Day 100

We hit it, triple digits, and all Davies are currently still alive and healthy.

Restrictions are slowly starting to lift here, but with so many nations so close to each other it’s been interesting how each is dealing with reopening. Masks are nonexistent in the Netherlands where they are a mainstay in Germany. Some nations still have their borders closed, but June 15th is the magical date that many EU nations will be available again. While Europe begins to open to those who live here, the Air Force is still keeping restrictions tight.

We have a radius we have to stay in on the weekends and for all those who were set to move this summer it has been indefinitely delayed. We’re grateful our leadership does allow us to travel locally (within a few hours).

There is still no sign that the daycare here is opening and we’re being told to prepare to continue digital learning in the fall. We did successfully complete Mia and Ana’s school year digitally, but it was filled with frustration and tears all around. I cannot imagine digital teaching/learning with 3 kids (Dax starts preschool in August).

We hope you all are staying healthy and safe. Until next time.

-S

Day 70 COVID-19 Ops

Yah, yah, yah…I know.

Here’s to being better.

Our family has been in COVID-19 operations for 70 days now. 70 days ago I received phone call from Dax and Zoe’s daycare saying they were closed effective immediately and until further notice. Since then Mia and Ana’s school went digital for the rest of the year, work is now at minimum manning, we’re rationed on cleaning items/milk/eggs/and soon to be meat, masks are required in a lot of locations (but dependent on what country Germany yes Netherlands no), and emotions are definitely stressed.

Through this whole things Zed and I have been doing high five ops. I work a day or two and then he works a day or two. A lot of it is dependent on his flying schedule and I schedule my meetings around that. While we’re home we’re following the lesson plans we receive from the girls’ teachers and do our best to encourage learning. It’s not always easy.

Wednesday our cleaning lady comes, one of the reason I’ve been able to stay sane and one of the secrets to our family’s success. I made fudge and ordered cookies for the girls’ teachers and while the cleaning lady was at the house we delivered the goodies.

Our initial plan was to leave the goodies and then ding dong ditch. That plan quickly went away when we pulled up to each teacher’s home. Mia and Ana were literally jumping they were so excited to just catch a glimpse of their teacher. Seeing them restrain their excitement and love was hard to watch. They knew they couldn’t give hugs but seeing the desire to give one made me sad. This virus has changed our lives so much. Seeing a 5 year old understand the concept of social distancing but desire the physical contact is sad.

If you’ve ever met Mia you know how she loves hugs. She did so well for about 2min and her love for hugs took over. She melted into her teacher and a calm came over her. I loved being able to see the love between a student and a teacher, but became sad that this will probably be the final time Mia sees her teacher before school is *hopefully* back in live session in August.

So reach out to the teachers this week and thank them. They are missing their students and this digital learning is just as hard on them as it is on the parents attempting to execute it.

-S

For the First Time in Forever

So Happy New Year…I still have not been better about posting. I apologize.

Most of you will be getting New Years card from us in the coming weeks, i finally got them ordered and mailed out. If you don’t please be sure we get your address. Goal for this year is to get everyone Christmas cads prior to Christmas…

Zed also dragged my butt to the doctor and forced me to talk about the back pain I’ve been having. The doc checked me out, thankfully nothing serious, but he did dry needling and I start physical therapy next week. Something I realized after the appointment was that I didn’t realize how much pain I was in until it was relieved.

I think this is typical for everyone whether it’s back pain, stress, or any other struggle you’re facing. We don’t realize how much things bog us down until they’ve been removed. As this new year begins (yes I’m a few weeks late) for the first time in forever I’m going to be taking stock of the things in my life that bog me down and work to remove them or improve them.

Hello…It’s Me…

To say it’s been awhile is an understatement. In August I said I was back, but obviously that was false. To say life also got in the way is false. Life didn’t get in the way of me blogging, I was enjoying life so I didn’t have time to blog. It’s probably easier to do a list of what we have done since April and then just hope pictures follow eventually 😁

April – Girls Trip to Milan

May – I became a 2nd grade teacher’s assistant 3 times per month, Zed experienced Norway for the first time

June – Hosted the Sick Puppies Rick band, We took our first military air hop back to the States

July – Wedding in Maryland, Zed’s brother came home from his mission

August – Mia started 1st grade, Anaston started Kindergarten, hosted a baby shower for one of my best friends

September – Zed and I emceed the Air Force birthday ball, Mia and Ana did cheer camp, Oktoberfest

October – Zed was deployed the whole month, Elaine visited, we assisted in the arrival of a new family here to GK, we hosted a see you later party for some good friends before they went back to the states, Halloween

November – Girls Trip to London, began my final year in my 20s, hosted four comedians (Slade Ham, Paul Oddo, Sam Demaris, Julie Scoggins), hosted the Harlem Globetrotters, celebrated Belgian Kings Day, hosted Thanksgiving for 50 people, enjoyed another Thanksgiving with 500 people, enjoyed a third Thanksgiving with 200 people, watched AF play Army here at GK, went to three Christmas markets

December – finally posted on the blog again, today we plan to hit the Playmobile fun park and possibly another Christmas market

Until next, which I will do my best to not be so long

-S

Sorry…

Not much more to say except that. I haven’t posted in months and we’ve done a ton. I hope I can do better about posting of our adventures. Get ready for an onslaught of posts documenting all the way back to April.

-S

It’s Back

My greatest pleasure in being a mom is watching my kids play outside. Now that the nice weather is here, we’ve put our tramp back up. At least once a day they’ll all be still and quiet for a moment as they lay down and look up at the clouds trying to find shapes. This picture is not one of those moments, but still a good one. Happy Spring!

