The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hiking on the coast of Randaberg

The sun was shining this morning. That is such a rarity here! We were further excited to have the sun STILL shining once church dismissed. We hurried home and ate lunch and packed the cameras and hiking boots in the RAV4 to try and see some of the land in the light. Tim stayed home to work on homework but the rest of us clamored into the car to head on out. We decided to go up the coast a wee bit north of Stavanger to Randaberg. We went to the very northwestern coastline to see the North Sea in all its natural beauty on a calm, sunny day. (it's been really windy and wet here...for about 9 months now) :o) The clouds had moved in by the time we arrived, but we stayed dry (at least those of us that stayed out of the way of the crashing waves did) and enjoyed a couple of hours just walking outside in the fresh air. Lily was a trooper and walked the whole time. She did take us by surprise when we got back to the car two hours later. She pointed at a patch of grass and said, "Lily go potty right there!" With some clothing alterations and help with positioning, she did just that. I think this diaper-free thing is finally sticking. I am not encouraging her to pee in the grass for all you nay-sayers out there. Just not pee in her pants. :o)
We had a great day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Plodding along...

Sorry it's been awhile since I have written...I hosted a Chinese New Year-themed party (yes, I know CNY isn't until Feb 7th) here at my house for 20 American NATO women. It was a lot of fun but a lot of work as I made dinner (Asian food mostly) for everyone. Although the tiny paper lanterns are still hanging in my dining room, I feel some closure and can now start moving forward to the next big thing. (Going to Aberdeen, Scottland to cheer on the ISS boys JV basketball team! Go Vikings!) I even bought a ridiculous plastic Viking hat to totally embarrass Joe with. :o)
The kids are doing well. Lily was all dolled up in her Chinese silk attire last night. The pant suit she was wearing used to look so big. It may fit through the summer but I will need to start scoping out Chinese dresses to buy for her as that was the biggest we got in China. Rich is also doing fine. He has a bit of a respite this week because his boss is gone for the week. That is allowing him to come in a wee bit later in the mornings and leave much earlier.
I wanted to share some pictures that my father-in-law took while here and some that Tim took as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January marches on....

Nothing of note has been going on with the Messina family as of late. The boys went back to school on January 8th but Tim lasted only one day back. He came home that day (a Tuesday) and went to bed. He got up for short meals and bathroom breaks but didn't get up for longer than 20 minutes until late Thursday night. He had been out for 30 hours! Poor kid was so sick he really had no symptoms except a fever, sore throat and headache. Once he was finally vertical, he started coughing and his nose it was just a horrible, horrible cold. He has been out of school for a week now. He goes back tomorrow for the first time. He's been out of school for over a month now, minus that one day he went back!
Joe is looking forward to going to Aberdeen, Scotland for a basketball tournament in February. Happy news...I am going too! A lot of the parents decided to go and support their boys and I jumped on the bandwagon! Rich is going to stay home from work for a day to spend the day with Lily and get Tim off to school and then a middle school dance that night. I hope to come back hoarse from cheering and with some good friends.
Lily is doing FABULOUS with her potty training. She is just so thrilled to be wearing "big girl panties" and is wiling to tell just about anyone about it. Considering the girl drinks like a fish, I am proud to say she has only had one accident and that was in the first few days. Since then, no problems! Yay!
On January 12th, Stavanger, Norway held the opening ceremonies for the 2008 City of European Culture. Stavanger and Liverpool, England were both awarded this prestigious title. The king and queen of Norway were on hand to see the festivities downtown. We (minus Tim) went on the city bus to Stavanger sentrum and watched the various shows and then the fireworks display on the harbor. It was the most expensive fireworks display ever let off in Norway. It was a brisk night but thankfully, no rain. Lily did, however, get to pee in the grass for the first time (I am sure she did it all the time in China) but it was sure fun to unravel her little body from a snowsuit, clothes, long johns, etc, to have her practically naked. I told her to pee on the grass and she just looked at me and said, "Potty here?" It all worked out nicely and thankfully she was quick about it as there were about 100 people at the bus stop waiting for the next bus back to our town of Sola. We managed to get her back together and all of us onto the next bus home. It was, however, somewhat of a right of passage (that I hope to not have to repeat very often if ever again). :o)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Voting Excitement

