Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Grocery Shopping at the Commissary

Today the Hubby and I decided that we would go and get groceries on Post at the Commissary. We hadn't been to the Commissary yet, and boy was it an experience! Today was retiree and senior citizen day!!!! Not really, but that is what was at the Commissary this morning! Know don't get me wrong, I love older people, after all, that is my specialty with Nursing, Geriatrics.

What would have taken me about an hour grocery shopping, took double if not longer today! Poor Hubby was asked numerous amounts of times to get heavy things off of shelves by various older people. Such things as big bags of dog food! Maybe next time the Hubby should take off his uniform and put on civilian clothes before we go to the Commissary?!?!

Oh well, after all was said and done, we enjoyed getting groceries together and I saved $35.35 with coupons!!! How have you saved lately, I'd like to know? Please share.

I'm Back

For all of my "readers", after a long absence, I am finally back. Thank you for the prayers that were lifted up for my family during the death of my Grandaddy. We were all very saddened and still are saddened with his death. It's still hard to believe that he is gone. Death knows no time or place. As I type this I pray that each one of you reading this is right with the Lord and has asked Jesus into your heart as your Personal Savior. Don't you want to spend eternity with Him? I know that I do, and I pray that if you have never asked Christ into your heart, that you would, what a better way to start off the new year, with a new life in Christ!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Grandfather

Tonight, my family and I mourn the loss of my Grandfather. One year and 2 days after his wife, my Grandmother died. He was a wonderful person, there are so many memories that I will cherish forever of him. Praise be to God for his amazing grace, my Grandfather is now in Heaven with our Lord.

Please pray for strength for our family over the next few days as arrangements are made, he is survived by two daughters, one being my Mom whom is the oldest, and by his only sibling his sister and the rest of our family, four Grandchildren and two Great-Grandchildren.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Been A While

It's been a few days since I have blogged.......try a week! I have been sooo busy with unpacking and trying to get the house organized and also gettting the Cristmas Tree and all of the Christmas decorations up! Did I get it all done............YES! I am officially finished with everything in the new house! It feels great to walk in any room in the house knowing that it is all unpacked and organized!

I felt so caught up that we picked the kids up from school yesterday when school was out and we went and spent the night at my parents(they live about an hour and a half away). The guys planned on going hunting this morning and us girls, well, you know what girls like to do....we went SHOPPING! We had a fun time shopping too, we must have hit about 10 stores and the Mall! Oh yeah and we had lunch too, we love the salad bar a Ruby Tuesdays, so that is what we just had to have for lunch. The guys, well they went hunting getting up at the crack of dawn! They had fun and they had lunch at Hardees. A great day and time for everyone!

Now we're back at our home. Tomorrow morning we are venturing out to find a Church to go to. We are going to try the First Baptist Church here in our town. It's so hard when you move and you have to find a new Church, my only rule is NO filling out "new visitor card"! We did that at one place where we were stationed and we were always getting visits from the "New Visitor Committee"! It got so bad we had to tell them to leave us alone! Oh well, God will lead us where he wants us to be.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finally.....I'm Back

I am finally back...........sorry for the delay, but moving is exhausting! And not having phone and internet can be a pain! But as of yesterday, we now have a phone, and internet and dishnetwork in our home! Praise the Lord!!! God is good!!!

Today I have been trying to unpack some more boxes and get somewhat decorated the Living and Dining Room. I finished the kitchen yesterday. The Hubby and the Princess went to get the SC tags for the van and to pick up her new glasses. The Bookworm is waiting for our neighbor,and his new best friend,to come outside and play. Yes, we live in a neighborhood with lots of boys the Bookworms age. The other day, our front yard was covered with boys' bikes! They were all in the backyard playing soccer. I have really prayed that God would provide us a home where there would be kids the Bookworm's age. Once again, God provided!

Other things that have been happening......the movers were here Thursday and Friday and delivered all of our Household goods. Now the Hubby is trying to set up a time and date for all of our Storage to be delivered. It has been 5 1/2 years since we put stuff in storage and honestly, I can not remember what we have in it! I am sure that there will be lots of things that I will be getting rid of.....I'll probably try to have a yard sale in the Spring.

Lets see, oh yeah, after much thought and prayer and the wonderful location of our home(meaning that it is zoned for wonderful schools) we put the kids back into school on Friday. The Princess was so happy, the Bookworm, well lets just say that he would love to be Homeschooled forever! The Princess has all advanced classes and is in Pre-Algebra. She was taking private flute lessons in Italy so we wanted to see if she could take Band.....and believe it or not, the Band Instructor took her without any hesitation.......once again God was good, as He always is! The Bookworm got a wonderful teacher, her husband is in the Army, so I was very pleased about that. He seems to be adjusting very well. He was happy to see that they were just starting to study Jamestown and the thirteen original colonies. We had just finished studying about that while we were Homeschooling, so he seems to be right on track with them.

