Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Blog from Kuwait!

Come join in and read about our new travels in the Middle East.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Signing Off

We had a wonderful Christmas and I hope you did too. It's funny how all the hoopla takes weeks and weeks to prepare and then with one whoosh, it's finished. One thing about living overseas is that holidays are not long and drawn out. There's no hopping from family event to family event... it's just our house and we are done. Luckily, the Rowland's came for another Christmas visit this year and that gives us all something to look forward to. The kids always enjoy the 100% attention they always get from them. They don't hear the word "no" for a week and they love every minute of it!

While the Rowland's were here they took a little side trip to Rome. I don't have any of her pictures to share, but I must say they make me want to visit. We are planning a trip sometime this Spring, in between Matt's TDY's, school, and all the moving stuff we are starting to plan for. Italy is on my list though and I'm determined we are going to make it there. It will be our last big trip. Matt and I made another jetting trip to Amsterdam for New Year's Eve without the kids. The last 3 years we've been in Paris, London and Amsterdam! Wow! I never would have dreamed that when I was growing up. Well, for that matter even 5 years ago.

Wonder where we will be celebrating New Year's next year? For those of you that don't know, we are moving again this summer. This time, to Kuwait. I'm not joking. I'm not going to lie and say I love the idea and can't wait. However, I will say that I am glad our family will all stay together for the next 2 years, Matt won't deploy. We are supposed to have a nice house to live in and I'm looking forward to the warm weather and sunshine. It will be quite a change from here - dust storms, private schools, malls and restaurants that we are used to. It's not the US, that's for sure, but it's a modern country. I am ready to leave Germany, just wasn't planning on moving to Kuwait.

I know God has his hand in all this and I'm trying to accept it all. Luckily, my mom and aunt were here when Matt and I were having to discuss all this over the phone from Afghanistan. Frankly, I fell apart for a while. I was more than ready to come back to the states. These last few months though I have felt more at peace about it. It's only 2 years and that sounds so much better than 3 to me. Maybe I'll get some little job to pass the time... maybe I won't. One thing is for sure, I'll have a good tan year round!!

That being said, I think I'm officially taking a blog hiatus. I've not posted much for some time now and I'm gonna call it quits for now. My plan right now is to say goodbye and start a new blog once we are moved and settled into Kuwait in the Fall. We will leave here early summer, take another long visit to the states (I'm having knee surgery again, ick!) and then head to Kuwait on yet another long journey. I may do a couple of simple posts after we take our Italy trip and to any other tourist places we visit. But all in all, I'm done with this for now.

Thank you for reading... especially all 3 of you that leave comments now and then. I'll be sure to email you when I start a new blog on Middle East War Zone living, ha!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


She did it! I was so impressed. She told me she was going to and usually follows through with her word, but I wasn't quite sure about visiting Santa. The past couple of years she's screamed and wanted NOTHING to do with him. This year, we turned over a new leaf and successfully sat in his lap for a picture! I'm not sure what words were exchanged, but wish I could have heard her.

Obviously, he's not the best looking Santa. Hayden's immediate response upon seeing him was, "that's not the real Santa. He has a fake beard." True... so true. How can I argue with that? OH... I wish I were near a mall where there was a REAL Santa, but we just have to take what we can get around here. He was still a good sport.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our First Snow Of the Season!

It was 3 degrees outside this morning and now it's a toasty 7... brrrr!!! We did get a little snow though and had some fun in it this morning. We couldn't stay out long, but will head back out in a little while for some more fun. It really makes it feel like Christmas.
Let's see... Landen had his first band concert. It was really amazing to see what they had learned. I took some pictures but they really didn't turn out too well. I'll put one on here anyway. Hayden had fun at his school party and Jordyn made a Gingerbread House at her "school." We're waiting for the Rowland's to arrive this week and looking forward to a fun filled Christmas week. Tomorrow is a brunch with Santa. Jordyn says she'll sit in his lap, but we'll have to see if she follows through with that.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas week!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More Berlin

Guess I should have put more to come in a few weeks instead of a few days.

Well, here are some more pictures from our trip. I took a lot, and they honestly take forever to upload onto this blog so I only picked a few.... the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled Blanket off the balcony, and all the Berlin Bears. I ended up buying me a Berlin Bear for my curio cabinet. There were so many it was hard to choose which one (especially when there are four, I mean 3 children with you... ) As always, Matt had his GPS in tact and we only got a little turned around one time.

