Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday, January 30

Hello All!!

Well, it was a quiet day here in Germany today. The weather was nice, but we didn't make it out too much...Sunny skies don't mean warm - and Brenna wasn't agreeable to riding in her stroller...I got these picture playing with her earings (thanks Margee!) - doesn't she look grown-up!
We tried to do some coloring, but Brenna wasn't really interested, she would rather paint instead. We had crepes for supper - that is one of Brenna's favorite and she ate 4 or 5! I bought her a new song on iTunes, "The Littlest Bird" - I got some video of her spinning - hopefully, you all will enjoy it. Dustin didn't like our song choice, but Brenna seems to like it. I heard it on a photographers website and thought it was kind of cool for a picture slideshow sometime.
No other cooking/baking - we are all still on a sugar high. Brenna is still doing pretty well on the potty - hopefully, she will fully get the hang of it soon!
I am really liking the availability of electronic books - Harlequin is actually letting people download 16 free books right now. Sorry that isn't exciting for most people - but it helps motive me to exercise (on my stationary bike) when Brenna is napping.
Well, that is it for today - hope everyone has a great weekend!
Take Care!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday, January 29

Hello All!

We had another nice weather day here in Germany. We didn't make it out much - not sure why, but at least it is supposed to be nice again tomorrow.
Brenna and I are really glad to have Dustin home - it sure makes the day seem less long.
Well, I'm tired and going to bed - sorry not much else to comment on today!

Take Care!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday, January 28

Hello All!!

Hope everyone is having a great day today. Brenna was in a really good mood today (which is kind of surprising with Dustin being out of town). She had a bath today, painted and colored and helped in the kitchen. She was great on the potty today and she helped go to the store and walk the dog. Hopefully, she will sleep well tonight as well. The weather here was very nice today (sorry to everyone in Ohio with the snow and ice) - we took about a 30 minute walk with the dog.
We skipped kinder group - I was too tired this morning to go. Too bad we couldn't have went this afternoon...
Hopefully, you will enjoy our silly pictures from today. Our cake from yesterday turned out pretty well - although Brenna only ate the frosting on it (which got a two fingers up approval, lol)!! We made another one for Dustin - hopefully, I can get a picture of Brenna's decoration (and mine) before it is gone (no promises there - if Dustin eats it in the morning, it is gone!)
Take Care!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday, January 27

Hello All!

Hope everyone is doing well out there (although we heard that get well wishes are in order for Margee - we hope you feel better soon, all we can say is ouch!). Brenna and I had a busy day today - we cleaned the apartment this morning - man is there a lot of dog hair! We also painted, colored, and of course played in the kitchen. We made a two person size cake - we haven't tried it yet - we will give the verdict tomorrow (although we did go ahead and make frosting so I'm sure it will be yummy!). We made the two person size of the apple crisp yesterday - that was pretty yummy too! I love the little mug-um books that I bought a while ago!

Dustin is already out of town (in England). I know that he wasn't looking forward to traveling so quickly - hopefully, he won't come home too exhausted. He may be in Turkey next week - bummer!

Well, I think I am going to have another early night. Not sure what activities Brenna and I will be working on tomorrow...Maybe the tap shoes tomorrow - we didn't manage to get them out this afternoon.

Well, Take Care!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday, January 26

Hello All!!

I can't believe how fast January has flown by (and that we have already taken our trip to Rome!). Dustin will be busy with travel in the next few weeks - so I'm sure the days will go slowly, but the time will go quickly. I'm just going to have to come up with some really fun activities for Brenna and I to do in that time...

