Friday, October 31, 2008


So, we had a pretty obvious theme for Halloween this year. It was all thanks to A. who fixed on a Darth Vader costume. From there it was pretty easy to convince I. to join the theme, and there we had it. Of course, after that I figured they had better watch the movies so they would know something about their costumes. Believe it or not, that was the first time they saw the movies.

I ended up having to borrow a sewing machine for the project since every costume had to be adjusted when they came in the mail. I.'s looked nothing like the picture they had posted online and was so hideous that we had to do some major reconstruction before I would let him wear it. I could have fit two of me in the original "one size fits all" Leah costume. A.'s just needed some hemming. D.'s was the real challenge since all male Star Wars costumes are either a tunic with lines painted on to show there should be three layers, or it costs $800. We opted to make a costume, but getting fabric here is quite a challenge and I didn't have time to buy anything online. Luckily a girl had some leftover fabric she brought with her from the states that she donated. To die the white fabric, we bought some tea since we knew that would give it a nice natural color. When I. went with me to the store to buy the tea he was very concerned and asked, "Mom, does God know what we're doing?" It was so cute! I explained to him that, yes, God knew what we were doing and that even though we don't drink tea, it still has some very good uses, such as dying fabric.

I love this picture of I. because it looks like it's Photo Shop-ped, but it's not! He was running down the hall and I was trying to tell him to turn around so I could get a picture. Instead, he just leaned his head way backward, and this is the result.

Okay, you have to admit it, K. is the cutest X-wing fighter pilot ever!!!

We even carved pumpkins. We actually haven't done this for quite a while (because of moving and things), and the kids were ecstatic! Because of safety reasons, though, while we are living here, we are supposed to do all we can to NOT make it obvious that we are American. Thus, no putting out jack-o-lanterns on the front porch. We put the pumpkins outside for this picture only.

This picture had to be added, just because. It is amazing the costumes A. puts together when you're not looking. Here is is wearing my boots from the Leah costume, I.'s Jedi belt, and the scabbard from his sword. Looking good!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

K.'s a Walker

It finally happened, K. decided to walk! We are all very, very excited. Of course, this now means he is a walking menace leaving pure chaos in the wake of everywhere he goes, but we love it. And also, of course, he started walking those first few steps while D. was gone on one of his many TDYs (i.e. it was around late Aug that this all happened). So here we have a video from when he first started walking, and then a clip a little later to show his progress. He still wouldn't pass a drunk driving test since he can barely walk in a straight line, but it's so fun to watch he waddle like a penguin. (It's his enormous budda belly that runs interference with his balance :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Coming Home in STYLE

So, as you all know, D. is gone a lot. . . .but there are some advantages. I.e., getting special permission for you and your kids to go onto the flightline (a normally totally restricted area) and see your husband roll up in the back of a F-16. We even had to get a special form signed to allow me to take pictures. So here are the fruits of that!

A. waiting with his ear protection.

D. coming in on his sweet ride!

D. de-boarding. It's a little different than your standard flight.

You can see how much we miss our daddy when he's gone.

Even K. had ear protection on.

After getting a tour of the plane, A. decided to try his own wings.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

K.'s Many Adventures

So D. is out of town, so of course lots of fun stuff have been happening on the home front. K. decided to learn how to climb a ladder--unfortunately it was up a ladder into someone's back yard above ground pool. I came outside to find him at the top of the ladder looking down into the water. Thank goodness I came out when I did--it scared me half to death to see him there.

Then he flooded our bathroom by putting a roll of toilet paper into the bidet and turning the water on. There was several inches of water in the bathroom by the time I realized what was happening. He was in there sliding around on him tummy having an absolute ball! It's a good thing our whole house is tile flooring--it makes for easier clean up.

There have been many other adventures, but the only other one I'm going to mention is his back flip off the couch. I think he was just trying to lean up against the edge of the couch, but ended up going over and landing on his head. Of course it was right before bed time and like I said, D. is out of town, and I couldn't get a hold of him. I read a lot online about what to do (since going to the Pordenone Italian hospital wasn't exactly anything I wanted to do) and ended up just keeping him up for observation for another hour and then checking on him every couple of hours during the night. He was fine, but it's probably the best goose egg any of our children have ever gotten. Now that it's a few days later, the color is really starting to show and he was the most popular person at church with everyone wondering what had happened. I took a picture, but it really doesn't do justice to what it really looks like. If you look closely, you can see the little racoon bruises on the inside of his eyes.

The first day after.

Today now that the color has begun to come in.

