Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Logan's Kindergarten Graduation

My baby Logan graduated from Kindergarten today! I can't believe how quickly time is passing! He has grown so much in the past year and I am not ready for 1st grade to begin. Especially since Kindergarten is the fun part... it is all business from here on out.Logan and his class. I absolutely adored his teachers Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Graham! We really lucked out! Logan getting his graduation certificate.

MMMmmmmm.... cake....

So proud of my baby boy!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


We just got back from Heidelberg tonight. It is such a beautiful city and still one of my favorites! We started off with lunch down in the city before we started our hike up to the castle.

Our view from where we were eating lunch... anticipating our hike straight up.Taking a rest in the outer castle after getting to the top. I remember from being here 16 years ago, a beautiful old castle that was tumbled-down, moss-covered ruins that you could climb all over and explore. What a difference a decade and a half make!! The level of restoration that is going on there is amazing! Unfortunately, this makes some of the grounds off limits, the crowds much larger than I recalled and there is no more "rambling among the ruins." The trade-off is that you really get a feel for what it would have actually looked like and what it would've taken to run this compound because it is enormous! They even have many plays and performances in the courtyard during the summer months. This castle really suffered under multiple bombardments, from the French, from the 30 Years War and even from lightening. It kept being rebuilt and restored.We met a nice family from Ohio who took this picture. Notice how excited Chase is, HAHAHA!!! He had been whining all day. We just thought he was in a bad mood, but as we hiked back to the car, he started running a fever. Poor little guy had been getting sick!!
I just loved this picture of Logan and Reagan on front of the beautiful view!


Behold! The biggest barrel in the world ever to be filled with wine! A lush's dream! It holds 220,000 liters and is made of 130 oak tree trunks. Karl Theodor commissioned it in 1751 and is appropriately named "Big Barrel."

Monday, May 30, 2011


Sunday we went to Trier, which claims to be oldest city in Germany. It has a ton of Roman ruins and it was a home of Constantine. Speaking of which, below is his foot. The kids really got a kick out of it. Pahahaaaa. Yes, I did. This is the bath house complex. We have seen a few of these in our travels, but this one is HUGE!!! The complex was the biggest of it's time with warm and cold bath sections and a massive complex of underground tunnels. The kids had a great time climbing all over the ruins and running and hiding in the tunnels. It is nice that they actually let your kids do that since back in the States that would not be allowed.In trying to paint a realistic scene for the kids we explained what happened at the baths and what the people would do. Shortly after, while posing for this picture, Logan exclaimed "I'm just sitting here naked and relaxing!" And, of course, the kids broke out in giggles.Here is the Roman Ampitheater. It sat 20,000 in its day and you could go through the tunnels underneath it. There were still sections that you could see where they would keep the animals for combat, or the gladiators or the Christians.... whatever was available at the time...Logan REALLY wanted to play gladiator and so they spent some time beating each other up in the ring... we are great parents, huh?This is the view from the Porta Nigra out into the hills of Trier. It is a really beautiful city with an incredible amount history. This is Porta Nigra and was built almost 2,000 years ago!! It was the gate you would have to pass through to get into the city to do business in the town. Napoleon demanded it be restored in its original state once he had control over the city.
We went to an archaeology museum while we were there and we were amazed at the quality and quantity of what they have recovered. Also, I never get tired of hearing the music on the streets as we walk around here. We walked down one street and listened to an opera singer, a marching band, a violin player and a Spanish guitar player. It is awesome. They only problem is that Chase wants to give money to all of them.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


