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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Blessed

Two beautiful children all dressed up by Grampy and my crab appetizers a la Ellie Krieger


My contribution to the feast (made from scratch yeast rolls, baked bread - not from scratch, cranberry sauce - from scratch as well as corn casserole and sweet potato casserole):















If there is anything I know, it is how blessed I am. Although my human nature won't always let me enjoy that wisdom (such is human nature), I know that I am blessed every second of my life. Never once has even a doubt crept into my mind about this. And there aren't too many things I'm that sure of. Obviously David is the biggest blessing, then there are those two little beautiful babies in our lives, we are all healthy, our extended families we are thankful for (parents, siblings, their wives and girl-friends, Uroma). There are so many other things too: My bible. Church and having found one that you also love for your children. Also obvious would be Chai tea in all its various forms. Or lets just say a warm cup of tea that warms your body through and through. Knitting - the cheer pleasure it brings. Scrapbooking - what a marvelous way to keep track of your memories as well as that fabulous digital camera. Blogging is a great way to preserve memories. I love my little menthol lip balm, how it tingles on the lips. Comfy clothes, warm blankets and snuggly beds. Hugs and kisses. Yummy food. Laughter in our house. Warm wishes from friends on Thanksgiving via e-mail. Abigail and Nathan both brushing their teeth without any complaints (on the same day!!). Bread. My new fabulous slippers. A good pair of jeans. Knowing it's 8pm, the kids are in bed and you get to snuggle up on the couch with your wonderful hubby. Smoothies. Days when you really love eating lettuce and veggies. Oh, an all-time favorite: Christmas! Even better?? Snow on Christmas Eve. Heaven! Yarn that feels good, being able to make hand-made presents. Cooking! Quilts and making them. Sewing. Playing the piano. Learning. Christian music. Beth Moore and her bible studies. My friends. A small kitchen. Roses, dahlias or hydrangeas blooming in your garden. Potato soup and how much David loves it. Books. My tea cups. My purse. My marriage. The laptop. Little kids who are slowely becoming my kids' first friends. And yes, good Thanksgiving days like the one today. Family and friends at Russ' house with real yummy food. The kids had a blast and did really well, even without naps. Abigail charmed everyone and looked so darling in her little dress. Nathan just kept everyone busy and was such a good boy. He got a whistle from Kevin and had so much fun with it. So did Abigail. Not so much with the sound like Nathan but more with the air hole at the top blowing wind in her hair. Girls! David translated for me most of the day as I have laryngitis (oh what fun!) but he was so sweet. One time he ran to the store for me and got me a Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks! Then he went on a search for Chlorasept. What a man. Thank you baby and I love you. I am VERY thankful today.

The feast: Yummmm....

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Schokoladen Liste (List of chocolate in order of liking)


Nathan:
Kinder Ueberraschung (chocolate eggs)
Schokoladen Lutscher (aber er hebt sie jetzt fuer Weihnachten auf????) (chocolate suckers made fully of chocolate)
Schoko Muenzen (nicht die karamell)(chocolate money)
Kinder Schokoladen Riegel und Weihnachts Riegel (chocolate filled with white filling)
Weisse Schokolade (white chocolate)

Abigail
Kinder Ueberraschung
Kinder Schokoladen Riegel
Yogurette (chocolate bar filled with yogurt)
Haben noch genug yogurette, also wissen wir noch nicht was als naechstes kommt (we still have enough of the yogurette so we have no idea what is next on her list).

Monday, November 23, 2009

We Love Cooking

We are all looking forward to Thanksgiving. Although we are just getting over a strange sore throat/fever episode, we are definitely ready to move toward the yearly feast. Even Nathan is excited this year. Lorena has asked for some help this year and she caught me right in a phase of my life where I am obsessed with cooking. So the plan is to try and make my first yeast rolls from scratch, a wonton-crab salad appetizer, a corn casserole as well as a sweet potato casserole and a simple green salad with cranberries and walnuts to make it more seasonal. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Will my little sous chef Nathan help me? No matter what the outcome, it'll be so much fun!

