Monday, August 25, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...

No I'm not talking about Christmas already....It's the first day of school!! I suppose Colin and all the other kids who are starting school today might disagree but I know the other moms will be singing the same song along with me. HaHa. Actually Colin was looking forward to school starting and seeing his friends again and finding out about his classes and all that. But it's not cool to act TOO excited now is it? I can't believe that he is already a sophmore. Didn't I just walk him to his kindergarten classroom a few weeks ago?? I better not blink or he will graduate before I know it!

Jeffrey has been in school a few weeks already but I don't have any back to school photos of him. He is a JUNIOR this year! One of his classes is called "employability skills". I guess he already put those skills to use because he called the other night to tell us that he got a job! For some time now he has been eligible to get a job off the Boys Town campus and he has been filling out applications all over the place. He is working at a restaurant called Johnny's Italian Steakhouse. It is a pretty upscale place that is "reminiscent of the traditional 40's style supper clubs". He has to wear a bow tie! One of his friends works there and he says that he gets great tips and it is a fun place to work. I hope he enjoys it. His first 'real' job!!! If you are near Omaha and get a chance to eat there maybe you will see him.

And for all my scrappin' friends out there....isn't that the coolest digi kit I used for Colin's sophomore layout?? It is a freebie from Laura at C.W. Picket & Company! I know lots of you have kiddos starting school about now go click on the link and check out the goodies!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rockin' Happy Birthday to Me!!

My actual Birthday is the 12th of August, but I had to wait until a week later to enjoy my 'big gift' from Bill. He got me (and Colin) tickets to see R.E.M. in concert in Stuttgart! It was a cool concert because they didn't have it in a huge arena like most concerts these days, but they set up in the front of the palace right in the downtown. They had standing tickets and also tickets for numbered seats in the 2 sets of bleachers they set up. We had front row bleacher seats! WhoohoO!

Unfortunately the weather was rainy..but we took our jackets and umbrella and did fine. Just as they were setting up for R.E.M. the sun broke through the clouds and there was this awesome rainbow right over the stage! Beautiful!!

Colin continued the "Rockin Birthday" theme because he gave me the Aerosmith version of the Guitar Hero video game! I even have my own guitar we can play together at the same time. It's really fun, but I need to practice more. I have most of the songs beat on the medium level but so far can't win the guitar battle against Joe Perry. That's OK because I KNOW I am not ready to move up the the Hard level!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm going to Disneyland!!

Well actually Colin and I just got back from Disneyland! He won a free ticket at the 4th of July celebration and we went this past weekend. I was kind of worried we might have some rainy weather since it has been soggy here in Heidelberg but the skies were blue and sunshiney all day. Whoohoo! After waiting over an hour for the bus to show up (it is the middle of the big vacation time here and traffic is MURDER on certain autobahns) we finally got on our way. The bus wasn't full at all so talll Colin was able to stretch out across the back row of seats and sleep the whole way. (The buses pick you up around midnight and drive all night so you are there when the park opens) We were in the park right at opening time, actually earlier than that so that was cool. They let you into the main street part of Disneyland a half hour before they open the rest of the park and everyone clusters up by the ropes waiting for them to drop at 10 AM. We were right up against the rope that leads to Adventureland and were so surprised at how people TRAMPLED and ran when the ropes dropped! We headed for the Indiana Jones rollar coaster since Colin said he wanted to 'start small' and save Space Mountain Mission 2 for later. Once we were on the ride I noticed the loop! So much for starting small eh? I couldnt believe that coaster was big enough to include a loop but it did, and what a blast!!! After that we headed toward Pirates of the Caribbean, exploring the caves of Adventure Island along our way. After the Pirates we went into Fantasyland and hit all the rides that go with the classic Disney hits: Peter Pan's Flight, Alice's Curious Labyrinth, Snow White and the 7 Dwarves, and the Adventures of Pinoccio. (Don't worry...we stopped for lunch in the middle of all that! Next we went through the middle of Sleeping Beauty's castle and watched a glass blower and headed to Discoveryland (Disneyland Paris's version of Tomorrowland). We rode Space Mountain Mission 2 and whoa baby is it NUTHIN like the Space Mountain I am used to! You start out the ride being SHOT out of a cannon!! They use a system similar to what they use to launch airplanes from aircraft carriers. Then inside the building you go through all sorts of stuff including a corkscrew, a loop and a cobra each seat has its own computerized sound system in synch with where your car is in the ride. VERY COOL!!! We walked through Captain Nemo's Nautilus, then rode the Star Tours similator ride, saw the Honey I Shrunk the Audience Show and saved the world from the Evil Emperor Zurg on Buzz Lightyears Lazer Blast. Of course we couldn't go to Disney without going on the Small World ride so we did that next, then practically ran over the Frontierland to try and ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Haunted Mansion before we had to get back to catch our bus. Alas...the ride wait for Big Thunder was 65 minutes, so we had to skip it. We did the Haunted Mansion hoping when we were finished things would have changed at the Mountain but they didn't. Ah well. Colin had fun in the Haunted Mansion. When you first go in there is a big room before the actual is dim and creepy as it should be and Colin does his best Boohoohahaha laugh in his deep voice and this girl about his age just SHRIEKED and literally RAN to the other side of the room!! Everyone was cracking up and he is still talking about it. We felt pretty good that we got to see all but one of the things on our 'list', especially since it was a very busy time to be in the park. And we even made it back to the bus on time....the other family wasn't so lucky. We had to wait and wait for them to show up. Colin and I had nicknamed them "The Lost Family" earlier in the day because they seemed kind of clueless....and well they lived up to their name! heehee!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

