Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Bowden Blahs...

Guess it's time to inform you that we are on not only a bloggy break but apparently a life break too. LOL I have coined it the yucky-German-weather-after-holiday-funk-ready-for-the-new-year-gotta-get-out-of-this-house-soon blahs. We all seem to have sort of a flu kind of virus/lack of life kind of sickness and quite honestly I don't think I have been out of this house since Sunday and I don't think Neeley has either. Even though we don't feel good-yes we all 3 have it whatever "it" is - it has been nice to hibernate here at home. We've been spending our days playing games, watching much too much tv, and staying addicted to those silly Facebook games. We'll be back to a somewhat human state of mind soon, we promise . . .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post Christmas Fun

Well . . . we're getting ready to take down all of our Christmas decorations and do a major cleaning of this place before someone calls the law on us. :) Yes, I feel like we have funk in every nook and cranny here, even if we don't. Like I said yesterday, I just always feel like that every year by the time we take down the decorations.

We did snap a few shots today with our tree . . .

This is an absolute must every year. :) We loved our lil tree this year, but it is time to start anew...

Funny story . . . we tried to see something new today, only it turned out to not be what we expected. We have heard and heard about the Ritter-Sport Museum here. You know, the chocolate company . . . well, they have a museum here. I had heard from several families how you go to this place and make your own chocolate and get to see this and that. Well, we drove out there . . . mind you, it's not exactly next door to us . . . the other day, only to find it closed. So I got the bright idea to try it again today. So we drove and drove and drove for what seemed like forever again. Come to find out, this "museum" is an art museum. Not at all what we expected. I wanted a museum full of chocolate, y'all! The art was neat except it was only a few square pieces. After viewing that part, we thought we would head on over to the chocolate shop there because we thought that might be the hip and happenin' part of the tour. W-R-O-N-G! The shop was closed. Bummer! I don't know which one of us was more annoyed. And we believe the sign said it was all due to the holidays. Well, bah humbug!

Today we may have a friend coming over for an all-things-girly sleepover. Couldn't be more excited! :) But that's only after I get us out from under all the glitter and dust bunnies left over from all-things-Christmasy.

Did any of you find any after-Christmas bargains? We didn't find much except the necessities. You know...soap and stuff. LOL Yes, we HAD to go get some groceries and a few other things . . . UNFORTUNATELY. You should have seen the lines at the PX. Yuck!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Has Come & Gone

Wow, did Christmas Day pass that quickly?

It was very different just having the three of us here this year. We spent the day by ourselves for the first time in 10 years. We were counting back yesterday and we think this was the first holiday by ourselves since we lived in Hawai'i. Yikes! We left there in September 2000 so the last Christmas we were by ourselves was when it was just Ronnie and I in 1999. Goodness! We're hoping to not make that the normal tradition. But Skype works well to. :) We made the most of the day anyway and really enjoyed ourselves.

We finished off the day with a very delicious holiday dinner . . .

We LOVE Cornish game hens...

Our snow is gone so no white Christmas for us either, though we kind of thought we might have one after the crazy weather we have had this past week. It has snowed off and on for a week now.

Today, we are just vegging and going to pick up a few things at the store and just resting and relaxing and enjoying all of our new toys. This is the first year in many, many that I have been able to just sit and relax and not have to run here, there and yon. And I have to admit, I really haven't known what to do with myself.

I think we'll leave the tree and decorations up for about another day and then down they will come, mostly because I feel like this place is filthy and needs a good scrubbing from floor to ceiling. I don't know why, but I always feel that way by the end of the holiday-ready to get a clean, fresh slate and start anew.

Here's to another great year full of many blessings!

Loves from the Bowden's! :)

by oceanth

Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa Paid Us A Visit

Santa paid us a visit and we must have been very good this year!

Wow! Neeley got her very own computer from Santa. She is so excited! She has been asking for a mini F-O-R-E-V-E-R and Santa heard her call!

Guess we'll be seeing lots of this from now on...

Daddy, how do you do this?

She must have done something right this year, and must be loved even from those far away! :)

A handmade card for Daddy...

We'll also be seeing lots of this too since SOMEBODY got a new video game...

And I was looking **extra lovely** in my jammies and unwashed face this morning so I will just show you what I got and I had extra help modeling them this morning...

I got this cordless music player and I LOVE it! Now I have even more motivation to get back to the gym.

Here's lil miss modeling them for ya....

