Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Roller Skating! HA!!

Today we went roller skating.  It seemed to be a very American thing to do and so when I realized we haven't been in over six years I decided it was something that had to be done.  I'm not sure why I feel the need to relate it to eating Tuna Helper...  it's something that you just have to do and it's only a little ghetto.

Actually, I had to come up with something to do.  The kids are driving me NUTS.  This is the first summer that I have had to deal with four kids at home all summer ...and the only family we know is gone, so we have been left friend-less.  Usually my summers are spent traveling from Europe to USA to Canada with grandparents, relatives, and random activities all over to amuse everyone.  This whole summer at home thing is pretty exhausting.  I guess I should be better prepared next year.

Anyways, roller skating was just like I remembered from when I was a teenager.  Dark, dirty carpet.  Tacky florecent paint on the walls.  Random disco lights and super loud music coming out of one speaker.  However, all that said ...IN THE END, it was cute.

At first it was miserable...  Scotty couldn't stand up and was getting frustrated.  Andrea threw a fit and gave her new ear piercing screech as I picked her up and forced her on the rink.  Michaela was only concerned about the "free wifi" and checking her email.  Sierra was the good child and offered no problems ...this time.  :)

After an hour or so Scotty got pretty good.  Andrea and I developed a routine that involved her skating along the carpet while I went beside her on the rink.  On the corners I'd pick her up and skate her across the rink to the other side, where I plopped her on the carpeted section and we skated along again.

Michaela and Sierra were pretty good.  Maybe their ice skating skills helped...  They whipped around in circles pretty quick and I don't think either one fell.

Sierra participated in the 11-13 year old race and  I  participated in the over 17 year old race.  HA!  Sierra won and I didn't.  :)  I did come in second place though...  I am a winner for trying.  :)  I didn't really want to race, but I had just given Michaela a lecture on "doing things that were fun and not caring what other people think ...you'll never see them again."  I unfortunately had to prove my point.

Here is a movie of Scotty as we were about to leave.  It made the entire thing worth it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Surprise in the Wood Pile

Michaela and Sierra have been given the task of moving all of the wood piles around the house to one location.  It's been a long ongoing project and quite honestly the work is, ummmmmmm ...crappy.

Most of the wood has been sitting for years and it's old and moldy and covered in bugs.  The wood at the bottoms of the piles are being eaten by the earth and growing into the ground.  Good thing we love the girls enough to buy them some nice work gloves!

They had finally started to relocate the very last pile and as the girls started to toss wood into the trailer I noticed a small pink thing that looked like a big bug wiggling around on top of the wood stack.  Considering the size of bugs around here I figured it was just another super gross creepy crawling thing, but as I looked closer I found more of them and then realized they some kind of little animals!  :)  I noticed a mommy mouse and from that figured out they were BABY MICE!!!  Awwwwww!!!!!!

Pretty good crop from above picture!
The mommy mouse was so sweet.  She was obviously concerned about her babies.  I've caught tons of mice in my days ...I know they are crazy fast and want nothing to do with people.  This little mommy mouse sat a few inches away from us and watched as I tried to put the babies we had accidentally scattered, back into their little fluffy nest.  I collected all the babies and put them back into the fluff and for good measure we added more fluff that we had found earlier.  Then we built them a new roof and added some pine needles for insulation ...and then we put a cracker near by as a peace offering to the mommy mouse.

All the kids got to see the babies and of course they all thought they were the cutest things on earth.  I told them we'd check back later and see how they were doing. ...and I'm sure that soon enough my cats will invite them inside to play.  : (

So for now the last remaining wood pile has entered into a "protected status", no work allowed...  That little mouse mommy and I have a mutual understanding as mothers.  We looked into each others eyes and bonded.  I wouldn't dream of hurting her teeny little babies!! 

Friday, July 27, 2012


We picked strawberries at a fruit farm!  :)  It was super cool!  The last time I picked strawberries was during a field trip with Michaela's first grade class, and if you didn't know ...my sweet daughter will be starting high school in a few weeks.  (If I don't chicken out and just keep her home.)  

Back to strawberries...