Deutsche Uebersaetzung:
Wir freuen uns schon alle sehr auf Thanksgiving am Donnerstag. Obwohl wir gerade noch am Ende von einer Halsweh/Fieber Episode sind, sind wir auf jeden fall bereit, uns in das jaehrliche Fras Frest zu stuertzen. Selbst Nathan freut sich dieses Jahr. Lorena hat dieses mal um Hilfe gebeten und hat mich gerade im Kochrausch angetroffen. :-) Also hier ist der Plan: Selbstgemachte Broetchen (keine gekaufter mix), Wonton-Krabben Bissen, Mais Auflauf, Suesskartoffeln Auflauf und ein gruener Salat mit Walnuessen und Cranberries (um den salat mehr saeison-maessig zu machen). Habe ich mir mehr vorgenommen wie ich machen kann? Wird mein Sous-chef Nathan mir helfen? Egal was passiert, es wir ein Heiden-spass!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Day With Nathan


Today, thanks to my wonderful hubby and his great ideas, we had a Mommy and Nathan only morning. After much debate, I decided to take him to the Dollar Tree to pick up a new puzzle and then to the mall for a caroussell ride. This was so exciting! So off to the Dollar Tree we went with a quick stop at Wendy's for a cheeseburger that he had requested. Lunch at 10am? Why not! :-) While we were driving Nathan kept asking where the "puzzle store" was, probably about 10 times minimum in a 15 minute drive. So there was excitement after all! We strolled through the Dollar Tree, looked through quite a few puzzles, picked 4 (yep, I can't say no!), strolled through the toy isles discussing various toys, picking some craft kits for presents and then paying. We went to the Learning Palace (Oh do I love this store!). They have a great Thomas the Train setup we played with for a while. Nathan was definitely having fun and I can't believe I walked out of there spending only $2! Originally the plan was to go to the mall and ride the caroussell there but then Nathan decided he wanted to go to the library instead as they have awesome dinosaur toys. Happily I drove him there where we checked out books about fire which he's been reading ever since and played lots with dinosaurs. On the way home I asked him if he had fun and he said yes. When I asked him what his favorite thing to do today was (and I thought he'd say getting new puzzles) he answered without hesitation: "Playing with you mommy". Made me teary-eyed.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nathanisms


To Abigail after she kept throwing his puzzle pieces down: "Are you not my friend anymore."

"The poblice is going to get the bad guys and then I'll beat them (bad guys) up!"

"Why did you put that on my plate? I don't like that!" (every night...)

"good-night-I-love-you-have-a-good-night-night, good-night-I-love-you-have-a-good-night-night!"

"I need some Lucky Charms to help me feel better." (with sad face but he couldn't keep it up and busted up laughing"

"I'm not having a good day/night-night"

"I'm a big, bad dada ______ (t-rex, crocodile, etc.....)."

banania - banana

Older ones:

At first meeting with new moms club he yells across the playground: "We're pirates and we're going to kill Abby."

"I very, very love you."

Friday, November 13, 2009

30

Today our smart little boy figured out how to count to 30! However, if you ask him to count to 30, he will assure you that he cannot do it. He can only count up to 20 and then "down" to 29. We are blessed beyond words with the cutest little children and a wonderful, loving marriage. Father, I am truly grateful.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Very Happy Birthday

This year's birthday cake was a Barney cake (her favorite show) with German marshmallows in pink mice shapes and colored gum drops.

The birthday girl, all cute.

Apparently that cake was good. :-)



Abigail with the hat I had knitted her and the hat I had knitted for her bear.





