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All The Beautiful Things

Thursday, February 26, 2015
This weekend was so good! I know it's all about the love and things like that. But it's also about so much more!

I remember when I first got here. I cried for like 3 days straight I think. Then I was in honeymoon phase and loved it for awhile. Then I hated it for awhile. But now I love it. I never want to leave. Even in this dreary winter, there are rays of hope. And actual rays of sunshine. Like there was on Monday. I'm pretty sure everyone came out of their caves. Seriously. I saw a bunch of my neighbors whom I haven't seen in 3 months. Honestly. 3 months. At least.

We took Riah and Ian downtown to Weiden 

When Chelsi and I went to meet our friends we felt like it was Christmas Day. Honestly we were waiting like Santa was coming. And when we saw them we freaked out. It was joy.

We had a spaghetti dinner around our table. It was so cheesy and awesome. We didn't use place mats or napkins or knives. But it was so unreal. Because there were 10 of us in our house that night. My heart, belly and house were full! It was so beautiful! We let the kids make chocolate covered strawberries. Do you see the joy on their faces? It's so apparent to me.


Reunited again after almost a year! They are all besties! 



We stayed up entirely too late especially because they were 3 days into jet lag. They had their first German beer while they were here. I'm no expert but thankfully we have someone who is around these parts. :-)


So then they left the next day but came back the next weekend. And we had more fun. Much of which I didn't get pictures of. Like when we played a game similar to Apples to Apples and I won! Or when we got a crap ton of Indian food and ate it all. Well most all of it. And then the next day got more.

She almost fell over. Haha.
She LOVES Ian. 
It was good to have my soul filled. 

Open House Time!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our friend and good neighbor Aaron is leaving on his mission soon! His mom asked us to help out with his open house and since party planning stuff is my favorite thing to do, I said yes! I said yes to the dress. Just kidding.

Anyway, he is going to Spain! Can you believe it? For those of you in the states, that's forever away and for us here in Germany, that's forever away! Ha. It's closer though. Like, we don't have to travel over an ocean to Spain.

We have been practicing our lisp with him and I asked if he would please write me when he gets it down. Barthelona is where he is headed. Did you say it right? Barth. Also, while we were decorating, we were brainstorming ideas for a business name for me.  One of the ones he came up with included the word sparkle. haha. We are going to miss him!

Enough talking, here are some pictures.

First, this is the invite:

*names have been changed to protect the innocent. lol
We had a mini photo booth asking people to make their best Aaron face. Because he is hilarious with his faces. As shown in the picture below. 




 These were in the entry way for people to take when they left. The postcards have his information on them.

We did an "Open When" for him. I am super excited for when he gets to open them. This was probably my favorite part aside from the cake and the slide show and the food and the drinks and the people. lol. 





 The slide show almost playing. He uses Apple stuff so... ;-)


 Food and Cake and Drinks Oh My!













So that's pretty much it! My pictures are crappy cell phone pictures. I wish I would have taken more of people with my phone but I snatched up Krysta's camera and took some (have you looked at them yet Krysta? lol). In the meantime, Adios Aaron! We love you!  


What We Thought of that New Movie

Saturday, February 14, 2015
You've heard the hype, you've probably seen an ad or two in your newsfeed. You've heard the drama about this movie. The New York Times says the film ",,,displays enough nutty writing and sheer brio to confirm the stamina of its enduring and skillfully voiced characters." We figured since it is Valentines Day we should go see something appropriate to the holiday. So we went and we watched the new Spongebob movie.

I kind of secretly hate this holiday because it offends my crunchy granola heart but then I ALWAYS give in the commercialism. Even when I'm in one of  the least commercial (it seems) country. I totally bought presents for the people in my house. But they weren't heart shaped chocolates or pink. Wait, yes some of them were. But anyway, I did put thought into them. Does that count? And I also was on the receiving end. David and the kids made me the most adorable card I've ever experienced. I promise. He went through the effort of buying two different kinds of paper (one of them was gold!) and they freaking cut hearts out of the red paper. They glued it, they colored it, they wrote in it, and my heart is so full. Nevermind the candy and the flowers... which are also awesome, it's totally the thought that counts. David was telling me tonight that he told Jackson not to draw "boy hearts". And Jackson wondered what those were. So he told Jackson and Sadie both to draw a heart and after that it was pretty clear what a boy heart is.


So then we just spent the day together. We were planning on having a grand adventure and were thinking the train, an overnight stay somewhere, etc. We took an exceptionally long time getting ready and by the time we left, we were tired. So we decided to surprise the kids with the movie! They were thrilled and we were relieved. After that we drove up to Parkstein (my new favorite place) and took in the awesome albeit cold view. The sun was shining and the sky was a pinkish purple for a minute. It reminded me of Paulden America and although my hands were freezing, my soul was warm. I take for granted spending time with my little family. We don't get a lot of time together because there are always things happening. And even when we are altogether, it's never for very long. So this extended moment was really great.





We came home and Chelsi graciously offered to keep the kids while we went to eat. We drove across the street to a "Mexican" restaurant. I apologize my dear Germans for the quotes. You don't deserve it, but you kind of do. As an Arizonan, I'm afraid you don't know how to do Mexican. However, you tried!

We had Nachos Supreme. They were basically spicy Doritos, with 4! different! dips! There was the mayo (yes mayo), sour cream, cold cheese, and I think it was supposed to be guacamole but the only taste I could recognize was green chiles and it was green! However, the redeeming food was the flautas? They totally reminded me of Taco Time's crunchy burritos. You know what I'm talking about! They were actually really yummy even if the salsa and sour cream were garnished with peas. Honestly, we will go back just for those.