So, about our trip to Rome - we didn't do nearly the preparation work that we planned (as previously stated, the time just kept flying by!!), but we took two great tours while there. One the first day, we saw the Colosseum, Palentine Hill (where the old Palace was), and the Forum on the tour. The tour we took was great (and in English) - we learned way more than if we would have just strolled through. Brenna had a great time on this tour - loved the tour guide, the Palentine Hill and the Forum. Dustin chased her all over these places - but I think they both had a good time. She picked up three pebbles that she played with the rest of the trip which was a little funny!! In the afternoon, we found a pizza place and ate our lunch in a park close by - Brenna loved feeding part of her pizza to the pigeons - boy did they go crazy for her pizza!! We strolled in the park and then went down to the Piazza del Popolo (this is a plaza where the twin churches were). It was amazing for the low season how empty everything was - but great for traveling with a toddler. We saw the Spanish steps and Trevi fountain (and yes - Brenna did get to toss her coin in :-) We rode the metro around town - it was pretty easy to use. The A train was much newer and nicer than the B train, but both were quick and easy to use. I loved how nice the Italians are on the train - on all of them, if you have a toddler, they would give up a seat for you - which was very nice on the longer rides. The only down side to the first and second day was the hotel shuttle bus - it was lousy. We waited at the designated point for 45 + minutes in the rain, with no benches, with a two year old... Needless to say, we were not happy with their shuttle service. Our complaint at the hotel got us a bottle of wine (which we didn't drink much of) and some ice cream for Brenna. At least they were willing to do something, but it was still disappointing how poor of service the shuttle was. Dustin tried to give some suggestions, but we are pretty sure they fell on deaf ears... Other than the shuttle, we had great weather the first day and really enjoyed some sunshine and warmer weather.

Our second day, we took the tour of the Vatican, Sistine chapel, and St. Peter's - all were very beautiful. The Sistine chapel was just amazing and so was St. Peter's... I don't know what else to say about them - they were jaw dropping to see...Brenna did great on the tours - which is pretty amazing for a two year old...We walked around in the afternoon and got Brenna some Gelato - (Italian ice cream) - it was Pistachio and Hazelnut - yum (I had a few licks!). They serve it with whipped cream - Brenna didn't really care either way about the cream - she was more about the ice cream. We were lucky on the weather too - it rained on Saturday, but both times that it really came down we had stopped to eat and sit down. We also saw the Pantheon (although we didn't have time to go in). Hopefully, you will enjoy our pictures of this trip. Brenna wouldn't smile for me - so I decided to put up her sad face instead, lol!
The other key things we learned in Rome were that it was hard to find public restrooms (except at the major tourist attractions), and when you do find a restroom, you better check that there is toilet paper. The Italians love kids, but the restrooms for the kids are hard to find. There were a lot of English tours in Rome, so that was a nice change from only hearing German.
Well, that is about all for now! Take Care and enjoy the pics. The one with the mountains is the Alps as we flew over - not of Rome :-)

Lab Techs in Rome!

Hello All!

In my second lab techs traveling post - here is there "picture" in Rome! The picture was taken above the plaza with the twin churches. We had walked up to a park with Brenna and when we got to the end - we saw this great view of Rome - hope everyone else enjoys it.

Hope everyone knows that we are taking you all where ever we go - and hopefully, you enjoy all our pictures!

Take Care!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday, January 25

Hello All!!!

Well, we had a great weekend trip to Rome, Italy this past weekend (who would have thought a year ago that we would be taking a "weekend trip" to Rome!). We are all tired and feeling the effects of our travels - so not much writing will be on my post tonight. I wish I would have been able to soak in a hot bath today - but I waited too long and it will have to wait until tomorrow (you can't run water/drain the tub after 10 pm here).

Brenna did not want me to take her picture the entire time in Rome - so I think you may see some of that in our pictures. We got some great pictures of the sites we saw - although it is hard to really capture Rome in pictures. The Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's were much too hard for us to capture the beauty of, but trust me when I say that they are beautiful and a once in lifetime place for us to get to see! (We did toss our coin in the Trevi Fountain though - so who knows, maybe we will all come back when Brenna is older!)

Our hotel was nice, but the shuttle back from Rome (which the hotel hires out) was horrible - I will post more on that tomorrow...

Anyway, have a great evening and enjoy a few of our pictures from Rome! The one at night was in front of the Colosseum, but it made me laugh - hopefully, you will enjoy it too! The other pictures are: Brenna and Dustin in front of the Colosseum, Our family in the Colosseum, and Brenna on a piece of marble thousands of years old at the Forum - how cool!

