Thursday, August 11, 2011

Manderscheid Castle

Reese turned 3 years old three months ago and I finally got around to taking her yearly photos today.  Since Nate’s sister Kendra is in town, we took the kids over to Manderscheid castle and got some cute pics of the kids.  Reese is usually only good for a few minutes of smiling so the first ones are smiles and the later ones are more of a brooding Reese look.  Finn on the other hand is always willing to smile for Mommy as long as he has a full stomach.



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The castle ended up being a great place to take pictures plus we got to enjoy touring the castle.  Here’s a few more photos of us at the castle, we just got that new pack for Finn and after using it walking up all those steps at the castle I have to say that I’m very pleased with it.  Oh and the photo of the little white and green bear blanket is Emmie, Reese felt she needed her picture taken at the castle too.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Little Chunk is 5 Months Old

Another month has come and gone with me neglecting to blog.  I think I’m still in fried brain mode from having Finn because whenever I try to sit down and write the words just don’t flow like they used to.  Hopefully it’ll all come back soon and I can be better about documenting the things that happen around here. 


Whether I want to believe it or not, my little baby is turning into a little boy.  Finn is the sweetest little boy ever and we can’t get enough of him.  He popped his first two teeth right after he turned 4 months old but he has yet to bite me while I’m nursing so I’m crossing my fingers that he doesn’t try that anytime soon.  He’s such a happy baby and it’s easy to get a smile out of him, he loves to play peekaboo and he loves just to be held and given attention by anyone.  Reese has had basketball camp this week and luckily while I’ve been helping her there’s always been an extra mom willing to give Finn some attention, he’s quite spoiled in that way because people just love how big he is for his age.  He’s getting close to overtaking Mr.Monkey in his monthly photos.  He’s started doing the tripod sit and does quite well with it so hopefully he’ll be sitting up soon and he’s begun to enjoy a little bit of roughhousing with his daddy and big sister at night.  Pretty much the only time Finn is angry is when it’s bedtime and he’s ready to be asleep already.  He’s been eating some cereal and other baby food now and he loves dinner time, for awhile he was fairly indifferent about it but lately he’s taken a liking to it.  He’d prefer to eat what we’re eating and spends the entire time the rest of us are eating complaining that he’s not eating too despite the fact that he ate his dinner just before us.  He’s the perfect little man and as much as we’d like him to stay a baby forever, okay I think I’m the only one who wants him to stay a baby forever but still, we’re eager to watch him grow up and see his little personality continue to develop.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finn’s Blanket

I got some material a long time ago that I was going to make a blanket for Finn with and then I got swamped making baby gifts and Finn came along and I never got around to it.  Well a few weeks ago I finally decided it was time to get working on it but my ideas for it had changed so I ordered some star fabric to go along with it and it all came in the mail yesterday.  After the kids went to bed last night I cut all the squares out and then spent my entire day sewing them together and putting the fluffy minky on the back.  I have to say that the minky is really soft and nice but it’s a pain to work with.  Luckily all that hard work was worth it because Finn seemed pleased with it and I even made it extra large so he won’t outgrow it to quickly.




Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Snapshot of Our Life

I looked at the kids and realized that even when things seem boring they are having a sweet moment together.  Yesterday I caught them playing together which is happening more often now that Finn is getting bigger and Reese has decided he’s worthy of her attention.  She was getting toys out for him and reading him books. 




Even though that’s becoming a common sight in our home, something that’s even more typical is what’s going on right now behind me.  Finn woke up from napping in his swing but was still content to be sitting there watching Reese who has brought him a musical toy and starts the music and then spins around in front of him.  When the music stops she starts it again and starts spinning.  Oh and she’s begun dressing herself most days with fairly good results.


Finn is 4 Months Old!


