Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday, July 28

Hello All!!!

Hope all is well out there. Brenna and I are working on slowly getting adjusted to our new time in Ohio. We continue to wake up early (but at least it isn't 4:30 anymore!). Brenna has been taking long naps in the afternoon - I'm sure her little body is trying to adjust as best as possible.

We went to the zoo on Saturday - Brenna really enjoyed that although I think her time spent with her cousin Mikayla was her favorite :-) The girls played well together - I think they were both exhausted by the end of the night. We had a quiet day on Sunday - just doing some gardening and stuff around my parent's house. We went to the park yesterday morning - they have a children's garden there - Brenna loved that and the slides and jungle gym that was close by.

Well, that is about it for now! Take Care!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Paris Tour De France

Hello Everybody, Amanda and Brenna are in the US at the moment, so it is kind of slow here. Definately missing them, plus had lots of work to do. I was able to go to the Tour de France finale in Paris yesterday. I took the train over in the Morning and back in the evening. It was a long day, but lots accomplished. I went over there with another American colleague and a German friend as well, so there was 3 of us. We started by climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor of the Eifel Tower. Then went over to the Tour and found a spot on the Champs de Elyses. I was second row to the race. At the finale, there are 7 laps and after 2 of them the person in front me left, so I got to be in the front for the last 5. It was great. Afterward, we went to the Cathedral Notre Dame and looked around. That was the completion of the day, when we arrived back in Strasbourg my friends car had a flat so we had to change a flat in the parking garage at midnight. Kind of funny. I have attached pictures of my day below.
Wish everybody well and miss all of you. See you soon.

View from the 2nd Floor of the Eifel Tower

Here is Contador in the Yellow Jersey

Just wanted to give an idea the magnitude of the Pelaton cycling through, very impressive.

The riders were extremely fast during the end thus the blurr above. The person in the middle with the blue and yellow jersey with black helmet is Lance Armstong (He placed 3rd, Awesome)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Craft pictures that I haven't shared yet

Here are the two craft pictures I didn't share before we left as they were for gifts for Mikayla and Renee. I think the projects turned out really cute! Renee - I'm so sorry that it took me so long to do these towels - hopefully they were worth the wait!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday, July 24

Hello All!!

Hope all is well out there. Brenna and I are slowly adjusting to our new time over here. We went shopping in the morning/afternoon yesterday - Brenna was a tired toddler - not so much fun in the store... She was ready to run around and get all her pent-up energy out so we after shopping and nap time yesterday we ran around my parents yard. Brenna loved the freedom of running in the yard and was very excited that mommy and gammy joined in :-)

We slept a little later this morning - we almost made it to 6 before waking up! Brenna has discovered pop-tarts and McDonald's here in the States already and loving them :-) Brenna isn't much of a breakfast eater normally, so for her to eat a whole pop-tart first thing is a big thing for her!! We did some more running in the yard this morning - we chased one of her small tennis balls around for a while until we lost it for the 3rd time in the bushes! Brenna and my mom picked flowers and did some other cleaning today - she is such a good helper (I'm sure our families won't want to give her back when it is time to leave!).

Well, that is it for today! Take Care!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday, July 23

Hello All!!

Just thought I would let everyone that Brenna and I made it to the US yesterday with no issues. She was an angel on the plane for me (just normal impatience on the long flight - who could blame her!). We landed about 30 minutes early which I was very thankful for - I was getting more antsy than she was by that point! Our plane was an older one so it didn't have the individual headsets on the seats (so that you can pick your own movies) - thank goodness we brought the itouch - what a great little device!!! The only downside to it was we couldn't hear with just the speakers on it - the plane was really loud where we sat (we were the 3rd row from the back - but it made it easy to get Brenna in and out of the bathroom). After about an hour of use, the itouch gave us a battery warning (only 20% left...) - not sure why that happened as we had made sure it was fully charged before leaving. Thank goodness we bought the additional battery back-up :-) Brenna enjoyed her coloring books (especially all her new crayons and colored pencils), putting on her stickers, and changing activities frequently. I think we were well prepared - she fell asleep for about 1 1/2 hours on my lap so that helped take up some additional time. Her only "crying" was more of a whimper (thank goodness) - and that was just on waking up and on landing (and on landing only because she could hear someone's baby crying). I think all the kids did well on the plane - I only heard any crying about 30 minutes before landing for anyone - so other than the massive amount of turbulence we had in the air (some people even clapped when we finally landed - so happy to be on the ground) it was a very quiet flight. Brenna only managed to hit the call button for the flight attendant once and that was when we were getting situated in our seats.

