Monday, November 30, 2009

Still Alive!

I'm still alive and breathing!! I have lots to talk about, but don't have time to sit and write! Let's hope for tomorrow night! I want to tonight, but it's already 11:30! I only got 2.5 hours of sleep last night, so better get to bed soon! Otherwise I might not make it through the week!

Coming soon... a wonderful trip to Belgium for Thanksgiving ... the joys of babysitting five boys ... school activities!

On a side note.... I talked to Jay last night! He was all settled in and found his bed for the next year! What a great feeling!! He's "home" and ready to get the show on the road!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The past few days

That past few days have been quite a whirl wind around here! Friday night we spent together like we always do. We had chili for supper, which was the last meal on Jay's list that he asked for. Then we watched 24 like we always do. Jay spent quite awhile packing up and cleaning out. I sat and watched and helped shove the bags full. As I was getting ready for bed, Jay was taking pictures like crazy. He said he wanted to remember everything I did while he was gone. He even took pictures of me sleeping on the couch! We finally decided to go to bed at midnight, otherwise, the night would have drug on forever!! Five hours later left like only a few seconds!

In case all of you also want to remember me brushing my teeth!!

We were on post for awhile in the morning before heading out. I was numb by this point. No tears, so sad face! We were having a good time standing around and talking. You would have never guessed what was happening in a few hours after that. We said a prayer and off he went to the bus. Watching him walk away toward the bus was the only time I cried the whole morning!! Jay was proud of me! I kept saying "I'm strong" and then would growl!!! My way of keeping it all in!

Jay with one of his four bags!! There is no way I would have been able to lift it all! I think it probably weighed more than I did!

Almost time to head out! Big smiles from both of us and no red eyes from crying! We know this deployment will go fast! Jay is excited to get there and get settled. I have plenty to do back here with school. My little kids are keeping my as busy as a beaver.

I can't wait to hear that he is all settled in. I've received a couple updates, so am glad for that.

One way of keeping positive is to keep looking forward to the next month. I am so excited to go home for Christmas. In one month from today, I'll be sleeping in my bed from back home and waking up to my family!! I can't wait to eat my mom's homemade candy and cookies. I can't wait to see the Christmas tree and go to church and sing Christmas carols. So many wonderful things to be thankful for this holiday season! I sure wish Jay could be with me, but sooner than I know, he'll be back!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Best Birthday for one reason!

It's only 7:30 and I'm already in my pj's, watching one of my favorite movies. Jay's asleep on the couch, and all is well. Not a very exciting night you might think.... true, but I wouldn't ask for anything more. All I want to do is stay close to my husband, reminding myself how lucky I am to have him home with me today! That's my one reason for this being such a great birthday!

He brought me lunch at school today! I had a short break between all of my conferences. He called me and told me to come out to the parking lot. He had made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! They were terrific! When he got home tonight, he helped me make my favorite meal, spaghetti and garlic bread!! It was delicious! I am stuffed, but can't wait for cake and ice cream! One of my little boys brought me a cake at school today when his family came for conferences. I remember him asking me what my favorite dessert was on Friday at school, and today they showed up with it! They made a white cake with white frosting and sprinkles! It's so perfect and I bet it tastes wonderful!! Such a sweet family!

Not too much else happening around here! We are going out to eat with some friends tomorrow night, so we'll play lazy tonight! We're getting old, so can only be active one night a week!

In my chair for the night, with my plate of spaghetti and one of my favorite movies, The Holiday!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...early!!

This afternoon, Jay and I went to a big Thanksgiving feast with all of our Bible study friends! There were over 40 of us there and we had tons of food and lots of fellowship. I made cheesey potatoes and rolls to take along. I was really excited to use my new pottery for the potatoes. It worked out great! Everyone brought a dish to share and we filled a table with food, literally! We had to have a whole other area for desserts and drinks! Definitely a lot of options!! We grabbed a plate and started heading through the line. Half way through, I had only a couple of things on my plate and Jay's was already covered. He asked if he could use the other half of my plate because he wanted to try everything! Everything I ate was great! Jay made a lot of oohing and ahhing sounds, so I think he was satisfied too!! His favorite was a sweet potato casserol that Angie made. I'll have to get the recipe from her since he liked it so much!! Those few bites earned several noises coming from Jay!!

