Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Incentive Flight in Chinook Helicopter

The past couple of days the helicopters have been flying over our house nonstop dropping parachute guys out. Rosalie loves watching them and every time she hears one go over she'll go "woah. what's that?" Little did we know, the one helicopter that went over us yesterday had Kevin in it! He got picked for an incentive flight. I just wanted to share some of his pics!

so close to the alps.. doesn't get any better than that!

See the little cluster of houses almost in the middle (more towards the top)? The houses that are all the same looking and have the orange/brownish rooftops? That's our housing! How coll is that?

Monday, November 28, 2011


Another photobook... Pictures of Rosalie from this fall after she turned two!

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Mom & Dad's Visit

After 2 weeks, I'm FINALLY getting caught up on getting all of my pictures organized! Here's another book i wanted to share.. it was from my parent's visit!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Final Mission Astronauts

A few months back, Kevin, Rosalie, and I went to the BX. We were totally surprised when we got there and the astronauts from the final mission were there for a meet and greet. Of course we were unprepared and didn't have our camera, but I figured Rosalie could at least get their autographs. They signed a big photograph and we had bought a newspaper that was all about NASA and had it signed. It just so happened that in front of us in line was the Chaplin and his wife. They were so kind and offered to take pictures for us! He finally emailed them to Kevin not to long ago so here they are!

Poor lil thing was soo tired and played possum with them... totally not like her!

Friday, November 25, 2011


I have so much to be thankful and am extremely grateful for all the wonderful things that God has blessed me with.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my family.
I have an amazing husband who I am so proud of. He works hard for his family and his country. He is an excellent Father and I couldn't ask for Rosalie to have a better Dad than him.
I have a beautiful, healthy little girl who is the light of my life. She is the reason I get out of bed every day and couldn't imagine a world without her. She truly brings me so much joy!
My parents.. I couldn't ask for better parents. They have loved me unconditionally, supported me no matter what, provided me with an amazing life, and have been there when I needed them the most. They have treated my husband like one of their own and have showed Rosalie so much love.

I am thankful for our health.

I am thankful for my education & my career. Even though it's collecting dust right now, I can't wait to be able to put it to use again when we return stateside!

I am thankful for our military men and women.

I am thankful for the roof over our heads.

I am thankful that for the past 2 years I have been able to be a stay at home mom. I am grateful that I have the chance to watch Rosalie learn and grow every single day.. and that I'm not missing any of her milestones!

I am thankful for my two bestfriends, Kayla and Abbey. Even though we are thousands and thousands of miles apart, I know I always have them to go to. In my 24 years of life, I have not found a friendship like the friendship I have with them. I'm so grateful that God blessed me not only with one person that is bonded to me like a sister, but TWO people! I love them so much!

I am thankful to have such wonderful neighbors! When we first moved to Aviano, our neighbors were TERRIBLE. They were so inconsiderate of us... and were just down right nasty mean spirited people. The ladies that we live by now are just the sweetest and nicest people! It makes living here not so terrible when you are surrounded by such a positive atmosphere!

I am thankful that we've had the chance to live in Europe. I am so grateful that the US Air Force has given us the opportunity. We have seen so many wonderful places and things that I'll always carry with me. Seeing Ireland has always been a dream of mine that in a million years I never thought I would happen!

With that being said, I'm thankful that this was our LAST Thanksgiving in Italy! I know that when we get to Alabama we won't be able to go home for every holiday.. actually I don't think I would want Rosalie to spend Christmas anywhere other than her home.. but it'll be be nice to know that if we want to go home, we can just jump in the car and go!

I am thankful for Ladybug Creations. I have in no way made a fortune on my bows. I sell my bows way under priced. I love that I can make Rosalie endless amounts of bows to go with every single outfit she has. I love seeing little girls wearing my bows and I love happy customers! It kept me sane while Kevin was gone and has kept me sane through all these inspections and exercises the past few months that have had my husband pretty much nonexistent.

