Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the G E M capital of Germany

About a thirty-mintue drive from our house, we decided on the spur-of-the-moment to check out the city of Idar-Oberstein.
Quicker than a day trip, we went for the afternoon. It is The German Capital of Gemstone Industry. Justin made plans to go swimming with friends, so we packed up Ty and the little guys and headed to check out this historic spot.
We made sure to stop along the way to smell the roses.

Coleman is especially in to birthstones, crystals and rocks right now, so we thought it might grab his attention.

Definitely a cool little place, we first checked out the church built in to the side of the mountain- Felsenkirche. Constructed between 1482-1484, we loved walking through it.
You have to walk through a tunnel to get to the inside of the church- kind of added to the adventure.

After a few pictures, conversing a tad in German with a little old man on the trail, and making our way through the church, we continued up the hill to the castle ruins above. A beautiful day in the upper 80's, the shade from the trees was nice along the wooded trail.
We took little rests, but they all made it to the top. What a spectacular view- worth every step of the walk up!

No one wanted to stand too close to the edge- it was that steep.
Before leaving the house, I read up {from Wikipedia} the following on the church:
According to legend, there were two noble brothers, Wyrich and Emich, who both fell in love with a beautiful girl named Bertha. The brothers lived in Castle Bosselstein, which was situated atop a 450 foot high hill. Bertha was from a noble line that occupied the nearby Lichtenburg Castle (this castle later became the site of the Nazi's Lichtenburg Concentration Camp).
Neither brother was aware of the other's feelings for Bertha. When Wyrich, the elder brother, was away on some unknown business, Emich succeeded in securing Bertha's affections and, subsequently, married her. When Emich announced the news to his brother, Wyrich's temper got the better of him. In the heat of the moment, he hurled his brother out of a window of the castle and sent him to his death on the rocks below.
Wyrich was almost immediately filled with remorse. With the counsel of a local abbot, he began a long period of penance. At this time, Bertha disappears from historical record. Many romantics feel that she died of a broken heart.

As Wyrich waited for a heavenly sign showing that he was forgiven, the abbot suggested that he build a church on the exact place where his brother died. Wyrich worked and prayed himself into exhaustion. However, the moment the church was completed, he received his sign: a miracle spring opened up in the church.

I told the boys this story while driving. It was fun to listen to them while walking around trying to figure out where they were fighting when the one brother was thrown down. So educational, I know.

Relieved to find a little gift shop at the top, we bought a bottle of water {with gas} from a sweet little German couple. Coleman even asked for it using his German. I think we're {the boys and I} are going to take some German lessons this summer {from home}. They just don't know it yet- think they'll be excited?
Of course, we had to find ice cream once we made our way back down the mountain. That's what these mini-trips are all about after all! Even on our super-tight budget at the moment, there are still a zillion things to see and do here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

happy M E M O R I A L day

Happy M E M O R I A L Day! Hopefully, your day was filled with yummy barbeque and quality family time reflecting on those serving our country.
We took another enjoyable day trip today... can't you see the excitement in Coleman's eyes? He really was thrilled! I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

she thought I was G E R M A N

What a delightful weekend, and it is only Sunday! Lately, we've been so hungry for some good fish. The boys love it all. Jim and I especially love halibut- one of the best things that comes out of Alaska in our opinion. But, fish is so expensive! I can't even justify buying the frozen itty bitty filets at the commissary.

Going on the recommendation of friends, yesterday we headed out to find a store by the name of Cora. We were told it's the place to buy fish. For us, it was an afternoon date with some much-needed time alone. We told the boys we were going shopping so of course they all opted out. The big boys agreed to hang home with the little boys without even a complaint- so nice.

Only about a thirty-minute drive from our house, we headed west and crossed over the border into France for our little shopping date. As soon as we walked in the door, we headed to the toilette to start our French experience. While in line waiting for a toilet to open up, I noticed the first stall open. I pointed to it for the lady in front of me to see if she'd take it. In marker, Enfant was written on the door, but it was empty and wide open.

She said something, then must have noticed my blank stare in spite of my friendly smile. She then said, "Deutsch?" Did she actually think I was German?
I couldn't believe it! Could I possibly blend in with these Europeans? Although sporting one of my nicer pairs, I was wearing flip flops which I hear is a dead give away of being an American girl. Seriously, almost anywhere on the economy I go, I notice the women look down at my feet- usually in disapproval. That's the only style of shoe this chicky wears nine months of the year- I can't help it.

