Saturday, July 17, 2010

Popo's Welcome

Well, she is here!!!

Popo arrived safely to Frankfurt yesterday morning. Her plane was delayed by about an hour and a half, but when she came off the plane....I could not stop smiling! We took her to the German lunch spot on Ramstein and she had her first Jager Schnitzel...and she likeys!

And the look on Teage's face when she walked in with me to pick him up was PRICELESS. I am so happy she is here and can have this time with the kids. It was SO due for our Family and I know we are all going to benefit from a little Popo presence :o) Today, we are off to the indoor flea market, Heidelberg, and topped off with a margarita/party lite party...let the fun continue!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm Published...Well, Kinda!

I was sitting on my computer finishing up my softball blog post...when George walked in and said..."You got a package from Blurb!"

I sprung form my chair and quickly ran to the kitchen yielding a razor sharp...key, and tore open the box. My first ever Ok, so it's not a novel, or a self-help book, or a even a cookbook....but it is my writing.

Behold, my first Book of Blog!!

I finally started my annual blog book collection and seeing the finished product almost brought me to tears. I started blogging on a friend's suggestion. I've never considered myself a writer...after all, I was never a fan of the subject English in school nor any of its counterparts. But, I do have a wit about me and have a pretty sharp tongue. I love to say what I think and tell a story...or ten :o) So as soon as I started to blog, I knew it was going to be something I would do forever.

I think these yearbooks will be a great way for my family to stay connected to the people we love not only now, but for many years to come...even centuries. I want my great, great, grandchildren to be able to connect no matter what year it is. Call it a paper built time capsule, if you will. I am already working on 2009....and will continue to do so as the years go on.

So if ever you make your way to visit our home or that of my kids or their kids, feel free to peruse the blog book...there's some funny shit in there :o)

As always...thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

All Star Softball...Ends With a Bang!

Most of you know that softball has consumed most of our summer in one way or another. While I love watching the people I love play...this last expedition proved to be the "icing" that capped off this softball cake. The regional tournament was held in Cairo Montenotte, Italy this year. It was about a nine hour drive (a hot, yet beautiful drive). We ventured south through Germany, into Switzerland (my fave new place) and across the north side of Italy to reach the west coast district of Savona. We stayed at Villa Eugenia (a B&B) tucked away in a mountain and was hellatious to drive to, but it couldn't have been more perfect. Simona (the house mother), welcomed us right away with hugs, food (gotta love an Italian woman that wants to feed you), and a tour all while holding Teage's hand. She was one of the nicest people we had encountered in a long time and will definitely be staying there if we go back next year.

The softball. Saige was so excited to be on this adventure and we were equally happy for her. She has only been playing softball competitively since we moved here (sorry, but the youth sports teams in Okinawa, was NOT real softball). We were expecting a lot out of this league and tournament for her as an experience. I think the excitement was so overwhelming for all the girls that it rattled the team a bit...and we lost our first game. The nervousness had to have been strong...I was nervous for them! But, the main objective was to have fun and play ball. Those two things should have been all that mattered...and Saige ran with it.

Speaking of Saige...we have gone through a lot with her with this whole "growing up/becoming a teenager" thing. There have been personal tests, bad decisions, good choices, hard work, wavering independence, and strong personality lessons that have been learned/taught in the past couple years. No child is going to go through life knowing all the right moves...but, I am a firm believer that if you raise your kids to have manners, a level head, a fun & loving spirit, and responsibility than you have tackled half the battles. Saige has made a few mistakes in her journey to become a young lady, but more than those mistakes she always manages to show me what she has carried with her all along...humility and a truly, caring heart. This week was no exception. The girls were compacted into 2-man rooms on a baseball camp compound over the course of six days while we were in Italy. Can you imagine 13 teenage girls hugged up in one small space with 100 degree weather? This was a recipe for bad mojo. By day three, there were girls calling each other out on their mistakes in the game, name calling, whining, meltdowns, cliques, and even cursing. I don't know exactly all that went down (since the girls were not staying with their parents), but, what I do know is that I was not worried about Saige. My baby is a leader...thick-skinned and is also genuinely NICE! I was proud she didn't get involved into being catty and instead tried to dodge the drama and make people feel better. She is not perfect, but she is who she is....and I have always known how incredible she is in her heart. (sniff sniff, LOL)

Besides all the drama that I wished had never happened with the girls....they played as best they could and I couldn't have asked for more than that. They did not advance to the World Series, but they are champs in my book. They went there with only one game played under their belt and about three weeks of practice. They did their best and that is what mattered.

I want to say a big thank you to the coaches that stepped up and VOLUNTEERED their time and their wallets to make this happen for Saige & the rest of he girls. Without them they would have never made it to Italy in the first place. Coaching is a tough job all around...dealing with young girls' hearts and attitude, in-the-mix parents, out-of-the-mix parents, dealing with other coaches, gathering information, fronting the costs when others can't...the list goes on. While everyone has their way of coaching (aka-"I would have done this..."), it's always easier to holla from the sidelines. I appreciate them for giving the kids the time and for caring.

I think that pretty much sums up my take on the past week's events. The moral of this story is..."With great commitment comes great achievement!" I think Saige achieved a lot over this past year in softball and I look forward to seeing her grow in play for years to come....

Some pics of our time there...

Thanks for joining us in the journey...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fam Bam 4th Festivities

I say 4th, but it was really a celebration on the 3rd for us. Our first 4th of July in Germany can be summed up in two words....heated and LONG! We started out with sprucing things up around the house for the BBQ, took a few 4th Family photos,

then we headed out to the Freedom Fest (which is only a couple blocks from my house...SCORE on that). Saige and her softball team were in charge of working the Dunk Tank for a Little League Fundraiser. It was frickin' HOT!! Hot not only for Germany's standards, but it was flirting with Okinawa/FL hot! But seriously, I think when people sweat like this they ARE actually melting!

The Dunk Tank was fun and I even tried to pay somebody to get me in that thing ...but only the coaches were getting dunked.

testing out the ammunition

Coach Kent in the tank...

Surrounding the area was the children's section...bounce houses, duck pond games, face painting, over-sized sumo wrestling, and an inflatable boxing ring. There was even the occasional superhero roaming around. The boys went to town...

Shrek looks like Zombie Shrek...but Teage didn't seem to mind.

Punch-Out Time!


After we left the fest, we went back home and I started grilling (again, how hard is it for a certain cubexican to grill up some burgers and chicken? ...all the days perpetrating). Rhea and the kids were in tow along with a friend of hers, my new friend, Brooke and her hubby came and then some other people I didn't really know too well. Needless to say, it is challenging to keep everyone in sync and happy when there are blind dates (guests) in the mix...especially when kids are involved. But, I was on a mission to have a good time, and I did.

Singstar is always doing everybody right...they were totally singing Britney Spears' "Toxic"

After the YUMMY eats and pool time (both water and table), we ventured back to the fest to check out the kid's rides and watch the fireworks. It turned into a gorgeous night and finally things started to cool down.

Next week we are headed to Italy for Saige's Regional tournament (they play Italy and Poland) and if they win, they represent Europe and move to the World Series in August held in Kirkland, Washington. They are a really great team and have the potential to go super far...can't wait to see my girlie kick some Italian and Polish booty!

Until next time....HAPPY 4TH PEEPS!!!