Monday, October 12, 2009

Our last year

Taking a look at when I last posted anything that was in Jan. so we are waaaaaay behind. I guess I can try and do a few posts to get us back on track. We have been living on base for almost a year now and we are still glad we moved on base. Living in Stairwell housing has its ups and downs. Neighbors are really close and know ALL of your business. Kids friends are close and they get to go down stairs and play with them a lot. The kids are able to walk to school and have plenty of playgrounds to play on. Neighbor is a busy body and keeps telling us the kids are too young to walk to school by themselves! But all in all we are still glad we just wished we were able to get into a town house.

Since our big cruise at Christmas we took it easy for a while with the traveling. We kept close to home and did things on Base. In March Surgarland came and we were able to see their concert on base for free. It was great, but the kids were not that impressed and we left a little early when Ethan fell asleep on the bench. Living in big houses we got used to hosting all of the holiday events. Now living in an apartment we just don't have room so we have passed the torch off to Billie to host, but I don't think she likes it so much. But Easter was at her house this year with a big Easter Egg Hunt for the kids. It worked out well for us because we left the kids there because Bryce and I left the next day for Cabo San Lucas for a week.

We had a great spring break with Bryce's mom in Cabo and enjoyed the sun and ocean with no kids for a week. During the time we were there the Swine Flu broke out and on returning we got so much crap from people about the swine flu. But we never got it and still have not gotten it yet!

This summer we once again participated in the summer outings and were able to go and see many things around our area with the kids. For our anniversary Bryce and I made it to Paris and Versailles in July. It was great weekend together. The rest of the summer passed in a whirl wind. Billie and I went on a girls trip to Poland and Prague. We first stopped in Boswecia and went polish pottery shopping (I know you are thinking "Doesn't she have enough"). Then we went all the way to Auschwitz to visit the concentration camp. That was a very sobering experience but I am glad I was able to go. Then ended our trip in Prague for 2 days. What a great city! We had a great time touring the city and taking in the sights. We were only home for 3 days then we all left for a family vacation it Italy. We went camping at Camp Darby for 4 days and had a great time at the ocean. Billie and Jere came with us and the kids had a blast. They were able to run around playing with other kids all day and night. We all got plenty of sun and water.

The fall started off for us with the sad news of Bryce's Grandma Shafer passing away. So instead of starting school we packed us all up and headed to the States for her funeral. We were able to spend a week with the family and then it took us a week and a half to get home flying space a. But we also got to spend a couple of day with Kelly in Baltimore while waiting for a flight out. The kids are doing great in school and we are taking it easy until Christmas when we are going back to the States for Christmas.

Bad Me

Ok so we can all safely say I am the WORST blogger in the world! As my wonderful friends keep reminding me it has been a long time since I have updated the Shafer Family Adventures. But lets face it people I am much more addicted to facebook than blogging. And I have kept that up to date at least right. I am not going to promise that I will keep this up to date, because lets face it we are pass that point. But I will try and be better.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Top 100

I saw this in a friends blog and thought that I would do kill some time.
I tag anyone else who wants to share...Just paste this list into your blog and bold the ones that you HAVE done, and unbold any I have done that you have NOT...
I have done everything that is in big, bold letters .

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (I am the lead guitarist in Rubbish our Rock Band)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (Do we count Disney World?)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (Notice I did not say lead singer in Rock Band)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (Once)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch-hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon (Blomsday once and that was enough for me!)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice(The one thing I wanted to do in Venice and did not do!)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (does Kick Ball count?)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (I Live in Germany)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (And that is why I don't speak very good German)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (Does the fake rock climbing wall count?)
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (Egypt is part of Africa)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing )
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater ( I remember seeing Top Gun and Karate Kid II)
55. Been in a movie (Bryce always has our movie camera out)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (You too can have a Lia Sophia home based business!)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (Haven't we all did
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt And I am still working on it 8 years later!
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (Once and I am still upset by it!)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (My finger when I tripped running up the stairs)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican (But not the Sistine Chapel!)
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (Last week we were in the KA)
85. Read the entire Bible (Do I get points for the Book of Morman?)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox (3 times!)
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Flown in an airplane
93. Joined a book club
94. Lost a loved one
95. Had a baby
96. Seen the Alamo in person
97. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
98. Been involved in a law suit
99. Owned a cell phone
100. Been stung by a bee

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Photo Tag With The Forth

So I saw this on several friends blogs and I took a look to see what was the fourth picture in the fourth folder. So this is what I came up with.

