Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16th

Where have the days gone?  I am easily distracted by the day to day tasks, that I lose track of days...
Randy recently was someones sponsor for moving over here.  Which caused me to look back on the last 10 months.  I remember constantly feeling stressed out and crazy!  I was so worn out trying to figure out every single buying groceries, trying to remember the way back home without my GPS, trying to figure out my appliances, all the paperwork, recycling, driving on such narrow streets, finding new doctors/dentists, and the list goes on.
I can't say that all those things are better.  But I can say that I feel much more confident, and things are starting to feel a little easier.  Its been a hard adjustment for all of us, but we are slowly making it!

We have had some amazing experiences so far.  We have seen things I never thought I would see!  Germany is so BEAUTIFUL!! I don't know if  I will ever get tired of seeing the fields of yellow flowers.  It's breathe taking!!  So far, my favorite seasons are Spring and Fall.
Our girls have been amazing little travelers!  Whenever we tell them that we are going to go somewhere, they almost always come along without a fight.  There are times when we have to drag them along, but not too often.  We have seen so many beautiful castles and historical sites....never in my wildest dreams, thought I would live in another country!!

My Mom, Dad, and sister Michele,  came for a visit this month.  They all stayed for different amounts of time.  But its been so great to have them here!  My Mom is actually still here...she leaves on Friday morning.  She has helped me so much around the house.  I am actually caught up on laundry, which is a miracle!  We love having family around!  We sure miss being with our family and friends!!

Just a couple weeks ago, Ellie realized that she was never going to be in Miss Janna's class again.  It totally broke my heart!  It really stinks when you can't make things better.  I've been trying to get Ellie into a Preschool, since we got here.  Either they are all full or they are so expensive.  So we've been working on things at home.  I randomly got a phone call last week, saying that Ellie was the next on the list for a preschool on Base.  Even though there is only a month left in school, I decided to send her anyway.  I just really felt like she could use this...
At first, Ellie didn't want to go.  But after her first day with Mrs. Schary, she loved it!  Its made such a difference in Ellie!  There's no way I could afford this preschool all year, but for a month I totally can.

Since November I have been working in the Cub Scouts as the Wolf's Den Leader.  It has been such a challenging calling.  Here they do everything on Thursday nights (Youth Night), so the church is a mad house.  Both Randy and I have Thursday night callings, so we have to bring all the kids. That's been the hardest part!  I tried so hard not to grumble every week, but it always seemed to happen.  But as of 2 weeks ago, I was called as the 1st Counselor in the Primary Presidency.  I'm a little nervous about the calling, but excited as well.  I've never been in a Primary Presidency, so I'm excited!

I could probably write for hours, but I am being beckoned by Harper who is awake and ready to eat.

Being a Mom is a lot harder than I ever imagined!  But I can honestly say I love it...most of the time!!  My girls are awesome...They put up with me as their mom.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Germany Week 5

Monday, August 10th:

Randy and I went up to St. Johannis Hospital again today to try and preregister.  And believe it or not, it actually happened!!  Once we arrived there, the nurse brought us back to a delivery room.  (Randy and I were a little nervous that she was thinking we were actually wanting to check in today to deliver.)  She asked me to put this tube top looking thing on...only I couldn't figure out what I was suppose to do with it.  But it turns out that I was just suppose to put it on my belly so that it could hold two monitors.  Then she said that they wanted to monitor the baby for 30 minutes.  Before she left she gathered all the paperwork that we brought with us.  About 45 minutes later another nurse came in asking for our paper work...and this kind of thing went on for a little while.  We were repeating ourselves a lot.  But I think we finally got everything taken care of.  
Before we left, the nurse asked who our Doctor here in Germany was...and of course I don't have one.  She freaked out a little and called downstairs and told the clinic that we were on our way.  So we went down to the "Gynakologie Ambulanz."  They proceeded to ask me when I was last seen in the States, which was July 8th.  And she got all worried...asking me if I feel ok and if the baby is ok.  I feel the baby move every day, so I haven't been too worried about things.  They only do appointments on Tuesdays, so we got one set up for next week.  But she wanted to make sure to call if I had any problems between now and then.  
Since we were so close to the girls' new Elementary School, we thought we would get them registered.  But we got there too late, so we'll go back tomorrow.  After leaving there I was following Randy in the car.  He got going to far ahead of me and I couldn't see that he turned left and I turned right.  Luckily he saw me in his rear view mirror.  I drove for a little while and when I couldn't see him I turned around...but he had already caught up to me.  It was a little bit of a frustrating day, but we at least got something accomplished.  
Everything was so much easier in the States.  I'm sure I'll get used to everything here, but some days sure are hard.

Tuesday, August 11th:

Randy got the girls all registered for school today!
Randy has been a rock-star helping me figure things out and getting settled!! I love him so much!
I got invited to go to dinner with some sisters in our new ward tonight.
We went to a German Pizza place called, "See Wog."
(This was something that was completely out of my comfort zone.)
Eating out here is definitely different that eating in the States!  Like at Restaurants:
* flipflops are frowned upon :(
*They don't serve you water, you must buy water.  And you have to specify if you want water with bubbles or no bubbles.
*When you arrive to the restaurant, you don't have to wait to be seated, you just find your own seat.
*Typical food we would eat with our fingers, are foods they eat with a fork. (Pizza, fries, etc)
*They offer you some form of alcohol when you arrive.
(And they look at you very weird when you don't take it!)
*Tipping is different as well.  You are suppose to hand the tip to your waitress instead of leaving it on the table.  (Its considered rude to leave it....This one I didn't know before I went.)
*When eating out, Germans feel like you want to be there all night.  They won't come over to help you, unless you motion to them to come over.
(We met at 7 pm and I didn't leave until almost 10 pm)
*Food does not all come out together.  For instance, I went to dinner with 15 women from our ward.  I was one of the last five to be served, even though I was one of the first to order.  (In the States, this can happen, but usually everyone has food with in a few minutes.  But here you can wait a long time.)
They bring it out when its ready and you eat when it comes, you don't wait for others on your table.
*A lot of places don't accept cards.
*And the parking everything is very limited and small!
(I parked down by the park...which has no lights. So when I left I was making myself crazy thinking about what if something happened.  All I wanted to do was to talk to someone on the phone, but my phone had no service.  I tried calling Randy and Shannon.  I really hate feeling like I can never talk to anyone.)
Needless to say this was a very stressful experience for me!  I am so glad I went, but it was very overwhelming!!  Tonight was the first I had driven somewhere in the dark and where Randy had never been.
When I got home, I found out that Ellie had cut her foot on some glass.  I hate that I wasn't there when she was so upset.