The night ended with a lovely series of television events. We watched The 100, American Idol, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. We haven't finished our other Thursday night shows so don't tell me! What did you do for this day? I would call ours a great success!


P.S. Another great success was i got to wear my birthday Tom's today! Yay! My ankleleg wasn't too swollen so I got to wear them in a bit. It's the little things right? 

Thoughtful Fill-in-the-Blank Valentines Day Printable

Thursday, February 12, 2015
I wanted something different for Valentines Day. Something thoughtful and non-commercial. Well that, and we live in Germany where selection is limited. I should totally buy German Valentines. Do they do that?  And add in the fact that I haven't seen the outside world in a few days. But we also don't need a box of 32 Valentines when we are a Homeschooling family of 5. So I made my own for da kids! 

Anyway, I'm pretty proud of my work. I can't take credit for the images which were found at various free coloring page sites that I did not save. I will try and find them again to credit.

This is Sadie's Monster High Valentine: 
Front

Inside
Here's a downloadable version if you too want a cheap and free Valentine! 

 They were printed on a regular 8.5" by 11" sheet of paper. They each colored and filled them out all by themselves minus help with spelling. :-)

This is Jackson's Minecraft Valentine:

Front
Middle

Here's a downloadable version of Jackson's Valentine! 

I feel like a weirdo doing crafty things but I want to share the love! Thanks for humoring my by reading and seeing this! 


Why You Can't Sit With Us

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
About 6 times a day I have this desire to write something awesome, something that will BREAK THE INTERNET. Is that even the right phrase? I want to do What Kim Kardashian didn't. Something about vaccines! or yoga pants! Or Kanye! or valentines day!

Instead I will just tell you about my bout with this cold that is going around. I can't hear, I can't smell, I can't taste and I can't breathe. Its awesome!  I have tried all the things. Oils and nasal spray and cough medicine and cough drops and fresh air and I'm still not better. I am a little teeny bit over it. Well a lot. I blame Nevie. She had it first. Poor thing. Only she had croup. Also, I'd like to insert here that Jackson had Pertussis even though he was vaccinated. It was awhile ago, don't worry. Also, croup is different than Pertussis. Did you know that? It's taking every thing I have in my to not say what I want to say about vaccines. So I will totally write a post about it. I think you'll be surprised at what I have to say. It's not what you think. Anyway, you can't sit with me because I'm sick.

I officially booked tickets for 3 friends and I to go see T Swift in Cologne. I know. I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing her before my friends in the states will. Europe is so ahead. Haha. Get it? Cause we are in the sense of time?

Also, my 2 bff's are on their way here right now. Like to my country. And I am so excited. Aside from my blood family, these people are my family. I last heard at 8 this morning that they were boarding their last flight to Germany! Yay! I can't wait for you to meet them.

Did you know All The TeeVee has started again? I'm super happy that too. My timehop's from the last few days, over the last few years have been filled with posts about T.V.. Usually The Bachelor.  But Scandal is on, and so is Grey's, and so is State of Affairs. For a sicky like me, it's something to look forward to!


 

Club Going Up... on a Saturday Night

Sunday, February 1, 2015
I remember when I used to write deep, poetic things about my real life. And somehow along the way I shied away from that, for fear of judgement let's be honest. However, today I was inspired. I want to have a go at it again.

Last night was my sisters 25th birthday. She lives with us here in Germany and she wanted to go out. 25 is a milestone you know. It's a quarter of a century! Anyway, we decided to go to a club called Crown.


We actually invited quite a few LDS people to join us, none of which could make it. The cool thing is though, that I think many of them would have come if it wasn't super last minute. I'm very thankful I'm living in a place with a few good women (and men).



For some reason though, there's an audience of LDS people I feel I need to justify my behavior to. I can't quite figure out why that is though. I feel like I need to confess my sins, or I worry they are going to think badly of me for going out on a Saturday night of all nights!

Because of the work I've done on myself, I realize this is non-progressive way of thinking and it stems from an internal belief about myself. However, if I'm being just regular, it eats at me.

So then I struggle with these thoughts of, well is going out bad? Or, do I go with, well it's so much fun! Truth is? There's no answer. It depends on who you are. For me, I am largely unaffected by worldly things such as clubs, r-rated movies, and swearing. There are people I know who are super duper sensitive to these things. And that's for them! I am grateful for a God who knows us so well individually.

Sitting in the fog filled room with blaring music and a large crowd of people who are not ethnically similar to me at all, is really fun. I LOVE people watching. I usually don't get to enjoy the sport as much when I go out because I'm too busy dancing the night away. However, with my condition, I was somewhat forced to sit back and watch. (I did dance one song!) I love people. I love their stories.I just love people. And I met SO many last night! There were the people from Hohenfels, and the ones that work at the PX and the Germans! I met three gay people last night, one of whom was dressed like a female (I have a picture with him. her?).  Chelsi, remember the one couple? The one with the schlumping?

I've got a lot of work to do to get back to who I was before...well, everything. And for me, it starts with experiences like this. And, if nothing else, being around severely inebriated people only confirms my desire to not to drink even more. :-)

Happy 25th Sis! Thanks for giving me this opportunity to enrich my life.

Also, not to make this about me but,  I sent this to my friend at the end of the night. So swollen!