Friday, December 11, 2009
Mom arrive home, entered the basement, took off her shoes and coat, said 'how come it's so dark down here? Honey, what's goin' on?'
Daddy said 'Nothin', just sitting in the living room.'
Mom said, 'Okay, I'll be up in a minute.'
After making a pit stop, Mom walked up the stairs saying, 'What do you want..............Oh my gosh!!!!! You're home!!!!!' With tears in her eyes she came to hug us all because after three years her girls are home!!!
Scott and his boys left to go home and the rest of us went to dinner.
Saturday is the family party to welcome us home and decorate Mom and Daddy's home for Christmas!!! Yeah!! We made it in time for the holidays!!
It is so nice to be near family again, it's as if we never left. I guess that means we are supposed to be here in Utah. It's time to swallow our stubborn pride and accept the fact that this is where we are suppose to be!!
Monday, November 30, 2009
With all of our stuff packed up and the house empty, we were able to clean and do final inspection on Wednesday. So that's all done. We have to take in the final meter reading for our electricity and pay an 'estimated' final payment (they will let us know in 4 to 6 months if we owe any more). We shut off the phone and internet, moved into TLF all on Monday of last week.
We got to spend Thanksgiving in TLF with just our family. We received a few invitations to share the day with other families from the ward, but decided that we wanted to be alone and relax after the stressful few days. We had ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, garden salad, pumpkin pie and apple pie. It was a great day! We talked about the many wonderful experiences we have had here in Italy and how grateful we are for our family and friends.
We had to speak in church last Sunday for the last time in this ward. Kaitlyn gave her last talk in Primary two weeks ago. So we are all good until we figure out what ward we will be moving to next.
This week is just as stressful, more for Dave than anyone. And today didn't start off very well at all!! First off, he couldn't find his keys, actually that is not unusual since he never puts them in the same place twice. When we lived in the house, he would usually leave them in the car until the end of the day when he needed them to lock up the house. He has a couple of times left them in the car since moving into TLF. I found the keys just a couple hours ago under the kleenex box. ;0) Then he had to go pay the final bill for the electricity and they wanted our account information, just in case we get a refund. So he had to come back to the room to get the checkbook, which he couldn't find where he thought it should be, so ended up waking me up to his stomping around. UGH!!! Now we just have to go over to the hospital to pay off that bill, that one is gonna make me stress out!!!!! Then we just need to take care of the car, we have to sell it because it is European specs, so we can't ship it back to the states.
After all of that is done and we have to get Kaitlyn's school records, our medical records, and Dave's last day of work. We will fly out of Venice to Paris, spend a couple of hours there. Fly from Paris to Detroit, spend the night in Detroit. Fly out of Detroit to Salt Lake City, rent a car, check into our hotel, get some much needed rest, then see our family!!! We are all so excited about returning to be near family for the holidays!!!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Dave started the outprocessing by decideing when we were going to leave Aviano and getting our airline tickets. Then he had to schedule the movers, they don't celebrate Thanksgiving so any time was good for us, the sooner the better. They will be here on Monday and Tuesday to pack us out and load it into the crates. What are we going to sleep on? Well, Dave tried to make reservations at TLF (Temporary Living Facility) but they were completely booked for the time that we wanted a room, so he made reservations in town at a hotel. Come to find out, he had to call EVERY day to see if there were any cancellations at TLF or we would have to pay out of pocket for our hotel. LAST night we finally got TLF for the whole time we need it. Thank you!!! I really wasn't looking forward to having to eat out EVERY meal for 3 weeks.
Dave has been telling his bosses that he was leaving in December and that they needed to find someone for him to train on the programs that he uses so that the transition would be smooth. WELL, in all their wisdom they waited until FRIDAY to send someone over. Never mind the fact that he wasn't going to be in the office next week and his last day of work is the 4th of December. Oh yeah, and by the way, he had to move over to a new building on Thursday!!! BY HIMSELF!! He is so frustrated! People are thinking that what they need him to do has to be done YESTERDAY, never mind the fact that they have had six months to get their crap done before the deadline. Now that their deadline is here they want him to drop everything and get it done especially if there is a problem that should have been taken care of six months ago. UGH!! Stupid people!!!
