Thursday, September 30, 2010

28 days later....

We're in the house, we have a car, Cody loves school, Brice is happy, I'm taking a dance class once a week, and Brandon still really isn't doing anything work but he's good too.  Internet gets installed on the 14th, the same day the car gets registered, but there's an unsecure wireless network we're using in the meantime!  Brandon and I were talking yesterday, and it seems like we've ventured out and about more than most people in the time we've been here.  We are not ones to sit idly by and watch the world go on without us, and I am so glad that both of us our like that.  Last Sunday we went to the Levende Geschiendenis which is a living history festival where they have camps set up from how people lived from 1140 to WWII and Vietnam.  It's held at a farm nearby where fighting took place during every war.  We were able to see a few WWII reanactments and a little bit of some knights fighting.  We missed most of that battle because we were watching the Vikings.  We took about 400 pictures, I'm going to have Brandon put them all on Flickr since I can only do a handful on here.   The website for the festival is  It's in Dutch but I think there's an English link somewhere.  Hugo told us about it on Saturday, he took his boys, so we went on Sunday, of course it was cloudy and cold when we went but Brandon said that makes it more authentic.  It made me realize how cold and wet they must have been all the time.  Dig a fox hole, it rains, doesn't have time to dry out before it rains again.  They must have been so miserable beyond belief. 

I've been trying to upload pictures but this connection is pretty slow so they will have to wait! 

Today we officially moved into the house, cleaned, did laundry, and bought groceries!!  I can't wait to make dinner tonight.  Chicken, corn on the cob, and salad!  We need to eat some salad so bad!!  Brice even took a nap in his new room.  The washer, dryer and oven were delivered this morning, and we got some dishes from the Community Support Center on base so we can have dishes and pots and pans.  Even came with a knife set.  The owner left his kitchen table for now, but that is being picked up on Sunday.  We're still trying to find a table we want.  We think we found the couch we want but are still looking around.  Saturday we went to Ikea to look at everything and found a few cute things.  Not sure what we're going to do in Cody's room, but decided to do jungle animals in Brice's room.  They have some really cute, soft animals at Ikea :)  Yesterday we went to a place called Living for All to look at home stuff and we thought it was going to be a decent size store.  We walked in and went upstairs first which had a few things, but then we came around the corner to the other set of stairs and realized that place is HUGE.  It looked like it spread out forever.  And we forgot the stroller so we had to carry Brice.  I think it took almost an hour to go through the whole place.  We found the towels we want at a store called Jysk, Brandon is picking those up on his way home from work because we forgot to go while we were out for groceries. 

So that's it for today!  Saturday we are going to Schinnen to get more groceries, all of the standard things and drinks mainly.  We're going to try to keep that trip to a minimum because it's an hour and a half away.  We have to go to the bank so we're getting food and such while we're there.  I still need to get a clothesline so we don't use the dryer as much, maybe tomorrow.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A House!

Here is the link to the pictures of the house we are moving into next week!

It has 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an office that used to be the garage.  The 5th bedroom is actually downstairs and it will be the boys toy room.  I don't even know where to begin to describe how awesome it is.  If you notice, the downstairs floor is all tile.  This is because there is underfloor heating!  There is also floor heating in the upstairs bathroom.  Downstairs is also a sun room but we don't know what to do with it yet.  We're just going to leave it empty for now and see what happens.  There is a gas fireplace in the living room, a built in stereo system, and a big front window.  The kitchen is probably one of the best in the WHOLE country.  Did you notice the side by side stainless steel fridge/freezer with an ice maker and water dispenser?  Those don't exist over here.  That is probably the first and only American fridge in Holland.  And let me tell you, people are jealous.  A normal Dutch fridge is built into the cabinets and is probably a third of the size.  Pretty much only good for holding condiments.  You will also notice there is no oven.  They use tiny ovens over here that aren't big enough for cookie sheets, so we get that from Schinnen and it will go down the hall next to the washer and dryer.  The other awesome thing about this kitchen is 1) there's a dishwasher, and 2) look at all those cabinets!!  Storage space is slim over here so we lucked out with that too.  What you can't see are the GIANT drawers under the stove top that provide even more storage. 

