Thursday, September 1, 2016

Getting a little Intense at Europeans!

Rain, rain, go away!  Come again another day!
First day of European track finals were awesome.  Sam made it into all the finals- 110m hurdles, 300m hurdles and the mens 4x400m.

They got first in their heat with the 4x400m and were second overall. 

I was a little mad at this because I knew that they would end up medaling and since Sam was only the sub in for the first day would not get a medal despite helping get them to the finals!  I think I ranted about that one for a little while!  Especially since he had run it all year long.  Even when he wasn't officially in the race, the same guy would drop out every time and Sam would run it in his place- every time!  I was super unhappy that the other guy would get  a medal in the end even with all that supreme lack of effort!  See things were getting a little intense even on the first day.

Second day we noticed that Sam and his "girlfriend" were avoiding each other.  I asked him if they had broken up and he said, "apparently."  He didn't even know if they had for sure and why! Turns out it just has to do with Sam being too boy and not knowing anything about girl!  He rarely talks to anyone during meets of any kind.  He likes to focus and be in his head- think Michael Phelps with earphones on the entire meet.  Girl didn't understand that much, but dealt with it, because he would give her a smile or a laugh every once in awhile.  But since this was a two day event with a night in a hotel, I guess she figured there would be time to be a girlfriend.  Boy was she wrong!  At dinner, Sam decided to go talk to another girl (I know **GASP**) and then when it was time to eat, he looked around and saw her surrounded by people.  He wasn't, as he told us, going to go push people out of the way to sit beside her so instead he sat down with the girl he had been talking with.  Yah, my son doesn't understand anything about girls- poor guy!  So day two started with a confused and sad Sam.  Sam was able to run his races before even more intensity started. 

He got 5th in the 300m hurdles and 7th in the 110m hurdles. 

Then the heavens open and poured a monsoon down 
on us.  The teams all went to wait in the gym while hail started along with the puddles of water coming from the sky.  We went to the commissary and when we came out the standing water on the ground was above our ankles and there was no sign of the sheets of rain letting up.  There were MP's out and cars flooded in the middle of the street.  

The MP's directed us to park in the farthest parking lot away from the high school gym, because there was too much water at the corner you needed to turn to go up to the gym, but the gym being uphill was definitely the better option for parking! So we pretended to head to the parking lot and then made for the corner.  Thankfully, we made it through the standing water at the corner and up the hill.  It was still quite the sprint to the gym.  My pants were completely sopping wet by the time I made it inside.  I looked like a drowned rat.  They still hadn't decided anything.  So I waited until they came back with the final decision to cancel the rest of Europeans.  There were some pretty upset people in that gym!
I ran back out into the pouring rain and got the family and we all sat around and waited until they had decided who won what.  They ended up using the best times of the year, including first day trials as the deciding factor on who got 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  The 4x400m boys team got a silver medal in the end and Sam got to be one of the medalies,  because the other kid hadn't run it any other time that year and because the semi-final run was their fastest time of the year.   So Sam went home with a silver medal, 5th, 7th, a monsoon and a broken heart all in his first year of running track.  

Had to Check it off the List!

One more place I needed to go before leaving Europe.  We never quite made it to Luxembourg- even though we did drive through it at one point.  So I contacted my good friend in Spangdahlem 

and we met up and she took me around to see the sights- which weren't many, but we saw them! 

What I bought- Yum! 
General George Patton's Gravesite 

Can't go near France and not have a Macaron! 
Can you recognize all these biblical depictions?  We didn't get all of them, but we got most.
It was a beautiful city.

Chicken Man to the Rescue!

Remember that demijohn I whined about and finally got.  Yep- it broke. 

 So what do you do when your demijohn from Italy breaks?  You go back to Italy and get another one, because it's only 7 hours away.  This time Emma came with me as well as a neighbor and her daughter- she actually drove.  We only hit a couple of pottery stores.  I found a few more dishes to go with the lace pattern ones, so that I could get a complete set.  We also got Emma some cute chicken salt and pepper shakers.  But our main objective was the Chicken man furniture store.  To get furniture? Of course not.  Do you remember why we came in the first place.  The chicken man had lots of these!

Chicken Man to the Rescue!  I bought 3 just to be safe.  I was moving soon, after all!

We also stopped by Verona and saw beautiful things, 

including the ever famous, but definitely fake, Juliet's Balcony. 

Emma bought shorts from the local Italian Fusball club and we got some pretty stones to make into jewelry.

 It was a fun mother-daughter whirlwind trip!
On our way back we stopped at an Austrian McDonald's!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

As Promised

As Promised:

Max plays soccer:   

Joe plays tennis:  

Sam runs track:

And Emma flew home and won another scholarship from the Wives club!

It's a busy spring!

Thursday, May 5, 2016


I'm not always good at expressing myself.  In college a friend accused me of being two faced. I had a roommate that was going around telling people not to say anything about Desert Storm to me, since I was associated with the military.  I told her it was fine.  I was ok with it, not a big deal.  Of course that was an overstatement.  I had no problem talking about it with people and thought she was being silly, but that doesn't mean that I wasn't concerned for all the people at our base that were going or that my own father would be going and be in harms way.  When I expressed that concern later on, that's when the two faced ideas came out.  I either don't know how to explain what I am feeling real well or maybe I just have a lot of faces!  I love some things, but I also hate them.  Moving is one of those things.
I love moving.   In fact one of my worst fears is staying in one place for an indeterminate amount of time.  I like knowing how much time I have to deal with mean people or a calling at church that I don't particularly enjoy.  If the ward is less than supportive and my kids have no friends- no big deal, we will be moving soon!  Going new places, discovering new friends, experiencing new places, new cultures, learning lots- I love it all.  But that doesn't mean I enjoy the actual moving process.  This: 

 I hate this!