After everyone finished up eating, we played several rounds of Apples to Apples. It was fun to play with such a big group. I never won, but still enjoyed it. The last two rounds I was quite sidetracked as I was holding little Loralynn. She was much more enjoyable than the game!!

Now we're home, our bellies are STUFFED, and we hit our chairs. I don't plan on moving until I head to bed!! It's resting time!

Here is what the table looked like after all the food was gone. I forgot to take pictures before, so you can see what big pigs we all are!! This table was completely loaded about an hour before this picture!

There were tons of desserts and all were delicious, but this was definitely the cutest! Angie made turkeys out of cupcakes and nutter butters! How clever!

Last year, Jay and I attended at least three different Thanksgiving meals. This year... this was it. So we ate lots of things that we have only at Thanksgiving! We probably won't get it next year, so we savored every last bite!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Celebrating an Early Birthday

Because we have no idea what's happening in the next week, we decided to celebrate my birthday early this year. Jay surprised me when I got home from school one day. He had the stairwell decorated with streamers and balloons along with the rest of the house! Of course they were all pink and orange! He also had my favorite flowers sitting in the middle of the table, gerbera daisies! What a sweet guy he is!

Once I walked in the doorway, Jay was real excited to show me the cake! He took me by the hand and pulled me into the dining room, where I was handed a box..... Yup, it was the box of cake mix! He said he wanted to make it, but was too scared. He wasn't sure which recipe to use on the back of the box (whole egg or just egg whites) and he didn't want to mess with our oven. Our oven is very goofy and I usually have to fidget with temperatures and times, so I can't blame him for that. It was the thought that counts though! He wanted to have the cake all done for me! Maybe that's something we'll do together this weekend!!

He then had me open some presents he got for me, which he shouldn't have. We bought so many new things lately, esepcially coming off our Poland trip. But I guess he had these things way before the trip! I received several new clothing items. I'm really excited to wear them all! I'm going to be looking pretty fancy!! I'll have to wear my new skirt that he gave me to conferences on Monday, along with the new boots he got me for Christmas!

The rest of the evening was spent relaxing with my hubby. Nothing at all will ever beat that, no matter how many new outfits he buys me! I will take time with him any day over gifts! For sure!!! I had made steak and potatoes for him as one of his favorite meals. It worked great for a birthday meal and was delicious! Instead of eating cake, we had a butterscotch pudding pie that I already had in the fridge! It was such a perfect night! I hope to do it all again on Monday, except for the gifts. No more of those please!!!! I'll just take the together time!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Surprise for Jay

Wednesday nights are usually spent at Bible study. But because today is a holiday, we didn't have it. Last night while Jay and I were talking, he said he wanted to tell everyone good-bye at Bible study tonight. I reminded him that we don't have it. That didn't make him very happy because he wasn't sure if he would see most of our friends again. He decided to call a couple friends of ours to see if they wanted to go out to eat tonight. He wanted to be sure and tell them good-bye. They were up for it, so we had it set that we would go out tonight.
This morning, I decided to surprise him with a little more. I sent out a text message and an email to a lot of our friends, asking them to come join us for supper tonight. I said it would be a last good-bye for Jay and to come wish him well. I had our friend Elizabeth go a little early to make sure they were ready for us. I asked her to have 12-14 seats ready for us.

We walked into the restaurant (our favorite place) and were surprised (especially Jay) to see 25 smiling faces that we all knew! Jay was shocked!! He was not expecting it at all. He really enjoyed getting to talk to everyone and see all our friends one last time.
All the people who came out to join us!

God has really blessed us with an amazing group of friends over here in Germany. Living here would be a lot harder if we didn't have this support group. All of these people mean a lot to us. I'm glad I'll have them to lean on during the next year!
Thanks all who came our to support Jay and the other guys who are leaving! It was so wonderful to see you there and really meant a lot to us!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekend in Poland!

