Daybreak…

The morning light is breaking, Lord
Another day is here,
Life’s problems must again be met,
With heart and vision clear.


Strength for today I ask, dear Lord,
Strength only for today;
Renew my faith, my hope revive,
Illuminate my skies of gray.


For yesterday is past, dear Lord,
Tomorrow I ne’er may see,
Today alone lies in my grasp
To use or lose for eternity.


Help me to lend a helping hand,
To dry the fallen tears,
To give to all whose life touch mine
Some comfort or good cheer.


Help me to sink my poor weak self
With its longings, hopes and fears,
In service to my fellow man,
Battling through this vale of tears.


Just for today – day by day
Courage and strength I pray;
Garnering the good, forgiving the wrong,
Till I’ve lived my last today.


~Samuel F. Smith~

Seven years…

Yesterday was our 7th anniversary. An enternity in the blink of an eye… Some days it seems that our life together is all I’ve ever known and other days I’m still in awe at how blessed we are to be together.



Seven years ago we stood up together and pledged to love each other for life…


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“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part.”



Those are the vows we spoke to one another.



Better? The moment we learned that we were expecting our first child… Worse? The moment we found out that we would never hold this child in our arms… And though we find laughter and cry tears of sorrow in turn we thank God for the chance to do so together.



Richer? Times like now, when a surprise bill doesn’t send our world into a tailspin, when we are blessed to be able to bless… Poorer? Oh yes… there were moments when a pot of pinto beans was all we had for third month in a row and all we longed for was a pan of cornbread to spice it up a bit… And through all of this we thank God daily for each other…



Sickness? Oh yes… There have been so many moments of sickness and through it all we have stuck by each other (Ryan more so since he’s never sick!)



And we do love each other and we do cherish each other…



Seven years ago as we stood together at the alter and said our vows we had All of Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera played… We choose it because it was a beautiful song and because it sounded perfect for a wedding…



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Yesterday was a bit of a hard day for us, we found it hard to celebrate our day and so we sat together and watched movies to pass the time together.  On a whim we watched Phantom of the Opera. Ryan likes the movie as well so we enjoyed watching it…



(Now I should take a moment to say that I was not supposed to ever tell anyone that… but I figure only saying it one time isn’t too big a deal right? Even if I copy and paste it to a few different sites and forward it to everyone I know? *Insert evil little elf face here please*)



And when it came to the song that had played at our wedding we sat there and listened to the words… and somehow after seven years it means far more than it ever has…



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No more talk of darkness
Forget these wide-eyed fears
I’m here, nothing can harm you
My words will warm you and calm you


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Let me be your freedom
Let daylight dry your tears
I’m here, with you and beside you
To guard you and to guide you


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Say you love me every waking moment
Turn my head with talk of summertime
Say you need me with you now and always
Promise me that all you say is true
That’s all I ask of you


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Let me be your shelter
Let me be your light
You’re safe, no one will find you
Your fears are far behind you


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All I want is freedom
A world with no more night
And you, always beside me
To hold me and to hide me


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Then say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime
Let me lead you from your solitude
Say you need me with you here, beside you
Anywhere you go, let me go too
That’s all I ask of you


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Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime
Say the word and I will follow you
Share each day with me, each night, each morning

Say you love me
You know I do

Love me, that’s all I ask of you
Anywhere you go, let me go too


Love me, that’s all I ask of you 



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 And seven years later here we are…  We have had some hard times and there were days when we didn’t think we’de make it… 


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But in the end we have made it…  And I love him now more deeply than the day we said our vows… 


In the Bible the number 7 represents completion…  And that’s exactly how I feel…


Complete.


Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney

Fühl dich wie zu Hause! (Make yourself at home.)

Guten Tag!


Well this really will be my last online access in quite some time…  We went back in to talk to the company that will be installing our internet and they asked us to come back by on Friday the 23rd to see if they have any news for us yet…  I don’t have much hope that this will go quickly!  Unfortunately my internet is also my only phone back to the states and my TV, so this 10 days that Ryan will be gone in Ramstein are going to be very lonely and very long!  And on Tuesday I won’t be able to update you about the Ultrasound or call my mom to let her know!  I’ll figure something out but it may end up being a very short very basic update…


But for the moment I have a little time to chat with you!  We are here at the apartment in the process of cleaning (Well Ryan is doing most of it because I have to be careful of the chemicals hence me being on line while we are here cleaning) and should be done within the hour and then we are done!  Our final out is tomorrow at 11am and then we will be living sole in our new home! 


