Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to build a window seat

How to Build a Window Seat

I looked at tables today for the kitchen. I found a few that I really love! And I would love to have a window seat too. Here is a video on how to build one. It has storage and seating! With our 6 chairs we could seat 10-12 people. That's what I want...room for a few friends! A person from Juergen's company wants to see our house this weekend. They want something NOW!!!! So cool! And we have just lowered the price, and will have a new ad in the weekend paper. So I hope we can sell it soon. Please pray we can sell soon. That would be such a great gift!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We don't know

I took Nicole to her interview for the art Acadamey. They didn't say much. There were 10 teachers in the room. They seemed to look down on her age, and the fact that she wants to live at home. Most kids graduating from highschool in Germany are 19 years old, Nicole is only 17. One teacher asked her if she shouldn't go travel the world first. At least she was able to tell them she has already done that (China, Thailand, Israel, America, Mexico and most of Europe). They were very straight faced, and she couldn't really tell if she had a chance. So we will see in a few weeks. If not now, maybe next year. She can travel some more and practice her interviewing skills. She now understands what they are looking for.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The house

Juergen plans to meet all these professional trades people at our new house this afternoon. They will measure and plan for the renovation. We get the house (God willing) on August 2ND. Maybe even earlier? The owners found a place to rent. They shouldn't have any trouble getting out before then. I have to drive the kids around (Taxi Mom) so I can not go to the appointment. I haven't been to the house since April. Juergen has been there a few times. We don't really want to bother the poor owners with our constant visits. I won't see it again until it's ours. But Juergen is getting very excited about the move. It really is a very cool house. We are very blessed to be buying it. Yes we still have to sell our house, but every other thing is falling into place. We are full of joy! We will have moving boxes delivered soon. I plan to spend all of July packing. A moving company will move us. I'm almost 50, and Juergen is 52. We have friends that have back problems. Our friends have moved us many times...and we are so grateful! So this time we will have the movers come. That's also a blessing! Juergen plans to take Augest off for the renovation. It won't be long now! It really is an exciting time!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Think Peace



This is the picture Nicole painted today for the art school exam. I think it's pretty darn cool!!!! It will take some time before she knows if she gets in.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nicole's test

Tomorrow is Nicole's practical test at the art school. I think she has 5 or 6 hours to create some art (anything). Then on Wednesday she has an interview. So maybe we will know by the end of this week if she gets in to the University. I think really all they are testing is if she is the one that has done the art in her portfolio. They have already rejected most of the people they will reject (2 out of 3 do not get this far). She has an awesome idea for a painting. She has practiced the work in detail. I'm sure she will do an excellent job! I'm also pretty sure she will be excepted! At least I hope so! Please do pray for her! More that she has fun! She does much better work when she is having fun!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

old floors



We are looking at ideas to replace the marble floor in the hallway of our new (old) house. The marble is ruined and would cost too much to repair. Besides, marble is kind of formal and cold. One thing both Juergen and I like is Italian Sandstone ( travertine). I can buy it on e-bay for a very good price. You can see how beautiful it is in this video. Our house is going to be nice...not as grand as this house. But we want our small Villa to look Italian. We want it to be warm and have a very productive garden.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

a thousand Euro idea

This week I looked at Kitchen islands and how they are made. You build them with normal kitchen cabinet parts and extra large counter tops. I got an offer on one island. It cost 1800 Euro. Today I was driving alone in the car. I'm not alone enough these days. Anyway I remembered that we have an old kitchen in our basement. It has the cabinets we need to build our island. All we need to buy is new door fronts and an extra large counter top. The door fronts are in standard sizes. Even if we can not get the same fronts, we can get what is close enough. So I saved us at least 1000 Euro today! If I could only be alone more often! It really helps me to think!

