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.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dentists, Dogs and Dates

Today was actually a pretty productive day. I got up at a reason hour (9am) drank my coffee and checked my emails. I even, okay hold on to your hats for this one... walked on the treadmill. I had to pick up the boys early from school for their ortho appointments and drop them off with their dad. The dentist kept A's retainer and is going to make a new mouth piece for him and E both. He is pleased with their progress. Last time they went he could tell they were not wearing their mouth pieces as much as they should be. So while Brian had the boys at the dentist I came home and finished my laundry, cleaned the kitchen and bathed all three dogs. Piper had been digging outside and smelled like dirt. I also figured since they all have a vet appointment tomorrow it was a good time to clean them up.

Remember the girl I mentioned that E "likes" well he asked her to join him for lunch on Friday and she said yes. He loves to talk about her and he looks so happy when he does. I just can't help to think he is so young. Yeah, he can't wait to get to school now and see her, but what happens when she decides she doesn't like him anymore? With all the troubles we have had with E going to school this year I am afraid this could be a disaster waiting to happen. Oh what is a mother to do? I am not so sure I am ready for this yet. Somehow though I don't think I have a choice. Oh well, I am off to bed. Night, all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Snowed In...sort of

We woke up on Monday morning with a nice blanket of snow. Brian decided he was finally sick enough to not go to work because he was not up to shoveling the drive. I talk about our long driveway a lot so I finally took a picture out my bedroom window. The gate you see at the bottom is only about two thirds down the driveway. We still have to shovel past that and down the road a bit. We live at the end of a dead end road so the snow plow does not come up all the way to our gate.
Brian found himself a whistle and sat himself in bed and blew the whistle whenever he wanted something. It was funny at first but lost it's charm very quickly. I spent the day doing my laundry as planned and going through drawers in my bedroom. The boys occupied themselves with their legos they had received for Christmas presents and not yet put together.
I also found time to play with my camera. I was taking pictures out my bedroom window. I was practicing focusing on certain objects. I found this to be not as easy as it may sound. The camera wanted to focus on the larger branches and I had to hold the camera just so and be very steady for it to focus on the small branches.
Well the short work week has started. It is filled with dentist appointments and vet appointments. That is always fun. I guess it is what you make it! I will have to wait and see.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Planes, Trains and Submarines

Today was spent walking around in the bitter cold at the Tranportation Museum. Silly me, I think of museums and I immediatly think indoors. No not this one, but then again they had full size submarines and huge jet liners on display. Dispite the weather we still had a great time. The boys were able the go into an airplane and walk on the wing and go under into the cargo hold. They even walked through an actual submarine.

Every type of vehicle you could imagine was on display. From fire trucks to tractors. There was even a double decker tour mini!! This is one place I wouldn't mind visitng again, but on a warmer day!

All in all I think we had a fabulous weekend. I think Brian might need another 2 days to recoop. His cold is not getting any better, go figure. He goes back to work tomorrow. No federal holiday for this federal worker. I will spend the day catching up on my laundry and cleaning my bedroom. How come my bedroom is the breeding ground for all things crappy in my house. Oh well I am off to clean the kitchen. Til next time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Walk In The Woods

Today the guys and I decided to go exploring in the woods. We had hoped to go to the museum, but the driveway was covered in snow, and by the time we were up and around and Brian had the driveway cleared we didn't think we had enough time to still go. So instead we parked the car out at the golf course and went for a walk amongst the trees. We followed the trails as best we could and looked for animal tracks and took lots of pictures. We found a deer stand and there was even corn around many of the trees to lure the animals. Brian was still not feeling well but he was a trooper and kept going as long as we wanted to.

After the woods the boys wanted to go looking for hawks. We drove out to where Brian works and looked for birds. We found a few but they were too far off to get any good pictures. While we were driving on the farm roads we did come across some big ole pigs! The boys had a great time and I do have to admit it was nice to get out of the house and get some fresh air.

