Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009?

I can't believe it's almost 2009! In some ways it seems like the year has gone by before I could even enjoy it. In other ways it has gone on and on and on. It's at the time of year when I like to reflect back on my life over the year. I like to think about all the good and even the not so good things that have happened. It is nice just to see where we have been and what we have done.

Just because I can, here is my year in review. It might kind of be old news if you keep up with my blog but here it goes. Try and keep up :p

So I'm really starting out at the end of 2007. In December of 2007 Samuel was born. Most of his life was spent in 2008, so I feel the need to mention it. After he came home, life got really busy as I adjusted to life as a mom of 2 children. I had just gotten use to have Genevieve, to add Samuel took some time to get use to. He ended up with RSV early on and we had to deal with all of that. He is a joy to have as a son. God knew what he was doing when he gave me Samuel. I couldn't handle another Genevieve.

January didn't bring much in the way of events. We just adjusted to life as a family, and we went on about life as we always had. Genevieve was getting use to being a big sister, and she loves her brother a lot. They became really good buddies early on. We also learned in January that Genevieve would have to have surgery again.

I started the Lent season a little late. However, I was determined to really work hard this year. This year I gave up clutter. I don't know if I did a great job, but I think I did good. I continued my quest to give up clutter even after the Lent season. We moved this year, and I am still purging things now. I find that I have things that I don't think I will use again, and I get rid of it. There is no reason to keep it around. We have hauled off a lot of boxes to the Recycle Center and Thrift Stores. At the end of the month Genevieve had her 3rd and final surgery for Bladder Reflux. She did great, and is doing great now.

March was one of our busy months. We started the month off traveling to Nashville for my sister's wedding. I was there for about 10 days, and my husband joined me later. It was big trip, and it had a lot of ups and downs. We were very happy to be a part of her big day. We went home after the wedding was over, and we began the longest move EVER. At the end of the month my husband was off to school, and the kids and I were adjusting to life without him.

In April we celebrated my birthday, our wedding anniversary, and my husband's birthday. Even though we were apart, we still celebrated in our own ways. It isn't the first birthday and anniversary we have missed. In fact, besides his time in recruiting, we haven't spent them together since the year we were married (6 years in 2008).

May was also a busy month for us. The kids and I attended a Mother Daughter Banquet with my Mom. We had a good time, and everyone loved the kids. Samuel won the youngest baby prize even though he was already 4 months old at the time. They served the same meal we had a couple of years before, but it was still good. I loved watching Genevieve dance around with her friends and have a good time. The kids and I also embarked on our first journey by plane together. We went to Georgia for two weeks to spend time with my husband at school. We had a good time, and we loved seeing him. We had a lot of fun while we were there.

June was full of getting things done and seeing old friends. We spent some time trying to get our passports taken care of. It was easier than I thought, but we ran into a few hang ups later on. We spent some time getting forms filled out again and dealing with all of that. My sister also had her wedding reception in Kansas this month. Some of my friends from high school showed up, and it was a lot of fun. Lacy (my very dear friend from high school) came down with her little girl. It was so much fun to watch her and Genevieve together. We joked about how it was the next generation's trouble makers.

July brought the 4th and all the fun that comes with that. I also stayed busy making sure that we kept getting things for our move finished up. Samuel turned 7 months old and Genevieve started to show a little interest in the potty.

In August, the kids and I ventured out to Tribune to attend my 10 year high school reunion. It was good to see everyone again, but it was very nice to spend more time with some of my close friends that I knew I wouldn't see again for awhile. I also started to try and get Samuel to sleep on his own. It didn't go so great to start off with, and we really didn't get it fixed until we moved into our apartment here. Now I have to work on the all night thing. I also met Lacy for the day, and had a hard time saying goodbye. I really miss her a lot. I know we didn't see each other a lot, but I miss the idea of being able to if I wanted. My husband also made it home from school, and we started the last min things to get ready for our move.

September was the month we moved. It doesn't seem like it has been very long ago, and I guess it really hasn't. We tried to pack in as much as we could before we moved. We had Samuel's Baptism, a trip up for my mother-in-law's retirement, and my father-in-law also had surgery. It was a crazy way to end the time in the states. We made the trip just fine, and we ended up here in one piece. We also moved home not long after our arrival. Genevieve will still say, "It's our new home Momma" when we drive up.

In October we had a lot of fun. We went to Playmobil Park, and Genevieve went Trick or Treating for the first time. It was cold, but she got a lot of candy and had a good time. The leaves started to change and it was so pretty. I also passed my driver's test late October.

November brought our household goods to us. We would spend most of the month getting everything put away and out of the boxes. I am happy to report that EVERY box has been unpacked, and 99.9% of the stuff is put away. We also saw our first snow. The biggest highlight to our month was that our baby girl had her 3rd Birthday.

This month has been filled with things for the holiday. We actually got our Christmas Tree up early, and it looked good (at least to me it did). My in-laws came in for a visit, and we went to our first Christmas Social since we got here. We also celebrated Samuel's 1st Birthday. The month is now almost over, and I think about all the fun we had as a family this month. I love Christmas just because I love seeing my kids so happy. It's a nice season for that.

I hope I didn't bore you with everything. I just feel so blessed for the year we have had, and I hope you have had a very blessed year too. I pray that your new year is filled with a lot of love, joy, and wonderful relationships. Here's to a new year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A HUGE Success

That's right! I have a picture of a potty on my blog. At least it isn't OUR potty or a USED potty.

Let me start off saying how much I hate potty training. It's been real hard for us. Genevieve had bladder issues, and it did make it harder to get going. We had to wait for awhile longer than we wanted to really get going. Because of her surgery, we had to wait to be cleared. So we have had a potty chair in the home since she was 18 months old, and we have been working on it slowly since.

With the move it has been hard to really stick to the whole goal of becoming diaper free. I was told by many people that she'd have set backs from the move. After all the crazy things going on before the move, all the uncertainty, and many back and forth discussions with my friend the potty training pro, I decided it would just be best to wait for our move to really hit it hard. So we waited to push anything.

Well, we have been working on potty training for about 3 weeks now. We started maybe a week or so before that, but 3 weeks ago I started with the potty charts and really hitting it hard. We have had a few stand offs (which I am happy to report I won), but it has been going good. She goes to "school" a couple of times a week, and she usually does really good doing everything on her own there. They tell her to go, and they make sure her pants are pulled up all the way. Other than that, she does it all.

So today a big breakthrough has occurred. This afternoon she came up to me and said, "Momma, I need to potty." So we went back to the bathroom, and she went. I was so happy she told me. This has been the hardest part for us. Later tonight I told her she needed to go potty. I told her to tell her Dad and have him take her. She bypassed her Dad, and she went on her own. I walked back and she was on the potty and done. She was just about to get off. I couldn't believe it! How awesome is that!?

I'm so thankful things are going well, and I can't believe it is going so easy. Keep your fingers crossed that she is totally trained soon. As soon as she can do it on her own, and be totally trained, she can go to a preschool program here that is offered. She's so excited about school, and I'm sure it helps the process. Another way my baby is growing up. Way to Go Genevieve!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Watch Out Rachel Ray

Pretty soon Genevieve will be taking over! She got this kitchen for Christmas this year, and she has been making things for us since. She likes to "feed" anyone who might ask or even just be around. She has been having a great time with it.

