Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We're Ready to Go!!

It's Tuesday morning and I'm ready to hit the road. Unfortunately that won't happen for another 7 or so hours. I had my suitcase packed yesterday, Jay woke up this morning and got his packed before PT. PT wasn't until 9:00 this morning and it was a family one. I went along and we did a lot of fun events. We had a water balloon fight, but only the dependents got the balloons. We also climbed up a slide and jumped off into a pit. Then the actual work out was a ladder. Then an easy jog back to where we started. The guys then did a dizzy bat relay. They had to spin around with their head on a bat and then run to the other end and back. It was quite humerous to watch. Jay's head was cocked one way, his body turned another direction, but somehow he managed to run relatively straight. I got a good laugh at it!

I hit up the commissary on my way home. $100 later I came out and finally got home. Unfortunately that's only half my menu for the days when Jay's parents are here. Ohs wells! It doesn't happen often.

I have to take all of the pies in to Jay at 1:00 so the guys can gobble them up. I'll be glad to get them out of my fridge. Jay is supposed to get off at 2:00... which means he may be home around 4 or 5. Our goal is to leave at 6:00. Yippee!!!!

I'll be sure to update when we get back!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Finally Made the Pies

Yesterday, our landlord brought us another bucket of cherries. These were freshly picked, still with stems and pits. I didn't have space to put them in the freezer, so I had to make them into something today.

This morning, I started to pit the cherries with a spoon. My fingers looked like they were bleeding. The cherries were so juicy. It was taking me forever to get the pits out without killing the cherry. I was wishing I had the pitter that our landlord used a few days prior. Jay went and asked her for me and brought it back. I was so glad to see it! I finished much faster than I would have, probably an hour or so faster!

I used flour, salt, and crisco to make my crusts. They turned out pretty good. I was reminded of the several years I made pies at Beck's, for Ruth. I didn't make twenty pies like we did back then, but did get four in and out of the oven.

The first two I made normal, with a flower cut out in the middle. The third one I decided to try a lattice top. It actually turned out pretty good. I was happy with it. I was out of dough and didn't want to make another batch, so I ended up doing a crumble topping. I used mom's recipe that she puts on an apple crisp. Jay tried it out tonight and thought it tasted good.

Now I have to figure out what to do with three pies. We obviously can't eat four pies by Tuesday and there is no room in the freezer right now. Jay is going to take them and give them away at the office tomorrow. I'm sure someone would like to have a fresh cherry pie!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I survived the Spur Ride!!

I had a great time at the Ladies Spur Ride today. Not only was it fun and I like the competition, but it was great to be able to experience some of the things that Jay's does on a daily basis. Now when he's talking about some things, I can actually picture what he is talking about.
Our first event was putting on the parachute equipment. We buddied up and put it on each other. That wasn't too difficult. We then did a mock jump. They have a wooden platform that the guys use to practice jumping. We lined up like they do, hooked up to the static line, then jumped out into a sand box.

The second event was an EST2000. It was a simulator that allowed us to shoot air M16s. We did three rounds of 20 shots. We were scored on each and our best score was recorded. I didn't do very well the first time, I was shooting really low. I learned what I was doing and fixed it for the second round. I scored a perfect 20 out of 20!! I was the first one to get them all!! They then put up a city scene and we had to shoot at the bad guys that would pop in and out.

Props to this trooper... her baby is due this week and still did the entire thing with us!! They didn't make her lay on her stomach to shoot, but she still ended up with a 20 out of 20!

The third event was a written quiz. We had to match ranks to their symbol. We also had to write who was in charge and second in charge for the different chains of command. That was no problem. Those are the things I studied last night, so I knew them all!!
The fourth event was an obstacle course. This was the most difficult thing to do during the day. We had to low crawl, then high crawl under wires, then flip a tire a specificed distance, then high knee through some tires, pull someone on a sled, and the last thing was to push a humvee. I was the first one out of the shoot. After the low crawl, we had to stand up and run to the high crawl. I took a dive to get under the high crawl. That got my half way through the wires already. Let me with some grass stains, but it was fun!!! We had the best time of all the troops!!

