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Sunday, September 29, 2013

First Day of School 2013 - Nathan - Second Grade

Nathan and Abigail had separate first days of school this year.  Nathan was the first to go.  And it was nice to be able to focus on each child separately.  Nathan misbehaved badly two days before school started.  I couldn't figure out what it was until the next day when he had an open house at his school.  He became even more agitated.  So then we talked about it and it seemed to help.  He was still very nervous but upon entering his new classroom and two of his close friends being there, he seemed to feel better.  Then his new teacher took some time to talk to him and help him to put his school supplies away and that helped tremendously.  He felt much better on his way home.  And as you can see below, on his first day of school, he had a smile on his face.  I should know by now that my son usually does not like change...

Happy boy returning to school.
Isabelle caught on to the excitement.

On this special day, Dad takes time out of his schedule to come along, both for beginning of school and end.

Abby wishing it was her first day of school as well.

Entering his classroom, he really became excited.

Here he is with his friends Drew and Caitlyn in front of their behavior chart.  Nathan has been on purple most days and is very proud of that.  The first day he came home where he hadn't reached purple, he was quite upset.

The cute little welcome cards and pencils his teacher left at every table.

Nathan sitting at his table with Heidi.  They are decorating their book boxes.

Dada and the girls scouting the classroom.

Nathan getting right to work and coloring his book box.  Next to him on the table is the ultra-cool Star Wars "Maeppchen" that Oma gave him.

While Nathan was busy at school, the girls adjusted to him not being at home.  They ended up playing on the stairs for a while and in general, got along really well.

Abigail did definitely miss Nathan though.  He had become her play buddy during the summer and the two had played many board games together.

Mama had her last bible study of the summer with my good friend Tanya.  We will resume in the winter break and our church's Precepts study will take a break.  It sure was different for both of us without most of the kids around.  Abigail missed Tanya's Abigail and Hannah quite a bit.  So did Isabelle.  She kept asking for "my friend" but I haven't figured out yet if that is Tanya, Abigail, Hannah or both?

After a long day without Nathan, we picked up and excited boy who still will only tell you that his day was "good."  I call him the man of many words.  He isn't.  I get one or two words in answer to a question.  I know, you want to tell me to ask open-ended questions.  I do.  Still only one or two words....  Oh well.  At least he had a good day and a good start.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Was Mir Einfaellt Wenn Ich An Oma Denke...

  • Wernersche
  • Raetsel
  • Schuertzenkittel
  • Ihre Haende
  • Glatte Haut
  • Kaesekuchen
  • Marmorkuchen
  • Backen
  • Naehmachinen
  • Kleine Wohnungen
  • Dicke Schluepfer
  • Kurze graue Haare, toupiert
  • Mombach
  • Mainz
  • Pizza Haus neben ihrer Wohnung
  • Blaue Pullis
  • Edle Tropfen
  • Broschen
  • Gute Geister in Nuss
  • Plaetzchen
  • Helfen
  • Allergien
  • Cola
  • Tante Burgel
  • Klosterfrau Melissengeist
  • 4711 Echt Koelnisch Wasser
  • Karo Kaffee
  • Waesche aufhaengen
  • Geschirr spuelen
  • Essen kochen
  • Woerrstadt (das Geschaeft, habe ich das richtig geschrieben?)
  • Geborene Braun
  • Keine Juwelen
  • Einfache Frau
  • Gute Koechin
  • Gute Baeckerin
  • Alte deutsche Volksmusic
  • Mutter meiner Mutti

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Green-eyed Blueberry Smoothie

1 cup orange juice
1 frozen banana, broken into chunks
3/4 cup of spinach leaves
1 TBSP Spirulina
1 1/2 cups of frozen blueberries
1 1/2 TBSP raw honey (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Put in your high-speed blender in the order given and let it blend for about 60 - 90 seconds.  Enjoy!
Makes 2-4 servings. (Or one hungry mama and one toddler serving.)90

Mathan Day

After my day with Abby, both Nathan and I were very excited to also have a day together.  If you have multiple kids, time spent one-on-one is precious few.   Sure, there is a half an hour here and there.  But a whole day?  Now that is special.  This was our second (third?) year of doing this and the kids needed no reminding of what special kind of day this was.  This year they were super excited about it and they talked about it for days before.  Nathan had mentioned multiple times that he wanted to go to Sharis to eat and to Chuckie Cheese just like Abby did with dad.  We had told him that was a bit expensive and so he settled on Sharis.  So that is how we started our day together off.

