Friday, May 31, 2013

Recent Acquisitions

On one of our recent trips to Holland we picked up a pair of wooden shoes... why not! I remember wanting a pair when I came to the Netherlands as a teenager and I also remember them being to expensive. This pair was only about 16.00 euros so now they are mine purely for decorative purposes I don't plan on wearing them around the house or anything.


We celebrated 12 years of marriage on Sunday and as a gift we got each other a set of German knives ( although Michael claims only I wanted them.) They are amazing, apparently I have been using incredibly dull knives for years and hacking my way through everything. I may accidentally chop my fingers off as I am so unfamiliar with a sharp blade.
and last.. as we were coming home from Koln yesterday I saw a basket sale on the corner in our town. So I jumped on my bike and road down to see what they had. They were packing up and the guy said he would give me a deal .... he actually said in broken English cheap and gave me the thumbs up sign. He also gave me directions on how to care for it that I did not understand. Oh well this is the one I picked and the kids now call it the baby Mosses basket.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cultural Training

     We attended cultural training as a family this week and after 5 months of living here I guess it's better late than never. Although I think our original trial by fire integration was pretty affective. The kids had their own special training and were a little weary of it at first but to the teachers credit by the end of the day they did not want to leave! and she had them alone for 8 hours. They took a field trip into town and found different German symbols and then gave everyone a presentation of what they learned (very proud.) The teacher told us they were so well adjusted they didn't even seem to care they were in a foreign country.

    What did I learn ..... well I learned that it has been a very very long time since I had to pay attention for that long! I left with a crazy headache and no desire to enter the working world. We began by drawing a picture of what kind of animal we would be. Care to take a guess what each member in our family chose?

Elijah = Lizard ...No surprise there
Stella = and I quote... "a fuzzy monkey with a pink bowtie"
Oliver = Penguin ....he has always wanted to become a penguin when he grows up, I am not sure he understood the question.
Michael = Alligator
Me= House Cat

 I also learned that according to the presenters Germans and Americans can be summed up in fruit..........
Germans are coconuts (hard to crack)
Americans are Peaches thin skin and really sweet........ hah who knew.
I also learned that my husband has a hard job that I do not envy at all.........
He was very professional

Tuesday, May 21, 2013



  I waited to long to plan a proper trip for our long holiday weekend. So we did what we always do... we went to the Netherlands. We love the Netherlands, there is lots to do, things are always open, and it's beautiful. This time we googled windmills and found Kinderdijk a town about 2 and half hours away.  The town is quaint and the line of authentic windmills stretches out of sight in marshy wetlands. The kids really enjoyed all the ducks, geese, and other birds swimming around the swampy habitat. We only had to tell Eli not to poke/throw rocks at the birds a few times....ok maybe it was the whole time we were there. One windmill is open for touring it was pretty amazing inside. To think that families lived and worked inside.The kids of course thought it was awesome and we should build one for out next house) no.)
      We watched a video in the museum and what I found truly amazing was they said that if the Dutch stopped pumping water off of the land for 3 months a large portion of the country would be completely under water! as it sits right now it is already under sea level. Amazing that the Dutch settled on the land and made it not only livable but beautiful.

Crazy feet.... this fellow had a little nest with babies

Friday, May 10, 2013

Going Backwards

Last weekend we went looking for a new lawnmower for our rather small back yard. Our last mower was a Zero turn radius from husqvarna.  It was the only thing we owned when we moved that our friends actually wanted... we ended up giving it to my dad. The mower Michael choose was a slightly smaller model than our last and a fraction (a tiny fraction= 82 euros) of the price. However once we got it home and out of the  box it did great.  Elijah mowed the entire yard himself for 5 euros. It may not be as fun as the Zero turn mower but you never have to buy gas and there is pretty much nothing to break ........ one day Eli can tell his kids he used to have to mow the grass by hand and they won't believe him!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tulip- Tastic

I have always wanted to see the fields of blooming tulips in Holland and last week we got to go. We drove about two and half hours to the Keukenof in the Netherlands which just happens to be the most photographed place in the world (for good reason.) It was very busy probably because it was the day after the new king had been crowned in Amsterdam. The gardens are 32 hectares big..... I have no idea how big that is but I'll let google convert it later. I know it was giant and it was absolutely full of blooming flowers. It really looked like the Willy Wonka factory of gardens, with the greenest grass in several shades and every color imaginable of flowers. It also, to the kids delight had a zip line, a petting zoo, and a maze that we all went through several times.

She loved this little lamb and followed him around a while

The maze.... we raced but Michael cheated

A real organ grinder.... there was dancing

A rare picture ...... he was not made to take this one

look at our little tree huggers