Well there’s been a delay in writing this so now he’s almost four and a half months old but either way he’s getting big.  At his doctor’s appt we clocked in at 17lbs 6oz and about 25.5 inches which keeps him at the very top of the growth chart.  The doctor said he’s actually closer in size to a 9 month old than a 4 month old which is pretty funny because there’s a little boy at church who is about 13 months old and Finn is the same size as him, granted this kid is small for his age but it’s still funny to see them next to each other.  Sometimes when I see littler babies I get sad that Finn was never really a little guy,  It can be hard to carry around a kid the size of a 9 month old who’s not developmentally like 9 month old, he’s heavy but he doesn’t hold on which makes it even heavier to carry him, but that’s our Finn and we love him.  He’s already getting his first two teeth so that’s been making him a bit grumpy lately.  You can see the little tooth buds just below the skin and one of them feels like it’ll be out any day now. 

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Some things about Finn:  he loves to eat but he dislikes letting anyone else eat.  When I’m eating breakfast he’ll try and pull my food off the table or he’ll give me a chastising look that says how dare I eat when he isn’t eating.  He’s super stinky which makes me fear for when he’s a teenager.  He farts all the time but rarely poops so strangers probably think my kid needs a diaper change and that I’m a bad mom by making him sit in it but really he’s just farting.  He loves to stand on laps and play in his exersaucer and he’s just discovered that peek a boo is awesome.  If Jaeger is playing near him he’ll laugh out loud and if she’s close enough he’ll try and pet (grab) her.  He loves to play with Daddy but when it comes down to it he’s a big old Momma’s Boy and just having Mommy hold him cures most fits. 

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As a side note about Reese, I had to write these down so I didn’t forget.  Reese is extremely well spoken, she has a huge vocabulary and speaks very clearly there are just a few words that she mispronounces and the funny part about these words is that there is no reason for her to mispronounce them because she can say them she just honestly thinks it’s the right word.  For example banana is go-nana, polka dots is polka gots, in a different category ice cream is ice creamy scoop thanks to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  There’s a few others that I can’t think of right now, but it always makes Nate and I laugh.  Oh and speaking of laughing moments (which are also not laughing moments) the other day Reese was getting ready to take a bath so she’s going to the bathroom and she asks me “Mommy, do I say damn?”  I of course responded no but it took a bit not to laugh because you have to imagine her with her elbow on her knee and her chin in her hand sitting on the toilet asking me that question.


And now I must wrap it up because Finn is demanding my attention and he’s demanding it now.

4th of July

I love celebrating the Fourth of July in Germany and I’m sad that this was the last year of what has become our traditional 4th.  The base had Super Saber Appreciation Day on the holiday so Nate went over to help set up and then the kids and I joined him that afternoon.  They always have so much fun stuff to do and Reese loves it.  She started out by going on the swings which I was a little hesitant about since it was supposed to be for ages 4 and up, but I talked with her about holding on tight and it was one of her favorite things.  She kept wanting to go again and again which was really cute.  After her first time on the swings we saw them bringing in the horses for the pony rides and since last year the line had been ridiculous for it we headed straight there next and ended up being one of the first people on, the line ended up dying down later in the day so she was able to go a second time.  She played all the little games they had set up and won various prizes and candy which she was super excited about and then she took a turn in the bounce house.  After going around and around again doing everything we decided to get some dinner and then we headed over to the lawn where we always sit to watch the fireworks.  The Christensens were there with us and we met up with some of our other friends as well so the kids all got to run around while we waited for it to get dark enough for the fireworks to start.  It takes so long to get dark here that by the time the fireworks started Reese was getting tired, it was a really long show and she ended up falling asleep just before the grand finale.  It was an awesome day and the weather ended up being perfect, which is saying something since it’s been pretty cold and rainy here lately.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Reese’s Last Day of School

I can’t believe it’s July already and I need to update again because things actually do happen around here.

The middle of June marked the end of Reese’s preschool :(  She had such a great time at school all year long and she’s sad that she doesn’t get to go anymore.  For the last day of school they invited the parents to come in for the last half hour for a little presentation.  The kids sang a couple songs and then they ate popsicles while the teachers showed us a picture slideshow of the whole year.  It was really cute and Reese had so much fun playing with her friends at school.

