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)

Christmas in Review

Every now and again we manage to gather the majority of the family from around the world to one spot. With seven kids/grandkids/nieces-n-nephews age nine and under the house fills rapidly… very rapidly! We had so much fun. One Uncle taught the kids to shoot the bow. An Aunt made a portrait of a picture. And yet another Uncle got into character as Mr X from Scotland Yard. And, of course, we lit our Christmas tree, with homemade decorations and real candles.

Outside is the best play area! Nearly all the kids at work!
Uncle as ‘Mr X’ playing Scotland Yard.
Our Christmas tree.
Brother and sister checking out the Lego box.
Checking out the dog.

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.

The surest measure of the passage of time

Children, in my mind, are the surest measure of the passage of time. The start squatty and small, yet day be day (with some love and some food) they grow… and grow and grow and grow.
Before you know it,
they look like sausages stuffed in too-small clothing,
they are bumping both the top and the bottom of a bed,
they are grabbing everything within reach,
they are creeping across the floor like… like the slow steady creep of time itself.

And so, I’ve come full circle… if you want to keep track of time, have a baby.

Papa, let’s build a house… with a tower!

“Papa B, let’s build a house… with a tower!”

Those were the words that started a summer-long project. Papa B, the construction foreman, and his two apprentices, began to work. They have learned to saw, to pound nails, to use clamps, to measure, and many other valuable things. Thanks, Papa B!

It all started, of course, with some conceptual, semi-architectural drawings of what they wanted.
It all started, of course, with some conceptual, semi-architectural drawings of what they wanted.
Just about the right height for two seven year olds… and don't forget the safety helmet!
Just about the right height for two seven year olds… and don’t forget the safety helmet!
From the side… it even has a window!
From the side… it even has a window!
Using the screw gun!
Using the screw gun!
Everyone get's a turn!
Everyone get’s a turn!
Working with the clamp.
Working with the clamp.
Measuring with their own measuring tapes.
Measuring with their own measuring tapes.
That's loud!
That’s loud!

Summer time and loving it!

Summer in American with the grandparents is a wonderful time. Exploring, learning, tasting, relating. The time is going too fast!

In America and with the Grandparents
In America and with the Grandparents
"We've got some sawing to do boys."
“We’ve got some sawing to do boys.”
Staining the deck… yes, more stain was on the deck than on the kids —barely.
Staining the deck… yes, more stain was on the deck than on the kids —barely.
The kids discovering a genuine American water fountain.
The kids discovering a genuine American water fountain.
Eating at Zeke's. You have to stop at Zeke's when crossing Stevens Pass.
Eating at Zeke’s. You have to stop at Zeke’s when crossing Stevens Pass.
It was delicious, and so was the view.
It was delicious, and so was the view.
Emile and I celebrating our 44th birthday.
Emile and I celebrating our 44th birthday.
A daddy-date at the local malt shop.
A daddy-date at the local malt shop.
"Look ma, I can ride a bike!"
“Look ma, I can ride a bike!”
Tis blackberry season. You should've seen the pie we made!
Tis blackberry season. You should’ve seen the pie we made!
Just beautiful!
Just beautiful!
Papa B's little helper.
Papa B’s little helper.
Did you know it can snow in July?
Did you know it can snow in July?
On a hiking adventure.
On a hiking adventure.
A rest with Papa B.
A rest with Papa B.
Overview of Wenatchee
Overview of Wenatchee

Wandern ist des Müllers Lust… 

One of the boys’ classes was going on a school outing to an old castle 30 minutes drive south of Erfurt. Papa B was going to be here, too, so we made a Man-Day. A few days before the preparations went into full swing: we bought manly snacks and packed them in our manly backpacks. The email from the organizers said that though you could drive there, some would meet at a bus stop in a nearby village and hike to the castle. Well, that sounded manly, so that’s what we were going to do.

The day arrived, beautiful and sunny. We got everything ready, filled our water bottles and got our hiking shoes on, and set out for the village. We got there, just in time. After the bus came and went on which the other hikers were supposed to come, and no one got off, we knew that we’d missed something.

Well, there was nothing to do but to start hiking.

We saw many wonderful things… 

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… including brilliant fields of raps

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… deer stands

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(… and cows, many dandelions which got decapitated, sheep/goats, hippies, but sadly dad didn’t think of taking pictures of those)

… and finally, the castle itself (where the hippies live). We got there about 40 minutes too late. I guess dad had done the manly thing and wasn’t detailed enough in his planning.

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And where were the others? They either drove all the way to the castle or started from a nearer village. We ended up walking a total of 10 KM there and back! That’s pretty good. Its good we had our manly snacks along, otherwise we would’ve run out of fuel for the way back.

I was so proud of my boys!

When Gram and Papa B come visiting… 

Planting an apple tree.
Planting an apple tree.
Holding baby.
Holding baby.

Its always wonderful when Gram and Papa B come visiting. On the way home from school one day, Papa B was telling the boys how if you planted an apple core, you might get an apple tree to grow. However, the apples wouldn’t be the same as the one you planted. The boys thought having their very own apple tree would be a good idea. So, when they got home, Papa B got out the spade, and they buried the apple core, watered it, and then put up a sign where we planted it. And now the waiting begins. The boys were sure, they’d see something growing by this summer. We’ll see!

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.