Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thankful

Thankful for ignoring the weather forecast and taking a chance at the Playmobil Park. The weatherman was wrong, as usual, and there were only a few sprinkles.

Thankful for my friend Anne, who knew that her friend in Kentucky and her friend in Virginia would also be friends if ever they should meet. And we did today in Germany of all places. Thankful that Anne was right.

Thankful for juice boxes that can double as ice packs when kids fall and hurt themselves.

Most thankful for the kindness of strangers who don't speak the same language but share the language of motherhood. Thankful that when a three year old wandered away, this mother stayed with her until I found them. There were lots of tears. The three year old, me, and the other mother, who gracefully and silently left the two of us to cling to one another and just be thankful that nothing truly bad happened.

Thankful that the park had dryers for when seven year olds fall in the water.

Thankful for the 20 minutes it took for his clothes to dry so that we could just hang out together, he wrapped in a blanket and coloring a picture, me drying his shoes with a hair dryer, and talk about everything and nothing.

Thankful that we made it safely home.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Culinary Hike












With a zero percent chance of rain forcasted, I awoke to steady, rhythmic rain on the roof. We have planned an outdoor activity for today and I am worried. Our first train ride here too. Oh, Jack will be so disappointed! But we forge ahead and hope that the skies will clear. It is still raining as we board the train. The kids are so excited though, that it does not matter. We successfully switched trains twice, each time, the train being fuller than the last. As we finally reach our destination, a 4 mile culinary hike, the skies are already looking better, but the ground is a mucky, muddy, mess. Puddles are abundant too. The wheels of the stroller are caked with a thick layer of mud and I decide to just enjoy the day and not think about all that mud and all those puddles. And I did. The wine was wonderful, the food was delicious and the company friendly. Who could ask for anything more?


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Yarn Along

Now that I know that this sweater made it to it's new home, I can show you the final pictures without spoiling the surprise. Oh, I tell you it is so hard to hand over that hand-knit item to a postal worker and trust that they will handle your package with care.

I am still reading 'The Gift of an Ordinary Day'. I am about halfway through and I really wish I had been able to read this when my older girls were not already grown and out of the house.

Joining Ginny, as usual.

Before adding the buttons. I went to my first German fabric store and managed to convey my need of small buttons.





Tuesday, May 20, 2014

On the Surface




 






Isn't it amazing how pictures can capture a moment, but not capture it?

How we can turn to the camera, put on a smile, strike a funny pose, and make everything look grand. But just after the shutter snaps (I don't know, does a shutter snap on a digital camera?), reality returns. Life is messy. And noisy. And sometimes not so pretty. I guess it makes you appreciate the neat, quiet, beautiful moments when they occur. Or maybe it helps you seek out the good when you really want to throw in the towel.

Looking at my magazine with pretty pictures of salves and creams, I picture this nice quiet time in the kitchen mixing this and that and making something good and wholesome for me and the kids. I should have taken a "during" shot of the kitchen! What a mess for two tiny little jars. One for me (body butter) and one for Peter's tush (the whole reason I started this mess in the first place! )

I want to create a world for my kids that they can look back on fondly. I hope they can filter out the yelling and bickering and recall the day that mom brought lunch outside on a special tray and put the tablecloth over the metal utility table to make it fancy. I hope they recall these days as being the best of times. For that is how I think back on my childhood.

I am trying to find a rhythm here in this new home of ours. I am reading, taking notes, trying out ideas. Trying to be better for my family, so that we can all reap the benefits. Trying to come to terms with the things I can't change and forge ahead bravely to fix what can be changed. For I can change how I choose to look at things, and that may just make all the difference.

Friday, May 16, 2014

My little soloist

Peter is very musical. Just don't try and sing a duet!

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Yarn Along

I am knitting a blanket for my niece's first baby that is due on the birthday of my first baby. I showed her some possible patterns and we talked colors, and I am really happy with the choices. The yarn is so soft. The kids all like to caress and touch my knitting. The weight and drape are also deliciously nice. I hope that she loves it as much as we do!

For reading, I am starting on my library books. I am trying to steal little moments here and there. A few minutes on the couch with my coffee before the morning dishes and school. After the kids have left the table at lunchtime and have gone outside or upstairs to play. And a page or two before I fall asleep while laying with Therese, who still asks for me to stay with her until she falls asleep each night. I will admit, I am usually the first one of us asleep!

