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

 

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. 🙂

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Love,

Yasemin

 

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 – so 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

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! 🙂

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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 – win! 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’. 🙂 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 🙂 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 Förde) and the busiest artificial waterway in the world,Kiel Canal (Nord-Ostsee-Kanal). A number of passenger ferries to Sweden,NorwayRussia, 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 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 🙁 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 

 

 

Bye bye April – Hello May!

April has been the most eventful & exciting month since I started blogging in September of 2013 but interestingly enough I only found two opportunities to blog in April. I have not giving my sewing machine a rest for more than 24 hours at a time but finding the time to photograph and write about what goes on around here has been hard. I am sure May won’t be any different. After all, in less than 40 days we will have to have sold everything that we are not taking with us to our new home in Germany. All four suitcases and another for carry-ons will have to be packed and ready to go. The boxes for storage containing memorabilia – mostly kid’s trophies & medals, art work, photo albums and video tapes etc. have to packed and labeled.

But first, let me take a moment to recap via Instagram pictures all that the Mosbys have been up to in April.

Enjoy!

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Packing has commenced! And no end in sight…

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Fabric shopping & spring sewing has happened – a lot!

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Had lots of Oprah & chai both at home and at Starbucks. Oh so good – especially together!!

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Done some spring shopping at Old Navy with my sidekick and aspiring mannequin. And of course, stopped & smelled the flowers at Trader Joe’s!

Thanks for stopping by! Let’s go MAY!!

Love,

Yasemin