Thursday, August 30, 2007

Out of Touch

Rob's Mom, Ann, and step-dad, Lee will be here for 2 weeks. I will not update my blog until after their visit. To give you something to watch until then here is a video of Noah playing "Sonatina in C Major" (Theodore Latour) at his piano lesson today.
He has only "had" this song in his repertoire for 3 weeks..... go Noah go!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Story of Phantom

We have been talking about missing having a Dog around our house for a while now. Our friends had yorkie puppies (the litter we got to see being born) and we had to watch the last (non-purchased) puppy for a week while they traveled. Watching that puppy really sealed the deal (in our minds): we are a DOG family. Rob (of course) really wanted a miniature schnauzer. The only problem was that we had never seen any advertised (we weren't really looking before this, but Rob still always checked the paper).
SO the idea was there.... we had come to terms that owning a new puppy wouldn't really be "cheating" on our blind-old-spoiled dog living with his grandparents in Wisconsin: yet we really had no idea how to go about finding a breeder here in Germany. We really wanted a German bred schnauzer, too.
Then there was the moment - At my son's cub scout camp, the last day, when family joins us for the end of camp skits and picnic - I saw the most beautiful silver miniature schnauzer. We all approached the dog to pet her and asked the owners where they bought her, how old she was, ect. Then the lady made a phone call, wrote down some information and handed me the piece of paper and said, "Here is the lady that helped us, she said she can help you and you should give her a call."
That is how I met Astrid. She is not a breeder, I think she actually is part of the German equivalent of the AKC. She also speaks very good English. She told us of a breeder that had a liter due in the middle of July and to call back at the end of July. We patiently ticked off the days when we could call her back. Finally, I called and she told us that the puppies were born: 5 boys, and 2 girls. Astrid told us to wait another couple of weeks until we could go visit the puppies, but in the meantime she gave us the breeders website so we could see pictures that they posted on-line. At length the puppies were old enough to have visitors so we set up a day to meet with the breeders and Astrid said she would come to help translate and mediate the contract.
We went out the breeders house Monday August 27th. All 7 puppies were still there with the mom, but there were 3 that we had to pick from (they were distinguishable by different color ribbons around their necks - we had to choose from red, yellow, or green). We played and played and tried to concentrate on just the 3 that we had to pick from, but the other 4 were all so cute and playful too that we kept getting distracted. We wanted to let Sarah pick, but she couldn't decide. The burden then fell to Rob, but he couldn't pick either!! SO Astrid helped us out a little by explaining that the puppy with the yellow ribbon, who was by far the cutest, had softer and curlier hair so he would need to be trimmed much more often, and get dirtier much more easily. So, now it was down to the red and the green ribbon. Finally, I pressured Sarah for an answer since we had been there for 50 minutes and they were all just sort of watching us.... Sarah chose red-ribbon, and that is the one I had in my head too, so we were all agreed.The breeders let Sarah put the little collar on him that she had bought. They told us that our little guy weighed the most at birth. We can go pick him up on Sept. 17th.
Here are some pictures taken from the breeders web site and some that we took when we went out to visit. The first one is when the puppies were first born, there is our red-ribboned Phantom on top of the nursing heap.
This is Phantom at 10 days old. We didn't know this one would be ours at the time, so it is fun now to go back to the breeders website and see the pictures of the red ribbon puppy.
This is Phantom at about 3 weeks oldThese are the 3 puppies that we had to chose between. Can YOU chose? Not fair! The choice is made and Sarah puts the collar on him, and poses with her new puppy.

Everyone takes a turn posing with the new puppy.

After playing with him, posing for pictures and a tummy rub, he fell into an exhausted sleep all stretched out right next to us. So we scooped him up and put him in the middle of a pile of his sleeping brothers and sister in the little pen they have set up outside for the puppies.

But as we sat there watching him sleep, he looked over and slowly began creeping over to our voices, away from his brothers and sisters. Yep, he's ours.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stories in Home schooling

Noah's thought for the day.....

One of Noah's spelling exercises has him fill in the blanks to sentences with the word that makes the most sense. Here is one example of such a sentence:
"Joseph told the Pharaoh the meaning of his __________"

Noah's spelling words for this week included the word dream........
but no...... that didn't work..... what word did Noah think made sense?


