Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh What A Night

Last night the boys went downstairs to go to bed around midnight. I know that is pretty late, but it is summertime and we all sleep in late. While they were downstairs E decides to throw a domino into the air and then throw another domino at it to see if he can hit it. Well he hits it alright! He sends it sailing right into A's laptop and shatters the screen. Now A is left without a laptop. I took E's laptop away since I did not feel it was fair for him to have one after ruining his brother's. It was a huge drama. I just don't understand what goes through their heads sometimes!

Today is Father's Day and we are spending it without Brian. Not really sure what we are going to do today, but I know we are going to get out of the house. Even if it is just going out to a nice
So now that summer is here I want to keep the boys busy. Unfortunately there is not much for A to do. I can sign E up for all kinds of free events throughout the summer. Right now he is doing bowling one day a week for all of June. He is also doing archery and air rifle one day a week for the next 4 weeks and then in July he is going to try golfing. There is also an adventure camp where they go to Bavaria for one week and go white water rafting and hiking and they even visit some of the concentration camps. He does not want to do this. I know he would love it. What is so sad is that if it was A he would go in a heartbeat! E is just not comfortable with himself plus he does not know any of the kids going. That's about it for now.

Til next time!

What's Happening With Me

So Brian is deployed yet again and he wants me to do a better job of updating my blog while he is away. So much has happened lately. The boys finished another year of school. After a pretty hard year for E he finished his last quarter on the Honor Roll. I was very proud, but knew he had it in him all along. A got 4 awards on the last day of school. First he got the Golden Bear award. This is a very special award that each teacher gives out to one student each quarter. He was very excited to get it. Then he got a award signed by the president. This is an all around achievement award. He also got an award for having his poem selected in the Showcase. A book that is made up of artwork and poems from the students throughout Europe. His last award was for participating in the Red Cross Club. All in all the boys had a great year.

I just finished taking a photography class. I learned quite a bit and I am having more fun using my camera. I think my interest is mostly in Macro photography. I like getting close up and seeing lots of detail. I have been taking a lot of flower pictures lately.

We have been having a time with our minivan. After only having the van for 15 months and 17,000 miles I had to replace the brakes on it. I thought it was strange but figured maybe the factory brakes where cheap. Then after another 8 months I had to replace them again. Neither time did the warranty cover the charges. I read online that this is a common problem with the type of van we have and we can expect to continue to replace the brakes every 6 months or so indefinitely. So I am going to prepare the van to sell and we are going to get a new car.

It is very late and I need to hit the hay so I will write more soon.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Say It Isn't Snow

Wow! What a long winter we have had. And just think we weren't even here for the whole thing. I am so thankful for our vacation over Christmas. It got us away from the snow if only for a few weeks. Don't get me wrong. Snow is beautiful. But I would rather go somewhere to visit in the snow than live in it. Maybe if our house was not so hard to get to I might feel different. My biggest fear is Brian will deploy during a hard winter and I will be stuck here. It takes Brian 2-3 hours to snow blow our driveway and road just so we can drive out. I cannot even begin to imagine how long it would take me.
This pictures shows about half of the actual driveway that the cars are parked on. Then you can see down to the gate, past that you go down the road a bit and there is a turn and you have to continue down the road about another hundred feet until you get to the actual main street. Until the main street all that road is our responsibility because we are at the end of a dead end street. The plow guy does come up to our gate sometimes. I have gotten the van stuck twice this year and was not able to make it up to the house.

On top of the dangers of snow and ice this year I decide to go and fall down my stairs here at the house. I was carrying laundry downstairs to put in the wash and I fell down about 7 stairs. The stairs curve at the bottom and I went head first into a wall and then continued the rest of the way down. My whole right thigh was a massive bruise with more bruising on my left leg as well. Let's just say I am ready for Spring and a change of pace. I better hit the hay. Six in the morning comes so quickly. Til next time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Still Here

As you can see I finished up with our vacation and then took a vacation from writing on here, again! Nothing exciting is going on here. Brian went back to work last Sunday, after two and a half months of leave. You would think I would be standing at the door with his lunch in my hand, ready to see him off. Not the case. I still have quite a few honey-dos for him to finish around the house and with him back to work I know they will not get done. Friday is the only day off he has right now and all morning he worked on his computer doing stuff for work.

