Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Good morning! It's a beautiful sunny Sunday morning in Belgium. The geese were flying over our home this morning and Butch barked to let them know he was watching them. Without a doubt he has a bit of hunter in him. The carillon just finished playing outside my window and it is back to the quiet that is the norm here on the grounds of an American cemetery and memorial. Around the outside of the cemetery proper it looks a lot like this picture I've shared. We are surrounded by woods and nature and it is a peaceful place to think about life and family and so many things. 

When you think about what is happening in the world right now with those who are fleeing horrible conditions in their countries and others who are attacking those who are trying to protect us, it is hard to imagine when living at a place so peaceful. However, all I have to do is open up any of the news websites and I am quickly reminded. We need to continue to pray for our world leaders, pray for those who are suffering and in pain and for those who continue to place their own safety aside to protect and defend. So today, wherever you may be, take a moment and join me in prayer.  Amen.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Seasons in our lives

As we travel through life, we have different purposes we need to pursue. It's really interesting to read back through my posts to see the many twists and turns my life has taken in such a short period of time.  I just reread my post about feeling anonymous. That was a chapter of my life when living in Italy after having a full and busy life in the Netherlands.

Now, we are living back in Belgium in the Ardennes area and my time is taken up with driving to and from the Netherlands during the week for school and work. I also jumped back into PWOC, volunteering, substitute teaching and then the perfect job for me right now at the base education center. I'm no longer anonymous! However, I am happily transitioning to a quieter time of less or no volunteering after two years as our middle/high school PTA president and also no position on the PWOC board so that I can focus on our family and take a slower approach to life while still driving 500 miles a week!

After spending a month back in the States in Florida, Pennsylvania and a quick run over to Indiana, I treasure a simpler schedule and time to think about what's important in life -- faith, family, friends and enjoying what gifts God has provided us in our lives.

My newest chapter (as soon as I close the one on PTA) is going to include sharing more bits and pieces of life here in Europe. I'm fortunate to have found the Clumsy Bloggers Workshop to learn more about blogging to make it more interesting and readable to others who will find my posts. My cousin, Joyce, thinks I should write a book about our life and adventures. This is the first step! We'll see where it takes me!  Here is the view from our cabana in Florida this Summer. It was a slice of life when we were with good friends and taking the time to just enjoy our moment in the sun!  Meanwhile bon voyage to you in all of your lives and adventures!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day in Belgium and a great new blog to follow

Saturday morning following Valentine's Day dawned with the chiming of the carillon next to our home at 8am. A long day was had yesterday with a drive over to the base clinic in Mons and two appointments to keep. Michael was seeing a new doc and I was attempting to get an x-ray at the American clinic vs. going back to visit the busy Belgian hospital in Genk. We were pleased to find the new clinic very friendly and both medical providers really helpful. Michael got the full treatment with a trip to the lab for blood tests and also up to the Immunization clinic for a shot. My visit was interesting because my doctor was very curious about the treatment I've been receiving for my foot problems here in Belgium. He had never heard of the use of electro shockwave therapy for achilles and heel spur issues. It's always nice to share new information with people...

After all of the fun at the clinic, we went to the PX down the road and found baseball cleats for Michael and glove oil since both were not available at our base. I was thrilled to find a cash box for our new high school PTA. Yes, little triumphs are good! Then we ate at the very small food court (not filet mignon for V Day for us). Michael had sub-par Anthony's Pizza, Mike had Burger King and I had a doner kebab. Maybe I can plan something a little more appropriate for a celebratory Valentine's Dinner a day late! After our 2+ hour drive home, we settled in to watch a little of the Olympics. Definitely a different sort of Valentine's Day celebration for us.

This morning I found a great blog shared by Cathleen - Her post yesterday "Skip the Hype & Get to the Heart of Valentines Day" was great and to the point. So much "over the top" business these days going on.  Cathleen shared "Dear Lonely Mom of Older Kids" which hit home for me these days. With one finishing college and another halfway through high school, it is sometimes hard to deal with the issues older children bring. The days of diapers, finger paintings and many "firsts" are gone and we are on our way to being real empty nesters with our baby birds ready to launch into their own lives. It's a scary time for sure!

