Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cub Scout trip to the Felsenmeer

The Cub Scout Pack that Micah is in took a summer field trip to the Felsenmeer.  We were anxious to go back there, better prepared this time.
     This is one of the only shots we got of Noah, and there are NO shots of Rob because they took OFF and got to the top so fast.  Mom, Micah, Sarah, and Hannah climbed the rocks the whole way, but at a bit of a slower pace.  It is a HUGE workout!  The rain only poured for about 10 minutes and by the end of our walk the sun even started to shine.  It was a good morning and we all enjoyed the hike!
Mom climbing the rocks this time with her WAY cool spiderman backpack - jealous much?

We stopped for lunch at the top of the climb where the other scouts were waiting for those of us who were a little slower.  We had fun climbing on the giant boulders that sit at the top of the hill
Sarah captured this shot on the way back down.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A visit from Aunt Debbie

Rob's Aunt Debbie (his Mom, Ann's, sister) was over in Germany visiting her husbnad, Buddy's, son, Jeremy.  We were so thankful our schedules worked out so they could come see us.  Debbie brought all the kids a gift from Mexico (she lives in Texas right on the border).  Here is Micah posing with his gifts.

Rob and his Aunt Debbie.

Buddy's son, Jeremy, is in the Army and stationed at Baumholder - about 30 km away from us.  He was GREAT with the boys and hung out with them the whole time her was here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sarah's Irish Dance Day Camp Week

Sarah spent this past week at dance camp.  She participatred in daily classes for her level and also helped teach a lower level every day as well.  She would spend all day at the hall, packing a lunch and hanging out with whoever was there during her free time not teaching or having instruction.  Almost every afternoon after camp there was some sort of activity for her "gaggle of giggling girls".  On Monday night they all had a sleepover to celebrate one of the "other" Sarah's birthdays, on Tuesday they went to the mall to eat and see a movie, Thursday they went to the pool and out to eat at an Italian resturant, on Friday night was the end of camp celi (party).  Sarah had so much fun during camp this year not only learning new steps and pushing herself, but also spending time with the great friends she's made with this sport.  It was bitter sweet since a few of her closet friends are moving, but that made it even more special to enjoy this time together.  It was incredibly hot this week and since classes were held in an upstairs hall (with no a/c) the girls had to really push themselves to work despite the heat and humidity.

The sleepover include "make your own facials" - they used things like avocados, cucumbers, lemons, honey, and egg whites. (left) Thursday night dinner after the pool.(right)
Friday nights camp celi was held inside an auto showroom (not the hall where they had classes as it was too small to hold everyone).  There was a pot luck dinner, presentations, and (OF COURSE) lots and lots of dancing.  During one of the group dances Mom even got out there and tried her hand at a dance.  

Each of the different levels got a chance to perform and show off some of some of the things they worked on during the week.  It was extremely hot inside the building, but the kids did an excellent job of staying hydrated and performing hard.  Sarah shows off some of the height she is working on in her jumps and kicks.

The boys had a good time playing outside and enjoying the yummy food - they even got out and danced a little during the group dance.

Sarah with her teachers, Mary and Shane.
The last dance of the evening with one of her best friends, Kayla, who leaves to move to the states next Friday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NCO Academy

NCOAcademy is a 6-week long intense course that all enlisted airmen have to go through before they can pin on their E7 rank (Master Sergeant).  It is NOT an easy course for even the studious and was especially challenging for Rob since his strengths lay in working on equipment and not writing and giving speeches or taking tests - which is what these classes mainly were.  He survived after many late nights, weekend duty, and other frustratingly boring stuff (his words).  He is SO HAPPY to be done.  The dinner was nice, although HOT inside the club where it was held.

Monday, July 12, 2010


What an unbelievably HOT summer we've been having.  I would say "unseasonably warm" but really, this IS the season for heat - it's just that Europe doesn't see this many consecutive days of temps in the mid to upper 90's and rarely does it get into the triple digits.  Well, we've have some CRAZY triple digit days (at least 3) and 3 weeks of temps that almost reached there! Without a/c anywhere but in our van it has been tough to find ways to beat the heat!  Our bedrooms get stifling since they are on the top level.  Sarah's room in particular gets the hottest sun of the day beating directly into her slanted window (her bedroom has the eaves and therefore also has no attic above her room so the heat has nowhere else to go).  One day we used our classroom thermometer to take a reading of 92degrees F in her room!  We have a small a/c unit that will keep one room cool, but it is expensive to run.  During the hottest nights we use the unit to keep the master bedroom tolerable so that Dad can at least sleep before he has to get up for work.  Our lowest floor is halfway built into the ground so those room stay pretty cool as long as we keep them pitch black during the day.  The kids have been camped out in a room down there for most of this heat-wave.  During the day we occupy ourselves finding places to keep cool and longing for the next trip in the car where we can all cool down and at least feel "unsticky and unslimy" for 15 minutes.  The nice thing is some of the wicked thunderstorms that have been moving through with the unstoppable heat.  We've caught several hailstorms, high winds, and really awesome rainbows.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Noah's Boy Scout Trip to Camp Alpine in Kandersteg, Switzerland

Noah spent a week away at camp.  He had a GREAT time camping with some of the guys from his troop as well as meeting scouts from all over Europe and the US who travel to participate in this camp.  He is helping me write this blog post.  The 6 hour drive to get there on Sunday July, 4th wasn't too bad as all the boys in Noah's van were so excited to get there.  

