Tuesday, April 21, 2015


After taking 10 flights in a one month period, I promised that flying back to the States in three years would be too soon!  I don't really feel that way, but it was good to land after our 48hrs of travel from Illinois to Rammstein, Germany.  When we got in, it took about 6'ish hours to start the "In Processing," get our luggage, and get put into groups depending on where we were going to be staying for the night.  The first group was going to stay at the hotel right across the street from the airport, (Rammstein US Air Force Base), and the second was going to be bussed 45 minutes away to a hotel just outside of Rammstein.  Guess what group we were in?  Yup, you guessed it, group two!  At first I was so tired and upset about having to wait longer to get food and sleep, that I wished we were in the first group.  But, I should know by now, that everything is not as bad as it seems.  It was a very neat hotel they put us in and we got our first taste of German food that night!  I am so proud of Tony!  He was brave and did the ordering of our food, figured out how to get Euro, helped the kids settle in, and put up with my breakdown, all with a smile even though he was just as sleep deprived as I was.  I love you Tony!  You really are my hero!

The Hotel Barbarossahof.  We stayed here our first night in Germany.  It is one main building with little suites across the street.  We were in one across the street.  Unfortunately my picture didn't turn out :(  This picture was taken the next morning.  We had a good little breakfast with the BEST kaiser rolls we've ever had!  

This is the view to the right of the first picture.  It's difficult to see, but there is moss growing on the rooftops!  Just adds to how neat this hotel was!  We want to take visitors here, we liked it so much!

This was a little Irish Pub to the left of the hotel.  We really wanted to go and investigate because the building was exactly what you see on tv.  But we thought better not with the kids ;)

Number 5 was our little haven.  We liked the arched door.  We imagined we were in the Shire.

Jann had told me that needlepoint was a very popular handicraft in Germany.  Boy, she was right!  We had two pieces of art in our room.  This one was my favorite.  It is so beautiful and exquisitely done!
 The next morning we were bussed 2.5 hours away to Ansbach.  This was also our first time on the Autobahn.  It was scary how fast the bus w/trailer would whip in and out of traffic!  But after awhile, I realized that everyone lets you in to pass and then signals when it's clear to enter the right lane again.  You do what you have to do to be fast, efficient, and safe.  No road rage!  
The countryside is beautiful!  We passed hundreds of tiny vineyards.  The tiny towns and villages are all separated by farmland.  Each village has a church with a steeple in the center.  (I wish I could find my picture.  I'll post it when I do.)

 This is our room at the Army Lodge on Shipton Army Post.  It was very cozy and had a master bedroom, a kitchenette, dinning table, and lots of warm bedding!  We were also right across the street from the Commissary and PX.  aka US military grocery store and "K-mart," but nicer.  

This was our view for the next 72 hours, straight!  It looked like this when we woke up at 7:30am,  when we opened the curtains at 12pm, and when we closed the curtains at 5pm.  Can you see the townhouses?  They are a lot closer than they look.  I wanted to live in one so that I could walk to the commissary.  We weren't even given the option.  But I'm glad we live where we do! 

We left Illinois on February 8th.  Got to Germany February 9th.  Stayed at the Barbarossahof 'til the 10th.  Rested in the Army Lodge thru the 13th.  And moved into our apartment at Katterbach Village on Friday, February 13th.  It turned out to be a pretty good friday.  Bishop Black with his two oldest daughters came to visit us Saturday evening and introduce themselves.  They brought delicious Samoas Cheesecake that a ward member makes.  By far my most favorite cheesecake now!  The bishop was at our door Sunday morning to take us to church!  It was a good weekend :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Between Time

We left O'ahu the night of January 14, 2015.  It was sunny and warm that day.  We were excited to go see family and friends in the month before Tony's report date, February 10th.  With the help of family we were able to prepare for the cold weather on the main land.  However, our time in Hawaii made us cold blooded creatures.  We were freezing!!!  Only Leilani seemed to not mind the cold.  I think it's just because she didn't know better at her young age of 2.
Flying over Chicago, IL.  On our way to Grandma Alice's in Rock Island, IL.  That's snow and ice on the "shores" of Lake Michigan!  This view is just north of the Navy Pier.