The big uh oh of the day (yesterday) was when I noticed she had got water from the bathroom to use at her kitchen. I hadn't noticed the extent of the water damage until I started cleaning. What I thought was a small mess turned into a BIG mess.

One of the burners on this stove makes noises. You put a pot or frying pan on, and it pushes the little button. That then makes it sound like something is frying or boiling. The pans that came with it have holes in the bottom so it sounds louder when the lids are off. It's a really neat effect. So, with holes in the bottom...there is the issue. Holes, water, and electronic things DON'T mix.

When we took out the burner, it was FULL of water. The electronics didn't work anymore, and there was a big mess. We cleaned it up, and opened up the burner to let it dry. She was lucky that this worked, or her toy would have been broken. It's now back to full function.

I have a couple more pictures of her at the kitchen, but this is one of my favorites. If she does decide to become a chef, then it would help me out a ton. Maybe this was a good gift after all!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas


I am typing this wondering where the year has really gone. It seems like this time of the year goes way too fast. In the span of a month we have 4 things to celebrate as a family (Thanksgiving, Genevieve's Birthday, Samuel's Birthday, and Christmas). It makes for one busy month.

Since moving to Germany, we do things earlier than our friends and family back home. Right now it is just after 4 pm. We have enjoyed watching our kids open their gifts, watched them play with them, ate our big lunch, and we have started to wake from our naps. We were happy to be joined (via web cam) by my parents this morning while the kids opened their gifts. It is one way we stay close and connected while being so far apart.

As I type this our friends and family in the states are just starting to wake up. It's just around 9 am there. Everyone is getting up and getting ready to start their holiday. As you all are in the process of your Christmas day (if you are at the start or end of the day), I pray that you have a wonderful day filled with joy and love. Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Lil Man

This was my favorite picture taken of the day. Samuel had just crushed his cake to little bits, and rubbed it all over the table. As you can see from his face, he is very proud of himself. He did a good job at making sure it was all over his area of the table. As you might could guess, he needed a bath after this was all said and done.

As the day has gone on, I found myself thinking back to where I was a year ago. A year ago I was in the hospital and in a lot of pain (until the most wonderful man in the world arrived and gave me the drugs I was wanting). I remember that day well. The night before was a long one. I was up a lot of the night having contractions and as the night went on, it turned to being sick. I couldn't keep anything down that whole day, and when I went to the hospital, they wouldn't give me anything. The night before I was suppose to be induced, but the hospital was so full, they couldn't do it.

I remember a lot of the night. I remember my parents being there. I remember Genevieve and my in-laws coming in the early afternoon to see me. I remember singing the BC Clark's Anniversary Sale jingle (if you have lived or visited Oklahoma around Christmas time, you know what I'm talking about). I remember when my doctor got there she asked if we wanted to do it again next year because she'd be happy to. We informed her no, we didn't want to do it next year, and we wouldn't be around.

At 10:01 pm, Samuel James arrived in the world. He was 8 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long. He's be a joy and blessing every day of his life. I thank God every day for the children gave to me. They may not let me get much sleep, whine like crazy, and drive me crazy, but I love them. I just can't believe it's been a year already. Show's how fast time really does go.



Samuel a day old


Just born


One year later...ready to eat

Monday, December 15, 2008

Great Food, Good Fun! (and Why Receiving Lines Stink)


While my husband was a Recruiter, formals were a normal thing. Every year there was one at ATC. I'd get all dressed up in a ball gown, my hubby in his Blues, and we'd head out. With a new unit and new station comes changes in routine and events. This unit does a Christmas Social.

This year it was held at the Schwetzingen Castle. The picture is of our banquet room before dinner. The link shows some pictures of the entire castle. I can say a lot about the Social this year, but if you want me to sum it up, it was very nice. We had a good time. We did not get pictures taken of us because we have enough. We didn't even take any with our own camera :p

The night started with Social Hour. Because of some things that were going on, it was more like an hour and a half. We were in the entry to the above room, and we were able to socialize with all the people there and order from the bar if we wanted. After that, the receiving line formed. I have to let you know just how much I HATE receiving lines. They are so formal, and you are always looking for the right thing to say. It isn't something where you spend time talking with someone. You go through and you are expected to keep the line moving. Yet every time you shake someone's hand they usually say something along the lines of, "How is your evening going?" or "Isn't it a great night?" You then have to find the right words to say, and you have to find a nice quick answer. You don't really want to answer with "Yes." I am a talker by nature, so a one word answer doesn't suit me too well. I always feel so awkward trying to answer them. Sometimes it comes out all wrong, and I hope with the huge line behind me they will never remember what I said.

After we were all seated, dinner was served. We had a salad, awesome ham and brown gravy, chicken, noodles, boiled potatoes, cooked veggies, rice, vegetable lasagna, and cream of broccoli soup. It was a very filling meal. Everything tasted wonderful. Just about the time we were settling in for the gift baskets to be given away, desert came out. It was a Apple Tart with ice cream. It was so good. I can't even begin to explain the flavors in my mouth.

After the dinner and everything was over, we headed home. There was a dance, but my husband and I were not in the mood for dancing. We were ready to head home. We made it home, and curled up in our PJs. A great end to a great night!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Did It!!


So it's a small feat for some, and most will think I'm crazy. I finally made my maiden voyage on the Autobahn yesterday. I have been on it a few times, but never for a trip or to go somewhere further than several kilometers away.

Yesterday my husband's parents flew into Germany. They are here for an extended visit. My husband had talked to the people who are in charge, and they told him there would be no problem in him getting off to go up to the airport. We had planned on that for about a month, and then at the last second, things changed.

Two days before we were to pick them up, a PT test was scheduled. He visited with a few people to see if there was any way he could do it the next week when everyone else was going to be taking theirs. They told him there was no way, and he could reschedule, and to make other arrangements. So we did...Me, alone, and at 6 a.m.

I was lucky enough that my neighbor upstairs had come down that afternoon. I told her I was very nervous about getting to the airport because of going alone. She told me it was very easy. Then she said that she'd go with me if I liked. SCORE! I was so happy she offered. I took her up on that offer, and we made plans for that day.

We woke up, took my husband to his PT test (which we found out about 30 mins down the road that it was canceled due to weather...he could have gone with us), and we headed out. We made it through town (a way I have never been, but thanks to my friend, she got me out), and we headed up the autobahn. It was very slick and foggy out. So at first, it was slow going. As we move closer to the airport, the weather got better, and the fog lifted a bit. My friend asked me if I was comfortable driving, and I told her I needed to be. She then said, "You aren't going to drive 40 are you?" I guess a friend of hers got nervous and only drove 40. I couldn't believe that at 80 mph that people were still passing me like I was going as slow as a granny.

Long story short, we made it there in one piece. After a short problem with parking, we made it into the airport, and to the gate. We made it home in one piece, and I'm so proud that I made it. I wish I could report that I did it ALL on my own, but I am so very thankful to have had help. Thank goodness for people who help other like my friend helped me. Now it's on to bigger fish.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

One More Day

So the time has come. About 2 months ago we booked my In-law's plane tickets for their visit. They knew that they wanted to come see us for the holiday season. When we booked the tickets, it seemed so far away. Now the time has come. I called them about 45 mins ago, and they were headed to the airport. They will arrive here early tomorrow morning (our time).

