Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's not a snack!

At church on Sunday it was announced that there would be no Sunday School for the children on Easter Sunday because they wanted them in the church service.  I admit, my first reaction was shock - what on earth are they thinking?  Then I thought it might be interesting for them sit through a full service to see what goes on.  Then I went back to shock - how am I going to keep them quiet and still for over an hour?  and then I really started thinking about all the things they would experience and see and I knew we had to have a talk.

So today as part of our Bible lesson we really focused in on Holy Week and some of the meanings and traditions - paying close attention to the Last Supper.  We read Luke 22:1-23 and then talked about Passover, why this meal was symbolic and discussed Communion.  And, as predicted, Lewis (I honestly wasn't sure which one would say it first) said "yummy, snack."   NO!!!!!  Gently explaining it's not a snack, it's a Sacrament to be taken seriously and gently adding "if you try to grab the bread or juice you will get in BIG trouble."  You see, in our church we pass around the baskets of bread and trays of wine instead of going to an altar - understanding my panic a bit more?  William has never met a carb he didn't like and watching a basket of bread pass by him may be more than he can handle.  What on earth were they thinking?

I'll let you know how it all works out.

Great school day today.  William has decided that he also needs math to be a "big boy doing school" and lucky for him I have a good Kindergarten level math workbook he can call his own.  The boys made up a fun math game today- using a die they rolled it and then would write the number on the board - then roll again, write, and then add the two numbers together.  Writing and adding, fun! (Lewis did most of the adding, but William is catching on slowly)

Great weather day as well, I finally made it outside to start my yearly ritual of killing plants.  My poor neighbor Sergio watches in horror as I work in my yard - his sweet green thumb laughing at my pathetic black thumb.  His garden is an oasis, mine is a weed field.  The first summer we were here he gave me plants for my patio, ones he had lovingly grown himself from clippings of his other plants.  After I killed the first few, the gifts stopped coming.

Here are today's three things I'm thankful for-
1.  I am thankful for my newly organized desk
2.  I am thankful for the mountain of clothes I own that need washing
3.  I am thankful for the two little boys that helped make a lot of that mountain

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is in full swing around here - and boy oh boy did we need it.  Our windows in particular are yucky!  The rear of our house is south facing and the window in our kitchen/eating area faces the rear - the shutters here are always open and now with all that bright sunshine they just looked gross!  I won't even tell you about the stuff I found behind the washer and dryer - uggghhh.  Paul keeps saying our maid stinks and that we should fire her - I keep gently reminding him that our marriage contract says he can't do that.

Paul's getting around much better with his walking boot, but still suffering from range of motion issues as the tendons and ligaments are really tight and painful.  He's such a trooper.  And tonight, for the first time in 6 looooooong weeks, he washed the dishes!!!!!  I was so shocked to see him standing in the kitchen - pleasantly so of course.

Bad, bad school day today.  We got a late start and I could not get Lewis to focus, William on the other hand loves doing his phonics workbook and was happy to participate- it makes him feel like a big boy.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Today's 3 things
1.  I'm thankful for the renewal brought about by Spring.
2.  I'm thankful for healing.
3.  I'm thankful swiffers.   

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Naples Pizza

Naples is absolutely famous for its' pizza!  I love reading articles from people who have come here and not been negative about the city - it is what it is - and it's chaotic even at its' most tranquil moments.  But it's Naples, a unique and loveable city - with the best pizza in the world!

Here's an interesting article -

One more week!

William is very excited that next Sunday is Easter!  One more week!  You may think he's excited over the Easter bunny?  No, we don't participate in that particular Easter tradition.  Easter eggs?  yes, but that's still not the main reason.  The resurrection of Jesus?  Well, he loves Jesus but his little mind doesn't quite comprehend the weight of that message.

My sweet little William is all excited that there's only one more week until Easter because....... he finally gets to wear his new Easter outfit!  I know, I know, weird kid.  He's so funny, asking "Mom, when do I get to wear my purple socks?".  The boy LOVES colorful socks, argyle in particular and this year he has purple and green argyle socks.  Mean Mom that I am, I haven't let him wear them for fear they'll end up looking like all his other socks that he wears outside without shoes.  There's more to his cute outfit, but he's most excited about those socks.  Go figure.

Absolutely beautiful day today!  We had lunch with our friends the Monahans (he also happens to be our Pastor) and then came home and played outside.

Next week will commence Spring cleaning around here!  Now that my shutters are open everyday and there's actually sun shining through the windows the dust is too obvious to ignore.  I may even get really productive and clear out some things in the basement!