I find myself being extremely unmotivated. I know there's a new one, huh? I am planning on getting out more with my camera and taking pictures. It is so easy to use the weather as an excuse. It has been snowing, it's too cold, whatever. I know them all. I have used them all. I need to stop making excuses and start doing. This goes for so many things in my life. My diet and exercise, my family time and pretty much any other part of my life I can think of. Okay this is getting a little too heavy. Just wanted to write a little so you know I have not given up on here :) Til next time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Old Fashion Family Christmas

I do not even remember the last time my whole family celebrated Christmas together. What a joy to be surrounded by my parents, siblings, nephew, and nieces. Everyone arrived on Christmas Eve and we visited at Debbie's house until dinner time. We figured it was easier to go to a restaurant than it was to make Deb cook two days in a row. I made reservations for 18 people at Tahoe Joe's. Picking the restaurant was not an easy feat. So many places were closed or closing early for Christmas Eve. So we settled on Tahoe Joe's and what a great place. I had never been to one before and the food was fabulous. Thank goodness it is not a quiet restaurant because there was no chance of keeping the volume low with our group. We talked, laughed, drank a little and had a fun time just being together.

Christmas morning we all trickled into Debbie's house by 9 or 10. Laurie's daughters had received their presents and stockings from Santa and were busy playing with them. My boys didn't have many presents to open since we decided Disneyland was going to be their present. They were very good though just sitting by and watching everyone else enjoy opening their gifts. Christmas always makes me laugh. There is so much planning, decorating and wrapping with Christmas yet, in a matter of minutes it is over. All the kids seemed to be very pleased with the toys they got. After the present pandemonium I got to enjoy my favorite part of Christmas day. Visiting with everyone and playing with the new toys. The weather on Christmas day was amazing. Although it was cool the sun was shining and the kids got to go outside with their new roller blades and play. Brian took many of the guys out to do some Geocaching before we had dinner. He said he wanted to get the boys out of every ones way, but I think he will use just about any excuse to go Geocaching.

Debbie made us an unbelievable dinner. We had turkey and ham and all the fixings. We all ate to our hearts content and then some! Debbie is a great cook, but I do have to say she outdid herself on this meal. It was all perfect. Being just the four of us in Germany I do not cook like this ever. So to be able to enjoy all the delicious food was wonderful.

After dinner we all vegged out and watched television. Brian taught the boys how to play spades and they loved that. It was bittersweet though. I knew Mike and his family would be leaving the next day and the rest of us would follow the day after that.

Goodbyes really stink. Saturday after Christmas Mike and his family headed back home, so we all said our goodbyes. Sunday was even worse. After staying with Debbie for two weeks it was time to make the long 12 hour drive back up to Oregon. I had to say goodbye to Laurie and her family and then Debbie and my niece's.

I dreaded the drive back to Oregon for many reasons. The weather predicted rain and I did not look forward to that. Also the Sunday after a holiday, I feared traffic would be terrible. Then of course there was the fact it was a 12 hour drive, and also knowing we were getting on a plane back to Germany just a few days later. I have to say though the weather was not bad at all and the traffic was surprisingly light. All in all it wasn't a bad drive.

We were in Oregon for the next two days and of course Brian hit one last Geocache, and then we headed back to Germany. It was a fabulous vacation. Time away and time with family. The perfect blend! I hope we can do it again very soon.

Girls Are Great

Can I just say my two oldest niece's are amazing mothers with the most beautiful daughters. My oldest niece had a little girl in 2008. I got to see K for the first time when I went to Vegas last year. She is so cute and has the best personality. After seeing her in May and again last summer I really expected her to remember me when we saw her in November. I was wrong. We pulled up and K was outside playing with her mom and she cried when she saw us all. Luckily it took about 15 minutes to warm up to the family and she really loved Brian.

My other niece had her daughter early November and she is so precious. M is adorable and has the cutest dimples. Both my niece's are fantastic mothers. I am so proud of them. They are patient and loving. I was very pleased to be able to spend so much time with my sister's family. The boys always have a great time there as well. I think Brian was ready to try for a little girl of his own after playing with K and holding M while we were there.

I miss my niece's and their little girls so much since we have been home. I hope I am able to make it back to visit more often so the babies don't forget who I am. The thought of them growing up and not knowing me can be very depressing.

The Hosman Clan

For the first time in many years, Brian was able to spend some quality time with his family. Before our trips we stayed in Coalinga and had Thanksgiving with Brian's parents and his brother, Greg's family. Sheran along with the help of Greg's wife Paula, made a wonderful dinner for us all. We stayed a few days before we had to leave for Disneyland. We were able to visit with Brian's older brother Steve and his family as well.

