Friday, July 29, 2011

Big update!

Well, it has been too long since the last update and much has transpired! I have been meaning to get this blog up to speed but feel like I have been running out of gas when there is time to write! I will try my best to give a full account of events best I can and as in depth as my thumbs will allow me to hack it out on my iPhone.

We have accomplished many items listed at the end of our last post. We have cell phones & service with calls back to the US, we have chosen a home, Marshal has passed the German drivers exam, Brandy tests Monday for hers, no car yet, we may forgo that until ours arrives, only two more weeks, we are looking at furniture, we have bank accounts & an APO box.

We decided to go with the 200 yr old house and we are very excited about it. The house is located in Waldorfhaslach, each of the girls will have their own room, there will be an office, hobby room, laundry room, cellar and 2 garages. There is a small backyard but a large park and forest area right up the road. We will get some pictures on our next trip out, promise.

We have ventured to downtown Stuttgart, very cool city. Tons of shopping & restaurants, seems quite clean and safe. The food is an adventure every time. There is just something different about it here. I have decided that pretty much all the food in the states tastes pretty much the same. There are so many cultures and perceptions of cultures here that the food just translates differently. I am convinced it is more healthy however, Brandy and I are both losing weight without focusing on it. We have found that one thing at least is international. Ice cream seems to be a universal concept and boy does it make Ryley happy!

I mentioned that we had been thinking that we may forgo a vehicle until the trailblazer we shipped arrives. Originally I would have been appalled at this idea but the public transportation system here is intense. Trains & busses go everywhere, they are clean and economical. The gas here is over 3€ a liter (yep, LITER) so you can imagine what it is a gallon. Learning the public transportation system isn't to hard, we are catching on pretty quick.

Ryley waiting on the bus...

Train station...

The above shots are from the central hub of the train station at Hauptbahnhof.

Directly outside the train station you find historic and modern Stuttgart. Many times these are in the same spot as the Germans have been here doing their thing for a long time. I am going to post some pics below. I will offer some explanation of what these places are later in the blog as my thumbs already want to be done!

Also in Stuttgart are several markets, the Germans don't have giant Food Lions, Krogers or Wal-Marts here. I know I just ruined Germany for some folks with the no Wal-Mart revelation, it is true, you can survive without Wal-Mart friends. The populous here does the majority of their food shopping at open air markets, the refrigerators here are very small, the food is fresh and bought every couple days. The markets are full of farmers and independent butchers or confectionaries. The smells are incredible and the samples are awesome. You really need some knowledge of the German language here, there is basically nothing in English. Below is a picture of an indoor market in Stuttgart, you can look this one up, google indoor marketplace Stuttgart.

In our orientation class we were given the opportunity to tour a castle. We toured the castle Von litchtenstien, please forgive the spelling. I will edit the correct spelling. This is the smallest castle in this region bit it was very interesting, lots of history behind it, changed hands several times and was even involved in WWII.

The view from the castle, it is sheer cliff on three sides.

Ok, proud parent time, our sweet Ryley turned 2 on the 27th of July! We didn't celebrate in any big way, we are going to hold off until Hailey and Grace are here but I have to show a couple of pics, the awesome Johnsons let us come over, cook some pizzas and give her a cake and an Elmo. I'm not sure Ryley knows why she was the recipient of all of this but she was tickled.

YouTube Video

Alright, I think we are caught up for now! I will post more often in order to avoid this thumb exhaustion!

We hope everyone is well and happy, we love you!

M & B

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 17, 2011

House & church hunting

We are on day number two of house hunting. The first day yielded a possibility in the form of a 200 year old home being refinished and restored top to bottom. We would be the first residents after the restoration, it has plenty of space and the 200 yr old oak beams are exposed. The house is in a small German town that looks like it fell right out of "The Sound of Music". Today we are visiting Veinhigen and Leonburg in search of more options.

This morning we attended the International Baptist Church in Stuttgart. Great message, praise and worship left something to be desired. The service is in English, many people were wearing translators to understand the message in their own language. Pretty cool to see so many nationalities represented worshiping and agreeing under one roof. We will visit a couple more churches before we make our choice.

The above picture is of 3 girls, 2 German 1 American, getting baptized together.

I will upload some pics of a neat house if we see one today.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 15, 2011

Family in motion!


Welcome to our family blog and thank you for reading!

This blog will serve as our platform to keep family, friends and whomever follows up to date on places we visit, things we learn in our travels, adventures in homeschooling & our home based business, and anything and everything else.

First, background and introductions and then we'll catch you up. Our immediate family is comprised of 5 parts (for now anyway).

Marshal - 31
Hailey - 13
Grace - 9
Ryley - almost 2

We are not your "conventional" family I suppose, we have only been married 3 years during which our Ryley was born, Hailey & Gracie are Marshal's "step" daughters and that will be the last time you see "step" used in that fashion. We all love each other very much and there are no barriers or boundaries in our family. Brandy is currently active duty Navy, Marshal is full time sales, Hailey and Grace will be home schooled and Ryley will take the occasional trip to daycare so Marshal will not go insane.

Our present adventure began months ago, Brandy was up for orders and the options were fairly limited. We opted for Stuttgart, Germany. Stuttgart offered a lower chance that Brandy would be away from the girls, great opportunity for travel and a chance to introduce to girls to new countries and cultures. The downside of course being the distance it creates from family and friends. We intend this blog to shorten the distance between us and you. On And leading up to June 17th there were employment options to weigh, choices of schooling to make, financial decisions to cipher through, not to mention medical screenings, pack outs, shipments, etc.

June 18th we began our travels! We roamed to Lake Lure, NC to spend time with some great business partners and create some incredible memories to take with us. From there we traveled to Roanoke, Va to spend time with Marshal's side of the family. We enjoyed time on the Lake with Marshal's Dad, went to Natural Bridge with Marshal's mom and sister Vicki, spent time with Great-Gma Mary and truly soaked in the family time. The third week we returned to Va Beach, staying at Brandy's Dad's and his wife, Cindy, visiting her mom and her husband, Ed and spending time with brother-in-law, Jason, and sister, Kristy. We also got spend time with our local business partners and friends, the East Coast Surge (

July 12 was the big day, time to fly to Germany! After a couple delays, a few frustrations, a few laughs and finally an arrival we were there. Neither Brandy or I slept, Ryley slept very little. Fortunately Brandy has a great couple who are friends already stationed here, Jeff and Jean. Jean picked us up from the airport and took us to lunch, our hotel and had us over for dinner. It was great being welcomed by friendly faces.

Hailey and Grace will join us in a short month and a half, they remained home for the summer with their natural dad.

We are currently in the process of acclimating to a new country. We have to acquire cell service, a home, new drivers licenses, a car, furniture, bank accounts, APO box and daily routines. This will all be very exciting and a whirlwind and we will do our best to update the blog as often as we can offering tips, pictures, videos and stories of our adventures.

Again, thank you for reading and we hope you enjoy!