The Hubby is still on leave and is still going to be on leave until right before Christmas! He said that he needed a huge break after having Command.....we want even get started about the Challenges of Command!!!

Our next step is to have a wonderful Thanksgiving at my parents tomorrow. It will be the first time in 5 1/2 years that my Mom has had her whole family(my family and my brother and his wife) at her home all together. Needless to say my parents are tickled pink. Friday, we leave for Virginia til Sunday to see the Hubby's parents and his brother and sister and their families. We are excited about seeing all of them as well.

As for today, well the Hubby and I are celebrating our 14th Anniversary! It has been fourteen wonderful years together and I am looking forward to fourteen plus more!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SURPRISE...Welcome Back to the States Party

Tonight we had plans to go to dinner with some friends from our home church. We arrived at the restaurant and met our friends whom were waiting for us out front. We proceeded to the room where we would be eating.........and..........SURPRISE!!!! My parents had planned and threw us a SURPRISE Welcome Back to the States Party with all of our friends and family! We were surprised too! How nice it was to see all of our family and friends to come out and welcome us back after being in Europe for 5 1/2 years. It was nice to be able to tell them all thank you for praying for us while we were stationed over seas. We felt their prayers everyday and coveted them. Nothing beats your family and church family.....NOTHING!

We had wonderful conversations with all of our friends and family, wonderful food(it was BBQ and hash and lots of other "southern" specialties), sweet tea and cake. Yummy, it was wonderful. We hadn't had BBQ and hash in a long long time! My parents had everything beautifully decorated in red,white and blue with banners, balloons, streamers....you name it, it was nice.

Thanks Mom and Dad for a wonderful evening! We'll never forget it! And to all of our family and friends, thank you so much for your company tonight, we had a wonderful time!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finally....A House

We have been looking for a home and we finally found one. It is quite difficult finding a home in the Ft.Jackson area! A home that it with good schools! Not that schools matter this year since we are Homeschooling, but for next year or the next if we decide to put the kids back in school. Oh yeah, guess I forgot to mention too that the Hubby found out today that he got selected for an Instructor position at the Finance School here, so we will be here for a least 2 1/2 to 3 years. That makes all Grandparents VERY VERY happy, we of course are happy too.

God provided.....we found a beautiful home today. It has four bedrooms, eat in kitchen, formal dining room, formal living room, 2 1/2 baths, master suite with master bath, and a bonus room above the garage, plus a two car garage. It is in a really nice neighborhood with other military families and other kids the kid's ages.

Oh I can not wait to sleep-in in the morning.........I am so tired of looking at houses!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Van Today, House Tomorrow

Today the Hubby and I got up early and went to Charleston to pick up our van. The Princess and the Bookworm stayed with Nana while we went, they schooled and then had fun spending time with Nana.

Charleston is a lot further away than I remember! But the van is in one piece and we now have it.

Tomorrow we will go to look for a house. I am praying that we find a nice one and that it will be readily available for us to move into! I would like to get a house and all of our household goods before Thanksgiving so that I can get the house ready for the Holidays! I can't wait to enjoy them this year with family!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We're Back in AMERICA

We are back! Praise God that we are back and had safe travels and for my parents picking us up at the Airport in Atlanta and then driving all the way back to their home with us! We didn't get in until around 3 on Saturday morning!!! It's nice to be back!

Needless to say we hit Walmart yesterday and then went to Verizon and bought two cell phones! Wow....how much technology has changed since we have been gone.....you know we HAVE been gone 5 1/2 years! So this morning the Hubby and I and my Mom were sitting at the dining room table playing with our new cell phones! Mom said we were acting like kids on Christmas morning!

Good news! All of our household goods are in country and so is our van, it's in Charleston. We plan on going tomorrow and getting our van, I pray that it made it in one piece! The Hubby will sign into Ft.Jackson on Wednesday and then we will begin House hunting! Oh yeah, another bit of news, looks like the Hubby was the first choice for an instructor position at the Finance School at Ft.Jackson, so we may be in SC for around 2 1/2 years instead of just 6 months! AWESOME!! We will know for sure around the 20th of this month, but he was already told that it is 99% a go!

As I type this I am smelling my Mom's wonderful lunch that she is cooking for us!! Yummm, we have all missed "home-cooked" food! The Princess can't wait to dive into Nana's yummy country cooking!

