Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dare I say "New Year's Resolution?"

I know...been awhiiilllle since I've posted, but if you check out my track record, regular posting is not on the "to do" list. Holidays and all...I do have a lot of pics to share and the kids are on winter break, so I may find some time between the Cosmic Catch, trying to figure out where to put the Wii and taking care of those little details like dinner (Thanks, Jesse! I owe you...) I hope to get back on here with some life moments to share!

Hope you're having a great winter holiday!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Anniversary Jesse & Angi!

Jesse and I have been married for 16 years. Hard to believe - the time has flown by so fast! We are celebrating in our usual fashion...separated by an ocean (or desert...), emails and text messages. Here's the (very) abridged version of our story.

It all began in middle school - Jesse was in my 7th grade science class (Hi, Mrs. Allen!) He was seated at a table in the back and usually attracting the attention of the teacher... : ) At the time he was just someone in my class. It wasn't until a friend of mine had a thing for him in high school that I really noticed him. I thought he was cute, but my friend liked him, so I didn't give him a second thought then.

We hung out with the same circle of friends, but not together. One day, my girlfriend and I went to BK and grabbed something to eat. While in the drive-thru line, she decided that she wanted to go to her boyfriend's house. No problem! I changed clothes in my car while we were waiting for our food and then off we went. Jesse was at the boyfriend's house hanging out. He was playing Nintendo, so I joined him.

We played and the rest, well, (ahem) is history (remember - history is as someone perceives it - Jesse could have a slightly different version...he beat me at Tetris sometimes...) we dated through highschool, had a baby, got married and have been busy ever since between kids and the military!

We've come a long way, Baby! In honor of our anniversary...spark some love, play Tetris! (The up arrow key turns the pieces.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Dude - where's my kid?!

Sometime last week, I was doing the usual. Running errands with E. G. was on a field trip with her class and K. and J. were in school. Normally, on piano days, I pick up G. and JT (E. is already with me), we eat a snack and then G. goes to piano near the school. While she is at her lesson, we drive to pick up K. from her bus drop off point. She eats a snack and then it's usually time for G. to come out and K. to go in.

This day I get to the school a few minutes behind the norm, but still before the kids usually get out. I don't have to pick up G. until almost 6 from the local bahnhof (train station), so I'm looking for JT. I park the car and wait. 10 minutes pass and no JT. In another 5, the buses will leave, so I run up to our bus and ask the bus driver (who speaks very little English - have I mentioned how much German I don't know?) if she has seen JT. She shakes her head. At this point, I'm not too worried, maybe he stopped to talk to a friend along the way, so I make my way down the long line of buses.

No JT. And no piano teacher. I look at my watch and start to panic - just a little. I call the after school program, SAS, but they haven't seen him. I call the school's front office, but no answer. It's almost time to pick up K. I call a friend and ask her to keep an eye out at home and to call if he shows up. I get in the car and start driving towards the drop off for K., totally forgetting that there is construction that makes what is usually a 5 minute drive, 10.

I call K. to explain the situation and find out her ETA. She agrees to meet me en route. She calls the piano teacher and lets him know we are on our way. I have her call a friend to verify the time for G.'s pick up. The friend says she thinks it's 10 till 6, but she'll check to make sure. Murphy must be my best friend...pick up time is 10 till 4! That was in 10 minutes!

Still no JT. My friend at home calls to tell me that he didn't show up. I'm driving like a mad woman to the bahnhof, knowing that I'm going to be late. It's almost 15 after 4 by the time I find a parking spot. Whew! I am not the only bad parent today - there were still 6-7 kids waiting with the teachers. I apologized profusely while running back to the car.

My phone rings. It's SAS. They found JT! We make it back to the piano place and walk in. It's actually the teen center. He is sitting on the plump couch, laughing with some boys, watching cartoons. He is not only safe, but having a great time!

For the tiniest part of one second I wanted to scream! The whole time I am running around, totally panicked (did I mention that security on the installation was beefed up? Armed soldiers, in combat gear, patrolling?!) imagining the worst...he was fine.

When he noticed me standing there, he said, "Hi, Mom! Do I have to go now?!"

