Thursday, August 31, 2006

Italy 2

The next day we went to see Florence which we had heard from a couple of people was a beautiful city, and they were so right. We again had the boys watch a movie and drove 2 hours to get there. There was definitely a lot more to see in Florence than in the courtyard in Pisa. We first walked through a cathedral.

Then went to go see the Statue of David which is something that Steve really wanted to see. I thought it was less than interesting, but explaining to the boys why we were seeing a bunch of naked statues was fun. :)

After seeing the statue, we decided to do a bus tour of the city, because what better way to see everything than on a bus with a driver who knew where he was going. Especially when you are touring with 3 slow children. The tour was awesome, and we were able to see everything that we wanted to.

We got off at a stop at the top of a hill that gave us a great view of the city. It also had a bunch of kiosks to buys souvenirs which is always fun.

We had a mediocre dinner there at the top of the hill, and close to where we were sitting was this little water fountain that people kept coming up to and filling up there water bottles, drinking out of, and washing their hands in. So of course the boys had to get their fun at the fountain as well. Except they asked me to change their shirt when they were done at the fountain.

As we waited for the bus that would take us back to the city center Steven got in trouble for playing to close to the street and not listening when we asked him not to. So he had to stand by Steve for a minute. Well, Steve was also holding the folded up stroller getting ready to get on the bus, and Steven apparently was resting his face on the wheels. hahaha

When we got back to the city center we had our daily gelato. As we were eating them, the missionaries walked past. So we stopped them, and chatted for a minute. We also bought them a gelato so they could join us in eating such a wonderful treat.
We then headed home again just in time for the boys to fall asleep.

Most of Italy is not what I would call a beautiful country (well at least not in comparison to Germany) but a portion of the Autostrada that we used to get to these cities gave us a beautiful view of the country. It was at the edge of a mountain looking down into the valley below and we had to go through 23 tunnels to get to our destination. We counted.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Italy 1

We're Back! We had a wonderful vacation to Italy, and are all happy to be home again. I will tell you a little about our trip. But....I want to put a disclaimer up first, I am not sharing our vacation to make anyone jealous, so you can stop (you know who you are). Everyone is welcome to come and visit Italy, and we will be here to help you on your way. :)

So, we left Thursday morning and drove to the airport in our new car. Not a van, and not a luxurious car, but a second car none the less. The excitement started when we got to ride the bus from parking to the airport. (Well at least it was exciting to Nathan.)

The flight was only an hour which is a huge diffrence from what we are use to now, it was great! We then rented a car and drove to our hotel in Lido Di Salvio. Our hotel was right on the Adriatic Sea, and was quite comfortable.

The first night we went out to dinner in a quaint Italian restaurant. The pizza was fabulous! Then we walked along the main street there, that had tons of people out walking around at 10:00pm which was when we were there. We stopped at a Gelato shop and had our first gelato in Italy. Oh my gosh it was sooo good. The only complaint I had for it, was that it melts a lot faster than ice cream, and the dirty clothes hamper is proof of that.

The next day we got up and headed to Pisa to see some famous leaning tower. I brought the portable DVD player so the boys were content most of the way on our 3 hour drive. The leaning tower is in the middle of a courtyard, that had other cool buildings in it to see, and lots of touristy kiosks.

We enjoyed more pizza, more gelato, and then Steve was able to go inside the tower, and climb to the very top.

Children under 8 were not allowed in, and since Jessica didn't come with us, he had to go up by himself. In the mean time the boys had a major wrestling match out on the lawn.

Then of course Steve and I did our part to try to push the tower back up and make it straight again. I am sure our contribution was helpful.

We then headed back just in time for the boys to fall asleep in the car.

To be continued....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Our Walk

So...I am on my way out the door to Italy right now, but I have a couple of extra minutes believe it or not. It may be due to the 11:30am departure. That is too much time in the morning to get everything ready. I am use to an hour...maybe two. So anyway, in a week I will have some beautiful pictures to put up, but after seeing Laura's post this morning, I had to put these pictures up.