As for now I will go, to all of you who have prayed for us for the 5 1/2 years we were in Europe, thank you, we felt your prayers everyday. May the Lord continue to bless each one of you, especially our Church Friends and Family in Montmorenci........Jan, Vivian, Bonnie, Karen and Dorinda especially!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Rain,Halloween,Florence and A Broken Rib

This morning we awoke to it still raining outside. I pray that it stops raining before all the kids on Post go Trick-or-Treating tonight. It is going to be a cold,nasty night if it keeps raining. But I think whether rain or snow, nothing is going to stop kids from that once a year Trick or Treating!

The Bookworm is going as a Pirate this year, he is so ready to go and get candy. The Princess is on her way to Florence! Yes people you read that right, she is on her way to Florence with our Chapel Youth Group;Club Beyond for a Middle School Retreat this weekend. She is so looking forward to it. It will be the last time that she will be with her friends before we move. So she left at 10 this morning for her trip. The Hubby is busy outprocessing and me, well, the Bookworm and I spent 2 hours in the Clinic this morning after we dropped off the Princess. The right side of my chest is hurting severly up where my sternum is, and it goes all around to my back. So, needless to say I am in a lot of pain. I dreaded having to lay down in the bed last night and then having to get up this morning, that is how bad it is. So, all said and done, broken rib! Yep, from being sick with Bronchitis and coughing! Broken rib!!!!!!!!!!!!! How fun is that to happen when we are in the processing of leaving! And this weekend the house has to be packed(suitcases) and cleaned. The Hubby is going to be doing a lot of it by himself, I can not pick up anything or even move without hurting! So the Doctor gave me percocet......oh yes, when I take that I am in no pain and out like a light! I am praying that with rest and with all of the medicines that I am now on that I am feeling much better in a few days. I surely do not want to be sick when we are on the plane flying back......not fun!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Change of Command

Well, it's done.....Command. The Change of Command was this morning. It rained all night last night and was suppose to rain all day today too. We awoke this morning to crisp air and beautiful blue skies. The mountains were beautiful this morning. God answered our prayers. We were praying that it would rain for the Change of Command this morning because we didn't want to have to move the Ceremony into the Post Gym. It was beautiful and clear until about an hour or so AFTER the Change of Command, then it started raining.....perfect timing!

The Ceremony went wonderfully. The Soldiers looked so great out on the field. The Hubby's speech was great, and yes, he did get choked up, he had to pause at one moment. Then that made his soldiers choke up on the field.....several were crying. This Finance Detachment that my husband was in Command of was a small Detachment of only 15 Soldiers, so everyone is very close. He had about 40/45 Italian Nationals working for him as well.

Our two favorite Chaplains gave the Invocation and the Benediction. We were so glad that they were able to take part in the Ceremony. Our close friends(Army Family) were there with us also. They thought that it was so funny that they had "reserved" seats! We kidded with them, one of the perks for knowing the Commander! It was very hard to say goodbye today to all of his Italian National workers and to his soldiers. They will always hold a special place in our hearts, always.

I had to tell two of my very close friends good-bye today as well. I will not see them again before we fly next Friday. It was hard to say good-bye, but I now that we will still be keeping in touch. It's never easy moving to new Installations, making friends and having them for a few years and then having to say good-bye. It never gets easy! But as I look over the past 15 years, God has put a lot of wonderful people in our lives that have made lasting impressions on our hearts.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So Long.....Farewell

Tonight the Hubby's Detachment gave him a Farewell dinner. We arrived after everyone else, the Hubby and the kids and I, everyone was sitting at a really really long table. All of his soldiers were there along with a few of his Local National Italian Civilian Workers. It was nice, all of his soldiers are wonderful, he has been blessed by having such a good group of soldiers and local nationals.

We ordered and ate and talked to everyone. We always make an effort to talk to everyone everytime that Detachment gets together. We have always made it a point to remember spouses and children's names and things in which they find interest in doing. Whenever you ask about their family or other things that are going on in their life, their eyes light up knowing that you are truly interested in them, which we truly are. It's called, taking time to know others. It's a thing that sadly not alot of people do anymore.

They presented the Hubby with a beautiful framed plaque with the past Battalion guidon and the present one.(they recently changed) It is very big, I am so glad that we have hold baggage coming on Monday, there is no way that we could have hand carried this on the plane! The Hubby gave his speech, it was emotional, a lot of his soldiers had tears, even the Italians. The Hubby even looked teary eyed. For me, I'll save it for the Change of Command in the morning. The Hubby said that he did get really teary when he switched out computers in his office today, or should I say old office.