Monday, August 27, 2007

Quite a scare

******UPDATE #3 - Tuesday 8/28 8:30 PM - SAW DEREK tonight having dinner at Chili's. In the flesh, conscious and up and about. He is moving slowly, sore, and a broken wrist. But he is OKAY and released from the hospital. Here he is showing his X-rays to Curran (this was taken tonight as proof that he is REALLY okay!!)
****UPDATE #2 - Tuesday 8/28 10:30 AM- Derek remains in the hospital, but will be released soon. He is okay, they are just observing him a while longer. Check out Curran's Blog for some pictures of the chaos (taken only after we were sure Derek was okay)

***UPDATE - 8/27 as of 7:00 PM - Derek has been moved out of ICU and has even been up for some visitors (his brothers, and Curran and Rylan). They said he was pretty sore, lots of scrapes and scratches and sap (that's right, tree sap) that won't come off. He is still being kept for observation tonight but will most likely be home tomorrow.
Here is a picture from the ground looking up at the path that Derek forged as he fell down. You can not even see the top from where Rob stood to take this picture. I wanted this on my blog to show you that we TRULY witness to a miracle.
Read below for original post:

On Sunday nights our evening study is held in one of our church member's homes. After a time of singing, prayer, and study we all stay for food, fellowship, and play time.
Last night was pretty typical. Until ..............

One of Sarah's good friends, Derek, fell about 40 to 50 feet yesterday while climbing some tall pine trees in the backyard of the house where we meet. A few of his friends, including Sarah, were watching him climb and saw the fall. His twin brother, Evan, among them ran straight to the house and hollered for help. Akir, Sarah, and Curran were first on the scene and soon after adults started arriving.

We have 4 or 5 doctors that attend the church, 3 of them were there last night and another doctor was visiting friends of his who live next door to where we all were. So instantly there were 4 doctors on the scene, along with his Mom.

An ambulance unit came, with a fire truck and a helicopter. Derek was looked over and stabilized then air lifted to the hospital.

As of midnight last night he was okay. Here is the email update I received on him:
"The bottom line is that Derek still has a good bit of pain and is being kept over night at the hospital in K-town. The CAT scan showed all his major parts are OK (Head, spine, organs) but his lungs were bruised – probably from the impact when he landed. This is what we need to pray about. The doctors are monitoring that to see if it worsens; his oxygen counts are lower than what they should be for someone his age. They’ve got him in his own room in ICU, and Sandy (his mom) is staying with him overnight"

Sarah is pretty shaken up. I think everyone is.

I ask for your prayers for Derek especially. Also for Derek's family. I will update my blog when I know more.

Here is a picture taken earlier this year of Curran, Derek, and Sarah.

You can check out THIS post to see pictures of Derek and his family.

Click HERE to see Derek's blog (I am sure it will be a while before it is updated though)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Operation Turtle Relocation

Today we gave our turtles to a new family. Here they are - packed up in their little carrying cage ready to travel to their new home. The new owners seemed pleased to receive the turtles and we hope they will bring the same hours of entertainment to them as they provided for us. After successfully completing operation turtle relocation (picture of new owner, Chrissy (with a "ch" thank you very much)) we came home for some consolatory ice cream. The kids are feeling much better today, but you can see from these photo's they still look pretty washed out and tired.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Unable to Update

Blech! We've had some crazy flu-bug floating around this house. First, Noah was down and out with a high fever, no appetite, headaches, and crud in his chest and nose.... Now, Micah has been running a dangerously high fever for two days. Despite Motrin and Tylenol back to back I can not get his fever below 100 degrees! Sarah is starting to feel sleepy and headachey today now too, so I am guessing she is next...........

Chaos is about to ensue.... Puppy is coming home soon (be sure to follow the link in the puppy post to see updated photo's of the puppies from the breeders web site), Company is coming from the states, We're going to the Bavarian Alps on vacation, and last but not least our Fall Activities are about to start!! Yikes! Sarah has gymnastics, coop, sewing, swimming and possibly Irish Dance. Noah has gymnastics, coop, cub scouts, piano, and swimming. Not to be left out Micah has gymnastics, coop, and swimming.... and somewhere in there we will have to fit in school, family time, and our wonderful friends.....

More to come soon....

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Day At The Ranch

Sarah is a part of a great troop of Girl Scouts here in Germany. It is a multi-age group which is right now made up of all home schooled kids. For a fun summer time activity that would help the girls earn requirements toward bridging to their next level of scouting we spent the day on a ranch. Another home schooled 15-yr old, Shelby, who has been riding since she was 11 taught the girls all about horses, horse care and riding. Then they each got a turn on a horse.
The girls were also very gracious to allow Noah to have a turn during their riding time. Noah was a little apprehensive, but he really enjoyed it.

Here is the whole troop with Shelby and my two little guys.

After the ranch the girls all went back to Ms. Suzanne's (their leader) for a TROOP SLEEPOVER! Home made pizza's, ceremony & calendar planning, movies, and games - all this and a pancake breakfast - what more could you want?
Abby, Brianna, and Sarah plan their bridging ceremony