Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Moving On

Then we had kids!  And traveling and life changed.  We lived in Germany for 4 years total and had 2 babies, first a boy and then a girl.  Such sweet memories.

Then we moved to South Korea.

And while living in South Korea we had one more baby.  We lived there for 2 years.  The first year was culture shock, but the second year we really enjoyed ourselves.

Then we moved back to the States!  We spent the summer with my parents in Arizona.  It took some time to get adjusted to American life again.

Then we moved to Virginia where my husband worked in DC.  And there we had our last baby, a boy.  

And this was us living in Virginia.  We lived there for four years.  This was our first real home too.  I miss it terribly there.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Easter in Germany

I loved Easter in Germany. I loved the way everyone decorated their trees and bushes with eggs.  Flowers were just starting to bloom and the bare trees were covered in brightly painted eggs.  I loved it!

Cooking in our tiny kitchen was always an adventure!

I really miss this view!

Living in Germany Before Kids

The first year we spent living in Germany was without kids.  We were able to travel quite a bit that first year too!  Sometimes it is good to remind yourself of all you have done.  I forget very quickly these days because my days are mostly filled with laundry, dishes, and schoolwork!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Remembering our Military Life

I have had a long break from my blog.  We have been living with my parents for a few months and just moved into our new home last weekend.  (This is not a picture of our new home!) We finally got our internet hooked up on Monday.  This is the home we hope to never move from.  This is the home we hope to grow old in and raise our children in.  All of this feels so final to me from having been a military spouse for 11 years.  I am having a hard time understanding we may never move again.  In our 11 years in the military we moved 8 times.  We moved from Arizona to Germany for  4 years and within Germany once, then to Arizona for 6 months then to Korea for 2 years back to Arizona for 6 months and then to Virginia for 4 years back to Arizona with my parents for 4 months and then into our new home.  I am counting the times we moved for just a few months because that is still moving.  The hard part about those moves was that I was usually alone because my husband had to go to training.  

So all this has got me reminiscing.  This picture is of my husband and I when we first moved to Germany.  We were so young!  We were only 23! We got married at 22 and then 2 weeks later he went to Basic Training for 6 months while I moved in with my parents.  Then from Basic he went to Germany without me.  I had to wait until the army recognized we were married and he found housing for us.  I then had to get all of our belongings into a storage and schedule a shipping date, get passports and the dogs ready for a long trip to Germany.  This wasn't a vacation trip this was a trip to live there.  It feels much different saying goodbye to everyone, your mom and dad, when you don't know when you will be back.  I was so excited to start my new life with my husband in a foreign country, but it was still very hard to say goodbye to my parents.  I did feel prepared to move to Germany though.  I had taken German in high school for 4 years and had been there as a foreign exchange student twice and once for vacation.  So that made it all a little less scary.

I really feel like writing all of this down right now so I wont forget and so my children will know and understand all we went through in our early years.  It was a challenging time, but also amazing and I never want to forget.

This is the little village we called home for the first 2 years of our time in Germany.  I loved it there.  I would go for 3 hour walks with our dogs and not see a person or a home.  It was way out in the country.  It was beautiful, but it was lonely.  We also did not have T.V. or a radio.  I definitely went a little crazy at first trying to adjust to this new way of life. I was reading a couple books a week and my house was too clean.  I felt alone and started to hate it.

Then I met our German neighbors who spoke very good English!  They adopted us into their family and we had tea, coffee or wine quite often with them.  I began to not feel so alone in my little German village.

Here is a view of my village while on one of my walks with my mom.

Walking back to our home.

My view from our living room window.

Our bathroom.  You could barely stand up in this room!

Our kitchen.  No dishwasher and a tiny stove and oven.

Our eating area.

Our living room.  That little T.V. was given to us by our landlord.  We loved watching American cartoons in German.  We could almost understand what was being said.

This is Bamberg, the main city where we were stationed.  It was beautiful there!

Every day I would like to write a little bit of my memories.  I hope I never forget these experiences and I hope I am able to make new great ones here in our new forever home and life. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

House is Sold!