Tomorrow is THE day.....I am sure a few tears will be shed. We have to say goodbye to some very dear friends tomorrow whom we want see again before we fly out next week. We are looking forward to moving back to the states, sad to have to tell so many friends that we have made here goodbye, but you know what, we're leaving here blessed because God has placed so many wonderful people in our path while we have been stationed here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Last night the kids carved their pumpkins. Carving pumpkins are a tradition in our home every year. We always have to put in It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown too!

This was the first year where the kids did everything themselves. They washed their pumpkin, then they drew out on paper what they wanted the face of their pumpkin to look like, then they cut the top off and cleaned out their pumpkin. Now this is where it is quite interesting....the Princess just jumps in getting all of the goo out and putting it in her bowl. The Bookworm decided heck NO was he touching the yucky goo, he disappeared and came back in the room with big yellow rubber gloves on! Oh yes, he did, it was all the Hubby and I could do NOT to laugh! The Bookworm was content with his gloves and went right on with cleaning out his pumpkin. They both finished cleaning out the goo in their pumpkins and then they drew their faces on their pumpkins and then they carved the faces out. NO we didn't let them use knives, they used the little pumpkin carver kit knives, very safe.

All in all.....2 hours later, they were finished with their master pieces. They did a very good job and they did it all by themselves. They were both very proud.

I love this time of the year.....Fall. I love to see the leaves changing colors and then fall to the ground, I love to see the orange of the pumpkins and all of the Fall colors.

And guess what people, Halloween is the start to the Holidays....yes, that's right, in just 3 days it'll be that time of the year again! Are you getting ready!?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

5 1/2 Years of Sunday Calling

This Blog is for my parents.....this was the last Sunday that they will be calling us over seas. They have faithfully called and talked to the kids and us for the past 5 1/2 years while we have been living in Germany and Italy! Yes, 5 1/2 years of Sunday evening callings. I wonder how many Sundays that actually adds up to be?

My parents would call to talk every Sunday after they would get home from Church. That would usually end up being around 7 our time. They would both be on a different phone in their house so that they could both listen and talk at the same time. First they would start off talking to me and then take turns with each of the kids and then finally ended back with me. Every once in awhile the Hubby would get to talk! Most of the time that would happen if I was taken a bath! Funny!

We have one more Sunday in our house here in Italy, but our phone is suppose to be turned off on this coming up Thursday, along with the internet! Geepers......I don't know what I am going to do! I call my Mom almost everyday! Yes people you heard me right, almost everyday! My Mom is my Best Friend, besides my Hubby of course! Thursday is a big day here. It's the Hubby's Change of Command at 10 that morning, so if you are one of my friends and you are reading this, you're invited! And of course I can't forget that Thursday is my Dad's Birthday too! I love you Daddy!!! I hope that my phone isn't turned off so that I can call you.......one way or another I want miss talking to you on your Birthday....I NEVER have!

Yes people, it's almost over, next Sunday this time the suitcases will be really packed up(like their not already)and the movers will be here for hold baggage that Monday. I don't know what they're going to pack because we don't have too much left! Regardless, it's getting more exciting by the minute thinking about being back in the States. I know that we'll have ALOT to get adjusted to, but I don't care............Bring it On!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Health Clinics.....

Before I start this post let me just say that I am very thankful that we have free health care through the Military, and that I am very thankful that my husband is in the Military and has a job! I know that there are many that do not have a job, or even worse, have a job buy no health benefits.

So my story for the day.............I have had a really bad cough for the past almost 3 weeks now, and I know that it is bronchitis. How do I know? Because 2x's a year I get it, the Fall of the year and right before Spring. What usually clears it up, an antibiotic. And yes, I know that antibiotics are not always the cure all, but with Bronchitis, that is the solution. So anyway, back to my story. So I finally had had enough of the coughing(and yes, dear Hubby and the kids had too)and the trying to take all of the over the counter meds. that I could, so I called the Health Clinic on Monday to get an appt. You know, call, get an appt. Now I wasn't necessarily thinking that I would get one for that same day, but at least within the next day or two. So, I call, and I wait, then I finally talk to someone and guess what I was told?!?!? Oh, you'll have to come in to Triage and see a nurse and if they think that you are sick, then you will see a doctor! What, get out, I couldn't believe my ears! So I asked, there are NO appts. this week, the answer I got, NO, you'll have to go to Triage. So I asked when I could get an appt. The answer I got, Monday the 27th with Dr.____. First of all I couldn't believe that I would have to wait until Monday the 27th when obviously you could tell that I really was sick and second of all there was NO WAY I was seeing that DOCTOR! I will not say his name because if you are reading this and you are stationed here, then you probably know this Civilian Italian Doctor that works at this Clinic and he has very bad bed side manners. I waited on him one day in the examining room for 2 hours plus her was really rude! So I told the lady absolutely not, that I would not see him, I didn't care if he was my Primary Care Giver or not. So of course, there were no more appts. on Monday with any other Doctor but him, go figure, I am not the only sane person around here, no one else wants to see him either! So the third option was to call on Saturday morning and get an appt. to go in on Saturday. For those of you reading this, yes, they do have a Saturday Clinic. This was not an option for me though, I needed relief and it had to be within a day or two at the longest! So I hung up the phone and was thinking of what I could do.

