Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gone for the week

It's been a long night around here. Jay tried going to bed around 9:30, but couldn't fall asleep. I layed beside him and rubbed his back trying to make him tired, but that didn't work. He got up at 10:30 and had a glass of milk, but that didn't work. I packed pillows around him like he loves to sleep and that didn't work. I think he finally fell asleep around midnight, but then the alarm went off at 1:00. He left at 1:30 to head into post. The trucks were supposed to pull out at 2:00 for a week of training. This is the beginning to a long year and a half. It actually started back in May, but with block leave in there, we got a little break. Soon, they have another month of training and then away they go!

Earlier this week, the guys were issued a lot of new equipment. Jay was looking through it all last night and had me try it on. He needed practice and I was the dummy! After he figured out what he needed to pack, it was all stuffed into a bag. Unfortunately there is still a whole bunch of stuff laying on the floor. That means I get to stuff it into boxes and on to the shelves! I have company coming over on Thursday and would like to have the room cleaned up!

Last night, I also cut Jay's hair. It hadn't been cut since the beginning of July and was super long. After a week in the field, it would have been a bush! I cut it nice and short so it won't have to be cut again for a couple more weeks! It will also be cooler for him since it finally got warm around here!

Can't wait until Friday when my handsome husband comes back home!! (I know... it's only four days, but I still don't like it when he's gone. I'm getting used to it, but still never fun!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Marriage Retreat!

Jay and I just got home from a Marriage Retreat up in Northwest Germany. It was a long trip, but we had a good time. We left here Friday morning and got there midafternoon. We had supper and then an evening session. We watched a video by Mark Gungor, a great Christian comedian. He does a series called "Laugh your way to a better marriage". He had a lot of great things to say! On Saturday, we watched more of Mark Gungor and also read parts of a book and watched some clips from Dr. Gary Chapman. He wrote the book "The Five Love Languages". We took a quiz to figure out how we like to be loved. The five love languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Phyical Touch

These are how a person receives love the best. Jay's love language was quality time. He feels loved when he gets to spend time with me. I was bilingual with two love languages. I like quality time and acts of service. In Chapman's book, he gives several suggestions on how to love your spouse according to their love language. It gives great ideas!!

Saturday afternoon, we had time to spend with our spouse, no sessions. Jay and I didn't have much to do and no where to go (since we were stuck in a town with not much to do and no car). So, Jay took a three hour nap and I took a short nap and watched a movie. We had supper at the hotel and then went swimming. We spent four hours at the pool. It was a huge complex with three slides, cold pools, warm pools, hot tub, saunas. I wish I had my camera on me because Jay was loving the slides!! It would have made for some great pictures! By the time we got back to the hotel and cleaned up, it was time for bed.

Today, we woke up, had breakfast, went to a service the chaplains put on and then had our last session. We had lunch and headed out on the bus. What was supposed to be a three hour trip home turned into a six hour trip. Our bus driver got lost and we wiggled our way through back roads for a couple of hours until we finally found the autobahn. I'm glad I was able to sleep otherwise I probably would have been sick. By the end of the trip, we were all wanting off that bus!

We wish we would have been able to watch more of the videos. They were great and gave a lot of valuable info! One thing that we did this morning that I really appreciated... we talked about how to love from a distance. The guys will be deploying soon and it's hard to do a lot of those love languages from a distance. We created a long list of what to do for each other. I was glad to get a lot of the ideas. It will be nice to be able to look at the list when Jay is in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


On our drive home from canyoning, Jay and I were talking about what we would want our house to look like when and if we build one. We talked about how many stories we want, where the washer and dryer would be, where to put things in the kitchen (like the microwave, on the counter on up on the wall between cabinets, or if we want an island in the middle), having a walk-in closet, how to position the living room and dining room, etc. We also talked about the outside of the house. We have a location already planned out for our house. We have a nice little acrage we are hoping to get. We talked about planting trees for a windbreak, where to put a swingset and a dog house. I think we both got really excited about eventually having our own place.

As I was doing laundry today, and a lot of it, I realized that I never mentioned that I would like to have a clothesline outside to dry my clothes. My house has been very hot and steamy today after four loads. We don't have a vent to send the heat outside, so it gathers in the bathroom and spreads out from there.

When I was young, I remember driving by my neighbors house in the spring and seeing her clothesline full. That was one of the signs of spring for me, because that meant the sun was warm enough to dry the clothes. Mom's line was also always full. With all of us kids (and dad), she had a lot of laundry to do. I never did like the stiff feeling of the clothes, but it sure saved on energy! I hope to do that myself some day, when we have our own house.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Bye Sara!!

My dear friend Sara is leaving us soon to head back into the states. She thinks getting married and moving in with her husband is a better idea than staying here in Schweinfurt!! Sheesh!!! We sure are going to miss her! She's been a great friend to me. I did a lot of things with her during Club Beyond for the middle schoolers. She has been a great example of what it means to follow Christ for the kids and for me. A lot of people have learned from her!

This past week, we threw a surprise party for Sara before she left. Instead of having Bible study, we brought the group together and had a bridal shower/ going away party for her! Angie made a beautiful cake and cupcakes! They were very tasty!!! We also collected words of wisdom and recipes for her to take with her.

