Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Phantom Waiting

Grandma left the country on Monday.  Phantom was sad, and spent all day Tuesday looking for her at the door.  Today (Wednesday) he has given up and just resigned himself to lie on the bed she was using in the guest room until she comes back.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kulinarische Wanderung

Today we went on a culinary walk in a village nearby our home.  It was a lovely (and easy) 6.4 km walk with 7 stops along the way.  Each stop had wine and some sort of treat.  It was the perfect way to spend Grandma's last afternoon visiting.  We enjoyed the scenery which included some beautiful horses running through their pasture, many scenes like the one pictured above, and every kind of dog you can imagine.  

At the beginning of the walk you got these cool wine glasses on a strap.  Rob and Grandma were the only ones to sample the wine, but the kids enjoyed apfel schorle AND everyone enjoyed the different edible delights.

Phantom LOVED the walk and seeing all the other dogs, too.  Every dog we saw was covered in burrs and Phantom was no exception.  The farmer's fields along the paths must be empty of burrs for all their attaching to wandering dogs!

The path back had us walk over this bridge where we stopped to wave at some passing cars - every single one of them waved back and the boys thought that was pretty cool.

I didn't want to carry my big heavy camera along for the walk today, so all the shots captured today are courtesy of my daughter's tiny Lumix camera.  She did an excellent job, although among all the great photos I found a couple of these pictures - her and Noah can't resist an opportunity to be silly.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wolves on Skates

Every year the Pack has a "meeting" at the roller rink on base.  This year it was the very first Pack meeting of the new school year.  

Micah LOVES cub scouts and "kinda" enjoys roller skating so usually he finds other ways to enjoy himself after the thrill of skating around the edges and holding on for dear life has worn off.  The little boy he is wrestling with is his friend, Grant, from his wolf den.

Micah spent more time than usual in his skates this time, however, because Daddy was there AND his really good friend, Noelle, was also there and slowed down her speed racer pace to help Micah along.

just so you don't think my Mom is bored here during her visit... every month a different den takes a turn serving the pack dinner during these meetings - this month was NOT our den's month, but Grandma just jumped in and started helping all the moms and dads.  She had a good time chatting and meeting people... she did NOT skate.

It's pretty hard to catch a glimpse of Noah during these outings as he LOVES to be on skates, just like his Daddy.  Daddy only slows down long enough to take a turn with Micah.  Mommy and Noah B. show off their new uniforms.  This is Noah's first year in cub scouts (he is a WEB I) and Mommy's first year as a Den Leader (of Micah's Wolf den). 
The whole Briggs family came to enjoy the pack meeting, and as Daddy Briggs leaves soon for a deployment I had to capture a family picture.  It's rare to have all 9 in one spot and sitting still!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eighth Note

all the kids and siblings in front of the huge climbing thing.
Today was Micah's birthday party at Yabadoo Indoor Playpark.  Micah has been wanting a party at yabadoo for his past 3 birthdays.  Finances, visiting family, military exercises, etc. have always gotten in the way and so Micah waited. This year we have my Mom in town visiting, but we decided to make a party work for Micah before our time runs out here in Germany.  Micah invited 8 friends and with his and their siblings it was a great turn-out and nice sized party!.  The play place has TONS of things to climb, jump, slide, swing, kick, throw, shoot, and run.  It is made for kids of all ages.  What a great time for the kids (and parents, too!) 
The huge trampoline is a huge hit!

Ben, Micah, and Gabe.  Noah, Noah, and Simon
8th note cake

Sarah had a great time hanging out with Hannah and beating her at air hockey.
Micah's cake was in the shape of an 8th note.
Mom tried to climb the giant wall, which looks a bit like a circus tent that reaches to the ground, but she would make it to where the incline is 90 degrees and just slip down.  Oh, well, maybe next time.
 Hey, when did Rob grow moose ears?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Autumn in the Air

We are having a great time with Grandma here!  Fall activities are just starting up for the 2010/2011 school year and Rob's job is gearing up for a big inspection at the end of this month, so we're not able to get away and take time off, but we're making the best of it and enjoying every free moment hanging out together.  We all went to church this morning and then, a Sunday afternoon bike-ride/walk on a nice warm, late-summer day was the perfect addition to our Labor Day weekend. 

Noah and Sarah love taking off on their bikes - this is also the first year that Micah has been able to come along on the long bike rides.  He'd been perfecting his bike riding for a while now, and is finally confident enough to go, go, go!
My friend Caroline told me about these flowers on a walk a few weeks ago.  I forget what she called them now, but it had something to do with fire or smoke.  he blooms are usually pink but as the summer wears on it starts to get this fuzzy/smokey texture as it goes to seed, starting at the bottom and rising to the top.  Caroline said you can tell when summer is over because the "smoke" rises all the way to the top or the plant.  The nights and early mornings are definitely letting us know that autumn is in the air and you can smell the deciduous trees gearing up to shed their leaves as well.  So, these flowers are right on cue.  Anyways, it was more fun with aperture.  

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Highland Burg Fest

Tonight Sarah's dance school performed at the Landstuhl castle.  Grandma and Daddy went along and enjoyed some yummy food, great Guinness beer, and fabulous entertainment.  
In this picture you can see Sarah's best friend Hannah and her sister Leisha as  well as Sarah's good friend, the "other" Sarah.  
Sarah flying high during Riverdance in which she co-performed the lead steps with her friend, Thea.  

More High stepping from Sarah

Some of the dancers in their solo dresses
Sarah dancing in her solo dress during a "step down the line"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Grandma +

Today's the day! Grandma arrived for a 20 day visit to Germany. 
Rob went to Frankfurt this morning to pick up MaryLou while the kids and i waited patiently at home.  After getting a little confused by the new parking structures and garages at Frankfurt Int'l AND being rerouted around an accident they made it home where the kids and grand-dog were anxiously awaiting Grandma's arrival.  Yesterday when we went to check mail we got a surprise from our good friends, the Phillips, with the cool Tshirts the kids are wearing in this picture.  Thanks Ellen and kids!!!  As we were waiting for Grandma and then as Grandma settled in and jet lag crashed over her there was another friend on her way to Germany from the states.  Suzanne and kids, after visiting the states for a week, were desperately trying to hop home to England.  The closest they could get was Ramstein and when it became apparent that they were not going to be able to get home on Thursday Krissie went and picked them up to spend 2 days here while they waited on a flight Saturday morning.  It was so nice to catch up and the kids had a great time getting reacquainted and spending time together.

Christyn teaches Noah a new game and Conner and Micah enjoy some Wii time together.  Suzanne was on the internet trying to find a way home (car, train, plane.....) and after trying to get train tickets and that not working out they settled for a flight out on Saturday morning.  Even though they really were anxious to get home and see John it was so great to know we had them for 2 days!
after a wonderful dinner we all enjoyed ice cream from the Italian Eis man who comes by every evening.  We were also waiting on the Briggs to stop by for a visit so Christyn could have a chance to hang out with her close friend, Leisha.

Christyn and Leisha were so happy to see each other and had a great time hanging out.

Hannah also came over with her sisters to see the Childress' and the timing was perfect because that very day we received a package in the mail from Heather Schulte for the girls.  Here they are with their very precious drawings from Stella and a little something that Mrs. Schulte sent to the girls.... I LOVE how each piece of clothing is so perfectly suited to each girls individual taste.  Heather, you rock!

The shirt that the Phillips sent to Sarah is the same shirt Hannah has so the two best friends couldn't resist the chance to match.
Conner and Micah really had a good time together.  It was so cute to just see them pick up right where they left off almost 2 years ago.