Friday, November 30, 2007

Our Wonderful Vacation to Virginia

We had such a Marvelous time in Virginia and are so happy that we got to go. It is crazy to me to think the amount of money we spend on tickets and the amount of time we spend on airplanes to go see family for a week or two. is SOOOO worth it! We love visiting with our families and are so grateful that we have such a good relationship with both Steve's side and my side.
{Here are the boys roughing up Erin}

So we got to VA on Saturday night, and went to bed about 9. Of course the kids were up again at 3am which is what they have done every time so it never surprises me. It is also not all that bad, because my body is just as ready to be awake as theirs so it doesn't kill me to get out of bed. We napped during church and then got to go to Lisa and Charlie's house for dinner. They have 2 wonderful children Daniel and Emma and the kids had a BLAST with them.

Monday's biggest highlight was definitely WALMART. Steve and I were completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that is in that store.

On Tuesday we all went to see the dentist! I am so grateful that the boys have teeth like Steve's. He never has cavities and the only cavity from the boys was a tiny one in Jacob's mouth that the dentist filled with no numbing thank heavens. I on the other hand had to get two cavities redone. Oh well, I am used to dental work.
{We are at the dental office that Fran works for, so she got to hold the bebe}

Then Tuesday night when I got back from the dentist Landon and Sarah were there to spend some time with us! I am sooo happy they came. I totally enjoyed there company and it was great seeing them and sweet little Aiden. We went out to Red Lobster with them (which wasn't as good as I remember) and then they stayed over at Lisa and Charlie's house in a small apartment they have downstairs. The next day we went and walked around Colonial Williamsburg in beautiful 75 degree weather. And Landon got to see the school that he almost went to, The College of William and Mary.
{A little trampoline time}
{This is me with my Brick Brownie in Colonial Williamsburg. Mmmmm}

Thursday we had a Marvelous Thanksgiving feast with every person in Steve's family. His sister Kristin, the only one that doesn't live in VA, came from Delaware with her husband John and their 3 girls. It is funny that they are having the girls and we are having the boys. Anyway we took some family pictures which I think turned out great. Then had our yummy turkey dinner, and afterwards Steve and I taught the Hughes how to play Settlers. They took to the game of course and Steve and I were in our element. The cousins all played together wonderfully and are now lifelong friends.
{Lisa with Brandon and Kristin's daughter Hannah who just turned one.}

{Here is all the family. This was taken in Lisa and Charlie's backyard. Isn't it beautiful.}
K, do you like this one better or
this one. Help me decide
{Nana and Papa with their 9 grandkids.}

Then through the weekend we shopped, ate out, and went to a movie and just enjoyed each others company. It was exactly the way a family vacation should be. I was totally relaxed, eating good, and spending lots of money.
{Fat and Happy}

We flew home on Monday. They messed with our first flight out of Richmond and we ended up hanging out in the airport for 6 hours before we boarded a plane for a 1 hour flight, 30 minute layover (which was not enough time to catch the next plane without the little golf cart that picked us up), then a 7 hour flight back home.

So now we are here, and adjusted again. And the only Regret I am having is that I did not take enough pictures. I think holding a baby all the time has affected that. I am having my sisters-in-law send theirs to me though so I will have more.

Pay it Forward

OK, so real quick, do you remember the movie called Pay it Forward where a kid has a class project where he does something nice for someone who is suppose to do something nice for someone else. Until everyone is doing nice things for others or "paying it forward." That was the point of this whole contest thing. To encourage people to make a comment to win a contest and also so that I could do something nice for others, since someone did something nice for me. :-) Pretty nice huh?

So, for the winners, it is now your chance to Pay it Forward. You can do it through your blog like I did where you make something or do something (or buy something) for your winners. Or you can do something in "real life" for someone, and then just tell us about it.

Also, let me know via email what 2 FHE lessons you would like me to make for you. It can be anything, including one of the ones I have shown on my blog.

K, That is it, have fun!

P.S. I loved hearing about your computer time. It doesn't sound like we are abusing our computer privileges too bad. :-)

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Winners

OK, so I know I am a couple days behind, but my vacation is getting my time. :-) Plus it gave some more people a chance to comment. And now for the list of winners.....

1. My dear sister-in-law KRISTIN
2. My wonderful friend JEN OLSON
3. My amazing sister LAURA

Thank you all so much for entering. I will explain more of what you need to do when I get back to my computer. For now I just need Jen's address. And any of you that are craving something from Germany, just ask and I will get it in the mail. I love to send people stuff.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time to - Pay It Forward

Today is Friday Nov. 16th and tomorrow we leave for Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with Steve's family. We are VERY excited and I feel like everything is ready to go. Since we are going to be in the states, it is time for me to PAY IT FORWARD.