Here are some things I'm thankful for this weekend,
1.  Approachable and likable Pastors
2.  Meatballs
3.  Sudafed
3.  Little Hands
4.  Big Smiles
5.  Giving hearts
6.  Imaginations
7.  Books
8.  Poppies growing in my yard
9.  Argyle socks
10.  Jesus

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trip Confirmation

There's something so exciting about taking a trip from the "should we do it?" phase to actually making the commitment!  I've officially inked in our Paris dates on the calendar and booked the tickets - yipeeeee!  I love Paris!  Now I just have to find exciting things to do with the boys - they're not exactly Louvre types (nor am I if you really want to know).  But we all love a good french loaf, french cheese, french wine (not the boys), french croissants - wow, that's a lot of yummy food to look forward to.

But now the "fun" really begins, the part of trip planning I absolutely detest - finding a place to stay.  If you only knew how much stress this part of travelling causes me you might actually volunteer to do it for me - hello? volunteers?  I thought not.
That's a task for another day, I'm going to go do some reading and go to bed early.

As predicted this morning, our day was not very productive.  I like days like today (don't tell the teacher but we skipped school too, oh wait....)  The boys played so nicely together all day, giving me some much needed time to do laundry and rest.  Allergy season here in Italy really makes me uncomfortable, I'm glad it will pass soon.

Here are three things I'm thankful for today

1.  The ability to travel and make wonderful memories with my family
2.  The ability to skip school and not get in trouble
3.  Fleece. 

Today may very well be......

one of the laziest days in Reinhart family history.  OK, maybe that's an exageration since my husband has actually showered and left the house to go to his job (overachiever) but the remaining three of us are not setting any productivity records.

09:34 and we're all still in our pajamas - and truth be told, I don't see this changing for at least another hour.

I made a feeble attempt to rally the troops by exclaiming "bath time! We need to get dressed and go to the Commissary."  Feeble as in as soon as the first "NO" came out of Williams's mouth I had already given up the idea and the next 3-4 minutes of loud whining, complaining, foot stomping and brow furroughing sealed the deal.  Today we stay home.  Which is all fine and good - I have a mountain of laundry calling my name and as the day warms up we can go outside and do some much needed yard work (after changing out of our PJs, of course).

We had a great but short trip to Rome.  Paul's full day of meetings on Tuesday left the boys and myself alone to find entertainment.  We chose to go to the Zoo and it turned out to be a great choice.  It's not exactly the nicest zoo but it's small and manageable and most importantly - Kid Friendly!!!!  A whole day of letting them run around, do whatever they want and not worry about traffic or dangers while being in a big city-priceless.  This trip also marked a milestone for our boys - no strollers - none - niente.  Please join me in celebrating the fact that both boys walked an extremely long way self-propelled!!!!!  Well, the last block back to the hotel from the zoo got dicey with much wailing and several breaks (and a small ride by Mom for William) but they did it - it's a whole new world stroller free.

And speaking of free- Paul's foot is not feeling as much love as we had thought being cast free. In a not very well thought out decision, Paul left his crutches at home for our trip.  He learned the hard way that a 'walking boot' is not intended to be used for a lot of walking and he still needs support.  But, he was a trooper and slowly hobbled his way through.  Needless to say this confirmed the need for physical therapy to help the leg heal and regain some strength so I hope he'll be making appointments for that soon.  And just for the record-I suggested he take his crutches to Rome.

Rome is such a lovely city, if you haven't been please put it on your to-do list.  I think it may very well be my favorite city to visit.  The first night Lewis declared "I want to stay here forever"  and I asked "why?".  He replied "There's no trash on the streets.".  Indeed.  Rome is SO clean compared to Naples - amazing how observant children can be.  William's favorite thing about Rome is drinking straight from the little fountains you find along the streets. 

As usually happens when I don't write daily, I don't have a list of three things for each day that I'm thankful for.   So, I'll just share a quick list of things that I remember saying an extra "thank you" for over the past few days.

I am thankful for.......

The laughter of my children
The character of my husband
The chance to see the world with my own eyes
The thoughtfulness of a good friend
The chance to help
The opportunity to "try it before you buy it"
Riding on trains
All of God's creation and the beauty that can be found in the differences.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Andiamo means "let's go" in Italian.

Today we're off to Rome for a few days.  Paul has a meeting there tomorrow and we're tagging along to enjoy a  much nicer hotel than we could afford on our dime and some fun on the train (for the boys, of course) and in the city.  I LOVE Rome!

This morning Paul got his cast off but he's still wearing a support boot so a small amount of hobbling continues.  But, he got his cast off!!!  So it's only a matter of time before he can finallly start helping again things are back to normal.

We'll be home on Wednesday-



Another must read!!!
and Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend Update

Another weekend has flown by.  I love weekends.   Friday brings on this feeling of "rest to come",  but then I find myself bewildered on Sunday night wondering where on earth the time went and also wondering why I don't feel rested!