Picking strawberries was cute and it's a shame the season really only lasts for a few weeks, a few weeks that happened way back in July.  What kind of fruit only grows for three weeks out of the entire year?  Oh well, thanks to our NH friends we went and picked and learned it was really fun!  :)

Looking at this picture I'm surprised to see any berries in Little Andrea's bucket at all.  Her idea of picking strawberries was to walk down the rows eating them.  One could have followed a little trail of half eaten strawberries straight to her.  We had to clean her strawberry face off before going to buy them, a process that involves weighing them.

Oh, and PYO.  It means Pick Your Own!  See how rural I am now!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First Fourth at HOME!

 Is it wrong to tell about the Fourth of July on July 24th?    Well, this was our first Fourth of July in our NEW HOUSE in AMERICA which is still way better than EUROPE!  :)

...and what made it even better is that Erin and her kids came to visit us!!!

I met Erin in Denmark and we became instant friends because we were the only moms who wore tennis shoes.  :)   We were also both pregnant, but she was a sissy and flew back to the States to give birth, which was probably a good call since those Danish doctors did their best to kill me.  Anyways, Erin moved back to Pennsylvania before we left for Germany, so when we arrived in New Hampshire she packed her kids into the car and came to visit us ...because she LOVES us.  :)

All of the kids!  :)  Erin has three.  Told you ...she's a sissy.  :)

So there you have it.  We went hiking!  I was happy it worked out because it was a plan we came up while drinking coffee that morning.  :)  Our hike turned out to be perfect ...a nice mile long walk around a lake (okay, it was a pond).  There were lots of trees and bridges and little streams, oh, and a playground!

Next up ....beach!

Day two of Erin's trip involved the Beach.  They say New Hampshire is close to everything so I figured Mountains and Beach should just about cover Erin's New Hampshire experience.  :)  Beach was great.  Erin and I even got to lay out for a few uninterrupted minutes when we weren't repeatedly scooting our towels back from the tide or chasing a kid.

Her visit was great, and I didn't even mention the frogs, but I think Erin would rather forget those slimy things existed.  :) Thanks for driving all the way out to see us Erin!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

To the West Coast!

Two weeks after we moved into our new house we all left it to make our annual trip to California.
If it wasn't for a family reunion, which was scheduled over a year ago, we probably would have skipped the California trip this year ...or at least made it for later in the summer.  :)  That's how life goes sometimes, so we packed some suitcases AGAIN and off we went.  Timing was less than ideal, but it was still a fun and worthwhile trip!

We weren't the only ones who thought the timing could be better.  My parents bought a house the same week we did and so they were also in the middle of moving during our visit.  On second hand, maybe my mom and dad timed that perfect.  I think the next time I move I'll invite all my children back home to help.  :)

So.  Now Nana and Papa have a pool and needless to say the kids loved it.  Scotty and Andrea were unsure at first, but soon they were paddling around on their own and having fun while happily wearing a life jacket.

My niece Audrey is a fearless fish.
Bear taking Scotty on a ride.  :)
Bear the Fish.
Nana and Poozie
Papa and kids!
Andrea and Papa were best friends in the pool.  :)
Poozie and Papa Paddling in the Pool. 
Yay for Popsicles!
KE, being a cool teenager while sitting on three noodles.
Princess KE being cool without three noodles.

As you can see, most of our vacation was spent in my parents pool.  In addition to the new pool, it was a much different trip than our other annual California trips.  This time I didn't spend hours trolling the aisles of Target, no more trying to see just how many boxes of cake mix I can physically carry in my back pack.  I only traveled with one checked bag.  :)  WOW!

...AND I didn't walk around feeling fat the entire time from eating every American thing I missed. I even managed to limit my cereal meals to breakfast.  :)  The one place we ate at probably a dozen times was In-N-Out Burger ...and I guess we had it for breakfast too.  :)  I do miss their food, but I think I found a pretty good equivalent here called Four Guys.  

There you have it.  Our trip to California. ...and despite the only pictures of the pool, yes we went to the before mentioned reunion.  I also got to see my bestest, longtime friend Trini.  I spent a few days with my grandma, just drinking buttermilk and hanging out.  :)  It was a nice, relaxing trip, which was good because when we got home on July 3rd we had to get back to unpacking and getting ready for our house guests who arrived the next day which was the Fourth of July!  :)  YAY!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

the YARD

Happy couldn't wait!  I think it was on Day Three of being in the house that he went out, bought a chainsaw, and started "cleaning up" the yard.