Wednesday, August 12th:

Randy went and paid our deposit on our house today!  It's becoming more real of having our own place again!!  We are all ready to be more settled.  I think staying in this apartment much longer is going to kill me.  I really hate feeling like a crazy person!  I feel like I cry a whole bunch...I am easily overwhelmed!

Thursday, August 13th:

We went school shopping today!  Reagan and Morgan were so excited about going to look for all their new school stuff.  The lists were insanely long, so we just stuck to the basic things.  I figured most teachers were going to have their own lists anyway.  We were able to find a few cute outfits for the girls...even Ellie got some new clothes.  We weren't able to find messenger bags for the girls, they were pretty disappointed.  I figure we'll have to look on amazon to find something they like.  There wasn't much selection for backpacks or any school supplies at the BX.  All the basic supplies were so expensive...I'm definitely missing Wal-marts deals for school supplies.
While shopping today, I truly felt like I was going to have this baby!  I was in so much pain and having lots of contractions!  But since I still have almost a month left, I guess its good she wasn't born.  Randy took the girls swimming tonight!   I kept Charley and put her to bed.  I had every plan to fold my laundry, but I changed my mind and just watched a show and drank my pepsi!

Friday, August 14th:

So I've been looking into preschools for Ellie, but its not going so well.  I called on one that someone does out of their home, but it was more money than I wanted to spend.  It was only 2 days a week from 9-2 and they charged $300 a month.  I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much! Then I tried to get Ellie on the waiting list for a preschool on Base.  It was so painful trying to get all the paperwork done...but I did it.  She's number 12 on the list, so we'll see what happens.  The girls were so good to patiently wait, that we stopped at the park on the way home.
The Groves invited us over for dinner tonight.  They had a few other people over as well.  We made pizzas, the kids loved it!  Its always nice to do something different and have more adult conversation.  It was a fun night!

Saturday, August 15th:

We went to the Temple today!  I really wanted to go again before it closed for a few years.  And I really wanted to take some pictures of Reagan for her Baptism book.  We decided that it would be best if we just went by ourselves this time.  It was nice to just take care of our own kids.  Randy had me go to the first session.  Again I was nervous to do this by myself.  Being in a country that I can't even speak the language, is so overwhelming.  But at least at the Temple I felt like it would be ok.  We made it just in time for the session, so I  ran in rented clothes and got made it just in time for an English Session.  I really loved it, as always the Temple is awesome!  Almost everything was done in English, up until the very end.  It threw me off a little, but it was kind of cool to hear it done differently.  When I got back to Randy and the girls, he told me the fun that he had been having.
I guess when Randy dropped me off, he went to find a parking spot and Ellie threw up in the car.  So the whole time I was in the Temple, he was trying to clean up Ellie and the car.  Luckily I had planned on doing Reagan's baptism pictures and Ellie could wear the church dress Reagan had on.
I was still able to get Reagan's pictures done!  I think they turned out pretty good.  They aren't as good as the ones that my friend Penni would have done.  But I felt like they turned out pretty good.  I can't to put them in a book for her baptism.

On the way home we decided to do a little shopping at the KMCC.  We needed to get a few things for Ellie's birthday!  While we were there a crazy thing happened!  We were getting something to eat when someone from my High School came up to talk to us!  Aaron Bigler and his family just moved to Ramstein and he recognized me and came to say hi!  It was so crazy and fun to see someone from back home!  What are the odds?!
Randy took the girls swimming again tonight, which of course they loved!  They're like little fish!

Sunday, August 16th:

It rained all was awesome!
It cooled off a ton, which I loved!  This heat and being on the 3rd floor has been a killer!
We were able to talk with Deril and Stacy's family today.  We love being able to talk with family.  Although I feel like my kids turn a little crazy while doing FaceTime/ Skype.
I think that as long as we make the kids take turns, this will work a lot better!  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Germany Week 4

Monday, August 3rd:

I ordered diapers for Charley on Amazon, they were suppose to be here last week but haven't made it yet.  So we had to make a trip to the Commissary for some diapers.  Its really hard taking 4 kids grocery shopping. They hate it too!  But we survived, barely!
Randy went to sign on a house today.  We found one in Laundstuhl that we want to rent.  It doesn't have the German Charm, but I love how big it is and I love the size of the kitchen.  My kids love it too!  When Ellie describes the house she says, "Its huge!  It has a thousand bedrooms and a thousand tubs!" The house is big enough that the girls can each have their own rooms.  I'm not sure if that's going to happen, but we'll see.  We all can't wait to have a place we can call home!  I can't wait to sleep in my own bed again!  I took the girls to the swimming pool for a few hours.  I miss the Brigham City pool, its a lot easier keeping track of all my kids at the same time.  Morgan and Reagan like being in the deep end where they can jump off the diving blocks.  Ellie likes being in the 2nd pool where its a little deeper.  And Charley only likes to be in the baby pool, where she can walk where ever she wants to.  But when I go by myself, I make Morgan and Reagan stay together.  Then Ellie, Charley, and I move between the baby pool and the 2nd pool.  Its a hard trying to make them happy.  But its nice to have something to do. Charley only likes going into the deep end when she's with Randy...I don't really understand that.  We have been trying to FaceTime and Skype with family a couple times a week.  I'm hoping that once we have a home of our own, the internet reception will be better.   The kids have loved being able to talk to cousins, aunts, and Grandparents.

