Thursday, December 15, 2011

Riding the airwaves

We have been running around like crazy- making gifts, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating, making and sending cards, planning holiday parties, promotion ceremonies, going to concerts- la la la, Whatever!
But these guys-

they have just been riding the airwaves, thanks to Robert's birthday balloon.  

It has survived a surprisingly long time!  So far they haven't spotted anything amiss, but they have dropped low on a couple of sleeping faces a few times, just to make sure the area was secure for us!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rob gets Older

Rob didn't like the number on his cake this year- half way to 90 is impossibly old!

He's still kicking, though.  We made him our 5 layer cake and he was King for the evening.

Sam learned- all on his own- the Happy Birthday song on the flute and played it for him.

He got silly stuff like chocolate and root beer,

because he says he is going to buy himself a big gun to go along with his big age.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knock Out Weekend

A couple weekends ago was one for the blog!  It started earlier in the week.  I had gotten a rash all over my arms that itched like crazy.  I transferred it to my neck and ear and feet, so I wasn't surprised when I found a small patch on my low back as well.  I was thankful that it didn't itch, because itching that region would have looked a little, shall we say... unpleasant.  Thankful by midweek, the rash started going down, but the patch on my back did not.  It looked like it was a bunch of welts and then it started to burn. Pretty soon my whole hip hurt and all the lymph nodes in my right hip swelled up.  Everyone kept telling me to go to the doctor or at least show one in the ER where I worked frequently that week.  But really who wants to say, "come here, Doc.  Look at this rash next to my butt."?  Friday night I tossed and turned.  I couldn't sleep on my front because of the swelling, I couldn't sleep on my right side, because of the pain and I couldn't sleep on my back, because of the pain.  I had pretty much decided what it was already and knew I was too late to get medicine for it, but I decided I at least needed something for pain, so that I could sleep.  I got up around 6 am and headed to the ER.  Sure enough, I was diagnosed with shingles.  Rob started calling me grandma.  It made me feel really old.  Seriously, only 70 year olds get shingles, right?  Apparently not!

After I got some medicine for night time, I came home, relaxed in a bath, and decided to go with the kids to see the flag football game that Sam and Rob were playing in with the ward.  Just as we were driving out of our subdivision, I got a call from Rob.  They were taking Sam to the ER.  He had recovered a free ball, but in the process had got a knee to the eye.  It cut him open and knocked him clean out.  When I got to the ER, he was already in the back.  I said "hello, again" to the triage nurse and went back in with him. The doctor had just arrived and had gotten Sam up to examine him.  He wasn't actually a doctor.  He was a med student.  Sam noticed that he had a penchant for attracting med students.  Right then he wasn't noticing anything, though.  Instead his eyes were rolling in the back of his head.  I told the med student to let him go and laid him back down.  Sam started moaning and I asked him if he was nauseated, which he was.  That's when I told the med student that we wanted a CT scan done.  

I am so thankful for the medical insurance we have.   Otherwise I would have just watched and waited and not asked for a CT scan.  I liked knowing for sure that he did not have any swelling or bleeding in his brain.  In the end he got 6 stitches to impress the ladies with.  Aw, the pain of being a boy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

My day in Spanish

Emma had me take pictures of my day for a Spanish 2 project.  (Yes, we do realize that she is now taking the exact wrong language, but she will be in Germany for 2 years, but in the United States with tons of Spanish speakers the rest of her life.  I think we still helped her choose well.)
My day starts before 5:55 am- I just took those 15 minutes to find the camera.

ella despierta.
Then there is breakfast making- usually different for Emma than for the boys.  Emma doesn't eat the homemade pancakes and waffles that the boys will.  So I make her quick stuff that she can eat in the car on the way to seminary.
ella come desayuna.
And there is lunch box packing.
ella paquetes de comida.
I check my emails and Facebook and blog the 15 minutes I have after sending her off until I get the next set of children up and start the process over again.  And sometimes I finish while I am waiting for the last one to start his day.
ella ver computador.
Then there is no picture of me exercising, but usually this is when I go.
Then there are the invariable errands- shopping and library and whatever.
ella corre como un pollo con su cabeza cortada.
Eating yummy lunches-
Ella come almorzar.
most days with Max who always wants something different than I do.
Mondays I quilt, Thursdays I volunteer in Max's Kindergarten class, Friday I scrapbbook.  I didn't get a picture of any of that.
The kids get home and there is the homework help
Ella lee
and the reading
Ella prepara la cena.
and the dinner prep
and the running everyone everywhere time- cub scouts, soccer, football, etc.
Then somedays I get ready for work,
Ella prepara para el trabajo.
 including putting on makeup-
Se maquilla.
which I don't do much of, except when I go to work or to church. On Wednesdays it is get ready for Young Women's.
Work- always a different day and a different time.  No consistency- but that's how I like it!
Finally, after washing my face
Ella se lava la cara
and brushing my teeth,
Ella se cepilla los dientes.
 I fall into bed- this day at midnight- to snuggle with my convict hair-cut husband.
Ella se acuesta.
 He says, "why do I look like a convict and not a soldier."  Well, maybe he looks like a new recruit, but certainly not a Lt. Col. like he is!  And worse yet- he paid for that haircut.  He said he even tipped the guy!  Ah, the things we do to not make waves!
So that's my day in Spanish minus all the little things like laundry, ironing, cleaning, kisses, hugs, prayers, etc.  It's a busy life, but that's the way we like it!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Big Announcement