We took a weekend trip to Poland as our last hurray! I keep thinking every trip is going to be our last, but finally, this will probably be it. It was an absolutely, positively wonderful trip, so I'll accept it as our last.

We headed out after school on Friday afternoon. It was supposed to be a 4.5 hour drive, but turned out to be quite a bit longer because of piled up traffic. Thankfully we weren't in a huge hurry. We pulled into the hotel around 9:45 and had to be checked in by 10:00. As we were getting out, Jay asked if I had my suitcase. No... as I was still sitting in the front seat. We quickly realized that my suitcase was still sitting at home. Oops!!! I seem to be the one that always makes the trips interesting. I don't know why I would ever have a trip with no extra drama. That's just no fun!!! Leaving computers in the airport, forgetting my luggage, makes for great memories!! At the time, I was pretty bummed! As soon as we got to the room, I layed down and was out. By morning, it was pretty funny though. I threw the covered off me, got out of bed, and said I was ready to go shopping!!! I didn't have to change my clothes, had no toothbrush or paste to brush my teeth, no comb to fix my hair. I couldn't do anything, so might as well head out to shop!

We spent all day shopping for pottery. We looked around at several places before actually making any purchases. I really wanted to buy a plate set this time. I looked at them last time, but decided not to without Jay's opinion. We had the patterns picked down to three and priced each of them. they all turned out to be way more than we were anticipating. So... after a lot of thinking and discussing, we decided not to buy a setting. Instead, we went with the serving items. I got a big bowl, two little bowls, a 9x13 with handles, and an 8x10. Now I want to cook and serve to company so I can use all my new items!! Jay told me they'll be my Christmas presents for next year! I'm ok with that!! This is the pattern that all of serving pieces are in.

The rest of the evening we spent hanging out together in the hotel. We played scrabble, had supper, watched a movie, simply relaxed!!! Jay has a hard time relaxing, but I think he enjoyed it a lot. It was so nice to be together and not doing something. We fell asleep quite early, but it was such a perfect night!

This morning, we wanted to sleep in, but had breakfast at 8:00. We went down, ate breakfast, then went back to the room and fell back asleep. We both woke up at 10:00! Didn't mean to sleep that long, but sure felt good! Then it was time for the long drive home! It was a good ride though. We talked about lots of things we needed to figure out for the next year!

All in all, this weekend was wonderful. I wish I could have it all over again!!! I sure am going to miss weekends like this, hanging out with my husband, enjoying every moment of life!
We went to a glass blowing place and looked around his shop. This was one of our favorite pieces!

This pottery shop really catered to Americans, and especially the military (that's because all the military wives come on trips for shopping!) They had several items on teh Iraq war.

A pottery tree, outside one of the stores.

Packing Up

Jay has been busy packing up to head out soon. Most of his things are already gone, but he is allowed a couple more bags. He is filling these with his necessities, tooth brush, toothpaste, razor, shampoo, clothes, the basics. He was stuffing his bag as tight as he could to get it all in.
Unfortunately... I didn't stuff very well, so I got nixed!!

Jay tried putting me in two bags... but he didn't think that would be allowed!

Shucks!!! I'll think of something yet!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Pictures

Jay and I wanted to get a few pictures taken together before he heads out for the year. I wanted them done in the fall when the leaves were pretty! We have tried for a couple of weeks now, but it has been so rainy and gloomy that we didn't have a good day. Yesterday the sun was shining, but our photographer (our good friend Elizabeth) was under the weather! But today was the day! We walked to a park just a couple blocks away and had some fun! We took a few formalish ones.... and then decided it was time to play!!!! For those of you that get our Christmas card..... you'll be seeing these again!

Now for the fun ones....

And they're up... (Jay thinks I'm having way too much fun in this picture!)

In the upcoming months and throughout the next year, please pray with us for safety and peace. We pray that this deployment goes quickly and we can grow from it! We pray that God blesses our actions apart from each other and continuely reminds us how blessed we are to have each other, even from across the world.

THANK YOU ELIZABETH for taking such great photos!! We really appreciate you doing this for us!!