This is a picture of the boys in front of the Troop 156 camp site and a shot of the entrance to the site. The canopy tents (In Boy Scouts they're called "paha que" ) were the central meeting place where they would eat and plan their hikes and things.  To the left are the sleeping tents.  Noah shared a tent with 2 boys, both his same rank and age.  They did not require much sleep and enjoyed wrestling and chatting very, very late into the night.  The boys were responsible for planning and cooking the meals on the camp stoves.  They ate things like pancakes, bacon, bananas, sandwiches for lunch, spaghetti, pork chops, mashed potatoes, hot dogs, and lots of cobblers and fruit cakes made in the dutch ovens.

The boys took lots of hikes and Noah was great about taking his camera along.  He would have an adult leader take the pictures with the boys in them, but Noah took all the scenery shots himself.  During the days the boys would go to different classes based on their rank and interests.  There was also time alloted for their troop to do different things - most of the time Noah's troop would hike together, but on the first or second day the troop buil the entrance to their camp site shown in the one of the first pictures on this post.  After supper there was campfire time and sometimes there were activities that included all the scouts at the camp.  Those were the times when boys would exchange neckerchiefs, slides, and patches.  There was also a campstore where the boys could purchase Tshirts and other items from Camp Alpine.
Noah and his troop taking down the flag at retreat.
One of the most fun things Noah did was participate in the Wilderness Survival  Merit Badge Class.  For this class he went to instruction for 4 days.  They learned lots about survival, first aide, ways to protect themselves. Then on Thursday afternoon the boys went out into the wilderness with only what they could carry on a hike to camp overnight - ON THEIR OWN - in the forest.  They were not allowed to break any trees or bring tents.  They had to make a shelter with items they brought and sleep in it!  Noah was partnered with Ian and thanks to older boys who told them what to expect before leaving for camp they had enough tarps and rope to make a decent shelter.  The other class Noah took was FROGS (formally called ACE) which wasn't a merit badge class.  It is a rank building class recommended for all first time campers who are usually at one of the first ranks in scouting.  In this class they played games which were designed for team building, learned lots about safety, and other rudimentary scouting skills like knots, fitness, health, first aide, etc.
A shot of Noah at the pick-up point on Saturday the 10th.  He was so tired and exhausted from the week and the long car ride home.  Mom was VERY GOOD and did NOT cry when She, Sarah, and Micah went to pick him up....... but after all 3 kids were buckled in the van and we were pulling away from the rendezvous point it felt SO GOOD to have all 3 kids in the same small space that a few tears did escape.
This post wouldn't be complete with saying how very much Micah missed Noah, too.  With Daddy still in his school and Noah gone Micah got a lot of "girl" time with Sarah and Mom.  We put a lot of puzzles together, played Wii, and kept busy trying to find ways to stay cool.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fourth of July

Micah, Sarah, and Mom had a fantastic fourth of July picnic at our friend's, Joel and Jennifer Brown's, home.  We headed over to their house right after church along with most of our church.  Rob went home right after church to study and work on stuff for the class he is working in and Noah left for camp this morning.  
We enjoyed lots of great food, games in the yard, lots of "hang-out" time with good friends, and right down the street from their house is a lake when you can swim!
Sarah hanging out with some of the lovely teens of TRC, you can see all the men grilling in the background.
Sarah and Micah didn't bring their suits, but they enjoyed wading into the lake to cool off.  It was hot and sticky (just like it's been all week), so the cold water was a nice break.

Micah hurt his knee playing in the yard earlier during the picnic (you can see his bandaged knee), so after the lake Wesley carried him up this steep hill and back to the house.  Micah had so much fun playing the doughnut game.... it was a great time for everyone, but especially Micah who woke up quite sad that his brother was gone - he had so much fun he didn't even have time to miss him today!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Camp Alpine or BUST!!

Noah in front of our house with all his gear ready to leave for camp.  Noah will spend 6 nights in Kandersteg, Switzerland at Camp Alpine.  He is SO excited!  He took a digital camera, so hoepfully there will be a few pictures of all his adventures to post when he comes home next Saturday.  


Today we tried out a new spot to try and stay cool in all the HEAT we've had lately.  Bostalsee is Germany's largest man-made lake and it only about 38 km from our house!  We had a great time picnicking, playing in the sand and water, and sitting in the shade.  Today is Noah's last day before he leaves for camp, and Rob is still in the NCO academy, but, for today, everyone stopped what they were doing and we just went to the beach!

The boys had a terrific time splashing along the shoreline and building tons of things in the sand.  

There is nothing quite like a picnic at the beach!  
There was also a park on the beach with slides, swings, and this gigantic climbing ball thing.  Out in the water there were 3 docks that you could swim to and jump off.  The kids spent most of their time in the water or on the sandy beach - but towards the end of the day the clouds rolled in before a brief rainshower and the temps went down a few degrees; that's when the kids took advantage of the hiding sun to climb on all the equipment.

Friday, July 2, 2010

what 35°C looks like

It has been in the mid to upper 90's for the past week!  It also hasn't been cooling down at night, so with no a/c that can make for rotten sleeping and tired, grumpy days!  To beat the heat on one of the hottest days yet we headed to the local pool with our good friends, the Briggs.  We stayed at the pool all day, packing a picnic lunch and plenty of water.

The "cool" award goes to Micah with his cool $5.99 BX shades (attitude not included) and Hannah "Golightly" with her big floppy hat.

Playing in the sand is one of the highlights of this pool, then taking a shower in the icecold rinsing area before dipping into the pool.