Sunday, November 30, 2008

Y2W27 - Thanksgiving is just another day

At the girls' school, they have a Christmas performance of the dances they have worked on for this semester. Bailey's class was on Tuesday and Avery's class was on Thursday. Yes, Thanksgiving here in Bonn is just another day. We began the day very early trying to thaw the turkey in water. We all had to be at school by 8:15am to have our conference with Bailey's teacher. Greg and I spent the majority of the day cooking. We each would take turns putting something together. I was much less stressed about Thanksgiving this year since it was mainly just our family with a couple of missionaries thrown in. I really missed watching the Macy's Day parade on TV while cooking. We had just enough time to eat in between the dance performance and the Lion's game. They lost as usual but it is still fun to watch American football every once in a while.

Friday, after dropping the girls at school, Greg and I went shopping in Bonn. It is amazing how the minute Thanksgiving dinner is over, my brain completely switches over to Christmas, just like that. Christmas music, Christmas shopping, Christmas cards immediately take front stage. The Weihnachtsmarkt was up and going so it was really fun to take it in while it wasn't so crowded. Below is a picture of me eating (big surprise) my favorite Weihnachtsmarkt food: champignons mit kräutersauce.

More Bonn Weihnachtsmarkt Pics:

After school that evening, Avery had a Birthday party to go to at the Circus School in Bad Godesberg. Bailey had a sleepover at a friend's house. We decided to drop Avery off and take in some of the Bad Godesberg festivities...

Here is Avery walking the "high wire" at her party:

On Saturday, yes, we hit yet again a Weihnachtsmarkt but it was one we didn't get a chance to go to last year - in Aachen. It was very crowded considering it was Saturday but still fun. We were all a bit tired which made the family dynamics a bit shaky at times, but we lived. It allowed us to evaluate how we've been doing as a family and if we are meeting our family goals. We had a family meeting where the outcome was that we could all do a better job of "making honey." We used a beehive analogy. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Y2W26 - Schnee

It truly was a very basic week except that Greg was under the weather and stayed home from work for two days. That NEVER happens. Bryn has been diaper free for a couple weeks now, however, we are not quite accident free. In fact we had a little incident in the doctor's office last week. That was embarrassing. For years I've heard my mom talk about how she told the doctor that my sister was completely potty trained and she looked over and in the corner my sister was squatting in the corner doing her business. I always thought that was the funniest story until this week. But, I am trying really hard to "enjoy the journey." I have been crankily trying to keep up with life these days and last week I tried hard to just enjoy the good, and endure the bad without getting too emotional about either one. I have to work a little harder this week to accomplish this.

We had snow on Friday. We had snow on Saturday. We had even more snow on Sunday.

Saturday, we went to the English Store in Cologne. The snowflakes were huge on the drive into the city. We were looking for some Thanksgiving essentials. We bought quite a few sauces and things. We saw a box of Cap'n Crunch for 10 Euros which we didn't buy but we were shocked by the cost. We went to buy a birthday present for a party Avery was attending that afternoon and the stores were packed. It was essentially "Black Friday" in Germany. It was crazy, but at the same time fun to see the energy of the season. We will of course stick to our roots and not start buying until the day after Thanksgiving.

Sunday I had to teach the RS lesson. I totally chickened out and did it in English. I really didn't have time to prepare it in German this time but I felt a bit of disappointment in myself that I didn't at least try to do it in German.

The snow on Sunday was quite amazing. It actually stuck to the ground and in our backyard we had about one and a half inches. The girls thought it was awesome and played out in the yard for about ten minutes, when they came in and demanded hot chocolate. If you remember, last year, we had a mere dusting of snow a couple days before Christmas that the girls called a Christmas miracle. I tried to take a picture of the blizzard but it didn't come out so great.

This was how much snow we had Saturday morning. We ended up getting even more Sunday evening but alas the camera was not handy to capture it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Y2W25 - The Daily Grind

First off - I have to apologize for forgetting to mention that one of the highlights last week was that my friends had a baby shower for me. I kept telling them that it was unnecessary and most of them brought us a little something when Lleyton was born so I certainly didn't want any of them to bring more presents. But, none-the-less, they had one for me anyway. It was so much fun. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera so I have no pics of the event. We have made some great friends here and I will be sad when one of us leaves. I think we will probably be the first to go. So, thank you Claudia (who hosted an amazing spread), Julie, Astrid (who couldn't be there due to sick kids), Susan, and last but not least Byron. What would I do without you guys? The thought and time spent was greatly appreciated.

