Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Husband, Their Daddy, Our Hero

The title says it all. The most important man in my life is all three of those things. He is my husband, my kids' daddy and my hero.

My husband has been mine for almost 6 years now. He has been the perfect husband I could have ever asked for. He is sweet when I need him to be and controlling at the other times. He has encouraged me to go back to school and find a job. He has stood beside me with every decision I make in our lives. He cares about "us" more then just himself and is always finding new ways to surprise me from time to time. He loves me for me, even with all my little quirks. He laughs with me and not at me unless I'm being a complete Blonde. He's compassionate, loyal, loving and means more to me then my own life ever will. He is my husband...

The father of my kids is the best in the world. He loves each of them differently and yet still the same. He teaches them the rights and wrongs and goods and bad's of life. He helps them through their journey of life and makes sure they know he's right there beside them if they fall. When they do fall he picks them back up, brushes them off, kisses their owies and sends them off to try it again. He cares about their actions and words that they say. He reads to them, tucks them in at night and makes sure they know how much he loves them every day. He plays house with the girls and guns with the boy and builds forts for them all. He's the best father in the whole world. He is the father of my kids.....

He is my hero and I look up to him every day. I am a military wife. He's getting ready for his 4th deployment (2nd to Afghanistan) and it's really starting to take a tole on me. I'm the one that stays home and raises the kids, keeps the house clean and the bills paid. But even though I do all those things it's him that has the harder job. He trains all year long just to be able to fight for our country and our freedom. He does what I wish I could have done. He is the best soldier I have ever known and treats his soldiers the same as he would a friend. He loves his job with all the goods and bads. He's seen a lot in a little time and I am grateful that he comes home to us every day. He is known at every installation as a great leader and teacher. He takes care of everyone not just of us. He does everything I wish I could have. He is my hero.....

My husband, their daddy and our hero. Our lives haven't always been perfect, we haven't always had money and we don't hardly get any "alone" time but it's our life and I wouldn't change anything in the whole world. Although our lives seem hard to others, and sometimes it really is hard on us too, it is the perfect life for us. I chose to be with him, I chose to have his kids and I will envy him until the day I die. He's my everything, my world, my life.

Come home soon my love, we'll be waiting for you!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Christkindlesmarkt

Well, we had another new experience in Italy. It's Christmas time over here as well as it is in the states. I love it! I'm never sure what to expect during the holidays. I'm learning however and since it's almost been an entire year since we moved here, I know what to expect on just about all of them, and what NOT to buy! LOL....
The Christkindlesmarkt was so much fun to see! There were home made things every where. From pine cone porcupines to hand blown glass to homemade food right there where you stood, it was awesome! I thought our craft shows back home had a lot of neat things. I couldn't believe some of the stuff they had here.
They had ornaments galore. Anything you could imagine and they had it.
They had hand painted carousels and village houses that I just love! I wanted to buy each one but we didn't have the money when we went so I didn't even look to see how much they cost.
They had pretty rocks that Bella would just die for! She's obsessed with rocks and Trinity had just broken her pretty one so when she saw these she wanted one of each!
They had homemade candles with fruit in them. Looked really cool.
They had a booth of nothing but hand blown glass. From small figurines to the large trees and church that light up. I was so afraid my kids were going to touch the table! It was all sparkly.
They had an entire booth for nothing but German Chocolate, again I wanted to buy one of each!Santa was also there! The Italian one of course and when we asked how much it was to get our pictures taken with him, he said Dieci, do you know how much that is??? 10 Euro to take your picture with Santa. I'm not sure if he was just pulling our legs because we were American or if that was the actual price but we didn't stay there long enough to find out!

