Thursday, May 31, 2007

Our Second Home

Tonight is the last night that Wingers Restaurant in Germany will be open. We went out to dinner there on Tuesday to say goodbye.

Wingers is a restaurant that I think first started in Utah. Steve and I had one really close to our house in Orem right after we got married and we frequented the place. I specifically remember that we went out to eat there on our way to the hospital to have Steven. I was 2 days overdue and had been dilated to a 4 for two weeks, so the Dr. just told us to come in whenever we were ready. So, we went out to dinner and then headed to the hospital. (That was a bad idea by the way)
{Steven took this picture for us}

So, when we moved to Germany and found out they had a Wingers here, we were thrilled. Especially when we found out it was outside the gate. The American posts here are surrounded by gates with guards at the entrance. Since Steve is not in the Army, we cannot get past the gates which is where they have an American grocery store, a Taco Bell, a Thrift Store, an English movie theater, etc. All of our friends at church are military, so they go on post all the time, but we do not have passes. That was REALLY hard for a long time, so it was so nice to have Wingers outside the gate.

Wingers also takes American Dollars instead of the Euro that we use every where else, so we felt like we were saving money every time we went there. For all these reasons, and because we love to go out to eat, we have gone there about every other week for 3 years.

Well, the base here is closing, and they are moving the soldiers back to the states as fast as they can. So...they are starting to close a lot of the facilities as well. And that is why they are closing Wingers. I feel like we have been enough times now that we are OK to see it go, but it sure was a great feel of home whenever we needed it.

For some reason all of these pictures are kind of blurry. I don't know why, but I will use them anyway.
{Steve got these fajitas that he loves all 5000 times we went to Wingers}

{Steven found his love for a loaded baked potato here}

{And here is the hill out front that the boys loved to play on while Steve was inside paying the bill. We rarely left Wingers without the boys climbing up this hill. }

Saturday, May 26, 2007

"American Football" in Deutschland

It is a little after midnight here and we just put the kids to bed after a very fun evening. Our friends who have season tickets to "American football" which is NFL Europe, were feeling sick tonight, so they offered us their tickets for the evening. I was really excited to go and take the boys, and I am so glad we did. We got there via train, which is something we rarely do, and almost ever time we do use the train we get off at the wrong place. Of course that happened tonight, which allowed us to eat McDonald's for dinner instead of Bratwurst at the pre-game party, but we were OK with that. Then we got to the game about 45 minutes late, and we were OK with that too. I would have liked to hear them sing the USA National Anthem and the German National Anthem, but getting there late allowed us to get through the gate and find our seats with very few people around. Dragging the boys through crowds can be a bit of a headache.

This is where the boys ended up after running around and chasing each other right near the train tracks. They were told to keep their back against the wall until we were ready to go.

So, we got to the game finally and were so excited to see how much like a American football game it really was. They were playing the same type of music, they did the wave a few times, the crowd was all dressed in the team colors, they had cheerleaders, etc. It was really cool. Our seats were in the perfect spot and there was nobody to the left of us, so when the boys got bored after an hour or so they had some room to roam around. That helped a ton, and made the night that much more enjoyable.
My favorite part of the evening was the fact that we were in public and I didn't have to tell the boys to be quiet because the stadium was so loud, it didn't matter how loud they were being. There were no people very close to us, so I didn't have to keep them still the whole time, and when they cried or whined for something, I could barely hear them because of the noise of the crowd, so I was really able to enjoy myself. :)

{I brought earplugs for the boys so their eardrums would survive the evening, but they kept taking them out and then wanting them back in. This stadium seemed extremely noisy to me, especially for only being half full. I can't decide if the fact that it had a roof had anything to do with it. }

We all had a really good time and we are grateful to Dave and Dolly for thinking of us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Camping in Holland

One of the fun things we did over this past month was take our new/borrowed camper for a camping trip in Holland. As some of you know, Steve bought a camper last month with big plans to sell it in the UK, with some help from a friend of his in Wales. Since we had it for a month we decided to use it and see what we think about camping in an RV. I absolutely loved the camping. The driving 5 hours there and back with children not hunkered down was not my favorite thing. Those things really need more seat belts in them.

