Friday, June 29, 2007

Ian's First Hair Cut

Tomorrow Ian will be 10 months old. OK, I will also be turning older tomorrow. But I will post about that tomorrow.

Anyway, I gave Ian his first hair cut today. I don't know if you can see how much was taken off. But there was quite a bit for a little boy. I had Spencer (who is 8) take the pictures for my scrapbooking addiction. He took 22 pictures. I told him to just keep taking pictures because then there would be at least one good picture.

So now the question is, How many people does it take to cut a babies hair? The answer will be at the bottom after the pictures.

Here is the before pic:

And some Action Photos:

And the After Picture:

So, now that you have seen the pictures: How many people does it take to cut a babies hair?

  • One person to cut the hair (that was my job)
  • One person to hold the baby (that was Gardner's Job)
  • One person to take the pictures (Spencer)
  • One person to distract said baby so he would look the right direction (thanks Shantal)
  • And two kids playing in the bath tub who wanted to be apart of it all (Hannah and Emma)

So in all, it took 6 of us to cut his hair. I laughed about it during the hair cut!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

I have been tagged by my friend Tracy. So this is how it works. I must post the rules, 7 random things about me and then tag others to do the same. Sound fair enough, right? These are the rules…. each player starts with 7 random facts about themselves on their Blog. People who are tagged need to blog 7 facts about themselves and post the rules as well. At the end of their blog list 7 people you are tagging. Let them know that they are tagged by leaving them a comment. Here goes!

1. I eat almost a bag of pretzels every day. (I know I was giving them up. It is harder than I thought it would be!)

2. When losing weight a few years ago, the first place I notice a difference was in my fingers. I went from a size 10 to a size 8.

3. You know the nails on a chalkboard effect? That doesn't bother me at all. But show me anything silk, and you will get the nails on a chalkboard re-action from me. And heaven for bid I must TOUCH that silk. :goosebumps:

4. My favorite vacations are on the ocean. I love cruises and hope to take one here in Europe in the near future.

5. As a family, the thing I really enjoy is camping. Just hanging out together without a telephone or work for interuptions is FABULOUS!

6. When we have friends over to visit for dinner or playing games, I have been known to hand them their coats and tell them it is time for them to leave now. It was nice for you to come over, but it is now time for you to go....Bye, Bye! :D

7. I am terribly afraid of Bees. Not just a little, but A LOT! You will see me screaming and running around if one gets near me.

I am tagging Shawna, Kate, Andrea, Coleen, Melissa, Kathy R and Anne.

Monday, June 25, 2007


A few months ago, a friend of ours from Wisconsin talked to us about podcasting. He said I kept a very good blog about our time here in Germany and we should consider expanding that into podcasting. Gardner and I at first was a bit intrigued, but then let the idea slide as we were just so busy trying to get settled and getting used to all the knew stuff that comes with living in a foreign country.

Well, the topic of us starting to podcast has come up again. And we actually took the plunge last week and recorded our first episode. We completed our second episode tonight. We are not very good at it......YET. I personally got very nervous tonight. Last week, I was as calm as could be. But tonight, when I logged on, I saw three people there WAITING to listen to us to see what we had to offer. And that gave me the jitters.

The other thing was that Ian woke up about five minutes before we were to start recording, LIVE! We chose 9:30pm because the kids are usually in bed by then and we would have quiet in the house. So that threw me a bit as well.

I learned a few things tonight though. ALWAYS have back up material to talk about. I think things through in my head and I think that will last awhile. For example, something will take me approximately 5 mintues to discuss. But once I start talking about it, I can do it in 30 seconds.

We want all of our episodes to be between 15 minutes and 30 minutes. I think they are better shows when they are shorter and people will have more of a desire to stick around and listen to the whole show when it is shorter vs longer.

Even though knowing I had listeners right there made me nervous tonight, it was also a lot of fun to see where they were from and to answer their questions about our family or where we live.

Here is a link to our podcast called, Living In Germany.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Recent Pictures

Here is Ian. He was soooo into this apple. I think I took 38 pictures of just him and this apple. At first he was laying on the floor. He was so happy until I took the apple away.

I took these pictures of the kids in the tub. They used water dye. I wish I would of thought to take a picture of Emma and Shantal in the Pink Water they had.

I took this picture the day that Ian's tooth broke through his gums. He now has two of them. If you look close enough, you can see it in there.

These are pictures of Hannah's Kindergarten Breakfast with the parents. It was the morning after spending the night in the school.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer Vacation

We have made plans to do a little traveling in July.

First we plan on traveling to Hannover. We will be visiting Sibylle, our Au Pair from a few years ago. We get to meet her parents and do some sight seeing around that area.

