Goal Day

All I know about a “goal day” is that it means Doug doesn’t have to go to work.  Instead of letting him relax around the house, we went to the market in Sacile.  After all, he’s been here over 4 months and hasn’t been to a market!  Alyssa was off school because it was an Italian holiday, their version of Labor Day, so she came with us.  It was beautiful out.  Yes, there is actually sun in Northern Italy!  I’m sure come summer I’ll be complaining about the sun.  We walked around checking things out at first, and then stopped for gelato.  When we were done, we went back out and bought a flat of strawberries for 5 Euro (better than my last experience buying berries at the market!) and Alyssa insisted on buying some anchovies for us to eat.  I never did eat one, which really doesn’t upset me!

We stopped for lunch at Alle Forcate and Doug had a seafood pasta plate.  It was really good, and we discovered that Alyssa likes to eat octopus, calamari (squid), and mussels!  I had pasta with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper.  Yum!  Then we had to head home so we could be there in time for the boys to get off the school bus.  I kinda feel bad that they didn’t get to go with us, but every once in a while it’s nice to get that one-on-one time with each of them.


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Scouts-Flag Etiquette

Zach had a den meeting tonight.  We worked on flag etiquette and learned how to properly display a U.S. flag in various situations, how to raise and lower the flag properly, and how to fold a flag.  The boys got some hands on experience with folding the flag. 

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“Character Matters”

The third grade put on a school play called “Character Matters” in which fairy tale characters go to the Fairy Tale Advice Council to get help with their problems.  Brandon played the part of the Wolf, who is taught the golden rule so he won’t eat people.  Cinderella dealt with her anger issues, the mirrors on the wall learned to tell the truth even though the evil queen might smash them to bits, and Baby Bear learned to forgive Goldilocks.  It was a really cute play, I was very impressed with the writing and the humor.  Brandon was so excited to play his part as the wolf, and he did a really good job.

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Field Trip Acero Rosso

Today I went with Zach’s class to a farm in Sacile.  We went with another first grade class from one of the Italian elementary schools in Aviano.  It was raining (of course) so luckily they have a bunch of covered areas and we went into one where the cavallo (horse) was.  Each kid was given a picture of a farm animal and told (through translators, the guy at the farm didn’t speak any English) to make their animal sound and find all the other kids that were making the same sound.  We only had one problem, for a pig the American kids were all saying “oink oink” and Italian kids were all making a snorting sound lol.  A cultural difference probably no one has considered before!  They all managed to find their group and each group was pretty evenly split between the two schools.

We went into another area set up with tables.  There were tons of plants and that is when I wondered if this was more nursery than farm.  I wanted to go shop for plants instead of help with the kids lol.  The kids made a farm animal necklace/name tag and then drew a picture.  They talked about mammals vs. birds and then got to pet a 4 day old lamb and a 2 week old gosling.

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Then we went back where the horse was and they talked about the horse and how it was different than some of the other animals.

Then back to the nursery area and he brought out a rabbit.  I asked if they raised them to eat and they said no.  I think my landlords would be disappointed!

We boarded the Aviano scuola bus (our base tour bus was too big to get into the farm) and headed back out to our bus.  The Italian school bus was NOT comfortable at all, the seats were hard plastic and tiny (not meant for adult behinds I guess).  At least Alyssa’s bus out here in Caneva has padded bench seats.  Anyway, we headed off to Casa Bianca for lunch.  The kids had pizza, except for Zach, Mr. Food Allergy.  He had steak and fries.  And people feel sorry for him!!  I had the lasagna.  I am not sure what kind of cheese they use, but it is the BEST lasagna EVER.  Topped it off with a cappuccino.  Zach did miss out on the gelato but I told him he could have one of his allergen-free brownies when he got home from school.

Can you believe the first graders were better behaved than the third graders I went with yesterday?  And I also think the American class was better behaved than the Italian class.  It’s good to know kids are kids no matter where you go!


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Field Trip! Iron and Pasta

Brandon’s 3rd grade class went on a field trip today to visit a blacksmith and a pasta factory in Sacile.  I’m not sure if the two really go together, but it was an interesting trip!  We boarded the school bus (which here means European tour bus) and were off to Sacile, about 30 mins from base via slow bus.