Until recently, my husband was a re-enlistment NCO. He had a great schedule where he could pretty much dictate his schedule. If he needed some time off to take care of a few things, he could take it (as long as his numbers were doing good). He was recently "fired" (it's a good thing), and he moved into a job doing his REAL job. The hours are still great compared to what we are use to, but there isn't as much flexibility. He was going to be able to get off still, but a PT test was scheduled for him, and he can't get out of it. So needless to say, the kids and I will travel to the airport tomorrow to get his parents...alone.

The idea of me doing this all alone scares the snot out of me. I have been to new airports before. I have parked and picked people up in new airports before. However, I have never done this in an international setting. I think (at least my GPS shows) that it is a straight shot from here to there, so I hope that things are pretty easy to deal with. We have a plan in place, and that helps to ease my mind. However, I still worry about it. I wonder if I will get any sleep tonight?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Christmas Time


I guess you could say it's Christmas time here. We usually don't put up a big tree (the last time was right after Genevieve was born 3 years ago), and it usually isn't this early. However, it made sense to put one up earlier this year because we were putting our stuff away anyway.

We spent the good part of the 4 day weekend for Thanksgiving getting things put up. We unloaded all the boxes, and we had to find a place for everything. Genevieve's birthday party was that Sunday, and we had company coming over. They knew we had just got our boxes, but there was still something about having it all around that made us want to get everything done. So we worked our tails off, and got it done. While doing all that, we came across the tree. So we put it up too. I'm glad it's out of the way, and we have enjoyed it being up. I was really worried about the kids messing with it, but they have done really good about not touching it.

Now the big task at hand is to get our Christmas letters out. We have the paper, and everything ready to go. I need to get the printer up and going so I can get them printed. As it is, they still might not make it across the ocean in time. If you are on my list, and you don't get them in time, I'm very sorry :) With everything going on, it's just been a hard few weeks.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!


As I am sitting down to type this, I can't believe another year has come and gone. Last year we didn't really have a birthday for Genevieve. My husband and I feel bad about it, but it just didn't happen. We were going to do one later, but life came and plans never got made. This year we wanted to do it right. So we set upon the task of doing so.

We had to start with getting boxes unpacked, stuff put away, and things looking nice. We invited another family over, and we knew they knew we had just got our stuff, but we still wanted things to look nice. They need to get done anyway, so now was a good time to get on the ball. We spent Wednesday through today getting these things done. We have been shopping (buying storage, decorative, and other things), cleaning, unpacking, etc. We have got just about everything done. We just have our catch all in our room to deal with and laundry.

We got all that done, and we decorated. We sang Happy Birthday as good as we could, ate some cake, and opened gifts. She got a lot of cute things. Our friends that came over got her a Barbie and a Dora puzzle. She will have a blast with both of those. My husband and I got her a few things too. She got a Sleeping Beauty Barbie with a charm bracelet, a dancing June doll, and a Washer. About a month ago I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and she had told me she wanted a washing machine. So we got it :p

After a bit of playing, our friends had to leave, and we went to dinner. After dinner was over, we came home and got them ready for bed. I think Genevieve had a great day, and I'm so glad she had fun with her friends.

Happy Birthday Genevieve! I love you so very much. You are a joy and a blessing in our lives.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holy Stuff Batman!

If I didn't know before, I know now. We have too much stuff. It just seems to be coming out our ears...or boxes. We have unloaded all the boxes and the stuff is just around. We have about 3 or 4 boxes to take to the thrift store. It is stuff that we should have got rid of before the move, but we didn't for one reason or another. Now we are doing it on this end. I guess doing it is the important part, so at least we are getting rid of it.

Today seemed like a busy day, but it probably wasn't really. My husband woke me up 30 mins before he needed to leave for work so I could get myself and the kids ready. We drove him to his office, and on our way back into the post where our home is, we were stopped again to be searched. This was the second morning in a row. If we get stopped tomorrow, I might start to think something is up. We'll see.

We went back over to his area for lunch today. Some days it makes for a good break in the day to venture over that way and have lunch with Daddy. I am happy to report that I did not get stopped at the gate this time. I guess I can't complain too much. It is very cold in the mornings though. I have to stand outside the van while they do all the checks. I am just very thankful they let the kids stay in the car in the car seats. That would be a pain to deal with.

Anyway, I have been trying to plan Genevieve's party. She wanted a Barbie birthday cake. I ordered the one that says it serves 17 people. I think I saw the size, and I don't know what they think a serving is, but it won't feed 17 people. We will have 12 people (counting us) for her party, and I'm worried that the cake won't feed us all. So I'm going to make some cupcakes too. We still need to go and get her a couple of gifts to open, and I need to get some decorations. We can't hang much on the wall, so we won't do that. I will get some pretty plates and stuff though. I might even put together some Goodie Bags. I don't know for sure though. Just think after all this, I get to do it again in less than a month for Samuel.

This week hasn't felt like Thanksgiving to me. I guess most of it is because we aren't doing Thanksgiving really here. I'm not cooking a big meal, and we have plans to go shopping and do other things. That is one nice thing about being in Germany. The Germans don't observe American holidays so when my husband is off, we can usually go out and do things. I went to the commissary tonight, and it was a mad house. There were so many people trying to find thing and buy things for their upcoming feasts. There were so many people, and for a moment I wondered why there were so many people at the store going crazy. Then I remembered.

"Just what are you going to do on Thanksgiving?" is the question I get all the time when people find out we aren't doing a meal. Well, it's easy really. We are going to be getting things done around the house, we will be shopping for a few things we need, and we will go out to eat at a German restaurant. I think we are going to try and hit up IKEA and Toys R Us on that day. As much as I love a good Thanksgiving feast, I love the idea of not having to clean it up more. I will cook on Christmas, but with all our stuff everywhere, I'm just glad I won't be adding to the mess. And that I am thankful for.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow


This morning was a lazy one. I tried to sleep in as late as I could, and we actually made it to about 9 am. We knew we would make "cake cakes" (pancakes) this morning, and we just took our time getting around. After we had got started with breakfast, I opened the curtains to reveal the fresh blanket of snow on the ground. We leave a few windows open at all times, and I thought it sounded like there were a lot of kids outside. That explained it.

This is our first snow here in Germany. I don't really care for snow much. I am one of those people who thing Christmas is just the same with or without it being white. I don't want to deal with all the crazy people and things that happen when it snow. I am just not a fan. It was very pretty to see it, and the mountains were very pretty with snow on them. I just hope it isn't something that sticks around for long, and that it doesn't come around a lot. Once and awhile is fine.

That being said, with it being cold, it is the perfect excuse for a nice warm pot of chili and a glass of whine. We still have a bit to do with our place. We are going to haul a bunch of stuff down to storage tonight. That will help to make us feel like we are getting somewhere. We found a couple of rugs on sale at Poco today. They were only 20 Euro each. It was a really good deal.

Other than that, it was more of the same today. Tomorrow will be more boxes. So fun...yeah right.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So We Are Grown Up Now

My husband and I have been saying for YEARS that we wanted to ditch the hand me downs (nothing wrong with them, they worked, and they were free) and move up to a "grown up" bedroom set. We have looked over the years at many things, and we have even found a couple we liked. When we got some money saved back though there was always something else that we needed to use it for. At first it was because we were having Genevieve, so we needed to buy a crib and such for her. Then we honestly thought hard about it, but decided that our living room should be next. You know more people see your living room than your bedroom. After we re-did the living room, Samuel came along. Now we have moved, the kids have their stuff, and we had no more excuses. We had saved up, and we were ready to make the buy.