We did show our house today. But it was a small family with only one child. I think it's really too big for them. But they did like it, and we will see if they give us an offer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I just bought the great wall of China on e-bay

I was looking at wall paper on e-bay and I found the great wall. I love it! I'm not sure where I'll put it? Maybe in the living room or my bedroom. Fun stuff! It's 4 meters wide and almost 3 meters high.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Driving and other stuff

Today I took Jessica and Nicole to the Frankfurt Airport. We picked up friends returning from a trip to America. It was to be a 2 hour deal...and turned out to take 4 hours instead. The flight was delayed. Poor Juergen stayed home from work watch the kids. I didn't get back until nearly 1:30pm. I'm glad he was able to work from home. Thank God for flexible jobs! At the airport we watched a crazy group of students that were waiting for a friend. The friends name was Max. They had banners! And every time a person would walk out of customs you would hear this crazy group scream. It looked like Max had been away for a year. we got to see him come out of the customs to the waiting arms of his parents and grandparents and friends. Sweet!
Thomas had a friend from school over to play. He is sleeping over at the kids house tonight. Thomas has trouble making friends, so we are pretty glad for him! We keep praying he will really begin to feel connected in his class. Everyone needs a group of crazy friends that would be willing to hold up banners at the airport. We all need to feel like we belong someplace.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's not as old as we thought it was

Our house was not built in 1914, it was built in 1954. I guess the land was bought in 1914, and the house was built in an old style. That is why it's confusing. So it's not as old as we thought. We spent some valuable hours with our architect. He has so much good advise. He is really worth the money! Everything is set up for the renovation...or is getting set up. We talked about the boy's rooms in the basement, and a greenhouse extension in the back of the house. We will build a wall between the kitchen and living room. We will have the balconies repaired. The marble is not worth redoing. We need to choose new tile for the entry. And I'm not sure what else! It was a long meeting. So the time will pass fast. We are making appointments with workers. The owners still don't have anywhere to move. But most of what we are planning can happen with them in the house. So worst case they will have hand workers in the house. We have to schedule stuff! The house is ours on August 2, and we need to plan. We are praying they find something to buy or rent. The time is running out. They are a very nice family and I wish them well!

Not long now

God willing we will get the house August 2ND. My parents reminded me that that is just 5 weeks from now. I have focused so much on the sale of our house in Leimen, I haven't really given much thought to the move. The kitchen was the first concrete things we have done. We will keep our kitchen, and add an island for more storage & work space. I was at OBI today and asked if they have kitchen islands. They can order them for you. I have a man figuring out a price for me. He will call me. I'm guessing it will be 1500 Euro. I hope I'm wrong, and that it's cheaper then that. I also looked at counter tops and sinks. Fun stuff! We talk with the architect today too. Lot's of decisions to make. But it's fun to decide what kind of windows you want, and what color you want the walls to be. We still don't have a buyer for our house. My sister wrote me that a house sells better when it's empty. Because we are not buying a new kitchen, I feel like we have some extra time to sell the house. I am not so worried about it now. It really looks better empty. We probably can sell it after we move. I would be very glad if we sold it before then, but I'm not stressed about it right now.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

It's not Fathers day in Germany. My kids have a really great dad. But to my brother, brother in laws and especially my own very great dad....HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! We are very blessed to have you in our lives!



The pictures are from a breakfast in Heidelberg a few years ago. I hope my parents can come over next spring. That would be so great. I want my dad to help me pick out trees.

If the kitchen fits, use it

So the day wasn't a total loss! After looking at kitchens, we decided we should just move the kitchen we have. I want to change the handles, and get a new counter top and sink. We also want an island in the kitchen. We can buy the island at IKEA. The handles and counter top can be bought at the building supply store. So I'll have a white kitchen with a grey marble counter top. Maybe we can buy the island at IKEA that is black and has storage on both sides? Anyway, a black and white kitchen and I'll paint the walls a darker tan or maybe an olive green color with a white trim. We also have our super cool 1920's china cabinet and side board. We want to find a bigger table. I want to seat 10-12 people at our table. The floors are fish bone hardwood. We also have stain glassed windows in the kitchen, high ceilings with very nice moldings. It should make for a very nice room. We don't need new cabinets! I'm glad we are saving the money! Once we saw the price of a new kitchen it was easy to decide our kitchen is just fine!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