Friday afternoon we took a meal to the McMillians and we were able to spend time with all the kids.  I don't think I mentioned before but Julie is also a homeshcooling mama - she had some great advice to share and also had some materials I've just been dying to get my hands on for a look.  She was nice enough to let me borrow some things to check out before I order and I think I've finally settled on a course of action for school - yippeeeee!!!!  We'll be doing Five in a Row  http://fiarhq.com/fiveinarow.info/index.html  and I think we're really going to like it.

Friday night we met a group of friends, all with kids close in age to ours, at a local restaurant for pizza.  We had a great time, relaxed fun and good food!  I'm working harder these days to get Lewis and William some "kid" time so we don't get all those questions about "socializing our homeschooled kids".

Saturday night was my monthly bunco night, such a fun group of gals, working hard to get some "me" time too.

This morning we went to church and then I had to run to the grocery (not fun) and now the weekend is over.

I hate to admit I didn't keep a daily list of three things I've been thankful for over the weekend, but I have to say that this exercise in thankfulness has really helped me change the way I see things.  I often find myself checking my attitude and finding the good in most situations.  Looking for the positive really changes my whole day - I hope that in some way I've inspired you to do the same.  I'm amazed at how much "stinkin' thinkin'" was getting me down.

This weekend I'm thankful that gratitude is taking over the grumbling.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh boy!

Today we were doing math and Lewis said "Mom, I don't like math".  So I tried to explain to him how important math is in every day life and that he needs it.  He said "I know, I get it, but this is boring.  I need more of a challenge".  Oh boy. 

In case you're wondering, the math program we're currently using is considered slightly advanced and the K level is more like 1st grade.

So, what do I do?  Order another level and see if he's challenged?  Is he bored or restless?  So hard to tell.

Both boys are really enjoying the new phonics program we have called "Explode the Code".  We have workdbooks for each boy and it's fun to see William embracing schoolwork too.

We had a fun playdate this afternoon with some friends - lovely weather today!

And in the big news- my dishwasher is fixed.  Hallelujah!  Though I did receive a stern warning from my landlord not to let water get in it again.  Ugghhhhh.

Today's three things-
1.  I am thankful for my dishwasher.
2.  I am thankful for sheets dried on a clothes line.
3.  I am thankful for people with integrity.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope everyone remembered to wear green!

We checked out a book from the library about St. Patrick's Day and the boys had fun learning about all the traditions that go along with the holiday, but they really loved the story of St. Patrick himself.  You should have seen their eyes light up when they heard he was kidnapped by pirates!!  Of course now they both want to travel to Ireland just to make sure there are no snakes.

When we were getting dressed this morning, both boys remembered and insisted we wear green so no one would pinch us.  I asked, "what should we make for dinner?  Something to celebrate St. Pat's day like potato soup?"  After they unscrunched their faces they said, "No, taco night".  Oh well, what's a Mom to do?  The lettuce was green, does that count?

Here are Wednesday's 3 things-
1.  I am thankful for curiosity.
2.  I am thankful for Claritin (now my allergies are acting up)
3.  I am thankful for music.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sometimes all you can do is .....

PRAY!  Though this fact is well known to me, sometimes I forget.  Sometimes I try to take care of things on my own, sometimes I even get a bit "big for my britches" and try to tell God what my life needs.  Today (and most days) I am reminded that God knows, He just wants me to ask - to talk to Him one on one.

My friend Theresa has breast cancer.  It was in remission, but last year just before the holidays it reared its' ugly head again and yesterday she hit a bump in the road.  I feel so helpless and I can't even imagine what she must be going through.  She sent out an email to tell us of the news, what she knows and doesn't know, and she ended it with these three things -

What I AM sure of ...

* God is great.
* It is going to be better than okay.
* I am saved.
Amen?  So I am praying, as are all of her friends and I know God will take care of her. 
I find great peace in knowing that God has a plan for my life, I find much frustration not knowing His plan in my own imperfect time.  Some days I say "God, please just drop a brick with a note attached containing my itinerary for the next, oh, five years".  Needless to say,  no brick. 
In a recent post I talked about my Dad's obsession with the weather - my current obsession is our next set of orders.  Not a day goes by when I don't think of where we'll go next - obsession. 
I like living in Italy, I love the travel opportunities we have as a family, but my soul does not feel settled here -I can't explain it any other way.  I don't hate it here (there are those that do), but I'm ready for something new.  As for today I will have to let that obsession go, give it up to God and try and find some peace here until November.
Tuesday's three things-
1.  I am thankful Theresa is in good hands with her Drs and her life is in His hands.
2.  I am thankful for peace I know is coming.
3.  I am thankful for my family.  (I've probably said this one before, but really, can you say it enough?)

Monday, March 15, 2010

A lovely day

Today was a lovely day - very little fighting amongst the monsters, the sun was out, I felt good all day - a lovely day.

Monday's 3 things -
1.  I'm thankful for playgrounds.
2.  I'm thankful for my new printer.
3.  I'm thankful for little messages written by my boys.

