Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making Hawaiian Leis



Tomorrow Nicole graduates from high school. We are going to try to make Hawaiian leis for her and a few close friends. I have roses, Lilly's and carnations in many colors. It should be allot of fun (I hope)! I made leis once when I was a campus pastor. I've seen the most beautiful leis at many graduations in America. A lei is a wreath of love and honor. It reminds me of the Laural wreaths placed on the heads of champions. It's a fun tradition! I didn't wear one when I graduated, but always thought they were very cool! She doesn't wear a cap and gowned. That isn't a German thing. I honestly don't know what to expect. I've never been to a German graduation. For the most part German's make a very big deal of the first day of school, not the end. When Juergen got his PhD, he went to some basement at the University and picked it up from a clerk.

and this is how to make a candy lei. Maybe we can do this too!



who doesn't love candy?

So what's up?

I feel very sleepy. I haven't felt much like writing. Sorry about that. Outside it looks like rain...but the rain doesn't come. We could use the rain. My plants look dry.
Nicole finished her last exam yesterday. She has her graduation tomorrow night (it's also Juergen's birthday). Cole didn't need the super high grade point average some of her classmates needed. You need straight A's to get into medical school in Heidelberg for example. One of her good friends got straight A's. Many got nearly all A's. What a smart group of young people! Nicole got a solid B average. She didn't study very hard, and she finished early. For her , life has many other priorities (music, the youth group etc). She lives a balanced life. I am proud of her in every possible way! I'm also glad she doesn't have the extreme pressure so many of the others now feel. One of her classmates got a 1.7 on her report card (that's an A-). She needed a 1.6 to get into medical school (not Heidelberg, you need a 1 to get into Heidelberg). She missed the cut by one small percentage point! The poor kid was devastated! I'm so grateful Nicole is not following such a narrow path! 1.7 is a very respectable grade (A-). But it brought the girl to tears because it killed her dream! So sad! But a closed door could lead her to another dream that could be a greater blessing. What an amazing group of kids she is graduating with. I'm sure they all have very special things ahead of them. We hope to hear from the Art Academy in the next 2 weeks or so. And if she doesn’t get in, I’m also sure God will lead her in a good way. But I think she will get in. And what an honor to study art for 4 or 5 years. And what will Nicole do with an art degree? I don’t know…but I’m sure she will do good things because she is very wise and God is on her side!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm back!

I was unable to log in to blogger for 2 days- Juergen helped me clean up my computer. Now it works. It helps to have a computer Dr in the house! Today we had a house over full with kids... all day. I feel like a daycare center. No rest! But I'm glad the kids feel safe and respected here. They all want to go to church and summer camp. Nicole is going to be on staff at the camp this year. She went to the leaders planning retreat this weekend. It's all hush hush. I can not tell you how very cool it's going to be. Trust me, it will be so cool! I'm happy for the kids. They will be having an awesome time! We have no buyers for our house, and no leads. That can be pretty discouraging. But Juergen feels like we should go ahead with buying the new house. He has some awesome ideas for the place. I'm glad we are in this together. I don't think I'd have the courage to move if he wasn't so certain. We will probably sign a contract to buy the house on Friday. But it's not done until it's done! I'm trying to keep the house clean in case someone does want to look at it. I heard a funny story this week. A women had a blind date. She was all dressed and waited...and waited...and waited. After 1 and a half hours she thought "he isn't coming" so she took off her makeup, put on an old t-shirt and sat on the sofa to watch a movie. About a half hour later the guy shows up ands says "I'm 2 hours late and your still not ready"! I had my house clean 2 weeks ago. It's not so easy to keep clean when we have 5 kids with friends! I'm so tempted to just forget it! But I have to have faith it will sell...and I have to do my part.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trouble with blogger

I'm having trouble with blogger. I can not log in on my computer. I'm using Nicoles computer to post. I think it's a problem with foxfire. I'll have Juergen check it tonight.


Sarah is home sick. Jessica’s teacher is sick, so she is also home. Nicole is done with school, so she is home too. I got to sleep in a bit. I needed the extra sleep. When you are stressed, sleep helps! I am encouraged to know that there isn't a single minute of my life God doesn’t already know. So even if I don't know how things will work out. He does! Faith and fear are alike. Faith is assurance of good things in the future, and fear is the assurance of bad things in the future. It is hard for faith and fear to exist together. You have to decide...will I believe, or will I fear? I'm trying to believe!

We need an OX

This morning I picked these beautiful flowers from my garden. When I picked the Lilly I got a hand full of small slugs. They pooped on my hand. It was messy! It reminded me of a sermon I just heard by Duncan Smith.
Proverb 14:4
“Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” (new living translation) He said the Ox is like the Holy Spirit. Without the Ox things stay clean. But without the Ox you have a tiny harvest.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It started right

Nicole and I went out to breakfast and then did some shopping. My cell phone is broken. I guess Nicole could have taken her phone? Anyway, we returned home to find an angry Juergen. The school called to have him pick Jessica up. She was very aggressive and had head lice. So I treated the lice with a special oil made for the purpose. I also treated my head, and Sarah's head. I have to wash loads of laundry (not fun). And as for the aggression? I think Jess is really upset about the end of school...and all the changes. They want us to drug her up. I'm making an appointment with her Dr to see about any natural remedies (serotonin maybe). Her aggression is too much for the new placement. They may not take her now! She is afraid, and I don't think she should be drugged. But maybe the back and forth between the old and new schools is too much for her! It's a mess!
I'm trying to stay calm. I'll take care of the wash...I can manage that. I'll call the Dr too. I will try not to panic.

I took photo's of the garden. It's looking very lovely.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tim Pawlenty - A Time for Truth (Preview of Monday's Announcement)



I thought John McCain was going to pick Tim Pawlenty as his VP pick. I wish he did! I like Tim! He is smart and funny and sound! I don't know if he can gain the support he will need to win, but I hope he can!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday, Sunday

We had a very nice time at church today. The youth did the service. Thomas played the drums. I was (am) a proud mom! And then we had lunch with friends (including my god baby Anna). She goes to America for a month. Babies grow so much in a month. She will be so grown up when I pick her up next month! Sarah makes a very good babysitter! Thank God she lives here and not America! The owners of the house in Bad Schönborn called. They want us to sign a contract soon. I guess they figured the tax thing! So we are still hoping to renovate the new house in August and move in before September. I hope God gives us a buyer for our house in Leimen! I feel pretty peaceful about the whole matter! It's amazing how easy it all is when it's the owners problem! It's not my house...it's Gods! It's not my money...it's his! It's not easy for me to keep letting it go. But I'm trying to walk in peace!









Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nicole



Nicole had her last day of school on Friday. It's very sobering to think of how fast time goes past! I made this slide show of Nicole ...my beautiful beautiful girl!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Update

So I cleaned the entire house. Juergen came home early. The couple finally came an hour late. I had to pick the kids up, so I couldn't really tell what they thought of the place. They have an aging parent to care for. We don't have a ground floor bedroom. That's a problem for them. I think they liked the house, but perhaps it's not going to work because of this need for a ground floor room for the grandmother. The problem is, they can not find anything that will work for them. They will consider it...and maybe they can find a way to make it work. I would drop the price for them. I liked them. They seemed very nice! The women had a giant cross around her neck. I know they are friends with the family across the street. I really like the people across the street, so I am pretty sure I would like this family too! I have zero idea what we should do now? Perhaps lower the price to generate more interest? I'm going to try hard to just rest! I still need a hair cut. Maybe that's what I'll do tomorrow. No more house stuff...I need a break! I think I'll start my study on the gifts of the Spirit. Have a nice weekend! I wonder how long Moses had to wait for God to part the sea? Juergen is always telling Sarah to stay cool. I need to have him say that to me! Stay cool Amy, the battle is the Lords and He already has the victory!

On my knees



This is Brother Lawrence - The Practice of the Presence of God ( Audio Book Reading ). If you don't know the book I hope this blesses you!

I was just praying about letting go of the control of our house. We have a family looking at the house today. I need to clean. I can not control if they like it, or buy it. If we sell, or rent or stay...that is all under God's control. It drives me a bit crazy to worry about the whole thing! So I was making a cup of coffee. Our coffee machine broke, and so I was pouring hot water into a filter. The filter broke, and hot coffee and grinds poured over my kitchen counter, down the front of the cabinets and into the silverware drawer. What a mess! I wiped up as much as I could, and then ran hot water into the sink. I got on my knees and began to clean. I do my best praying when I'm on my knees. It's like a spiritual battle position. I laughed out loud. If the enemy wanted to discourage me, he made a big mistake! Oh yes...I'm on my knees! And I think I'll scrub every floor in my house today by hand. This is not my battle...but this battle is already won! I don't know how, or when, but I know God has already sold the house. I give him glory!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Charlemagne



Charlemagne was one of my grandfathers.

The calm

The house is calm. I don't have a million things to do today. I guess I should go get my hair cut, but I think I'll just enjoy the calm. I've been saying for days (weeks) how tired I am. I have had so much on my plate. We have a family looking at our house on Friday. I'll have to make sure it's very clean by then. But it's important to rest, and gather your strength. So today I'm going to take a break from renovation. I'm going to read a book. Maybe I'll buy some shoes to wear to Nicoles graduation, or take a trip to the garden center (one of my favorite places). I lose all my creativity when I'm tired. I run out of ideas when I'm over run with work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jessica's new school

Jessica spent one day last week in her new school. This week she goes 2 times. And for the next (the last) 10 weeks of school she will also go 2 times a week to the new school to get use to it. It's actually not a school, it's a work and day care group. She is there with her personal teacher. So far she really likes it. Today Juergen and I were there for a meeting about funding. I didn't need to say much. Her teacher and the director both argued that Jessica will need funding to continue to have her own personal aid. She needs help to continue to grow as a person. She also needs it for safety. There are many big trucks at the work shop. It could be dangerous for Jessica if she just walked outside the unlocked door. So hopefully she will get what she needs. I think it will happen...I really feel peace! Jessica came home from her day there and she seemed very happy. I'm not sure how long we need to wait for a clear answer about funds? But I'm pretty sure the arguments for funding were very sound. I feel very good about the direction!

Monday, May 16, 2011

In the garden

My garden is very beautiful right now. The tomato's have flowers, and the kiwi too. I have potato's that are growing in my compost pile (all from peels). The Flowers are lovely. I especially love the giant poppy and the pink peony. We have loads of nice salad! Jessica loves salad so we are set! The garden in Bad Schönborn has so much potential! That will be allot of work, but so much fun to develop!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Plan B?

Should we consider a plan B? Is that a lack of faith or just using wisdom? If we can sell our house right now , we would consider this plan A. But we could push the move date to say December. This would give us more time to sell. The people we are buying from don't have a place to move to yet. Perhaps it's best to push the dates back 3 or 4 months? And if we can not sell, should we pay a mortgage on 2 houses, or rent our house out? How long should we wait to decide this? I'm trying to be logical, and not emotional about this. We are talking about loads of money. Our best plan is to sell now. But our plans may not be God's plans. I have to believe there would be a reason (a higher purpose) if the whole thing is postponed by a few months. If we had a few more months we could see if selling our house is realistic. I don't want to lower the price too much. Moving later would have an effect on the kids schools. We need wisdom. It’s a big responsibility to own 2 houses. Not really what I wanted.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We worked hard and now I need to trust God

We really worked hard this week cleaning the house, and the garden. Our house has never looked better. 3 different families were to come look at our house. I hoped for more, but 3 families made appointments. And zero showed up. One family at least contacted us and said they had to go out of town. The others didn't even call. I guess I could get discouraged...but I'm really OK. We worked hard, and the house and garden look great! It's God's business to sell his house, or not. I'm just the house keeper...and I'm not going to try to control things. It's out of my control! And today that feels just fine! I need some sleep! I'm cooking Mexican food for my family tomorrow. I'm taking a real day of rest! I have peace that it's going to work out.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Our new bathroom



Our bathroom is almost done. There are some small things that need to be redone, but mostly it is finished. And I think it turned out very good! I'm very tired. We cleaned all day. We clean in the garden tomorrow (God willing). The open house is tomorrow afternoon. I hope we find a buyer, but it's out of my hands. I feel pretty relaxed...and very very tired!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" – which is the first commandment with a promise – "so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." Ephesians 6:1-3

Monday, May 09, 2011

Psalm 34:7
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Thomas helped me cut them



It's Mothers day. Jessica woke me at 5am. I'm running on coffee. Sarah was very excited to give me a letter she wrote for me in school. Poorly translated it reads "I love you mom. Like a tree loves it's branches, like the heaven loves it's stars, I love you". Sweet! It will find it's place in a frame, in a place of honor. Philip drew me a pirate ship at sea in a storm. OK, I'm not going to read anything but "boy" into that! And Thomas felt bad because he forgot. Nicole forgot too...but she knows I love her, and she loves me. So Mothers day is just another day for her. Jessica was in Berlin this week, and I didn't get any cool letters from her either. But you could tell Thomas felt badly. So I asked him to help me pick some flowers. I had some very pretty roses I was afraid the local kids in the area might pick...I wanted them first. So Thomas held the vase. I picked the roses. He put water in the vase. And then you saw a different person. He ran down to his room and carried up a Lego car he was building. I told him he was talented and would be a great designer one day. Shame and guilt turned to pride. And that is what God does for us too. We feel guilt. He gives us a way out through Jesus. Then we become his children, and we don't need to hide anymore!
I thank God for my own mom today! I love you mom so much!!! And I think of Juergen's mom too. She died 3 years ago, but lives on with me. I often think of her and look forward to seeing her again in heaven. I'm glad Juergen is spending the weekend with his dad. We miss him, but I'm glad he is there!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

hunger


Oregon Field Guide: Sustainable Prisons Project
A program in Washington state’s DOC is accomplishing large-scale restoration projects.