So, the big announcement is that we are moving to Stuttgart, Germany in 2013, for anyone who hasn't heard.  

We are excited!  We are also a little overwhelmed.  Although I have lived most of my life in Germany, I never really had to do any of the moving.  I just kept out of the way and stayed up way past the time I wanted to go to bed to get myself accustomed to the new time.  We are already thinking of what to do with the  baby grand piano, the 2 motorcycles, the truck, all the food storage.  We have already been told we have to live on the economy, so now Rob is really worried about our language deficit.  We were lucky- we had my father who was a fluent German speaker to hash out all the details and work with the Landlords.

 So, we're dusting off the old Rosette stone and putting up 3x5 cards all over the house.  I figure it will help the little one learn to read better anyway!
Besides this, I have decided I have to get a decent wardrobe before I go over there, because let's face it, German styles aren't really all that and the BX almost always stinks!  I was looking on line and some air force wife was going on and on about how bad everything was and then said something like, the Army never puts in the money that the Air Force and the Navy do to their facilities.  Well, duh!  That's because the Army doesn't get nearly the money the Air Force and Navy do to try and keep their people.  We all know that!  Although with all the forced draw downs the Air Force has had lately, I'm thinking some of that money should start going to the Army!  Anyway, it's shopping time!!!
The two biggest problems I have are,
1.  I have to find a way to keep my license without working for three years- or can I possibly get a job in their clinic?
2.  Where will we visit first?  So many places, so little time!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Busy Haunting

My back went out around conference time and was out for almost a month; therefore, sewing and things of that nature were pretty well out.  I did however get this Luigi hat made with help from a pattern I found on the web.  

I also got the straps made.  

By the way, the real trick was the mustache.  I used last years furry material that we used to make a How to Train your Dragon costume.  Then there was the question of how to attach it.  I tried a piece of elastic, tape, put it on a stick (which Max informed me was super lame, mom!)  Then I put my nursing skills into use!   I sewed a bandaid to it and then just put the bandaid on him and it stayed on all night, no problems!
Everyone else's costumes were reusing other things we had or store bought.  Sam didn't come up with what he wanted until Friday, so his was definitely store bought.

 Emma's dress would have cost me more in material and time and headache medicine to make than it cost to buy!

Joseph's costume is Link (he's an elf.)

It is a reused costume from last year when Sam was Robin Hood.  We just added belts and a sword and a shield, an elf hat (I bought elf ears, too, but Joe refused to wear them), and some leather thongs.   I bought material that looked like leather at JoAnne's for 30% off and then cut them into strips.  Joe told me that he was impressed how well I tried to make him look like the real Link!  So I guess we did OK!

Thursday the two little boys had parties at the same time.  I was asked to be in charge of Max's, so I couldn't make it to Joseph's.  At Max's we made these cute little pumpkins out of a pattern I found on Family Fun. 

It was a little more involved than it should have been for Kindergarteners.  I had Max try it out before I did it, to make sure, but I guess everyone has different levels.  Also, it was a lot harder to supervise 7 kids instead of just one at a time.  In the end, 2 other moms and I cut out the circles and sewed up the pumpkins, then help them stuff it and tie it off.  
We also decorated pumpkin cookies

and had fun games. They played pass the pumpkin (hot potato),  throw the ping pong eye ball into the witches brew and pumpkin rolling relay races.  I think they all had lots of fun.

Saturday we went to Max's end of the year party for soccer.  They made it a dress up party.  They all look so cute!

Saturday was also our ward trunk-or-treat.

I don't know if there were a huge amount of children this year, or what, but most cars ran out way before the kids thought they were done!
Monday was the official "Beggar's Night" in our town.  That's what they call it in Ohio.  

