29 August 2009

Why I haven't posted

I realize that I said that I would post on a much more regular basis this time around, and have tried really hard to keep that up. But as it stands now, I have not blogged in over two weeks. I have three really good reasons.


I was so busy getting everything ready for the four hour trip to Aviano where my family would be "living" out of a hotel for an entire week, that I simply did not have that much time to post. Anybody with kids should at least understand that just a little. It's hard enough that I had to make sure that every one packed enough clothes, to include underwear for some of my family, but to also have to make sure that I packed enough entertainment for the kids because we would be in a hotel room for a week. I also had to make sure that Stephen had everything that he was going to need for before, during and after his knee surgery. Then I also had to plan healthy meals, or at least give it my best shot, that could be made in a hotel room with a small kitchenette.

I must say that this trip turned out to be not as bad as I had originally thought. The hotel kitchen was an actual real sized kitchen that even had a dish washer. The kids ended up not being as bored as I thought that they would be. The hotel was full of families which lead to tons of kids for them to play with at the park right outside. And the commissary there was amazing compared to ours in so many ways that I even grocery shopped for the house and carried food back home for four hours in a cooler. I was also able to find shoes in the right sizes for all three of the kids and got all the school shopping done while there.

Stephen's knee surgery went well. The doctor was able to "clean" it up nicely. Although the news he gave us was not so good when he was finished. They scoped his knee in hopes that they would be able to fix it. Which while doing the scope they found that his knee will require much more work and may lead to a full knee replacement one day. The doctor even described the procedure as " putting a patch on a bald tire". But all and all he is healing well now and will begin physical therapy soon.


On returning home from a very long drive home from Aviano, (the drive is 4 hours as is, but we had to stop so that Stephen could get out and stretch his leg as the doc ordered to prevent any blood clots or damage, so it made it much longer of a drive) I was unpacking the car and received a very upsetting phone call. My Mawmaw was in the hospital and the doctors did not think that she was going to make through the night. This was Friday. By Friday night we got a red cross message that said that she was doing even worse and that I should try to come home.

Stephen and I spent many hours and much time talking about how i could get home. We finally came to the decision that there was just no way that I would be able to make that trip. The doctors wouldn't let him fly and I could't leave him here in this house that has four flights of stairs while he was on crutches. The kids needed to stay here so that they would be alright to start school and we just honestly did not have the money for me fly home. I talked to family back home on and off throughout the weekend and did my best to help them keep their spirits up. Mawmaw passed away on Sunday.

I spent Sunday and Monday in a state that I would call isolation. Which because of that I will have to make up Stephen's birthday. (Again, honey I am sorry that this all happened on your birthday) I didnt want to talk about it, think about it or deal with it. i was angry and sad, and confussed all at the same time. It was something that I just could not explain to anyone, not even Stephen. So I kept to my self. Thank God I have such a great family, because they all chipped in to help take care of Daddy and Mommy. The kids even made dinner.

Tuesday, I talked about it, or rather just blurted out everything that I was thinking and feeling and then just left it at that. When I was finally done, I went downstairs and crashed. I slept for pretty much the whole day. At this point, Stephen was able to get up and manage without to much assistance so he gave me my time. I guess he figured that after not sleeping more than 2-3 hours a night since Friday I needed the rest.

Wednesday, between Stephen going to the doctor and helping MR. Robinson, Elizabeth's teacher, get his room ready for school to start and cleaning up around the house from my lack of work earlier in the week, I was able to keep busy and not think too much about the fact that Mawmaw was being burried.

Thursday came around and the kids and I spent that finishing up at the school. We finished moving in all the desks and putting up all the posters and such. AFN our local tv station was there. They followed me around all day filming me doing things in the classroom and stuff. They finished up with an interview with me. i will post a link to the news segment when it is up so you can all see it. Just please keep in mind that I was working all day in the class and trying to help the new staff in the hot cafeteria to get ready for school to start too, so I am incredibly rough looking in this interview. So, be kind!!

Friday was spent at the school for the open house. What should have been a few hour thing ended up taking all day. It was nice to see all the kids again though, I am going to miss them being that I will not be working in the lunch room this year. However, I may still be able to see them if I can work out a volunteer schedule at the school.


