Wednesday, December 31, 2008


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.