I am only on Day 5 of an 8 weeks separation from my lovey and it's been a struggle already! Adam is away for training for HIS NEW JOB with Atlas Air. He is currently in training to become a 747 Pilot, I could not be MORE PROUD of him! I am STOKED but it seems that like ALL THINGS - sacrifice is first, benefits next. Pray for the kids and I during this time, we need it. There have been copious tears and emotions flowing in this house the last five days. It's a storm we are sure to weather, but extra prayer and encouragement would be appreciated!
It seems to me that The Lord is reminding me on all sides of Psalms 32:7 this morning ~
"You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah" (NKJV)
"In this time of trial Pain that no one sees Trust me when I say That I will give you perfect peace
And you'll never walk alone And you'll never be in need Though I may not calm the storms around you You can hide in Me"
I know this is not the "normal post" for me on this blog in the past but like I said in my previous post "There was a time when..." you may see some different posts on here... you never know what you are going to get but what you get will be what's up here with me! :)
I hope this post encourages even one of you....I just felt I had to share!
I am getting a few ideas for myself to challenge myself next month in the "creative arena". And I thought I would throw out a few questions to you that YOU could help me with!
1. Do you have a favorite moving poem you could share with me? Either a link or the actual verse is great. It can be written by you, or someone you know or a famous poet. I just would like to do pick a few lines of a written work that I can then use as inspiration in a piece in March.
2. Do you have a favorite piece of art that you'd like to share with me so I can use it for inspiration and challenge? I have ones I could use but I thought it would be more fun to see what my readers like and then I could feature THAT here! :D
3. Got a favorite color combination palette you would like to share? I am all for it!
So I am looking for THREE things...if you can help with ANY over the next week that would be AWESOME! :D
Wendy over at Hammermarks had posted a nifty challenge that fit perfectly with the Foldforming Face Book Group's Challenge for this month. Wendy's challenge was to make a bowl by Super Bowl Sunday. The Foldforming group has a challenge this month to create something useful inside the home or office using any fold forming technique. So being the "work smarter, not harder" girl that I am I combined the two and made my bowl in a mini size so that it would function as a soap dish! I LOOOOVE HOW IT CAME OUT!!
I started with a 5.25" round disc and then proceeded to foldform in one line fold and an air chased fold. I then opened the folds and forged the metal into a gentle dome. My hope was to create a unique soap dish and I am thrilled with how this turned out. The organic nature of foldforming is something I have just now started applying to pieces other than jewelry... enjoy.
I thought that blogging, blog ranking, page hits and "social networking" had a higher value than it really did....
I burned out
I stopped wanting to create
I stopped wanting to share
I stopped "feeling like I had the mojo"
I stopped depriving myself of sleep and neglected my blog for a few days in a stretch...
then it stretched to weeks...
I stopped blogging...completely
I wouldn't even share on FB for a while
I felt weird at first...but then it was really no big deal
Now I am giving myself the choice to post what I want, when I want, with whatever frequency I want. I may post recipes, jewelry, papercrafts or heaven forbid just simple thoughts...WITH NO PICTURES TO ACCOMPANY THEM!!!! :) You see I have come full circle. I have learned much, hurt much, healed much, grown much. I have found out something about myself...I truly do love who I am. I like that I am a multifaceted person with much to share and the hopes of much to gain. I want to know more...all so I can share more of what I know. I love to teach, I love to educate. I adore those who share what they know because from them I have learned so much. I love to take photos and want to stop neglecting my poor dusty camera. So all this to say "HI BLOGOSPHERE!!!! HOW YA BEEN!???"
I have a few ideas I will be sharing this week but I will put each in it's own post that none of them get lost in the "blah, blah, blah" of this post! :)
Welcome back to me!!!
PS - Wait till you see what I have been learning this past year. And where I was doing it!!! ;)
Okay so I have had a Twitter account for a while but don't go onto Twitter and am not really sure WHY I would tweet...can anyone tell me why, when I have this blog, and my FB page that I would want to add tweeting? What are the benefits? This is not a rant, it's a quest for better understanding....
