Sunday, September 30, 2007

More than you wanted to know about our house!

Some of you my find this post really boring. Sorry. I'm mainly posting this to show mine and Matt's parents so they can see how we are living. It is hard for them, as well as us, as you could imagine. I know the slide show is really long...

I took pictures of every room. We are still awaiting furniture in the living room therefore, the living room/dining room have yet to be decorated. I am hoping it comes in within the next 2 weeks!

The biggest downfall of the house is the kitchen. There is a very small refrigerator built into the cabinets. This is very common in the German culture. They go to the market pretty much daily to get what they need. They don't buy in bulk like we do back home. The Air Force provides us with a very basic refrigerator/freezer which you can see in the picture. Of course, we can't bring our own refrigerator due to the different voltage requirements. We would blow ours up! This also causes us to have to plug various appliances into transformers so that we can use them. Its pretty easy though. The cabinets themselves are very few in number and are quite cheap looking. There is no dishwasher, which would be ok. However, there is not even a full size sink! We have adjusted and that is actually going fine. The biggest thing I miss is a garbage disposal. Who knew I used one so much!!! Matt had the bright idea of making a kitchen island. So, we headed out and found two pieces of duplicate furniture and backed them up one to another. Matt bolted them together and we covered the top to protect the wood and taa...daa... we have a kitchen island and a little more storage space!

Now, lets move on to some things I like! It is definitely the most spacious house we have had. The hallways are very wide and its mostly tile throughout. I love that it is 2 story. We can tell the kids - well, the boys, to stay downstairs. There are no closets, so I guess thats another downfall. However, the military issues you wardrobes of which we put the majority into one room and call it our walk in closet, ha..ha. Seriously, we have gotten rid of a lot of clothes due to such limited hanging space. They are all stuffed full of clothes and such! When you start thinking about all your coats alone (for a family of 5) you can easily fill up more than one wardrobe. We have managed though and it is really not that big of a deal. Let's see... the kids rooms are very big. Actually, they are as big as mine and Matt's room with the exception of Jordyn's which is a little smaller.

The laundry room. Ahh... this must be my favorite room. I've never had a sink in my laundry room so I absolutely love this. It's big and spacious and I can leave the ironing board up, hang clothes, have tables for folding, sorting laundry baskets and more... :-) I am going to enjoy every minute of this room. I don't even mind doing the laundry! I do still despise putting it up, however. lol

The pictures of the heating oil room is a large room with two tall - about 6 foot tanks. This provides the heat for the house and water. You'll notice in the pictures the white radiators on the walls. I don't know how, but these actually put out a lot of heat! I was a little worried at first, but we have already tested them out. We have already had the tanks - 1/2 filled. It cost about $1500. We are projecting to have to fill them again in Feb/March so it is quite expensive! We don't have a heating bill, but the yearly costs is much higher than what we are used to. Oh - and the bathrooms are heated through the floor. It feels really nice and cozy!

I realize this is probably more than you ever wanted to know. I find it all interesting and thought some of you might to. Others of you probably wish you would have skipped the whole post. LOL

Sunday, September 23, 2007

She's Walking

She's been doing a little bit of walking the last 2 weeks. It was a few steps with mostly crawling... but now it is mostly walking with a little bit of crawling! Enjoy.

Good Times? Good times!

Well, another week has come and gone. They seem to fly by so quickly! Since I've last blogged, we have visited Berncastel and Mandersheid.

Berncastel was a lot of fun. We actually went on a Sunday afternoon so some of the shops were closed. However, since its a tourist town, some were actually open. There were lots of people sitting around eating and watching the scenery. We watched a band play and entertain the crowd and watched the people go by. The scenery was beautiful and when we got there, Landen decided to do his imitation of Nana. You can see in the picture above him clutching his chest, and he says "who is this?" In a girly voice he proceeds to say "Oh, its gorgeous... I can't believe it... isn't it beautiful?" LOL He's done it a few times - its pretty funny. I need to get it on video.

Our visit to Mandersheid was on a whim. Jordyn has NOT been very good lately - especially the last two days. She has a high pitched scream, which I must admit is at a decibel we are not accustomed too! We can't figure out what her problem is. She has decided not to take naps and promptly empties her entire bed of stuffed animals and paci's to the floor. Then, screams like she is being hurt until somebody rescues her. This is why we ended up in the car at 4:00 just to go "somewhere!" It turned out that the old ruined castle was closed, but we got to run around a nice park area with a gorgeous creek. Landen decided to take his shoes off and cross the creek on the rocks. So, of course little brother has to be like big brother. He takes his shoes off, takes two steps across and yes, down he goes. His jeans are soaked and half of his shirt. He was actually a really good sport about it and after crying about a minute, he said, "Can I do it again, mommy? I won't cry this time!!" Boys will be boys. The next time across, he held daddy's hand. We spent the rest of the time letting the boys run around the field and explore in the woods.

If any of you have any questions about Germany, let me know. I really don't know that I'm being all that informative. I can certainly find out the answer if I haven't figured it out myself. I have a friend here who grew up in Germany and now is stationed here with her husband. She speaks fluent German which is nice. I ask her questions all the time!! I don't want her to move, but they are headed out in June.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

2, 4, 6.....8?

Jordyn has 2 teeth, took 4 steps on Wednesday, 6 steps yesterday - and we're waiting on 8! It has been a big week to say the least. Bomb scares, ear infections (Landen), you name it.