I also wanted to share, I really enjoy thinking of three things every day.  It forces me to take a good long look around and see what I have.

Lewis meets the world

I want to teach my children to be thankful for all of our blessings.  I want them to realize merely having a roof over our heads is a blessing, heat and running water - luxuries!  I talk to my children about what a blessing it is to have books to read, books to learn from and how blessed they are to be educated.  I remind them that many, many children around the world are not able to go to school and that many children go to bed hungry every night.  I don't want to scare them but I want them to realize that the world they know is not the reality of many children.

After the earthquake in Haiti I was watching a sermon by Mark Driscoll on his trip there- I found myself crying at the end just as Lewis entered the room.  Of course he asked why I was crying and I showed him some of the photos of Haiti.  I have also shown him some photos from  http://livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/  as they document their lives in Haiti.  He has seen the crumbled buildings, tent villages, hurt children - he understands that many people lost their families and every night we pray for people around the world who are sad or suffering - that God would bring them peace.

A family that attends our church was in the process of adopting two children from Haiti when the earthquake hit.  For days they didn't even know if the children were alive, but we all rejoiced when they heard the good news they were OK.  Then came days and then weeks of questions concerning the adoption process and how it would proceed in the aftermath of the disaster.  You can read more of the McMillian's story here  http://seasaltmosaic.blogspot.com/ .  The end result being Julie flew to the US with her kids, went to Haiti, brought her children home to the US, secured visas for them and now has her entire family together again in Italy (entire family being 3 biological children, 2 adopted children and one on the way!).  She did most of this alone as her husband had to stay here in Italy and work.  She is an amazing woman!!!!
Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting these children when the McMillians brought them to church.  They were introduced to the congregation and everyone clapped with joy to see this beautiful family together.  When Lewis asked why everyone was clapping I told him about Sousi and Seve and how the McMillians had adopted them from Haiti and now they were here, with us.  His face lit up!!!  And then he was really excited to learn Sousi was in his Sunday School class- he said "Mom, a girl all the way from Haiti sat next to me!  She didn't talk much."  I explained Sousi speaks Creole and will need help learning English and he said "I'll help".  BIG smile from Mom.

Like I said,  I don't scare my children but I let them see some of the rest of the world so they know what's going on.  And this week, they were blessed enough to see a happy ending.  God is good.

Notice most of this entry is about Lewis' reactions - William doesn't get it as much, being only 4.

Since I didn't write over the weekend I'll share 6 things I'm thankful for

1.  I'm thankful Judy is coming for a visit in May.
2.  I'm thankful Laurie is coming for a visit in September.
3.  I'm thankful the McMillian family is together.
4.  I'm thankful my children want to change the world.
5.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to educate my children.
6.  I'm thankful for the sun shining on my face this morning.

Have a great day!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Thank God it's Venerdi!  Venerdi is the Italian word for Friday.

If there's one thing I truly grasp after living overseas for almost 3 years, it's this - never underestimate how hard it is to learn a second language.  I used to be one of those pain in the butt Americans who thought everyone who moved to my country should automatically speak English.   You came here, speak the language -right? 

Let me tell you something - if this is your attitude - do yourself a favor and change it now.  And then go out and learn a different language, or attempt to.  And then take the little bit of information you can retain and try to speak it with native speakers, and try to follow a converstion they're having, and try to do all of this while upset about something.  It. is. hard.

I will never again look at a non-English speaking person the same way.  Not only is it difficult to learn a new language "later in life" but it's horribly intimidating to use this new language when you need to.  If you see someone struggling to understand, struggling to make their needs known but can't because they can't find the proper words in English - PLEASE try and help them.  A little kindness goes a long way.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Great news today!  Judy, Paul's mom, is coming to visit us in May!  We are all so excited and can't wait to show Oma around Naples.  (Oma is grandma in German)

Fantastic day homschooling - we've got a groove going!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I really shouldn't.....

I really shouldn't make fun of my Dad concerning his interest in weather when my last three entries are weather related - do you think it's possible I'm getting old too?  NO.  But, one more weather related thing - we had another crazy storm pass through later this afternoon bringing on more hail and rain!  What on earth is going on?  Lewis said "Mom, again with the ice?"  He cracks me up!

Today's funny story-
William comes to me and says "Mom, I missed the potty and made a mess.  I wasn't looking where I was peeing and I missed.  I'm sorry"  What a sweet baby!!!!  So I said "Don't worry honey, Mommy will clean it up.  Thank you for telling me"  Then I went to investigate.  I looked on either side of the toilet, nothing.  I looked directly in front of the toilet, nothing.  Hhmmmm, maybe he made a mistake?  and then I turned around to find a spot of pee about 3 ft. in front of the toilet - wasn't looking?  it was in the complete opposite direction of the toilet!!!!  I think "not paying attention" was a bit of a stretch?  How about "I was dancing a jig while trying to pee and completely missed!!!!"  ???  That would be a bit closer to the truth, in my humble opinion.  Oh the joys of living in a house full of men.