I have so much more to be thankful for, but unfortunately that is about all the time I have! I'll leave you with my lil Turkey...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fall in Italia

Another photobook.. are you not surprised? lol

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Rosalie Maggie Turns TWO! (Continued)

Since I already blogged about Rosalie's 2nd birthday, here's the photobook to go with the entry! Not even a month late! I'm getting better! LOL! It's her all professional pics and then the pics from when we had her party!

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Lignano Zoo

Right after Kevin returned from his deployment, we took Rosalie to the zoo in Lignano. It's only about an hour from house. She had a BLAST. I do believe I blogged about it already, but surprise, another photobook! I've been on a roll with them the past 2 weeks! I'm hoping to get all of my pictures caught up this week so I can work on Rosalie's big Europe book!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Summer in Italy

I love where we live. The view is like something you can only dream of! On the 4th of July I passed a spot on the way home from the base that I thought would be perfect to take pictures! Later that afternoon, after I gathered up Kevin and Rosalie, we went back to that spot to take pictures. It was only five minutes from our house. We had soo much fun and the pictures turned out cute! I posted some awhile back, but I just now finished the book with all of the pictures in it so I wanted to share!

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Chinese Lemon Chicken and Rice

Since Kevin and I got married, I've been trying to find a recipe for lemon chicken. I've tried breading chicken and putting lemon pepper in the breading.. using lemon juice and dipping chicken in it before breading. The results? Crap. It was either bland tasting or extremely lemon peppery. I came across a recipe for lemon chicken @ Your Homebased Mom. I was pretty skeptical about it. It wasn't the kind of lemon chicken that I had been trying to produce. From what I understand it's a Chinese dish that the Chinese have on New Years. I modified the original recipe because 1: I don't squeeze lemons. 2: I don't mince.. ANYTHING. If you follow my recipes you'll know that! and 3: the recipe called for 2 tbsp of chicken bouillon.. all I had were cubes.. so I had to guesstimate on how many to use. It turned out absolutely delish!

Chinese Lemon Chicken

For the chicken:
1/2 c cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4c water
4 eggs
3 c vegetable oil
For the lemon sauce:
1 1/2c water
1/2 c lemon
3 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp honey
5 chicken bouillon cubes
1/8 tsp ground ginger

-Pound chicken breasts
-Combine cornstarch (for the chicken), salt, pepper, add in lightly beaten eggs and water.
-Heat oil in a skillet
- Dip chicken in cornstarch mixture
-Add to heated skillet and cook until browned
-Cut into small serving portions
-Combine all sauce ingredients
-Heat until sauce thickens
-Serve chicken on a bed of rice
-Drizzle with sauce

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beef Fajitas & Cornbread

We eat entirely too much chicken. Rosalie doesn't eat meat period other than chicken... so I've been trying to find non-chicken recipes. I came across a recipe for beef fajitas @ Your Home Based Mom and it was pretty darn good! Then I came across a new recipe for cornbread so I figured I'd give it a shot with the fajitas. Both were a hit. Rosalie LOVED the cornbread!

Beef Fajitas


1/2c canola oil
1/3c soy sauce
1/4c balsamic vinegar
2 tbls lemon or lime juice (i used lemon)
1 1/2 tbls worcestershire sauce
1 tbls dijon mustard
3 cloves of garlic, minced (I hate mincing garlic.. so i just used 3/4 tsp garlic powder)
1/2tsp ground pepper
1 1/2lbs flank steak
Combination of peppers- red, green, yellow.. and onion (i opted out of all of these since they aren't things we eat)
Olive oil

Using a medium bowl, combine the canola oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon or lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and ground black pepper. Place meat in a large zip loc baggie and pour marinade over the steak. Turning meat to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight.

Cook steaks until they reach a desired doneness. I did mine in a skillet.

Slice meat thinly going across the grain. I actually didn't have to do this since our commissary sells flank steak sliced for fajitas.

While meat is grilling, saute onions and peppers in olive oil and salt until tender.