As many of you heard, there was a bomb scare at our base. Matt has been extremely busy, but things have finally died down and I think we are all going to live! September 10th and 11th were very long days for all of us. Landen didn't get to go outside for recess - they had "rainy" day recess even though it was beautiful. There were Polizei EVERYWHERE and CNN crews/Fox News/ etc were posted right outside the gates! It was a little scary, but all is well now. God is good.

I'm making a slide show of a walk around our neighborhood. You'll get the idea of where we live. It is very rural and the Air Force Base can be seen in the distance. There are LOTS of bike and walking trails everywhere. They are paving our street we live on, so its kind of a mess by our house right now. Hopefully, they will be finished sometime soon. We are having to park down the block and with 3 kids and trying to carry groceries and such - it is NOT to fun. It will be much better when we have the driveway again. The neighbors are all VERY nice and the majority speak some English.

The landscape is very hilly with lots of apple trees, pear trees, vineyards, corn (which I didn't expect), and animals. The roads are very curvy in places and you have to drive really slowly. Its not good for people who get car sick! The autobahns are really not too scary. They are like a typical highway without much of a shoulder and there is a speed limit in a lot of areas. Outside cities (where there is no speed limit) it is common to have some cars whiz by you like a bolt of lightning, but you get used to it. I always thought the autobahn was one particular road in Germany. I didn't realize that autobahns are everywhere and its basically the equivalent of our interstates in the states.

I've also added some new pictures to the Cochem slide show. So, if you're interested scroll down the slide show and watch it again. We went back yesterday and I got some better pictures - the weather was beautiful! It was a LONG walk up there with 3 kids - (are we there yet? how much further? my legs hurt!) but we made it. Jordyn was quite vocal throughout the entire tour (of which we couldn't understand b/c it was in German) but we managed. They did give us an English translation sheet that we could read. All in all, it was a day of fun. We walked back down after the tour and ate a bratwurst for lunch and ended with a nice delicious pastry! Very healthy. :-)

Friday, September 7, 2007

1 more month until...

Jordyn turns 1 year old. She was 11 months old as of yesterday, so I am writing my usual monthly post about her. I can't believe she is no longer considered a baby as of one more month. To be honest, it makes me quite sad.

Jordyn - here is what you are doing these days. Still, no teeth. You bite, you drool, we can see where they are coming, but no teeth. Poor little thing. You take two naps a day - usually one short one and one a little longer. You still sleep all night long and we usually don't hear much from you until the morning. You are enjoying eating all kinds of new things and are not to excited about your plain old baby food anymore. You especially love a grilled cheese sandwich, yummy! You like to pass your time by pulling out drawers and emptying them. You also enjoy some good hair pulling and bugging your brothers. Looking down the stairwell while holding onto the gates is another fun thing and you also LOVE a good game of peek a boo and hand clapping. You babble like crazy, but really aren't saying any new words other than Momma, Daddy, night-night, bye-bye, and there. Well, you probably are but we can't quite interpret them yet.. You have adjusted really well to your new house. We have weaned you down to 2 bottles a day. The afternoon bottle just went this week and you really aren't that happy about it, but you are surviving. So far, you're not just wild about the taste of real milk. You'll get there - I have faith! You are letting go of furniture more and more and standing alone. You will also cross from one piece of furniture to another now - even if you have to let go a little. You are showing more interest in wanting to walk while holding someones hand now. Yet, your best way of being mobile is still crawling. One last thing, you know how to pitch a little fit. You enjoy doing this when you are strapped down into a high chair when we are out to eat. You also exhibit this behavior while crawling around the floor at a fast pace and screaming at the top of your lungs. You then sit down and shake your hands back and forth while yelling. I need to get this on video! I see a glimpse of the boys in you, lol.

On another note, my eyes have been opened to the number of people who read blogs. I have added some links to other friends of mine who I have recently realized have a blog themselves. Most of these people are friends who I grew up in church with. Thank you for all of your comments and I am trying to catch back up with all of you while reading all your old posts. I really enjoy seeing where everyone is and how they live their life. Thank you for contacting me and leaving messages. Some of you are very impressive and creative writers (unlike me!)

One last thing, and I'll close. My mother had surgery on her shoulder today. Please pray she'll have a speedy recovery and heal soon. I know there is a lot of physical therapy involved afterward. We love you, mom. Dad will take good care of you. :-)I wish I was there to give you a hug.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Our Trip to Cochem - In the rain!

On Monday, we drove to the gorgeous village of Cochem. It is a curvy drive from Herforst toward Frankfurt that took just under an hour. We will definitely be visiting again. We went with the intention to tour the castle, however the weather didn't really cooperate. Instead, we drove around, looked at the castle, ate lunch in our car and walked along the shopping area under our umbrellas in the pouring rain! The kids all enjoyed the rain, but were very disappointed we didn't get to go on the tour. We have promised them we will go back in the next week or two when the weather is prettier. You have to hike up a hill to get to the castle itself, and it wasn't going to be fun in the rain. And, when I say rain, I mean LOTS OF RAIN and FOG! Anyway, the village had lots of great shops and sidewalk cafe's. People were still out and about and the flowers everywhere were gorgeous. We also got to hear the bells chime in the center of the shopping area.

Oh - I got to experience the bathroom paying. Yes, for those of you who haven't traveled abroad, it is very common to pay to use the public restroom. In this case, it was .30 euro. A man was standing there (just inside the ladies room) and you pay, then head into the stall. When you are finished, he checks the stalls and cleans them. Very interesting, huh? Good thing is that they are fairly clean. This particular one was quite old, but kept.

I'm posting a slide show. Hope you enjoy!