Sunday, July 26, 2009

Almost A Week Into It

Tomorrow will be a week since James left. We have survived the first week of many, many more. I managed to mow the lawn yesterday while the girls played safely in the fenced in patio. The girls seem to be doing ok except for today. Aubrey woke me up at 3:30 this morning with a 101.7 fever. I gave her some Childrens Tylenol and some juice and we went back to sleep. She is still running a fever and has even taken a nap today. We are on the 3rd dose to tylenol and I am hoping the fever starts coming down soon. Lolo has decided that she wants to climb on everything then scream when she can't get down. I have been running all over the house trying to keep her off of things with minimal success. Lolo has also been fighting off nap time. The other day I found her passed out on the floor by the couch laying on a pillow with her butt up in the air. I am amazed that kids really can sleep anywhere. I was working on a scrapbook layout yesterday and the girls managed to grab the picture before it was completely finished printing so they have been sharing a picture of their daddy for the past 24 hours. We even made James a quick little video last night using our webcam. I had to download the new software for the camera and we were good to go. I love being able to send little snippets of the girls to James.

This is just a quick little post today as I should be getting some other things done. I just wanted to add a few pictures from this past week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mini Album

It has been such a long time since I worked on anything scrapbook related. I have really missed my creative outlet but life (and a little laziness) has gotten in the way. I got my butt in gear so I could make James a mini album before he deployed. I try to send him with lots of pictures so I just put them into an album this time. The album came together rather quckly as I didn't use any bulky embellishments and limited all the stuff that I added to the pages. I am really happy with the way it came out.

I now realize how much I actually miss sitting with all my supplies. I am so glad I have a small space that I share with the girls that I can use to create my projects. It has really made the process much faster and easier to find things now that I have it all unpacked and at my fingertips. The only drawback is that my official spider killer is now dealing with much creepier things in Iraq. James told me that sucking spiders up in the vaccum cleaner does not kill them and now I have some serious Arachnophobia flashbacks every single time I think of it. Dang spiders. Go. Away. Now.

I always seem to digress....thanks for looking at my project. The chipboard album is from Little Yellow Bicycle. The patterned paper is from Cosmo Cricket and Basic Grey. The plain cardstock is from Bazzil Basics and the ribbon is from JoAnns and Maya Road. I used the Fiskars Threading Water punch for the small scallop borders.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today Is The Day....

Today is the day I have been dreading for a year. James left for yet another deployment to the Middle East this morning. These deployments have been getting closer together for him and I just wish the girls and I could keep him to ourselves for longer than 15 months at a time. Since we have been here James has been working long hours to prepare for an inspection, covering the workload for a boss who was deployed and then moved months before the new boss arrived. His time at home has been limited.

I should know how this all works because I was active duty not too long ago. But does being away from your husband ever get easier? I know I miss James every single day he is gone. I certainly enjoy sharing the parenting duties but now I will have to do them by myself. I am most worried about keeping his memory fresh for the girls. I am not going to whine any longer. I am not the first military wife left behind and I certainly won't be the last.
I made a paper chain that we will use to count down James' return. Every week we will rip off a link until they are all gone. I hope this little activity will help Aubrey understand when Daddy will be home again.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's Been A Year!

It has been a year since we moved to Germany and I thought I would make a little list of the things I have learned since our arrival. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Old ladies do not like to lock the doors in public restrooms...obviously I have found this out the hard way and more than once.
2. Schinken does not mean Chicken.
3. Just because Germans drive on the Autobahn does not mean they are good drivers...heavy on the gas and hard on the brakes.
4. There is road work supposedly being done every where...I say supposedly because I hardly see anyone working.
5. Why is schnitzel not popular in the States? You can never go wrong with schnitzel and fries.
6. Do not eat the tomato sauce...I would rather eat tomato paste straight from a can.
7. We have the slowest Internet connection just hasn't made its way 5 km outside of a large town.
8. IKEA is great no matter when you live.
9. Getting a coffee to go is pretty damn difficult. I miss grabbing Starbucks before hitting the road.
10. German Eis is way better than American Ice Cream. It is so much creamier here.
11. Motorcycle riders are covered from head to toe in protective gear but you can't find a shopping cart or high chair with a safety strap.