Tomorrow we hope to tackle the transportation museum. It should be fun. I wil let you know! Til then.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Night To Remember

The evening started out a little rocky but it turned out great in the end. It was time to get E ready for his dance but he was not convinced taking a shower was really necessary. After that drama he was finally dressed and ready to go. He look so handsome, I can't believe how old he is getting. The drive to the dance was dark and snowy. One of those nights you wish you were curled up with a nice cup of gluhwein (hot red wine for those non german folks) We got to the dance and E couldn't wait to jump out of the van.

While E was at the dance Brian, A, and I went to dinner at one of favorite restaurants, Casa Europa and had a great meal. Why is a meal so much easier with one child? Oh yeah because the other child is not there driving them crazy!! My boys are so easy when they are apart from each other, but put them together and it can be a very dangerous combination!

Time flew by and it was time to pick up E. Brian went into the dance to try to get some pictures but it was just too dark. He did walk in to find E dancing with a girl! When Brian and E made it to the car I swear E was on cloud nine. I have never seen him look so happy before. He danced with this one girl he "likes" twice and had the best time ever. He talked about the dance all the way home and long into the night. He even said he can't wait to go back to school on Tuesday. Wow that is a switch. He is usually trying to find any excuse he can to stay home. Unfortuantly I am not good at using my camera with the flash. Either they are too dark or too light and then there is the stupid shadows. But you at least get the idea of how handsome E is! Well I am off to dreamland. Til next time.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Day In The Life Of Me

Today seemed to be filled with a thousand errands. It started out okay until I drove all the way into Wiesbaden, (about a 20 minute drive) got to the Commissary and realized I had did not have my ID card. I had to drive back home to get it because everything I needed to do required showing my ID card. I was able to get E and A on the waiting list for Tae Kwon Do. They are the first two people on the list so I am very hopeful. The first class is March 2nd. The only downfall to the whole thing is the classes are 5-6pm Mon., Wed. and Fri. So that really messes up cooking dinners on those evenings.

One of the errands I had was picking up my comforter from the dry cleaners. I took it in the first week in Jan. and it was supposed to take 7-10 days to get it cleaned. One month later it was finally ready. I brought it home and made the discovery they did not clean it at all!!! I worked at a dry cleaners for 2 years and I know the smell of the cleaning fluid, there was no smell what so ever. Then I thought well maybe they laundered it even though I asked them not to. I spread it out and you could still spots on it. I am so angry. I waited over a month and paid $33 for nothing. Needless to say I will be going back there tomorrow.

So my big boy E has his first school dance Friday night. I am so impressed he actually wants to go considering none of his friends are going. We had to go out and get him some nice dress pants, a button up shirt and tie. I can't wait til he is all dressed tomorrow and I can take pictures of him.

Brian may actually have Saturday and Sunday off. I am so excited. I really want to take the kids somewhere but I have no idea where. It would have to be to a museum or something indoors since the weather is still so cold here. I am going to ask around and see if I can get any ideas. I guess that is all I have to report for now. I hope to have some pictures on here in the next few days, so be on the lookout!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why So Grumpy?

Do you have any idea how many times a day I sit down to write on my blog? The problem is every time I start, I do not seem to have anything to say. Is my life so boring that I can't jot down a line or two about what the Hosman family is up to?

I know one thing for sure about the Hosman family, there has been an epidemic of grouchiness going around. I know Brian has been working 6 days a week and some of those days are even doubles. He is coming down with a cold to top it all off, so I can understand his not being in a good mood. A, come to think of it has not come down with this particular ailment just yet. I wish I could say the same for his brother. E has been downright unbearable lately.

I know the boys need to be involved in more activities. I have called everyone I know to try and get E in guitar lessons and every person I call is full. The sports here are really pathetic and I hate to waste my money on them. I have been calling to see about Tae Kwon Do and can't get CYS to answer their phone. I am going to go down there tomorrow and check into it. If I could get them started on that I think it will be a step in the right direction. There are few things in Germany that really bother me but the lack of activities available for the boys is definitely one of them.