So the new house…  I have some pictures… Obviously we aren’t completely moved in but some of the furniture is at least where it should be so I’ll share what I hve for now, since I have no idea when I’ll be able to come back!


Shall we begin!?  🙂


~~~~~


Wilcommen to my home!


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 Let’s start by going upstairs! 


This is the small landing at the top of the stairs.  To the right is the door into the room that will be the nursery and to the left is the glass door at the top of the stairs! 


(As you will see, in German houses almost every room has a door so that you can close off parts of the house for heating purposes in the winter!)


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 Through that room on the right you will find a nursery… 


This would be a very good time to explain that in Germany it is rare to see someone paint their home.  They wallpaper!  So please excuse just about every wall in this home!  It is all wallpapered in some of the most frightening colors and I can not do one thing about it!  I couldn’t even paint if she said I could as almost all wall paper here is textured!  Rest assured that I will find ways to take all focus off of the walls!  LOL  Oh yeah same goes for all the curtains… though that I can do something about and soon!!!!


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 And the other side with some awesome built in closet/cabinets!  And yes that is a stained glass kid flying a stained glass kite!


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Just a bit down the hall is the only full bath in the house and oh boy is it full!!!  This glass shower is directly on your left as you enter the bathroom…  It is much more roomy than this picture makes it look!


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 That set of towel bars on the right of the pic?  Well this is what’s beyond that!  It’s huge and deep and awesome!!!


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 Then along the whole opposite wall is this… sink, yep you guessed it, bidet, and of course a toilet! 


(Let me take this opportunity to point out that there is no storage in this monstrous bathroom… no medicine cabinet, no shelves, no cabinets at all!  In Germany you build your own!  So after much shopping we ended up spending about 100 euro on cabinets for the bathroom!  Which I might add is very reasonable since if we were to buy the expensive stuff it’s 100 euro for only one!  So we’ll have those in soon so that this bathroom will actually function for us!) 


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 This is our bedroom…  On the far right there is a window and on the left is our TV.  It’s actually quite big though this pic doesn’t really show that…  But that is a king size bed! 


(That I don’t have a king bedspread for!  LOL  I think I’m going to make one!) 


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 And this is the guest bedroom!  Where any of you that visit will be staying!  It’s a queen in case you were wondering!  This is the only wallpaper in the whole house that doesn’t offend me!  LOL


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 And the guest room from the door!  Pretty light…. 


(Another side bar…  There are also no closets in German houses so you get Shrunks… or wardrobes…  Unfortunately the ones we are issued are plain and ugly… not like those huge wooden masterpieces you see in movies… We could buy those but hey these are free!)


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Okay and now for the main floor!  This is the little guest bath…  The sink is only 9 inches across at it’s widest point!  They sure know how to utilize space!!!


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 This is the dining room…  My absolute worst enemy as far as wallpaper, curtains, and lamps go…  Ah well I’ll make it work.  


One thing I will not make work is that refrigerator!  You want a hint as to how small that thing is?  See the chandelier?  Well Ryan is only 5’10” and his head comes to the top of that lamp… yeah that’s one small fridge… and the shelves are so small that a coke can won’t fit standing up on any of them… let alone a gallon of milk!  So we went out and bought a new fridge… with a baby on the way and company coming this just won’t work! 


And the freezer is a joke!  I knew it would be smaller off base so I stopped buying frozen foods two paychecks ago and today when I moved over my food I ended up throwing about three pounds away because it simply wouldn’t fit!  And our base freezer is only half the size of our one back home!!!  Aaaaaaaaaaaaa 


But as I said we bought a new one and though it is money we had not intended to spend it will make life so much more enjoyable for me since I LOVE to cook!


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 Here are the door and window…  This door leads out to a small metal landing with about five steps leading down… at the bottom there is an arched wooden gate that leads right to the garage!  Talk about a short walk to bring in the groceries!!!


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 Okay and on to one of my favorite rooms in the house.  When I first saw this I was like “EEEEKKKK  too small!”  But on further inspection it has more functional counter space than my huge kitchen and as many cabinets!  And, not that I would ever do this in my home, the blue cabinets are just fine!  My kitchen decorations since I got married are primary colors!  Cobalt blue, fire engine red, and a golden yellow…


(Yes I know that this means that the dining room should be fine but I just can’t bring myself to like it….) 


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 Here is the oven and stove!  Glass top baby, YEAH!!!!  I missed my glass top so much! 


(Another side bar… German ovens are tiny!!!  In case you can’t tell I have been told by others living off base to never buy more than a 10 pound turkey for Thanksgiving!  Not a big deal since it’s just Ryan and I though!)


