Our house is situated in a small, beautiful German town. Located near a local playground, and surrounded by green hills, it's a 15 minute drive from the U.S. military installation, medical facilities, child care centers, and Pre-K through High School. All of which are provided at no cost, to military members and their dependents.
Our neighborhood is quiet, with the exception of many children, from the surrounding homes. Every year, the city holds a local festival, with rides, food booths, and many different activities for children to enjoy.
Inside our home, we have four floors, with the lower-ground floor being a spacious dining area, kitchen, and laundry room/home gym. The upper-ground floor is the living room, with fireplace, and plenty of space for a small child to crawl around, and play. The second floor consists of two bedrooms, and the main bathroom. The top floor is the studio/storage area. The house is brightly lit, with large windows, facing the countryside, on all floors.
We feel our home and neighborhood provides a peaceful, secure, and fun place for the child, as well as being close to modern medical, educational, and care facilities.
Ryan has a younger brother, six aunts & uncles, and more cousins, than grains of sand on a beach. Growing up, he would spend a lot of time at his grandparents house, eating all the junk food he wasn't allowed to eat at home. His family has huge reunions every few years, where he gets to catch up with all the people he hasn't seen for a long time, and meet those he never got a chance to know. He describes his extended family as fun, silly, and always willing to provide support.
Masae has a close younger brother, three aunts & uncles, and several cousins. Spread throughout Japan, they make it a tradition to meet up, every New Year's holiday. Masae describes her relationship with her family, as “so close.” After getting married, and moving away from the family she grew up with; she came to realize how important they really are to her. When she was a child, they would often go river-side camping, with her favorite event being, Dutch-oven curry cooking, over a campfire. Sticky-rice parties and kite competitions were huge events in her family get-togethers. She wants to share those traditions with her child, in the near future.
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