Monday, December 11, 2006

Since New York

I had a really hard time adjusting back to life at home after New York, but I think I know why.

And now I am 3 days away from leaving for California for Christmas, and I am sooo excited. My whole family will be there except for Evan who just left on his mission. Mom is going to have a house full. And, I think we have talked the Kirkhams in to coming to Bakersfield to visit the first weekend that we are there. That makes us even more excited about the trip.

I have a pretty scary story that happened to me about a week ago. Steve has joined this book club called where he can download 2 books a month. So he put Da Vinci Code on on MP3 player for me, and I have been walking in the morning and listening to my book. It has been so nice to get out by myself, and listen to my book. Well, one morning I was coming home and crossing a busy street, but I was at the crosswalk, and using the crosswalk button. When it was my turn, I started across the street and a women who was turning on to that street must not have seen me. Well, when I realized she wasn't going to stop, I tried to stop, but my shoes were wet from the morning due, and my foot slipped out in front of me. I fell down on my butt, and my leg was stretched out. I watched the car turning into me, and I was SURE that she was going to run over my leg. It looked like she was heading right for it, and I couldn't move it fast enough. She must have just missed me. Then she stopped her car and got out. I got up and told her, I speak english, but "All ist Klar" that means everything is OK. I wish I could have explained more too her, but she was really sorry, and kept saying stuff in German, and I couldn't understand her. Well, it was during morning traffic so soon people started honking for us to get out of the way, so I walked away. As soon as I left her I just started sobbing. I tried to stop because there were a bunch of people waiting at the light to turn, but I couldn't! Luckily I was very close to home, so I got home as quick as I could and came upstairs to my room where Steve was and just laid down. I guess I was just shaken by it, and scared about how close she came to running over my leg. Pretty crazy.

I don't have any Christmasy pictures, so I am attaching some that I think are funny. There was a potluck dinner for Steven's T-Ball team which is year round, they just move it indoors. So here are pictures of what they boys decided to do after they were done eating. This was at the front of the room where all the food was. They are out of control.

Here is Jacob showing you all the boys favorite food here in Deutschland.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New York Misc.

I have some pictures that I still have sitting in my New York file, that just have to be shared.

For some reason after I took the picture of the "Spoonbread Too" sign I kept seeing signs that I thought were funny. There is always honking in NYC and I thought it was hilarious that they put up a Don't Honk sign. I also noticed that it did no good.

This is an interesting sign. What do they mean by "No Standing"? and why would you make a place where standing was not allowed. I braved it though, and stood there long enough to take the picture. :)

On my way to the temple I passed a little church that had this scripture posted on it's wall. I just found it very ironic. It says,"Unless the Lord builds the House, those who build it Labor in Vain."

And the last sign, I was not ever able to get, but it is a great story. OK, this guy was standing on the corner selling these books called 452 sexual positions for $1. It sounds a little crude now that I am sharing it, but at the time I thought it was funny. So Jessica and I kept trying to take a picture of him, and evertime we aimed the camera at him he would turn and walk the other direction. He never seemed to look at us though, so I kept thinking it was just coincidental, but Jessica says he was watching us and didn't want his picture taken. So Jessica finally got sly, and hid behind this wall to get the picture. She almost got a perfect picture too, but some annoying tourist walked right in front of her camera when she had the perfect shot.

I had to take this picture for the boys. I saw SpongeBob on the corner and just had to get my picture with a celebrity. Come to find out it was a hillbilly family trying to make a few extra bucks by dressing up, so they charged me $2 to get my picture taken with him.

I had to get a picture in the blue wig!

This guy was awesome. We were in the subway and this Korean guy was playing some music and he had a ribbon attatched to his hat. He is making the ribbon twirl by moving his head all around, and he is playing the drum at the same time! Now that is talent. Maybe a little goofy, but talent none the less.
(I couldn't figure out how to get the image onto the blog, so for now just click on this skinny rectangle and it will take you to the video. Maybe Steve can help me later.)