We spent a few days out looking on the German Economy. It didn't take us long to realize that they don't believe in box springs. Everything looked like it was just for the top mattress, and they were all really low to the ground. The height wasn't too much of an issue for me, but I am short. My husband on the other hand is much taller, and he likes to have some height to his furniture (I don't blame him). So we decided finally that we probably wouldn't buy a bed out in town. We looked at a couple of places, and we finally found one we liked. It is a big set, so it fills our room. We don't have any room for anything else (except a TV for the dresser). I guess this is good because it will keep me in line with keeping things picked up and not a lot in the room.

Today our furniture was delivered, and it looks great! We are very happy with it. It goes great with our new wall color, and with our bedding we already had. Maybe that will be our next purchase. We will see. Anyway, here are a few pictures for you to enjoy. Pardon the "orbs." All the moving stuff and packing materials kicked some dust up in the air.



Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just Because...

Our stuff arrived yesterday. It's a big mess. Maybe it was better living life without all our junk. However, I just have to climb on my feather, king sized bed to realize that it's okay. Unpacking with two kids is slow going, but we will make it. We had to do a little shopping (a couple of things were broke in the move, and we got a new bedroom set), and we had our family pictures taken today. Other than that, it's just a lot of boxes and unpacking. If anyone knows how to get that storage smell out of things, let me know :)

Just because I have a ton of stuff going on, I'm not creative enough to do a post right now. My cousin Mandi did a "meme" today or yesterday (not really sure which), so I'm going to share my answers too :) If you want to take it, go for it! Just let me know or send it back so I can see what you had to say. Pretty much you answer these questions in just one word. This should be fun since I'm not good at the whole one word type answers. I'll give it a go though.

Where is your mobile phone? Living room
Your hair color? Blonde
Your mother? Loving
Your father? Selfless
Your favourite thing? Bed
Your dream last night? None
Your dream goal? Mom of the Year
The room you're in? Bedroom
Your hobby (hobbies)? Window Shopping
Your fear? Drowning
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Abroad
Where were you last night? Bed
What you're not? Motivated
One of your wish-list items? Wine
Where you grew up? Kansas
The last thing you did? Bath
What are you wearing? Clothes
Your TV? Big
Your pet? None
Your computer? Charging
Your mood? Normal
Missing someone? Always
Your car? Awesome
Something you're not wearing? Socks
Favorite shop? Target
Your summer? Short
Love someone? Always
Your favourite colour? Pink
When was the last time you laughed? Now
When was the last time you cried? Saturday (last week)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Meaning to Long Weekend

This weekend my husband had a long weekend for Veteran's Day. We were going to just hang out and check out some new areas of town until the wonderful call came that our stuff was coming in this next week. When we went to a friend's apartment, we noticed they didn't have white walls. We asked about the policy for painting, and found out that as long as you paint it back to white (or if it is neutral enough you might be able to leave it), you could paint. We realized that we really wanted to paint the wall because we would be here at least 3 years, and it would be worth repainting in the end.

We knew that this weekend we had to get it done if we didn't want to have to deal with all our stuff being in the way. We have little furniture now, and it would be much easier. So we went to our local hardware store (where no one spoke English at all...made it a little hard for the questions we had), and we came back with the paint sticks we thought would make the colors we wanted. There was one bad batch that turned more like a teal, and it wasn't very pretty. So we started over on that one. The rest of the colors came out awesome.

We started on Saturday night. After we tucked the kids into bed, we started in the living room and dining room. It was by far the most surface to paint, and it was a common area. We needed to do it when the kids were asleep and out of the way. It took us a LONG time to get it done, but once it was done, it looked great.

On Sunday we were worn out. We were up until about 4 am from the night before, so we made a deal with ourselves. We would paint Samuel's room in the nap time slot, and we would rest that night. We made the kids dinner, put them to bed, and then did very little. I made us dinner and we had some wine we had bought at the Holiday Bazaar on Friday. We started a movie, but I couldn't even make it past 30 mins.

Yesterday was out big push to the end. We wanted to get the other two rooms done that day. We didn't want to be painting today. We did Genevieve's room during the nap time slot again, and it went over a little bit. Both kids were very good while we finished up. She told us when we were picking out colors she wanted a green room. We showed her a couple of swatches, and she picked the one she really liked. So we went with it. It is green, but it is going to look good with her bedding. When we were done she said that she really loved her green room. That's all that matters anyway. :)

Our room we did last night. We wanted a sage green, but we couldn't find one. My husband being the color expert got a couple of different sticks and played around with it. He made the perfect color of green for our room. It looks awesome, and I know it will look great with our stuff.

Here are a couple of Before and After Pictures. Please remember that none of this stuff is really ours (the kid's beds are theirs), so it will look a lot more like a "home" after our stuff arrives.



Master bedroom before


Master bedroom after
(please disregard the laundry...it's laundry day)


Genevieve's room before

Genevieve's room after

Samuel's room after
(there wasn't a before...it looked pretty much the same as the master)


Living room before


Living room after

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Great News!

So my husband just called to let me know some really great news. Our house hold goods have arrived here, and we can have them delivered now. I can't believe they are already here. They are about 2 1/2 weeks earlier than they said, and about a month late. Let me explain.

When we got orders to Germany, my husband had the choice to have our stuff packed up early March and stored while he went to school. We did this so I could move back up to Kansas with the kids and be closer to family and friends. They packed it all up, and they put it in Non-temporary Storage. When we were ready to have the stuff released and shipped, we would have to go into a post and fill out the paperwork. Then it would take about a week for the release to happen. No biggie...Fast forward from March to August.

My husband gets home from school, and we go into Ft Riley to talk to them about getting everything taken care of. We get the paperwork filled out, and she faxes it to them. We were told in a week, it would be good to go. Two weeks go by and nothing. So we go back in, and this time we see someone who deals with this all the time. So she fills it all out, and then she tells us that she or someone in Texas will call us when it all hits. About 4 hours later, we got the call. Everything should be good to go. WRONG!

We get to Germany, and my husband is doing all his paperwork. We still are not in the system! It has now been a month since we started with the first round of paperwork, and we still aren't any closer than when we started. We got on the phone in a hurry, and my husband was less than pleased about it all. Finally they decided that they would do the paperwork right, and our stuff would be on the way in a day or two (funny how you don't need a week when someone is mad). It did end up taking about 2 weeks for us to hit the system and our stuff be picked up.

Long story short, we got our advance shipment last week, and now it looks like we will get our other stuff very soon. Oh I cannot wait for my king sized bed to arrive. How wonderful it is going to be to sleep in bed and not have to touch my husband :p I will have all my pillows back and can curl up in my cocoon (as my husband so lovingly calls it), and rest well. I guess we had better get on our painting this weekend (unless they bring it before then).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Is anyone else besides me glad that Election Day is today? I am a very firm believer that every person should vote because it is a right we were given. It is something that we can do to help shape our country. If we don't like the way things are going, we can make the changes by the votes we make. If we think things are going well, we vote to keep them going the way we like. Even if the person we think would be right doesn't win, we still did a good thing by voting.

All that being said, I'm so tired of all the junk on the news about the candidates. It has got so old. I have watched a few of the debates, and I have seen more than my fair share on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. My only saving grace is that being in Germany, we don't have regular TV. So we don't get regular commercials. I don't have to see the political ads running non stop. It makes me wonder if there will even be anything to report about when this is all said and done. What will happen when the US goes back to "normal"?

