Goodbye Germany, Hello Kansas!!

Goodbye Germany

In February 2014 the Army sent us from Georgia, where we had lived for 5 years, to Germany. At the end of this November, they sent us back to America (Kansas to be exact). I have learned through many moves and many years as an Army wife that your duty station is largely what you make of it, so, while it was hard to leave the friends we had made in Georgia, I was determined to make the best of Germany. We were excited and made plans to travel and do all sorts of fun things. Well, Germany and the Army had other plans and all I can say is our almost three years there was a much bigger challenge than we anticipated. Saying we are thrilled to be back “home” would be an understatement.

Hello Kansas
Hello Kansas

Moving with a large family, especially moving overseas, is no joke (not to mention being 33 weeks pregnant) but I survived and got 6 people and 2 pets (and about 16 bags) over the ocean and back in the U.S.A.!! We are still waiting on our vehicle and belongings to make it over but at least we are here.

We are settling into our new house as best we can with no furniture. We were blessed to have both sets of parents come visit within the first few days of being here and bring things to help us settle in; dishes, a folding table and chairs, air mattresses, sheets and other creature comforts.

It has been an incredibly busy couple of weeks. The trip started with a 7-hour bus ride to the airport. Then we had a 14-hour wait at the airport because our flight was delayed. The flight over the ocean is about 8 hours. Once we made it through customs, collected our baggage, picked up the rental car and made it to the hotel we only had about 3 hours to sleep. We briefly considered just staying at the airport but I think the showers and nap we got was worth paying for the hotel! The next day we finished our trip with two more plane rides and a 2-hour car ride. In all honesty, the kids did amazing. The littlest did scream the last 15-20 minutes of every flight and being stuck in the airport with a toddler who doesn’t understand is not exactly a walk in the park but they could have been so much worse.

Another thing we have learned from our multiple moves is that it is best to jump right into your new community.

 

So far in the last not-quite-2-weeks we have:

Visited a church

Attended a Family Readiness Group function

Met up with some online friends at Chick-fil-a

Hosted our parents

Acquired a new dog 

Our New Dog
Our New Dog

Seen my midwife

Attended AWANA

Interviewed for two jobs (at home)

Attended a Christmas Party for the Classical Conversations community we are joining

Joined the local food coop and placed my first order

Visited the Farmer’s market

and done lots of shopping!

We have been very impressed and happy with Kansas so far. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming and we are thrilled to be here. We live a good distance from the Army base where hubby will be working so I’ve only been there once but it is a lovely installation with many of it’s old/original buildings preserved and tons of history. We are looking forward to getting even more involved with our new community and making a home here.

 

The biggest lessons I’ve learned about moving overseas with kids:

Moving in the third trimester of pregnancy is hard but moving with a toddler is harder!

Do not get a large dog if you have any plans to move overseas at any point. Moving the dog home was the single hardest part of this move to arrange!

Moving a large dog overseas is difficult!
Moving a large dog overseas is difficult!

Take lots of snacks for the kids.

Pack as light as possible.

Plan well but be very flexible.

 

Now that we are here and semi-settled I will be able to blog more regularly. Later this week I will share with you more about our new house and little piece of land and our upcoming homesteading plans!

 

Have you made any major moves? How did they go? Where was your favorite place to live? Share your experiences in the comments.

Comments

  1. Oh wow! That’s a very busy adventure right before Christmas! Well, welcome home!!! I hope Kansas will be very welcoming because you have your hands full Mama!

    • Thanks! Yes very busy and it looks like our stuff won’t be here before Christmas like we hoped so we are trying to decide what to do about decorations and a tree. So far Kansas has been wonderful!

  2. Wow! I give you so much Credit! We knew it was going to be a long trip but glad you shared the true detailed long experience. We have never been through anything like that. Very glad your home!

  3. Wow! Well done on getting back home. That is some huge adventure you’ve been embarking on. I’ve traveled overseas with two kids both toddlers so I empathize with how challenging this was for you. I’m glad you are home safe and hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well.

  4. Welcome to Kansas and to the Crew. I’m not originally from KS but, have called in home since 2004. I’m just a short drive from Wichita.

    My father was stationed in Germany when I was a kid. I have fond memories of my time there.

  5. Oh my goodness! That’s amazing. I admire that you can even think about being out and about in the community so soon — much less get so much accomplished! Wow. How do you go about finding your local food coop? I’ve been interested in doing that lately, but I haven’t taken the plunge yet…

    • Thanks, really with kids there isn’t much option but to just jump in. I know if I don’t do it now it will be a while after baby arrives before I’ll be able to. As for the food coop, this one I found through my midwife, generally you just have to ask around until you find someone who knows!

  6. Wow, what a big adventure!! So glad you’re settling in and I bet your families are glad to have you back stateside! The biggest move we did was from western Canada to New Jersey. We drove our own car and a moving van, and did the move when we had just one child, not quite a year old. So it was an adventure to be sure, but the logistics were easy-peasy compared to everything you’ve juggled.

    • Yes, our families are very glad to have us closer! We are actually the closest we have ever been stationed to “home” where our parents live so it is pretty exciting! Your biggest move sounds pretty overwhelming too! Thanks for visiting!

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