The fifth event was a grenade toss. We had four different stations, some of them kneeling, others laying. We had a certain area we had to get the grenade into. I got three out of four. I missed the one because I jumped over a wall first and did a barrel roll before throwing the grenade. I wasn't quite focused and threw too far to the left. Ohs wells!!

The last event was assembly and disassembly of an M16 and an M9. Both were pretty easy because I had already practiced them. We had to do each one within 2 minutes. I got both done in around 30 seconds. No problem!!

We had a little awards ceremony at the end, when every lady was called up and received her spurs. We got little spur key chains. They are pretty cute.

Now I just have to figure out how to get really bad grass stains out. My shirt has a good one and the knees on Jay's ACU pants that I wore are pretty green. It was all worth it though!!
Way to go Blackhorse ladies!!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Tomorrow's the big day! We have our Lady Spur Ride at the squadron and I'm really excited. We get to try out a lot of things that the guys do on a normal basis. A few of the stations are a litter carry (one person laying on a board, four people holding the board and running) grenade toss, assembly/disassembly of a M9 and a M16, shooting simulator, putting on parachute equipment, mock jump, and an obstacle course. I tried my outfit on tonight to make sure it all worked. I am wearing Jay’s ACU pants and a shirt that we made today. We are also putting camo face paint on! We’re going to look great!

I made flash cards today to help me learn some of the material. I’ve been struggling to learn the enlisted side and what each position does. I think I now finally have them figured out. I also learned the Army chain of command, starting with a squad and finishing with the entire Army. A few more things I need to concentrate on and then I’ll be good to go.

Here is Jay helping me out with the Army crawl. I think I’ve got it down!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Cherries Have Arrived!

When I got home tonight from a party, I found two bag fulls of plump, juicy cherries! They look so good, I wish I liked them. Now I just have to figure out what to do with them all. I want to make a pie with some, that is if they are the right kind of cherries. I'm not a cherry expert. I may have to freeze a bag. If I do, do I put sugar on them or just leave them plain?

Cherry Pie!!

Our landlord and her daughter are outside right now bagging fresh cherries. They are huge and a beautiful dark red. I don't really even like cherries, but they sure do look good. I went out to get something out of my car, and she asked if we like cherries. I said yes, knowing Jay loves them. She said she would bring us up a bag this evening. That means I get to make a fresh cherry pie!!! Yummm. Jay will have to eat it quick before we leave next week, but I bet he can handle that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wishing we were home!

Andrea, Jacob, Jacquelyn, and Nicole

I am really wishing I could be home right now. My entire family.... and I mean EVERYONE (including my sister and her family from China) was home this past weekend. My sister and her family flew in at the end of last week and will be hanging around for a couple weeks. That means my niece and two nephews are home and I can't even see them. Along with them, my other sister and my brother and his wife are around.

My mom and my youngest nephew, Alex.

Yesterday, there were 15 people at my parents house to celebrate Jacquelyn's fifth birthday. They had a huge feast for dinner and it was one of my favorite meals! Jay and I were wanting to be there so bad! In the middle of their afternoon, our night, I called dad to tell him Happy Father's Day. It happened to be great timing because they were getting ready to have cake and ice cream for Jacquelyn's birthday. Instead of talking on the phone, we hopped on the computer. Jay and I got to be on webcam and join in on the singing of happy birthday and watch Jacquelyn blow her candles out. We also got to see my whole family, grandma and grandpa, my aunt and uncle, and my great aunt. It put me in tears afterward, but I'm sure glad we could be there (kind of).

I can't wait to go home again, but unfortunately I'll be flying solo. Jay will be deployed by then so Christmas will be lonely. It will be so wonderful to have my family around me! I miss them all so much!!!!