They say it's your birthday! is Bill's birthday. It is one of those that ends in a zero and that's as much as I'm gonna reveal! We didn't have a big party or anything cuz Bill prefers to keep things lowkey so we just gave him some gifties and went out to a movie together on the last night before he went to the States. Colin got him a season 2 DVD collection of a TV show Bill likes called "My Name is Earl". I got him some new clothes to wear to work and school, a book to read on the plane and a special shaving mirror that he has been looking for. I have my eye out for one other thing but I'll keep that under my hat til I find it! :)

If you are wondering how I made that cool digital scrapbook page up there it is from Kim B's designs blog and is a super quick page you can download free! You should check it out if you dabble in digi!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bill flew the coop today!

Yup...this morning around 9AM we left for the airport to take Bill to his flight to Baltimore where he will be going to school until October for his work. He was hoping to sleep for most of his flight so it will pass quickly. After dropping him off Colin and I headed back to Heidelberg so he could go to a Boy Scout planning meeting only to find yet again that the meeting time had been changed without us knowing about it. So we went to the commissary instead. One lady there thought we were amusing...we were in the laundry detergent aisle trying to choose and I asked Colin the difference between these two kinds and he said they were different scents...I asked him 'well which one smells better'? and he said I dont know...they are just detergent what does it matter what it smells like?! I said because that is how your clothes will smell. I told him to open them up and smell and see and he laughed and said "your so weird" (in a joking way) we both smelled the 'flavors' and I chose the one I liked best...he said 'it smells like soap'! I said well of course it does, it IS soap! The lady said we should go on the road. Colin thought SHE was weird because he didn't see what was funny. LOL

Tonight he beat me soundly at a game of RISK. He got it from his friend Nicole for his birthday and has been wanting to play it for some time. Bill won't play it because he hates all the little peices and how long it takes and all that. I don't HATE it but it sure is easier to play it on the computer so you don't have to mess with all the guys. Ah well...Colin took great delight in dominating the game board. I had to forfeit to his superiority...but I did get to hold onto a shred of dignity first...I DID maintain at least ONE continent through the game!!

Here's some more pictures from my spring break trip to Omaha. (Yes I haven't forgotten I need to do LOTS Of updating!!) The first one is of me and of Jeff's 'family teachers' that he had for most of the first 2 years he was at Boys Town. During Christmas break both her and her husband Brett were offered other jobs and it seemed that God was telling them it was time to move on through those open doors. We felt bad for the boys at the house having to say goodbye to them, they were wonderful at what they did and had seen Jeffrey come so far. I was glad when I went to visit that Natalie still works on the Boys Town campus and we were able to go out to lunch with her and finally meet face to face his 'mom away from home' and give her a hug and say thanks. She and her husband have had such a huge part in the turning around and guidance of Jeffrey that there didn't seem to be enough words. Here we are together...

The next photo is of Jeffrey in his room. It is good to see 'his space' and see how he has made it his own. I think he was proud to show it off too.

Mom and I had a few days to shop and hang out in Omaha while we waited for Jeffrey's spring break to start. We had made a list of scrapbooking stores to check out and I was surprised and excited to learn that there is an Archivers store there! I usually get to shop in a tiny little portion of our local arts and crafts shop for my scrapbook supplies...I had seen Archivers in my magazines but had never seen one in real life. I got goose bumps I was so excited! Mom and I shopped there all morning..took a break for lunch and headed back to finish up afterwards...we didn't want to miss a thing! Only another scrapbooker would understand us I'm sure. Heehee

Friday, August 01, 2008

We're back!!

We took a little mini-vacation for a few days before Bill has to leave for Washington DC Sunday. He is going to be going to a school for his work and will be there until October. I have been wanting to visit Dresden for a long time so this was our destination. We stayed near Bamberg Germany the first night after touring the city of Bamberg, then drove on towards Dresden the next day. We took a scenic route and stopped at a place called FelsenLabyrinth that is a big mountain covered in huge boulders that you can explore with paths going up and over and through and sometimes under the rocks. Near Dresden we stayed at a 400 year old blacksmith's shop that this nice couple has restored and turned into a bed/breakfast. The living part of the shop is furnished in period furnishings and is a small museum. We got to stay in some of those rooms. Very cooL! We toured Dresden the next day until we were all exhausted from the heat...summer is definately here! South of Dresden is this really neat National Park where there are all these valleys and gorges with sandstone rock formations rising up from them. We drove around there and stopped at one where they have constructed bridges and paths out amongst some of the formations and wandered around until it started to get dark. The next day it was time to go home...we drove through a few quaint walled villages about halfway home so it wouldn't seem like such a long drive.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Jeffrey is enjoying a vacation this week too. All the boys in his house and several others get to go to Lake Okoboji in Iowa for the week. This will be the third time he has been there and he is looking forward to spending all the time he can out on the lake wakeboarding. He will probably also go fishing and swimming and just hanging out having a great week. I hope he remembers to take some photos for me!!!