Thursday, December 20, 2007

Trier - Christmas Market

Here's a slide show of the pictures from the Trier Christmas Market. The pictures are hard to see, but if you put the cursor on top of them it lightens them up a little bit. You can also double click on them and they will appear a little clearer and bigger at The market was incredible and crowded with lots of people. We didn't get to buy anything because we couldn't manage to get up to the booths, but we at least got to see what it's about. Next year, we will go during the day and in the middle of the week so it's not so crowded. There were lights, toys, souveneirs, and lots of new food to try out (although Jordyn had a melt down at the end and we had to leave so we didn't really get to sample any.) It was very cold as you can see we were all bundled up. I had taken pictures of the Porta Negra , but evidently they didn't turn out to well. We'll have to catch it in the daylight.

I can't believe Christmas is approaching so quickly. We've had lots of festivities and will have another kids party to attend tomorrow. We're looking forward to Nana and Pop visiting after Christmas! It will be nice to have some family around - even if only for a short time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jordyn's Favorite Things To Do...

I haven't reported much of Jordyn lately, so I thought I would catch you up on how she likes to spend her time these days. I'll explain a few of them...

She enjoys twirling what little bit of hair she has and yes, sucking on her paci 24 hrs a days. She calls it ni ni which I think is night, night so we are a little confused.

The next pictures are her playing with her toys. Yes, cars and balls seem to win out. So much for my vision of baby dolls and barbies! I'm still going to try, don't worry. I'll eventually brain wash her.... I know, with 2 big brothers, probably not.

She enjoys cleaning out mommy's kitchen cabinet whenever we are in the kitchen. Along with standing on her head - hey, maybe she'll like gymnastics!

The next two are of her getting in mommy's desk (which desperately needs to be cleaned out.) And then, the aftermath of being told no. I didn't get a picture of this, but she ever so carefully will lay herself down on the floor, with her head being the last and easiest thing to hit. Then, she'll scream for a minute or two until she is done. I really need to get that on video.

Let's see... oh yes, she loves getting into my drawers in the bathroom or pulling everything out of my purse. On this occasion, she found lipstick. Good girl. :)

This last one is of her climbing the stairs. She usually crawls up them, however recently she has decided she is a big girl and she can walk up them. Yes, it's scary. There's much more I could tell (like she loves to use the broom, help me load and unload the washer and dryer, eat and give out LOTS of hugs and wet kisses) but that will do for now.

I don't want to leave the boys out. They got to go see the Globetrotters last week with daddy! They stood in the rain in a mile long line for an hour before it began. They had to sit on the floor, but they didn't mind because a lot of people were turned away.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Elf Yourself

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Knock, knock....anyone home?

Friday, 3:00pm: doorbell rings. I answer to a man standing there asking me if my house number is 2 (in German), which it is. I answer yes and stare at him with a blank face. He goes back to his car, gets his phone and stands at my door talking to the person at the other end of the line. Keep in mind, I have NO IDEA who this is. It is 27 degrees outside and I'm holding a baby standing there with my door wide open while he chats. Eventually, he hands the phone to me along with a sheet of paper. He is a collector saying I owe 354.60 Euro to RWE the electric company and he wants it now or he's cutting off our electricity! Keep in mind this is about $537.00 USD. My jaw drops and I explain there must be some misunderstanding. I eventually talk the lady into giving me until the next morning to get it taken care of. (Long story short, we jump in our car and head to the bank where our automatic allotment has been coming out every month to RWE and they are closed. We head back the next morning and RWE is closed. So, out of fear, we pay the full $537 which includes a collection fee to assure ourselves we are not without electricity for the weekend!) $1000 bucks later - we had electricity all weekend and find out our money has been going to the wrong account. YEAH! We could have told you that :-) The kinks are still being worked out.

Friday, 6:30pm: knock, knock, knock... (ok, actually the doorbell again). This time, two German police. Hallo?! Spreakin si English? one did thank goodness. They were inquiring about our mystery neighbor across the street who we haven't seen for quite sometime. We have deduced he is getting divorced and has a girlfriend on the side who picks him up because he no longer parks his car in the driveway. This is all the Rowland theory of course.... I told the police I had not seen him, but his trashcan was put out on Tuesday (which I only noticed b/c trash didn't come until Thursday). Wonder what he did???!!!! My doors are locked. He seemed fairly friendly. lol

Sunday, 7:30pm: ding, dong.... Hallo! Our German neighbor (very nice family) says he's sorry to bother us so late, but our trampoline is blowing away and it is dangerous. Yikes! We look outside and low and behold it is seriously flying away - like upside down in the drain ditch on the other side of the yard about to roll into the street and smash out some windows in somebody's house! Guess we should have had that anchored down, lol.

