The One with 3 Weeks in Germany

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We've been here for 3 weeks now! The furthest we've been was one day two weeks ago we borrowed someone's car and we drove 20km to look at a house in Erbendorf that we turned down cuz it was too far and the floor plan was not ideal for a family with babies.
We were going to rent a car last weekend, but it was going to cost a loooot of dinero, so we're just going to be patient. Snicker.
To say I'm going a bit stir-crazy is the understatement of the century. 
The Grafenwoehr base is HUGE and full of fields and forests and lakes and streams and training areas and it's mostly just land. The actual town of Grafenwoehr is very small and very far away to walk to on foot. So I've walked in a half mile radius to the grocery store, to the PX (like a Walmart), the cafeteria, and the post office more times than I can count. I could probably walk to those places with my eyes closed, backwards, in a storm. Or something. 
The good news is I tracked our car and instead of saying "on the ocean liner" like it has been for the past month it's now in Germany!
I googled the port it's at and it's about 5 hours away so hopefully within the next few days, or at least by August 5th when it's "due" to be here, we'll have our car! Then believe you me, WE'RE BUSTING OUT OF THIS PRISON CELL!
I really can't complain though. Our hotel room is nice. I'm sure apartments in New York are just as big, if not smaller. It has air conditioning which has been a welcome blessing in the 100-degree weather we've had lately. I thought this place was supposed to be cold-as-? There's a cute little fridge and a cute tiny sink and a cute little dishwasher. Hey, if I say it's cute, that makes it all-good right?
Again, I'm just going crazy because I'm spending my life in a 10 foot square area when I know what's out there just a few hour's drive away!
That is my lifelong lesson. 
I digress. 
So we go to church in a building that apparently used to be a bar back in the day and apparently when Elvis Presley was stationed in Grafenwoehr he would sing at the bar/now our church building! I want to do a separate post with pics of the church and pics of Elvis Presley from when he was here. I'm not an Elvis fan, per se, but I do know that he's a huge icon and a BFD. 
Speaking of church, not last Sunday but the Sunday before was our first time going to our new ward. It's about 95% military families and 5% local Germans. So everyone speaks English except during Relief Society the sister who gave the lesson spoke in German and the sister beside her translated it into English! It was so cool and authentic!
 Also within walking distance is the USO (United Service Organizations - a nonprofit organization that provides programs, services and live entertainment to United States troops and their families.) They have a nook with lots of toys and any toys that aren't their own will entertain Fox and Jane for hours so we've spent a few afternoons there. They play, I read, win win! Here's sweet Janey "reading a book" which is when I decided to get her books for her birthday. 
Just another day at the hotel! I love this picture of Chris holding our kids. And Fox and Jane playing together - a rare and precious moment!
This is the back of our hotel. I spy Fox pulling along his little wooden car. He knows the ins and outs of this hotel. He pushes all the right elevator buttons and knows exactly where to go to get to our room. He calls it home. Hopefully not for too much longer, but it probably will be :)
I know we're not in Paris where the best crepes on earth are made (in my humble opinion) but just being in a foreign country automatically makes crepes taste 10x better than in the US, haha. I'll take mine with nutella and powdered sugar please - thank you!
Last night I took myself to see a movie for the first time in the theater that's right across the street - how convenient! It's the biggest movie theater I've ever been in, aside from IMAX movie theaters. I guess they also use it for big meetings because I see soldiers pouring out of the doors several times a week. I saw The Conjuring. All. By. Myself. Yes, I had nightmares. But I do LOVE a good scary movie!  
This is the face Fox makes when I say, "Say cheese!" Reminds of the FRIENDS episode The One with the Engagement Picture when Chandler can't smile.

And then I put some gel in his hair and gave him a "Jef with one 'F'" do:

Foxy Fox :)

So even if our car had come, I wouldn't have been able to drive it because I didn't have my driver's license! I haven't taken a test since 2009 when I got my California driver's license. And before that it must have been 2005 or 2006. I've pretty much lost all my studying skillz since college because I just haven't needed them! Chris emailed me the European study guide and a link to 13 videos and all day yesterday I studied studied studied.
This morning I took the bus for the first time a half hour away to another base called Vilseck. 
Riding the bus. 
You definitely can't tell in this photo, but a couple nights ago there was a crazy lightning/thunder/windstorm and I guess strong wind must be rare in this neck of the woods because literally half of the trees have fallen down! Poor trees!
I got off the bus in Vilseck and made my way to the driver's education building or whatever it's called.
We were inundated with information and rules and regulations for two hours then the tests were handed out. There were 100 questions and we could only miss 15. 
I passed! And, better yet, I got a better score than Chris :) Boo yah!
I needed to make the 11:45 bus or I'd have to wait until the 1:15 bus. Luckily fate smiled down upon me and I got my test scored and my temporary license issued with 5 minutes to spare. I booked it to the bus stop with enough time to snap a photo for this here blog.
Driving back to Graf.
Anyway. That's a hodgepodge of what's been going on lately!