In other news, I saw first hand the joys of homeschooling  today.  Lewis, being the older and more educated child, helped his baby brother learn his alphabet.  It was absolutely the cutest thing!  He took on a very serious "teacher" voice and proceeded to help William get all of his letters in the correct order while writing them on the chalkboard for William to see.  I LOVE the dynamic that we've created having them together for the day - they learn so much from each other - the least of which is patience (an ongoing process) and they play so well together (other than the occasional spat over whose turn it is to play with a toy).

Did I mention our "let's buy and RV and travel the country for a year" idea is starting to become a real plan?  I've done a bit of research, looked into RVs - I think this may just work!!!  Paul really wants to take a sabbatical after working in the Navy 20+ years, we're already homeschooling, and we really love to travel - it's a win, win, win situation.  I don't know if it will actually come to fruition - but it becomes more appealing every day.

Here are my 3 things for today - March 11
1.  I am thankful for future dreams.
2.  I am thankful for my Dad.
3.  I am thankful for my house full of men.

What the.....? again.

The weather lately has been weird, that's the only way to describe it.

Today the sky got dark, really dark, and then all of a sudden Lewis exclaims "it's raining ice again!"


And exactly one hour later it is bright and sunny and all the ice has melted.

Did you know that the older you get the more you talk about the weather?  It's true, just ask my Dad.  Though in his case I can say his interest in the weather far exceeds his age.  If there were a direct correlation, he would be 150.  Sunday I missed a call from my Dad but Paul answered and told me when I got home. 

My first question?  "How's the weather in TN?"  second "Anybody die?"  third "How are the cows?"

These are my Dad's favorite topics - anyone relate? 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cold - the viral kind

With the change of weather from cold to warm to cold again- we've all got colds.  Sinus clogging, sneezing, coughing, snotting, sniffling colds - we're a commercial for NyQuil.  Fun.  Currently it's not too bad, a little under the weather but not down for the count - I'm hoping it stays this way and then gets better soon.

This week's state we're focusing on in school is Tennessee!  Woohooo my home state!  The boys don't think they want to live there either but think visiting Graceland looks fun - good grief.

In other news, my landlord showed up today without the technician he was supposed to bring to fix the dishwasher and proceeded to tell me I have to pay for the repairs because it's my fault it doesn't work due to the water infiltration.  Now listen, I don't speak Italian well under the best of circumstances but get me upset and I make absolutely no sense (not so much in English either).  I'm sure I underwhelmed and confused him with my attempt to say "no way am I paying for that" - let the games begin. 

Here are Wednesday's 3 things-
1.  I am thankful for Usborne books.
2.  I am thankful for washable markers.
3.  I am thankful for bleach.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What happened to my weather?

I was so sure Spring had sprung- in fact I think I actually named an entry that very title just last week.  But lo and behold I was wrong, it's gone back to cold and rainy and unpleasant.  Today was one of those weather days where I thank my lucky stars we homeschool.  No bus to catch in the rain, no running to class in the rain - nothing in the rain.  We stayed indoors all day, snuggled on the couch and read books, played games - a nice indoor day watching the rain fall and being thankful for heat and/or blankets.  My poor husband on crutches, however, had to hobble around in the rain.  Say it with me "poor Paul".

I have two new games I would like to recommend for kids
1.  Sequence for kids- very fun strategy game


2.  Rush Hour Jr. - an interesting puzzle game


My boys love them both and I admit I do too!   As you can see, the versions I recommend work specifically for my age range - but, there are other versions for older "kids".

Here are my 3 things I'm thankful for today
1.  I am thankful for my family.
2.  I am thankful for each and every person who has sponsored a child through a charitable organization and made a difference in their lives.
3.  I am thankful that a child can find hope in places where there seems to be none.

Italian lesson for the day:
poor = poveri
help = aiuto
hope = speranza

It Could Be Worse

When I first made my declaration that I was going to quit complaining, I received several supportive emails from friends saying such things as "sometimes you need to let it out" and  " you need to vent"  and I totally agree.  I'm not holding in my feelings just so I don't seem like I'm complaining (just ask Paul).

But, when I see things like this blog entry, I am even more convicted in my decision to rethink my thoughts and count my blessings.

Please read an entry at   http://www.thisisreverb.com/      Specifically the March 8th article titled "Hope flows through Mathere". 

The author of the blog is Ryan and he's currently on a trip to Kenya to report on how sponsoring a child through Compassion International actually works.  He's meeting the sponsored kids, checking out the programs offered and sharing it with all of us.

I also encourage you to read the entry "The day of spiritual jealousy" - moving.

And more importantly, I encourage you to sponsor a child.  


