Since there is always so much going on, I decided that there needed to be a place for family to go, to keep updated with the Kuhlest Family around!!!! This will be that place. I usually send out long emails about once every six months to let you know whats been going on, and what there is to come, but I thought this might be a more fun and interesting way to keep up. And maybe, just maybe, I will update more than once every six months!!!!! Hahahahahaha!! I will still probably send emails to let you know when I update, but feel free to drop by anytime! We love you guys!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sprechen Sie Deutsch

The Kuhlest Family in America is about to become the Kuhlest Family in Germany! Yep, you read right....Germany. The details are a little hazy right now, but it looks as if we will be venturing there around July 2010. We will be living there for about three years. We will try to make it back to Nebraska as often as possible, but seeing as plane tickets are expensive (especially when you have to buy 5 of them), that won't be as often as we would like.

Please be praying for us as we make all of our decisions in this matter, as well as getting ready, travel, and living arrangements when we arrive. There are so many things to think about regarding this BIG move!

In this wake of events, we have decided to come home around Christmas to spend some time with family and friends. We realize that this is a very busy time for all of you, but hope that you all will be able to hang out with us during this time! Unfortunately, we are only able to take a minimal amount of stuff with us to Germany. For those of you that have helped us move in the past, you know that we have WAY TOO MUCH stuff! For Christmas this year, we hope that you would help us out by not buying us any Christmas gifts. Instead, there are so many things you could do for us for Christmas this year!

As I mentioned before, you can pray for us. You can also help us out by spending your quality time with us! We need all the support you can give! Another thing you can do is send the kids letters while we are over there. I am sure this will help support them while in another country and give them a connection to all the family and friends we have back in the states!

The Army will be paying for the move and travel to Germany, but we know that there are many unexpected costs of a move, and we can't even imagine what an overseas move will entail. Therefore, I have decided to do Pampered Chef so that I can hopefully bring in a little extra cash over the next eight months, without having to be away from the house and family as much as a regular job. Also, I can still do Pampered Chef in Germany to continue bringing in an extra income.

The kids are doing very well. Jonah is an excellent student in the 2nd Grade, and it looks as if he will actually get to finish the entire school year at one school! His favorite subjects are science, gym and music. His teacher tells me that he is always off in his own world, and I said....that's no surprise to us! He has such an active imagination, and is always inventing new games or things to play. He is always running around the house as a super hero or singing away the day! He is becoming more independent every day. Over the summer he learned how to ride his bike without training wheels. He also has finally accomplished tying his own shoes! I guess mom and dad bought him way too many slip on shoes!

Avalyn has become quite the school lover over the past few weeks. Just just started preschool here and just can't seem to get enough! She loves her teachers and her new friends! She comes home talking about all the playtime, painting, and quotes her teacher quite often! She is still in love with her Aunt Ashley's boyfriend, Sean, but she has also found new love.....a neighbor boy her age, Geoffrey. If she is not at school or in sleeping, she is asking to have him over or to go over to his house to play.

Zella has become quite the performer. She is constantly asking Daddy to sit down and play the guitar. She dances around singing withe Daddy and loves every minute of it. She also prefers music channels to cartoons....such as Fuse or Palladia that she also watches with Daddy! We are still working on potty training, but is getting better and having fewer accidents. Now, if we could just get all the way there, we could be a completely diaper free family

Friday, June 26, 2009

You know you're slacking...

...when it has been almost a year since your last update!

We are halfway through the year 2009, and so much as happened since the last time I wrote. Justin is now home from Iraq. In April, we packed up our house in Omaha, Nebraska to meet him here in Fort Drum, New York where we are now living in a wonderful 4 bedroom house on post. It has been a lovely summer so far, barely hitting the 80's. In fact, it is excellent weather for camping! With so many beautiful places to go, it is hard to decide where to go. So far we have camped in the Catskill Mountain area, and the Thousand Island area. The Thousand Island area is home to the Boldt Castle, a stunning castle on an island in the middle of the seaway to Lake Ontario.

Jonah has just completed an extremely long 1st grade school year, as he started on August 18, 2008 in Omaha and finished here at Fort Drum on June 24, 2009. He has had an excellent year excelling in reading, math and science. His favorite subjects reading and science. He is very interested in the environment, animals, learning how things work. He is very excited to visit Washington DC in a couple weeks on our family vacation. It couldn't be a better time to visit as the movie "Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian" has just come out! We will be spending two weeks there with the Lawson Family and then driving back to Nebraska for another two weeks to visit friends and more family! The top of his list of at home activities is......video games! His favorite is Spiderman; Web of Shadows. He also loves bowling, whether at the bowling alley or on the Wii at home. And he is pretty good at it...he kicks all of our butts anyway!