NATO 101

I had the opportunity to go to a course in Southern Germany to learn more about NATO and it’s interactions with different nations. I learned a ton, but the best part was having a class made up of 26 nations, and not all were NATO members. To learn how Ukraine views current world issues versus Denmark is just one example. Throw in my US mindset and a Dutch opinion and dinner conversation was never dull.

Part of the course allowed the opportunity to independent study. I used the opportunity to sight see.

My trip to the Disney castle was worth it. Unfortunately pictures inside are not allowed. It is worth the ticket price. Interesting note, the castle has been a museum since 6wks after King Ludwig’s mysterious death.

I also visited Kolfel mountain in Oberammergau, Germany where the story of Hansel and Gretel comes from. The story goes that a witch lives in the mountain and there are numerous documentations of kids going out to play and never coming back.

Oberammergau is a unique village situated in a valley. When the village was hit with the Plague the town promised God that if it would stop spreading and spare lives they would always do a Passion play. The Plague ceased and the people have put on the Passion play every 10yrs following. This is the longest running Passion play in the world. It has become so largely attended that only those born in Oberammergau or those who have lived there for a minimum of 20yrs are allowed to be actors.

The opportunity to learn more about my job, but also other nations perspectives is one I am so grateful to have gotten. Not bad to get it see Neuschwanstein either.

-S

Dagje Uit

Upon getting home from my work trip I learned it was time to pick up one of our two tables we had ordered. The table we would be picking up was in Northern Netherlands, or Holland, and was our new coffee table.

Kinderdijk was recommended to us by the man who built our table and we are so glad he did. The weather was perfect and the crowds were low. Dax and Zoe loved taking a vehicle ferry and then riding a boat to the windmills. One of the windmills we toured housed a single family of 14!

Next was another castle. Though the baroness was Jewish it survived WWII thanks to the wits of the staff left behind. They hid anything that could be taken off the walls in secret passageways. If they received news of German troops coming close they would begin to clean and manicure the grounds. When asked what they were doing by German troops, the staff would respond getting the estate ready for your leadership. Thinking their leadership was about to arrive, they did no harm to the property.

And finally it wouldn’t be a Davies Day Trip if we didn’t go out of our way to see Amsterdam and the dyke system that has reclaimed the lowlands of the Netherlands.

The longer we’re here the more we want to travel. This should mean more actual travel leading to more blog posts. Enjoy!

-S

A Weekend Away

This is quite delayed, but life happens and catching up the blog is my lowest priority.

Zed and I had the amazing opportunity to spend a few days together in Europe. His parents were out visiting to help with the kids as I was away with work. Zed was gracious enough to drive me down and take the scenic route. In total we visited 8 countries in under 48hrs.

Our journey began in the Netherlands, as that’s where we live. We quickly entered Belgium where we passed through Liege, Bastogne, and Arlon. I love living in a place that holds so much history. When we first moved here we watched Band of Brothers to give us a brief history lesson. Then it was a quick stop through Luxembourg, which is smaller than Rhode Island.

France is where things became new. As soon as we crossed the border we saw the Maginot line, which I got no pictures of because my phone was away. From that point on I always had it within easy reach and turned the auto camera function on. We were also greeted into France by seeing nuclear power plants. Their water towers are also some of the most unique I’ve seen (a funnel, a castle turret, and a mushroom). By this time we need some food. We like to visit the local McDonald’s to see what interesting things they have on their menu. We were let down, no unique menu items. Moments away from our next country we came to a border checkpoint. When they asked us if we had anything to declare I held up the McDonald’s bag and Zed said just fast food. I’d like to think we livened up the officer’s shift.

Switzerland was up and is a country of tunnels. In 2hrs we journied through a minimum of 20. I lost count. So far it has been the country Zed and I both agree we’d like to ex-pat to, if we were rich enough to do so. Their homes are unique and there are ranches everywhere.

The homes have huge roofs (guessing to manage the snow), numerous windows, and carefully decorated gables. They even decorate the under side of the roofs.

This is St Urban Abbey.

While in Switzerland we were also able to participate in a Latter Day Saint Temple Session. The Bern Temple was the first built in Europe.

Liechtenstein was a surprise for me. It was also our first passport stamp since being here, we did a few euros to get it. Our goal was to see Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein (from the movie A Knight’s Tale), instead we walked into their Carnival parade.

Now it was time for Austria. We ventured through a 8.5mi long tunnel that allowed us to bypass a mountain pass. One of the most interesting things we saw was a car from Swaziland. How it got there we’re still wondering. There were also wooden huts scattered throughout and we never could research a good answer as to what they were.

Germany brought us to the end of our journey. We stayed at the base of Neuschwanstein Castle and Zed dropped me off at my work location the next morning (another blog post will be coming on that). We were able to see the Zugspitze (the tallest point of Germany) and a few avalanches.

The trip was amazing. A great time to spend together and see new things. We were blessed with safety and clear roads both in weather and traffic. Enjoy the few pictures I took and stay tuned for more adventures

-S

We’re Off

Next week I’ll going to be in school in Oberamerrgau in southern Germany. Thankfully the stars aligned and Grandma and PaPa Davies were able to come out to help with the kiddos and Zed and I are able to take off early and see some of Europe as he drops me off at school, only to turn back around and drive the 8hrs back. I’ll then take the train back to GK at the end of the week.

So stay tuned as we pass through as many counties as possible. We’re off in our little red rocket car that gets 900 km per tank.