Sunday, August 31, 2014

First Week of School

 School started this week!  Both boys got the teachers that we wanted!  
 Ethan lucked out and got both of his best friends in his class.  
Link is split from Julian, BUT they have recess, the bus, and soccer to see each other!

Thankfully, Ian and Sean are in his class again this year!  Link was also awarded the principal's award this week for volunteering to do the daily fix on the first day of school!  It's going to be a great year!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tennis Camp

The guys finished up Tennis Camp today.  I didn't get any shots of them actually at Tennis Camp, but this picture is too cute to not share!  
They started on Monday and it rained on and off all day long.  It was also between 50-60 degrees.  All day long, my stomach hurt.  I thought that when I picked him up at 3:00 they were going to be miserable!!!  I was so relieved when I showed up and saw the rain!!!!
Day two and three were even better!  They loved it so much that we bought them both rackets! They begged the night of day two to go to the courts and practice.   I was thankful that we did because Nate was able to give Link a few pointers and he is now able to get the ball over the net!  
Tonight, we took them back and they had so much fun!  
They both want to continue with lessons.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ghent and Brugge

 We woke up Saturday morning and drove from Brussels to Ghent.  
This was a church from Monument's Men that Nate wanted to see.  
We drove from Ghent to Brugge.  I didn't think it was possible that there could be more people in any other Belgian city besides Brussels for the flower carpet, but I was wrong.  They were all in Brugge.  

The Church of our Lady in Brugge has a Michelangelo sculpture.  
Hilter stole this statue and thankfully the church recovered it.  

  Monument's Men had another church scene in Brugge.   
While Nate was looking around, the boys and I rested our feet.  
 It turns out that our friends, the Harrigans, had the same stops planned.  They were in this church too!
 Next mission, CHOCOLATE!  We stopped and got truffles from a local shop.  
We also stopped and got Godiva chocolate covered strawberries!
 We HAD to stop for Belgian waffles!
 Fun concrete chairs (and full bellies)!  
 I have no clue how but we managed to put away some mussels and fries too!
 We ordered three orders of mussels (thinking it would be a light dinner).  This was ONE of the pots!
He put a good dent into it!  We left sad.  We had SOOO many more mussels, but we were stuffed!  

Flower Carpet 2014

 Brussel's Grand Place fills with the Flower Carpet one weekend in August every other summer.  Rachel, the kids, and I went the first summer we were here.  
We had a great time and I think Nate was a little jealous that he missed it!  
 We knew we had to see it again this summer.  Two years ago the carpet was an African carpet design.
 This year's design was a Turkish rug.  
 He was happy he saw it this time!
 I have to say this time there were many more people!!!!
 We actually had a really hard getting close enough for a good picture of the carpet from the ground.  
We've been to Brussels a few times, so we saw the carpet Friday night and left for 
Ghent and Brugge Saturday morning.  

Devil's Table (Teufelstisch)

 I've heard great things about the Devil's Table, but there is not a lot of information online about this place.  In fact, I could not find the address only GPS coordinates.  I put them in the GPS and headed out.  I noticed it said it would take us 75 minutes.  I thought this place was 45 minutes.  About an hour into our trip, the boys start screaming, "FRANCE!!!  We don't have our passports!"  I pulled over and started searching on my phone.  It turns out the GPS coordinates were not correct.  I found the name of the village where the Devil's Table was located and hoped we would find it.  
A half our later, we were there!  Nate and I were laughing that our boys knew that they needed passports to go to France.  
 Thankfully, there were lots of signs and we found it easily!
We scarfed our lunch in the car and then started our hike up to the Devil's Table. 
 The Teufelstisch was impressive!!!
This was the cutest shoe bench!

The boy's favorite part was the HUGE slide!!!  Ethan and Link made the gigantic climb up to the slide about 30 times!  I was exhausted just watching them!
 Link found the zip line!  At the end, it slung him into the air every time!  I had him do it about 10 times, because the pictures were so funny!  
 As they were playing, I notice a few guys climbing the rock!  CRAZY!
I successfully wore them out!  Woo-hoo!

Family Pictures

These are our latest family pictures!  


 Right before school was out for the summer, Bri and I linked up our calendars and made a summer bucket list of activities for the boys.  We took the boys to Lake Ohmbachsee to enjoy the paddleboats.
 Bri and I put the boys in one boat and told them to paddle back so that we could get our boat out.  As we were getting in our boat, the boys started SCREAMING!!!  "We are floating off.  Where do we go?  What do we do?"  Bri and I were cracking up.  Calm down fellas!!  Pedal!!
 Link's feet could not reach the pedals.  He used his hands!
 The bigger boys put him in the back!  
 Bri and I had a fun time!  The boys were very frustrated with their boat ride!  They wanted it to turn quicker and sharper.  They also didn't like pedaling!  It was a comical day!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Summer Chores

I always have these HUGE plans for summer.  
I get so excited when school is out and the boys are home!
And then....reality hits and we don't get half of my big ideas accomplished!
This summer we took a HUGE vacation and came back tired!  So, I noticed we were watching a lot of TV and playing a lot of video games.  The boys discovered Master Chef Junior on Hulu.  
Ethan was obsessed and started begging to get into the kitchen.  He made tacos on Monday night.  He was SOOOO proud of himself and Nate and I were super pleased!  

He also found a recipe in a library cookbook for a lemon poppyseed cake.  He made that for dessert last night.  I don't think he enjoyed the cake as much as he thought he would, but Nate and I loved it!  
Link has no desire to get into the kitchen, but he did come out and ask what I was doing when I was trimming the bushes.  I gave him some clippers and he went to town.  
Nate and I both could get used to this kind of help!  Even though my list of fun plans is barely touched, we have done more than I would have expected at home!