Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween

So today is Halloween. It's a holiday that's only just catching on in Germany. My kids went back to Leimen where the trick or treating is pretty good. I was prepared to hand out candy but we only got one group of teenagers at our door (none wearing a costume). So in the end, I have 2 times as much candy as I started with! I'm pretty sure the kids do not mind!

Nicole and I watched the movie "Miss Potter". Loved it! I also got a DVD of "the Kings Speech" for my birthday. So now I'm going to watch that. Tomorrow is a holiday in Germany. We get to sleep in.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

how to make vegetaian lasagna



This looks really good.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe



We are trying this in the oven.

Prophecy and what to do about it

I had a strong impression a year ago. It was out of the blue…I was not praying or anything. It was almost like a flash of a TV screen before my eyes. I saw tanks on the streets of America. And there were really bad race riots. Something bad had happened. It was on Nov 3, 2011 at 10am. I don’t know what to make of this. It was nearly a year ago, but Nov. 3, 2011 is next week. I hope it was nothing. I’m praying it’s just my wild imagination. I believe in prophecy. I’m not a trained prophet. John Paul Jackson says that God gives some people a gift of prophecy. And that that’s basically the ear to hear Gods voice. God is the signal, we just have the equipment to pick up the signal. I don’t want to see riots on the streets of America. And I hope I’m wrong about this. Maybe I saw it to pray it does not happen. But just in case, I’m writing it down before hand.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Showing the house!

We get to show the house this weekend. I hope we can finally sell it. It would be so nice to not think about it anymore. That would be such a grace!

Friday, October 28, 2011

today I'm 50




I got the funniest birthday note on face book. It said welcome to the top of the hill, from there you can see forever. That made me laugh out loud! 50 is a pretty big number. To be honest with you, 30 was much more traumatic. I think the thing that's killing me is I thought I would be wise by now. But I have 2 teenage sons, and raising them makes me feel like an idiot. Oh I need perspective. The thing I've been meditating on in the month or so leading up to this big day is the need to live in the now. To really take the time to taste, smell, and feel totally in the moment. I can not manage to stop the clock, but I can appreciate the treasures of the day. And there really are amazing gifts every single day. The down side to living fully in the now is, each drama my teenage sons play out before me feels far too wearing. So now I realize with them I need to be able to appreciate what is there and trust that God will develop them into men of worth. You appreciate the butterfly, but not the cocoon. Teenagers are messy and pretty self-centered. For them I could use a new perspective. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not seen. Hebrews 11:1. And I realize I'm not going to live forever. But when I see eternity I'm OK about heading down that hill. One day I'm going to go home. My only real goal is to finish the race well.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

flower bed


Jessica broke the frame on her new black iron bed. I'm not 100% sure Thomas put it together right. It was not very well made. But anyway, it bent so bad that it can not hold the box spring. I went to IKEA and bought her a new frame. Now I'm thinking about making a "flower bed" out of the old frame. I have seen photo's of this idea. I think it's cute garden art. I could just through the frame out but I might as well use it. I'm thinking "bed of roses". What do you think? Maybe with red roses, lavender and clematis? It's a black iron bed but I guess I already wrote that. I'm getting old! I turn 50 tomorrow. That seems unreal! But some of the best people I know are already 50+, so I guess I'll manage it too.

This is our house in Leimen



I keep praying for a buyer.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Powerful



The new pro-life documentary "180" is gaining national attention with its message that compares abortion to Hitler and the Holocaust.

Christian TV star and street evangelist Ray Comfort said he felt pro-choice advocates needed a radical message.

Every life has worth, but Jesus died for us all. He forgives even abortion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The tent

I took Nicole and Jessica out to breakfast today. Afterwards we shopped. Everything in the store is covered with Christmas lights already. I'm planning on stringing lights inside the party tent too. We want to attach this paper table cloth stuff to the tent ceiling first, then the lights and maybe some fall decorations. And I also bought this hot air generator that runs on gas. It can generate a good blast of heat so our tent will be cozy! I hope it isn’t very loud! Maybe we can also string lights on the trampoline? We want to cover the garden with lanterns. There will also be a bon fire. I bought marshmallows yesterday. I need to find some sticks or something so we can roast the marshmallows. I hope it doesn't rain. I’m glad we still have a few weeks to pull everything together. I’m looking forward to this party!

