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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pictures update

Just a quick note to let you know I've add a few more pictures. I'm still in the process of adding some of our Scotland pictures but the website is being stupid right now so I'll see if I can get them up later. I also need to put up our Prague, Trier, and Rhein River pictures but we haven't gotten them developed yet and James hasn't put the Prague pictures on my profile on his computer otherwise they'd be in there too. Anyways, keep checking back, I'll get 'em up soon! Laters!

Whoops, I forgot to mention how my evening with the 40 women went...well it wasn't as painful as I thought it was going to be. I took the new LT (Marjorie) with me so I had kind of a buddy there with me and there were maybe 25-30 women that actually showed up so it wasn't quite as overwhelming as it could have been. Mainly we had dinner and made small talk here and there with the couple of pregnant ladies that we sat near. The tables were scattered all over a small room and before we even ordered our food they pushed almost all the tables together and two more ladies came and sat on the other side of Marjorie and me, they ended up being our entertainment for the rest of the evening, which was kinda fun. There was a "guest" speaker of sorts who was a massage therapist/dance instructor and she talked about what different kinds of massages can do for you and all that fun stuff. I found out that if you are in you first trimester during pregnancy that it's really not a good idea to get any kind of massage 'cause one there are places on your back and feet (i think) that if massaged the wrong way can send you into labor and also i guess the toxins released from knots and such aren't good for the baby. So any pregnant ladies out their or for future mom wanna be's, don't get a massage, at least not in the first trimester! Anyways so that was interesting and then they had a couple of door prizes, 10 people "won" a free dance lesson with our guest speaker and one lucky person "won" a free 1 hour massage from her. That lucky person was ME!!!!!!! HAHA!! That rocks my face off, I'm stoked!! So, like I said it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be and the two ladies that came and sat down by us were a lot of fun to talk with. We made jokes and laughed a lot at each other, so yeah. I don't remember their names though, oh well. :-/ Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement, it definitely helped!

Oh and I'm letting my dad check out the business thing I'm wanting to start to see what he thinks about it all before I say what it is...Alright that's it, PEACE!! ;-D

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Okay, so I was wondering if anyone knows a good, fast, creative, and preferably legal way to make between $700-$1000 dollars without having to get a full or part time any ideas? See, I'm wanting to start a business but I'm not about to ask James for that kind of money to do it and I'd prefer to not have to go through the hassle of finding a job then doing interviews and then only working for a month, two at most then quitting. I dunno maybe this is an unrealistic thought but was curious if you guys had any ideas.

In other news, James has been super busy these days with work and probably won't get much of a break until mid-late October. There is a new LT that just arrived here about a week ago and James is her sponsor so he's been driving her around to all her in-processing stuff and getting her settled here. I've helped here and there where I could and she's just about done with all her stuff but she's still got about two more weeks of briefings she's got to sit through before we can completely release her out of our hands. She seems nice enough, which is good. I've enjoyed the little bit of time I've had with her so I can't complain too much except for the fact that she gets to spend more time with my husband than I do, oh well, that's the military for you! James says I'm handling it all pretty well which is encouraging, but I have to wonder sometimes if I really am, ya know?

Anyhow, he's got that going on then the first two weeks of Sept. we'll have a house guest, one of the other LTs, 'cause there's some stuff going on in his life right now that will require him to have a place to sleep. That's really all I can and should say about it.

Then sometime near the end of Sept. and on into Oct. James has some field training stuff going where he'll be gone for like 3-4 weeks with a few days in between where I'll get to see him, so life is definitely busy in the Jardin house. I look forward to when things will settle down again. But for now we just gotta hang in there. That's pretty much all for the moment, oh, except for this "coffee" thing I'll be going to tonight. The commanders wife (James' bosses wife) has invited a whole bunch of women from the battalion to some restaurant as a kind of get to know you thing for everyone. I think there's supposed to be games or prizes or something like that going on so it's supposed to be fun. Normally I wouldn't go to something like this simply because I have a hard enough time "hanging out" with one or two women let alone forty! So I dunno, maybe I'll have a good time or maybe I'll leave early, who knows, but one thing is for sure, this is definitely WAY out of my comfort zone!

Alright that's it, laters!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Trier and the Rhein River

Wow, this past weekend has been a much-needed weekend for me. God is so good.

