Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Narrow Way

I feel like I am a fairly observant person. Looking out the window while we are riding in the car, observing nature, or the beautiful houses, or the little oddities, that is what makes the drive interesting. The kids will call out from the back if they see something exciting. An antique car, a bicycle built for two, some large bird perched on the entrance sign to the autobahn.

So how is it that after living in this village for eighteen months that I never noticed the statue of Our Lady nestled in a little alcove above the door of one of the prettiest houses in the village? I have gazed at that house so many times, yet I just noticed Mary the other day. I have been thinking about her and this morning I thought of her as leading us toward the narrow path to Heaven. There are many ways to enter our village. The main one has recently been blocked off though, to allow for bridge repairs. So we must choose one of the smaller roads into the village. The most narrow one is the street with Our Lady's outstretched hands. "Come this way, my child," she seems to be saying.

Oh, that narrow road. I want to travel it. I know it is the right path, but oh, it is so hard sometimes. Just like that narrow road in our village, it is the most challenging to navigate. You cannot move quickly. You must go slowly. You must practice patience and charity and many other virtues while traveling on this road, or you may just find yourself blocked in with nowhere to turn.  But it is also the most lovely and it leads us home on the straightest path. The paths of life and of Our Lord are not so different if you stop and think about it.

I took all these photos while on a walk to take a picture of the house. We were all grumpy in the classroom, tempers were short, and so I made everyone go with me. Grudgingly is the way I would describe my crew's accompaniment at first. But by the time we had made it down the hill and entered the main square of the village, attitudes had improved and we had a great time observing the little things.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Yarn Along and Stuff

I finished the mouse and gave him some pants. The sweater is on the needles. He really is a cutie and I can't wait for him to have a warm little sweater for the cooler weather we are experiencing.

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. A friend had posted a link with the idea to make an edible rosary out of chocolate chips. Since I almost never do things like that, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a whirl. The little kids loved it, but Anna said at the end that she thought all the chocolate was too distracting. But we prayed our rosary, which is always a good thing.

I am still reading "The Middle Moffat" to the kids at bedtime. I finished the Don Camillo book last night and when we made our weekly trip to the library yesterday, not one, but two of the books I had requested were available. So I now have to decide which one to read first. Such troubles I have!

Joining Ginny, as always.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Apple Orchard Day

Today was a perfect fall day. Cool temperatures, a beautiful cloudless blue sky, and an orchard full of apples. This was our second visit to this orchard with our little home school group and it was such a pleasant, fun, relaxing day. We strolled among the trees. The kids were running hither and thither. We got to eat apples. I bought some honey. I asked whether it was local. The lady gave me a funny smile and replied, "Well, the bees are out there with the apples." So, yes, I would say it is local honey.

Listening intently to how they grow the apples

Hugging the giant apple

No, we did not pick this many. These are waiting to be pressed into fresh juice.

Watching the apple press in action

Juice, being pressed out of the ground up apples.

Proof that is was indeed a perfect fall day.


The moms

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yarn Along

Life is full speed ahead over here and the thing that keeps me calm is knitting. It is my stress reliever. The kids have started ballet and drama. That takes up three afternoons. The crock pot will be seeing action again after a long summer hiatus. It also means I have more time to knit while sitting and waiting for their classes to end. Peter has a 50/50 chance of falling asleep on the way to his sibling's activities, and if he does, then I have uninterrupted knitting time. If he doesn't, I try to bring something to hold his interest for at least part of the time.

I am currently working on three projects. A little white mouse. A soft, squishy, baby blanket. A pretty purple shawl. The baby blanket currently goes everywhere with me. I have the pattern memorized, and it is the one I need to finish first. The mouse sits on my desk, staring at me, waiting for me to make the rest of him. The shawl is for me, so it gets the least attention right now.

 I am currently reading "Don Camillo Takes the Devil by the Tail" by Giovanni Guareschi. I highly recommend this series about Don Camillo. Easy to read and most entertaining.

Joining Ginny, as usual.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


It rained for a week. Well, maybe not the whole time, but basically, it has been rainy, cloudy, gray, and gloomy all this week. While I was waiting it out indoors, fall arrived. I noticed it yesterday when the sun finally pushed through the clouds and I went to the park with the kids. Little yellow leaves were dotting the trees. The air felt different. Fall.

Today, on our morning walk to get some milk, eggs, and butter, a spiderweb caught my eye as we were walking out the door, which made me run back inside to grab the camera. Carefully observing God's beauty always makes me feel better. It is a sort of soul therapy. Maybe you could use some too? Take a look!

Yesterday was not a good day for her. She walked in front of someone swinging, she fell off the monkey bars, landing on her face, and the tears were many and the wails were slightly ear-splitting. She finally laid herself out on the play equipment and sobbed "Poor, sad me"! This morning found her in a similar mood.

They tend to walk ahead of me and the little ones, chatting about who knows what.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Tripsdrill Birthday

Yesterday, Therese turned 5. She is the end of the "birthday season" and we can now return to our normal eating habits! We had been thinking of going to Legoland to celebrate the three birthdays, but the mere thought of driving for four hours was a huge deterrent to the adult population of our group. Looking for something closer in, I looked up the Technic Museum. We have been to the one in Speyer, but there is a second one in Sinsheim that happens to have two supersonic jets on the roof that you can explore. There was a ticket option to add Tripsdrill to the package. I had no idea what it even was, so I clicked on the link. It was an amusement park set up like a town in the 1800's. It was a lot closer. We skipped Speyer and spent the day at Tripsdrill. We had a great day.

We arrived at lunchtime. Keeping everyone occupied with the drink coasters.

Concentration is required.

I get this look a lot lately.


Come on Dad! Let's go!!

There is a slide inside the windmill. You ride down on a burlap sack.

The birthday girl got in free!

Ice cream! Yum!

These were called "wobbly bikes". The wheels were offset on some. On others, the pedals were attached to the rear wheel and the rear wheel turned, while the front wheel was stationary.

"When will we get to the roller coasters?"

Clearly, the ducks are a bigger hit with the little kids.

The Germans are smart. This play area is located just outside the entrance to the roller coasters. Peter hung out here while Tony and I took turns riding with the older kids. Even Therese was tall enough to ride.