This is a picture of Laine with her first Easter Egg hunt in 2007. We had a huge Easter Egg hunt at our house in Kirchenarnbach. All the kids had so much fun with all of their friends. So now it is your turn to find your 4th photo.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jewelry Obsession

I went to visit Bryce's parents this summer and my mother in-law made a comment about all my jewelry and she thought I was not a jewelry kind of girl. Well that was true a year ago when we visited them last. I even told her I DON'T where jewelry! You wonder what happened? Lia Sophia happened. I started selling Lia Sophia a year ago to earn a little extra money to pay for trips. Well it has turned into an obsession. I love all of my jewelry. I don't leave the house without at least a pair of earrings and a bracelet on. I pour over the new catalog and plan on what pieces to get and obsess about the pieces I would like to get. I even get Bryce into it and try and get his opinion on each piece in the catalog. I do know the goal is to earn more than I make and so I must control myself and window shop through the catalog.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas Fun

So now that we have been home for a couple of weeks and my mind has processed our trip, I think I am ready to write about it. For Christmas we went on a 12 day cruise of the Mediterranean with the boys. I think the hardest part of the trip was leaving Laine behind for two whole weeks, so we won't be doing that again.

We left a few days early and spent a day in Florence, Italy. About 3 years ago Bryce's best friend came to visit and we did a grand tour of Italy with them. One of our stops was Pisa which is close to Florence. I was pregnant and after traveling for almost a week already I needed some R&R so I stayed at Camp Darby with the boys and played in the pool. Bryce, Chris and Tammy all went to Florence for the day and I have been jealous ever since. So this was my time to go explore Florence.

We had a great time with the Meldrom family, even though we found out that winter is the time for restorations! Lot of construction and scaffolding on the statues and churches!.

The next day we went to Pisa in the morning. This is my third time there and the first time I got a picture of me with the tower.
We then headed to Genoa to get on the ship. The first day was just to get ourselves orientated with the ship. The highlight of the first day for the kids was the kids play area. Once there they did not want to leave that area at all the rest of the trip!

Our first full day was at sea. I found out that I do not have sea legs and the legs I do have love terra firma! The boys loved that we passed an active volcano though. There was smoke coming out the top and a little town on the bottom. Something did not seam right to me!

Our first port day was Katakolon, Greece. From there we rented cars and went up to the ancient town of Olympia. We were able to explore where the Olympic games started thousands of years ago. It was amazing to see the Temple of Zeus and walk the track of the ancient athletes.

After Katakolon we headed to Athens, Greece. There we went to the Acropolis and saw the Parthenon. The view of the city is beautiful from up there. And once again we had renovations! So we had to try hard not to get pictures with scaffolding. We also took a tour of the city and got an up close view of the riots destruction. Our next stop was the archaeological museum down town Athens. There we were able to see the artifacts from the Acropolis that were not taken by the British! Our last stop in Athens was the Plaka. It is a vibrant part of the city with a close neighborhood feel. The food was great and the shopping plentiful.

