Only 1 hour until Nick's birthday!

He has been talking about
it and planning it for over a year...stay tuned for details. He is really looking forward to turning the big "Five". I tell him to stop growing...he tells me "No mommy...I'm going to get bigger and bigger until I'm this big!" (arms sprawled in every direction) .
This is what he told me today,
"Mom, you're making this the best day ever"
Me- "Yeah, why is that?"
Nick- "Because you made me a great lunch!" (the standard PBJ and a yogurt cup). How easy is he to please? Well, some of the time....
The best part? This is the last family birthday and then we have a 6 -month respite! Whoo Hoo!


Autumn Revisited

Pictures of the market, "Eis" and Cathedral in Trier

Sports and Birthdays!

Here's what we did to fill our autumn days: Lauren celebrated her birthday! It wasn't a great cake, but she wanted a chocolate cake, and my cake decorating stuff was still a mess. Ashlyn was a cheerleader for the local football team. The kids, Nana, Poppy and daddy visited the Burg Lichtenberg, took the tourst train in Trier (the oldest town in Germany) and saw the cathedral. There is also a view from the Burg. Our town is on the far right, I think. Many villages look the same here as many have similar rooftops and are nestled among the valleys and hills. I also included pictures of the market in Trier, and the "eis" (ice cream) and bakery shops (yum!). While Nana and Poppy were here we also visited Heidelberg Castle and the dinosaur exhibit and gardens in Kaiserslautern. The kids celebrated Halloween at the Youth Center on base, since it is not celebrated here. Instead, they dress up in costumes in the weeks before Lent for "Fastnacht". I didn't miss having to buy 15+ bags of candy to hand out this year. Logan was a cute monkey for his first Halloween. When he wasn't monkey-ing around, he was helping with laundry. I need all the help that I can get since the instructions are difficult to read, and there are mounds of it multiplying daily! Ashlyn also celebrated her birthday this fall. Since her birthday is so close to Thankgiving, we bought a cake from the commissary to make it easier for this busy mom. It was very yummy by the way! Now, I will try and get those winter/Christmas pictures organized and posted! Enjoy.

Burg Lichtenberg-can you see the people peeking from the top window? Lauren can see this small castle from her bedroom-she loves it! Also a view from the top tower.

Halloween 2007

My Helper-a.k.a "one man wrecking crew"

Kaiserslautern dino garden (see the boys?) and Schloss Heidelberg


Remembering Wes

One of my favorite cousins died ten years ago today. He was twenty. I think about him so often-what would he be doing today? How would he look? He was very tall and blond, and loved being outdoors with his friends and horses. Family was important to him.

He was special to me because he was born on my birthday. I remember my 9th birthday when we were eating breakfast and we had a call telling us of his birth. I changed his diapers when he was a baby (my aunt used cloth with him-and diaper pins!); I fed him and played with him. he was my first "baby". I loved him so much. We didn't talk much in his teenage years since our families lived so far apart, and we were both busy young people with lots of friends.

I had been back to work one day when I received the news of his accident. My daughter was almost three months old. I sat and held her that morning and cried because he would never meet her, and he would never hold his own baby. On my way to work that song "My Heart Will Go On" played as I sat at traffic light. I'm not sure how long I sat there and cried. I still have a hard time listening to that song since it brings back such a strong, wistful feeling.

Writing this has taken me days-it's just hard to think about. His parents established a scholorship fund in his name to celebrate his life. To remember him throughout the years we (my mother and I) often light candles in different cathedrals and churches that we have lvsited throughout Europe. Candles have been lit in England (too many to list), Wales, Brugge, Paris, Trier and Venice. There may be more, but I cannot remember them right now. I like to think that helps him know how much his family loves and misses him. I hope that he can send his parents and his baby sister some peace today.


