Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Call Me Crazy

The weather the past month or so hasn't been terrible, but it's just the kind that makes you go, "I'll wait until spring or summer do do that/go there, when the weather in nice." Also, my husband is back on nights now. We went Tuesday-Saturday last week without seeing each other, although a big warm lump appeared in my bed around 9 am every morning. And yes, I sleep in past 9... ok I get up at 11 most days. I'm a night owl and have an afternoon class, so sue me.

Anyway, my reason for the comment above is that we haven't done anything too exciting lately. I took two of my classmates to Ikea on Saturday. Neither of them had left the city since they arrived in Germany, so they were really excited. I remember when Ikea was like the coolest place ever, now it's just like going to Target; which I guess is cool in it's own right, but I digress...

I just wanted to let you all know I'm doing something really cool this weekend. I'm so excited I can't even contain myself.

Here's a preview (ok, it pretty much says what I'll be doing):

Footsteps of the 82nd Airborne

Yes, that is a 24 km hike. I have not done much exercise in the past six months; I think I went to the gym four times- and two of those were to donate blood. This could get interesting.

Friday, February 18, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

1. What is your favorite MilSpouse blog (not including Wife of a Sailor who we all love, or your own)? submitted by Our Crazy Life.
Both of my favs have one thing in common, they are both talented photographers. Householddiva6 is one that I check pretty much every time she posts, and even though she doesn't blog much about military life, I love looking at the photos over at Bumbles & Light

2. What are your favorite perks about your s/o being deployed (we all know there are perks)? submitted by Ramblings of a Marine Wife
Fortunately, we've never had to experience one, and when he was at training, I lived with my parents and became pretty depressed... But I did get to go to New Zealand, which I probably wouldn't have done had he been home. So for me, I got a chance to do something crazy like travel to another country by myself. 

3. How long did you date your before getting engaged? Married? submitted by Utterly Chaotic
Took about five years to get engaged. For the married part, add two days to that, haha.

4. What do you think your would do if s/he wasn’t in the military? submitted by Adventures of M-Squared
Trying to still finish school with tons of debt and working part-time at Target. Honestly, I don't like to think about it, because he was just so lost before joining. He was unhappy with his major/career choice, and you could tell in his motivation. When he retires, his MOS translates well to the civilian world, so he's confident he'll find a job with the skills he has learned. 

5. If you could talk to the Secretary of (fill in your appropriate branch) what is one suggestion you would like to bring to their attention in order to improve the lives of military families?  submitted by My Life as His (Air Force) Wife
I don't really know. Let's face it, 40% of taxes go towards defense, how much more stuff do we need? And I really can't complain. But then again, we don't have kids, and I've finished school (for as much as I'd like to be right now anyway). I'm sure plenty of milspouse readers will disagree with me. 

Hum, I have one, I'd ask not to give my husband the extra military issued items I have to take care of and put away and that he'll never use. He works on computers, so a lot of the things he was issued just doesn't apply. Also, give my husband more reasons to wear his dress blues... let me explain.... He's been in for two years and has yet to wear them, even though he needs to keep them up to date, therefore spending money on changing the pins and ranks out, when some go unneeded. We could save some of that money, or even lower his clothing allowance, and saving everyone money. I know technically it's not much, but it does add up. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Class is looking better

I'm four days into German Class 3. The first day, the teacher laid down the law- no leaving to smoke, come back from the break on time, try to make it on time. So far it seems to be working. Some of the classmates I had in the last class that would leave a lot or had poor attendance have not come at all this week, so maybe they decided to take the class when they can put more effort into it.

We also have some new students in the class, and I'm happy to say they seem serious about learning the language. I noticed that there are two new girls who sit next to each other who don't know each other's languages (Polish and then English and Spanish), so they really make the effort to talk and work together in German. Having people who know more than me is encouraging, it's almost like a challenge to be as good as them and not be "the dumb kid."

I really would like to get out there and do some of the suggestions from the comments in my last post- and thank you by the way for your encouragement! It's just some days, after struggling with the language for four hours a day and then homework, all I want to do is sit at home with my husband and my cat and not have to concentrate on anything! I only have myself to blame for not taking advantages of opportunities to practice, but it will come.

In other news, Craig has a class this week on a regular schedule, so we have an entire weekend together. Of course instead of suggesting a romantic weekend away, I told him he should change the oil on my car on Saturday and invite a friend over who he hasn't seen in awhile. I'm just always so darn practical!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

German Class Update

Ok, this is mostly a rant. I don't expect anyone to really read it, just need to get my thoughts written down.

On Thursday and Friday, we took a test to track our progress. Because I'm taking a class geared towards foreigners moving permanently to Germany, no one really fails or gets held back. I wished they would, because I can think of at least one student that is always holding up the class. I sat next to her one day, and she just always seemed lost, and looking at my answers. It's getting on my nerves.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I'm good at reading and writing, bad at speaking. It was no surprise that I rocked it on the writing and reading parts (and did ok on the hearing too, surprisingly) and almost failed the speaking part. I got a 40 out of 45 on the reading/writing/hearing, and a 9.5/15 on the speaking. 