One of the nice things about having Rich's parents here the last few weeks was to discuss American politics. Rich and I have lived overseas for almost 3 years and we do not get TV or radio advertisements with our Armed Forces Network coverage. We actually here very little about the day to day goings on in the political arena unless we actually research it online. My parents-in-law happen to be from New Hampshire. They have been getting bombarded daily (to the near point of harrassment) from the various candidates running for the presidential nomination. It was interesting to be able to hear about the commercials and the ads that we don't have access to. This is going to be a pivotal election for our great country. The next leader has a lot to do for our country and for the world. I hope you are registered to vote and will do your homework before casting your ballot. Exercise your freedom to voice your opinion by voting....that's why our military serves as they do....not because of the pay (okay, all of my military friends just let out a huge snicker at that comment) but for the freedom to have a choice in the direction our country is heading. Happy primary voting!

Lily turns 3!

Lily turned 3 years old officially today. We didn't leave the house today due to the very high was really windy all day with sustained gusts from 25-40 mph for the last 30 hours. It's enough to really make the house very cold. Even the boys thought that one of the big picture windows was going to break because it was moving so much with the wind.
Lily kept warm by wearing her Halloween costumes today over her clothes. She wore her Tigger outfit for several hours and then her bunny outfit. She is doing really great with her toilet training...diapers are only for when she is sleeping now. She is so funny...she is constantly murmuring to herself, "Pee in big girl panties, NOT!" She lived in Japan for less than a year but she has started talking as if she is directly translating the Japanese language. Rich says she sounds (and sometimes even looks) like Yoda. :o)
I have some great video to upload to the site here but have not been able to do so for months now, which is frustrating. Instead, you'll have to do with some pictures. The picture with her big slippered feet is to show you how much she has worn these Elmo slippers from her cousins. She has several large holes on the bottom of each one of them!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thanks for the visit!

Nana and Nano are sitting on a plane getting ready to take off from our home in Sola, Norway and on to Amsterdam then Boston. They were here nearly 2 weeks and we hope they were able to enjoy their grandchildren and take a well-deserved break from their business. These pictures were taken a couple of hours ago, as they were leaving.

Happy Birthday Lily!

Lily's legal birthday is January 4th, but we celebrated a couple of days early so Nana and Nano Messina could be here for the festivities. She had a good time blowing out the candles (twice) and then eating the cake she helped me make. Her snowman dress was a gift from Nana and Nano. She received a Bitty Baby (American Girl doll) from her Grandma and Grandpa Neitzke along with several handmade outfits to change her into and out of. The doll's name is Suzie. She received another doll with a bottle and pacifier from her Auntie Tammie. That doll is named Emma (after her Argentine friend she sees a couple of times a week.) From her mommy and daddy and brothers, she got a big doll house and furniture and even a car to go along with it. She thinks that is pretty cool and I think we'll be spending many fun hours playing with that dollhouse and family. She woke up this morning asking about Suzie, Emma and her doll house. :o) Her best gift was one to us...she gave up her diapers (except for sleeping time) four days ago. She's doing great wearing her big girl panties and now we are trying to figure out how to keep up her pants with her tiny Chinese hiney. :o)

Happy 2008!

We went on a couple of hikes on New Year's Day. It was clear and sunny (a rarity this year) but chilly. We went hiking near our house overlooking Hafrsfjord and then to Dalsnuten. Here are some of the pictures. The one of Lily laying down is her making a Jack Frost Angel...we don't get a lot of snow here but we get a lot of heavy hoarfrost that never melts during our short days.