Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Been Too Long

Wow it has been forever since I have written on here. My niece scolded me earlier today so I thought I would at least put something down. I am sure everyone knows Brian is gone for his four month deployment. It is always so hard to say goodbye. Before he left we tried to make the most of what time we had left. I booked an amzaing room at a hotel right next to the biggest amusement park in Germany. We were able to walk right into the park from the hotel. We stayed and rode rides for about 5 hours the first day and then went back to the hotel to swim in the pool. The boys had so much fun and I would love to go again.

After getting back from Europa Park Brian was driving the boys to school and Evan won tickets to another amusement park on the radio. That meant more rollercoasters. We only spent the day at Holiday Park and it was smokin' hot but we still had fun. After all that it was just driving back and forth to the airbase to see if they would release any seats for Brian to fly out. Friday he will have been gone two weeks.

This last week a very dear friend that I have had for 12+ years flew in from Italy with her boys for a visit. It has been a fabulous time. I always enjoy visiting with her and our kids are all around the same age and get along famously. Sadly they leave on Sunday, but then I only have til Tuesday when I fly to the states for 8 weeks. I decided I did not want to do another summer in Germany without Brian so I am going to stay with family. I am going to spend one month with my parents in Oregon and then one month in Fresno and Coalinga with my sister and Brian's family. I am really looking forward to it. I am just ready to be done with the whole long flight with 2 boys and 2 dogs!!!

Well it is very late and I need to get some sleep. I will try to add some pictures on here soon, I promise! Night all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Latest In My Life

It seems like forever since I have posted on here. You have probably almost written me off. Planning for my trip took up more of my time than I thought. I flew into Las Vegas on Wednesday, a day before anyone else arrived. Thursday morning I took the opportunity while I was still alone to get a hot stone massage and facial. I have had a few hot stone massages before, but this one was WAY better. It was 70 minutes of pure heaven which is kinda fitting since the price was astronomical, but worth every penny!! The facial was a complete waste of money.

Thursday afternoon my sister and her family arrived. I shared a room with my niece and her beautiful baby girl. Our room was attached to my sister and brother in law. I was so blessed to have all this quality time with my family. To be able to share all the intimate details of the wedding was beyond wonderful. Truthfully Las Vegas I could take it or leave it. I am not a gambler and granted I did not explore the city at all, but the time with my family was so precious I would not have changed a thing.

Friday the rest of my family arrived, along with everyone else who would be attending the wedding. We had a nice dinner that night. Everyone who came in for the wedding with the exception of my other sister and her husband. It was a fabulous evening of eating and drinking. I love it when my all my family gets together. We always have a great time. It was pretty funny actually. The brides family was at one end of the table and the grooms was at the other. Let me tell you the brides end was a lot louder than the grooms with all our laughter.

Saturday, my sister, my two nieces and myself went to get our hair done. I was supposed to get just a shampoo and blow dry. When I got in the chair the lady said your should have your hair cut "this way". It was what I asked my normal beautician to do but she would not cut off that much, so I had her cut it. While she was cutting she said you should let me do you makeup. I said sure. Then when she started my makeup she said she did not like my eyebrows and I let her shape them as well. The hair cut sucked big time and I of course regret it. Fortunately I am not one of those people who obsess over their hair. It always grows back. I was supposed to be at the salon to take pictures of my nieces while they got pampered. I did finish in enough time to get quite a few good pics.

The wedding was so beautiful. My niece was a vision and the groom was incredibly handsome. A side note on the groom: I had never met him before and I really liked him. He seems like a very sweet and patient guy and I think the two of them will be very happy. The ceremony was short but perfect. The chapel was very nice and looked incredible.

Sunday was a day of rest. My sister and niece finally got to relax and let their hair down. We had a great Mother's Day breakfast with my whole family before my brother and his wife flew out. That evening my parents, my niece and her new hubby and my other niece and myself went to a dinner show "Tournament of Kings" I have to say that was toward the top of my list of highlights. The show was very entertaining and the food was good. I wish the boys would have been there. They would have been in awe.