Avalyn will be turning four in a few weeks! She is getting ready for the possibility of preschool and hopefully some dance classes. She is learning so much these days. She recognized her numbers and a few letters, knows her basic shapes, and colors beautiful pictures! She absolutely loves to color and paint. Big brother also tries to teach her things he has learned in school as well as the video games he loves. They also suit up in costumes daily and sometimes hourly, running around the house, fighting and shooting bad guys.

All of our kids enjoy music, but I don't think Zella could go a day without it. When a beat comes on that she likes, she immediately jumps up and dances. It has become a daily ritual for her to sit with Daddy and watch music videos. A good song could change her mood from completely grumpy to the happiest two year old on the planet. She turned two on April 23, and is getting bigger everyday. We now have to lock every door that we don't want her to get into. She is in her very own BIG girl bed, and has been working very hard at using the BIG girl potty. Though it is sometimes hard to understand her, she is speaking fairly well. Two of my favorites are "pillow" which means blanket, and "milky" which means drink.

One of the things that the kids and I are enjoying this year is a garden. We planted a bunch of veggies in our side yard and a flower bed in the front. The kids have had a blast watering and watching it grow before their very eyes. One plant in particular is a Sunflower which has grown tremendously since we planted it. We actually got this Sunflower from our housing community who gave them out to our neighborhood to have a Sunflower growing contest. Judging by the size of ours compared to our immediate neighbors, we might just have a chance! :)

Justin has been having a great time as a Broadcast Journalist for the Army. He enjoys it very much. This is something that we are both very grateful for. He has had the opportunity to shoot footage for "One tank trips," which are stories about things to do and places to visit on one tank of gas. So far he has gone fishing, the Utica Brewing Company tour, and the Howe Caverns tour. He goes on these outings and others to shoot video footage and the comes back to the studio to edit and put it into a story that is featured on a local television station. His Utica Brewing Company story is featured under the May 29th episode link on this page: http://www.drum.army.mil/sites/installation/pao/DrumTv/

We look forward to seeing friends and family the last two weeks in July, so keep your calendars open and invite us over for dinner! ;) Miss you all! Take Care!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where's the man of the house gone?

Back in the beginning of May, Justin stepped on a plane heading from Fort Drum New York to the hot sandbox once again. And just a day later, his three kids and wife stepped onto their red Dodge Caravan and loaded uhaul trailer driving to good ole Nebraska once again.

We have since then, found a wonderful rental house in midtown Omaha to call our very own. It is a beautiful 5 bedroom house which is good for cleaning up toys (again and again), 2 car garage which is great for all that crap we don't use, finished basement (our drinking and game night headquarters), and complete with a fenced in yard for mowing and mowing and mowing. We decided that we couldn't do all that work on our own, so we invited my sister, Ashley to live with us!

We have been doing plenty of things to keep busy. We went camping to Okoboji for 10 days with the Lawson family and the Loftis family, and have gone swimming a few times at the Fremont Lake and other pools, gone bowling, to the zoo, celebrated Avalyn's 3rd birthday and Jonah's 6th birthday, and gone on walks (we actually discovered that we live only a few blocks away from a castle!) We are also going to Lifelight, a christian music festival in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This will be the third time we have gone.

Jonah lost his FIRST tooth on his FIRST day of school of FIRST Grade. He is attending Dundee elementary, and loves it...so far.

Ava has learned to use the potty, well, most of the time! HOORAY! Of course, as I was trying to get her enthused, I kind of mentioned that she couldn't go to school till she was a BIG girl and pottied in the BIG potty chair. hmmmmm, where can a three year old go to school???? We are going to put her in Dance School, think that will work? haha!

Zella, well, she is busy throwing tantrums. She may not have red hair, but she is my redhead! She also communicates very well, in another language. I'm not quite sure which one exactly, but she speaks it very well. We will have to work on her English as she only knows a few words like hi, bye, and no.

Well, now that I have given you a look into the Kuhlest world at the moment, I am off to get that cleaning and mowing done! Hope everyone had a great summer!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the BIG apple

Three days, three kids, and one BIG city! I'm sure New York City can be overwhelming to just about anyone, but add three kids, walking....everywhere, early mornings and late nights in a city that just about never sleeps, and you get three zombies that will suck the life right out of you!