Take Care!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday, January 21

Hello All!

I can't believe that we are past the mid-point in January already - I have to say where did the month go! But, I think I have been in a jet-lagged daze... Brenna and I are sleeping in later (around 9/9:30 - I know you are all jealous!, but I have been having problems sleeping at night)... Tonight is her first night in Germany without Justice by her side - we will see how that goes...

We are off to Rome tomorrow - I can't wait to have some warmer weather (even if it is supposed to rain the entire time we are there :-( Hopefully, we will still have a wonderful time.

I am going to try to go to bed earlier tonight - my mind isn't thinking well and I have been in a grumpy mood most of the day today - I'm sure the trip to Rome will do me good. Sorry, no pictures either - I spent all my free time today looking up stuff for Rome tomorrow. I'm sure there will be a bunch of pictures after our trip!

Well, that is it for tonight - have a great rest of your day!
Take Care!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday, January 20

Hello All!

I hope everyone out there is doing well. Not much went on here at our household today. We skype'd with Dustin's parents (that is the best thing out there for seeing friends and family that are far awary), got some cleaning done, took the dog for a short walk, and read some books. Brenna even decided to read to Daddy to put him to sleep :-)

Dustin had another long day at work - hopefully, he will get some much needed rest before we leave for Rome on Thursday.

I put the video up of Brenna in her tap shoes - I think these are great (but I suppose I am bias!!)
Another January birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Uncle Robert - hope you have a great day and hopefully, you enjoyed the video we sent you on skype :-)

Anyway - gotta get some sleep!
Take Care! - she is a little bossy though!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday, January 19

Hello All!

Hope everyone is doing well out there. Brenna and I had a pretty quiet day today. We started off with the healthy idea of carrot cupcakes - but the flavor was somewhat lacking - so our healthy snack got a good dose of frosting (where did this sweet and frosting obsession come from???).

Dustin had a long day at work, but luckily with Brenna going to bed later, he at least got some quality time with her. She got a chance to wear her tap shoes tonight which she did really great with. We made some video - I will have to try to get it posted on youtube soon. I swear someday, Brenna will be a star - she is such the performer :-)

I am really looking forward to spring (which is not so promising since it is only January!) - but the rain and snow are not so great with the dog... Although, rain at any time with the dog is a bummer...

Here are some pictures of Brenna and I playing in her room and her with her bunny ears... I got to wear the Minnie mouse ears - sorry there aren't any pictures of that!

Well, I need to get to bed - Take Care!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday, January 18

Hello All!!!

Hope everyone is well! I think Dustin, Brenna, and I have been in a sugar coma all weekend from our cupcakes we made, lol :-) They turned out really well, and I can't wait to get a chance to make some more (although I think we better invite some friends over to share next time!!!).

Our apartment got a thorough cleaning today - I am done for all but the kitchen. I had hoped to get Dustin's help there, but he pooped out on me and went to bed already. Maybe Brenna and I will just tackle that tomorrow as it is getting late here. It was a very rainy day today (it actually made me miss the snow - especially when the dog came in with muddy feet on my clean floors)! The weather was nice enough yesterday that Dustin, Brenna, and Justice took a walk while I made dinner. We tried one our favorite recipes from the US and it turned out well - I think I am finally adjusting to the ingredients and food over here. I am trying to cook and bake with as many ingredients as we can obtain in Germany and France (the cupcakes were even a cake recipe made entirely from scratch!). I'm not sure how the Germans can cook without vanilla extract though - that may remain a mystery to me... I am going to try an angel food cake soon (although probably after our trip to Rome) - that should be interesting... I'm sure you all will hear how that one turns out.

Well, I suppose I should wrap things up for the evening - sorry no pictures from this weekend. I need to clean off the disc for our trip and didn't spend much time doing that this weekend.

Take Care!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday, January 16

Hello All!!