Shame on Me

I did something that I am always harping on the kids. They are always losing or leaving something. I didn't notice it until recently, but I lost my winter coat!?! When? Who knows. Several weeks ago it had been fairly decent in the daytime. Not warm, but I just layered shirts with hoodies and out I went. Then, we had a day of snow flurries. I didn't want to look silly outside without a coat, but couldn't find it! It wasn't in the car, in the storage upstairs, coat hook, etc. I can only guess that I left it in a bathroom or on a chair. I take it off when I help Nick in a bathroom (icky germs and all). Honestly, there are limited places that I have been recently, but I cannot even remember when I last wore it. Sure, I have several other coats, but don't want to wear them. One is a black quilted-type and the other is a beige all-weather. I don't want to wear them, I want my green one with the faux fur trimmed hood. I just need to retrace my steps-for the last 4 weeks :).

Update: Well, only about a month after losing the coat, it was found! I happened upon it when I was early to pick up Ashlyn at her GS meeting. I had just returned from the gym and didn't want to sit to close to the group :). I sat on the stage and looked to my right-coat. I felt so silly and relieved. With recent freezing weather, I am so grateful for the find.

BTW-I can't seem to get the spell check to work anymore. So, if you see something blaeteaintly (:)wrong, pleaze furgive me.



It's 9 p.m. on the night before a holiday, and my children are still up. No worries, they are heading to dreamland and soon. Before that happens, there are bathroom reminders and diapers have to be changed, mouths and hands have to be washed again. Daddy gave them these "Fear Factor" eyeball popsicles (or ice lollies for those UK readers). I can't believe that I let Nicholas talk me into buying those. I hate, hate that show, and these things leave tongues/hands/teeth a black color. Lovely.

The boys are waiting for shoulder rides from daddy, and the girls are getting last drinks of water. Ashlyn spent last night at a friend's house, so I am sure that she needs some sleep tonight. Nick is busy flicking Logan's ear. This is Nick's method of a greeting and loving gesture to others in a strange way. He began twisting and turning his own ears, and that led to flicking others' ears very lightly. I hope this phase passes soon!

Logan needs one last top off and then he's ready for bedtime. He gets restless when he's tired. I wish he liked to cuddle more, but he needs his space. A new episode of "Lost" is coming on soon. Yea! Adult time.


A Few More Bits of Information

I was tagged again! Here goes...

What were you doing ten years ago?

I had been married almost two years and had a two-month-old daughter. I was driving my "non-mom", 2- door Acura (still miss it). I was working at a rehabilitation hospital as a Speech-Language Pathologist in Texas. I actually had a paycheck! Ahhh...the days :)

5 Things on my "to-do" list today...

  • put away 2 loads of laundry and throw 2 more loads in the washer/dryer
  • straighten up a basket of kid books that are way out of control
  • call my dad (Happy Birhday!)
  • change sheets
  • read!

6 Snacks that I enjoy...

  • walnuts or pecans
  • peanut M&M!'s
  • ice cream (now banned from the grocery list, thank you :)
  • triscuits and cream cheese (or cheddar slices)
  • chocolate soymilk
  • the leftover frosting (yea-also on the "banned" list)

3 Bad Habits...

  • staying up late
  • letting receipts stack up before entering them in the computer
  • before I leave the house I have to straighten up, etc-thus making me always run later than I would like.....

If I were suddenly a billionaire I would...
do the usual things like pay off debt for me and my family...travel...buy a nice house...donate to church and charity.....but I think I would do it anonymously :)

5 Places I've Lived...(o.k....6)

  • Texas (Houston, Austin, Dallas/Lewisville, Abilene)
  • Europe (England, Germany)
5 Jobs I've Had...(besides a mom)

  • Hospital Admissions/QA/Medical Records Clerk
  • Sales Clerk at Dillard's
  • GA (Graduate Assistant)-but I didn't wear the long skirts and Birkenstocks ;)
  • Speech-Language Pathologist in acute care and rehabilitation
  • Day Care Teacher ( infant room and 18-month-olds)-summer after high school graduation..a "paid mom"
5 Things People Don't Know About Me...