Down the hall is the laundry area, and there's a door leading to the backyard.  That will be perfect for when the boys come in filthy, they can get cleaned up and clothes in the wash right away.

Also downstairs:  through the entryway, past the stairs, is the bathroom and the toy room.  The boys will have all of their toys downstairs in one room, and if no one feels like cleaning it, just shut the door :)  That room also has a built in closet for whatever we need it for.  (Closets are pretty rare as well)

The garage was converted into an office with a seperate entry way, that will be Brandon's space for whatever.  I know we'll at least have a desk in there and his computer.  Maybe one day it will be a photography studio as well.  I think down that hall there are 2 more storage closets.

Upstairs are the 4 bedrooms.  1 for us, with a massive built in closet so we don't need to buy dressers like we were planning on, plus an extra hanging space on the side of the bed, and there's a balcony overlooking the backyard.  1 bedroom for each boy; these are small but since the toys are downstairs they don't need much room up here.  And 1 for me!  The larger room with be for scrapbooking and for the guests need to start planning some visits! 

The bathroom has a tub and a shower, and the shower has a massage column with about 5 or 6 heads on it.  That should be cool to use.  And the tub has a spray hose too, which will be easier on Brice then dumping water on his head with a cup :). 

Now on to the backyard!  There is a wooden play thing with a slide, a basketball hoop, and a set of swings.  The enclosed storage shed is half of a garage and the back half is a sauna!  The sauna isn't even finished yet, so it's never been used.  The owner is also leaving the yard tools like the lawnmover and hedge trimmers since we didn't bring ours. 

I think that's about it!  We opted for having an awesome house instead of an awesome car, and in the next few months I think I will really appreciate it when Brandon is at work all the time.  They're talking about working ALL weekend  for the next 2 months so we're hoping that doesn't happen.  Tonight we are going to meet the owner so he can show us how to control everything and seperate the zones of the house.  It has tons of lights that can be controlled by a remote, and every room has air conditioning.  (another rarity, especially out here in the country).  Ok, maybe now that's it.  I'll post our pics when we move in!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Sunday afternoon we went to Kermis, which is a little like the fair with rides and food and vendors.  This is the second one we saw but the first one we went to.  I think they usally have them on the town's Centrum, so this was a pretty decent size one.  I guess the one in Eindhoven, where Cody's school is, is really big, so we'll have to watch for that one.  Cody and his friend Titus rode a few rides and then went in the funhouse with their dads.  We got some Oliebollen to eat, which is fried dough in powdered sugar.  Like an elephant ear but in a ball.  They had about 8 different kinds but we just plain.  Next time we'll try some different ones!

Bumper cars with Titus

Roller coaster

Wish we went on time!

The funhouse

Cool baby


Last Week

Sorry I've been a little bit of a slacker this past week!  That's why there are 3 posts of just photos :)

Wednesday Brandon went down the Schinnen, the Army base, and took the driving class and passed the test to get his license!  Now we just need to figure out how to pay for a car.  The 1st Sergeant is selling his 1996 BMW station wagon so we are probably going to try to get that for now.  It has brand new tires, plus a set of snow tires.  Lots of miles but it's clean and works, plus it has a luggage rack on top, and it's diesel so good gas mileage. 

We're hoping our pay will catch up to us soon.  Every 10 days we submit a travel voucher, and then a couple of weeks later we're supposed to get paid back for the hotel and get our per diem.  I think Brandon has submitted 2 now, and neither one has been processed.  Eventually we will have to pay back the housing money we're still getting from New Mexico as well.  And we don't get housing over here until we sign a contract for a house.  Still have no cost of living allowance either!  I wish people would tell you how expensive it is to move over here.  We have to pay 2 months rent for the house deposit, plus the 1st months rent.  At least you can get an advance for that, just have to pay it back within a year. 

At least we're starting to figure out dinners better.  Last night we ate here at the hotel, and the night before we had dinner delivered!  Yay!  We're pretty much sticking to pizza and gyros, or pizza with gyro meat on it :)  We can't wait to move and be able to cook again!! 

We stayed at our friends house again on Saturday, walked around Uden and went in a bunch of stores to see what they have.  Found the spatula set that I want!  I found it on Amazon but they have it in a store here! 