I promptly replied, "English."

"Aah," she said as she explained the first bathroom was for children- Infants. So funny but more than that, I noticed how friendly she was. This carried on throughout the store- people were smiling, happy and so pleasant. Made for a good first impression and experience in this new country. I'm starting to think the Germans might possibly be the most serious of the Europeans. It's hard to tell if they are even happy.
On with our shopping, we loved looking around. The fresh, beautiful produce was amazing. The fish and seafood looked to have been dropped off straight from the boat.

Then, there was the bakery. 

Delicious pasteries, tortes and fruit-covered cakes. Almost too beautiful to eat, we wanted to try a bite of each.

We bought a little salmon a sample of pasteries for the boys and of course, we had to buy French bread. We were in France, of course!

In the parking lot, Jim noticed a van set up to change out tires. Who needs a building or a shop? It was a one-stop tire shop on wheels. We're still trying to figure out how to pronounce the word in blue writing on the van. Any takers?
Not even knowing a word of French, I feel a little inspired to learn a few basics. Unprepared, I didn't even know how to say thank you, or sorry, or please. I hated that. It also made me realize in spite of feeling completely inadequate, I might know a little more German than I think I do.

There's so much to learn.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

no keeping C A D E N down

As a mom, I think I know my kids pretty well. Caden woke up sick yesterday morning complaining of a sore throat. We knew immediately that he was sick. Very little can keep him down. I called {first thing} to make an appointment to get him in so I could get the meds and get it over with. I guess I didn't answer the questions correctly. Instead of just making the appointment, I was diverted to an on-the-phone nurse for a consult.

Irritating, but ok. I forced myself to stay calm, taking a few deep breaths.

After a thirty-minute question and answer session, her recommendation was some self-help care at home. Soft foods, liquids. Seriously? In my most polite {patient} tone I responded, "I'd really just prefer an appointment to get him in today. Thank you."

I thought I did quite well, but instead I pretty much set her off. She let me know that she'd have to make a note that I was refusing her advice. Not the first time.

Trying to get out the door, she said I'd have to call back and make an appointment- did I have the phone number? I did let her know yes, I had it SINCE THAT'S WHY I CALLED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Whatever. No appointment, I had to run get Coleman to his field trip.

The afternoon hit and Caden was worse. Didn't leave our bed all day is a serious sign for him something is wrong. He's definitely his daddy's boy- they don't like to sit still. I called the appointment line back and tried to get a message to the doctor. Of course, no appointments are available now. German doctors are closed down on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Why does this not surprise me?

Luckily, we've found a fantastic provider here who even knows us by name. As soon as the message got to him, he told the nurse to have us come straight in- no worries. Yikes, that was painful. I don't think I've ever had such troubles just getting a simple appointment.

Caden has strep. However now, you wouldn't know it. He even had orange juice last night. Who drinks orange juice with a sore throat? Ouch. Today, he woke up and said,"Man, I feel 100 times better. Dr. Z knew what I needed." He's already played soccer, lift weights, organized, cleaned and hasn't stopped running since he woke up. Oh, if we could all bounce back so fast. Crazy kid.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

g r a d u a t i o n & REFLECTING

One of the very hardest parts of moving was leaving our Kansas kids behind. Six months later, I still struggle to talk about it or even look at pictures of our departure without becoming extremely emotional. These kids made their way into my heart forever.

Three of these amazing girls that I love graduated last week and I couldn't be more proud of them. It's as if they're my own. All three are smart as can be, but their drive, dedication and motivation are what leave me in awe. Academics, sports, volunteering, work, play- they do it all. They are going on to do fabulous things... I can't wait to see what they accomplish next.
Reflecting on their graduation has caused me to feel a little anxiety knowing that I only have one year left until Justin graduates. Two until Ty is on his way to college. As if that's not enough to think about I've got Caden going to full-day kindergarten in the fall. My mind has been racing.

Never one to cry {not even a tear} when my boys start school, I'm wondering if I've done all I can to enjoy the time I've had with them all still in our nest. Am I going to have regrets? As their parents, have we created enough memories- fabulous memories? Hopefully, I haven't been to busy to treasure the moments along the way.