The Bookworm had an appt. to get his eyes checked on Thursday, could I wait that long.?! There was no way I was going to go in and see the nurse and hope that she/he would think that I was sick enough to see the doctor, Lord knows how long that would take! So the plan was this....Hubby would go with me to take the Bookworm to get his eyes checked. He would stay with the Bookworm, while I checked in to "triage".

So today, that is what we did. The Hubby took care of the Bookworm, and I checked into " Triage" and sat waiting to be called back, while the whole time I was sitting I was praying that I would also get to see a Doctor, but not THE Dr.! So I get called back and the Nurse says yes, I think you should see a DR. let me see if I can get you an appt. for tomorrow, then she left. I am thinking to myself....TOMORROW.....isn't this what Triage is for so that you can see a doctor today! So once again I sat there praying that I would be able to see a Doctor today and once again not THE DOCTOR! Also, we only have one car now, and tomorrow is NOT my day to have it, it's the Hubby's day! So after a few minutes, the Nurse comes back in and says, if you give me your ID Card I can get you in right now to see Dr.___. I dug through the purse and handed her my ID Card. I was so thankful to the Lord that I was going to get to see the Doctor and it was NOT going to be THE DOCTOR!!!! Thank you Lord.

So, by the time I was finished seeing the Doctor(and yes, it is bronchitis and yes, he gave me an antibiotic along with some other meds. like Tylenol with Codiene....I see sleep in my future tonight!)the Hubby and the Bookworm were getting called for his eye check up. Perfect timing! Thank the Lord the Bookworm doesn't need glasses.......as of yet anyway, hey, three out of the four of us has them already, it's just a matter of time!

I know you are probably wondering where the Princess was during all of this......Flute lessons, she has Flute lessons on Thursdays.

The power of prayer people, the power of prayer, never under-estimate it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One More Wednesday

I am seating here thinking about what to Blog about........well, I could start by saying that we only have 1 more Wednesday after today in our house here. Next Wednesday will be the last Wednesday in this house, our last Wednesday in Italy we will be in Guest Lodging on Post. Can't believe that this week is almost over and that we are getting a lot closer to getting out of Italy. Yes, you heard me correctly, we have come to the fact along time ago that Italy is not the most favorite place that we have ever lived, in fact, it's the worst place we have ever lived! We all four dislike it here. The country is dirty, there is nothing around us within a reasonable distant to go and see or do, plus we have found the Italians to be the most rudest people that we have ever met! You can't even began to compare living in Germany with living here, it's two totally different worlds! Trust me.......we're counting down the days.......counting them down!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Strolling in Venice

Today we decided that we would sleep in and then go to Venice....we took the train, we didn't drive. We wanted to go one last time to Venice before we move in 2 1/2 weeks. We had a nice time there today. We got pizza for lunch and for the last time we walked to the Rialto Bridge and to St. Marks. We were thinking that it wouldn't be crowded on a Sunday, but we thought wrong! It was perhaps more crowded today than any other time that I have gone to Venice, and I think that I have been there about 10 or so times! And boy were there tons of tourists and tour guides! I have never seen so many tour guides, usually I don't see any when I go! But regardless we had a good time. The Princess and I had an agenda to get us a mask before we move, and we fulfilled it! The Bookworm got another soccer shirt...this time he got a Deutchland(Germany) shirt, we do favor Germany over Italy! And the Hubby, well, he's just happy go lucky, although I did take his input on the mask, and believe it or not I actually went with the one that he liked!

