Saturday, December 27, 2014

On the third day of Christmas

We awoke to snow and it is still coming down in fine, fat flakes. The kids and I made another snowman, turned the slide into a sled, shoveled the sidewalk (twice, so far) and took a walk into the village to buy some groceries.

I had a playlist in my head as we walked. "My favorite things" from The Sound of Music as the snowflakes stayed on my nose and eyelashes. "Winter Wonderland" as we walked along the streets, passing other people bundled up, the buildings and trees decorated with a layer of fresh white snow.

As much as I have an aversion to the cold, I must admit the beauty of the morning lifted my spirits. So did my kids, running ahead to make snowballs and hide around a corner to try and ambush their mother. Trailing behind to notice the little things only kids notice.

Now I am home in my cozy pink house, my family around me. I am so grateful for all the blessings God has seen fit to bestow upon me. I am thankful for snowy days that lend themselves to card games, hot chocolate, or maybe a movie marathon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas....

...from our family to yours!

We had a friend take some photos in front of the tree at the chapel this evening after Mass. Why, you ask? Well my friend, our Christmas tree cannot even be catagorized as a "Charlie Brown" tree. Nope. That would be too nice a description. Tony affectionately dubbed it the "mutated Chernobyl tree". That is pretty darn accurate. I won't even post a picture. It is that sad.

May your Christmas be filled with joy and love!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Heard recently around here:

Therese at the dinner table: Mom? Can I switch places with Anna tomorrow night?

Me: Why?

Therese: So you can look into my beautiful brown eyes.

Peter snuck some chocolate, the last piece to be precise. Anna saw him and exclaimed, "Hey! I want some of that!" Peter turned around and said, "You wouldn't like it," and promptly shoved the chocolate in his mouth...and ran.

Monday, December 8, 2014

On this day

You can make plans, but sometimes God changes those plans. I planned for our family to have a quiet little Advent. We pulled out the Nativity sets, the advent wreath (we actually even had new candles!), our book we read to the kids and the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure books. I planned to visit some Christmas markets for our first Christmas in Germany.

Then all of a sudden we were on a plane, flying to be with my husband's family as we say good-bye to my mother in law.

This morning, as we discussed where to go for Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I realized that the Basilica of the national shrine of the Immaculate Conception was right here! Oh how amazingly beautiful it was! One archbishop, two bishops, and so many priests! We saw nuns from three different orders. We recognized the white sari with blue stripes of the Missionaries of Charity of Blessed Mother Teresa. Oh, and the man who sat down next to us was from Germany! He prayed all the prayers in German and I realized that the language I found so harsh nine months ago sounded so meloldic to me this morning.

Peter and Therese slept through the Mass, but woke up as we were looking at the little chapels dedicated to all the different names that Mary is known by. Peter was only looking for one thing: the tabernacle. When we came to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, he was so happy.

I have been preparing to consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadelupe. The Archbishop's sermon really spoke to me and helped me feel more ready to make the consecration.

Isn't it amazing how God puts us exactly where we need to be? We can plan, but in the end, we just need to trust that God's plan is perfect and embrace it.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Prayer Request

Please pray for the repose of the soul of my mother-in-law, Eileen, who died early this morning. She was a wonderful woman, strong in her faith. I will miss her weekly letters to us, the comic page she saved for the kids, the little surprise packages that would show up "just because". She will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

winter wonderland daybook

outside my window...

We awoke to the first snow of the season. I must admit even I had that magical feeling of wonder and awe as I gazed out the window, flakes still falling in the early morning light. I love the quiet of a snow, how it seems to muffle out all the noise and chaos, and leave a white blanket of calm over all it covers.

I am thinking about...

how I love homeschooling, so that we can take the morning to make a snowman when the snow is the perfect packing kind of snow.

the transformation as each child came drowsily down the stairs and then immediately became a ball of energy upon looking out the window.

the fun of bundling up and heading out to make a snowman. He may have already fallen over, but we enjoyed rolling the snow, laughing, scouring the yard to make his features.

the reality that we still do have to do schoolwork, but for now, I will sip my coffee and pretend that we don't.

