Thursday, October 31, 2013

eight is G R E A T for C A D E N

Caden turned eight last week.
I went to have lunch with him on his birthday and overheard this conversation {out of the blue} between Caden and his buddy.

Caden: "What's your favorite college football team, Dominic?"
Dominic: "I don't know..."
Caden: "No, really- just pick one."
Dominic: "OK, Florida."
Caden: "Do you know any players on Florida's team?"
Dominic: "No."
Caden: "You don't know any and it's your favorite team?"

He was being a little pushy... I felt the need to insert myself into the conversation.

So, I asked Caden to tell me his favorite team and name some players. I should have known his answer, but instead it caught me off guard.

Caden: "Highland Scotties is definitely my favorite team and I know Justin Dickey, {and a few other players he rattled off}..."

The boy loves his brother.
His friend stood no chance.

Imagine the surprise on his face when he received his birthday package from Justin.
Justin bought a football and took it on the bus on his last road trip so his team could sign it for Caden.
A football signed by his very favorite football team.
Wow. I think he slept with it for the first few days.

The rest of his birthday was low-key but nice as well.
Bowling with the family, cheesecake, Hawaiian haystacks.
He also loves his new Chargers hoody from his Aunt Starr and Uncle Mac and the cards/money from Granny, G'pa & G'ma and Grandma and Grandma Dickey. So much love. 
Our baby is growing up.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

saw a G U M expert

I started substitute teaching again last week.
I really enjoy teaching- the kids are great, our school is the best and the flexibility is perfect.

As a sub, sometimes you know in advance when you are needed to fill in for a teacher.

From February until the end of school last year, I didn't have to wait for that call since I was a permanent sub in the same classroom.

Most of the time, that phone rings somewhere between 5:30 and 7:00am asking if I'm are available.

This morning, I did not get a call to teach.
After working the last four days, I was excited for a catch-up day.

I immediately started planning my tasks and figuring out all of the {million} things I was going to accomplish.

Blogging was where I planned to begin, just to help me wake up and get going.

Then, ten minutes after sending Coleman to the train station {with friends} for a field trip and Caden to the bus the phone rang.
It was the dental clinic and I had completely blown off an appointment that took two months to get Caden in with the pediatric dentist.

YIKES! {Not the first word that came to my mind on the phone to the tech who called...}

I told them I would be there in thirty minutes- could I please, please, please get him in. He agreed. I dressed in five minutes and raced out the door to fight the 58 school busses and 1000 kids to get to Caden before school started.

The appointment today was to fix his broken tooth and to x-ray/examine the tooth he pushed up from the slide back in July.

Instead, it was a variety of doctors pushing, tapping and poking on our sweet, brave boy.

The pediatric dentist pulled in a gum specialist {who knew there was such thing as a gum specialist?}, orthodontist and consulted with a root/endo specialist who we will see tomorrow.

Unfortunately, it is not moving down as the dentist/oral surgeon initially thought.
He might be writing a new text book for the pediatric dental profession.

The ideas of gum or bone graphs, pulling the tooth, braces, root canals and other more technical terms and procedures were mentioned from worst-case scenario to simple possibilities.
They took lots of pictures and impressions {gag} in which Caden sat like an angel not moving a muscle.
Dr. Kersey said as we left, "Caden- you're my hero. I want to be just like you when I grow up."

He is the same doctor who saw Caden straight from the pool the day he hurt it and the same doctor who consulted us when Caden fractured his jaw. He knows our little guy is tough.

For now, we'll wait to see what they want to do.
Root regeneration is a good possibility as well- before or after orthodontics, we will find out.

It's sometimes frustrating being seen on base by military doctors. I feel so grateful for this crew of doctors who have taken care and continue to take care of our little tough guy.
 As I left the clinic today {a bit rattled not knowing what is ahead}, I was more overcome with a gratitude for the competence and compassion we experienced in Dr. Kersey, Dr. Speier, the techs and others in the dental clinic here who have also given great care to our big guys.

All that after showing up late.
It was a good day to skip school, so we did.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

should be a W

It's Saturday which means it is game day!

Highland plays at home in a game that should be an easy win. These games are the ones that often stress me out the most.

