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.

God Provides

I have always know that God provides what we desire and need. It has happened so many times in my life. I have seen God provide for my family when I was a young child, and I have seen it in my life as an adult. When we moved to Oklahoma we were really having a hard time finding a place to rent. Once we did, and we had everything settled, we had an issue with the Army and if they would continue to pay our housing the way they were for us. There were a lot of prayers in that time, and it did work out that we were able to stay until we moved.

I have once again been blessed by being provided for. Sometimes it comes in weird ways and sometimes what one may think is a blessing may seem weird to someone else. Keep that in mind as you read on because this very well may be one of those times. You see I am one of those weird people who cloth diaper my kids. I did with Genevieve from about 9 months and I did with Samuel when he was a newborn. I haven’t for awhile because he outgrew his diapers I had, and I needed to get some more. I didn’t want to buy any at the time because of moving and not knowing what we’d end up in overseas. I mean I like to use cloth, but I wasn’t going to if I didn’t have my own washer and dryer.

Anyway, we were all with my husband on his first day of inprocessing. One of our stops was to the ACS (Army Community Services). We ran by there right after lunch because it was easy to get to, and we could do that and then leave me with the kids downstairs for them to rest. They were telling us all about their services and things they provide. I asked them about some baby items I needed, and she informed me that you could not use American monitors because of a frequency issue. I asked if there was a place to get them, and she told me we’d have to go over to the next post about 20 mins away. She said she couldn’t give good directions, but a lady behind me said she knew how to. I thanked her and told her there was no way we could get over there right now. I finished up with ACS, and then we were headed to the lending closet next to it. As we were leaving, the lady behind us asked me if I used cloth diapers. I let her know that I did, but not at the moment because I didn’t have any, and we had just moved here. She then told me she had a bag full that the Thrift Store would not take and if I wanted them, I could have them.

Without getting any details except size, I told her I’d take them. I asked her if she wanted something for them, and she let me know they were all new and she just wanted someone who would enjoy using them. I thanked her many times, and took the bag. When I got out to the sitting area I opened it up. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not only were they new diapers, they were the diaper I enjoy using the most! Now, they are a size Small, and I’m not sure how long Samuel will be in them, but what a blessing to get them!

When getting the diapers out and put together, I found that there were 18 Fuzzi Bunz Diapers, 18 inserts, 18 Hemp inserts, 18 prefold diapers, 2 snappis, and 5 covers.

I don’t even know the lady’s name, but I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart. So many things just had to fall into place for that to happen. If we would have gone by ACS in the morning we would have missed her. If we would have went by later, we would have missed her. The lady at the desk said that they wouldn’t have been able to take them, so if our paths wouldn’t have crossed, we wouldn’t have the diapers now. I hope someday I can bless someone like God and this lady have blessed me.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Play Park!

The other day as we were walking around post, we saw a huge play area for children. It is bigger than any I have ever seen. I commented on it, and I told my husband to walk fast or Genevieve would want to stop at "play park." She calls all parks "play park" because that is what they call it on Dora. We did escape that night, but we knew it would only be a matter of time. This park is so big you can see if from the road we have to walk down to get to just about everything.

Today we decided to hit Burger King up for lunch. It is right by the park. As we were walking past all of a sudden we hear, "PLAY PARK!" We told her if she would eat all her lunch, she could to go the park. She ate up in a hurry, and we headed that way.

As you can tell from the couple of pictures here, she had a great time. Today the park was full due to a Boy Scouts picnic right beside the play area. Genevieve was having fun watching all her new "friends" run and play. One little girl kept trying to get Genevieve to swing, but Genevieve didn't want to have anything to do with it. I think we will all have a good time at that park until the weather keeps us from going.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Packing, Planes, and Time Changes...Oh MY!

So, we finally made the flight across the ocean. That's right! We are now in Germany. It has been very busy and crazy recently, so that is why I have not been around to blog. I figured I had a bit before the next thing on our plate, so I decided to update all (probably only around 3 people :p) my readers about our trip.