Good luck Sara & Adam! Hope your wedding goes great!! Also, good luck moving!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


We still had a few days left of block leave, so Jay and I decided to head down to Austria to go canyoning! What is canyoning you ask..... a life threatening event taking place in a canyon that includes jumping, repelling, and sliding off cliffs into snow run off. Sounds crazy, yes, you are correct!!

We left for Garmisch Friday night, went to Edelweiss Resort to check in and get our voucher. We stuck around for a couple hours, using their plug in to watch a movie on our computer. After that, we were ready to sleep. We pulled off on a side street in Garmisch and slept in the trunk for the night. We layed the back seats down flat opening into the trunk, making a bed. We layed out a sleeping bag, Jay took the sheet, I took the blanket, and off to sleep we went. When we woke up in the morning, we were both freezing. The temp was in the 40's and it was raining. Definitely not a good day to be outside. We went back to the resort and asked the desk if canyoning was still going on. They said it will be, rain or shine, as long as it wasn't lightening. She asked if we were staying on the economy since she didn't see our names in the hotel registry. Jay and I looked at each other, then said yes. After we walked out, Jay thought we should have told her we were staying IN the economy.... an economy car!!

We drove down to Haiming, Austria for canyoning. It was still absolutely freezing outside and raining. We were given full wet suits, including socks and a hood. We also put helmets on and harnesses. We took a taxi ride up a mountain to 1750 meters. Once we got out, we had a quick saftey briefing. We were told that we had to walk and we had to repell, but if we didn't want to jump or slide, there were ways around it. Then, we went to our first spot. To our dismay.... to get down into the canyon, we hooked up to a bridge and basically did a free fall from it. Our guide stopped the rope a foot above the water and then lowered us into it. I was in tears as I was watching everyone else go. I wasn't so sure I could do this. Once we got into the canyon, we did a lot of walking through the water, repelling down cliffs, sliding down rocks, and we even jumped off 20ish foot rocks into the water. It was freezing cold out and the water was even colder. We eventually became numb that we could barely feel it. I shivered the entire time and my lips were purple. Besides the cold temps, it was amazing! We had a ton of fun and Jay really wants to do it again.

We finished around 5:00 and thought we better head for home because it was a four hour drive. But, we decided we should head to Innsbruck first since we hadn't been there yet. It was the last place in Austria that we wanted to go, and didn't really want to make another drive down there, so we went for it. We went to the Olympic ski jump and then walked around down town. We spent a lot of money in a short amount of time, but got some neat things.

We got a pair of sweatshirts, matching yes, but we figured we would never wear them at the same time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Two Weeks Worth of Traveling

It's been a very busy two weeks and I must say it feels great to be home. Jay's parents met us in England on July 2, and we spent 5 days touring London, Bath, and the country of Wales. It was fun to see all of the big sites in London, like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, Tower of London, Wimbledon (while it was going on). We also had a front row spot to watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. That was pretty neat. The best part of it was the songs the bands played during the half hour. Lots of James Bond... it was great!!

Bath is a very traditional town in England and gave us a chance to get out of the big city. It is a spa city, that has Roman Baths in it. This is one from a long time ago that still stands. The water is natural spring water, that is warm to the touch.

We took a walking tour with an elder from the community who was very knowledgeable. We also stopped at Stonehenge, which is an attraction of rocks. It was built a long time ago (don't remember the year) and still stands. It's amazing to think they cut all the rocks and layered them all by hand.

We drove to Wales and saw a castle, but didn't get to do much else. We were pushed for time, but at least are able to say that we've been to Wales. Once we got back to London, we went to Greenwich to stand on the Prime Meridian. Jay and I are standing in two different time zones.

We got home on a Tuesday and left again on Thursday. That gave us enough time to show Curt and Nancy around post and the town, do laundry, and rest for a day. After laundry, we packed up again and headed out to southern Germany. We moved to a new town every night after exploring the surroundings for the day. Our towns were Rothenburg (an old, traditional town that still has a wall around the city), Nuremburg (to see Hitler’s parade grounds and a castle), Dachau Concentration Camp, Munich (tried to see the BMW plant, but the tour was full… saw the Olympic stadium and the Oktoberfest grounds), Neuschwanstein and Linderhof castles (both built by King Ludwig II), Bertchesgaden and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, Garmisch Olympic Ski Stadium, and ended with a trip to Salzburg to explore the city. I think we tired out our guests by the end of this week. It was pretty action packed.

Neuschwanstein Castle (Cinderella's Castle was built after it)

Linderhof Castle

Salzburg Castle and city

Ramsau, most photographed church in the world


Hitler's Eagle's Nest

On top of a mountain

We came home on Tuesday, spent Wednesday packing and resting and headed to Frankfurt Wednesday night. Jay and I went with Curt and Nancy to the airport this morning and watched them until they were out of site (which doesn’t take long with security). It was rough to watch them go, especially for Jay. It will be a year before he sees them again. We are all hoping the time goes fast!!!!

We had a great time the past two weeks. It’s hard to believe that it’s all over. We’ve been looking forward to July for so many months now…. And it’s come and gone. We would love to have two more weeks with Jay’s parents, but unfortunately time isn’t on our side. Jay is home for one more month, then out to the field for a month, and then I get him for another month or so before deployment. In that perspective, time is moving way too fast!! We just continue to be thankful for the time we do get together, and that Curt and Nancy were able to come see us for awhile. We are always reminded that God is in control, always!!