Friday, June 27, 2008

Blogging Mama

Well, I'm back. This is Gardner. I've taken over the nest here at the Wheeler household. I am holding down the fort as Mr. Mom while Tamara & Shantal are playing in America. Well, Tamara is actually working at a scrapbooking weekend she organized in Wisconsin. She is very excited to do this again. She did one every other month (I think - could have been every month) when we used to live there, so she has missed it quite a bit since we have been living in Germany.

I'll be writing some posts about our adventures over at my blog - P.S. From Germany if you care to follow along. If I know Tamara, she'll thrown in a post or two while on vacation.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Driving Slow

So something funny happened on Friday.

I had to drive Gardner to work and then after I dropped him off, I was running to a store called Real. Well, I was driving on a highway, instead of the autobahn. And the speed limit is 80 Kilometers and I was driving 90. (remember, I have a tendancy to drive a little fast). 90 Kilometers is roughly 55 miles an hour.

All of a sudden, Emma, who was sitting way in the back, asked me, "Mom, are we driving slow?" It kind of caught me off guard. And then I said, "yes we are driving slow". 55 Miles an hour compared to 105 miles an hour is slow.

And it made me realize that when I go to America, I am going to be driving slow. And it also made me realize that my little 3 year old noticed the difference between 55 and 105 miles an hour. A little shocking.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spencer's EM Podcast

While sitting here enjoying a great European Cup match with Spencer I realized that I hadn't posted Spencer's recent podcast. Germany looks good right now - 3-1 in the 78th minute. Hopefully they can keep up the energy. Otherwise no chance. Portugal is too talented. Of course, check in on our Living in Germany Podcast for more fun from Germany.

A quick Update

I never seem to find the time to update the blog. Or, I don't feel like our lives are exciting enough for an update.

But I know it has been a bit since I updated and decided just to share some pictures we have taken the last two weeks.

Earlier this week, I made new play dough for the kids. They were so excited for the green play dough. They couldn't believe how soft it was. They have all played with it every day this week. So fun to have something new.

The other day, we had a bit of a scare. Ian came into me gagging. He had gotten into the dishwasher tabs that were up on top of the counter. And bit right through the package. You can see the chunk out of the tab. And I know he actually ate some, I saw him. Needless to say, he ended up with a rash all over his body from it, and was forced to drink lots of liquids to flush it out. On top of that, I have now found a new home for these way up in a cupboard where can not reach them, not even with a stool.

The little kids love to play outside in the back. I do yard work usually two times a week. And I use this blue container to put the weeds into while working. Ian loves picking the dandylions out of the grass and throw them in. He is always a busy little boy.

Emma went on her first field trip with her school last week. I was a little worried, knowing she is only three and very slow. They took a walking trip, for 3 and a half hours. But she made it, had a lot of fun and can't wait for her next "ausflug", which is field trip.

Emma and Ian just like hanging out together.

Spencer right before his very last soccer game. We found this huge chocolate soccer ball and gave it to him for the end of the year gift. He loved it. He really wanted to kick it around a bit. Silly Spencer.

Ian loves riding on his bike. And he loves wearing his helmet.

Hi Cutie Emma!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Shantal's School-wide Project

Shantal and I did another podcast together - Episode #32 of our Living in Germany podcast. The podcast is about the school-wide project and she asked me to do the podcast. Very cool. I copied in some pictures below the podcast pickle player.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Shantal's Class Projects

Shantal and I did another podcast together - Episode #32 of our Living in Germany podcast. The podcast about her recent class projects was fun even though Shantal was very tired. One interesting thing was how Shantal kept switching back into German. I think this was due to being tired, but I found it interesting that she switched back into German.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Autobahn

This morning, I had to run out to Hinsbeck to pick up Spencer and a few boys from his Soccer Team. They were away all weekend and I was the one designated to pick them up.

As I started to get on the autobahn, I was amazed at how empty the autobahn was. And then I remembered it was Sunday. But even still, I drive on the autobahn every Sunday to go to Church. But for some reason, today it hit me more odd.

But that is when I remembered something. Yes it is Sunday. And Semi Trucks are not allowed to drive on the Autobahn on Sundays. And that is what it was. The autobahn just seemed so empty. And it was the lack of Semi Trucks cruising along.

