Saturday, April 28, 2007


one of ken's b-day presents, a brick oven, (he also got a cross necklace, a greek 'devotion' statue, and a olive oil sprayer, or what we affectionately call 'le misteure' ((obviously french but i bought it here in crete)).

the birthday kids (dawn and ken), and kyle and i presenting their cakes

the game of washers might be getting too intense???????????????
i love celebrating birthdays! especially if it's someone i heart (love!) KEN!! we had a great time celebrating today. ken made pizzas and we had a great time introducing (to the northerners) the game of washers --- red-neck version!!! ken shared the birthday of my new friend, dawn, and they schooled EVERYONE in the game of washers (until the end when i teamed up with my hubby to have a THROW-DOWN against dawn and her hubby, kyle!!!) ken and i then schooled them southern-style, and i think dawn might know how washers is played now ! :)

happy birthday honey, continued!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

happy birthday honey!

we've had a GREAT time celebrating ken's b-day today!! i took cupcakes, minicakes and cakes up to work for everyone in his department. we had some friends over for enchiladas and quesadillas, then played a friendly game of texas hold 'em. fun times!

ken's cake

cory with echo..she was chilling out playing poker.

we're having ken's b-day party here on saturday afternoon. we will be making ken's famous pizzas and some people may even be brave enough to jump in the pool. ken got an outdoor brick oven from me and it will be delivered on friday. he can't wait to use it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ode to TEXAS, TEJAS! happy independence day (nearly 2 mos late!)

my old roommate from chicago, brad, (a michigan-breed) wrote an email after seeing the pictures from coll's visit, "Glad to see you still have that old wooden framed Texas flag." heck yes! if the navy movers ever damage this thing in a move...i'm not gonna lie, i might die! it should be noted, my dad loves to tell the story of how i traded a car in for this flag. not exactly true. i also got 4 other pieces of mexican pine furniture as well. :)

note the coffee table center. one of our best friends, sarah gave us the TEXAS STAR to follow us wherever we go. thank you sarah, WE LOVE IT!

shout out to all our TEXAS friends: the original old-school ones, transplant ones, and temporarily-away-from-home ones alike!
so i was FAR TOO BUSY moving to greece to acknowledge TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY on march 2, so here we are almost 2 months later and i remember. darn. we did have MIGAS on saturday and introduced them to 1 virgianian & 1 marylander (aka northerners), and they LOVED them. yes, we miss MIGAS. yes, we miss QUESO. yes, we miss RUDY'S. but since a fellow TEXAN, my friend coll (colleen) was here last week, we made black bean burritos, breakfast tacos, and most importantly queso to fulfill our TEX-MEX fix. are all the TEXANS out there appreciating the fact that TC (that's taco cabana) is READILY available for you and you can get a DOZEN TORTILLAS & QUESO ANYTIME?? hint hint: freeze it & bring it with u when u come! :) the schwalbe's who are texas transplants themselves, wish to shout out to texas, happy independence day!! sorry so late. we'll have a big texas independence day party next year to make up for it!! i'm sure the greeks will be holding their breath! :)

one more thing, it's not that you should hate texas or texans if you have not had the opportunity to travel there (i'm NOT talking about the i-want-to-stick-needles-in-my-eye drive across i-10 from el paso through houston), or if you have not been able to live there, even for a short time. it is just that you don't understand the pride. i mean really, what other state has pride like texas? and i was born in arkansas people!! but i got to texas as fast as i could at a young age. and i'm not going to go on about how we are the only state that can legally secede from the union, blah, blah, blah. that's not the solution. you ask why? because we would not want to make it difficult (e.g., passports to cross over) for you to come VISIT. i stress the visit part if you are looking at AUSTIN. (i will admit, as a bleeding red raider, the burnt-orange-painted town is a bit challenging for red raiders, ags, bears, hornfrogs, etc...!!) sorry, but we austinites are busting at the seems. so if you move to AUSTIN, please move outside to llano, wimberley, or other hill country places. as an engineer it drives ken crazy that there are so few roads to support the growing, and growing, and growing population of austin. i'm afraid our neighborhood where we still own our home (and rent it out), will practically be downtown when we return in 10-12 years. if you can't help yourself (which who can blame u) and you feel the need to move to TEJAS, i'm fairly certain frisco, outside dallas, has some availability! :)

Monday, April 23, 2007

happy hitch day, bill & joni!!!

the day after we were their witnesses signing the marriage certificate to seal the deal!

quick shout out to our best friends, BILL & JONI!
happy first anniversary!
they met at our wedding, fell in love and got married!
have a blessed first anniversary celebration dear friends. we love you!!!
we cannot wait to see you again...