Tuesday, August 4th:

I had a rough day today.  It rained for most of the day, so we were stuck inside for most of the day.  We actually went to the BX on Ramstein to look for some clippers, since the ones I have don't work here.  We also had to take some paper work to Randy on Kapone.  And since we were over there, we had lunch together.  While we were eating at Burger King, someone from the Kaiserslautern ward recognized us and started talking to us.  It was fun to visit for a little bit.  Randy showed me where our PO Box was at.  It made me a little sad, we got a letter from Farr West about Back to School night.  Sad we won't be there for a few years.  
Once we got home I plugged in the clippers, so that they could charge.  (Randy has really been wanting a haircut.)  But it turns out I didn't see the switch and I totally broke the clippers.  I was so bugged!! The box said that the clippers were dual voltage, so I didn't think I would have to turn a switch to make them work.  Live and learn.  The kids were so bored most of the day and Reagan wasn't feeling the greatest.  We were all going a little crazy being stuck in the house most of the day.  I am trying so hard not to go crazy in this apartment, but I'm not sure if I'll make it.   Randy went to look at a few cars after work, but no luck.  The car he was going to test drive wouldn't start...I think that's a sign not to buy it!   

Wednesday, August 5th:

Today was just another day.  Did Laundry and cleaned a little.  The girls were able to play outside today, which was nice.  Reagan still had a fever most of the day.  I think the girls were all a little homesick today.  Reagan really wanted to hear "Brier Rabbit" from Grandpa Johnson.  Ellie is really missing everyone and everything!  She cries a few nights a week. Morgan is just very quiet.   

So since we've been here, we've had to buy a few new things. (Blow Dryer, Toaster, Flat Iron, etc.)
But today was the first day I used my new flat iron, it was nice to be to do my hair straight and actually curl the girls hair too.  

Randy finally got his haircut looks so much better!!

Thursday, August 6th:

Randy was able to make official arrangements for us to move!  We can move in August 19th!  (This week has been full of ups and downs.  We were told that all of our house hold goods were already here, so we made arrangements to move in.  Well it turns out that our unaccompanied baggage is here and can be delivered, but not our household goods.  So we will be living without most of our stuff for a few weeks in our new place.  Luckily we packed blankets and pillows, my recliner, kitchen stuff, and lots of toys in our unaccompanied stuff.  So I think we will survive.  Now we need to work on getting the girls all registered for school.  (They start on August 31st)
And then maybe once we get that figured out, I'll focus on some baby stuff.  Like going to the doctor and getting preregistered at the hospital.  Time is flying by!

Randy has been working so hard trying to get everything figured out to make our lives run smoother.  He puts up with my emotions, which are crazy depending on the day.  I love Randy so much, he is truly amazing!!  He has been trying to find a car for him to buy, but no luck so far.  (He has been borrowing a car from Volker.)

The girls and I went swimming again today.  It didn't go so great...Ellie has been a little hard to handle since we've got here.  She is very moody!  She just yells and screams about everything if it doesn't go her way.  The last few times we were at the pool, she just starts to yell if she doesn't get her way.  (Like when she wants the goggles, but someone else is using them.)  Well today I felt like I couldn't get her to calm down at all.  She was mad about which pool we were swimming in, the goggles, that she was thirsty...anything she cry about, she did.  I finally told her that she couldn't come to the pool next time.  I'm not sure if she believed me or not, but I don't want to go swimming ever again.  It was that bad!  She made such a scene, it was awful!!

Friday, August 7th:

It was hot today, it hit a 100 degrees!  The girls and I went to the park for a few hours.  The girls had fun playing on some different toys.  Ellie loved picking flowers.  Morgan was a little bored at first, but ended up having fun playing in the sand.  She made a little fairy town in sand...super cute!  Reagan liked playing on the swings and with Charley.  Charley really loved being able to just run around where ever she wanted to.
We were able to face time with my Dad today.  The reception isn't great up here, but it was still good to see and talk to him.  The girls love being able to see friends and family over the internet!

Once Randy got home from work we decided that we should try to preregister at the Hospital.  (We've been told that we need to get it down early.)  But it turns out they were to busy to get it done.  So we will try again tomorrow.  The Hospital was so hot...I think I might have to bring my own fan, so that I can survive this upcoming hospital stay!  I can't seem to figure out why Germans don't use AC or ice!!
Morgan was able to call and talk to her friend McKaylie tonight.  I think it totally brightened her day!

Saturday, August 8th:

Ellie has been struggling with being nice lately.  The last time we went to the pool she was out of control, so I told her she couldn't go the next time.  So today Randy took Morgan and Reagan to the pool for a few hours while Me and the younger two stayed home.  (I felt like I was being punished too!)  It has been really hot the last couple of being up on the 3rd floor is miserable.  To put it simple, it was a really rough morning.  I haven't been sleeping great, and then I had to deal with crazy kids.  I've been a bit emotional the last couple days.
We called the Hospital and they said we could come up at 3:00pm to preregister.  But once we got there, they wondered why we came.  It was truly a frustrating time!  They at least gave us some paper work and then told us to come back up on Monday.  The rate we are going, we'll just register when we come to have the baby.  I am starting to get more nervous and the days go by.  It's like having a baby for the first time...not knowing what's going to happen!
Since we were at the Hospital, we decided to drive by our new house!!
The kids are so excited...and so am I!  We are all ready to move in.
We thought since we were out we'd run to the store for a few things...milk, bread, chocolate, pepsi.  You know, the important things!!
I wanted to buy some juice from one of the German stores, because its a lot cheaper there.  So Randy took us to "Globus" to see what it was like. (Some people say its like Walmart.)  Randy's been there a few times with people from work, but it was the first time for the girls and I.  The best thing we were able to find there, was Cheese for Morgan!  I was so happy!!  Morgan was super happy too!!  That's one thing she has really been missing.  We of course bought some yummy chocolate, juice, and we found kinder eggs.  The girls were super excited to try them!!
We also ate some yummy German food!
(This was the first real German food for the girls and I to try.)
We bought 2 brats and 2 plates of schnitzel.  We had enough food for the whole family!
Reagan, Ellie, and Charley really liked the brats!
Morgan, Ellie, and Charley really like the schnitzel!
It was pretty cheap all that food for about 14 euros.

