Sunday, October 31, 2010

Baby's Birthday

Every Halloween I post the same thing, I think. Halloween is second as to the importance of this day. 10-31 is BABY'S BIRTHDAY. My little Blue girl is 17 today. I remember it like it was yesterday...We went to LOOK AT new vans. Travis had seen an ad for Ford Aerostars on sale in Portland. I didn't WANT an Aerostar. I wanted a Dodge Caravan. But, I told him I would look. We drove down in our little Silver Skate (Ford Festiva) to Coliseum Ford in Portland, OR. We looked at the vans on the lot. They had a red one. Oops. sold. Then I saw a dark green one that I really liked. Sold, too. Then we spotted the most beautiful blue van. There she was. Sitting there all surrounded by the likes of Mustangs and Tauruses. We got the salesguy to get us out on a test drive. When I drove her, I KNEW 150% sure that this was MY VAN! We got back to the dealership and signed the paperwork to trade-in our sweet little Festiva (that had served us so well, but with a new baby on the way, she was just too small) for this wonderful 7-seater van. We had to rush home because we were meeting friends at our house to go trick-or-treating with all the littles. What a Homecoming for Baby. She got to meet some of our closest friends on her first day home. :)
Ever since that day, she has lived in 7 garages, traveled through 17 states, she's been peed in, spilled in, wrecked, driven up on several curbs, driven on the sand, snow, lots and lots of rain. Most of her guts are new since things have had to be replaced. She has 216,000 miles on her. She just got new Tiger Paw tires and is ready for another 75,000 miles.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Travis in Italy

Sounds like a good title to a novel, right? Well, after his adventures, he could probably write a novel, or at least tell me and I can write it on my blog! :) So, I just got off Skype with him and this is what I know....

I took him to the airport yesterday. We arrived the "mandatory" 2 hours early, got his bag checked in and walked around the airport til it was time for him to go through security. About 45 minutes before he was supposed to take off, we said our see ya laters and off he went. I left the airport and needed to stop at a store on my way home. In that time, the skies opened up and it POURED!! I kept thinking, oh, I should have stayed at the airport...there might be a delay.

After the unsuccessful shopping stop, I got home and quickly logged on to Skype and to check the status of his flight. In BIG RED LETTERS it told me that the flight had been CANCELLED! OMG! My poor husband! I tried calling AA, no answer. I rechecked his itinerary with his Mileage number and luckily it told me the new story. He was going to be going to Chicago, then to Rome. I knew he was probably NOT HAPPY at all. We had picked his flights so he wouldn't have to go west, to come back east. *this next part is from Travis* apparently, they got his baggage, he collected it, went BACK through the ticketing process (and oh, btw, they booked him on the chicago flight without telling him), BACK through security and got him on the plane. That flight was delayed about 20 minutes, but then they got off the ground.

Because of weather, and such, they had to make a HUGE circle over Ohio to delay their landing in Chicago. Instead of a pleasant 2 hour flight, it became a 3 hour flight. Not horrible, but considering he was only supposed to have a 1 hour flight to New York, that kinda stunk. Anyway, they got to Chicago and he boarded his next plane that was luckily taking off from the same terminal he landed at. That plane was delayed *this info is from Travis too* because some idiot luggage carrier ran into the side of the plane - the luggage door - and they had to make sure the door would close. After that debacle (like my big word?), they got off the ground and made the 9 hour and some minutes trip to Rome.

They landed (according the website) at 9:35 a.m. which is 3:35 a.m. here. I woke up at 4:30 and started Skype on the now "asleep" laptop. Nothin'. At about 6, I got a text from Anisa. She had gotten off of work, and had run home to take a quick nap before her Daddy got there. She got online and we talked for a bit. It was about noon there and she hadn't heard from him yet. She said she was going to get up, shower and go look for him. After about an hour, I texted her again. She still hadn't heard anything and I sent her directions to the place he is staying. That was 7:30(VA)/1:30(Italy) time. I could picture him lost, wandering around Italy, dragging his big ol' duffle bag around the cobblestone roads yelling for his baby. Possibly even crying a little, and he didn't take a pack of Kleenex, so he would have had to wipe his nose on his sleeve.

Still no word. I played on Facebook and my friend Mary Jo and I made up some of the novel I would write about his adventures (the lost, cobblestone and kleenex parts are from that).

FINALLY at about 9 (va)/3(Italy), I got a text from him. He had made it to Anisa's apartment. Safe and Sound and tired and grimey. He logged onto Skype and we talked for a little bit (that's how I got some of the adventure info). He was sitting out on her little patio outside. He said it's nice there, but different temperature. Things are shaded there, so even tho it's almost the same temp as here, it feels colder. Actually, right now, we're having a heat wave, so it IS colder there, but anyway....

