Saturday, March 17, 2012


I committed to it, trained and did it! Next goal: half marathon in 2 weeks. For that one, I might just need some oxygen and a defibrillator. It's been a hard one to train for (tomorrow is an 11 miler...ugh!) But the best feeling is getting congratulatory hugs from H, O and Mark afterwards!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Japan

Perhaps it is time to update a bit?

Yes, we made it to Japan, albeit without a headache. But, like childbirth, you forget all the bad and move on.

We found a house surprisingly quick. It took us 3 months in Germany. Here, just about a week, thanks to our friend from Germany! Moved in to said house. All pictures not hung up (damn cement walls). Boys started school....they love it. Mark got a fabulous job. I am teaching.

We have been to so many beaches and love that, especially now in November! Last weekend we were at one all by ourselves. Gorgeous turquoise, fairly warm water. See below:

We had so many firsts in the few months we have been here as well. In the first week we were here we had our first typhoon. Soooo happy that we were in a friend's house and not a hotel. We were in lockdown for over 2 days. No leaving the house. Imagine doing that in a hotel room. Yikes! Thanks to J&J we had all amenities, games and space to get away from each other if need be. (And we needed be!) We also had our first earthquake just a week or so ago. I was teaching and felt a bit shaky. It started by feeling like someone was sitting next to you on the couch and shaking their leg. Then, it got bigger. I watched some glass wobble on a shelf in my room. Nothing fell, but it was something! By the time I figured out what was going on, it was over. 6.8 magnitude just a hundred miles off our western coast. Check that off the list.

Despite all these things going on, and life rolling along, the honeymoon period is over and I really miss Europe. We are not traveling for Thanksgiving. It seems as though most people don't. It is so unlike the mass exodus from Germany. We really didn't do enough research to find out where to go. Not to mention, the few times I did look, flight durations were so long, we would have spent most of the time flying! It's not just the traveling that is bringing me down. There's a whole post for that! But, my folks are coming for Christmas, which will be great. The rest of the year should fly by and we will be back home for the summer soon enough. I am not wishing time away, but I am excited to get back. It took us such a long time to find close friends in Germany. It is hard coming here and trying to find our niche. It's lonely. We'll see where this path takes us. Right now, we are just so fortunate to be blessed with family, friends, health and great jobs.

So, to all...a very happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for you to be in our lives.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Adventure

Disappointingly, our time in Europe is coming to an end. We were so sure we were going to head back to the States. Not so. I put my name in for a transfer just to see what would happen. I knew I would get a job, it was just a question of where. We wanted to stay in Europe. I knew I should just play the lottery; I'd have a better chance of winning big than getting our top choices. We wouldn't consider mainland Japan, Korea or any job that was teaching middle school or high school. (Too much time to devote after teaching littles for so long.) As it turns out, we were offered one of the last choices on our list, but one that we would consider. I thought to myself, if Mark gets a job...then we go. Two phone calls later on Mark's part, job offer. So, we are heading to.....

Okinawa, Japan

A small island south west of mainland Japan. Tropical year round. Beaches. Great place for families. Every one we have spoken with loved it, so we figured...why not have a go at it.

There are so many pluses. We get to go home every summer on someone elses dime. Boys are at a great age to see the sights before we hit middle and high school schedules. Love the idea of a small community. Great school. If we don't like it, we can always walk away after a year, but at least we said we tried it.

Fingers crossed. There are lots of hoops to jump through. Any snags, we always have the States. But for now, we are plugging ahead.

Konnichiwa Japan, Sayonara Deutschland!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sun to Snow

In December, we were here....
(and we thought it was crazy before the riots!)

January, were went here....

The possibility of leaving Europe is looming ahead. We have some big decisions to make as a family. I am such a waffler- I hate decision making!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Week 26...I've lost Count!

I am so behind on posting projects. It seems like I am always working on something, but can't seem to get the camera out and snap a few shots. I have a list of things that I need to take photos of. Anyway, here is a tutorial for a bag organizer. The handbag that I have now is really deep and I am always searching for something. I tried one of these a while ago, but didn't seem to get it right. I tried again after getting frustrated trying to find my wallet!

Fairly simple project:

So, I started by folding my fabric so it had a 2 folds; one taller at the back, and a shorter one in the front. This is all one piece of fabric, just kind of accordion folded.

Then, I cut the material and took the long piece from the back of the folds and brought it to the front, so it was inside out. Sewed around the edge, leaving an opening to turn. Turned right way, ironed, top stitched.

Lastly, I sewed pockets to hold all the gear in my purse: phone, wallet, pens, card holder.

And that fabric? Ancient! But this was the mock up. Since it worked, I can pull out some decent stuff. Then again...who sees the inside of your purse and 90's fabric?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Losing Weight with a Lisp

I got fitted for my mouth guard yesterday. This might be the best way to drop a few pounds. And I talk funny.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summer in Norway

This year, our summer vacation took us to Norway. Mark really wanted to see the fjords. I, not knowing what to expect, was along for the ride. It wasn't high on my to see list. We started out of Dover, England, which was like a coming home for us. And we did cross on the ferry. Something I said I would never do again. I really didn't remember Dover being so depressed. It is such a run down town. We took the boys to see the white cliffs, shopped at Tesco, and had a great steak and ale pie. So, it wasn't all bad. Then, we boarded our ship, and headed for Norway. Here are some pictures of the trip. The weather did not cooperate. We left 90 degree weather, only to vacation in dreary, drizzly weather. But the sights were spectacular.....

This was in Molde; it was our 12 year anniversary and we hiked up this mountain. (I think that's the ship in the background.) When we honeymooned in Tahiti, we biked around the island and I complained the entire time. Not much has changed in 12 years.

Taken from the train up a fjord in Flam. The train kept breaking down, so we went up 3/4 of the way, then came back down. It was just fine with us. They refunded our ticket money (did I mention everything in Norway is really, really expensive?) and there wasn't anything to see at the top. The greatest part were sights on the way up.

Geirganger. Pretty breathtaking, huh?

In front of the Oslo Opera House.

The boys on the white cliffs of Dover.