Thursday, March 23, 2017

This and That

(All the photos are SOOC, no editing yet.)

This has been an unusual week. Typically, we spend most of our day in the schoolroom. However, I signed up Jack and Therese to take swim lessons.  I need them to be more confident and capable swimmers. You see, our time here in Germany is almost over. Tony's next assignment is Korea. We made the decision to not accompany him. I will be the one taking all the kids to the pool this summer by myself. They are doing really well and progressing quickly. Peter and I have been sitting poolside, reading books, coloring, and generally having a good time together.

Tonight was Anna's band and choir concert. She had a small solo in one of the choir numbers. I sat there wondering if I should send her to a brick and mortar school in the fall. It is a hard decision and one that I will be pondering for a while. I was doing a little people watching during the concert and I was sad to see that so many little siblings were sitting with devices in their hands, playing games or watching movies during the concert. Even some adults were playing games on their phones. It seemed so disrespectful. Can we not give our complete attention for one hour to our children or siblings? What about the band director who put so much of her time into this concert? If I were a braver soul, I would have told the man next to us to put away the phone. Sadly, I did not.

Oh, and another out of the ordinary event happened last night. Tony and I went to a ballroom dance class. You could attend for free to see if you want to continue. I watch people dance and wish that I could move gracefully like that. While I had a wonderful evening with my husband, I do not think we will continue the classes. It was something that someone said after the class that stuck with me all last night. I asked why he started taking the classes. His answer was that it was a fun hobby for him, since he is single and has no children. I realized I already have many hobbies that I enjoy and to add another would be selfish in my mind. My family needs me to be focused mainly on them. They are my greatest gift that God has given me and they deserve my time and attention and love. One day, when they are all grown, maybe we can pursue another dance class. For now, we will continue to step on each others feet when we attempt to dance, and that is all right with me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

weekend fun

On Saturday, we went on a mini-pilgrimage to Bad Durkheim with a group from our church. We celebrated Mass at St. Ludwig's. There was a painting behind the altar of the Crucifixion, except that the thief on the right had the face of Hitler. It was supposedly painted in 1939.

After Mass, we walked through a park toward a tiny chapel on a hill. The chapel was St. Michael's chapel. It was nestled in among the vineyards. Afterwards, we descended the hill and made our way to the world's largest wine barrel, in which we had our lunch. We wandered around for a bit before heading back for the Vigil Mass.

St. Ludwig's Church


St. Michael's Chapel

We ate lunch in the barrel.

The nice gentleman who told us about St. Michael's Chapel let the boys ring the bell.

A tour bus getting ready to depart from the world's largest wine barrel. Jack wanted to take a ride in it so very much.

Sunday found us in our mini-minivan again, this time going to Schwetzingen to an Easter egg market. The market was located inside a palace with one of the largest gardens I have ever seen. I plan to go back in a few weeks, once the plants are all in bloom. I had bought the kids eggs from a market last year, but only one survived unscathed. The rest are in various states of brokenness. We found replacements and then strolled through the gardens before loading back up in the van to come home for pizza and movie night.

I will say it was hard to roll out of bed this morning and get back to the normal routine after such a fun family weekend.

We spied this cute little car while walking to the palace. On the back window was written "Just Married".

This goose was making quite a racket, and then suddenly he and his buddies took off in flight.

not so graceful trying to get airborne.

My family

Slightly more presentable, but still their goofy selves.

We are standing in front of a mirror in the shape of a person. On my knee is a gap in the mirror, showing the sidewalk behind the mirror. The rest is a reflection.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A New Path

This morning, as I got ready to take Anna to band, Peter looked at me with his big brown eyes and those lashes that go for miles and asked if he could come on my rosary walk with me. Umm, there is no way to say no to that, so off we went! Usually I walk along the sidewalk near the school. Today, though, I had planned to go just outside the base and take one of the German paths. Then, as I drove past the school, I noticed these little signs with arrows, pointing to a wooded area. Well, I have not noticed them before, so I decided that it was where I supposed to go. I parked the car and we embarked on a little adventure, just Peter and me and our rosaries. ( And my camera too ;) )

The path was laden with a heavy blanket of brown leaves and so many branches that we had to be deliberate where we stepped. Which is good because we took our time, praying and observing. We watched little birds flitting nervously from tree to tree as we walked by. We saw a pair of hawks coming to their nest and leaving again. Perhaps feeding babies or preparing for their arrival.

We strolled along with a tall, green chain link fence on one side of us. There were two rusted drums, a tire and a hubcap down an embankment on the other side of the fence. Peter thought that was funny. We only met one other person on our walk, a jogger, though I have no idea how she managed to jog on that path without falling! Just walking, Peter and I still managed to stumble on branches hidden beneath all those leaves several times apiece.

I am so grateful for this unexpected change in our daily routine. It's those little things that can make the biggest impact.

A fallen birch tree

A baby feather. We saw three feathers along our walk.

The two drums and the tire

My walking and praying buddy this morning

Some kind of fungus growing on a tree stump. So pretty!

All these photos are SOOC. (Straight out of the camera) I only did some cropping.

Always a good idea to hold onto your rosary while climbing up hills. I love his not matching socks!

We had a great walk!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Afternoon

Last weekend, we joined some friends on a Volksmarch. Basically, a hike. On the way home, I took the back roads instead of the Autobahn. We passed several castle ruins on the 45 minute ride home.

Today, I drug the family on an outing to explore those ruins. The first one, we could find no access to any kind of path to the ruins. We saw some donkeys and goats and I took pictures of the castle from the bottom of the hill. We decided to move on.

This was one of the highlights for Jack. He loves the movie "The Love Bug".

 The second castle we saw,  we wandered around a bit and found the walking path. Jack and Anna had the goal of getting to the castle by using any method but the path.

 The "path" was quite frightening in itself. Very narrow and only a barbed wire between us and the steep slope. The view from the ruins were breathtaking.

I also had Anna take a couple of photos of me in my newly finished sweater.

  Although I had to drag everyone there, they all thanked me in the end and we had a wonderful afternoon.