Overconfidence can be such a bad thing. Hopefully, they don't have it.

Win or lose {which really better not happen} Highland made the playoffs, so their season will continue!

It's Independence (1-5, 2-6) at (4-2, 5-3) Highland.
It's an early one with kick off at 1:30 Kansas time.

Here is the link:
http://highlandcc.edu/pages/sports-live-stream

As always, technical difficulties are always a possibility. They are broadcasting from Highland. Let's hope the announcer remembered batteries for his mic this week.

It was the end of Caden's flag-football season today.
No playoffs for our little guy.
Both Jim and Caden are very happy that the next roster he is on will be tackle football.
He was not a fan of playing with those silly flags. 
I'm not sure how lucky he knows he is to have had both his daddy and big brother out on the field coaching this season.

I love my family.

Friday, October 18, 2013

I love them

Yep, I love them.
They really need this aunt to live closer to them. Plus, the cool Uncle Jim.
And, they need their cousins.
Can't wait to get my hands on them again.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

let's go with F O R T Y

My brother is an incredible guy.

He's the one who is always on the move and constantly coming up with great ideas of what to do or see next.

Ready to go most of the time with one of the quickest-thinking minds I know, it's never dull if you get lucky enough to hang out with him.

Yep, he's a thinker.
Good looking, too.

Little did he know, dinner {and a fake birthday} made it that much more fun to hang out with him on this specific night with the fam in the big city- St. Joseph, Missouri.

With Justin dying to get out of Highland at any chance he gets and Ty dying to eat at some American restaurants, Texas Roadhouse it was.

Seth was obviously set up for a birthday singing and wasn't quite able to talk his way out of it.
The server didn't want to see his ID, or listen to his pleas that he really is a June birthday.
She just wanted him front in center sitting in the saddle.
She even wished him a happy fake birthday afterwards.
It's always a good time had by all when the funny guy gets to be the center of attention.
I think we made up for missing his June birthday.

He was a good sport.
He really had no choice.
So much fun.

Here's a little clip.
It's all about family.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

RHS no. 2 S E E B E C K

Today is a special day and one that I know will be memorable.

This evening, we are retiring Josie's Ramstein High School soccer jersey and the number two- the number she wore on her back while standing out as one of the best {if not the best ever} girls soccer players in DoDDs Europe.

It's been just more than two months since a tragic car accident took her life.
This week, my friend {her mom} and the oldest of her sisters made the trip to Germany from Texas to be a part of the unveiling and presentation of her retired jersey and introduction of the Josie Seebeck Scholarship.

Her high school coach has done so much preparing to make sure everything is just right.
I know it will be beautiful.

It has been wonderful to have her mom here. To talk about life, but mostly to talk about Josie Ann- the beautiful girl who touched so many of us so deeply.

We have laughed.
We have cried.
We have talked.
We have shopped.
I have loved having her here- it has been a gift.

Not a day goes by that something big or small doesn't remind me of Josie and her zest for life.
She packed so much punch into such a short life. She continues to inspire us all.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

R E A D Y to move, missing these P E O P L E

We have been asked a lot if we miss the United States.
Three years in Germany is kind of a long time.
Jim has been back many times and has been ready to move back for a couple years.
My answer has been the same for a while.

I really love Europe. I have not felt homesick at all.
I've missed family and our close friends, but for the most part have felt fine.

The hardest part of living here now is being so far from Justin.
Putting him back on that plane after every visit is something I do not enjoy AT ALL!
We all miss him and I feel like we are missing out on a lot having an ocean between us.

I have not missed the food. German food is really, really good.
I have done fine without pay-at-the-pump gas and drive-through banking.

I've even said if Justin and Ty weren't in college, I would be fine living overseas for a few more years. I could really see living in Italy. I love that country.

Until now.

I'm ready to move back. We all are except for maybe Coleman.

Jim thinks I had maybe suppressed feelings that I really was homesick to get through our time here.

I never really felt that way, but instead have just really enjoyed traveling and have been focused on experiencing all that we can while we are in Europe.

Having a dose of family and friends for a few days reminded me of how much I really do miss living close and how far we really are over here.

