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Dane

My packages to Christian have been taking forever to reach him.  Poor kid is going to think I don’t love him.  That is the last thing he needs.  Afghanistan is no picnic, and it’s been hard for him.

Yesterday I drove all the way to Kelly, the furthest local base from me, to mail him some much needed moleskin for his torn-apart feet.  And toothbrushes.  Apparently toothbrushes are in high demand to clean the sand out of radios & weapons.  Who knew?

I went to Kelly because our mail services have been drastically cut, and it was the only post office open. I really wanted to get Christian his much-needed supplies as soon as possible.  I must’ve said something to the mailguy, I don’t remember what, because he took a look at me, leafed through some forms, and then said;

“I got an idea.” His idea turned out to be to bypass the guys in Moron, Spain (real place!) and send Christian’s packages directly to Kandahar.  Because. Standing right next to him was a big, old, white bag tagged “Kandahar”.  Now, he made no promises as to what will happen after the mailbag got into Kandahar. It might not get on the next plane, or truck, or camel out to Christian but Kandahar is a lot closer than Spain.  I’ll take it!  That guy is my new favorite guy.

On the way back home we got caught up in a stau (traffic jam), umleitung (detour) and a massive downpour.  It made a long drive already longer.  Dane started getting a little restless, so Cole tried to amuse him. I only listened with half-an-ear, my thoughts were filled with Christian and my concentration was on the road, but it seems that Cole was having Dane polish his gold hairs.  Kids.

Later, I found Dane in the bathroom brushing his hair, a big grin on his face:

“I have the most gold hair of anyone! I bet it’s worth $100!”16AUG14

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My kids, like many kids, love to dress-up and pretend. When the big boys were little (now 22, 23 & 24), dress-up was fine by me… at home.  Out in public I insisted they wear normal clothes like jean, shorts, t-shirts.  If they were lucky t-shirts with Scooby-Doo or Superman.  If they were lucky. I was a mean mom back then.

When Dino came along, I was a seasoned mom.  I knew happy kids = happy mom. I learned to pick my battles.  While normal clothes are still required for church, school and dinners out, it’s pretty much anything-goes on our daily routine.  Dane has reveled in manifesting his active imagination through dress-up.

These days I’m frequently escorting Harry Potter through the grocery store, our town or really just about anywhere we go.  Earlier this week his much-desired wand came in from China.  Silly me took a picture almost immediately.  Hours after this photo Harry’s scar made its first appearance (reminiscent of Dane’s The Last Airbender phase).  I’m only waiting for Harry’s robes to come in from China as well, then I’ll take a new photo.

13AUG14

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I’m not sure I’ve mentioned, but Cole is in American High School on base.  We pulled him out of German school when he started his freshman year.  Life is filled with enough challenges being a military brat. We wanted to give him as an easy-as-possible opportunity to complete all the right credits for college.

Having kids in both the German & American school systems, living under one roof, means very little overlapping vacation time.  So when it is vacation time, we let our hair down & let schedules go.  I love vacation time!

We are all night owls.  Leave us to our own devices and we are easily up past midnight, preferably till 2 or 3 am, sleeping till noon or later.  I’d hoped we’d be magically cured moving to Europe.  That maybe our night owl-ness was really my European genes passed down to the kiddo’s and we were innately on an European schedule.

But no. As soon as jet lag was over (6+ weeks!), we lapsed right into our night owl schedule.  When needed we have grumpy mornings at least 5 days a week.  Those first hours are a bear, even with pots of coffee.  Getting the kids out of the house, especially Dane & Cole, is a fight each & every morning.

I now have almost 4 weeks of NO SCHOOL! No early mornings.  No fighting. No bears.  I’m in hog heaven!

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Going Full American

by Toiny Westberry 17 May 2014

I know the photo is a little soft, but it is my favorite of Dane on his birthday this week.  It is just so him.  He finally, at age 7, has his first wiggly tooth and in this photo you can still see the precious baby teeth peeking out. His hair is poking out in […]

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Tante Marianne

by Toiny Westberry 19 March 2014

There is sunshine and light and laughter in every one of my days.  Even my dark days.  On the days when life has me down, things are not going my way, when I just need to cry. There are always my kids (and sometimes other peoples kids) and they always manage to put a smile […]

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No Shoes. No Soccer.

by Toiny Westberry 14 February 2014
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Yesterday was not poor Dane’s day.  All week long he looks forward to Tuesdays.  Soccer day.  The hours between school and soccer practice are almost unbearable, the boy has no concept of time.  Timers, clocks, stickers-on-clocks, nothing works.  He must ask me every 1-to-5 minutes; “Is it time?” “Can we go now?” “How much longer?”  […]

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My Oma

by Toiny Westberry 9 October 2013
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Every time I see my Oma again, I burst into tears.  I steel myself before. I tell myself to be brave. I tell myself to be strong, none of it works.  I see her and I melt. It is just love.  It is my guilt at being so far. It is my sadness at how […]

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Soccer Mom

by Toiny Westberry 22 June 2013

Do you see him?  Can spot my junior David Beckham?  A mother can only dream.  And when a dream starts this good, well, there has to have a happy ending.  Even David Beckham has a mom.  I can be junior David Beckhams mom.  In the words of the infamous little engine “I think I can!” With […]

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Six

by Toiny Westberry 18 May 2013
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My beautiful boy turned six this week.  Six.  It is bittersweet for me because I know he is my last, my youngest, my baby and he’s already heading into big boy territory.  His wingman, Christian, also had a very big birthday and turned 21.  How?  How did this happen?  Why are my boys so big? […]

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SnickerdoodleDesigns Visits Germany!

by Toiny Westberry 4 May 2013
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Our new house came with a little apartment on the ground floor. We use it mostly for game nights & so-mom-doesn’t-hear the x-box.  But it is a fantastic little space for guests. I sent emails to my Design Team, friends & family that I had room.  I’ve already had friends & family come to visit, and this […]

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