May you and your family have a very blessed day,

Festa della Donna 2010

Yesterday, March 8th was Festa della Donna or Ladies' Day here in Italy.  I had the priviledge of participating in a cooking lesson/dinner with 9 ladies and we had a blast.

Our lesson was at a restaurant in the town of Monte di Procida and is named "La Taverna dei Sapori".  Our instructor/chef was Mariella - though she's not an actual trained chef.  Her former career was a tour guide!  She taught herself to cook because it was her passion and now she owns and runs this restaurant with her husband and son.  She's a lovely patient lady and it was a great experience to be in her kitchen for the evening.

Festa della Donna has a yellow theme - yellow mimosa flowers are given to the ladies and our menu also had a touch of yellow as you'll see.  Giallo is the Italian word for yellow (just in case you're wondering).

Last night's menu:

Prosecco Mimosa Cocktails
Antipasti Buffet "Principalmente Giallo"
Bruschetta della Casa
Gnocchi Napoletani "O' Sole Mio"
Pappardelle 8 Marzo "Delizia della Donna"
Bocconcini di Carne "Femme Fatale"
Torta Mimosa
Caffe e Limoncello della Taverna

English anyone? 

Mimosas - Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine and it was mixed with fresh OJ
Appetizers with a "yellow theme"
Bruschetta of the house - no yellow but yummy!
Gnocchi (potato dumplings) with corn and hard boiled eggs in a smoked cheesy creme sauce
Pappardelle (pasta ribbons) in a saffron, ricotta cream sauce with walnuts
Beef and mushrooms in a curry reduction
Mimosa cake
Coffee and Lemoncello

A good time was had by all, I learned a lot and had a yummy meal but what I loved most was spending time with some wonderful Ladies.

I am very thankful to my husband for getting home on time and taking care of the kids for the night even though the poor guy is still hobbling around on crutches.

Here are Monday's 3 things (a bit late due to the fact I left my house at 5 for a 6 o'clock lesson and didn't return until almost midnight, whew.)

1.  Buon Cibo
2.  Buon Vino
3.  Buon Amici

English anyone?

1.  Good Food
2.  Good Wine
3.  Good Friends

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Buona Domenica!

Buona = good  and  Domenica = Sunday  in Italian

Lovely, lovely day today.  Waffles for breakfast as is our Sunday tradition, followed by church and then a nice lunch with friends.   Ahhhhhh.  I LOVE Sundays!  Have I mentioned this before?

You know how sometimes your husband throws out an idea that at first seems so crazy you laugh hysterically and secretly wonder if he's insane?  And then it starts to grow on you, and then you actually find yourself thinking it might be a good plan?  Has your husband ever mentioned putting all your stuff in storage and living in a motor home while travelling the continental US for a year or so after retirement?  Crazy, right?

Anyhoo, here are Sunday's 3 things
1.  I am thankful for my new hand lotion
2.  I am thankful for Claudia's profiteroles (if you've never had one, you have no idea what you're missing)
3.  I am thankful for mozzarella di bufala (mozzarella made from the milk of  water buffalo, yummy!)

Mozzarella di bufala

Miracle in a tub

This stuff is awesome!!!!!
As you know from my complaining  updates my dishwasher is broken which makes me, by default, the dishwasher.  Water here is harsh, my hands are suffering.  I have tried every single lotion out there, even my Aveeno wasn't working well on my hands (still great on my body though).
Two days ago my friend Jennifer asked if I wanted this lotion.  Her sister-in-law had come to visit in December and apparently this had fallen out in their car.  Jennifer does not like the hemp smell so she gave it to me and truth be told I could live without the smell but it's not offensive.
I've had these weird extremely dry raised and rough streaks on my thumb and pointer finger - dry to the point of cracking and bleeding - painful!  After only two days using this lotion they're better, clearing up, the cracks and bleeding areas are gone!  It's a miracle.
Thank you Angie!!  Sorry for your loss but so thankful for my gain.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Did you know there's a disorder called Compulsive Hoarding?  While I don't think I could technically be labeled, I've noticed lately I've got some issues.  But, in my defense, it's not entirely my fault.

You see, I live in Italy.  I'm an American in a foreign land and Italians ONLY eat Italian food.  So I rely on my Navy Commissary to supply me with all those things I want that I can't get "out in town".  Ketchup is one of these things.  Europeans typically don't do ketchup.
Are you ready for this?  They eat mayonnaise on their french fries!!!!!!  I know, I know, YUCK!  But hey, different strokes for different folks. 

That's not to say you can't get ketchup here, you can - it's just not the same.  It's like saying all ketchup is the same, let me tell you folks, it. is. not.  There is a huge difference between Hunt's and Heinz (despite what my husband says) and I don't even consider that Del Monte stuff ketchup - it's not worthy of the label.   Not that I'm biased, but Heinz rules!  And now that you know I'm 100% brand loyal, let me share this - I only buy the organic ketchup because I avoid high-fructose corn syrup like the plague.