Elevated off of the counter!  And awesome colors!!
Brice also started saying MOO last week!  I need to get it on video, along with the Ta-da! he started saying today.  If you ask him what a cow says, he won't tell you, but if you say Tell me about the cows, he says MOO!  More like yelling it at you than telling you.  And then this morning I was putting socks on his hands and saying Ta-da!  so he's doing that now too.  Need to add these new words to the list! 

Yesterday Brice and I took the bus into Uden and met my new friend Salina for lunch.  We actually saw a guy wearing wooden shoes.

And another surprise yesterday....when we were sitting waiting for our food, our husbands just happened to walk by on their way to get lunch!  It's so nice when I get to see Brandon during the day, he works until 530 3 days a week and 430 the other 2 days.  No getting out early either.  Maybe after the inspection they can cut back a little during the holiday season but we'll see.  It sounds like he's going to be doing the same QA job as he was doing at Kirtland.  He was looking forward to going back to maintenance but we'll see how it goes.  He's not really doing ANYTHING until the inspection is over.  None of the new guys are. 

Salina and I walked around looking at stores too, and I found the rain boots that I want, plus the warm fuzzy boots I want.  I had to buy a sweater yesterday since I stupidly left my jacket in the room, and found a cute t-shirt for 3 euro as well.  I can't wait for our stuff to come so we don't have to keep wearing the same clothes over and over and over.  The boys are growing and running out of clothes.  Pants that fit Cody a week ago are now too short.  Brice's pants are getting to short as well, and I think he has 2 or 3 shirts that fit.  At least we don't see the same people everyday so no one can tell! 

That's it for right now, my hand is hurting from typing!  I will post the pictures from Kermis a little later!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cool Coke Caps

So they have this tool here that punches a hole in the top of bottle caps so you can just stick the straw in and go!  Brice so kindly demonstrated :)

Big Boots

Look at my hat!

The other day Brice very matter of factly put a new hat on his head and ran over to show me!  He even posed for the camera!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friends and Food

Just got back to the hotel from staying at our friends house last night.  This was one of two or three times we will have to find a different place to stay because our room was booked before we came.  They picked us up around noon yesterday and we went to McDonald's for lunch and then went to a couple of stores in Uden.  They have a couple of stores that are similar to a dollar store and I found a hair dryer, yay!  They had some cute kids clothes and one that we went to the other day had nice winter jackets for the kids.  We also went to a baby store and found a rain cover for Brice's stroller.  They have some really cute baby bedding and blankets in there too. 

For dinner, Summer (the mom)  thought she was cooking for an entire army.  We had steak, chicken, and hamburgers, plus corn, rice, black eyed peas, potatoes, and mac n cheese!!  It was crazy but so freakin delicious to have a warm home cooked meal!  I ended up doing the grilling because Jared (the dad) took Brandon to the base to get our laundry, while Summer did all the rest.  The kids, Cody, Titus, Piper, and Brice, played in the toy room pretty much the whole weekend.  That was one cool thing about there house.  It was a back room out of the way that was just filled with toys and they could hang out in there and go nuts.  We're going to have to get Brice a kitchen when we move into a house because he always loves cooking when there is one.  He also loves being a princess and talking on the phone :)  It was also finally sunny all day so they were able to play outside for a few hours and pretend they were going on vacation.

He has started smiling for me when I take pictures

Cooking up something yummy!

Brice and Piper

Cody and Titus in the toy room

The older kids went to bed pretty early , and we watched one episode of Glee and the new Robin Hood movie.  I don't even know what time Brice went to bed, he would not sit still for anything.  Finally Brandon had to hold him until he would relax.  We went to bed at midnight, probably the latest (on purpose)  in awhile. 

Summer tyring to get Brice to rock and go to sleep

Luckily Brice slept in for a little bit so we got up at 9.  Summer and Jared thought we were still sleeping because Cody didn't tell them we were awake and they didn't come down for awhile.  She started making pancakes and I had her make half as much as she was about to.  She comes from a huge family so that's what she was used to cooking for.  They are going to the commissary today so they're picking us up some things so I didn't make it there on Friday. 

