Wednesday, December 26, 2007

our Anniversary

Merry Christmas and stuff

If I had my act together, there would be lots more posts between this one and Dec. 9, but here goes anyway.

We spent a fabulous week in Germany from the 16th till the 23rd (thus, the long break here). The first part of our trip was to Garmsich for skiing which was so awesome, except for the horrific cold and sore throat I had for the first 4 days. We met up with our friends Dave and Tracy and their 3 boys and stayed in very cute little apartments with separate bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, etc. It was way nicer than any place Casey and I lived for the first few years we were married for sure!!!

We were able to put the little munchkins in the base daycare (Alisea did so awesome, mom was the one with issues here) and Dad, mom and Caitlyn hit the slopes together. It was lots of fun, especially since Caitlyn skiis about as well as mom. Casey skiied 3 days, Caitlyn 2, and mom 1 1/2. The rest of the time we just enjoyed the cute little town and Christmas market. Casey and I also celebrated our 14th anniversary while we were there. How funny is this...... Caitlyn's gift to us, she informed us after our first day skiing, which was also our anniversary, was that she didn't complain all day! We had actually noticed the difference! Oh to be 11 again.

After we left Garmisch, we headed to Munich for a day at the zoo (note to self - zoos are not fun when it's 20 degrees outside) and the famous Hoffbrauhaus. Then we were off to the Stuttgart area to spend the weekend with Casey's Uncle Randy and Aunt Alice. They took us to the famous Stuttgart Christmas market which was really awesome and out to eat at a Croatian restaurant which was super yummy. Then we drove home. The GPS said it would be a 7 hour journey home, and with our little Subaru overloaded and all three kids and carseats crammed in, stuff piled around our heads and feet, etc. we naturally assumed it would be more like 9 and miserable. It turned out to be a very pleasant journey - Caitlyn had caught what I had and slept most of the way, Ethan watched movies and slept, and Alisea slept and was content to sit quietly the whole way. We had about a 10 minute meltdown when she got ready to eat, Ethan was ready to sleep, Caitlyn's head hurt, and we had to take a 25 minute detour to get gas because Austrian stations wouldn't take our gas coupons. Otherwise, it was a great trip. It was almost exactly 7 hours from the time we left Stuttgart (Casey was driving!)

After a whirlwind of trying to prepare for Christmas with just one day, we had a wonderful Christmas. We went to a cool little town called Poffabro that is in the mountains. It's a walking town (no access in most places for cars) and the entire town is full of nativity scenes. There are all types, from elaborate room sized ones to macoroni figures, children's drawings, and even one formed from dental equipment. It was a fabulous way to spend the evening, reminding us of the reason for the holiday! As usual, we went overboard on the kids, and they got lots of fun stuff. I finally joined the ipod world (a gift from Casey), and we spent the afternoon with many friends. We sure missed being with our families though! We'll be looking forward to being home for the holidays next year!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Princess ALISEA

Alisea is Blessed

Alisea was given a baby blessing in church today by her Grandpa. We were so happy he could be here in Italy to do that. Alisea looked just like a little princess and I know she is truly blessed in so many ways. We are blessed, too, to have her in our lives. What a joy our sweet babies are to us!

Dad and Fran

Dad and Fran Hancock arrived Wednesday morning after a very long flight. We have kept them busy since then. It has been fun to be with Dad while he experiences many "firsts". We went across the border to Slovenia and saw a castle built into the mountain and took the train for a day in Venice. Then today (Sunday) Dad gave our sweet baby, Alisea, a blessing. We will experience a local market day, and who knows what else tomorrow! Hopefully they'll warm up a little. Their little Arizona behinds are freezing around here!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Baby Alex

I mentioned in an earlier post we had a new nephew on the way. He had to spend a few extra days in the hospital, but I'm happy to report he is home with his family and doing great. That makes 2 nieces and 2 nephews on Casey's side now.