My flights both ways were uneventful and although very long, my seats were good and I was not uncomfortable the whole way. I left Las Vegas at 10:30am Monday morning (Vegas time) and arrived home 10:30am Tuesday morning (Germany time). It was 15 hours of travel time. I am finally over my jet lag. My house is clean and my bags are all unpacked. I do have some laundry to do still but all in all it is back to life as usual. Brian is supposed to be on a plane in 9 days and I am not looking forward to it. Truthfully I think I am in denial. I think I have rambled on long enough. I guess that is enough for now. Til next time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nothing Special

Things around here have been pretty uneventful. The boys were out of school Friday. That evening we got a sitter and went out to dinner with a group of friends. We went to a Brazilian steakhouse. It was different. There really is no menu, just for drinks. There was a small salad bar and you were given unlimited fries. Throughout the evening they bring you grilled meat on a sword and serve it to each person. There was chicken, different cuts of beef, pork and veal. I liked the chicken the best. You can eat as much as you like and you can request any of the meats over again. We asked for the chicken a second time. I was completely stuffed. Needless to say I gained 2lbs.

Saturday Brian worked and then that evening we went to see Fast and Furious. It was pretty good and the boys loved it. Sunday was a day of work. Brian got the boys downstairs and had them clean their rooms and the playroom. He also had them vacuum the hallway downstairs. Brian then began to put together the desks we bought for each of the boys. Of course he opened up the first box and it was broken. We have to go exchange it on Tuesday. Luckily none of the other boxes were damaged. So E has a new desk in his room and he seems to like it. He actually did his homework downstairs last night. While the men were downstairs cleaning and working I was upsairs slaving away. I came to realize something, I really, really, really HATE housework. Now I know why I had a cleaning lady. Why did I fire her again? The sad thing is all I cleaned was the four bathrooms, the living room, dining room and kitchen. I did not touch any of the 6 bedrooms. It still took me hours!! I can hear all of you now, "you poor thing" I know I am such a baby!

Today I picked up the boys from school and when I got A home I took his temperature and it was over 100. He said he was not feeling well, but I was not sure if he was faking or not. I guess not! So no school for him tomorrow. I am on the countdown til my Vegas trip. I fly out in 16 days!! I am so excited! That's it for now. Til next time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh what a week, and it's only Wednesday!!

This week so far has been hectic and by far the worst for allerigies. We purchased new couches last month and had them delivered on Tuesday. I just couldn't stand the dog pee smell anymore. We shampooed the carpet at least once a month and I washed all the couch cushions regularly but still the smell was there. We found out that the post housing was having a bulk trash day on Tuesday so Brian and I packed up the old couches and rug and drove them into Wiesbaden. It only took two trips, I was amazed!! The new couches are leather and we are not putting down another rug so I hope the dogs behave themselves. Since spring has sprung we have had no accidents in the house at all. It seems the dogs don't mind going out when the sun is shining, go figure. We are trying to keep the dogs off the new furniture, but we will see how long that lasts. I got up this morning to Cricket and Piper all snug on a blanket on the couch! Bella was in bed with me, of course. There are still a few things I want to get to finish off the living room. I want to get the coordinating pillows for the quilts I have on the back of the couches and mathcing valances for the big window. They even have a dog bed that matches!

Brian's allergies have hit an all time high. Yesterday he drove the boys to school and then couldn't leave the parking lot at A's school cause he could not open one eye and barely could see out of the other. He made it to the clinic where they turned him away because they had no appointments. Luckily I had a call in to have a Dr. call me to get more refill on my meds. When they called Brian was home and was able to get the meds he needed as well. I pray they help him. My allergies were worse yesterday also. I was having problems breathing. When I woke up this morning my chest hurt and I have a horrible headache.

Tomorrow I go back to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned. The tooth he filled last time is still super sensitive so I don't know what he will or even can do about it. I have to go in the morning then I have to drive back after school to take the boys. A had misplaced his retainer about a week after he got it. We searched high and low and just when I was ready to call the dentist to let him know, A found it in a pocket in is backpack. I looked through his backpack but I swear those things have at least 20 pockets!! I guess I better get off my butt and get this day started. Til next time.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another Year Older

Today is my birthday. Wow, 36 years old. I am officially closer the 40 than 30. I remember 26 being a hard birthday for me. Thinking that 30 was right around the corner. I do not feel that way this year. Brian had to work today until about 1pm. I decided I wanted to go to Ramstein (a town about an hour away) to eat at Chili's. Unfortunately the dinner left much to be desired, but all was not lost. After we ate I suggested we head over to the PX to look for some shorts for Brian. His were getting way too worn and even had holes in some of them. I walked upstairs to look at the clothes and was VERY pleasantly surprised by a big display of Vera Bradley purses. They have never sold them here before and I love VB bags!! I bought two large bags that will work for my Vegas trip. They are big enough to use as a purse and still hold my camera and extra lenses or whatever.

