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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oma Surprise!

Oma surprised us this year with a visit!  We were so grateful and excited.  She came to help me with the house and the kids for three wonderful weeks.  It as a blast.  Thank you, Mama!  From the bottom of my heart (Vielen, vielen, Dank, Mama. Ganz von Herzen!).

This was Oma's first time with Isabelle other than when she was born.  And man, was it ever a good time to meet this cutie pie.  She is in one of my favorite stages for sure and Oma could have just eaten her up.  She did this thing for just a little while where she would clench her fists and just tighten every little muscle in her arms and her face and it would result in the most hilarious baby face.  The pictures don't do it justice but we laughed tears.  Oma would just cry laughing, with tears literally streaming down her face.

No pressure at all but the second day of Oma's visit was her birthday. With her present in the mail and no plan of attack, we had to wing it.  We took Oma to Fred Meyer to pick her favorite cake and she picked Abigail's favorite: carrot cake.  It made the rest of my family cringe (the veggie 'lovers', you know who I mean...).  They did somehow all clean their cake plates though....  Anyways, while Nathan was in school, Abigail got to decorate this cake all by herself!  She did a great job.  She decided on frosting colors (inside and out) and decorated with love for a long time.

Love of the first ever grandchild.  He loves his Oma. Nathan is not a man of many 'feeling' words.  But when he jumps up on your lap and snuggles against your cheek, you are loved.  You are special in his world.

Oma enjoying every second of that affection.  With him getting older, there will be less and less of that.  

Oma thoroughly enjoying her redhead.  Oma just loves having a red-headed grandchild.  This is from her side of the family.  Although my brother Matze thinks she did gene manipulation by dying her hair red for decades....
We don't have any pictures, but we took Oma to a Mexican restaurant.  It is her favorite food.  We secretly told the server that it was her birthday and they surprised her with a sombrero, a song, and a free ice cream dessert.  She loved it!  They don't do that in Germany.  She was sad she had to return the sombrero though.  :-)

David loved all the help Oma gave us.  He really felt bad that he couldn't take time off but Oma told him over and over not to worry.  After all, she had come to help us with our daily chores and not for her to be entertained.  

Two grandmas together.  My mom has a real soft spot for Lorena.  She always asks for her during phone conversations and makes sure I remember to call her.  She also sends little gifts for her with our packages and religiously sends her cards for birthdays and Christmas.

Look at that cute hair.  On both of them!

Die drei Damen vom Grill.  :-)

Halloween. My mom was very excited to be here for Halloween and Abby's birthday.  This way, she was here for Nathan and Isabelle's birthday last year and for Abby's birthday this year. 

This year's costume's where Isabelle as a Lovebug (hand-me-down from Abby), Nathan as Darth Vader and Abby as princess Arielle (who else with that hair, right?).  We had unusually good weather the whole time my mom was here.  For Halloween the weatherman had foretold rain and possible storm winds.  Thankfully, the weather had other plans and withheld that for the next day.

This was my mom's favorite part of Halloween:  She took Isabelle to the first few houses and she was very unsure of the whole thing (Isabelle).  Then by the third house, she had figured it all out and her little hand would be confidently stretched out in expectancy of candy.  After that, she'd pull Oma from door to door in excited fashion, collecting candy from all willing people.  With her cuteness, she collected the most.  People would just give her handfuls instead of one piece.  It was very funny.  Oma loved the experience of being here for Halloween.  They do now celebrate it in Germany but it is quite different from our candy collections in the neighborhoods.

Germans love to go walking.  Naturewalks in particular.  Since we had many rain-free days, she loved taking the girls out for walks around the neighboorhoods.  (Nathan was usually in school.)  She has always loved looking at American neighboorhoods and how they keep their yards.

Another Oma ritual.  This is the "So gehn' die Haendchen und die Haendchen gehen so" song.  Isabelle loved it and pretty soon we were all doing it.  You put your arms in the air and twist your wrists from side to side while Oma sings the song.  Abigail can now sing it perfectly in German and Nathan gave it a very good try the other night as well.  It is neat to hear my children sing in German.

Oma's first experience with American soccer.  She came during Nathan's school's soccer season.  Having her at the games allowed me to actually watch the games while she took my busy little toddler all over the place and kept an eye on Abigail at the playground.  It is so lovely to have the playground for little ones right next to the soccer field.  I'm just saying.

My mom got a lot of compliments for her hair.  I call it "fall" as the colors match it.  You can't see all the colors but she had black and purple in there as well as different shades of red and the orange.  It was very pretty.  She was very proud of it as well and loved all the compliments.

"Nathan vor, noch ein Tor!"  A German phrase cheering on the player to go forth and score another goal.  My mom liked to say it during his games.   She was quite aghast at the playing conditions.  I explained to her that over here, if we cancel due to rain, there is no soccer season.  :-)  Or baseball.  Or any outdoor season for that matter.

The soccer field.

Nathan from behind.  Yes, lots of laundry.  It washes out amazingly well though.

Nathan had a great soccer season this year and Oma even got to see him score.  So did I!  The spell is broken...