As we left on the train from Venice to head back to our home the sun was started to set, how beautiful Venice is, we will surely miss taking trips there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Roma Day 3~ Colosseum,Spanish Steps,Trevi Fountain&The Pantheon

On the morning of day three,Sunday, we hit the ground early had breakfast and caught the 8:00am Hotel shuttle to the city center. The first on our agenda was to hop back on our hop-on-hop-off bus(we had a 48 hour pass) and head to the Colosseum to avoid long lines! And what perfect timing we had. We got in line with no waiting and we decided at the last minute to take the 9:00am English speaking tour of the Colosseum, it was so worth it. If you ever go to Roma, I recommend the tour of the Colosseum! It is definitely worth going inside of the Colosseum and not just looking at it from the outside. This was the one thing that the Bookworm really wanted to see and go into, he loved it!

After the Colosseum we decided to walk right across from the Colosseum and see the Roman Forum. This was very interesting. This is one of the preserved archaeological sites of ancient Rome.The remains here are of 2,000 year old temples, law courts and victory monuments, they were very impressive. The above picutre is of the Forum.

After we toured the Colosseum, we jumped back on the bus and took it all the way til we got to the closest stop for the Spanish Steps. About a 7 minute walk and we were looking up at the Spanish Steps. They weren't pretty this time of the year. The time of the year to see them is March-April when all of the beautiful flowers are in bloom along the Steps, but still I wasn't complaining because I was there, looking right at them. We counted the steps as we walked up them........133 steps from the bottom to the top. And believe it or not, no grips came from anyone in my family about climbing them all the way to the top!! It's probably because they knew that a McDonalds was right around the corner and that that was going to be the next stop....lunch!

Lunch was eaten and enjoyed and then we headed on foot to the Trevi Fountain. This was the most that we had walked in the past three days. It was alittle bit of a walk from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain. But once we got there, it was amazing. The fountain was beautiful and the water was so clear and so clean. Although there were alot of people, it didn't even phase you because all that you could do was look at the beauty of the fountain. All four of us had to throw a euro into the fountain, and of course we all four had to touch the water! It is said that on every Monday, they turn off the fountain and clean it and take out all of the coins and that all of the money that is taken out of the fountain goes to the Rome Red Cross. This was the one site that the Princess really wanted to see, she says that it was definitely her favorite thing that we saw the whole weekend. Above is a picture of the Trevi Fountain and a picture of the Princess after she threw her Euro in the fountain. If you throw a euro in the fountain, it means that you hope to go back to Rome one day.Our last site to see after the Trevi Fountain was the Pantheon. This was another nice walk......10-15 minutes from the fountain, but once again, it was worth it! The Pantheon was probably one of my favorite sites the whole weekend, besides the Sistine Chapel. It dates all the way back to A.D. 118! What was amazing about the Pantheon is it's open dome inside. Yes, it's dome is open, thus when it rains, it comes into the Pantheon! They do have drains in the floor of the Pantheon, and let me just mention that the Bookworm had a fun time taking picutres of all the drain holes! Above is a picture of the Pantheon and below is a picture of the Bookworm at the Pantheon, it's self exlanatory!
We had a wonderful weekend in Rome! It's hard to believe that a week ago today we were standing in front of the Colosseum! What great memories and stories we have to share will family and friends in just a few weeks when we will be back in the states....finally!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Roma~Day Two:The Vatican City

On our second day in Rome we decided to take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. This was definitely a wise choice on our part! It was a nice tour company and it allowed you to hop off when ever you wanted to and then you could get back on at a later time, when ever you wanted to. It also had a recorded guide that told you about everything that you were passing along the way, we found out about a lot of things that we would not have found out other wise. Such as where Julius Ceasar was killed.
So, we were up and on the go in Rome on Saturday morning. We decided to go and tour The Vatican City. Did you know that the Vatican City is the smallest country in the world and it's population is only 400?! The Vatican City only occupies an area of less than half a square kilometre! It also has it's own postal service, army(Swiss Guard), heliport, railway station, supermarket and radio and TV stations. It also issues it own currency and postal stamps. It's pretty cool to be able to say that we have been to the smallest country in the world! And of course the world's largest church;St.Peter's Basilica. The above and below pictures show St.Peter's Basilica.

We arrived and hopped off of our bus and were awed by the beauty of St.Peter's Square. We took a lot of pictures outside and inside St.Peter's. It was amazing to be standing there when all of the other times we had ever seen it were on TV. There were not a lot of people there on Saturday, so we didn't have to wait a long time to go through the metal detectors before we could actually walk up to the Basilica. On our walk up to the Basilica we were able to see the Swiss Guards and we actually got to see them change over. Their uniforms were beautiful colors. Colors of bright yellow, red, blue and white. We get to the entrance to the Basilica and it is so beautiful, the doors are so big as is the Basilica itself. We must have walked around inside for at least an hour and a half! It was amazing to know that everything inside that looked like gold was actually gold and oh so much marble and ivory. One of my favorite things that I saw was an ivory dove holding a small olive branch, it was petite but beautiful.