Three weeks ago, they ran out of the Heinz organic ketchup and my home supply was running low.  You see, I typically buy two at a time because the Commissary isn't exactly reliable with their ordering and stocking process.  So, they ran out, we ran out.  There was a small rebellion here at home - anarchy if you must know.  My children were beyond upset.

Last week, I rounded the aisle where they display the ketchup and silently said a prayer that there would be organic ketchup in stock - HALLELUJAH!!!  my prayer was answered - but, there were only 7 bottles.

What to do?  Be greedy and take them all?  No.  My friend Jennifer also uses this ketchup and was out (she's weak, she actually caved and bought the regular stuff)  so I decided to get 3 bottles for me and 2 for her leaving two on the shelf for some other unfortunate mother who desperately needed this item.  And when Jennifer went back yesterday they were out again - slight edgy feeling bordering on panic (yes, I still have two in reserve).  But, HALLELUJAH!!!!!! today they were restocked when I went so I picked up two more. 

That's right, I now have one open bottle and 4 in reserve - all is well with the world.
I also have 3 bags of coffee, 4 jars of apple sauce, 2 bottles of maple syrup, 2 jars of peanut butter and 2 boxes each of the cereal we eat - all in reserve because these favorite items also tend to be out of stock a lot.
OK, I may have a problem.

Military moms around the world who depend on their commissary understand this, the rest of you will just have to trust I'm mentally sound and not a compulsive hoarder.  Right?

Here are Saturday's three things I'm thankful for
1.  I am thankful for organic ketchup in stock!
2.  I am thankful for my husband who suggests I should get away and take some alone time while he stays home with the kids. 
3.  I am thankful for all the reasons I've had to smile throughout my life.

Have a great weekend,


Friday, March 5, 2010


Whew, another week gone by.  Sometimes it feels like life is flying and sometimes it feels like it's crawling.  I guess it all depends on what you're doing and if you really want to be doing it?

Tonight was family movie night and we watched Nemo.  I still love that movie, so many cute one-liners and such a good story.  Afterwards Lewis said, "Mom, this story teaches us not to give up"  yep.  And then he said "I'm never moving away from you, I'm gonna stay with you forever".  How sweet!  Luckily we had a great day yesterday and this thought actually seemed appealing, as opposed to those days when I think I won't make it one more with these little monsters in my house!  ;-)

Great day homeschooling, everything we did was art related - which to the 5 and under crowd means crayons!!!  It's amazing the stuff you can find on the internet to print for your kids.  My kids love worksheets - strange.  I have found these great pages for William where he gets to color all the things on the page that start with the letter we're studying.  I found a color by number clown for Lewis.  In order to know what colors to use, you had to do math problems and read the color word.  He loved it!

We're getting into the final phases of planning some awesome trips, I'm so excited!  Looks like we'll go to Paris in May, Crete in June, Germany in August and a trip to the Venice area in September or October.  We're trying to decide what to do in July and all those three day weekends.  I can't believe I have less than a year to do all of the travelling I want to,  time does indeed fly.

Hoping you all have a great weekend,

Friday's 3 things-
I am thankful for my travel opportunities.
I am thankful that my children think it would be nice to stay with me forever.
I am thankful for all of my homeschooling choices and for friends that help you narrow them down.

A good read, and photos of the yucky stuff.


Thursday, March 4, 2010


We have a mold problem. Probably every house in Italy has a mold problem.  You see, houses here are built with cinder blocks and covered with a skim coat of plaster or light concrete.  They don't seal it.  The paint they use isn't "mold resisitant" - those things cost too much money.  The walls attract moisture because winter here is nothing but a rainy season and they're nothing but a pourous cinder block.  Mold.  We're all sick.  Today I was trying to rid our house of mold and started moving the larger pieces of furniture to find - an entire wall of white and grey fuzzy mold growing behind my husbands' armoire.  After many hours of bleaching, washing, and vacuuming I'm done. And I'm literally done.  I'm ready to move.  I know, I know, everyone thinks living in Italy is like being on a lovely vacation everyday.  Far from it.  I know, I know, I'm not supposed to complain - but this is not merely a complaint, this is full fledged gripe.  Like I said yesterday, every single family I know has been affected with breathing issues since moving to Italy.  The US Navy has done air samples and decided there's nothing wrong with the air quality here, in fact, they say it resembles the air quality in some of the US's larger cities so we shouldn't complain.  I think they should start testing the indoor air quality - mold is a big issue here and it's something we're not readily adjusting to- in fact, we're suffering.  Sorry to vent, but if you have a family full of hacking, wheezing, snotting, nose bleeding folks you get to a point where you just want to SCREAM!!!!!

