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Tessa

Because I’ve been lonely lately (thought Dave’s birthday dinner helped amazingly), because my Oma turns 100 next month, I’ve been looking at a lot of old photo’s.  And I’ve realized I’m lonely partly because my house is so empty.  I’m down to only three kids.  Three kids is sooooooooooo quiet.

Dane is not here today, that makes it mouse-quiet.  Dane is loud. He is an energy ball.  He is a hugger.  When he’s not here, it’s so quiet.  I get a lot done, but sometimes, usually, I’d rather have the noise, the mess, and the hugs that come with Dane in the house.

I envy Dave his one-on-one time with Dane today.  It’s another soccer tournament, this one deep in the forest here.  The kind of indoor soccer hall that suddenly, magically, appears in a thick, dark, grove of trees.  I’m secretly hoping this hosting team has a fabulous baker mom & Dave brings me home some freshly baked Küchen (cake).  Being lonely also makes me hungry for treats.

Tess is leaving for the afternoon, I can hear her scurrying around in her room, in the bathroom, getting ready.  The outdoor ice rink is open.  It’s not quite freezing, but it’s open and she & her friends can.  Not. Wait.  It helps that I picked up an almost brandnew pair of skates at the Entsorgung Unterlagen the last time I dropped off our garbage. It’s not that they were in the trash, you can’t take things out of the trash, but as I was slowly & carefully reading the signs to find exactly which bin my old fan went into, another lady was slowly & carefully reading too.  She had a pair of skates.  A pair of used-three-times &  her daughter grew skates. In a 36.  Tess’ size.  I looked at her, she looked at me, we both snuck a peek at the garbage inspector, and she gave them to me!  Free! So, so, so happy.  And the garbage inspector looked the other way & only gave a little “Hmmmpf” to show his dissatisfaction at the rules not being followed to the exact letter of the law.

That leaves me home alone with Cole.  Cole who is Dane’s age, 7, in the photo below.  Cole who will be leaving home in less than 2 years.  I used to think those years went so slow and now I’m begging the years to slow down.  Stop.  Just stop going so fast!15NOV14_img

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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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If you ask Tess what was the best part of our whirlwind trip back to the states; the answer is one word: “Becca!”

The dynamic duo was reunited and their unbridled joy at seeing each other had all of us, at least us mommies, in tears.  I could feel waves of warm happiness radiating out from them. The air literally quivered with their joy. They hugged, squealed, hugged some more & stormed off to a bedroom, not to be seen again except under pressure to eat or be photographed.

I’ll be honest, my own reaction to see our dear friends Emmett & Karen was pretty darn squeal-y, hug-y and happy too.  I’d missed them so.  You know you have friends for life when they will drive 5 hours, each way, to see you for 1 day.  And share you with family, family and more family.

The thing is, after so much time together, so many amazing experiences and the bazillion life’s-little-moments shared, they are my family.  The number one best thing the Army has given me is more family.  Yes, it is hard when they move, or we move, but without the Army they would never have been put in our path.  I would never have this big, amazing, family I have now.

Even Tess, moping in her room much of this week now, agrees.  The best day of her life was when Becca walked through our front door.  Nothing can take that from her, no matter how many miles we have to fly, ride trains, drive cars or walk.  Of course after I said all this to Tess, while having a heart-to-heart talk to help her cope with yet another good-bye, she rolled her eyes at me:

“Mom.  We have Skype.”

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