After Hannover, we are heading East to Berlin. We will be visiting Adrian. He was our first Exchange Student. He is just now completing school and is going to be starting the Police Academy. We will be able to visit with his family. We have met his Mom and Grandma before. But we are planning a nice dinner where we get to meet his Dad, his girlfriend and also his Sister. There are lots of things to see in Berlin and I am so happy to be going there.

Lastly, after we spend Five days with Adrian, we are going up North to the Baltic Sea. We will only be there one night. But hopefully there will be good weather so we can enjoy being on the beach. The kids and myself included really love the water, the sand and all that comes with beach life. I would love to stay there even longer. But Gardner has to be back to work.

So hopefully I will come back with a lot of great pictures to share and some great stories as well. I don't think we know for sure when we are leaving. But sometime the beginning of July.

School's Out

Well, today was Shantal and Spencer's last day of school. At 8am, they were supposed to be at the church. Every Wednesday morning, the whole school goes over to the Catholic church for services. My kids usually don't go because they have an extra German Class during that time. But today, they were supposed to go. They were a little late (OK, they made it for the last 5 mintues) because we could not find the right church. It is the church I thought it was. But my kids were so sure I was wrong. We only found out I was right by me sending Spencer in to see if the rest of the kids were there.

After Church, they went back to school and cleaned the classroom and had a Cookie Party. Everyone in his class was supposed to bring cookies. And then school was out at 10:45am.

Hannah still has school for a few more days. Friday is the last day. Then she has three weeks off. Then her school is open for the last three weeks of the Summer break and she can attend if she wants. And of course, Hannah wants to.

Hannah had something similar to a Preschool Graduation last weekend as well. All the kids moving up to the Elementary School had a Sleep Over at the school Friday Night. They arrived at the school at 10am. Packed a lunch and then rode the city bus up to Duisburg and went to the Duisburger Atlantis Museum. It is a Children's Museum. They had dinner in the school, a dance at night and then Slept. Saturday Morning, all the parents came for a special breakfast. Before Breakfast, the school kids did a skit and sang us songs.

Gardner and I arrived at the school Saturday morning and Hannah was excited to see us, started showing us around and then suddenly, out of nowhere, she started to cry. And then it was time for the singing and program to begin. Well, Hannah would not go up with the rest of the kids (there are 11 kids total). She sang a few songs from where she was standing. And then the skit, each child had a part. Even Hannah. And when it was her turn, she said her part. I was so surprised. And yet I was so thrilled for her. And I could see the looks on some of the parents faces and how thrilled they were for her as well.

It was a great time spent with just Hannah, Gardner and myself. That rarely happens.

Spencer and Shantal came home yesterday with their report cards. Grades are different here then in America. But if I translate it into what American's have....A, B, C, D, F (in Germany, it is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Shantal got a B average and Spencer an A- Average. I was so excited to see how well they did and where they excelled. They have only been going to the German Schools since the end of October, so approximately 8 months.

I'm looking forward to the short summer vacation the kids have. I am ready not to have a stressed morning routine trying to get everyone out the door in time. Those that want to sleep in (OK, that would be Shantal) can. And those that want to still get up at 6am (Hannah and Spencer) can.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Body Parts

So I started this blog almost a week ago. And since then, I have been dragging my feet to finish it! So, here goes nothing!

Ian got his first tooth on Wednesday. It is so exciting to see this prickily thing sticking up through his gums. And today, I see his second tooth about to pop through the gums as well. No teeth for so long and now, they are just all going to come around the same time. (and yes, now he has two of them. Seems like he might be having more come through as well. He is cranky enough!)

And Hannah, She lost her second tooth on Wednesday. Of course, the tooth fairy forgot about her Wednesday night. But then the tooth fairy made good and showed up Thursday night. Luckily, Hannah forgot to put her tooth under her pillow. So I was able to use that as an excuse as to why the tooth fairy did not show up. WHEW!

So, Shantal and Spencer used their feet on Friday. They had a class field trip. They went to see a Play. It was Pippi Longstocking. They went into the city to see this play. It is a little more than 4 miles away. When the kids came home, they told me they WALKED to the play. I about passed out. I could not believe it. The kids were so dramatic about the whole event when they got home. And they both said they would NEVER go on another field trip with the school again.

Gardner has hurt his back. He went and saw a doctor and got a shot. It feels a little better. But unfortunately, he ran for a bus today and so now he says it hurts again.