Now, they are at Zeppelin, the restaurant where the team eats/works/schools. Travis is talking to the chefs, probably filling them in on every detail of his adventure so far. After the visiting, they're gonna go find the Bed & Breakfast (without the Breakfast) that he's gonna be staying at for the next couple of days, then I'm guessing he'll take a shower and a nap, maybe not in that order, but both will take place. THEN, they can go play. They eat dinner about 8, so that doesn't leave much time for too, too much, but definitely the shower and nap. :)

That's mostly what I know...most of it is what I can gather from the website info. A little bit of it was provided by Travis.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Princess lives here

Sara has been wanting this bed FOREVER! Yesterday after school, I surprised her and we went to Ikea and FINALLY got it. We brought it home and hauled it upstairs. The boxes - there were 2 of them - weighed a TON...or at least a couple hundred pounds. We put in screws, plastic hookie things, and lacy curtains for 3 hours! At last, her princess bed was ready for the Princess to sleep in. I think she got a really great night's sleep. I just wish it had magical powers to make her want to keep her room clean! oh well. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pictures this time

I just talked to Anisa! She just got back to her little Italian Home from IRELAND!!! :) She said it is SO BEAUTIFUL there. Now she wants to study abroad in Ireland. I sure hope she gets a job when she gets home so she can start saving up her money for that move! :) hahahaha Actually, I'd kinda like it if she moved to Italy or Ireland. Then we could stay with her on vacations! :)

But anyway, she had a great time. Of course, they went to the Guinness Storehouse. The taps were right there at their table, so as soon as you finish one, you can just pour another, delicious AUTHENTIC Guinness. I hope this link will work, but this was in the email she sent us from the here.. They stayed in Dublin the whole time, but made it to a little place called Howth. There is a little lighthouse there, that is her on the cliff with the lighthouse in the background. She said she literally cried because it was so gorgeous. She said stuff there didn't even look real, it was THAT beautiful. They managed to find a restaurant that turned out to be REALLY expensive. She said her dinner there was 40Euros, which is about $55.00. She said it made her sick to spend that much money, but they didn't know until it was too late. And, while in Ireland, you must eat FishNChips. She is anxious to go back and take us to the places they explored. Now, she's back to normal and work. But, she's happy to be back "home" for now.
My other preciousness is getting ready to dress up for their Halloween/last football game performance. Traditionally they perform Thriller and they dress up. We went shopping on Saturday and got her costume. She's gonna be Lady Gaga. Here is my baby beauty....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

no pictures, just words. :)

I have only talked to my Nisa in little bits lately. She's been so busy with classes and working. Most of the time I talk to her, she's getting ready for bed and can barely keep her eyes open. She told me the other day that she's come to the sad realization that she is there for school, not a vacation. But, she's still enjoying it.

Tomorrow, her and some of her new chick friends fly to Dublin. They are spending 4 days in Ireland. Well, probably closer to 3 days, since some of that time will be traveling time. Travis leaves next Wed to see the baby girl and they will try to get some Italy exploration in. Some of their goals are Venice, Pisa, Milan and Rome. She also just booked her tickets to France in Dec. She's going with a big group of people that are in the same program. It should be totally fun.

She is truly having a trip of a lifetime, even tho she is busy, I think it's so cool that she gets these experiences to make her into the person that God wants her to be.

On another note, we got little dogwood trees to replace the big bradford pears that were taken out of the side and front yards. They are pretty cute right now, and I hope they love it in our yard and grow and bloom in the spring. The process of getting them into the ground was not so nice. I hoped that we had hit a diamond mine, but it was only a boulder mine underground. We dug up so many huge rocks, and roots from the pear tree. My shoulders, arms and back are just now recovering. It took us 2 days to dig holes that were worthy of our little trees, but now they're snug in the ground ready to let their roots spread. :)

Today is an errand day. Travis has some things to pick up for work. Not sure what else today will bring but it started out terrific, and I have high hopes for a super great day. :) Oh, and btw, if you're reading this, you are probably one of my friends or a family member and I just wanted to tell you...I LOVE YOU! :) Ok, off to cut my cute husband's hair so we can get ready for our trip out. :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Italian update

Well, I talked to my girl yesterday for 2 hours. We said a whole lotta nothin', but it was fun. She showed me her scarf and leather bracelet she bought, we talked about her upcoming trip to Ireland with 4 other chicks, and how much she loves it there. We may have lost our Anisa to Italy. The good thing about that would be we would have a great place to stay! :) hahaha, nah, I'm not sure she could ever LEAVE America, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

She's been having a blast. She said most everyone on the team (25) gets along. There is always a little drama, but she pretty much stays out of it. They went to Parma and Tuscany this past weekend and went wine-tasting, cheese tasting and of course, all the eating. She said they were all homesick for their little pads in Orvieto, tho. The one thing that makes it so great there, is that it is so tiny and feels very safe. I told her, "it sounds like Cannon Beach"! :) She's been staying super busy with school and working. She doesn't like the lack of time, but has been enjoying the total experience so far. I stole some pictures from one of the guys on Facebook who has been posting lots of REALLY GREAT shots. These are some of my favorites.....