Monday, December 04, 2006

New York 5

Monday was my last day in NYC so we had big plans. :) I got a lot of my stuff packed and ready to go in the morning, because I knew that we were going to be out and about until it was time for me to leave. I came with a 3/4 full suitcase, most of which were advents and I left with a full suitcase and an extra box, and no advents. :)

We then left Jessica's apartment and headed out to see the Statue of Liberty! and I was excited. We bought our tickets and got on the boat, but I did not bring my jacket. I hate wearing a jacket, because I feel like it is too restrictive on my arms. And although the weather had been very nice the whole weekend, it was progressivly getting colder every day. So, it was kind of cold, and then we got on a boat which made it even colder. But Jess let me borrow her scarf. :) She is awesome.

When we got to the Statue of Liberty island, we bought some hot chocolate. Then we walked around the Statue and it was great to be their.

We asked this man to take our picture together in front on the Statue, but I don't think he was standing up straight. haha
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This is a view of Manhattan. Jessica told me that 5 Years ago the Twin Towers would have been almost triple the height of the highest building. Pretty amazing.

When we were done looking we got on the boat again which took us to Ellis Island. That was such a fascinating place. It told you all about what the immigrants had to do before they could be brought all the way to American soil. And there were lots of things that if they weren't up to par they would be sent back to the country they come from. I am sure that was heartbreaking for them. I was a little anxious while we were there to make my plane in time, so I hurried through the museum, but I still enjoyed it.
I talked to Steve on the cell phone while we were waiting for the boat to take us back. He had gotten sick the day before, and was feeling awful, so he was really ready for me to come home, and did not want me to miss my flight! I asked him what he was doing, and he said "taking a nap in bed." I said where are the boys, and he said downstairs. Wow! Our bedroom is on the third floor and the boys were on the first floor. I don't think I could ever go to sleep on the third floor with the 3 boys playing on the first floor. Oh the ease of being a Father. :)

After we got off the boat, we stopped by China Town on our way home to buy a NYC sweatshirt, and then we headed back to Jessica's house. I quickly finished packing and then Jessica again hailed me a gypsy cab to get to the airport in, that cost me an arm and a leg. The driver was very nice and friendly and even turned the horrible rapy music that was playing, to some nice easy listening Christmas music for me. I even fell asleep for a little bit in the back. But for some reason when I got out, I forgot to tip the poor guy! I am sure he wasn't very happy about that, but it really didn't even cross my mind. I don't know if it was because I was anxious about getting there, or half asleep or that the ride cost $50 already. But I do feel bad.

I was heading to the airport at 5:00pm and I could not believe the traffic. I have never seen anything like it. But I guess if you make an island with soooo many jobs on it and few places for people to live, EVERYONE is heading out of town when they get off work. It was crazy.

But,I got to the airport in plenty of time. Then boarded a half full airplane, so we all go our own bench to fall asleep on, and was home in a very short 6.5 hours. The wind must have really been pushing us because that is FAST.

This is what was greeting me when I got home. Oh and they looked so cute to me after not seeing them for 5 days. I love my rowdy, obnoxious, loud little boys!

Friday, December 01, 2006

New York 4

Sunday was a lovely day in NYC. We were a little late getting out the door for church, so Jessica hailed a "GYPSY Cab" from her front doorstep (she is really getting the hang of this New York life.) It was a safe ride just like Jessica said it would be. Church was very nice, and very quiet. That was THE FIRST time I have been able to listen to Sacrament meeting in a long time. :) Jessica's ward was great, and she is an asset to the ward.

After church we went back home via the subway, and Mercedes and her boyfriend made us a fabulous lunch. It was soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but it tasted great!

Then I got all my stuff together because I was heading to Delaware to see my sister and brother-in-law! :) My sister-in-law Kristin is a wonderful friend who set Steve and I up on a blind date 7 years ago. She just had a baby the previous Sunday and was only a two hours drive from Jessica's house. Well, since Jess and I couldn't do much on Sunday anyway, I had planned on driving to Delaware to see my nieces and John and Kristin.

