Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Poor Dollar

It's not looking good for the dollar. Great timing for us :( Our travels are getting more and more expensive by the minute!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Taxes & Books - sound exciting?

Well, I just e-filed our tax return so I hope I didn't make any errors. It always makes me nervous when I hit that little button. My sister reminded me that I can always amend it if I need to, but I definitely don't want to deal with that. In case you are wondering, yes we are receiving a refund so I'm happy!

On another exciting note, lets talk books. Anyone read any good ones lately? I have always liked to read an occasional book, but seem to have a hard time starting new ones. Things changed once we moved here and Matt and I have taken to reading. Lots of it! I think it is mostly due to our lack of television shows over here. I've already lost count of how many I've read in the last few months and am searching for new ones that I might be interested in.

I like "light" easy, romantic reading. Nothing that makes me REALLY have to think. I love Nicholas Sparks books and have read most of them. I loved "The Pilots Wife" and the Sophia Kinsella "Shopaholic" series, along with John Grisham (haven't read any recent ones of his). I also like an occasional mystery for something different. I very rarely read biographies or nonfiction, but I'm open to suggestions. I just finished "Dear John" and "Celebrity Detox" which I had gotten for Christmas.

Anyone have any good suggestions for me? Oh, I've also ordered "Eat, Pray, Love." I'll let you know if I like it.

Get busy on your taxes if you haven't already!! April 15 is just around the corner.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Travel With the 3 Stooges

I've gotten a lot of comments on our ability to travel with three small children. Well, two small children and an 8 (almost 9) year old. I wanted to address this.....

While it may appear that we have a grand ole' time and no big problems on all of our journeys, this is not always the case. Matt and I are very compatible when it comes to traveling and being prompt. I think this is an important thing to see eye to eye on as it is one of mine (and his) pet peeves. If we say we are leaving the house at 9:00 am.... we are usually pulling out of the driveway w/in 5 minutes of our goal - usually early. We find this is best accomplished by one word: preparation. This means the night before departure is work, work, work. I'm talking all the way down to the shoes and coats being lined up by the door, kids clothes laid out, diaper bag & snacks packed, game boys charged, GPS loaded, etc. Back to traveling... we usually get gone as we intended. However, it is not without its hitches.

Some trips are quite pleasant, and others not so much. We do have a tv in our car to aide in "child" entertainment. We have also discovered the boys can play their "plug n' play" games to pass the time away and Jordyn enjoys Baby Einstein movies. Of course, as soon as we get in the car at least one child is hungry, one wants to know how much longer, and one has to pee or has a dirty diaper.

After a few stops for various reasons, we make it to our destination and then the race is on. Matt and I are all about timing and if you have kids, you know what I mean. You hit the restaurants EARLY - like as soon as they open for lunch/dinner. Once everyone has a full belly (and someone spills a drink or doesn't like their food) its time to hit the main attraction - whatever that may be. Now, keep in mind, seeing the main attraction is a very abbreviated version. It's not like Matt and I can head into the various shops (as we salivate through the windows at all the clothes and shoes.) In guided tour places, we can't just take a tour and learn all the history (not that I'm terribly interested) and detail of the castle, wall, or church. Instead, we get a glimpse of what it looks like, take a few pictures, and run out of the place before one of the kids decide to jump over the wall or start throwing a temper tantrum.

While strolling, we see people who think the kids are oh so sweet. You know, the sweet little elders who goo and gaa and smile at you. Then, we meet MANY who have a different opinion. We get rolling of eyes and looks of disgusts when one of the children decides to take a 90 degree turn out of the blue, falls down on his "heelies", or begins throwing everything possible out of the stroller. We also have to let the little one stretch her legs and walk a bit which is hard, but she is learning to hold our hand.

So, the choice is ours. We either choose to go and see all these beautiful sites with the kids, or we don't. It's simple. Matt and I know that we will probably never have this opportunity again and the kids won't remember hardly a thing. But, we don't want to have regrets, so we choose to put ourselves through a little torture in order to explore. We figure if we come back all in one piece and we are still speaking to each other when we pull into the driveway, we've had a successful excursion. Some turn out to be more fun than others, but they are ALL an adventure.