No idea what we're doing for the rest of the day, right now we're waiting for our room to be cleaned.  It's pouring down rain so we're pretty much stuck inside. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just today

I can't believe today is only Wednesday!  The time here definitely does not fly by.  Last night we went to a Greek restaurant with our new friends, I think it was the best eating food we've had so far.  It was a little bit pricey but oh well, we'll get it back eventually!  The pay system when you move over here is rediculously messed up, we'll get into all that later. 

The great news is that this morning was the last time Cody had to walk to the bus stop!!  I asked a dad that I met on Monday if he would be willing to pick Cody up in the morning and take him, and he offered to pick him back up in the afternoon too.  That is going to make a world of difference, Cody is thrilled already.  The bus ride is still long but oh well, nothing we can do about that. 

School is out at 1230 on Wednesdays, which today worked out perfect because we got to see the baby chicks!  I wish I could have taken a picture of them.  There were 135 that started hatching at 1 in the morning last night and were still hatching when we went to look at them around 230.  The owner put all the fluffy ones in a big cardboard box and left the rest of the eggs and the slimy ones in the incubator.  We found out about these chickens because about 3 days ago Cody was watching the neighbors train one of their horses.  The lady invited Cody and Brandon over to look at all the animals.  They have a ton of horses and cows, lots of new calfs and even a calf that was one day old.  At the time, the chickens were just eggs, and she said to come back in 3 days to see them hatched.  So she called Hugo to tell Cody and luckily we were here.  Brice wasn't all that into them, but petted one I had in my hand.  He grabbed its beak though for too long and it had to break away from his grasp! 

It seems like Brandon is going to be working late every day, he got home around 530 today.  I couldn't wait anymore for him and ate dinner without him.  I had soup that was kind of like spaghetti with the noodles and meatballs.  When Brandon got to eat, him and the kids (and I had what was left) of some kind of bread with a meat mixture spread out on top of it.  It was a little sweet, sort of like pizza.  We decided we need to start taking pictures of the food so you can know what I'm talking about. 

Tomorrow I have to go to T Mobile and get our pre paid phone fixed.  I locked it out on accident.  And then Friday someone is taking me to Schinnen, the Army base, to go to the Commisary and what not.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I like it, I like it not.....

Yesterday was Cody's first day of school, and boy was it a rough morning.  We were supposed to be picked up from the hotel at 630 because we didn't know if the bus came at 7 or 730, and it's 1.5 miles down the road.  At 635 he wasn't there so we started walking.  Walking FAST.  Cody was crying the whole time because he wanted a break but I wouldn't let him because we couldn't chance missing it.  His foot hurt, his leg hurt, his stomach or something around it hurt, and it was cold.  But since we were walking so fast I actually warmed up pretty quick. Oh, and I wasn't wearing shoes to walk in since I was expecting a ride.  Right as we were getting to the stop our ride showed up and took us the last little bit of the way.  We got there at 7, they are allowed to board at 710 and they leave at 715.  Well of course he isn't on the list to be able to ride the bus, so the driver had to call somebody and see if he could go.  Luckily he could because we have pretty much no way to get a hold of anyone except the phone at the hotel.  Oh and did I  mention I locked myself out of the hotel when we were leaving?  I figured someone would be up by the time I got back, but no.  I stood outside for 45 minutes.  At least our old room was open so I could go sit by the heater and warm up.  At 8 Hugo was up so he let me back in.  As soon as I got back in the room I just cried.  I was so freezing cold and all of the stress from the last 4 days hit me like a ton of bricks.  I had to just cry it out and then remind myself that it will get better.  Living in a room with 4 people and nowhere to put anything and no easy access to food is only temporary! 

Cody in front of his bus.  They have seatbelts and watch cartoons in the morning

After warming up and going back to sleep until 1030, the day started getting better.  We took the bus to Uden again to get Cody a belt since all his pants fall down, also got the boys a couple of toys.  We went to a BBQ last night at one of the guys houses so we got to meet a few more people.  It was nice finally being able to talk to people more in depth, especially the wives.  And it was nice for the kids to be able to play with other kids.  Seems like everyone we meet is leaving within a year, and most people we are meeting now will be gone by next September.

At their house.  Most comfy chair ever!

So what started out as a crappy day turned into a good day, and it was Brandon's last day of not working in what seems like forever.  Everything is just going to take more and more getting used to and I think we will like it very much.

