Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Field Trip

On one of the first truly spring days, we joined our Catholic Homeschool group on a field trip to the Wildpark in Potzburg. Being my introverted self, I was nervous about going. But I am so glad that I got myself and the kids there because it was a fabulous day!

We started with a hike that was at least 2 1/2 miles. It was invigorating, and as I was huffing and puffing that last bit, I realized I have been like a hibernating bear through the winter. I have been very sedentary these past months.

Then we saw the animals! Did you ever see the original Disney's "Jungle Book"? The scene with the buzzards trying to decide what to do, shrugging their shoulders, saying "I don't know. What do you want to do?" Buzzards walk just like that! Imagine!

Then came the part that my kids will not soon forget. They got to actually let falcons fly up and land on their arm! Owls too. Oh, what a joy watching their faces. Me, I am not so brave, and I must admit I was a little freaked out with the falcons swooping right over my head.

After the wildpark, we headed to get some dinner before going to see Anna sing in the Honor Choir. She even played the percussion part for one the song selections.

What a wonderful day!

boys and sticks

kind of ironic that this boy used to love goat milk

what a vista

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.