Hope you all are having a great day! Things were pretty quiet around here today. Brenna had the sniffles this morning and quite a lot of sneezing, but seemed way better this afternoon.

We made cupcakes and frosting in honor of all the January birthdays that we are missing - Happy Birthday Grandma Rine - hope you have a great day today. Brenna enjoyed making the icing, cupcakes, and the decoration (with sprinkles!). The frosting and cupcake recipes both turned out really good (which is always a pleasant surprise in our house when cooking something new!). Dustin and I each had several (do I have to put the actual number up - nope sorry!!) and our fridge is full of the rest (they put their shortening in the fridge here - and that is the only place we have room in the kitchen anyway!). Hope you enjoy the picture of Brenna with her "decorated" cupcakes! She kept getting ahead of me and putting the sprinkles on before the icing, lol :-) I love my silicone cup cake holders - these are the best thing ever!

She loves her book - "If you give a Cat a Cupcake" - maybe reading that so much is spoiling my diet??? Anyway, she really had fun with that activity today! She did a great job with mixing - we got the electric mixer out for the 1st time over here (boy, do I miss my Kitchen Aid). It did a good job with the frosting, but I couldn't seem to make it work for the cake - good thing that Brenna likes to whisk so much!!

Well, not too much else going on. We had grilled cheese for supper since that is one of the things Dustin missed from the U.S. - not sure how they compare to the ones there - but they were all gone after dinner...

Well, take care!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Post 100 - Thursday, January 15

Hello All!!!

Well, I thought I should do something special for my 100th post, so I got the video camera out today and put some new videos up on youtube. Sorry if the lighting is poor and the camera person leaves something to be desired, but hopefully, you all will enjoy what you see (also, sorry the files are large - it took forever to load them on youtube too!!). I broke the video into several pieces, but it is a tour of our apartment over here - sorry for the mess, but somethings don't change even on a different continent!

Brenna and I had a busy day today - I had German class this morning (which I let Brenna sleep through), then we played school bus/school/art class/kitchen... I am amazed that she wants to "read" the books with me and she seems to recognize the letter B when I write it (I've written it enough for her - with B is for Brenna!). All colors are still pink - but what do you expect when that is most of what her wardrobe consists of, lol ;-)
Brenna got a chance to play with and tire Dustin out this evening - he and Justice went to bed before either of us!! I got a pretty good picture of Brenna and Justice today - hope you all enjoy it! I love the look on his face - I would like to think it is a look of contentment and not "is it over yet..."
We go to Rome next week - I'm really looking forward to the "warm" weather. Right now the forecast is calling for 50s :-) It will be like going to Florida in the U.S.!! Maybe I should find a beach to lay on too, lol!!
Well, that is all for now - take care and enjoy the video (if it doesn't bog down your computers!). The last video was from the fall - I thought the 100th post deserved some music from Germany - can you believe this was playing and being video taped outside our windows on our anniversary!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday, January 14

Hello All!!

Today is post 99 - can you believe that!!! How quickly 100 has came (well, with tomorrow's post!). Brenna and I had a busy day with cleaning, baking some Moose Mud Muffins (we bought the book "Mouse, Cookies, and More" when we were in the States for Christmas - Brenna absolutely loves those stories and we just had to start trying the recipes in it), and playing "school". We walked to the store in a light snow, but by the time we had to walk Justice this evening, it was really coming down. Luckily, it didn't delay Dustin's flight.

I have German class for the first time since we have been back tomorrow - I know that my lack of studying is going to bite me back... It was just too easy to forget about studying and spend time with family and friends (sort of like the days of high school all over again). I think I have all my homework done, but this weekend (and going forward) I really need to spend some more time with my German. I'm sure that Brenna and Dustin will quickly pass me on their skills.

Brenna "read" several books to her stuffed animals today - that was really cute... (maybe I should have caught that on the camera today - but I didn't get the camera out at all). We also watched "The Wuzzles" on youtube - can you believe that you can find that show out there? Why were we watching "The Wuzzles" one might ask? Well, I have an old towel, that Brenna now has which triggered the "Let's see if we can find "The Wuzzles" on youtube". Yesterday, we even watched Floppy Dogs - I barely remember these in a cartoon, but really remember them as the stuffed animal. Anyone with a childhood in the 80s should really check out youtube. It is like getting one of those chain emails with a "remember when..."