After school.  Trying to smile after he hurt his hand.  I don't remember how.
And trying to smile while pulling up his pants

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Today we took the bus to Uden to find a lunch box.  An all day pass is 3 euro and kids under 3 are free.  We got off at the bus station which was the last stop, and tried figuring out which way the arrow was pointing to go to the Centrum, the center of the town.  Luckily a dutch lady stopped and asked if we needed help and pointed us the right way!  We walked around a bit and found a store called Hema that has children's clothes but also looked like it had household good as well.  It actually had a little bit of everthing.  We were able to get a gym bag and a lunch bag.  Not sure if it's actually for a lunch but it will work.  It needed to be a good size to hold lunch and both snacks!

We ate lunch at a cafe, we could decifer most of the what was on the menu, just not the details like tomato and cucumbers and things like that.  The waitress came to take our order and when we stared blankly at her and said umm... she said 'Oh, you're English!'  and then we asked her what was good.  Brandon had a club sandwhich that had a bunch of vegetables and hard boiled eggs and bacon bits.  I ordered a fish sandwhich that had salmon and a white fish on it, plus some kind of white spread, something that looked like sunflower seeds, and bacon bits.  Cody had a hamburger and Brice shared with all of us.  Everything came with a little salad on the side that had corn and kidney beans in it.  That was actually really good.  I think those were Brice's first kidney beans, and he liked them!  Hmmm............just had deja vu.

When we came back we put Brice down for a nap and I walked to Volkel to go to the Jumbo Supermarket.  Here it isn't very big, but it has a lot of stuff.  I got everything for Cody's lunches plus some other drinks and snacks for us.  It's already getting tiring having to eat out for meals twice a day.  Luckily we were asked over for dinner tomorrow night, and Monday we are going to a BBQ!! 

Here are some pictures:

Walking to Volkel

The corn I was telling you about
Most of the smaller roads are brick, not paved

The church in Volkel

The windmill next door

The Neighbors

The massive horse across the street.  Not very tall but very thick
Some goats down the road
One of the many horses behind us
A bird at the petting zoo.  There are also deer, a donkey with a huge tumor on it's neck, and lots of ducks and geese

Friday, September 3, 2010

International School

Cody starts school on Monday!  We met his teacher, Mrs. Roach, she is a black lady from London that moved here 7 years ago and has 4 children that all go to the school.  His classroom is pretty small but I think there's about 15 kids in his class.  7 of them are new like him and there are 2 or 3 other American kids as well.  Everyone seems really nice there and it seems like it's going to be a good environment for him.  The only school supplies he needs are a backpack, lunch box, and a gym bag with clothes for gym 2 days a week.  We had to buy a library bag from the school so he can bring books home, that's the only thing that goes in there.  His library day is Tuesday, and gym days are Wednesday and Thursday.  Tomorrow we are taking the bus to Uden in search of a lunch box.  I almost grabbed his too but forgot before the movers packed it up. 

They have 2 snacks during the day, plus lunch, and he has to take everything with him.  The only thing the school provides is water all day and milk during lunch.  The day lasts from 825 until 330, and Wednesday they get out at 1230, which he's already used to from his school last year.  We're not sure how long the bus ride is but we hope it's less than an hour.  And we still don't know what time it comes in the morning, either 7 or 730.  The stop is a mile and a half down the road from here which shoudl take 20 minutes to walk to, or maybe he can get dropped off when Brandon goes to work.  Monday we'll probably walk though. 

When we left his school the guy that drove us around today took us to a kabob stand and we got turkish wraps for lunch.  I've had them before in Italy and they are so good!!!  Cody wasn't really thrilled about the meat but Brice loved it.  Cody's going to have to learn to eat different food over here or he won't be eating much.  Luckily Brice will at least try things and he does like a lot already so he should be good. 

For dinner we walked down to Volkel the village where had pizza last night, but we went to a different place and had hamburgers and fries.  Brandon thinks it might have been horse meat.  Either way it was good!  It felt like it was going to rain and we made it back to the room just in time for it to start pouring.  Our jackets we bought in Portland are perfect, not too warm or heavy but they're waterproof. 