kitchen day

First Juergen took Nicole to a Dr. because she wasn't getting any better. She got some pretty strong drugs to clear up a very bad infection in her throat. Poor baby! Then we took Philip, Sarah and Thomas to the kitchen store. Juergen liked the gala kitchen. We got it all measured out. That took 1 1/2 hours. Then we found out it would cost 12000 Euro, not 4000 Euro as advertised. Sorry! It's really a cool kitchen, but we need to save money right now! So we went to IKEA. Then after fooling around with a design on the computer (zero service) we found out it would cost between 7 and 8,000 Euro for a new kitchen. Again no. So we think we will see if our kitchen maybe re figured to fit the new house. I'm pretty sure whoever buys our house will not give us much for our kitchen. I like our kitchen, maybe we can make it work? We are tired and frustrated. And we know we can not afford much!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Gala kitchen



The kids and I went to look at kitchens at "Segmüller" a very large kitchen store. They had some awesome kitchens. Most of them cost too much for us. But this one very modern kitchen was just under 4000 Euro (was 9000 Euro). It is called the Gala. I think it's by Schüller , a German company. It includes all the appliances. A dishwasher, built in refrigerator and freezer. It has a cool counter/bar top. Sarah likes that! The storage is very cool. It is a high gloss kitchen, but it does come in white, light brown, and off white. So maybe if I got it in off white with a brown counter top? I love the way it's laid out. It's much more "modern" then I thought I would want. But I really like the use of space. We will see. Segmüller will deliver and install the kitchen (no extra work for us). It takes about 6-8 weeks to deliver a kitchen. No need to fill our garage with a kitchen . The down side to buying a used kitchen is renting the truck to pick it up, and finding a place to store it until we move.

one e-bay kitchen



I found this Poggenpohl kitchen on sale on e-bay. It's 11 years old. It cost 28,000 Euro new. If you know anything about kitchens Poggenpohl is the best of the best in kitchens. It is being sold in 3 days. Right now it cost 50 Euro. In 3 days I am guessing it will cost 3,000 Euro. But 3,000 Euro is a pretty good price. And it's still allot cheaper then what I would pay for a mediocre new kitchen. So maybe this is the way to go? I have no place to store this kitchen, and it's an hour away. But maybe I can find something in August? Maybe we should just make room...because this kitchen is really special!

Jessica and Nicole are sick

Nicole has a sore throat. It hurt so much last night she was crying. She is much better today. Thank God! Jessica has worms. She always gets them this time of year. I have always thought it's because she likes to bet the dog, then she puts her hands in her mouth. But our neighbor also brings us cherries from their garden. Jessica got some of the unwashed cherries...that may have done it. I made jam from most of the cherries. Know one else eat them. Jessica is feeling very sick. Juergen got pills for her. She has to take them 2 times a day. But for now she looks awful! Poor baby!

I'm trying to come to peace with the idea that we may not sell our house for awhile. It's probably going to take some time. Juergen doesn't want to rent it out. We have both heard pretty awful stories of renters that do not pay the rent, and it takes a year and lawyers to get them out. Very risky! So I am mentally preparing for the loss of some money. And I wonder if I should buy a new kitchen. I could save 6,000 to 10,000 Euro if I just buy a used kitchen. I know I've got to live with the kitchen for many years. But I wouldn't feel so bad about the loss I'm facing by having to pay for 2 houses at once (as long as it takes to sell our house). We look at kitchens together this weekend. I may even take Philip, Thomas, and Sarah to look today. Juergen wants a new kitchen. I'm just happy we are going to get the house & the garden. The kitchen really is low on my list. We only have so much money for renovation. If that money gets eaten up by not selling our house, that could be stressful. A used kitchen could buy us some time (at least 6 months).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A better day