Catching Up

After a crazy weekend, I can finally sit long enough to catch up a little. The stomach flu finally finished making its rounds through the family. I think Ethan must have lost 5 pounds. He definitely had the worst of it. Alisea escaped it entirely, and mom pretty much did too.

It has been so much fun this year gearing up for Santa. Ethan is so excited about Christmas this year. I started wrapping the gifts we have so far, and I am amazed at how much we have for Ethan already. He's at such an easy age to please. Now Caitlyn, on the other hand is not so fun anymore because her wish list is movies, music, video games and books. I miss the days I could get her a new Barbie or a baby doll carriage.
Ethan got to sit on Santa's lap at the Children's Christmas party on Sat. and told him his wish list. Thankfully, he still wants the same thing each time we ask. Alisea also got to sit on Santa's lap for the first time, and did just fine. She seemed mostly indifferent.

We are also waiting excitedly for our visit from Grandpa and our new Grandma Fran. They'll arrive on Wednesday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving a little Late

We just returned from our trip to Berchesgarden and Salzburg. It truly was a beautiful winter wonderland. Thankfully, we didn't plan to ski and we got our sledding and snow play in early because it was all melting away pretty fast! The Christmas market in Salzburg was very cool, and our tour of the salt mines was amazing. Hope everyone had an awesome weekend too!

Sadly, the family, starting with Ethan, got a serious stomach virus which put a damper on things. So far, Mom and Alisea are holding out.

Looking forward to the Holiday Season! Had some fun with the photos. If you haven't seen this site, check it out. It will put a smile on your face!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I am falling behind with the updates. I lost my camera for a week, but I just found it so I'm gonna get on the ball and post something just as soon as every picture isn't filled with kids with boogies running down their faces. It's soooooo fun to have a 4 month old and a 2 year old sick at the same time. Thankfully, Alisea didn't get it too bad (knock on wood), but Ethan is strugglin!! The rest of us are fighting the little twinges and praying it doesn't hit us hard.

We got exciting news this week that my Dad and his lovely wife will be visiting us in December. What a wonderful way to lead into Christmas! We will be looking forward to that visit on the 5th. That should mean lots of new pictures to post!

Sounds like we have another little nephew coming into the world any minute. We are praying for a safe delivery for Mary, and a healthy baby, as the little guy wasn't supposed to be here for another 4-5 weeks!

We have three, yes, three, Thansgiving dinners to attend in the next 2 days. That's one of the fun things about being in a place away from family where everyone else is too. It means lots of people getting together to make up for it. I just hope the kids are well enough to attend. I'd feel awful if they got everyone else sick too! How long do colds usually last, anyway? It's been 4-5 days of the yucky stuff for Ethan already. Most of the people on base, including us, will be using the long Thanksgiving weekend to travel somewhere in Europe. Boy we'll miss that! We're off to Salzburg, probably do a little skiing and take in the Christmas Market.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Haven't had much going on lately of note. I need to post another picture soon, but have misplaced my camera. We just planned a trip to Salzburg for the Christmas markets over Thanksgiving so that's exciting. I sure wish the dollar would recover though! It's getting rough!
Keep checking in.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween and Alisea's 4 mo. appt.

Happy Halloween!

It was a pretty mellow day for us. Ethan had a little party with his playgroup and that was pretty much it. Since the day hasn't really taken off with Italian's, we didn't have any trick-or-treaters, or place to take the kids to. Some go to the American neighborhood areas, where several families live, but we opted to chill out at home.
I can't believe how fast this year is flying by. I just saw a sign at the post office telling me I have less than 2 weeks to mail any packages for Christmas if I want to use the cheaper option. Holy Cow! Already???
Alisea had her 4 month appointment today. She is super healthy and perfect. Our doctor is also a family friend, and always comments on how "perfect" she is. She weighs 13 lbs 6 ozs. and is 24 1/2 inches now - right in the 50th percentile. Those of you who knew Caitlyn and Ethan will remember they were always 95-100 on the charts, so this has been kinda fun - clothes that are 3-6 months actually fitting her while she's 3-6 months, for example!! She did great with her shots. Ethan had to get his flu shot and didn't even wince. It was all about the cool bandaid for him!!

