Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Day in Speyer

Saturday, we drove with some other people from our parish to Speyer. We saw the Cathedral, two protestant churches and a Jewish museum. The kids hung in there for the whole thing. Therese walked the entire day without complaint.

Things I did not get pictures of because I was driving:

a chimneysweep on a bicycle in a black top hat and suit, carrying his ladder.

a tiny little car that looked like the one Miss Clavel drove in the movie 'Madeleine'.

Things I did not get pictures of because I was eating:

The traffic that was inches from the back of my chair at the restaurant where we ate lunch.

Things I did photograph:

We started our day with Mass in this little chapel inside the Cathedral.

Therese recognized this picture as one we have at the house.

window inside the chapel

There was a section dedicated to Edith Stein. I would like to go back without kids one time to be able to take more time. I felt a little rushed and even though we had a pamphlet in English, all the signs are in German.

I wish Tony could have heard  this duo of musicians.

the Cathedral

one of the protestant churches, I think Trinity Church

This one is Lutheran. That would be Luther. The statue, not my son.

Jack loved this tour bus we saw and I loved the name, since Tony's first suggestion when we are naming a new baby is always Guido.

A bad traffic accident on the Autobahn brought traffic to an hour long stand-still. Thankfully, we had some audiobooks with us and the kids did get out and walk around a bit too.

We were just getting in our cars to finally get home when the clouds parted and the sunlight came streaming through.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Success and Failure

As I stand here in the kitchen waiting, waiting for the ham to finish cooking (failure), I thought I'd type up a little post.

Silly me, I thought that things would go smoothly. Peter has finally decided that sleeping all night is a good thing and has done so successfully for nearly a week. Until last night. Really, though, I can't blame him. I will have to blame Anna. For reasons still very unclear, she awoke shortly after midnight, declared she couldn't sleep, and noisily started flipping pages of her book, with her light on. Her bunkmate, Therese, slept through this for a while, but inevitably her body woke to the bright lights and she then declared that she could not possibly sleep without a sippy cup of juice. She declared this not quietly. So, of course, in all the hub-bub, Peter awoke and joined the ranks of the not sleepers.

Let us keep in mind at this point that the Easter Bunny has not visited our house. And he needs to. But children are awake and parents are failing to convince them to fall asleep.

Somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00, Anna finally went to sleep. Therese had joined me in my bed, and Tony and Peter were snoozing in the comfy chair downstairs. Does anyone else have nights like this? We call it musical beds.

I got up with the alarm at 6:00. Groggily I made my way downstairs to make sure the bunny did his job. He did. (Success) So I started in on making the cinnamon rolls which have become an Easter morning tradition. (also a success). I did forget to buy some bacon, a traditional Sunday breakfast staple. (failure)

No one woke up. I was not surprised. So I poured some coffee and sat down to knit. (success) Little voices and little feet could be heard above not too long after that and the morning began in earnest.

Easter baskets were found with much candy in them (success), cinnamon rolls were eaten, and then the process to get ready for Mass began. Here is the big failure...I did not get pictures of my kids in all their finery!

We survived Lent (success) and people were glad to have back those things given up.

There was a potluck after Mass today, for which I forgot to make a side dish (failure), but I had made a carrot cake for dessert tonight. We took that and considered it a success since all those calories were shared with many.

I pray that all of you have had a truly blessed Easter Day!

1) because doesn't everyone build lego musical land on Easter morning? and 2) who can resist the dueling Abe Lincoln's on the piano?

See? Hard to resist, aren't they?

The accordion player. Do you see the teeth marks in the accordion? We got him a lego seperator, so he doesn't have to use his teeth. He still does, sometimes.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Random thoughts and a little frugal craftiness

Today is Holy Thursday. The Last Supper. The Institution of the Eucharist. The washing of the feet, whereby Jesus showed us the attitude by which to live. Lent has been interesting, as it usually is. What I think I should focus on, and what God reveals to me? Not even in the same ballpark. On Palm Sunday, I really felt that I had failed to make any real changes in myself and believe me, I am in need of change. Monday came and I got up renewed in my desire to make the most of the holiest of weeks. One little change. One thing I have been doing differently. I can see that this is what I need to help me in so many other parts of my life.

Have I mentioned before how beautiful it is here? I have? Well, it is so beautiful that the pictures I take are very disappointing, for they seem to dull and veil the view.

These fields of yellow are like sunshine for your soul. Scattered among the green of new growth and the rich brown of newly broken soil, they bring a swell of happiness in my heart as we pass them by.

The gentle roll of the earth, the lone tree, the sky with the careless little clouds are like a balm that soothes the hurt as it heals the wound.

I have an overwhelming desire to go running down one of these fields with total abandon.

After reading 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn', I feel the need to not waste anything. Repurpose, reuse. My grandmother grew up in that same time and she is a very frugal woman, saving anything that might be used again. It is in that spirit that I made this needle case.

The outside fabric is the leg from my jeans that wore out in the knees. I cut the length from the back side of the leg, which was still good.

The green fabric is the one piece left over from making covers for my bowls.  That is how I decided how big to make the case. I just used the rectangle that was left. I then took another strip of denim from the other leg of the jeans. This one is half the width of the leg.

The brown is some bias tape that my grandmother once gave me. She has macular degenration and can no longer see very well. On one of our visits before her vision deteriorated too much, she went through her sewing things and gave me some lace that she made, wound on a little card, along with other bits of sewing notions. I treasure these and love adding them to projects. I see them and think of her.

The only thing I actually measured were the spaces for the pouches. Even that was only a dot as a guide where to start. I pinned nothing and just winged it. I added a layer of batting between the fabric to give the needles some protection. I added a wider piece of binding to the side and made a buttonhole in it for a closure.

Here is my 'helper'. He kept taking things and running off, laughing because he thought he was funny. When I stood up from the sewing machine to lay all the pieces together, he scared himself by standing firmly on the pedal and making my machine whir loudly. He then retreated to my bed to watch, but being 20 months, could not resist touching everything I had gathered for my project.

And now, I must go and prepare for Easter!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Saturday morning dawned cold and overcast and found us loading up the car for our drive to Legoland. This has been a much anticipated trip.  Arriving in Germany, still clinging to his barf-bag, Jack asked, "Can we go to Legoland tomorrow?"

This little piggie even made oinking noises. Appropriately, he is stationed beside the line to order food. 

 Peter was not happy about being on the back of a lego pig, but was not sure how to remedy the situation.

Attempting to poke him in the eye was not effective.

Gouging both eyes not effective either. Crying for mama did the trick.

 "Would you like more meat with your order of meat?" The German fare is definitely heavy on the meat! Those swirly sausages were on a stick, lollipop style.

Trying his best to remove the sword in the stone. King Arthur he is not.

The next goal: Bury Jack in the sand. It is a lot of fun, by the smiles on their faces.

One of my favorite lego creations in the park.

Did I mention that the menu was heavy on the meat?

I'm not sure what they are planning. I didn't know whether to feel safe or worried, until I saw the storm troopers riding the roller coasters! I think they are friendly.

Tony was most impressed with the likeness to Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn of the guy on the left.

Full scale model of the x wing fighter. Made with over 5 million legos.

See? I believe the storm troopers are friendly. They lovingly posed with our children.

We are now season pass holders, so until the next time, Auf Wiedersehen.