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Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Update

  • Last Monday was Camden's winter band concert. First the 6th & 7th grade beginning band played, then the 7th grade intermediate band. What a difference a year makes! It was obvious from watching them walk into the auditorium--not from the size of the kids, but from their confidence. The beginning band students looked nervous or sheepish or embarrassed or cocky. The intermediate band students looked confident. It's an amazing and wonderful thing as a parent to see your child being confident and proud of himself. We didn't get very good pictures--here's the best we've got:

    Camden's in the white shirt and gray tie, standing in the middle. Here's a video of one of the songs--again, the one that turned out best of some pretty poor ones. You can see why: we were seated pretty far in the back.

  • Early Tuesday morning, Carl left for Kosovo and was gone three days, which made things at home a little more hectic than usual. Curran and Camden are always exceptionally helpful while he's gone, though, and we have our dad's-gone-routine down pretty well by now. We eat different foods (tuna patties are a favorite), and watch a different sort of movie. This time it was Star Spangled Girl (review will eventually be forthcoming).

  • I spent quite a lot of time this week trying to get things ready for both Christmas and Dagny's arrival on Monday (today). Organized a lot of the books in the computer room, which is also the spare bedroom (have I complained lately that this house is small?), and wrapped all the presents that are here.

  • I'm pretty pleased with the wrapping scheme this year. Instead of using tags, I use a different kind of wrapping paper for each of us. This year, I got everyone 3 small rolls of coordinating paper (thank-you, Oriental Trading!), so Curran has black & white, Camden has blues, Carl has silver & gold, Dagny has pink & green, and I have blue & purple. It looks pretty cool.

  • Coincidentally, when Carl went to the mail room on Friday when he got back, we had exactly 13 packages. They weren't all the ones I had listed--a couple of the orders came in more than one package, so I'm still waiting on about half a dozen.

  • Saturday was the LRMC Holiday Ball. We had a wonderful time, even though Carl was the only one present from PM, so it was a little iffy finding people to sit with. We made the acquaintance of a Navy nursing supervisor, an Army lab tech, and one of the NCO-of-the-year candidates who'd come up from Vicenza for the competition, and they were all very friendly and helped make the evening fun. Also at our table was someone we actually knew, a civilian from infection control, IIRC, and she's terrific.

    For a once-a-year thing, I rather enjoy all the ritual and ceremony. The vocalist who sang the German and American national anthems was impressive, and the solemn ceremony for the missing/fallen soldiers choked me up as usual. They have the same ceremony every year, and every year it puts tears in my eyes. The speeches were much shorter this year, but no less affecting. I always leave the ball with renewed respect for the LRMC staff... even after watching some of them dance.

    One new thing they did this year, possibly because LRMC is now fully a joint operation, was to have members of each service stand and sing their service song. The Army song is horrible, but the rest of them were great. The Navy song had nearly as many people singing as the Army, but there were only a handful singing the Air Force song. What was cool, though, was the Marines hymn. There were only 3 Marines present, but everybody knows this one, so they ended up with a lot of help.

    We did take advantage of the photographer there, but the prints won't be back for a while, so here's a snapshot: Hopefully the professional pix turned out better. At least they'll show off the dress, which I loved. And check out Carl's new dress blues--snazzy, no? I'm so glad he got new ones. Surprised me when he said he preferred wearing them to wearing a regular suit.

    The band was really good, part of the Air Force band. We took a couple pix of them, too, but the lighting was bad and they don't show up very well. They played a wide variety of music, and we even danced a couple of slow songs--my feet hurt, and we didn't have nearly enough to drink to overcome our inhibitions.

  • Sunday Carl and the boys went to yet another big model train exhibit--apparently this is the season for them.

  • Dagny arrived this morning. We got to the airport a half hour later than we'd expected due to horrible traffic, and then spent quite a while determining that there were no spots in the parking garages for Moby. Finally, Carl pulled up to the curb and I walked in to find her. Then I came out the wrong door and we spent another 20 minutes trying to find Carl again. We stopped for breakfast at the Grünstadt McDonald's--our usual tradition--and it was actually cloudy there (no matter how cloudy it is elsewhere in Germany, it's almost always clear over Grünstadt).

  • Then in a construction zone we hit a post and whacked the heck out of the driver's side mirror. PIA. So once we got Dagny tucked in for a nap, I found the parts online and ordered them--we've learned from experience that going through a German dealer for American parts is asking to pay at least double, between the customs, transportation costs, and the exchange rate. It's still not cheap, but it's below our deductible.

  • So, it was an eventful week. This week promises to be eventful as well. If I'm not around much, that's why.
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Whew! That was an eventful week. :)

Nice pics!
WOW Darla, love the video of your son playing. That really make me feel like I was actually there :) And a nice picture of you and your husband, all dress up! Sound like it's been a busy day :)

Thanks for sharing this with us. And I'm amaze you are learning how to load pictures AND download video on your blog. I already know how to do these thing but am shy bout showing it here hehehe. Take care of yourself and give hugs to your son :)
Yes, it was pretty eventful. You actually watched the video, Julia? I tried to pick a short one. :)
Yep, and the video work like a charm :) love it :)

I hope you have a fun holidays spent with Dagny while she there :)
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