Friday, April 11, 2014

Update with PCS to Germany!


Wow I cannot believe that its been 4 months since I last posted. Oops!
 
Gosh, I really thought I was gonna do better than this but, hey life has a tendency to get in the way. Priorities! Anyway it is getting really close to our move to Germany and that is really the main reason why I got back into blogging. I know that communications will not be as easily done and far, few and in between due to $$$. So I am thinking the main communications will be mostly through FB and hopefully here in my blog is where I can share pictures with what we are up to with family and friends once we are there.
 
So I guess I can get started today and share some of the things that we have been going through as far as getting ready for the move to Germany. Besides trying to contact as many people as I can that are now living in Germany that are in the military same as us, here are some things I have been doing for the sake of my SANITY!
*WARNING Long POST*
 
*TEMPORARY LODGING* As soon as you get your orders get your hubby or yourself to reserve a room for you and your family to stay in in Germany. We reserved ours for 30 days. I know some people cant even get a room cuz they are already maxed out. Now people are having to look outside post which there are plenty out there. Its just the convenience of being on post and being close to the stores, offices where you are in processing, to your sponsor and restaurant, etc. specially in a new place where you have never been. I know I feel secure having that.
 
*QUESTIONS* I have joined some FB group that are based in Germany (Ladies of the KMC and Foodies in the KMC) and military spouses. This is a great place to ask questions and get suggestions on anything and everything about PCS or living abroad. They are really friendly and very helpful. Please don't be afraid to ask questions! I'm not! I have no shame in my game. I am the type to plan everything I can. I have a plan A, B, C and D and then try to have back up for my back up. That's just me, but I like to be prepared. The move is hard enough I try to get as much knowledge and info as I can so I an anticipate problems and get them fix before they happen. Are you the same or am I just crazy?
 
*SELL, SELL, SELL*I also have been selling as much as I can of our stuff we can bare to let go on FB garage sales in my area (I joined knowing I would have to be getting rid of as much as I can for this move), Craigslist and had a garage sale. I am nervous about going over our weight limit so this was my top priority. I have living room sets in this house and I know I am only taking one. So besides the little stuff we have also sold one of our cars. Thank GOD! We have 3 so we are letting the military ship one and we are shipping one of them out of pocket. (But now we are thinking of selling my van cuz of shipping cost and just getting rid of one car and buying a new one there. STill not sure though)
 
*PAPER WORK*Do your paper work as early as possible. OH MY GOSH! Did they have fun making me drive around back and forth. I tried to get our paper work done when my hubby was in Thailand so that when he got back he would just turn it in and get our orders out to be approve. No Luck! They still made him run around as well when he got back. Orders will still have to get looked at and get approve but thank God we got it. Make sure you and your kids paperwork (EFMP) as far as medical goes is taken cared of. We had to get an approval for our orders cuz my son has asthma. So they had to make sure he was good to go. This could take some time and was very frustrating for me.
 
*MILITARY/TOURIST PASSPORTS*Do your military passports first! I was debating which one to do first military vs. tourist but found out they changed it  now so the thing they look at is your military one so get that one done first. You do have to have your orders for this. Remember they will take your kids (if they are under 18 years of age) Birth Certificate and send it out and it takes 6 to 8 weeks to get back.  My kids tourist passports are expired that's why I am having to renew them. So what I had to do was order a certified copy of the BC so I can go ahead and renew their tourist passport (which is what you use when traveling outside of Germany which we plan on doing). I don't wanna have to wait around when we are there for their passport. I want to do them here to get them out of the way. Now if I can just get some time for my hubby to take off work so we can do their passport that would be great. We leave in the first week of July so I really need to get them done. Thank God I expedited the BC so they got here in time so even if I do the passport this week or next I would get them back my next month. Tourist passport take about 4 to 6 weeks to get back. I have time, yay! That was close though. So please don't wait around on this you really have to get them done way in advance people.
 
