Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of Second Grade

 The big man started second grade today!  It was sooo chilly this morning.  He is freezing as I made him go outside for this photo!
 Apparently, the school had our address wrong, so we missed the info that BOTH boys had open house today.  Thankfully, Nate had cleared the time away from the office with his boss. We spent the entire morning at the school meeting teachers, principals, and special teachers!  
 Ethan has a really nice teacher!  I love how she has the boys sitting at a table and the girls at another.  Wonder how long this will last?  :)
This is Ethan's teacher.  The schools seems very open and welcoming!  Both boys teachers seemed wonderful!  Link doesn't start until next Tuesday.  His teacher is doing home visits to meet the kids one-on-one this week.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Daddy's back!

 Nate made it back safe and sound Saturday morning!  He arrived about 7:00 am, so we planned a busy day to keep him awake!
Since we were unable to see the Falsenkirche (church in the cliff) and the castle ruins in Idar-Oberstein when Joe and Rachel were here, we decided to head back and see if we could tour them both.  
 It was a HIKE up to the church.  Legend has it that two brothers fell in love withe same girl.  Apparently, the lady they fell in love with was from Castle Lichtenberg (the first castle we visited).  Lady Bertha chose the younger brother.  In a fit of rage, the older brother threw the younger brother off the castle to his death some 450 feet below!  He fled for many years.  When he returned, Betha had died.  He built the church into the rocks as penance for his brother's murder.  
The boys loved hearing about the story!  We were able to go into the church.  It was very small, but you could see that many of the walls were actual rock from the cliff.  
 It was a HUGE hike up to the castle.  We are all sore today!
 Unfortunately, the castle was not open.  We were able to walk around part of it and take some pictures.
 Thankfully, Nate and I knew that there was an eiscafe (ice cream) back at the bottom!  We bribed both boys to pick up the pace and make it back down for some ice cream!
 Nate stayed awake about twenty minutes before I told him to close his eyes!  
Lincoln made it about twenty one minutes!  (Ethan took this picture for me)  We all thought he was joking when he said he was going to go to sleep so we should be quiet.  He wasn't kidding!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Taking after Daddy

Nate is never one to say, "Hey, let's clean the house today."  However, once we start cleaning he takes it to a whole new level.  I am usually the one that says it's good.  Stop. 
Yesterday, the boys and I started cleaning the upstairs.  I didn't even see Ethan because he was so intent on making his room spotless.  Link followed me around whining about how mean I was making him clean.  He wasn't actually cleaning anything....just whining!  When I told the boys we should go eat some dinner, Ethan said, "Ahhh....I am not done!"  
We need to finish us this morning.  We have the downstairs to tackle!  Ethan is already excited about it!  He told Link that after his video game they are going to get started.  Link, matter of factly, told him "Nah, you like cleaning.  You can do it!"  

Thursday, August 23, 2012


 I have so many things to do to get ready for next week.  Our second shipment of household goods come next Tuesday.  Ethan starts school on Monday, and Lincoln's school told us that his teacher would do a home visit next week.  The house is a complete disaster zone!
This morning I got the kids ready super quick and we set off to run errands and get their haircut!  I should have known that since I had a million things to do that one of them would not cooperate!  This time that child would be Lincoln.  He was a  complete wreck!  He pinched, pushed, spit on, and hit his brother so many times!  He lost video games for the weekend and came super close to having to take a nap today!  I am still not convinced that he doesn't need one!
After lunch (at the food court), he threw his entire vitamin water in the trash.  He just wasn't thinking.  When I said "OH no! You threw your drink away" he lost it!  He screamed and cried all the way to the car.  He kicked my seat.  He started spitting again.  It was bad!
When he FINALLY calmed down, Ethan said, "It's ok Linky.  Sometimes things in life just don't go your way.  It just happens.  There is nothing to be mad about."  If I hadn't been so frustrated with Link, I may have busted out laughing.  Looking back now, it was pretty funny and spot on!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Proud soccer mom

The fellas started soccer tonight!  They are practicing at the same time, so I ran from field to field tonight!  I will be so happy when Nate is back on Saturday and I don't have to run around like a mad woman!  
 I wasn't too worried about Ethan.  He was so excited to get out there and play!  
 His confidence was so strong tonight!  He took lots of risks that he would not have taken last go round!  He loved it and is excited to go back next week!  He even made an effort to talk to a boy on the team and learn his name.
 I spent most of my time tonight watching Link.  I knew that I would spend most of my time with him, but I thought it would be to make him focus and encourage him to keep playing.  I was WRONG!  He amazed me!  He loved it!  You can see by the look on his face that he was having a blast!
 He was focused the entire hour and played really, really well!  They played a game where he had to defend his ball.  He was hilarious!  He kept calling the kids over to try to take his ball. Then with his evil laugh, he would say, "YOU WILL NEVER GET ME!"  
He also got a chance to play goalie!  He watched each player and tried to anticipate where they were going to kick.  I am still in shock at how well he did!  I think he just needed a year to grow and mature! He is also excited to go back next week!  
Honestly, I am excited to go back and see how they do!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