I'm down to three weeks left with only Caden at home before school gets out for summer. These are days I can't get back. Have I played enough, or been caught up with other busy work that really doesn't matter? Have I taught him enough?

Yesterday, the big boys had a super short three-hour school day. When Caden found out they would be home before lunch he said, "Ahh, that's not fair." I'm realizing more now than ever before how special this one-on-one time is with my little guy. I need to treasure it.

In bed sick with a super sore {blazing red} throat, Caden's down today. While I thought of all the things I could get done, I think I've decided to lay down and snuggle next to him instead. Along with an occasional popcycle, that's all he wants- to have his mama close. I can do this. It's a rarity to have him in one place for so long. I need to cherish it.

Luckily, I have a little time left with all four at home to enjoy. This is my focus.

Monday, May 23, 2011

u n t r u s t i n g

I heard just this weekend the opinion that Germans are so untrusting. Can't blame them really. The older generations have especially seen some horrific times. When they stare {oh, and I mean stare straight through you} I usually {now... not six months ago} wave or shout out a little Tag or Halo back to them and go on my way. No big deal but, I have been thinking of this trust, or rather lack of trust factor this weekend especially.
Then, the best thing happened. We stopped at the grocery store on our way home from track. Jim ran in to grab a couple items {the yummiest ice cream bars... fresh bread} while I waited in the car with Ty, Coleman and Caden. We try our darndest not to overwhelm them with our entire family if we can help it.

An old man pulls up to the parking space next to us and parks his nice convertible. I looked over at him and smiled, but didn't say anything. He took off his old hat and put it on the seat next to him. He then rolled up the two front windows and got out of his car. Here's the best part- he then locked his doors, then walked in to the store.

Two windows rolled up and doors locked is not going to stop anyone from getting in to his car if they want to. It's a convertible... the rest of the car is open. Silly old man. Untrusting? What was he thinking?

I'm still trying to figure this out.  I'm also still laughing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

armed forces K I D S run

What a cool event. I am realizing there is so much to tap in to and do, we just have to get out and do it. We registered Coleman and Caden for the 2011 Armed Forces Kid's Run.

Yesterday was their big half-mile run. I was shocked that there weren't more people involved in this event. It was completely free and they even got a t-shirt for running, water and a snack at the end. Why not do it? Caden was thrilled, Coleman not so much but he did it! Jim was all set to run with them, but they said they wanted to do it alone. It was great to watch them run across the finish line. With so much around us and summer ahead, I'm really focused on getting our whole family more active and eating healthier at the same time.

We are in a amazing part of the world amongst fitness-driven Europeans who are setting an outstanding example for us.

While chatting with our German neighbor {the hubby} this weekend, he told us he's preparing to go on the best vacation of the year for him. He apologized to me, then said this one is it's even better than the family vacations. With three or four other men {no women allowed} he goes on a mountain bike trek each June. Always through the Alps, I think he'll be somewhere in Austria this time around. He described the ups and downs of the mountains and said it's absolutely incredible. Sounds super tough to me.

We can't remember for sure- but are thinking he said it is somewhere in the ballpark of 1000 kilometers or 600 miles. Whatever it is, it's long. These Germans are crazy and LOVE their bikes along with the outdoors.

Of all adjectives that come to mind when I think of this culture based on our short time living here- laziness is not one I'd EVER use. They are hard-working, driven and very structured people.

Extremely inspiring for a gal who is striving to be more organized and get it together.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

second place in D I S C

Yesterday and today, we were on the road to Russelsheim- about an hour away. One of the things I really love about our boys competing in sports in the opportunity for away games and meets. It's such a great way to see and learn the area. I felt the same way in Kansas. Competing with other smaller schools, it was always a little bit of a drive. That's how I learned south central Kansas- and loved it.
Here, it's even more cool jumping on the Autobahn with long stretches without a speed limit. Beautiful scenery, new things to see and lots of old churches along the way {my favorite} it was such a pleasant day. Temperatures in the 80's with lots of sunshine made it even more delightful! I know it was hot for those amazing athletes, but getting a little sun makes me feel so much better.
We couldn't be more proud of Justin this weekend as he competed in the European Championships for track. For disc, he placed second overall {out of all DoDDS schools in Europe} and earned a silver medal.

Going in to the meet, his qualifying throw was 121 feet, 1 inch which placed him seventh out of eleven guys who qualified. The first place seed threw over 140 feet and went on to win first place this weekend. An impressive athlete, we learned he is actually going to Emporia State {KS} in the fall- small world! How crazy would it be for Justin and him to have their paths cross in the future?

