Saturday, July 31, 2010


"aiuto" is the Italian word for "help". 

This morning I realized I'm going to need it, soon.

As I sat drinking my coffee in an "I stayed up way too late last night playing bunco" haze, I noticed my husband's behavior.

I noticed his shifty eyes.  Probing.  Assessing.  Planning.

I noticed the way he moved from one area of the house to another.  Probing.  Assessing.  Planning.

I suddenly had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

He's planning on making me work during his two weeks off!!!!!!  I see it,  I know it, I dread it. 

I quickly reminded him that I had previously declared that if we were to stay home we were NOT going to spend all of our time on projects such as "purge all of Sabrina's extra shoes" and "do we really need so many Christmas decorations".

He smiled his evil smile and laughed his evil laugh in a way that only means one thing- he's tricked me.  We're staying home and he has projects planned. 



I suggested a better use of his time would be a vasectomy followed by a long restful period of recovery.  Needless to say that is not part of his evil plan.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday is my favorite day!

TGIF!  I love a good Friday!  Normally it brings an end to all the business and gives us rest, but not this week.  We have been so crazy busy lately!  It's been a fun summer of activities, playdates, social gatherings - I think I'm trying to keep busy to pass the time and to really enjoy our last months in Italy.

This weeks' schedule included - school every morning, swim lessons M,T,W - playdate and grocery shopping on Tue followed by a cooking lesson at a friend's house Tue night.  Wednesday brought another lunch/playdate, followed by a work function to say goodbye to Paul's boss followed by a girls' night out to say goodbye to my dear friend Jodi.  Thur was another playdate so my friend Rebecca could get her teeth cleaned but a quiet night at home.  Today, Friday, is quiet but I'm going out for Bunco tonight.  Tomorrow a birthday party for a 3 yr old and Sunday I'm playing tour guide and spending the day in Positano.   WOW!!!  Monday you can find me curled up in a fetal position hiding under my covers hoping for some peace and quiet - after school and swim lessons of course.

Speaking of swim lessons, our boys are doin' us proud!  Lewis is thriving in Level III and wants to do it again next session.  I haven't spoken with his teacher but I'm pretty sure he needs to repeat this level - they're learning new strokes and practicing form and this is where he should be in my opinion.  Now prepare yourselves for a little shock - Miss Sarah says William is ready to move up to Level One!  He's so excited and proud!  He's found his swimming groove and is no longer afraid to let go of her and swim around the big pool.  He's come a long way, baby!  So, we'll start the third session the second week of August and at the end of that session summer will almost be over.  Time flies when you're having fun.

Paul has opted to take off the first two weeks of August, opted meaning he had leave he needed to "use or lose" so beginning Tuesday August 3rd so we'll have a little "staycation" and hang around here.  I've warned him that I will not spend two weeks with him organizing and cleaning out stuff he thinks we need to get rid of - we'll see if he listened.  I need to come up with a small list of places to go and see to keep him busy, maybe some of the lesser known local sites.  Or maybe we'll just hang out in the backyard and swim in our pool.  We have a new bigger pool that I found on sale - 36 inches deep and 15 ft. around - yowza it's big!  and cold.  We set it up on the shady side of our house because we put it on the concrete pavers to keep it level - the boys insist we need to pump some warm water in it or they can't swim.  Truth be told, it is ridiculously cold.  You may remember we were trying to plan a trip to LegoLand in Germany but after evaluating the specifics we realized 4 days in a car for 2 days of LegoLand was not worth it.  So, we ordered some legos online that arrived this week and the boys are happy and we're happy so all is well.  We've decided to save that trip for when we need to get out of Bahrain's heat as we can get direct flights to Frankfurt.

Speaking of Bahrain, we're still working on exact dates but should know something soon.  Originally they had Paul penciled in for his training class in Rhode Island in January.  Paul, not wanting to stay here an extra month, requested that they move him to the November class so we're waiting to see if that works out.  The only part of our plan that seems to be definite is being in the States for the month of December.

Hope you're all enjoying the summer!  I'll try to post some pictures soon, I've been very bad about leaving my camera at home.

Monday, July 26, 2010

B90 Update-Beginning Week 4

First let me start by saying we have a break in the heat wave and I'm so thankful!  This morning my computer gave me the Naples weather and it was a shocking 64 degrees!  A lovely cool, fresh (no burning!) morning, ahhhhhh.  We've had highs in the upper 90s the past few weeks and on Saturday some clouds rolled in and it's continued to cool off since then- I think it was only in the mid 80s yesterday which is quite nice for July.  I would be rather pleased if it remained like this right through August but I know in my heart that is absolute wishful thinking.