We left Sunday (mother's day) after church for 5-6 hour drive to Holland. We all took a nap on the way, so our 12:30am arrival didn't bother us as much as it could have. We left the GPS for Scott and Alicia to find their way to Holland the next day, and realized when we got there, that our printed directions didn't get us all the way to our camping spot. When we finally found it, we saw that our directions had stopped about 5 miles shy of the campground. But we did find it, and we all snuggled into our comfy beds and went to sleep.

The next day we took a nice walk to find the North Sea which was suppose to be short walk from the campground. Well...we never found it, but we enjoyed the walk anyway.

Then we went home for a nap in the camper. It was a fabulous nap. When Alicia and Scott got there in the afternoon, we went out to dinner.

The next day we went to the Tulip Park (Keukenhof) to see the flowers, but sadly we were a little too late. They had cut most of the flowers at the park, and we were left looking at a bunch of stems. What shocked us is that they still charged us full price! Steve and I have been there before with his parents, and there was a huge difference in what we were looking at. How dare they charge full price when there was nothing left to see.

After seeing the tulip stems we went to a place called Zaanse Schans and it did not disappoint. It is a great little touristy place where you get to see all the unique things of Holland. Wooden shoes, cheese, and windmills. We had a wonderful time there, and the weather was great for us all day.

The boys watching some wooden shoes be made.
Steven's infamous wooden shoes.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A little about Jacobie

As many of you know(or have figured out), Jacob was totally unplanned. Steve kept telling me that I was being a brat, and acting pregnant, and I kept telling him, "You are crazy. We have a 6 month old baby!" Well sure enough after taking a pregnancy test in October, we confirmed that Steve was right, and by then I was already 2 months pregnant. How did that happen?? We wondered the same thing.:)

When Jacob was born, Nathan had just learned how to walk about 2 weeks before, and he was expected to be a big boy. Jacob was born in Bakersfield while I was staying at my parents house, and Steve was sealing the deal for us in Germany. It worked out quite well, although he came into a pretty unsettled family.

As I look back on it, I am glad that Jacob came when he did. Had we waited it either would have been years before I had another one because of uneasiness in Germany, or I would have had to move to Germany and have a baby shortly thereafter. With all the other headache moving to Germany brought, I am glad I didn't have to have a baby until I was perfectly comfortable here. He was 5 weeks old when we got here.

Jacob seems to be my child whom everyone just gets a kick out of. When he learned to walk and then run, people would just sit and watch him because it looked so funny. He swings his arms along as he walks. He also has some pretty funny things to say. He always tells me, "I can speak German Mom. Ich Nein." Which means I No.
He has a little bridge of freckles across his nose from the sun last summer, and Steve asks him, "What do you have on your face." He says "polkadoths." (with a little "s" lisp)
And as the family may well remember from Christmas, his favorite thing to say is, "I hungry Momma." Typically this is said just after we get up from the table. He has a tricky way of not eating real food up to the table, but then gets all the snacks and goodies that come in between the meals.

For this past year Jacob and I have become great "shopping friends." With Steven and Nathan in school, and a car for me, we are gone most days from 9-12 while the boys are in school. We have done a lot of fun things including shopping, scrapbooking, going to a kinder playgroup, or anything else other than staying at home and cleaning which is what I used to do in the morning. :)

He plays quite nicely with his brothers, and is ready to be a bike rider just like them. Although he does not feel left out when we leave them at school and go out on the town.

I have really enjoyed Jacob as my little friend. I almost didn't send him to Kindergarten next year, because he is my comfort zone while shopping in Germany. It is an obvious heads up that I may not speak German when people hear me talking to Jacob in English. Now I will be shopping with an unspeaking baby and I won't be as obvious. Jacob is going to start school in July or August, and I hope he does well, and adjusts as well as Nathan has. It has been a great experience for the other boys, and I hope it will be for him.

We love our little Jacob boy(attitude and all) and are so happy to have him in our family!

More on Baby names

OK, so I started a baby name discussion eons ago, and had planned on finishing it in the same week before Steve got home from Wales. much for planning. :)

I loved the suggestions of names!! It got me thinking a lot about it. Now I can at least say I have thought about it when someone asks what the baby's name is going to be. My father-in-law also sent me a lot of family names from the Hughes side which I was excited about.

As far as the names I have narrowed it down too, these are the ones I like:


I haven't added middle names yet, but we like to do family names as middle names, so I will choose one from one of our ancestors. What do you think of these?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I'm Baacckk!

