Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Today, we drove to Remagen. Here are some pictures I got of our time today. If I have time, I will tell more about our day trip. For now, you will have to settle for pictures.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Water Park Fun

Grandma and Grandpa are here visiting from St Louis. And the kids have just started their two week fall holidays here. And Gardner took vacation for a week. So we decided to do some fun things.

Today, we went to Dusselstrand. It is an indoor water park. The kids had a blast. I took some pictures when we first got there before I joined in the fun.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Emma Reads in German

Sunday, we were all sitting around reading some books. And as you can probably relate, we tend to read the same books over and over and over again to the kids. You know, the ones they want to hear over and over and over again. Because, we as adults, we surely don't enjoy these same books *that* much.

Anyway, Emma has heard these books enough times. And she caught on and could remember it pretty well. So we decided to record it.

This particular book is in German. And in English, it is called Kipper. But in German, it is called Bubu.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Grandpa

I got news the other day that my Grandpa passed away. It was one of those relief's when you know it is better for them that way. But at the same time, there is a part that makes you sad.

I started thinking more on the whole topic throughout the rest of the night, and into the next day, and I realized, that he was my last Grandparent living. And, the biggest thing I thought of, was that in the two years I have lived here in Germany, I lost 2 Grandpa's and a Grandma.

These are hard times for me to be away from Family. These are the times I want to be home and be together to look back.

And I started thinking in bed the other night of things I remember about my Grandpa. Granted, when I think of Grandpa, Grandma comes to mind too.

My Grandpa was more of a quiet person. Grandma was always loud and talked a lot. But not Grandpa.

As I was little, and living in California, I remember going over to my Grandparents house to Swim. They had a pool, and it was something I enjoyed. The biggest thing that comes to mind is Grandma making us wait an hour after we ate before we could get back in the pool. And that was a long time for a kid.

As I got a bit older and into my teens, I remember time with them in Idaho. They lived out in the country. I remember mowing the Lawn with Grandpa. I would ride on the riding lawn mower with him. And of course, can't forget the endless weeding in the garden, burning of the trash and playing endless card games. Oh and Rainbow Trout....YUCK. giggles.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Great Surprise

Wednesday afternoon, around 4pm, I heard that Adrian was in town on business and was coming over. I was very excited.

Adrian lives in Berlin and was one of our Foreign Exchange students when we lived in Wisconsin. We are all still real close. And it is amazing the bond that Adrian and Emma have. Emma was born one month before Adrian went home. So Emma doesn't remember him. But everytime we are with him, she wants to be on him, playing with him, and just being with him. They are so cute together.

He got here just as we were eating dinner and joined us. He brought the kids Surprise Eggs, which is always a hit at our house. And that is the way he won Ian over, for a few moments anyway. We got the kids all in bed about an hour later and we sat and talked for a few hours.

It was so nice to catch up again and to re-hash some great memories that we share. He is really like a son to us and the kids look up to him like a big brother.

Here are a few pictures of that night.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We Have Pets!

We have had hedgehogs in our back yard on many occasions. And recently, I saw one crawl under our neighbors front porch. We live in a town house and so their house connects to ours. Well, tonight Spencer was taking trash outside and sad, Mom come quick, I can see the hedgehog. So I went out to tell him that it lives under the neighbors front porch. We took a few pictures of the little creature and Spencer went back in.

All of a sudden, I realized there were 5 little critters out there. So I told Spencer there was a family of Hedgehogs out there. He came running. And we realized they live under *our* front porch. Who knows, they probably live under both of ours.

It was funny though, Because all of a sudden Spencer said, We have Pets! He was real excited. He wanted to touch them. He said he really wanted to pick one up. I wouldn't let him. But when I wasn't looking, he did pet it.

Here are some pictures I got of the little guys.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Santa Claus

Last night, we were gathering together to read scriptures as a family. We were all sitting and waiting for Spencer, who was putting the laundry into the dryer.

All of a sudden, Hannah breaks into a conversation that made me and Gardner giggle a bit.

Hannah: A few kids in my class say that the Christmas Man isn't real.

Me: Who says that?

Hannah: A few kids in school.

Me: What do the other kids in your class say?

Hannah: That he is real and he does exist.

Me: And what do you think?

Hannah: Well, I know the Christmas Man is real and it can't be you or Dad.

Me: And why is that?

Hannah: Because the Christmas Man brings us American Olives every year and I know you don't have any of those.

Now, I know that statement from Hannah probably confused many readers.....wondering what Olives have to do with Santa Claus (or the Christmas Man, as Hannah calls him). As Gardner was growing up, Santa used to put a can of olives in his stocking. And that is a tradition that was carried over into our family. All our kids love olives and they each get their own can of olives in their stockings.

Up till now, we had connections to the American Base and I got my supply of olives the last two years there. Now, I will have to come up with something creative for this year. I know it is just a matter of time until Hannah really finds out the truth. But I am enjoying her not knowing since my older two kids have known since they were in Kindergarten.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Soccer Pictures

Last week I was able to attend one of Spencer's soccer games. It doesn't happen very often, and I really enjoy it. I took my camera of course. Spencer spotted me while I was taking pictures and starting waving his hands at me telling me to stop. But I didn't.

Love ya Spencer!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Max and Moritz

During the summer after our trip to America, Shantal was at a Theater Camp for two weeks. And On Saturday, Shantal performed in a Children's Theater. All the kids at this Theater Camp practiced for two weeks and then there were some weekends practicing as well.

There is a popular book series out here called Max and Moritz. And they performed 7 different Max and Moritz short stories. Shantal was in two of the short stories and played the lead role in both.

In the first one, she was someone who sleeps and while she is sleeping, a bunch of ladybugs come and she shoos them all away.

In the second one, she was a farmer. I don't recall the story that goes a long with it.

But Shantal had a lot of fun in this. Theater is something she has a passion for and I am sure this was just the beginning of watching Shantal up on the stage.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kindergarten Grillfest

Friday Night there was a Grillfest at the Kindergarten that Emma goes to. It was for the whole family for those kids that attend the school and for those that just left the school to go to Elementary School.

It was a lot of fun for the kids. They had a bouncy thing and a slide where you use a sled. They were a huge hit for the kids, especially Ian. Ian rode the slide over, and over, and over again. He went by himself most of the time. And even learned to bring his sled back up to the top of the hill. Learning to stand in line and wait his turn was a bit harder concept for him to grasp. He was fine if he was on the stairs waiting. But to be on the grass, well, that just didn't work for him.

Here are some pictures and a video of the kids, except none of Spencer. He had to come late because he had Soccer Practice.

March 2007