(After calming down and talking to the staff at the teen center, apparently JT showed up, literally on the doorstep. One of the staff asked what he was doing. He told her that "every Thursday was piano day and I meet my mom and sisters here." Someone recognized him and let him cell phone wasn't listed in the main system (I only wrote it down on every form I filled out for SAS, the teen center and piano lessons...)

I'm thinking about buying those GPS shoes for kids...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Here I am!

Just wanted to pop in and let you all know that I did great on my midterms - A's for both - and now I'm waiting on the final grades. The waiting is the worst part. I've done the work, everything's submitted (as of last week) and now I have to wait. The instructor's are supposed to have the grades in by May 4th, so only a couple more days to go...

Big man is doing the job thing and is currently in Vegas, soaking up the heat. Lucky him! The wind's been blowing here and last night I actually thought about turning on the heater, but that would have required me to get out of bed to do it...not happening!

A couple of weeks ago, the family took a trip to a water/theme park in Wassenaar, Holland. The kids had a great time and the adults, well, let's just say we enjoyed the down time! I'll post about the trip later this week (I hope!) and share the details.

The kids will be out of school soon, which signals the end of the "gotta go here, gotta go there" portion of this year (at least until school starts up again!) It also foretells of our upcoming trip to the states to visit family and friends. Looking forward to that!

Okay, that was the short version of what's happened lately. Details to follow soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4

13 Things I did instead of studying for my midterm

1. Paid the bills
2. Washed laundry
3. Walked the dog
4. Put the clothes in the dryer
5. Printed copies of Shel Silverstein's "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out" for the girls in my youth group to recite.
6. Made breakfast for dinner
7. Ate dinner
8. Went to Activity Days (youth group) and discussed how we were going to dress up like garbage bags and recite this poem for an "Untalent Show"
9. Drove home
10. Caught up with P. Sunshine about her day
11. Emailed parents a reminder about what the girls will need for the "Untalent Show"
12. Emailed P.Sunshine's math teacher about make up work
13. Typed a T13

Special thanks to for the T13 header!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Math's not stupid

A couple of semesters ago, I decided that I better get my degree finished as P. Sunshine will be graduating sooner rather than later. I'm taking a math and a biology class. I really thought that I would have a harder time with the math online as math isn't my strength. I have always liked science and thought that it would go pretty smoothly. Well, the last time I took biology was about 15 years ago. A lot of things have changed in 15 years.

And then there's the whole online experience. It really didn't occur to me how much I enjoyed discussion AND that I process info better if there's a know the kind where people talk and you actually hear them? Discussion online is not in real time...okay, it can be, but it's so much faster to speak than it is to type, hit enter, click the mouse, whatever.

So, it's taking more time and effort than I thought to retain all this info. And then the old question...what the heck am I going to use this for?! I was whining to Big Man about my stupid math and he said, "the math's not stupid..." If it's not the math...Maybe I'm just ranting today. Next week are my mid-terms and I'm sadly lacking in retained info. Better get back to studying!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Fasching Foray

Someone commented that they didn't know what Fasching was...I didn't know what Fasching was either six years ago! It's the German version of Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. Fasching actually starts November 11 and ends on Fat Tuesday. Most cities have a parade and then parties, similar to Mardi Gras.

If you want more details, search "karneval" or "fasching".

The pictures on my last Thursday Thirteen (T13) were of a nearby village. Not one of the "million" people attended parades - too many people for me! This was a nice homey parade that lasted all of 45 minutes or so. There were many groups of girls wearing costumes and kind of marching/stepping, all the while yelling, "Ally oop!" The crowd would shout it back and then the candy would start flying! I was serious about wearing helmets next year!

I went with a good friend of mine and her kids. I hadn't asked her if I could post pics of her kids, so their faces aren't showing...Most of the kids dress up for the parades and her son was a dino and her daughter a vampire!

We watched from the beginning of the parade, so the kids caught lots of candy. I'm thinking we may just skip the treat-or-treating next year... It was crazy! There were parents running into the middle of the parade route to pick up candy. I was told that at the bigger parades, people bring umbrellas and open them upside down to catch the goodies.