You may have noticed I did not mention whether I was afflicted with the grouchy bug. I would have to say yes. I am not sure why and I am trying hard not to let it affect me too much. I could blame the weather or many other things but the truth is nothing can make me grouchy, it is a choice that I make. I hope tomorrow I wake up and find that I have caught the happy and content virus! Now that is one I wouldn't mind making it's way through the whole family!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

H is for Horse

This weekend has been pretty uneventful. Brian worked on Saturday as usual, but he was home with us today. We had to go into Wiesbaden and Mainz to run errands. We have a very long driveway (125 yards) and at the bottom of the drive there is our neighbors' property where they sometimes bring their horses to graze. When we left today I was happy to see the horses there and knew I wanted to come home and take some pictures of them.

As soon as we got home I grabbed my camera and A grabbed his brothers camera and we went to see the horses. Unfortunatly they were pretty high up on the property when we got there, but we were able to coax one down with some carrots. A had a great time taking pictures and throwing carrots to the horse. A and the horses learned the hard way last year that the rope that makes the fence is actually electric. The sun was not out and the colors were so blah I decided to use sepia tones and I think it looks good with all the rustic equiptment.

I guess that is all the excitement I have to report, unless you want to hear the rantings and ravings of a mother about her "tween" son that is driving me to distraction. I think I will save that for another time!! Til then.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love It!!

My camera came!!! Brian picked up the mail and got home around 6 so by the time the battery charged it was time for bed and the only subject I had to photograph was my dog Bella. Luckily she is really cute and easy to work with! I have to say my camera is awesome!! I got the memory card loaded, put in the battery, slapped on a lens and put it on auto and started shooting. I thought the pictures looked great. If I was more educated in the field I might say different but compared to my point and shoot there is no contest.

When I got up this morning I took pictures of the other 2 dogs and went on the balcony to get a few outside shots. I am so happy and I can't wait til I actually know what I am doing! Brian said he hopes I enjoy the present I got for his birthday. His birthday is actually next week. But even he will admit that he was impressed with the pictures I have taken so far. I guess that is about all the excitement here. I have chores to do and pictures to take. Til next time.

The view from the balcony.

Don't let the smiles fool you!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Feeling Old

I have started getting older movies from Netflix. The ones Brian and I used to watch back when we were in school. For some reason the other day Brian thought about the movie "The Great Outdoors" and he decided that would be a good one to watch with the boys. The movie arrived in the mail and we announced that we were going to watch it after dinner. I mentioned to E that the movie was 20 years old and the his dad and I watched it back in high school. He ask "is it in color?" and sarcastically I said no it is not in color and there is no sound in it either. He frantically asked "REALLY?" I think he honestly believed that Brian and I grew up watching silent black and white films.

I remember one time I was talking to the boys about the good ole days and E said "oh you mean back in the 1900's" Talk about making you feel old! Another fond memory I have is when I got an IPOD several years ago and I was searching Itunes for music. I of course love all the 80s and early 90s music I was so addicted to in school, so I did a search for 80's came back as oldies!!!

Where has the time gone? I don't feel old (most of the time). I guess that is just another reason to make every day count. Well that's about it for now. Til next time.

So Much To Learn

Well, my camera should be arriving any day. I am trying to be patient and keep busy. I decided if I seriously want to take pictures I need to be more proficient on photo editing software. I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop Elements 7 and signed up for a class on how to use it. A couple of my friends swear by the classes off of so I decided to give this one a try. The class is actually a digital scrapbooking class using the basics of Photoshop. I did my first layout today and it turned out great if I do say so myself. I do have to remember I was walked through it every step of the way and all the page elements were included, so really it was a no brainer. I did come away with more knowledge on Photoshop which was what I wanted in the first place. The class includes 4 different layouts and what I love is it is at your own pace, and you can go back and view the videos as many times as you want. I know with all the reading I have been doing on my camera and now learning a new program I will forget a lot. Let's face it I am not getting any younger!!! I have to say I do like the Jessica Sprague website and plan on taking her digital photography class next month. If you have a chance check it out.

Well I guess that is about it for now. I am having a grouchy day, I'm going back to bed!!