Christmas in Italy, it's definitely different then in the states and I love it! Everyone should experience another cultures Christmas once to see how different it is. If anyone wants to see it here, let me know, Next year is right around the corner!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Germany Vacation

Our trip to Germany was one I'll never forget! We had an incredible time with our friend and the kids! We left early on a Sunday morning and were only staying Sunday night but it was so worth the trip! The Alps are nothing like anything I have seen before. They are more rocky and jagged then the Rockies and seem to be taller even! I love it!We got to Edelweiss early and were afraid we wouldn't be able to check into our rooms for 3 hours so we didn't know what to do. However, when I went and checked in they gave us our keys right away! Brandon and I had a suite and our friends just had a regular room but that's ok. Most of the time was spent in our room anyways playing Hand and Foot. We had several hours to kill before bed time so we went swimming in the pool. It was awesome! They had a little kids side that made life so much easier. Even Benjamin wasn't afraid to run around in the water and if he fell over, he'd pick himself right back up.

Also along with the pool they had a hot tub, however the hot tub was OUTSIDE!!! The temperature was about 10 degrees or so and Angel and I were taking turns with the guys running out there and jumping in. It was the most amazing experience. Cold and hot at the same time, wonderful! After all the swimming we went and ate dinner. We didn't want to eat Chinese at the buffet and the other place you had to have a reservation for so we ended up eating at the regular spot with pizza, hot dogs, etc. The food was good and company was better. Poor Tres couldn't even stay awake until his food got there. He was so cute! Ours were ready for bed too after we wore them out swimming but they were more hungry then tired!

Monday morning we woke up to it Snowing! The most amazing thing of the whole trip. We promised the kids snow and were so afraid we weren't going to see any but there it was! All white big flakes, falling in the morning! Perfect!
Of course the snowing didn't last long but it didn't matter. We were on a new adventure and weren't sure where we were headed yet. There were a couple castles that everyone wanted to see just about 30 minutes from where we were so we decided to take a few pics with the mountains and then head out for another fun adventure.
The trip to the castles was fun. It took us through several small German towns and wound us all around a little river. With the little bit of snow that was on the ground we couldn't help but stop and take a picture. Not many cars were on the roads either because of the weather but that didn't stop us.
We got to the castles in no time at all. The kids were super excited and I took way more pictures then any one person should but I couldn't help it. The weather was cold but we survived it just fine. At the back of the Hohenschwangau Castle we sat on the ledge and took family pictures. Our kids weren't having much of it but it was still fun. We were able to do a tour of this Castle. Since Brandon and I had been here before without the kids we knew what it was going to be like and knew our kids would be ok with the tour. Our friends had a good time too!After the tour we waited in line for our carriage ride up to the Neuschwanstein Castle. The kids were super excited to be able to go on a horse and carriage ride so it was well worth the wait.
This castle is every little girls dream castle. It's considered the Disney Castle because it supposedly looks a lot like Cinderella's castle (I'm not sure, I've never looked into it). I know that pictures don't do it justice. I've been there twice and both times the castle has taken my breath away. It's HUGE, Beautiful and overlooks the German country side! It even has it's own little waterfall with a hanging bridge. Amazing to say the least
After the Castle trips were done we had to get souvenirs. Brandon got a stein and I got a new plate for my china cabinet. I also got a shot glass since I collect them and all I couldn't leave without one.

This had to have been one of the best trips we have ever been on with friends. The rides to and from were great, the company was fabulous, the food was good, and the sights we saw were amazing! I'd do it again if I could, only next time, it'd be during a warmer time of year for sure!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chocolate Festival

Every October Italy has a Chocolate Festival. I know, it's the most incredible thing in the world!!! Imagine 50 booths of nothing but chocolate. Every kind you could possibly imagine from regular chocolate to chocolate tools. I bought several of the chocolate tools hoping to mail them to family but a lot of them got broken on the way home because of the kids. They had everything from carberators for cars to paint burshes and light bulbs. They had pliers, screw drivers, hammers and saw blades. It was awesome to see them and they didn't look at all like chocolate. Almost too good to eat!Most of the booths would give you just a sample taste if you wanted one. At one we got chocolate covered almonds and Brandon took a piece of chocolate that he didn't know what it was. He said it was really good then we walked away and his mouth started burning! I couldn't stop laughing it was so funny! That'll teach him to just eat stuff when he doesn't understand what they are telling him it is! I also didn't know what I was getting myself into when I bought 10 Euro worth of these little guys. They are so cute and colorful but man, some of them were soooo descusting!!! The little ball on the right had some type of creamy yellow stuff in it that was bad and then the second one from the left tasted like drit. Seriousily....just like dirt! The blue one is Liqour (very strong) the green one is Lime, and other then those I'm not sure what they were. One was dark chocolate, one was Coffee, one was just the milk chocolate and oh one was bannana. I have no clue which was which but some were good and some were really bad!