I did pull off at a rest stop at one point to help Ian, as I had Ian in the van with me. And lo and behold, there were all the Semi Trucks. They are all waiting for their time to get back on the Autobahn. Oh, they would still be waiting for a very long time. This was at 9 o'clock this morning. And I don't think they are allowed back on until 10 pm at night. (I could be wrong about the time).

I know that there are some semi's allowed on the Autobahn. If they are transporting frozen foods, then they are allowed. I remember hearing that and I did see one Semi that fit into that category on the Autobahn today.

And then the other thing that dawned on me today while driving is how fast I drive. I mean, I know I drive fast. But, as I was going 100 miles per hour today without a care in the world, I started to worry about my trip coming up in the next couple weeks to America. How am I going to handle only driving 65 miles an hour? {giggle}

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Our Week Part 2

So to continue on with some things that are happening here with us..........................

Today, I went out to Real to Grocery Shop. It is a bigger store where I can find things I can't find at our smaller Grocery Stores in town. I end up driving 20 minutes each way and I try not to make this trip too often. I usually go when I want WHITE eggs. I have a problem, a big problem. I don't like brown eggs. {giggle} See, I have a theory. And it is that I throw out more brown eggs because of blood in them than it is worth. And we go through a lot of eggs at our house.

Anyway, back to my story. I bought so many haribo's, chocolates and games to take to America.
Oh, this isn't all I have. I have been stocking up since I found out I was going. {giggle}

And while we were there, I stocked up a bit on Salsa and Refried Beans. And no trip is complete with Kids without walking down the toy aisle. And when we did that, it happened. Emma found what she has been wanting to buy. She got money from her Grandma for her birthday and she told me she wanted a computer. But I never knew what kind. The bigger girls got Barbie computers when we lived in America. And by golly, Emma wants to always be like them. So, Emma walked out of the store as the proud owner of a Kids Computer. It is kind of strange to hear this thing talk in German. I know, it shouldn't be strange to me, right? I mean, I have lived her for almost 2 years. But it does take me by surprise and it does make me giggle. Poor Emma has to deal with Ian who constantly wants to hold it and press the buttons.

Something Cute happened with Hannah yesterday too. She goes to Gymnastics everything Thursday. Every Thursday afternoon at 3pm, she goes to her friends house to play. And then Gymnastics starts at 5pm and they walk there together. we have been doing this almost all year long. Her Friend's mom used to always walk them home at night, as they get out around 6:45pm. Now that it is light, the girls are a bit older, the girls walk home alone. Debbie walks Hannah here first before she heads on to her house. She lives one street over and can take a short cut through the park. I find it cute that she walks Hannah to the door everyday instead of just saying good bye at the end of the houses.

Well, yesterday, I heard them at the door. My door is usually open most of the day to get air in the house because we have no air conditioner. (it is not odd here in Germany. It is very rare to see someone with air.) Anyway, my door was open and I could hear them. So I got up and started walking towards the door and they totally stopped talking. So I walked into the kitchen instead, in hopes of not ruining what was happening. But I could see them through our glass door and hear them. {giggle} They were talking like someone would talk to a baby. You know, that babyish talk. the voice in which you say things.

Ok, anyway, all of a sudden, I hear Debbie pull something out of her bag and give it to Hannah. And then she says, "go show it to your mom. I'll wait here." So Hannah brings this note that she made for her. And the note says, "you are my best friend". And it was written in English just for Hannah. It was so cute and it actually brought warmth to my heart. I have a child who has friends here in Germany. And she has someone who considers her a best friend. I was thrilled for Hannah.

These two girls are inseperable for the most part. They like to be together when ever they can. And we get along with their family great. That makes it even better for our family. We have been lucky to get to know some great people here. It hasn't been easy, but a few families that we have come to know have really helped us out and I do hope that even after we eventually move back to America, that our friendships will stay strong.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Our Week

WARNING.........It is long. {laughs}

So I know I need to blog. I know I need to update. And then there are times I think I am already so far behind, no one will know what I am talking about. But if I think like that, I will never blog. And then family and friends will really not know what is going on in our life. So I am just going to start in and assume you know everything. {giggle} I will stop and explain along the way if I feel it important.