Back to disc- for the first round of throwing, he threw around 118 feet or so. He was consistently throwing 130 feet this week in practice, so I was a bit stressed- knowing he was falling way short. He watched a video last week and changed up his throwing technique {adding a bigger step} which really helped add a little distance.

Yesterday, I learned that he was just holding back a little to save his energy and strength for his final throws which he did. His best throw was 128 feet, 4 inches. What a happy boy.
Another coach commented to Jim today {after he asked who our kid was} that Justin came out of no where and created a bit of an upset. Knowing the athlete from Napels {Italy} was super talented, Justin went in focused on achieving second place. I don't think he's ever been felt so satisfied even coming in second. He now has a great goal ahead of him for next year.

Today was shot put, which he didn't do quite as well. Still to qualify and compete makes us so proud. Next year, we want to see Ty qualify as well... then they can both go out there and get it.

Here's the link for DoDDS sports... http://www.stripes.com/sports/europe/dodds-europe-track-highlights-day-1-1.144038

Friday, May 20, 2011

i know i am P A T H E T I C

I know I sound pathetic. For the record, I have managed to keep things together even on my own. I have also changed up the music and have been cranking up the hip hop. Everything doesn't run quite as smoothly when Jim's gone, but we somehow manage to make it. I like to kick in to organization mode, but it just didn't happen this trip. He'll have to overlook the house and be happy with clean sheets upon his return this time.

Usually, time apart is {if nothing else} a great time for reflection and always makes me want to be a better, more dedicated wife. Again, while I do get sad I think I'm most grateful for a wonderful partner. Not just an ok marriage. Life's tough, it's nice to be in love with the one I'm with.

In spite of sounding completely depressed and worthless, here are a few of my other single mom accomplishments from the last month on my own:
- made it up on time every day with no one late to school {this is kinda BIG- I'm not a morning person}
- got garbage out every Monday... even the right can/bags
- made my bed and got dressed every day
- kept up with my running schedule {2-3 times per week}
- everyone was fed dinner every night... even if we had cereal a couple times
- little guys were put to bed every night even with stories and a kiss good night

Busy weekend here... it's a ball game for Coleman tonight and European Championships for Justin today and tomorrow. Coleman and Caden are also in a run on base tomorrow morning... Should all be great! I'm sure I'll take an abundance of photos... fun stuff.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

no more V A C A T I O N S daddy

My heart is full today, my brain mush.

I feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I have more than enough to do, I'm just struggling to get anything checked off my list. Caden and I decided to go out for lunch to try to break up the day. On the way out the door Caden said, "When daddy gets home, I'm going to tell him not to go on any more vacations." I couldn't agree more.

It doesn't help that I have a Chicago Love Songs CD in the car and have played it way too much. Caden asked me why I like it. I told him it makes me think of Daddy. Now, when he hears a line he'll repeat it back to me in the form of a question. Just a glimpse into our conversations: "Ooohhhh... no one needs you more than I really means no one needs you more than daddy, right?" or "I get it... just say you love me for the rest of your life... is the rest of you and daddy's life, right? He gets it {a little}.

With the end of this time apart in sight, I've been thinking a lot about myself and also a lot about separation. It's part of life in the military. I know this. With the jobs that Jim has been in, we just haven't had to deal with it.

Even with him being gone the last four out of five weeks, I still feel as though I have absolutely no room to complain. It's still so difficult for me.

I just wonder why I'm so weak. Why can't I be stronger? I want to be strong, I just haven't figured it out yet.

My cousin is a part of the Strykers in the Army and leaves his family for 12-18 months at a time. He's done this several times. I can't even comprehend life without my best friend for that long of a time. A friend here is in the middle of her husband being gone for a 12-month deployment. She's on her own with four boys- one a little guy. Another friend is getting ready for a five-month deployment. He goes at least once a year it seems. We routinely have friends deployed for four to six months at a time.

The most we've ever been apart has been here in Germany and it has been a short two weeks. The few trips that he's taken before here, we were able to text or call several times a day. With these last two trips, we've been able to Skype at least twice a day. Not only do I get to talk to him, I get to see him as well. I know he's safe. I get to hear him tell me he loves me every.