Poor Brian has horrible allergies this season. His eyes are always bothering him, he has sinus pressure and even has to get up in the middle of the night to use his inhaler. After all this you would think he would go to the doctor, but not Brian. I think he likes to suffer.

Monday the boys are back in school. I have to say it was a nice week. Just kinda a lazy, relaxed week. I enjoyed it and would not mind one more!! But I guess it is back to normal life. You know TKD, dentist appointments and who knows what else.

I took this picture of me earlier this week. My camera has a remote control and I was trying to learn how to use it. It really is amazing what you can learn just by reading the manual!! Anyway it is me al natual. No makeup, blemishes and crows feet out there for all to see. I came to a realization this week. It is something that many people have told me and I knew it was true but I actually saw it this week. I do not lose weight if I don't drink water!! How simple is that? You 'd think I would be gulping it down by the gallon. Well I am now!! My weight loss completely stopped and I actually kept going up and down within a 2-3 pound range. Now that I started my water again I am back at my 9 pound mark and hope to add to that this coming week. That is about it for now. I am going to watch some TV with the guys. Til next time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Our Many Adventures

We have had some interesting adventures to say the least with our new found hobby. Sunday we went out geo caching near Brian's work. It is out near many orchards and back roads so we thought it would be a great place. We parked in the small parking lot at Brian's work and got the boys' bikes off the car. They rode around while we got the coordinates in the GPS and got the dogs ready. In this short time E took a horrible spill on his bike. We are not quite sure how it happened but he went over the top of his bike and has road rash on both arms and legs, a bruise on his chest and his helmet was broken in the front. I am such a believer in bike helmets now. If he was not wearing one I don't even want to imagine what would have happened!! We figured our day of fun was over before it started. We put the dogs back in the car and packed the bikes back up and decided to try to find at least one in the car. We ended up finding two and E was out there looking by the second one.

Monday Brian got off work early and wanted to go back out again and find another cache. We decided to head in another direction from our town and he found one that he said would be good. We took the dogs but thought we would leave the bikes at home for this one. It said that the last 100 meters were uphill. Yeah, right!!! The whole stinking thing was uphill! It ended up being about a mile and the incline just kept increasing the entire way. I was so exhausted. Luckily Brian thought to bring his walking sticks. He took one and I took one and they really helped! Once we got to the top the view was pretty good. You could see Frankfurt, but unfortunatly it was pretty hazing out. A was the one to find the cache this time, much to his brother's dismay.

Tonight I decided I wanted to go out to dinner. Brian agreed as long as we went to find a cache on the way. Can you say addiction!! Sure enough he found one online and we went looking for it. We looked for about 30 minutes in the general location and didn't see it. Finally I checked my Iphone for a hint and there was one in german. After a quick translation on my phone we found out that it was hidden in the wall. That was all it took for A and he found it in a matter of seconds.

This is the last week of my photography class. My assignment was on composition. We learned about different rules you should follow to make a photo more appealing. I used A as my subject again. The first photo of the collage is what I submitted for my class but I liked all three so much I wanted to put them on here. I guess that is enough for now. Til next time.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

We're Hooked

Today we strapped the bike rack to the car and went and bought the boys new bikes. After telling them that this was their one and only Easter present and having a talk with them and answering a million questions they finally got the point. We got the bikes on the bike rack and went to find our first cache. Brian and the boys are definitely hooked. We put the coordinates in the GPS and it said it was 1.4 kilometers away. I was thinking okay that is do-able. We started walking with the dogs and the boys were riding their bikes. Then when we reached the 1.4 km mark it said to turn and it was going to be another 1.6 km. This went on for over an hour. I could have killed Brian. It must have been at least 3 miles one way! We could have parked the car, oh about 500 feet from where the cache was but noooooo, that would take all the fun out of it! I was exhausted. We did find it though and that was great. The boys were so excited. We are going back out tomorrow to look for more. The weather was absolutely perfect. It was in the high 60s with a little over cast. There was a nice breeze every now and then. We couldn't have asked for anything better. The dogs had a great time as well. They are getting really good at walking on their leashes. That is all for now. I better get some rest for tomorrow's excursion!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Trying Something New