To sum it up: I'm not answering my door anymore.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Baby Boy Joshua

Well, he was born yesterday weighing in at 2lbs 1oz at 26 weeks along. I know many of you already know this, but I am just waking up to the news. He will have to stay in NICU for the next few months and this period is critical for him. From what I understand, Jennifer had a few problems, but is doing ok now. Please continue to pray for them. Congratulations Scott & Jennifer!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Scott & Jennifer

Please see below for an email I received regarding Scott and Jennifer:

Dear Prayer Partners,
> Jennifer has been admitted to University Hospital in Little Rock due to
> complications. She is having some contractions and there is concern that
> the hematoma might burst. The doctors are trying to stop the labor.
> Please
> pray that the contractions will stop and that she will be able to make it
> at
> least 4 more weeks. She is in her 26th week of pregnancy.
> We know God has them in His hands and has already answered our prayers in
> a
> miraculous way. We believe He has great plans for this baby. Please keep
> praying.
> Neal

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kudos to the Germans!

Guten Tag :-)

I must pay tribute to all the Germans out there who speak English. To Matt and mines amazement, there are English speaking Germans pretty much everywhere you go. I did not expect this, nor have I ever heard this before coming over here. It doesn't matter if you go to a small little grocery store, a big market, talk to the postman, or your next door neighbor...... a very high percentage of them can understand you. The extent of our knowledge of German is so minimal:

Sprekin si English?

...well, you get the idea. We know more words than that and have picked up a lot, but it still doesn't even compare. When you ask them if they know English, the most standard answer is "a little bit." Their "a little bit" and my "a little bit" are two totally different things. If they truly don't know much, we use hand signs and gestures and we usually get through it. Its a little intimidating at first, but you get used to it and just learn to laugh.

I just wanted to commend the Deutsch on their ability to know more than one language well enough to speak it. I realize that English is the universal language, yet I still am very impressed. On one note, I'm a little sad because I thought we would be forced to pick up some German. They cater to us so well, we don't really have to. In fact, some of them really enjoy "practicing" their English on us! One more interesting tidbit on this subject is that they listen to English growing up on the radio. I thought we would have one station to listen to over here, but there are many to chose from. They speak German while introducing the song, with a little English thrown in here and there. I assume this is how most of the younger crowd learn to speak English so well, as well as from a few classes in school.... We usually head to a young tyke if we need some help in translation and they usually can help us out!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nederland aka Netherlands aka Holland

Well, lets see. I've been kind of slow posting, huh? I guess we've been busy. I'm not sure doing what though!

Last weekend, we headed into Holland (just the corner of it) for a few hours. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get there. We drove through Belgium to get to our destination and saw lots of run down and poor looking villages. Interesting. The landscape pretty much looks the same as it does here in Germany - maybe not quite as pretty. Thanks to our lady friend (the GPS!) we made it to our destination, found a parking spot and got out of the car. It was COLD. They must have had a festival or something the night before because there were clean up crews everywhere. Oh, and the number of peoples on bicycles was amazing. They were everywhere - lanes on the streets and intersections for them as well. There were huge "bicycle" parking areas too. People were dressed up and holding briefcases - riding their bikes in the cold. Most of them were very thin!

Anyway, we sat on a bench and ate our sandwiches, then headed down to the walkplatz (shopping district). It went on and on and on.... they were already decorating for Christmas and there were lots of people out and about. We saw lots of stores that we are used to seeing in America - Nike, Claire's, McDonald's, Timberlands, and more. Matt managed to buy a couple of sweaters at C&A, but that was all we got. Somehow, its hard to shop with three rugrats. lol Before we left, we visited a bookstore in a beautiful old church. Then, the boys got waffles w/ powdered sugar (nothing like gearing up for the ride home!) and off we went. Jordyn wasn't on her best behavior that day, but we managed.