By the end of the night I was feeling much better!  I guess I was just in need of a night out!

We came home and let the girls watch Parent Trap 2.  Morgan was the only one who made it to the end.  At the very end,  there was so kissing and Morgan turns to me and says, "Why are they eating each other?!"  I couldn't stop laughing!

Sunday, August 9th:

Its crazy to think about, but a month from today is my due date!  AHHH!  I'm not even close to being ready for this baby to be here.

So before church, the girls wanted to watch Parent Trap 2 again.  And of course at the end, Morgan said the same thing.  Only this time I laughed so hard I cried!  It was so funny to be watching this with all the girls!  Randy came in to see it too, because I had told him what Morgan said.  I sure love my kids!!
We went to OUR ward today!!  It felt so nice to know where we are suppose to be.  The kids love Primary and all the kids that are in their classes.  There are a lot of new families that are moving in right now, so I like that I'm not alone.  Its been so good talking and getting to know people.
I'm pretty sure it was a 100 degrees in the building today!  I was dripping sweat in sacrament meeting...I thought I might die!  I could feel myself swelling it was so hot!  But no worries, we all survived!!  I was so happy when we got in the car and turned on the air conditioner!  We rode home with it on full blast!  It was AWESOME!

We went on a walk after dinner, just around Kusel.  There are two churches near by that I thought could be fun to see.  So we took a little walk to see what we could find.  The kids love exploring...most of the time.  The churches were beautiful, nothing like the LDS churches.  I believe one was a Catholic and the other was a Protestant church.  It was fun to see where all the bell ringing comes from.  We hear the bells all day every day.

We were able to Skype with both sets of Grandparents today, which was fun.  The girls all go a little crazy when talking to family on skype/face time, so it's always a bit of a challenge.
Grandpa Johnson told the girls bedtime stories.  And all of them fell asleep, except Morgan.  It was the easiest night of putting the kids to bed.  We need to try that every night!  They loved the stories!

Morgan lost a tooth today.  She loves being able to get them out all by herself.  Morgan is getting to the point where she is questioning the "Tooth Fairy."  This makes me a little sad that she is growing up and wondering.  She wrote the Tooth Fairy a note and in it she said that her friend Emma didn't believe.  It totally broke my heart.  I hope for my sake that she keeps believing for a little while longer...I love seeing my girls get so excited about things.  I remember believing in the Tooth Fairy!
(Morgan has asked me before if the Tooth Fairy is real.  And my response is, what do you think?)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Germany Week 3

Monday, July 27th:

Nothing too exciting happened today.  I've just studied a lot today for my driving test tomorrow!  Why is it, that they try and confuse you?!  It makes me crazy!  But I feel like I have studied and done as much as I can do, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow.  I've been stressing about this a lot, just ask Randy!  We did FHE tonight...Ellie and Charley cried through the whole thing.  But I figure we just do it and it is what it is.  We haven't been the best about FHE every week, but I really want to try harder!  Charley has been sleeping better since she got her binky back.  Ellie on the other hand has been coming into my bed every night for the last few days.  I'm sure we'll get back on a routine, one of these days!

Tuesday, July 28th:

Today I took my German driving test, and I PASSED!!  Wahoo!!  My girls will be so excited!  Ellie has been praying every day that I can pass my test.  It was so cute to hear her ask Heavenly Father to help me! I felt like it took forever for the test to finally start, but it went pretty quick once they let us start.  It feels so good to know that I've passed!!  (I just took the test on Base.)  Randy didn't mind the wait, since he was able to take a little nap!  After I got my temporary license, Randy made me drive home.  It was a little nerve racking driving in a new place.  The roads are more narrow and they drive a lot faster.  So its going to take a little time to adjust, I'm sure.  And driving our new van was a little different too.  I kind of felt like I was 16 again learning how to drive. But I will have to say, I am so glad we got a minivan again.  We had debated about going a little bigger to come here, but I'm so glad we didn't!  It would've stressed me out more.  Don't get me wrong, some people drive bigger cars than us...I would just hate it!  I think tomorrow we might venture out.  I need to run to the store for a few things, mainly diapers!
Tonight I went with Laura to RS.  We went to Sis. Angela Burke's house for the activity.  It was such a nice night.  We ate some yummy mexican food, visited, and then talked about FHE ideas.  So it was a good night being able to get out and meet some new people.  There were only 6 of us there, but that's how many were in RS the first week we were there.  Its kind of nice going to a branch, then you get to know everyone!

Wednesday, July 29th:

 We went to the Library at Baumholder today.  The girls loved getting some new books to read.  This library had a wonderful kids area.  There was so much for the kids to do.  I loved it!

I helped Laura organize her storage room.  I really love doing that sort of thing.  It was nice to have a project to work on.  (I'll have one as soon as we find a place.)

Thursday, July 30th:

I bought something off of Bookoo today!  (Bookoo is like KSL)  I've been looking for a toaster, flat iron, blow dryer, vacuum, things like that...well I ended up buying some toys for Charley.  I know, super productive!  It has brought so much joy today, all the girls have loved playing with them.  I just bought a box full of Little People toys.
The Landlord (Volker) got us a dishwasher that works, YEAH!  I am super excited to have a dishwasher again.
Randy and I went to look at a couple of houses today.  Not loving them.  Looking for homes is very discouraging.  Most of the homes have a bazillion stairs, I hate stairs!  And parking at most of the homes are horrible, there parking spots are so small.  (Minivans are big compared to most German cars.)