A very proud daddy with his cute little girl and her two hats:


Yesterday was Abigail's second birthday. Wow, two years have come and gone. It's crazy how fast the time passes when you have children.
The morning started by David and I anxiously waiting for our baby girl to wake up. But no sound was heard through the baby monitors. Nathan started to stir and when David sneezed downstairs, we heard a happy "bless yiou dada" from Abigail's baby monitor. So we rushed upstairs, picked up Nathan and then picked up the birthday girl, while serenating her the first of many "happy birthday" songs. She quickly caught on and wished everyone a "happy birthday" as well. In the late morning Matze and Mandy skyped with us and got many laughs watching the kids. They told us about their new place that they are so excited to move into. My mom was next on the skype list and the kids had a blast opening her package (probably not as much as I had though). While the kids napped I finished frosting the Barney cake and made my two casseroles as well as my bread. The kids just love it when everyone's here because they never run out of people to play with them. Nathan likes to re-inact scenes from movies (Bambi, Cars) or stories (david and goliath, Rikki Tikki Taffi) with lots of freedom of interpretation. :-) Abigial just likes to be around people and talk to them or be carried around. It was a very wonderful evening with loads of presents, good food, ok cake and great company.
But how has this little girl changed our lives? She's definitely brought more gentleness and kindness into our world. We are living with constant music and she loves to sing. She's always bouncing, jumping and dancing. Her constant companions are a little worn pink bear (which Grampy gave to her on the day she was born) and a little lamb called "lamby" (given by Matze and Mandy). She's a giver of hugs and kisses ("big one!" and "ohhh"). She makes our hearts melt with her little smile, her big eyes and the smile in her big eyes. She's a red-head for sure: She knows what she wants and how to get it. She's got temperament. There is a chance she'll be trouble when she gets older, but hopefully, she'll always be as sweet as she is now. We love you Abigail. Happy Birthday.






Monday, November 9, 2009

A Really Good Meal

In my quest to deliver healthy, yummy and home-cooked from scratch meals at least three times a week, today's menu brought chicken pot pies from Ellie Krieger. It took me quite a while to get everything going, the chopping, the browning of meat, etc. So dinner didn't get on the table until about 7pm, at least one hour late. However, tonight for some reason, nobody did mind. Nobody was starving hungry and both Nathan and Abigail played nicely the whole time I cooked. After I had prepared the filling for the pot pies, I knew it would be good from the delicious smells that rose from my pot. I put the filling in my favorite bowls that actually work in the oven too (so now I love them even more!). They were then layered with phyllo dough and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. In the oven they went when I realized I barely used any of the phyllo dough. A split-second decision was made to make Ellie Krieger's apple-cranberry triangles as well since I had all the ingredients. But there wasn't enough time. Until my cute husband announced that he was done working and he'd help me. It was soooooo incredibly neat to be cooking/baking with him. We prepared apples side by side and we learned that David is a counter hog. :-) I oiled all the phyllo dough while he filled the triangles and folded them with detailer's precision. With his help, I was able to not only get the dessert done, but also enjoyed the process all the much more. I love being in the kitchen with my wonderful man. We served the kids dinner. Loved the pot pie while David felt it was above average but not fantastic. Nathan after much negotation finally tried the chicken from the pot pie (he hates the veggies and the potatoes), then proceeded to inhale it. Never thought he inherited that trait from me but apparently it's there. :-) Abigail withheld her vote as she had filled up on "lil tscheez" (shredded cheese). The dessert was much anticipated (Nathan was so anxious) and the phyllo dough just wouldn't brown. Until my smart and handsome husband noticed that I had turned the oven off.... After we finally had our little works of love in our hands and sank our teeth into them, we all unanimously liked them. Even David and that is not usally what I would picture him eating. Made me feel so incredibly good to have made such a good meal for my family that was so thoroughly enjoyed. And to top it all off, I didn't just get the "Good night I love you have a good night-night, good night I love you have a good night-night" from Nathan (and yes, there are no commas in that sentence when he says it), the little voice proclaimed it six times! While closing his door, the usual tiny voice across the hallway greeted me with the always loved "I louv yiou!". But in addition, there was also an "I so prouds of yiou!" added to it. I was too. :-)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A much needed sermon