First stop was the blacksmith.  I’d seen the shop several times as it is on SS 13, the main street through Sacile and Pordenone, but I didn’t know what it was exactly that they did there!  The guy was really nice, though I don’t think he spoke a word of English.  Brandon’s teacher, Mrs. Hernandez, did the translating so the kids could ask questions and understand what he was telling them.  He first sketched out a design, explaining to the kids that they do this to get an idea of what the customer wants and to make sure it will all come together nicely. 

picture to add

Then they do the actual iron work.  The kids were amazed by how hot the oven was.  He was telling them they used to use coal fires (like I used when I took Farrier Science, aka Horseshoeing 101, in college) but due to the health hazards of the soot they had to switch to gas ovens.  He made it look so easy, twisting and flattening and curling the hot metal.  Past experience making a horseshoe out of straight bar stock told me it was NOT that easy lol.  The business is a family business and I think he’s been working iron 20+ years.  He seemed to be about my age, maybe a little younger.  The kids seemed fascinated.

add picture of iron work samples

After we finished up there, we boarded the bus and headed to the pasta factory.  The guy at the pasta factory was a hoot.  He was great with the kids and seemed like it’d be fun to hang out with him and have a cappuccino lol.  He would try and say the ingredients in English (he didn’t speak a lot of English, but more than they blacksmith did) and the kids would say it back in Italian and it confused him for a second.  Anyway, he made gnocchi (potato dumplings) from scratch and in the machine and then he made pasta by hand and in the machines.  He made different types of pasta, tagliatelli (I think), spaghetti, raviolis (a few different shapes), and tortellinis (about 5 different styles).  I wanted to sample some, but they only sell wholesale to restaraunts around town.  We did get some dried pasta to take home and it was very good. 

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Then it was time for lunch.  We ate at Alla Forcate in Sacile.  I had a four cheese pizza w/out reading what the four cheeses were.  One of them was dark and moldy looking and VERY salty.  I guess I’ll stick with my Pizza Diavalo (usually marinara, mozzarella, and hot salami~~asking for pepperoni here will get you peppers, not meat!).  The kids all ate well and were quite noisy.  They even got gelato for dessert!  Then we boarded the bus and headed back to school.  I ran off to grab a cappuccino while waiting for school to let out and then I drove the boys home, kind of a treat since they usually ride the bus.

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Cub Scout Pack meeting

We had our Pack meeting out at what is referred to as “Area D”.  I am still not sure just how many “areas” there are to this base!  Anyway, the boys worked on their softball belt loops and then we had a BBQ.  It was really wet out (yeah, more rain!) but they did all right and since it didn’t actually rain on us, I tried not to complain.  I got a chance to chat with my other cub scout mom friends while the men all did the sports stuff.  Doug worked on catching and throwing.  They also worked on batting and rules of the game, then had a “game” if you can call it that when you only have enough people to field one team and rotate out who gets to bat! 

Zach had a big moment, he was awarded his Bobcat Badge.  They pin it on upside down and he has to do a good deed before I can sew it on right side up.  They also presented me with a Bobcat pin since I’m his adult partner.  I had to put mine on upside down and had to do a good deed to turn it right side up.  Lucky for us, it is TCT Sunday at church tomorrow (Tomorrow’s Church Today, the kids “run” the service, Zach will be workin Sound) and it’s my turn to teach Sunday school to the 4 year olds.  We’ll have those Bobcats upright in no time!

Once again, I’ll add pics when I get them edited and uploaded.

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Spring Break

We survived the boys’ Spring Break last week.  The weather turned yucky, lots of rain and very little sun, so we had to find indoor things to do (well, we did squeeze in the Aviano market on Tuesday but both of them left their jackets in the car so we had to cut it short).  So they did bowling camp 2 hours a day from Monday-Thursday, then we bowled again Friday AND Saturday.  My bowling muscles are still sore.  So are the ones I used in Pilates yesterday.  Ouch.

We also worked on Cub Scout stuff, we’ve only got a couple months left to get all of their requirements done so they can recieve their patches.  Zach I’m not worried about since he started his stuff back in September with the den in Texas, but Brandon just joined last month so we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us!

Yesterday we had a pretty good hail storm.  I think we’ve had hail more times here in the last three months than we would get in a year in Texas.  You could see the hail collected in the nets over the landlords’ garden in the back yard, but I was too tired to get up and take a picture to put in here.

Wish I had more exciting news to post, but there just isn’t much going on right now, especially with the weather keeping us housebound so much!


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