Friday, July 31st:

Randy and I were able to go and see a few homes again today.  Randy had me call and make a few appointments.  It was very intimidating!  It was so awkward calling people who couldn't speak English and ask to make an appointment.  Of course when calling they would answer in German, so I then ask questions in English only hoping that they will reply in English.  Luckily, most of them could speak fairly good English!  I really need to work on my German.
We were suppose to see 3 homes today, but were only able to see 2 of them.  One got rented before we could go see it.  Right now there are so many people looking for homes...its kind of a race!  I hate feeling like we have to rush finding a home.  On the bright side, we feel like we have found a wonderful house.  It's in Landstuhl, its not the typical German house...but I love it.  It has 6 bedrooms, a large kitchen (with a double sink), bathrooms with tubs, and it has carpet!  I think what I love about this house, is that its more American.  

The ward that we went to last week is having a Daddy Daughter Date night tonight.  The girls were so excited that they got invited to go! They went bowling and had a great time!  Charley and I just hung out at home.  We did a little cleaning and then just hung out.  It was a night quiet evening.

Saturday, August 1st:

We left at 6:20 am to drive down to Frankfurt to attend the Frankfurt Temple.  (We had a rough start trying to get the girls ready and out the door.)  The Temple is about 1 1/2 hours from Kusel.  The drive was so beautiful!  It was fun to see all the beautiful things as we drove, like the vineyards, windmills, Rhine River, all the little villlages.  The Groves came with us, so that we could trade off watching each others kids.  In the basement of the Visitor Center is a kids area/cafeteria.  We were able to let the kids play while we waited for our turn to do a session.
It was a little weird to walk into the temple and not be able to understand anyone.  I hate not being able to understand or talk to people.  It's a really weird feeling!  We don't have our Temple clothes yet, so we had to rent some.  The clothes that I ended up getting, were so large...I felt like I was swimming in my dress.  At the name booth, the sister there spoke English...AWESOME!  It's such a good feeling being able to communicate with someone else.  They said there was an English or a German Session that we could attend.  Oh course I choose English.  One of the Sisters sent me to the chapel instead of to the English Session.  Luckily someone came to find me.  The session was wonderful!  The Spirit was Amazing!  It was just what I needed!
After the session we went to lunch with the Groves.  We ate at was awful! It was so expensive, the kids hated it...none of my kids ate it, all of my kids were crying, and I didn't get to eat because of the craziness!  I left wanting to cry!  The girls were starving, they were ok eating food that we had in the car.  My girls are the best, they totally put up with a crazy day!  They are the best little troopers!  The drive home was rough, both Ellie and Charley were exhausted.  Luckily they were able to sleep most of the way.
I told Randy we needed to do something fun since the girls put up with the crazy we headed to the swimming pool for a few hours!  It was so nice to just spend time with just our family.  Its hard living so close to friends.  Everyone just needs a little break from each other.

Sunday, August 2nd:

Today we went to the Branch again today.  It was ok, I helped out in Nursery.  There were only 2 kids there for most of the time.  (Charley and George)

After lunch we took a drive up to the Lichtenberg Castle, which is about 15 minutes from Kusel.  It was so fun to explore the ruins of this Castle.  Ellie was not impressed at first, but loved it by the end!  It was amazing to see how thick the walls were!  The views from the top of the tower, were amazing!  It is so beautiful here in Germany!  Before we moved to Germany, Ellie said she wanted to live in a castle...she did not want to live at this castle.  :)

Random information about Germany:

*Most rest areas do not have restrooms. (And if they do, they charge to use them)
You see a lot of people peeing by their cars at the rest stops.

*At the swimming pool, most little girls don't wear tops to their swimsuits.

*Fanta, does not taste like Fanta in America. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Germany Week 2

Monday July 21st:  Nothing very exciting happened today.  I have to stay on top of doing laundry here!  The washers are so much smaller here and they take so much longer!  Laundry is literally taking over my life!!  But I'm starting to figure it out!  We just stayed around the house all day.  The kids played a little bit with the friends downstairs, but most just chilled with me at home.  We had family home evening and then headed to bed.  We also found out today that our unaccompanied baggage has arrived! Now we just have to plan to have it delivered.

Tuesday July 22nd:  Today we went to the 2nd park on the path.  The Groves came with us for a little bit.  They didn't stay very long, but we stayed and played anyway.  The kids enjoy being outside and playing at the park.  The walk to the park is what they hate the most!  Later I watched 2 of Laura's kids so that she could take her youngest George to the Dentist.  (All kids are different, but sometimes her kids make me crazy!  I'm sure mine do the same to her.)  It doesn't help that we see each other every day, so I think the kids get bugged a lot easier.  Oh well, its nice to know someone!  Randy looked at a few more houses online, but nothing is looking any better than the one right here in Kusel.  I think we are meeting with the Landlord tomorrow, so I'm we will know more then.  Charley had a rough night going to sleep tonight.  It didn't help that we decided to take the binky away, in hopes that when the baby comes she won't want one.  This may backfire on us, but we are going to try it anyway.
We found out today that our household goods have arrived too!  I can't believe its already here...we still don't even have our car.  Oh well.  We can't get our household goods until we find our permanent house anyway.  But it was fun to know that it had arrived!

Wednesday July 23rd:

It finally cooled off a little today.  It's been raining off and on all day.  I've loved the cooler weather!!  Our car arrived in Germany just before we got to Germany, but its been at the Port waiting to be inspected.  (Then once inspected, it is brought down to a place near where Randy works.)  Today Randy drove to Frankfurt for work.  The had to do an onsite inspection at the Frankfurt Airport.   Anyway, we got the exciting email today saying that our car was FINALLY ready to be picked up!!  Wahoo!!  I'm still amazed at how quickly all of our stuff arrived.  Our car was shipped back at the end of May and then everything else was shipped the end of June.  I just laugh thinking about our car getting here last!  Oh well, I haven't taken the driving test yet, so its not like I could drive it anyway.  We did a lot of the same today...just played around the house.  Tonight I watched my friend Laura's kids while she went to YW's. (Her husband Tyler is in Spain right now for work.)  The kids were excited to have a movie night.  It wasn't just like doing one at home, but it was still a good night.