We will not be able to stay up and see the results in real time tonight. The polls won't even start to close until around midnight or 1 am here. That's a time my body doesn't hardly know anymore. I'm so old :p This is really one election I have no idea how it is going to go. If you haven't got out today to vote yet, get a move on :) Besides I always say, "If you don't vote, you don't get a right to complain."

Monday, November 3, 2008

A New First (and Our Busy Week)

Last week was a very busy week for our household. The first part of it wasn't too bad, but it was cold and wet out. We couldn't really get out to the park and all that fun stuff. We walked to the grocery store here on post and got stuff to get us by for the time. I had bought so much that my stroller (just an umbrella stroller) would fall over backwards if I let go. Needless to say with the weather and the kids looking like they were getting sick, that was our last trip out on foot for the week.

On Tuesday we were told we could pick up our van! YEA! Because of everything you have to get and have ready (first aid kit, warning triangle, safety vest, registration, car plates, etc) when you sign for the van, we didn't have time on Tuesday to get it. My husband said that someone would be able to take him on Wednesday. It ended up not working out. I finally had the bright idea to ask my neighbor. She was a godsend and took us over to get it. I asked her if she could stick around and let us follow her back. She had to get home, but she gave us her GPS and said if we get lost or when we are ready to come home push "Take Me Home." It was that time we realized that a GPS was not just something we thought we wanted, it was a much needed item for us to get. So Wednesday we finally got our van.

Thursday was another busy day. We were told that between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm they were going to deliver our early shipment of items. There wasn't much to that shipment. It was a few duffle bags, a TV, a couple of those canvas chairs, 3 boxes, and 2 cribs. I unpacked the boxes, and got all the dishes we had sent in the dishwasher.

Friday was of course Halloween. I'm not big on the whole trick or treat thing. I just don't get into it. My husband really wants that to be a big deal for our kids, so I told him that he could be in charge. I found a costume, and he was suppose to do the rest. Well, we went out for the first time, and Genevieve had fun. She got a lot of candy, and we didn't freeze...too bad. She was a princess. Like I said, it was cold so she had to wear a long sleeved shirt, tights, and a coat out too.

This weekend we spent putting together everything that was apart from the shipment, and we went to buy a few things we needed and wanted. We did find us a GPS, and we bought a new TV for our back room (our Christmas present, but it was on sale, so we went ahead). It was crowded like crazy because of the Early Bird Sale we didn't know was going on.

We ended up getting the kid's beds put together too. Genevieve went from the crib she was in when we lived in Oklahoma to the day bed it converts to. We were going to put up the side rails, but we decided that with the matress as low as it was, she'd probably be okay. It went together much easier than I had rememberd it going together when we bought it. Samuels bed was fine until the drop rail had to go on. Talk about a mess. It was an easy fix (we didn't put it on right and when my husband took off the locking part and played with it, he figured it out).

So for the first time in his life, Samuel slept in his crib last night. Yes, he is 10 months old now. It's crazy he hasn't been in a crib yet, but there it is. He seemed to sleep pretty good. He woke up at his usual 4:30 am time, but that was the first time. Lately he's been up a few times in the night. Maybe this will help him sleep the night :p We can hope anyway!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Uh Oh! Watch Out Europe!

So I took my driver's test today. I have been studding the last couple of nights, and today was the day. I have been putting it off for awhile now because we didn't have our van anyway. No need to worry about a test that has had the reputation of being hard. Since our van was due to arrive on Tuesday (and it did!), I figured I had better get to it.

The whole process was long. I was having trouble concentrating due to the heat in the room and being hungry. My husband said I'd be done between 1:30 and 2:00, so not a big deal. Well, I didn't start the test until almost 2:30.

I was the first one finished, and even though I didn't do as well as I would have liked, I still passed. That's the important thing. So, watch out Europe, I'm legal!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yikes! A Test!

We have now been in Germany for over a month. It's been more like a month and a half. I didn't really worry to much about my driver's test because we had no van. No van equals no driving. I wasn't about to jump in someone else's car and take off down the road. So, the time has come. I am finally taking my driver's test tomorrow.

It is a long test due to some instructions and a video/class on the test before hand. I was told that you have to study. You can't just go in and expect to pass from what you know from driving all those years in the US. Last night I did study questions 1 to 81. Tonight was 82 to 154. I didn't do too bad. I still would like to do better, but I think the video/lecture will drive home the things that I missed when taking the test. The signs are kind of tricky, but I will make sure and go over those tomorrow.

If you saw my last entry, you know that I have been reading the Twilight books. I read the first two, and I was waiting on the second in the mail. They really shouldn't have been here until next week, but they came in the mail today. I about died when I saw my husband walk in with a box from Amazon. I was so excited. I told him I shouldn't start them until after my test, or that I might be thinking about them during the test. He took me serious, and he has hid them from me. I can probably guess where they are, but I cannot reach them. I'm too lazy to take a chair back there, so I better pass so I can get my books.

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed. I'd like to have my license tomorrow so I don't have to do it again. I have never failed a driving test, and I don't plan on starting now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hurry Up Books!


Have you read this book? My friend, Lacy, is responsible for me not having a life the past 5 days. She had been telling me that she had been reading these books. I had no clue what she was talking about, and I didn't really care at first. I'm not a big reader. The main reason I'm not is because 1) I'm slow and 2) I have a hard time with reading comprehension. I always have, and that in turn is why I am a slow reader. I could go on and on about how that makes it hard for me, but case in point is that I really have to be pushed into a book, and if it is a series, I have to really like it to keep going.

Anyway, I had been looking for a few books to read for awhile. Just because I don't always enjoy it doesn't mean I don't try. I was cruising online at Amazon looking for some books. I started out thinking I'd get a biography. I had it in my cart ready to go, and then I remembered that Lacy had told me about these books. I went back to my email and did a quick search to find out what book it was. It took a couple of different searches on my part, but I finally found the name Twilight. I typed it in the search bar at Amazon, and did a little reading. Let me say right now, I didn't know how popular they were when I bought them. I just thought it was another book :p I decided to give it a go. If I hated it too much, I could give Lacy a hard time then.

While looking I realized there were 4 books in the series. I decided to go ahead and get book 1 and book 2 and have them shipped. Both books were cheaper than the one book I had wanted before, so I didn't see the harm. I thought it would take awhile for me to finish the first one, but I'd then have the second to start on so I could order the rest. I hit the confirm button and waited for the week it takes to get the books here.

I got my books at the end of last week. I think I got them on Wednesday. I started off reading just one chapter that night (usually a couple of chapters a night does it for me). The next day I read during nap time and while the kids were being good. When I looked at the book again, I was almost half done. Realizing how fast I was reading and the fact I was enjoying it, I went to visit my lovely Amazon site and got the other two coming this way. I still had one more book to read, and I knew I'd slow down, but I thought I'd better be safe. Yeah right!

I finished the first and moved right to the second. In two days, the second was finished. Now I sit and wait for my books to be here. If the shipping trend continues, I should have them the middle of next week. I can't believe that I'm going through them like this. It's nuts!

I guess the good part about the delay in the books being here is that I need to study. I have my driver's test on Friday, and I need to do good on that. I want to pass the first time so I can start driving again. I will have to take my hubby to work to have the car in the day, but that might not be such a bad thing.

