Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas 2009

This past year has been a crazy roller-coaster ride. This picture is from Garrett's home away from home in Balad, Iraq (leave it to Garrett to make a port-a-potty and dumpster look good!). He left us in December for a 6 month deployment which was extremely difficult for all of us. We dropped Garrett off at the airport and I felt like a gutted fish. We were fortunate enough to get to go to Utah and be with family for Christmas--I don't know how we would have gotten through Christmas alone. With dad gone, the boys especially needed all the extended family around. Grandpa Bohman helped Sam and Jacob make frames for scouts. I helped Mason make a birdhouse. By the time the birdhouse was finished, not one of the pieces we used for it was an original birdhouse kit piece--I had managed to break them each during construction and my dad had to cut new pieces, using the old pieces I had split as patterns. This is why dads are supposed to be there to help with these scout things. Luckily, Garrett is home now to help Mason with his pinewood derby car. We tried to stay busy with snowmobile rides in the backyard, trips to see the Elk at Hardware Ranch, movies and cousins, cousins, and more cousins. Dan and Julie came to visit too and we had so much fun playing games, bowling, El Sol and Panda Express (we sure miss American restaurants!). We missed Garrett so much and broke down quite a bit, but had the support of family to help us through the holidays. It was over too soon and we were back on the plane to Germany. The thing that kept us going was knowing that Grandma Bohman would be coming to visit in April. I don't know how soldiers and their families coped with deployments before e-mail and skype. Through skype it was so nice to see Garrett and talk face to face (almost).

The New Year and Resolutions

Joseph brought home a worksheet from school today, outlining his New Year's resolutions. They have inspired me to make some of my own resolutions.
Joe's resolution for school was: Do recess. His personal goal was: Play video games more.
I can see now that I've had it all wrong--the purpose of resolutions is to make achievable goals. No more guilt, no more ridiculous flights of fancy--it's all about attainable.
My goals for the upcoming year:
Make chocolate a part of every meal.
Drink 3 cans of Coke zero a day.Coca Cola Zero 02.jpg
Wear sweats more often.
Show up to church during the opening song and walk to the the front pew.
Resist vacuuming the cars.
Sleep more.
Let the kids play more video games.

I'm feeling better already. I think this new plan can really work for me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Belgium

Brugges is definitely a place I'd like to see again--the brick houses with quaint little stairstep roofs, the canals, the cobblestone streets, the lace, the tapestry, the chocolate--need I say more? We explored the town on foot and then took a break on a boat ride along the canals. Garrett and Grandpa got up early and stayed out late to get the perfect shots. Grandma and I slipped away from our boys for a covert chocolate fix--too bad the chocolate tasted so good that we forgot to get rid of the evidence. We were also told we had to try the Belgian waffles (thanks for the tip Paul)--which were fantastic, but a darn good thing they don't come with the nutritional information or I think we might have talked ourselves out of it.
We might have felt sorry to leave if we weren't heading to Etretat, France....

My favorite memories of Brugges, Belgium

On the 26th of July we traveled to Brugges. The most memorable event involved Grandpa trying to get Joseph in just the right spot for a picture, knocking his glasses off, and Grandpa swimming in the Canals of Brugges, in the hopes of retrieving said glasses. After nearly an hour of combing the silty canal bottoms we finally made Grandpa get out of the frigid waters and a kind elderly Belgium couple loaned Grandpa some dry clothes to make it back to the hotel. Grandpa felt like such a, in his own words, "Schmuck" for the accident, but couldn't help have his spirits lifted when Joseph sang him a song he made up entitled "Grandpa is my friend!" the entire way back to the hotel. Joseph spent the rest of our weeklong trip in cross-eyed, near blindness, but he continued to sing Grandpa's praises. Joe couldn't be happier that he had to get new glasses because his new pair is red, his favorite color. However, if anyone finds Joe's old glasses in the Canals of Brugges, I'll give you a dollar. We love you Grandpa, thanks for the memories!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mason's Baptism