OK, I'm done, thanks for listening.

I am thankful it's not worse.  I am thankful there are medicines that can treat our symptoms.  I am thankful we'll be moving from here this year.  I am thankful I have friends in the same boat that offer support and allow me to support them when it gets rough.  I am thankful for the power of prayer.  I am thankful my husband brought home pizza tonight for dinner so I didn't have to cook.  I am thankful that I have lived near Naples that produces the absolute best pizza in the world.  And I am really thankful for my new pillow- it's fantastic!!!!!

Today Lewis got out of the tub and said "Lewis has left the tub".  LOL!  He can't help it, being an Elvis fan is in his blood.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Catchy Title

I couldn't think of a "catchy title".

I skipped writing yesterday, I didn't even share my 3 things.  I don't know why, other than I just didn't feel like it.  I think I was in a funk. 

Today was William's 4yr well-baby check-up.  He's 45.8 lbs, 3ft 6in tall, 90th percentile.  wow.  He's developing normally, though I'm a bit concerned about his speech so I'm going to contact the school and have him evaluated.  (it's the school's responsibility since he's over 3)  He speaks well, but can't say Ls and sometimes lisps his Ss.  Dr. Pugh agreed that an evaluation wouldn't hurt, but said there's nothing about his speech that causes alarm.  He said if there's something that can be done to help him, now would be a good time.  And then, as the Dr. listened to William breathe he asked how long he's had this cough, I said about 3 weeks.  It's so hard to know when to take them in for a cough, especially here.  Everyone has a cough and many times I've taken in one of the boys only to be treated as if I'm overreacting and I get sent away with nothing but an "it'll pass".  He asked if I wanted to listen, and I knew then it wasn't good.  He definitely has a wheeze - a wheeze, the Dr. says, can only be caused by asthma.  I am 100% sure it's allergy-related asthma, but it's still a bit scary.  He's now using an inhaler and taking Zyrtec again.  Poor baby, though you would hardly know he's sick as it really hasn't slowed him down one bit.  I could spend hours complaining about the poor air quality in Naples, how every single family I know has been affected by living here and how not one single Navy Dr. will admit there is a problem.  It cannot be a coincidence that everyone I know has at least one family member on an inhaler and zyrtec, usually more than one.  But, I won't complain since I gave that up.  So, I spent the afternoon scrubbing the boys' room - bleaching the mold (a huge problem living here), cleaning anything that remotely looked dusty, vacuuming the mattresses and then encasing them in allergen covers, I bought new pillows with allergen covers, washed every sheet, pillow case, blanket, comforter and dust ruffle and beat the crud out of the area rug and then vacuumed it.  whew.  If there's an allergen left alive in that room I would be surprised.

School is getting better, finally settling into a groove that works. We're currently studying Washington.  I decided we needed to learn a bit more about our country so we'll go week by week focusing on a State.  The boys thought Washington looked great, loved the ferries and thought the chance to live near family would be really fun- until- they learned about all the volcanoes!  Lewis said "there's too many, we can't go there".  But we decided to leave it open for discussion.  I love watching my boys learn, they're so fun!

Paul is still hobbling around on crutches, he has an appointment on the 22nd and we're hoping the cast will come off.

So, here are yesterday's and today's 3 things- for a total of six!  wooohooo math!
1.  I am thankful for days at the park.
2.  I am thankful for yoga.
3.  I am thankful for prepackaged curry sauce!
4.  I am thankful for Dr. Pugh.
5.  I am thankful for medicine that helps my children.
6.  I am thankful for bedtime.  Goodnight!

the Reinhart family

Monday, March 1, 2010


Lunedi is the Italian word for Monday.

Another gorgeous weather day!  I could get used to this! 

Today's 3 things-
1.  I am thankful for the library.  Free books!
2.  I am thankful for humidifiers and Zyrtec - may they help my boys sleep well tonight.
3.  I am thankful for my Ipod.

Here is a link to the property where we'll be staying the last week of April - I'm so excited!

I found it through this site  http://www.ciaobambino.com/index.asp  which is a fantastic source of information for those travelling with children.

Buona notte!


Ahhh, the weekend.  I didn't take time to write this weekend, I'm sure you understand the need to just be with family?

So, I'll make a list of six things I'm really thankful for that will cover Saturday and Sunday's gratitudes.

1.  I am thankful for dinner and games at the home of good friends.
2.  I am thankful for email so I can keep in touch with people I love.
3.  I am thankful for my big back yard and the exercise I get mowing it.
4.  I am thankful for my church (I know I've said this one before but I really am thankful so it deserves two notices).
5.  I am thankful for nurses, Drs, missonaries and people who are willing to help in a crisis - the need for them lately has been so great.
6.  I am thankful my life is safe and fairly routine on a daily basis.  I am so blessed!

I am off to workout!  Have a happy Monday!