Sunday, December 29, 2013

a quick V I S I T from our KS friends

We were so excited to start December off with a quick visit from our Kansas friends {and neighbors} Steve and Tammy.
Oh, we have missed them!

We have really missed living across the street from such wonderful neighbors.
We loved watching as they worked on projects together as we worked on our own projects.

We really just want to be like them when we grow up.
Funny thing is how much Jim and Steve are alike.
Almost identical in a lot of ways.

Unable to get any time off work, our weekend together was quick but still wonderful.
We started off meeting them in Rothenburg ob der Tauber for the Christmas market and nightwatchman tour- a very cool way to learn a little bit about this walled city.

It was the first and only snow we have seen this winter and SUPER cold. We think they brought a little Kansas wind with them... brrr.

It was so nice to see them. I think we are even more homesick now.
Our countdown to get back to Kansas continues...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

an A B U N D A N C E of home

It has been an abundant two weeks for us.
Every part of the definition is applicable.

a·bun·dance  (-bndns)n.
1. A great or plentiful amount.
2. Fullness to overflowing
3. Affluence; wealth.
To have an abundance of something is to have more than you need. 
Abundance is the opposite of scarcity. 
{plenty, heap, bounty, exuberance, profusion, plethora, affluence, fullness, opulence, plentitude, fruitfulness, copiousness, ampleness, cornucopia, plenteousness, plentifulness}

An abundance of noise. 
An abundance of laundry. 
An abundance of food. 
An abundance of dishes.
An abundance of messes. 
An abundance of wrestling. 
An abundance of brotherly love.
An abundance of craziness.
An abundance of happiness. 
An abundance of home. 
Justin asked that we not plan any trips over the Christmas break.
He wanted to be home. He wanted to chill. 
It has been just that and could not have been much more perfect. 
Working out {for the boys}, eating, movies and time together.

We were reminded again {click here for my post from last Christmas} with a visit from our Oma across the street how blessed we are. She reminded me again that I have everything. 
She does not want to come in past the front door.
She won't come for a meal as I have invited her many, many times.
She does not want to be a burden. 
She also lights up seeing her boys and her dog.
We broke the news to her that this is our last German Christmas, our time overseas is winding down. She looked at us with disbelief and tears filled up in her eyes. 

I told her I will write to her. She does not know it yet, but I will keep true to my word.

Yes, we have an abundance.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

no longer a T E E N

We are elated to have our big guy home from college for not only the Christmas break, but his birthday today!
This mama bear is so happy to have all of her cubs in the den for at least a few weeks.

He went straight from the Frankfurt airport to have lunch with Coleman at school, then to make gingerbread houses with Caden and I at the elementary school.

After school, he managed to take the littles to the pool to swim while Ty was on lifeguard duty.

While watching a movie last night, he said, "I'm going to fall asleep in two minutes."
I think he made it another thirty seconds.

You know your kid is getting older when he puts a crock pot on his Christmas list.

Today, he turned twenty.

It is steak and salmon on the grill with cheesecake for his birthday cake.

I think at this point for him, it does not matter what is on the grill.
He is just excited to grill with his dad. I can hardly believe it.
In October, when Ty and I left Justin in Kansas to fly back to Germany I held it together pretty well. The good-byes are always the hardest for this mama.

He hugged me and held me for a minute and reminded me that he would be home soon enough.

He then came over to the car {by this point, I had started crying}and reminded me that he was going to bring a scholarship home with him.

He is going to be a bear.

Last week, he gave his verbal commitment to play D1 football at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas.

Just six hours from Kansas City, the location is close to several bases. We hope to get close to him as we move the end of summer.

Two weeks ago, they flew him to Arkansas for an official visit- putting him up in a Marriott for the night as they showed him around.

Last week as he called the head coach to commit, we got to watch and listen to the excitement on both ends of the phone.

His new head coach said to Justin, "So, you want to be a bear? That is awesome. You just made my day, big guy."

Justin could not stop smiling.

He loved it.

Chick-fil-a in the cafeteria.
Cleats and even practice cleats paid are provided along with practice clothing.
Football laundry will all be done for him, with clean clothes hanging in his locker.
Full-ride scholarship.

It is pure joy as a mom to watch your kids work so hard through the highs and the lows of life to reach their goals.

It is going to be another exciting year for Justin.
We can't wait to watch it unfold.

Right now, he is already at the gym starting his new UCA workout.