Friday, November 30, 2012


 Last night, we bought a tree and some 220V lights for the tree.  Imagine our surprise today when we opened the lights and saw this pitiful strand of lights.  A whopping TEN light bulbs!
 The strand covered this tiny bit of the tree.  
 Our tree is very bare.  Apparently, the Germans have small Charlie Brown like trees here.  We used about half of our ornaments.  We also had to buy a star for the tree because our star was 110V.  This one doesn't light up.  
This was the first year that the boys were able to put up all the ornaments.  Of course, Nate and I put our favorites up!  Tomorrow we are starting our Christmas market tours!  I can't wait!  

Planking Berlin

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Berlin day 3

 Day three started off with a walk over to a different section of the Berlin Wall.  As we were walking we saw these statues that were destroyed during the war.  The city has done a great job of rebuilding, but left these untouched.  
 You could see the bullet holes left in the walls. 
 So many people have been taking pieces of the wall for souvenirs that the wall is not fenced off here.
 Just around the corner was Checkpoint Charlie.  This guy was definitely German and for a few Euro you could pay to get your picture with him.  We just stood back and took one!  
 We went to the Checkpoint Charlie museum.  The boys were a bit disappointed that we didn't do the audio tour.  Here Nate is showing the boys Germany and Poland.  
 These goofballs saluted the whole time we were in the museum!
 A view of Checkpoint Charlie from the upstairs of the museum.
 AGAIN....saluting!  This time beside the American Flag and Ronald Reagan.  
 This boy was SPOILED by his Daddy all day!  
Nate carried the big backpack and the big five year old all day!
 Somehow we missed the Holocaust Memorial when we were at the Brandenburg Gate the day before. We walked over to see it.  The visitor center was closed.  It would have been nice to get some information on it, but it was cool to see it anyway.

 As we were leaving the Memorial we walked right by the American Embassy!
 The boys had had enough and were being pretty good troopers, so we surprised them with a visit to Legoland.
 Pirateland was a hit, of course!

 The biggest hit was NINJAGOland!!
 The guys built, and played, and ran, and explored!  
 There were BIG smiles all around!
 We ended the night at a really cool Asian restaurant!
It was such a fun trip!  I am hoping that we meet up again soon!  

Berlin day 2

 We woke up to a beautiful day in Berlin.  
 We bought tickets to a bus tour of Berlin, but it didn't start until 10:00.  We walked over to the Berliner Dom and took a look around.  It was gorgeous.
 We were able to take about a billion stairs up tot the top of the dome to take a look at the city.....I mean fog.  
 Then, it was back on the bus for us!
 We stopped at the Brandenburg Gate and we learned a bit of history.  Apparently, Napoleon stole the statue on the top of the gate.  Eight years later, it was returned by Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher.  After our trip to Paris, the boys have been really interested in facts about Napoleon.
 Next stop....Charlottenburg Palace.  We stopped in and had enjoyed an audio tour of the palace.
 The little guys LOVED the audio tour.   When the adults zipped through a room, the boys would always tell us to wait....theirs wasn't finished, yet!
 This room was my favorite!  It was filled with over 2000 pieces of pottery!
 These guys loved the palace!
Direct quote from Ethan about this hall:  WOW could do lots of races here!
We ended the day with a long bus ride.  The boys were tired and so we finished up the night again to get a good sleep for day three!

Reunion in Berlin

 We met some of my favorite people in Berlin for Thanksgiving!  
I was so happy to be reunited with the Gabrielskis!
 The buddies picked up right where they left off in June!  Ethan may have been a little excited!

 We found a Christmas Market close to the hotel.  So we stopped for dinner and had a Thanksgiving dinner of schnitzel, pork knuckle, and goulash.  We also stopped and let the boys try to snow slide!
 We explored Potsdamer Platz and were able to catch up a bit!
 We were just so happy to have the buddies back together!
 It was also nice to have another person to take family pictures!
 As we walked around we found some pretty Christmas decorations, cool restaurants and Legoland.  Suprisingly, the boys didn't make a big fuss about Legoland.  We ended up surprising them yesterday with a trip to Legoland.
As we walked back to the underground, we ran right into a piece of the Berlin Wall.   We headed back to our hotel and tried to get a good sleep for our first full day of exploring!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I think it is time to push back Ethan's bedtime.  I don't know how we have gone this long with a 7:00 pm bedtime, but he goes with it!  We usually let him stay up a read for a while.  He is so responsible.  He usually turns his light off and goes to sleep about 30 minutes later.  This morning, Nate woke up at 6:00 and his light was on.   When Nate asked him what time he got up, he told Nate that it was around 5:45.  Nate said, "WHY are you up so early?"  He told him he was just so excited to go to school!  Nate did not "get it," but I totally do!  I loved going to school and when I could drive, I was always the first one there!  I love that he loves school!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


 Ethan's buddy, Chase, had his ninth b/day party today at the outdoor recreation center!  
 The boys had a chance to practice climbing for a little bit.
 Then they each received two climbs with the instructor belaying them.  
 It took Ethan both tries to sort of get the hang of it.  It's funny that yesterday he wouldn't go down a slide, but climbing a giant wall........sure!
 He made it to the top! Coming down was a bit tricky.  He didn't get the hang of using both feet to push off the wall.  He kept spinning around.
 Once he was down, I noticed he hit the side of his head coming down. 
 He was fine and it didn't seem to phase him a bit!
 Lincoln was ready to go!!!  He had been practicing on the small wall for while and wanted to try out the big wall!
 This fella was a natural.  He just seemed to "get it!" 
 YIKES!!!  My baby is high up!
 He had to take a bit of a break towards the top.  His little legs were getting a work out!
 He also figured out how to come down really easily.
The best of the whole party was that BOTH boys were invited to spend the night!  Chase has a little brother in Kindergarten and his mom thought they would all enjoy a night together!  When we picked them up this morning, we learned that they had little sleep and might be a little tired today!  I declare a jammy day!