After returning from our trips, Brian took the boys back to Coalinga for a few more days. He was able to spend more time with his brothers and even took a day to visit his sister and her children. It had been probably twice as long since he had seen his sister. The boys and I were able to attend her wedding this summer while Brian was deployed. Brian, the boys, and his brothers did some Geocaching around Coalinga during their visit. He always tries to get others addicted to his new hobby whenever he has a chance.

Another day trip the guys took was to Wasco to see Brian's granny and his aunt, uncles and many of his cousins. They all met at church but of course the time went quickly and he soon had to return to Fresno. Although I know Brian would have liked to spend more time with his family, he is very grateful for the time he did have. That has to be the hardest part of living in Germany. Being away from our family and not having that connection seems to get more difficult as times goes on. I just hope that we get better at coming home and visiting more often than we have in the past.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


After our wonderful and exhausting trip to Disneyland, Brian and I took a seven day cruise to the Mexican Riviera. We left Disneyland on Wednesday and drove back to Fresno. On Friday we took the boys to Santa Cruz to stay with my brother and sister in law. Saturday morning we had to catch the Amtrak to Long Beach. That was an adventure in itself. I thought when I booked the train/bus we would be dropped off at a station in Long Beach where we could catch a cab to our hotel. We were dropped of at a bench bus stop on the side of the road in front of the Queen Mary Hotel. This would have been great if I had booked our room at the Queen Mary but no, of course our hotel was about a half mile away. Luckily a Passport bus came by every 15 minutes and took us right to our hotel. We weren't quite sure what time we were allowed to board the ship Sunday that is why we did not want to try to travel and board all on the same day.
I have always wanted to take a cruise and figured this may be my one and only chance so I booked a fabulous Spa Suite room. The ship had a wonderful spa on board and unless you were in one of the spa rooms you had to pay daily to use it. The spa had saunas, a salt water hot tub, and many other relaxing things to occupy our time. We were out to sea on Sunday evening and all day Monday and Tuesday. On Monday Brian and I had a couples massage. It was Brian's first massage and he enjoyed it.
I loved just being out to sea. Feeling the rocking of the boat and relaxing really made me realize we were actually on vacation. The food on the boat was delicious and very abundant and the shows were amazing.

Our first port was Puerto Vallarto. It was so hot there and I was very under-whelmed to say the least. I was thinking why would anybody want to come to Mexico? We made our way back to the boat very early and hung out at the pools on board.

Our next port of call was Mazatlan. Now this was more like it. The weather was a bit cooler and we were scheduled for a Show, Sightseeing & Shopping tour all day in a nice air conditioned van. Our guide took us around the city and showed us many highlights. Then we went to watch a cliff diver. He dove 47 feet into the ocean where the water was only 6 feet deep. He does this all day long working only for tips. It was very cool to watch and I lucked out and captured an amazing photo. Later that day we saw an authentic Mexican show with singers and dancers. Even in Spanish the singing was awesome. Finally to finish up the day we were dropped off for some quick shopping and then back to the boat.

Our final port of call and my favorite was Cabo San Lucas. You were not able to actually pull into to port there so we docked a ways from shore and took tender boats back and forth to the pier. First thing that morning Brian and I had scheduled a Snuba tour. This is a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling. You have a mask and regulator but the mouth piece is attached to a hose that goes to your tank. The tank is put on a raft that floats above you and you are able to dive down about 20 to 30 feet. They also put a belt of weights around your waist to help you stay under the water better. As soon as I jumped in the water I felt like the weights were pulling me down and I panicked a little. I almost completely chickened out but our guide suggested I take off the weights and I could still use the mask and mouthpiece but stay at the surface. This worked out great. I followed above the group and was never more than 10 feet away from them. Brian absolutely loved the Snuba. He was like a little kid seeing things for the first time.

After we did our hour of Snuba we were allowed to just snorkel and that is when Brian took our little camera and got some great underwated pictures. In the same area we were doing our tour they also did Helmet Diving. There was a sea lion that would also come up to you very close because he was used to getting fed.

When we finished our Snuba we went into Cabo to look around and have lunch. I was shocked by how clean the area around the pier was kept. Shopkeepers could be seen sweeping or hosing down their store fronts. This was our shortest stop so after lunch we had to go back to the boat.

We had another two days at sea before we returned to Long Beach. I have to admit these couple of days were pretty depressing for me because I was not ready to let our vacation end. Brian and I have been married for 16 years and this was our first real vacation together without the boys. I enjoyed it so much and hope and pray we can steal away another chance to do it again sooner rather than later.

