• Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

    Playground Day

    The request was simple.  Eva, the 10 year old, LOVES playgrounds and asked if we could spend one entire day of school spring break visiting playgrounds in the area.  Unlike America where life goes on as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic, here in Deutschland the lockdown continues in some fashion now in its 14th month.  And rather than discuss loosening restrictions, national and regional leaders are strategizing how to tighten the restrictions.  With this background we set out to do one activity that was initially banned in Deutschland early in the pandemic lockdown but was now allowed, visit playgrounds. Our first stop was Schwaighausen which is a ten minute drive…

  • Army Wife Network Blog

    What I Will NOT Miss About Germany

    Author’s note: As I near the end of my time living in Germany while my wife serves in the United States Army, this is part I of a III part series examining my thoughts and feelings as I prepare to head back to America and leave Germany behind. Part I examines what I will not miss about Germany. Part II examines what I will miss about Germany. Part III examines what I’ve learned during my time in Germany. My wife Jules, myself, and our three children Hunter (12), Eva (10), and Acadia (8) were scheduled to be stationed in Germany for three years, and the way my wife’s Army career was looking, it was possible we could…

  • Army Wife Network Blog

    Choosing Battle Lines

    Have you felt as if battle lines were drawn on the virtual learning front with your children over the past year?  I have some thoughts on that, but first, how I got there. Having left Facebook several years ago due to the incivility that was present (how tame those days were), I eventually found my way back to the social media platform. It wasn’t due to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  It wasn’t because I regretted my decision. Hardly. No, it was because the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, gymnastics, and a host of youth sports teams only communicated to families through Facebook. Technically, I didn’t have to rejoin Facebook. It would…

  • Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

    Burg Loch

    When your child has a birthday in the era of COVID-19, celebration options are limited. What a difference a year makes. This time last year we were celebrating Hunter’s eleventh birthday in Ireland. You can read all about that adventure here. For his twelfth birthday Hunter requested castle hikes–our family’s number one ‘travel’ adventure during lockdown. For this day I put two castles on the list that cumulatively were within 30 minutes of our home. For those with children you know how much better the moods are when the trip is shorter so that was a bonus. Our first stop was an urban castle remnant in Laaber. From there we…

  • Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

    Burgruine Sengersberg

    The weather forecast was cold with a chance for freezing rain, sleet, or snow but later in the day. What a great opportunity to get out before the bad weather set in. Jules hadn’t been able to join the kids and I on the last couple of castle hikes but even with the downbeat weather she was excited to get out and explore our backyard.  One of the permissible things allowed under Deutschland’s COVID lockdown–outdoor exercise. Burgruine Sengersberg was our third castle stop of the afternoon and I was hoping to visit one additional castle ruin before hitting up our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Nittenau.  Turns out, this would be…

  • Army Wife Network Blog

    Empower Yourself Through Finance

    From a young age I have loved numbers. I suspect this passion for numbers contributed to my interest in finance. By the time I turned 15 and had my first W-2 job working as a dishwasher, I was ready to start investing in the stock market. What a different world it was back in 1987. Back then, there was no discount broker, no online, no internet. There were only full service brokers where you had to stop by your broker’s office or phone them and place your order that came with a commission usually in the $30-50 range per trade. My first investment was made on Oct. 19, 1987, a…

  • Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

    Burgruine Rossstein

    Nestled in the hills a stone’s throw from the American enclave of Hohenberg lies Burgruine Rossstein.  We chose to visit these castle ruins on a sunny, snow covered Sunday afternoon because they were a short 25 minute drive from our home. If you are coming from Hohenberg, it is just a 13 minute drive.  From Hohenfels the drive is 25 minutes and from little America one and two in Parsberg and Velburg, just 35 minutes. Hiking and visiting places of interest in Deutschland is very different than in the United States.  There is normally no designated trailhead nor trailhead parking.  This makes perfect sense as the Deutsche exercise in a…

  • Army Wife Network Blog

    New Year’s Resolutions

    It’s that time of year where we pause our hectic lives and press the imaginary reset button. Of course, we know those reset buttons by their more familiar name, New Year’s resolutions. Time to say goodbye to the could-have-beens and the should-have-beens for the current year. Time to look forward to the what-could-bes and what-should-bes. I’m talking about a new year. And in a year in which so much was canceled and delayed due to COVID-19, we are all looking forward to the first day of the new year. While I’m not sure about New Year’s resolutions, January 1st is a vestige of the days when the Roman Empire lorded…

  • Hohenfels Day Trip

    Burgruine Adelburg

    Nestled in the countryside between Parsberg and Velburg lies Burgruine Adelburg. Never heard of Burgruine Adelburg?  Not surprising.  A quick glance of Google Reviews shows 160 reviews of the Velburg castle ruins and only TWO Burgruine Adelburg reviews.  This isn’t on anyone’s radar. Although not currently living in the Lupburg-Parsberg-Velburg Triangle our family did spend six weeks as residents of the Winkler Brau upon our arrival to Deutschland in 2019 so the area still holds a special place in our hearts.  As such we enjoy finding reasons to visit friends in the these towns as well as finding reasons to play there. It was the latter that led us to…

  • Army Wife Network Blog

    You Can DECIDE To Change Your Life

    Let me begin by recounting an experience that is probably going to leave your head shaking, especially if you are a military family. Military families understand how to move themselves, their family, and all their belongings across the country and across the world. Part of that process is identifying high dollar value items prior to the move so these items can receive special notation on your moving manifest. This all seems very obvious and simple. Until it isn’t. As I’ve mentioned previously, I came late to military life. My wife and I were full-on civilians until my 45th year on this planet. Unless my wife works until I’m 91, the…