Well I have spent the week getting shots - (check, check, check, check, check - OUCH!!!!!), Filling prescriptions for anti-malaria meds, packing, sorting, repacking and shopping. Shopping for items for the children's home we will be working with as well as for the ladies that we will be working with. For the kids - SOCCER BALLS! I was able to purchase a total of THREE soccer balls thanks in part to donations from all of you my lovely blog readers! My plan to teach the women basic jewelry making skills is coming to fruition as I have had a WONDERFUL email from Carrie Walters over at Annie's telling me she had a few things to send. Then another friend popped over and handed me an envelope with monies for Kenya. So I took that money and went to AC Moore. I prayed God would have a good sale so I could stock up!!! Well now, wouldn't you know!!!! Cousin Beads and Findings ALL ON SALE!!! WOOHOO!!! I was able to purchase beads in many shapes and colors. I chose bright cheerful beads for the most part because I have a feeling they will look lovely against the beautiful Kenyan complexion! If you have been a follower of my blog for any length of time now you all know that I love Cousin beads for their beautiful selection, their quality of bead and their gorgeous colors and patterns!! Check out this haul! We can make a pretty good dent in fine tuning loop turning skills and threading bead skills with all these lovelies, can we?? :)
Well, tomorrow I drive to FL to meet up with the team for a dinner meal and some training. We then have additional training on Monday and Tuesday and then Wednesday we will be getting into the car somewhere in the one oclock hour to get to the airport by three am...yes THREE IN THE MORNING.....we will leave from Orlando around five am and once it's all said and done we will land in Kenya early morning on the 11th....Pray as we travel that all goes well and that we don't miss any connections or suffer any unnecessary delays! :)
I will check in as often as I can (hopefully with photos of the delightful kiddies I will be playing soccer with!!!). THANK YOU AGAIN for all of your support...you all have touched not only my life, but the lives of many others as you have shared yourselves with me and supported me in this missions trip to Kenya!!!
So I thought I would try a quick test post using the Typepad app before setting off to Kenya. The shoes in the photo are ones I've pulled from my kids closets to bring in my checked bag so that we can share with the orphans who may not have a pair of shoes.
As you can see I have been working on my basic Swahili phrases in preparation for my upcoming trip to Kenya. :) I have just returned home from vacation and reconnection with family after our "Sereika European Excursion" and am now in full swing prep for my Missions Trip to Kenya!
I wanted to take a few moments to say Asante Sana. Thank you so much!!! I wrote my blog post (which also feeds to Facebook) and from that I have received emails of encouragement and prayer, financial support, TEN dresses (so far) for the girls in Kenya (with the promise of MORE!!!), as well as additional fabric to pack and bring along with me to give to the women in Kenya! I can't say it enough - thank you, thank you, thank you!
I will be using the funds that have come in for the miscellaneous items that I need such as a Kenyan visa, gifts for the kids, and supplies that will be needed while in Kenya. Oh and just a note about the Kenyan visa - I just have to share - I had no idea I needed to bring a fifty dollar bill with me for the visa. I received an email stating that we needed $50 for the Kenyan visa. My first thought was "Uh oh, I didn't count on there being MORE expense", but I knew that the monies would be there when I needed them. The next email that I opened that morning was a notification from PayPal that a friend of mine who lives in Boston had just sent me FIFTY DOLLARS!!! While the "amount" wasn't big so to speak, the fact that it was a specific need met in the exact same specific way. TALK ABOUT GOD KNOWING OUR NEEDS, right?? Oh and just to "one up that" - this friend is NOT A CHRISTIAN but wrote a quick note and said "Just a little something to help bring LOTS OF LOVE to Kenya"... See how awesome God is at meeting needs?
I have just less than a week to get all of my "details" in order here. I am heading today to get my fifty dollar bill for the visa, shots at the clinic on base, personal supplies for while I am gone to include quick dry socks and shirts so that we can rinse them out and hopefully they will dry overnight, as well as gifts of candy (tam-tam in Swahili), pencils, erasers and other fun things for the kiddies!!!
I have also decided to purchase some jewelry making supplies in hopes of teaching a few classes to any women who would like to learn. They can then use these skills to make simple earrings and bracelets to sell to help support their families.
As you are praying please pray specifically that I would find good deals on all the items needed for this trip. It's my heart's desire that I could purchase atleast five sets of jewelry making tools and TONS of beads and findings. Finding them all on sale at ACMoore or JoAnn's would be AWESOME! :D
Ok - that's it for the update for now. I will be back later to let you know how I feel after getting all my shots....YIKES pray I don't get too sore! :(
Well our European Excursion has come to a close. The kids and I flew home May 13th arriving home LATE at night so I like to think that we got home on the 14th! LOL We weren't home but 48 hours before we decided we just didn't want to wait to see Grandmom, Poppa, Auntie, Uncle Bradley, Uncle Alex and the cousins so we drove up to NC to spend the weekend of the 17th-19th up in NC celebrating birthdays and getting reconnected with family. Adam flew home the 3rd of June (again arriving late so I like to think of it as he got home the 4th) and we spent a few days getting him adjusted and back on East Coast Time...then I just drove this past weekend to FL by myself to attend the high school graduation of one of my little brothers, Owen. During all this time all I could think was, "wow I can't believe he's graduating already!!!" And "Wow I can't believe I will be driving back down to FL for family vacation on the 15th!!!" LOL
Okay so are you getting a picture of how "travel" has been our theme this year. We are a family on the go it seems. But more than that we have been a family in pursuit. In pursuit of what God wants to do with our lives.... DAILY. From the general "USAF Reserves Job" to the "Are we ever going to get a civilian job?" to "What more can we be doing to be a light of Christ's love?" All of these questions have been running like hamsters on a wheel through our minds and hearts. As it turns out, God has had some pretty BIG, dare I say ENORMOUS plans for us - me in particular.
