Thursday, October 11, 2018


Nicholas tried out marksmanship in high school, and has since been to the shooting range in Mainz twice. Now that he's passed his IST (Initial Strength Test) and currently hopes to get into Security Forces and eventually Sniper School, it's a good place to be.

And if dad does it...

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Next Post: Still Baghdad

Ian works magic.  We'll leave Frankfurt the day after Jonathon graduates, have 3 weeks in the U.S. with one of those weeks for me at FACT, then off to post. 

That's only if I get a job though. My packet is in, I followed up again last week, it's a slow process - cross your fingers.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Dog update

Mokka has been with us almost a year and she's come a long way.

When we got her she was scared of...

The hallway
Loud noises
Quiet noises
The outside in general
Weather in general
Everything else

Things she was not scared of...

The cats

Now, she is no longer scared of...

The hallway
Loud noises
Quiet noises
The outside in general
Weather in general

*She has a dog friend in the building!  A 9 year old pup she gets so excited to see.  It's adorable.  She still doesn't like all other dogs. Puppies freak her out.

She's come so far!

I don't know that baths will ever be her favorite, and we took her to the dog beach for the second time today and she still doesn't like that water either, or all the other dogs wandering around.  And she doesn't care at all for rain.  I sense a theme.

She knows how to sit, lay down, jump up, spin, shake, stay, and is learning roll over.  She knows she's not allowed in the master bedroom and the kitchen, but there are places outside each room that she likes to lay where she can see what's going on. Yes, she goes on the furniture.  But she's better about the cats (and the cats are better about her).

She knows when it's frisbee day and that she'll get to go to the park and run around like a crazy thing.

She knows the time of day and gets really irritating when it's food time. Actually she gets really irritating a lot of times when she wants attention.  I haven't figured out how to get her to stop pawing us for attention. A cat pawing is cute and soft, a dog pawing leaves marks.

She has a stuffed pig.

She'll do anything for a piece of string cheese.

She's still learning to be a dog.  She doesn't know how to chase a ball, is completely uninterested in sticks, and rarely doesn't know what to do with the rest of her toys unless it's stuffed with a treat... or is her pig.  She really likes her squeaky pig.

All in all, though, she's a good pup.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Next Post: Baghdad

With our youngest graduating high school in June 2019 and a position in Baghdad opening up summer 2019, we figured now was a good time to throw in our hat. It sounds simple enough.  And then reality sets in.

We have 4 pets.  Why?  Oh, good question, but irrelevant at this point.  Four pets that need to go somewhere for a year since they can't come to Baghdad.  Not even one cat to keep us company.  We have plans for all the pets.

We have one kid who has graduated college but doesn't have a full-time job yet.  She's working on it, and we hope that by winter time she'll be all squared away. 

Another kid is planning to move off campus at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.  She'll have the dog by then and we wanted to be there to help her move.  It's flexible.

Another has enlisted in the Marines and should be graduating boot camp next April in South Carolina.  We wanted to be there for that.  We will be there for that.

The youngest graduates on 1 June 2019 and has the whole summer 2019 to fill before going to university, wherever he goes.

Germany is interesting - it doesn't allow families to stay in-country if the direct hire isn't at post.  It is not a safe-haven country.  So the day that Ian leaves is the day the rest of us leave.

Here's where it gets really interesting.

The youngest graduates on 1 June.  That's immovable.  Home leave (required at the end of each tour, or after 2 years if the tour is 4 years, consultation days and holidays are not included) is a minimum of 20 unworked work days - a full month.  You can try to wriggle it a little bit like take training first, or get it shortened a few days, but on the whole it is non-negotiable.  We arrived in Frankfurt at the end of July in 2016 and are given roughly 30 days on either side of that date in 2019 for departure, but that is flexible though it requires some hoop-jumping for HR.

So... when we bid on this job, we expected that we would leave on 2 June... do homeleave and training... and arrive to the next post mid-July.

The person he's replacing leaves in June.

We've been informed, in no uncertain terms, that gaps at post are not allowed.  For any reason.  Ever.

Ian is the only one that matters when it comes to timing of stuff - getting his home leave done, getting to post.  If I could stay in Germany with Jonathon after Ian left to get through exams and graduation, I would, but as far as I know I can't.

I'm open to suggestions on how this is supposed to work.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

We're melting and we've been melting for weeks.

So hot.

So hot.

The pets are wearing fur coats and are melting worse than we are.  99F outside and no a/c inside. Some rooms have fans.

So hot.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

What. A. Week+. Part 6

And even further back to May 20th.... This one graduated college!
We were able to fly back, and take her out to Morton's afterwards with the grandparents.

Now it's on to finding a job :)  

What. A. Week+. Part 5

Nicholas had his enlistment ceremony for the Marines! 13 June 2018

He won't ship out until 2019, but he's signed on the dotted line, so no backsies...

What. A. Week+. Part 4

Ian ran Trivia Night! 12 June 2018

Roughly every three months we have Trivia Night at the Fieldhouse. This time, my mom, Katherine, and Jonathon, were parceled out to teams.  None of their teams won.  Proof that we don't cheat!

What. A. Week+. Part 3

We hosted a BBQ picnic! 9 June 2018

Mokka made friends with Isabella.

Root beer floats are da'bomb.  Don't use diet root beer.

What. A. Week+. Part 2

Nicholas graduated from Wiesbaden High School! 10 June 2018

The Kurhaus is beautiful.  It's no Jerash, but it'll do.

What. A. Week+. Part 1

The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup.
It only took 43 years.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Did I also forget The Hague?

My boss and I went to a conference in The Hague.  The conference was fine.

The beach was better!

Along an inlet were little coves - dog beach!

Frites. Mayo. Fish nuggets.

Easter chocolate at Hop en Stork.

De Passage - Indoor Shopping UNESCO Monument

A little too far back?
My favorite piece at Mauritshaus was The Goldfinch.  And if I ever go back, I'd like to visit the Escher Museum.

Did I forget Poland?

The CLO did a trip.  Primarily because the CLO wanted to go Polish pottery shopping.  And there's no better reason to arrange a trip!

We stayed here, you should too.

Manufaktura factory tour followed by pottery painting.
We should get these back soon after they are fired.

My purchases!

The food was awesome as expected.

The Poland Pierogies!