James and I went to the town of Trier (maybe I should call it a city 'cause it's a good size) this past Friday, it's about an hour away from where we live, and it's also only 30 minutes from France. He had a three-day weekend so we got up early and spent most of the day in Trier. We took our video camera with us so if I can figure out how to get video on here I'll share it with you but for now I gots nothing. Anyways, supposedly Trier is the oldest city in Germany. Although there are a few other cities that claim that as well (not sure which ones they are) so who knows how true that statement is, but it was cool. We parked right outside the Basilica, which I think was a church of some sort. The only thing that was really neat about it though was that it didn't have any columns for support on the inside; it was just a big open space. Oh I forgot to mention that Trier was once a Roman city and that's who built (if I remember correctly) most of the structures that are still standing. Anyways right behind the Basilica is the Palace. We didn't go inside 'cause it was that interesting to us but outside the Palace was this really pretty garden that had a fountain in the very back of it and there were statues all over the place too. In fact there was this one of a lady who appeared to be laying on her stomach, leaning on her elbows with her paws, yes paws, stretched in front of her. Then if you went around to her side view, she had the back end of a lion, why? Well, why not? Yea, it was kinda weird but still cool.

So from there we wandered around and found ourselves in the Pedestrian Zone, which in Europe is basically marked place(s) where people can walk around and shop freely without having to be bothered by cars (most of the time). Right, so we found ourselves in this Pedestrian Zone and wandered some more and finally came across what we had been looking for, The Porta Nigra or The Black Gate. One of the "must see" sights of Trier. It was pretty spectacular and going up inside it was even more exciting. The Porta Nigra is located right next to the Tourist Information place or the other way around I guess would be more accurate. Anyways, before we went up into the Porta Nigra we went on a bus tour of Trier and found out some more information (that I of course don't remember but found interesting at the time) on the city's history. They have an Amphitheater (which we saw only from afar), a Roman bath which is only 30% or something like that uncovered, the rest is covered up by houses. They also have an Imperial Bath (Constantine’s I believe), which was pretty cool. You could actually go down into the underground portion of it. It was so huge you could probably get lost if you weren't careful. It was really neat, we took lots of pictures. That's really about it; we mainly wandered around the whole time and took in whatever we saw that was cool or interesting to us. There is some big festival that is coming to Trier so there was a lot of construction type stuff all around which took away from some of the sights but it was still a good trip. It was great to just be able to spend that time with James.

Saturday was a mellow day until about 8pm. One of James' soldiers asked him to come to his show (he's in a metal band) that evening and so we did. There were two other bands that played before this guy's band and so we hung out listening to the noise while James kept getting greeted by tons soldiers from 5th Maintenance (that's the company James is with) and I just felt out of place the whole time. Then this guy's band started playing, they put on a good show and the little that I ended up actually being able to hear wasn't bad for metal music. We had fun.

Then yesterday was our Rhein River Cruise trip. It was our first USO tour and it was a great time. Our guide was probably about out age or so and was a lot of fun, really nice and informative. The first stop of the tour was to the castle Burg Rheinstein. We had about an hour and a half to explore the castle inside and out. I thought for sure by now I would get tired of seeing and exploring castles, but no, it's still a very exciting time for me. Although I will say, they are always smaller than I imagined them to be, even looking at them from the outside some of them look really big but once you get inside it's a different story. Still very cool though, as was this castle. This one had it's own little chapel that you couldn't go into but was still nice to look at and underneath it was a crypt, an open one that you also couldn't go into (thankfully!). I saw at least 5 coffins and, using James' words, it smelled of death. Interesting but kinda creepy. The rest of the castle was nice. The first floor you go in is the Knights hall. There were all sorts of knights armor and weapons and lots of sculls from animals that I guess the knights killed? Anyways, the hall lead to the kitchen with its stone oven and everything. It was pretty small for a kitchen but pretty neat. There was a winding staircase in the hall that lead to the Princess Floor (I think, I may have the layout all wrong but anyways). Yes, she had her own floor as did the Prince and according to the owners of the castle so did everyone that lived in the castle, aside from the servants I assume. Anyways, the princess had her own bedroom and two other rooms, the Red Room, which was used as a music/sitting room for when she had guests, and the Blue Room, which was used as a drawing room and also as a sitting room for when she had guests. Adjourning the Blue room was another really tiny room, which the princess used for her personal business, reading, writing, or just wanting to be alone. It has a great view of the Rhein River apparently. Sounds like my kinda room! The next floor was the Prince's Floor. He also had his own bedroom, a drawing room and a tower room. Upon reaching the top of the stairs to this floor, immediately on your right is a toilet room or as James and I like to call it, the poopery room. Obviously it's nothing like what we have today but it looked like it was much nicer than going in a pot or designated hole in the ground or what have you. The Princes floor wasn't that exciting for me, it was just okay cool but okay. Continuing up the stairs of the Princes' floor leads you to the Tower Room. I believe the prince used this much like the princess used her tiny room that I spoke of before, it also has a great view of the Rhein and I can confirm that 'cause we were actually able to go into this room. There were a few other rooms inside this castle (a couple dining rooms and such) but I've lingered too long on this part of the tour, so moving on...