Needless to say, HURRY UP BOOKS!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Very Late Night Ramble

So it is one of those nights. Before you go on, know that what I'm about to say could, or probably will be a little off or not make sense. How is it different from any other time you ask? Well, it's late...as in almost 1 am late. After reading that, you may wonder why am I still awake at almost 1 am. Well, I'm about to tell you in what I am calling my "Very Late Night Ramble."

It has been a long couple of nights. Samuel just is not sleeping well. He is crying a lot. He will cry forever. I will go in after a bit and pick him up. He gets mad about that. He pushes me away like he wants nothing to do with me. I lay him back down, and he is more mad than when I went in. I just can't win. It is getting old, and I don't know what to do about it.

I guess the thing that really bothers me the most is sharing walls, floor, and ceiling with others. When we lived in Oklahoma, we were in a house. No one was really bothered by our noise. We could walk, run, skip, or hop through our home. We could turn the TV up if we liked. Here it isn't as easy. The people below us can hear us move through the place. We can hear our neighbors upstairs all the time. However, the noise on that level does not bother us much.

I have seen online people asking about babies crying all the time. What should they do, they ask. A lot of people wonder if they need to call the cops or CPS. I always respond with, "you never know what is going on, so maybe a visit to the home." It's that or something like that. Anyway, I feel like I'm that person now. My poor child seems to cry all the time, and I don't know how to fix it. I'm worried that someone is going to get upset by it all. Should it bother me? Probably not, but it does.

So, if you have any solutions or things to try, I'm all ears. I need some sleep again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

My husband got a wonderful email today. It wasn't the best news in the world (our van arriving), but it is the next best thing. We found out that our advanced shipment has arrived. We just have to call and set up an appointment to have it brought here.

When you move overseas with the military, you are allowed to pack two sets of items to go over with you. The first is your advanced baggage, the second is all your other goods. When you get all the paperwork, they tell you what can and cannot go in those shipments.

With the early shipment, they put it on a plane (at least I think) to get it this way quickly. There is a certain weight limit and certain items you can bring. The description I remember was something like this...You will want to pack items that make it hard to live without for a long time. This will not include furniture, beds, big TVs, or appliances. It can include children's bedding such as cribs. Now I don't know about you, but the things that are hard to live without are my bed, sofa, and things like that. What I wouldn't give for our King sized bed and feather mattress right now. The TV thing doesn't bother me too much since we only have 8 or 9 stations to watch.

I made my husband look at our inventory this weekend (before we knew it was here) to find out some of the things we put in our shipment. I am starting to miss those little comforts that I never even thought about before. Something as small as our microwave. I am so tired of having to heat up everything on the stove top or in the oven. Something small and simple like Genevieve's chicken nuggets now take 15 mins instead of the few in the microwave. Small snacks that you can heat in the microwave and have ready in just a short amount of time can now take over 30 to 40 mins. Oh how I miss that.

Hopefully when my husband calls it will be with good news. Hopefully it will only take a day or two to get the items here. I cannot wait to see a little piece of home. I have not seen our things since early March. It will be like Christmas is already here. No need for gifts this year...just our stuff. :p

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall Is Here!


I have blogged in the past about how much I love Fall. It is my favorite season of them all. I know a lot of people say they don't mind Fall, but the idea of Winter being just around the corner makes them not care for it as much. Not me!

I love the cooler weather, the trees changing, the leaves on the ground. I love it all. I like being able to put on a big pot of soup and let it simmer all day. I won't do that in the Summer due to heat, but in the Fall, it works out great. I love drinking Hot Coco at night and curling up in my blanket. I love it all!

So I am happy that here in Germany that the weather is Fallish and the trees are changing. When I call home and people ask about the weather, they always tell me it is cold here (in the mid 50s). I think it is just right. The skies are dreary, the trees are changing, and I am loving every second of it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Can Anyone Tell Me?



So I don't want to tell you what this is, I want you to guess. I did look up the words on the German to English translator, and it something like a money voucher or something like that. I don't want to know that part. I want to know if you know where you get them. Leave a comment in the comment section, and I will let you know who got it right. :)

The Big Big Big Big BIG Play Park

So the title is a little redundant, but that is where we went yesterday. Yesterday we were invited to travel with two families to Playmobil Fun Park about 2 1/2 hours away. As you can tell from the site, it is like a Lego Land or something like that. There is one of these in the US as well.

Anyway, we went to the Fun Park yesterday. It was so much fun to see Genevieve have a great time. She would run and play. There were a few things that were a bit too big for her still. You could tell some things really scared her. I think next year she will love it even more. I took a few pictures, and we will end with those :)





At the start of the day with one of the direction guys



Samuel's ready to go



We're Off!



With the King and Queen (Giving the Queen a kiss)



Arrr!



The Pirate Ship



Ring that bell



Behind the wheel



Trying one more time




Playing with Noah's Ark



Daddy's getting into it too



And Mommy "milks" the cow




The big outdoor castle




Indoor play area

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm Not Unique Today

I have been very tired the last few days. I know that my kids are somewhat sleeping all night, but I still am not. The bed we have is horrible. My back is killing me, and it keeps me up. I usually get up in the middle of the night and hit up the sofa for a bit. Last night was no exception, so I am going to use a questionnaire my cousin did and call it good. I might have wished when this is over I would have just blogged about something else instead :p Here it goes anyway. Feel free to take it if you wish.

I am: many things in life. I am also very tired.
I think: nap time will be awesome.
I know: how blessed my life is.
I want: to be the best wife, mom, friend, daughter, sister, cousin, etc I can.
I have: a lot to be thankful for.
I wish: I could get some good rest on my good bed.
I hate: Feeling like I could do better on a lot of things.
I miss: being able to pick up the phone in the morning and calling people.
I fear: Dying in a fire or drowning (this IS my biggest fear in life)
I feel: decent considering the lack of sleep and bad bed.
I hear: Stupid AFN commercials, the dishwasher, and Samuel trying to nap.
I smell: Some air freshener I just sprayed
I crave: a real Coke...The carbonation here isn't right. Makes everything taste funny.
I search: for my purpose after my kids are in school. I have no idea what to do with my life.
I wonder: if people really can see God in me or if I am just talking and not walking.
I regret: some of the things I have said to my friends, family, and husband.
I love: how my friends, family, and husband love me anyway.
I ache: because of the loaner bed
I care: even when I shouldn't.
I always: try and live a life pleasing to God.
I am not: able to take the stuff I use to in stride.
I believe: I am the best wife, mother, sister, daughter, cousin, and friend I can be.
I dance: when Genevieve goes to the potty...it isn't pretty :)
I sing: to my kids when they get tired.
I don't always: do everything I can.
I fight: for my family and friends
I write: as much as I can. I really like to, the kids just keep me busy sometimes.
I win: when my husband lets me...unless it is at Mario Party. That I can do on my own.
I lose: my cool when my kids are having a bad day. (I'm sorry babies...it's not your fault)
I never: want to compromise.
I confuse: a lot of people. Sometimes what I say only makes sense to me.
I listen: most of the time.
I can usually be found: around or on my cell.
I am scared: I am a bad mom and my kids will think so too.
I need: more confidence
I am happy about: finally planning both my kids a birthday party

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Better Than Ice Cream!