The boys are out of school Friday. All the teachers have an in service day to do grades. That just means one more day of Spring Break. I was kinda surprised to find out that the boys have TKD all next week though. Oh well, Brian has to work all week, so it was not like we were not going to be around. So here is my dilemma. Both boys need a new bike. I want to get them one for Easter, but I also want them to be able to enjoy them all this week since the weather is supposed to be nice. E's bike is completely trashed. The brakes are broke. I am considering blowing this lid off of the big bunny (and all other mythical characters) and giving the bikes to them as an early gift. E is going to be 12 this month and A will be 10 in August. I knew the truth WAY earlier than them. I just don't know though. Brian and I are still debating it.

We are going to try something new this weekend, geo caching. You are given lat. and long. coordinates and you go find them and there is a little container there that the boys can take out an item and replace it with their own. There are some sites very close to us. We are going to find one that allows dogs and try it out. Should be interesting. The website I was on ranks the sites for how difficult it is to find the item and how difficult the hike is. We are going to do an easy one first! If all else fails I should get some good outdoor pictures.

I went to the dentist today. I had a cavity just like I had suspected. He filled it and rescheduled my cleaning appointment. I really hate going to the dentist!! Hopefully now that I am off the sugar my teeth will not suffer as much.

This is a short one. I have to get to bed. Night!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My To Do List

When did I get so lazy? I know, I know, I have always been lazy. Why haven't I realized it earlier? Today I have a pretty full day and the thought of all I have to do just makes me tired. What would I do if I actually had to get up and go to work? How does Brian do it? He gets the kids ready and takes them to school, then goes to work and then after that comes home and helps me with whatever I need. He truly is a saint. Today I had to get up and take the boys to school because Brian is working a double. When I got home I cleaned the living room and dining room. I was really sick yesterday and spent most of the day in bed so I felt like I needed to make up for it. I still need to clean the kitchen and my bedroom. Then I need to get dressed and get the boys from school. After that I have to take the boys to get haircuts, check the mail and get them to Tae Kwon Do. While they are at TKD I have to go to the commissary and then hit the food court to get dinner. I can't believe that I feel overwhelmed. I know people who accomplish twice this much on a daily basis. The funny part is now that I am up and active I seem to have more energy than if I stayed in bed til 10.

I lost another pound today. YEA!!! That is 9 pounds so far. I am definitely guilty of pride right now. Spring has finally sprung and things are looking up! We are at day 3 of sunshine here in Germany and let me tell you what a power boost it gives you. Still cool, in the high 50's but I will take it. Brian got home from work last night and told the boys they were going to go exercise. They put up such a fight until they realized he wanted to play basketball. It was great to hear all the laughter and see them having a great time and exercising at the same time.

I know my blog must be extremely boring to most of you reading this. I have to say writing all this mundane daily stuff has helped me tremendously. I can't wait until a year from now and I look back on this and hopefully I have made even more changes in my life for the better. Well I better go get that kitchen cleaned. Til next time.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Today I wanted to cheat. Not really bad, but enough. I hung tough and resisted the urge to eat unhealthy. I was at the commissary and I started making excuses in my mind on why I deserved to get a candy bar. I have been coming down sick since Friday. Just a cold and if I keep medicated I seem to keep it at bay. I have just been off I guess you could say. I lost 8 pounds so far, but then on any given day I may gain one and then I will lose it again. I added up the calories I usually eat in a day. I though I was barely making 1000 and found out it was more in the ballpark of 1400. I am soooo cutting out those little peanut butter to go cups. I was eating one of those with an apple or celery but that little cup is almost 400 calories!!! I have not been doing a good job with my water intake either. I still haven't started exercising. I know this will help me so much but I have not had the motivation to start it yet.

My patience is running on empty when it comes to my older child. He is so disrespectful at times I just want to scream. I just don't get it. I would have NEVER spoke to my parents the way he speaks to us, sometimes on a daily basis. And don't even get me started on how he acts with his brother! I wonder if they will ever be friends. I know I fought with my sisters but I also liked them. I just don't know if they even like each other.