Let's see... what else is there to report? Oh, I think I mentioned we got a little snow. Nothing really accumulated, but we got quite a bit off and on for about 2 days. I assume there is lots more to come. The highs have been 30, 34... but it is suppose to warm up into the 40's tomorrow and maybe even 50 next week. Woo hoo!!! So, all you enjoying (and complaining) about that nice 70 & 80 degree weather I'm hearing about - I'm jealous. I'm a sun girl!

One more thing - it sounds like the prayers are working for Scott and Jennifer!! They are in Little Rock now and things seem to be looking up for them. Believe it or not, they think the baby is ok now and is healed! :-) She's still on bed rest and has a mass, but the baby may not need surgery after all. God is good.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bet you thought you'd never see this!

Me either! Let's discuss things. When a girl grows up blonde, and then becomes a dull brown headed woman, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Highlight. So, I began asking around about where to get my hair done. I was told I basically have one option on base. Or, I could drive an hour and a half to Ramstein to a German lady who speaks English. Now, I'm sure there are very nice German salons around, but I for one am not going in one anytime soon. The Germans idea of highlighting is a little different than the American idea. They go more for the "chunky" look. So, back to the base. Before I make an appointment I begin hearing people say, don't go there! They got black dye in a blonde womans hair, among other comments. Now, what are my options? Home.

I've done the home kits before, but only with my little sister. In fact, when we started, Landen said, "We need Terri here!" It's true. But I didn't think I could wait until next fall. My next best option at this point? Matt. To my delight, he agreed. :-) So, as we watched the Razorbacks lose on TV (our first game we actually got to see!), he highlighted my hair. Please pray for me Tuesday as I go get my haircut. lol

He did a great job. You know what? I think he actually kind of enjoyed it!!! Guess what, he'll probably get to do it again. And the best thing is, I'm blonde again - for a few months, anyway. Thank you, babe!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

It's Snowing!

Ok, so its not sticking, but it is snowing! I think this is the earliest I've ever seen snow. They are calling for it through out the day today and tomorrow, however it is melting as soon as it hits the ground. The kids are still excited. We are hoping to get a few good snows that the kids can actually build a snowman this year, but we'll have to wait and see. I'm told that last year they didn't get hardly any, but the year before that they got a lot!

That's all for now. I've got to get the kids snow boots ordered for the winter.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

More Halloween

Landen got 1st place in the costume contest for his age group. :-) He won $20! The rest of the evening was lots of fun, too. We ate at the club where they had games, candy, and contest (oh yeah, he won the hulla hoop contest too... he's so gifted, lol). We ended the night with trick or treating and the kids were worn out by the time we got home. Trick or treating on base was quite an experience. Yikes!!! Since Germans don't really trick or treat like we do in America, everyone has to go on base. Can we all say crowded??!! When we got home, we did have one knock on the door. It was four German trick or treaters... We opened the door and they said "sweet or sour".... we quickly found some candy and with a "cheers" off they went. Halloween is catching on in Germany!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Fun

This weekend consisted of several Halloween activities. To be honest, we usually don't have much Halloween activity at our house, other than the usual trick or treating on the actual day. However, this year, there was an office Halloween party so we all dressed up! We also went to the school carnival and there are more festivities to come this week.

Matt and I toyed and toyed with what to be. We even asked for suggestions (and got some good ones) from friends. One suggestion was Bill & Hillary. Matt and I (not that either one of us are huge Clinton fans) but we thought that would be easy and hey, we were from Arkansas. We could both throw on a suit and a mask and we would be set. So, we ordered our masks and they came in on Monday. Matt brought them home and I thought they looked great and incredibly real. Too real. Jordyn took one look and SCREAMED and SCREAMED and SCREAMED. She's definitely a republican!! We thought maybe she would get used to them, but no. That didn't happen.

So, we were on to plan B. At this late in the game, there is no time to order anything and get it on time. Since Germans don't celebrate Halloween like we do, the pickings are mighty slim. Just as a side note - we did find one costume store about 15 minutes away and the Germans do have a costume party that they celebrate in the month of February. Thats about the extent of my knowledge at this point. So, back to Matt and I. Oh yes. Plan B. Britney and K-Fed. It required no wig, and we could come up with enough stuff of our own to make it work. We did make a swing by the costume store and picked up a few things to set off our outfits which helped.