We took the kids around the neighborhood and ended up at a little graveyard (like we do every year.) 

This year, two of the parents went and hid in it and when we lined everyone up for a picture, came out booing and screeching.  Notice that Joseph is the only one running away- the only one with self preservation skills. 

All the rest were just trying to see what it was except Max who is oblivious!  Ha ha!

Emma stayed home and passed out the individual sized popcorn bags- we didn't buy candy, because I eat too much of it.  In the end, I bought one bag, because we went through more at the trunk-or-treat than I thought we would and Sam's club was out of the boxes of popcorn.  Most of her friends were off trick-or- treating themselves.   I tried to say something about it at the trunk-or treat, but most of the mom's were like- 'it's different now, everyone does it.'  Really?  Only because their mom lets them!  I thought it was super embarrassing for all those teenagers to be going around asking for candy like the 4 year olds, but they weren't in the least embarrassed.  Emma passed out the popcorn at our car.  Maybe I am being the stick in the mud here- what do you think?

With all that going on, I kept forgetting to get pumpkins to carve, so I ran all over town on Monday, but there wasn't a pumpkin left out there.  We ended up using the pumpkins I had bought for Max's party games and just painted them.  Emma and Joe abstained. 

Sam's is 2 bats flying in the moonlight although I think it really is an alien.  Max's is the world and mine just has bling on it.
Now the Holidays have really started and I see no slowing down from here.  Not only do we have all the traditional celebrations, but we are putting on a Promotion party as well.  Rob's Mom wanted to come see him promoted for once.  Unfortunately, with him at school it's not an easy thing to do.  He will miss December by 2, so we are thinking of doing it on New year's, but then there is the whole holiday travel and people out of school thing going on and who does he get to do the pinning, etc.  One of our friends that is a doctor offered to do it.  Tells you how much he knows about the military (even though he is technically in the military and just got home from deployment!)  He is only a Captain and Rob will be pinning on Lt. Col.  I asked Rob if he thought Jeremy actually knew that he couldn't do it and he just laughed.
The nice thing is that I am excited for this year's celebrations!  All except for that big 4-0 thing in January!  I started reading Letters from Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien and I love it.  Now I want to do that for my children as well!  What a fun idea.  I wish I could draw!!  Oh, and I think I found a great gift for my parents, already!  I love when that happens!!  The holiday season is so fun!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The other day our neighbor brought over these amazing treats!

They are caramel, chocolate, candy bar laden apples.  So super yummy!  She brought them over because we have been trying to take care of her while her husband is deployed.  We have them over for Sunday dinner often, Emma babysits for them whenever she can (she tried to do it for free, but Kelly won't let her.  She always slips the money into something she brought with her), we help whenever she needs us.  One of the big times we helped out was when her house was hit by lightening.  Yep- hit by lightening!  Isn't it always the deployed spouses house that gets hit!!  It put a huge crack in her walls, blew out a bunch of light sockets, blew off all her fence post caps, rain gutters and split her trees down to the ground.  It also made the water main bust.  I was the one that discovered that.   The water man came out and said, "I have good news and bad news.  I found the problem, but it's on your side."  Rob talked to him for some time about what that would entail and how to get it fixed.  He finally told the guy that he was not the owner of the house, that he was there as a neighbor helping out the wife of a fellow deployed soldier.  I guess that softened the guy up quite a bit, because he started telling Rob what needed to be done, let him borrow his tools for the tricky bolts and explained everything step by step as he held Rob upside down in a hole.
Rob was able to fix it!  The owners wife came around to look at the damage (Kelly is just renting) and they asked who was helping hold Rob.  When they told him it was the water guy, he said, "nope, I'm just a neighbor!"  When Rob and Kelly tried to thank him, he just shrugged it off and said thank you to them for keeping our nation safe.  If there is one good thing that came out of the Vietnam war, it was a sense of gratitude for the soldiers that put their life on the line and the families that are left at home alone to fend for themselves!
The treats look so good- I figured she bought them.  There is a candy store that does the same thing.  But come to find out- she made them.  She told me how and I tried.  I didn't have the right sticks- so that was a lot messier and apparently I don't have her skill either.  Rob just said- "maybe you need to go have her show you how!"  Uh, yeah, thanks!!  So, on my to do list- Learn to make Caramel Apple Yumminess like Kelly!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Max's Behavior Chart for Mean People

Maxwell decided he needed to make a behavior chart to control the mean people in his life.  He made a picture chart- since he can't read.  His behaviors were
1.  Keep Quiet
2.  No stomping on people's foots
3.  No punching people in the face

4.  No laughing at people when they are crying

5.  No punching people while they are sleeping

6.  No touching Mom's computer

I especially like that he remembered the ultimate sin- touching Mom's new computer!  Unfortunately, Joe already has an x on his name.  He stepped on Max's foot.  Joseph immediately complained that Max had been punching and kicking him in the weaners and pulling his hair.  Max calmly explained, "but, Joe that is not on the behavior chart."  Oh my!  Boys!  They will make you laugh!