Nathan always orders the same food.  Not that we go here often but whenever we have in the past three years, he is faithful.  It is a child's pancake, made to look like a bear, with a side of bacon and a sausage.  My meat and white flour guy.  Gout, here we come!

Just love his smiling face in the background peeking excitedly in.

Nathan insisted I take a picture of my food as well.  I had tea.  So here is the picture of that.  Have I mentioned how much I love tea?  My children figured this out quickly and started gifting me various tea mugs.  I love tea mugs as well, especially when they are from my children....

This one he must have dreamed of for weeks.  Go to the big Lego store.  We were here for at least 1 1/2 hours.  He loved every minute of it.  Although he hasn't played much with his Legos upstairs lately.  Maybe it is time for another Lego challenge!

Here is a bin of figurine parts.  You can put your own together.  There were also some snake parts that we made bracelets out of (Nathan is holding one).

Not to be outdone by Abby, he wanted to find something at a garage sale as well.  We landed this fantastic paper air plane deal!  He got it for $1 and we know how much it was on Amazon as we had previously seen it there.  Nathan went through a phase where he would make paper airplanes all day long for weeks.  Hewlett Packard paper stock probably went way up.  What he had really wanted was one of those cool sets he is holding in his hand.  At the time, he didn't have the money to purchase such a lovely set.

A quick stop at Grampy's house to tell him all about the Lego store and the paper airplane set.

And off to Fred Meyer's toy section to look at, yes, you guessed it - MORE Legos.  We didn't stay here for 1 1/2 hours.  After this I pretended that dada was asking us to come home immediately as he needed help with the girls.  Nathan was sad our day had ended but was a good sport.  Then, halfway home, I told him that we were on our way to Chuckie Cheese.  He was SOOO excited.  It was awesome.  And his dad's idea.  :-)  Thanks wonderful husband.

For some reason I didn't take pictures at Chuckie Cheese.  Probably because we were too busy playing.  And Nathan was given a bunch of tickets from a couple who was there with their 1-year old.  That made his day.  He even spent some of his hard-earned tickets on his sisters to bring them each a piece of candy and a little plastic animal.

I just love spending time with my boy.  He is so much fun to be around and still young enough to want to be with us and yet old enough to have more advanced conversations and competitions.  I love you, Nathan.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mabby Days

I like to save my Mabby and Mathan days until the last days of summer break.  It is a good way to send off the summer and to spend extra time before you are separated from each other.  Abigail knew exactly what she wanted to do.  And she was SUPER excited.  

First things first, we stopped at a few garage sales since it was a Friday.  Nathan and Isabelle spent the day at Grampy's house, so Abigail and I could go on our date together.  Abigail was looking to aquire a new toy as I had promised her a few dollars.  You will see her find in a later picture.  She, like me, enjoys garage sales.  Sometimes just to look at new and different things.

We got this fabulous and colorful lollipop for Abigail, who loves both, colors and lollipops.  :-)  Look at those beautiful big brown eyes of hers.  Just love her.

Next on the list was Starbucks.  Just like her mom, Abigail has a real appreciation for Starbucks.  I love it so much because it reminds me of typical coffee shops in Europe (where I grew up).  I guess to me it's a little bit of my family over there.  Abigail enjoys Starbucks' milk, bagels with cream cheese, cake pops and other delicious things.  She wanted a drink but wasn't hungry as I had already gotten her the beloved McDonald's fries.  She adores those (yep, it was a junk food day...).  She wanted me to assure her we'd come back later for a bagel with cream cheese.

Now this is what she had waited for!  A local frozen yogurt shop with a candy topping bar.  She had talked about it for days.  She carefully picked her ice cream flavors and toppings.  The little mints you see in the picture were the only thing she didn't end up liking. 

And here is the garage sale find!  She found a little Polly Pocket house that is perfect for her Zinkies  (tiny little animals).  Three weeks later, she still loves it.

Another item on our list: Get her ballet slippers!  I think I was more excited than Abby.  Her little feet look so adorable in those shoes.

Abigail and I both love books.  Naturally, we went to a used book.  I still had some leftover money from a gift certificate Grampy gifted for Christmas.  To have someone to rummage around in a bookstore with and find treasures and appreciate them together was wonderful.

It was a very hot day, so we stopped at McDonald's for a berry smoothie.  Abigail had so much fun spending my gift certificate at the store, she asked if I had any other.  Well, yes, ma'am.  I'm glad you asked.

