Odds and Ends…

So while I was trying to do something, ANYTHING, from working on my final research paper last night I decided to change the look over here… I have an idea in my head of how I would REALLY like it to look but I don’t know anything about web design and I really don’t want to put any money into what is really just an online scrapbook of my life. So for now my blog is trying on some new clothes and we’ll see how they fit.

My husband is begging me to buy sandwich bags. It’s pretty funny that this is even a conversation topic. I have become so anti-plastic that I don’t even know when the last time I bought ziploc bags was. Don’t get me wrong, we are no where near where we could be. Shit just has SO. MUCH. PACKAGING!

In other news my co-worker at the front desk is quitting. I don’t know what I am going to do. I am going to have to train her replacement and then my replacement. Ugh. Plus there is just SO much you have to be able to know how to do. We aren’t just answering phones up there! Hopefully they hire someone who is a fast learner! Plus I don’t know if I’ll be able to quit as early as I was going to. I am that crazy person who just can’t leave a mess behind at work. We’ll see about that because….

We STILL haven’t gotten our orders yet! I am getting more than a little bit stressed out because Lord knows PCSing isn’t stressful enough. Now we are down to3 months with no orders.  Honestly this wouldn’t be that big of a deal but we have to get the dog on the rotater (the military flight that flies back and forth every two weeks). Because he is a boxer he can’t fly commercial airlines in the summer time. The flights are full of dogs until June already and I reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaally don’t want to leave my baby behind!

Still haven’t started cleaning out our belongings or closets, I need to do that as well as pull the rest of the kids summer clothes out. I am hoping that when I start cleaning I will find my damn camcorder that I somehow placed somewhere stupid. I have a very bad habit of walking around with something in my hand and then setting it down. I once lost my coffee cup and couldn’t find it anywhere. Next day, I found it in the linen cabinet. Really?

Well now that I got that off my chest, have a wonderful Thursday!

 

El Bucarito! Our trip to the goat farm…

(Prepare for pictures from ANOTHER class field trip!)

Yesterday we took a field trip to a cute little goat farm that is literally minutes from base. I am kicking myself for never visiting before.  The farm grown their own feed (organically) and uses the goat manure to fertilize the fields. Love that.  They also have a variety of other animals including donkeys, pigs (black Iberian pigs – the ones that get turned into famous jamon!), and birds of prey.  The owners live on site and they were super friendly and the entire staff was absolutely wonderful to our visiting group.

On to the photos!

The farm! The pig area is on the left, the goat fields are on the right.  The store is the building half cut off on the right. (Taken on a moving bus so not the best shot.)

Happy Bus Rider.

As soon as we walked by the pasture the goats all ran over to us. (Because I am a nerd I immediately thought of the Jurassic Park line: “They’re flocking”. Yeah. Just me.)

Prepare yourself, this is a goat picture heavy post. But they are just so dang cute!

Ha. He kept trying to eat my camera. Goats are dumb. But very photogenic.

O admiring the goats from a distance. They were a little nibbley. (Also I think the kids necklaces should read: “If found please return to the CDC” but no one agrees with me.)

Budding grape vine. The farm had some vineyards as well as a small orchard.

Our guide and I couldn’t figure out what this was. I thought cherry (cerise is cherry right?) She thought not. Fruit tree blossoms look so similar. It was probably peach or plum. Or apple or pear. Who knows. My mom probably.

We pose in doors a lot.

I want this bbq area please.

This is the owners patio. What we would call a courtyard. I love Spanish patios. Especially plain rocks turned into something awesome with a little crapload of time.

Also red geraniums in old pots or barrels. Swoon.

All the ladies getting milked. Of the 2,000 goats they have on the farm, 1,200 give milk. Twice a day. It’s no wonder it’s all automated!

One of the babies in the kid room… They were SO cute!

Feeding pigs! We had to warn the kids to keep fingers off the fence. Those pigs will bite!  These pigs are the famous Iberian black pigs. The males who look promising are moved and fed acorns to give the Iberian jamon the distinctive flavor that it is famous for. (For which it is famous. Whatever.)

Also. These pigs are hard core. Nose rings for all! This actually keeps them from rooting and tearing up the pasture or fence line, but I prefer to think that they have punk rock pigs.

I love mules. That is all.

This farm also breeds birds of prey, including owls. So we got to pet this tiny, bitty, sweet, fluffy baby owl. “IT’S SO FLUFFY” (name that movie, if you can’t we can’t be friends)

O meet owl.

Tiny!

Not quite so cute and adorable but a beautiful bird.

Falconry demonstration. Please someone tell me, what the heck is keeping these birds from flying away? They aren’t domesticated dogs, they are wild birds with unclipped wings. Why do they come back? Are they just really well fed? I wish my Spanish didn’t suck ass so I could have talked to the trainer.

The kids all loved this cheese, it was sweet and creamy and mild. So good!

These were more for the adults, strong, firm and pungent.  The rosemary one was really good.

