Fasching are the holidays leading up to Ash Wednesday here in Germany, and nearly everyone celebrates it. Everyone dresses up and has a good time, including the Kindergarten where the boys attend. In the weeks leading up to it, Kristen started prepping costumes for the boys. Apparently the classes had a play and a program and need specific costumes. M was to be a wild boar, and J a duck. What?! Kristen worked her genius. I took some time off and together with Kristen we showed up on the appointed morning. Turns out, we were the only parents there! Nonetheless, we enjoyed it, and the boys loved it, too. They performed just for us!
You throw a surprise party for Papa!
Kenya is an amazing place. I had been there a long time ago visiting an Aunt and Uncle, and to accept an invitation to a weeklong intercultural studies conference was a no-brainer. To swap stories and experiences with intercultural practitioners from all over the world was truly stimulating. I only wish I could’ve taken my family along, but they wouldn’t have liked the all-night 10 hour layover on the way back.
We finally got some snow… FINALLY! It snowed once, and we hastily shoveled it into a pile for the kids to enjoy, because sure enough, it hasn’t snowed since, and it doesn’t look like it will again. The boys were loving it, Emilie, was not so sure about all this.
Emilie has a love for anything computers… now, how did that happen? Surely, this doesn’t come from MY genes?
The kids continue to grow. Amazingly the boys will soon by five years old. (*did I just say five?*) Emilie is turning into a little queen. Indeed, she expects a certain standard of living.
Yesterday was special, too. I took one of the boys to a nearby castle for a hike, and all us boys are now outfitted with suspenders! Watch out! A new trend is coming!
We picked up our Christmas tree this weekend, at the local hardware store. The tree man used something like a huge pencil sharpener to shave off a bit at the end of our tree. (I think that is supposed to help it soak up the water better and fit in our tree stand??) Then they sent the tree, bottom first, through a little tube with netting on it, to wrap up the tree. This makes for a compact tree, easy to transport home, without damaging the branches.
Once home, we got our tree in the stand and then snipped off the netting. Easy peasy. Oh, but watch out for flying branches.
Then we, and I mean all of us, decorated the tree. Even baby girl helped hang an ornament. (She wouldn’t have it any other way.)
We also have an advents calendar!
I took old baby socks, put numbers on them and then filled them with either a treat or a task (ie. make a present for your teacher, sing Christmas carols together, make cookies for the neighbors). I strung it on our heater… if you cross your eyes and squint, it almost looks like a fire place… :D. Voila!
The boys are loving it!
It’s that time of year… the Christmas markets are back, along with the carousel.
Every Friday, after kindergarten, the boys get a treat for going the whole week. This all began last year when the boys first started kindergarten, and weren’t always excited to go. The carousel was a good reward to get them through the week. But after Christmas time, the carousel was taken down, and we needed to find a different reward. It eventually evolved into ice cream
Up until last week, the boys have still been insisting on ice cream, even though it was freezing outside. I kept trying to convince the boys to try something different… not so cold…
But, alas, I knew the only thing to “break” their pattern would be the carousel.
Hooray! Hooray! Today was the day!!
I pulled out some Christmas decorations today, cut out some snowflakes, and this is what my kitchen window looks like.
How to clean up your driveway from fallen leaves. All you need is a dump truck and a daddy with a rake.
Recently, I picked up a German cookbook from our region, and discovered, much to my delight, that the recipes were divided up by season. My hubby has recollected, many a time, about a plum cake he remembers eating as a child. And since it is plum season, I quickly turned to “September” in my new cookbook, in search of this Plum cake.
Low and behold, I found it, made it, and thoroughly enjoyed it!