A Quiet Weekend

It was a quiet weekend around here. We had plans to go to Madrid for four days, but that didn't work out with Jay's work. So, we hung out in Schweinfurt the whole time. It's been a LONG time since we stayed in town and did nothing. Actually.... I don't know if that's ever happened since we've moved here! There is a festival happening in town, so we went to that on Friday night and Sunday night. We rode a couple of rides, got our stomachs all turned around and then called it quits. That was enough for us! We also had to try out the fair food. I had a ham and cheese pretzel and Jay had a backfish and a chocolate covered banana. Saturday, we picked up a guy from the airport early in the morning. As soon as we got home, we went back to bed and didn't get up until early afternoon. Definitely a lazy day and a lazy weekend!

It was back to work today. Jay went in this morning even though he had the day off. I finished my last paper for my online class today. I'm so glad to be done with it this week! It's taken a lot of time, and sticks me to my computer every day. I also ran around post a bit to get some things accomplished. I finally got $336 back from the squadron that I paid for some inflatables. I learned my lesson... never pay for something out of your own account, because you may never get it back!!! It took them 20 minutes of discussing before they finally agreed to pay me. Sure glad they did!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rome, Italy

This past weekend, we took four days and headed to Rome. We had beautiful weather to be outside and see everything there was to see. It got rather warm on us as it got into the 90's, but much better than rain. Some of the main things we saw were the Colosseum, Roman Forms, Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Pantheon, the usual. We saw a lot more than this, but these are the big things that people usually think of.

We were lucky that we reserved a hostel that had an air conditioner in it. I didn't even think of it when I was looking at places to stay, but it sure was great to have. We were soaked with sweat when we got back, and it was nice to sleep in the coolness.
Traveling with Jay is quite a workout. He pushes to see as much as he can in a short amount of time. We had four days, but he didn't want to miss a thing. We hit up the Vatican tour and went through all of the museums the first day, walked around the Colosseum, and saw a few other sites. On the second day, we spent most of the day touring the Colosseum and the Roman Forms. We had a tour guide, so learned what all the ruins used to be and who used them. It was all very interesting. It made me wish I paid more attention in social studies class back in the day. I remember learning about so much of it, but couldn't tell you anything about it. On the third day, we went to the Pantheon, several Piazza's (which are open squares in the middle of lots of buildings), several fountains, Spanish steps, and I'm sure more, but can't remember. By our last day there, we had seen it all. There wasn't a single spot that we wanted to go to that we hadn't already seen. So, we slowly moved around the city all day simply wasting time. We were already checked out of our hostel, so couldn't go back to that. By 3:00, we were getting bored. It's sad to say that we were getting bored in Rome.

The food... well.... for us, it didn't hold up to the praise that everyone gives it. We didn't think it was all that great. Jay said I make better spaghetti than they had. Pizza Hut makes better pizzas (in the states, not over here). And the prices... that was enough to starve us. On our first night there, we went to a restaurant (the cheapest on the block) and ended up spending $51 on our meal. Our drinks alone cost over $20, including a $7 can of Coke! Yikes!!!! We tried the wine because eveyone says it's so great, but the two of us had to choke down the one glass that we bought. At least we said we tried it. I guess you have to spend the really big bucks to get a fantastic meal that everyone faves about... and $51 isn't the big bucks! Unfortunately, we did a lot of McDonalds just to get by. Not my favorite meal, but it sometimes has to do.

This was our $51 meal... and the bread was free!!

Nonetheless, we had a fantastic trip. We saw so many things and really enjoyed our time there.

Our way of cooling down on a hot afternoon.

If you want to see more pictures, go to my picasa site. I have a lot on there! (and you can see Jay in a tight purple tank top that I wasn't allowed to put on here!!!)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

End of Year Teacher Party

Last night, Jay and I went to the end of year party for the all teachers and staff. We spent the entire day at a softball tournament in Ansbach for the girls I have been coaching all season. We got poured on all day and it was freezing, but we were still out there playing. We ended up loosing both games. I love softball, but I'm sure glad this season is over. Too many moody fifth grade girls!!

Back to the party, we had dinner once we got there. We were over an hour late, so missed the social hour, which wasn't a big disappointment. Jay ordered a schnitzel and spargel. Spargel is the german word for asparagus. It's huge over here, both green and white. To make it white, they have the fields covered with tarps so that it doesn't get sun. I had pancake soup, which is little strips of pancake in a chicken broth. Both meals were great!