My friend Emily did this on her blog a couple of months ago, and I WON some very cool things, so now I have the chance to pass something fun on to the next person. What it is:

I guess it is a chance for anyone who may be reading my blog to say hi, including those that may have been keeping themselves anonymous. :) Not that I am expecting too much.

You only need to comment. ANYBODY can comment. I don't even have to know you personally.
So if you are reading this COMMENT!
*The winners MUST do a PIF themselves via their blog or in another way they can tell about.
*IF you have already won a PIF challenge, please still comment. You are still eligible.
*On Tuesday Nov. 20th I will pick 3 lucky winners for my PIF, and send you some great stuff within a day or two of that.

I had big plans to do something crafty, but time got away from me, and I have to take advantage of the US postal service that will be right around the corner. So as for now
What you will be winning:
-some of my favorite German goodies
-a German advent calendar
-a German Christmas tree decoration
- and then sometime before Christmas I will send you 2 pre-made Family Home Evening Lessons. With the lesson, a game, dessert idea, and some visuals. (you will have to forgive me that this will come later.) You can tell me what you would like a lesson on, pick one you have seen on my blog, or you can leave it up to me to decide.

So, now it is time for you to leave me a comment and tell me.........................hmmm, how much time you spend on the computer a day. (Prior to your restrictions.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

FHE Being Polite

Steve and I gave a MUCH needed lesson on being polite to others, especially adults, on Monday night. Here I sit 24 hours later and am sad to say, the lesson seemed to do NO good after todays behavior, but I will tell it to you anyway. I was definitely not at the top of my game, and our camera was out of batteries, so Steve just took 3 quick pictures of the boys.
{I was holding Brandon's arms for him to stand in front of me and Steve took this picture just as he was falling over, which is something he doesn't normally do.}

OK, so first for the song we sang "I want to be kind to everyone". Then to start the lesson, I explained what it meant to be polite, and told them about the Golden Rule. I so wish I could have remembered the My Turn on Earth song about the golden rule, but I couldn't. Then Steve and I did some role-playing. We did three different scenario's and then had the boys explain to us what was wrong with each.

First I started asking Steven a question and Steve kept interrupting me. Steven was having a hard time listening to both of us.

Second I asked Steve a couple of questions and he just ignored me. A problem we have with Steven sometimes when an adult is asking him a question.

Third Steve started Screaming at everybody to sit down, and be quiet, and listen, and stop talking. We asked the boys how the screaming made them feel.

We definitely have a problem with screaming at our house, and I will attribute some of that to the fact that we live in a house with 3 floors which is very typical in Germany. I also tend to scream 10 times about something before I spank, so I yell a lot. Anyway....we have made a family goal that we are not going to scream at all from now until Saturday when we leave for Virginia. We have a jar of money on top of the microwave, and whenever somebody screams we take money out of the jar. The money is going to be used to buy something fun for the airplane, so the more money that is taken out the smaller the fun thing is going to be. Nathan had 4 coins taken out of the jar before he went to bed an hour after the lesson.

After our role-playing was done we let the boys act out some role-playing scenarios like..... taking a toy when someone else is playing with it, going over to play when Dad has asked you to put your shoes on, or stepping right in someones way when they are trying to go somewhere. And there are a million more that the boys should be taught. We had fun, but it could have been better executed. But like I said, it didn't seem to work anyway since the boys were all a problem today, so I guess I have a chance to try again. :-) If any one has a good lesson for children on how to be respectful to adults, or how to be more polite I would LOVE your ideas, so send them my way.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Birthday Weekend

I had a Wonderful Birthday Weekend! and am happy to be 31. :-) Steve decided we should go on an overnighter for my birthday, after I told him that what I wanted was for him to do something romantic. So he got us a hotel up in the Black Forest right next to this beautiful lake. He looked at the weather, and it was calling for 2 inches of snow. We got all excited that we were going to be cuddling up in a hotel room by ourselves (with Brandon) in the snow. So we asked our wonderful friends the Hancocks to babysit for us for the night, and we took off. The drive was wonderful. It was about 3 hours with Brandon sleeping and Steve and I listening to Harry Potter. I am still on book 4, and enjoying it.

When we were about 30 minutes from the hotel we were high enough up that it started snowing, and was dark by this time. So, we were going very slowly up this canyon road while the snow was coming down pretty heavy. We were doing fine, until we had to get off on our exit which had not been used much so had about 4 inches of snow on it. We made it half way down the exit and the car spun slowly around and stopped facing us the wrong direction and we were STUCK. Come to find out Steve's car is rear-wheel drive, which is the worst kind to have in the snow. AND.... all the Germans put snow tires on their car by mid-Oct and we did not have them. So, a wonderful nice German man who was coming down the exit stopped to help us, and I am sure thought we were a little crazy. After becoming unstuck, getting stuck again, and getting unstuck again we finally made it to the hotel. A five minute drive took us about 40. Boy were we grateful to that nice German man. We had a great time at the hotel eating and sleeping and we watched "A night at the museum" which was kind of dumb, but cute. We had a very relaxing time. I forgot my camera, so you don't get any pictures of snow, but we didn't ever leave the hotel anyway, because we got there at dinner time and left right after breakfast.