Emma finished off her first full week of Kindergarten today. She is doing so well. She is so small compared to all the other kids at the school. It is fun to watch her though. She loves going to school everyday. She runs to get to the door and gets there a good minute before I do. She gets inside, switches her shoes (house shoes are always worn) and hangs up her backpack and jacket. And then she is off. No, bye Mom. No, I love ya Mom. She takes off. And it is fun to watch her just go up to kids and take their hands. I did start to get a good bye hug yesterday. I am so glad. I might of started to get a complex. lol

Picking her up is just as fun. She sees me and runs up to me and yells "moooooooooooooooooooooom" . It really is cute. She updates me on the way to the van of whether she had to have a diaper change during the day, if she ate anything on that specific day and if she happened to cry at all during the day.

The kids have had a busy week at school getting ready for their End of the School Year Party. They had a theme of Africa and broke up into groups to work on specific African things for the big party that is this coming Sunday. This is what they did all week instead of regular class. Each child in the school got to choose what group they wanted to be in. Hannah was in a group that made these life size giraffes out of newspaper, glue and paint. Shantal did Clothes. And Spencer was in a Building Toys Group. Shantal and Hannah both had a great time, but Spencer not so much. Didn't surprise me much. But part of it is that Spencer also missed 2 days of school this week. He was sick on Monday and then Thursday he was at the Dentist. And school got out everyday at 11:30am.

Spencer is gone this weekend on a Soccer Tournament. He left today at 3:30 and I go and pick up a group of boys Sunday at 9:30am. I hope this helps Spencer bond a bit more with the boys on his team. It is hard coming into a team that has played together for a while and then Spencer doesn't play as well since he had never played before.

Gardner started his new job assignment on Monday. You will have to run over to his blog to hear all about it. I don't know much since we really don't see each other much. His hours seem long, and he is busy.

I have been seeing a doctor for my back for the last two weeks. I am not sure what is wrong, but I have been in pain. I started getting shots in my back on a regular basis last week. And what I mean by regular basis, is every day. And everyday, the amount he shoots into my back differs. One day, there were only 6. And I only say 6 because he has gone up to 20 on other days. I did finally get a referral so I could go to Physical Therapy. I am tired of shots. Those that know me already know I have a huge fear of needles. And this has not been easy for me.

I also joined Weight Watchers last week. After joining, I gained almost 5 pounds in the course of a weekend. I was extremely shocked and resolved to actually work a bit. I walked a lot this week. Some days 3 hours a day. The least amount was 1 hour. And you have to know that we live in a place that is all hills. You should see me trying to push a stroller up these steep hills with a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old. I have walked to the grocery store, walked to the doctors, walked to take Emma to and from school (1/2 hour each way). And it paid off. Not only did I take off that what I gained over the weekend, I also reported a loss when I checked in at Weight Watchers this week. I am so happy!

I have also been real consumed in trying to figure out my trip to America. I leave on June 25th. What do I need? Who needs gifts? What do I need to buy? And then I need to start making my list of things I just *have* to bring back with me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Spencer's Jedi Training podcast

Spencer and I did another podcast together - Episode #31 of our Living in Germany podcast. The podcast was not quite as organized as I would have liked but Spencer added hilarity to the show by quoting a mini cartoon movie found on the internet about training to be a Jedi and blurting out random thoughts throughout the show.

And here is the flash movie Spencer kept quoting:

View the flash movie

Monday, June 2, 2008

Here Birdie, Birdie, Birdie!

We live in a Townhouse. And there are 4 houses all connected together. We are the third house coming down the walk. And the house next to us, has all these bird nests up by their rain gutter. It really goes all the way across. LOTS of bird nests. They are fun to watch fly in and out. But they can be real noisy.

OK, now we will jump a bit. It is getting to be pretty hot here in Germany. Or atleast, where we are. And we have no air conditioner. Most homes don't have them here.

Anyway, to help cool down the house some, I open all the windows and doors to help circulate the air. During the hotest times of the day, I drop the shades and everything is closed up. But by late afternoon, I am ready for some air and everything gets opened. Plus, there tends to be a bit of a breeze at times.

Well, we were sitting at dinner and Shantal had gotten up to get something. Well, all of a sudden she said, Mom, there is a bird in our house! And then I could hear it flying from the entry way into the Kitchen.

First thing I did after watching Shantal screaming and running away was grab my camera. After I got my few shots, I opened my kitchen window all the way for it to fly out. But it didn't want to leave. It was pretty happy sitting there on the window. Finally, it flew out and the fun for the night ended.

I can say, I have never had a bird come into my house before. I wonder if it will be the last.

March 2007