Monday, June 29, 2009

Sometimes the best answer is wait





I've really been stressed trying to find the perfect place for Juergen's 50th birthday party. Every good place is already booked until late fall. The weather in the fall is generally wet and cold, so anything outside would be unwise. I kept running into road blocks, I won't bore you with the frustrating details. The place I think I really want for the party is unavailable until next year. If we have the party next summer then we will have more time to plan, and save for it. Our budget is pretty stretched this year because of Cyprus, and Thailand, and buying a new car. Next year we could better pay for a big party. So anyway, I came up with the idea of a 100 year party. Next year Juergen will be 51, and I'll be 49. We could have a big party together to celebrate our 100 years...and then we could have this year to really plan the party. So this is what we decided to do. We are going to wait. I think we will try to look at this cool rental house by the river. If it looks like a good location, we will set a date and book the house. I've got such a killer to “do list”(mostly for Philip and his school and medical needs). I just don't have the energy at present to devote to this party for Juergen. I feel such a relief that we can just wait until next year. Juergen is so cool about stuff like this! Everything has it’s time…this was feeling so forced. I think it’s always good advice to stand still and wait if you do not know the right way to go. Wait for direction.

These are photo's of the house I'm looking at. It sleeps 12 people and is next to the forest and river. It has a very large living room, and dinning room and patio. You can rent canons and boats. There is also a large outdoor fireplace. It is not expensive. I think it would be perfect, but only if the weather is good. It gives us room for our out of town guests, a party location, and activities for our guests all at an affordable price. I emailed the owner so we can look at the place before we decide.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Envy

Envy is the pain or frustration caused by another person having something that one does not have. I envy my sister Shelley for her big house and big garden. I'm generally satisfied with what I have. In reality I have trouble keeping up with what I have. I just need more space for Juergens 50th birthday party. He wants to invite between 50 to 70 people. I have no space for so many people. I know we will figure something out. I really don't envy Shelley. I'm honestly happy for her, I'm just anxious to find what will meet our need.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tragic

michel jackson Pictures, Images and Photos

I woke up to the news that Michel Jackson died. He was an extreme. Extremely talented, and extremely tragic. I think they made him a freak,,,a sad creature in a world wide side show. Fame is a dangerous thing. His level of fame is toxic. I'm sure most people will remember his music. I remember watching him live doing the moonwalk for the very first time. We all tried to copy him. He was brilliant. I loved his music. But the only word I could use to describe him is tragic. It's sad that someone who had so much could be so broken. There are very few famous people who are happy. It makes you wonder why anyone would want to be famous? It never seemed like he loved himself. He was always trying to change who he was. I guess self love and acceptance is part of what brings peace. That is true for the famous and un-famous. Jesus said we should love our neighbor as ourselves. There are two parts to that golden rule.

To change the subject….we are not sure if we can send Philip to the Waldorf school. We just couldn’t find peace with the strange spiritual input the school has. I feel pretty distressed about where or what we should do for Philip. For now he needs to remain where he is at. There is no other choice. We are pursuing speech therapy and occupational therapy, play therapy and
Nero feedback. We can not do everything at once. We need wisdom. He is doing better in his school, but the social influence is not good. They also do very little to teach him. It makes me sad not to have a good choice for him. I will keep looking. I just know that I do not like to expose Philip to this wrong spiritual environment. They are in many ways a good school for Philip. The style of learning is positive and encouraging. I wish it was Christian but it's very "new age". Most of the parents are well educated and caring. Most of the kids he goes to school with now are in crises. They are all single mom families, and there is much domestic violence. The kids bring this stress to school and it has an awful effect on Philip. Last night Juergen and I decided to not send Philip to Waldorf school, but today we are having 2nd thoughts. It is very good in so many ways, perhaps it is what is best?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Girls? Back OFF!!!

A girl in Thomas' class phoned him 3 times yesterday. We had to tell him we do not allow him to have a girl friend. We think he is too young (he is only 11 years old). He was happy to receive the attention. I'm sure it makes him feel good to be "liked". But kids that are in romantic relationships at an early age often fail to develop a good sense to self. You need to feel comfortable alone, you need to know who you are without being defined (or limited) by someone else. I can not control what he does at school, and if he will honor our wishes. I hate to be the mean mom that always says no. I just care about his future. I want him to develop a good foundation so he will one day be able to have a healthy, long-term relationship. Don't you think girls are too aggressive towards boys these days? They also have low self worth. They want to wear a boy at their side, like he was some sort of handbag or something. I don't think they care much for Thomas...they just want a boyfriend because it makes them feel important. Philip has girls chasing him too. My boys are very good-looking...at least I think so. But they are off limits! They are still kids! What do you think?