My photography assignment this week was about lighting. She wanted us to take a picture indoors without using a flash. This isn't a problem for me since in Germany latley it has been raining and yucky so I have had plenty of practice with this. I decided to bother the dogs this time and got a good one of Piper.

Okay so this was a total gripe session. Sorry. Sometimes you just have to get it out. Well the little angels go to bed in an hour, so there is a silver lining. Tomorrow is another day and I pray it will be a better day. Til next time.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Fest

Our little village had a Spring Fest today. They blocked off the main street and set up all kinds of booths selling everything from food to clothes to cars. We walked down and got all the way to the end of town with beautiful weather. I was starting to think I brought too heavy of a jacket. Then we had to walk back...the sky turned gray and the rain started. We had promised the boys we would stop and eat on the way back so that meant standing under a canopy and eating our bratwurst. Brian asked me how come all the pictures I seem to take of us is when we are eating? I guess that is just what we do best. We took the hounds with us and they did so well with the crowds of people. Cricket was getting tired so E decided she could ride in the sling on the way back home.

The boys have 4 days of school this week and then they are off for Spring Break. Let's hope that Spring arrives before this happens. I am hoping to take the boys swimming during our break. Maybe I can get A going off the highdive!!
Well it is a lazy Sunday so I am going to lie here and watch Brian play Mario Cart. Til next time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Snow

I am sitting in my bed, drinking my coffee and watching it snow. It is Spring, right? I guess Germany did not get the memo. We have not even sprung forward yet so maybe that decides when Spring actually begins? I do not know. One thing I do know is I can't wait for sunshine and warmer weather. This has been one long cold winter!!

I think I finally came to a decision on my dairy intake. I know you are all waiting with baited breath to hear more about my food drama. I do not think I will cut dairy out completely. I really like be able to throw a cup of egg beaters in a pan for breakfast. I also don't want to give up my yogurt all together either. So I will be very selective. I am not sure when I had meat last but I do not seem to miss it. Last night I made pork chops for the guys and I don't know if it was the marinade I used but they smelled bad to me! I know I am really harping on my eating issues but you just can't understand how incredibly pleased I am with myself for sticking with this. I have tried time and time again to eat better and failed miserably. I don't know what the difference is this time but I am happy and feeling better than I have in a long time, so I will take it!

The snow seems to be slowing. I hope the roads are clear when I go get the boys. Brian does not want me taking them to TKD tonight. He has to work late so I would be driving them home after dark. We will see when I go into town. I will take their stuff just to be safe. I better go get the laundry started. If I take a day off of laundry duty it seems to take a week to catch up!! Oh yeah, this is the picture I submitted for my Focal Point Assignment in my class. Til next time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weird Science

I think today may have been my cleaning lady's last day. I know, GASP!!! Can you believe it? After two years of not cleaning my own house I am actually considering doing it myself? The reason I got a cleaning lady in the first place was when I was PTA president for the boys' school and I was doing A LOT of volunteer hours. So truth be told I do not need her anymore. But of course that is not the reason I am letting her go. She only shows up half the time and her quality of work has really went downhill. Not to mention in 2 years she has went through 3 vacuum cleaners and broken numerous things in the house.

So what else is new and exciting in the Hosman household? It is science fair week and we have been working fast and furious to help A finish his project. It is how magnets can generate electricity. Brian and A had loads of fun making the project, although I must say I think Brian had more fun. Anything electrical always gets Brian's attention.

My photo assignment this week is on focusing. We are supposed to take a picture but not center the subject. We need to practice on placing the subject to the left or right of the frame. Sounds
easy enough, right? Well not so much when you are working with dogs!! Let me tell you those mutts would not cooperate one little bit. All they wanted to do was lick themselves and that does not make for an attractive picture.
A few weeks ago I found out my niece is getting married in Vegas and I get to go! I am so excited I can't even put it in words. I am excited about seeing ALL my family and I am excited about getting away before Brian has to do his next little "trip". I am going alone and that is so big for me because I rarely get away. I wish Brian and I could get away just the two of us. We have not taken a trip without the kids in, well forever!!! We are lucky if we can get away for a date night. But back to Vegas. I am stressin' just a bit. I want to take lots of pictures of the whole wedding day, but I do not have a good lens for low light. I want something that will be a good all around lens. I have been searching and reading everything to get many different opinions and think I may have found a good choice. It is a 28-75mm with a fixed aperture of 2.8. So basically that means it should be wide enough for larger groups (I hope) but zoom in enough for more intimate shots. The 2.8 means it should let in enough light to work in a low light setting. I am not getting it just yet since Amazon is usually super quick, I should be able to hold off and do a little more research. I guess that is enough rambling for now. I need to hit the hay.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What a Week