Serve with meat on a tortilla. Add sour cream, guacamole and or salsa. We used sour cream, cheese, and salsa. You could add lettuce too if that's something you like!



  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan. I actually used a muffin pan instead!

  • Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Just mix them right in the skillet. No need to dirty another pan! Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you do them in a muffin pan they won't need the full 30 minutes to cook. Mine were done in about 22-25 minutes. Do not overbake! If you overbake them they will be dry! Baked just right this cornbread will be very sweet and moist!

Rosalie Maggie... TWO years old!

I can't believe it's been over two years since we were blessed with this sweet little girl! I thank God every day that we have her in our lives! I love watching her learn and grow every day!

Weight.. Rosalie's weight fluctuates between 27-30lbs. She eats about every 3 days! LOL! No.. I'm being serious.. one day her stomach will be a bottomless pit, then she'll just pick at food the next couple of days. On a normal day she's about 29 lbs.
Height.. We measured her at 35".. but we'll see what they say when she goes to the pediatrician!
Diaper Size.. 5. We're working on the potty training so hopefully we put an end to the diapers SOON. Preferably before we move!
Clothing size.. 2T-3T. How sad! lol I buy all of Rosalie's clothes from Gymboree or boutiques and she wears 2T in both of those areas.. I buy her jammies from Carters she wears 2T.. but ANYTHING else she's 3t. She's so darn tall that I can't throw anything of hers in the dryer.. not even her pajamas!

This time last year Rosalie was very much so into toys that played music, lit up, made noise... that's no so much her interest anymore. She LOVES music, but she's really into toys now that she has to use her imagination. I won't lie, it tickles me to see how big her imagination is! She loves baby dolls.. her play kitchen... stuffed animals.. and her new obsession are Potato Heads. She got a Mrs. Potato Head for her birthday and she plays with it all the time.. along with my mom got her 3 Potato Heads, a boy, a dog, and a cat, and she loves them!

Rosalie is also VERY creative. She absolutely LOVES to color and draw. She could color for hours if we let her. She has an absolute melt down if we take her crayons from her. She loves to do puzzles and is getting really good at them! Above all, she LOVES to read. She is such a bookworm. Our house has books in every room.. even the bathroom.. because she always has a book in hand!

Her speech has been a concern for us. Rosalie isn't talking much. Let me retract that. She talks ALL the time. Her mouth never stops, but it's her own language. It's not baby jibber.. it is literally her own language. It has made communication really hard with her. She doesn't want to answer us when we ask her something and it's made teaching her things very hard. She completely understands everything we say, but she won't repeat. Everyone keeps telling us that she'll talk when she's ready. Well I'm ready for this language barrier to break. We were REALLY concerned until one day Kevin pushed her and when she talked the word came out plain as day. He kept trying to get her to eat and she was getting mad and jibbering at him in her own language. He kept pushing and pushing finally she yelled "STOP." It was plain as day and clear. No slur on the S or anything. I know she can talk, but she's just choosing not to. It's very frustrating. We work with her so hard and some days it make me feel like a failure and like I'm doing something wrong.

She does have a tiny collection of vocabulary.. but it is no where near where I'd like her to be:
Mom, Dad, Daddy, Wow, Buddy, Yes, No, Bye, Hi, Yay, What's that, Did it, Dora, Stop, Baby, Me, Mine, Nana, PapPap, and her new favorite word- MONEY.. and I'm having a brain fart because that's all I can think of that she uses daily. If ANYONE has any suggestions on things to try with her I would be willing to try anything! This is the one time that I am asking for parenting advice! lol!

Rosalie has been to 7 countries since she's been born... Germany, Austria, Italy, US, Slovenia, Croatia, and Ireland. She has visited so many big cities that it would be silly for me to sit and list all of them! She's quite the world traveler at the age of 2!