The above picture is "Trusty Tractor vs' Mega Thorn Bush".  

"Mega Thorn Bush" won and "Friend's Truck" had to retrieve "Trusty Tractor".

The kids thought the daily bon fires were great even though you need a VERY, VERY, VERY long stick because the fire is SO hot!  Can you see Scotty's marshmallow on top of his VERY, VERY, VERY long stick?  Good thing he only likes his marshmallows to be slightly warmed; one swish near the fire and it's ready to eat.  


Before our trees were bushes and now they are more tree-like.  :)

Now this wasn't the result of Paul's sole chainsaw.  He hired three nice boys, who by the end of it thought I was crazy because I'd come out fuming every time I'd see an "unapproved" tree falling down. (even though it was a Paul approved tree).  I'd glare at them and yell at Happy.  It was a magical two FULL days, but in the end it's turned out okay.  I guess.  :)

At least we made room for my fruit tree farm, which I'm kinda excited about.  :)  Turns out we can't have a garden until Paul builds me an enclosed area.  We had a berry bush full of some sort of berry that looked yummy ....blackberry or raspberry?  It doesn't really matter because one day every single one of them was gone.  I'm glad a little deer got to eat a yummy dinner, but I wouldn't go out of my way to grow one for him.!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Remember me?

I think I hit a record for "longest time without writing on my blog".  I did it so everyone will appreciate when I DO write.  :)

The last month has been a real blur.  Today has been the first day that I have sat down and opened my computer since the June 4th, when we moved in.  Since then we've had soccer playoffs, end of school things, field trips, traveled to California and had house guests.  So back to the beginning.....

Our move in day was a bit of a blur.  Paul took a U-haul and four moving guys and moved everything from the storage unit to the new house.  I was in charge of clearing out the furnished house.  We only had one day to get it all done and it was quite the day.  We even kept Michaela home from school to help with Andrea and other random things.  It was a fun day.

No.  It was not a fun day.  It was miserable.  It was long.  It was pouring rain because it pours rain every time we chose to move all of our personal belongings from one place to another....  I think the only people who had a worse day were the people who were moving out of our house.  They were a bit behind and when we were done we let them take our rented U-haul to use for the rest of the day.  They spent the next week coming back to get more of their things.  I think we found the only family who could make me feel better about the amount of stuff WE have.  :)    Okay, it wasn't miserable, but it was really, really tiring.  We were happy to finally be in our house.

That night our friends showed up with some Taco Bell and all the kids ran through the house spilling their tacos' contents.  Ahhh.... home sweet home.  :)

Everyone slept in our new rooms that night ...and in the morning I woke up to a giant mess.  :)

As I wandered around our new house I realized boxes had been put everywhere, rooms were mixed up ...it was ....ummmm ....less than motivating.  :)  Paul set up the TV and a couch and the Wii and we were in action ...except we couldn't find the Wii games.  Of course Andrea was thrilled because the only game we had was the one that was in the Wii and it was her favorite Kirby game.  It took us a full week to find the other Wii games.  They were in a box labeled "Games" and I thought they were board games.  I'm still too scared to open the "Board Game" boxes.  Somethings are better left in boxes...

A week or so later, once we had the house in somewhat of a working order and things kinda in control, our storage unit from Oregon arrived.  Super. 20 cubic feet of stuff I hadn't seen or thought about in five years.  Paul was happy to be reunited with his tools and I was almost scared to see what I had to deal with.  Sierra and I opened a huge box to see it stuffed full of toys.  I counted eight barbies on top and quickly closed the box making Sierra swear to secrecy.  If Andrea finds that box of plastic China products I'm in real trouble.  I'm not prepared for that quite yet.

I'm pretty sure those storage boxes will provide some entertainment.  I wore my high school Lettermans jacket around the house the other day and today I pulled out seven cute hats for Andrea to wear.  I also found a box with every trophy I ever won. OUUUU....  even my math trophy!  Scotty will be so impressed!  I think those trophies are headed towards the fireplace mantel....  :)

So there is my super update on the move in.  I'll catch up with life now that I'm back into the swing of things... maybe.  :)


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