*PANTRY and TOILETRIES* My entire family have been using up everything in our pantry that the movers might not pack or would cost too much weight and same for toiletries. And when toiletries I mean lotions, perfumes, soaps..etc. I am trying to use up things in my freezer and ref. Anything at all that would cost me pain later I am trying to get rid of. I guess my candles if they are not pack will be taken to storage. I figured that if we use up as much as we can now the less I have to pack in our suitcases to bring with us. I know my hubby and I are perfume hoarders so we will be packing a ton of them. But the cheapo ones that we could care less are being used as much as possible. I have used up so much lotion my skin has never felt so smooth in my entire life. Hahahahah! Everything else in my pantry can be donated or trash. I hate to throw out something when you don't have to so I am trying my best to use what we have. I am doing great and should be ready by the time movers come.
 
*Organize, organize, organize! I am trying to put things in their areas. Things that are going to be STORED, SOLD, put in UB (unaccompanied baggage)or HHG (main household goods to be shipped in Germany with us) When you get your paper work they will give you a handout on suggested things you can and cannot bring with you. For example anything that is not 220 volt/dual volt will not work in Europe. It will blow up, do a fun sparkly small fireworks show but I think you will get people angry for doing so. NO FUN! Here in the US we use 110/120 volt. Although I have gotten some mix reviews on this I just don't want to risk it. You can I  think use transformers on certain things but they are electricity hogs and its too expensive over there to play around with that. I am EL CHEAPO MASTER! Microwaves, washer and dryers are a big no no and they wont even let you take them with you and will be stored courtesy of the military for you. You can do a quick google on this and tons of stuff will come up. Promise! Just do the work.
Although I had a friend that had the military packed everything they had. Including their micro,washer and dryer  and everything that are totally useless over there. I don't know how that happened. But I know I read and asked questions about which appliances I can take and wisely not to. I will do a more detailed post on this when I have the time but for now I am being really general.
 
*PLAN, PLAN, PLAN*Planning what I need to make life easier when we are in Germany. (This is from asking a bunch of people questions) Like I know I need to get shoes, pants, warm/cold weather clothes for my kids cuz they are growing and we got rid of a ton of them here since its hot here in SA, Texas. I will need to resupply that for them. I have been slowly doing that since last year but since they are still growing as we speak I think a shopping spree is in order before we fly out. I have heard that you do a lot your shopping online when you are there. There's not much selection at the BX or PX which ever one it is and if they do have it, it goes quickly. I don't know how much of this is true but hey I would rather be ready than not.
 
*SHIPPING CARS* Talking to USAA about our car loan getting it ready so when it is time to ship it (military or personal) you have all the proper paper work. Hubby said he talked to USAA and they will do paper ASAP when we need it since they do this all the time for their military customers. I would prefer to have it in our hands but hubby is handling it so I am trusting him on this one. I am still yet to get a quote on how much it will be to ship our other vehicle out of pocket but I know it ain't going to be cheap. It's gonna hurt! I need to do that ASAP.
 
I think that's all I can think of right now. Whew! I know that was a long post but I really want to post as much as I can. I really did got addicted reading peoples blog when I first found out we were PCS'ng to Germany to read and find out as much as I can. I was excited, scared, nervous all at the same time and reading other people's experience and seeing many people going through the same thing I was going through made me feel better. So I hope there's someone out there reading this and getting something out of it. What ever it might be and help you out in any way. That is the purpose of this post. I will try and add to this post as much as I can while I am in the process.
 
Thanks for sticking around and reading this. Good luck, have a good day and be blessed!
 
 
 


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

FINISH A PAPER PAD CHALLENGE

I gave myself a challenge to finish a whole paper pad. WHAT? Well actually half of a paper pad. There was some great deals to be had a couple of months ago at Marshalls, Ross and local big box stores. And my group on FB have been buying like crazy but in order to not feel guilty about it we go and half it someone. So I was able to have so many pads and they were piling up. I had to do something about it and so I came up with this self impose challenge. Here is what I was able to do.
 
First layout here is actually the last one I made. I was so burned out with using the same paper I had to used something else. This is Dear Lizzy Neopolitan I think.
 
These are the finish layouts for my challenge using SNIPPETS from Studio Calico! Some are still needing some journaling.


