This Saturday we went to Luxembourg and spent the morning exploring the town. We didn't get very far, but the views were gorgeous! I was surprised at how low-key and empty the city was for summertime in Europe. We took a train tour around the park areas and saw some of the castle, etc. The tour told, in storytelling form, how this little country was just slapped around by its bigger neighbors for hundreds of years... enjoying few years of relative peace. (For any of those who are over here, I don't recommend the train tour. The bus tour seemed to take you to many more of the "sights.") Though its hilly and rocky landscape made it a formidable challenge to conquer. The afternoon was spent at the Luxembourg American Cemetery. These were the graves of hundreds of American soldiers that died while defending Luxembourg from the Nazis and pushed them back against incredible odds from December 1944-March 1945. These battles were some of the decisive encounters that helped end the war and the Reich for good. General Patton led these soldiers and when he died at the end of 1945, he asked to be bured with his men. He has the same white cross as the rest of his soldiers, but he is buried in the front of the cemetery, in the front of all his men.A suprising number of the graves were marked "Known but to God."Inside the chapel there were three inscriptions on each wall. I loved this one.

The list of soldiers whose bodies they were unable to find/identify and bury.

The ceremony that they held there was very moving. The University of Miami had a group of singers there who sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the Army Band played "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the Luxembourg National Anthem. There were speakers from Luxembourg, the jewish community in Luxembourg, and our own military (a Navy Admiral was the keynote speaker). They recounted the battles that occured here and expressed a deep gratitude. It was a wonderful ceremony and afterwards the families of those buried there were escourted to their relative's grave. Overall, an awesome way to spend Memorial Weekend! Next weekend, Blake and Logan are going to a Father and Son's Camping trip there (yes, you can camp at the cemetery.) and participating in an Eagle project to clean the headstones there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt

The kids and I (and a little friend that we are watching for the weekend) went to the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt on Friday and we had a wonderful time. It is a very kid friendly natural history museum with a ton of fossil displays, animal and bird exhibits and an interesting display on a continous lake bed dig that goes on only 30 mintues from the museum called Messel. It had crocodile, snake, turtle, and various fish fossils. Here are some of the pictures we took:

I asked Chase why he looked mad here and he said that he just wanted to ride the bus. Go figure.


This guy was HUGE!!! Reagan is just a little bite-sized morsel.

MASSIVE! The kids were very impressed.

Chase's favorite dinosaur, Triceratops.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reason # 2,527 Why I Love My Husband

I have a dozen pictures like this that I have taken through the years and, though it seems redundant to others, it never gets old to me. He reads to them often and I never get tired of seeing the kids crowded around him getting some "Daddy Time."

Logan Lost His First Tooth!!!

Logan came home today and told me he had a surprise for me and he pulled out a little tooth-shaped container from around his neck that had his first lost tooth in it. As he is our eldest child this is big news in our house! Reagan and Chase cheered for him as he showed off the new hole in his beautiful smile with pride. He lost it eating lunch and has no intention of giving it to any "fairy" no matter how much she gives him.

"I Love You" Translated (for Children)

I have been thinking lately, the phrase "I love you" is rarely a simple statement. The three little words are loaded with the context of the moment. I find that with my children, I often say "I love you" instead of other things that would take much longer to say, or that they wouldn't understand yet. It is true that in kissing them in bed at night it can be a simple statement of our connection before they close their little fall asleep, but I have noticed that I mean so much more than when I just say "I love you" to my children.

Instead of giving a lecture over consistently bad behavior at the end of a long and frustrating day, all I can do is hug him and tell him "I love you." What I really mean is "Please don't continue in this path. I know that soon I won't be able to influence your decisions and I want you to be able to make good choices."

When I hold their little hands while walking, "I love you" is an acknowledgment that I know that this moment will not last forever. That they are going to grow up far too fast and I want to hold onto their innocent years. "I love you" is a plea to stay small a while longer.

It can also mean that I see potential in you that you don't see. I know you can do things that you think you can't and I will be here to support you whether you fail or triumph. "I love you" means I will not walk away from you and that I will always see your potential and what you are capable of even when you don't believe me.

I am so frustrated with you right now, but I shouldn't give voice to my frustrations, so I will just remind you that I love you and give you a hug and leave it at that. Besides, I am pretty sure you are just as frustrated with me as I am with you.

You are so sweet! Don't grow up!!! Seriously, I forbid it!!