More of the wierd things they had were chocolate eggs and chocolate cheese. We didn't taste these or anything, they just looked nasty!

The logs of chocolate had to have been amongst my most favorite. It's amazing how big they got some of those logs to be and they tasted incredible too! Wish I could make my own chocolate like that!

At the end of our trip I had to buy a chocolate tea cup and spoon. It's really too cute to eat. I was trying to take a picture of it and this Italian guy wanted me to take his picture too so I couldn't help it. They are just as big of dorks as the Americans! LOL. I can't wait until next year rolls around when I have more money to spend when I go. I'll get everyone something next year!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

FCC - At home child care!!!

So it is official, I am an at home child care provider!!! I own my own business now! WooHoo!!! It has been such a fun time getting the house ready and all that good stuff. Brandon is also really into helping me get it all put together. Some days I think he might be more excited then I am! He's the one that put up the little cubbies for me and he fixed the little table (it was too high and he took off the legs and put rubber things on the ends so now it's a shorter table). He is also the one that picked out the circle mats for circle time! I love that idea!!! Anyways, Here are some pictures of the new setup. I'll explain a little of each below each picture...

Ah the art center. This is where all the "fun" stuff is going to happen. I have paints with all kinds of different sponges and brushes for the kids to use as well as little smocks for them to wear so they don't get their clothes dirty. There's also playdough with shape cutters, construction paper with markers, crayons and colored pencils, colored pencil shavings and sea shells with glue for projects. I bought wooden picture frames for my full time kids to make projects for the parents and little paper bags to make hand puppets and stuff with. There is a large tube I'm going to use for rain sticks one day when it's rainy outside. There is also some puzzles and matching games in this area for the older kids who don't take naps. Oh and of course bubbles! Every little kid loves bubbles! I think that about covers it.

This is just another angle of the craft stuff. Lots of stuff!!!! Oh so much fun is going to be had here!
This is the cubby area! It's got 6 little spots and 6 hangers (that are dog butts, or tails rather) that are super cute! Each name plate is removable for all the kids that come whether they are hourly or full time or part time. That way when we do projects or colorings during the day the kids can put them there and take them when their parents come to get them. Also underneath the cubbies is a row of carpet, this is for their shoes, in case they are muddy.

Here we've got the blue shelf with tubs of all kinds of stuff. There are little animals, kitchen supplies, play food, large plastic shaped screws, several different things that piece together and of course some legos. In the white shelving that's next to it are bigger legos, more block things and then cars for the "city" rug we bought. There's a cute little chair and couch for the kids to use while in the play area as well. And the best part are the circle rugs. These are for circle time so each kid can pick their own color to sit on when we have circle time. I love them (they were Brandon's idea).

This is a better shot of more of the play area. The library is on the left along with the larger toy box that is full of bigger learning toys and of course the "noise making" toys are in there as well. It doesn't have a lid so there is no chance a kid will get stuck in there. On the wall on the left is the kids' art board. It's going to be for the pictures that kids want to leave at my house instead of taking home. There's a baby doll crib with three babies and some dress up stuff too. I have a cute kitchen and an adorable tote I made for the sleeping mats that I didn't put pictures of on here.
All in all I think it turned out really really nice! There are a few more things I want to do but I'm going to wait and see how many kids and all I get. So far I've had a couple calls and talked to several people about starting hourly with me but I'm not sure when or if they actually will! I know that once deployment hits I should be busy so wish me luck! I'm looking forward to my new business and will keep everyone updated with the progress and changes I make!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ah, the new Job!