Caden's kept the car clean... such a daddy's little guy
How did earlier military wives do it when their husband went off to war and letter writing was their only means of communication? They likely didn't know when they would return until they would walk in the door. I have a {wonderful} husband who really does not like to write. He would definitely be in trouble.

Again, I can't imagine.

I'd like to think if and when the time comes that we have to be apart for a longer duration of time that I'll be able to step up to the plate and come through stronger in the end. For now, I feel lucky. Not just lucky that we are together most of the time.

Lucky that I know what it feels like {every minute of every day} to be so in love.
He's truly the man of my dreams.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

new S C R E E N S

I'm trying to focus on solutions rather than problems. Attempting that optimist-like perspective in hopes that it lifts me up. This week it's bugs. They're terrible and we know as it gets warmer they'll only get worse. More than once, I raved about the windows here. I still think they're fabulous, but they're missing one very important component- screens.
We're in the country, with chickens, cows, horses, fields, tons of flies and BUGS- we need screens. None of these houses {German or American rentals} have them. I just don't get it. Along with the abundance of insects, there is no air conditioning over here. Just another convenience along with ice-makers and garbage disposals that they have yet to figure out. Americans truly are spoiled. 
I discovered aphids last week on my basil plant {on our lower level}- no wonder I couldn't keep it alive. It wasn't until a few days later that I noticed aphids ALL over our bathroom window one level up.

There are no trees outside this window {actually, no trees around our house at all}, no plants in the bathroom and I have no idea why they decided to make their way in that window. That's just way too close to everything... our toothbrushes, brushes, our bedroom, our bed. Yuck.

So, Caden and I set out and bought screens. More like netting, we found them in the German store- in little boxes with tape even included. What a deal. While putting them up, it seriously felt like the most ghetto {even perhaps redneck-ish} project to date over here or even ever. Taping up screens?

I think I laughed out loud as I opened the window and saw Scotch tape holding the black rubber sealant around the inner rim of the window frame. That's not the only tape holding this house together, either.

The tape is adhesive on the back side, then little teeth on the other side. You put it up around the window, then stretch the netting up over the teeth-like edge. Done deal. You're supposed to cut off the excess netting as well. I didn't think it would make much of a difference, so it remains untrimmed.

My taped-up screens fit right in with the rest of this house.
Surprisingly, they're up on a few windows and they're actually working. Way less obvious than I expected and they are still in place. I thought for sure they would have fallen down by now.

Not one of my proudest DIY-moments, but I am excited to not have aphids.

For now, at least.

Monday, May 16, 2011

S I X month milestone

It's been just about six {6} full months now that we've lived here in Germany. Six. I can't decide if I want to say, "Wow- six months already?" or "Geez, this has been the longest six months e v e r." I met a mom this weekend who gave me some good insight. She said in figuring out how long it takes to get your feet firmly on the ground- double the amount of time a normal move takes to get settled. Makes sense. This place may be beautiful {in the Spring and Summer} but, wow- it's tough on newbies.

I feel like we might finally be getting in a groove and figuring this place out. Not without a lot of tears and growing pains. I hope one day to look back and see how much we have learned and grown personally.

It it always a little {or a lot} comforting to hear others say how hard it is to adjust here. More than anything, it helps me to not feel like I've lost my mind.

Looking back on this last six months, even if we started off slow- we have been a little busy. We haven't had our first big trip, but we have taken a handful of day trips and are excited for more. We've almost made it through the school year and a great track season. We've figured out how to pay all of our bills- might sound minor, but I'm putting it on my list so I can have one more thing to check off. While we don't completely have our bearings and still use our GPS to find places, we are slowly figuring things out.

I think more than anything, Jim's job has kept him busy. He's made two trips back to the US {Texas and Alabama} with a side-trip to Illinois. He's been to Paris once and is heading back in a few weeks. Plus, two full weeks in Croatia. That's a lot of traveling alone in six months for a guy who doesn't normally have to travel. On top of this and a few other big tasks at work, he's back in school.

He made the plunge to get going on his Master's Degree. We figured in the time we're here, it's a good time to get it wrapped up. He's enrolled in the Graduate College of the University of Oklahoma. Here, they send over professors from Oklahoma and with work assigned before the class even begins, they fit a class into one week.

One long week.