Chatting with Uncle Ryan on Skype... :)

We hope you have lots of surprises under your tree too!

Merry Christmas To You & Yours

Merry Christmas to your family from ours! Can't believe it's already here! Hope Santa is good to you this year! Note to our friends and family in the States: By the time you read this, we will have had our own Christmas several hours ago. :) And pics will soon follow.

Since it is just the three of us today, we are hanging out playing with our new things and just enjoying each other's company. We may do a li'l sightseeing, we may not. We really do not have much planned, which is nice. Our feast will include Cornish game hens, that part I do know. Yum Yum!

Can't wait to tell you all about it, but for now I leave you with a few pics taken over the past day or two...

Opening a gift on Christmas Eve...

Standing in front of a G-I-A-N-T Christmas tree in the Stern Center. We made it to this mall for some yummy Christmas Eve Chinese food. :)

Neeley playing on the baby carousel in the entryway of the Stern Center...

Cheesin' on the carousel with her good luck Chinese calendar in her hand. Our new year gift from the restaurant...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why We Love This Time Of Year Reason #15, CONTINUED

Here is Neeley's performance with the RB Singers. Precious!

This was the final number they sang, and I don't think there were too many dry eyes in the place afterwards. I am still trying to upload the middle songs of the singing group but it is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to upload which tells me maybe it isn't a good video to post here anyway. But I will keep trying!

Why We Love This Time Of Year Reason #15

It's Christmas Eve, y'all! Can you believe it? This year has gone by in a flash! I am just now getting around to posting the videos from the Winter Concert at Neeley's school. Her after school Strings Ensemble played and then she sang with the RB Singers group. So...I decided to make this Why We Love This Time Of Year Reason #15 . . . Christmas/Holiday musicals...LOVE them! (EDIT: I will have to divide up the videos in to separate posts. so this one has the Strings Ensemble... Also I have added a few extra pics from Santa visiting RB the other day. Good times!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What A Day!!

Was your day as crazy as ours? First we headed over to Olgahospital so Neeley could be seen by the local gastroenterology doctor who specializes in "kinder" care (the care of kids) here. Wow, is European medicine very different. We were first greeted by a very pleasant receptionist who spoke very good English and put us right at ease. Then we were directed to the "kinderklinik" where she was to be seen.

Neeley was instructed by what seemed to be a nurse to go behind the nurses' station to get her height and weight and all that fun stuff. And that was the only nurse we ever saw. We were then called back by the actual doctor himself and we loved him! He was very pleasant. Now again, no nurses. We sat in his office and talked about Neeley's possible ulcer and the things we have been doing since being seen in our on post clinic. Then he did his own feel and listen test, all again without a nurse present and no gowns he mentioned. LOL Very nice gentleman who spoke very good English and even told us of some great sightseeing places. :)

What an experience! We were in and out of the hospital in maybe 30 minutes tops! Couldn't have been happier. Our next step? Well, if Neeley feels any pain at all for the next week or two, we have to then schedule an endoscopy. Scared to death we are! They do these under general anesthesia here but they are an outpatient procedure at that particular hospital, and the doctor informed us that they are the only hospital here that does them on an outpatient basis. Oh my! Good thing we were referred to him! So please continue to pray and think of poor lil Neeley. I just don't know what could be causing all of it. I know stress is probably a huge factor but we have had a GREAT holiday so far jam packed with tons of fun on the snow and fun crafty Christmasy goodness and I have allowed that to happen for a reason. One it should just be that way and two to see if it helped her at all. She still hurts some but not like before. I really don't want the endoscopy but we'll just have to see how it goes over the next week. She can only take her meds every other day for the next week to see what happens, and I hate it. Not that I want her taking them forever but still...very scary stuff. We just don't know what is going on in there and that makes me nervous. What if it is not an ulcer? Hhmmm...

After that appointment, we came home, ate a quick lunch, and did a little organizing around the house since we've got piles of this and that from here to yonder. Then we loaded up and headed out to Ronnie's unit Christmas Party. Now, I must say it was surprisingly fun for us. We did have a good time. Santa came to visit the kiddies and we ate the most delicious food provided by everyone. I had a ton of crafts planned for the kids and we were all cram-jammed in to the place but it was enjoyable.

Now we are at home and watching tv, playing on facebook, reading, and just enjoying our family time together. We really do cherish these t

Here's Neeley with Santa at the party this evening. I think she was as tall as he was. Yes, I know the picture quality isn't very good but I "borrowed" this pic from a fellow wife until I have time to upload my own. Will hopefully do that tomorrow. We are doing some sightseeing tomorrow. Can't wait to tell you all about it!