On our way to the Halloween party I told Matt it would be a cruel joke to play on us if nobody else dressed up! I'm paranoid like that and he is the boss and all. To our liking, the majority of the office were dressed up too. We had a great time, but I don't plan on dressing up again anytime soon. So, here are the pictures of ALL of us at our Halloween party. There will be more to come on Wednesday....

Before I close, if anyone is interested in the latest with Scott and Jennifer, please refer to the link at the right - The Whitsons. Becca is getting information faster and easier than I am so I have been checking her page every so often.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Update - Regarding Jennifer & Scott

From what I understand now, the so called "mass" that they thought was a possible tumor in Jennifer's uterus has turned out to be another baby who didn't make it. The other baby does still need the heart surgery and it is a fairly common procedure that can be corrected in womb. There is talk of her going to LR Children's hospital, but I'm not sure if all this information is completely accurate. Please continue to pray for them.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Have a good weekend...

It's getting cold here. Soccer has come to an end just in time for the cold to arrive. Great season, Landen! They were 5 - 2. I think Landen really learned a lot this year and had some very good coaches. He officially knows more about soccer than I do.

Prayer Request

I don't normally post a lot of request on this, and to be honest, I toyed with whether to post this or not, but felt I should. Matt and I grew up with some great friends in our church, Scott and Jennifer. Jennifer is pregnant with their 3rd son and is having some problems. From what I understand, there is some bleeding in the uterus and they have found problems with the baby's aorta. It needs to be operated on in womb. As if this wasn't enough, they have found a mass in or near (again, I'm sketchy on details) her uterus and they believe it to be some type of tumor. To further complicate matters, Scott and Jennifer are missionaries and are currently living in Africa. I don't know where or when she will be having surgery, but please keep them both in your prayers. I know it must be extremely difficult for them. Thank you.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You can't miss it...

Last weekend, we headed to Luxembourg, Luxembourg for our usual weekend adventure. I, for one, was in for a surprise. I didn't realize it was going to have such a large "city" feel. I was thinking we were heading to a mid size village for an afternoon stroll. WRONG! It was a city of large buildings and lots of people. Thank goodness we have a navigation system now. We also have learned to take Matt's small SUV instead of my giant Explorer. My car wouldn't be making it in most of the parking garages around these places. Its fine for where we live because its very rural, but we won't be driving it on any trips I'm sure. It screams - AMERICAN! lol Its easy to pick us out around here, that's for sure. Matt's a really good driver and doesn't get nervous. Me, not so much.

Anyway, we kept hearing of a big playground with a pirate ship and such so the kids were all excited. We were told "you can't miss it!" Well, guess what, you can. It took us about an hour and a half of walking around before we actually found the park. The kids were losing faith. We had been just a block from it a few times, yet we somehow didn't see it. We eventually found the tourists office and Matt headed inside (the rest of us watched a gay male couple make out.) He came back out with a map and off we went. The pirate ship had been found!! The kids played and Matt and I listened to all of the different languages being spoken. All of their signs are in French & English. We heard both being spoken, a little German, and a few others that I'm not sure of!

After playing for a while, we headed back to the food court, so to speak. Ahh!! Guess what we found? A Chi'Chi's mexican restaurant. We'll definitely be going back to check that out, but we'll have to save that for a later date. The kids were hungry and needed a snack. Of all the things to pick from, what do they want? McDonald's. Gotta love it. It was the most crowded of everything there and Matt stood in line while I entertained the kids. Matt and I opted for some candied almonds that a man was making in a booth next to McDonald's. They were expensive, yet warm and delicious.

After all was said and done, we found some bathrooms which is always quite a feat. Not only do you have to have change, you need the exact amount and even exact coin denomination in some cases. Sometimes it takes us two or three tries, lol. In and out, in and out of the bathroom... searching for just the right coin. This isn't going to be fun when Jordyn begins potty training. When ya gotta go, you gotta go. For now, it is fine. Back to the parking garage we went, found our car (which we occasionally lose as well) and back to our so called home in another foreign land.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

He shoots, he....

scores! Landen's soccer season is coming to a close. Today he managed to score 3 goals which was the most he's scored all season. He really plays his best and enjoys defense the most. His team is 6-1 which shows they have had a lot of good coaching. Good game, Landen.