Basketball Fasching and Princess

When the boys came home with free tickets for a BBL basketball game, we jumped on it as a way to make a memory. They have never been to any professional sports event before and had never seen the game of basketball played, not even on the internet.

One of the boys was not feeling the best, but with a good dose of pain meds we set off. He really wanted to go. Our team, the Gotha Rockets, lost, but the atmosphere was great. It was so loud that for the first half the boys sat with their hands over their ears. At halftime we “fortified” with a Fanta and a Sprite. Feeding sugar water to your mouth helps the ears get used to the noise. Great fun!

Go team!
Can you get so close for an NBA game? When the game was done, the team walked right by us to exit the arena.

Then the sickness hit. By Thursday morning we had two sick boys, and by noon, dad joined in too. After a few days of agony, recovery began. When the iPad time is limited, you start getting creative!

There were numerous axes and spaceships made too.

The only one not to get sick was the girl who got to enjoy Fasching. It’s the celebration before Lent begins, and for the kids it is a fun time to eat candy, dress up, and have a party. Both the school and the kindergarten take a whole day to celebrate. At our daughter’s Kindergarten, (for how Kindergarten is done in Germany, where it was invented, look here) you can go for two days in dress up clothes (one of the benefits of Kindergarten).

Day 1: Spiderman (girl).
Day 2: Princess (of course)

Advent season

I find myself with thoughts of preparation, though out the Advent season.

I make myself lists, because my brain is so full of “things to do.”

First, there is the preparing of our house! Decorations, lights!

(I have to keep track of the little Nativity Set pieces this year… someone keeps walking off with baby Jesus.)

Then there is the baking preparations…YUM!

Gingerbread Biscotti
Stollen – a German Christmas sweet bread

 

Preparing for the birth of our Savior Jesus – Immanuel “God with us”

First Advent – Our little girl’s kindergarten lit the first candle on Domplatz in Erfurt, Germany.

Through this Advent season, I am reminded of the wonderful gifts God has given us. Most importantly, His son, who comes swaddled and ready to be opened and welcomed into our hearts. He brings hope, joy, and peace to our weary souls. He fills the deepest longings within us. He satisfies that unquenchable thirst within us. He fills us overflowing, so that we can share His gift with those around us. He brings light into the darkness. And when we have “opened” His gift, we can be His light – we aren’t to keep this gift to ourselves…

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m going to let it shine!”

I am also so thankful for my family.

Time spent together…

Enjoying this season together.

Passing on this Gift to them.

 

Glimpses…

Putting the kids to work! Helping our church tear down after service.
Daddy date… Fanta and Spaghetti!
Daddy date… Fanta and Schnitzel!
Everyone loves riding bikes!
Our son, the future street musician.
Bike ride on a sunny fall afternoon.

Saturday morning…

While daddy was gone to a meeting this morning, we went to the park.

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img_0573img_0572It was a little cool…

Oh, and aren’t these the coolest rain boots?!

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The white dots turn different colors when they get wet. I had no idea when I bought them, and was pleasantly surprised! 🙂

Belated Birthday Party!

A little late, but never a reason not to celebrate our 4-year-old girl!

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Our kindergarten likes making a special occasion of each child’s birthday: Celebrating growth, personal achievements, and just making the child feel really special.

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Since we were in the States during our sweetie’s birthday, the kindergarten was unable to celebrate her. Upon our return, they promptly asked if we could have a belated birthday party for her. Sure!

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Last night, my little helper and I baked up mini-chocolate chip cookies, with mini Smarties (similar to M&Ms) instead of chocolate chips, and poked 30-40 grapes and cheese cubes onto toothpicks.

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This morning, we picked out a dress and braided her hair, and set off to kindergarten to celebrate!

On a side note, she got a little confused at first, and thought maybe she was turning 5. Ha! 😀

 

Applesauce time!

My mother says the best applesauce apples are Gravensteins. And I must agree! They are full of flavor and no extra sugar or juice is needed.

We discovered, last year, that they have Gravenstein apples in Germany. I’ve never seen them in the grocery store, but found them at a roadside vendor and at a farmers market.

Last weekend we checked out our local roadside vendor and found the Gravensteins were in! YES! Applesauce time…

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Oh the sweet smell of cooking apples. 🙂

Beautiful Erfurt

Erfurt at Night

Erfurt is a beautiful city and historically very significant. Erfurt is where Martin Luther was a University students, a monk, and later a priest. At that time Erfurt was printing nearly half the books for all of Germany, and every monastic order had a chapter house in the city. If you like European history, Erfurt and the surrounding region had no small part to play in it.

New, new, new

As September has already galloped past me into mid-September, we are heading into our 4th week of school. The boys have started at a new school this year. They are officially 1st graders!! The first few weeks of new teachers, new school, new “getting up early” time, new friends to make, new expectations, new, new, new, new… the boys have bravely treaded their way through. Now, this is a lot for a 6-year-old to absorb, so almost everyday for the first 2 weeks, we would experience major explosions. Over the littlest things, too. I knew to expect something from my boys, because they don’t always do well with change, but boy, it still brought me to my knees in prayer. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BOYS??

Once they started making friends, it was almost a change over night. Less and more infrequent blow outs. I think they are settling in. Now, I know it won’t be a cake walk from here on out, but it sure is nice knowing we are all settling in.

Summer time and the livin’ is easy…

… well, not necessarily. But there are definitely some fun perks we are enjoying right now. Such as eating homemade ice cream… 

eating ice cream

or BBQing with friends… 

bbq-thuringia

or dressing up as knights (or something)… 

knights in sparkling armor

or simply playing in the dirt.

dirt

Yes, summertime is a good time. Now, better get back to work… 😀

Happy Birthday, Boys!

The snake birthday cake created by a wonderful mom.
The snake birthday cake created by a wonderful mom.
Of course, little sister wants a picture taken, too.
Of course, little sister wants a picture taken, too.
Six years old!
Six years old!
Me too!
Me too!

Its always amazing when the birthdays come around. To think that not too long ago they fit comfortably on my lap, now there’s barely room! Amazing!