We got to see my parents- it's been four years since we have seen them.

Mom flew back from Germany with Ty and I while my dad met us in Kansas so we go to enjoy time with both of them.

A lot of growth has happened in four years- look at these big boys!

We got to see my little sister and her cute family including a brand new nephew that I got to hold and kiss and love on.

I love being an aunt and Germany is way too far for any aunt or sister to live.
I don't care how cool Skype is, it's not the same.

Sisters need sisters and cousins need to know their cousins. They need to play together, to get in trouble together, to know and to love each other.
We got to see my little brother- it's been somewhere around nine {9} years since we've been together. Nine years too long for any siblings to be apart especially ones that really like hanging out.

We got to see dear friends {Deb & Brian, Regan, Jayden & the Mulvane kids Jess, Tay, Chris & Jordan} who made the trip up from Mulvane to spend extra time together.

Late-night talks until we couldn't keep our eyes open along with afternoons checking out Dollar General and counting windmills were therapy for my soul.
And, we got to spend time with Justin and Ashten. To see their rooms and what this Highland gig is all about is something I should have done last year. I feel as though Highland has come to life for me now. Until now, it's all been kind of in black and white in my mind.

As small as it is, I think the days in Highland will always be a big part of Justin's life. In spite of lots of homesickness, it has been the start of his college football days.

He may never miss the town, but I reminded him that he is making friends and memories that he will eventually treasure.
While Highland won't be the small town that we settle in, we are ready and excited to get back and pick up where we left off either in our house in Haysville or another small Kansas town.

I miss it more now than ever.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

missing our J U S T I N and G A M E day

It's Saturday- game day for Justin.

Kick off is at 7:00pm Kansas time.
Here are the links that should have the game live online:

http://www.ihigh.com/gccc/

http://www.westernkansasnews.com/kbuf/

A big part of scheduling our trip to Highland was to catch a home football game and see Justin play.

Unfortunately, he was hurt in the previous game against Hutch and not only missed a whole week of practice, but the game last Saturday as well.

While going up for a catch {ended up being 34-yard reception} the defender from Hutch ran in to him at full speed hitting knee-on-knee.

Instead of watching him play, we ended up in the doctor's office with him and the hospital getting an MRI on his knee.

As it turns out, it was just sprained so no tears or major damage which is huge. Just hearing the news that it was not any worse was a relief.
It was still nice to hang with him and watch his team pull out a big win against Coffeyville.
It is so nice to have a quarterback who can throw well and to be winning a few games.


They are shocking people all over while pulling out big wins.

When talking about what school he will move up to, he's let it be known he's really not wanting to do this rebuilding thing again if he can help it.

He's been warming up and started back at practice this week.

Hopefully, he'll get on the field today.

Today, it is Highland (3-2, 4-3) at (2-2, 4-2) #RV Garden City.

2013 JAYHAWK CONFERENCE STANDINGS
Regular Season Standings
As of Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013   1:14 PM
ConfAll Games
WLWLPSPAOADA
Butler #1441512576742.811.2
Dodge City #12415119317932.229.8
Hutchinson #RV313216413932.827.8
Highland324320119728.728.1
Garden City #RV224220412334.020.5
Coffeyville223318020230.033.7
Fort Scott151622328831.941.1
Independence0516583618.351.6
#-KJCCC Champion  **-Region VI Champion
(#) Indicates Current NJCAA/JCFootball.com Ranking

It's a huge game- they need a win to keep their hopes alive for a play-off spot.

Caden's game did not go as planned last week either- being cancelled due to the government shut down. He was more than upset being the intense little guy that he is.

No games this weekend due to the holiday. Hopefully, he will be on track next week...

Friday, October 11, 2013

T Y has his license

Jim and I were not sure how this would go. Fortunately, it turned out for the best.

We bought Ty a laptop for graduation.
He ended up returning it using the money instead for his ticket to Kansas to get his license.

It is a trade off living in Europe. Cool to see what we have seen, but not quite so cool being eighteen without a license having to have your mom or dad drop you off and pick you up at college and work.

Ty completed driver's ed in Mulvane before we moved which would waive the actual driving portion of the test. The problem is it expired last year, requiring him to take the visual, written and driving tests.