Why We Love This Time Of Year Reason #14

Not only is it Christmas time and almost the New Year, but it is also almost Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Several of the girlies from Neeley's troop...

Our Cookie Kickoff was so much fun this year! Of course, we were both remembering last year's and missing our Arkansas friends, but we did have fun nonetheless. Here the girls are voting for their favorite cookie. Won't ruin it for the rest of our friends, and I'm not even sure you have the same cookies in the states this year, but there is a new one out this year and it isn't my favorite. 'Nuff said till they come out. :)

Today is kind of a crazy day for us. We have Neeley's doctor's appointment today and Ronnie's unit Christmas party. Goodness! And we are excited to hopefully be going on a trip in a couple of weeks. You must visit in Garmisch. That is where we are hopefully headed, Lord willing. It seems like every time we try to go, the odds are stacked against us with schedules, illness, pocketbook says no, etc. LOL So hopefully this time it is for real. We have our hotel reservation and are scrimping ever penny. We may be eating lettuce and the last of the jar of peanut butter by the end of January, but we are bound and determined to get away for a few days of skiing and sledding and sightseeing and horse & carriage rides, and lots of pictures of the Neuschwanstein Castle and so much more. Say a lil pray for us that it works. Neeley will have to miss at least one day of school and hopefully Ronnie's schedule works out. We haven't gotten out of town...well...since our flat tire a while back so this will be a much-needed break.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Language of Love & Respect: Cracking The Communication Code With Your Mate by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Wow, there's nothing like a big ol' dose of reality this time of year. This book stirred up so much, I must say. I learned a ton, and couldn't possibly list it all here. I must say I have had a few hours of reflection based on what I learned from this book.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book include:

* He builds her up with Love, she builds him up with Respect. Let us pursue what makes for mutual upbuilding...

* Without love, she reacts without respect. Without respect, he reacts without love.

* His love blesses regardless of her respect. Her respect blesses regardless of his love.

* And there was another one about thanking each other for each other's desire to lead, and to teach, and to learn, and to guide, and to be creative in ways.

You all must, must, must read this book, no matter your relationships. I give you no other choice. It is an absolute must. I have heard that there are some electronic versions of the book too, so you can check that out too.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is also the author of Love & Respect, which I have heard is also fabulously enlightening. His expertise on marriage and relationships is definitely reflected in this book. His example of men and women speaking in two different languages was a good one I thought. He spoke of how women hear with their "pink hearing aids" and men see through their "blue colored glasses." A perfect illustration of a typical marriage I think! :)

I think Eggerichs is correct when he says we must each "decode" our messages to and from each other. We women are all tied up inside like a ball of yarn worrying about ourselves, our kids, our relationships, work issues, putting food on the table, etc., while men tend to be tied up in only one thought at a time. (Um, hon, are you hearing me on this? LOL)

Have you cracked your relationship code?

You can purchase the book
here. You can also find more information on becoming a Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger here.

I may just give my copy away... hhmmmmmmmmmm.... tune in for more info and book reviews...

Why We Love This Time Of Year Reason #13

Buying my wall calendar for the next year is always part of my holiday shopping. No, I am not rushing the season, I just love to look through the new calendars every year and it just always falls in to that time of year. LOVE it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Why We Love This Time Of Year Reason #12

Making reindeer food! We do this every year. So easy, and kids love it! And we're hoping the reindeer do too. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why We Love This Time Of Year Reason #11

Roasting marshmallows!

The other night we had some free time in between baths and bedtime (hence the wet hair) so we made the most of our time and roasted marshmallows. Now, it's too cold to do these outside and we weren't about to go out and build a fire at 7 on a school night, so we improvised and roasted these over the stovetop.

And they were mighty yummy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fun In The Snow...

Wow! We woke up this morning to 3 inches of snow on the ground. Neeley hasn't seen snow like this since she was about 3 y.o. so yes, we had to get out in it again.

Daddy!! We said no above the shoulders hits! :)

Notice who is free of snow due to taking pictures. Yep.....ME! Knew I had a plan...

We got him!

Throw that snowball, girl!

Outside our building...

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from our family to yours....

Why We Love This Time Of Year Reason #10

Stockings hung by the . . . uh . . . windowsill with care. We are certainly missing our mantle this year, but Neeley picked out this great spot.