One thing I am VERY proud of is that Rosalie is not a bully! LOL! She is so kind to other kids! It's a relief to know that I can let her go play with other kids and I don't have to worry about her pushing or shoving. She does have issues with sharing, but what kid doesn't! She doesn't get mean about it.. she just wants what everyone else has! *cough* spoiled *cough*

Rosalie is a big DIVA. I LOVEEEE it! haha! She loves to get all dressed up and she especially loves shoes! She always gets excited when she sees what clothes I have laid out for her and you should see her flip when she gets clothes in the mail! She's obsessed with bows and jewelry and it's even more incentive for me to make her even more bows.

We have started potty training but we aren't pushing the issue. She does good some days.. some days not so much! I think when the speech-communication isn't an issue anymore potty training will be a breeze! She loves that her potty chair sings when she goes and she loves being praised. As soon as she starts to pee she gets this huge grin on her face!

That's about all I time to write.. I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Our Halloween wasn't real eventful this year. The Saturday before Halloween ,Rosalie was scheduled to get birthday and Halloween photos done. For the first time ever, she was VERY uncooperative. She wanted no part of having her pictures taken. It was so unlike her... she's usually a camera ham. An hour and a half later, we left the studio sweaty and tired from trying to fight a toddler. After pictures we went to Fall Fest on base. We didn't stay long. Kevin and I were exhausted... Rosalie was grouchy. We walked around for about 15 minutes and saw what it had to offer.. took Rosalie to the pumpkin patch.. and left. She LOVED the pumpkin patch! I just finished up the book with all her pictures so I wanted to share! :)

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Family Pics

Surprise.. another photobook! Our family photo shoot from this summer with PumpkinCharm Photography!

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Rosalie.. Summer 2011

Remember how I said I was going to overload you with photobooks? WELL, here's another! Since I did a crappy job updating on Rosalie this summer, here's a photobook with all her summer pics!

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Monday, November 14, 2011


I know I already blogged about our trip to Tuscany.. but I finally finished the phtobook with all our pics so I figured I would share it too!

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Oh, so big deal this post is 4 months late. lol. I was waiting to blog about our trip to Germany when I finished our photbook with all our pictures. I took entirely too many to upload them all onto here. I'm finally now sitting and getting caught up on photobooks so be ready for some NEW entries!

We started out on a Monday morning. We had to drop the dog off at the dog sitter's house around 7:30. After we did that, we hit the open road. Our first destination was Neuschwanstein Castle. After driving through Italy and passing through Austria, we arrived in at the castle in Germany around 1. Neuschwanstein sits way up on a hill and rather than try to walk it with Rosalie, we paid and took a carriage ride to the top. The view was absolutely breathtaking. I think we enjoyed the view overlooking Germany more so than the castle! After we spent some time at the castle, we took a carriage back down to the village and did some shopping. Around dinner time we headed to our resort in Garmisch. The ride there was crazy. We went up one mountain and down another. We passed back and forth between Germany and Austria. One minute we'd see signs for Republik Österreich (Republic of Austria), the next we'd see signs for the Deutschland (Germany). We arrived at the resort an hour later and were just blown away. We stayed at Edelweiss, which is a military resort. We stayed in a military hotel when we went to Pisa and it was a dive. This place was.. AMAZING. We checked in and went downstairs to the "bar" for dinner. It was more of a classier bar/restaurant. The food was amazing! We checked out the gift shop and then headed back to the room and put on our swimming stuff and hit the pool. We all crashed pretty early that night!

The next morning after we got moving we headed downstairs to a different restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast we headed out past Munich to Dachau Concentration Camp. I've always wanted to see a concentration camp. When you walk through the doors that read "Work Shall Set You Free", emotions just run deep. There are pictures everywhere dictating the harsh conditions of the camp. We walked through the barracks where they were kept and the holding chambers for where they registered the prisoners when they arrived at the camp. Seeing the camp with your own eyes, reality sets in that this wasn't just something in a history book... but it was real. These people suffered.. were tortured.. were used for medical experiments. they were fed every 4 days. Over thousands of people were housed in barracks that were built to hold only a few hundred. Over 230,000 people were imprisoned at Dachau and over 30,000 died in the camp. We left Dachau feeling a feeling that we had never felt before. It was gut-wrenching. We spent the rest of the evening lounging around the pool and went for a German dinner. It was sooo good. Rosalie ate like I had never seen her eat before.