I have never felt so tired in my life over the last two weeks and I was having so many mixed emotions over my Mawmaw passing that I just couldn't form any intelligible thoughts.

I am happy to say that I am doing much better now and with the kids starting school on Monday, finally, life will get back to normal soon.

I am truly blessed with a great family. My husband and my kids were so supportive, kind and understanding during this past week that I couldn't have asked for anything more. Even when I was not able to explain to them what exactly I was thinking, feeling or going through, they were there for me. And for the kids, the only thing that they knew to do was to hug me and tell me they me, that ended up being the best medicine anyone could give.


We are all much better and enjoyed the day relaxing after a quick house cleaning and laundry party. Stephen is healing nicely and is able to get around without the crutches for the most part. He will be returning to work on the 2nd barring a good report from the doctor on the 1st. The kids are excited to start school and ready to put their best foot forward this year. Jeremiah is now in middle school, my big sixth grader and Elizabeth has moved up to third grade. Keegan my possibly be able to start a half day pre-k soon. I am going to spend this coming week doing some touch up painting around the house. Maybe even start a project that I have been putting off for awhile which is to re-do a bedroom set.

12 August 2009

LOST...in translation.....seriously

So we have had some major issues with the shower in my bathroom. It has leaked for a long time and when I have had somebody over here to look at it, they always do the same things:

1)turn on sink faucet and say "va biene" ....meaning good, there's water what's the problem
2)turn on shower water and say"va biene"....meaning good, this woman is crazy, there is water
3)say "ciao ciao" and walk out the door

Well, finally the shower had started to leak so bad that it was seeping through the outside wall and running down into our garage. So, housing was called again. This time, I beat them to the punch, turned on both the sink and the shower and said "NO VA BIENE!!" and made them follow me to where it was leaking to the garage. Finally they see the issue. They look around and say, "domani". This is something that all the americans over here have a hard time getting used to because it means tomorrow and sometimes with them, tomorrow never gets here.

As it is, I have been at this shower thing for about a month now. They decided that it was time to fix it. So they show up one day last week, bright and early and start busting up all the tile and marble in my bathroom, leaving a huge hole that Keegan was scared of in the middle of the floor. They worked all day on that and then left. Yesterday, they came back to finish, which didnt happen either. They have to come again sometime today!!

To the point of this blog......

Every time that they come to the house, we have to tell them over and over again that both of our front gates have to be closed behind them EVERY time that they walk in or out. We also have to remind that we have a dog and that the front door needs to be closed as well. Normally I will put Igor in his kennel while they are here to avoid any further issues with trying to get them to understand the importance of closing the door/gates.

Igor, poor thing, HAD to use the potty, badly yesterday. I could tell by the way he was scratching and whinning at the door. I was trying to make lunch for the kids and so I asked keegan to open the door and let him out while I finished lunch. I did this without even thinking about the gates. Needless to say that by the time lunch was made, and it was a simple lunch of apples and pb&j's yesterday, Igor was gone. Nowhere to be found.

I started yelling for him and looking around. The italian workers stopped me and in very rough hand signals along with the few words I know, pretty much let me know that the "cane" went out the gate. I wanted to scream at him. These people just let our 750 Euro dog out of the yard and didnt even bother to let us know that he went out.

The sad thing about it is not the amount of money that the dog cost, but rather the heart break me and kids felt yesterday after we realized he was gone and as long as these guys were still at our house we couldnt leave to look for him. Which by the way, they did not leave my house till 5pm. So we got a little bit of searching time done last night.

The kids are out searching the neighborhood and town today looking for him. So far they have found a man down the road that said he saw Igor walking along the main street. So we are not going to give up hope yet. But the whole situation is just frustrating!!!

09 August 2009

weekend retreat

Ok so Stephen and I decided to go on a marriage retreat with the Chaplain. We went on last year's retreat and learned alot about ourselves that we honestly didnt even realize we needed too. So when the retreat was offered again this year, we decided that we would go.