So I decided that in order for me to get out of the house for a while during the day, and of course, not every day, I was going to help out our FCC (Family Child Care) Rep. She's swamped with paperwork right now and has a ton of Data Entry stuff she needs to be done but she can't find the time to do it. I have taken all the tests I needed to take, signed all the paperwork I needed to sign, picked up the folders and stuff I needed to have for the kids and am all set. I am just waiting for the password to arrive so I can get on the computer at work! Work, I'm going to work, how crazy is that! It's just a volunteer position right now, but that's ok because the day care is free this way! However, the kids have to go to an FCC provider and I'm not sure how they are going to be with that. They had a blast with Marie when I took them there the other day so hopefully it is all going to work out. Then come October I'm starting something totally new. New to me, new to the house, new to the kids! I'm not going to talk about it until it's actually happening and I'm actually getting paid for it but it's going to be fun. Just part time while Brandon's still home but after deployment starts there's no telling how much I'll take on!

Just wanted to keep everyone up-to-date on our lives here in Italy. It's going great!!! I'll have lots more stories once Brandon gets back in a couple weeks!!! Till then, enjoy...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lake Garda

Our newest adventure was to Lake Garda. We've been there before but I didn't take the camara for that trip and wasn't prepared at all for what it was like so this time I went prepared! I had the camara, swimsuits, towels, extra clothes, picnic basket with food, drinks, suntan lotion and bug spray! That about sums up the list anyways.

To get there it only takes about an hour and a half. Not too bad for a huge lake. You can rent speed boats for 100 Euro a day, jet skis, and paddle boats too. They even have boat cruises that take you from the southern tip of the Lake (where we were) to the northern shores. I'm not sure how much these are, haven't really asked because I'm not sure my kids would do very good at that! Maybe when they are a little older we'll check it out! Parking this time was horrible!!! Of course I had decided to go on an Italian Holiday so that made it much harder to find a spot. All in all we found one and ended up paying 8,80 Euro for 4 hours. Not too bad I guess. I think it was worth it! So to get to the lake we had to walk through the center of town. It has this incredible building that has these beautiful purple flowers on it. The first time we went the flowers were a deeper purple but they were still neat this time too!

At the lake you can rent Umbrella's with two chairs for 8 Euro for the day. We didn't get one this time, maybe next time when it's just us and the kids going.

Also in town there is a castle. You can take tours of the castle and stuff but it of course isn't stroller friendly. There is a museum in there as well. We'll check it out someday too!

I love Lake Garda because of the views all around where we go swimming. You can see the mountains and the water is such a pretty blue! It's of course full of Italians but I've noticed they don't really care much about us when we are there because they are usually there for the same reasons. To get away!

If any family comes to visit for a length of time during summer months, we'll have to go check it out. I met a guy that lived there in the winter time and he said it was a ghost town! I believe it!!! There isn't much around there to do when the lake is iced over!
Hopefully another post will be coming shortly, but it seems like with Brandon working all the time we don't go many places. I plan on going to check out the Alps before he deploys again so there should be at least one more post!!!! Until then......

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My visitors.....

Janelle, Tony, Mari, Jay, Sebastian and Liliana came to visit and they just left from their visit to Italy. I can't believe how much I miss Nell already! She had a trip planned to Germany for the longest time and when she found out we were moving to Italy she made time in her plans to come see us! I wasn't sure 3 days was going to be long enough to do much but we got to do everything that was on the list to do and had plenty of down time too! We were always home in time to relax before making dinner so it really was an easy 3 days! I tell you what though, I'm so glad we decided to stop after three kids! Having 5 of them all under the age of 4 was quite loud and never a dull moment!

Our first outing was just here around Vicenza. We have been down there before but it was more or less just around the Piazza. When we were down there, there was a market going on so it was a lot to have the three kids with all the people. With Janelle and the crew we just walked around everywhere. We got a little lost, the map didn't really seem to help because it's almost impossible to read a map when you don't know where you are to start! I didn't mind not knowing where we were, I've always been the kind that likes to get lost! We took a picnic lunch with us to save a little money. My Picnic Basket is going to get a good workout the next couple days! lol....hope it holds up!