Wednesday was our last full day in Germany. We woke up to rain. Since we couldn't do much, we decided to go for breakfast again. After breakfast we went upstairs to a lounging area and just watched the rain and enjoyed the view. Finally, around 10 the rain started to subside. We went and bought tickets to go to the AlpspiX viewing platform. It's a platform that is in the shape of an X that literally protrudes off the very top of the Bavarian alps. We rode a cable car up the side of the alps. AH I always dreamed of taking a cable car into the alps! The view going up was just BREATHTAKING! When we got to the top we walked around the viewing platform, took some pics, and enjoyed the view. Instead of jumping back on cable car and riding back down, we decided to get our monies worth and hike a ways down and catch a cable car further down the mountain. YES, we did this with a stroller! LOL! It was def an experience. It sprinkled off and on and the clouds kept rolling in so thick that we couldn't see a foot in front of us. We hiked for about 2 hours and then hopped on a cable car and rode back down the mountain. We spent the rest of the evening at the resort. Kevin bought me a German made cuckoo clock and I can't even begin to describe how happy that made me! I've alway wanted one! It's beautiful! It's still in the box though because we were afraid the movers would mess up the chains so we decided to just keep it wrapped up until we move.

We headed out Thursday morning. We wish we would have stayed longer. It was by far one of the best trips we took during our time here in Italy!

And for your viewing pleasures.....

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Gallaher's In Italia

In our almost 3 years here, last week something happened that would never happen-- my whole family came to Italy. My mom came last August by herself... her first time flying and she flew to another country all by herself. I was pretty proud of her! I knew my dad would never come over. He runs a business and he can't just up and leave for 3 days, let alone 8. I made a joke about mom and dad coming for Rosalie's birthday. Before I knew it, plane tickets were booked and it was official. They even brought along their 7 old sidekick, my nephew, Jacob.

The week before they came was EXTREMELY hectic. Weds and Thurs consisted of a lot of running back and forth to the base because my dog got neutered. I don't know what I was thinking scheduling it that week. On top of that, Kevin was on 12 hour shifts. Along with cleaning, my Dad and Jacob requested sugar cookies (a 3 hour process).. plus I had all my laundry to do.. we had to go to the base to get all our bedding washed up since our tiny European washer and dryer hold about 2 bath towels. On Friday we had to pick up a van that we rented. Needless to say, by bedtime, we were both exhausted.

Their plane landed in Venice Saturday morning at 9. Jacob was the first to spot us and he was so excited to see us. He ran right up to me and gave me a big ole hug. I was really shocked because even though Jacob and I pretty much grew up in the same house, I figured he would make shy. Rosalie was the same way.. she didn't make shy at all either. She went right to my dad and snuggled up in his arms and just kept loving him. It was the sweetest thing.

We didn't have anything planned for Saturday originally because I figured everyone would be pooped, especially Jake. I know how hard flying internationally is on a child. I was wrong again! My parents took a nap when we got in and settled, but Jacob.. it was like he was on crack. Him and Kevin played hard for a couple of hours and then he INSISTED we go do something. We went to the town of Gorgazzo and walked around.. went up the mountain a lil ways to the "Chrome Dome" as Americans call it.. we went to the base and did a lil bit of shopping and Jake wanted to see the jets... went for Gelato and to BEFeds, a German pub for dinner.

Sunday we had to run to the base again in the morning because I needed eggs for dinner. That afternoon we headed about an hour north of our house to Venzone for the Pumpkin Festival..Festa Della Zucca. It's become a tradition of ours every year that we have been here. We walked around the medieval town, enjoyed delicious pizza, bought pumpkin beer, went into the church and crypt to see the mummies. We got home around 6 and I cooked dinner. By the time dinner was done and cleaned up it was pretty late.