Mason was baptized on Saturday, July 25th, the day that Grandpa Bohman flew in to Stuttgart from Utah. Things just didn't go right from the word go--to make a long story short, the font had only an inch or two of water in it when it was time for the Baptism program to start and many of the key players were M.I.A. Usually, it doesn't take much to send me over the edge, but I just felt a really peaceful feeling and knew that Mason would get baptized that day and the rest of it was just fluff and didn't matter. Garrett and Bishop Jones took Mason back by the font to measure his feet and see if the water was deep enough to completely immerse Mason. Garrett, who was cool as a cucumber, said he was prepared to just lay him all the way down in the water, to make sure he got completely dipped. Mason was pretty nervous that it was going to be too shallow, but Grandma Bohman did a great talk about baptism that let the water rise just enough to make it perfect. Despite everything, Mason's baptism was a great experience for all of us. After the baptism, we waited and waited for Garrett and Mason to come out. Finally the Bishop signaled me to go check on them. I asked Garrett what was taking so long and he said he'd been waiting for Mason to come out and had finally gone back to the dressing room again to discover that Mason had decided to take a nice, long hot shower in there! The Bishop told me later, he thinks it's the first time that shower has ever been used. Afterwards, My dad spoke about confirmation and listening to the Spirit and how that is one of the special characteristics of our prophet, Thomas S. Monson that he uses to help other people. Then, the Bishop talked. He said that at Mason's interview for baptism, he had asked Mason what Mason's favorite primary song was. Mason immediately started singing and sang the entire song of "Shepherd's Lullaby" (a Christmas song). We love you Mason! Ever since Sam and Jacob turned 8, you have been waiting to be old enough to be baptized and worked to understand what that means. We are so proud of you!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Short Jaunt to Switzerland

Garrett and I spent a few days away from the kids and work and went to, where else, Switzerland. The first picture is in Luzern--beautiful there. The Lion sculpture was carved out of the rock and reminded me of Aslan. It wouldn't be a Wood trip if we didn't spend atleast one night sleeping in the car, and we kept with tradition. The next morning we took a tram to Oeschinensee and then hiked to the top of Bl├╝mlisalp, which I have been told by expert opinion, is a dang far long. It was beautiful, complete with Swiss cows and cowbells, mountain goats, and old people atleast 30 years older than we are that left us in the dust. It looked like the geriatric hospital was having a field trip and they were all wasting us. It didn't help that I was unprepared, as usual, and had only brought 2 power bars and a package of mentos for an all day hike. By the time we reached the top our joints were killing us, but it was a gorgeous view. There was a restaurant right on the top of the mountain that is restocked by helicopter daily. We were so famished we spent about twenty dollars on 2 small cheese and pickle sandwiches and a bottle of apple juice, but it tasted delicious! The hike back down was really rough because Garrett's knees nearly gave out (his dad just had double knee surgery--something for him to look forward to in a few years), he was sunburned really badly and his allergies kicked in, full force. Little old grandmas were hiking down the mountain faster than we were. We almost hadn't bought the tram ticket round-trip, but were so grateful that we did as we hobbled towards it only 2 or 3 minutes before it shut down for the day. Hallelujah, we made it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Grandma is Here! or Here Comes Santa Claus

My mom flew in to Stuttgart on July 19th, Sunday morning, and the kids were so excited they had a hard time sleeping the entire week before. We were so excited to see my mom. She is so wonderful. If we had stayed in our house the entire time she would have been as happy as can be, just to be with us. Her only request on coming here was that she could see a concentration camp. Don't worry, I've harrassed her plenty about the psychological implications of someone who only wants to see concentration camps when coming to Europe. Luckily, she sat by a psychologist on the plane and got to work a few of these issues out, free of charge I might add. Grandma stuffed her suitcase with surprises for all of us and it felt like Christmas. One of our favorites was the gum she brought. When Grandma used to visit in Iowa the first thing my kids would ask as she got off the plane was "Do you have any gum?" Apparently they've led a deprived childhood. The pictures here show some wood puzzles my mom bought for each of the boys to put together. Each piece edge was numbered up to about a kabillion, there was one small picture with numbers showing how each piece interlocked. We spent a few futile hours attempting to piece the puzzles together and finally came up with a better idea. The second picture is us burning the puzzles to make s'mores--a much more satisfying project. After a mere 24 hours in Europe, Garrett and I abandoned my mom with 4 kids and took off to Switzerland. Thanks mom!