On the 22nd of December we went to the "Land of Sun" Rhodes, Greece. In a place that has 360 days of sunny weather we went in pouring rain. We still were able to walk on the Knights street and explore the four quarters of the old town. Unfortunately we did not stay to do some shopping. The next day was our big excursion to Cairo, Egypt! We had been planing this for months. And you all know that I am the Nazi Planner! We were all really excited to go to Egypt. All three families went together and we had a great time. When we got off the boat it was beautiful out side. Sunny and warm we were prepared for a great day. The closer we got to Cairo the darker the clouds got. The winter in Egypt is mild and sunny but not on the day we were there.
The pyramids loom over the city and you can see them as you enter Cairo. Once you get to the base of the pyramids you are attacked by people selling everything from postcards to faux Egyptian antiques. Of course we were conned within minutes of getting there but I have to say it was the only time during the whole trip!
As we where gazing at the pyramids all of sudden the wind starting plowing and the sand went with it. I now know from first hand experience that sand really hurts! So we raced to our van and piled in. Off we went to our camel rides. I decided to stay behind with the babies and forgo the pleasure of a mouth full of sand. Bryce and the boys were all ready for that experience. As we stood watching them we soon could not see them because the sand storm was so thick. We got in the van and went to the meeting spot about 10 minutes away by car. I knew where they would be coming from so I held my camera and started taking pictures. All of a sudden out of the sand they came and I got a great picture!

Our next stop was the Great Sphinx. It was not as big as I thought it would be but it was still impressive. After the Spinx we went to the Egyptian Archaeological Museum. We saw the entire King Tut burial treasures and tons of other artifacts. The museum is very over whelming with how much there is inside. The boy's highlight was the mummies!

On Christmas Eve we were supposed to go to Cyprus but because of 75 mile an hour winds they could not go into port. So we spent the day at sea instead. Which was a much needed relief after spending 13 hours in Egypt the day before.
That night the cruise had a special Gala Night for Christmas. The kids prepared for a Christmas parade that night and we sat around and played games. We all dressed up and had a great meal. They had the Christmas parade and then a special night of music with a Soprano and Alto singer and a string trio. And last but not least a surprise visit from Santa for all the kids.
On Christmas day we were in Maramis, Turkey. Before we got there I could not have told you anything about it. We were planning on staying on the ship and not doing much that day since it was Christmas. Oh boy where we wrong. It was one of our favorite stops. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time SHOPPING! I really got into the spirit of bargaining there. And was proud of my bargaining skills. By the time we left I made grown men weep because I got such a good deal. I also got quite a few job offers!

The next day was Herklion, Crete. We went to the Palace of Knossos, it was not only the residence of the ruling house but also an administrative & religious center for the whole region It is one of the most important archaeological site of the Minoan Empire.
The 27th was supposed to be a day at sea but because we did not port in Cyprus we were ahead of schedule and we went to Sicily instead. We were able to walk around and see a few churches and get real Sicilian pizza! Bryce was in heaven.

Our final port was Naples. I really wanted to go to Pompeii because last time we were here we missed it and I was upset about that. So Bryce and I went alone to Pompeii and we where able to walk around and see the ruins. It is incredible there. When the volcano exploded it preserved an entire culture intact. I also really enjoyed seeing so much of their history preserved. We then went to the Naples Archaeological Museum to see all the artifacts that they took from Pompeii. The fresco's from the wall were so preserved some looked like they were painted yesterday. It was great to relate Pompeii with the museum. We almost only went to the museum thinking that the victims casts were there. At Pompeii we saw several and learned later on that there was a whole other area with much more. The Naples Archaeological Museum did not have any at all so I am very happy we took that impulse to go out to Pompeii.
One of the most sobering pieces we saw in the museum was a large cast taken from the beach below Pompeii. They are the remains of several victims fleeing the destruction of Mt. Vesuvius exploded. The description said that the victims where very young children, elderly and lame people helping each other to safety. It was a moving piece and Bryce took a picture that captured the essence of the scene.
After Naples it was homeward bound for us. We really enjoyed out time on the cruise and the opportunity we had to visit so many things. You probably don't want to ask me about it because I will talk your ear off about it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It Has Been Forever

OK so when I started this blog I was really hoping to be on top of it and post once a week. Ya well reality set in and life started up again and that did not happen as you can see. But a new year a new home and hopefully a new schedule. So in the time that has past we have moved on base from living in a small village. The commute is much shorter. 3 minutes versus the 30 it used to take us. The kid's school is a five minute walk down the street and the commissary is next to the school and the BX is right next to that. So everything we need is just a few minutes away. On the down side our 3rd story apartment is about a third of the size of our old house. So no more of the infamous Shafer dinner parties! The kids love it because there are tons of kids in the area and a park right in back of our building. They are not used to living so close to American children that they can talk with while they play! Our neighbors are great and I think that makes or breaks if you like living on base. So now I have to finish unpacking and getting my scrapbook room under control!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend Woes