  • I drink tea every day. I occasionally drink coffee if I'm at a fancy coffee place, but a cup of tea is the norm (with milk and some sugar). It's both soothing and reviving.
  • I really enjoy being pregnant. I usually feel really good (except the last pregnancy, where I was more tired and felt more pains). I don't evision ever having more than these five sweet babies in my house, so the pregnancy phase is over. Honestly, I would be a surrogate mother for family or friends if I were younger and didn't need a C-section.
  • I love to plan a pamper myself day at least once a year. It's usually my birthday. I like to have a facial and either a pedicure or manicure. I have to always have my toes painted. I hate having bare toes!
  • My mom told me one time that if I had more friends than I could count on one hand, than I should consider myself lucky. I consider myself BLESSED :)
  • I change decorations in the house for different seasons and holidays. The kids enjoy it and it helps us transition throughout the year.
5 People I'm Tagging...
whomever wants to share!


Where have I been?

The kids have been out of school since Monday for a week break. This is not Spring Break-I think that is still in April. (Mental note-make plans for Spring Break). This reminds me of the half-term breaks that we had in England. I loved those. A week was long enough to relax, get some jobs done, and do some local exploring before I was ready for the kids to go back to school and resume my normal routine.

Lauren had a follow-up dental appointment Monday. They made impressions and she will have some braces put on her top teeth in March. I think the plan will be to keep them on until September. She was originally planning what colors she would choose each month for the wires, but I think reality has set in. She doesn't seem all that excited about them now. Oh well. We'll get some cute pictures of her and Nana in their matching braces this summer.

Speaking of summer--we have mentioned it to some people, but we might as well tell all-
we are actually going to the States this summer! I know, I know, it has been almost 5 years. We have family and friends who met Nick briefly, and many who have never met Ryan and Logan. My kids actually do not know what Wal-Mart or Target is-imagine that? (well, maybe for online shopping :). I have been telling them about some fun things we can do in the US. I was telling Ashlyn about ice cream shops where they mix in your toppings, ice skating at the Galleria, the Riverwalk in San Antonio, possibly riding horses in Texas...they are really excited. The logistics of traveling are a bit scary. It will involve renting a van after a 10-hour overseas flight and driving many miles. I think I can only convince Allen to do this once while we are here. The last time I came to the US, I did it solo with a 5-month-old and two girls, ages 3 and 5. It went really well!

We have had almost a week of sunny weather! This is something we have not experienced since October. Hmmm...what else have we been up to? They had "fasching" events last week to celebrate the weeks leading up to Lent. We did see people dressed up in bright costumes, but missed the parade in town-maybe next year. Besides the normal errands, we have managed to clean out some clothes and closets, bake oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (and heart rice krispy treats today!), color valentines, wash vehicles, get Easter decorations ready for next month, visit the library, attend Girl Scout meetings/activities, AND......Allen and I had a dinner away at a local restaurant with a couple whom we met through our daughter. Needless to say, we weren't sure if the evening would happen since we had barely pulled into the parking lot and had "the phone call" from home from a neighbor to tell us that Nick had fallen over the baby gate and cut his lip pretty badly with his tooth. The men made the 5-minute trek back home and returned, determining that stitches were probably not needed. The food was fantastic and the conversation was fun- a nice evening out! Honestly, it had been several years!

The week ahead: selling Girl Scout cookies, keeping kiddos busy and keeping my sanity-wish me luck! Hopefully we can do something fun with the Monday holiday.


