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?

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

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.

I’m sick… so its time for a blog update

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.

Tea fields in the Kenyan highlands.

Tea fields in the Kenyan highlands.

Amazing tree at conference center.

Amazing tree at conference center.

What could this possibly mean? Hint, this was in a bathroom.

What could this possibly mean? Hint, this was in a bathroom.

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.

"Is it time to go in yet?"

“Is it time to go in yet?”

Great use of Tonka trucks

Great use of Tonka trucks

Emilie has a love for anything computers… now, how did that happen? Surely, this doesn’t come from MY genes?

Love a mac.

Love a mac.

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.

You may kiss my hand.

You may kiss my hand.

Feb 003

Feb 001

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!

Feb 006

Feb 005

Oh Christmas tree!

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.

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Once home, we got our tree in the stand and then snipped off the netting. Easy peasy. Oh, but watch out for flying branches.

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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.)

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We also have an advents calendar!

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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!

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The boys are loving it!

 

Friday fun!

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!!

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I pulled out some Christmas decorations today, cut out some snowflakes, and this is what my kitchen window looks like. :)

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A little fall clean up

How to clean up your driveway from fallen leaves. All you need is a dump truck and a daddy with a rake.

Step one: Ram your dump truck into leaf pile.

Step 1: Ram your dump truck into leaf pile.

Step 1.5: Better make that two dump trucks.

Step 1.5: Better make that two dump trucks.

 

Step 2: Fill dump truck with leaves.

Step 2: Fill dump trucks with leaves.

Make sure dump truck is full to the brim.

Make sure each truck is full to the brim.

Step 3: Back dump trucks into final pile, and dump contents. (Make sure you don't lose your truck in the pile!)

Step 3: Back dump trucks into final pile, and empty contents. (Careful you don’t lose your trucks in the leafy mound!)

Step 4: Go back for your next load... watch out for raking daddy!

Step 4: Go back for your next load… watch out for raking daddy!

Step 5: When leaves begin to move from where you are sitting, move to a better location.

Step 5: When leaves begin to move from where you are sitting, move to a better location.

The middle of the leaf pile. That's more like it!

The middle of the leaf pile. That’s more like it!