As you all know, or may not have known, Adam has been waiting to get a spot in Instructor Pilot School for some months now. He was told "You are next up". And "When a spot opens up, your next." We had been praying about it and kenw God's perfect timing was going toopen the door for this IP date for Adam. I personally had a harder time being patient than Ad did...he's good that way. He just rolls with the punches and has a steady belief in timing being perfect...I must admit I was annoyed by the fact that there was some other guy going FIRST when I thought Adam was supposed to be NEXT!!! WHAT??? I mean, that wasn't FAIR - right?? But I digress, God always KNOWS what's perfect FOR US, in OUR LIVES. And he doesn't base it off of "fair timing, or man's plans" That I have learned... I hope.
Anyway, long story short - Adam has been assigned dates!!!! YAY!!! August 1st - Sept 13th Adam will once again be gone to IP school....well - that brings us to what is going on in the mean time.
NEWS FLASH - God has opened the door of opportunity for me to accompany my parents and younger brothers to the African country of Kenya on a TWO WEEK missions trip! Because we thought that Adam was going to be going to IP school possibly as early as July I hadn't really considered being able to go with my parents. I didn't mention my hearts desire to ANYONE. I just prayed. I prayed "Lord, if I could go with my family to Kenya, you will have to work IP school dates for AFTER the Kenya trip. And I will have to know about IP school in time to actually bring this crazy idea up to Adam, raise funds, make the commitment deadline, etc." Well, wouldn't you know God in His timing....Adam got dates while he was still in Germany, he called me and told me about IP school. I then surprised him with "Ok so now that we have IP dates I'd like us to pray about and consider the idea of me going to Kenya with the team Mom and Dad are putting together"...there was a slightly stunned silence then Ad said "I had no idea you were even thinking about this" to which I replied "Well, it was my "fleece before the Lord" that if I was to consider going, He'd have to get the IP dates settled and they'd have to be after July. So, now that we have dates, it's time for me to talk to you about it." After talking together and praying, talking to my parents (who were THRILLED with the idea and from the moment we mentioned the "possibility" they considered it "happening") and look at how could I ever raise the 2500 needed to get there in time for the June 9th commitment date Adam and I just felt it was a green light "go" time for me!!! So sometime mid July (dates will be finalized once airfare has been purchased) I will be heading to KENYA, AFRICA for two weeks.
If you are still reading - you're AWESOME!! THANKS FOR GETTING THIS FAR!!! I need your help!!!
I have a HUGE LIST of ways you can help. So please read through and see if any of this ways apply to you.
1. I need prayer.
I need prayer that my family will be fine and able to function well together while I am gone for two weeks.
I need prayer for traveling mercies and ease of adjustment to yet another large time difference (7hrs ahead of EST).
I need prayer for health while away.
I need prayer that I will be willing and able to love as Christ did...sacraficially, fully, wholeheartedly.
I need prayer for a clearer vision of what my role is as part of the team. I truly feel that I am to go with "capture the moment" photography in mind. That's what keeps running through my heart and head....but I don't want to just "rely on what's comfortable" if there's something different - know what I mean?
2. I need HELP!
Are you crafty? Do you like to sew? Well I am planning on bringing as many simple dresses as I can. I am going to be using this pattern as a jumping off point to sew dresses. If you'd like to whip up a quick dress please email me and let me know.
Are you crafty? Did you think you might like to sew and then found it just wasnt' your thing? Got yardage just sitting there not being used for your proposed projects? I am also going to be bringing as much fabric as I can in my suitcase so that the older girls who are done with school and not going into secondary education can learn a worthwhile trade to help support themselves. If you have extra fabric that you aren't planning on using and would like to send so that it can be made into dresses or brought as fabric please send me an email.
Have you always wanted to be a part of something BIG? Have you wanted to know that you are making a difference even all the way across the great big ocean? Well maybe going to Kenya isn't in your plans for this year but you feel God may want you to support someone who IS going! Adam and I, in faith, wrote the check for my trip in full. I know I am supposed to go. We know God is BIG, BIGGER than we ever really dream. But we also know that we are not to be self-reliant and that sometimes God's plan is for us all to work together to make amazing things happen. Like I said at the top of the blog post - the cost per person to go on this trip is $2500. Flights have been higher than expected...bordering on $2000 per person...not a great thing as we had all hoped to have "working funds" ... but again, we know God is bigger than all that. :) If you'd like to financially support my trip to Kenya, you can send a check or donate via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
As you can see - there's a myriad of ways you too can be a part of this summer's mission to Kenya. I'd love to hear how you feel you would like to be a part! :)
Today, tomorrow and Sunday there is a huge Bazar on base. They open up two hangars and vendors of all sorts fill the space with tables laden with fabulous handmade crafts, fun and funky items and daring and delicious foods. I decided it would be fun to buy some homemade pasta, pasta sauce, a bottle of homemade wine and some cured olives, stuffed peppers and sundried tomatoes. We popped into the market on the way home for a baguette and we are all set! :) Doesn't dinner look DIVINE?? Better (and cheaper!!!!) than eating out!!