Overall it was a fun trip and I'm very glad we went. It was not my favorite trip of every place that we have been, but I didn't want to say we've lived in Germany for 3 years and not have visited Berlin. There was LOTS of graffiti... and it was just a typical German atmosphere. I guess we have lived here so long that part of the German culture is becoming second nature to us.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Berlin - Day Eins & Zwei

(At one of the Christmas Markets)

Yeah! I am posting from Berlin. The kids are all 3 fast asleep and Matt and I aren't getting much out of the German TV, so we are being entertained by the computer. Thankfully, he brought his laptop. It's funny to turn on the tv, see Blues Clues or reruns of sitcoms (John Belushi's last one but I can't think of the name of it) and it's all dubbed over in German voices. It just doesn't seem right... The kids don't seem to mind so much. (ok, so I didn't get this posted and I've been home for 3 days now... I tried!)

Anyway, back to Berlin! I'll have to take some pictures of the train ride on the way back because I failed to only take a couple on the way here. (I did!) It was expensive to take the train, but worth every penny in my opinion. The kids can stretch their legs and move around a little instead of being strapped in a seat belt. We didn't have to worry about where to stop for gas or where we would use the restroom. Speaking of restrooms, I did learn that it is much more difficult to use the bathroom on a train than in a plane. Just trust me. I'm glad I'm not a male! (And, we spent a gazillion euros on bathrooms in Berlin. Seriously! One trip cost us $7.50 after converting. I bet we spent $50 easy... enjoy your free restrooms, people!)

So, we got here and got to our apartment. It stated it sleeps 6, and well... it does. Two in the "living" room, 2 in the "kitchen" and 2 more in a side bedroom. It really works well for our set up of people and is much better than being crammed into a tiny hotel room. It's almost impossible to find rooms for 5 anyway. I'll get some pics of the outside tomorrow (can we say graffiti???) but I'll share a few of the inside tonight. Then we enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner at Hard Rock.

A few of us are missing some toes because of these....

The shower curtain only came around about a 1/3 of the shower. Interesting... but I'm not a fan.

We went to the zoo this morning... yes, in the rain. We were snuggled up really well though and put our umbrellas and hoods to good use. Honestly, it was come and go all day and though we dodged a lot of puddles, we really lucked out overall. After the zoo, we went to the Christmas market accross the street, fed the kids McD's (b/c we spent 40 Euro feeding them lunch at the zoo for nothing more than a weiner & fries and a couple of 1/2 wraps! when you convert - it's a lot of money.... for lunch.)

The zoo was fabulous. I'm sure it is much prettier when the sun is shining and the bushes have leaves on them, but despite that it was still very nice. It's rather large, the kids LOVED it, and it was very clean. I was impressed by some of the habitats for the animals, though I thought a few of their water tanks needed some cleaning. Evidently, one of the monkeys had just had a baby and camera crews were there filming and taking pictures. Watch for us on TV -we may be famous! ha! I was most excited about seeing Knut, the famous bear. Of course, when we got to him... this is what we got to see. I was fearful of that happening.


However, we went back and to my excitement - he performed!

Want to know what is funny?? This is Knut!!!!!! (so I got a little confused with the Panda and the Polar. They both start with P, right?) ha! In my defense, the panda is quite famous too.

The elephants were hilarious. We watched them for a while. There was a little baby and we guess a sibling or other younger one who kept kicking each other... then the mom would break them up. It was really cute...

This picture is blurry, but I just had to share him. Yikes!

The kids after day 2. I think this sums it up:

More to come in a few days....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Long Overdue

I've been meaning to post this for several weeks and for some reason I continue to fail to do it. So, today I've been knocking some things out.... changing sheets on the beds, wrapping some Christmas presents and getting them ready to ship, and I thought I would check this off my list as well.

What an incredible honor it is to have a stadium dedicated to my father in law. Most of you who read this know it is old news, but for those of you that didn't know SHS high school stadium is now named the Jim Rowland Stadium. WOW! It was one thing to hear about it, but it was entirely something different when I pulled up to that stadium and his name is splashed all over the stadium.

Pops definitely deserves such a high honor. From the time I can remember, (even when I was his TA in the 10th grade) he has had nothing but respect for Southside High School and ALL the other schools in Fort Smith. He has worked hard for so many, many years at making sure those lines were painted just right on all the fields, the stadiums were clean, the grass was just perfect - blade by blade, turning water on and off at various hours of the morning and night. I could go on and on. I just had a flashback of all the girls on the Dixie Belles taunting me as we would practice on the field before a football game when I was just beginning to date Matt. Little did I know he would be my father in law one day!

As has happened many times, sometimes being stationed overseas isn't all it's cracked up to be. I once again missed an event that I would have loved for my children, Matt and I to attend. However, life just sometimes doesn't allow everything we want. I was able to run by and see it when I made a quick trip back for my grandfather's funeral and we snapped a few pictures. Pops, the next time we come back home we are going to have to snap a few more. I didn't get everything I wanted so you will have to grin and bear a few more snaps.

Pops, we are so incredibly proud of you and honored to be in your family. We love you!

Pops with all but 1 of his grandchildren