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 And the sink… and the funniest thing in the whole house!  See that cute little tiny blue cabinet on the bottom?  That’s the dishwasher!  Have you ever seen one so small!  Thank goodness most of my stuff is handwash anyway!


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 And just to the left of the kitchen is the entrance to the two living rooms…  This first one is The TV room.  a.k.a. Ryan’s Room! 🙂  On the right is one of the bookshelves that flanks our Big Screen. 


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 Okay and here is a view from the other room so you can kind of see how the room is set up. 


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 And then my favorite room in the house… My sitting room…  It will have all of my books and my yarn and all the neat little things we’ve picked up here in Germany… 


 I can’t wait to have new curtains hung and all the books out… I can’t wait to just lay there on my Island in the morning sun and read a few pages before Ryan gets up in the mornings…. 


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 That’s about all for the house…


There is a whole other floor but it’s a basement and is being used for the piles and piles of boxes at the moment.  When we get it all arranged I’ll take pictures of that too… 


It contains another half bathroom, a huge storage room that we will use for storage and a bit of extra pantry space, and one large heated room that will double as an office/game room for Ryan and the place the dogs will stay when we aren’t at home in the winter (since it’s heated… the rest of the year they will just have free run of the basement since it’s all tile and they couldn’t do any damage! 


Like in the rest of the house where almost all the floors are these beautiful 2 inch honey pine planks… Where my 100 pound dog could rip them up just by stretching… Shudder horrible thought that…) 


Then there is also a HUGE laundry room complete with itty bitty washer and dryer, shelving, and clothes lines!


Okay so I bet you would like to see the actual outside of this amazingly cute little German cottage huh?


Well I’ll show you half… this is our driveway that leads back to the yard and garage! 


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 Here’s a picture just for my Dad!  Here is the garage and car port… and there is a small covered patio area just to the right of where this picture cuts off…  That small gate that leads straight to the kitchen I told you about?  Well that comes in right on that patio… so about 20 steps to the garage!


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 And this is our yard… it is mostly fenced and what isn’t fenced has hedges… We are going to get some rabbit wire just to run along and reinforce it so that the boys don’t go a wandering!


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 See that little green gate at the back of the yard?  Well that leads to our second yard. 


It’s ours and we are allowed to use it but the landlord’s father has his vegetable garden back there so he will be out there occasionally….  It’s a beautiful area and I’m glad it’s fenced off because I would hate for my dogs (who don’t dig but you just never know what will make them start) to tear up his garden…  


He is currently growing squash, pumpkins, some herbs, and green beans… There is also a fig tree, a slow berry tree, and an apple tree back here! 


We have been told by several people who have lived in a similar situation to expect a basket full of fresh veggies on our stoop one of these days!  What a lovely thought! 


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 Here is another view of the garden…


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 So without further ado here is my new home…. 


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 Another view that shows the yard I will soon be working in… There are several planting areas that I can’t wait to get my hands dirty in!!!


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I think that we are going to be very very happy here!  We love it already!  The neighborhood is quite and peaceful.  We have already met almost all of our neighbors and all of them are wonderful! 


I can’t wait to spend the next two years living here…  raising our child here…  Learning to cook German recipes, learning how to chat with my neighbors as we all work in our yards on sunny days…


Well with that I should go…  There is still much to be done here in The Land of Fairy Tales today….  and for many days to come.


I will miss talking to you but know that when I am finally able to come back I’ll have many pictures and stories to tell! 


For now Auf Wiedersehen my friends!


Courtney


 

The Big Move is Upon Us!!!

*After reading Melissa’s comment I’m in a bit of a situation!  I never even thought about the phone!  It had better not take weeks!  The internet is my only phone to call back to the states with!!!  I can’t wait weeks to talk to my mom after my ultrasound!  I’ll tell you what!  If I don’t have internet by then…  I’ll have Ryan write an email and send it to my parents to just let them know what’s up before he leaves and then I’ll have my mom sign in and post it here…  I think that’s the best I can do until I have a hookup!  Pray ladies!!!  :)*


 


Guten Tag!


I just wanted to write a quick update!!!  Moving day has been moved up until tomorrow and we don’t get the keys until 4pm tonight!  We will spend this evening moving as much of the small stuff into the house as we can.  Then we get the moving van tomorrow morning at 10:15am and we have 8 guys coming to help us move!  We are providing pizza and drinks for lunch and should have everything moved over by early afternoon!  We are so excited! 


So the rest of our week looks like this…


~~~~~


Thursday:


Signing and keys, then we start moving the little stuff!