Jim finished his first class, going Monday through Friday- four hours each evening. Then, all day Saturday and Sunday along with a couple tests he completed from home. Not a fun week, but he did it... and got an A. Needless to say, I am quite proud. We always thought I'd go back for my Master's degree first. After watching him go through his class, I am a little less anxious to get started. I think I'm just fine waiting a little while longer.

One down, eleven classes to go.


What a beautiful place! Last weekend, we made a quick day trip to Trier about an hour from our house. With Justin and Tyler on a track road trip to Holland, we decided to get out and enjoy the sunshine as well. It was a much needed break and overdue relaxing time together to re-charge a little before Jim left for Croatia.

We've been a little too serious and stressed over here... trying to lighten up.

Trier is Germany's oldest town, founded by the Emporer Augustus in 16 BC. Old. As with all of these older, larger cities it's a little tricky to navigate and find parking when you don't really know where you are and where you want to be.

This time, I think we did pretty well parking in metered parking on the street right next to the Imperial Baths- where we spent most of our time.

At first, it didn't look like much to us. We paid the entrance fee {6 Euro, about $8.50} still not knowing quite what we were doing.  Cool ruins in the background, but we didn't do our research before going and weren't quite sure what we were looking at or for.

Behind us here {above} is the largest piece of the wall that is still standing, after the bombing of WWII. The actual baths are underground. They were a combination of hot, warm and cold baths and the person went from one to another. The brick work is phenomenal, especially considering the lack of tools and resources they had back then. The tunnels and turns go on and on and on- the coolest maze. Coleman and Caden had a blast!
We found it amazing how drastic the temperature drop was just going down a few steps. It easily had to be 15-20 degrees cooler underground. It made a cool place to play hide-and-go seek and fun for the little guys to run around.  
He's reminding me, "chin up..."
Very old, very cool. Even a little scary {and dark} which added to the excitement.

Down the cobblestone street a little is the oldest church in Germany- the Trier Cathedral. We didn't make it inside this time, but opted for ice cream cones instead. Always a good choice when you have tired {whining} kids cutting your trip a little shorter than planned. I guess it's all about flexibility when it comes to parenting, right?

We'll definitely be back- without little guys. Jim and I could have walked and walked {and walked} all day.

The shopping looked great- quaint specialty shops up and down the street. A beautiful vegetable stand was set up in the middle of the downtown area. There were several corner bistros with outdoor seating that looked very enticing to just sit, people watch and soak in the history all around us.

Adding to the atmosphere and mood were old ladies singing on a corner all dressed in the same {orange} dresses.

SO much fun- we loved it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

england... prom... B U S Y

Busy week, busy weekend. Friday, Ty left early for a LONG bus ride to the UK. With a track meet in England, it was about a thirteen-hour trek on the bus and the ferry each way. Overall, a good trip he said it was a lot of fun.

The team spent Friday night in lodging on base, then showered after the meet at the high school. From the locker room, they got right back on the bus for an all-night drive back. Looks a little sleepy.
While he did well in his events, his season is over. I'm proud of him for pushing through. I know he would have liked to have given up at times with the pain from his shin splints, but he toughed it out. Now, we can hopefully get him healthy and ready for football season which seems to be just around the corner.

It was crazy to think of him being so far away in a completely new country. Kind of new for me {still} to read the list of things he needed including both Euro and his passport. Last weekend, Holland. This weekend, England. Jim in Croatia. This is the adventure we're here for.

Talked in to it at the last minute, Justin decided to skip England and go to his Junior/Senior Prom instead. Not without a little drama before hand {next time, I think he'll get his shoes ready... } I think he had a great time as well.

His circle of friends went as a group- most of them buying their own ticket. One of the moms hosted a very nice dinner with all of the kids at her house before hand. With Justin and one other friend driving, they loaded up in the two vans and headed off to the dance.

I was surprised he walked in the door at 3:30 or so, super sick. He grabbed the puke bowl and headed to bed. Hopefully, he wasn't miserable the whole night and can sleep it off today. Maybe a little too much stress for my kid with a sensitive tummy.

Can't wait for him to get up to hear details.

I am very happy to have them both home. Even for just a night without my big boys- it was strange to me. As much as I sometimes I feel like I need a little space, I think like {love} the craziness of my boys all around me even better.

Now, I just need to get my husband back.
Somehow, the little guys always seem to get these big girls to play with them... Shooting hoops in their prom dresses. They miss playing football with Jess and Jordan!