Thursday, May 5, 2016

Moving


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

Maxer!

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

 Tulips!!!
 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!  

The Samuel Trifecta

Sam had a very busy week, the same week as his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.  On Thursday he got inducted into the National Honors Society.
This is an awesome group of boys!

On Saturday he ran his first High School track meet. He did great, getting second in 3 events and fifth in one.  He took second in the 110m hurdles,


300m hurdles

and the 4x400m. 


He got 5th in high jump. 

Considering the kid is only 5'7" this is all amazing!  
He is the only one on the team that runs the 110 hurdles, because no one else is comfortable clearing them.  He gets way to high on them and has to work on going over instead of up.  He is a jumper!  He didn't qualify in any of his events for Europeans, but he was less than a second off in all the running ones for qualifying.  And in one meet he earned his varsity letter.  That's a sweeping of 3 different varsity letters in one year!
And finally to round out the trifecta, his dad taught him to shave.  

He just had those little wisps on the sides of his mouth, but Rob said, "I'm only teaching you how to do this once, son." So Rob gave him a brand new razor and had him shave everything.  These men of mine are pretty handsome!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sam Finally Gets an Eagle

Sam wanted an Eagle before he turned 16, but things just didn't go that way.  He finished his project in May of last year, but getting the paperwork done and scheduling a board of review took us over half a year. Finally on Jan 28th he was awarded the Eagle.  Then we just had to wait for it to all arrive from America.  It showed up the end of February, so we finally got to plan a court of honor for him.  My Mom and Dad were able to fly over and join us for it.  They also wanted to go see Prague- something they had never done while living 2 hours away from it for years!  Silly parents.  To be fair, it was closed to them for several of those years and as soon as it was open they did go shopping for china in the Czech Republic- just not all the way to Prague.  Well they didn't make it this time either:( Instead they did little day trips and helped me get ready for the night.  We made eagle cookies
 Decorating the cookies
 Those stupid black dot eyes ruined the cookies once you stacked them, so I made more frosting and covered the eyes over with white which I think actually turned out much nicer!
Here they are in their nest- Mom came up with that.  Pretty cute!
and mint stars

and fire cupcakes-

 my red ran out and it's not like you can just run to any craft store around here and find it (ha ha, craft store in Germany, right!- Ok they have some, but they're no Hobby Lobby or Michael's!)  So my fire, didn't look quite like fire, but I was pretty excited about the fact that I figured out how to do the three color in on tube thing!
Also, kindling and fire starters. 

 Someone told me they really liked the strawberry ones.  I didn't have the heart to tell her that it was just white chocolate with too little red food coloring in it.
The decorations were supposed to resemble a camping theme.
 S'mores for the take home Thank You gift
 I was trying to copy a sign I saw at a friends Eagle court of Honor, but our tiny craft shop didn't have good paper.  My mom found plenty of cute fabric, though, so I resigned myself to making it with fabric.  Mom didn't realize what she had done until I started making it.  Actually it went really fast!
 I told the boys they had to figure out what that sign said and there would be a prize for it.  One of them actually had a morse code cheat sheet in his wallet and figured it out!
 Our Eagle's nest with a thing of yummy popcorn for the Eagles to enjoy during the ceremony
We weren't allowed to light candles so I used this lantern that had removable lights that could be shielded with just the right colors!  And can you see the branch in the background?  I was looking for anything that would make it look more nature-y.  Rob and I went running one day and there was a trailer filled to the brim with cut branches with pretty little flowers all over it.  We went back later that day and took them all!  They worked great in the decorations.

The ceremony went well, even though I forgot to put in a few directional things- I will work on that for the next one. 
 Joseph's first honor guard responsibilities
 We found things for Grandma and Grandpa to do.  Just before it all started they were sitting down and looking at the program and they said, "Debbie, we didn't know we were supposed to do anything.  No one told us."  Oops!  Sorry!

 Eagle's in their nest
 Our Master of Ceremonies, Marc
 The YM Presidents wife and the YW president did a musical number for us.


 We tried to use as many of the scouts as possible.  Sam said, "no one is going to be there just to watch!"
 Alex was the latest Eagle scout so we had him give Sam the Eagle pledge.  
 Candace is the advancement chair and was super excited that we asked her to pin the Eagle on.  She was one of the first female cadets to graduate from the Air Force Academy, is Airborn qualified and made the cover of the New Era.  Now she has 3 kids and is out the Airforce, but that hasn't stopped her- she is a real go getter!




Ramberto who is the Scout Master is in the Navy and was good enough to get a letter from the garrison commander congratulating Sam.  The commander also awarded him- through Rambo- the Patriotic Civilian Service Award, because of the gardens he helped make on Kelley Barracks.  That is totally awesome and extremely rare to be awarded to a teenager!

Our senior missionary couple started a program where they gave pocket knives to all the New Eagles.  They continue the tradition even while on their mission.

 The video wasn't part of the ceremony and it was a little too small of a TV for people to see.  We couldn't find the projector.  So some hiccups, but in the end he got his award, 


everyone liked the treats. 
 He had a good time with his friends. 



We used all these guys in his ceremony.  Will, the one holding Sam, was the scout that began and ended the ceremony.
One of his non-member friends got to come and participate from a different troop.  He was part of the honor guard. 
 Rob had to pick him up from baseball practice, run over to another base and get Sam from track practice and then hurry them up to the church which was 20 minutes away when they aren't in the middle of rush hour traffic- which they were.  I was a little worried, but they made it with a couple minutes to spare. 
 At the very end of it all, Sam finally got to eat something!
Congratulations Samuel!