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.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Learning German

In Germany after a Mom has her baby she gets 3 years of paid time off from work to take care of the baby. Then she puts the baby in Kindergarten, which is where they mostly just play, but also learn how to cut, and color, and sing, and play coordinated activities in the gym. I am just loving the Kindergarten experience here. They stay in Kindergarten from 3 to 6. At age 6 is when they start "real" school. So I went to register Steven about a month ago, and they evaluated him while we were there. They determined that he could use some improvement on his German (of course) so they have put him in a German language course at his new school with a teacher there. He goes for 45 minutes 3 days a week. I was worried that this would be another fight with him, but he has been twice now, and he really likes it, so that is a big relief. It is crazy to me that he really will be a fluent German speaker by the end of this school year. I love it!! So I took some picture at his new school. One of just him,

and one of the boys in front of an animal mural they have on the wall there.

As a side note....Nathan comes home from school all the time trying to sing songs that they sung at school, but as of yet I have not been able to pick out any recognizable German words from the songs. :) Oh well it is just a matter of time.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Carousel Cake!

Last week we had a babyshower for Natalie Mungia, who is due in May for those of you who know her. She is moving to San Antonio on Tuesday though, so we had the shower early for her.

I volunteered to bring the cake even though I don't know the first thing about decorating a cake. :) Well, I was telling my friend Julie this dilemma and I showed her some cutsie animal candy decorations that I had come across at the store, and she came up with this idea. It turned out so cute, and I will totally use the idea again.

She suggested making a 9X13 size cake so we could decorate the ground as well, which was cute, but you could also do a bundt cake or some other circle. Then we used candy canes for the poles, and then attached the candy animals with white frosting.
Cute huh?

The letter D

Last week at preschool we learned about the letter D. It was a great day at preschool like always. The women who taught asked each child to bring something that started with "D." I had to get creative to come up with 3, so Steven brought some Dirt that he put in a little see through tupperware thing, Nathan brought a stuffed animal Dog that Nana and Papa got him a couple of years ago, and Jacob brought a Diaper. :)

So we did show and tell, then we read some stories about Dinosaurs. Then Dawnella gave all the kids some of her homemade playDoh. They played with that for a little bit and loved it.

The snacks were bagels and cream cheese with cheez-its all put together to kind of look like a dinosaur.

Then we played with a cool parachute thing where they all hold a handle and pop the balloon around.The balloon had dinosaurs all over it to stick with the theme.

As always it was a great time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween package

YEAH! We just got a Halloween package from Grandma and Grandpa and we love it. The boys always enjoy peeps, and they were wearing their faces and teeth all night. I got a couple pictures to display.

Thanks MOM and DAD!

Halloween night

On actual Halloween we went to a Haunted House at the kids pizza place on post and then went trick or treat for about half an hour to a military neighborhood. We were with our friends the McNalley's and we went back to their house to play our new Settlers game after trick or treating.

This is the boys with our neighbor Ronya just before we left.


We had a great Halloween! We had a Branch Halloween party the Friday before Halloween which was a blast.

I actually spent some money on costumes this year, and was happy I did. The past two years I have just gone to the thrift store and whatever they had that was the boys size I got and that is what they were for Halloween.

This year Steven wanted to be Peter from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. This is an actual Peter costume that he just loves.

Nathan always pretends he is a lion, so I asked him if he wanted to be Aslan (from the same book/movie/Xbox game). He thought that was a great idea.

Happy Lion!

Sleeping Lion

Jacobs costume is the itsy bitsy spider. I saw it on and thought it was cute and cheap so that is what he got to be and he loved it.

And I was a witch because it was the cheapest costume I could find. I had a hat with lots of black hair coming out of it. But once again, no pictures of me. Steve had to work that night, and was not a very happy camper. He was suppose to get off at 3 and then something came up and he had to stay until 10. It was very sad.