I am linking up with Ginny, as usual.

I am being purposefully vague so that my niece cannot see the whole thing until it is finished.

Still vague, yet you can see all the colors.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On a rainy Monday morning/ Tuesday evening

Oh, Monday, here we are again. And you are a rainy, gray, cold, mess of a day. Don't you know that it is so hard to be motivated when the conditions are such as they are?

I am waiting not so patiently for this rain to stop. I have flowers and vegetables and dirt. I want to plant them. It rains, then slows and maybe the sun will peek out for a few minutes. Then the clouds blow back in, the gray returns and so does the rain. We even had a couple hail storms yesterday.

I do have two books waiting for me at the library. It does not open for several hours yet. One was recommended by Barbara. The other by Ginny. Perhaps we will go after lunch.

Maybe, just maybe, I need to learn from my kids. They are stuck inside too, yet their little imaginations can get past the rain and they are transported to made up worlds and adventures.


Guess what? Now it is Tuesday evening and the weather is exactly the same as yesterday. Rain.  No rain. Rain. No rain. And on and on it goes.

I did make it to the library. We had to go on post to get travel passport pictures made. The picture taking was the easy part. Then we walked over to the passport office. We took a number. Number 51 to be exact. They were on number 17. Seventeen! I took the kids and we walked over to the library to pass the time. Only the library closes from 2:00-3:00. We got to the doors at 2:07. Drat. We started walking back when a man on a bicycle whizzed by and then suddenly stopped. It was our priest! He recognized my motley crew and we had a nice chat. We got back to the passport office and they were calling number 31. Drat. We sat. We sat. We sat. Then we filled out the paperwork and left. We went back to the library and then made our way home.

Tonight, I am pondering how to be a more patient, more loving person. I truly want to be that person. When I am in the thick of things, I somehow forget. Some kind of autopilot, and not a good one mind you, takes over and I hear myself saying things I don't want to say. I will be pondering these things while I clean up the dinner dishes, which is what I should really be doing. The kids are playing, the husband is at a meeting, and I will pour some wine and ponder and wash.












Friday, May 9, 2014

From the classroom table



If anyone else has a child with perfectionist tendencies, then you will appreciate the following example.

It says, "John was a bold lad. On the start of every school year the students were asked to write their name on the chalk board and every year it was the same."

When he saw the word 'bold' on his spelling list, he was so excited that he could quote one of his favorite books. Part of his weekly assignment is to use his spelling words to make sentences. His favorite book? John, Paul, George, and Ben. He does have good taste in books.

He let go of the need to have every word spelled correctly and had fun writing. A BIG breakthrough!


While we were doing spelling, Therese asked if she could practice her handwriting. I said sure. Can you see what she did?


She was looking at it upside down.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Another side of Speyer

We returned to Speyer today. I am not sure Jack could have handled the disappointment if we hadn't. You see, as we left the town last Saturday, looming before us as we approached the Autobahn was a most impressive display of aircraft. There was a sign which said "Technic Museum". We found out that it not only has planes but all sorts of vehicles, including 'old-time cars' as Jack calls them. All week, he has been asking how many days til Saturday.

Oh, we had such a time! We are weary, and I think I will be calling the local pizza joint to supply supper. Outside, there was what looked to me like an abandoned playground. Boy was I wrong. Think of any amusement park in the US, and you know how all the rides are monitored and kids are carefully measured. Throw all that out the window. You are given fair warning in writing, but you may get on whatever you wish, as long as you plunk in a Euro. And we plunked down many a Euro!

Most of the exhibits and rides had signs in German and English. Let's just say someone fluent in English did not do the translating! The signs were hilarious to read. They provided more amusement than some of the rides.

Now, if you will excuse me, a hear a bottle of Advil (and maybe a bottle of wine too) calling my name.



She didn't realize that the carousel, which she, for unexplained reasons, called a hurricane, was for display only.


She was told she could not ride the carousel.


He has my love for photography. I always love to see the world through his lens.

These two were practically inseperable, often going off in their own direction and making their mama worry.



She cheered up.







Okay. The frugal side of me decided to make my own pizza while waiting for the videos to upload! I just couldn't pay someone to make something I can do here just as well.

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