Jessica went with me to the car rental place, and I was quite nervous. I kept remembering driving with the guy who got me to Jessica's house, and I couldn't imagine driving on those same roads. Luckily it was a short distance from the rental place to the Holland Tunnel where you can't change lanes and then onto a toll road. But I asked Jessica to drive with me until I was almost out of the city anyway. :)

So, I drove to Kristins listening to Christmas music, and enjoying some more alone time. I got there in about 2 hours and it was so weird to drive through their city. The city was really open and had all the wonderful things that a city in the U.S. has. Stores with their own parking lot, Walmart, Taco Bell, etc., etc. It was nice to get a glimpse of the United States even on my trip to NYC which is not quite like the rest of the U.S.

I really enjoyed spending a couple of hours with their family, and Erin(another of Steve's sisters) was even there as a bonus. Their new baby Hannah is a beautiful little girl. I would love to have taken her home with me, and then the quest to have a girl would be over.:) John and Kristin live in a beautiful home which I got the grand tour of.

This is Kalie who is 7 (Kristin was pregnant with her when she set Steve and I up.)

This is Macy who just turned 3 (she was being shy)

John holding Hannah


Kristin with Hannah

And beautiful Hannah (once again, my camera failed me in getting a great picture of her.)

So I took some pictures, and chatted a little and then it was time to go. I was a little nervous to go home too, because it was 9:00pm and I was sooo exhausted.(Jet lag still I think) But I made it back safely and was able to take the rental car back to Alamo so I wouldn't have to be responsible for it overnight.

Here is where the True New York experience comes in. So I am heading towards the subway entrance at 12:30am. The one I had planned on using was locked with a sign that says it is only open until 10:00pm, so I got out my trusty Subway map that Jessica made a good move in buying and followed it to the next Subway entrance. I tried to call Jessica at Mercedes phone, but was getting her voice mail, so I decided, "I have the map, I can figure this out on my own." So I got on the subway and took it to the end of the line going in the direction of Jessica's house. When I got off I couldn't find the signs that would take me to my connecting subway to get all the way home. So I tried Jessica again, this time I got her and she said that I should have got off 4 stops before that one to be able to catch the connecting subway. They don't all stop at the same stops.

Well, that stunk, but oh well, so I got back on the subway going back the direction I came from. As I was getting on I was looking for my IPOD which was in my backpack that I had taken to Kristins house. I couldn't find it anywhere and then realized I had left it in the car! Since I was heading back anyways I thought I might as well go all the way back and get it since I wasn't going to have time to do so tomorrow. So I went back and the overnight attendant took my up to their 3rd floor in a car elevator where they had already taken the car. I got the IPOD and was heading to the subway for the second time that night, except now it was 1:30am.

Since it was so late the subway only came every half an hour instead of like every 5 minutes. So I waited at one station for 20 minutes, and at the other station for closer to 30. I finally arrived unscathed at Jessica's house after 2:30am, and when Jessica answered the door she said Nothing. I fully expected a "How are you" or "How was it" or some sign of sympathy for my frustrating past 2 hours, but I got nothing. When I mentioned that, she said, no big deal, that is something that everyone in NY has to deal with. WOW!

Sorry about the long story, but it had to be told and it made my vacation just that much more adventurous.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

New York 3

K-I'm back.

So, Saturday Jessica woke up early and headed off to work in the temple like she does every Saturday. I left a little later, and braved the subway all by myself. I did Great with Jessica's instructions. I stopped at a cafe and had a bagel with cream cheese that was yummy (they don't have bagels in Germany) and then headed in to the temple myself. I did a wonderful session, and then Jessica and I left at the same time.

After the temple we went shopping a little for clothes and books, but didn't spend too much money. She took me to Harlem where you are away from the touristy area. It is quite different, and I just didn't feel as safe anywhere in New York as I do in my town.

In the evening we went to where the musical Wicked plays, which is a very popular Broadway show, and Jessica's favorite. We tried to win tickets with this drawing they do, but of course we did not win. So we tried for another show that I can't remember the name of, but we struck out there too, so we decided to go eat some cheesecake.
Oh what a great idea that was. The best cheesecake I have ever tasted right there in New York City.