I have pictures of more animals that we saw and the village that I will put up tomorrow.  (Or today since it's 4 in the morning).  We've been awake for the last 2 hours not being able to fall back asleep.  Can't wait to get back on schedule!

de Brabantse Hoeve

For the next month or so, probably month and a half until our household goods get here, we will be staying at a bed and breakfast called de Brabantse Houve.  We weren't sure what to expect, just hoping for a room that is big enough for all four of us.  Turns out, this is a very busy couple of days, so we are in a temporary room until our room is available.  There are 4 single beds and a sink in our room that looks like it's supposed to be the massage room.  The massage table was moved into the room attached to it, which is also attached to the owner's garage.  We're sharing a bathroom with the other American family, they had to move out of their room for a few days and are sleeping in the owner's room (Hugo) while he sleeps in his kids room. 
The front

Our bed.  We pushed them together so Brice wouldn't fall off

Wooden shoes!

The breakfast room

So, since we're in the back of the place, we don't have easy access to the rest of the house.  We had some milk in the fridge and needed to get it at 3:30 in the morning for Brice.  To get to the front door you have to open this HUGE gate that's on a wheel.  You have to pull really hard and I almost gave up on.  Luckily the moon was bright enough that I could see, and once I got it open I was able to get inside.  

The owner's name is Hugo, he's very nice and very accomodating.  Always makes sure we have everything we need and comfortable.  We thought we would have missed breakfast this morning but everything was still out and he poured our drinks and made sure we were settled.  I think then he headed out for a bike ride.  He was certainly dressed for one!

There are 3 or 4 bedrooms upstairs that I just glanced at yesterday but they look great.  There's also the breakfast area with a mini fridge we can keep a few things in, plus a living area with a tv.  I'm watching Will & Grace :)  The rooms upstairs also have their own bathrooms with them.  Ours will have a wardrobe in it so we can unpack a few things.  There are 3 Saturdays when we'll have to stay somewhere else but Hugo will hold on to our luggage and we can just take what we need.  He was already booked on those days when our reservation was made, but he set up the arrangements so we don't have to worry about anything.  

They also have a coffee house where they have coffee and soda and a basket of toys the kids can play with.  Yesterday there were 2 ladies that were working here and today there's one of the ladies and a younger guy.  Tomorrow we should be able to sit down with Hugo and talk some more, figure out the bus schedule to get around on the weekends since we don't have a car.  Brandon is going to have to get rides to work and we have to figure out if we can walk Cody to the bus stop.   

Sorry if this is kind of rambling......

Our neighbors on one side are a bunch of horses, and on the other side is a farm where Hugo gets his eggs.  There are cows, sheep, and horses everywhere, plus tons and tons of corn fields.  But they don't sell and eat the corn, they grow it for their animals to eat.Everywhere smells like manure but it's really not that bad after a day.  It probably will be bad in the summer with the heat bearing down on it.     

Adios and Verwelkomen!

August 31st was out last day of living in the United States for the next 4 years.  We never thought we actually get to move to another base out of Albuquerque.  September 1st we woke up at 5 am to get ready to fly out.  Our friend Brian came and picked up our luggage to help us get it all to the airport.  5 suitcases, 1 duffel bag, 3 backpacks, a stroller, a carseat and a pack n play is what we will be living with for about the next month and a half. 
Our rainbow of luggage
We arrived at the airport around 6 and the boys and I waited on the curb while Brandon returned the rental car.  Cody visited with his mom during that time and during the check in process.  Each of our suitcases was about 55 pounds, but with United and flying on orders, each of us was allowed 3 bags up to 70 pounds.  (We called ahead of time to make sure of this) The man at the counter said it was only 1 bag so we thought we'd have to pay for the extra, but we ended up not having to.

Brandon and I had breakfast burritos (sans chile) and Cody had a muffin and of course chocolate milk.  Once we got on the plane it was pretty easy.  It was nice having Brice in his own seat, the last 3 times we flew I just held him.  All of the boys were on one side of the plane and I was across the aisle.  I don't think anyone slept on that flight.

Once we landed in DC we had 3:40 until our next flight.  We chased Brice up and down the terminal a few times which was fine because he makes people laugh and he was going to be sitting for the next 7 hours. 