And the chorizo. Made from those adorable pigs we saw earlier.  Think of salami but better. This was excellent and the kids couldn’t get enough. I will be back for this as well as some fresh goat cheese!

Ana one of the teachers and a friend, got to get up close and personal with one of the adult owls.

So did Val. All the cuddling was freaking me out. I kept telling them the owl was going to eat their eyes. Get the damn bird out of your face!

Hello gorgeous!

Goodbye, el Bucarito! We’ll be back!

Directions:

Go out the Spanish gate (back gate on base) take a left. You should see the farm on the right in about 5 minutes. It is off one of the perimeter roads. Store is open seven days a week. Tours are available for groups but you have to call ahead. If you have a small group you can see the cheese making process.

Thank you Missoula Children’s Theater!

Missoula Children’s Theater is a wonderful group that travels around the world and putting together children’s performances.  We are lucky enough to have them come once a year, but were EXTRA lucky because even though they were just here in August, they stopped by again over Spring Break to have the kids put on ANOTHER show!

Auditions for the show (Red Riding Hood) were on Monday, parts assigned and rehearsals began the same day. The kids rehearsed every day that week and everyone who shows up gets a part, from kinder-gardeners up to sixth graders.

Friday night they were ready for their performance, the kids all did great (only a few mishaps but they were entertaining) the script itself was pretty corny but the kids thought it was hilarious.

M had the part of a shadow, she had been practicing all week the week before so she could get a major role but they pretty much all went to the 5th and 6th graders.

Acting like a 'shadow'

The four shadows (they were supposed to be the bad influences along the forest trail - MORAL AHEAD!)

Now they had to change from shadows into fire... cause if you play with fire you will get burned! (It was just so so corny)

The cast, good job guys!

Katie, one of the Missoula leaders. I don't know how these guys do it!

The four shadows/fire/bad plants! They were so excited they had costume changes!

My little star!

M and one of her good friends who was 'Sister Hood'

And then they packed everything up to fly out the next day to do it all over again. We gladly bought a tshirt to support them because they really do make the kids feel special and offer them a chance to be onstage.

For more info: Missoula Children’s Theater

(Sorry about the crappy auditorium pics, these are the best of them!)

Zoo Botanico Jerez

So this week I got to go on a field trip with my son’s daycare class to the local zoo… While the zoo isn’t huge the kids still had a great time.

We left base around 9am  with cloudy skies overhead. I was just praying it wouldn’t rain, especially since I forgot to grab my umbrella.

Here they are sitting all cute on the front steps of the zoo: (blurred to protect the not so innocent)

Right when you walk in the flamingos and peacocks are putting on a show.  This is also where the zoo personnel did a group shot and individual shots.

The kiddos with their teachers. I LOVE my kids teachers.

This little monkey was the first animal exhibit we stopped at and I kid you not, one of the kids went running toward it and smacked face first into the glass. Bloody lip and crying – fabulous.  Thankfully his mom was there and he was all patched up and go to go in a minute.

I can’t tell if this is a peacock or a peahen, I’m not really a fan of the white ones, the colorful ones are so much prettier.

This big boy was making rather rude noises with his mouth. The kids were in hysterics they thought he was farting, but really I think he was flirting with the female? He would blow this big pink bubble thing out of this mouth. I have NO idea, I have never seen a camel do that before.

Hey there pretty lady, I will take your eyelashes!

These storks nest all over Andalucia, it’s pretty cool. Their nests are HUGE. You can hear them clatter their beaks together when they are talking to each other.

Random flower photos? Yes, Please! I love this flower and I have no idea what it is called. It grows facing the ground and is so pretty.

O and two of his best buddies.

The color on this guy was amazing! This pic is blurry because he was pacing back and forth but it was crazy how close we were. I could have stuck my hand through the fence if I wanted to. Love European zoos!

After we had seen most of the animals we stopped for lunch just as it started to sprinkle. Perfect timing!   We were under a pavilion so we stayed nice and dry.  After lunch the kids got to go get their faces painted while all of the parents had to sit and wait at the coffee shop.  Ordered up a cafe manchado (cafe con leche is still a bit to strong for me) and sat and chatted with the rest of the parents while we drank coffee and stayed out of the rain.

End of the day being silly.

Back onto the bus we went and those kids all managed to stay awake until 1:30 when we got back. Of course by then they were all so overtired they were cranky pants! O even took a nap even though he NEVER takes naps anymore.

I was happy to finally get a chance to go to the Zoo since we hadn’t been the whole time we’ve lived here! Both of the kids had gone with school but the one time we tried going was a Monday and they were closed!

If you’re here take they kids, they’ll love it!

Zoo Botanico Jerez

Up the hill from Area Sur mall, closed Mondays! 9 euro adult entrance fee, kids 6 euro, under 3 free.

Homemade Pizza Lunchables

My daughter LOVES me! My best friend saw this online and had mentioned it to me one of the last times we talked on the phone (she knows how crazy I am!) She said she was going to give it a try and I just had to as well… Super super easy and cheaper and hopefully a bit healthier than the prepackaged junk!