It wasn't just candy that fell from the sky. Little tins of Nivea creme, samples of hair products, bakery rolls (that may have been from one friend to another, but it didn't matter as it bounced off of me to the recipient!!!) Coupons for jewelry, hair treatments, riding lessons...

One of the floats actually had people passing out cups of beer as it passed by! I imagine it was to wash the pea soup (yeah...I know!) that the German Red Cross was handing out as they drove by!

There were kids from the local martial arts haus and kids and ponies from the riding club, local community was very small townish! Just what I love! When we arrived people made room for our kids, when the goodies came most of them shared. Lots of smiling, laughter and good will were present.

So, if you're ever this way, this time of year - hit a fasching parade and don't forget the helmets!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen Things About the Fasching Parade...

1. Get there early, at least 30 minutes, to get a good parking spot and be prepared to entertain the kids... (This is P.Blumen and friend rearranging the rock path!)

2. Be prepared to entertain ALL the kids... (This is P.Sunshine!)

3. If you don't entertain the kids, they will entertain themselves! (This is Little Man after crawling around in the grass...ewww!) Carry wipes, paper towels and baggies for the "gifts" the doggies leave.

4. Fasching is a time of letting loose...for EVERYONE! (This is some really tall man adjusting his do.)

5. What's a parade without horses? and horse poop...did I mention that the parade people are throwing candy?!

6. People in idea what they are...

7. Groups of girls in fluffy costumes...they just walked.

8. No fancy cars pulling floats here - bring in the tractors!!!

9. In case you needed some liquid refreshment...this man is handing out cups of beer from a float!

10. These are the Bunnys - ladies in blue wigs, shorts and tights...don't ask - I don't know!

11. Representing? They did play some "get up and move" rhythms and this zither guy was really moving!

12. And what kind of parade would it be without a balloon, of sorts?!

13. Did I mention they threw candy? little tins of lotion? bakery rolls? I got hit by all of those. Next year we're wearing helmets!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Karneval - well, almost

Ah, Mondays! Lucky me this isn't the typical, crazy Monday. Today is a holiday Monday! In the kindergarten, the kids celebrated Karneval. When I dropped off *P.Blumen (Prinzessin Blumen) , I was accosted by witches, fairies and dragons - oh my! Even the teacher was disguised in a sombrero and curly mustache! Face painting for the girls only (not sure why), candy (lots)and games were part of the fun.

Meanwhile at home, *Big Man and *Little Man were hanging out playing Sonic as *P.GG (Prinzessin GG)waited for her ride to the pool. *P.Sunshine (Prinzessin Sunshine) was MIA, hanging out with her friends. Me, I was anticipating the quiet for Big Man and Little Man were going out for a guys only afternoon after P.GG left.

It didn't last long. I started out paying bills, then decided to indulge and read some blogs. There are all kinds out there. I am still deciding which ones I really like and want to keep an eye on. I enjoy reading about the little things in life...other people's lives. :) (With 4 girls in the house, rarely is anything little!)

Here's a blog that I keep finding myself returning to - I finally put it on my page!Turning the Pages of Life by Gene Bach is a great blog! It has a little of everything - wit, humor, and drama (read the fishing boat story!) a style that is easy going; nicely done. Stop by, if you get the chance and say, "Hello!" to Gene.

Now that P. Blumen and P.Sunshine are home the quiet has ended. They are almost 12 years apart. What can they have to argue over?! Oh well - tomorrow the kids are out of school, too, but we will be visiting a chocolate factory in the morning and then a fasching(karneval) parade in the afternoon. Wish me luck - hopefully, I'll get some good pics to share!

*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. ;)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #2

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thirteen foods that I've enjoyed while living in Germany

The food! Being part Italian, I grew up with family traditions that usually included some fabulous meal along with the friends and family. So, it only makes sense that I would take note of the wonderful German fare that's available here.

Disclaimer *grin*: while the following foods, may or may not be of German origin...this is where I've tried them first!

1. Kuchen - cake. More pastry than cake, but similiar to coffee cake, not as sweet. Sometimes with a drizzle of icing. I like it best with whatever fruit is in season. Wonderful with hot chocolate!

