Sunday, January 31, 2010

Church in our Jammies!

     Today we woke up to MORE snow!  In our area it was only about an inch and a half, but in other areas they had 4 or 5".  On top of the snow of the last few days, coupled with freezing temperatures and a salt shortage in Germany (I am not kidding, it made national news) it made driving conditions very hazardous.  I love that the announcement of being stranded at home with  family is one that is greeted with enthusiasm and excitement.  Sure, we were all sad not to get to go to church, especially since it was the second week in a row (last week we couldn't get out of our village because of the ice on the hill), but so excited at the prospect of spending the entire day together.   
     We took our time with breakfast and made yummy omelets.  After everyone was fed and sufficiently caffeinated we had "church" at home.  Noah led us in a couple of hymns that he can play on the piano and Dad led us in some scripture reading and prayer time. The boys thought it was pretty cool that they can now say they've attended church in their jammies.  
     After church we bundled up and headed out to enjoy the fresh snow and we were met by some much needed sun shine as well.  There is no way driving out of our village would have been possible so we're lucky to live within walking distance of some awesome sledding hills.  We spent about 2 hours traipsing up and zooming down a great hill.  After everyone was exhausted (including the dogs) we headed home for some much needed thawing out.  
     We spent the afternoon watching a movie ("Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"), playing a game (Phase 10 Twist), and hanging out (which can only mean Legos for the boys and chatting with her best friend for Sarah).  We had hot chocolate, popcorn w/ M&M's, and some healthful stuff (salad) just to be safe.
   Now the kids are snuggling up with their books, Rob is playing guitar, and I am dutifully keeping my blog up to date, my 2010 commitment, so far - so good, but it's only the first month!  Thanks for reading!

Rob got quite the work-out "helping" Micah get up the hills.  Micah did a lot of walking on his own, but I think Daddy felt bad for him after he started coughing unstoppably with this nasty cold that's been hanging on for weeks.
This is our sledding hill, it slopes down and then has a steep drop just out of sight in this picture.  Krissie is trudging back up the hill after going down with Micah.
The boys with our picturesque view in the background.  This is in our village, at the top of the hill looking toward Potzberg.
Noah rolling down the hill and generally being terribly silly in the snow.
Our kids (including Phantom), this was on our way home.
On our way down the hill I took this picture of the tiny section of our village called Albersbach.  Our house can be seen in the bottom right hand corner if you look carefully.
Thawing out with hot chocolate and Marshmallows.
Movie time with Popcorn and M&M's
Phase 10 Twist.  It was a lot of fun and look at those sneaky kids -  definitely up to something!

How to Make a Schnauzer Smile

A recipe for laughs that will last years to come:  Take Dog and Dog's Friend (we are dog-watching our friend's dog) up hill on a sledding trip.  Let them off their leashes, and let the fun begin.

This is the best action shot I got - the dogs were chasing each other back up the sledding hill, as they're running toward me I could SWEAR that I saw them SMILING - look at that face!  Pure Puppy Joy.  Phantom is in the lead, and Tango close behind.
This is our friend's Dog, Tango.  He is just a little older than Phantom.  The dogs get along extremely well and have a great time, especially when they're outside.  Normally we can't let Tango off the leash, but the snow was so deep, and Tango is a bit of a dandy when it comes to high drifts - he will only walk in the paths made by the sled or other people's trails - so we let him off the leash and he and Phantom ran up and down the sledding hill chasing kids about 20 times.
Phantom is SO FUNNY in the snow... he will jump into any drift and just dive in, sometimes disappearing entirely.  He also loves burying his face in the snow sniffing anything he can find.  He was so covered in snow during today's trip that toward the end we actually had to stop and help him get snowballs off his face because the snow was so thick he couldn't see and he wouldn't walk any further.
Sarah coming down the hill on our way home - Phantom is sitting because he literally can not see past all the snow on his beard.  Tango is dutifully hopping through in Phantom's wake.
Once we came home it took a LONG time to get all the snow off those dogs!  De-snowed and FINALLY dried off they hopped up in the recliner that they've taken to sharing lately and crashed out.  I made them look for this picture, snapped it, and they both laid their heads back down as soon as they realized I wasn't anything fun.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tiny Titus

Another MAJOR thing we have had going on in our lives lately is the EARLY birth of our friend's baby.  Instead of writing out the whole story I will refer you to their family's blog where they are doing a wonderful job of keeping us updated and journaling their story.  We have had the opportunity to travel to the Army base's hospital (LRMC - Landsthul Regional Medical Center) nearby and visit Heather and their baby throughout their stay there.  The road is still long, and we hope to be there for every step with this precious family.  I just wanted to post a few pictures from our most recent visit.  Encourage you to read their story, and say a prayer for these wonderful people.