Make pizza dough and cut it into individual pizza size. I went with a shape that I was hoping would fit into her lunchbox.

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Please make sure you take it in the dark like I apparently did (also ignore my ugly pizza crust!)

Bake the pizza crust and let cool. I then stored them in the freezer until I was ready to use them.  When I packed her lunch I packed two pizzas which I think was plenty.

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I also packed a little spreader for the pizza sauce.  Homemade granola bites also made an appearance. Let me just say that her lunch was the talk of the lunch table and she was one happy girl!

Try this!

And then there was candy…

We had a great weekend.

Saturday was an errand day, had to go grocery shopping. Managed to get one of the last two hams in the commissary. Not having ham on Easter would have been a deal breaker. What the heck else do you have? I really would have loved to make lamb but who knows where I can get that here! Anyways, I managed to grab all of my groceries for Easter dinner as well as all of the other stuff I needed and it wasn’t too crowded. YAY!

Also managed to run over to the exchange can get some last minute Easter crap for the kids baskets. My mom sent them clothes but I BEGGED her to not send baskets this year. They are full of stuff the kids really don’t need. I am really trying to cut down on the amount of STUFF that comes into the house.

So I grabbed the kids some bubble sets, pool toys and some candy and called it a day. Also had some books hidden away in my room that I grabbed and put in the baskets.

The weather was beautiful so we threw some steaks on the grill for dinner (we being I) and took a little walk around the neighborhood.  There has been a ton of construction going on as they convert 2 bedroom duplexes to 4 bedroom houses and our street is pretty much a ghost town. The half that was all two bedrooms is closed off and our half of the street with three bedrooms is half empty. They haven’t been moving any new families onto our street.  Anyways, we had a nice walk and I resisted the urge to trespass in all of the new construction!

That night I ended up staying up WAY too late finishing my final project for a class. Now I am down to ONE class! I wish I could say I was excited I am just so ready to be DONE.

Sunday morning came way too early after being up so late. O had me up by 9 and I gave him some breakfast and then hibernated on the couch with some coffee. At 10, M decided she wanted to make everyone breakfast (more like brunch by the time we ate). She had gotten a Paula Dean cookbook for kids from my mom for Christmas and has been dying to try it out. So she made us all fried egg sandwiches and herself french toast. I barely helped her at all (I did fry the bacon for the sandwiches) Just gave some pointers on egg flipping. She did a great job! I need to let her help more in the kitchen but that is ‘my’ space and I am terrible at sharing.  I just know I LOVED helping my mom, aunts and grandmothers in the kitchen (and my grandpa at the grill) when I was her age.

We also managed to dye eggs, bake cookies, have an easter egg/basket hunt, and prepare and eat a huge meal. Then off for another walk to the playground to burn off the food!  Time for the photos!

Okay. Their baskets were in use so they used paper bags to find eggs. Don't judge me. Also M would like you to know that her braces matched her dress! Good choice this month babe!

 

So! Excited!

 

Last year this spot was the toughie... she could NOT find the last egg. This year was in the stack of patio chairs.

 

Oh yeah. And this BRIGHT GREEN one sitting on a white fence. She walked past it about five times.

 

Found his basket! And then proceeded to try to take everything out and put it into his paper bag.

 

 

 

After looking ALL over the yard she was ready to give up on finding her basket. Finally found it in the doghouse. A place that she had peeked into while looking for eggs. Oh yeah. Covered in a dog blanket. MMMMMmmmm, dog hair chocolate!

 

My beautiful girl.

 

A shot with the kiddos. Yes my daughter really is that tall.
(Alternate title: You're not having any candy until you take a picture with mommy!)

 

And the arguing starts over who got what and who has the better candy. For God's sake it's all the same! I know better!

 

I hate you all right now for making me pose with this stupid basket.

 

This is so humiliating.

 

Adorable. Love this man.

 

Proof that we dyed eggs since I didn't take a shot of them all lined up pretty and colorful. And now they are all piled in a bowl in the fridge and we've already eaten half of them.

 

Bubbles! (Every time I see kids and bubbles I think of that "Knocked Up" line: Paul Rudd saying he wished he liked anything as much as his kids liked bubbles. SO. TRUE!)

Bowser loves bubbles, too!

 

Love these. We went through the whole giant bottle in a day. They are super fun.

 

Bowser STILL loves bubbles!

 

After dinner it was still nice and sunny and I snuck outside with a glass of wine on the chaise lounge. I felt like a lizard, winter was too long. O came out to see what I was doing my my husband (!!!) and daughter (!!!) cleaned up dinner and did the dishes (!!!). (Sorry it was just really surprising!)

We were just outside being silly and he kept saying he didn’t want to take a picture and I just kept taking them.

 

I call this one: "Are you serious, mom?"

 

And this one: Damn I love this kid.