After dinner, they had a drawing for the table decorations. Jay and I both won potted plants!!! Jay gave his to another teacher since we didn't need to bring two home. Now the trick will be to keep it alive. I won the orange daisies and Jay won the purple flowers.

Wives, you should be jealous!

We all think we have the most amazing guy in the world... but tonight, I'm pretty sure mine topped the list. It's 9:00 on a Sunday evening and Jay is in the kitchen doing the dishes. I'm on my computer working on homework, not paying attention to him. Once I finish up and go into the kitchen, I realize he is scrubbing the kitchen floor. He moved everything out into the hallway, moved the fridge out, swept out from behind it, and scrumbed it all. Then he countinued into both of the bathrooms, scrubbing the floors and stool. He was even in the shower scrubbing down all the walls and the floor. My house now smells wonderfully clean and is all spick and span! Seriously!!! All without even being asked and for no reason at all! God definitely has blessed me with my husband!

(I snuck these pictures in when he wasn't looking.)
Scrubbing the drain of the shower.

Fish Eyes!

Last weekend when we were in Barcelona, I wanted to have a true Spain meal.... which doesn't mean spicy food which we tend to think. In Barcelona, that means sea food, straight from the Mediterranean Sea. We picked a restaurant off the main strip that we could actually afford, but still wasn't cheap. After looking at the menu, I decided to go with the deep fat fried small fish. I figured I could handle that, considering I'm not a sea food kind of girl. I can handle breaded fish and that's about it. When I got my plate, I was quite nervous to even try one.

They didn't taste horrible, but they weren't the best tasting fish I've ever had. The worst part about them, I could still see their tales, eyes, and scales. These little dudes had no chance to live. The only way I could get myself to eat them is if I didn't look at them. Usually people plug their nose, but I had to close my eyes. The whole eye ball thing was freaking me out!!

I had to prepare myself before eating each one.

Then I would close my eyes and get it down fast!

Then I chased it down with my Coke. When my Coke was gone, I was done with those little fishies!

While I was covering my eyes to eat the fish, Jay thought he would disect one to see what was inside. He ended up popping the eyeball out of it. They all still had their eyes!!!!!!!!!! YUCK!!! Thankfully he didn't tell me this until after we were out of the restaurant and walking down the street. Otherwise I wouldn't have gotten any more down.

Jay decided to be safe and go with the chicken. This is what his turned out like. It was in a tomato based rice, with mixed veggies in it. This too was a pretty typical Spanish meal.

We definitely stopped for ice cream on the way back to the hostel that night. I needed something to keep those fish from swimming in my stomach!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Barcelona, Spain

We are home from Barcelona!! We had an AWESOME trip and loved every minute of it!! We made it there by Friday afternoon and found our hostel. We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the Olympic park and seeing all of the different fields, pools, etc.

Things were very well kept up there. We also walked around the town and saw some of the big sites to see. In the evening, we spent our time on La Rambla (the night life street). It was full of people just walking around. In the middle of the street were lots of people sellings things... face painters, caricature artists, spray paint artists, dancers, musicians, and people dressed up as random things to make money.
This guy was one of the best. He was a frozen statue that stood perfectly still like this. When someone put money in the jar, he would change his position.

On Saturday, we visited all the big touristy places. We saw lots of neat buildings and went to a few parts. This is an apartment complex designed and build by a guy names Guadi. He is very popular in the city. He build a lot of buildings, has a bunch of benches made out of glass pieces, and started a church. In this apartment, there is not a single straight wall or 90 degree angle.

We went to a park that had a view of the whole city. We went at night and during the day. It was beautiful!

On Sunday we spent the afternoon at the beach. The place was packed, but we found a couple of lounge chairs to spend a few hours in. We both got in the water, but not for long. It was really cold. We enjoyed the sun nonetheless!

This has been one of my favorite trips. The weather was perfect and we saw a lot of neat things! Besides getting food poisoning on Saturday and eating that fish on Sunday, all was great! And it's hard to beat a beach like this! I have more pictures posted on my Picasa site if you are interested in seeing more!