I am LOOOVING EUROPE!!! All except our spotty internet. It seems that the middle of the day here is a good time for us to use the internet, however, we are rarely in the apartment in the middle of the day. So I have finally come to grips with the fact that a) while I like to blog, it's not as important to me as simply enjoying the time we are spending in Europe. I can regale you with many fabulous albeit late photos and stories once the experience is over, right? and b) blogging for me had become so less "creative focused" that I felt bad always posting non creative posts...but I have come to this conclusion - this is my blog and I can blog about whatever I want.....if you want to keep reading - AWESOME SAUCE. If you don't I will only cry for a little while, then I will just keep blogging about whatever happens to cross my mind. :D Life - it's a journey.
Ad and I in front of Kassleburg Castle in Pelm
SO - about that journey, yes we are still in Europe and loving the time The Lord has given us here. We are prepping for our trip to Italy. We leave on Tuesday and will be back ELEVEN DAYS LATER!!! Ahhhh this is a HUGE thing on my "bucket list"...if I actually HAD a bucket list....which reminds me, I ought to write a note to myself that I need to create a bucket list! LOL
Anyway, in the midst of all this fun travel, I have decided that I am 33 years old and starting to show signs of the "slow and grow"....meaning I am not nearly as active (the "slow") and parts of my body are beginning to "grow" because of it...hahaha not a fun realization at all. I am not one to "diet" per se, but recognizing poor eating habits and changing them has always been a part of my "how to eat what you want but stay healthy" lifestyle. Well it seems that I need to PURPOSEFULLY add exercise to my routine of life now. Up to this point I was active enough to just "do life" and it was all good....not so much anymore. I have never been a "gym going, yoga doing, run because it's so much fun, just one more rep" kinda girl. I have been the "run with the kids on the playground, swim in the pool and show the kids how awesome mom can swim" kinda mom.... well I have decided that to beat the bulge (bulges) I am now beginning to see I should make a goal and WORK HARD TOWARD IT. All this to say, I am in training and hope to compete in my first ever triathlon this August. :D It is a Sprint distance Tri. 600 yd swim, 12mi bike, 5k (3.1mi) run. :) So far, so good. The plan I am using is from Triathlon Geek. It is a beginners Sprint Plan and it was a free download. It addresses running, swimming, biking, upper body, lower body and core strength training all in a nice week by week workout plan. I am LOVING it so far!
Me after my first ever official 5k - the Mustache March Fun Run on base
Sorry, not the best photo of me, eh? LOL!!!
I will update you as I go...the date of my first tri is August 11th as of right now. If I feel like I am really kicking butt and can finish one sooner, there's one on the 28th of July that I may shoot for also.... my biggest goal right now is to FINISH. I have this as the lock screen on my iPhone...it helps me stay focused each day on what I am aiming for.
Just as it's futile to shovel snow while it is still snowing it seems it's a hopeless task for me to actually get you caught up on the blog because we keep going, seeing, and doing...and when we haven't been we've been so utterly exhausted that we've been just going low key. We have been getting caught up on neglected school work (much to the kids chagrin). We have also had a bout of terrible internet connectivity here for a few days....which leads me to think we may have satellite internet, for it seems when we are hunkering down due to cloudy and snowy weather, we have extremely slow internet... oh well what's to be done? LOL
Well it has snowed here once again!!! We had fifty-sixty degree weather last week and were tromping around Trier in just our longsleeves, but then we just had two days of cooooold snowy weather...so today we decided to hop out and go for a tromp in the snow. So where better to tromp to than the BAKERY??? :) Hehehe
Ad had to be up at two am so I took the kids out of the apartment so he could catch a few zzzzs mid day once he was done with all of his briefs for the day. I thought you'd enjoy the photos of today....especially the ones of Lily Kate EATING....hahaha.
I have TONS of photos that I will have to keep sifting and sorting through but I thought that even if they're out of order you'd like to see these! Enjoy, I will do my best to get a few more blog posts worth of photos sorted....I have hundreds to sift and sort through! LOL
Lily Kate on our tromp to the bakery in the village.
A "crimas twee" Lily found and insisted I take a photo of...she was in awe of the snowy tree! LOL
After our tromp we decided to play in the field for a bit to kill more time and expend more energy. The girls decided it was time for a few snow angels.
Emi's angel was PERFECTLY formed and so of course we had to snap a photo of the finished product.