OK, OK, so I have been the biggest blog slacker ever this month! I guess when I have something else to do in the evening, the blog goes out the window. I have just kept really busy enjoying the Buchanan's. And the week they went to the UK, I spent recuperating so I would be ready for the week they came back. We had such a wonderful time with them though, and are so thrilled they decided to come and stay with us here in Germany. We saw many beautiful things while they were here, and the weather worked out quite nicely for them. Their vacation seemed to be the perfect amount of time too. They left Saturday morning, and they seemed to be ready to go, but not overly anxious so the timing was great.

So...I will tell you of my highlights with them soon, but first we need to recognize Jacobie's birthday! He turned 3 today and seemed to really enjoy his birthday although I dropped the ball in a lot of areas. First he woke up to our typical streamers on the door, and then was thrilled to see some decorations downstairs.

Steve and I had decided to get him a bike for his birthday since Steven and Nathan have become quite the European bike riders and Jacob is left in the dust. Germans have these great walking bikes that I have blogged about before with Nathan and 3 is just the right age to get one. So, I looked all over for a little wooden one that I knew would fit him just right, but could not find one anywhere. I ended up with one exactly like Nathan's and just like I was afraid of, when Jacob got on it this morning, it was too big for him and his feet couldn't reach the floor. He does have short legs for a 3 year old. So, the only present we got for him was not wrapped and is something he can't even use. Strike 1

Then we went to church and I printed a cute little birthday hat for him to wear, so he could let everyone know he was the Birthday Boy. I also sent gummy candy with him to Nursery to pass out to his friends to celebrate. He thought that was pretty cool. Then we came home, and he had said he wanted macaroni and cheese for dinner. Well, since they don't sell the boxed kind here I made it from scratch. It turned out pretty good but he didn't seem to love it.

Then for birthday cake I made a lemon cake mix we had in the cupboard. When I was licking the edge of the bowl after pouring it in to the cake pan it tasted a little weird to me. So, I checked the expiration and saw that it had expired on July of 2000!! Why would I have something that expired 4 years before I even moved here in my cupboard? All I can think is when someone moved out and gave me their kitchen stuff I got an old cake mix. So, I used the last of the eggs and the last of the oil in a very old cake mix. When it came out of the oven, Steve and I tasted it and decided it didn't taste right. Strike 2

To make up for that I said we are having ice cream sundae's for his birthday and I got out all the candy I could find, and we put his candles in a scoop of ice cream and he seemed to be quite happy. :)

Jacob had a great birthday when all was said and done, and we are so happy to have him as part of our family. We also want to thank all the Grandparents for remembering Jacob on his birthday. Nana and Papa and Grandma and Grandpa both sent something in the mail last week, but none of it made it to us. There was a German holiday on Thursday and Friday of last week and I am sure that is the reason. And Grandma Great sent something with Alicia and Scott for all of the upcoming birthdays. Grandparents are so wonderful!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Baby Names

Alicia and Scott left for Scotland this afternoon, and I hope they make it there safely.
I will be updating my blog here shortly, but I am too tired tonight.
So, for tonight we are just going to discuss names. Steve is on a business trip to Wales, and will be back tomorrow, so I am here alone tonight. Many people keep asking me what we are going to name our new baby boy. I have not thought about it at all!! So, tonight I went on to Google and was looking at baby names. It seems all three of our boys names have been in the top 50 for the past 7 year. So, on that note I should stick with traditional names.

So, help me choose a name. One that is somewhat traditional and fits nicely with the other 3. I have a list I am compiling, and I will share it in a couple of days.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Via the Buchanan's Blog

Sorry for my horrible upkeep of the blog lately. Remember how I said the Buchanan's were coming. Well, now "The Buchanan's are here!" So, I kept myself busy getting the house ready for them, and now we are doing the tourist thing with them and having a GREAT time. I love having company.
Steve ended up having to go on an unplanned business trip to Wales, and he left Wednesday morning. So, he was able to spend a couple of days this week with the Buchanan's, but they leave for Scotland on Friday and he comes back Saturday. We will have to hang out again together when they come back in a week and we go to Holland.
Everything has been very nice, although it can be exhausting touring with 3 young boys without Dad around. They want to be loud, and wrestle, and play in the street, and whine about ice cream more than they want to see the beautiful scenery, so that has been interesting.

Alicia is doing a wonderful job of describing our days thus far, and she is definitely taking more pictures than me. So, if you want to see what we have been up to... check out

Buchanan's blog

I am being lazy! :)