When we got home we thanked our babysitters for being so wonderful. Then Steve made a fabulous steak for dinner with a yummy mushroom cream sauce. Steven made a fruit salad that he had learned to make at school with his class, and I made tomalito. Very delish. Then Steve made brownies for the cake, and put as many candles as he could fit on them. I think there were only 24.

I was telling Steve, I would so much rather have a night away or a little vacation or something for my birthday, because I can't ever think of anything that I want to unwrap. So last year we went to Prague as a family and this year we had a night away in the Black Forest. It was perfect!!

{Brandon at 2months 3weeks}

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

FHE Jesus Christ

Yesterday was Steven's turn to do the FHE lesson, and I was all ready for him to give it on being polite, or respecting adults. But... the missionaries called and asked if they could have Family Home Evening with us, so we decide to invite a friend of Steve's from work over as well. Her name is Tika, and she is from Albany. Steve had given her a copy of the Book of Mormon in Albanian, so we wanted to have her over with the missionaries. Since we were going to have company we decided to think of something a little more spiritual to teach about, and Steven said he wanted to teach about Jesus.
{This one is for you Tawna :-) }

To start off we ate dinner of course. We have to feed those poor elders! I made enchiladas from these new packets they just got here in Germany and they were Fab. I also made sweet corn tomalito, and apple crunch salad. I was telling Steve I think this was the first dinner that we had people over and I made everything. I ALWAYS have Steve either help with the main course or do it completely. So, I was relieved that dinner turned out very good.

To start off FHE we sang "I'm trying to be like Jesus" with Jacob as the conductor. He changed clothes shortly before people came over and I chose not to correct his outfit.
Then Steven stood to give his lesson. First he told us that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Then he told us the First Article of Faith: We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. And we all repeated it with him. Next he told us his favorite scripture story which is about Samuel the Lamanite, and told us what that story taught us about Jesus. That He loved the people and wanted them to repent so they could receive His blessings and be prepared for His birth. Then we played a great Sacrament Meeting match game that Nathan's primary teacher made for him. When they boys got a match they had to tell us what the picture taught us about Jesus. It was things like bread, water, singing church songs, listening during the prayer, etc. Nathan and Jacob needed lots of help when they got a match, so the rest of us were able to participate. We then helped Steven bear his testimony of Christ, and of what he believed.
{Tika with my baby}

When Steven was done we asked the elders if they wanted to add anything, and they shared a wonderful scripture with us. 2 Ne. 25: 26 It was a great evening with the Elders and with Tika .

For dessert we had brownies, and Tika brought over some baklava. Yum. Another successful week.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Harry Potter Halloween

Halloween here was fabulous. The past three years we have gone on the American Base with our friends and trick-or-treated. With the base closing and us changing to the Frankfurt ward, we don't have all the trick-or-treating friends we used to have. So, we decided to see what the Germans do. I guess every year trick-or-treating has become more popular here. So, the older 3 and Steve headed out to get some candy, and Brandon and I were the passer-outers. Steve said there were lots of kids outside. And our neighbor made this AWESOME haunted house at his house. Some people also got out some fireworks left over from New Years. I guess it just feels like what you should be doing when the whole town is outside after dark. :-)

The Harry Potter costumes worked out great. The boys were very happy, the looked cute, and I put little to no effort in to getting them ready. Steve did the scar. Not that I don't like to dress kids up for Halloween, but really I don't. I never did much for my costumes either. I do love the holiday though, and am glad the kids got to have a good time. I was telling my friend, even though they got a good amount of candy, they really don't know what they are missing. Steven was 2 1/2 our last Halloween in the states. So, they aren't missing the 300+ pieces of candy that were all the yummy stuff like reeses and tootsie rolls. They don't know any different.

{Brandon on Halloween. Doesn't he look good in blue.}

On another subject...Steve went to a wedding earlier this month and they made some butternut squash soup. He loved it, so of course he came home and tried making some and it is dang good. Especially with a fresh brotchen (roll). So last night (Nov. 1) we had a friend of his from work and his wife over to taste Steve's soup. They are having their first baby in May. It tasted wonderful like always and it was nice to have people over. The Hancocks are probably going to come tonight for Settlers. Good times!

{This picture if for Alicia to see how big the knife is. It really makes cutting the squash much easier.}
I did mean to post the recipe for the soup. :-) Thanks Sarah


  • 6 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.
This came from of course. I think Steve added more water than called for until it was the right thickness.