So that is our cruise in a nutshell. I can't believe we were able to pack so much fun into such a short time. All of our trips were done in the first two weeks we were home. Now we get to spend some much needed time with family.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dinosaurs, Mummies & The Simpson's?

When Brian and I planned our trip to Disneyland I added on a day at Universal Studios and also a Medieval Dinner Show as a surprise to the boys. I was so excited about Universal Studios. It had been more than twenty years since I was there last. It was fun but one thing is for sure it seemed a lot bigger when I was a kid.

We took the tram tour first and the boys got to see all the sites where many of their favorite shows and movies were filmed. I was very excited to see Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives. While on the tour, our tram had to stop and we all had to be real quiet because they were filming a scene from Ghost Whisperer close by.

One of the first attractions we went into was the House of Horrors. This is a 15 minute walk through haunted house. I remember it from when I was little and I knew that scary things would jump out at you and touch you. I made Brian go first of course. We made it about 100 feet into the attractions and both boys were clinging onto me for dear life. When we passed an exit the boys and I decided to use it!

One ride we did make it all the way through was the Jurassic Park water ride. It was a fun ride with a pretty good drop at the end. It also had a lot of the scenes from the movie in it. Brian and I rode it once and the boys decided on a second go around.

The Mummy roller coaster was described in the brochure as the scariest indoor roller coaster ever made. It wasn't that the ride itself was so scary it was the effects. You go through the ride which was mostly a few hills and a couple of turns, you stop and then you see scarabs crawling all over the walls and then it fells like they are crawling on your legs. It really freaked me out the first time. After the bugs you do the ride backward. It was a good ride. We all rode it twice.

Another great ride was the The Simpon's ride. It was a virtual roller coaster. Kinda hard to explain. You sit in a row and are lifted up in front of a green screen. You feel like you are going up and down and side to side. At one point in the ride Maggie the baby is exposed to radiation and grows really big. She picks up the "roller coaster" and sticks it in her mouth like a pacifier. You can smell baby powder and when she spits you out you actually get wet!

After Universal Studios we went to the Medieval Dinner Show. As you go in you are given a crown of a certain color. That is what section you sit in and also what knight you are going to cheer for. Unfortunately we were given the knight who is the
"bad guy" So of course he kicks butt all the way to the end, but he dies because he is bad. The boys loved the show and believe it or not they enjoyed the food. They even took a picture with the green knight when the show was over.

All in all the trip was a success. I truly enjoyed going to Disneyland at this time of year. I never had been there around Christmas time. All the Christmas music and the decoration were amazing. I would love to go back and do it again, just give me a few years to save my money up!

Catching Up

Six months between blogs is apparently too long. The reason I know this is because of the hate mail I keep getting from my many fans of my blog. Now it seems I am so far behind I can't catch up. I am not going to let that stop me though. It's a new year and a new start. I have been keeping busy especially since Brian came home from Afghanistan in October. He took leave starting November 1st and then we went to the states just before Thanksgiving.

Our trip to the states was filled with many adventures and lots of fun times. We spent Thanksgiving with Brian's family and then the Saturday after Thanksgiving we headed to Disneyland. Boy, I realized how old I really was after walking around the park on the first day.

We stayed at the California Grand hotel and was that ever nice. We had our own entrance into both parks and it made it very convenient. We could even watch the fireworks from our room every night. I did not take my good camera with me because I knew I would be too lazy to tote it around so our pictures leave much to be desired but you get the idea. We spent two days in the Disneyland park and one day at the California park. Then we took a day and went to Universal Studios and also went to a Medieval Dinner show. The boys had so much fun. The trip was their Christmas present and I do not think they were disappointed.

The pictures with the characters were taken at the restaurant in our hotel that we ate breakfast at every morning. It was a great place to eat with lots of music and fun. The last time Brian and I were at Disneyland was Brian's Grad Nite over 19 years ago! They did not even have California Adventures back then. My favorite ride was definitely The Tower of Terror. It was a free fall and lots of fun. The boys could not get enough of California Screamin'. I think they rode it 3 or 4 times.

We rode almost all the rides except It's a Small World (I know, it's a classic!) and we were not able to ride Splash Mountain, it was not running.

This is me and the boys waiting for the Bug's Life 3D show to begin. We have our 3D glasses on and we are sitting under a huge ball of dung.

There is so much more I have to write. Unfortunately I have been working on this one post for waaay to long. I really do not like how it adds the photos and it takes me forever to get them just so. Anywho I am done for today. I do promise there will be more to come very soon.

Til next time.