Our second day we went to Verona. I love Verona. No matter how many times I've been there (so far 4) I get to see new things each time! It's possible that I've seen it all now but I don't really care. I'll go there again and again! We parked along the river and got some cute pictures of Nell and Tony. We went to the maze, walked to the center of town, shopped at a couple little stores, walked through a museum/castle, rubbed Juliet's boob and again had a picnic lunch.

The last day they were here we took them to Venice. You can't come see us and NOT go to Venice! We walked everywhere we could and only got on the water taxi to get to the place we wanted to start, to go to the other island and then finally to head back to the van. I'm not sure how many bridges we crossed but I'd have to say it was at least 25! It seemed like we would walk a block or two and cross a bridge then do the same thing over and over again! We didn't take a picnic lunch this time. Everyone wanted to experience the "Italian" food. Janelle didn't like it at all, Tony ate his and Janelles and Jay and Mari both ate their fish so it must have been good. I had Pizza, not that good but ate it all anyways.

When we took everyone to the airport the kids did really good. I thought they'd be crying and then Nell would cry then I would cry but it didn't happen like that at all. Earlier that day Bella cried because Aunt Neo was leaving and she was "really gonna miss her". I think Nell might have got teary when Bella was saying that because I know I did so maybe she got it all out earlier that day. We also told her that Nell might come back with Max and Tenn so that too was a big help! She keeps asking me when they will be back. LOL, kids!

Now that they are all gone I have been sleeping ALOT and mopping around the house because now I have no one but the kids again! Seems to be like that alot around here. I wish they could have stayed longer but I'm really glad they get to experience Germany. It's incredible up there! The next family that is supposed to visit would be....hum....maybe D and Michell! Wish Mom could be here but all in good time her and Ron will be!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Block Leave Part 6

On the whole trip, I'd have to say Pisa was my favorite! Did you know that the leaning tower was actually built as the Bell Tower to the cathedral that's in the back ground? Talk about a huge bell tower! There isn't much to see in Pisa, but just the taking funny pictures was a lot of fun. There were several people there taking all kinds of different pictures of the tower. Some were holding it up, some were pushing it over, some were "butt bumping" it, one was even acting like it was his penis! Talk about a funny picture. Brandon was going to do that one but decided to wait until the next time we go. This has to be one of the best ones we got!!!

After we went to Pisa we went to the American Beach, on the Mediterranean Sea!!! Why they call it the American beach I have no idea. There is no fence to close it off from all the other Italian beaches so everyone just walks everywhere they want to anyways.

The girls' favorite part was playing in the water. They also loved finding sea shells for Gammy and trying to build sand castles. The next time we go we are going to buy the castle buckets so Brandon can help them make a castle.

Benjamin like the beach a lot too. However, when he realized the bucket wouldn't fit all the way on his head, he got a little pissed....

Another mandatory stop was Volterra! If you have read the Twilight series you know what I'm talking about! Volterra is a town built inside two castles! It's incredible there! The views of the Tuscan country side are remarkable and everything is just so "Italy". Brandon says that when he thinks of Italy, he thinks of places like Volterra.

Now for those of you who have read the Twilight series, here is the clock tower where Edward tried to expose himself. I looked for the alley he was in and found one that would be right but of course the book had to add more to it to make it seem real. It was still awesome to be standing there though. lol....Also there's a picture of Jacob.....the werewolf. He was in the torture museum. We went through this museum just for the fun of it and there are several things in there that were just plain cruel!!! I'll put pictures on my myspace and facebook of some of them.
So this was our block leave in a nut shell. It was the most incredible 18 days we've spent in Italy so far. From part 1 to part 6 we've done so many things and have spent more money then we wanted to but it's all about having a good time! There is a ton more we want to do and we are definitely going back to Camp Darby when we have the chance. We want to spend more time down there, even if it is sleeping in a tent! Maybe next time we'll be able to go with some friends or something so it'll be even more fun!
I'm not sure when my next blog post will be because Brandon's got a lot going on up until September. But if I do get anywhere or learn anything new I'll be sure to post it for everyone to read.
Until our next adventure.....