So with bikes, comes helmuts to protect your head. The kids have been so excited to ride their bikes to school this past week. But some kids started to tell the kids it wasn't allowed. So I went in and inquired at the school. It indeed is fact that there is no riding bikes to school. Spencer and Shantal are so upset over this rule. And as their mom, I hate it too. I loved them riding their bikes to school. I got a lot of reasons why they can not have place to lock them up, not insured if they are on bikes vs walking, need bike training.....blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chicken Pox?

This is going to be real fast tonight since it is already past 11pm.

This week, we had a shocking discovery when we found red dots all over Emma's Stomach. I was SURE it was Chicken Pox since she had not had her vaccine yet. I noticed them Monday morning. And here it is Wednesday. So I took her into the doctor's this morning to confirm or deny my suspicions. The things was, she only had these red dots on her stomach. Although, last night a few popped up on her legs. And today, I found some on her diaper area.

Anyway, I took her to the doctor. And the doctor said it did indeed look like Chicken Pox. But upon further investigation, she felt like it was NOT chicken pox after all. Just a virus. She says Chicken Pox comes so fast and Emma's are taking days for new ones to appear. Plus they are not blistered up either. I am actually relieved she does not have this. And to celebrate, she is returning to the doctors office tomorrow to get her shot!

I am also taking Ian in for his First Doctor's Appointment. Yes, he did see a doctor at 2 weeks of age. But none since then. He is 9 1/2 months old. I got a lecture today at the doctors office while making my appointment for tomorrow. I roll my eyes because the doctor was really nice about it. It was the receptionist who was giving me a hard time.

Tonight, I worked on a 2 page scrapbooking layout. I was making pages for The Wheeler Family Reunion we had in Utah last year. I have page one completely finished, but page two still needs my journaling. I know the Wheeler Family would be excited to see it, so I am adding it here!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Recent Pictures

On this scrapbooking website (scrapfreak) I frequent, there are always challenges. One type of challenge is a photo challenge. This past week, it was to Fill Up the camera. Meaning, to take a real close up picture. So I have had a lot of fun playing with that style and technique. So I thought I would share some of them here. There is also one picture of all 5 kids together, so I just took it like I normally do.

Friday's Grocery Store Trip

So Friday, I was coming home from a grocery store I had never gone to before. It is called Real, pronounced RAY-AL. Anyway, I was driving on the autobahn, going my usual 95 miles an hour. Totally EXCITED that I found bags of crushed ice while shopping. They were small bags and cost 2 euros each. I picked up two of them. Most of you know how much I like to chomp ice and ice is not something you find here in Germany too often.

My mind traveled to things I saw at the store. It is a store kind of like Super Wal-mart where there is food and toys, automotive, ect. So I had looked at bike Helmets because Shantal needed one. So I was thinking I need to take her back because she is so darn picky on what she gets.

Then my mind traveled to when Gardner would be coming home from work.

I was just enjoying the car ride home. It was quiet even though Emma and Ian were in the back. The windows were rolled down because it was a hot day and our air conditioner still is not fixed.

I got off the autobahn and was coming to the signal and looked in my rear view mirror. There I saw Emma, kneeling in her carseat, looking out the back window. I shouted her name so loud. Emma turned around and sat down. I told her she had to be buckled. She said No. I asked her, did mommy forget to buckle you? She said yes. Oh my gosh, I felt so terrible.

This is the same child I dropped face first on a cement floor when she was less than three months old. What am I thinking?

I guess I won't be winning the mommy of the year award again this year.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Underwear and Poop!

What a title, huh!

Yesterday, there was someone from my church who came over to my house to help me out since I had been so sick. I am definately getting better, but it is nice to still have help since I don't have family around. She could see that I was a little more than stressed out with the kids. So she decided to take the kids for a walk/bike ride to see a river that is not too far from our house. I stayed back and made dinner, did laundry and a few other odds and ends. After about 1 1/2 hours, Sister Becker (who was with the kids and is old enough to be their grandma) came back with just Ian and asked for dry clothes for each kid and also a towel. Said they were soaking wet and thought it was best if the kids changed into something dry. So off she went with dry clothes and told me they would probably stay a while longer. Oh and one more thing....they never made it to the river because they found this fountain down the street that the kids were playing in. Not a water fountain to drink, but like a statue.

OK, so I stopped writing this so I could go out and get a picture of that fountain for you to really understand. Here it is. This is where they were playing yesterday.

Anyway, I decided to run to the grocery store really fast since the next day would be a holiday and everything would be closed. I had to drive past them to get to the grocery store because this fountain is on one of the main roads. As I drove by, I saw my five kids. Most of them in their underwear! I was mortified. I was embarrassed. My 9 year old daughter in her turquise underwear. My 6 year old daughter in her bright white underwear. My 2 year old, I was not so embarrassed by. She is 2 and was in her 10 pound diaper. You know how they grow when they are wet! Ian was in his clothes and Spencer who is 8 was in his Jeans. (although he assures me he was also in his underwear at one point!)