Have you ever heard that song that goes, "Your love is better than ice cream. Better than anything else that I've tried."? Well I found out what that is for me, and it's not love (at least in this blog). I can finally tell you all that for the first time since I got pregnant with Samuel, I was able to pretty much sleep through the night. I had to get up with Genevieve a time or two, but she is much easier to deal with being able to tell me what is wrong.

The whole process started when we moved into our apartment. When I was staying in Kansas, I wasn't able to put him in his own room. So after a long day, he'd just end up in bed with me because it was easier to co-sleep than to mess with all the up and down. I didn't like the idea so much, but I was so tired I didn't care. So when we got here, we had many things to work on. We had to get use to the time change, have him start to sleep on his own, and get him to sleep through the night.

The first two were pretty easy. I was able to get us all on the time change before we left the hotel. It took us about a week, but after that we adapted, and we were good to go. Samuel was the only one that didn't really seem phased by the time change. He usually slept all night and even through the times the rest of us were up. That was one thing down.

When we moved to our apartment, for the first time ever, Samuel finally had his own room. The first night was hard, but we put him in his room to go to bed. He had gone to bed on his own (in the room I was in, but just alone) before, but never stayed alone all night. The first night he cried for what seemed like forever (probably only 30 or 45 mins). I'd go in and check on him after 20 mins or so, and it seemed to just make things worse. After 3 or 4 nights, he went to bed like a champ. I can tell when he's getting tired, and he just goes down. There is a little crying, but nothing major.

At his 9 month check up, I talked to the doctor about sleeping through the night. I was sure I could stop nursing him at night, but I just wanted to make sure. Sometimes I think my brain went out the window. I mean I have had one kid already. I should know all this stuff. Anyway, I asked the doctor about him, and she said it was fine for him to stop nursing at night.

Even though that was the answer I wanted, part of it was sad. I mean my baby is growing up very fast. It took about 2 or 3 nights for me to muster up enough courage to tackle dealing with him crying at night. I finally made up my mind it was time. I mean I knew in the end the few nights would totally be worth the few that I'd be up. So I just decided to go for it.

The first night was horrible. He was up a lot. I'd go in after a bit and get him to calm down (of course when I left it made it worse), and he'd sleep for a bit. Then after what seemed like 10 mins, we'd start all over again. I was so tired by the end of that first night, I was ready to give up. A girl on a message board I frequent told me to hang in there and not give up. She reminded me if I gave in just once, I'd have to start all over. I sure didn't want that.

Night two was much better. He was up a few times, but nothing like the night before. I could go in, pat him, and leave. He'd get really mad and cry for about a min. Then after that, he'd go to sleep. When he went back to sleep he'd sleep for a few hours at a time. It felt great.

Last night was night four. I have to say that he slept all night (from 6:45 pm to 7:45 am), and it was the best sleep I've had in awhile. It was so nice to be able to just get up once with Genevieve, get her what she told me she needed, and go right back to bed. At 7:45 I nursed him, and we both went back to sleep for another hour or so. Like I said, I hadn't slep through the night since before I got pregnant with him. That is about 18 months now. That is a long time without a full nights sleep. I hope we can keep it up because I can totally get use to this!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

All You Get...


Have you ever seen those shirts that you get from those locations that everyone seems to go to or want to go? They usually say something like, "My Mom and Dad went to Disney World. All I got was this stinkin' shirt." I remember getting something like that as a kid, and I have seen that saying on post cards, shirts, buttons, and many other things. It always makes me chuckle when I see it. Well today is YOUR day! This weekend my husband and I went downtown for a Fall Festival and all you are getting is a picture of our beer mugs in my blog. Honestly if I would have remembered my camera, I would have taken pictures, but we were in a hurry that day. We also didn't take ourselves, so I couldn't just turn around. You are going to have to settle for the picture of the mugs and what you read. I promise I will be more careful about bringing my camera from now on.

Our morning went quick at the house. We woke up about 3 hours before we were to leave, but it was very busy. We decided to make a good breakfast not knowing what the day would be like. That took up a bit of time there. After we ate, we cleaned up, and got everyone ready. By that time, it was time to head out the door. We got the seats in the SUV we were going in, and we got the stroller in another person's car. They told us they were not going to drive all the way downtown because of how hard it was to find parking, and it was very expensive. We decided to go to another post that was right by a train stop.

We took the train downtown and headed down the street. It was so full. There were people everywhere. The street was narrow, and there were vendors on either side of us. I saw things for sale like baby dolls all the way to bags, glasses, wooden figures, and things like that. It was your typical stuff you would expect to see at something like this.

After a few steps down the road and passing a few booths, a wonderful aroma hit my nose. It was amazing. It made me so hungry I just had to find where it was coming from. As we passed food place after food place (none of which were producing the wonderful smell), I almost wondered if it were actually around. Then as we hit a clearing, I found it. It was a bratwurst place. They cooked different kinds of dogs, and they put them on a hard crust roll. I told my husband that is what I wanted, and he should go get me one. He emerged with the best tasting smoked sausage (it wasn't a bratwurst, but it was good anyway) I have eaten. I cannot begin to describe the party that went on in my mouth when I took a bite.

As we were eating, he spotted the beer joint right by where we were. He left to get a beer and returned with a beer and Coke in hand. I was surprised that he brought the drinks in a glass glass. In the states we are use to the paper throw away glasses that they serve us at our local drive thru. Here they are more delebrate about recycling. What you do is get the glass and a paper, coin, or something to show that you got the glass there. When you are done with the drink you bring them back. You pay a deposit for the glass when buying the drink, and when you bring it back, you get your deposit back. You don't have to take the glass back, but you don't get your deposit back either. (Hints the glasses you got a picture of)

After we were finished with the meal, we headed down the road. It was more vendors and more things to eat and see. As we neared the end of the road, you could tell there was a clearing. We pushed the stroller into the clearing and towering over us was a castel. It was amazing. Genevieve kept saying, "Look Mommy! That's where the princess lives!" She was so excited to see the castel.

After we had made it all the way down the road and back, we caught the train to head home. It was a long day, but a fun one. We were told by the people we went with that they do something like that every month. I can't wait. We might not be able to go to them every month, but it sure will be fun to catch one every now and then. Next time I promise to take a camera.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh How I Miss...

I never thought I'd say it, but I miss TV commercials. There are always some that are funny and that you remember. Here we have AFN (Armed Forces Network), and they show military commercials. They have commercials about fitting in when you travel, what's going on in the military, and things like that.

We went to a Fall Festival this past weekend (when I get something downloaded, I'll fill you in), and they had an area with performers. We were laughing about how they did what they called "MTV Dancing" and how it was nothing like MTV. After the girls did their thing, they started to play techno music. It cracked me up and made me think of that commercial that is on in the states right now.

It is an AT&T Commercial and here is a link to it on YouTube. If you don't want to click let me fill you in. It has a guy in a hostel, and his phone didn't pick up the call from his friends. They were calling to tell him that they were getting on the train and headed to Paris. Now he is stuck in the hostel with the Techno Twins. Hints why the techno music made me laugh. (How sad is it that I looked that up on YouTube and wanted to watch it?!)