Now on to this week...November 11th is St. Martin's Day here in Rheinland. The celebration of this happened on Thursday Evening at the girls school. Here are some pics of the festivities. It was so much more fun this year because we knew people, and we knew what was going on. Last year we were very confused. This year, both Bailey and Avery found their little group of friends and we all walked the parade as a group. I tried to get a video clip but it was too dark and you can't hear the people singing the St. Martin's songs, so I had the girls sing them for the camera later.

During the week, Lleyton started smiling and rolling. I did manage to get a couple shots of the smile but I was too slow to get the roll, he was getting a little frustrated with me when I kept putting him on the floor on his tummy just to get him rolling over.

This week I asked Bryn what she wanted for Christmas and she said an iPod. She's three. I seriously don't know where she gets this stuff.

Other highlights of note are: I got the much needed haircut on Saturday. It was a long time coming. It took four hours for color and a cut which was not exactly what I wanted but it is a million times better than wearing a pony tail everyday. If anyone still gets their hair cut by Allison, tell her I miss her. When I got home, Greg and Lleyton gave me a look like, "What in the world took you so long." Then, I went to a Relief Society Humanitarian Aid Project in Düsseldorf, this time taking poor Lleyton with me. I felt sorry for Greg as I was gone most of the day and he was not feeling good.

Sunday, Lleyton was two months old and these are his two month pictures:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Y2W24 - Fall Leaves, Brynisms, and Lleyton Video

There is not much to report in the way of highlights this week, just a couple cute pictures and a couple funny stories. On Saturday, Greg and the girls raked the leaves in our backyard. After a few minutes, I looked out the window and saw more fun being had than raking. Isn't Fall the best!

One day last week while I was feeding Lleyton, it seemed that Bryn was wanting some attention so I told her to go get a book and I would read it to her. She got the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Book. I read it to her once and asked her if she would please read it to me. She opened the book and said, "Hola, My name is Charlie Brown..." I had to contain my laughter. I guess we have read one too many Dora the Explorer Books to her that all start, "Hola, My name is Dora or Soy Dora."

Yesterday, I asked Bryn if she were the one who rubbed cream cheese on the glass door to the patio and her response was, " was butter."

Lleyton is usually not the most content baby. We had a couple of really good days last week and I tried to get this video of him being content. Plus, he is hard to photograph because he is always moving around.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Y2W23 - Week of Halloween

I am always spooked when it comes to the week of Halloween. Even here in Germany where it is not that big of a deal at all. It just always seems like there are a ton of things to do during that week. This year was a bit more mellow. We didn't have any parties to attend, costumes to make, or cookies to bring anywhere. I had to make a few alterations on Avery's dress but aside from that, it was pretty easy. The girls were very excited about trick-or-treating, so we went to the American Compound. It officially is not an American compound anymore, but it used to be when the American Embassy was located in Bonn. They still call it that, and there are still a ton of Americans that live there, so many of the people participate in Halloween. We ran into some friends from school and Church right when we pulled up so it was great to have some friends with us.

Here are some pics of the 31st prior to trick-or-treating...

Trick-or-treating (Bailey is missing because she attended a Halloween Birthday Party)...

And, Post Trick-or-treating...

My kids were a bit peeved at me for making them wear coats but it was so cold. I tried to get Avery to put her coat on under her dress (it would have fit, and looked fine) but, get this, Avery said it made her look fat and she would rather have her coat on top of her dress than look fat. Seriously, where do five year olds get this stuff? Especially Avery who has been under weight and off the growth chart since she was seven months old. Her whole life I have been trying to fatten her up.

Bryn has been less of a "treat" this week as she has found a mind of her own and is not shy about using it. Her most common answer this week when asked to do something was a resounding, "NO." I could really do without that.

Bailey has decided that I am not giving her proper authoring opportunities on the blog so she has created one of her own. It is invite only and only for family at the moment. We will see how it goes.

Greg was asked to go to the Temple on Saturday with some of the Ward members. This is a photo of those that went. The best thing about going to the Temple is you always come home on a spiritual high which tends to resonate throughout the house.

Avery attended a Birthday party for a classmate which was themed, Hansel and Gretel. Everyone of the kids made these fabulous gingerbread houses and decorated them with candy. What a cool idea for a birthday! She was extremely proud of her house...

Just some cute photos of the family this week. Greg made Oreo milkshakes for us one night and this was Bryn's Oreo moustache...