IRAN?


So what do you think about Obama's response to what is going on in Iran? He calmly says "we are outraged"...but he doesn't look outraged! He seems to stand on the fence. Does he have a backbone? He seems more bothered about being questioned. There are allot of young people in Iran that want freedom.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

how to use blogger for dummies

HERE is a link to HOW TO USE BLOGGER FOR DUMMIES. This link is for you Rick! Love you!!!

Changing Your Google Blogger Template

Posting photos

How to blog

My brother Rick asked me for some help with his new blog. Here is a video on setting up a blog with blogspot. I'll write more later.



There are some symbols under the video. Click on the symbol that is square (to the right of the HQ). This will show the video full screen. You need to see what he is doing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

the honeymoon is over

help for sleep

Waldorfschule

We are looking at the Waldorf school for Philip. He is very unhappy in his school and this is the only private alternative for him. The video is in German. It would not be the best school for many kids, but Philip needs a better school. Please pray for us. We need wisdom about where to place Philip. He really needs a more positive environment. The treatment for ADHD is very good, but that is only part of what he needs. I feel like these are very important years for both our sons. They are going to be teenagers. Peers, and self worth really come into play. We need to establish them more…we need wisdom. One of Philips friends from church just got into the Waldorf school. One of the big plus’ is he would have a good friend. We respect and trust the family. Really, you don’t want to send your child to play at “so and so’s” house when you do not trust “so and so’s” parents. Do you know what I mean?



It is not a good school for "gifted" kids. It goes too slow. It also has an odd spiritual background (new age)...but they don't push it. I don't like this, but I also don't like the secular environment he is in now. His present school is a moral graveyard! There is no perfect place for him. It is a search for the best…not the perfect.



They do other things like garden work. This would be very good for Philip. He will never do great in academics...he needs other tasks he can do well in.





Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

They don't actually have a father's day here in Germany...well not like they do in America. Father's day in Germany is sort of an after thought, a day for men to go out and drink. I wish I was in America today, I would love to take my dad out to eat. I love you dad! I will call you today! Juergen also has a wonderful dad! As for Juergen, what could I say? He is a great dad...one of the best I've ever seen. Today will be your average Sunday. We take turns going to church. I am home today taking care of Jessica, Juergen is with the kids at church. We will eat a simple lunch of spaghetti. We meet some friends in the park later in the day. Nothing grand...but life is always grand with this wonderful man I am so blessed to be married to. I didn't get him a gift or a card. I'm actually planning his 50th birthday party. We had a party in Cyprus, but we want to do something locally for friends and family. We are thinking of doing something in the fall. I could celebrate Juergen all year. Last night he listened to my new audible book "Ann of Green Gables" with me. We thought it was so funny when they were deciding to keep the orphan girl Anne (that is Ann with an e). I remember very well the times Juergen made that choice to adopt our 3 kids. Those where not easy choices. It took him a long time to decide to be a dad to Philip, Thomas and Sarah. But he is a dad to them...an extraordinary dad. Thank God for my wonderful friend! I am so grateful for him!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I love a good book!

My sister Shelley posted something on her blog about Ann of Green Gables. I remembered I have a free audible book on my account at Audible.com, so I just got the 10 1/2 hour book to listen to with Nicole. I love this book! Thanks for the idea Shelley! BTW, it's an adoption story!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Philip is doing good!

Philip got a C in dictation today. Last time he had an F. He also read me a entire first grade book "Little Red Riding hood". OK, he is in the 3rd grade, but he could not read 2 pages a month ago! I bought him a pocket knife. He can have the knife when he finishes 5 books. He really wants the knife. Nicole asks, "are you sure he is going to be ok with it (the knife)"? He will not be allowed to take it to school, and if he ever points it at anyone I will take it away. He wants to carve wood. Don't all 10 year old boys want a pocket knife? Thomas won one in church for memorizing Bible verses. He pointed it at Philip (who was getting on his nerves). I took it away for a time. I'll give it back again...probably when I give Philip his knife.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

old family movies



You can now see some of the short cute video I took of Sarah in China on our photo site. I also have a slide show of Rick in Paris. HERE is that link.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Don't mind me

Some times I just like messing with the look of my blog. I guess you could say it's my form of art. I may not keep it this way, but I think it's fun. The header is Juergen trying the great meal Rick cooked us on Juergen's 50th birthday.