The other day was a nice day, and the boys and I were bored so we decided to go on a walk. Nathan is on his little German bike that has no pedals. It helps the kids learn to balance so they can learn to ride a real bike. These are more popular than training wheels here. Jacob has his little pink stroller, almost identical to Kea's just about 5 years older. This was a must have from the thrift store for a dollar. Steve was not thrilled about the doll toy that Jacob got, but Jacob loves it. He pushed it all around the block, and loved it. Steven is walking on the walk because this was a day or two befored he mastered his bike.

So, on our walk we past a Metzgerei (A meat store). Since the boys favorite food is sausage, salami, and bologna, we went inside and got some wurst and the boys got a sample piece of bologna. Then we finished our walk and cooked up the wurst for lunch.

Ok, well we love our German life, but are interested to see what the Italians have to offer. We will back Tuesday night.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

He learned to RIDE!

Well, I have a ton of pictures to put up, but I haven't really felt like blogging lately. I am enjoying doing my cross stitch right now, so I watch TV and do that instead of being on the computer. I do want to put up the big news at our house this week though.

OK, so I was ready to teach Steven to ride his bike, and he has been ready since he turned 5 and I told him that it is a 5 year old thing to do. So I finally took him out the beginning of last week, and was practicing with him in the street in front of our house. He did a great job right from the start. We just went up and down the street a couple of times with me while holding onto his seat. We were just about to come inside, and I was teaching him how to stop the bike. Well...I let go too early and he fell over and the handle bar hurt his stomach.

So after that incident, he was mad and had gotten hurt so he said he wasn't going to ride his bike anymore. I waited a couple of days, and then told him he needs more hobbies than just X-Box so he isn't going to play X-Box until he practices on his bike with me for 10 minutes every day. After that threat we were out everyday. It took maybe 3 days of 10 minutes, and then he was off on his own.

And of course after a couple of minutes of practicing on his own, he was back to his favorite spot on the couch.

I am proud of him though, and it was quite exciting to see him taking off on his own. I will keep making him practice everyday until it gets cold so he can get better. He is getting so big!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Die Maus

This week has been pretty boring for the most part which would explain the fewer blogs. So I will post something we did Monday which was fantastic. Steve decided he needed a break from work, and since he's got the time I say go for it. So, I wanted to take him up to see the castles on the Rhine river since he has never seen them, it is only 45 minutes away, and it is about the most beautiful drive you could ever go on in your life (May through Oct.) So we drove for a while, and then we wanted to get out and go explore a castle. We chose "die maus" and it was about 1/2 kilometer walk up a hill with switchbacks. When we got to the top the doors where closed, and we found out that they only open at 11 and 2:30 for you to see the castle, the view, and a falcon/hawk show. When we got to the top it was 3:00! So I was quite frustrated, and vow to go back and see the birds someday. Well, Steve wanted to see if he could get a look at the birds without coming he walked a little more up the hill, and sure enough there was a place where you could look through the trees and see the birds, and a beautiful view of the river. The boys had a great time, and we will go back and see more castles before it gets too cold.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Horse show

Last Saturday, Steve decided to work on a project he is doing in the garden (that is what German's call their backyards, because they are about the size of a garden.) I wanted to get out and do something with the boys, so we went out to a village of a friend of mine who said they were doing a horse jumping show there. We parked about a half a mile away from the show, where she told us to park, and then we just meandered down this path trying to find where we should be. It proved to be a beautiful walk that the boys loved, and my pictures just don't do it justice. First we saw a herd of sheep grazing, then we saw three horses out in the field, next we came upon three all white cows, and a little further down the lane we found a pond with lots of ducks who all came swimming towards us hoping for some food. Then we approached the horse show from the back so we walked past all the horse trailers with the horses that would be performing that day. Nathan and Jacob kept poking their heads in the trailers saying "Neigh" to the horses in a very loud voice (not good). Then we got closer to the jumping ring and there were lots of horses just standing around with a rider on their backs. Well, my children know nothing about horse safety, and we weren't real sure where we were going, so while I was shepherding Steven and Nathan in the right direction, Jacob walked almost straight into a horses hind legs (also not good). A lady standing there pulled him back a little, while I ran over and got him, and we tried to stay out of harms way for the rest of the day. We then had some hamburgers, and watched the horses jump a little, then walked back to the car with some sprinkles of rain on us, but made it back before the real rain came. All in all it was a fantastic day.