We sold our house last week.  I now have lots to do to get ready to move.  In the middle of all of this I also have 3 birthday parties to plan and carry out.  We had Kylie's last Saturday and the next two are in June.  Such busy times.  I am not even sure how I should begin the packing process.  I am thinking I should start de-cluttering and take trips to the thrift store drop off. The army is moving us, but they are only paying to move 13,000 pounds of stuff.  I am afraid we have more than that.  That seems like a lot of stuff to be carrying around.  How do we accumulate so much stuff over time?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Honey for a Chid's Heart

"Oh, the beauty and mystery of words! What richness can be conveyed by those who master them!" 

     I love this quote from this book.  I love words too and reading.  I love learning and trying new crafts.  I also love bible studies and being in the Word of God.  I have always wanted to be a writer of amazing words that communicated meaningfully with others.  Mostly, I believe, my words come out a bit jumbled and simple, definitely not worth quoting.  The author of this book, however, is defiantly worthy of quoting and remembering.  I highlighted something on almost every page of this book!  

     This book promotes family reading time and is full of great reading lists.  Board books, early childhood books, Special Occasions, Christianity, poetry, and young adult are just a sample of that list. We need to make time for what is most important in our life, and that is our children, and what better way to show them their importance to us than to read to them.  Parents are the ones who decide the quality of family life their children will have and they decide how much time to invest into their literary world.  There are lots of pressures on parents to be able to provide everything for their children these days and our culture has a lot of influence on the choices we parents make.  But all parents must make that choice on how to raise their children and decide what is best.

"What I am saying is simply this: As parents we are concerned about building whole people--people who are alive emotionally, spiritually, intellectually.  The instruction to train up a child in the way he should go has enormous dimensions. It is to teach a child to think, to influence character, to give high ideals, and to encourage integrity.  It is to proved largeness of thought, creative thinking, imaginative wondering. How large are your goals for your children? Why have a small world when you can walk with God into the larger place that is his domain."  

     The question about how large my goals are for my children really made me think.  How about you? This whole book was very thought provoking for me.  It had me contemplating the types of books we choose to read to our kids every night.  It had me contemplating the books read in school.  There is an amazing world of reading out there and I was beginning to realize we have only experienced the tip of the iceberg.  For example, why do we choose to read the Disney version of Little Mermaid when the original version is so much better?  We read the Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson as soon as I found it on my ipad.  There weren't a lot of pictures, but the imagery from the words was breathtaking. We didn't need pictures.  And the story was so much more than Disney ever offered. 

"Underlying all of this discussion is my thesis that parents who read widely together with their children are going to be those who most influence their children, who have the largest worldview, who have an uncommon delight in what is good and true and beautiful--and an uncommon commitment to it. Sharing and feeling and talking together will come naturally. Books shared with each other provide that kind of climate. "

     I hope you get a chance to read this book. If you need a good list of literature for your kids it is a good reference to turn to. I also hope this makes you think, like it did for me, about reading widely together with your children.

(All quotes are by Gladys Hunt from this book)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Old Winter Pants Turned Into New Spring Skirt

     I went through all of my daughters clothes a few weeks ago to bring out the summer stuff and put away the winter.  Quite a few of their pants were full of holes like this one.  They still fit in the waist, but look terrible in the knees.  I thought this year I will try making them into skirts.  And I did it!  It was so easy. Just cut the pants below the pockets and then cut the seems in between the legs.  Use the material from the leg to fill in the open triangle.  Then make some ruffles and add them to the bottom of the skirt.  I added some flowers to dress it up a bit.  Took maybe an hour.  The hardest part was hand sewing the flowers on.

     Earlier this week my daughter, Haley, picked this book out at the library called, "Super Simple Art to Wear."  

     She really wanted to make everything in the book and I agreed if we could go over some of the steps a few times for one of the projects we would make it.  She picked out the felt purse project.  Here are their purses, both of my daughters made one.  We did have to buy the felt and felt glue, but had the ribbon and velcro.  Everything is just glued together so they were both able to do most of this project on their own. However, I don't know how long these purses will last and I may have to go back and sew everything together.  This is a great book and all the crafts are simple enough for young kids to do with a little help.