Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Once in a blue moon

The last update we took time to sit down and put together was August 14th, 2months and 4 days ago.  That is really bad blog etiquette!  My humblest of apologies.

Where to begin?  I literally have to utilize iPhoto in order to jog my memory to sequence of events.

I will put this together to the best of my abilities, please forgive me if I leave out some details or seem brief on some events.  Ready?  Here we go

August 15th our truck arrived, we have a vehicle!  This is a story in itself.  In order to register the vehicle in Germany it has to pass a very thorough inspection, everyone fails the first round and you have 30 days to remediate.  So we were failed for ball joints, tires and a few lights.  I had just bought a $992 set of Michelin super sweet tires before dropping off the truck for shipping.  Turns out these tires were actually rubbing the steering knuckle underneath.  Sears apparently did not notice this.  This resulted in a saga with Sears that was resolved with a full refund, which was nice.  New tires were purchased and mounted.  The ball joints were ordered but never showed up so they had to be reordered and a second set of 30 day tags had to be acquired.  In the midst of this we were side swiped by a hit and run and our mirror was taken off so the truck had to visit a body shop to be repaired.  Needless to say, after almost 60 days we won and finally got the truck legal.

Whats next, hmm, you may remember me saying that the Germans seem to be much more fit overall than we americans, hardly any obesity or overweight folks.  We believe we have found the secret...
There are GREAT dessert shops all over the place.  These guys do not half-step on dessert whatsoever.  We have no scientific data that this will lead to a thinner version of ourselves but we are willing to subject ourselves to this experiment for your benefit.  Brandy and Ryley are all in...

I want to upload a shot from August 17th to maybe give you an idea of how our view of Germany is being shaped.  We live in a small village away from the city and love it.  Much of the area we are surrounded by consists mostly of forests and fields.  We were driving along, popped over a hill and took in this view.  The picture doesn't do it justice but a beautiful valley, hot air balloon in the distance and windmills.  Its amazing that this is where we live!

Ok, next, back in the hotel, we learned that Ryley is very very serious about Simon says, she doesn't take any chances...

In business news, our North American Amway business has achieved the platinum bonus level!  This is a great thing for us & for our team and we were/are so excited to be blessed with an incredible group of winners.  Anway rewards you with a $2500 bonus for this particular achievement, I will upload a copy of it.  Below is a shot of the $2500 in its Euro equivalency.  That puts our best month in Amway over $4000!  We have since begun our Amway DE business and are excited about that as well!

And now a gratuitous shot of Ryley for the grandparents...

September 1st we moved into our home, 6 days before the girls arrived.  This was 6 days of solid fast paced work.  We had a big vision of what we wanted to get done and we came darn close to doing it all.  All the furniture & our goods from the states were delivered, rooms set up, kitchen usable and made relatively clean.  What a serious pace we ran!  This is where our neighbors and landlords began to realize that we are crazy.  Totally worth it though.

Ok, September 7th!  The girls are here!  Wow, what a cool day, Hailey and Grace flew over with Grandparents Joe & Cindy.  It was absolutely awesome AND we got to celebrate Ryleys birthday finally!  We celebrated with our great friends, the Johnsons, our incredible german neighbors, the Maurers, grandparents Joe & Cindy and the girls.

Next day, we visited Hozhollen castle with the Wallers, you'll notice they recognized Grace and Ryley as royalty immediately...

Then began our trip to Paris!  This was a surprise for the girls, they were very excited.  It was a great trip, much more than a good ole boy from Bedford County believed he would experience.  Special thanks to Joe & Cindy and to Brandy for putting so much thought and time into the trip.  It was amazing.  Some shots from lunch outside the station and the train ride:

  The sunrise in Paris!
 Our first sighting of the Eiffel Tower...

Forgive my not remembering the fellows name, but if this looks like the mall in D.C. its because the D.C. mall was designed by the same frenchman that designed this!

Must ride a carousel in France...

A boat tour of the Sienne...

Busy Paris markets...

St. Germaine, the oldest church in Paris, completely and respectfully awe inspiring.

The Mona Lisa at the Lourve, she's not that hot, don't see what all the fuss is about (jk).
 Notre Dame

So cool to be able to say we have traveled to Paris as a family, thank you again Joe & Cindy!

It is Fest month here!  Festivals all the time & everywhere.  These people know how to let their hair done.  Yes, we have been to Oktoberfest, yes, everyone should go at least once, or twice...maybe 3 times.

Gotta throw this in, I grew a beard.  Brandy was not a fan.  Every man must grow a beard in some point in their life.  This was attempt number one by Marshal, it will happen again.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday.  Here's how to lose ten years off your face in five minutes.

We have begun homeshool in all of this.  It is challenging and great at the same time.  We are utilizing an A Beca curriculum with Saxon Algebra for Hailey.  I think it is going to get better and better.  The girls are incredibly smart and learn so quickly.

Alright, well, how to conclude?  We are in our home, it is great.  Brandy has put a ton of work and thought into making this house a home, it is amazing & she is incredible.  I am a lucky man, never knew I could be so happy, God has blessed our family.

Next post will be pictures of the living quarters.  There are a few more boxes & there are a few pictures to be hung but it feels like home.  The weather is getting colder, we are ready for Winter, skiing, warm fires and more adventures.

We pray God blesses and keeps you, stay in touch with us!  Family & friends come and visit, you'll be happy you did.