Tagged by Hilary

A- Attached or Single? Married
B- Best Friend? I have so many from different stages in my life-I can't narrow it down! I love them all.
C-Cake or pie? Cake! Especially white wedding cake!
D- Day of Choice? Friday
E- Essential Item? It would have to be paper and pen. I am a list person. It's crazy to have so many lists, and priority lists...and wish lists...and to try lists...I think it can be inherited. I have noticed my 10-year-old making lists too.
F- Favorite Color? Cobalt blue with contrast white
G- Gummy Bears or Worms? Bears...the milk bottle and strawberry gummies are good, too.
H- Hometown? Born in Borger but grew up in Houston
I- Favorite Indulgence? A day of shopping and lunch with friends! I miss it! Boo hoo.
J- January or July? Both. My sweet baby was born in January, and I love July 4th celebrations.
K- Kids? 2 girls and 3 boys
L- Life isn't complete without? Being adventurous and experiencing different cultures and ideas. I hope that my children will appreciate these adventures someday.
M- Marriage date? May 12
N- Number of brothers and sisters? 1 brother
O--Oranges or Apples? Both. I loooooove picking fresh apples in the orchard, but juicy oranges are the best. I wish I could visit an orange grove some day.
P- Phobias and Fears? Drowning, scary people, not being able to catch a plane in time to see a family member/friend one last time :(
Q- Quote? Dr, Phil said a funny one about people being more worried about how others were thinking about their actions, and chance are nobody gave it a second thought. I obviously don't remember the exact quote, but you get the gist.
R- Reason to smile? All my children LOVE hugs. It's just a big hug fest lately. Or maybe some friendly competition.
S- Season of choice? Spring and Autumn. I love the colors and scents of both. My favorite holidays also occur during these seasons.
T- Tag three people? Betsy, Mindy,and.....??(many of my friends don't have blogs yet-hopefully soon!).
U- Unknown fact about me? I pull my hair when I am tired, stressed, bored, etc. It's a good thing that I have lots of wavy, thick hair.
V- Vegetable? portabello mushrooms, grilled zucchini, tomatoes (if they count).
W- Worst Habit? Hmmm...either staying up late and feeling tired and grouchy in the a.m., or getting frustrated/angry too quickly with my kids. I have a feeling that they are somehow related.
X-ray or Ultrasound? Well, I've had both and they felt pretty harmless.
Y- Your favorite food? Mediterranean food and vegetarian sushi. Anything chocolate is good, too. Z- Zoo animal? I like the seals.

Done! Not too painful. BTW, does anyone know how to stop these strange advertisement comments? Strange and annoying. Oy.

Weekend Events

I took a break from posting this weekend. I have been trying to get rid of yet another sinus infection. My immune system has been on high alert lately. Last weekend we were busy with ice skating at a rink in Kaiserslautern. This was Ashlyn's first time and she loved it! She is such a good rollerblade skater, that I knew she would have no problems on the ice. They had this penguin to rent, so Lauren, Nicholas and Ryan took turns gliding around with it. We even turned it around and Ryan stood on it to go faster. It was tiring after a while trying to assist three kids on the ice. The next time we go, I will have to convince Allen to give it a try. I'm not sure who had a harder job, though. While I was managing the slippery, legs flinging around kids on ice, Allen was managing a screaming Logan on the sidelines. Almost everytime I passed him he increased the volume.
We also went to a Girl Scout "Cookie Kick-Off" event to start cookie sales. Boxes of cookies should be at our house soon, so if you want some, please let me know! The less we eat and buy, the better :).
This weekend, we-did-nothing. Nada. Well, we did go to the commissary for groceries, and eat at Pizza Hut-but that was it. We all have been computer game junkies lately. It's very pathetic. I have been trying those hidden object games, like Madame Fate, and it's too addictive. The kids can do the searches as well. Ashlyn and I were also playing the new Diner Dash and Dress Shop Hop. Winter douldrums has set in. Spring had better come soon, before our eyes and hands are permanently attached to the computer.

This is what has made my week

These are several things that have made me happy lately :). This is the smiling face that greets me in the morning after sleeping all night. Sometimes he starts jumping and hits his head on the toy at the end of the crib! And these are the flowers that I bought on base for $12.00!! (for both bunches). They have lasted almost 2 weeks. When I told DH how much they cost, he commented that the same roses would be 5x that amount in February. I guess that answers my next question that I had for him :O. Since these roses have wilted, I have replaced them with some white tulips. I like this time of year when tulips are so easy to find.