Dropping the price and widening our exposure

We still want to sell our house. I don't know if that means we will not rent the house, just not yet. Instead I studied the traffic on our house for sale blog. Most of the traffic came from one newspaper and not the internet site I thought was so good. We stopped advertizing in that paper a few months ago. I decided to place a new add in that paper. I also dropped the price to 299,000 Euro. That is a 11,000 Euro reduction in price. Hopefully we can now find a buyer. We are taking a loss at this price. And if we still can not sell I guess we will rent. I'm not at all worried. I could be happy if we sold the house, or rent the house. I have peace and I just want direction and wisdom.

Monday, October 24, 2011

To rent or not to rent that is the question

Juergen and I have pretty much decided to sell the house in Leimen if we can. But the market is poor, and we haven't shown it once in 2 months. Not very encouraging! We have been encouraged by friends to get a realtor involved in the process. I'm pretty sure they would just drop the price to get a buyer. We could manage that ourselves (dropping the price I mean). Today a friend from church said they knew of an American family that really needs a house to rent for 3 years. So what should we do? Keep paying the mortgage for an unknown period of time, or rent? I'm inclined to rent. I realize the housing market may get even worse in the future. Military families could leave with short notice. But they pay top money for rent, pay big deposits, and have to give you 3 months notice if they leave...or pay 3 months rent. So a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. If it's a nice family I am inclined to rent. I can trust God with the future. None of us knows what will really happen with the housing market in 3 years. What I do know is I will have to pay 2 mortgages in the month of November if I don't rent now. And even if I can afford to do that for awhile longer, why should I? Each month it feels like I’m just tossing money out the window! If I had any certainty we could sell, we would wait. But it doesn't look good. I really would be fine renting!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Max Lucado talks his latest book, Bible Story



I like Max Lucado, I want to use his small group video Max on Life. It's 4 studies on life questions. This book looks good too. I've read the Bible 1 1/2 times this year. Maybe I'll get through it 2 times this year. I love God's story! And I love it more and more!

A nice weekend

Juergen and I went to a movie with friends last night. Afterwards the 2 of us went out to eat. It was very nice just to get out, without the kids. Our babysitter has been taking her University exams. She has been too busy studying to babysit. So I'm grateful the exams are over. Happy for her, and for us!
Today church was very good. And after lunch I even got a nap. Then I watched a movie with the kids. I'm tired! I'm tired of renovation. I am so ready to just move on with life. Our party is in a few weeks. I'm looking forward to the party. We will try to organize it, and prepare it all ahead of time. A little each day, so it's not too overwhelming! I hope that works. For me it's like a wedding. Stress, joy, then finally the marriage starts! The new house, and life in this house doesn't really feel real yet. I'm hoping the party will be the starting point for me. The celebration of a new beginning. And I'm trying hard to let God deal with the house in Leimen. Perhaps I'll try to explain what I'm learning about process and trust.

Dad is pushing my Mom around


My Dad got a new electric wheel chair. He is having a great time getting out on his chair. My Mom has been having trouble with her foot. She will be having surgery soon. And for now, Dad is having fun dragging her around with his new power toy! Boy's and their toys! It's a little embarrassing for Mom, but I think it's sweet!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday


I made the very best Beef Stroganoff for lunch today. I'm trying out dishes for our house warming party Nov 12th. That dish will definitely be on the menu! I made a very big pot of it, and it was gone! The kids were licking up the sauce! And it was so easy to make in the crock-pot. I need a big freezer. I could make 2 pans of food in the crock-pot each day. Freeze those pans for the party. That would be the easiest, low stress way to cook for a 100 people. So far we don’t have a 100 people coming. More like 50 people. I wouldn’t mind if it was just 50 people. That’s a very nice size for a party. But I invited many more people, and if they show up I need to feed them. From this day on I will respond to RSVP’s. I’ve always been pretty bad about that sort of thing. But people do need to plan ahead. I’m doing my best to plan anyway. It will be a very good party I think…hope. And if we have 50 people, my family will eat the leftovers. So I guess I do need to buy a freezer.

Sarah played in her first soccer game today. They lost but she had fun. So for now that's really all that counts. Philip has been having some heart problems. He can not play soccer. We need to have a specialist check his heart soon. Thomas is not on the official team yet. But it looks like he will make the team. The big challenge for him is time. He has to do allot of extra homework for German. The soccer is 2 afternoons a week and Saturdays. It’s great for him, but very hard for him to get the homework done. I need to pull the plug on the soccer if he doesn’t get the German done. I really don’t want to do that! It is not so easy to be the parent sometimes! Soccer is so good for him, but so is passing German. Killer!