Emma (Not) at Homecoming

Homecoming came and went.  
Sam marched in the parade.  

Emma did not! 
 The soccer team had a game rained out on Monday and so they rescheduled it for the day of the parade.  Very nice of them, don't you think!  I had to work and Rob had to be at the parade with Sam and the little boys who wanted candy!

- so no one went to watch her game, either.
None of us went to the homecoming game.  We hear it is their tradition to loose the game.  We don't know.  Rob decided it would be too nuts at Homecoming and so we all just stayed in and watched a Big Bang. (LOVE) 
Emma went to her friend Megan's house on the day of the dance and did her hair for her.  

Then a group of them all went out to dinner.  

Don't they all look so pretty! 

 Then Emma came home

 I told her that she could wear the dress I picked up for our cruise last year.  It is modest and still totally appropriate for homecoming.  I know, right! - How did I ever find that?  I did.  I found it at Macy's and it was expensive!  But now I have one formal and one semi-formal that are both modest!  Anyway- she said she really didn't care about the dance, so after dinner, she came home.  The girls had fun at the dance, but one of the mom's told us that really the most fun part for them was the dinner.  I guess Emma saved some money and enjoyed the fun part!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

That kid dances to the music of his own flute!

Samuel is an interesting kid.  Mostly, I think he really doesn't care what you think, but then at times he thinks way too much of what you think.  
The kid is what I would call a typical boy growing into his manliness- because I know all about those kind of things!  He doesn't care what he looks like- at least he keeps telling me that when I try to comb his hair. He doesn't care what clothes he has on, as long as they are jeans or shorts and the shirt is athletic looking.  He's not worried about his nails or anything else metrosexual.  I think we have finally got past the take a shower fight each night, though!  He likes to go out in the cold and pretend that he is warm without the need of a jacket, like all us other wimps.  He fought with his Dad over it at the soccer game the other day when it was 45 degrees.  I did however get him to wear a long sleeve shirt under his jersey the other day when we went to his football game at 8 pm, but no gloves or anything.  I bought him some under armor the next day and he actually wore it, because all the other boys had it at the game.  

He loves football, even though he is the shortest, skinniest kid out there by far- 
look at that picture, find the kid on the side by the coach whose arm you can only see.  That's Sam.  See how short he is compared to everyone else and his team is shorter and scrawnier than most of the teams we have played.
and he gets knocked over more than not.  

If he can outrun everyone (which he does) and catch the kid with the ball and bring him down by holding onto his legs till he's been dragged a couple yards and the kid can't stand it anymore, he is in heaven!
Now take that football loving, 

non-metrosexual, macho, don't comb my hair boy and add this in...

Yep, that's a flute the kid is playing.  
He is in band this year.  They tested them at the beginning of the year on all the instruments and gave them a rating from 1-5.  Sam got a 4+ on the trumpet, trombone and percussions.  He decided he would play the trumpet, but when it came time for him to choose, he said a bunch of other people had already chosen the trumpet, so he chose percussions.  After he chose, about 12 other people said they wanted percussions.  The band leader then proceeded to explain to them that they couldn't have that many percussions and trumpets and needed to have some more flutes (they are 7 flutes short still.)  He begged someone to change and no one would.  So finally Sam raised his hand and said he would play the flute.  Oh man, my little peacemaker!  Why can't you be a peacemaker with your mother and father and wear a jacket every once in a while?!
That's my Sam.  Some days I am just not sure what to do with him!  Luckily he's a pretty good kid on his own- except when he gets detention.  But that's another story!

Ok, Ok, so he got detention from his honors english teacher who gives excessively too much homework- and it's not the kind of stuff you would expect honors english kids to be doing, it is total busy work without a purpose.  He was staying up late, getting up at 5:30 in the morning trying to get it all done.  He didn't have it all done twice and then went into the wrong group one day at school.  He completed that work, but it was the wrong work according to her, so she gave him detention the next day.  We have had a talk with her since then!  But she doesn't understand how he can't be getting his work done.  So she had a talk with him at school.  She asked him stuff like did he have difficulty reading.  Um, hello, lady- he's in Honors english!!  Needless to say, we will probably be talking with her again!