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When Mom’s away… 

What do you do when Mom’s away? Build paper airplanes, of course. According to one of the builders: “They are cool and good. They fly easy and fast. Rockets are faster than airplanes. Helicopters can go very loud motor, and when you hike you see an airplane. You can build paper airplanes, too!”

So, without further ado, here are the airplanes!

First, the bulldog:

From the top.
From the top.
From the bottom.
From the bottom.

Second, the harrier:

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And, lastly, the hammer:

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Thanks to The Art of Manliness website.

Its also been fun going on walks with Nana this morning. We weren’t quite sure what the weather would be like, so Matthias decided to dress for all occasions.

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"Kings of the mountain!"

Slug hunt

We’re going on a slug hunt.

In Steigerwald, a forest just outside of Erfurt, with many walking trails.
In Steigerwald, a forest just outside of Erfurt, with many walking trails.

We’re going to catch a big one.

Our fearless leader - stick out, always before him, to catch the cobwebs.
Our fearless leader – stick out, always before him, to catch the cobwebs.

What a beautiful day!

Soon after this picture, the dandelion fluff was all over daddy's back.
Soon after this picture, the dandelion fluff was all over daddy’s back.

We’re not afraid.

"Kings of the mountain!"
“Kings of the mountain!”

Uh-oh. Ewwee-gooey!

Slug!!!
Slug!!!

We found one. (Or two.)

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Super Heroes Galore

A house full of super heroes!

Super Heroes Galore

I asked one of my boys, what he wanted to be when he grew up. “Superman,” he said. “Why,” I asked. “Because then I could get lots of money.” “What do you want to do with lots of money?” I asked feeling like Bill Cosby. “So that I can buy lots of toys.” Of course! (*Lord, help our little materialist!*)

And, of course, life is much more fun with capes… 

Capes are the best!
Capes are the best!
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Getting easier

Just a little update on how my youngest is doing, adjusting to kindergarten.

Hot cocoa! A sweet treat for making it through another week at kindergarten.
Hot cocoa! A sweet treat for making it through another week at kindergarten.

Her regular routine is to be happy all the way until she is needing to go into the door of her class room. Then she cries.

BUT… she doesn’t cry long.

Daddy usually drops her off. He gets her in her room <crying>, then helps her brothers get settled in there rooms. On leaving the kindergarten, he peeks in through our baby’s door, and she is happily coloring at the table… no tears what-so-ever.

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Eventually, she will forget to cry. :)

Otherwise, she loves it there!

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Eingewöhnen

When a child first begins kindergarten in Germany, there is a time called “eingewöhnen” – or “getting used to.” This is a chance for the child, and parents, to get used to being in kindergarten. This can last from 3 days up to 2 weeks – however long it takes the child (and parents) to become acclimated to their new environment (ie. not being at home with mommy or daddy).

Usually the first day of “eingewöhnen” involves child and parent visiting the kindergarten and staying for about half and hour, together. Day two would be parent brings child to kindergarten, hangs around a bit, then leaves for about 15-30 minutes. Then comes back for child. The following days would stretch this time out longer and longer, depending on how child reacts to their parent being gone, until child can be at kindergarten the whole time, without being traumatized from separation (parent included). ;)

I am just finishing up my baby’s “getting used to” time. It took longer than I expected, seeing as we are going on in week #2 now.

The first few days, she acted as if she were “home”, but after a few days, the realization set in that I was leaving her there! Tears!

Today, though, was her first full (half) day at kindergarten. Even though we left her in tears, she was able to settle down, and enjoy her day. And it is pretty nice that her brothers are just down the hall, and looking out for her. (They helped comfort her at kindergarten on previous days when I was gone.)

It sounds like she is already starting to use her German (not that I knew that she had any??) but I guess you pick up on language when you hear it around you. :D

Anyway, she is doing just fine…

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…and so is her mommy. :)

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First day of Kindergarten!

And they’re off!

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Today is my little girl’s first day of Kindergarten. She will only be going half-days, but is very proud to be (finally) going to school with her big brothers.

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Today is the first FULL day of kindergarten for my boys. That means they get to take a nap there. Their bedding is in those 2 garbage sacks they are holding. Packin’ in style! ;)

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When did my kids grow up so quickly?

Counting my blessings… 1, 2, 3.

Now, they don't want to stop! Nor do they really know how. :D

How hard could it be…?

It all started when the boys were very young. They didn’t know how important having wheels are for life, and had to be introduced to the concept. But they quickly caught on… 

Checking out what's behind the curtain.
Checking out what’s behind the curtain.

Soon, however, they outgrew them, and thanks to Papa B, a new set of wheels was provided.

Trying to jump!
Trying to jump!
Daddy and the boys, and a fancy set of wheels.
Daddy and the boys, and a fancy set of wheels.

Not long after that —precisely three sets of crocs which doubled as brakes— the low-riders were replaced by running bikes.

Nearly two years after getting the running bikes. At this point, they are quite proficient. Hi Papa!
Nearly two years after getting the running bikes. At this point, they are quite proficient. Hi Papa!

But after a while, their knees were up to their chins, and it was time, for the BIG JUMP. So, dad, bought two new-used birthday bikes, thinking they were the same size (never trust advertisers), but finding out after the fact that they weren’t, but thankfully that hasn’t made any difference. With many protests (I’m going to fall!), and reassurances (some kind folks at SHSU bought you some cool knee protectors and cool riding gloves), we were finally able to get them on the bikes. After keeping them up on two runs, they were off…

Pedal for all your worth! Never stop!
Pedal for all your worth! Never stop!
Keep going, keep going! Don't stop!
Keep going, keep going! Don’t stop!
Now, they don't want to stop! Nor do they really know how. :D
Now, they don’t want to stop! Nor do they really know how. :D

My only question is, what next?

E is dressed up as a blue berry for Fasching.

We got Pigs and Ducks in the house!

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!

E is dressed up as a blue berry for Fasching.
E is dressed up as a blue berry for Fasching.
M with a classmate
M with a classmate
She was ready to participate.
She was ready to participate.
In full costume… notice the snout, the tail, and the brown fuzzy fur.
In full costume… notice the snout, the tail, and the brown fuzzy fur.
J is doing the duck-waddle for his part in the play
J is doing the duck-waddle for his part in the play
I'll color a present for him.

What to do when brother gets invited to a birthday party, and *I* don’t…

You throw a surprise party for Papa!

Mom made a chocolate and vanilla cake. And I had mom buy some donuts, because Papa likes donuts.
Mom made a chocolate and vanilla cake. And I had mom buy some donuts, because Papa likes donuts.

We'll blow up some balloons. I guess my sister can play with some of them.
We’ll blow up some balloons. I guess my sister can play with some of them.

I'll color a present for him.
I’ll color a present for him.

We'll all sit and eat cake together, and call up Auntie Stephie on Skype so she can be there, too.
We’ll all sit and eat cake together, and call up Auntie Stephie on Skype so she can be there, too.

And then we'll have a family picture at the end.
And then we’ll have a family picture at the end.

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