Friday: 


Moving day has been moved to Friday due to van rental!


Saturday: 


Moving and cleaning.


Sunday: 


Finish up and clean apartment.


Monday:


Final out inspection


Tuesday:


Our first ultrasound!!!!


Wednesday: 


Drive Ryan down to Ramstein (about 2 hours away) for the Silver Flag exercises where he’ll be for 10 days while I slowly unpack and decorate the new house!


~~~~~


I am just amazed at how quickly everything has been happening lately!


I also just wanted to let you know that this may be my last email for a while.  As I said we move tomorrow and have already put in the request for our new service to be installed…. However, the only company here in Germany that provides these services is currently on strike…  So it could be a few days or it could be a few weeks!  We are hoping for the former of course but I’m not going to count on it.


As soon as our internet gets hooked up I’ll have pictures galore and hopefully our first Ultrasound picture too!


So with that I had better go finish up our packing and get ready to go get the keys!


Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney


P.S.  We have 8 guys to help because no one wants me touching a thing!  So no worries, I’ll just be overseeing the whole day!

Another new development…

Guten Tag!


There is quite a large bit of news here in The Land of Fairy Tales today.


Would you like a hint?


 


 


 


 


 


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 Do you think you know?  Was this hint enough?  Would you like another just in case? 


 


 


 


 


 


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 Well I know you’ve got it by now but just to make sure it’s incredibly clear… how about this? 


 


 


 


 


 


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That’s right!  We found a house! 


We’ll be moving this weekend.  (How’s that for fast?)  We had our pre inspection today and have about half of the house already packed.


The house we will be moving into is in Moetsch (said like mush with a bit of a moo sound in there)  which is just a small village on the outskirts of Bitburg.  We will not be able to see the city or the base (ahhh that will be so wonderful!) but Ryan will only be five minutes from work!  It’s close enough that I won’t have to find new grocery stores or learn a new town.


And the house… Ah the house!!! 


It has three bedrooms (one that is already a nursery!) and one full bath and two half baths.  There is a dining room, kitchen, sitting room, living room, and half bath on the main floor… and then a storage room, laundry room, bathroom and a heated and tiled room for the dogs (when we are gone) in the basement.  It also has a one car garage, a car port, a fully fenced backyard, and a covered patio… and out front is a small garden that I’m just itching to get my fingers into!!!  It’s about 2000 square feet which is a big change from our 700 square foot apartment! 


We can’t wait to settle down into a house again where TV volume is not a problem, praise and worship music doesn’t clash with the guy in the next building’s rap, and I don’t have to breath my neighbors cigarette smoke and kitty litter whenever she feels the need to take it all onto the patio.


So just to keep this all straight in my head here is how our week looks…


Monday


Pre inspection, contract work, and packing.


Tuesday:


0900-1100 Pregnancy class through family advocacy, packing.


Wednesday:


0730 dental appointment, packing and hopefully signing


Nope signing didn’t happen!  Thursday at 4pm instead.


Thursday:


Signing and keys, then we start moving the little stuff!


Friday: 


Moving day has been moved to Friday due to van rental!


Saturday: 


Moving and cleaning.


Sunday: 


Finish up and clean apartment.


Monday:


Final out inspection


Tuesday:


My first ultrasound!!!!


Wednesday


Drive Ryan down to Ramstein (about 2 hours away) for the Silver Flag exercises…  He’ll be gone for 10 days including our anniversary…


Over those ten days I’ll just be slowly unpacking and decorating… just settling in and enjoying the peace, quiet and freedom!!!


So all that said…  It might be a while before I’m back on here…  I’m going to be super busy this week getting the house ready and then I have no idea how long it will take to get all of the internet and phone services switched over…  Hopefully not long!


And with that I must bid you Auf Wiedersehen! 


Courtney


P.S.  No I will not be doing anything strenuous!  I’ve waited 6 1/2 years for this baby and I will not let my pride get in the way!  No worries!  I’ll be taking everything slow and easy and not carrying anything over 15 pounds… I promise!  🙂


P.S.S.  I’ll post pics of the house as soon as I can! 

Out of the mouth of babes…

