once that kick-off whistle goes off she seems to know just what to do. Not only is she eager to kick a goal or two or four but she also is a very strong defender. Faster than the wind she outruns the competition AND defends her goal successfully. My girl Seda. A princess and a gentle soul at heart she is a fierce athlete and strong player on the field.

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She just finished playing her forth season! Last week her team the Darlin’ Daisies celebrated yet another undefeated season with pizza & ice cream. ¬†We (the parents) had such a grand time on the sidelines cheering them on and hanging out with the other families we have known for almost two years now. It is such a bonding experience to have your child play on the same team week after week, season after season. We will miss them this fall when they all play together sporting their blue & pink jerseys and we look for a little group of girls to kick the ball around with all the way in Germany. Our daisies will play hard again and most likely lead in their age group. We will cheer them on from across the Atlantic.

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Bye bye girls. Go and kick that ball.

Love,

The Mosbys

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P.S. I got to sew up eight of these bags for the girl’s post-season party. It was a fun way to use up my Lisette daisy fabric and leave something for the girls to remember us by.

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 My sweet girl in her other jersey last fall. All smiles :-)!

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