I am reading...

"33 Days to Morning Glory" for me.

"Destination: Bethlehem" to the kids. (An Advent tradition)

I am creating...

a bunny for Jack, since he had on his Christmas list "a nitid buney".

a sweater for Therese. I am using Ginny's Sunday Sweater pattern. I love the pattern. I do not like the yarn, but it was free and Therese likes the color, so I will use it.

 a color matching game for Peter. It is a pinwheel quilt square with 8 different colors and 8 clothespins painted with matching colors. I am hoping for a quiet game to keep him occupied while we work at the school table.

in the kitchen...

I thrive on a weekly menu, and I do not have one this week. I feel frustrated every time I open the fridge. Tony's car broke down and somehow that led to no menu.  Don't ask me how those two things are related, they just are.

I am praying for...

Sophie, who had surgery to repair her ACL yesterday.

All those on my list of intentions.

For my mother-in-law, whose health is deteriorating.

some pictures to share...

they were already whispering about what they could possibly do out there.

Doubting whether this is such a good idea.

a work in progress

They named him "Frenchie".

note Frenchie's mustache


He decided: Not a fan of the snow!


Saturday, November 15, 2014


...that Peter is sleeping peacefully beside me. Tonight he choked on a fifty cent euro coin. By the time I managed to dislodge it, he was limp and cold to the touch and it took several minutes for him to be "himself".

I have not recovered so quickly. I know it could have had a much different outcome.

Hug your children. Let them know how special they are to you. Right now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Yarn Along

I have wanted a new hat for a while, but the right yarn and the right pattern had yet to line up. It happened this week, and I finished it in a couple of days. My first attempt at felting was a semi-success. When I pulled it out of the washer, I was afraid it wouldn't even fit on Peter's head! With much pulling and tugging, I did get it to fit, though I do wish it was slightly larger. The band in the picture is actually a headband that I slipped on the hat. I knitted a black band too. Technically, I could make many different colors, but I doubt I will.

I haven't started anything new reading wise.

Joining Ginny as usual.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday in Photos

According to the weather forecast, this is probably one of the last sunny, mild days for quite some time. We decided to make the most of it and take a hike in the nearby woods. The weather was perfect. The leaves were brilliant shades of yellow. What a glorious afternoon! The German's know how to live, I tell you. Right beside the start of the walking trails, there is a little hut that serves beer and brats. After our walk, which was about 5 kilometers, we enjoyed some German fare in the waning afternoon light.

It is hard to believe that we have been here for nine months. I don't feel like we have taken advantage of those months nearly enough. I already feel our time here slipping away. I mean, we could have already made a baby, and that seems to take forever! Maybe we need to make a Germany bucket list.

Tomorrow, we will head upstairs to the classroom and hit the books, but today, oh today, was just lovely! A balm for the soul.

We watched 'Monsters University' last night. They are practicing their scary faces.

pretending to take my picture with a stick

There was one puddle. And they spent lots of time throwing things into the puddle.

We looked close to see if any little fairies were hiding under here. It just looked so magical.

The view from the playground by the hut.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Family Outing

You know the saying, "If you can't say anything nice...". Well, I  have been a grump for the last couple of weeks. Therefore, a quiet blog. Today, I got my sorry self out of the house and went to a Christmas Bazaar and a castle. I bought some wine and some fabric at the bazaar. But what really lifted my spirits was the fresh air and beautiful fall day at the only castle on the Rhine River that has never been destroyed. There was even a guided tour in English. I always love listening to the "English" tours given by the Germans. They make me smile inside.

There is so much sass in this four year old.

Noticing in these photos that my boys haven't had a haircut since we were in the states. Maybe a visit to the barber is in their future.

My first view of the Rhine.

I love doors.

These are stairs, people. Very scary stairs.

I don't think I've ever seen armor in person before.

Trying to be my knight in shining armor!

I love this one! Everyone is looking in the right direction and they are looking cute too!

The sun was setting as we left. What a gorgeous day!