Coleton, ever the architect, decided to build a snow castle, tunnel and all!
Lily loves the snow, now matter what way she finds herself in contact with it!
Especially when EATING IT!!! LOL I hope you enjoyed our snowy snow day!!!
Okay, so last we chatted I was nursing a cold and promised to try and get you caught up a bit on our adventures!
Well, I felt a bit better waking up Friday and so I spent the day Friday with the fam...we went to Ramstein to do some first of the month errands like get our fuel card renewed, renew the car rental, yada yada yada. We also met up with a friend of ours who's husband is stationed here in Germany...we only got to spend about ten minutes with her but it was great to see her and we are planning a longer get together soon!
After lunch we decided to go see Burg Nanstein in Landstuhl...a totally awesome castle from the mid 1100's (more on this later).
Anywhooo, by the time we were done I had OVER done it and I paid for it yesterday. I didn't get off the couch but for a quick shower all day yesterday. I have a wicked cold...the kind that makes everything hurt...I have swollen lymph nodes on the sides of my neck the size of almonds!!! My eyes hurts yesterday so I didn't even get on the computer to resize photos. But I feel a bit better this morning and got atleast one day's worth of photos done...so here's the additional photos of when we were in Bavaria at Schloss Neuschwanstein.
Here's the castle in all it's glory! This was a beautiful wall of wooden doors in the village below the castle that I just fell in love with.
Aren't the scrolling hinges beautiful?
Lil decided to pose for the camera...but it always gives you a sense of just how HUGE the wall was and how large the hinges were!!!
Prior to making the trek up the mountainside to the castle we thought it might be a good idea to use the restroom...well here we encountered our first "pay to pee" restroom! Yes - it was .30 Euros PER PERSON....just to use the restroom! LOL But pay we did and then we were on our way up the mountain!
Halfway up we decided to make a snack stop and oh a big chewy pretzel has never tasted sooo good!
As we got closer to the castle I was impressed by all the details we were seeing. The "ornateness" (if that's a word) was just awesome!
Quick shot of the girly girls at the top while we waited for our tour time in English. We were not allowed to take photos while IN the castle so here are a few shots of the outer details that I loved!
And finally on our way back down I snapped this candid shot of Adam and Emi! I thought it was so sweet I just had to take a quick pic....
Hey my blogging buddies!
Well, we have been having a blast here as I said when I last blogged TEN DAYS AGO....we went from SUPE BUSY - Bavaria, Innsbruck, Munich, Brussels all in about a week, directly to trying to get caught up on ten days worth of laundry, housecleaning, schooling with the kids, right into a MAJOR COLD!!! I have been on the couch for the last two days. My head goes from pounding to weepy eyed, to runny nose, to sneezing to drippy throat...sorry TMI??? LOL Well as you can see I have been busy being busy and busy being sick. I still have photos to share of our trip south and hope to get to that post Saturday?? Let's hope for Saturday. I can't wait to share the photos of our cable car trip 7500 ft up a mountain in Innsbruck....AMAZING doesn't even begin to describe our day in Innsbruck.....okay and on that note - ACHOO... SNIFF....COUGH COUGH COUGH....goodnight!
Hey everyone! Well, we have made it to Bavaria and we were able to see Neuschwanstein Castle today! :) It is GORGEOUS! OH MY WORD...."ornate" is the word that keeps coming to mind. I have TONS of photos but I do not have the energy to resize them tonight. We were up at 4:45 this morning so we could drive five and a half hours and still do the castle today....so I am beat! Want to see what I captured on our drive down?? So I thought since I gave you a sunset yesterday I would wake you up with a sunrise today! :D
And the sign for the castles...
And finally a quick shot of the castle itself...tell me it isn't breathtaking!
So today we decided to try out the "Contemporary Service" at the base chapel. It was really nice. We tried out what we thought was the "Worship Service" on base last week and found that it was actually a "Gospel Service"...however we didn't realize that until the music started. :) It was not bad but we are not really a "Gospel" type of family...so it wasn't really our style but it was cool. Today when the "Contemporary Service" started we both realized this was more our speed. LOL! It was nice and we even got to meet some very lovely people. One gal, Mindy was DELIGHTFUL and gave me her email and phone numbers and we are planning to get together and let the kids hang out a bit soon! YAY for new friends!
On our way home we were blessed with the most beautiful sunset! I of course rushed out the door to get to service on time and DIDN'T HAVE MY CAMERA with me....Grr but I did have my trusty iPhone 5 and got a few quick shots. None were all that clear so I decided to get all artistic with you and I edited my photo and added brush strokes to make it an impressionistic sunset photo. Enjoy it!