Then we went over to a huge Toys R Us they have in Time Square that was such a cool store. The boys would have loved it, but oh well. :)

We also went to check out Little Italy and China Town but most everything had closed, so I didn't get much, but I got the idea.

While I was sitting in the bagel shop Saturday morning I was making a list of all the firsts I was having on this vacation.

1. The first time I have left any of my kids for longer than 24 hours.
2. The first time I have flown alone.
3. The first time I have been to NY and all the fun that comes with that.
4. The first time I have done a temple session by myself.
5. The first time I have seen a Broadway show.
6. The first time I have spent so much money on myself.

Oh what a wondeful vacation it was!

P.S. Pictures of Mary Poppins. See, I really was there.

Monday, November 27, 2006

New York 2

So, we woke up the next morning and got out of the house about 9 or so. We first went to the Post Office to mail German Christmas goodies to the family. It was great to be able to use the good ol' U.S. postal service again. Then we went quickly over to the Mary Poppins theater to get tickets for the show. We bought them for that night. We also put our names in a drawing to try and win David Letterman tickets, but of course we didn't win.

Then we went to Ground Zero. They have a big display of pictures and a timeline of what happened on that day.

I started crying of course, and had to think of something else for a minute. It just makes me soo sad to think what those people inside the buildings went through, and then all of the families whose lives were changed that day. It was amazing to see it from where you get off the subway. Jessica said there use to be an entrance in to the building from the subway, and I guess the rubble flew into the subway tunnel as well.

The construction behind me is the site of the twin towers. They are building something as a memorial.

This is in front of the display of pictures. You will have to forgive my looks. I thought that outfit looked better on me than it does. Oh well, I will know for next time. If you look real close you can see Jessica in this picture as well. :)

We walked past the NY Stock Exchange, and then went across to Staten Island on a Ferry and got to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge. We got on the Ferry just as the sun was going down.

Jessica with the Bull

Then we got back to time square where we had a showtime with Mary Poppins. It was so cool to be at a Broadway show! And I swear I thought I was over my jet lag. I got about 8 hours of sleep so I should have been good to go! Well, I fell asleep a number of times during the show. It was just such a comfortable seat, and the lights were off, and I guess I was tired. Jessica was not too pleased with that. She told me to eat some peanut M&Ms from the snack bar, and then gave me the most horrible tasting mints ever and said that is how she keeps herself awake at work when necessary. I only fell asleep in one minute increments though, so I saw basically all of the show, and it as great. The children actors were so good, and they did such a cute number with Supercalifragilistic.

Well, needless to say, after the show we went home and went to bed. We had planned on going out for cheesecake afterwards, but I totally forgot about that. :) We also forgot to take pictures in front of the theater, but we went back and did that later. Those pictures will be on a later blog.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

New York 1

So, here I sit at my computer again, with my New York trip behind me. I had such a wonderful, marvelous time, and am soo grateful to Steve for letting me go and taking such GREAT care of the boys. He is wonderful to me and to the kids.

I have had a hard time getting this blog done, because I have been extremely busy lately. I knew this time would come in my life, and it is now here. Today is Sunday, and I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting (which went very well thanks to Dads insight), taught sharing time in Primary, and taught the CTR-A class the last hour. So now that my head is clear, I can think back on NY. :)

I had so many thoughts during and about the trip that I want to record. I had a nice quiet flight of about 8.5 hours, where my only complaint was that my butt hurt by the time I got there. After I landed I found a SUPER Shuttle to take me to Jessica's house. Boy was he a crazy driver and being on NY streets with all the cars, and honking, and changing lanes was my first glimpse of NY. It was pretty crazy. But he got me there safely, and after I dropped my stuff off, Jessica took me to a Southern cookin' place for dinner that was very good. We had a very friendly Gay man serving us, and the food was great. I thought the name of the place was funny, maybe I was just tired though because Jessica didn't think it was a weird name.

We then got on the Subway, and went down to Time Square. WOW! It was a amazing. I couldn't believe all of the lights. If you look up in the sky it looks like the sun is not all the way down because the sky is still lit up.

We walked around the streets for a little bit, and saw the temple, and some other cool places.