We landed about 30 minutes early and it was the same time as a flight that came in from Paris so Customs was packed. Brenna did well waiting in line - she was tired and shy with anyone who talked to her, but she couldn't wait to get out of the airport and find Gammy and Papa. We had another mother and her son in line behind us (he was 5 and he kept us entertained and talking) who were also living in Germany (although for much longer - they have been there for 2 1/2 years). The downsides to Cincinnati airport was that you have to go through two baggage claims when you fly international (you have to claim before going through customs and then you have to send it on the "local" conveyor to claim again in Terminal 3) and you have to go through security again so that you can leave the airport (crazy - Brenna didn't have to take her shoes off in Frankfurt (where I was more prepared for that possibility) but she did in Cincinnati to just leave the airport!!). Brenna did great helping me pull the suitcases where I needed to and she loved riding on the escalators and moving sidewalks - we really moved through that airport to leave!!

Brenna also did great with the bathrooms all day yesterday. Her only complaint with the airplane was that the flushing was too loud on the toilet (it was pretty loud), but luckily there was a delay so we could just flush when we were leaving the bathroom. My parents got to experience her frequent stopping for the bathroom on the way to there house (we think she stopped to go 4 times, but she did go each time!). She likes to stop even more when she is tired (and who can blame her for wanting to get out of the car so she doesn't fall asleep). About 1 1/2 from my parent's house she fell asleep which is really good considering the amount of nap time she had (I think I was dragging more than she was - and I think she was in a more chipper mood too!). We woke up around 4:30 this morning, so adjusting to Ohio time will take some time, but I'm sure she will need a nap today.

Well, I think that about covers our journey yesterday! Take Care!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday, July 21

Hello All!!!

Hope all is well out there!! We had a quiet last day before our trip tomorrow. I worked on getting all my activities for Brenna put together - hopefully, I will have plenty to keep her entertained for the whole flight!

The weather warmed up for my last full day today - boy did it get hot in my apartment this afternoon. I won't be sad to leave the no air conditioning/no fan for the potential warm days here - but I think the heat has been good for my diet - I haven't really been too hungry.

Well, I'm going to keep my post short - the bugs are starting to invade on my bright monitor (it is the only light on and they are just drawn to it - yuck!

Take Care and see many of you soon!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday, July 20

My new notebook cover above - I've been dying to make this turkey - don't ask me why, I don't know - I just think he is really cute! I put it on my suede cloth that I have here - I think it turned out pretty nice.

Brenna above with our German teacher - their last class together :-(
My itouch homemade case - I did make this design all by myself (or made it up as I went along, lol) - I think it turned out pretty well (although Dustin said he would never use it...). I even put an extra pocket in the front for the extra battery.

Above - "I can fly". The pictures below were Brenna and my fun with the self-timer on my camera - she was the photographer this morning (I would press the self-timer button and then she would press the shutter down). We had to kick Justice out of the room to take our picture - he kept getting in the way. We were showing off our race day "goodies". Too bad the bottom picture here focused on Justice and not on us - she had a great smile there!

Hello All!!!
Hope all is well out there. I stayed up way too late last night working on my newest project and then reading to relax (but hey, I'm going to have to adjust my time this week anyways - maybe that wasn't such a bad thing! Although waking up early this morning wasn't so nice!). I finally made my turkey embroidery - I have been dying to make this, not sure why, but isn't he adorable?? I put it on a notebook cover - I think I may put sewing notes in here... I also made a "case" for the ipod we are bringing with us on our trip. I think it turned out pretty well (I should probably write down what I did - maybe someone else will think it is cool)...
Brenna had her last class with our German teacher this morning - how sad :-( I can't believe how quickly that time has went with them - I'm sure that Brenna will miss seeing her twice a week when she goes to kindergarten (hey, I will miss seeing her twice a week after September - my classes end then... :-(
Brenna and I played photographer this morning - she wanted the dog in the room (and in the pictures) but he wasn't working with us this morning - so he had to wait outside the room until we were done. She loves pressing the shutter down on my camera - I think I will have a little photographer on my hands someday! We also took all her stuffed animals to a "trip to Disney" this morning. I think she will really love it when we go there next year all together (to the Paris one).
Well, I think that is it for this morning!
Take Care!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday, July 19

Crowd above during the race - it was crazy! We had a person butt right into our group - I swear he leaned on me during the whole parade and while the race went on (the parade lasted about an hour, the race about 5 minutes!)... I don't think he though anything of it - he kept talking to us (in some language that I couldn't understand) and expecting us to understand him...

Pictures above with some editing in photoshop - I think they look neat this way (and better than the blur that I had in my pictures by themselves)...

As we pulled out of our parking spot (just a spot of grass along the road - we saw the Astana bus behind us (which Dustin was excited about as he really likes Lance Armstrong...) - too bad Lance wasn't in the front seat - what a picture opportunity that would have been...