We decided to stop at the Donner Kebab place here in Speicher. I tried a bite of Adam's Donner and the kids and I all had DELICIOUS pizza! :) Here's a shot of me nomming on the Kebab, it's not very flattering but hey, it was a fun shot so I thought I would share it! :D
And finally, my children all were infatuated with the phone booth outside the resturaunt. They had never seen a phone booth and so they each had to take a turn checking it out, then they all got in and Adam took a goofy photo of them! LOL I love how Elliott looks scared to death and Lily Kate is GRINNING away! LOL
And finally a little note about the next few days. We are heading to south Germany (Bavaria) and spend a few days at a B&B in Bad Kohlgrub. While there we plan to see Neuschwanstein Castle. We also hope to drop down into Austria and spend the day in Innsbruck and then hop up and spend a day in Munich as well. We are just going to knock about a bit and see what there is to see. We may or may not have internet good enough to upload photos with...if we do, I will try and throw a few up each day, if not I will be sure and inundate you once we return! :D GET READY!!! hahaha! Talk to you all soon!
Today it hit 40 degrees and so we thought we would take advantage of the heat wave and get out for a nice walk! I thought it would be nice for Adam to snap a quick photo of us all "lightly bundled" and getting ready to go on our walk...Coleton thought he'd be funny and throw up a quick bunny ears on Emi...but other than that this pic is totally cute... I mean shoot, even with him being a total eight year old boy it's cute, RIGHT!??? LOL He cracks me up!!!
We spent the majority of the day chilling out in the apartment trip planning. We are trying to get down to the Bavaria area of Germany next week and finding a hotel isn't all that easy. The fact that we have FOUR small children can make getting a good reservation a bit fussy.... but I *think*, I **PRAY** we have found a B&B that can accomodate us and it's not going to break the bank completely!!! LOL
We also have been trying to see what kind of trips we can plan to see other parts of Europe while we are here. So far we have semi planned/ semi priced out trips to Italy, England and Ireland...shorter "day trips" will be toFrance, Belgium, Austria and of course around Germany! :D I can't wait to see what ACTUALLY happens with all these hopeful plans! I figure if we PLAN the worst that can happen is that we just can't swing it all. But if we DON'T PLAN we for SURE will NOT get there, right?? :) So, say a prayer that we can get this all to work out while we are here...we will keep you in the loop as we sure up plans!
And the best news of the day?? My big brother may fly over to visit us for a few days and spend a few days at the Nurburgring Motor Complex driving fast cars! :) That would be WAAAAY TOO FUN to have him over here for few days!! AHHH! Okay, I will keep you up to date on all that as well! Enjoy the remainder of your weekend everyone!
Well today was a super low key day. I woke to a blanket of fresh snow....it was beautiful....no footprints, no mud visible, it was all sparkly and pure... I wish I had thought to run out and snap a few photos but I didn't think to!!!
So, since it was cold and kinda quiet, we kinda just hung out for the first part of the morning then we packed a quick lunch and decided to head on down to Ramstein - about an hour and a half drive from here to go to the HUGE BX (Base Exchange for all my non military friends, kind a like the USAF version of Wal-Mart)..... anyway there was a small list of items that we haven't been able to get here, the top three were a vacuum, (yeah I bought an entire vacuum for just four months but let me tell you, the first use was WORTH every penny of the 44.95 I spent on it! - sweeping the apartment just wasn't cutting it for me!!!)....okay so enough about the vacuum, I also bought hair clippers so the boys will no longer look like no one loves them....first on the list tomorrow morning is a quick clip to both of their hair!!! And COFFEE MUGS! Okay I am not a "coffee addict" per se....I like tea more than I like coffee but a good cuppa joe is great when you come inside from being outside where it is BELOW FREEZING....but all we have had in the apartment were these tiny tea cups - I am talking maybe 7-8 oz. tiny white cups...not big enough to warm your hands on - that's for sure! So we have been on the prowl for a couple of MUGS, you know the kind - big, hefty, "oh yeah it feels so good to hold you when you're full of hot liquid" MUGS...well we finally were able to get some today. And of course - a CROCKPOT!!! YAY!!! I have wanted to get a crockpot since we got here because I just think that with the kitchen being so tiny, a crockpot will be a great way for me to cook home cooked meals without having to be hunched over my micro counters and stove! LOL So all in all today was a very productive day....I didn't take any pics of the stuff we bought - use your imagination I guess...but I do have three photos to share with you!
The first is of LK & Mr. D yesterday at lunch! LOL So funny!
The second is of Adam and I at the BX Food Court - the BX at Ramstein Air Base is kinda set up like a mall - it has the main store, then lots of shops and then a food court...I had to snap this shot for all my friends at Charleston....yeah our BX at Charleston has a LOOOOOOONG way to go to get up to speed with Ramsteins!
Oh and finally I do have a shot of one thing we bought - Germany prepaid cell phones...now Adam and I can be in contact with one another while we are here...I just had to laugh at how we went from Apple iPhones to this! So I snapped a shot of my new phone next to Adam's 4s...hahah ah well, it's just four months right?