Thursday July 24th:

So Laura and I were trying to think of a way we could celebrate Pioneer Day here.  And I thought the best way would be walking to the "Far Park!"  This is not an exaggeration, but it is 1 1/2 miles up hill to the park.  We decided that we would walk there, have a picnic and play for a while and then walk home.  (Our mornings didn't work out like planned, so we ended up walking separately there.)  But on the way to the park, the girls and I talked about Pioneers.  It was fun to think of the Primary songs and then talk about some of the Pioneers sacrifices.  It helped me not grumble as much as I walked there pushing Ellie and Charley in the stroller.  Ellie was very observant to things around her today.  On the way to the Park she saw a little lizard climbing up a wall.  It was fun to stop and watch it.  By the time we got there, I was completely exhausted!  But we made it, and it was a wonderful time!  Laura had made a list for a scavenger hunt, which the kids loved!  And of course the kids loved being able to eat lunch at the park.  I really wish this park was closer, it is so much fun!!  The walk back home goes so much quicker, its truly amazing how much easier it is!  I'm not sure I can do this walk much more, I kept having contractions on the way back.  If we do go again, we'll have to wait for Randy to push the stroller.  On the way home Ellie saw a deer up in the trees and she found the lizard again.  Usually Ellie is complaining about how hot it is and when will we get back home.  So it was fun to see that she was looking around today!!
Randy scheduled my driving test for me...the soonest I can take it is on Tuesday morning.  So I guess I'll get studying all the German laws and signs!  (I studied a little before we left, but haven't done any since we've got here.)  But the good news is, we get to pick up our car tomorrow!! I'm so excited to be able to have all of us in one car again!

Friday July 25th:

Randy brought the car home from work today!  It was like Christmas!  Morgan and Reagan had never been in the car before, so this was really exciting!  All the girls were so excited that we had our car.  As soon as Randy got home, we loaded up and left the house!  It felt so nice to leave and be in something that was mine!  We went to dinner at Burger King.  I know we are super fancy, the kids loved it!!  They were all so happy to get out.  Then we headed over to the BX to look for a few things.  (The BX stands for Base eXchange...basically its a mall.)  Ellie got a pair of new shoes, Randy got a few things for work and we bought a few German chocolate treats.  They also have a play place for the kids, so they had a great time getting some of their wiggles out.  (Morgan didn't love it in there, but she tolerated it.  She told me that it stunk like feet!  It made me giggle!)  No where here has air conditioning, so it always feels stuffy and yucky.  It's nice to get in the car and feel the wonderful cool air after being in a place like that.  (I shouldn't say there isn't air conditioning, there just isn't central air.  They do have portable air conditioners that you can use.  Someone actually let us borrow theirs for a while.)
We are starting to think that we might want to look for homes in the Landstuhl school district.  It would make the commute for Randy a lot shorter and it would be nicer to be closer to stores and doctors.  We drove around looking at a few homes tonight.  Charley got tired of being in the car pretty quick, so we headed home.  She's been screaming most of the day, so being in the car didn't help that much.It was so good to get out of the house tonight for a few hours!  It was truly amazing, even though it wasn't for anything super fun.  It was good to just spend time as a family!
I totally gave in and gave Charley her binky back at bed time...I need to sleep better at night, so I'm hoping this helps. I need a manual on how to raise my kids...I don't know what to do :)

Saturday July 26th:

We didn't make it to the grocery store last night before it closed, so we went back out today.  Charley fell asleep right before we got there, so Randy took the older girls in and did the shopping.  It was nice to just chill in the car!  (It was a little cool today, the girls even wore jackets!  It rained most of the day.)  Charley slept the whole time they were in the store.  I got a little bored and read the manual for our van.  Since I don't know anything about it, it was good to know how some things worked.
The girls have been asking to go swimming all week, so we decided to head to the pool.  Randy bought passes last week, so we better get using them!!  Luckily they have an outdoor and indoor pool there!  It was way to cold to swim outside...even though it is open, we chose to be inside!  The crazy thing about the German pools, is that there is NO Lifeguard!  There indoor pool was a lot of fun.  They have a large deep pool, that you can just swim in or jump off the diving blocks.  They have a large slide for the kids to go on.  It even has crazy blinking lights on it.  And then there is a small kiddie pool, that Charley and Ellie loved!  There is also one more pool that goes up to maybe 5 feet, that has some jets in it and they go off randomly. There wasn't very many people there, so it was kind of nice!  The other crazy thing about this pool, is that the dressing rooms are co-ed.  You enter the Women's bathroom and then it leads into the dressing room that is combined with the men's .  It totally surprised me!  I thought I had gone into the wrong room at first.
I'm sure that won't be the last time I am surprised by something!

Sunday July 27th:

We decided to go to a different Church today.  We decided to see what a ward near Landstuhl was like.  Our GPS ended taking us to a wrong location, but we ended up finding it anyway.  I was expecting to meet in a regular building just like the branch does.  But I was wrong...the ward we went to met in a Church building!  It was so nice to see the church steeple and sit on benches, it was like being back home!   The ward was big and there are tons of kids there!  It was great...except when I realized that I had left the house with out the diapers and wipes I had set out for church.  So it turns out I had to ask complete strangers for diapers and wipes twice while at church.  Oh well, I guess that's just a quick way to meet new people!  The girls loved going to Primary!  Ellie liked that they sang to her the Welcome song.  (She sang us the welcome song the whole way home after church.) And this ward is having a Daddy Daughter Date Night on the girls were pretty excited about that!!  They have been asking all day if they get to go...I think they are a tiny bit excited!!  Church was really good today.  They talked a lot about being prepared for Sunday (Spiritually and Physically) and trying to make it more a day of rest.  I need to work on preparing myself more for the Sabbath day...that's my goal for this next week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Germany Week 1

Our week in review:

Sunday July 12th: We started the trip out with Morgan and Reagan both having fevers of 101.  But gave Tylenol and called it good.  We flew from SLC to Baltimore Maryland.  Our flight was really good.  The girls were all a little nervous as this was their first time they could remember flying.  I'm not going to lie that I was also a little nervous, I think Randy asked me more times if I was ok.  
It seemed like we were in line for take off for a long time, but once we finally took off the kids loved it!  They loved looking out the windows to see the clouds and land down below.  They had plenty of things to entertain them on the plane.  Charley was a little restless, but I figured she would want to walk around more.  She only slept for about 30 minutes of the flight.  Reagan also took a little nap.