And of course the best part of a fun day is looking in the rear view mirror at your sleeping children.

Just for Jen

K, Jen this is for you. Here are some beautiful pictures of the Kirkhams new baby. Her name is Olivia Grace and she was born on May 15th. She is a wonderful baby, and sleeps almost every time I see her. :) Look how much she thins out just by standing up.:) What a cutie. She makes me want a GIRL!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

three men in a tub
and who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
the candlestick maker,
turn them out, knaves, all three.

They are getting a little big to all take a bath together. :) Steven usually takes a shower, but today they all wanted to play together.

Preschool at Home

Whenever I feel like it, I enjoy doing Preschool at home with the boys. Actually, for a long time, I would just do it with Steven, but now that Nathan is done with naps and old enough to be interested, we all three do it. We had a down day yesterday, so I got out the preschool stuff, and we had a grand time as always. For anyone looking to do crafts and fun learning with their children the Preschool Curriculum I use is awesome. You can check it out at

To start out we made a GREAT snack. We have been trying to eat a little healthier here in the Hughes home, so instead of getting out the cookies, I came up with these blueberry pizzas. You mix some Splenda (or any sugar substite) in with some cream cheese to your desired sweetness. Then spread that mixture on a rice cake, and top with fresh blueberries. It turned out wonderful. Maybe not as good as a Snickers bar, but still a great sweet snack.

After our snack we made these owl crafts. The theme for the month is things that fly, and this is one of many crafts that we have made for things that fly. The boys got to paint the paper plate brown, and then we glued everything else on. And since my kinder paint set doesn't have brown, we also go to learn what colors mixed together will make brown. Jacob was awake by the time the glue dried, so he held the glue to feel like he was a part of things.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Zoo

Well...we finally went to the zoo! The last time we went to a zoo was over 3 years ago in Georgia. So I have been saying that I want to go since the spring, and we finally went. We let Steve work, and went with friends. It was a very nice zoo, even though I had told the boys that we were going to see lions and tigers, and this zoo had neither. They didn't seem to miss them tough. We did see a hippo with his mouth wide open right by the gate like he was expecting something to drop out of the sky into it. It was pretty cool. We have to fit all of our fun summer outings in before it gets too cold here, which looks like it is going to be in about a month.

I lost Jacob for a second, and when I found him, this is where he was. And it is right next to an ice cream stand that we had just got ice cream at. He headed back here to wait for me to buy him another ice cream bar.

The boys were headed off to the play ground and play and I told them all to turn around and smile. I don't know why they are all 5 feet apart.

I don't know if you can tell, but there is a goat here that is laying his head on top of another goat, and they are sleeping like that. Steven stopped by them and said, "Oh their in love." in a matter of fact voice.

How's this one

Well Landon, I think you are right about Nathan's flirty eyes being a little too aggressive. How do you think he will do with this look? :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sunday Dinner

Sunday night, we had a wonderful family named the McNalley's over for dinner. They have just recently moved into the Branch, and have twin boys that are exactly Steven's age! How perfect is that? They turn 5 this week, so they brought a birthday cake over to share with us. We are so happy to have them here. The boys love X-Box so they get along great with Steven, and you can see that Nathan is giving yet another girl those flirty eyes. What a crazy boy.

Entertaining the Missionaries

Surprisingly in our Branch of so few, we have 6 missionaries serving. The also all serve in the German Ward, so they are pretty busy on Sunday. It has been nice to have so many missionaries in our Branch. I have committed to feeding them all this month, so we have two sets down, and one to go. I invite them on Mondays, so they can give us a thought, which is a great Family Home Evening for us. I have taken a picture of how we entertain, and then some of how Elder Amaral entertains the boys. We love the missionaries!

These were taking after church on Sunday while the boys were waiting for me to take them home.