Guten Tag!


I have to tell you a story today…  This past weekend Ryan and I attended a goodbye party for his commanding officer, who is being deployed to Kosovo.  Well as a joke two of the other officers showed up in full blown Scottish dress, kilt and all!  There was this little five year old girl there (a daughter of one of Ryan’s coworkers)  who just could not handle the whole men in skirts thing.  She was so cute… Pasty pale with a spattering of freckles, big blue eyes, and blond hair and she just kept laughing and pointing at these men and then it started….


(Giggle giggle) “You’re a girl!”


“No I’m not…” he said “You are!”


“Yeah but so are you!”  Followed by more hysterical laughter…


(Now this man is not known for his patience with children or having a great sense of humor, though personally I would expect something better from a man who goes around in a skirt! So all of us were sort of shifting around and feeling uncomfortable…)  Ryan’s immediate supervisor called her over to try and distract her…


“Hey are those missing teeth I see?”


She ran over to him sat in his lap and said, “Yes see the holes?”


Then the big guy in the skirt leans down to her and says “Want to lose a bunch more teeth?” 


Of course all of us are laughing now because he’s joking and it’s obvious!  She gets all hot faced and yells,


“You can try it but I’ll beat you down!”


Now we’re all rolling including the Officer in a skirt!  He chuckles good naturedly and says…


“Oh do you really think so?”


She jumps up gets right in his face and yells at the top of her lungs!


“I’LL BREAK YOU DOWN LIKE A LEGO SET!”


That was it… I thought I was going to die!  Everyone in the room was close to tears by this point and at just that moment her father walks into the room to see his five year old daughter standing fists on hips in front of this man yelling…  I thought he would have a heart attack!  You should have seen the look on his face when we told him what she said though… It was truly priceless…


Kids really do say the darndest things…


And with that I will bid Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney

Just a little addiction I swear!

Guten Tag!


When I went back to the states for my sister’s wedding a rather unfortunate thing happened!  I formed a very bad habit… 


Starbucks!


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Don’t laugh, I know it’s awful but now I can’t stop craving it!  I can remember secretly thinking that my sisters were insane for even drinking the stuff!  What a waste of money and calories!  And then they forced one on me and then I let them buy me another and then I drank one almost everyday since I knew that I was on vacation and you always do things on vacation that you don’t do at home…  I just figured that the cravings would fade…  When we flew home I actually went online to check and see if the New Jersey airport (where our layover was) had a Starbucks and it did!!! 


We landed almost 45 minutes late and they actually had to hold the plane as we literally ran the whole length of the airport to make the trip on time…  I knew that I had a serious problem when all I could think of as I ran pell nell through the airport was that I wouldn’t get my last cup of Starbucks coffee… Heck I didn’t even give thought to my burning lungs or my bladder that was about to burst or my shoulders that hurt so bad I was almost in tears… I could only stick out my bottom lip and feel cheated!


I would kill for a venti White Chocolate Mocha iced coffee right now!  Do you know what they don’t have here in the area of Germany that I live? 


Starbucks!


For over a month now I have struggled with my need for this lovely little treat and then lo and behold I found a Starbucks!  It’s only two hours away!  And you know what? 


I want it bad enough that I would drive that far for one… 


Ah but alas it was not meant to be…  For the very week I find out that a Starbucks can be had is the week that I find out all my dreams have been answered and coffee is off the menu…  Ah the irony. 


So to keep my mind off this desperate craving that I can do nothing about (because let’s face it… I’m not going to waste 30 dollars worth of gas to buy a 5 dollar cup of coffee that isn’t good for me anyway.) I am turning back to crochet…  I just counted and I have seven, count them, SEVEN baby blankets that have to be made before I can even start on blankets for me… and scarves, and hats, and every other good thing!  So I’m crocheting my fingers off to get done in time!  Here’s hoping that it makes the time go quickly!


Well I’m coming around to visit everyone I haven’t even had a chance to read for the last few days and I’m missing you guys.


Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney