Tuesday, November 30, 2010

it's time to dance!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

An eye for a bargain



Juergen took a few hours off to look at the farm house in Kronau. It was way too small for our family. The garden and barn are really nice. The house it’s self needs allot of work. The house cost 165,000 Euro. For another 100,000 Euro, it could be nice for 4 people. We are 7 people, and need much more space. It did manage to make my favorite farm house in Bad Schönborn look really good! Maybe Juergen is ready to ask an architect to look at the farm house to see what can be done to it…and at what price. I traded 3 days for 2 hours. Juergen was suppose to take 3 days off before his trip to Canada. Things at work are so crazy he just couldn’t do that. So instead I asked him for the 2 hours it took to see this house. If in the end I get my farm house in Bad Schönborn, you can say I was getting a very good deal?

The photo is Nicole’s latest painting. I think it’s very cool!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I miss him already!

I hate getting up on a cold morning. I feel like an old car, that has to have it's motor running 20 minutes before you can drive. Juergen jumps out of bed and just goes! He has plans to travel on business next week (starting on Saturday). He will go to Canada and America. People think I'm a saint raising 5 very complex kids. The truth is, I don't do it alone. Juergen is a very hands on dad. I really miss him when he is gone! I'm already dreading the long 10 days! It's especially hard in the mornings. Jessica stays up so late, and I have to get up at 6:30 with the other kids. I'm excited for Juergen. He gets to ski, and visit Vancouver, and see my family. He of course will be working very hard. It isn't a vacation trip. But it should be interesting for him. By the grace of God, we will manage with out him...but I'll be so glad when he gets home! I'm so blessed to be walking this road with such a wonderful friend.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wouldn't it be cool?



and wouldn't it be cool to build a guest house from straw bale? You could even build the back of a passive solar green house with straw bale walls and the front being recycled windows.

looking ahead



I'm looking at a farm house on Tuesday morning. It is in Kronau, about a 5 minute bike ride from the Kronau/Bad Schönborn s-bahn station. It has a very large garden. The house needs to be renovated, but the price of the house is very low. What's good about renovating a house is you can try to make it as sustainable as you can. I'm interested in solar electricity, biomass heat etc... And if you have biomass heat, you can even make your own pellets. You can use leaves, junk mail, and grass to make pellets. I can send Philip out to collect leaves, and turn it into energy that keeps our house warm. The farm house has a small barn...the perfect place to make pellets! I would probable have gas heat, with biomass stoves in the house. That way we could use either or both forms of energy. The biomass heaters could lower our heating costs, or maybe even do the whole job. I don't know if this will be our house, but I would love my future house to include biomass heat.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas past

In Germany you usually put the tree up late. German homes are very dry, and many Germans use real candles on the tree. I've always thought the candles were crazy, but most people don't have my kids! I must admit real candles on a fresh tree are lovely. I do love real trees! Anyway, we put our artificial tree up today. Many years we have a real tree, and some years we go with our artificial tree. I would like to say we are saving the environment by not cutting down a tree. That wouldn't be truthful! I want to go to Juergen's dads house for Christmas (in North Germany). I just don't want to deal with a live tree in the house. It would be a fire risk to kept one up when we are not home, and I don't want to take it down before we go. We decorated early so I could give away the boxes of extra ornaments. I have far too much Christmas stuff. It takes up too much of my storage space. I figured that if I wanted to give it away, I had better do that early, when someone actually wants it! My sister and mom are doing the same thing, but I had the idea years ago (I just never followed through on it). Here are photos of some of my favorite Christmas things. Many of them are things the kids have made. I also love the Playmobel. I wish I could say I was in a good mood. Thomas was juggling glass Christmas balls and broke 2. They were not special, and it all got cleaned up. 12 and 13 year old boys just stress me out at times. It's sort of the up tightness you would feel having a bull in a china shop. Most of this stuff is very special, collected over many years. It all brings back the Christmas' past...and they could never understand how sad I would feel if they juggled away my treasures!

Friday, November 26, 2010

This old house

This is a house I'm going to be looking at (God willing) on Tuesday morning. It needs allot of renovation, but the location is pretty good and the price is low. The garden has 919 m2. It's a big...we will see! But here are some photo's anyway.







Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanks giving everyone! This is just your average Thursday here in Germany. I call it the oddest day of the year. I know everyone back home is eating turkey and pumpkin pie. I don't even have my turkey soup made. It looks like it will be too busy to get that made today! Life is just so full! But I guess I can be thankful for my full life! I thank God for my 5 beautiful children. I thank God for my amazing husband. I'm thankful for all my friends. I'm thankful for my freedom. And I am so thankful for the love of God!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Outlive your life

I just started to read Outlive your life by Max Lucado. This book is my kind of book! It inspires all of us to do something to change the world. It encourages us not to be great, but to do great things. Everyone has value...and God wants us to make a difference! I think I want to study this book in a small group next spring. And more importantly, I want to outlive my life!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dancing with the Stars

I called my dad tonight to tease him about dancing with the stars. He of course thinks Jennifer should win because she is the best dancer. I agree, she is the best dancer. But Bristol Palin is the most improved. My mom told dad he wasn't allowed to break the TV if Bristol wins! So dad...be good! I almost think Bristol deserves to win because of the unfair way she was attacked when she was just a "private person". They put her on the show totally expecting her to be voted off early. People watched to see a train wreak! That took courage! But after I talked to dad I watched the dances on you tube. I love Kyle! He has a killer personality. I think all the black Democrats should get out and vote for him! Sorry, just kidding! People are so ridiculous! Isn't it all so stupid!!!! IT IS A DANCE SHOW! People should really relax a little! What will the next election cycle be like? I love Palin, but I sure hope she doesn't run. She brings out the ugly in some people. The country has some major problems. People need to stop this stupid fighting! I applaud Bristol Palin. She is a shy young kid. Boy has she grown! Totally amazing! But North Korea is trying to start a war with South Korea. Get a perspective. It is just a show. It's OK to elect winners of dance shows based on popularity...and not talent. Now when we start voting politicians into office based on ability and qualifications and record, we may actually see some change we can believe in!

UPDATE: Jennifer (the best dancer) won. Kyle took 2nd place, and Bristol took 3rd place. America voted...and it worked out! I am proud of Bristol Palin. I think she is very brave for a 20 year old kid. I'm glad she did not win. If she won, some crazy person would try to kill her.

The story of Jonah

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.



This is so cute! My mom sent me the link. This is word for word from a video Jessica use to watch. I've heard this before, a 1000 times before.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

she is sleeping

Poor Jessica is really sick. She slept most of yesterday, all night, and sleeps now. She is very warm. You can see the stress in her face. My poor sweetheart! My mom asks to hear more about the adult autism center. I do not know much (yet). It will be in Sandhausen. This is very near to where we live. They will have their own house just for autistic people. Jessica will work there during the day. We have no interest in putting her in a residential situation. It is just a day care situation. It looks like it will start in September. It looks like her teacher will go with her. We hope she can continue to learn. She likes to work, but she also likes to learn. To be honest it seems like the 100% dream situation for her. Everything depends on funding. That's being considered right now...how to pay for it. I have peace about it.

Today Juergen has gone with Nicole to the Art Academy of Karlsruhe. It is the 2ND oldest art University in Germany and very famous. They have a student information day today. Nicole will be able to find out if this is really the direction she should follow. Juergen and I where sceptical about an art degree. But her painting has gotten amazingly good lately. I think I would still like her to get a degree in art education. That way she can work as a teacher. I want her to have the means to earn a living. She may be a great artist, but often it's hard to eat from art. She is very interested in illustration. At Karlsruhe she will learn all forms of classical Art. painting, sculpting and illustration.

Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe

The painting above is by Akela Möhren who was a student in Karlsruhe 1959-1962


and this is by Wilhelm Hasemann 1850-1913



and this is by Alexander Kanoldt 1881-1939 who was also a student in Karlsruhe

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

God is in control

I was going out to breakfast with a good friend today but Jessica got sick. She has a cold. Her nose is running, she has a cough and a small fever. She fell asleep on the couch in the living room. It's so sweet to see her face. We found out that she probablly does get to go to the new autism house they are planning for people with adult autism. She was going to go to a disabled workshop after she finshes school. We never really felt excited about this. Then we got word a workshop just for autistic people was being planned. Now we have heard Jess can probably go there, and her dear teacher may even go with her. Jessica has a private teacher she loves. Her teacher may even get to continue to be with Jessica. You know what, I did not stress out over her future, I prayed. Now I can just cry as I see her future unfold before her. We did not plan it, but God had it planned! It is not 100% sure she get’s to go…but it looks very good!

The other news of the day is a new house I want to look at. It’s being sold privately (that saves about 4% off the price). It still cost more then I want to spend, but the location is pretty good. Maybe it's too hard to get to? I need to drive there to see! It has a very large yard, and it’s been renovated. I’ll write more about it later if we get to see it. I guess what I need right now is to remember that I prayed about Jessica’s school. I did not stress out, I prayed. Now I’m seeing her future unfold perfectly. It was out of my hands…and God has done more then I could ever ask or hope. So I need to pray for my house! HERE is the website for the house. It’s in German, but there are allot of pictures.

Update on the house...
Jessica and I drove there. The location is awful! It also looks like they have a great photographer because the house doesn't look at all like the pictures. This is easy...no way..no...sorry but no!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The weather and a 100 year party

We had really beautiful weather yesterday. I guess it was the calm before the storm. Today it's dark and wet. I'm afraid it is going to be cold and dark for months. I'm no fan of winter. I'm sorting socks today. This is one of my least favorite jobs. We have 14 feet in this house. Each one of us has way too many socks...and it's so hard to get them sorted out! I often feel like tossing the whole pile out and starting over. I’m also thinking about the 100th birthday party of Juergen and I. I think I want to do it in the spring (April). I think we should have it at our church. I want everyone to do skits and sing songs. I also want Juergen and I to each give a 10 minute testimony about our lives and faith. We are now 100 years old together…but only until June! Would any of my friends or family from America like to come to our party?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's been a full day

Last night we had a really wonderful birthday dinner at an all you can eat Chinese restaurant. They also had Mongolian barbecue. My friends loved the sea food. They had octopus and shrimp. I loved the sushi. But more then the food, I love my dear friends. I love sitting down with them and sharing stories. I prayed it would be a restful and inspiring evening. I was very blessed.
This morning I drained most of the fish tank and moved it across the room. The kids helped. Juergen and Nicole picked up my china cabinet and side board. I love the furniture! I could just sit there and look at it for hours! The big problem is, my house is not nice enough for this furniture. We need a new house! Actually it looks very good! I'll take pictures tomorrow. I'm really tired!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Life, death and gingerbread

I spent the whole morning taking everything out of our very large living room cabinets, moving the cabinets, and putting everything back. We have way too much stuff! Anyway, it's done. I had to make some space in the room. God willing, Juergen and Nicole will pick up my China cabinet and sideboard. We still need to move the fish tank. And I can already hear Juergen tell me for the 100Th time how he wants to get rid of the fish. I like the fish, and so does Jessica. In fact I think Jessica always wants to sleep in the living room because of the sound of the fish tank pump. I personally like to drink my coffee and watch the fish. It calms my mind. So I want to move the tank to the other side of the room, but I want to keep it!

I will have my birthday party tonight (again God willing) at a Chinese Restaurant. I have invited 8 good friends. I will not need to cook or clean, just enjoy! Two of the friends coming are Peter and Petra Lang. We use to live in a 2 family house together in Rot. Petra called me today. Our old landlord died of stomach Cancer. The funeral is today. She will go, and send my condolences. He was only 71 years old. Now that I'm 49, that seems very young to me! He was a very cheerful and kind man. I'm sorry to hear this news.
I am going to be building gingerbread houses with Sarah and Byram. Byram is the little boy I'm watching, so Philip's best friend, and sister can attend Royal Rangers. So instead of attending a funeral, I'm making gingerbread houses. I'm actually considering inviting a few other children I've met. We will be making cookies, doing crafts, and anything else I can think of. So do not be surprised if I have a half a dozen kids at my house every Friday afternoon. God willing it will give us a door into their lives, and community. I was in the home of Sarah's best friend last night. They had a birthday party. It makes me happy to see the love this family has for their daughter. It makes me sad to see the poverty they live with. I want to bring paint, and flowers there. I want to give them our extra blankets, and toys. I know we don't have a good enough relationship yet. You don't just ask a family...can I paint your house? But someday I will ask them. In the spring I will bring flowers, and build my high raised beds there. They will eat salad, and tomato's because I have a vision to bring it there. I can not make it all better for them...but I will do what I can. I would feel so sad if I just enjoyed my good life, and ignored the poverty 3 blocks away.
I'm so grateful to God for blessing us with every good thing. But God does not bless any of us so that we can keep it to ourselves. He blesses us to bless others. My grandpa Moreno use to pack his truck with rice and beans, blankets and medication and drive it down to Mexico every year. That made such a strong impression on me. I'll never forget it. You are blessed to be a blessing. And I am so blessed...I am aware of the riches of God. Sometimes I feel so hummbled...how could I have so much?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

guess who?

this is me...but with a smaller yard



I want to grow my own food! I want a bigger yard, and a place for chickens. This lady has a great way to collect water. She also keeps bees.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whistler Blackcomb



Juergen has not gone sking for a few years. I'm afraid he will break his leg...but oh well! He is hoping to ski at Whistler Blackcomb for a weekend before working all week in Canada. I guess the other members of his group are planing on going there. I'm not looking forward to having him gone an extra weekend, but I'm excited for him. It looks like he is going to have a great time!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

the house I rented





Juergen is going to be in Canada on business next month. On his way home he will stop in Seattle to see my brother and his family. My parents are also going to drive up for the weekend. Rick has a full house right now, so I rented a house for the weekend. Juergen is excited about the house! It has a view of Puget Sound from the deck. He can sit in the hot tub and watch the eagles flying (of course it will be December...so I'm not sure if he will really want to sit outside). I just got off the phone with my parents. I'm sorry I can not come but I'm sending my best man, and Chrsitmass gifts!

I had an idea

OK, I have loads of ideas!!! Anyway, I had this idea yesterday. I had just dropped Sarah off at her Karate class and I met Elisabeth's mother. Elisabeth is this beautiful blond haired blue eyed girl. She could be in TV commercials because she is so cute!!! She rides the bus with Sarah to school. Her mom is from Russia (Siberia no less). Anyway, it was nice to meet Elisabeth's mom. I was on my way home and I thought again about all the doors God seems to be opening up to me here in the neighborhood. Doors to bless and care for people like Elisabeth's mom. I thought again about how confused I am about my house and my garden. My house is fine, I just want a bigger yard. I really don't like the idea of moving. So I get this idea. There is a large piece of land (an empty field) behind my house. Maybe I should start praying for 200-300m2 behind my house? Now you probably think I'm crazy. Why didn't I think of that before. But land is so expensive. And Why would the owner break that piece of land up? He could build an apartment building there. I don't think it could happen easily in a natural way . If it happens, it would be an amazing thing. I don't know what is right. I'm willing to move, but I'm willing to stay too. I just want a garden. Maybe the garden is just behind me...I just haven't asked for it? I love old houses with big gardens...but I love people too. God has been putting so many people in my path, and they live here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Christmas is early this year!

I saw a buffet and sideboard (1920's, Italian) on sale on eBay. The two pieces together were at a very low price. I have been looking for a buffet. They are even in Heidelberg! So anyway, I called Juergen and asked him if I could have them for Christmas. He is so great!!!! He said yes. Before I instant bought them, I measured the walls in the living room and dinning room. They will fit PERFECT!!!! So I will get an early Christmas gift. Juergen got me very nice porcelain dishes in Italian style about 10 years ago. Now my dishes will have a home! What a way to begin a week!







Saturday, November 06, 2010

I get the camera!