Ode to Summer

The summer has basically ended for us. I. started school on the 25th of Aug, (above is his first day of school) but he will be transferring to the Italian school on the 8th of Sept when that starts. Yes we have decided to take the plunge and put I. in the Italian schools--although we haven't told the American school yet, so I'm not sure what resistance we are going to find because of his speech therapy needs. Anyway, back to the ode to summer. We got a new camera that is waterproof and we have been able to take some fun pictures. Here are a few for your enjoyment.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blog Alert

Apparently I blog in spurts, so scroll down and search older posts, because I just added a bunch! I post them according to when they happened, not when I added them, so make sure to look around!

2 Big Announcements

Announcement 1:
The Hatcher bed and breakfast has been open for a while, but considering the lack of customers, we felt we needed to advertise. So while we thought we would be here for a full 4 years, there is now the chance that we will be here only 1 more (i.e. moving next June). We will not find out until December if the move will happen, but we wanted to let everyone know in case they want to make some plans. The bed and breakfast is spacious, with plenty of room for visitors, some meals included, and a nightly fee you can't surpass (free), and only an hour from some great places like Venice! (For example, airfare right after Thanksgiving is amazing into Venice, and we usually have pretty good weather then.) We really do welcome anyone who would like to come for a visit. If you know how to contact us, you can make a reservation.

Announcement 2:
We have begun the process of adding to our family again. Except this time, it is through adoption! We have already completed our home visit and are in the midst of piles of paperwork that typify the adoption experience. We have decided to adopt a child from Ethiopia and are really excited for the future. The adoption process is a long one, so we are not expected to add to our family for a least 6 months up to a year, and possibly more (although not likely with Ethiopia which has a great adoption program in their country). So if you start to see me add things about Ethiopia, you will understand why that is constantly on our minds. This is one of those things that we have been very strongly prompted by the Lord to pursue--a surprise even to ourselves--and a decision we hope you will all support us in. We will try keep everyone up to date as things progress.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How Much We Love Mommy--Or a Typical Day in the Life

I think the video says it all. I love my boys!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I. the Water Fiend

I. has always loved the water. Now that we have a water faucet at his disposal, I. is out there playing with the water almost everyday. This is I. after church on Sunday.

We do have to mention that A. and K. are fascinated by the water just as much. In fact, any time that the door is left open, K. makes a mad dash for the outside. He loves being out there despite all the things his brothers subject him to (he is usually the wettest one of the three when out there with the hose).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Taste of Italy

Watch the video first, then read.

Of course when you first hear the music, see the truck, you think "Ice Cream Truck." Not in Italy. This is the dry-cleaners. Yes! Our neighbor is one of their customers (one day I hope to get a video of my neighbor exchanging clothes). So they play the music really loud to let their customers know they are outside, then wait to see if anyone comes out. If not, they lower the music and drive on to the next place. I think if I wanted to, I could run out with my clothes to be dry-cleaned, just as long as I don't ask for any gelato with my shirt.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Some Family Photos

A good friend of mine was kind enough to take some pictures of our family, since it is really hard to get nice photos out here. These are some of the results.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A's Clothes

A is a curious little boy who loves to dress himself, although you can't always be sure of what you are going to get when he comes out "dressed." He also has begun helping quite a bit more around the house, not that I mind. When the two get put together, it gets pretty interesting.

Monday, June 30, 2008

K's Birthday

K turned 1 on the 30th of June! We can't believe a year has passed already! Here is a video of him right after he opened the present sent by his Grandma and Grandpa Hatcher. It was a simple party with just us, a gelato cake, and a few presents. K was very confused by us suddenly telling him to rip paper where we normally tell him not to.

Monday, June 16, 2008


From 6 months to 10 months, K did the "caterpillar crawl." It was really funny. I thought he was going to go from the crawl to walking, but he suddenly decided he wanted to check out this normal crawl thing, and that's what he's been doing lately. I guess he figured he didn't like being on his belly quite so much.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Asilo End of School Concert

At the end of the school year, the Asilo held an end of year concert and ceremony for those kids moving on to elementary school. A had missed a few days of school the previous week, so he seemed a little dazed and confused, but was totally cute nonetheless. He is sitting in the front row with green pom-poms if you have a hard time finding him. While we have a hard time getting him to speak Italian, and I know he doesn't speak much to his teacher either, when we do get him to say a few words, he says them in a perfect Italian accent. We are all working on speaking more Italian in the home.


June 31st found us in Pisa and Tuscany for the weekend. Dan had a 3-day weekend and we decided to make the most out of it. We headed down to Pisa and checked out their tower.
The Baptistery followed by the Cathedral and the leaning tower in the back.

We started our tour in the Cathedral.