Anyway, I said to the people we were with that the music reminded me of the cell phone commercial. They had no idea what I was talking about. I had to explain the whole thing to them because they just didn't have a clue. It made me sad because I know in not too much more time, that will be me. I don't mind not having normal TV, but if I am going to miss out on the funny world of commercials, I don't know. :p

Speaking of commercials on YouTube, I just found this one. This is another one of my favorites. I think it came out about the time that we bought our van. The whole time we were looking at vans, my husband wasn't too thrilled about driving one. We got one (Nissan Quest) that is not as vanish as most. He says it is a man van. Anyway, when this one came out, we laughed about it a lot.

Needless to say, you guys are going to have to keep me updated on the good commercials out there. Give me links so I can stay up to date in the world of normal TV.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Thrift Store and the Bus

I find it funny when I get a thought in my head, and I just have to do it. Yesterday I had one of those thoughts. I just HAD to go to the Thrift Store here on post. Every time I have been I have found a really great deal on something. The first time we went we got a transformer (normally 65 dollars) for just 25 bucks. We went back, and I saw a stroller that was normally around 200 bucks for only 35! If I wouldn't have just bought a nice double, I would have been all over that. I found a baby monitor there, and I have found some 220v extension cords. Needless to say, there is always something there that is a good buy.

Like I said, I just HAD to go yesterday. I didn't know why, but I just had a feeling I needed to go. When we walked into the store, I knew why I needed to go. Over in the baby section I found an umbrella stroller. Now I had been thinking about getting one for easy travel. There are just some times when I don't need the big double stroller. I had a nice umbrella stroller before we came here, but I just didn't want to pack anything more. I know they aren't that expensive, so I just thought I'd get one here.

I was so excited when I saw that stroller just sitting over there. I did know that I needed to look at the price though. Some things there are really great in terms of price and some times they are a little overpriced. (They have a consignment part, so I'm sure that is why). Anyway, I looked at the tag, and I just knew that stroller was mine. I got it for only 4 dollars. I was so excited, my husband was laughing at me.

Today was the maiden voyage of that stroller. Today was Samuel's 9 month Well Baby visit. I am happy to say he is right on track and a growing boy. We had to take the bus today because we still do not have a car. My husband was taking the same bus at the same time, so he helped us get to the bus, on the bus, and then we split ways at the hospital.

When we got done at the hospital, we had about 4 mins to get from the 3rd floor to the bus stop. I am happy to report we made it, and we didn't have to wait another hour to get to the bus. We road the bus back alone, and made it home. It wasn't too bad. It was a little rough with all the stuff and the lack of hands, but we did okay. I was thinking on the way home that maybe even after we get the van it might not hurt to take the bus from time to time. I don't mind the bus, and as long as the times are right, why not?

I told my husband yesterday I'd let him know when he got home just where I had to go today. I don't know as though I have anything in mind. I have a few hours to think about it. Got any ideas? :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

So the World Just Got ...

So today the world just got a little brighter. Some of you may remember a blog I did talking about things I'd miss when I moved to Germany. I remember two of the things I said I'd miss were Sonic and General Hospital. Well there is no Sonic here, so you guessed it...I found General Hospital on TV AND it's in English! When I saw it I started to do the happy dance. Just one more piece of home that is around. It even comes on at the same time that it did back home. I think it is a few days behind, but I'm so lost now so it doesn't really matter.

Other things that make life a little better...We finally have settled into our place here. We have hit a routine, and we are at "home" here. It's nice to be a family and to have things set to the way they will be for awhile. Things have been put away, and we are doing day to day as a family. We don't have our personal stuff, but we have a TV, pots and pans, and furniture. Those little things that make life nice.

I realized today we have been in Germany for 12 days now. Some days seem like so much longer, and others seem like no time has passed. I can't say I want to repeat the plane trip again anytime soon, but for the most part the process hasn't been too bad. I can't wait to get our van so we can really get out and see things. As I do, I'll be posting.

So here is to an uneventful week and lots of good times. I hope everyone has a good one, and I hope that we get everything we need to done. I need to get on the ball for my driver's test. My husband took it last week and passed with flying colors. He said you really have to study to pass. Here goes nothing :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nine Months


I realized today that 9 months ago I had my baby boy. He has been a blessing and a joy to have in our family. He is my mellow child. I need a mellow child considering how crazy Genevieve is. I am happy to report he is in good health and "crawling" up a storm. Each day he surprises me with something new. Happy 9 months Samuel! Your Mommy, Daddy, and Sister love you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

We're Home!

It seems so weird to type that out. Moving has always been a part of my life, and home has always been where I was. It always took some adjustment (sometimes a lot more than others), but I usually worked into a groove pretty quick and was home. This time it seems so different because not only are we in a new place, but we are also in a new country. We haven’t been able to venture off post much (We did get our first taste of German food the other night though), so it hasn’t full sunk in that we are not in the US anymore.

Our place is small but cozy. We live in stairwell apartments. They really don’t offer anything else here. Even the higher ups are in them (except the post commanders). We were lucky and were given three sets of keys and told to go look at them and take our pick. All of them were pretty much the same lay out. One of them was totally renovated with 110 outlets, nice wood floors, new counter tops, and a new addition with a ¾ bath and washer and dryer. Another one was about half renovated. It had wood floors, 110 outlets, and the washer and dryer addition. It had old counter tops and the doors were the old metal one. The third unit was not renovated at all. There were fixtures from the 60s or 70s, very old and outdated cabinets, the floors were in bad shape, and there was no washer and dryer addition. We had already said before we went to look that if we were offered a renovated place we’d take it no matter what. We were lucky there were two to choose from.

Anyway, back to our place…

From the layouts I’ve seen and matching them up, our place is only about 1,000 sq feet. The bedrooms are about 114 sq feet, 150 sq feet, and 151 sq feet. We were worried about our king size bed fitting in the room, but after some calculations, we have enough room. There isn’t room for much else, but that’s fine. The only other things we have to go in our room are small enough to fit. The kid’s rooms are nice. We ended up putting Samuel in the bigger room so we can put the toy box, his changing table, and a few other things like that in there. I figured that Samuel would not be getting up in the middle of the night to play with them. Genevieve’s room is small but a good size for her. She was so excited to see her new room yesterday. I really didn’t tell her or put much in it that she’d know was hers until I was ready to show her. I got all her clothes put away and her bed made. All the critters were put on the bed, and she knew it was her room.

The rest of the house is coming together nicely. We don’t have much, and just a bunch of loaner furniture. We are able to use this until our stuff arrives. It isn’t the best stuff in the world, but it is better than the floor. I told my husband last night that I knew that with such a small place we (more like I) needed to be more organized. It is a flaw of mine. It is one that I really need to get under control. I don’t want my kids to be messy, so I have to set the example. So I’m giving it a really honest try. I know it will be hard at first, but I think know it will pay off in the end.

I know after a few weeks and putting the rest of the house together, it will feel more like home. I am going to redo the hall bathroom (something I’ve been wanting to do for about 2 years now). I haven’t decided on a theme or if I am even going to start just yet (there are some nicer stores off post, but we aren’t sure yet on the best way to get there) or wait for a bit to pick something out.

Yesterday my husband and I kept asking Genevieve did she know where she was going today. She would always answer “Jeremy.“ We reminded her she was already in Germany. She’d then say something like she needed to get on a big plane and go across the ocean. Finally we’d tell her we were going home. I know she didn’t know what we were talking about, and probably still doesn’t realized it. With time this will become her home. Needless to say, I’m glad to be home, and I’m glad to have a place to call home. Well, as much as a house with a bunch of furniture that’s not yours can feel home, it does.