The packing for our trip was nuts! I have never seen so much luggage for one trip in my life. Here's the rundown. We had the following:


3 - 28" bags
1 - Garment Bag
1 - Pack n Play
1 - Rolling Duffel Bag
1 - Army Duffel Bag

Carry On:

2 - Rolling Bags
1 - Dora Backpack for Genevieve
1 - Backpack for diapers and such
1 - Black Bag with Documents
2 - Laptop Bags
2 - Car Seats
1 - Double Stroller

We looked like a ban of crazies coming into the airport. It was hard to plan to get us all there with everything, but it was even more difficult to pack it all. Can you imagine trying to make sure that all those bags were packed with everything and under the weight limit? It was like playing musical bags or something.

We were very thankful that my cousin Mandi let us stay with her. She lives near DFW, and I just happen to remember when setting things up that she was around there. I called and asked if we could take over her and her family's lives for a couple of days. I was so happy when she said yes.

Our drive down went good. It was surprisingly easy. The kids did great on the drive not needing to stop but two times. We made great time, and we got in pretty early. The next day was spent cleaning our van and getting it ready to ship. I think Mandi was surprised at how well things had to be cleaned for the van to ship. All our hard work paid off though when the van passed with flying colors, and the process took a lot less time than we thought.

The night before the flight Mandi and I sat up until about midnight (give or take about an hour) talking about how we were going to get our stuff to the airport and all that fun stuff. I called DFW to see if they would give guest passes to have help back to the gate. They told me it was up to the airline. We tried to talk about all the options we had and couldn't even begin to think that it would work out as easy as it did.

The morning of the flight seemed almost lazy. It didn't even feel like we were taking off that day. We got all the odds and ends taken care of, and they loaded the car for us. For once someone was too fast for my husband. His shoes didn't make it in before all the bags were in the car. We stopped by the post office to take care of a few things I needed to mail, and we made it to DFW (despite the rain) about 3 hours early.

When we arrived, we realized that there was parking right at the gates. We parked and EVERYONE had to wheel something in. Oddly enough we parked very close to the check in area, and it was very empty. When we got to the check in desk the guy looked at us like we were mad. He didn't think we'd be able to get all our stuff on the plane without paying. We let him know we were allowed 8 pieces of luggage, and that we only had 7. His eyes were real big, and we almost had to argue that it could all go free of charge. We got it all taken care of and off to security we went...That went just about as well as security in an airport with 2 kids, and that many bags.

I am happy to report that after an hour delay due to the plane needing a part, we made it safe and sound. The kids both pretty much slept the entire flight. I honestly am very surprised at how fast it all went, and how well everything went. The time change on the other hand...not so good. We have all been messed up. We all seem to wake up around 2 or 3 AM and can't go back to sleep. Samuel on the other hand sleeps pretty much all night long. We will get there, but it has been hard trying to get adjusted.

Thank you to everyone who has kept us in your thoughts and prayers. As you can read, they really did help. We are thankful to have this experience, and we will soon have a place for people to come visit. Mandi, I can't thank you enough for all you did for us. Thank you so much for opening your home, changing your schedule, and just helping us out. It means so much to us.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Samuel's Baptism

A couple of weeks ago, we had Samuel Baptized in church. We had Genevieve Baptized when she was just a month old. When Samuel was born, we were very busy getting ready for our move. We thought about doing it in a small service in Nashville when my sister got married. My husband's parents were not able to attend though, so we just had to wait. We didn't have time before he left for GA, so we did it when he got back. So 2 Sundays ago was the day.

It was a nice part of the service. He did really bad at sleeping the night before. He was a little fussy before, but after he got in Pappy's arms and go wet, he was out. We had a song sung after he was baptized. It is a song that talks about how God claims him, and that we all (parents, grandparents, church family) will help him grow in faith and to know God. It's an adorable song. I heard it when I was in high school. My Dad did a very small, private Baptism. While there, he sang this song to the baby after they did it. Ever since then I always knew I wanted to have that song sung for the kids. I love the song so much I sing it to them when they are fussy, and when we are rocking.

When I think about the promise we make (in Faith) to raise our children as Godly people, it scares me. I wonder if this is yet another thing I'm doomed to fail at. I try and live my life everyday according to what God would want for me, but I am so far from perfect. I'm so far from anything amazing too. I just try to do my best every day, and I hope that is good enough. Some days are better than others, and some days aren't so bad. I just keep growing myself, and I hope that sets an example for my kids.

Here are some pictures of my husband's family and the kids before the service.