Here in VA, things are going great. Today is GORGEOUS. A high of 60 degrees and rainy! My kind of weather. I have some errands to run (fish food and coffee creamer are high on my shopping list!), then I hope to get home and quilt. I just finished the quilt below for our newest niece who is now 6 months old and I'm a loser for not doing this sooner! Oh well. :) At least I'm sending it before she graduates! I got fabrics to start another quilt for our friends' new grandson. Fabrics are all washed and ready to iron and cut and create...I just need to figure out what pattern I will do. We booked Travis' tickets to Italy the other day..he'll be there for 2 weeks. I really hope they have a great time together. This is gonna be some VALUABLE Daddy/Girl time. I'm thinking of doing something fun with Sara while he's gone...maybe a trip to NY to see my cousin! :) Dance team takes up most of her time, so we can't go far, but DT is fun, so I don't mind. :)

Speaking of Sara, I'm so proud of her. She's really putting in an effort at school this year. I thought I was gonna kill that child last year. She drove us nuts, but this year she's doing SO MUCH BETTER. She's growing up....(tear) She's been so cute while Anisa's been gone. We've gotten lots of mommy/baby talks in. Drama at school/DT, boys, shopping. I love that my baby is starting to come out of her brainless 13yr-16yr stage. :) We are having another Dance Team Lock In tomorrow night and I'm really looking forward to spending the night at the school with the kids...honestly, I love it. The Dance Team is full of awesomely cool kids. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Happens in Intercourse......

OMG, Renee, Sara Beth, Eva and I had THE.BEST.TIME.EVER!! I mean, what is a better time than 4 chicks in Amish Country stalking the ADORABLE Amish people, eating, shopping and exploring????!!! We went to little towns called Intercourse, Bird In Hand, and Paradise. Our main goal....see the Amish people and how they live. Oh, and lots and lots of fun! :)

We arrived in Lancaster County on a Sunday which we originally thought was a bad idea because everything is closed, but it ended up being a great thing. We actually found some antique shops, ice cream shop and a GOOD restraunt open. Plus, we went driving around and exploring and found a couple of covered bridges and a huge group of Amish kids playing volleyball.

We made reservations at Kitchen Kettle Village Inn in Intercourse, PA (that's just fun to say) and when we got to our room, we were SO HAPPY. It was a super, cute room with iron beds and quilts. Cute country wallpaper and just a warm room. But we were all anxious to get to sleep so we could wake up and shop and explore some more.

On Monday morning, we woke up way too early and talked, laughed, talked and laughed some more. We finally rolled out of bed to get ready for our yummy country breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, toast and potatoes. That sounds yummy, right? Well, the eggs were swimming in BUTTER, the toast had fresh homemade berry jam and the potatoes were cooked in BACON GREASE! It was fabulous!!! After we were all fueled up for the day's activities, we explored the village shops. We found our little treasures (magnets, fudge, jams, apple and pumpkin butter, whoopie pies and gifts for the kids) and headed out to see what else we could find in the County.

We stopped at a farm to try some of their homemade Root beer. We were SO THRILLED to see the precious Amish girls inside. I almost hyperventilated at the thought of actually talking to Amish people! :) Ok, I'm exaggerating, but I WAS really excited. The two girls were probably around 7 or 8 and were absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful silky blonde hair and the brightest blue eyes. They were such young ladies and great sales girls. They gave us a sample of their yummy ice cold root beer and I had to buy 4 pints along with the homemade BBQ chips. Their mom came in to help and she was the sweetest lady. We hopped into the van very happy with our find. On our way down the road, we saw a sign for Cider Donuts. Of course, we stopped and got hot donuts. Sara Beth and Renee ate theirs, but I saved mine for home.

We had to go back to the ice cream shop that we had found on Sunday to get some pretty colored popcorn, and on the way we saw a cute farm stand that we decided to stop at on the way back to the restaurant where we were planning to eat. What a treasure! We got some fresh veggies, pumpkins and gourds. The Amish lady there was so sweet and I found out about their horses (they use either Standard bred or Saddle bred horses to pull their buggies, and big draft horses for pulling carts). We left there with our little squashes and went to lunch. After that, sadly, we left Lancaster County to come back to our normal, every day lives. It was good to see our families, but a slumber party with your friends is so much FUN! :) Here are the pics.....

Sunday, October 03, 2010

We talked to Anisa!

Well, actually, we've talked to her a couple of times, but once was just this morning. :) She said she's still having a blast and loves her new found freedom. She said the whole group gets along really well. Today, they were heading out to find the supermarket. Other than that, I don't really know too much, but here are some pictures she sent to us. She's having a hard time uploading pics because of her internet connection. So, as soon as I get stuff,I'll try to post it. ;)