Thursday, March 31, 2016

Girls trip to Nove, Italy

I really wanted to go to Nove, Italy and buy some Italian pottery.  So I set up a girls trip.

  I knew Rob would never want to stop there and let me shop for a day.  I was a little nervous, however, because I am not a natural girls trip kind of person, especially a shopping girls trip.  I hate shopping!  People who spend hours debating over things and wandering around and around the same shop annoy me.  I get a headache even thinking about it.  I do like new and nice things though and that involves shopping.  Amazon is my favorite- I type in what I want, lots of options come up.  I find the one I want and BAM! done.  No leaving my house, getting out of pj's or searching high and low and not finding what I want.  It's so very nice!  But some things, like pottery, just need a girls shopping trip.

Rabbit, anyone?
  We left on a Thursday and stopped in Bassona Del Grappa first at Elios.  Thankfully more than just I had done some homework and found good shopping places, because this one that I didn't know about and it was awesome!

They did have some funny things- like this sculpture/candle holder
and these crazy bathrooms

But they also had some really pretty pottery.  I got some lace pattern plates and bowls here and some jars that they make for Anthropology for a third of the price that Anthropology sells them.
Afterwards we made it to one more store- La Ceramica VBC where I bought stuff made for Lenox and Tiffany and Company all for cheap, before checking in at the hotel

 and trying to make it to a dinner spot.  We ended up going to the wrong place, but it was still a wonderful little pizza restaurant.  The pizza guys made our pizzas right there out in the open and even posed with us. 

The next day we went to lots of shops in the morning and then Bassano del Grappa to walk around and have lunch.  Bassano Del Grappa has a very old covered bridge.  It has burned down multiple times, but is always rebuilt to the same specifications.  It is really pretty.

We found a distillery that had this outside.  I had come with the idea that I really wanted to find a demi john and here was one.  I guess they figured out that tourist want demi johns because they secured it pretty well.  We decided instead to go dumpster diving and our friends took pictures of us doing just that!

We also stopped for gelato, because what is a trip to Italy without some gelato?

We also went to a purse factory.  They sold their purses for about 1/2 what you paid for them in the stores.  They were real Italian leather, but I didn't find anything I really liked, so I didn't get one.  Everyone else got at least one.  They would fix them right then and there if you wanted the straps longer or shorter or to make them removable. 

We visited another pottery shop that I didn't really want to go to and found that it actually had some great pieces.  They also took us on a tour of the facility which was great fun.  

They also made us all custom ordered stuff for the very next day!  We all bought a traditional chicken pitcher and a Christmas bell to hang on our tree. Almost everyone had something different printed on their bell and chicken pitcher and they did it all for us in one day.  Really glad the other ladies wanted to go to this one.  It looked like a regular house.  If I had been alone, I wouldn't have even tried to go in, but one of the ladies jump out and rang the bell and talked to the people and they came out, opened the gate and led us through the house to the back where the factory was.  Really amazing!
That night was tile painting night at our awesome hotel.  They even had some resident artist that came and painted with us lowly folk.  I don't think I will be invited to paint pottery anytime soon!

Saturday a group of us left to go home.  This was the most frustrating day for me, because we had to go back to half of the stores for people to pick out things they had been debating about.  I had gotten a bad cold and was miserable.  I had also bought everything I wanted by this point, so I just sat in the middle of the store and pouted, because I really wasn't feeling well and I really wanted to find my demi john still.  In the end we went back to the purse shop which was close to a demi john place.  When we got there, the shop was closed, but the other group got ahold of the proprietor who said he would open up at 2 pm.  This was way too late for our group, but the other group agreed to wait and get one for me and a couple other people.  So I got my demi john in the end, 

thanks to the group that stayed an extra night.  Our trip back was rather scary in some spots.  It was the beginning of March over the Italian Alps.  We hit two snow storms and so a 7 hour trip became a 9 hour trip home.
All in all a great trip and I got some fun stuff!

2 Month Photo Blog

 Max on a Motorcycle.  This is up at Ramstein.
 Max's school field trip down to Ritter sport.  They got to make 2 chocolate bars and learn about how chocolate is made.  Max put crispy rice and pop rocks in his chocolate.  It actually wasn't half bad.
 Went to a friends house and learned how to flood cookies.  Love learning something new!