View before race (this was just after the finish line on the course - do you see all the cars lined up!)

What the racers looked like from my camera during the race - it was all a blur to me!! Darn, should have had a faster shutter speed set...

Below are pictures of the parade before hand...

My best biker picture, too bad he wasn't part of the race...

Brenna with her free balloon (with rice in it for noise) and her free hat. I was surprised by how much free stuff was given away...

Before the race. We took our spot 3 hours before the bikers came through.

Hello All!!

Hope all is well out there. Yesterday, we headed off for France to watch the Tour de France (a big check mark off of Dustin's list - he was super excited about this trip - I hope it lived up to the hype for him - it was pretty neat). Our drive to our destination took longer than planned as Brenna likes to check out all the bathrooms along the way (which to her credit she used all but one - and I don't really blame her as it would be called a "squatter toilet" - just a round hole in the ground - yuck!). I found the French bathrooms to be in one word - "yuck" as they frequently did not have toilet paper, soap, and towels to dry your hands (Brenna refuses to use the air dryers - she doesn't like the noise - so my pants end up being the towel - joy!). If you are ever doing a road trip in France - take along toilet paper and antibacterial hand stuff (we of course forgot one of the bizillon bottles of hand santitizer (guess I should have double checked in the diaper bag... - don't travel in Europe without that stuff - especially with kids!).
As you can see by all our pictures - we had lots of time at the race location (and in the same spot) - boy are my feet aching today! Dustin was a great dad and entertained Brenna alot - she did great with him! Good thing for Dustin, he decided to go to Paris next weekend and catch the end of the race - I am so excited for him on that (and now a little bit jealous!). One of the other Americans came with us - hopefully he had a great time and wasn't too put off by all our bathroom stops along the way! It was a challenge to keep our spot right along the barricade - we had one guy just come right up between our friend Noah (the American who came with us) and myself. I kept trying to make myself as wide as possible - setting my feet out in a wide stance, but people kept trying to crowd right in. Dustin and Brenna ended up being pushed somewhat to the back. We had a good location - it was about 350 meters from the finish line (we got the race location about 4 hours before the racers came through and this was the closest we could get to the finish and be "on the front lines").
Brenna was exhausted by the time we got back to the car, but she managed to eat some supper before she passed out. I think she has a cold starting - poor thing. She had a runny nose today and she sneezed alot yesterday. With all the weather changes here, I won't be too surprised if we all come down with something - but let's hope not.
We worked on cleaning and packing today. Brenna really loves helping with both of those :-) I also made a "case" for my ipod when Brenna and I come back to the US - I'll post those pictures tomorrow along with my other project.
Well, that is it for today! Take Care!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday, July 17

I had to post this picture above from yesterday - it was taken after my post - I love her cheesy smile (I will be able to make Brenna a book soon of all our self-portraits - good thing I have long arms, lol).

Brenna pretending to be a dog above - her favorite game at our house.
Hello All!!

Hope all is well out there. I have continued to be busy on my projects here :-) (not sure why - I think it is because I don't have any new books to read!). I made Brenna a crayon wallet (I bought the pattern off Etsy - I just couldn't resist how cute these are!) yesterday evening - she loves it! I bought her new crayons today after our walk (we were lucky to walk today - it was "dripping" but at least not raining like it is now) - they are pretty neat as they have a plastic holder on each one that you push the crayon up to use (although they probably won't be sharpened too often - the sharpener that came with them is lousy!). I couldn't find a pad of paper like the person who wrote the pattern - so Brenna has notecards in hers (I think she may enjoy that more anyway - and of course they are pink!). I also made Brenna a "coloring book" cover (o.k. - the pattern was for a journal cover - but I wanted to make one and I figure we can keep all her coloring books together this way for the plane. Plus, I thought the cover might help the book stay open better - I think it was a success (I won't tell you how it was messed up - I have ripped out way too many stitches lately with all my sewing though, lol)). I'm running out of all my favorite fabrics now - I can't believe how low my stash of cottons is - I guess it is good timing though as I can stock up a little bit when we go back on Wednesday :-)
We are all hoping to go to the Tour de France tomorrow - cross your fingers that the weather allows us all to go! (I'm not going to complain too much about the rain - at least it has cooled things off!)
Well, I think that is it for now!
Take Care!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday, July 16

Brenna before her visit to kindergarten this morning. The next three pictures were taken by Brenna with my camera (it was on a tripod and she pushed the button down - she loved it and I think her pictures were good/comical). She also did a pretty good getting pictures of my shirt that I made :-)

Picture above (Justice drool on my pants - attractive look, don't you think!!)