Dirty dancing

mud pig  lmao Pictures, Images and Photos

Nicole's school class is going to Berlin in a few weeks. While they are there they will see the musical dirty dancing. Apart from the very sexual dancing in the show, I am offended by a 17 year old girl having a relationship with her much older dance instructor, and another girl getting an abortion. I find the show to be pretty pro abortion, and I am strongly opposed to abortion. We also feel the show sets a very bad role model for girls. Anyway, Juergen called the teacher to tell her we are not happy with the choice. Nicole has to stay with the class. She will most likely see dirty dancing. It will not kill her. I hope that the teacher comes up with a better plan. It's hard to know how far to push this sort of thing. We could make a bigger stink, but we don't feel that is the right way to go. I am glad we didn't just say nothing. This is suppose to be a night for the entire class to get out and have a good night. How can it be good if you are being "entertained" by something you find morally and ethically wrong? It of course does not bother the teacher or most of Nicole’s class. They do not share our values. This show is boarder line of what I would even allow. Maybe I should not even allow her to go, but she would have to sit outside the show alone. That would probably be more damaging then the show. I pray that they just can not get tickets to the show and that a better plan is made. The only thing the teacher could say about the show is "they have seen worse". That line has been bothering me. They have seen worse and this is a little better then worse! Why watch the bad, why not choose better. The teacher gave them a list of trash, and they choose this. I blame the teacher. She should have given them better choices. Not all of us feed our children a steady diet of crap. It really bothers me that she really could not give a reason for why they will see this show (and the cheep tickets are 30€) besides there are worst choices. Our society is far to willing to accept and pay for dirt. if we did not pay for it, they would have to give us better! I’m not going to encourage Nicole to stand outside while her class goes to this play. I don’t want to make her an joke or weirdo. I’m just disappointed that this is what’s being offered.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How long is your bucket list?

I finally watched the movie bucket list with my brother Rick. I've heard about it for awhile but never got around to seeing it. I thought it was ok. But I think the whole idea of living your dreams is good. How long is your list? Mine is actually short. I don't think that’s so bad because I try really hard to live my dreams. If I dream it I try to do it. I was listening to Bocelli this afternoon. If fact I almost fell asleep on the sofa. His voice is so calming. I guess seeing him sing live is on my list. Now I'm thinking I should plan to do that when I turn 50 in 2 years.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

let it rain

I can hear a song in my head...the words are " Let it rain, let it rain, open the flood gates of heaven, let rain...open the flood gates of heaven"!!! Today we got a phone call from Philip's teacher. The last time she called (about 4 weeks ago) she told me that Philip was being so bad a kid in school was afraid to even come to school. He was such a bully! He was so bad they had to seat him at a desk alone and away from the other kids. I could go on, but I won't. Today she asked us what happen because he is being so good! I want to cry as I type this. My eyes are full of tears. He started to take Redline for ADHD. And now Philip and Thomas are both down stairs working on crossword puzzles. Thomas is teaching Philip how to spell, but first Philip is trying to do it himself. He is actually sitting there trying to sound words out. Oh God...Thank you!!! Thank you!!!!

the letterman thing

On Monday's "Late Show with David Letterman," the comedian came out swinging, saying, "One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game. During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez!"
Sarah Palin response was...
"Laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is .. disgusting."

And Letterman has not really apologized.

On the one hand I don't think it helps to make a big deal about this, on the other hand I hope it bites Letterman in the face! If he said anything like that about Obamas daughters people would be trying to kill him! It just goes to show you what a double standard there is. You get killed for insulting the children of Democrats but higher ratings for attacking the kids of a Republican. I wish they would fire Letterman. He isn't funny anymore, he is a bitter sick old man. My daughter Nicole is only 15 years old, if someone said something like that about her on National TV I would not be so calm! If he doesn’t really apologize, they should fire him!!!

Photo books or prints?

I put together a photo book of our pictures from Cyprus. In fact, I was up until 2am doing this. In the end they wanted 45 Euros for the book. That's allot of money. I think I'll just order some prints for around 12 euros instead. While I'm at it, I thought I would make an album with photos from Thailand. I would have photos from our first adoption trip in 2001, then our trip in 2004 and 2006. The kids have changed so much. I really am excited to return there. I have very good memories from Thailand.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I need you summer ideas

I have not posted on my cooking blog since my parents came at Easter! It's time I get back to it! Please send me your summers best recipes (BQ and salad, ice cream and grilled vegetables). Send those ideas to Hungry for love cook book blog, or mail them to me at my yahoo address amy _ heymann @ yahoo.de (remove the spaces). A great idea could win you 12 prizes.