In fact, the teacher said that out of the class of about 15, only three people seemed to understand the letter writing part. I got a 10 out of 10 on that portion!

When we did the speaking part, she had us come to a room in groups of three or four. We got handed a card, and had to ask a question about the object on the card. She had me sit in position #1, so as soon as I got my card, I had to come up with a question. All the others in the group got a few minutes to think it over! And she never changed the order either. I'm slower when it comes to forming an answer, and I suddenly got very nervous that I was being asked to come up with an answer within seconds of receiving the instructions.

And of course I got put in a group with two people in the class that are really getting on my nerves, and although the one speaks well, he never really understands what's being asked of him, so I have to try to explain. And then he thinks I don't understand because I don't answer his question... it's a big mess really. And if I call him out on a wrong answer, he thinks he's still right. 

Earlier, this same guy laid into this other classmate for not coming to the first portion of the exam, even though he only comes to class half the time! And then he had the audacity to get up in front of the class while the teacher was testing another group of students and try to teach us German sentence structure, which he kept messing up. We kept telling him to sit down, but then he got mad that we were just sitting around and not learning anything, and starting yelling at us, "no one wants to learn here except D, " D being the one person answering his questions. What was I doing? The actual assignment the teacher gave us to do. 

I talked to the teacher after class (in English), and she and the other teacher agree that our class was the worst they have seen as far as leaving class to go smoke, lack of attendance, or returning late from the break. Also, there seems to be an overall lack of trying to converse. I guess I can get lazy with that at times too, considering since 3/4 of the class knows English, but I always try to answer the teacher using complete sentences and expending on what I'm saying, or trying to say new things when she asks what we do on our weekends or evening.

I really needed to get that off my chest. To complete all the modules, it lasts until June, and it looks like there's no breaks. I can choose to take off and restart anytime, but that leaves at least a month of me not doing anything. I may consider taking the morning class instead of the afternoon, I just don't want to leave the friends I've made and have gotten comfortable with helping each other. Well, it's the weekend now, maybe I'll have a new outlook come Montag. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

First off, I'd like to say "Hello" to all my new followers from the Blizzard Blog Hop! Thank you all for stopping on over. For those of you that don't know, MilSpouse Friday Fill-In was created by Wife of a Sailor to get to know our fellow military spouse bloggers out there.  I participate in most of the because it keeps me blogging on a regular basis.... and I like talking about myself. 

1. Since most of the country has had nasty weather, what has your weather been like this week?
It hasn't snowed in awhile here (just lots of rain) but we did get a dusting the same day all of the US got dumped on. It got really cold too. It could be tons worse, but I'm still ready for summer, or at least for the sun to come out!

2. What is/are your best money saving tip(s)?
Learn to make your own things, and know when it's not worth it. I only use coupons for toiletries, most of the food I buy doesn't have coupons for them anyway. Use cash most of the time. Read or listen to anything by Dave Ramsey. Learn to value experiences more than material things. Menu plan. Set a restaurant budget every month and make going out an experience, not just because you don't want to cook or didn't plan ahead. Buy quality made clothes so you don't keep buying shirts that get crappy looking after a few months. Be inspired by such people as Grocery ShrinkSmall Notebook, and Frugal Dad. Buy the generic version and see if it's good enough to make a swap. Become a Freecycle and Craigslist junkie, but only buy things you need, not what's just a good deal. If you get a chance to travel outside of the US, really take notice at advertising and how people live, you'll really get a different perspective about the buying process and marketing. Realize that a $50 bottle of shampoo won't make your thin hair thick, just call up your mom and blame her. 

3. What was your favorite vehicle you’ve ever owned?
I still have the very first car I ever bought. I bought my 01 Sunfire in 2005. So I guess it wins by default. She's getting up there in mileage though so we'll probably be getting rid of her in the next year or so... she's starting to become a money pit. Isn't it funny how I refer to my car as "she"?

4. What is a question you’d like to see asked in a future fill-in? (Your question & blog just may appear one week!)
I sent Wife of a Sailor this question already, but I can't think of a new one. I'm curious- what's the one movie you love and have seen so many times you can recite it word for word? 

5. Fill in the blank: You might be a MilSpouse if….
(I will be including some of your answers in a future post (with a link to your blog, of course!)

You might be a MilSpouse if... your drivers license is shoved in the back sleeve of your wallet because your military ID now has priority. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's on my SD Card

The past couple days, I've found my camera's SD card in my husband's computer. Out of curiosity, I checked to see what he was taking pictures of. Here's what I found:

I decided not to share the six other pictures of the cat, or the video of her playing with the blanket. I asked him about the picture of out our kitchen window, and he said on a message board he's a part of, there was a thread about posting outside your window. He thought people would be interested in seeing what Germany was like, but he sounded pretty crushed that no one commented on it.

When I said he should wait until the neighbors come by with their horses (which they do every day), he said that horses weren't interesting..... but apparently trash bins are exciting.