I am sorry you had a bad day and I am glad you are home. I am frustrated that I cannot protect you from all the bad in the world. I so want to fight all your dragons for you, but I must let you venture out and fight some of your own. I will try to make home a safe haven and give you a loving place to come home.

I am ecstatic that you had a wonderful day and you are happy and I am celebrating that with you! I love when your little face is all aglow with happiness and excitement.

I am sorry I am so hard on you. I have to remember that you are just learning the rules of the world. I recognize that sometimes expect too much from you and I am trying to be a better mother.

I love how you sing and dance up and down the hallway. It makes my days brighter to hear you in your little world. It makes me feel better about the big world.

"I love you" can mean that I am sorry we were so at odds today, but we are going to keep trying and I am not going to give up on you ever. Please don't give up on me.

I have no clue what I am doing, but I can't admit that to you right now. I often wonder why God trusted me with some of his precious children, but I am trying my best. Bear with me.

You are my most precious possessions. I would do anything for you.

"I love you."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting here and hanging out.

All these pictures are from my not-so-nice camera. I have yet to get my nice one back, but I know that some of you have been asking for pictures, so here is some of what we have:

The plane that took us to Deutschland!

Came all the way here and all my kids want to do is play video games.

Logan is king of the hotel room.

Finally got out! Wiesbaden city center.

This is actually a casino in the background.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Expecting It Makes It Easier.... Right?

I have moved enough in the past ten years that I have been able to start seeing a pattern in every one of my moves. The adrenaline kicks in before the move and it becomes a whirlwind of activity and then I drive in to our hotel where we will be staying until we find our new "for now" home. And then the crash happens. I become useless for at least a day or two... I mean I can take care of my kids, etc, but with all the big decisions I become useless. It is like I go into a sort of hibernation. At that point, it all hits me. I have no local friends. I have no one to trade off babysitting with. I need to hunt down different stores just to get the stuff we normally use in day-to-day life. Even taking the dogs out to go the bathroom becomes much more of a process than it was before. (Me and the kids in a hotel room day after day with no repreive from each other doesn't help the atmosphere.) It takes a few days for me to want to really venture beyond my local area.

Then, I remember how much I hate hotel rooms... I have spent well over nine months of my life in them in the past decade (not including vacations). I develop a viceral hatred of fast food, since that is what we have been having to eat for weeks and weeks on end. Someone inevitably gets sick.. and probably a dog too, for good measure (both did, indeed, happen).

After about a week, it gets better and we start to learn a lot of the ins and outs of where we are and start meeting people (thank goodness for church!) and begin to build a life where we are all over again. I know what is going to happen and that is SUPPOSED to make it easier since you know it is normal and is going to end soon, but maybe due to the culture difference and the lack of convenient transportation, it has been much harder here. I know that all this will just take more time to adjust to than I have been used to, and I am grateful that we moved to Germany since I am familiar with the area and a little of the language. That has CERTAINLY made things easier. It is just the adjusting period that stinks and I am right smack dab in the middle of it. We wanted this, I remind myself. BAH!!! Breathe deep and keep moving. Decompression over.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What We Did In The Meantime: Aaron's Visit

Aaron, my brother, came to southern Arizona for a day to visit with us and it was awesome to see him and three of his kiddos. We saw Tombstone again...

and went hiking at Coronado NM.

We were up so high, we could see into Mexico.

It was very windy.

Micheal and Logan as conquistadors.

Had to put these up, since two years ago I took the same exact pictures of Reagan and Chase. They are getting big!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What We Did In the Meantime: Tombstone

We also went to Tombstone with my parents when they visited in January.
I thought this was pretty good. I read it to Logan and his eyes got really big.
We have been to Tombstone MANY times and this was our first stagecoach ride and tour.

Chase kept saying during the ride, "This is the best day EVER!" You never know what is going to make their day.

My kids always think the highlight is Johnny Bones and all the instruments that he lets you play with him. I love this guy... he is nutsy.

Playing with good ol' Johnny.

Love ya, Tombstone!