This morning Thomas got a call from a boy at school. He asked if Thomas had some time. That's great! Thomas has had trouble feeling connected in his new school. So I took Thomas, Philip and Sarah to IKEA to look at kitchens. Then we eat some lunch there. Afterwards I dropped him off at the kids house. Juergen will pick him up after work. Nicole is studying for her drivers test. We signed her up for drivers education. You can not get your license in Germany until you are 18 years old. She turns 18 in August. I can hardly believe that! She could have begun the training earlier, but she's been too busy with school. Now she can study every day. The driving school has a real simulator. She can train on that everyday too. She will take classes I think once or twice per week. Finally they will take her out in a real car. Maybe in 3 or 4 months she will be road ready? There is no real hurry. I don't think she will be driving much. She will take the train to school. I would rather she takes her time and drives when she is very ready. I want her to be a good and safe driver! Jessica is loving the new videos I bought her at the 2nd hand store. The weather outside is pretty bad. Sarah and I are coloring. All in All it's a much nicer day then yesterday! I still haven't sold my house, and maybe I won't? It may be that we have to rent the house out? It totally stresses me out to keep showing the place. I'm really not sure what to do...but today I don't need to know!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

the way it is

We thought the Realtor was coming with a customer. It turns out he just wanted us to sign up with them, and they would sell our house (for 3%). So I stressed myself and the kids out for that! And that makes 8 realtor's all saying they had someone that wanted to see our house...but they have to see it first. And zero customers. They are all a bunch of liers! And so far 2 of them have listed our house on the Internet without our permission. I think we should hire a lawyer!

such a drama

We show our house again tonight. So I have to clean. But I can not just clean...I have to clean with drama. My head hurts. Sarah was upset that Philip was not done with his room. She wanted to go play. I don't let her play alone outside. So I get an hour drama about why do we need to move anyway! But it's a loud crying angry fit. So I can not just clean, I have to deal with a melt down. Then Thomas and Philip fight the whole time. They can not just clean their room. That would be too simple. If I had a choice I would forget the whole thing. I need to sell the house...I have no choice. I feel like they beat me up. I'm so fried! Juergen is at work, I am on my own. The house will be clean for the 6pm appointment. Afterwards I am going to go to bed early. The whole process is stressful for all of us. It would be one thing to clean once...but we live here. I guess they will out grow the drama...I hope so. Sarah acts like tears will stop me. Like, I will stop everything if she just has a fit. But after the tears, the work still has to be done. And the boys act like their fights will stop the work. But after hours of fighting, the work is still there...and it must be done! I'm strong...I don't give in to them. Some day they will learn to just do it! But it will kill me...they are killing me!

Rick Perry is interesting

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kitchen's

We look at kitchen's this week. We have 2 kitchen's in our house now. We hope to sell one of them with our house. The other is small and old. It will go into the basement as storage (in my laundry room). So we get to buy something new. And it's a good time to buy a kitchen in Germany. Everything is 60% off. I need loads of storage in my kitchen. We have a big family. It is kind of fun...at least I hope so.

mom as pop art

Monday, June 13, 2011

dad's life

A vacation day

The kids have 2 weeks vacation. Juergen is home today. I slept in until 10am. Oh I needed that! Then I cleaned the living room, dinning room and kitchen. Then I made lunch. After lunch I cleaned the kitchen again. I never really get a day off unless we are staying at a hotel. Now every kid in the neighborhood rings the bell. They are bored and their parents send them out to play. I'm afraid we will be looking after the whole group for the next 2 weeks. The kids (my kids) are happy playing with the others. I really shouldn't complain. I just hope we can keep the house clean. We still need to sell it. If we went on vacation we couldn't show the house. I can tell I'm getting older. I like to guard my peace more and more. I have to set down rules like no friends until the afternoon (2pm). That way we get some quite time, and learning time, and work time. I wish we were in Thailand...but you can not have everything!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

my new wallpaper



I was on e-bay looking at photo wallpaper with Sarah. I found this cool dandelion wallpaper. Not for Sarah, but for the office/guestroom...or the kitchen. It's very large and I got it for only 4 Euros. Very cool! A friend of mine had a Vinson of my family. She said we would have influence like dandelion seeds blown in the wind. I love that picture. I have a few dandelion pictures, and I just found dandelion curtains too. So I am thinking of having a dandelion room. I think it will be my guestroom.