island adventures with our first visitor colleen PART DEUX

alas, i have finally loaded up the pictures from colleen's visit. what a patient visitor. i don't know how many times we got lost exploring. we had a great time. here are the rest of the pictures...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

date night!

ken and i had our first date night since i arrived 1 month ago, and it was wonderful! we had a great dinner at tamum (easily one of my new favorite restaurants) and then checked out "rock night" at our landlord's coffee/bar - bar. our landlord, myronas has been insisting on us coming down and checking the place out. i did go the day before during the day and it's a great little coffee bar. great decor and super cozy. at night it's a bit different; and "rock night" was way different. but we had our 1 drink, listened to all the greeks shout to "pour some sugar on me," and got to see his place which made him very happy. but since i was wearing a pink and green dress, and ken was wearing his french blue shirt and khakis we felt only slightly (haha!) like red thumbs amongst all the greeks wearing black, brown or grey. nonetheless, a GREAT, FUN date night!! my hubby is wonderful!! :)

blonde, again?? only for track suit night!

dawn...the creator of "track suit night"

the group

ken and ultra-blonde cort

echo was scared of mommy

so i decided to go back to blonde again...for one night! we had "track suit night." dawn (the self-proclaimed "non-creative" one) decided we should all go out in tracksuits. since i'm a fan of dressing up for no reason, for sure, we were in. i can't explain why but many greeks wear tracksuits. our intention was not to make fun but to take an observation, indulge it and have fun. karaoke is always fun unless you're like me and cannot sing. e.g. cameron diaz in 'my best friend's wedding.' i wondered why karaoke, but now i know it's because 4-5 of my new friends CAN really sing. we had tons of fun and yes, i won the dress up contest. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

island adventures with our first visitor colleen

falasarna beach overlook

colleen "hiking" knossos ruins
erin getting electricuted at the knossos ruins (who knew they had electrocity back in BC times???)

falasarna beach
almost blowing off the cliff on the scary road between falasarna beach and elofonisi beach
cort and coll's dollar at el mundos
at a monestary ( i can't remember the name right now and i don't know here my tour book is.)

so i'm just going to say it straight away; if you plan on visiting, come for at least 10-14 days, just for crete alone. just doing 7 days with colleen was not enough. we had a great time!! did anyone know crete was so mountainous?? like driving the mountains and you want to throw up (if you have a weak stomach/fear of heights like me) mountainous? i had to trade seats with colleen and get in back and put on a blind fold. (i'm ordering extras for all our visitors!) we covered hersonnosissos, knossos ruins, (with my friend erin who lives here), samara gorge entrance with erin and dawn (a new navy wife friend), beaches, restaurants, shopping, champagne, and times!

3-4 yrs ago i developed a fear of heights and the coastal drive from falarsarna beach (#2 in crete) to elofonisa (#6 in crete) was, well...let's put it this way...colleen might be the only visitor that gets to drive that route, unless you go with just ken and echo. the route thru the mountains was much less intense. sorry for being out of touch on blogspot and phone; our internet went down and they were going to fix it on monday (which in greek time means wednesday). yay, finally we're back up and running. but no guarantees!! (as i'm learning is the case w/ everything in crete. but don't worry; i still LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) i will add more pictues (b/c we have a TON) to our picasa web album and send the link on my next blog. hope everyone has a GREAT day!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

YAY! Internet at home!!

ALAS! we have dsl internet here at home!! it was very difficult to check email on base because the wireless internet at the club only worked half the time. i have finally finishing putting together the house just in time for my first visitor, colleen who arrives tomorrow. she will be here for a week and we plan on taking a couple of day trips around the west and central part of crete to see some well-known beaches, churches, ruins, and monasteries. we are also going with my new friend erin on an overnight trip to the east part of the island to see irakleion, knossos, and hersonissos. i'll post pictures of our adventures. i am sure we are going to get lost as we explore...the only question is how many times!!

Monday, April 2, 2007

mama & papa bear...and the cubs

here's a not so great picture of ken and i. next time we take a pic of ourselves, we'll try and not cut off ken's head! i went back to what i think may be my natural color, dishwater blonde or light brown?? who knows...i've been blonde for the better part of 12 years!
below is a pic of all the guys who work for ken. from l to r; ken, andy, cory, and dave. we really get along well with all of them...they are tons of fun! andy is the only one who is married but his wife is also in the navy and stationed elsewhere. so i'm mama bear taking care of all the cubs. :) i can call them cubs because they are all in their 20s, and sadly ken and i are not. :( p.s. ken's 34th is coming up on april 25!!!!