Fröhliche Weihnachten

Merry Christmas from Germany…well the Netherlands. Live in one country and work in another, pretty cool concept.

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This was our first year recording the chaos thanks to an early gift, 1.5hr of opening gifts and a full day of lounging and playing with them. I tried to upload the pictures in progression of the events.

Back in the Classroom

They (not sure who they is) say you should never stop learning. In my new job with the Air Force I learn something every day. As a mom I learn something every day. As I wife I learn something almost every day. I recently decided to take my learning to new levels and I’ve enrolled in a Masters Program through the University of Oklahoma.

For 3.5yrs we lived 20min from the campus and I didn’t step foot on it once. Now, living in Germany, I have been on their satellite campus here many times. I have successfully (I hope, grades won’t be released for 2 more weeks) completed my first course. I’m getting my Masters in International Relations. My first course was Latin American culture.

The program here is pretty intense, I should be able to graduate in May 2020 just 16 months after starting. I am able to take classes online and some are offered in person. The in person classes are 4 days of 6-9:30pm and 2 days 9-4pm. They usually conclude with a final paper being due 2wks after the class completing and 3 credit hours are earned. It’s tough, but so far it’s been nice not to be away from the kids as much as an 8 or 12 week online class would. Zed may not agree with me on this due to he is the one with the 4 kids while I’m in class all week.

I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date on the exciting world of a Masters degree. Pop (www.elfidd.com) has asked I fill him in on all my research. If there’s every something I learn that is SUPER interesting I’ll be sure to share it.

-S

Writers Block

As a pseudo blogger, writers block is a very bad thing. Often times I don’t have an issue with writers block, I just have issues with blocking out time to make a post. I keep a journal of funny things the kids say or do. Sometimes I write about experiences I have at work or just thoughts that cross my mind throughout the day. I have plenty to write about.

Except right now…I am currently in my first Masters class. My final paper is due Monday at 6am my time. I kind of have a start to it. I have great resources to help me write it, but I’m a procrastinator. I rarely become inspired until 24hrs before the due date. Any other time of the year I think I would be ok and could just get it out. But with it being Christmas, I have a million excuses to put it off until the last moment.

Wish me luck as I try to put the priority of the paper over decorating the house and wrapping gifts.

-S

The Great Potty Training of 2018

Can you feel the tension? It’s so thick that I wouldn’t be surprised if you all had bit off your nails and your hair had turned gray.

We’ve been working on potty training Dax for about 6wks now. We have used Grandma visiting as a bribe, offered him gifts wrapped and unwrapped, bought him a urinal and his own potty, bought him super cool undies, and now we’re on to cold turkey. We’ve got the peeing down…well mostly. He hasn’t had an accident overnight in a week (woohoo!). He only has a pee accident maybe once per week. Sounds great right…wrong.

Pooping is an entirely different subject. He’s scared to poop, he doesn’t know how, it’s too easy. He’s used all the excuses under the sun to explain away why he keeps pooping in his pants. Tonight he sat on the toilet for 30min and as soon as he hopped off he pooped his pants. The trouble we’re having is we know he needs to poop (because he holds for 2-4 days at a time), but we can’t get him to poop on the potty. Watch him closer you say? We do and when we see he’s about to poop we stick him on the potty and the little bugger sucks it back in for another day. It’s also impossible to watch him 24/7 with 3 other kids and a life of our own. He pays attention and lets it flow the moment we’re not looking. Tonight we made him empty his own undies of the poop into the toilet. 30min later he pooped again.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

-S

I’m Back

I feel like I do this quite frequently. I get on a good roll and then fall off the face of the blog universe. What brings me back this time? Christmas cards. I just finished addressing all 129 of them and they each have the blog address on them for people to follow. I figured I should probably catch up on the blog for anyone who may check it out.

Christmas is in full swing here in Europe. Not too many decorate the outside of their homes with lights, but every town has a Christmas market. At these markets mulled wine and bratwursts are served. Various vendors are set up selling homemade baked goods, cheese, candies, and decorations. If you’re ever visiting in December, be sure to attend at least one. I have only been to one, Monschau, but it was amazing. The town is what you would image Europe to look like at Christmas time. They bring in a giant tree and set in up in the centrum for the season. Zed has been to a couple more and said Monschau’s was the best.

We’ll be sticking around for Christmas this year. We will be hosting a Christmas Eve party, a tradition I learned from my parents, for friends from work and church. We’ll enjoy Christmas morning and FaceTime the grandparents as they are falling asleep (Oregon) and waking up (Maryland) throughout the day. I have to work on and off throughout Christmas and New Years’ week, but it’ll be pretty relaxed.

I plan to do a couple more posts to fill everyone in on life in Europe and to get in a better routine.

-S