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Photo Hog

by Toiny Westberry on 3 December 2014
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I think the constant presence of my camera has made my kids photo hogs.  Yesterday, out of the blue, Dane begged:

“Mom! You need to take a picture of my new teeth for your newsletter!”

Who am I to argue?  He is so proud of his new grown-up teeth.  He is brushing better than ever, and loves to show them off to everyone.

So far his new teeth are doing well.  The bottom one was coming in a little crooked & he kept trying to push it into place with his tongue.  He was succeeding, but he was also succeeding in making a permanent tooth loose!

Thankfully the dentist caught that.  She also caught that Dane’s baby molar is cracking (My Sugar Hound). Today, probably as you are reading your newsletter with a delicious, warm, cup of coffee, Dane is getting his crown on.  His silver crown.  The crown that does not match the rest of his teeth.

Please cross your fingers & toes with me that after today he will still happily pose for the camera and smile wide & big. Silver crown included. I so love his smile.


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Phew! I’m all hot & bothered. I’m going 5 million miles an hour today, and yesterday, but I’m Git ‘r done! Big time. Yesterday I took an hour without computer, just me & my phone, and scheduled all those appointments I haven’t been scheduling. Vision, dental, snow tires, check-ups, teacher meetings, all scheduled. That felt great.

Amazingly enough, the never-have-an-opening dental clinic on post had an opening for both Cole & Tess this morning. I grabbed it with both hands, got all the kids out of bed at the crack of dawn and got there five minutes early. I’m still beaming with pride.

Both kids had fabulous check-ups, they could stand to brush a little better, and neither had a cavity. Both have wisdom teeth cropping up fast, but we have at least a year before that becomes a reality.

While I sat in the waiting room, waiting with an impatient & hungry Dane, the receptionist noticed I had one child not being seen. That wonderful woman found an opening in the ped Dentist schedule and Dane was seen too. Score!

Dane’s teeth are not perfect. He’s a sugar hound and a terrible brusher. Lately this has gotten better, the new spiderman spinning toothbrush and his own grown-up, non-sparkly toothpaste have a lot to do with that. Still, he has 3 old filled cavities that need fixing. Our German dentist had put white (ceramic?) fillings in his teeth, which Dane loves (he’s very picky about aesthetics) but Dane’s love of sugar were eroding them. So we have 3 old cavities to “fix”. We also have at least 4 to seal. And there’s one poor baby molar that’s really struggling. Long story short, it’s getting a silver crown.

The silver crown is where we are running into problems. Silver does not match the rest of Dane’s teeth. Dane’s teeth are white. I have less than a month to come up with a reasonable, logical, argument to convince Dane this is good. Wish me luck.

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Football. Is. Over. Hallelujah! My boy is sad. He absolutely loved being on a team. He loved playing every day. He loved games. He worked hard & became an amazing football player in a few short months. Look, I have proof! At his last game he always had two, even three, guys on him (that’s him, #69, in the black/white/gold). That’s what a threat he became on the football field.

At home he became gentler, a bigger helper and more of a man. All I want is for him to stop that! Stop getting bigger. Stop growing-up. Stay my sweet little boy, stay home. Don’t leave.

Every year for Christmas my mother would start off the feeding frenzy with cream cheese smothered in red & green jalapeno jellies. It was one of my favorite traditions, and one I carried over to my kids. Until Germany.

In Germany I could not find jalapeno jelly. I searched high, low, in local stores, in the commissary, in every country we drove through. No jalapeno jelly. For five years we have been jalapeno jelly-less. Until yesterday.

Last week, while quilting up a storm of Christmas presents with my beautiful friend Sarah, we discussed Thanksgiving menu’s. And I professed my deep sadness at no jalapeno jelly. Sarah thinks I’m great. She thinks I can do anything. She just looked at me quizically and said:

“Why aren’t you making your own? You make every other kind of jelly.” This is true! I do jelly! It is sooooooooo easy here in Germany. You buy a baggy of this magic stuff (I believe it’s sugar & gelatin mix, but what do I really know?), boil your fruit on the stove, toss in the magic stuff, boil 4 minutes more, ladel into jars. Jelly!

So yesterday I boiled my peppers (bell peppers & jalapeno peppers), with a little apple cider for juice, tossed in a baggy of the magic stuff and… JALAPENO JELLY PEOPLE!

I almost burst with anticipation waiting for Dave & Cole to come home and try my jalapeno jelly. Cole came in first, all puppy dog sad, it was the very first day with no football whatsoever, saw the jelly on the counter, tried it, and lit up like a Christmas tree:

“Mom! You did it! This is soooooooo awesome! Teach me! Teach me! I gotta make this for my kids!”

See? That beautiful, big, ray of sunshine has to stop growing up & stay little.

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Fall Picture Day 2014

by Toiny Westberry 22 October 2014
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I have found my camera battery (Hot & Smokey)!  Thank you for all the kind notes of understanding & suggestions for places to look.  One of you may very well have been right, but Dave found it. Not me.  I have no idea where & he’s not telling. As soon as my girl friend heard […]

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Hot & Smokey

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Aaaaah! I’ve lost my battery charger.  My camera is dead.  I’m in deep mourning.  Not only did I lose my battery charger, but the last time I lost my battery charger Dave bought me a new, portable battery charger for in the car. I didn’t lost my new portable car battery charger, but I did […]

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Injuries & Football

by Toiny Westberry 13 October 2014
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Football Mom

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Operation Market Garden

by Toiny Westberry 24 September 2014
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Last week, for the first time in 20 years together, Dave & I went away for five whole days without any children.  It was the 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden, and Dave jumped as part of the commemoration of the Battle of Arnhem. On Saturday we woke, way too early before five in the […]

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Friday Night Lights

by Toiny Westberry 13 September 2014
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Last night Cole had his first game under the Friday Night Lights.  Football is not big here in Germany, soccer, oh yes, but football?  That’s a whole other story. The most important part of the story is that only “our” high schools have teams.  That means a lot of travel time for our teams as […]

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Football is a way of Life

by Toiny Westberry 10 September 2014
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Way back in the dark ages, I was a high school cheerleader.  Back then I loved football! I loved the smell of fresh grass, the energy of the crowd, hot dogs, cheering. I loved night games under the bright lights, those are almost magical. I loved football. As the years passed, and we left California […]

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