Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Operation Candy Corn

Yesterday I went to Target and bought a bag of Candy Corn.

Technically, I bought two.  :)

...and a cute ceramic pumpkin to hold them.

At this time of year, for the last five years, I've begged and pleaded with friends and family to send me candy corn.  This time I bought mine own after hours of aimlessly roaming the aisles of Target while Poozie happily drank her ICEE and munched on salty popcorn.

Life is pretty good huh?  :)  Although I can't brag about America too much ...well I can, but I try not to.   :)  When I talk to my friends who are still "stuck" in Europe I try to avoid mentioning all the American Awesomeness I once again have.  ...I never mention the SB word (school bus).  

I once had to block a friend on facebook after she moved back to the States.  For 100 days she posted "100 things I now appreciate about America" ...so while I was stuck in Germany she was just reminding me about things I had forgotten about!!   It was just too depressing and I couldn't emotionally cope with it.  Then I couldn't figure out how to "unblock" her so I had to "de-friend" her, and then "re-friend" her.  (I'm not very good at facebook) I think I eventually admitted to her about what I did... :)  Sorry again KP!  Still love you and your recipes

ANYWAYS....  This year I have access to candy corn and I'm willing to send it to those in need.  After being in Denmark and going through my first European Halloween without candy corn I've decided that nobody should have to do that.  Give to those less fortunate right?  That's what my mommy taught me, although I'm pretty sure she wasn't talking about Candy Corn.

It's now my own special mission to spread candy corn across the world.  My husband will be so proud.  

I'm pretty serious, let me know if you want Candy Corn.  :)

Only rule is that I only send Brach's, original candy corn ...none of that new caramel or chocolate flavored yuck.  :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

YAY for competitiveness

It's not about having fun.  It's totally about winning ...because winning IS fun!

HA!  Sadly it's true, I'm that crazy, competitive parent.  My husband even uses it against me.  "You can't do that." ...only guarantees it will happen.  I refer you to the time I had to ride a bike 20 miles.

One of my most favorite things of all is watching the kids play their sports.  It is probably on my top ten favorite things to do.  I wish I could still play and be a superstar athlete, but those days are over.  :)  HA!  So  now I get to live vicariously through my children ...every goal they score makes me happier than perhaps it should.  :)

I try really hard not to yell too much.  I'm usually coaching and allowed to yell, but as a parent I try to keep it under control.  Sometimes I have to walk away though ...might say something not nice.  :)  At least I know my limits.  :)

Like on Saturday, Scotty was playing his first soccer game and he was goalie (because nobody else wanted to and Daddy is coach.  Coach Daddy is obligated to make his own kid do what nobody else wants to do ...downside of being coach's kid).   Scotty was goalie and there was this blob of kids in front of the goal kicking frantically at the ball.  Scotty ran out and pounced into the middle of the crowd.  He landed plop on the ball and grabbed it.  HA!  Take that other team!!!!  Even at Sierra's last game she made an amazing save as Goalie and people on the sidelines were talking about it...  :)  Times like those make all my time and driving and waiting and money worth it!  My kids kick butt.

...and I'm sure Michaela has some wonderful soccer moves too, but all her games have been "away" so far; her first home game is this Friday.  Andrea.  Oh Little Andrea.  Her soccer is hilarious and dare I say she is destined to be the best soccer player in the family.  :)  She chases and kicks that tiny little "mini-ball" with all her four year old might.  Of course, the very next minute she might be laying face down in the wet grass refusing to play ...but hey, we all have our ups and downs.  I get it.  :)

However, I didn't mean to write about soccer.  I meant to write about Volleyball.

On the first day of school Sierra had team tryouts.  She could choose between soccer and volleyball, but she could only try out for one.  I knew she would make it on the soccer team because I know what her skills are like compared to other soccer players of the same age, she's good, but I had no idea about volleyball.  I didn't know anything about volleyball.  The only thing I did know is that in her school, volleyball is the most competitive sport, 40-50 girls tryout and they only take 12 or 13.

There I was ...stuck in a parenting "situation".  Do I have her go for the "guaranteed team" and be on the soccer team, or have her try for volleyball and perhaps get nothing?  Kinda like Deal or No Deal.  UGH.  Well, I let her pick and I didn't tell her about the fact I was warned about the volleyball team being very hard to get on. I just mentioned soccer teams are bigger.  :)  If she wants something, what right do I have to discourage her or tell her to go with the "safe" choice?

