Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lunar Eclipse

Tonight, for the first time in over 450 years, there's a lunar eclipse on New Year's Eve. The next one isn't supposed to be for another 200 years or so. As we close out an amazing 2009 for our family with all of its ups and downs, and look forward to what's ahead, tonight's "show" in the sky reminded me of who is really in control and I'm so thankful for that. We look forward to 2010 and all that will come with it, and hope your New Year is filled with many blessings as well. Here's one of the shots I was able to get of it in case you missed it!

Monday, December 28, 2009

First ride on the bikes!!!

Well, we had a little rain around here, which was nice because it was actually warmer, so it melted the ice-rink we had out in back of our house. SO, we quickly went out this morning to test out the bikes! The girls were so excited to put their little helmets on, and get to it! There's some learning that has to be done, but they loved it and are looking forward to more!

Hannah gets on...all geared up!

She's ready to go!

Peddling hard...she's going to figure this out pretty quick!

Look at that smile! She loves it...and as you can tell, (Daddy's going to love it too with the steering/push handle built in)

Ok, so Hannah had just ridden down this hill, and Cailyn wanted to also...not a big hill, not going fast. But, it only took a second and a massive whip of the wheel to the left, and down she we've had our first fall. As you can tell, I was too slow...

And, of course, the tears...but we'll be ready to go another day!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas morning at the Deibel's house

Ok, so we have a couple videos of the morning that we wanted to share with our friends and family. The first is of the girls as they came down the stairs to see their stockings on the table...the excitement as they saw what they got is awesome! The video after is of the "big surprise" gifts we gave them. I've always looked forward to that Christmas when we'd give the kids their first bikes, so we snuck into the room we had them hid in, and taped their reactions...a sweet Merry Christmas at the end of that one from both of the girls. We do hope that you had a very Merry Christmas, and we pray many blessings on you, wherever you are, and we thank you for following our blog, supporting us with your thoughts, and all the blessings we have because of you, whether you're family or friend. Merry Christmas from the Deibel Crew!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Do you ever wonder...

...what happens just after a great adorable video is taken of kids singing a wonderful Christmas song for all their friends and loved ones to enjoy? Well...wonder no more! We present the "outtake" of the girls singing Away in a Manger...

Friday, December 18, 2009

...another sunset

As we get closer to Christmas, I'm amazed every day at how early the sun is going down, as I've said on here before. Well, today was an absolutely gorgeous day, so around 4:15, we raced down to the beach to see the sun setting. Glad we got there when we did! It was on it's way down, and we probably would have missed it had we got there too much later. I got several shots of it, but to me, this was the best of them...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

...for your Christmas spirit

Bed time at our house usually consists of a story, prayer and a song. Since it's Christmas, we've been doing Christmas songs, and one of the girls favorites is Away in a Manger. They've come up with some "sign-language" for it and sing it so sweetly, I just had to get it on video and post it for you all. So, from our family to yours, we're wishing you a great Christmas season! (by the way, I'm singing in it too, and my apologies...they were having a hard time staying focused the first couple tries so I had to help them get through the song. Enjoy anyway! LOL)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Santa's Lap!

On Sunday, our village had their local Christmas fair, held in Hannah's school. It was a great event, and probably 80% of the community showed up to it at one time or another. There were crafts for sale, cookies and things for sale, and of course, plenty of tea and coffee. All proceeds were going to Hannah's school for fund-raising purposes. We had a lot of fun talking with people we knew, meeting new people and just having fun. The girls got their faces painted (which they were VERY excited about!!) and of course, they got to meet Santa. Now, since I'm a former kid myself, and have seen many Santa's, I have to say, this was the coolest Santa experience I've ever seen! When we got into the gym, we gave the workers the kids name and ages, and paid our fee for the sitting. Once we finally were brought into the room, it was magical! It kind of made me think of a Haunted house or something the way the first room was darkened and decorated (like Christmas, not Halloween!) and you had to walk to different room where Santa was. He was sitting in his throne-looking chair flanked by a decorated tree and a mocked-up chimney. All done well, and not cheesy looking at all - you really felt like you were walking into a story-book! So, Santa asked the girls (mind you, this is all in Irish, so we'd done some practice before we went into the room) what they wanted for Christmas, and of course they told him. He went through the usual, "Have you been good" etc. and just complimented them on how sweet they were. Then, all of a sudden, down the chimney came 2 bags! One each with their name on them packed with a few age-appropriate gifts like a coloring book and markers for Hannah and a toy music player for Cailyn; and of course some sweets! Santa presented them to the girls, and wished us all a Merry Christmas, and out the door we went. It was SO fun! I'm sure that may be the longest Santa's lap-sitting story you'll ever hear, but to us, it was just very awesome, and the girls really loved it. Around our house (*spoiler alert*) we know that Santa is make-believe, but we do understand that there's a lot of fun in pretending. It was a great day out, and here' the picture they sent us home with of the girls sitting on Santa's lap.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stroll contintued...