My sister's company makes the containers used in this program. Very cool!

Friday, May 06, 2011

So tired

Have you ever been so tired you almost fall asleep when you sit down. My week has been so full I am really very tired. I won't bother you with the details. I worked hard, and plan to work hard this weekend and all week really.
The workers are still not done with the bathroom. They put the floor down tomorrow. I guess they grout the floor Monday. So maybe it will be finished on Tuesday or Wednesday? It really was a big job, and they put in many hours. It looks great. I will take pictures when it's finished!
Jessica got home today. She looked great! Her teacher said she was wonderful on the trip. She seemed very happy and proud. I guess I'll see photos next week. But I'm very happy to have her home.
Juergen has gone to his dads for the weekend. Richard just had surgery. He looks good Juergen said. I'm relieved to hear it. I'm definitely going to miss Juergen this weekend, but I'm glad he can be with his dad!
I wish I had something more interesting to report. Right now it’s really just work…followed by more work. If the weather is good the kids and I will clean up the garden. I don't think my kids will spoil me for mothers day, so I guess I will have to spoil them. I'm very glad to have them in my life. I'm wise enough to realize it isn't the flowers and gifts that count. I will have all 5 kids with me on Sunday. And in years to come I will wish with all my heart to simply have them all home at once. I'll miss Juergen on Sunday. I'll also miss my Mom. But I'll have my kids. And I'm a pretty blessed person!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Help wanted

I made very good progress today on the wash. I'm almost caught up...amazing! I can basically do 2 loads at a time. So 10 normal loads became 5 loads. This is very cool!!! I worked in the garden today. The sunshine did me good! I also got a wonderful phone call from a good friend. She offered to help me get the house ready for the open house. I will not tell you her name because I don't want to embarrass her, but believe me she is a real gift from God! I thank her for her offer, and her good heart! I would love more help if anyone is interested in cleaning for a few hours. Maybe we can have a cleaning party next Thursday May 12Th? If you are a local friend and could bless us with some help, please let me know. I'm trying not to worry about selling the house. I'm trying hard to just do my part, and let God do the rest. I can not create a buyer...but I can pray for a buyer. I know that God knows everything, even before we ask him. This is totally under his control. My part is to clean...and if you could help that would be so great!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

It came!!!!

I waited all morning but the washing machine finally came. It's giant. The delivery men got it down the stairs, but couldn't get it into it's space. I had to move a shelve (and all the stuff on the shelve). Then Philip and I pushed the machine into it's spot. Juergen will hook it up tonight. My house really stinks like wet dirty laundry. I can not wait to clean up this mess! We have been without a washer for over a week. Juergen did a few loads at a friends house, but I have about 10 loads waiting. I posted the slide show of our house in Bad Schönborn, and the pictures I took of the house in 2007. Juergen asked for this. I get so fixed on selling the house we have, and I forget why we are doing this! Really, it’s so much trouble! I am not even half way through the race and I feel like giving up. I’m tired! I need to see what I’m running toward.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

the work cont...

I am not feeling very good today. Juergen has a bit of a cold and he passed it on to me. But the work still continues. I cleaned out the refrigerator and also washed and organized the inside of one kitchen cabinet. I'm not really sure we will sell the refrigerator with the kitchen. But I wouldn't want anyone to look inside it and see something green and moldy walking out. Actually, it wasn't that dirty. I cleaned it a month ago. The bathroom tile is going up today. They want to work late to get it done. I don't know if they will finish it today...but this week! God willing, it will be done this week! I wash my hair in the sink. I give myself a sponge bath. We haven't had our bath tub for more then 2 weeks. I'm getting pretty anxious to have my bathroom back! I'm also still waiting for the washing machine to be delivered! It really should be here by now! The good news is we had 2 more calls about the house. So far we have 3 appointments for our open house on May 14th. One women called today and said she did not care what the bathroom looks like. She is very interested in my garden! I like her already! I'm praying we get many customers and more importantly a real buyer! We need someone who is ready to buy...and can afford it. Someone who doesn't want to drop the price too much, and someone we think could be happy here. I really want someone to buy my house, and love my house! I want it to be a good match!