Monday we grabbed a quick lunch on base and then headed up the mountains. It was the one thing Jacob hounded to do since he got off the plane. He wanted to drive up into the mountains soooo bad. lol. We drove up.. stopped at a pull off overlooking Aviano and then continued the rest of the way up. When we got to the top there was no snow laying :(, but it started to snow about 2 minutes after we got up there! We headed down the backside of the mountain to Lake Barcis. It's constant windy roads and Rosalie ended up getting car sick.. as usual. She made it to Barcis though without hurling her lunch. We walked around the lake and after about 10 minutes she started getting back to herself. We took the kids to a park by the lake and let them burn off some energy. We went back to the house.. as we pulled into the driveway Rosalie started puking everywhere. She had to get a bath and I had to get the car seat cleaned up. That is one thing she inherited from me that I wish she didn't. Her and I both get very car sick easily. After she was good to go, we headed back out the door. We went to the Italian Toy Store in Pordenone because my parents wanted to get Rosalie something else for her birthday. She ended up leaving there with a giant playhouse. Well, not technically.. it was too big so my dad and Kevin had to come back the next morning and pick it up. She also got a Hello Kitty doll baby and a baby doll crib. She was so excited over the new toys that it was impossible to get her to go to bed. She threw quite the tantrum. After the toy store we went to the go kart track so Dad and Kevin could race. We grabbed some pizza and gelato after that and called it a night.

Tuesday we headed to Venice for the day after Dad and Kevin got back from picking up Rosalie's present from the toy store. It was raining when we left Maniago, but by the time the train reached Venice it had stopped. We walked around and enjoyed the sights. It sprinkled off and on but nothing to whine about. We walked down the tiny streets and did some shopping. Rosalie came home with this adorable lil trinket box that is hand painted to look like a cat venetian mask. Kevin and I came home with 2 bottles of Grappa.. one that is in a handpainted bottle that says Venice with a gondolier.. the other in a cool red, white, and green bottle in the shape of Italy. By the time we reached San Marco Square it started pouring. We ate lunch at the Hard Rock and I must say, for once it was nice to be in a place that felt like "America". Our waitress spoke perfect English.. was so sweet and friendly. That's not very often in Italy. They don't care too much for tourists and Americans and they let you know that. All of our food was absolutely delicious. We left there unbelievably stuffed. When we got outside it was raining pretty hard.. so we went to the nearest water taxi and rode down the canal back to the train station. On the taxi, Rosalie was eating a nutter butter cookie. She shoved too much in her mouth and ended up choking. She gags on stuff all the time, but she has never choked. We ripped her out of her stroller and it only took one thrust from me and the cookie was out.. along with vomit.. that hit an Italian. At that point I was had enough and was ready to get back on the train and head home. Of course we just missed the train so we had to wait for the next.. and naturally it was delayed. We ended up being at the train station for about an hour.. which is a long time with a 2 year old and a 7 year old. We shopped a little bit and I found this adorable lil Venice gondola snow globe to go with Rosalie's collection. Jake also got her a Murano blow glass ladybug. It's cute!

Wednesday was suppose to be Rosalie's birthday bash... but of course it was pouring. We cancelled the bouncy castle for the day and booked it for Thursday. We still did cake and presents. She made out pretty good! Along with the stuff she got early, she got a cozy coupe car, tons of clothes, 2 American Girl dolls with outfits and accessories, a deluxe Mrs. Potato Head with extra outfits, tons of books, jewelry, shoes, and a my little pony. She LOVED her car.

Thursday we woke up to clear skies so Kevin and I went to the base and picked up the bouncy castle. The kids had a BLAST. Even the adults did too! We were all in it for most of the afternoon. That evening I took mom, dad, and Jake into Aviano for shopping and gelato. Jake said he needed it one last time before he left.

Friday morning they left Italy for Philadelphia. I'm so glad they got to come over before we left and Jake had such a great time. He kept asking to stay for another week and he kept saying oh he wished he lived in Italy! ha! The pictures I uploaded aren't anywhere close to the amount that I took!!!