Our next stop was St. Goar. This is where we got on our boat to cruise down river. Starting from there we saw something like 17 castles along the Rhein. Some of which are in ruins and some of which have been rebuilt a few times and are used as restaurant hotels. The crazy part about seeing all those castles from afar is that what we saw was about half of the castles that line the river! Most of the castles can be toured, I think there may be like two that can't be, and as I said before you can stay in some of them. Also on our cruise we found out that if we wanted to we could purchase a castle, prices ranging from 400,000 Euro to 2 million Euro, and that's just for the castle, no electricity, bathrooms or anything like that included! I figure it's doable. ;-) I'd love to own a castle on the Rhein. Maybe as a birthday present...

Right, so the cruise was about two hours and we got off the boat at Assmannshausen and got back on our bus to head to the town of Rudesheim (the u is supposed to have umlauts but I can't make it work) for lunch. Lunch was typical German food, schnitzel, pommes (French fries), salad and desert. This was my second time having schnitzel, the first one I had was pretty good but generally I don't like schnitzel. I think it's simple 'cause it's made with pork. Anyways, so I kinda picked at my food, filled up on fries, salad and desert mostly.

From there was our wine tasting, yum! And indeed they were yummy! We tasted 4 different wines, all different quality as well and they were all delicious! The guy that gave us the tasting owned the restaurant we had lunch in. He was a goofy guy but very entertaining. He told us about the three steps to tasting wine: First step, tasting with your eyes. You hold the glass up to the light, look at the color, then tilt the glass a little to see how much residue from the wine is left on the side of the glass when you straighten it back up and also to see how fast it slides back down into the glass (this is how you tell how much alcohol is in the wine). Second step, tasting with your nose. You hold the glass up to your nose or even stick your nose inside the glass and take a big whiff! Third step, tasting with your mouth (my favorite step). You take a large sip of wine, swish it all around your mouth, suck in more air while the wine is still in your mouth, and roll it under your tongue then swallow. MMMmmm! The only part I couldn't manage to do was sucking in more air with the wine still in my mouth, I just know I would have dribbled the wine out if I'd tried.

After he showed us how to drink it (by this time we'd all had our sample glasses filled with wine by his helpers) he asked for a "volunteer" to come on the stage and help him show us how to do it. That was pretty entertaining! He called this lady up there and asked her to show him what she'd learned by doing the three steps. Well she got the first two down but the tasting part was a bit tricky for her, she'd take a big swig of it, swish it around and instead of sucking in air through her mouth she'd swallow it, the wine that is, so the guy would fill her glass up again and after her third try he made her sit down. It was funny. Our first wine was a red wine, Rheingau (that's the region it's from) QBA (Qualita tswein b. A. also umlauts over the second a in the first word), 2005er Rotwein (2005 red wine). Now, I don't know much about wines so don't quote me on this, but to me red wines have a fuller taste than white and rose wines and up until yesterday I thought I liked red wine better than white but now I'm not sure. Anyways the red wine had this burst of flavor when it hit your mouth, it was a little dry with a hint of sweetness to it, very yummy! Next came the same type of wine only it was a rose wine. The guy (Hans, I think was his name) again asked for a volunteer and another woman did volunteer, and the same thing happened only this lady got it the second time around. The rose wine was good too, something that I think my mother-in-law would like. I have to say that of the very few wines I tasted stateside I thought I liked rose wines the best, particularly white zinfandel. When I went back for Jared and Heather's wedding a had a glass of white zinfandel and didn't really enjoy it simply because I'd had better wines since being here. Anyways, the rose wine was pretty good though probably my least favorite of the 4 we tried. Here's a bit of interesting information on rose wines, they aren't made from red grapes and they aren't made from white grapes, they are made from blue grapes! Blue grapes have a white juice much like white (or green) grapes and what gives the wine its color is the skin from the blue grapes. I thought that was kinda neat. Next up was the Riesling, Rheingau 2003er Hallgartener Mehrholzchen (umlauts over the o) Riesling Spatlese (umlauts over the a), a very yummy white wine. James and I have had about 4 different types of Riesling (one of James' and my favorite types of wines so far) since we've been here and all have them have been very good but this one, right now, is the best one in my opinion. Hans again called for a volunteer and this time he chose a dude, same thing as before, instead of doing it like he should have he chugged it (I guess he wasn't smart enough to realize he was drinking wine and not beer!) and about the second maybe third time he did what Hans requested/required of his victims before you could leave the stage. Fourth and last up was another white wine, Rheingau 2003er Oestricher Klosterberg Ehrenfelser Auslese. This one was even better than the Riesling and I think my favorite of the day! According to the quality level of wine in Germany, this one was, I think, second highest. The highest is called Eiswein. Eiswein is very expensive, here in the land where wine, good wine at that, is cheap, say $5 bucks a pop, Eiswein is like $20 and higher! And believe it or not it's totally worth it! Unless of course you don't like sweet, I mean really sweet wine, in which case I don't recommend it. Anyways, James and I had never tried Eiswein but always heard lots of good things about it until yesterday when, Hans, our wine host let us all try a very small sip of it. Very yummy! Oh, I forgot the victims of Hans on our last tasting; he pulled up two people, a man and a woman up stage. The guy was a big guy; I don't mean fat, just really tall and broad. The lady was about my size maybe a littler shorter, and she was lit! She had trouble getting up on the stage and she had to hold on to the table that was up there to keep her balance. She was also slurring her words and giggling a lot, it was pretty entertaining. The glasses that our wine was served in were not very big at all; they were about the size of two shot glasses put together, if even that big! She must have had a very low tolerance or maybe I just have a high tolerance in any case it was fun! We ended up buying 3 bottles of wine to take home with us, the red, the Riesling and the Auslese, I look forward to cracking those babies open! Yum yum yum!