2. Jagerschnitzel - tender breaded pork, smothered in a sauce with mushrooms. Usually served with pommes (fries) or spatzle and steamed vegies.

3. Pommes - fries, usually served with mayo! Be careful if you ask for's usually seasoned with curry - just enough to make it slightly sweet and flavorful.

4. Spatzle - resemble pinched off pieces of egg pasta, delightful served with butter and herbs!

5. Sauerbrauten - braised roast with a sweet and sour sauce. Delicious with potatoes - roasted, mashed, however you like them!

6. the Brotchen - Crusty rolls, with soft, light middles, similiar to french bread, only in single servings. My little one likes to eat the fluff and share the crusty part with me! Saves on the calories...used for sandwiches.

7. Krauter butter - butter sold in sticks, imbedded with flavors and idea what all is in it - just know that it's wonderful on meat, bread and pasta!

8. Flamkuchen - It's grilled pizza sans the red sauce. Spread with what I think is creme fraiche and vegetables and meat, if you want. Mmmm...the smoky flavor of the grill *sigh* I am an outdoors kinda girl...

9. Bratwurst - tastes like breakfast sausage to me! You can find an imbiss (kiosks) that sell them along with the brotchen. Most places also offer pommes.

10. Doner Kabap - not German in origin, but widely available. Roasted seasoned meat is thinly sliced and served in a split flatbread along with vegies of your choice, feta, and tsatziki sauce (lightly seasoned yogurt sauce). Great when on the run!

11. Eis - this is ice cream, but not the American version...not so sweet, more creamy... lots of fun flavors...Schlumpf is my kids' eis named after the Smurfs!!!

12. Nutella - Okay...I knew about Nutella before coming to Germany, but it's everywhere here! Forget peanut butter! Nutella is used for sandwiches, crepes, waffles, pancakes... it's great for dipping pretzels!

13. Apfelstrudel - Apple strudel! This is one menu item that's great to start or end a meal! Flaky pastry, with chunks or slices of apples, raisens, served warm...Yum!

Guten Appetit!

Special "THANKS" to Kelly @ Diary of the Nello for sharing the great TT banner!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

So, jump already!

I'm a perfectionist at heart, so when I finally decided to start my own blog to stay in touch with family and friends, I started checking out what was out there. Boy, was I overwhelmed with the great blogs out there! The pictures, the graphics, the writing...the blog. So, I started out with a goal to learn html, so I could spiffy up the place, make it mine. After skimming a few books at the library and some docs online, I figured out it would take me a lot longer than I anticipated to learn the how, so I could do! So, if you've come to see the place, please make an appointment, if you've come to see me, come back often!

I thought about starting last Thursday, but I didn't know where to start. This week I decided to stop looking around and jump in!

A little about me...I'm a collector of hobbies, right now. Four kids (15, 9, 6, 4), a husband in the military and (me) going back to school all add up to a busy (aren't we all?!) life. Not a lot of time to do the things I enjoy, so I collect supplies for that "one day" that I can. My girls have used my scrapbooking stuff more than I have! One day is coming closer though...the youngest started attending a German kindergarten half day this year, so I have a couple of hours to myself. It's hard - no one to play with, color with, follow me around the house, sing to me, but I am learning to cope! LOL

So, if you have any advice or suggestions for a newbie to the blog world, please share! Happy Thursday!

The First Thirteen...

Thirteen Things about anGELA

1. I'm a stay at home mom.
2. I have 4 kids - girl, girl, boy, girl
3. I make lists for everything!
4. I'm an American...
5. living in Germany...
6. with my husband...
7. of 15 years.
8. I call Alaska home.
9. I love being a Junior & Senior Girl Scout leader.
10. I think the outdoors is a great place to be.
11. My favorite color is red.
12. 13 is my favorite number...
13. February 13th is my birthday!

I am so excited about Thursday Thirteen! With 4 kids and a busy schedule, it's hard to stay connected with people when you (me!) feel like you have to write a letter every time. Thirteen on Thursday feels so much more manageable! I'm looking forward to visiting other Thirteeners (is that right?!) and staying connected!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!