Last year it was held in this beautiful mountain top casa, or farm house. It was completely shut off from the world with no tvs, no phones, no radio, no computers, awesome homemade farm fresh foods. Tons of good stuff to include no heat and single beds with polite little signs that said "please do not push beds together". The setting kinda made you focus on why you were there. We loved it, and when family comes here to visit, we are planning on taking them there for a visit.

This year, it was in Garmisch, Germany. yet another beautiful mountain resort. This however, was very different. It is a military run facility that has all the latest technology. We had a wonderful time and again, learned areas in our marriage that could stand a little bit of work. But, we actually went for the right reasons, not just for the free trip to Germany. I say that because i feel very strongly that some of the couples went just for that reason.

Anyways, I strongly, STRONGLY suggest that any couple, whether you are having issues in your marriage or not, to sign up for a marriage retreat every so often. You might be amazed at the things that you will learn about yourself and your partner, for that matter, that you might not have known before. I would say to make sure that it is a faith based retreat, just because then you not only learn how to work your marriage based on some book, but the BOOK, instead.

Stephen and I have been married for a little over two years now and couldnt be happier. I believe that it is because we care enough about each other to do things like these retreats, as well as try our best to live our lives the way that God would want us to. This retreat has brought closer than we were, and I think that it came a t perfect time.

Though we normally dont have any major issues, I found through this retreat that when we do, I will be able to handle them, not better, but differently. I learned a few things about myself and abut Stephen that will help with that. And I also gained a whole new respect for my husband that I already knew was there, but took for granted at times, just by witnessing the other families there.

I was truly blessed when God brought Stephen into my life, and will do my best to cherish the man that he is for what he is. Because, he is the kindest, most caring, loving and gentle man that I could ever share my life, hopes and dreams with.

On another note, there is a book that we used during the retreat and now have at home that I think every couple should read. It is called "The five love languages" along with it's sister book, "The five languages of apology"

02 August 2009

weekend happenings

Well there was a ton of stuff that we did this weekend. Some was planned and some was kinda spur of the moment activities. Either way, they kept us busy and now I am worn out.

For starters, Friday I went to pay bills and grocery shop. I love my kids and all, but I will be sooooooo extremely happy when school starts back because they just dont seem to understand the importance of bill paying and food buying. All they were concerned about was if we were ever going to get done so that we could go swimming.(which did not happen) Regular household tasks like this normally only take me a few hours but for some reason, this trip took all day.

I know part of it was my fault because since I am no longer working, I am trying to save money and conserve better, so I am teaching the kids how to really find the best prices and how to utilize coupons. We have a community center type place called ACS, and they have a section that is filled with nothing but coupons that people will cut out and mail over to us(thanks to anyone that does that, AWESOME) that we are able to go through and take whatever we want. So that was one of our many stops.

They did not think that sitting at a table and digging through huge boxes of coupons was any fun or worth the time it took until we started to find a few really good ones. I was able to use those to explain the real savings we could get for a little of our time. one example that got them more into it was a coupon for new arm and hammer concentrated cleaners. It was 2 dollars off and they were on sale for 2.29. I explained that with the coupon we would only pay .29. That being said, what normally would have taken 1 hour to shop turned into 2 and a half. We did however save about 50 dollars in the grocery bill with our coupons so that in itself is a plus!

Saturday, I decided that I wanted to change rooms. I have been talking to Stephen about taking the room in the basement for awhile now and finally decided that Saturday was the day to do it. We moved two sets of bedroom furniture up and down 3 flights of stairs all day. Great workout, but big mess. I will now be spending the rest of the week patching walls and re-hanging/decorating both rooms. It is worth it though, the basement room is so much bigger and now the guest room/Alex's room will have a bathroom. Saturday was rounded off with a trip to the movies to see Angels and Demons. Turned out to be a good movie, but the book was much better.

Sunday morning came way to quick. We all got up, ate, and dressed and ready to head out the door for church when something snapped in the kids and it turned into a day that the morning was spent in deep discussions on their behavior and lack of respect. We did not make to church today, but after an all day talk on the basics of behavior and manners 101, again and some maybe not so friendly reminders of what is expected, we had a good day. We ended today by taking a new family that just got her Friday down to the tower so they could take pics and get out of the hotel.