Monday, May 14, 2012

The Time has Come... to Pack

Our time in Germany is getting shorter by the day! Are you tired of me saying that yet? You'll continue to hear it for the next two months! Jay and I looked at our calendars this past weekend. We have every single weekend booked from now until we fly! We have a couple trips that we are trying to squeeze in somewhere. I have asked for help with one of our softball games so we can get away for the weekend. We want to take a boat cruise on the Rhine and Mossel River. We'll see if we can fit it in.

The actual reason for the post.... the packing has begun in our lovely home! Jay had an urge to start the pre-packing process when he got home tonight. We cleaned out the backroom which was stocked full of boxes, boxes, and more boxes! This has been our storage room for the past four years. Because we have no closets in this house, it all goes into this room. Now that the room is empty, we'll start to pack boxes and put them back into the room. This will make it easier when the movers come. We can tell them to load the entire room.

As for our dining room.... it's going to be a mess for awhile. I'll look on the bright side! I guess this means I don't have to clean for a couple of weeks! We left about a two foot walk way to get to the living room.

We're hoping to get our orders to Ft. Benning next week. That will be three months prior to the date Jay starts his schooling. We are hoping to schedule the movers to come as soon as we get orders! We'll get this house under control sooner or later!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Best & Worst of the Weekend

It was quite an eventful Saturday for us, but a quieter Sunday. I'll give you the best and the worst from the weekend.
Saturday started early as I prepared for another softball game. This was our first home game, which is always exciting. I went to the field at 9:00 to watch the game before us. Our game didn't start until 11:00. It was another typical Schweinfurt Juniors Softball game, with a score more like a football score! In the first inning we had shut them out with zero points. We were running the bases and turned in 13 points pretty quickly. At this point I slowed my girls down and wouldn't let them steal. They hate when I do that to them and don't understand, but I remind them we need to learn some sportsmanship. We finally found our third out after 15 points. The second inning wasn't so successful. They scored a few on us, making the score 13-7. This made my girls mad, which was good. This is the most anyone has scored on us. The competitive side came out in all of them. We got back to the bats and scored another 7 points, making the score 20-7. We held them for the third inning, which meant it was time to finish the game. We needed 2 more points to finish the game (15 point split in the third inning). Well.... who wants to stop at 2. We ended the game at 29-7. The girls were still frustrated as this was our worst game yet, but they were still glad to win.

Will try for better pictures next time. It rained on us throughout the entire game! It was definitely not softball weather.

After softball, I took one of the girls home with me to get her ready for the middle school formal in the evening. I curled her hair and put it in rollers. Then another girl came over and I curled her hair. They were taking turns as I worked step by step through both of their dues. They both ended up with a head full of curls with sides half up in a fun way. I finished their hair at 5:15 and the dance started at 6:00. It was then my turn to get myself ready. I told the girls to do their makeup while I jumped in the shower. When I got out, they said "Ms. Gina, we don't know how to do makeup." I told them to wait a minute while I thew jel in my hair. I then dolled up their eyes and finished getting them ready. I threw a dress on and out the door we went. They both looked beautiful!

Before shot

The dance was a hit! Jay was the all-star DJ. The theme was "A Night in Paris". The decorations were really neat and all the kids looked great! By the end of the night, we were exhausted! We don't have as much energy as middle school kids anymore.

The background painted by our art teacher

With two other teacher friends

So Sunday was our day of rest. We both slept in and took an easy morning. We cleaned up the house and did a few things that have been waiting for us at home. Laundry was one of those things on the list that needed to be done. We got everything put away except for the socks. This job stinks!! There is a reason I have mismatch socks. They really are easier to match!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Rest of April

Finally taking the time to catch up on the rest of April. If you haven't noticed, we've been pretty busy lately. We haven't been home or finished supper before 9:30 the past couple of weeks. Which means little time to blog. Let's just say we are making the most of our time, as it's getting shorter and shorter!

So... to finish up our Spring Break trip. We spent the rest of the week in the Baltic countries, Latvia (Latvija), Lithuania (Lietuvos), and Estonia (Eesti).

After we got back from Nice, we repacked and reloaded. The next day we flew to the capital of Latvia, Riga. We toured around the city for the day, seeing the changes in the past decade.  Latvia has had its independence for only a few years. They became their own country in 1993, gaining their independence from Russia. We could see the communist affects on the country, especially the capital. The buildings were very drab and run down. On the other hand, there were several new buildings, big, tall, and fancy. They didn't fit in very well with the rest of the city. They are definitely still in the rebuilding phase. The city wasn't one of the most beautiful ones we've seen, but learning the history was quite interesting.

Then next day we drove four hours up to Tallinn, Estonia. This city has a different story. Estonia has had it's independence for longer than Latvia. It wasn't quite as run down and had more up to date buildings. The capital city was quite beautiful. It wasn't touched by World War 2, so the city is still in its original condition. The wall around the city still fully stands, protecting the rest of the city. The small roads that run through the town were crowded with small shops, several of them filled with wool clothing. This was definitely my favorite place in the Baltic.

Part of the outer city wall.

Inside the city walls

As we were walking along the wall, I had to stop to build a snowman!

This is the president's home, placed right in the middle of the city.
 We laughed about how it compares to the white house. Similar in size and style.... but this one we could walk right up the front steps!! I was going to knock on the President's front door!

We drove back to Riga the next day before heading to Vilnuis, Lithuania, a four hour drive south. This country wasn't much different from Latvia. It was also run down, but showing signs of rebuilding. We stopped to see a national park and castle on the way.

The least exciting part of the trip.... the four hour drives each day. There wasn't much at all to see as we were driving. The roads were lined with trees, but that's all there was to see. Also, the speed limit was 90kph..... which is a whole 54mph. To you Iowans, that prolly doesn't seem like a big deal. But we're used to driving 90-100 mph..... so this was super slow to us!

Over all it was a good trip. It wasn't the most exciting with the most beautiful things to see, but the history and the changes made it very interesting. We got back Sunday night, just in time to write lesson plans, check email, and get ready for work the next day.

Next trip for us coming at the end of May. By then.... school will be almost over, Jay will be close to giving up his command position, and our house will be being packed up! Lots of changes coming around the corner.