I highly recommend you visit Rachel Anne's Home Sanctuary to add a little peace and quiet in your day!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

driving on autopilot...

Today my boy woke up with a huge headache so I got to do the drive by myself. I even thought that I needed to take a direct route to my office but the car had other ideas! When I realized I was on the school route, I laughed to myself and replanned my next move...

How many times have we been on autopilot? It's a beautiful sunny and cool Wednesday morning here in the Netherlands - the land of the Olympic speed skaters!

Happy Hump Day to all!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Unwrapping Christmas

Life moves so quickly these days!

I took the time thankfully to read a wonderful novella written by Lori Copeland titled "Unwrapping Christmas."  I could have been Rose in this book a few years ago.

 I've been warned not to fall back into the trap of doing too much and being too busy by my own very wise 14 year old son.

I think the older we get the more we want to recapture the meaning of the season and the beauty of Christmas in our homes and our hearts. This is the book that helps us realize the importance of first serving our own families before we serve others. This is what God intended for us to do. I bought this book on sale for $3.99 at the Naples bookstore and it is worth so much more than that!

We are waiting to find out when we'll be moving back North where we will all have the opportunity to become involved in activities that we enjoy. I hope we don't lose the closeness we've found living with "just us" here in Italy, when we get reimmersed in life in a wonderful American community in the Tri-Border region.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Abandoned doggies in Italy

On December 1st, a poor injured bedraggled dog came to rest at the end of the day at the cemetery. He hobbled along on three legs because the one hind leg was injured. Mike came home and told me about him and we went back down to the office to see if he was still there. With biscuits in hand, I met this dear soul and we were off to Dr. Gandolfo's to see what he could do to help him. Buddy, as he was first known, was so sweet even though he was very hurt and probably in shock. Dr. G was able to position his leg back together with a plate and screws. We brought him home and he's been happily snuggling in his big bed in our kitchen.

Moving forward to today, Tiberius has joined our family but Butch isn't thrilled about this at all. Two males (especially one who is not neutered) makes for a difficult combination. We will start the new year by enrolling in a dog obedience program to see if we can bring peace and calm back to our home. An additional trip to the vet clinic will need to be scheduled for the big "snip" for Tibee as we have nicknamed him. All of this needs to happen before we make our big move to Belgium. Imagine three dogs and a cat and three or four humans in our van driving and staying overnight on our way there. Perhaps doggie valium will have to come into play? We can't take it since we need to stay alert so we arrive alive!

Monday, December 31, 2012

The last day of the year already?

Does anyone else feel the same way as I do? Where did 2012 go? The years seem to fly by so quickly even though there are times when we feel like things we wait for will never occur!

It is our last big holiday in Italy. We are still waiting to hear when we will move to Belgium. So many exciting things to look forward to in 2013 -- Michael's 15th birthday, moving, a trip for me to Penn State in April to see Kristen in "The 25th Annual Putnam Co. Spelling Bee," Kristen's 21st birthday, home leave this Summer to name a few.

We often make resolutions and then know full well that they won't be kept for long. So this year, as one of my friends in the Netherlands has posted, I'm not making any specific resolutions. I just plan to live a full life and remember what's important - family! So many people are grieving for those that were lost and their lives are changed as a result. It is so easy to live for tomorrow when, in fact, we should be living and loving all of the little moments of each and every day.

Kristen and I are sitting watching Julie and Julia before we go out to the kitchen to have a cooking adventure for New Year's Eve. Short ribs from Ital Carni are on the menu for tonight with turkey breasts to be roasted tomorrow instead of our usual pork roast and macaroni and cheese.

What surprises will 2013 bring? Wait and see...

Buon anno/Happy New Year from Nettuno!