One of Dave's co-workers tells him not to worry about it, do what he needs to do to get the heck out of here and not worry about all this other crap. The bosses knew six months ago he was leaving and if they waited until the last minute to find a replacement then it's their problem. But the only problem with all of that is Dave was raised to have good work ethics.....he can't leave his bosses hangin' out to dry.
Dave went to turn in the reading on our electricity and try to get a final bill. They told him that they couldn't give him a final bill until we actually turn in the keys, get the meter reading on that day, turn it in....they will give us a estimate of what it will cost, but not an actual final bill until 4 to 6 months from now. Yes, I typed that right..... FOUR TO SIX MONTHS FROM NOW. We will be in the states and they could jack up the final bill and we could end up owing thousands of dollars MORE than what we have already paid. UGH!!!
The Medical bill is the same way pretty much.....that is a long story in and of itself. One I don't want to have to think about this morning.
Oh the stuff we have to get done this week. Laundry today, prepareing talks to be given tomorrow in church, packing the suitcases, seperating and gathering stuff to be given away, seperating and gathering stuff that needs to be shipped ahead of us so it's there when we get there, move ourselves into TLF, clean the house, clean the FMO furniture, find and turn in the keys to the house, turn off the phone and internet, pick up medical records, turn in all the library books, sell the car, pay off the medical bill, finish out-processing, pick up a rental car, get to the airport, and fly out of Italy!! Holy cow, I guess I better get busy!!
Needless, to say we feel like we have been taken advantage of by the Italian government and our own because they allow the Italian government to do this to American citizens. Sure this is actually their base, but we put all the money into the buildings and the landscaping. The Italians get all the good civilian jobs on base, get paid much better wages, and get the better schedules. The Americans get whatever is leftover.
Don't get me wrong, we have LOVED being in Italy. We have fallen in love with the culture, art, people, and the country. We have had experiences here that we could NEVER have had any where else. Our family truly needed this experience. We have all grown closer together as a family, we have grown spiritually, and stronger as individals and as a family. We have learned to rely on each other and help each other. We have watched to church grow and members become active again. We kind of like to look at our living here as a three year mission. We know that we were sent here for a purpose, I pray we have accomplished that purpose. We have created memories that will last us all a lifetime. Now it is time to return to the states, Utah in particular and continue on our life's journey.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Earlier this month we enjoyed a wonderful trip to Bern, Switzerland, to visit the LDS temple before returning to the states. We were looking at our pictures and realized that we didn't get any pictures of the temple!!! We got pictures of our drive up and back! We enjoyed a quiet, unhurried six days of family and new friends. Here are a few pictures of our journey up and back. Hope you enjoy.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Here is Kaitlyn on the beach at Caorle. It's one of the resort beaches on the Adriatic.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
So I found this awesome blog that focuses on reading. If you know me I love to read just about anything I can get my hands on. If you have been to my home you know I have a library of very good, and probably some not so good, books. Many of my friends borrow books from my library and love sharing my love of books with others. All of my daughters have their own libraries as well.
Any way the blog I found is http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/
I hope it was okay to copy the picture from her blog. I have accepted this challenge and on my side bar I have the list of books that I have read thus far with the date that I finished them. So far I have finished 52 out of 100.
I am currently reading several other books:
1. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
2. The Heir of Mistmantle Book Four Urchin and the Raven War by M. I. McAllister, this series I have been reading to Kaitlyn at night before she goes to bed each night
3. The Book of Mormon
4. The Immortal Hunter A Rogue Vampire Novel by Lynsay Sands
5. Prelude to Glory Vol. 6 The World Turned Upside Down by Ron Carter
I just love to read so much. A lot of people I know read one book at a time, but not me...I read many as you can tell.
Join the challenge which ends the 31th December 2009.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
1. Leave a comment - that gives you one entry
2. Follow my blog - that gives you one entry
3. List 10 of your favorite things on your own blog - that gives you five entries
All of this must be done on or before the 1st of August, one winner will be drawn on the 2nd of August.