Well, Dustin just got home, so I am going to call it a night!
Talk to you later and Take Care!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday, January 13

Hello All!!

Well, Brenna and I are slowly adjusting to our new time zone still. We are waking up earlier every day, but still having trouble sleeping at night. Hopefully, in the next month, we will be back on schedule. We got our new aprons out today and did some pretzel cooking (thanks to my sister's recipe!) - Brenna really enjoyed it (hopefully you will see from today's pictures - gotta love the flour on the cheek). We made a lobster (two actually), snakes, an elephant, a bear, and a turtle.
Dustin is out of town until tomorrow night - hopefully, we will find some good activities to keep us busy. Not sure if we will make it to play group tomorrow with our sleep schedule - we will see.
Well, I better figure out supper! Hope you enjoy her microphone picture from yesterday!
Take Care!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday, January 12

Hello All!

Well, at least I can say that I am feeling better today - hopefully, that bug won't go around this household here. Not a very good welcome back to Germany!!

Dustin is off to England and Brenna and I are by ourselves for the next two days :-( I'm sure we will be really glad to see him on Wednesday. We are hoping to do some cooking/baking in the kitchen tomorrow - I'm sure that will be fun!

Potty training is continuing - Brenna went 3 times today on the potty - but isn't too keen on staying there now after she is done. We had plenty of bare bottom chasing today!!

We did some dancing around the apartment and got her new microphone out today. She was a little concerned that I didn't have one, but that passed quickly. I got the video camera out for it, but she had to firmly tell me to put it away - that should be a cute video for her some day!!

Well, I'm going to try to tuck myself in and get a better nights sleep tonight than last night.
Take Care!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday, January 11

Hello All!!

First - HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACKSON!!!! Hope you had a great birthday - sorry we are missing it (although with my stomach bug - I would be missing it anyways :-(

Not much going on here this weekend. We stayed in all weekend (I know that Dustin was really bummed about this), but we worked on potty training Brenna and with my stomach - not a good weekend for travels. Brenna did pretty well all weekend. She had a dry pull-up all day today until the end - so progress on getting to the bathroom. She still isn't asking to go to the potty, but not fighting it when I say it is time to go too much. Hopefully, with our quiet week this week, we can continue to make progress. Hopefully, Dustin and her don't get my stomach thing. Today has not been a pleasant day here :-( - especially this afternoon.

Brenna and I will be on our own on Tuesday and Wednesday as Dustin has to travel for work :-( At least it is only a couple days. In February, he has to travel to Turkey for a week - what a bummer... Brenna and I will need to invite some people over or something...

Well, my stomach is still acting up - hopefully, it will settle down for sleeping tonight...
Take Care!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday, January 9

Hello All!!
Hope everyone is doing well out there - we are doing good here - just time confused!! Brenna and I are still on U.S. time - Dustin is working to convert to German time - he is doing much better than we are, but was exhausted after working the last two days.

Potty training went pretty well today - she is doing great with pooping on the potty - still working on peeing (sorry Brenna!!!). But, she went on the potty 4 times today!! She loved getting her rewards - I think I'm going to need to find some Hershey Kisses or something at the store tomorrow! She loved the fruit roll-ups that we brought back from the States and is happy to get those for a reward.

With Brenna and I's short days, we are still working on getting everything put away. Most everything is in the right room, just not in its storage location! The landlord turned off the power when we were gone - so we lost everything in the fridge and freezer, so that has freed up some storage space in the kitchen right now. At least the fridges were pretty much empty when we left. Brenna and I played with her new paint brush pens from Crayola today - she loved them so I thought I would share a small picture of her artwork. If these have a good amount of paint in them, they will be a great activity for her as she loves them! I'm sure next week we will spend some time in the kitchen playing with her new kitchen stuff. Yesterday, she had her new Tupperware stuff and food out and she served on those!