Juergen and I have a babysitter tonight. We are seeing Johnny English 2. I could use a good laugh!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to Build an Outdoor Fire Pit



a must do!

The life and death of Vincen van Gogh











Normal


I was up early with the boy's. They got off to school, and I made coffee and did dishes. Then I eat some breakfast with Juergen, Sarah, and Nicole. They all left for school and work. Then it was the dog's turn to go out. Then I fed Jessica, cleaned her room and gave her a shower. Her head is very dry. I'm trying a new shampoo. She is sleeping. Jessica will start school again after the Fall vacation. I am hoping she will manage the transition well. She is pretty tired of staying home. She always wants to get out of the house. Juergen picked up a prescription against anxiety. We will need to try her on this (and I don't know the name). The school will not accept her unless we try medication. She scratches the other students when she is afraid. Sarah plays her first soccer game this evening. Nicole won't be home so I have to bring Jessica with me. And today I'm just doing the "normal" stuff. Laundry, cleaning, shopping, cooking. Nothing to interesting. But I'm fine with normal. It’s in the quite house I can dream and pray.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When did this become art?

The worlds richest living artist



This is for Nicole. The world's richest living artist is Damien Hirst. He is famous for his works on death.

back ground check




Nicole started school yesterday. Her professor is Meuser. He does mostly a combination of sculpture, painting and insulation works. All "modern". Nicole is allowed to do whatever she likes but it's good to know what her professor does. Here is a link to some of his work. It's in German. I don't personally care for "modern art". It is basically more an art of ideas, not technique. If you don't understand the ideas behind the art, or agree with those ideas modern art can be just a bunch of reclaimed trash. So it is really going to be a challenge for Nicole to stay true to her ideas, and translate them into work that is acceptable to her professor. She also wants to learn real skills to be more then just a person that knows how to label garbage! She wants to be a good painter, sculptor and drawer.

http://www.karlsruhe.de/b1/kultur/kunst_ausstellungen/museen/staedtische_galerie/ausstellungen/knautsch_meuser.de

Monday, October 17, 2011

A big tent


We won the bid on eBay for a party tent. It's 5 meters x 8 meters. So now we have space for a big group of people. We will also have the time to set up early (I hope).
Maybe our church can also use the tent after we are done with it. I hope it blesses allot of people! I'm hoping to borrow the tables from the church, and we will also need heaters. So some people can drink hot drinks in the tent, others can eat in the house. I'm looking forward to the party!

Boy this looks so good!



The party went really well yesterday! A friend took pictures and I'll post those when I get them. The house was so full, we will need a tent for our house warming party! I think I'm also going to make 14 pans of different meals. I'll find friends to cook those dishes for me, and bring them hot to the party. It will be cold, so we will need hot food. Also I think I found some friends to bake cakes for us. They bake the cakes, and I pay them for the cakes. The money will go to a missionary friend. So I won't spend the money to have our party catered, I'll have help with the food & our missionary friend gets the funds. Sounds like a winning plan! Nicole starts at the University today. I can not wait to hear how it goes. Juergen is touring Heidelberg with his sister, and her husband. They are visiting for 2 days. It's great to see them! I think I'll try this CHICKEN BROCCOLI CASSEROLE tonight.

Friday, October 14, 2011

This women looks really confussed in the video, and the camera looks like something Mr Bean did. Still, the soup looks really good! I mean really good! I just love barley soup!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chili for a cold night



We are still brainstorming on what to make for our party in November. I am thinking about cooking all kinds of stuff. Making it sort of a potluck. Nicole and I are looking at cookbooks. I could make a few pots of chili, lasagna, quiche, and roasted potatoes. Just all kinds of good stuff depending on the number of people that will come. And some people will bring deserts and salad. Maybe I can borrow baking dishes and crock pots from friends? Right now we have about 60 people coming, but another 60 haven't replied yet. I'm always pretty bad about RSVP's. But I feel Ok now that I know some people are coming. I'm pretty sure we will need the big tent in the garden. I am looking at party tents on eBay. I've also been busy cleaning for the first party we have on Sunday. My Godchild Anna's dedication party. That's sort of a warm-up for our housewarming. We will host about 40 people on Sunday (God willing). It feels pretty good to have the house almost finished. I really do feel like celebrating! There will always be more work to do on the house, but that is everyone’s story! Do you have any super easy potluck meals?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hot Spiced Wine - Cooking With Anton



Hot wine in Germany is called Gluhwein. And Gluhwein is found in every Christmas market around the end of November until Christmas. Our party will be in November so I thought it would be really good to make the wine, and the punch. I'm also considering making waffles because they are also a favorite at that time of year. Maybe waffles with hot cherries or apple sauce. They are both easy and inexpensive.