Oh and if you've read this far I just remembered one more thing I bought today - a box of do it yourself creamy caramel highlights! I am thinking that I am going to lighten up just a bit.....if I get brave and do it, I will post before and after photos for sure! :D
Ahhh today we had a blast catching up with our friend Dennis Conner! He was on a mission that came right through Spangdahlem and we were able to get together and have lunch with him. It was great.
The girls insisted that "Mr. Dennis" ride in the back of the van with them, which he did with a smile! tee hee hee
We went out to a favorite place of Adam's called the Waldhaus Eifel. I decided to be brave and order the Curry Turkey Steak with Fried Pineapple on top. It was delicious...not a big fan of the fried pineapple but the rest, GONE!
We all had a blasty blast chatting, catching up and eating...though it's only been a week since we last saw Mr. D it felt like a LOOOOOONG time had gone by!!! So it was nice to hang out a bit.
And the boys were thrilled to get to hang out with D too, I think Mr. D enjoyed himself as well, don't you?
And finally a shot of all of us out front...don't we look like a fun little lunch group?
Unfortunately when we went to drop D off at the hotel both Lily Kate and Emi were super sad! LK even cried tears and Em asked "Can't we just adopt Mr. Dennis, then he won't have to leave!!!" LOL
Ah well, it was a great day...even if "parting is such sweet sorrow"....
We spent the day relaxing, cleaning the apartment (that took all of an hour - tops!), doing school and running a few little errands on base. But I did get some time to whip up a few cute little scarves for my boys Webkinz buddies! I will have to snap a quick photo of them tomorrow because they are currently around the neck of their little stuffed animals and snuggled soundly in bed beside my little men. :) I didn't want you to think I had forgotten to keep you in the loop, so I thought I ought to pop in and jot a few lines.
Tomorrow we are so excited to have our first guest come to visit! Our friend Mr. Dennis is flying through Spangdahlem on his way home to Charleston on a mission and has the entire day off tomorrow! We are hoping to meet up for a late lunch/early dinner after he has had a few hours to rest and catch his breath. We are looking forward to a friendly face from home and hope to grab a nice bite out with him. Emi has been counting down the days since we got here to the time Mr. D would come visit her! LOL I I'll be sure to snap a shot or two tomorrow so I have some fun photos for you all to enjoy! Until tomorrow!!!
Well we have hit the one week mark here and it was high time to do some laundry....you know how it is with kids...well multiply that times FOUR and week without laundry being done...it was time.
So off we went overflowing laundry basket being carried down three flights to the basement level laundry room...thank God for Adam being a gentleman and carrying the basket! ;) We get down there only to find that we didn't have the proper detergent....so we left the laundry in the basement, went back up three flights to get coats, hats, glove and boots on and off we all went to the market to get the proper laundry detergent for the he front loaders.
Upon return I just had to have Adam take a quick photo of me by these little tiny washers...
I look like a giant don't I? I mean I am tall (nearly 5' 11") but I mean come on...the drum of the washer is hardly larger than my soup pot back home!! Seriously, look at how my hand nearly covers the exact opening....
Seriously, it took three washers full to fit what I could easily have fit in my own commercial washer at home! LOL But oh the fun we had giggling as we shoved the clothes in and took em all out again! So today as you can see was a very domestic day to include schooling the kids, a bit of laundry and quick trip to the market...not much else happening here...oh have I mentioned the baked goods here???? Well, well, well, that will have to wait for another post! ;) See you then!
Well, after much hard work for the kids (we burst back into our school books after a few weeks off...) we decided it was time to get out of the apartment and see some sights....not sure what, we just wanted to get out. Adam suggested we see Burg Eltz...a GORGEOUS castle about an hour from here....oh my word, it's amazing!!!!
It was CRAZY COLD today too....but we were hardy hikers and hiked the half a mile to see the castle. It was sooo worth it! It began to snow teeny tiny snowflakes while we were out and so of course I had to snap some pics of Adam and I in the tiny snow too!
Then he took a shot of me with the castle in the background.
I took tons of shots of the kids but I will share just this one...
And finally, I had Elliott take a quick shot of Ad & I walking from behind as we hiked back up the mountain to the van... I love how this one came out!
Well that's about it for today, I have downed TWO CUPS of coffee already and am still tryign to thaw out!!! Brrrr...until tomorrow!