Boy am I exhausted!!! I spent over 3 hours outside in the glorious sunshine but not warm weather cleaning my van. I scrubbed, vacuumed, polished and washed. Seriously though, this is very sad to admit, I have had this van 9 months now and this is the first time I have washed it by hand. I clean the inside and have ran it through car washes but never done it all at once myself.

So my new eating style is going very well. Week two is coming to a close and I still have not cheated once and do not seem to have any cravings. I have cut red meat out of my diet completely and stick to chicken and fish a few nights a week. I am still struggling with the idea of cutting dairy out completely. Truthfully this would not be a bad idea since I am lactose intolerant. I take my multi vitamins daily now and added a calcium supplement so I don't think that should be a problem. I found a "butter" spread for my toast so I have that covered now. I still put creamer in my coffee but I think after I finish off my last bottle I will switch to non dairy creamer. That only leaves my yogurt which I have a cup of about every other day. Today after I came in from outside I wanted a warm lunch and had picked up some Morning Star veggie cakes in Ginger Teriyaki flavor. I was not too convinced I would like them but thought it was worth a shot. I was very pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed them very much and will definitely buy them again. Today I am trying Boca Burger veggie burgers for dinner.

Unfortunately the weight I have gained in the last couple of years is not "falling" off like I had hoped it would, but I am not discouraged. At least I know I am being more healthy and no more weight will sneak back on. I am going in the right direction finally. I have not added exercise in my daily routine yet. I kept saying once I get my eating figured out then I will worry about exercise. I guess I do not have anymore excuses!!

This week was crazy hectic. The boys had their TKD class 3 times this week. Brian and I had a pretty good routine going. I picked up the boys from school and dropped them off at his work and then he took them to class. I then would go to the commissary (if needed) and get home to make dinner and have it ready when they got home. The boys also had their dentist appointment and got their new retainers. There is no wire on the front of their teeth because they are made to push out their teeth. Both my boys need more room on top for their permanent teeth to come in. So you do not even know they have a retainer until they talk!! I also had to get the 2 Yorkies to the groomer this week by myself. That was fun, but they look so cute now and smell way better. With all this going on this week seemed to just fly by. I guess that is about it for us. Til next time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Manual Mode

This weeks assignment is tackeling the very scary Manual Mode. The instructor of this class always explains things so well. So in manual mode you decide what is more important in your picture, aperture or shutter speed. In my pictures I wanted an open aperture so I set that and looked at my meter. It said it was going to underexposed (too dark) so I had to adjust the shutter speed to a slower speed. Candice (the teacher) also gave us these really cool rulers to print out to help us. I know all of this is very boring to most of you but if I talk about it and type it here it helps me to remember it so please bear with me and just skip the boring parts!

The boys started their new Tae Kwon Do class and were much more comfortable. I like this class because it is more organized and structured. The boys talked about class almost the whole ride home and I couldn't have been more happy. E was even talking about how quickly he thought he would get his next belt. That tells me he actually sees himself doing this for a while and that is a very good thing.

Not much to report here I just wanted to put on the new pictures. Til next time.

Monday, March 16, 2009

From Good to Great

This week on Monday and Tuesday Brian is on doubles again and has to be at work at 2am. Which means is I have to get up and get the boys ready for school. Oh the humanity!! I really am spoiled.

So I am taking yet another online class on this one is on photo editing. I am learning how to use Photoshop CS4. This program is amazing. If you take a picture and you think it is pretty good after a little tweaking with Photoshop that picture will be great!

I got the boys in the other Tae Kwon Do class. This means they will go Mon, Wed & Fri from 5-6. This is really going to be a pain for homework and dinnertime but we will adjust. If the boys feel more comfortable and like it more it will all be worth it. My only worry is that they really don't like Tae Kwon Do at all and this is only making them go one more day a week. Which in turn will be one more day I have to hear them complain about it. If it is just the fact that they are being lazy and don't want to do it, then they will just have to suck it up. I know I am such a nice mom.

