Joe and Tawny's Excellent Adventures

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A letter to a friend that explains us and Germany so far..... Hope you don't mind Ronnie

Here is the really long letter I promised. First of all, you told me about David's new job, but you haven’t told me anything about the job. All I know is he is happier! I am so glad you daughters are staying busy – and spending the summer with horses has got to be a dream come true for all of them. Joe and I can’t believe Ashley is 18 years old already. If we were out there, you can bet we would have things for her. All of your daughters have been so great with Ceilidha, and she loves all of them! Oh, and tell Ashley that I will also be spending summer at camp. We are spending a week at a place right below “The Eagle’s Nest” a home of sorts built for Hitler. I guess in the building we are staying in there are portraits of Hitler and even swastikas. Should be interesting. I am in charge of cooking for 120 people, three meals a day. But, since the place we are staying is free, they are putting more money into the girls. They plan on spending $7 p/girl p/meal. That is more that the Soldiers get for TDY!
When you first wrote to me to me it was warm and I couldn’t really feel your pain, then we started to have storm after storm after storm. Today has been like hurricane season. Trees down and REALLY, REALLY cold! The heating system is weird here. Everything is heated via radiator, and water, gas and electric is SO expensive. We end up spending about $300-$500 in utilities a month.
Tell Becca I bet she looks beautiful with “shorter” hair. Sometimes a little “trim” makes you more beautiful than shaggy edges. Oh, and I bet Vicky is just thrilled to be almost down with that novel. It has been at least a year in the making. You will probably want to hire a book editor to read through it first, then send it off to a few publishers. Because she is young, it is a great bonus. People love reading young authors. She is really good (from one writer to another). I even have a few connections back in Utah with Cedar Fort Publishing.
I can’t tell you how much I would love to come out on some of your living history jobs. I really miss dressing up and camping out in your baker tent. Ceilidha misses it too. We were looking at photos from last summer and Ceilidha was so excited. She really misses you, and so do I. I hope you are able to do well with the school system. I know you could not only teach the kids so much, but you would leave a lasting impression in them, like my uncle did for everyone who ever went through his 4th grade Idaho History class. Where he brought history to live by setting up a teepee in his classroom, growing out his beard and wearing buckskins to teach his students about history in an amazingly fun way.
Ok, so now about Germany. What do you want to know? Here is rains, then is warm, then is FREEZING, then warm, then rainy, ect. We live in a three-story apartment building with three apartments. We are on the top floor. We have a living room/dining room, kitchen, under the stairs closet, laundry room, bathroom, three bedrooms and a balcony on the main floor. Then up to the attic area there is one great room and another bedroom, along with a bathroom and lots of storage under the eves of the roof. Then we also have storage in the basement… which is great for us. We have a wonderful view of our town, Hutchenhausen, through the huge floor to ceiling corner windows in the living room. It is very pretty. A weird thing about housing here is that there is no such thing as a built in kitchen. When you buy/rent a house, it just comes with water /gas hookups and you have to provide the fridge, sink, stove, cupboards, ect.
Since we have been here we have visited Torino, Italy for the 2006 Winter Olympics; Milan, Italy; A bunch of the castles (which are may and beautiful) in Switzerland; Dachau Concentration Camp outside of Munich, Germany; Neuschwanstein Castle (the castle they based the Disney Castle on); and several other castles in our area.
When we were in Milan Ceilidha met a street mime who gave her a “flower,” the next day she had an imaginary friend named “Little Ceilidha” pronounced “Little Kia!” It is pretty funny, and Little Kia has been with us for the last few months. She hangs out all the time, and had a birthday on the same day Ceilidha did!
Joe is doing well in his training and really likes flying, but if he never flew again he wouldn’t mind too awful much, he threw up on his second flight! LOL
The ward here is good and I am a laurel advisor and Joe is the ward activities chairman, which is great because the Flat Rock Ward has given us a great guide to use for successful activities.
I haven’t been working for any papers yet, because there are no jobs to be had here in my profession. I have been doing a lot of gratus work though for a lot of the brass around post. I take photos of changes of commands and changes of responsibilities. The good news is I know most of the colonels, majors and captains here!
Oh, Joe is really making a name for himself here. He broke the 10 minute two mile last month… barely. He ran it in 9:59. He also just competed in the Army Europe 10-Miler and came in 4th. That means he is the 4th fastest 10-Miler runner in all of Europe! He broke an hour on that one. His time was 59:51. We are really proud of him. And he deserves ever kudos he gets.
Ceilidha is growing like a weed and absolutely loves going to “Jesus’s House” whenever she can. She loves nursery and has great nursery leaders. She is very opinionated and very outgoing. She is a great little girl though, quick to repent and quick to forgive. Every morning she wakes up saying, “Good morning Mom, I’m hungry. Can I have some Oatmeal?” If she asks before I am ready to get up I holler down “Not now, can you wait for a bit?” she will say “Ok Mommy, I can wait. I love you.”
She has quite the imagination too. We went to an Easter party Joe’s unit had and the Easter Bunny was there. After sitting on it’s lap and getting a hug, Ceilidha started looking all over and then started crying. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. When I asked her, she said: “The Easter Bunny ate little Kia.” We had to go back up to the Easter bunny and ask him to please cough up litte Kia. He did, handed “her” back to Ceilidha and gave her a hug. Then everything was fine! Ceilidha also loves going to the library, reading books and playing on the computers there. She is very smart!
About the missionaries. We have them over about once or trice a month, but because this is not a training environment, we don’t have the big dinners we once had. But, we do try to invite new Soldier’s and their families over who have just PCSed in country. It was hard when we first got here, living off the bare essentials until our stuff got here. Plus, Ceilidha loves having people come over to our house. We painted her room and so she wants to make sure everyone who comes over sees it!
OK, this is about it for a LONG letter. My fingers are sore and I just realized I have been typing for the last 30 minutes, or longer!
You had better keep in touch with me! We really miss all of you. Give each of the girls a hug for us and maybe a kiss too. You can just shake David’s hand!


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