After a little extra reading last night I am on schedule with the B90 plan - actually, I'm 5 verses ahead!  Yea!  I ran about a half day behind last week starting on Wednesday so catching up was nice.  Reading through Ruth was like a breath of fresh air, I so love that story and let's be honest, after reading the preceeding books it was good to have a break.

The one downside to reading so much at one time is lack of retention, a fact I noticed last night when my husband asked me a question about reading Numbers and I truly had to think and remember if I had read it?   In all fairness it was late and I was tired but after doing a quick line-up of the books I realized I had in fact read Numbers- how can one forget the census?

I take refuge in the fact that this isn't a Bible study but a chance to read attentively each word of the Bible.  I am learning new things and ultimately I realize that as difficult as the OT can be it leads us to Jesus and that thought alone keeps me going.

It hit me after reading Leviticus, or should I say plodded through Leviticus, how beautiful the book really is.  I suddenly felt a little leap in my heart, all of this was because of God's love for us.  All of the rules, all of the sacrifices were to keep the Israelites clean in the presence of God because to not be clean meant certain death.  God in His holiness and perfect state could not allow the Israelites to approach Him with sin and uncleanliness lest they die, and He loved them too much for that.  The alternative for not making the proper offering was removal from their people, God's chosen people, or death.  It is a beautiful realization that because of the final sacrifice we are all perfectly clean in the eyes of God - washed white as snow and because of this blood offering we can approach our God and have a relationship with Him.  This fact is not new, but knowing what the Israelites had to do for salvation and knowing what we have to do for salvation makes me even more thankful for Jesus and the loving God I serve.

I'm glad I've switched to my study Bible, I take a bit of extra time to read the introduction to each book before my actual reading which I find helps my brain understand why this is important.  It's extra reading, but I think it's worth it in the long run.

I hope you all have a great week! I'll write again soon with more family updates.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Raising swimmers

Today was an excellent day for the Reinhart boys in swim class.  Well, it actually started yesterday, the first day of Session II.

Lewis was the only kid in his class yesterday so he had a lot of one on one time with his teacher Miss Sierra.  After class they both came walking over to me and she said "I did some testing with him today and I think he needs to move up to Level 3".  What?  OK.  Wow.  Lewis' face showed his pride and he was so excited.  As soon as we got home he had to call Paul to tell him the news.  They decided that by summer's end Lewis would be going off the diving board - a lofty goal for sure.

So today we go to class and Lewis happily joins his classmates in Level 3 and had no problem whatsoever doing what his teacher asked of him.  At the end of the class I see they're all walking to the deep end?  They line up at the diving board?  And for the first time ever Lewis went off the diving board!  It was great!  I was so nervous for him - I thought he may not want to do it and would be embarrassed but he went right to the end and straight off with absolutely no hesitation.  What a big boy!  He did it twice and the second time he actually ran and jumped off - so brave.

Still basking in parental pride I see William walking over so I get his towel and wrap him up.  He said "Mom, I swam in the big pool".  I say "yes baby, you sure did"  thinking he had a typical day with Miss Sarah.  But then Miss Sarah came over and asked him "William, do you want to show your Mom?"  He said "Yes" so she got in the pool, he sat on the edge, eased in and SWAM TO MISS SARAH!!!  Sorry for shouting but wow!  And then she turned him around and he swam back to the side!  Amazing.  For William the hurdle has been getting over his fear of the size and depth of the big pool and today he conquered his fears and swam.  Also a big brave boy. 

Needless to say we had to call Paul right away and tell him the big news, we're all so happy with the rate of advancement we've seen in the boys - we're definitely getting our money's worth.  Did I say that already?

The weather here is still really, really hot so we spend the worst part of the day inside doing school.  William is having fun with his preschool progam I downloaded from another homeschooling mom and Lewis is enjoying a new challenge in Math.  I found a great program called Math U See that he really seems to connect with.  It's a visual/manipulative based program that keeps him interested.  We're still waiting on the blocks to arrive to use it full force but I think it's going to be a keeper.

I'm entering into week 3 of my Bible in 90 Days challenge and so far I'm right on schedule.  The OT is difficult, I'm not going to lie.  After reading a book I look back and think - what was the purpose of that?  The good stories seem to be lost in many, many details making reading slow going.  I know God had a purpose for putting all of that in there, I'm certainly not questioning his reasoning behind all of this and I know there's something to be learned from it all.

Paul is going on a trip to Germany on Wednesday, returning on Friday.  We still have nothing concrete on Bahrain and probably won't until October.  We're hoping for orders in September but I won't hold my breath.  When it all happens it will be fast and furious - as usual.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weekly wrap up

It's Friday!  Wow, this week has gone by so fast!  Tuesday was our last day of swim lessons for Session I and I can't believe the difference in both boys.  Lewis will be moving up to Level II next time, his teacher said he could have been in that level this session but his confidence wasn't up to speed with his skills.  He's thrilled to be moving up.  William has made great progress with Miss Sarah and will remain in her class next session.  He wasn't happy about not moving up a level so I told him all the things he would have to do in Level I and he quickly decided that he will be happy in the Preschool class again.