But we had an amazing time despite the cranky "I want my lollipop!" at the top of the Empire State building. If you think that being 1250 feet high on the 102nd floor would make a kid speechless,you are totally wrong. Come on kids!!!! Look at all the HUGE buildings and tiny cars that stretch as far as the eye can see!!!! Isn't that cool!!??? I mean, who else can say they went to see New York City at age 5/2/1?

You know what caught their eyes tho? The huge LED signs and billboards that lit up Times Square! Now that plus the hustle and bustle of the city made the whole trip worth it. I am so happy we ended up getting a hotel on Times Square, despite the contemplation of getting a cheaper one in Queens or Newark. Even if it was $380 a night!

And the runner up is.....drumroll......the 3 level TOYS-R-US store!!!!! Who would have thought? With a giant 60 ft indoor Ferris wheel, a two-story Barbie doll house, LEGO Empire State building, LEGO Statue of Liberty, and a 20 ft. high T-Rex dinosaur. Of course there was the Candy Land store too! Yum!

One of the most anticipated things to see was the Statue of Liberty. The kids, at least the older two, have been talking about it nonstop since they found out we were going to NYC. Of course, it was the one thing we did not see (close up anyway). They ended up closing the tours early the day we wanted to go. So we got the Battery Park view.

Going to Mars made it all okay though. What!?! You say? Mars? Yes! We went to Mars! We had to ride a spaceship to get there of course! The restaurant Mars 2112 was an awesome place to take the kids. As you walk in a flight attendant shows you to your seat in the space ship and you get ready for take off. It was quite a bumpy ride getting there,but well worth the trip to Mars. Red Rock, aliens, and of course other humans were there to greet you upon arrival. Unfortunately we had to get back to Earth shortly after our meal, but we did manage to play some arcade games before we went back.

The big hit with mom and dad...the Double Decker bus tour! A break from carrying kids all over NYC! A kind of relaxing way to enjoy the sights and listen to the history of biggest city in the US.

All in all, it was an amazing place to visit, and I can't wait to go again. Although, I think it will be without kids the next time! Any volunteers for babysitting??!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Miss Z is walking

Today is the day for walking! She has taken many steps here and there, but mostly one or two at a time, until today! She took off walking across the room! She is so adorable. When she starts to get wobbly she runs!

Miss Z will be turning 1 on the 23rd this month!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Interesting Watertown History

This will be a short post, but as I was looking at the history of this town, I came about something fun and interesting. Mr Frank W Woolworth, founder of the "Five and Dime" opened his first store in Watertown, NY. Here is a picture of his store in Watertown, NY in 1905:

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Friday, March 7, 2008

the beautiful state of New York

We have arrived in the wonderful state in which we will be living for the next couple months.....New York. We will also move back here when Justin gets back from Iraq in August of 2009. That is, of course, only a guesstimate of how long his tour in Iraq is supposed to last. As for New York, we are living in the town of water. Watertown, NY. I guess you could say this town sees a lot of water, in the frozen form of course. Snow......and lots of it.

So we have converted from a life of warm, to a life of cold, from one of the southern most states, to one of the northern most....especially since we live in northern New York. In fact, we live less than an hour away from Canada. We expected to come here and hate it, when in fact, we have decided that we actually like it. Very small town feeling, but with over 27,000 people. There is also so many places to drive to that are very close. A drive to the Great Lake of Ontario is less than 15 minutes away. The Adirondack Mountains are about an hours drive, Niagara Falls are about 3 1/2 hours away, and New York, New York is about 5 1/2 hours away.

Last week we visited Madison Barracks, an old army post with barracks from the early 1800's. It was definitely a sight to see, some of the buildings were built into beautiful apartments. We considered living there, but they are just far enough away from Fort Drum that we decided to stay in Watertown. Go to http://www.geocities.com/lakeforts/Madison_Historic.html to see old pictures of the historic post, and to http://www.geocities.com/lakeforts/Madison_Barracks.html to see the modern day pictures.

The kids seem to like it here. I can't blame them. I'd love all the snow too. We went to go see the Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay, NY and Avalyn fell in love. Now she can't stop talking about "her" Cinderella castles. She has been such a girli girl lately. She loves dresses, pink and anything princess-like. She even thinks that there is a castle right across the street from where we are living....it is a huge old church....hahahahaha! She is in heaven! We live in part of an old house here. It is absolutely gorgeous. It has wood floors, huge windows, 12 ft ceilings, the old radiator heating systems, and beautiful woodworking.

Well, this old house could use some cleaning, so I guess I will stop for now. Just thought I'd let everyone know that we are having a blast up here in New York! Take care!