The One with July 2013 American Crafts Layouts

Monday, July 29, 2013

Just a quick update on our sitch: The good news is our stuff has arrived - including my scrapbooking supplies!! All 7 crates that were shipped from South Pasadena, CA in May have arrived in Grafenwoehr, Germany!! Now we just need a house to put all the stuff away in... I've been using the same stuff since May to create things. I need some new material :)
In any case, here are the layouts I made for American Crafts (which includes the American Crafts-owned brands Crate Paper, Pebbles, Studio Calico, Project Life, and now just announced - Imaginisce!):

Journaling says: You're finally crawling! You've got two bottom teeth and one upper tooth. You're always into mischief! Love you!

How to: Trim concentric hearts from patterned paper and cardstock and layer them in like colors in a grid pattern across a woodgrain paper layout background. Add four wallet-sized photos over the hearts. Stamp the date on one of the photos and write journaling on one of the hearts. Attach a fabric brad through three of the hearts to embellish. Back one of the hearts with half of a doily then create the title on top using chipboard numbers and a hand cut word. 

Supplies: Cardstock, chipboard numbers, date stamp, pen, adhesive: American Crafts; Patterned paper, fabric brads: Crate Paper; Doily: Wilton; Ink: StazOn

Journaling says: Fox, do you want chicken? No. Candy. Just candy. 
You come by it honestly, I too would rather have candy for all my meals instead of real food. But, you're daddy is a dentist and says it's bad for your teeth. And the doctor would be mad at me :)

How to: Create a diamond template from cardstock then use it to cut diamonds from every paper in The Pier 6x6 patterned paper pad by Crate Paper as well as from three photos. Crinkle the paper diamonds to distress them. Arrange the diamonds across the top half of a ledger paper background. Embellish the diamonds with chipboard shapes, stickers, a button, die cuts, and more. Add a caption with mini alphabet stickers then stamp the date below on a tab sticker. Write journaling on the bottom left edge with a white pen the drop white spray mist across the layout.

Supplies: Patterned paper, chipboard (geotags, token), fabric brad, die cuts (heart, number): Crate Paper; Button: Pebbles; Stickers: Crate Paper (tab, words), Kaisercraft (mini alphabet); Spray mist: Studio Calico; Date stamp, adhesive: American Crafts; Ink: StazOn; Pen: Uniball Signo
Until next month!

The One with Jane at 1 Year

Sunday, July 28, 2013

1 year ago today my water broke and about an hour later Jane was born - we almost didn't make it to the hospital in time! 
(If you like birth stories, like I do for some reason, you can read all about it HERE.) She came in a hurry and hasn't stopped being a busy-body since. 
Here are her done-at-home hotel stats (that I'm just making up because she has her 1 year well-baby check up on August 6th): 

 Length: 29" (75-90%) 
 Weight: 20 pounds 2 ounces (50-75%) 
 Head circumference: 18.25" (90-95%)

Here is a collage from her monthly photoshoots (that I'm gonna miss doing!):

I know I'm super biased, but dang I think she's pretty!

Janey is just a ball of fun. Always happy. Always smiley. Like she has been since day 1.
Most of the time Fox bugs Jane and we have to put him on timeout a dozen times a day for hitting her, but it seems that increasingly they're actually interacting and playing together.
 Jane would give anything to be Fox's best friend!
  She adores him so.

One afternoon Chris and I were sitting on the couch in the hotel and Jane pulled herself right up! And then she fell down :)
 I thought it was going to be MONTHS before she started walking, and it probably will be still, but it seems like every day she's getting closer and closer to standing up on her own.

She's officially got sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Who knew! I thought for sure I'd have a brown hair/brown eyed baby! She's also got her two bottom center teeth and a few more teeth up top, all on her right side - not sure where the left ones are!
 This morning she was up and at 'em at 6am - ready to open her presents!
 Fox wanted in on the action so we ripped through her presents - mostly books because she LOVES "reading" - in 10 seconds flat.
 Before church I did her monthly photoshoot.

She loves to clap and high five.
Recently we taught her how to give kisses and it's hilarious, she does a little puff of air on my mouth and then shoots backwards as fast as she can.
 After church we ate lunch, sang her HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and then gave her a cupcake!

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves because they're epic.

We love our Jane. 

She brings us so much happiness and joy! Happy 1st Jane!
Paige Taylor Evans © // Quinn Creatives DESIGN