The Swiss Guards.

The ivory dove holding the olive branch.

This picture below is when we first walked into St. Peter's Basilica.
The Holy Water.
This is the dome in St.Peter's Basilica.

This is the Sacrament of Penance.

This is what the floor looks like and a distant picture of the canopy that covers the High Alter that only the Pope stands on. Thus notice that this section of the floor is red-draped off for only the Pope also.
This is a closer picture of the canopy that covers the High Alter. It was very big and beautiful. You can notice the gold ceiling of St.Peter's Basilica above.This is a view of the inside of the canopy above the High Alter.
This last picture is located behind the High Alter.

Beneath the Basilica are the Vatican Grottoes-Renaissance crypts containing papal tombs. It is better known as the Tomb of the Popes. The Bookworm decided to lean down and say Helloooo to the people walking in the Tomb below us! Yes, you could actually see people walking right under us through these little vents in the Basilica.
When we were finished admiring the Basilica we went and walked through the Tomb of the Popes. We had forgotten that Pope John Paul II was buried in the Tomb of the Popes. It was amazing to actually get to see his tomb. His tomb was very plain, just like he was, he didn't like fancy things, and it was the prettiest white marble and written in gold.

After we visited St.Peter's Basilica, we had lunch in the Vatican City and then headed to tour the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. By this time it is close to 2:00p.m. We get to the Vatican Museums(Musei Vaticani) and it takes us til just around 6:00p.m. to go through the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel! So if you ever go to Rome to the Vatican, allow ample time to be able to visit everything, you need a whole day to tour the Vatican. You could take pictures of everything in the Vatican Museums, but you couldn't take pictures in the Sistine Chapel. It was well worth going and seeing the Sistine Chapel........words can not describe how it felt to be looking at and standing in the same room with the works of Michelangelo. To see all of the pictures that most people,even me until that day,only see in books! Amazing, just amazing. It's funny we found out the story behing his painting of Jonah and the Whale. Michelangelo didn't know what a whale looked like when he was painting Jonah and the Whale, so he went to a local fish market in Rome and bought a fish. He then brought the fish back with him into the Sistine Chapel and used the fish that he had bought to paint the "whale" in the piture with Jonah. Makes sense because when you look at that picture, it doesn't look like a whale at all....it looks like an ordinary fish! We admired the works for sometime and then headed back to our stop where we could hop back on our bus. It was a great day thus far and it wasn't over yet!

This is a picture of the garden inside the Vatican Museums. You walk through the open courtyard to get to the starting point of the Museums. I loved this rich,deep yellow color!
Here is a picture of the Princess with her favorite,"Athena". The only picture, or the closest picture, of the Sistine Chapel.
A picture of an Egyptian Mummy that the Bookworm had to take a picture of! It kept him busy giving him the camera! We have some interesting photos!

In the Hall of Maps, we found a map depicting the region of Italy where we live, the Veneto Region. We found Vicenza on the map and believe it or not we actually found the name of the town where we live too!
This is the "famous" double helix staircase in the Vatican Museum. And the dome above it.

Our second day of Roma concluded with a much deserved and earned dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe! Then we headed back to get on our bus and we departed at the Main Train Terminal. Found our Hotel shuttle and went back to our room to get much needed sleep so we would be ready to go the next morning on day 3!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roma,Italy~Arrival Evening on Friday

I can not believe that we finally went to Roma! When we first moved to Europe 5 1/2 years ago, I made a list of the places that we wanted to go and see and Rome was that last place on the list......and guess what, it was the last place that our family will visit before we PSC back to the states in 3 weeks! Yes, I did pinch myself to make sure that I really WASN'T dreaming!

We had always talked about just taking the train to Roma, but we decided to do it the old fashioned way and drive it! It was a 7 hour trip there, but the drive was very beautiful. Real pretty green country side with olive trees and sheep on the hills. We had an excellent hotel, Novotel Roma, just outside of the city. Little did we know that they had a free hotel shuttle that took you into the city. This was great because we didn't have to venture on our own and ride the creepy metro or regional train! Did I forget to say that the hotel shuttle was....free! Once we arrived on Friday evening to our Hotel, we checked in took our luggage up to our room, changed and jumped on the shuttle so that we could go and see the Colosseum at night and also to find somewhere to get dinner.