Today we had a really good sermon at church. One I really needed. I always doubt whether I'm saved or not. I wonder if anyone ever truly knows (besides Paul and John and I don't mean the Beatles). Sure I've confessed with my mouth that Jesus Christ is the son of God, was crucified and died, then rose on the third day and therefore opened our way to God the Father. But was that enough? There is no missionary here in this house and I even feel awkward talking to people about my faith. Simply put, I don't know enough. Not enough to have answers for clever minds that ask clever questions. My faith is simple. There is also no one moment that clearly stands out in my mind where I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. He's always been there for me. A man on the radio once said that if you don't remember that one moment clear as day, you are not truly saved. My daily life is a good try but is that enough? There are definite areas of improvement. I'm not really scared to die but do fear the pain of death and leaving my family behind. How much of this world in ingrained in me? How strong do I stand if I were put into a very difficult spot, or worse yet, persecuted? Where is my faith at? Am I saved or will Jesus ask me "who are you?" when he comes back?
At church today we read through the first four chapters of 1. John. Our pastor explained how we are either of God or not. There is no middle ground. So that made things easier for me. I always see myself floating somewhere in between. Wanting to be good but not being good enough. If we are of the devil, then we would be lawless. Although I may drive a little over the speed limit on occassion, I do take laws seriously and abide by them. Another sign is that we love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We do not hate them. I do generally have an affection for people. Granted, I trust too much and see too much good where there isn't any, but I most certaintly don't hate or choose not to love fellow Christians or others who do not harm. Last, our love should show through works. While my works are a far cry from what could be done, there are works that where done specifically to honor my God and my savior. Therefore, after many years of wondering if I'm truly saved, in my heart God finally told me. Could I do more? Surely. Can I have greater faith? Absolutely! My faith is a tiny mustard seed in my mind compared to the faith of John. But supposedly faith like a mustard seed can move mountains. Well, today I climbed one. :-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sweet Thing


Today Abigail woke up with a stiff neck. Although she is fine, she is definitely in pain and cannot make certain movements. She's been a tough little cookie all morning and when things get very hard for her, she's been pleased to see Barney and Baby Bop show up on TV. She even put up with an episode of Nathan's Dinosaur Train. As her naptime approached, not feeling well made getting tired even worse. In our bedtime routine, I usually hold her like a baby and we sing a song together. That was not possible today. So I held her close to me while she was sitting, tugging her head in my chest, looking for comfort. While she was trying to hide, I started to sing her Rock-A-Bye-Baby. She usually sings with me but today she just wasn't feeling well. She hid under my hair (which she really likes lately) and snuggeled herself even more into me. Then from way under my hair, a little tiny voice came forth. Such a sweet moment. To be able to comfort your hurting child and then to be reminded of just how sweet and precious the little things are, was wonderful.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Busy Day

This was a good day. I got tons done. For some reason I measure my worth in items checked off my list. I'm an achievement oriented person. The reasonable side of me tells me this is crazy but yet, what can I say? Since the clocks were turned back, the kids had off mornings. Nathan woke up at 7am (which was really 8am to him) and was in a very good mood. His mood only improved by Abigail sleeping in until 8am (he loves full attention). Once everybody had their Lucky Charms (I know, sugar in the morning....), had their teeth brushed and hair in order (quite a feat for Abigail today...), we were off to the store where Nathan had a melt-down half the time but then did really good. We were prepared with isle-by-isle shopping list and a meal plan for the week, including some snacks! How often does this happen? Got home, got lunches ready while the kids played with each other outside. Had a good lunch and then the kids went down for a nap. During their naps I tackled by 2 months laundry pile to be ironed. :-) Most of that got done even though Abigail decided not to nap. Nathan woke up with a slight fever. Nevertheless, he was in a good mood. Made from scratch potato soup much to my hubbies delight. Hmmmm. Hot potato soup (not so much what the kids would say...). Got loads of laundry done somewhere in between, a stroller cleaned, a shelf cleaned, dishes done, played with each one of the kids. Now I'm tired and am so looking forward to spending time knitting and watching TV with my wonderful husband who loves my potato soup. :-) A beautiful fall day with sunshine. What more could you ask for? Thank you God, for everything.