Once we arrived to Baltimore we had to get all of our luggage and take it over to our next terminal.  (Since it was a military flight.)
So we got a few baggage carts and started to load them up.  
We had 12 checked bags, 4 car seats, and 6 carry ons and a stroller!
(At this point I was regretting how much stuff we had packed!)
I'm pretty sure we were quite a site to be seen.

We arrived in Baltimore about 4:00pm and had to wait to check in until 6pm.
It was very tricky trying to get all of our things up to the right place.  With the help of Reagan and Morgan we were able to make it.  In Baltimore the airport was under construction, so we had to walk outside to get to our terminal. It was up hill, my cart kept flipping around.  So I ended up having to have Randy come back and help me up the hill.  We were all glad once we got to the right place.  Then the waiting began.  We waited until 6:30pm only to find out that we were being delayed for 48 hours.  We were then shuttled to the Double Tree hotel for the next couple of days.
The three older girls were pretty sad that we weren't going straight to Germany.  It was a rough night trying to get the girls all situated in beds, but we made it.  By the end of the night there were 4 of us in my bed. (Ellie, Charley, Me, and Randy)

Monday July 13th:  Morgan's fever was gone, but Reagan still had a little bit of a fever today.  But We thought we would make the best of our delay.  So we decided to head to D.C. to see the National Zoo.  We took the shuttle to the MARC train and then the Metro.  It was kind of crazy, but it was a lot of fun!  The girls liked riding the train and then going to the zoo.  They didn't really like all the walking though.  They were pretty tired.  We 

Tuesday July 14th:  We let the girls sleep as long as they could and then we got ready to head to the airport.  We didn't spend much time in the hotel, considering there wasn't much room in our room.  We just got up and ready to leave.  They told us to be back to the airport by 1:00 pm to check in.  We were there kind of early, we got there by 11:00 am.  (There were already people waiting when we got there.) We knew there would be a lot of people trying to check in, so we wanted to be there before the majority got there.  We unloaded all of our luggage again!  And then the waiting began.  Randy waited with the luggage while the girls and I watched shows, played, and walked around the airport.  The girls were so patient while we were waiting, I think I was going more crazy than they were.  Finally at 2:30pm we were able to check in and get rid of all our luggage.  We got some lunch and then headed up to the observation deck to watch the planes.  There was also a little play area for the girls to play.  It was perfect!  The girls played there for a few hours, getting their wiggles out.  We also spent some time in the USO where the girls were able to play with toys and watch a movie.  They spoiled us with snacks and books for the girls.  We got some dinner and then headed back up to the observation deck.  (The girls each bought their own neck pillows with their money they got from Grandpa Wyatt. They thought that was the coolest thing ever!!)  Once the observation deck closed, we made our way towards our gate. The girls were starting to get tired, but we were trying to keep them awake in hopes they would sleep on the plane.  Until about 10:30 we were doing really good.   But after that, things started falling apart.  Charley, Ellie, and Reagan were all crying from being over tired.  I ended up letting Charley just fall asleep.  (We didn't want to have to carry Reagan and Ellie onto the plane.)  We finally boarded the plane about 11:30 pm (Reagan and Ellie were hysterical at this point)  We got to our seats and buckled the girls and seconds later they were all sleeping.  We did it!!  We were finally on our way, Randy and I were exhausted as well.  Randy had Charley by him for most of the flight.  (She slept most of the time.  She just tossed and turned a lot, so he wasn't able to get much rest.  I was able to sleep for a few hours which was nice.  Then we traded and he was able to sleep.)  The flight was uneventful until about 3 minutes before we landed.  We started the decent and Ellie got sick and threw up all over Randy and her blanket.  (There were actually quite a few people throwing up as we landed.  It was a horrible sound.  It took everything I had, not to lose it myself.)

Wednesday July 14th:  We arrived in Germany about 2:30 pm. Once we unloaded the plane we had to go through customs, which was a long wait.  (Lots of crying and whining was involved)  We then got to wait for all of our luggage to get off the plane.  We thought they had lost our stroller, but after about 35 minutes of waiting and looking for it they were able to find it.  YEA!!  A few people from Randy's work were there to meet us and to take us to our new (temporary) house. One of those waiting for us was Randy's friend Tyler Groves.  We loaded up and saw our first glimpse of Germany.  Our new house is on the 3rd floor of Tyler and Laura Groves house in Kusel.  My first thoughts on the apartment were, "Dang, there are a lot of stairs! (48 to be exact) It's a very humid and hot here!"  I'm going to need to find ice.  The girls were really excited to be able to play with kids as soon as we got here.  They were sweet and had some food in our fridge and cupboard.  It was hard for Randy and I to stay up past 9...we totally started falling asleep. None of us ended up sleeping very well, because it was so warm up here.  But we made it through the night.

Thursday July 15th:  Randy had to go into work today for a few hours.  The girls and I slept on and off during the morning.  We had a little bit of jet lag.  But the girls and I ventured out a little bit to the walking path up behind the house.  We found a little park to play at for a little while.  It wasn't a very big park, but it gave us something to do.  It was so hot that we headed home to try and cool off by the one fan we had in our house.   While we were at the park today, a lady there was telling us about a better park about a mile down the path.  So I thought we might have to try that later when Randy got home.  It was a pretty laid back day. We just did lunch and the girls played with their toys for a while until Randy came home.  We had dinner with the Groves and then decided to walk down to the other park.  It was a really long walk down to the third park.  All the kids were complaining about how tired and hot they were. But we finally made it, and it was really fun!  They had a zip line, a fun hammock swing, a little rope course to pull yourself up the hill, and then a super fast slide down the hill.  They kids a blast!  I think Randy had a really good time too!  I enjoyed swinging on the hammock swing.  It was nice to have a little breeze!  We endured the walk back, barely!! And we all fell asleep almost as soon as we got back.  Ellie and Charley had a really hard time sleeping.  Ellie cried for a long time about how she wanted to move back to Grandma's house.  It was really hard to hear.  Ellie, Charley, and I cried for a few hours.  We were all so tired, I know that didn't help anything.