I know I am in Europe. I know this *might* be a common thing that is done around here. But I am not used to such a thing from MY kids.

OK, like that wasn't enough for me.

This morning, I woke up to needing to feed and change Ian. What is new? Ian is 9 months old and I am still breastfeeding. Well, a few days ago, Emma who is 2 got some raisins out and spilled them on the floor. I think Ian found every single raisin. Because he has been pooping whole plumped raisins for 3 days now. I keep thinking where were these raisins for so long in his tiny little tummy.

Well, this morning, I was more than surprised when I opened his diaper. Not only had he been eating raisins, he apparently has been eating candy wrappers. You know the saying what goes in must come out. Well, it is ALL coming out. I am a mom of 5 kids. I deal with poop on a regular basis. But I have to say, I have never seen such odd things come out of my kids like I am finding with Ian. I must not be watching him as well or making sure the floors are sparkling clean like I did with the others. OR (and I like this excuse the best!), I didn't have the older kids before to make such a mess for a little baby to get into everything.

Being a mom sure is not a glamourous Job!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Spencer, Spencer, Spencer!

The kids need some bikes. All of our bikes never did make it on the boat to come over here. And they are extremely expensive here in Germany compared to in America. I have been trying real hard to buy the kids some bikes on Ebay. It was getting real frustrating for awhile because at the last minute, we would get beat out and lose the auction. I should not even say at the last minute. It is more like the last second. There are HUGE bidding wars here during the last 30 seconds. It is crazy. But we finally won a bike for Shantal. It costs 44 Euros. And we got to pick it up on Saturday. She loves it and is so happy to have a bike again.

Hannah got her bike over a week ago. So that just leaves Spencer who has needed a bike. He feels left out as everytime he wants to ride Shantal's or Hannah's, they get mad and say No. Somehow, what I say does not matter because I said he could ride them anyway. Well, I found a few good bikes and the auctions ended yesterday. I actually won one of the auctions at 1:30 in the afternoon and only paid 17 Euros for it. I was totally excited. But I had another auction out there that ended at 10:30pm. This is the bike that Spencer REALLY wanted. I put a maximum bid of 30 Euros on there thinking I would never win it. Guess what, we won that auction as well. So now, we have 2 bikes for Spencer. He is so happy. More happy that he got the bike he wanted, not that he has two bikes. He keeps saying to me today that it is not fair that he has 2 bikes and the girls only have one. So only one will be for him and the other one for that family. That is my boy thinking about everyone else!

Well, this same boy is having problems in Church. He goes to a kids class at church called Primary. He is in an English speaking class (I don't know why they have it because all the kids in there can speak German). And Shantal is also in this class. There are a lot of kids. Well, I've heard from his teacher on many occasions that he has a little too much energy. Can I please talk to him to get him to settle down. He won't sit on his seat. He is constantly up and down. And then he consistantly talks out of turn. Those are the things she says to me. Well, she gives the class candy bars when they pass off what is called Articles of Faith. She told me that she would not be giving anymore to Spencer if he does not settle down. So she came up with a plan. She was going to give him 3 chances. She would make a mark on the chalkboard so only he knew what it meant without embarrasing him in class. And if he got 3 marks on any given sunday, then he would miss out on the next candy bar he earns. Spencer did not like this plan at all, but he knew about it. I had not been to church in a few weeks since I was so sick. But every week, I asked him if he got any marks on the chalkboard. The answer was always no.

Well, Yesterday, I went to church again. He came into Sacrament Meeting all angry. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he passed off his Article of Faith but she would not be giving him a candy bar because he was so bad in class. But then he told me there was never any marks on the chalkboard. And she also threatened to put one on the chalkboard in front of the whole class and they all started laughing at him.

I was not happy. So when the teacher approached me JUST AS THE MEETING WAS ABOUT TO START, I simply said, You did not follow the plan. You never put the marks on the chalkboard. She then told me she gave him more than 10 warnings. That was enough. And then she asked me to start coming into the class with him. I said I could not because I already am busy during that time. Between Hannah, Emma and Ian, I don't have time. She then asked me to talk to Spencer again. I told her I don't know what good that will do. We've done that before. And to me, the biggest problem is, she deviated from the plan SHE made.

I know Spencer can be a handful. And I know he has a lot of energy. I am all for discipline. I am all for trying to get him to help the rest of the class be able to learn without so many disruptions. But when the teacher can not do her part in keeping to the plan of how to handle the situations, what am I supposed to do?

March 2007