Go with what you know is good



I've spent hours looking at vacation villas, houses and condos in Hua Hin ,Thailand. At first I felt some pressure to equal the amazing place we had in Cyprus. I would sure love to have that kind of view again. We could have a view, but at a cost. I want a good pool for the kids. I don't want to be too far from the town. We enjoy our trips to a mall called Market Village. We want to go without a car if we can. We may rent a car a few days, but mostly we want to take tuk tuks . Any way I found a simple apartment with 3 bedrooms in the same complex we have been in 2 times before. I love the garden there. The pool is great, and so is the beach. It is only 5 minutes from the Market village by tuk tuk. It's nothing fancy. There are much nicer houses in Hua Hin. Still, everything else had it's draw backs (location, price). Sometimes it's just safe to go with what you know will work. Our family is so complex. If we are not staying right on the beach I know I will hardly see the ocean because Jessica hates the ocean. At least in this apartment Juergen and I can take turns swimming in the sea or building sand castles with the other kids. I will not have a view of the sea (our apartment has a garden view), but I can still see the sun rise over the sea...I just need to walk to the end of the apartment complex. They have horses on the beach, and wind surfing and jet skiing. There is also Thai message on the beach. The apartment is next door to the Hyatt. It’s basically in a great neighborhood. Our favorite Hua Hin restaurant is a short walk away (Pom Pom’s). They have the worlds best frozen lemonade. I just don’t feel like taking any risks. I’m generally not the kind that plays it safe…but on this trip I just want to go with what I know is good. So I’ve ended my search, and HERE is a link to our apartment in Hua Hin. It is simply everything I needed…location, size, price. The ocean is fancy enough. I had my view in Cyprus. I am happy about our choice! I’m glad we had a villa for Juergen’s 50th birthday, and for my brother’s first trip to Europe. That was so special! I think this apartment in Hua Hin is pretty basic, but then again so am I.



I'm sick

I had such a hard time dragging myself out of bed this morning. The room felt like it was moving. My throat is swollen and my head hurts. I think I'm getting a cold, or even "the flu". I guess if I'm going to get the swine flu then now would be a good time. It has rained all week. It's too wet to work outside. I wouldn't mind building up immunity to this flu before it becomes a real problem. I don't want to make light of an illness that has killed people. Every flu kills people. Right now it appears to be somewhat mild, but who knows what it will become? I'm not big on flu shots because of the mercury they put in them. I would much rather just get the mild form of this flu and get it over with. Any way, I’m sick.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lemon tree house



Here is a little video I made about Lemon tree house, the villa we stayed in in Cyprus. I thought it might help the owners get some more bookings. It was such a special place. It made our vacation!
Shelley asks how much it was...
HERE is the web site. We paid 700€ for 7 days (8 people), or about 985 USD for a week. We were there in low season but the weather was super. You can figure 125 USD per person per week. Not bad for a 4 star villa with a view. The villa can house up to 8 to 10 people.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rick has a blog

Rick (my brother) just started a blog. Go encourage him to keep posting. HERE is Rick's blog.

a room with a view

The apartment was listed as a 3 bedroom apartment, but it is actually just a one bedroom apartment with 3 beds. Oh well! Back to the drawing board! I may have found another apartment in another condo development. This one is on the 4th floor with a view of the ocean on 3 sides. It has a great pool and the price is pretty good too. I e mailed the owner, and I hope it is available. I was hoping for a view!

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where to stay?

I think I found us a good house to stay in in Hua Hin. I wanted something that was very close to the beach, and had a good pool. I know the kids will basically live in the pool. I also wanted to be pretty close to the town. We do not want to rent a car (just to save money). Tuk Tuks are a fun and cheap way to get around. A rental car would add almost 1000€ to our costs (we need a 7 passenger car and this cost more). I would much rather take a tuk tuk. Most of the rental property is either too small for our big family, or too far away from the beach, or too expensive. When I first started to look, I did not know what I wanted. Now I've got it narrowed down to two choices. A 3 bedroom apartment in the complex we have been in before. The advantage is the pools, and direct beach access. The second choice is a beach house that is 4 bedroom. It is a two min walk to the beach, and the shared pool is not as good...but good enough. The apartment is cheaper and has better pools. The house is nicer and bigger. I guess it's choosing a bigger house or a bigger garden. To be honest, I think I will go for the smaller and cheaper apartment. Most of our time will be spent outside. If the apartment is available I think we should take it? Don’t you wish you had this problem? I need to stop and praise God for blessing us with this amazing opportunity. What a great opportunity. I love Thailand. It feels like home to me. I would love to spend the winters there when Juergen retires. Jessica has even written that she would like to go there to write a book after she finishes school. I’m so excited about the chance to go back to our families “special” place. Here are some photos from the garden in the Hua Hin apartment. I took these photos on our last trip. That was almost 3 years ago. We were waiting for Sarah. Jessica turned 15 on that trip, and Thomas turned 9 there. Where has the time gone? The kids are all growing up so fast. Jessica is almost 18 years old. How could that be? I feel compelled to live my life while I can. There will not be so many chances for our whole family to travel together. Soon Nicole will be off to University. I feel like I'm in a very precious space of time...I want to cherish these moments.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Pranburi