That is about it for now. Til next time.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Life Changes

It was another quiet week. That is not a bad thing, either. The boys are still not thrilled about Tae Kwon Do. The teacher said there was still room in the other class that has kids their own age, so I am going to see if that is actually true next week. I think they will be more comfortable in that class.

My photography class this week was on aperture. Aperture probably is the most important thing to learn and has the biggest impact on how a picture looks. It is very fun to play with. It controls your depth of field. What that means is it can focus on the subject and blur the background in order to make the subject stand out better. I also figured out on my camera how to use the 11 focal points to focus exactly where I want to. The focal points are the little marks when you look through the viewfinder. Whenever I tried to take a picture it always wanted to focus on whatever was closest to the camera. So I was extremely happy to figure out how to focus on what I want instead of what the camera wants.

This week I finally decided it was time to change the way I eat. I had gastric bypass over 7 years ago and since then I have never changed what I eat. Since the surgery I definatly eat less, but I still eat junk. I cut out all sweets this week and I am eating vegan til dinner. So that means no meats or dairy til dinner time. I also started eating only whole wheat bread. I was a white bread girl growing up and always bought white bread for the family. I am amazed how easy it has been so far. Usually whenever I "diet" I do well for a day or two then I think I deserve a reward and eat chocolate. This week I had sweets in the house and they did not tempt me at all. I do not consider this a diet, it has got to be a permanent change. I am hoping my example will rub off on the kids. Eventually it will just switch for everybody. The only difference I have been doing so far is, if I am making something for the guys that I do not think is healthy enough, I will throw a piece of chicken or fish on the George Foreman for me.

That is all the news about us. I am looking forward to quiet week number 3!!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Quiet Week

This was a pretty quiet week. The boys started their class on Wednesday. They were not very impressed. They were both the oldest kids in the class and of course way bigger than all the 5 and 6 year olds in there. They both felt out of place and did not want to go back. A was also upset that the instructor came over to him and corrected a couple of his kicks. I tried to explain to him that is his job and he is not expected to get it perfect on the first day. Friday's class went better and they both seem to be looking forward to their next class. One bad thing is there is no place for me to watch the class, so I won't be getting any good pictures of them practicing.

I submitted my photos (same ones as posted here) for my class and she said I understood the assignment. The picture with E in it was taken at a little too slow of a shutter speed and it let in too much light but other than that it was good. Just so you know, they are jumping on an exercise trampoline. We were also given a creative assignment for the week. We are to walk around our town and find something interesting that we have never noticed before. Of course many people in the class have already posted their pictures in the class gallery online. I look at some of their pictures and I start to wonder if I really do have the eye of a photographer. One person shot her subject from about the neck down and the camera was tilted and it made for a very interesting photo. I would never have thought to do something like that. I hope this is something you can learn.

Saturday was actually a beautiful sunny day. I had the cleaning bug though and decided to finally tackle by bedroom and clean it GOOD once and for all. Brian worked in the garage for hours and oh my goodness it looks great in there. While we were working away the boys decided to take their bikes and go exploring the neighborhood. They found this great hill where they would walk their bikes up and ride down really fast. They had a great time and Brian and I were extremely happy to seem them outside and being active. Another reason I can't wait for Spring.

Tomorrow if the weather holds Brian has promised the boys that we will pack their bikes on the car and drive out to the fields where the boys can ride and the dogs can run and have fun too. I guess that is about all for now. Til next time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lesson One

Today I got my first lesson and assignment for my photography class. It is so funny, I have many books on SLR cameras and even ones for my specific model, but it wasn't until I watched the video for my class that it finally clicked. I have read about shutter speed and aperture many times but seeing the video really seemed to help me. I guess I am one of those visual learning people. I am just happy that I learned something and I actually believe I will remember it. The lesson this week is on shutter speed. We have to take 2 action pictures one using a fast shutter speed and the other using a slow. This is to show how the object in the photo can come out clear and "frozen" in action with the correct speed.

Of course I want to run out and have the kids jump on the trampoline or do some type of activity for me, but the weather is so gloomy right now. I am praying for a sunny day. I have taken enough photos lately with the drab winter background. If I can't get some sun then oh well, life goes on. I also figure the boys' Tae Kwon Do class would be a good opportunity for me too. I also have to find the tripod in the garage.