Then it was time to go home, so we got back on the Subway. Well, as we were sitting down, I decided to take my backpack off before the Subway started. Little did I know that thre is no allotted time to adjust yourself. So, the Subway jerked forward and I fell over and half sat right on a mans leg. I guess his hand was under his leg, because when I got up and turned around to say I was sorry he was whincing with pain and shaking his hand, and he explained what damage had been done. Boy if that just doesn't make you feel like an elephant I don't know what would.

Well, Jessica being the wonderful person that she is, knew how to turn a bad encounter into a good one. The man was holding a program for a new Broadway show, Mary Poppins, that had just opened that night. So she proceeded to talk to him the whole way home about his feelings about the show. I told her she shouldn't have made best friends with him, but she told me that now he will remember us for letting him talk about his experience at the broadway show instead of the girl who sat on his hand.:) Way to go Jessica. She also told me that I am not the first person who took a tumble on the Subway.

So then we got home, and stayed up for a little bit talking to Jessica's wonderful roommate Mercedes. Mercedes let me sleep in her bed which is in Jessica's room the whole weekend while she slept on the couch. What a great person she is.

I finally went to bed about 1:00am NY time which was just shortly before Steve would be getting up to get the boys ready for school, 7:00am Germany time.

What a great first day in NYC.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


OK, so I know this is out of order, but I wanted to do Thanksgiving before NYC because the Thanksgiving story will seem more outdated if I wait. :) NY was awesome though, I can't wait to tell you about it.

So we woke up this morning to a rainy day with tons of food, and only the missionaries scheduled to come over. We spent the morning calling people to find someone that we could share all of our turkey with. We decided to invite our neighbors where the man is Irish and the women is German and they just had their 3rd baby a month ago. The missionaries had stuff to do in the evening, so we ate with them at 2:00pm. Our neighbors came over at 5:00pm and we re-served the food, and got to tell them about all the different things on the table. They could not believe how much food their was, or that their was a holiday that was all about EATING! Isn't it great.

Because of our guest list Steve and I prepared everything that we wanted to serve. Steve loves to cook turkey and we got 2 13lbs turkeys.

I must say we did a pretty good job of getting everything on the table, and keeping it warm for the most part. The Elders seemed to really enjoy the dinner. In this picture Nathan was getting something in the family room, and Jacob hadn't woken up from his nap yet. They joined us later though.

One of Steven favorite foods to eat is chicken on the bone, so when he saw the turkey leg he was all over it. He literally sucks everything from the bone when he eats it. YUCK :)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and were grateful to be able to share it with great people. We hope you all had a great day as well.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Birthday in Prague

To make my 30th birthday memorable, Steve took the family to Prague for an overnight adventure. Of course if we could have left the boys home we would have, but until Jessica gets here I guess that is out. :) For those that don't know, (because I didn't) Prague is a big tourist city and the capital of the Czech Republic where they speak Czech (go figure). It is about a 4 to 5 hour drive from our home.

So we left Friday morning, and with the DVD player in the car we had a nice drive, with only a couple of wrong turns. Once again, that problem will be fixed with our GPS that we are getting for Christmas. :)

When we got there, we went out for some Czech food, and a piece of birthday cake. We didn't love the food, but we enjoyed the experience. :)

Then we went back to the "hotel" which was actually an apartment. It was very nice, and we all loved it.

The boys slept upstairs.

and this was the downstairs.

The next moring we got ready, and headed up to the place where they served breakfast. This was the street the apartment was on. It was a huge hill.

Here is the view outside our apartment. We climbed up some stairs and it looked like we were on the roof. There was a little patio area there that I swear has been used in movies when they are showing people eating or dancing on the roof. (Steven took this picture, and did not count for us so Steve was obviously not ready.)

It was a pretty cool day, so after some walking we stopped at this outdoor cafe that had big heaters in between every table, and enjoyed some hot chocolate.

Then we walked over a huge bridge where there were vendors selling art. Also there were a lot of people playing music with their hats out for people to drop money in.

And just like every other country we have been vacation is complete without a stop at McDonald's. We love that place.