Sarah was caught mid-question

Snow day like today to catch up on the blog

We have had more snow this season than any year since we've lived here!! Yesterday (Sunday) we weren't able to go to church due to icy road conditions in the morning, so I began to try and catch my blog up. (I can trace the moment I fell behind in posting on here to when I joined facebook!) Last night the freezing rain turned to snow and by this morning there were 4 new inches on the ground with more predicted to fall throughout this week.  All activities have been canceled today, and I am going to try and continue to get my blog all caught up. Yeah for snow days.   

   The view out my back porch this afternoon.  

Another backyard view

No Fun Snow Fun day for Noah today. Noah came down with a fever and is now stuck on the couch with the puppies keeping him warm. And YES, that is a purple Minnesota Vikings blanket he is covered in, thank you. 

***UPDATE!  January 26th, 2010 Over the last 3 days (January 24th - January 26th, 2010) I completed FORTY SEVEN posts to catch this blog up.  CRAZY!  This post might just seem out of context if someone actually does look at my little ramblings because the blog is now OFFICIALLY caught up... FORTY-SEVEN posts and 28 pots of REALLY STRONG coffee later

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cub Scout Pinewood Derby

This years pinewood derby sneaked up on us!  The weather canceled two times when Rob was going to get to base and cut out the boys cars.  So, with only a week left until the race Rob got their cars cut out and then the mad polishing, sanding, gluing madness began.  This is Noah's LAST YEAR racing in the CUB scout pinewood derby since he will cross over to Boy Scouts in February, and this is Micah's FIRST time racing!  Both boys LOVED their cars and did almost all the work on them on their own.  Noah's car, designed as an X-wing fighter (from Star Wars), took 4th place out of all the WEBLO II's and Micah won a design award (for most imaginative).  Both came away very happy with their cars and race day.

Noah with his X-Wing Fighter car

Micah with his "Lego" car.  I think part of the reason he won a desin award is because you could tell that all the work on this car was designed and done BY the first grader.  He was so proud of his car!

Micah winning his design award

Noah taking 4th place in the WEBII catergory

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January Fun

Just a few random shots of things that have been keeping us busy in January.

the Annoyance Turkeys hard at work

This is our friend Alex and the yummy pizza Alex helped me make.  Alex works with Rob and has a wonderful Army husband who is spending a year in Afghanistan.  Alex is going to get out of the Air Force and move to Texas (where her George will be going when he is done in Afghanistan) in April, so we have kind of adopted her until that time comes to help keep her busy.  She is a wonderful cook and loves hanging out in my crazy 3-ring circus life of running kids from here to there and near to far.

January 17th, 2010 - the boys all dressed up to watch the game.  Yes, Rob is first and foremost a Vikings fan and we LOVE Brett!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day of the Dad

Rob and the boys had a busy day today!  First they toured an abandoned NATO site from WWII with other Dads and sons from our church, and then they went to an Arrow of Light and Bridging ceremony for some of Noah's WEBLO II den.  Noah isn't bridging until Feb. 27th, but he wanted to be there to support and encourage some of his fellow scouts on this important occasion.

I am going to have to remember to ask Rob about some of these pictures as I can not make heads or tails of what I am looking at.  I asked Micah about the above picture (that's his little red hatted head that you see) and all he told me was, "It was really cold and smelled like mushrooms".

Noah with some of the other members of his den.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Eve

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  We had some friends (Terrie and Hannah) visiting us from the states.  Terrie went with us to Kusel to spend New Years with the Briggs family.  Our daughter's (Sarah, Hannah, and Hannah) all stayed in our village to spend New Years together at our house.   The kids have had our New Years planned for MONTHS - we were going to watch ALL SIX star wars movies and eat junk food all night long.  Well, by the time we got over to their house there was only time for 2 movies, but we still had tons of junk food and fun!  Some of the girls, bored with Star Wars (GASP!) played a rousing game of Phase 10.  Finally it was time to head on down to the field and light off some fireworks as well as watch all the ones going off around us.  After everything was lit we came back inside for a quick grape juice toast to the New Year and then we went home to bed!

Michelle and Krissie went with an "all snack food" menu for the evenings festivities.  Here is the yummy spread.  There was lots more as the night went on and the kids were in HEAVEN with all their favorite yummies.  The Dads thought it was pretty cool, too.

playing games and waiting for midnight.  I asked Rob to take a couple of shots for me so I could document the whole experience and THIS is the picture he took of me.  Thanks Rob, that's very, very nice!

The kids all bundled up in their coats with their noisemakers ready to walk down to the field and light off their fireworks!

Krissie, Terrie, and Michelle all bundled up watching the fireworks

Noah helps Daddy light a firework.  This is the first time Noah has been allowed to light one.

The firework Noah got to light (the one on the ground) and a couple shots of fireworks going off in Kusel.

The four girls hanging out for New Years.  They look mad in the picture because people were lighting fireworks off all around our house and scaring the girls and the puppy.