I did play with the camera and the shutter speed today to see how it works for low light. Makes so much sense now that I think about it. Instead of using a flash use a slow shutter speed to let more light in. I was amazed to see the difference it made. If I had only known that the night of Evan's dance I would have had better pictures!

It feels so nice to be excited about something. Hopefully the feeling lasts! I need to get some shut eye. Night all.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Do You Zoo? We Do!

Today I had the brilliant idea of taking the boys and all 3 dogs to the Opel Zoo. The weather forecast said it was supposed to be partly sunny and a blistering 55. I guess I forgot I live in Germany. It was completely cloudy and grey and in the mid 40s. Despite the clouds we all had a good time. I don't think the dogs have ever walked so far before.

We saw many animals. I finally remembered to buy carrots so the boys could feed the animals. They fed deer, elephant and E even threw a carrot in a hippos mouth not 2 feet in front of him. That was pretty amazing. A hippos mouth is HUGE!!

I think the boys had the most fun at the petting zoo. I guess that goes to show, you are never too old to feed goats and sheep. One goat even jumped up on A's chest. He came back to us covered in poop. It didn't really matter too much the ground was all mud and muck and we were all pretty stinky when we got back to the van.

Brian ended up having the day off today so he was able to join us. He walked Bella the whole time. I think it is so cute to see a tall guy walking a little dog. Sunday Brian has to start working doubles again and has to be at work at 3am.

I am looking forward to starting my photography class Monday. Hopefully I will learn to take some decent pictures while the boys are at Tae Kwon Do. That is about all I have for an update. Til next time.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Long Week

This week has been draggin' on forever it seems and it is only Wednesday! I have got nothing going on in my life and to boot I have zero to look forward to in the near future. Brian is working all weekend and starting doubles again on Sunday. The weather is still crappy and cold and as I am sure you can tell it is taking it's toll on me! I am sooooo ready for Spring!!!

Okay I did get the boys enrolled in Tae Kwon Do. The class I was trying to get them in was full but they opened another class and the time works better for me. I guess something good has happened this week. The class I got them in is Wednesday and Friday from 3:15-4:15. This works out perfect. I can get the boys from school go straight to Tae Kwon Do and then home to do homework and make dinner. The other class was Mon, Wed, and Fri. from 5-6 which was really going to stink.

I also enrolled in an online photography class. The last time the class was offered it sold out in 7 minutes. I had to be sure I was online when they opened enrollment. This wouldn't be a problem if it was not at 3am my time. That is right it was open at 9pm EST and that is O dark, way too early in the crappy morning for me!!! But I did it. I set an alarm for 2:30 and dragged my tired butt out of bed to sign up for the class. Oh it better be a good class. The boys are very excited that mom is going to have homework starting next week.

I guess that is all I have to report. I am off to dreamland.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Dreary Weekend

It has been a few days since I have written on here. Let’s see, Friday I took all three dogs to the vet. They have this lovely habit of eating their poo. The vet said they are all worm and parasite free. Cricket had to have blood drawn due to some symptoms I discussed with the vet. She was concerned about a liver condition and wants to rule it out. Other than that they are all healthy. I did get some powder to add to their food that is supposed to make their poo taste really bad. It has not affected Cricket yet so I have to check into upping the dose.

Saturday Brian had to work til around 1. We met him in Mainz Kastel because we were finally getting his birthday present. He has been wanting a shed to put in the back yard for all his yard tools. We picked out a 8X6 foot shed and thankfully it fit in the van with all the seats folded down.

Sunday we woke to another wet and dreary morning. Brian went out to put his shed together. I am so looking forward to having more room in the garage. We have a very small one car garage and there is a tiny little path that goes down the middle of it to walk through. Brian will be able to take the bikes out and the snow blower, lawn mower, leaf blower and all the rakes and shovels, etc. It should really open up space in there. Who knows maybe even some day we will be able to park a car in there.

While Brian was having fun building, me and the boys went into town to run some errands. I had to pick up stuff for dinner and I went to the cell phone store to get a new phone. My old contract is up and they have the Iphone available here for 1 euro with a contract. So I figured I can start a new contract and still keep my old one for Brian or Evan and stop buying the prepaid minutes. Well that is our weekend in a nutshell. Til next time.