Snow, snow, and more snow at Grandma Alice's!  This was the kids first time playing in snow.  Daddy took them out and he lasted about 5 minutes.  There was a very icy breeze too.  (Yes, Leilani is wearing shorts over her leggings.  Anything to keep her warm.  Her little gloves were little help.  But she still cried when it was time to come in.)

Christmas party at Aunt Olivia and Uncle Gary's home.  Leilani loves the women in Grandma's family.  Especially when they give her yummy treats and bags full of wrapping paper!  We had such a wonderful time!

Passing time indoors with Grandma Alice.  She has super fun puzzles and books to read!  Even though we were "stuck" inside, Grandma still made it fun!  She made wonderful hot cocoa, chorizo con juevos, and so many awesome dinners!  It was a treat to be with her.

 Grandma took us to the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, IL.  IT WAS AWESOME!!!!  The kids loved it so much.  Almost every tractor is hands on.  The simulators were cool and Quentin is a natural.  We spent almost 2 hours there the day before we left for Utah.  Quinn was sooooooo sad to leave that we promised we would go again when we got back to Grandma's in 2 weeks.  He remembered that promise and held us to it.  We did go back and had a great time again!

Normal location for Leilani...on Grandma's lap.  We call her Grandma's little sidekick.

Striped down to her diaper, she is now ready to get some reading done.

On the airplane.  Quinn likes to fly.  He's a good travel companion.

Charlotte's Springtime Play.  She's a little butterfly with a pink shirt on.  She did such a good job coming out of her cocoon and flying around!

Los Hermanos, Provo, UT.  Mi niƱos love horchata just as much as I do!

You put 5 cousins together and ask them to hold still and look this way for a picture and this is what you get.  Not bad if you ask me.

At the children's discovery museum at Thanksgiving Pointe, UT.

Doing Uncle Matt's favorite thing...Shopping!  Okay, so I think he'd rather be doing just about anything but shopping.  He was a good sport.

Breakfast with good friends Vickie and Sina at The Original Pancake House in Sugar House, UT.  I love these women!   I was also able to visit my roommates Jan, Laura, and Lucinda along with many other great friends!  I am so blessed to have such wonderful women in my life!

Dinosaur Museum Thanksgiving Pointe, UT.

Saying goodbye to Aunty Ang at the airport.  Sad day.  We did so many fun things while in Utah with the Moody family.  It sure does make it difficult to be away from family for so long.  Hopefully we'll live closer after our time in Germany.

The Ice King's Ice Castle in the Dallas airport!

Playing with toys, Aunt Linda gave the kids, while waiting at the Baltimore airport before we fly to Rammstein, Germany.
We had such a wonderful time visiting family and friends!  We can't wait for the next time we see you again, we love you!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Family Photos at Waimea Valley

Our friend Annette Bley is a BYUH photography student and in our ward. She was so kind to spend a few hours with us trying to get Quentin and Leilani to co-operate. It was no easy feat! I really think they like to make picture taking as difficult for the photographer as possible! Annette was a trooper and so pleasant to work with. Mahalo Annette!

Waimea Valley is on the way to North Shore. If you turn off Kamehameha Highway to the east, you go to the valley. If you turn to the west, you go to the beautiful beach. There is a HUGE rock people will jump off if the waves are not too big. At the end of the 3/4 mile walk through verdant botanical gardens, you reach a waterfall. Depending on the season, you can swim in the pool at the base of the falls. Waimea Valley is a place we liked to take visitors. There are so many picturesque views along the path.

(Some of the photos are doubles because of color or black and white. They are both too adorable to choose one over the other!)

Aren't those dirty feet adorable!?!

Captured Quentin being Quentin. So sweet!