Singing the bear hunt song: (side note, there were 14 kids in her class but the last month a lot had moved away or left for the states on vacation)


being a fish


eating popsicles






With her certificate


With her friend Sadie and her little sister London


Friday, June 3, 2011

5 Years


I can’t believe it’s been five years since Nate and I got married….that’s 60 months or 1825 days or 43,800 hours.  Time goes by quickly until you stop and think about how much has happened in the past five years and then you wonder if it’s actually ONLY been five years.  We were married on June 3rd, 2006 in Sacramento, California and less than a week later we were in San Francisco getting on a plane to Frankfurt to start our life together in Germany.  Nate had used up all the leave he had in order to come out for the wedding so we weren’t able to take a proper honeymoon, but when Fourth of July weekend rolled around we used that time off to head up to Berlin on our very first trip.  That was back when Spangdahlem did explore the Eifel week and gave you extra time off, the fact that we remember when explore the Eifel was awesome tells you just how long we’ve been here.  We took the train to Berlin ended up staying in an awesome hotel that was super cheap and had a great weekend.  I remember that on the way home our train was delayed and we missed our next one so they rerouted us and gave us a voucher for a taxi to get the rest of the way home, that was just one of many bumps in the road that we’ve been through together and like all the other bumps that would come in the future we shook our heads and got over the change in plans.


That first summer in Germany we added to our family and got our sweet little puppy Jaeger.  It was a little lonely at first in a foreign country where I didn’t know anyone, but Jaeger was a great companion.


Our first year of marriage took us to Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Hawaii, Austria, and the Netherlands where we celebrated our first anniversary.

pig fest in wittlich:


In Brussels, Belgium:

Nate and I at Mannequin Pis in Brussels

New Year’s in Paris:


Family vacation in Kauai:


Salzburg, Austria:


In the Netherlands on our anniversary:


Our second year of marriage took us to Switzerland and Italy and then we found out we were pregnant the night before Nate left on an almost 5 month deployment to Iraq.  The deployment was hard and when Nate returned I was about 6 months pregnant and soon enough we had our very first child Reese Aspen Crandall.  For our second anniversary we left a 2 week old Reese home with my mom while we went to dinner in Bitburg.

Adelboden, Switzerland:


Rome, Italy:


Nate leaving for his deployment:


Nate returning from his deployment:


Our first child:


Our third year of marriage was consumed with our new daughter, seriously as I’m looking through all our photos the number of pictures we took must have multiplied by ten after we had Reese.  Even with all the confusion and work of becoming new parents, we still found time to make a trip back to the States and introduce her to everyone, and travel to Poland before Nate deployed for the second time a few days before Reese’s first birthday.  We celebrated our anniversary on different sides of the globe that year but decided we would do something to make up for it the next year.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland:


Nate’s birthday:


Our fourth year of marriage started apart but Nate finally returned from Iraq in September and to celebrate we took a trip to Egypt for Thanksgiving.  After lots of time of on and off separation due to TDYs and trips for Reese and I to go home, we finally ended our fourth year on a good note and took a trip to Ireland just the two of us.

Nate returning home from second deployment:


Thanksgiving in Egypt:


Fourth Anniversary in Ireland:


Our fifth year of marriage has been a good one, a little less complicated than some of the others since amazingly enough Nate didn’t deploy at all this year.  Shortly after returned home from Ireland we found out that I was pregnant with our second child.  In August we took a trip with our friends to Barcelona, Spain and then we were able to go home to the States as a whole family in November for Nate’s sisters wedding.  On March 2nd, 2011 we had our second child Finn Everest and now that he is 3 months old we’re celebrating our 5th anniversary probably by putting our children to bed and watching a movie.



Our second child:


Today we begin our sixth year of marriage which will bring with it many changes including us finally leaving our home in Germany and continuing our lives elsewhere.  Whatever challenges this year brings us I’m glad to be facing them with Nate.  Here’s to another five years of adventure!