Ashten said he would have no problem. We should have listened to her because she was right.

We drove thirty minutes from our Best Western in Hiawatha to Seneca, Kansas to for him to take his test.
We could not have found a more-perfect DMV in small-town America across the street from Hardware Hank to complete this task. The ladies were fabulous, not a person in sight, the streets were quiet and best of all: he passed!

A drive around the block and he didn't even have to parallel park. Good thing since I had him looking up YouTube videos the night before to see how it is done. Yikes!

He even passed the written with a score of 100 percent.
What a relief.

Now, he can take a written test for his license here and start {legally} learning to drive.
He is one happy driver!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

chick-fil-a and N F L players

It was a quick week.
A really quick week.
Ty and I are still struggling to get back in the right time zone.

With Jim home {to be with the little guys} and mom ready to go back to Utah {after six weeks in Germany visiting}, we planned for Ty and I to fly back to the United States together with a weekend in Kansas.

I knew it would be a quick trip with just four full days to cram everything in.

The main objectives included:
- getting Ty's driver's license
- catching one of Justin's football games
- time with family
- time with friends

Fortunately, we were able to accomplish everything and more on our list while creating some pretty amazing memories on the side.

Jim has said it is way easier to get adjusted to US time, than it is to adjust back to Germany time.

He's so right.

As the first time back to the United States for Ty and I since moving to Germany {almost three years ago}, we did alright adjusting to Kansas time.

It was a ten-hour flight to Atlanta, then an hour and a half from Atlanta to Kansas City. We left Germany early in the morning and arrived in Kansas in the early evening.

It worked out well to go to bed at a normal time. I did not feel jet-lagged at all which was nice since we didn't have time to catch on sleep even if we wanted to!

Our flights went smoothly.
No lost luggage.
No delays.
All on time.

It felt strange to plug the laptop into the wall without a converter.

We were super excited for some Chick-fil-a in Atlanta.

We were more excited while waiting to board our flight to discover two NFL football players standing in front of us on the flight from Atlanta to Kansas City.

I knew they were big boys. I had to ask if they played football, then what their names were. Of course they play football.

I asked the bigger guy if I could come bother him for a picture or autograph once we got up in the air.

He graciously did both and talked to us for a while in flight.

He gave me some football advice for Justin (work on his hands, work on being physically aggressive, follow the dream), talked to us about his cousin in the Army stationed in Germany and told us his mom doesn't know football so not only does she not stress out, she doesn't watch him much.


It was a pleasant conversation with a really nice guy who happens to play football.

At the end of our conversation I said, "I'm really sorry I didn't know your name."
His response, "That's ok, it's Tyson."

Both play for the Kansas City Chiefs- Tyson Jackson {3rd overall pick in first round of the NFL draft in 2009} and Justin Houston {AFC Defensive Player of the Month- September, 2013}.

Chick-fil-a and NFL players in the same afternoon?

Welcome to America.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

our happy family with a mom that N E V E R gets caught up on her blog

It has been another insanely busy time. Nothing new.

I should probably rename our blog at this point to something like:

Our Happy Family with a mom that never gets caught up on her blog,
or
How many miles can we travel this week?
or
Forever behind always with intentions of catching up...
or
Happy but always a little busy........................

Sometimes, I would like it to slow down but for the most part, I love our life and know that I'll eventually get it documented.

Computer crashes (yes, lost everything on our PC), two months as a single mom with a hubby gone, family visiting and whirlwind trips don't help the already-ADD me to focus and catch up!

Highlights I intend to blog, but we will see how long it takes...........

*Jim is back and looks more fabulous than ever.
Oh, we missed him soooo much.

*We fit in a couple day trips and an impressive trip to Normandy (another 1000 miles in less than 3 days) with my mom.

It was time well spent and we saw things we will never ever forget.

*Ty and I just returned from a fast-paced trip to Kansas filled with Justin, family, friends, and so much fun

* Life is really, really good

This is in addition to:
*finishing Sweden
*Poland (pottery shopping in 24 hours)
* Holland (tulips)
* Mom & Marine's Visit (probably 2000 miles)

It's all in my head. I just have to get it online...