It was 94 degrees today and we have no AC!  We closed all the rolladens (metal shutters outside the windows) and played inside today!  The kids played legos, dress-up, and LIFE!  
Nate is in Florida and our temps were warmer than his!  He needs to come back and bring the cooler weather!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wine barrels

 We live about an hour away from two of the largest wine barrels in the world.  We took pictures to compare! The first one is in Bad Durkheim.  
This one is in the castle of Heidelberg.  I think it is too close to call!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Driving in Europe

Driving in Europe (especially Germany) has been a huge adjustment.  Most people drive tiny cars or motorcycles and I have my eight passenger Honda Pilot!  
 On our way to the black forest, our road was closed.  The GPS detoured us down this TINY road!  I actually thought it was a bike path!  A van started coming towards and I had to get off into the grass so that we both could make it down the path.  
This is a picture of one of the MANY 180 degree turns that are all over the place.  The funniest thing is that the speed limit is usually 62 miles an hour. 
Tonight, Rachel and I went to dinner in this town that is on a hill.  My car fit perfectly on the road.....only my car!  I about screamed when I saw a huge city bus coming towards us.  I pulled over and held my breath!  We made it! 
Germany has many little bitty roads that you can safely drive about 30 mph on.  Then, all of a sudden you get on to the autobahn and have unlimited speed limits.  On our way to Brussels, we drove 80 and were passed by cars like we were standing still!  
I don't know which roads are worse!  

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Every two years Brussels turns their Grand Palace Square into a flower carpet!  
 Thousands of begonias were placed in the square as a carpet.  The theme was Africa.
 For a few euro we were able to go up into the palace and take pictures from the balcony.  The view was breath taking!
 We left the square and went on the hunt for Belgium lace, chocolates and waffles!  We scored on all three!  For lunch we each had a Belgian waffle with toppings!  Holy YUM!!!
We stopped for chocolates and caramels before heading home!  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


 Rachel, the kids, and I traveled to Belgium today!  We stopped at Chateau Jehay.  The web pictures were amazing.  The outside of the chateau were beautiful.  AND...that's where it stops.  We paid 9 euro to tour the house (with an audio tour).  We got to see about six rooms...and that was it!

After listening to a boring two or three minutes on the audio tour, I handed it to Ethan.  He listened to every stinking word!  He and Rachel informed us of what everything was.  It turns out only one item in the house was original.  Everything else was bought from all over the world. least we can say that we have been to a chateau in Belgium.
We drove about thirty minutes into Brussels.  Our first stop was the science museum.  This museum has   thirty REAL dinosaur skeletons.  They were so impressive!  

 The museum was pretty hands on!  The kids enjoyed looking at all the interactive exhibits!

Downstairs were seven Iguanadon skeletons.  In the late 1800's some miners found the bones and started moving them to this museum.  They have them laid out exactly how they found them in the mine.  They also had a model of the mine and where the bones were.  The seven dinosaurs were so close to each other.  This was so amazing to me!
We have a hotel for the night.  Tomorrow we are going to see the flower carpet (it happens every two years), eat some Belgium chocolate, and look at some Belgium lace!  That is the plan anyway!  At dinner tonight, someone stole Rachel's wallet.  She has been on the phone all night canceling her credit cards!  
The fellas have been talking about the incident all night.  We have said many prayers for Rachel and the bad man!  I am saying a prayer that we enjoy tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


 There is a flower field near our village.  In Germany it's called blumen.  You can go and pick your own flowers and then leave your money in a box.  

 I have been wanting to stop forever!  Since Jaden, Rachel, and Liam were here, we thought it would be the perfect time!  
 Ethan loved picking out the flowers!  
 He found the most beautiful sunflower!  
Liam loved looking at it!   
 Once we got it home, it made the most beautiful arrangement.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cute Kids

I think we have the cutest kiddos in Germany!
 The boys are LOVING having Jaden here with them!
They love being silly together!
 Jaden has really grown up and is really doing a great job of playing with each one of them!
Liam is too much fun!  He is such a happy baby!  We have been taking these kids everywhere and they are being such troupers!  We are super lucky to have cute kids AND good traveling kids!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Black Forest

 When I asked Joe and Rachel what they really wanted to see, they said the Black Forest!  So, yesterday we headed to Baden Baden, Germany!  Our first stop was to try Black Forest Cake!  YUMMMYYY!
 We took a funicular (train strait up) to see the sights.  You could see the black forest and France!  It was absolutely gorgeous!
 We drove about thirty minutes south to Lake Mummelsee.  The views from here were sooo pretty!
 I picked up and cute little German girl there!  
 We walked around the lake (small pond).

Before our trek home, we had dinner!  We ordered a German sampler plate!  It was so good!