Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006

I love this picture. It's so "Christmas" to me...so tired...so excited...

The kids had so much fun with their presents, but Henry was the best. He got this Buzz Lightyear gun thing that shoots and has loud noises and lights (thanks Dave). He laid it down at one point and a few minutes later said, “Hey, where’s my killing thing?” Later Phil secretly put tape over the speaker to mute the noise, but Henry noticed and said, “Daddy, I can’t hear it.” He found the source of the problem and promptly removed it. So, I couldn't get a picture of him looking at me without him also shooting me.

Henry loved his new Shake and Go racetrack

Addy is so excited that she got the new Emily American Girl doll

As soon as she opened Emily she started reading the book that came with her! She still had most of her gifts still unopened, but she was into the book.

Kate loved her Care Bear and her new doll pram

Can you say "geek"?

Viewmasters were a big hit with Henry and Kate

Everyone loved Henry's toy

Henry's Gun

This gun and a holster and cowboy hat were in the church lost and found box for quite some time, so we took it for Henry. He is so incredibly thrilled with it; he slept with it for the first three nights.

Notice the chocolate face? Can you tell it's pre-Christmas? We're on a permanent sugar-high around here...

I must add that when Henry was under two, he started "shooting" us with his finger. We really have no idea where he even saw the concept. He loved that game and we realized then that he would play guns no matter if we "allowed" it or not. So, instead of making it a novelty, we've never made a big deal about it. So, for now it's a fun thing, but we aren't turning him into a "mindless killing machine." When he is older, Phil will talk to him about gun safety and take him target shooting to teach him respect for a gun. Just in case you're wondering...

Monday, December 18, 2006


So, I found this stuff on someone else's blog. I had some extra time today...obviously. Anyway, I love surveys, even if they aren't accurate!

I agree with this one...

You Are 4% Nerdy

You are definitely not nerdy - in fact, you probably don't know any nerds.
You probably care a little too much about your image. No one will know if you secretly watch Star Trek reruns!

Agree with this one...
You Are 59% Perfectionist

No one would call you a perfectionist, but you definitely have a side of you that strives to be perfect.
Try to see your mistakes as learning experiences, and don't be so hard on yourself when you screw up!


You Are 70% "Average American"

You are average because you wouldn't pay to go in space.

You are not average since you've known your best friend for less than ten years.

Totally proud to be an American, but this survey stinks...

You Are 73% American

Most times you are proud to be an American.
Though sometimes the good ole US of A makes you cringe
Still, you know there's no place better suited to be your home.
You love your freedom and no one's going to take it away from you!


Your Dominant Thinking Style: Modifying

Super logical and rational, you consider every fact available to you.
You don't make rash decisions and are rarely moved by emotion.

You prefer what's known and proven - to the new and untested.
You tend to ground those around you and add stability.

I have no idea what this means or even what the questions were asking, but it made me laugh!


They call you sticky fingers for a reason!

Sounds good, but not sure if it's all true...

Your Element Is Water

A bit of a contradiction, you can seem both lighthearted and serious.
That's because you're good at going with the flow - but you also are deep.

Highly intuitive, you tune in to people's emotions and moods easily.
You are able to tap into deep emotional connections and connect with others.

You prefer a smooth, harmonious life - but you can navigate your way around waves.
You have a knack for getting people to get along and making life a little more peaceful.

Okay true, but I'm an unwavering Christian!
You are a Believer

You believe in God and your chosen religion.
Whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu..
Your convictions are strong and unwavering.
You think your religion is the one true way, for everyone.

Christmas Decorations

Here's a view into our house at Christmastime

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Neurology Appointment

I went to the doctor yesterday and everyone is so caring to want to know how it went, so I thought I would post the details here.

I'm on the same medication...yes...still on steroids. The doctor said he was going to take me off the steroids yesterday, but since I had more symptoms on my trip to the States, he said the disease is lurking and it would be foolish to decrease any dosage. Oh well, at this point I don't get my hopes too high. Some day I will be off the steroids!

I told him about the numbness I have been experiencing in my right toes (all, except the large toe) and so he had me do some physical tests, which were fine and then he sent me for an electroneurography. Basically, it tests your nerve strength and tests to see how fast the response time. If you've ever had the test, it feels like you're having needles driven into your skin over and over....

Anyway, all tests came back perfectly normal, but you can't test the most distal nerves, which are the ones affected. So, I'm going to wait and see what happens. I have no other concerning symptoms, so he hopes that it just mysteriously goes away just as it came.