With all that being said, our latest trip was to Koln, Germany. It is known for it's gothic cathedral which is something else. If you're interested: go to . During WWII, it was the only structure in Koln left standing and untouched and it was completed over a period of 600+ years. We didn't get to climb the spiraling staircase to the top, or stroll around for long, but we got to buy a 1 Euro pamphlet to read in the car on the way home and see with our own eyes the highlights. It was GORGEOUS. I can't even put it into words. I normally don't take pictures in church's but people were snapping them right and left, so I decided to snatch a few for myself. Breathtaking.... Here are a few:

So, no matter where you live, how many kids you have, how much money you make, or what you do... Get out there and explore the world around you. The world has a lot to offer and we are only here for a little while before God decides to bring us home. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom & Pops!

I just wanted to say a special Happy Birthday to my mom on her special "milestone" birthday. We won't mention how old she is, for fear she might call and scold me. Let's just say, she doesn't look a day over 45 :) I hope I look as good as she does when I hit 60! Oops. Sorry mom. Somehow, I'm not sure I will considering I think I already have more gray hair than she does. Here's a picture of my parents with Jordyn before we left AR this summer. Aren't they cute?

Also, Pops (Matt's Dad) birthday is tomorrow, so a big Happy Birthday to him as well. Can you tell that the majority of our family birthdays occur close together? Strange how that happens when you have 365 days of the year to choose from.

Happy Birthday, Grammy & Pops! We miss you and love you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Monday, February 11, 2008

Nuthin' Much

There's not a lot here to report. We're just getting back into our normal swing of things. Let's see... I'm posting a few pictures of Landen playing basketball. He's really having a lot of fun and enjoying it. He got to bump up to the 9 - 10 year old league which has been much better than the 7-8 year old league we started in. We should have put him there in the first place, but since he hadn't played in a couple of years we weren't sure. Plus, he'll be 9 in just a couple of months. The games are low scoring and Landen's team is 3 - 1 right now. They only have two games left and that will be the end of the season. 6 games and we're done - they don't mess around over here. We would like a few more games and they have plenty of teams, but we'll just have to take what we can get the next few years. I suppose we have plenty of time for "long" seasons ahead of us.

On another note, Jordyn has been rather cranky this last week. She's waking up in the night, fussy and waking up early in the morning crying. Of course, I'm continually giving her a hard time about why she's being so fussy and giving her pep talks. Well, I finally figured out she was cutting 3 teeth. Poor thing... so, I was a little more understanding of her night wakings. Then, 2 days ago I was tickling her and guess what else I see.... 4 more teeth that are breaking through! Yes, molars. She's been breaking 7 teeth at the same time and boy did I feel like a bad mom. No tylenol/motrin or anything.... sorry Jordyn! I get mother of the year, huh?

That's all from here. I've got to make a phone call so I better close. I've also got my usual 50 loads of laundry to get to work on.

Happy Birthday to one of my best friends - Mitzi!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


"I have boobies. hee, hee, hee. Wanna take my picture? Don't tell dad."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl Monday?

Yep. Monday. We celebrated the annual Super Bowl a little differently this year. The kick off was set for 12:17 am our time. Matt and I just didn't think we could manage to stay up until 4:00 am watching a football game, so we had to change our usual celebration up a little this year. Fortunately, the military in Europe got a "report late to work" day this morning. Yes, simply because of the Super Bowl. They broadcast it live on the base on big screens and through the AFN (which is our cable of about 12 whole channels over here) and then everyone got to go home and sleep in before they went to work. The schools were also closed for "conference day." Instead of staying up all night, we chose to record the game on our DVR through our Sky TV, which is basically British Cable that we get on one TV in the house. Yes, one tv. Before we went to bed last night, we turned off the computer and made sure not to answer any phone calls so we wouldn't know the outcome of the game. We then got up this morning and had a Super Bowl Breakfast!!!! It consisted of eggs, bacon, sausage, french bread pudding casserole, fruit, bagels, blueberry muffins, and of course - m&m's AND gummy bears! After the game was over, Matt was off to work. It was definitely a different experience for us and one we will be practicing the next couple of years. Hope you had fun at your Super Bowl. Go Giants!