Here's a few more pictures from our stroll the other night...

We had just come around from behind a house and the girls caught a glimpse of an airplane in the sky...

The sun-setting over the islands just off the coast

As we were walking back, the site of the sunset reflecting in the windows of the pub near our house was spectacular

And the favorite of the evening...the girls sharing a secret...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Evening Stroll...

One of the best parts about having the sun go down at 5pm is that the girls are awake for it. In the summer, it can be well past 11pm before it goes down, so it's virtually never dark for them. So, on clear days, we try to go out and walk and enjoy the cool evening air and see a cool sunset. While Jen was doing some stuff around the house, I bundled the girls up and we headed down a road near our house. It was a really fun walk, and I got some great shots of the girls...

Love the expression on Cailyn's face!

All of a sudden, they both had these blank stares on their faces...

What a cutie!

Sweet smile!

Trying to get some emotion in the photo-shoot, I asked Hannah to tell me about something at school...she was so into this story, and I got this when she was telling me that she got to go run in her little basketball room "2 times!!!"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree...

Well, we're all set for Christmas - we have a tree!!! It's a fake one, but that's fine because we've decided that those are simply easier to deal with. It's a gorgeous tree and we had so much fun putting it together! It really does feel like Christmas time now, and we love it! Here's some pictures of the event...

Before the ornaments go on...

Look at this one!!!

Handling with great care...

The stockings were hung with care...

Hannah got to hang the tree topper this year

All finished!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Couple pics of Hannah

I've had a couple of times recently out with the girls, though once was just with Hannah...I got a couple pictures of her I liked and wanted to share them with you...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Squaring Off

The other day a friend of ours was in town and I took him for a drive through the mountains near our house. As we were driving, we saw this monster ram (on the left) and thought it was neat, but then another ram came up to it and started to challenge it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

She's Hilarious!

One of our favorite things we've found about raising kids is just learning who they are as individuals. Hannah and Cailyn are so much fun and interesting. In so many ways, they're polar opposites, but they're also similar at the same time. Lately, one thing that's really been coming out in both girls is their sense of humor. Hannah is in school and we can tell that she's developing a social sense of humor and likes to joke around with her friends and with us. Cailyn though, her humor is a little more under the surface if that makes sense. Well, Jen was talking with her the other day and realized that she does impressions! Well, she does ONE impression - of her daddy. So, Jen pulled out the camera and got this footage of "Daddy speak." Enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2009


The other night, me and the girls and a friend went for a walk at about 4:30. Here at that time of day and this time of year, means sunsets. We're living in the middle of short days and darkness, but when we do get the chance to see the sun, it's pretty amazing. Here's a couple of shots of the sun setting over the bay.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Fall Colors

As we're moving into the winter time, the sky is growing very dark. Here, it's fully dark by 5:15, and over the next few weeks, that will get a little earlier even still. From our last post, you read that our favorite time is Fall. Not because of the impending darkness coming with winter, but because of the colors and beauty that is found. Plus, it holds the promise of rejuvenation that only comes from going through darkness. Here's a few pics from our trip to Colorado last fall. A couple of these may have been posted before, but they're worth seeing again if they were! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fall Colors

There's a consensus around our house that Fall is our favorite time of year because of how beautiful it is! Of course the other seasons are great too, but Fall is the best. The colors produced by falling leaves, the coolness of the air and the stillness that seems to come over life after crazy summers is great. Jen took this picture a couple weeks ago when she was out with one of our groups.

Friday, November 13, 2009


We were in the Cologne Cathedral recently and inside there were many candle set-ups, as you could imagine being a Catholic church. There's always something beautiful about candles I think...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Torrential Downpours