This is Pranburi. It is an area about 20 to 30 mins south of Hua Hin. We are looking at a vacation house near here. There is a very large National park, a bay where pink dolphins swim, and a really great pool in a private villa that is just 150 meters from the beach.

An ounce of prevention

We are back from our wonderful vacation. I was so tired before the trip. My mind was tired and my emotions too. I was so dry. I needed that trip. I needed that rest. It was healthy for all of us. It was a good investment in our well being. I am wondering if we need Thailand. What was I thinking when I got those tickets to Thailand in August? Why Thailand? Why now? I'm sure we would do fine if we didn't travel to Thailand. But I was thinking about our sons. They are both pre teens. I've read Internationally adopted boys have problems when they are teenagers. They have trouble trying to figure out who they are. I guess I was thinking it would be good for them to take another trip home. I want to go to their orphanage in Bangkok. I want them to blow bubbles for the kids, give them candy, and bring gifts to the nannies. I think its important for them to give back to the people who cared for them when they were little. I also want our family to have some new and fresh memories of days spent on the beaches in Hua Hin. I want Thailand to be fresh and good in their minds. I want to help them build a bridge from their past into their future. We are already talking about sending them to America to visit Uncle Rickey next summer. They are Thai, German and American. They are wonderfully complex and I think it's important for them to feel comfortable with all that they are. I guess it's just an ounce of prevention so that they don't have to have a strong identity crisis. It may seem odd we are already planning another vacation, but I felt like we needed to do this for the boys. Everyone should go home from time to time. I'll need to take Sarah to China too...in a few years.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Dianna and Happy 51 Mom and Dad!

I miss my brother! I'm trying to pull myself out of a mild depression! How will we ever top the wonderful time we had in Cyprus? The answer is do not even try! We have tickets to Thailand, and I'm trying to cheer myself up by looking for a vacation house. I don't really need a vacation...so I really wonder why we got the tickets! The kids tickets were free and it seemed the right thing to do at the time. But now everything seems so non spectacular next to the villa in Cyprus. I'm spoiled for life!

Today is my sisters birthday. Happy birthday Dianna! My parents have also been married 51 years. Mom is still recovering from her fall. She will be laid up for another 2 months. I wish I could be there to help. School begins again in the morning. Life is just too strange!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The best of Cyprus



Rick went home today...and I am so sad!

Friday, June 05, 2009

painting the garage

Rick goes home in the morning. I'm sure he will be happy to see his kids again. 3 weeks is along time to be away. The time has passed so fast. It's been really wonderful! So wonderful!!! We may stay up all night, that way he can sleep well on the flight. Hopefully his jet lag will be less this way! Anyway, here is his painting. It turned out more then good! I really love it...just like I love my brother! We will have to do this again soon!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Heidelberg

I took Rick and Nicole to Heidelberg for a short (5 hour) tour. We had some cake and coffee, and did a great deal of walking. We sat in a beautiful old church, and took the bergbahn up to the castle. It was a great time! Today they are both painting the garage. It looks so great. I'll have pictures of that later.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

time to say goodbye to beautiful Cyprus

We are packing to go. Juergen's birthday was really wonderful. The food was amazing, Rick was the iron chef! The guests were so great! The kids swam in the pool, and played games. Juergen and I were able to totally relax! It could not have been nicer! Today Juergen went jet skiing while I packed. We are going to continue to just hang out in the pool, and leave late. Our flight does not leave until 3 am. We thought about going to see a castle but it just seems too stressful. I would much rather hang out by the pool. We finally got Jessica into the water. Praise God for all his many gifts! It has been really wonderful!

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Juergen's 50th birthday

Monday, June 01, 2009

Our last dinner out



We went to dinner last night in the most beautiful place. The view of Kyrenia was amazing. Jessica was such a lady! After dinner Rick and I slept with the kids under the stars. The sun rise was so beautiful. Today is Juergens birthday, and then we have just one last day! I have mixed feelings about going home. It's been wonderful, and I'll miss my brother most of all!!!