Now what is the contest? I've been toying with this idea for some time, actually I think I have been since I started blogging nine months ago (that means I'll have another giveaway in just a short three months). I think I will do a 100 of my favorite things.
See I love the movie 'The Sound of Music' and my favorite song from that movie is 'My Favorite Things', or something like that. But you know the one I'm talking about....'these are a few of my favorite things'. Any way, so I thought it would be cool to list some of my favorite things, 100 to be exact....so here goes.
100 OF MY FAVORITE THINGS
1. The Sound of Music
3. Scented candles
5. Cross stitch
8. Peace and quiet
10. Country music
11. Mexican food
12. Baby feet
13. The desert after a rain shower
14. The sound of thunder rolling down the canyons
15. The sound of rain on the roof
16. Baby's laughter
18. LDS Temples
22. My husband
23. A comfortable chair
26. Fresh baked bread
27. The smell of lavendar
28. Lip balm
29. Cinnamon and Pumpkin scented candles
30. Lavander scented candles
31. Fresh laundry
32. Vampire books
33. Romance novels
34. Historical fiction
35. Sitting outside in the shade on my swing
36. Latin music
37. Italian music
38. Tender moments
39. Funny moments
40. The movie Grease
41. The tv show Grey's Anatomy
42. Crime shows
44. Betty Boop
45. Teddy bears
46. Bunny rabbits
47. Souvenior thimbles
48. Bags and purses
50. Diet Pepsi
51. Ice cold water
52. Warm showers
53. A nice back rub
54. Grandma's baby blankets
55. Children's singing
56. Children's laughter
57. New scrapbook paper
59. The first day of school
61. Rubber stamps
63. Crossword puzzles
65. Hidden object games on the computer
66. Roller Coaster computer game
67. Nora Roberts books
68. Any movie with Vin Diesel
69. The movie Dirty Dancing
70. Long hair on little girls
71. Gerald N. Lund books
72. Tom Clancy novels
73. Shelves to put nicnacs
74. Baby dolls
75. Backyard BBQs
77. Daddy's steak
78. Mom's macaroni salad
79. Grandma Crook's potato salad
80. Grandma Berkley's zucchini casserole
81. The sound of Grandma Crook knitting
82. The sound of Grandma Berkley's voice
83. Grandpa Berkley's garden
84. Grandpa Crook's teasing
85. My parents
86. Dave's parents
87. The ability to read
88. The legacy that my ancestors have left me
89. My testimony of Jesus Christ
90. The USA
91. The opportunities I have been given to travel to other countries
92. Star Trek
93. My rocking chair
95. Family history
96. Arthritis (yes, I am thankful for my arthritis)
97. Talented people
98. Kind people
99. Loving people
And last but not least
Now what will the winner receive? A box containing some of my favorite things. Remember to post on your own blog, follow my blog, leave a comment, and most important....have fun!!
Good Luck Everyone!!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Okay, so besides being sick, we are anxiously waiting for Dave's job interview on Monday. Yes, he has an interview for a position back at Hill AFB in Utah. We are desperate to get back to the states and even back to Utah. Yes, I just said "WE ARE DESPERATE TO GET BACK TO UTAH"!!!! For those of you that know us, know that we haven't had very good experiences in Utah, but we are willing to let them lay in the past and start anew. We will never complain again about anything there after our experiences here in Italy.
Don't get me wrong we have loved being here in Italy, the people are wonderful, the country is amazing and we have seen and done some things that we would never have been able to do or see any where else in the world. Obviously!!! But we have had some serious health issues here and we need to get back to the world of real doctors and be able to choose the care that we need. We need to have the medical facilities available to us that we obviously don't have here.
The girls are all anxious to get back to the states where they will be close to family and be able to get on with their lives. Things for them have kind of been put on hold because of the lack of availablity to civilians.