Well, of course she picked volleyball and the try-outs seemed to go well...  She got a letter after the second day of try-outs and I quickly pulled the car over to the side of the road while she opened it.

....She totally made the team!  Of course she did!  I knew she would.  YAY!!!!  She was beyond excited.  This was huge!  Later we learned there was only two 7th graders on the team and she was one of them.  It's more fun to work hard for something and get it opposed to just get on the team because you signed a piece of paper.

I went to her first volleyball game and these girls are Olympic Athletes!  They are spiking and diving and yelling instructions, moving all over the place.  It's insane!  I can't believe how good these teams are!  Sierra's team is amazing.  They play real plays like grown ups and I'm impressed they can even return the balls that are pounded towards their little faces.  Sierra hasn't had a lot of playing time so far, but the season is early and I'm still happy she is where she is.  I think even she will need some time to get accustomed to new level of Volleyball she is playing.  :)

LilyTruck and Buttercup

I'm not going to try and catch up.

It's true.  I'm bored of typing on this thing... yes, I know that my faithful followers ...all 12 of them, are sad ...but don't worry, I'm not quitting.  :)  I'll TRY to keep typing just because I think this is a really cool way to "record life".   Just like the journal my mom always told me to keep when I was little.

What if I hadn't started this blog when we moved to Europe??  I might have forgotten all the things that happened, but now my grandkids can look through and read all my stories.  Just the other day I spent a good two hours reading my own blog.  :)

So although I'm not going to try and catch up I do need to mention that we have two new members of the family.  Buttercup and LilyTruck.  We have them as replacement pets for the cute little hamster Sierra had to leave behind in Germany ...and I just learned today actually, that unlike hamsters who live for approximately one year, guinea pigs can live for up to ten years!  Super.  Lesson learned...  Research life expectancy of any potential pet.

At least we bought used guinea pigs so they are already a year old, but it seems I have seven more years of waking to the demanding squeaks of these two furry piggies.  If they don't get their morning carrot within two minutes of seeing me in the morning, they go crazy.  BUT.  They are cute.  :)

They came to us as Buttercup and Lily, but Andrea wanted to rename them Truck and Bob.  I have no idea why, but the kids compromised.  Sierra fought to keep Buttercup Buttercup and Lily became LilyTruck because when there is food in the case she will run over everything, including Buttercup, to get it; you know, like a truck.

Since they are IN the family now, we took them on vacation ...all the way to Canada.  We set up a little corral for them when we stopped for lunch and they munched on grass and the lettuce from our cheeseburgers.  Needless to say we got some looks from people.  :) Once we had them set up behind a McDonalds in order to avoid the looks, but then a tour bus pulled up and next thing we knew people were taking pictures with our pets.  Someone asked me, in broken English, if they were rabbits.  :)  We let the kids from the bus pet them for a bit ...then we packed Buttercup and LilyTruck up and went on our way.  :)  They were surprisingly good little travelers!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

12 Year Old Bear

Sierra is 12!


 A Bear cake for my Bear.  Eww....  :)

Sierra was really excited to have her actual birthday in Canada this year.  Usually we are back in Germany because school starts so early there.  This year it worked out perfect or did it work out "perfectly".  mUm?  :)  We don't know many people in New Hampshire yet so we cashed in on the "instant party" that all the Canada family getting together creates.

Sierra's birthday day wishes were specific.  :)

First off was breakfast at Angels.  It's a diner with not so good food, but it has really yummy milkshakes ...or so I'm told.  :)  We picked up some cousins and wallah...  party!  We even made the waitress put a candle in her breakfast. 

After breakfast we spent some time at the before mentioned "cousins house".  They live on a real farm.  90 acres with donkeys, cows, and CHICKENS!!!  Here are some fresh eggs Sierra gathered.  :)  So cute!  The chickens, however, are not cute... they are ugly as sin.  Oh well.  My sister in law did get me a "How to Raise Chickens" book so I might just try it next year.  Getting eggs in the morning was super cute!

After a short stop at their house I took the girls shopping at the mall.  It was a free for all at the mall, which really meant two hours in Claires (a jewelry shop for kids), and multiple grab bags from another Claire like store.  The girls had fun shopping though and it was cute to watch them browse for hours like good women should.