Another great weekend is coming to a close and I find myself NOT looking forward to work tomorrow. I keep telling Meg that any time she is ready to trade places with me she can take the wheel and I will stay home (especially now that the kids all go to school during the day). Anyway, it was a relatively calm weekend as one of our good friends came back from a three month stay in the states. On Saturday we all went to the restaurant called Big Emma where the food portions where about the only good thing that came out of the meal. I suppose I can't complain though, we fed the family with relatively little spending. I have posted a picture of the size of snitzel that we had just for lunch, then leftovers for dinner, and then another meal! I finally went to the pool with the kids this week. I was relieved to find out that the water temperature had risen a little since the family last swam. I didn't go last time but I heard that the water temp was really cold. Laine kept jumping in the water(the deep end) and all the time keeping her big eyes open under the water. She looked so cute and she is so fearless in the water. Remington is the complete opposite however. I tried to teach him to swim but he insisted on clinging on to my arm with a death grip that suggested he thought he might not make it to his 8th birthday. Megan is running full force with a number of new activities now that she has a little more freedom during the day. She has started to work out with a personal trainer and after just week one it is hard to tell how much help it has been. She is also booking a lot of her Lia Sophia shows so that we can pay for our trip in December. I am completing my OTS (officer training package) so that I can submit it in December and see if I have what the Air Force is looking for this next year. I am the Elders Quorum secretary and since our ward is so transient we are having to update the home teaching list on a weekly basis. It is a lot of work and since we are all so geographically separated we have an even harder time trying to match up people with places and families, ect. Anyway I think that is all for now but I will have more to come as life goes by.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Laine's 1st day of German Kindergarten

Today was Laine's first day of kindergarten! Since today was an American holiday there were no Americans there and her class is made up of mostly Americans. There were a few boys who recognized her as Ethan's little sister especially one little boy who loved to play with her when she was a baby and we would go pick up Ethan. Today he followed her around the entire day. When I went to drop her off she did not want to stay and was really shy. But we took her in and showed her where everything was. We went around the room and played with some of the toys together. When we got to the play house part she let go of my hand and started to make dinner for Marcus(her little German boy). I slowly inched my self away and soon she had no idea that I was no where near her. When I went to pick her up she did not want to leave at all! She already has all the teachers wrapped around her finger. They seem to be fascinated with her bows in her hair. When Ethan went there I would take Laine with me to drop him off and pick him up and Laine was so little. At the time she had hardly any hair at all but I would scrape it all together on top of her head and stick a bow on it. The Nuns really got a kick out of it! So that is how they all remember her. Today she only went for a few hours tomorrow we will try a half a day and see how it goes. Laine is growing up really fast it just amazes me.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Well we just got back from out ward family campout. I can not really remember the last time I have gone camping so I was reluctant to go. Not only did Bryce get back from the States after being TDY for a week, but we had a week from hell here. So packing up and going out into the woods did not appeal to me at all. But Bryce really wanted to go and it was the first year it did not rain so we did it. Bryce did most of the work though. I had a Lia Sophia show that night and since the camp site was really close I just went after the show. By the time I got there Bryce had everything under control. We sat around the camp fire singing camp songs and roast hotdogs and making smore's. The kids had a blast, since our ward is a young ward there are tons of kids. I think they all had a good time. I did remember why I don't like camping, out air matress went flat in the middle of the night and I do not like sleeping on the ground at all!!

We had a great breakfast with the Priesthood making pancakes and saugages, with a little guidence from the Sisters:) And after that we had a great time playing family fear factor. Our group came in second to last but we still had a great time and the kids loved eating things without their hands and throwing things at Mom. So next time I am bringing a really nice airmattress and we will give this another shot!