So, we had an interesting event the other day: It was the middle of the afternoon around the house. I was busy in the office doing some paperwork, Jen was doing some things around the house, Hannah was playing Indiana Jones on the Xbox (she loves that game!), and Cailyn was napping. When Jen decided that she needed to go to the store, I thought, "No problem!", so she leaves. within just a couple minutes, I hear Cailyn in the room right above the office starting to wake up. She sounds like something's wrong, which usually means that she's really ready to be out of her room. So, I send Hannah up to open her door, simply because that's usually all she needs and she loves it when Hannah gets her up from nap. The next thing I hear is Hannah coming down to tell me, "Daddy, Cailyn pottied in her bed," and she returns to the Xbox. (We'll hear from her later.) So I'm thinking to myself, "uh oh." Apparently my idea of letting Cailyn sleep without her trousers on was a bad idea because apparently she decided she didn't need her nappy either. And of course, there was a pool in her bed. Oh well...this stuff happens, and it's a part of her starting to potty-train, so I set out to take care of it. We have a little potty-trainer seat on the toilet, so I'm thinking she needs to get on that and make sure she's finished. Thinking she's ok doing that, I proceed to get sheets off the bed and find out what else was taken out with the mess. At this point, I hear Hannah cry out, "Oh no!" and then her feet patter into the bathroom downstairs. Since I have a load of sheets already, I decide to take them down and see what's going on with Hannah. Turns out the pee signal was still blaring in the house and Hannah had wet her pants while playing Xbox. Man...this just keeps getting better!! Well, in the mean time, I hear Cailyn starting to freak out upstairs, so I run back up there to see her now standing in the bathroom in the middle of another pool of pee just paranoid about the whole situation. To make matters worse, she now realizes that she was supposed to be on the toilet and turns to run the 5 feet to get on the toilet. The only problem was that she wasn't only standing on a tile floor, there was a plastic bag on the floor where she chose to pee. Inevitably, her first step was right on the bag. This made her foot slide right out from under her, and she fell back, landing right on her head. So, now she's laying in her own pee, freaking out and hurt. The poor girl! I picked her up, cleaned her up and put on a fresh nappy and some clean clothes while Hannah too got the same treatment, minus the nappy of course. All calmed down, sheets were ready to be washed, and life was normal again...for those 10 minutes, life was pretty crazy!! Life with kids...never a dull moment!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thatched Cottage

Jen took this shot of a thatched cottage.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Striking a pose

I was going through some old photos looking for anything interesting I could post and came across this one of the girls. We'd stopped by Trim Castle on the way back from Dublin, and we got this shot of the girls on the castle wall. Don't quite know what Hannah was doing, but I LOVE the pose Cailyn has!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bastogne, Belgium

On our last day in Germany, me and a couple friends took off on a road-trip - to Bastogne, Belgium. Anyone that knows me probably knows that I like WWII history, and being that close to where the Battle of the Bulge took place, I had to go. Overall, it was pretty awesome to be in a place that was so pivotal in history. We only had a little bit of time, so most of it was spent in a museum, which was awesome. They had tons of WWII equipment, documents, uniforms, and other great stuff on display. Someday I'd like to go back (especially since Jen didn't get to go with me) and see some more of what's around and check out the battlefields and all of that. It was a lot of fun though, and a great guys' road trip! Anyway, here's some pics of the day:

A tank from the battles sits in the City square - it was stuck in the mud when German anti-tank guns took it out. You can see the tank accurately marked as from the 11th Armored, 41st Battalion. On the side of the tank is still the hole from the 75mm shell that hit it and the back has a hole made by a German bazooka

In the museum, a German machine gun on display

A mock-up of an American Command Post

Again, they had tons of equipment from WWII on display. This was a shot I got of field dressings and bandages from the war

There are rooms set up to look post-battle in the museum. This was a piano that was torn apart during the German bombings as the "bulge" was made

Another destroyed room...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

City Street

City street in Aachen

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Fun!

Well, we survived another Halloween!!

Last year was pretty uneventful, since we were in VA and didn't have any costumey stuff with us. We were probably sick in some form or fashion, too! The 3 years prior to that, we were always at a church fall festival, so this year was our first year to go Trick or Treating!

Hannah: the angel; Cailyn: the princess

Not sure what Cailyn is doing, but she's in such stark contrast to Hannah, it cracks me up!

Sweet sisters playing

This is my attempt at a complete last-minute costume. We found out the day before Halloween that we were expected to dress up. I found this dress (and it's a real dress, not a costume! LOL) on the clearance rack (shocker!) and voila - cave girl was born! Seth went as a baseball player, and somehow managed to avoid having his picture taken!

The girls at their very first trick or treat door!

The hit of the night (other than candy) was our friends' new baby kitten...that poor cat was tortured all night by children under the age of 7!

Cailyn doing the cheese puff (aka fake cheeto) dance....I'm right there with ya', babe! I LOVE those things!

We played a bunch of traditional games. Here's Hannah on her first try bobbing for apples!

We also played Apple on a String, and a traditional Irish game I'd never heard of. You get three dishes and put water in one, a ring in another and some dirt in the third. Then one person gets blindfolded and the bowls are moved around. The blinded person then picks one bowl. Each one represents a different fate. The water represents travel abroad; the ring is marriage and the dirt is death (though, when the kids played it we said the dirt meant you will either be or marry a farmer LOL). We had a great time hanging out with our friends. It was a great night and we all had a blast...though I think next year I'll just wear my jammies and be a baby for my costume! My hair STILL hurts. :o)