After shopping we went back to the birthday hotel for swimming.  :)  Eventually every cousin ended up at the hotel!!  YAY!  I thought the cottage was crowded with 12 kids and 6 adults.  Room 170 was even more crowded!  This particular hotel has a huge courtyard with air hockey and pool tables and a few video games.  Our hotel room opens right into the big area so it's perfect for a party ...plenty of room.  Except for tonight when they had a big teachers convention and we couldn't use the area.  Pizza was eaten the room by 12 children  and I wasn't surprised when I found pepperoni in my bed at the end of the night.  :)

For the most part Sierra got some small presents and CASH.  :)  She has been saving for an iPad and she actually had enough to buy one!  She is a happy kid.

I made everyone take this picture for Paul's parents.  Who else has a picture of all of their 12 grandchildren on one hotel bed!  :)

Have fun being 12 Bear!  I love you!!

Scotty is **7**

Look who is 7!  Guess it's a new tradition to have a pancake in the shape of your new age.  :)

...and yes, the new seven year old is drinking a coke with his pancake.  I'm not sure how drinking coke became so important to him, but for whatever reason Scotty has been talking about Coke for months now so he was promised a Coke on his birthday ...and it was his idea to have it as soon as he woke up.  Pancakes and Coke.  Yum.  :)

Scotty's only other request was to go on a "fast" boat ride in Papa's speed boat so while I made countless seven pancakes in an attempt to make the perfect 7 pancake, Scotty zoomed around at the front of the boat enjoying his first day of being seven!  

To celebrate the rest of Buggy's birthday we drove to the Holiday Inn where we have stayed every year ...just so he could swim in the indoor pool and play air hockey.  :)  He swam around for a couple hours and then we went to have dinner with Paul's friend ...which was cute, because it was a friend Paul has had since he was born so I'm sure this friend was at Paul's seventh birthday party.  :)   After dinner we went back to the hotel and had some more air hockey fun.  :)  

We actually had a birthday party for Scotty AND Sierra the weekend before when ALL the cousins were up at the cottage.  Any family event in Canada is a ready made party with kids everywhere!  :)  This trip Scotty bonded with Paul's sisters kids who LOVE minecraft as much as he does.  Hence the minecraft cake...  :)  Scotty LOVES this game.  I don't really get the point, but apparently the zombies come out at night to get you, but they are square-ish zombies so they aren't scary... you defend yourself from the zombies and...  I don't really know, you also grow watermellon and bamboo to make things with on a crafting table ...which you also make.   HA!  I don't think there is a point.  :)   BUT he loves it and tells anyone who will listen ALL about it...  :)  

Scotty informed me that the creeper (green rectangle man) should have had feet.  Yes, Scott....  next time I will put feet on the creeper.

Hey Brett.  Scotty loved the legos you sent him!  I think when we get together next time we should have a HUGE MEGA party for EVERYONE's missed birthdays...  xoxo  Miss you guys!!!

Scotty would have loved to have spent his birthday with his Germany friends and it makes me feel terrible, but all in all, Scotty had a fun day and didn't dwell on what his birthday would have been in Germany.

I did.  :(   Holidays were hard in Europe because I missed my family, but now the events we would normally spend with friends ...like birthdays and ummm... regular ole' weekends.   Those are the hard times now.  I miss my friends.  Europe can still get torn down to make way for another America, but I just want my friends!!  Waaaa!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The last four year old!

My little Poozie is four.  She is the last of the kids to turn four.  There will be no more children turning four.  Four little years of Poozle.  It's been fun AND amusing to say the least.  :)

This was the first year she has had her birthday in the United States.  :(   I guess because out of those four years she has only lived in the United States for five months.  I wish I could have invited all her friends to a big party like we would have done in Germany.  I miss them and I know she does too.  Anyways...  before I cry, let's get back to the benefits of America.

Chuck E Cheese.  Dairy Queen.  Online Target shopping.  Chocolate Lucky Charms.

We went to Chuck E Cheese with our NH friends and then out for ice cream at Dairy Queen afterwards.  Andrea had a really fun time and she was so happy it was REALLY her birthday.  She's pretty good at declaring random days her birthday and demanding presents; so this time we had fun celebrating her REAL birthday.  :)

Here is her Kirby cake.  She LOVES Kirby.  It's all she wants to do ...play Kirby on the Wii.  :)  ...and after the Kitty Cake Disaster last year there was some concern before we cut Kirby.  She told us that, "when we eat Kirby I will cry".  Great.  We talked her though it and promised a picture so she can look at him forever. In the end it was a happy event.  No tears were shed in the eating of Kirby.

Special thanks to Michaela for the consultation on the appearance of Kirby.  Her "constructive criticism" was kinda helpful.  :)

...but not really.  :)


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