Friday July 16th:  I got to go with Randy to work today.  We had to go and get my ID card and get registered on base.  This took way longer than expected!!  (We actually took Ellie and Charley with us, because we knew that they were both having a hard time adjusting to everything.  Morgan and Reagan stayed home with the Groves)  I think it took us almost 2 1/2 hours to get things figured out with my ID.  Then Randy had a few other stops he needed to make for in-processing.  We took a break and went to lunch at the BX for lunch.  Ellie was so happy to eat Subway! We also went and picked up a few necessities, like diapers and wipes!  We walked around for a few minutes and then headed to the commissary to grab a few more things.  We didn't have much time before Randy's last appointment with Finance.  So I just ran in and grab a few things to get us through the next couple of days.  By the time we got to Randy's appointment, both the girls were sleeping.  So Randy ran in and I waited in the car.  We both didn't think his appointment would be long....boy were we wrong.  We waited in the car for an hour and a half.  (In Germany, its against the law to have your car idle for more than 2 minutes.)  So I had the windows down and tried to endure the heat.  Every once in a while, I would drive around the parking lot just so I could enjoy the AC.  The girls slept the entire time....they were probably passed out from the heat!  (Come to find out, the Finance office had told Randy the wrong time for his appointment.  So we had actually missed our time.  But someone ended up trading so that we didn't have to wait any longer in the car.)  It was such a long day!! I was pretty moody by the end of the day.  I was totally wishing for a pepsi!  We were able to get a few more fans, so we were all able to sleep a little better.

Saturday July 17th: The Landlord of our temporary house is letting us borrow one of his cars, until ours can be picked up.  He also told Randy that he wanted to show him a few houses that he has that we could possible rent.  So Randy went with him for a few hours.  When he came back, he told me that they weren't all that great.  Oh well, I'm sure we'll find something.
Today we didn't have much planned, but the girls had been asking if we could go swimming.  So Randy and Tyler took the kids to the swimming pool, while Laura and I went to the store.  (Our fridges are so small.  You have to go to the store multiple times a week.  I don't know what I think of that yet.)  It was nice to be able to visit with Laura.  She had been at girls camp since we got there, so it was nice to have someone to talk to.
Randy ended up buying a season pass to the swimming pool, so that should be a lot of fun!  The kids loved it there!
After dinner Randy decided that we should go on a walk...we didn't go too far.  It's just down the street from where we are staying now.  I thought we were just going to see where the walking path led, but I was wrong.  Randy ended up surprising us by showing us one of the houses that he saw earlier.  (I totally thought we were trespassing on someones property....that Randy is sneaky!)
The house was so beautiful!  The yard is very large.  It was a little house that they are going to fix up so the girls can play in there.  (It used to be a drinking house)  Inside it had been updated quite a bit, which was nice.  It's only a 4 bedroom house, but the rooms are very large!  I really think we might move in here!  The family areas are awesome...they have a large family room and kitchen, 2 patios.  One of which is covered.  It has a private gate to the walking path, which is awesome!  And we would like close to someone we know.  Only problem is, it won't be ready for a month or two.

Sunday July 18th:  Today was the first day to attend the Branch.  It was a bit different from church in Utah.  There couldn't have been more than 50 people that came.  They only go to church for 2 hours, since there isn't enough people to make all the classes run.  So one week we have Sacrament meeting and Sunday School, and then the next week we have Sacrament and Priesthood/RS.
  I was asked to play the piano in Primary, but then they felt bad and had me just go to RS.  It was a little crazy, but it was good.  There were only 6 women in RS, including myself!  I think I talked to everyone there...I think I can remember most of their names too!  I think the girls were a little disappointed there weren't more kids, but we'll all adjust soon enough.
The Groves had us over again for dinner. They had a few other members of the ward over too. Wes and Sarah Norris and their 2 kids, and then Mark Jenkins. (His family is in Utah right now.)  It was a lot of fun getting together, the kids loved all the people to play with.
After everyone left we took Laura and Tyler back over to see the house for rent, to see what they had to say about it.  They seemed to really like it too.
Our girls LOVE the house!  There are a lot of fun features to it.  The more I talk about it, the more I want it.  I guess we'll just have to discuss the details with the landlord and go from there.

It's been a crazy week, and I'm sure I forgot to write about something.  But this was a good start!  We have felt the many prayers sent in our behalf.  We love and miss all of our families so much! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Ellie is my little helper!
Ellie loves to draw...
like on walls, toys, bathroom sinks, toilets, and the occasional piece of paper!

Ellie loves to play, but hates to clean up!

Ellie loves being able to have friends over to play!

Ellie has loved being able to start preschool this year, and she is doing so well!!

Needless to say, Ellie keeps me going! 


Reagan is such a happy, playful, sassy girl!
She would do anything for anyone.

Reagan has loved reading!
She loves being able to read "chapter books".
Reagan has pushed herself trying to get better at reading.

Reagan loves to play with everyone!


Morgan is so talented!
She loves to play the piano, draw/paint, and make new things!
Morgan LOVES to read! You can almost always find her doing one of these things!
Morgan is a wonderful helper.
Morgan loves playing with her sisters!! (most of the time)

Family Pictures 2014

I love getting family pictures done!  
I love my cute family!!


Charley is 10 months old!!

She has been cruising around furniture for the last couple of weeks. 
On Saturday she took 6 steps all by herself!  One of these days she is just going to take off walking!