The boys inside the Cathedral. It was quite the experience with a real human skull on display and various graves inside. I and A wanted to put up some candles like they saw other people doing, so we had to try to teach them a little theology.

We went into the Baptistery next. We would have started here, but it was actually being used . It was neat that they still use these buildings for their original purpose. The picture is looking down into the center of the Baptistery from the second level. While we were up here a man came and stood right in the center and started singing a chant. The acoustics and echo in that building are amazing!!! On the way back down the stairs a man was chanting softly so A took up the chorus. The echo in the stairwell made quite a neat effect and he was quite a hit with the other visitors.

I sitting on one of the Saint markers inside the Baptistery.

Also, while on the stairs to the second level of the Baptistery, we found the really neat bell. K especially was enthralled.

What the boys really enjoyed doing--feeding pigeons out of their hands.

Finally we visited the tower!

You have to be 8 yrs or older to climb to the top of the tower, so I headed up there by myself. As you go up, the stairs keep getting smaller and smaller.

Here I am at the top trying to take a picture of myself. You go up and think you are a high as they'll let you go, and then you climb up some more. On my tour, there were several people who suddenly realized they were afraid of heights because they started crawling on their hands and knees. It was pretty silly.

Me and then D in front of the tower. This is actually from the less photographed side, so I don't think you can see the lean so much. It's hard to get the whole family in a photo without making a fool of yourself. We tried a little before deciding to take seperate shots.

K after a long day of sightseeing.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


After visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and after an afternoon nap, we then headed to Carrara which is about 45 min north of Pisa.

This looks like a snow covered mountain, but don't be deceived. They call it the marble mountain--that's marble you see, not snow.

There are marble caves everywhere and we decided to stop at one that said it had a tour. It was just a guy who gave us a tour of his own quarry. It cost us 10 euro for the family, and we got a personal tour and it was so neat!! His family has had that quarry for almost 1000 yrs (although my memory has faded, so I might be off a little). He told us all about the history of that area and it's marble, how they used to cut marble, and how they do it now. We learned that the scrap (pieces with flaws that cause cracks) are used for building dams and levees and the pebbles are used to making roads. Only in Italy would they use marble to make roads!

Here is A hiding between two marble slabs. Our tour guide was amazing and let the kids run nearly wild. He showed them tadpoles and salamanders on his property. Also, since his marble has grey steaks in it, and not the pure white, he only gets 150 euro per ton. I wish we could get marble that cheap.

Here is I playing on the bulldozer. The boys really did run nearly wild.
This is one of the holes they used back in the day when they had to slide the slabs of marble down the mountain to where ox and cart could pick it up.

So this was actually the funnest part of our whole weekend. We all LOVED this tour. Plus, he told us anything we can carry out, we could keep. So we picked up quite a few chunks of marble. I have no idea what we are going to do with them, but we couldn't resist an offer like that. Next time we'll go with a few strong men and haul out some bigger pieces!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Miramare Castle

On Memorial Day, we decided to take a day trip to Trieste and visit Miramare Castle. It was a perfect day to be outside since it wasn't too hot. The castle isn't very big itself, but it's surrounded by a huge park that we enjoyed wandering through. Here are a few picturess from the day.

Part of the extensive gardens. We had I and A choose which path (since there are several that wind and cross all throughout the park) we would follow until we got to the other side of the park and realized we needed to use the map to find our way back.
As you can see, the castle is built right on the edge of the water. It's a lot farther of a drop than it looks in the picture.

K got tired of being in the stroller after a while.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Skocjan Caves, Slovenia

These caves are located about 1 1/2 hr drive from where we live near Divaca, Slovenia. It's amazing that after just a short drive, you are in another country! We still don't have a camera, so all these are scanned photos, but really a regular camera could not do this place justice. Plus, you aren't allowed to take pictures inside although our tour guide was very lenient towards those in our group with cameras.This is just one of the many giant formations inside the cave. We saw just about every type of rock formation there is (not that I have any real knowledge, but there was such a variety in these caves). There was even one area where the rock looked like flowing water that has suddenly turned to rock.
This is the bridge you cross over this giant ravine with a river running through the bottom. This part of the cave was so enormous, it was breathtaking. In the picture you can make out a little water down at the bottom, but there was much more water there when we visited since it has been so wet lately. The guide talked about a flood in 1965 when the river filled that part of the cave all the way up to the top. I can't even imagine how much water there would have to be in order to do that.
These are some water pools that have formed in one section of the cave near the exit.
This is the exit of the cave. Much bigger than where we entered. Right outside the mouth of the cave, the vegetation is so green I felt I was in some tropical part of the world. This was probably one of the neatest places we visited.