It's a whole new way to do life! For those of you who personally know my children you know I am raising healthy, active, sometimes boisterous children....learning to live in an apartment three floors up has been taking a bit of reminding and training to get them to realize that when we "just off a chair" we are in fact "jumping on someone's head"!!! Helping them to understand that when we speak above a "library voice" others around us can also hear us quite well. It's been fun to see them try to be calm and quiet and I am VERY THANKFUL they have been sleeping until nine am most mornings...just for the sake of those around us! LOL
Well today Coleton was getting down from reaching something high and not wanting him to JUMP I said "WAIT! Remember, when we jump on our floor we are jumping on someone elses head!" He gently stepped down with a ginger step trying ever so hard to keep it light and quiet. Elliott piped in from the other room "The people above us don't know that! That's for sure!" HAHAHAHA I laughed and asked "Why did you hear them last night?" (semi fearful of the answer that may be forthcoming....) "Yep!" he relied "They were stomp, stomp, stomping and then I heard wheeeeeeeeeee, and I had no idea what that was." "Maybe it was a vacuum cleaner going?" I replied.... "yeah, maybe it was" he said. I was thankful the sounds of the night were nothing more than stomping and a vacuum cleaner....
And I too can attest to thin walls...the fellow below us gets ready for his day at 3:45 am....he walks in and out in and out of his bedroom, opens his closet ALOT, watches TV FAR TOO LOUD for 3:45 am and then by just about five, all's silent again....fun... Apartment living...it is what it is! I may be back later if we get to get out and about today....see you soon!
Okay super short thought about our day yesterday....
You all know I love to bake. Well, I decided to bake cupcakes and was astounded by the beautiful color of the egg yolks here! These eggs are "Danish Eggs"....nothing special, they were the cheap white eggs found at the comissary. Well once cracked they had a lovely surprise....their yolks are a DEEP ORANGE color! I was astounded. They remind me of farm fresh brown egg yolks in that they are deeper colored and fresh, however these yolks are even more deeply colored than that! So here's a quick shot of my softened butter, water and the eggs...I just had to snap a shot and blog it!
Well today we were all tired so we just took a quicky little jaunt to Bitburg, a fifteen minute drive from here. There is a "Super Walmart type" of store there.....it has a little bit of everything from groceries, to housewares, to clothing to alcohol & a bakery. It's VERY SMALL compared to USA Wal-marts but had that similar "get anything you may need in one spot" feel. It was OK, but nothing to really report on it.....HOWEVER on the way home....oh on the way home!!!
As we were leaving the market we noted there were very thick clouds between us and the apt and sure enough five minutes into the drive it started to snow. And I am not talking littles bits of snowflakes here and there....oh no, I am talking AMAZINGLY LARGE & BEAUTIFUL snowflakes that drifted ever so silently to the ground, each chasing the one below itself in quick succession....high in number and dense in population it was a beautiful snowfall. None of it really "stuck" but it was so simply and silently gorgeous that we stopped at an overlook to take a few photos! Here's one of Adam and I with the valley behind us. Note how the sky goes to nothing...that's because it was WHITE - filled with the large snowflakes you can see on our heads, hats and coats...
Then of course Adam tried his best to grab a quick family shot while the kids tried desperately to catch snowflakes on their tongues, hands and anything else they could! LOL
Sorry today's post isn't filled with more interesting chit chat, we really just had a low key day, I took a nap and made dinner...that's about it! :)
Today we decided we were well enough rested that it was time to get out and about a bit. We decided to do a quick trip to Trier, a neat little "city/village" that is about a half hour from here. There we went to see Porta Nigra an ancient gate that dates back to 186-200 AD....it's AMAZING to see buildings that old!!!
Here's a pic of Ad & I in front of it and then another of the kids in front.
Us nom, nom, noming on some Germany street food for lunch...I had a delicious cheese sausage snapped in half on a crunchy roll with spicy mustard...delish!!! The kids weren't nearly as adventerous and opted for pretzels, crossiants and pastries! LOL
And finally, one last photo that Adam snapped of Emi with me in the BG snapping photos myself! Tell me she's not the cutest thing ever!!!! LOL
I will share some of the photos I was snapping in another post, I haven't uploaded them to the computer just yet..... look for another post soon!
While today is "technically" Day 2 of our Excursion to Europe, yesterday was the day we landed here in Germany and so we did little else but travel, get to the apartment and rest in the afternoon....we went to dinner and three of the four children fell asleep at the dinner table, Lily Kate fell asleep with a mouthful of Schnitzel!!!! It was adorable! I think I have a photo, if I can get it up here I will!
Today we decided it was time to get out and do a little bit of snow play! Well, it was a blast. We threw snowballs, made snow angels and tried to build a snowman but the snow would not pack well enough to build, and there was only an inch or two. We are due to get more snow over the weekend so we hope to build our snowman then! But I thought a few cute pics of us all in the snow would be a good way to start the blogging of our time here! :) Enjoy!
Hello all, I know you have been patiently waiting for me to pick a winner. Life got busy all of a sudden and I totally forgot to post my winner!!! The comment number that was drawn by Random.org was #149 -
I need to check out your video. My goodness!!! So many prizes. Gifting is a great idea! This year I want to be much more organized. My gifting would help. Thanks for your insiration.
Nancy please send me your full mailing address so I can pop this package in the mail to you!!! Congratulations!!!