The mess, the disorganization, people all up in your business for days at a time!

But I actually love this!

Open, empty space, everything neatly packed or gone.  Love it!  I may be a minimalist at heart.

Having to meet new people and make new friends.  I enjoy that.  I look at it as starting fresh.  No one has a preconceived notion of you.  Of course there are always those people in every area that hear me say 3 sentences and hate my guts.  I have foot in mouth disease, I know this, but really 3 sentences?  What could I have possibly said in that amount of time?  This area was no exception.  I never did find out why she vehemently hated me, since I don't even know if I had spoken 3 sentences to her before the hate came.  And she did tell someone it was something I had said.  Luckily, she moved 6 months later. See- moving is great!
On the other hand- having to find new doctors, dentist, the perfect house and the perfect school and the perfect ward and filling out the same stupid form in triplicate at every one of those places is the worst.  Then there is finding the best place for the kids to play sports, finding and starting a new job for me, and dealing with landlords.  IT'S SOOOOO MUCHHHH WORKKKK!
So one day when I tell you how much I love to move and then a month later I complain horribly about all the moving, don't think I am ridiculous, a person that can't make up her mind.  I have made it up.  I love moving............. and I also hate it!

Monday, April 25, 2016


Max is my last child and the last one to do so many things that children do.  I really do like the stage the kids are in now.   I enjoy them more than ever, but I am glad that I have one left that still colors eggs and loves when I make mustaches with my leftover chocolate coating, 

and still wants green pancakes  and green milk for St. Patrick's day.  And is willing to make a Leprechaun trap to make it happen.

They are so much more fun when they are excited about all the little traditions!  Max is pretty excited and full of life.
I had to work the day Max had his living museum, but luckily my work is at the school, so I just closed the nurses office briefly and ran up to get a picture of him and watch him perform.  

He got lots of people, because he came up with, all on his own, this spinner that if they got the tiny sliver of pie that said they won, he gave them a candy (leftover Halloween candy- but nobody cared about that. They just wanted the candy!) They could only spin to see if they got candy after they heard his speech, however.  It was a great trick!  He was Clark of Louis and Clark.  We used some old cowboy clothes and made them look more colonial, including sewing the brim up on three sides to make a tri-corner hat.
Max loves sports.  Every day he comes home and tells me about somebody in professional sports and what they have done.  I mostly tune that out.  I must work better at really listening to him, because he is super excited about it all.  He is currently playing soccer with big kids.  His birthday is on the last weekend of the season, so he had to be moved up to the 11-12 year olds.  Some of these kids are turning 13 soon!  There is a big difference in the way a 10 almost 11 year old moves and a 12 almost 13 year old moves!  He is doing well, though.  He is great at defense and pretty darn good as a goalie.  This team came with a goalie, complete with uniform and gloves, so he doesn't get to play that often, but it wouldn't matter anyway.  He wouldn't get much experience.  His team is full of select players that use the regular league as their practice.  The first game of the season they won 9-0.  Some of the defenders made goals and the goalie almost made one!  The first game of the season was also in the 40's with rain, so that's why there aren't any pictures.  Next week, maybe!

A Poor Man's Tale of Springbreak

Moving- it's expensive!  Top that with $5000 in home repairs to sell a house that we have never lived in, $4000 for a transmission blown in the truck that Emma is driving, $12000 for a new car for Emma so we can get the truck back, plus deductibles for the two cars that we are having fixed up after our time in Europe (yep, everyone's cars look bad while driving around Europe and their tiny streets with their impossibly small parking spaces, but apparently you just can't take the hooptie look back to the US.)  That's right, everyone say it together- You is broke!  So what do Poor men do during Springbreak- not much.  When you live in the US- no big deal.  Half the population isn't doing anything either, except hanging out.  But when you live in Europe, everyone and I mean, EVERYONE is gone!!  So for the majority of the break we sat around and played playstation until our eyes bugged out of our heads and mom had to run to her bedroom and shut the door to get away from the bug-eyed monsters!  
We did get to do one thing that we have wanted to do for a while.  We ran down to Lake Konstance otherwise known as the Bodensee.  
We visited Monkey Mountain one day.

And Mainau island the next.  
 This was in the play park on the island.  I love that German's attitude is parents are supposed to be responsible for their children.  They build all these very cool parks and they expect you to look after your children and judge if they are age appropriate for things.  There is no suing going on, so they can continue building super cool parks!

 Beautiful Venitian style waterfall.  I want one!
 Loved this rose

 In the butterfly house.  You had to go through a caterpillar to get inside!

Turtles sunning on a raft outside of a waterfall. 

So beautiful!
The next weekend I ran up to visit my dear friend Lynette in Ramstein, but we forgot to get a picture. We hung out, went to an antique dealer, ran around Ramstein and took a long, leisurely lunch.  It was a nice day!  Emma is going to room with her daughter next semester at college!  I am so thankful for friends who know what I need!  Rob needed some time to himself too, so he went to the Frühlingsfest and met up with some friends from work.  Unfortunately, those friends from work also met up with all their gay friends who proceeded to enjoy Rob!  One even messaged him the next day to tell him how much, even though after being groped multiple times Rob told him that he was definitely, 100% not interested!  I think I definitely had the better time away!  In the end it helped us not be upset with each other anymore.  It had been a long, hard week with Rob being impatient and me pouting hard.  I had been planning to take a trip to Budapest for over a year during Springbreak, so I was pretty upset about it! Rob was not happy about all the play stationing and nothing else getting done over the week while he went to work every day.  Glad that week is over!