I was planning on doing this with all the paper pads I had bought but man oh man I don't know! This was so hard and at the end of it I was just making crap up. Anything at all to use up the paper. I mean I had fun and I am so glad I was able to us up 99% of the papers and getting tons of pictures scrapped but gosh it got so hard in the end.
 
Well I know I am "NOT" the first to do this and there's many out there in the blog and YT world doing the same thing. But I hope I got to inspire you to get those paper pads hiding in your HOARDS of scrapbook supplies and use them up. You don't have to do it all at once, just use them! I know it's so easy to get to that hoarding phase and I just like to encourage people to use up your stash.
 
That's it. Hope you like my pages and have a great day.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Some Layouts I have yet to share!

I have been scrapping but not posting. DUH! That's an understatement. Hahaha yes I am still creating layouts but have been lazy to post. Since I feel like I'm just creating for myself I didn't feel the need to share. But I think I am getting back into the swing of things with the whole blog thing I though it wouldn't hurt to post what I have been up to.
 Here are some of them. Most of them are  SCRAP LIFTED and I get tons of ideas from Shimmelle and girls from 2peas. I have really learned to just relax and scrap. Finishing my layouts I start and just not worry to much of how its gonna look. I am more concern about getting pics put in my album and most of all using this crazy amount of scrapbook stash I have been hoarding. Need to use them up!
Hope you all enjoy and inspire you to keep creating.



 
Oh, here is my little one (I take care of him) with the art projects we have been making. These were for November. I really need to get going on our December crafts.



Hope you enjoyed it! Have a great day.
 

Monday, December 9, 2013

I got bored one day and started organizing. I have been doing Project Life this year and I realize how fast you can accumulate those PL cards. I have also been doing swaps with people and since I cant always afford those official Becky cards I do buy those ones in bulk in your local big box store. But sometime you get them and you are stuck with so many that dont always go with your stuff. So I was thinking I need to do something with them.
So what can you do with your Project Life cards that you buy in bulk, way too many to use from M's, JoAnns or HL?
 For one thing you can make feathers! I am obsessed with them and thought hmmm I can make that! So I did with my extra cards. They are the perfect size.
 And PINWHEELS! They are so much fun and so easy to make. I was even able to use up so many of my jeweled brads. YAY! Two birds with one stone.
Anyway just thought I would share. Hope you liked it and create your own stuff.
Have a great day!
 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My 2009 December Daily FINISH!

Happy holidays everyone!
I know it's been a while (oops almost a year OMG!) since I posted but here I am trying. So since it's December you know what that means right? Right? Oh, well besides all the craziness of the holiday season, school activities, shopping, cooking, baking, decorating, picture taking, travelling so on and so on we have to add more. This year I have decided that even though I am doing PROJECT LIFE I will also add December Daily in the mix. Yes! Crazy I know. But with all the fun I am seeing everyone is having decorating their album I thought why not. BUT! And yes that is a very big but, I had made a rule and that is, I was not able to proceed with this plan as long there's my FIRST DD still yet to be finish. So I had to finish this project before I am allowed to make my 2013 DD. And so I literally finished this bad boy 10 or 15 minutes ago, took pictures, downloaded it to my computer and here I am posting or sharing it. Yay! CLAP everyone! Gosh it only took me like 4 years but who's judging right?!
 
Please ignore the numbers they are just there for decorations at this point. It's been so long since I took these pictures that I don't exactly remember what day went with what. I tried to match it the best I could. You know I am just glad its finish, OK! I am not gonna worry that the pictures are not in the right sequence. It was so flat when I started and right now its about a couple of inches thick. I am gonna have to get a latch to close it.
 
Oh thanks to all my Scrappy Chicks (FB group) for all the embellishments. We had a SWAP this month and I pretty much used everything from that swap to embellish this album and although everyone stuff is different I think they all went together well. I guess you can see for yourself.
Here it is.



























And that's it! Hope you can all take the time to comment and let me know how you liked it. I just wanted to finish this and hopefully inspire someone else to finish projects that have been sitting around. If I can do it you can too. Who says you cant post 4 year old December Daily anyway. I hope that you can get something out of this post and get going on your DD. I will go ahead and start with my 2013 DD and hopefully I will get to finish it, but no promise as usual.
Have a great day!