Oh, the bank called. They approved our loan. The bank papers are finally ready. We have to postpone the notary appointment. Juergen needs to travel North to see his dad on Friday. Richard had an operation. He wasn't doing so good. I think it was a strong drug reaction. After a few days of sleep, Richard is much better (Praise God)!!! He may be able to go home on Friday. Juergen will spend the weekend (even mothers day) with him. He owes me one! But then again, I owe him too. I'm just so glad Richard is OK!

Open House May 14TH



We need a goal to work towards. Our goal is to have an open house on May 14th from 1-6 pm. We hope the bathroom will be ready by then. And I will be working on all the rest. Today I clean the kitchen again. This time I'm working on the refrigerator and organizing the inside of the cabinets. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most important rooms in selling a house. At least this is what I have read.

Jessica is doing very well on her trip. They took a sight seeing trip (a bus ride) around Berlin. She loved it. She also really enjoyed the train ride there. I feel better knowing she feels good.

We are still waiting for our washing machine to come. Our house smells like wet dirty laundry! I hope the machine comes today...I really need it!


Monday, May 02, 2011

If Bin laden is dead, why do I feel like I should hide in a cave?



Juergen and I took Jessica to the train this morning. She was so excited until we got there. Then she didn't want to get out of the car. She was crying and so were we. She was just afraid of what was going to happen. We made her teacher promise us she would turn around and come home with Jessica if she didn't calm down by the time they were in Frankfurt (one hour away). We called her (aren't cell phones great) and everything was fine. So Jessica is going to Berlin. In fact she is almost there already.
It was at the train station that we saw the news that Bin Laden was dead. Juergen was happy about it. I felt fear! I still feel fear. It would be so nice to think this war of terror was over. It is a stupid war, and I see zero reason for it. But I am an American living abroad. I just put my daughter on a train to Berlin. I don't feel safe because Bin Laden is dead. I hope it brings closure to some people. For me...well, I hope it doesn't bring more terror. God please keep us safe. I'm proud of Jessica. Fear did not keep her from going on this trip with her class. I need to keep living even if I am afraid. God's hand is on us, and He alone knows the days we have. I need to keep the TV off for awhile.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Jessica will go to Berlin

Jess has had a very good vacation. She has been happy and relaxed. When we ask her about Berlin she says yeah!!! So I nervously packed up her stuff. I hope I got it all. She had a bath (a bucket bath because our bathroom is being renovated). She is in bed. Tomorrow, God willing Jess will take a train to Berlin. I'm pretty sure she will be fine. Her private teacher is wonderful. She will take good care of her. And I will be excited to see the pictures and get a report. I hope she loves it. I hope she will be fine! I will miss her! The kids all go back to school tomorrow. The bathroom will get tiled (God willing) this week. I can not wait to see it finished! Maybe Jess can take a real bath when she gets home.

This old house windows



Juergen and I are buying a house (God willing) that was built in 1914. It has lots of windows. Lots of light, and lots of heat loss! The Architect said it would cost 25,000€ to replace the windows. That's so much money!!! So maybe we need to find another answer? Something low tech like plastic! I think we can also buy winter drapes that are heavy like blankets.

12 Real-estate agents and a crazy family

We placed an ad in a very popular Internet site. So far we have gotten replies from mostly real-estate agents. The neighbor across the street said his brother was “very interested” in buying the house. And when Juergen told him it was not ready to show, they said it did not matter. So yesterday we killed ourselves trying to clean up. And they rudely came ½ hour early. Jessica was asleep. I was trying to clean her room. He told them to come back at the time we gave them. Then they walked in our house, declared it a mess and tried to talk us down 50,000Euros. I was so upset it took me an hour to calm down. And after thinking about it, I feel like I have to learn to say no! No, you can not even look at my house if you are a real-estate agent! No, don’t even waste my time or yours if you want to drop the price some outrageous amount of money! If you don’t like the style, then look at something you do like…I’ve got a full life, and I’m not cleaning all day for my own entertainment! We will not show our house again until May 14th. Our bathroom will be finished by then (God willing). And We do not need to stress ourselves or kids out on a daily basis for these crazy people! I am trusting God…I am not giving the control of my house to 12 real-estate agents and crazy families that want to buy your house for nothing!!! There were 2 or 3 other private families that have showed interest. Juergen will call them and try to see if they are "serious customers".