The shuttle dropped us off right at the main train terminal in the heart of Roma(and no I am not spelling it wrong, it actually is spelled Roma, we Americans spell it Rome we do that with a lot of European names). We started walking down the main street for about 10 minutes, then we looked up a side street and we could see the Colosseum. Wow, was it beautiful! We walked until we were standing right in front of it. Of course we oooed and awed and took pictures, and then planned that on day 3 we would come back and go inside it. Because on the next day we were planning to go to the Vatican City.

We then, left to walk back towards the main train terminal looking for a place where we could grab some dinner on the way back. We found a nifty little pizzaria, so we decided to get pizza. The pizza in Roma is different than where we live in Vicenza. In Roma it is oval shaped and very long, they cut off as big of a piece as you would like and they weigh it and sell it by the kilogram.We each got a different piece and we all thought that it was just to die for! Especially the Bookworm, we had to get him another piece! Here is a picture of mine and the Hubby's pizza!After dinner, we caught the Hotel shuttle back to the Hotel at 8:30 and went to bed looking forward to the next day and all that was waiting for us to explore and see!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Looking for a Rental Home

Well, the past few days I have been searching the internet for a rental home. I have e-mailed about 10 different people that have homes for rent. We decided that we are not going to live on Post at Ft.Jackson reasons being that I don't think that we will get onto housing! And the second thing is that the Officer housing is very SMALL! It's great to be going to a place that you are familiar with........I mean I am from South Carolina and my entire childhood til I got married, I lived in Aiken, which is only about an hour and so away. Plus my brother and his wife lived in Columbia for alittle bit before they moved to the big city "Chicago"! So we know what areas to look at and what areas to not look at.

I am hoping to have about 2 or 3 housing lined up so that my parents can go and look at them.....maybe on Friday.(thanks Mom and Dad) It would really be nice to have a house waiting on us when we get to Ft. Jackson. If not, we'll find one.....eventually! We would love to be in a house and have all of our household goods by Thanksgiving. With an intent to have the house unpacked and decorated for Christmas! Gotta have the tree up after that yummy Thanksgiving dinner! It's a tradition with us! We are definitely looking for to have a huge wonderful Thanksgiving with family this year.....we can't wait.

So, if you know of any rentals in Columbia, preferrably, Northeast, send them my way!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's Been A LONG Day

We were up at 5 and out the house by 6:15 and on a bus leaving for Darby(Pisa) at 7 this morning! And it gets better we spent a total of over 9 hours on a bus with two soccer teams! Yes, not only our team but another team as well. Let's just say I had to pop some tylenol!

It was worth the trip both teams won their game! Which is great considering both teams were on the same bus.........I could just imagine the taunting if one team would have lost!

Tomorrow is "really" a day of rest!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pictures of Our House Being Packed Up

I always take before and during and after pictures when we move. Here are some pictures of what the house looked like during the packing phase and a few of the kids sneeking boxes from teh movers to make an outside hut! And then later the Bookworm made a hut in his room and decided to sleep in it!

Here are the Princess and the Bookworm's Huts! And yes, the captured Sandy our English Cocker Spaniel and held her captive! And see, proof that the Bookworm slept in his hut that he made in his room!

The Van is Shipped

The van shipped yesterday. We had it detailed cleaned on Saturday. The AGIP right by Post cleaned it, and they did a wonderful job. I have to say that I took these pictures, along with ALOT more so that in case "something" happens to the van, I'll have "proof"!(you can see our silver ford taurus in the background in the first pic.) When the Hubby took it to Transportation to ship, the man asked him since it's a van we must have kids. The hubby said yes, and he said, well your van is so clean and no marks or anything, it doesn't even look like kids have every rode in it! I certainly take that as a compliment! And yes, the kids do ride in the van, but they know that they are to keep their space clean! So, we should get the van not too long after we get to SC, they say it's taking about 50 days. So that would be around the 18th of November....hummm our household goods are suppose to arrive in country around the 17th of November, I surely hope that this happens!

Marositca Human Chess Game

I totally forgot to blog about the Human Chess Game that we went to a few weeks ago in Marostica. It is the city were the Human Chess Game originated. It was a wonderful experience to be able to go and see it.

Although the game itself was very short, the parade of townsmen, horses, dancers, firebreathers, fireworks and etc. were neat to see. The costumes were absolutely beautiful. We are glad that we were able to go and see it since we are due to move and we wouldn't have had another chance to ever see it.

This wierd thing was quit strange and spooky looking, don't really know what the point of it was!
Here is a closet.....I guess it is suppose to be Medusa(note the snakes in the hair)?! At the end there were fireworks coming from the castle, it was pretty. It was a fun evening. Another memory to add to our European Adventure.