 Crazy baking for Valentine's day.  Max wanted me to make chocolate strawberries for his class. I made a big cookie instead and then some cake pops, but they didn't turn out awesome so I relented and did the strawberries.  Also I made a bunch of other stuff for us and other people.
We may only have one more year of this Valentine's thing.  Rob and I have never done much with the holiday- even though I did decide to bake up a storm this year.  I think we may have even forgotten there was a holiday, except that the little ones always did Valentine's cards for their classmates.  Max is the last one doing that now.  
 Getting serious about moving.  Went through some of our stuff and sold some of it- gave away the rest.
Bought some stickers for my nails- I feel like I am 5.  But really these Jamberry nails are great.  Polish lasts me not even a day before it's ruined and looks horrible.  These last for 7-10 days on me.  I think they are actually supposed to last about 2 weeks, but I am so hard on my nails.  I don't bite them or anything.  It's just my regular every day routines.  My nails are so paper thin and break all the time.  The stickers seem to help protect them. I might be spending a little more money on nail stuff now!
 Sam's European Football Championship ring came in.  Very cool!
 The tulips are out.  Love them!  As soon as I saw they were starting to go on sale, I had to buy some.
 For Leap Year Day we had pond water (margarita mix and sprite) and
 Frog legs and green fields (friend chicken breast strips and salad) for dinner.
I also made an avocado and tomato salad which would have been way better without all the onion!
Notice there are no pictures of my birthday.  That's because we didn't do much this year.  It was Ok, though.  For some reason I wasn't up for much.  Rob and the boys made dinner and I bought a cheesecake for dessert.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Winter Sports

Sam:  Wrestling, again- despite my various tries to stop him.  I did attend a couple meets, but never saw him win.  I decided it must be my presence that was causing it, which was a nice excuse for skipping any other meets.  He actually did really well at his weight group- 126, which he never reach while wrestling it. 
This is the only non fuzzy picture I have of him.  Pretty pathetic mom, hu?  He got Batman socks for Christmas and had to wear those every meet.
They did make him wrestle up to 132 a couple weeks in a row and he couldn't win at all at that weight group.  He ended up 4th in regionals, just missing European Championships and then was refused the wild card, because his record wasn't as good as some kid he kept beating- why?  Because they had made him wrestle up those two weeks and one week he got some shoulder ligaments torn and had to sit out the rest of the meet.  It was a real bummer for him.  In the end he did receive a varsity letter and another Coaches award for being the kid that was always there doing exactly what he was supposed to, best attitude, tried their hardest, always helping out.  I am proud of this crazy kid of mine.

Joe:  Computer gaming- right not a sport.  He keeps telling me he is working out, but I don't quite believe it.  His pants are about to fall off of his non-butt.  He has the physique of a famine victim. Unfortunately, he is such a picky eater that protein shakes are not going to work for him.  He has picked up a liking for all things junk oriented, however.  So we are constantly talking about good weight and bad weight and good food versus bad food.  I should talk though, as I have a chocolate food problem that's probably as big as his junk food one.

Max:  Basketball.  He got much better this year.  At the beginning of the year he was the best little rebounder ever and he could dribble at least decently.  This earned him a spot as a point guard, although he also played the other guard. 

By the end of the season he could actually shoot too.  He made about half of his lay-ups, anyway.  On the final game of the season he prayed twice that they would win.  I thought about having the talk with him about praying to do his best instead, but then just didn't.  Why disappoint him?  They were loosing at first and then Max got in as point guard and made the second and third basket of their team which put them on top.

(These are super low scoring games still.  I think the highest I have seen was 30 points for the win.) 

 He was very excited that he helped his team win.  There was still plenty of basket making- of which he made maybe one or two- but it's basketball and he helped! (said just like the shake and bake girl)  When his coach awarded him his medal afterwards he told everyone that this was a team of 10 and 11 year olds and Max was one of the youngest on the team, but was definitely the leader on the team.  He realized when the other point guard got up that he had said that Max was the leader and quickly added that Patrick was the other leader.  Patrick lives behind us and definitely knows his way around a basketball.  His dad was always good to talk to Max after each game and tell him how good he did and help him out with a few pointers, like, if you can just learn to dribble with that left hand.  Max really liked Patrick's dad talking to him.  He was one of those dad's that always had encouraging words during the game.  I like those kind of dad's so much better than the yeller/ranter raver types- especially since I fall into the negative Nellie type myself at times.  Thank goodness for awesome parents and good examples!  And of course great coaches!

I made the cupcakes for after the final game.  There was cherry lime, chocolate peanut butter and pina colada.  They were all yummy!