And honorable mention - Caitlyn got her cast off. Yippee!!!! I had had enough of wrapping the darn thing, washing and combing her hair, etc. etc. She's back in the pool swimming with the Aviano Sea Dragons! Can't really tell it's her, but it's all I have at the moment!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Kiddos in Costume

We got the kids all dressed up for the church halloween carnival and then took them on base for trunk-or-treat. Italian's don't do the Halloween thing in general, although it is catching on a little. Anyway, there are literally thousands of kids who go through the trunk-or-treat at the base, American and Italian. I got to hand out candy for our squadron "trunk" but the only picture of me is pretty gross. Enjoy the kids though! Caitlyn is with her friend Raquel, beautiful goddesses!
I tried to feed Alisea before I put on my witch costume, but I had already put on my wax nose. She kept looking at me with a very concerned look on her face - and kept stopping her eating to stare at me. It was pretty funny. I got completely back to normal by her next feeding to avoid traumatizing her for life!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pumpkin Carving Time!!

Got the pumpkins carved tonight. Ethan picked out his shapes from a list and did the "sawing" as mom guided the saw. Caitlyn got creative with a ghost on one side and the word "Halloween" on the other. Turned out pretty awesome considering her awkwardness with the cast on. Casey did the bat. Mom gets to clean up the mess as Alisea looks on from her swing. Now how come that always happens? Now we'll see if they last till Halloween. Even if they don't, we had
fun carving them!
We're now gearing up for the base trunk-or-treat on Saturday. I get to play the wicked witch from Oz - The last time I did the witch thing, Ethan was 8 mo. old and freaked out a little. We'll see how Ali does.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Alisea is 4 months old!

Hello. I'm really liking this blog thing. Lets me get info out to a bunch of people and you only have to look at it if you want to.
Just a quick update on our kiddos. Alisea is 4 months old already, Ethan loves Gelato, and Caitlyn is as beautiful as ever!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Assignment is in!

And the winner is.........

We're headed back to Del Rio, Texas. Casey will be a T-38 instructor. Not our first choice, but the positives are that we're closer to home, Casey should not be deployed for the 3 years we're there, and Caitlyn can master a new language.,+TX,+United+States+of+America&ie=UTF8&ll=29.363027,-100.898437&spn=5.858105,11.184082&z=7&om=1

In other news - we just returned from a nice trip to Slovenia's Lake Bled. It's quite possibly our favorite place in Europe!! Our good friends, the Armitage's, made a trip from England for a long weekend with us. It was freezing but we still had a ball and loved the fall colors!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Alisea is growing like a weed. She is definitely our smallest baby though, petite and beautiful. She is just starting to roll over and has found her thumb. She never would take a paci, and I think the thumb thing is so cute. I hope I don't read this when she's six and I'm not thinking its so cute anymore! I'll get a picture and add it next time.

Casey just returned for Bulgaria. It's nice to have him back so Ethan can haul someone else out of bed in the morning!

We're off to play-group! The joys of having little ones!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Caitlyn's new armor

Okay - take 2. I already screwed up cause the picture didn't post the first time.

Here's Caitlyn and her beautiful cast. Hopefully just 3 more weeks. And it had to be the right arm! It's hilarious that she can't get her fingernails into her mouth. Might actually reach the top of her nailbed by the time she gets it off!
More to come tomorrow.
Hey everyone

I'm gonna attempt to join the blogger world so you can keep up with us a little better. Bear with me as I work to figure this stuff out. Caitlyn broke her arm - lovely, and I attempted to get all three kids in the same picture. This was the best I could get!

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