Luckily we were sitting in economy plus seating for the flight to Amsterdam.  You wouldn't think 5 more inches in front of you would make a difference but it did.  We have these thin fleece sleeping bags too so I was totally covered in blanket and so warm.  I think we all slept about an hour at first and then watched movies and ate dinner.  Brice and I watched Mary Poppins, and then I watched Iron Man 2.  Dinner was pretty amazing for airline food.  Salad with sesame ginger dressing, rice, and curry chicken.  I had an oatmeal chewie for dessert but Brandon gave me half of his brownie :) 

Cody slept for a couple more hours but I don't think Brice did.  He just wanted to run around everywhere.  For breakfast they gave us yogurt and banana bread. 

Once we landed we loaded up 2 luggage carts with our luggage and went through 'customs'.  That consisted of getting our passports stamped (before we got the luggage) and walking through the 'nothing to declare' door.  Pretty simple.  The girl that picked us up was waiting for us so we took the shuttle bus to the long term parking lot and loaded everything into a van. 

After fropping off everything at the bed and breakfast  we went out to Brandon's work and got a tour.  It's a really small place surrounded by woods and the flightline is right next door.  We were able to see an F-16 come down the taxi way that was close enough to throw something at.  We came back to the room about 1:30 and took for about 4 hours.  I really wanted to shower before that but I'm glad I didn't because I probably would have slept much longer.  My eyes were burning pretty bad from lack of sleep, I'm glad I wore my glasses. 

We woke up and took showers, finally got Cody awake, and walked into the center of town to get dinner.  This was about 8 pm.  We just got pizza and brought it back.  On the way back to our room we met the other American family that is staying here.  They have a 4 year old and a 7 months old.  They have been staying here for a month and move into their house on the 16th of this month.  We learned a lot from them as far as how to get licenses for driving and taking the test, plus how getting our money works and everything.  She said the Dutch take their time doing things and if something doesn't happen they just say it will happen tomorrow.  Or if you make an appointment and they don't show up it's no big deal. 

Brice fell asleep as we were walking back, but the rest of us stayed up until 11 and went to bed.  Brice woke up at 3 in the morning and didn't go back to sleep until at least 4.  I don't really know what time it was, but it seemed like forever.  I had to walk to the main house to get milk for him. (see the post on the B&B)  We woke up at 9:30 to get our first official day started.  (see the next post)

My very first impressions of being here were not that great, but I think that was because of a lack of sleep.  After talking with the couple we met I feel better, but we just have to accept that the pace is slower and things are difficult because there is really no base support from anyone.  We are guests here and the base that does support us is an hour and half away and don't really do much for us.  Once we are more settled and actually in a house for real I think it will be much better. 

We are trying desperately to learn the language, which is pretyy difficult but we have our dictionary to help us!  People are very nice here to and will try to understand you if they don't speak English, but most of them do. 

I'm going to take a break from this to upload some pictures, then I will post about the place we're calling home at the moment, and about todays events!

The rest of our trip

Well after leaving Spokane we kept having internet problems, and after coming back to Albuquerque I've just been lazy.  So here's the rest of our trip through Oregon and California.  We stayed 5 days in Portland visiting Brandon's family, went to the Evergreen Aviation Museum and OMSI.  They also have a year round Christmas store called Sleigh Bells that I went to.  Got Cody some birthday and Christmas presents.  I could have spent hours in there but only had an hour and had Brice with me.  All of the personalized ornaments have every name imaginable except Brice.  We'll just have to get him a few specially made!

Pictures are going to take awhile on this internet, so I will post more later.  Probably when we move in our house in a few months.  You can also look at them on  There are some of San Diego, and we will put more current ones up when we get a house as well. 

After Oregon, we drove straight through for 18 hours to get to San Diego.  By doing that we were able to have 4 days instead of 3.  We had dinner one night on the beach, cooked hot dogs on sticks over the fire, and roasted marshmellows.  Brice and Cody went on the boogie board.  The water was actually decent while the sun was still up.  We also went to Balboa Park and had a picnic lunch, then walked around for a few hours. 

Of course the drive to Albuquerque was long and boring, but we were able to stop in Phoenix for lunch with a couple of my 03 Tops in Blue friends!