The good news is that I only have to get my blood tests done once a month now! This is a huge relief after getting it done weekly for two months and before that every two weeks since July. It looks as though my body is tolerating the immune suppression medication well, other than the hair loss. He said that might start to get better in another month or so...let's hope I still have some left by then!

Other than that, life around here has been busy with Christmas preparations. Since we were in the States for nearly the whole month of November, I'm behind. Everything will be late this year, but that's not the point of Christmas anyway.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Canary Islands

We realized, with this last trip to the States, that trips over a long distance and time are not compatible with my Myasthenia Gravis. So, we made a hard decision not to go on the Stampin' Up Panama Canal cruise this spring.

Our plan had been to fly from here to Oregon to leave the kids with my parents (and siblings) and then fly to Florida to catch the cruise ship, back to Oregon, back to Germany, all over a three week span. It would have been very fun, but grueling.

So, I started researching where we could go for a relaxing, family vacation around here. I finally found the Canary Islands! Yesterday we booked the tour and we are going May 7-14! We will be going to the island of Fuerteventura, which has the best beaches. I'm very excited for the trip. We hope to make this a tradition every year: to have a relaxing, family vacation. Of course, it probably won't be this exotic and extravagant again, but I'm sure it will be fun, just the same.

Stampin' Up is giving me a cash prize instead of the cruise, which is helping to make this possible. Thanks Stampin' Up! :)

Dave and the Gingerbread House

Meet Dave...he looks nice, right?

Think again! Dave knows I HATE making gingerbread houses. The first gingerbread house I ever made was at Dave and Bev's house when Addy was a baby. I went over there, Bev made the gingerbread pieces from scratch, baked them and then we tried to assemble the houses. What a nightmare! The pieces wouldn't stay in place and I declared then and there that I hate gingerbread houses!

Anyway...so the next year I decide to get one with pre-fit pieces in a kit and it still was a nightmare, so I said...NEVER AGAIN!!!

Well, Dave thinks those statements are funny so the next year I receive a pre fabricated kit in the mail from Dave, so I had to make it...you guessed it...I still HATE building gingerbread houses. The frosting never works right, it makes a big mess and I totally lose the holiday spirit!

So, years have passed and I've successfully forgotten about my past hatred of gingerbread houses until this year...we receive a care package in the mail from Dave and Bev with lots of fun things...including a gingerbread house kit! Of course, the tag on it says "to Phil and Henry." Yeah, right...

I decided yesterday...how hard can this really be? I'm a pro at frosting and crafts, so what's the big deal? I built it with the kids and after we got the candy on the roof, it started slipping, so I'm holding it together while the kids are trying to hold the candy on and meanwhile trying to (and succeeding) stuff as much candy into their mouths....and all the while I'm saying, "I HATE GINGERBREAD HOUSES!!!" Kate then says, "um, Mommy...the side is falling in." I had to take the whole thing apart and start over. Anyway, the finished product looks all right, as long as you don't look at the left side, it's sort of caving in. (No, that's not the side Kate noticed; I fixed that side.) sigh.

By the way, who wants to eat candy that's been sitting out for a month and covered in rock-hard frosting? Oh yeah, MY kids do!

Did I mention I hate gingerbread houses?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Nest

We found this nest on the inside of our shed. Phil was cleaning and putting summer toys away and came across it. He figures that the bird made the nest and laid the eggs. Then, when the warmer weather hit and we started going in and out of the shed and were in the yard, the bird abandoned the nest. The girls were so sad for the bird and it's unborn babies.


Thanksgiving was so peaceful this year. We were joined by our new pastor and his wife and a lady from church whose husband is TDY. First, we read the Thanksgiving story, which we read every year and then we journaled the things we were thankful for, which is another Thanksgiving tradition for our family. Some of the things we are thankful for: family, friends, our American heritage, God’s love, health and freedom.

We were still jet lagged, a bit and Henry kept saying, “I’m tidod (tired).” Finally around 6pm, he crawled up on Phil’s lap and fell asleep. What a sweet end to the day. God’s love is so amazing.

Kate's Friend Party

The butterfly party!

Kate and all her friends

She couldn't blow her candles out...she's NOT her mother's daughter!

Kate's Family Birthday

We celebrated Kate's fifth birthday in Virginia with family so they could actually SEE her open her presents from them. Can you tell she was excited?

Cute cousins!

Henry loved Maui, who he called, "Owie."

Kate and HER new bud, Aunt Sue

Grampy and Grammy, who Henry calls Grandpa and GrandPA.