So, as promised from yesterday - here are several of the projects that we worked on when I was in the U.S. I still need to get a picture of one of the aprons - maybe this weekend! So, one may be asking what we made - the pictures above are of one of the fleece skirts I made for Brenna (I made 3) - this is the only one with an embroidery, but I thought it turned out really cute; an apron for myself and Brenna that match - sorry it is so hard to see in the picture (thanks for modeling it and all your help, mom!); two coin sacs (mom and I had been dying to make these - they turned out really cute, but the zipper on the embroidery machine is a challenge); and matching aprons for my mom and I. I still have plans for one for you Renee (but I bought you some special fabric for your birthday - too bad it is so far away!!)
Anyway, that is all for today - Take Care!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday, January 8

Hello All!!!

Hope everyone is doing well - we are working on getting back on schedule - but it will probably take a few days (or a week or two!!!). Brenna and I slept in late (and I do mean late - 2:30 pm Germany time) and I should have an interesting night...I'll cross my fingers that we were just making up for some of our missing sleep.
Dustin was back at work today - Brenna missed everyone and was bummed that it was just her and I today :-( We sure did have a great time visiting all the friends and family :-)
We have lots of cleaning to do in the next few days (just getting back to normal life) and putting all of Brenna's new stuff away :-) The suitcases are all empty - now to just find locations for all the stuff!!! We are hoping to work with Brenna on potty training this month - hopefully, we will have good updates on that :-) She did go on the potty once today - yeah Brenna!!
Congrats to Eric and Karen on their new baby boy!!! Glad to hear that everyone is doing well (bummed that I just missed the new baby - he will be so big by the time we see him!!!)
Well, here are some of my favorite pictures I took at Christmas! I had to include individual pictures of all my god-daughters - they are such hams!!! Hopefully they will enjoy seeing themselves on the blog - I got several other pictures of each of them that were great!!
Renee - does the phone one of Brenna remind you of anything??? Hope you enjoy my pic of the Mikayla shot - she made it tough with her smile, but I couldn't resist the upside down glasses!!! Brenna and I participated in a lip-sinc while we were home - maybe we should both be performers??!! I think she would always manage to steal the show!!
Anyway - hope everyone enjoys these pictures!!! I'm going to post the projects that my mom and I worked on tomorrow - all of them turned out so cute!!
Take Care!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday, January 7

Hello All!!!

Well, what an interesting flight back to Germany. We were originally scheduled to fly through Paris (with a very short layover) to Frankfort. We got to the Detroit airport and found out that our flight to Paris was cancelled, but they had booked us on the 5 pm flight to Frankfort (direct). Luckily, we had got to the airport early and just made the flight. The bad weather actually worked in our favor this time.

Anyways, we have not had very much sleep, so we are all going to try to get a few winks in.

Take Care!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday, January 5

Hello All!

Today marks our last full day in the U.S. before traveling back to Germany tomorrow. We are saying some sad goodbye's, but at least it is only really for a short time... Brenna has been very good for the entire trip - I'm glad we got to spend some extended time with everyone.

Brenna has been doing really well with the potty lately - hopefully we can continue that when we get home so that our next trip back to the U.S. has no diapers...

Well, that is all I am going to say about our day today... Our next posting will be from back in Germany...

Take Care!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!!!

Happy New Year to anyone reading today's blog. I thought I would finally share 3 of my favorite pictures from this holiday season. Hope you all enjoy them - I'm loving my new Christmas present from Dustin (a new lens for my camera!). The first picture looks like a New Year's Eve picture - but wasn't - the girls were just having fun with Grandma!
Time has flown by so quickly while we have been in the U.S. - if we didn't get a chance to visit with you - know that we were thinking about all our friends and family over here. If we didn't see you here - maybe you could visit us in Germany :-)
Anyway - I have been on the computer way too much this morning - I need to get visiting!! Hope everyone is well!
Take Care!