Wish us luck and pray for all of us. We have spent much time in prayer and fasting for our family as well as family members and friends all over the world. We have been richly blessed by our Heavenly Father and are thankful for the experiences we have had here, the good as well as the bad. We have become a stronger family and become more self-reliant. We look forward to seeing all of our family and friends soon. We hope to be able to hook up again with friends that we have met here in Italy and have had to say good-bye to.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The celebrations included a battle of the bands. When did music become so load and screechy that you couldn't understand it? I thought I was gonna go insane listening to that. There were 8 bands and they each had about 20 minutes to impress the judges. OH MY HECK!!! Most of the music was screaming and screeching guitars. There were maybe two songs that I could actually hear what was being sung. One of the bands, The Originals, was pretty good and they won the competition. One of Dave's co-workers, Dave, had a son that was in that band, so my Dave was pretty happy that they won. And of course, the other Dave was a proud father.
Dave and Kaitlyn had a good time checking out the games and food most of the day. The ward was having a party at the pool that night as well, so Dave took Kaitlyn over there so she could go swimming. She was able to swim for 20 minutes before they were kicked out. They had a good time despite the weather. They were able to spend quality one-on-one time together.
We were all exhausted by the time we all got home. Dave ended up sick with a cold, Kaitlyn was trying to get over a cold and so she was back to being sick again, Aimee and Wendy were just plain exhausted, and I was in enough pain that I didn't care one bit about anything for a couple of days. But over all we had a great Fourth of July. Sorry there are no pictures, we forgot the camera. Hope everyone had a great holiday!!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I believe that the tingling in his arm and fingers is due to carpal tunnel.
We have signed up for the craft fair here on base for the 4th of July. I have tried to get as many baby outfits done as I could to sell, and I will be taking orders as well. I also decided to sell the cross stitch projects that I have completed over all these years. Aimee and Wendy are also going to be selling some of their paintings and photos. We are all excited to participate in this activity. I just hope that it doesn't rain all day.
An update on my arthritis I suppose is about due. The doctor put me on Mobic, an arthritis medication, for a month and it didn't really help and it also caused some side affects that I wasn't too thrilled about. So for now we are just trying to manage my pain, not too successfully right now, but oh well. I am looking forward to returning to the states and finding a doctor that specializes in arthritis. Last November I was able to go to the gym and do some walking and exercises. I was really enjoying it and feeling a bit better, the pain was a bit managable. But since January I have not been able to go and sometimes I am lucky to walk down the stairs. Of course, some days are better than others. I do what I can, when I can and try not to do too much when I am having a good day.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The last three years of her life she spent in a nursing home in Ogden and I didn't go see her very often. I know that I should have gone to see her more often but it was so hard for me to see her wasting away and not remembering me, her youngest granddaughter. When we would go we always took Kaitlyn with us and Grandma ALWAYS remembered who Kaitlyn was. There was a special bond there that I think was strong during the pre-existence and when Kaitlyn was sent to our home it was like two very old and dear friends had met again after a short separation. It was a wonderful thing to be a small part in that reunion, but also very sad because my memories of my Grandma as she used to be were fading.
During the three years that Grandma was in the nursing home, my family was priveleged enough to live in the house that Grandma and Grandpa raised my mother in. After several years of suffering from depression and anxiety I was able to heal and feel the love that dwelled in that home from so long ago. I was able to become me again. Our family grew closer together and helped each other to heal what had been damaged because of the depression that I had suffered for many years and was never diagnosed. We were going to buy that house and finish raising our children and have a place for our grandchildren to have wonderful memories, but we needed to move on.
Because of the dimentia and many lonely years that took over Grandma's mind, my good memories started to fade. Since moving out of the house and regaining some of my mental health I have been able to find those good memories of Grandma. Grandpa and Grandma had a HUGE garden in the backyard and every summer we watched, helped them take care of that garden. I barely remember sitting in the pea patch when I was really young shelling and eating those peas. Grandma always made the most amazing meals with the produce of that garden.
My Grandparents weren't rich by any means, but they had a lot of love for their family and I'm sure that as Grandma's mind failed her, it scared her. I am so thankful for the Gospel and the knowledge that that has given me. Because of Grandma's faithfulness and testimony and example, my Grandpa joined the church. Their love of the Gospel helped to instill in my Mom and in Me the love of the Gospel and helped me to strengthen my testimony.