Okay so after the wine tasting we hopped back on our bus and went deeper into the town of Rudesheim for shopping. The only thing that sucked about this part of the tour was as soon as we stepped off the bus the bottom fell out of the sky and dumped on us for the whole 1 1/2 of our shopping time. It wasn't that bad though, I didn't mind getting a little wet as we walked around all the tourist trap shops that were there. We ended up buying this little wooden figure thing, it's like this piece of wood that has a little face carved into it, kinda looks like a gnome face, it's neat looking. After shopping it was time to head back to K-town and that was the end of our trip. Fun times! I'll get pictures and stuff posted as soon as I can so you can enjoy our festivities! Peace out for now!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thinking Again

I've been thinking again and I've come to the conclusion (through conversations with my sister Krissie and the encouraging words of you who commented on my other post) that I've, in a sense, lost myself. I don't know who I am anymore and, at least right now, I don't like who I am becoming. I've also lost my sense of purpose, I mean ultimately I know that my purpose is to glorify God in all I do, but beyond that I have no clue. I know that I need to get my focus back on Christ instead of myself and instead of James. I need Christ as my first thought when I wake and Christ as my last thought before I sleep and recently that has not been the case. Even being constantly in the word, and constantly praying, my focus still isn't where it should be and I know that's big part of my problem right now. When I lived in Valdosta, Ga my relationship with God was like nothing I've ever experienced before, that was the closest I've ever been to Him in my life. Since I left Valdosta, I haven't been the same and neither has my relationship with God, and I miss that tremendously and in many ways want it back. It's not so much as wanting that exact moment in time back or even wanting to be that same person, I know that's not possible, it's more of wanting the closeness I had with Christ back. I'm not sure how to get it back either, I mean as I said I'm constantly in the Word, I pray all the time, and I'm going through at least three devotional/self-help type books every time I have my quiet time, in fact I've just picked up a fourth. I do feel slightly better than I did when I wrote my last post but I'm still having a hard time dealing with myself and how I think about things and just generally how I look at life. As I'm sure you can tell by now, I'm not a very positive person; I have a tendency to see the bad in situations before I see the good, if I see the good at all. It's hard to really say what's going on except that I've lost myself. I dunno, I'm trying to trust that God has some sort of great knowledge or something to teach me through this very painful trial that I feel like I've been in for a long time. I'm tired of being in the dark; I want to see the light. I'm tired of being scared of things I don't need to be scared of, I'm tired of my insecurities bogging me down and in turn I take it all out on James which he doesn't deserve. I'm sure it doesn't seem like I'm a little better by this post, I think I have a tendency to be a bit more dramatic, if you will, when I write than if I was speaking to someone in person. Anyways, thank you for your continued prayers, words of encouragement, and attentive ears, they are always much appreciated. :-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I've been tagged

I got tagged by Jared
Sadly though my list will not be that interesting, thought provoking or moving, in fact it will be quite boring.

1. One book that changed your life:
The Bible by God

2. One book that you've read more than once:
Wings of Dawn by Sigmund Brouwer

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:
My Bible also by God

4. One book that made you laugh:
Who's Who of Cats by John R.F. Breen

5. One book that made you cry [or feel really sad]:
Can I use the Bible again? Um if not then I guess the Shadow War series by George Lucas and Chris Claremont (it has sad moments)

6. One book that you wish had been written:
The Complete Condensed Sayings of Jesus by "The Twelve" (stole that one from Jared) or any of the three that I'm currently working on

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Not well read enough to answer this question

8. One book you're currently reading:
The Power of A Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian

9. One book you've been meaning to read:
Heretics/Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

10. Now tag five people:
I tag Mary, Krissie, Ben, and two other people that read my blog and haven't been tagged yet (whoever you may be)