The balls after the game.  :-)

Another walk we went on.  Like I said, Oma loves walks.  And they are good for the kids.  This is another local park with soccer field, bicycle lanes and playground.  We like this one a lot.

Strange to think that Nathan just learned to ride a bicycle the beginning of the year.  He is a confident speed devil now.

Oma helping the littlest one to ride the bike.  Just look at Isabelle's facial expression - This is great!

This was hilarious.  As we were sitting at night, my mom was drinking a glass of red wine.  Since I don't have wine glasses, she used a regular glass and would usually put that in the cup holder of our couch.  On this particular night, my mom went to put the wine glass into the holder and then screamed "Christine!" (imagine that with German pronunciation, of course) and gave me the funniest look of panic.  (I can still picture her face, it was just so hilarious.)  Isabelle who loves to take things apart these days, had previously removed the cup holder.  So when my mom placed her glass and let go, it fell into the couch, wine and all.  That wasn't all though.  I then put my chubby arm in there trying to retrieve the glass and got stuck.  Apparently that was so funny that my husband ran for the camera rather than helping me!  :-)  My mom almost fell off the couch laugh so hard, tears streaming down her face again.  No one was going to help me!  Thankfully I got my arm out before the camera turned on.  :-)  But we all had a good laugh and kept laughing about it for the rest of the night.

Nothing special here, just love the picture.

Abigail is my little monkey and she would do so well in gymnastics.  I like that picture too.

This is a doll bed that my mom salvaged and had personalized for Abigail.  Isabelle apparently though it was for all "babies" and laid down in it.  

One of the nights we had the pleasure of cousin Olive's unexpected company.  My mom and I had so much fun listening to kid's songs and having all the girls dance to them.  

Oma didn't get to see Nathan as much this time because he was in school.  She was pretty sad about that but still happy that she got to see him.

Oma was surprised that I knew how to make cake pops.  Well, let me tell you, they didn't turn out that well. I made a mistake with the coating, resulting in lesser tasting and lesser looking.  But nonetheless, the babe liked them anyway.  And that is all that really matters, right?  Plus, I ended up making her a birthday cake as well at 10 pm because I just wasn't happy with the cake pops and threw most of them in the garbage.  So there.

Here is the decorated birthday room.  We hung Dollar Store table cloths cut into pieces from the ceiling.  Of course, a Pinterest idea...

Nathan playing Lego Heroica.

Look at the two dolls!

Birthday fun!  All the girls, Isabelle, Olive and Abby.  My mom loves keeping up with Olive via Facebook.  She'll always read what Olive and Rosie are up to. 

Isabelle discovered her tongue while my mom was here.

A special birthday present from the other "family" :-).  Abby loved this card and read it to me over and over.

One can NEVER have too many stuffed animals, just ask Abigail.  She loves them.

I think she thought that Oma gave her the dog but it was really from Grandma.  But Oma sure is enjoying that hug.  :-)

Cake!  It's what it's all about.

The next day our poor Oma came down with something.  Abigail shared the couch with her.  Poor Oma was sick for two days.  But it gave me a chance to take care of her.  Whenever she's sick, I always think: "If I was only there..."  So this time, I got to make her tea!  :-)

An opportunist.  How, you ask?  Just see below.

See, Oma is smart.  She put cookies on her blanket so that little fingers would always come back and visit her.  Smart lady.

She is pointing at and saying: "Teeth."

Be aware.  We have entered the stage of gross jokes.

I warned you!

Look at the beautiful weather on that day.  We explored another neighborhood close to us.

Abigail shaved off the pink of her new boots (see the white tips?).  She cried.  Isabelle tried to make her feel better.  That was really sweet.

My mom likes this picture of Isabelle hunching over.

Yes, my windows are really clean.  :-)  My mom taught Isabelle to go wave goodbye at the window when people leave.  She still does it.  

"Nikolaus!"  My mom calls Isabelle that in her little fancy jacket.  Isabelle LOVES hoodies and some hats.  She won't leave the house without them.

A German Christmas tradition.  They don't work as well here since we have no external heating elements but Abigail still had fun making it and smelling it.

Our last day with a trip to our favorite local park.  Nathan, again, is at school.

Down by the river.  My mom really enjoys this park as well.  

This is a great picture.  See Isabelle's foot?  Yep, it's 

Our kids just love spending time by the river and just throwing rocks in the river.  Dad is great at being patiently there with them and letting them throw to their heart's delight.

The man and I.  I love him.  :-)

While Oma was here, Nathan had his first wrestling practice.  We are pretty sure they invented wrestling just for Nathan and little boys like him.  To tell the truth, he never had a chance.  His dad was a wrestler and apparently all men on my mom's side on the family were too.  So there you go: genetically pre-programmed.  

Oma helping the littlest family member to ride a bike.  

Sister love.  One of my favorite pictures of the two.  And of course, Isabelle always eating.  Oma always laughed at how much that little girls eats.  She eats non-stop.  

Vielen Dank Oma fuer eine tolle Zeit mit Dir!  Vielen, vielen Dank von ganzem Herzen!

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