We thought we would try to get Justice in the pictures - I think he pushed Brenna way out of the picture - but I still love her smile in the picture!

Brenna loves her fly swatter, lol!!

Hello All!!
Brenna had her visit to kindergarten this morning. I hadn't really thought too much about this until last night - like why we were having the visit when we had already been there to check things out with my mom. It finally dawned on me that they wanted to see how she would do by herself for a short amount of time before the real day in September. So we went this morning (she was really excited - the picture with the back-pack was the "Let's go already, Mom" picture) and I tried to ask if I should stay or go. The teacher said to go and she would call me if there were any problems, so I came back home and anxiously waited to see how she would do (not surprising, she did great!). I worked on an embroidery to pass the time and then walked back to get her (this exercise should be good for me in the fall :-) I was early (not surprising), so I killed a little bit of time with some extra walking time. When I got there, Brenna was outside playing with all the kids - riding on a tricycle - the teacher said she did great :-) I think Brenna will really like her teacher - she went right to her and even gave her a hug first thing. She was excited to show me the picture she drew for me - she had to show me right away! We went for ice cream afterwards to celebrate her day and she ate it in the park.
Before nap time, we had a picture marathon using my self-timer - hope you enjoy our pictures from that. The pictures also show my new shirt that I made - I think I did a pretty good job (as long as you don't look too close!). It is a warm day here today - hope the rain cools things off tomorrow.
I finished my towel for Mikayla too - I think I will save all the pictures of these until after I give the gifts out to the people I made them for!!
Take Care!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday, July 15

Hello All!!

Hope all is well out there. Brenna and I had a pretty quiet day today. We had german class this morning and then stayed around the house. She loves when we dance together to any music in the house, so we did that quite a bit today. I finished my shirt that I started yesterday. Hopefully, I will get a picture posted soon (sorry my hair looks horrible today and no make-up = no pictures - I really want to show off my work, not make it look worse, lol). Our walk was cut short for the dog - so many bugs outside today, and just muggy.

Dustin is done with his travels for the week (I think). Hopefully, he won't have to work long hours in the office the next two days. Brenna and I have her visit to kindergarten tomorrow - I can't believe she will be going there when we are back from our trip. Brenna's last day with our german teacher will be on Monday - I know that she will miss her!!!

Well, I think that is about it for today. I need to get settled down and go to bed!
Take Care!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday, July 14

Hello All!!

Hope all is well out there. We had a pretty busy day today. I woke up early (since Dustin isn't here) and got busy on some project work. I finished my second towel for my sister (I haven't decided if I will post any pictures for her or make her wait until we are back in the US - hey, she has waited this long to get them...), decorated a small apron for my visit with some German friends today, and started a new project for a shirt I found on the internet (maybe there will be pictures tomorrow - I haven't decided yet... (wow, could I just make a decision already!!! lol).

We had lunch with our friends and then Brenna had a chance to play with Emma and all her neat toys. She loved this although it resulted in no nap and then an early bedtime.

Well, I'm exhausted from my busy day!

Take Care!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday, July 13

Hello All!!!

Hope everyone out there is having a great day. I've been having a case of the blahs lately (which is another reason for a lack of posts...). Not sure why I'm in a slump - but hopefully, it won't last long.

Dustin went out of town today - he comes home late tomorrow only to drive off on a long day trip on Wednesday. Bummer that he is traveling so much before we leave, but hopefully he will have a break before he heads back to the US. Brenna and I had german class this morning and then an early lunch. After her nap, we took the dog for his walk, went quickly to the store (it looked like it was going to storm all afternoon, but it really didn't do to much - but it is really humid and warm outside (o.k. - and in our apartment too, lol)), finger painted (what a mess my daughter was after that one - she put the paint on her arms up to her armpits...), and made some frosting peanut butter playdough (which I'm sure that Dustin will help eat when he gets home!). We didn't get a chance to play with the playdough - I gave Brenna a choice between painting and playdough and she chose the painting. But, I went ahead and made the playdough today (really, I was trying to clean out some items in the fridge before we leave in a little over a week - it is going to be bad for our family diet - but this stuff is really, really yummy - poor Dustin will have an empty fridge by the time we leave, lol).

I thought I would share a few more pictures from our weekend (and our day of cleaning last week). Brenna really loved my scarf on Sunday (she also really loves necklaces - most of mine get kissed each time that I wear them :-) - I wrapped it around her to get her to be in the picture - can you tell how beautiful she thought she was (and of course she is, lol - I love it when she does something and then says "I'm beautiful now..."). We had to take several pictures of Brenna's swan family - she loved them! I had to take a picture of Brenna's line up in the bathroom (can you tell that I always have too many products around the bathroom sinks!).
Well, I better get to bed! Take Care!