Juergen likes the camera and ordered it on Amazon! Cool!!!

this camera is on sale at REAL



Juergen said I could have a new camera for my birthday. This one looks pretty cool! It's on sale at REAL.

it's still for sale...just waiting for Juergen to say yes!

making dirt and growing kids

The kids and I spent a few good hours in the garden. We built 2 large compost piles using the soil from my 40 potted tomato plants, leaves, and horse manure I bought on e-bay. I'm one of the only crazy people in the world that pays for poop! I added compost worms and wet newspaper. We should have really good dirt next spring. Now if I only had a garden to put it in! We harvested the last of the heirloom tomatoes. I’ll save some more seeds. I also harvested Brussels sprouts, and oregano. The season is about over. I just have to finish the cleanup. In 4 months I’ll be starting seeds again. I told Philip I would pay him 50 cents a bag for leaves. I’m making as much dirt as I can…I hope God gives me a big garden to put it in! It’s really cool to be teaching my kids how to make good compost. Someday they will have the knowledge they need to grow their own food. I feel like this is one of the most valuable things they can learn. None of us knows when we will need this knowledge to survive. At the very least, they are learning to work as a team. I’m so proud of how they are growing!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Sunday Nov 7th is Orphan Sunday

Today I took Philip and Thomas to the Orthodontist. Afterwards we stopped by Chang Mai Food land (a Thai food hole in the wall restaurant). We ordered the food to go. As we waited there we talked. I remembered when Thomas first came home from Thailand. He wanted to have his hair colored yellow. I said no. He hated everything to do with Thailand. He would cry when we went to a Thai Restaurant. Why? Because he feared going back to the orphanage. He never wanted to be an orphan again. So we took a vacation to Thailand. I made him face that fear. We went to his orphanage. Then, we left with him. After that he knew he was not an orphan anymore...he was a son. He looks forward to Christmas. He knows he will not be disappointed. And he is proud of his beautiful dark brown hair and brown eyes. He loves Thai food. He loves his beautiful home country! I've seen the eyes of kids that have waited...and have lost hope. Adoption is such a powerful thing! If you can not adopt, help some one who can.
Nicole wants to go on a trip after she graduates from school. Thailand is her number one choice. We will see. I told her to look into volunteering at this Christian orphanage in Bangkok. She could maybe go with her friends for 2 weeks of vacation, and then stay for 3-6 months of volunteer work. Just one of our MANY ideas. We will see what actually happens. I would love to go to Thailand again!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Migraine

I woke up with a Migraine headache. I don't get them so often, but more and more in the past year. I know it's hormonal (I'm 49 years old). This one was so bad I felt like I could vomit. I took aspirin, and a hot bath. Then I went back to bed for 2 hours. I've got so much to do today. Oh well! Nicole is still doing the laundry, and the kids are playing on the computer. I feel much better now. I've got to get some yard work done. The air will probably help?
Migraine Neck Pain Aspirin Pictures, Images and Photos

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I'm so tired!

I'm really tired. I've been doing a MT of cloths because of the lice. I washed Sarah's hair, and my hair. Nicole washed her own hair. We still need to wash Jessicas hair. I'm going to fall into bed. I'm glad about the US elections! Sorry Californinia didn't elect Meg Whitman...but oh well! I do love politics.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Oh, fun!

My head has been itching the last 2 days. Nicole brought me lice! She has lice, I have it, and Sarah and Jessica will have it too (we share the same brush). So I get to buy the special shampoo for all of us. I also get to do more laundry then you have to do in a month. Just what I wanted to do this week! Believe me I had other plans!

We had a nice trip

It's 5 hours there and then 5 hours home but we had a great weekend with Richard (Juergen's dad). He is doing well. He forgets things more and more (he is 83). But he can manage his daily living pretty well. Juergen's brother is very near to help. I wish we had that big house that was for sale. I could have a room for Richard to live in. I can not imagine him wanting to really move...but he would come for very long visits. Richard is a great man. Juergen has a wonderful father! I loved cooking for him. He was very happy to try new stuff. I can not cook as well as Juergen's mom could...but I've gotten better. I baked cheese wrapped in Italian ham. Juergen doesn't like it, but the kids love it. Richard loves it too. In fact he eat so much cheese, I thought he would get a stomachache. I'm hoping we can go up again at Christmas. I invited Ricard here, but he didn't seem too comfortable with the thought. He does fine when he is home. It seems about all he can manage. I respect that.