Friday, June 10, 2011

So it's a done deal

Juergen and I bought the house in Bad Schönborn today. We signed the papers and now we are committed. We get the house August 1st. Until then we have so much to do. I want to be excited, and I'm sure I will be. It hasn't really sunk in yet. And I guess the small thing of selling our house would make such a big difference! But I have to go buy a kitchen soon. They take 2 months to deliver a kitchen. So maybe I'll buy a kitchen this weekend?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Powerless

I have the feeling I'm powerless. I waited hours for a person to show up to look at our house today. They never showed up. It happen last night too. One person canceled because they don't like our neighborhood. Another called and said they had car trouble. It's frustrating. You clean and wait, clean and wait. We have mostly seen real-estate agents who say they have buyers. Still, no buyers. I don’t believe them anymore…they are a pack of wolves! Frustrating! And so I'll clean and wait for 2 more people scheduled to come tonight. And believe me I know I should not give up hope... I'm tried, and I just want this whole thing to be over! I wish I could get on a plane to Thailand and forget the whole thing! But we don't live by feeling! So I will clean and wait, and clean and wait , as long as it takes! I think it’s hardest to fight the little foxes that continue to bite at you. I feel so tired from the small problems. Vacations are so great because they take you away from the daily trouble, and help you gain perspective. I will just have to find that perspective at home. The kids have vacation next week. We can not afford to go anywhere but at least we can sleep in!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary

My sister Dianna was born on my parents Anniversary. I guess that was very special for my parents...and I hope Dianna knows by now that she is also very special! It was a pretty cool day today. Nicole and I were at the second hand store. We found 20 Disney video's in top condition. I got them for 10Euro's. Jessica is in 7th heaven. I figured her favorite Aunt and grandma & grandpa would be happy about that! Big hugs and kisses from us! We hope your birthday and Anniversary are wonderful!

More calls

I got 2 more calls to see the house today. I showed it 2 times this morning, and again 2 times this evening. Then 3 people are scheduled to see it tomorrow evening. But numbers only count when they are attached to real offers. I get the impression people are very interested in moving before the next school year begins in September. So our timing maybe very good in this way. I'm trying to just stay cool about the whole matter. I will be so happy to be done with this whole thing! I keep being told that German's are very slow about buying a house. But when we saw "good houses" they often went very fast. So I hope people consider our house a good deal too. I've seen what is on the market in our area. I think it's actually a pretty good deal for the area. But it is a buyers market right now. We really need grace...and only grace will save us!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Showing the house!

I praise God! Our phone has been ringing! We show our house 2 x's on Tuesday and 3 times Weds. Our notary appointment is Friday (that's when we sign to buy the new house). I really hope our house will be sold by then. That would be so great! Juergen talked with the architect. It looks like we can get the house in Bad Schönborn renovated in August, and move in before September. It is crazy, but it may just work out!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

ABI Ball

Juergen and I went to the ABI Ball with Nicole last night. It was fun sitting with her and her friends & their families. The food wasn't very good, the music was also pretty dull (like a piano bar in a hotel). But the kids all looked great and the company was super! I still haven't got the hang of my new camera. Sorry but the photo's are not very good! Other people took pictures, so I'm hoping I'll get so better pictures. So that's the end of high school!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Good News

Nicole got a letter today asking her for an interview and day of testing at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe. This is the art University. They must have liked her portfoilio. So now she moves to the next round...and perhaps she will get a place in the school! Exciting!!!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Geeks Inherit the earth


Nicole is a geek and hang out with the coolest group of geeks. Juergen was also a geek. He does pretty well for himself! Thomas is also a geek. He is really having trouble finding friends that will accept him.He could use some prayer.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

ABI



ABI is graduation. Nicole graduated from high school tonight. I love this photo with the self made lei. I'm very tired. I'll write more tomorrow.