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Parenting

Chances are if you aren't a military or government employee in the Stafford and Fredericksburg area, your neighbors probably are.
Because of the proximity to various military bases and government agencies in the region, Stafford and Fredericksburg have a high transient population, often calling this area home for a small timeframe.That means that people are often on the move!

Along with the excitement of moving to a new destination come the burdens associated with a transfer. Finding new schools. Choosing new healthcare providers. Making new friends. Figuring out where the heck to get your car fixed. However, with some careful planning and some practical advice from some seasoned movers, moving to a new location can be a relatively seamless transition.

What better experts to ask than military spouses themselves! Here, some military spouses share tips on making the moving transition an easier one.


The first things that come to mind are preschools, elementary schools and a good gym with childcare included in the membership. I plan on sending out a Facebook message asking for that info once we figure out exactly where we are headed. Facebook is such a great tool, especially because it may not be a close friend that can help, but a friend of a friend that can point you in the right direction. -Jessica Heisinger


1. I plot out pet friendly hotels (preferably with a pool) along the route to the new place. That way, once we are on the road, we are not going from place to place trying to find a hotel that will accept pets. Also, because the kids have been stuck in the car all day, they can play in the pool and hopefully get a little tired before bed time.
2. I love www.militarybyowner.com. It's a listing of homes owned by military folks looking for other military renters or buyers. Even if you don't end up renting or buying from this site, it's a great way to make contact with military people in the neighborhood who can offer insight into the area, schools, shopping, etc.
3. The Megan's Law website is very informative about the sex offenders who may be living in the neighborhood you're considering.
4. I have called the local police department to ask about potential neighborhoods and have received good advice about safety issues and crime rates.



Once I'm moved in I always have tons of boxes left over. Instead of calling the movers to come take the boxes, I put an ad in Craigslist. Boxes are expensive and people are grateful for the free boxes left on the curb. - Charli Bitanga

I've gotten hooked on Greatschools.com. I've narrowed our search down to subdivisions based on which school I wanted the kids to go to! - Michelle Carlson Coulman

I always find someone in the area or who has been there before and ask opinions. Whenever we moved I always made sure my son had his favorite things with him. After getting into the new house, the kitchen and my son's room were always first priorities. - Shaun Manning Farmer

A big thing for me is getting involved right away. My kids aren't school age yet, so I get onto Meetup.com or go to local church websites to find a mommy group, such as MOPS, to get connected with other moms or playgroups. I also look at the local gyms, parks and rec departments or YMCAs just to keep us active from the start. I have used Sittercity,com to find a babysitter when we moved. I also look into what clubs the base may offer, like the Officers Spouse's club. Lastly, we look at Crimecheck to find out the crime rates in all of the neighborhoods before we move. - Laura Stevens

In the past, I have used the gym and my job for most of my social networking. This move, I was having a baby two weeks after we arrived, so finding a doctor and hospital was key. Luckily, I was introduced to MOPS. I can totally see it becoming a great resource for both a break and meeting people in the future. Pre-kids, I found a lot of info that I needed from co-workers...i.e. hairstylists, dentists, doctors, where NOT to go eat and such. - Lyza Bowers

Kerry Pinto lives in Stafford with her husband, two kids, and one well-traveled dog. The family has moved a total of eight times in twelve years.

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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches is ready to kayak on the beautiful Rappahannock River. She’s also ready to learn more about how she can protect the river’s health using the Friends of the Rappahannock new River Report Card, sponsored by a surprise grant from the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region (CFRRR).

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