There is much more but it is late and my brain is ready to shut down. Look for more lessons learned in a future blog post.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I *heart* Photo Editing

I am taking a photo editing class over at and I love it! I have had Photoshop Elements 7 for a couple of months ago but haven't really used it. This program has a pretty high learning curve so I jumped at the chance to take a free class from Jessica. I have learned several techniques already and we still have a week left of the class. Anyways, I used several techniques and edited this photo of my grandpa. I really love the way it turned out! I am so excited to be able to take my pictures and modify them to make them look awesome.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Weekend in Berlin

Berlin is huge! There is so much to see and we hardly saw any of it. On Friday we wanted to stop in Potsdam and tour the grounds of Sans Souci Palace but the skies were looking very ominous with a rain storm so we passed on spending our tour soaking wet (we did this in Munich and will probably never try to attempt sightseeing in the pouring rain ever again). So we drove to our hotel in East Berlin. We took a quick walk around Weissensee Lake and had a nice dinner at a local restaurant.

Saturday morning we were up early and ready to hit the public transportation to get to Zoo Berlin. Aubrey really enjoyed herself, she walked most of the zoo, and we had a hard time keeping Lolo contained in her stroller so she spent just as much time walking. They were both pooped by the time we got out of there. We ended spending over 4 hours there with just a quick stop for lunch. The highlight for me was a little petting zoo area that we went into armed with food pellets that we bought for 0.10 euro! The little goats were aggressive so we really had to watch the girls. They were not mean, just all over you to get the food. I had one goat hit me with his hoof to get more. Aubrey wasn't sure what to think of the goats but did try to feed them. It was cute. Lolo was safely strapped into her stroller for this and enjoyed watching all the animals at her eye level and so very close to her.

After the zoo we walked down to Ka De We, Germany's largest department store. We passed by a church that was bombed at the end of WWII and as they started rebuilding it was decided to leave part of the church there. Let me add that by this point in time my right contact lens was causing me some serious pain. My eye had been watering through most of the zoo and by the time we left I could hardly see a thing! 95% of the time I carry my glasses and lens solution with me on the chance that I may want to switch but that morning I left them sitting in the hotel bathroom and boy did I regret that. My make up was totally off of the right eye but perfect on the left. So the first thing we did was find the bathroom and I tried rinsing my lens with my eye drops and putting it back in...this was unsuccessful! So I gave up, put the lens back in and attempted to wash my left eye make up off. Grrrr! Lesson learned - ALWAYS bring my glasses just in case I need them.

Anyways, back to Ka De We! What an amazing store that I could never, ever in a million years afford to shop at. We did spend time on the 6th floor which is where all the food is. They had so much stuff there. Wine, liquor, pastries, meat, fish, chocolate! We bought a bottle of my all-time favorite wine, EVER. Period. Nothing tops this in my opinion. Eroica Riesling from the Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen. This is a wine from Washington state that I tried several years ago when James and I did a wine tasting at the winery and I purchased a bottle immediately. As far as wines go this one is a little pricey, especially when the winery sells their Reisling at around $8 a bottle and this one was $25. We were totally surprised to see the wine there and even more surprised to see that it was priced at 29.95 euro. If the dollar and the euro were 1 for 1 then this would be a great price but the dollar stinks compared to the euro right now. We did get the wine and it is in my fridge waiting to be consumed as we speak. I was surprised James decided we could get the wine and I totally think he felt bad for me and my pathically red eye.

We initially planned on going to a museum on Sunday morning but decided against it due to the long drive we had ahead of us. We did drive past the Brandenburg Gate but didn't get out as parking was difficult and there were a ton of people there. We will save that for our next visit to Berlin. We will be going back as there is so much to see and do.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Little Bit of This and That

It has been awhile since my last blog and that is just plain laziness on my part so this entry will probably be a little random. Here we go...Lolo is quite the walker now and along with that has come an intense independent streak! She had a melt down last weekend while we were at Ramstein because I wanted to hold her hand while she walked to help steer her out of the way of others. It was embarassing for me! But she never crawls anymore and loves being able to get around so much better than before. I am so proud of her!

When we returned from Salzburg I wanted to take some pictures of the girls all dressed up since we haven't had any really nice pictures taken since we left the states last year. I should have learned from the Christmas card photo attempts last year that we just can't get good photos of the girls together. Either way, they were both cute but just wouldn't work with me or James on this. We only got 1 really good picture of Lorelei and 1 not too bad picture of Aubrey and Lolo together.

We went to Ramstein last Friday so James could get a couple of things signed off for his deployment and then went to Spangdalhem Air Force Base for the weekend. The bases are close together and Spang has really nice TLF rooms. We have stayed there before. Anyways, we took a drive into Luxembourg so James could check out a castle he wanted to see and then drove back into Germany and spent the afternoon in Trier. There was a music festival of sorts going on and there were alot of people but we took our time and walked to the important sites. The highlight of the city for us was St. Peter's Cathedral which is the oldest Christian church in Germany. The interior was amazingly beautiful. By far the most beautiful church we have seen here. The photos we took do not do this magnificent place any justice!

I hope everyone has a very fun and safe 4th of July a big piece of fresh, sweet watermelon for me!