Grandma's house always smelled of fresh food. She baked some amazing zucchini brownies that tasted like chocolate. Her garden salads have always been my favorite and I haven't been able to find a good one since.
Grandma loved to read. I remember sitting on her lap or next to her on the couch while she read to me. Her love of reading was passed on to my Mom and then on to me and hopefully on to my children.
I really miss my Grandma today. I love her very much and can't wait for the day that I am able to hug her and kiss her soft cheek.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
We started out the month THINKING that we had hot water. When the hot water heater got fixed LAST month, it lasted all of THREE DAYS. That's right three days!!! The water heater has been broken since the first of this month, that's 17 days so far. The guy keeps comin' out to fix it, but for some reason it ain't workin'!!! We keep going to the gym on base to take those nice HOT showers in the evenings. But today I thought, 'Oh it can't be that bad.' HA HA on me!!! It is that bad, especially when cold makes the pain in my back and hips WORSE!! So much for going to church today.
Our car started having a leak from somewhere about three weeks ago. Well, last Wednesday, it had it's last leak. Dave said, 'I don't dare drive it any more. I think we've blown a headgasket.' Oh great!! That sounds bad!! So as we were sitting in the food court waiting for Aimee to get off of work someone out in the parking lot was talkin' with Dave and said to take the car to this mechanic that has a shop up the street from us in Marsure. So Thursday morning Dave took the car up to him. Thursday afternoon the guy calls and says, 'you have a leak in one of the hoses from the radiator and it'll cost about 150 Euro to fix.' Dave said okay and had him fix it, it was job beyond Dave's capabilities. We were pretty glad when it wasn't gonna cost us 1000 Euro. So Friday evening Dave went and picked it up and it's fixed. YEAH for mechanics!!! Plus the guy knocked 50 Euro off the price!!! YEAH for nice Italian mechanics!!
Friday, because we had no car and it was raining, we decided to clean the living room and move the furniture around. Well, I tripped over something and so I moved my foot to catch my balance and instead my foot slipped out from under me. I know, graceful huh? Any way, I landed on my belly, pulled the muscle in the back of my right leg and wrenched my back. I am such a klutz!! Now you know why the pain in my back from the cold shower is so bad. Any way, I felt like an idiot!!! I am always so careful when I clean or walk because sometimes I'm not so steady on my feet any more, but what can I say? Maybe I shouldn't try to clean any more? That sounds like good advice to me. ;0)
It just seems like when we are trying to do everything we are supposed to be doing, everything falls apart. I guess it's just another test to see if we will be faithful? Oh, who knows? I just want to catch a break sometime soon.
I have made a few friends here in Italy and all of them are in the military, so you know what that means....MOVING. Well, one of the friends that we have become close to over the past 6 months or so is moving this week. The Abbott family has been so fun. We have gone out to dinner with them, BBQed with them, played games with them, and Annette has even learned how to crochet. We have watched movies with them, visited and gotten to know their wonderful family. There is Chris, he is so funny and he's the husband/dad of this wonderful family. There is Annette, she is so quiet and reserved until you get to know her and then WATCH OUT, she's the wife/mother of this amazing family. There is Hannah, the oldest and only girl, I totally feel for her, she is so hilarious! There is Jake, the oldest boy, he cracks me up! There is Jared, he is a hoot, he was a munchkin in THE WIZARD OF OZ play and he made me laugh so hard!! Then the baby, Nate, well, he isn't a baby any more, but he is the youngest and so adorable ya just gotta love him. All the children are between Wendy and Kaitlyn in age and all the kids get along great together. I wish we had more time to get to know their family better and do more things with them, but their assignment is up here and so they must move on. I hope that we are able to see them again sometime when we return to the states.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
On the 23rd of March was Aimee's BIG day....she is no longer a teenager!!!! She turned 20 years old!!! I can't believe she is that old. It has been an interesting ride the past twenty years with her. She is an amazing woman. She has been a challenge and a joy, ones I would NEVER trade for anything in the world because we have all grown to become better people. We had homemade pizza for dinner and chocolate creme pie for dessert, we even made her blow out the candles!!