After class on Tuesday we played at the pool when it opened for regular swim and Lewis learned some new tricks!  His friend was doing flips in the pool and he decided he wanted to do them too.  I helped him the first few times by flipping his legs over in a back flip, then he figured out how to do it all by himself - and a front flip too!  He really wants to go off the diving board, he sees some of his friends down there having fun and it's just killing him not to be able to do it.  I wonder if he'll work up his confidence and do it by summer's end?

We've been planning on taking the boys to LegoLand in Germany the first week in August - a special treat for them and a way to escape the heat for us.  Yesterday Lewis said "Mom, we don't need to drive all the way up there, just buy us some Legos online and we'll be happy."   huh?  I'm not sure what to do with that.  Maybe they are a bit young for amusement parks?  Shifting gears trying to think of something fun to do as Paul has already taken off two weeks in August.  Maybe I'll finally get him on a cruise?  Or maybe northern Italy in the mountains where it will be cooler?

Here's something I want to share about living in Italy.  Judy, you'll appreciate this.  On the road leading to my house a big pothole formed - BIG!  Knowing it would take forever to repair it some industrious person put a stack of tires in the hole to warn people since you couldn't actually see it until it was too late.  That's right, a stack of tires - does that tell you how big the hole was?  So, one day I'm walking with Judy (Oma, my MIL) to the market and we pass the pothole.  Looking closer we discover that not only is there a big hole but there's absolutely no foundation to the road!!  None!  For as far as you could see into the hole and all around there was nothing but air!  No wonder the hole was so big, no support whatsoever.  Anyhoo, weeks passed and they finally repaired the hole, yippeeee!  But, in true Italian road fixing fashion the hole came back just a week or so later.  Why?  They didn't fill it in!!  They just scraped a bit of asphalt over the hole and left it at that, no filling in no support no foundation - basically a bandaid.
You can see the dark spot is the "patch" -and  notice to the right at the top of the patch there is another small hole forming in the light gray area?  It's much bigger now, the whole area is collapsing.  What you can't tell by this photo is that on the other side of the manhole cover it's started to collapse as well.  So what do they do to warn you of this hole?  It's not big enough for tires yet so-
That's right, just pull a garbage can over there and stick the wheel in.
Perfect.  Heaven knows they don't use the trash cans for anything else.

This is how it looks while driving.

So now it's July 16th, August is quickly approaching and absolutely NO work gets done around here in August so I'm betting they won't get this fixed until the end of September. and even then it will only be another pathetic patch.  Viva Italia!

This is a picture of a bag full of bottles thrown onto the sidewalk next to the potholes.  Less than 10 ft. from a trash can and less than 50 ft from a glass recycling bin.  Seriously?

Just to let you know - it's hot, I'm sweaty and I smell like a camel.  And yes I've been close enough to a camel to comfortably make this comparison.  It's not pretty.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday, Monday-otherwise known as day 8

I woke up early, refreshed, feeling great!  I go to my windows, throw them open for some fresh cool morning air and I'm greeted with thick smoky hazy air - the Italians burn everything!!  I guess a field near my house needed clearing?  A pile of garbage got too big?  Who knows, but it's one of the many little quirky things I won't miss when I leave.  cough, cough.

Anyhoo, we had a great weekend!  On Saturday we went on a mini-cruise around the Amalfi coast, swam in a bay at the Isle of Capri, had lunch seaside in Positano - all without the boys.  We went with two other couples, leaving 6 kids in the very capable hands of Blescille and set out for adventure.  It was fantastically relaxing and fun,seeing the area from the sea was a new and beautiful perspective.

Today we get back into our summer routine, swimming lessons-playground-lunch-school.  We're going light on school since it is summer after all - a bit of writing and math so we don't get out of practice and lots of reading.

Today is also day 8 of my Bible in 90 days challenge.  I hate to admit I'm 1/2 of a day behind due to the long fun Saturday, but I'll make it up and be on schedule by tomorrow.  I've read through Genesis and most of Exodus and today we head into Leviticus.  Thoughts so far?  Well, I love Genesis - it's interesting to read all the way through and though I should have known, it really registered this time just how much information is in this one book.  It shows God's amazing plan, everything in place as it needs to be.  What I've learned from Exodus so far- God is persistant and very thorough when it comes to getting His point across.  I particularly like Exodus 6:2-8 - I like how God "introduces" himself to Moses, explaining that though he had appeared to them He had not made himself completely known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But now Moses was to know all of God - I Am, Yahweh.  Don't you find it amazing that even though Abraham, Isaac and Jacob didn't fully know the essence of God, they followed and loved Him anyway?  Just a bit of Him is good enough, but to know Him and all of Him? wow.  It makes you wanna give the Israelites a little whack on the back of the head to wake them up!  Golden calf?  How quickly they became distracted.  I think I need that little whack every now and then - not that I'm worshipping a false god but I do let other things become too important.  I'm taking this opportunity to fast from a few things in my life that seem to take over my time, focusing in on reading and learning from God's word.  I'm also switching Bibles, I've been using my small Bible I take to church and I need something bigger so I'll be using my ESV study Bible from now on.

