Monday, June 25, 2012

Pin It

I absolutely love Pinterest! If you haven't started using this website yet you are missing out! I have found everything from getting wax out of a candle so you can reuse the jar to dinner and dessert. Every dinner this week on my weekly planner is from this lovely little website! The idea is to put things on your Pinterest page that you like. Then other people follow you because they like similar things. So its just a whole bunch of different pins from a whole bunch of different people. Some of the people I follow I don't even know. It just goes to show that even if we don't live in the same city or the same country we are all very much alike. So go on over to Pinterest and start pinning!!

Follow me if you'd like! It just takes one click!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Open Sesame or not

I love how a bad day can turn out to be a good day. This morning we were running a little late like always! I try to leave the house 5 minutes early that way we have plenty of time because we usually leave the house at exactly the right time. So I tell myself, we have to leave by 7:15 to get to the bus on time. When actually we need to leave by 7:20. This morning it was raining and I don't just mean sprinkling. The boys and I get in the car and I open the gate to leave our driveway. When I start to pull forward I realize that the gate didn't open. I say to myself, really?! (For those of you that don't know me well, its my favorite word!) So I open it again, only this time it wouldn't open. Darn gate! In Italy everyone has a gate that either leads to their house or their parking lot/drive way. We have a big parking area in the front and a smaller one in the back. We usually park up front because we have a huge American car. Sometimes the gate doesn't work. Its like everything else, it has its days! Back to the story, I try several times to open the gate and nothing happens. At this point I realize its going to be a bad day and the boys aren't going to make it to the bus. So I wake up Kelly. (He has training all week so I was letting him sleep) He rides his bike to the station so I knew I would have to drive him to work anyway. Back to our gate. Since it won't open we have to use the key. That means getting out of our dry car and standing in the rain. Not fun at all! The only problem is we can't find the key to open the box. Of course, right! After searching the house for the key, we are finally ready to leave. By the time we get outside its raining much harder than before. So Kelly and I are not in the best of moods. Soaking wet at 7:45 in the morning is just awful! We'll just say that no one said a word all the way to school. Once we get close we realize that God must have stopped time for us because its only 8:00. It usually takes about 10 minutes to get to base but between 7:30 and 9:00 it usually takes 20 minutes or more. That's why the boys ride the bus! The mood in the car starts to lighten. While we're sitting at the round-about waiting on our turn. Kelly says look, "There's a rainbow over Monte Berico." (Monte Berico is a church on top of a hill in Vicenza. When its not foggy/smoggy you can see it from almost everywhere) It was a huge rainbow! The colors weren't super bright but it was beautiful! That rainbow was just for us! We got the boys to school before the second bell rang at 8:10. Kelly and I did our usual and went for coffee. It's my favorite thing that we do. We don't really have a babysitter here so that is our date time. As we're having coffee the crazy morning slowly leaves our mind. It doesn't matter now. When I look back on Monte Berico as I'm driving home I remember that God didn't promise us perfect days, but He did promise that he'd always be there through rain and shine! I'll say it again, I love when a bad day turns out to be a good one!

Monte Berico - standing right beside it. This one of my favorite pictures!

Another picture of Monte Berico. This time you can see the bell tower. It is such a beautiful church. Its something I looking forward to seeing (almost) every day. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More Milk Please

One of my favorite things about Italy is the milk. We buy our milk from a vending machine at a local dairy. They have whole milk, 2% milk, milk for people that are lactose intolerant, cheese, yogurt, butter, eggs and a few other things. The butter is fantastic too! It is so fresh. It doesn't even taste like butter from the store. The yogurt is also great. I haven't tried anything from the dairy that wasn't delicious.

This is the butter and cheese side. 

Want some milk? The yummy yogurt is at the bottom. 

I will miss this vending machine more than any other 'store' in Italy. Its so nice to have milk and eggs so close. Milk is the one thing that we run out of the most. I wish they had these in the states. If I was a farmer I'd open my own vending machine, but I don't see that in my future at all. 

Plus 2

We just found out this past week that our extension for another 2 years was approved. We are so excited! We would keep adding another 2 years for the rest of our lives, if they'd let us. We absolutely love it here. Of course we miss our family and friends in the states but we love the pace of Italy. This did take some getting use to but now we don't mind. No one is in a hurry here, everything can wait until tomorrow and nothing is more important than family. Kelly was talking to a guy at work and was telling him how excited we are to be staying another 2 years. The guy asked why. Believe it or not, some people don't like it here. Kelly said because he always feels like he's on vacation. Just because of the slow pace. When he was telling me about this later our son, Logan, said, "Really? I don't feel like I'm on vacation because I don't go to school on vacation." Kelly told him that he still felt like he was on vacation and he had to go to work sometimes too.

A little back story on Logan. He doesn't love school. He puts up with it because we make him but if he could choose he wouldn't choose school. I love how kids think! To Logan and Hadyn it doesn't matter that we live in Italy. They still go to school just like they would in the states, they still do homework and they still have bedtime. They do enjoy the traveling though. Their favorite place is Garmisch, Germany. A little piece of us will always be there. I love when they realize things are different than when we lived in Texas, like the mountains. Where we live now we have mountains right behind our house. It is something that we'll never get use to. We are blown away every time they show up. The mountains around Vicenza kind of make a bowl. So the smog doesn't have anywhere to go. So most of the time we don't get to see the mountains, but after a good rain... the site is magnificent! 

This was taken yesterday. It rained on and off all morning. 

This was taken about a year ago. This shows how the mountains just disappear. 
They're peeking through a little though.

This is my favorite time to see the mountains. When there's snow on top!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Smoothie Recipes

I love smoothies! It helps me get my fruit for the day. I found these recipes in Redbook magazine a few months ago and they have become my favorite. A lot of the smoothie recipes I have call for 8 ounces of milk. I love these two recipes because they are mostly fruit. Thanks Redbook and Hungry Girl!!

Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie

4 oz fat-free strawberry yogurt   (I use the whole 6oz yogurt)
1 cup frozen strawberries (partially thawed)
1 peeled kiwi
1 cup crushed ice (5 to 8 ice cubes)

In a blender, combine yogurt, strawberries, kiwi and crushed ice. Blend on high until smooth. 

Tropical Punch Smoothie

6 oz fat-free peach yogurt
1/4 cup crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 frozen banana (sliced)
1/2 tsp lime juice
1 cup crushed ice (5 to 8 ice cubes)

In a blender, combine yogurt, pineapple, banana, lime juice and crushed ice. Blend on high until smooth. 

Enjoy! :o)