We had just a few dollars left for a local home decorating store.  Just enough to buy the adorable little yellow vase and two tiny porcelain birds.

With both of us being bookworms, Abigail suggested the library.  She wanted to see if they had any of her beloved Berenstain Bear books.  She loves getting the books but when we get to the library, she makes a beeline to the computer games.  :-)  She had a particularly good time playing this game where she watered flowers and watched them grow.  The flowers would make sad faces when it was time to water them.

And yes, she found a Berenstain Bear book, one of her favorites even.  This is her walking through the parking lot.  When she is reading, she literally is in her own world.  I had to tell her to close the book in order for her to safely cross the road.  

Bagel time!  We both share a love of this tasty treat but alas, I have given up bagels.  Well, at least for the meantime.  Abigail prefers her with plain cream cheese.

She also had herself an ice water and had me read the Double Dare book to her.  Not that she needs me to, she is perfectly capable of reading it herself, a fact we are very proud of.

With only about 20 minutes left in our date, Abigail did not want to go home.  She wanted to use every last minute of her special time.  So a local  playground was just the right place for us to finish our date.

This a staged picture.  :-)  But Abigail had such a good time posing for it.  It was even her own idea.

At the very end, we played a spelling game.  You wouldn't believe with how many words one can come up with when you have 3 beginning consonants, 3 middle vowels and 3 ending consonants.

We just had such a wonderful time together.  It is amazing as my daughter is getting older and we share common interests and likes.  Being able to share our common love of books was very satisfying.  Going to Starbucks together and enjoying each others' company was grand.  I love being around this little bundle who is so full of life and loud and loving.  She is the color in my day and the sunshine in my world.  I love my Abigail!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dabby Days

Following Nathan's day with his dad, Abby had her turn.  David had thoughtfully planned out this day to make it extra special for his little girl.  First off, a hike.  And not just any hike.  It was a hike to surprise all three uncles and her cousin Olive, all of whom Abigail loves and adores.

Hiking along the path to find where our extended family was camping.

They are near!  Abigail hiding behind a tree as the three uncles and Olive approach.

Surprise!  There is an even better picture of Olive when she first saw Abby and really had a surprised look on her face (excited and surprised).   But it was very blurry.  Abigail and "dada" hung out for a while and Abby had a great time.

A cool rock Abby and dada discovered.  We like cool rocks.

All this excitement makes one tired.  Abby fell asleep on the drive back.

Next stop: Chuckie Cheese!  What kid doesn't like this place?  I know of at least two adults (possibly me and David) who love to play here as well.

Chuckie Cheese even made a special appearance.

Abigail and her wonderful father.  He is such a great dad.  He makes my heart melt.

And to finish off the day: Dinner at Sharis, probably all of our kids' favorite restaurant:

And no trip to Sharis is complete without dessert!  Abby had build-yourself type S'mores dessert.  Don't let the picture fool you, the strawberry sundae is Dave's.   

A happy girl.  Dates with dad are just the best, especially if you are stuck in the middle.  :-)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dathan Day

A little while ago, my brilliant husband came up with the idea to have Dathan and Dabby days.  These are days were he will take one of the kids and spend all day with just them doing special things.  I have since adopted this very clever tradition.  Needless to say that our kids absolutely love having all this one-on-one time.  And so do we!  It is so great to be able to just soak up one child for a day.

Nathan and David did their typical "man"-thing: They went fishing.  David had previously found a promising fishing spot, including a fisher man who could give him great information about it.  

Nathan on the steel something of the bridge.  My husband probably ooh-ed and aah-ed over that steel for a long time, he is a steel detailer after all.  They did not fish here because there was no good land access to the river.

I always enjoy seeing Nathan's faces in these pictures where he is out with dad.  He is just so happy and peaceful.

A deer!

Two guys fishing and enjoying the wild life around it.

A better view of their fishing spot.

An Osprey swooped in the water and apparently bit off more than he could chew.  The bird struggled to get to shore and realizing that this sucker fish was just too heavy for him, he dropped the dead fish on the shore.  Nathan witnessed this and was super excited.

He was still proud though.  And again, note the big smile on his face on Dathan Day. 

Ah, a real keeper.  This was their second fishing spot.  He ate that one.  :-)

More deer.  But doesn't that picture look scary before you figure out what it is?  Just lit up eyes in the woods.

Needless to say that this is a tradition that our kids just absolutely love.  It doesn't have to cost anything really to just have this great bonding time with your kids.