I hope you're all enjoying summer, it's pretty hot here.  I keep reminding myself that a person moving to Bahrain should not complain about this heat (mind over matter).

Happy Monday!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Things my kids say.....

Every morning Lewis and William come snuggle in our bed with us - what a great way to wake up.  Now if you know me I am not, N.O.T a morning person. Communication above grunting and nodding is not possible within the first hour of my waking and intelligent communication does not happen without coffee.  I like to wake up slowly and quietly.

Sunday morning Lewis came in as usual but fell back to sleep, yay.  When he woke up again I was stirring, rolled over to see his sweet little face and his eyes opened and he looked right at me and said "Mom, I'm going to stop eating boogers.  I'm not going to stop picking my nose, but I'm not gonna eat 'em anymore."

Certainly good news, but is this really the first thing I need to hear?

Then later as I got out of the shower William came in the bathroom to ask for some juice - really?  Where is your Dad?  Which is what I said "go ask your Dad, he's downstairs AND ridiculously close to the juice"  But before he left the bathroom he said "Mom, your belly is reeeeeaaaaallllllly fat."  Great. 

Can I not find one room of sanctuary in my house?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Home Sweet Home

There's nothing like a good American holiday or a family event to really make you miss home.  As you all know Sunday was July 4th, the day we Americans celebrate our Nation's independence.  This was my 4th 4th in a row off of US soil (sorry if that's confusing) and with each passing year away I realize how blessed I am to be an American.  Say what you want about the current condition of our country, it's still the best darn place on Earth.

We had a great group of friends over on Sunday - a mix of old and new friends, a fact of military life as people are always on the move.  I looked around and thought about each family represented, each person at my home missing someone somewhere else - and being missed in return.  Military life sure has its' perks, but one of the obvious downsides is being away from extended family.

I started thinking of all the places I've spent the 4th of July, all of the fun I've had, but mostly it makes me sad to be away.  You see, the 4th of July is also the birthday of someone very special, someone I love very much - my Nana - Norice Osteen.  As a child I would soooo look forward to family gatherings to celebrate her birthday, wondering what crazy red-white-and-blue outfit she would have purchased to wear.  She would put on lots of red lipstick and kiss everybody leaving her mark behind.  I miss her terribly, especially on her birthday.  I was able to talk to her on the phone yesterday so that was a blessing, but she sounds old and frail, she almost cries when she tells me how much she loves me and my boys and how much she misses us.  I pray I'll make it home to spend some quality time with her - hang on Nana, I'm coming!

The boys were asleep when I called home last night so this morning I told them about talking to Ya-Ya and Nana and Uncle Ron- and Lewis said "Mom, when we move home to the States, I can't wait to live next to Ya-Ya and Oma and see them everyday."  Poor kid, he doesn't quite understand how seeing both of his grandmas everyday would be impossible- one lives in TN and the other in WA - not exactly neighbors.  Which got me to thinking (yes, this 4th caused a LOT of thinking)  Where is home?  Home sweet Home.  Geographically speaking I just don't know the answer to that question.  We own a house in MD, but that's not home.  We have family in TN and WA and while it's certainly our home States of record, they're not home for this family of four.  I've seen plaques in Navy family houses that say "Home is where the Navy sends us", so-

1.  Annapolis, MD
2.  Bremerton, WA
3.  San Diego, CA
4.  Yigo, GU (Guam)
5.  Lexington Park, MD
6.  Boeblingen, Germany
7.  Naples, Italy
8.  Bahrain?

But none of these feel like a permanent home, all temporary in our adventure.  Where will we land?  Where will we settle down?  I guess we'll just have to wait and see what God has in store for our future.  For now we'll have to say "Home is where the heart is" -  I never understood this saying fully until now, or at least this is my understanding of the phrase.

The human heart has the ability to be everywhere, loving lots of people in many different places.  With each "home" city, each group of friends, each family member- the heart is there.  Home can be anywhere you love and feel loved.  Because let's be honest, no home here on Earth compares to our heavenly home, it's all temporary and imperfect leaving us with a longing for more.  But the more we live and the more we love the more we feel at home here.
We leave a little piece of our heart with the people and places we love - Home is where the heart is.
Home Sweet Home.