The Dr and stuff

I took Sarah to the Children's Dr for a hearing test. She needs to routinely get checked so we can get speech therapy. This time it was more important. The insurance generally pays for 60 sessions. Then they want you to take a break. But Sarah needs more therapy. So her Dr agreed to allow more. She really is making good progress, but it will still take time. And by time, I mean years. I'm hoping in 2 or 3 years you will not tell she had a speech problem. But that's 2 or 3 years of work. It's worth it!

The kids have soccer again today, if it doesn't rain. Last week it was cancelled because of rain. Right now it doesn't look good.

The hand worker is going to finish the kitchen today (maybe). He did work on it for 2 hours last night. It will be nice to finally have it finished.

I need to go to Sarah's parent teacher meeting tonight. These things are often a waste of time. But it's a new school, and I should go.

A family was going to look at our house in Leimen tonight, but they canceled. They wanted the house for them and an older parent. But they don't think they can divide the house well. Sad, they seemed very serious. I'm trying not to get anxious about this. It's out of my hands... Please just keep praying that we can sell our house in Leimen. God is greater then a bad real-estate market!

Monday, October 10, 2011

cold day

Yesterday was so nice. We sat outside most of the afternoon. Today it's raining, and cold. I bid on a tent for our party. I think we will need it. Nicole, Jessica and I had breakfast out. Jessica seems to want to get out more and more. That's a good sign. Maybe we can get her back into school sometime soon. We went to a second hand store in Heidelberg. We walked out with a stack of art books for Nicole. I was looking for kids chairs for the party we have next weekend. They didn't have any. We decided we can use these strong plastic boxes I already have as stools for the kids table. Now that's thinking "outside the box"! The heater isn’t working in our house. Juergen needs to have someone look at it. I’m getting cold!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

No new car, but a house filled with friends

We didn't bid on the car. We just aren't ready to add another car yet. But I did make a very good lunch. We had baked chicken, Mexican rice, beans and salad. Good friends from church joined us for dinner. And now more friends are coming over for coffee. The weather is so nice. The kids are having such a good time on the trampoline. If every Sunday was so great!!! Really, this is just how life should be. Good friends, good food, and good weather. Not a care, just rest!

Friday, October 07, 2011

forget the planet


Normally I'm the sort that cares about the environment. But Nicole is taking driving lessons. Soon she will be driving. The question I have is what will she be driving? I have a small car that has a manual transmission. I would feel much better if she drove some tank of a car that has an automatic transmission. I think young drivers should concentrate on the road, not the mechanics of a car. Nicole is very uncoordinated. And I want a big solid frame of protection keeping her from harm if, God forbid she does hit a patch of ice or something! So I broke the news to Juergen that I want to buy Nicole a tank. He said not now...that is don't ask me now. But at least he knows I'm thinking about it. I found this 1988 Mercedes on e-bay. It's in a town near to us. It sells in a few days. Maybe they would let us test drive it tomorrow? That's if I can get Juergen to consider it. It happens to be an automatic. It's in ok condition. It runs. I'm sure it eats gas, but we are more worried about Nicole's safety then the planet. And after Nicole learns to drive , Thomas will need a tank.

So cute!

I'm sitting at my desk. From here I can see the back yard. Sarah has her head in the hedge talking with the little girl that lives right behind us. How fun to have a friend right next door. They are both the same age. That's a gift from God!

My son has found his gift

Philip has learning problems. He is ADHD and Dyslexic. He does not thrive in the wonderful world of academics. But in the past 24 hours he put our jumbo trampoline together (100% by himself). He also put our new IKEA sleeper sofa together (again 100% alone). He is very handy. And a good German handy man makes more money then Juergen! So hopefully Philip will be able to support himself just fine one day. He loves the "finer things in life". So I have more and more hope he will be just fine!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

21 years ago I married a prince





Today Juergen and I celebrated our 21st wedding Anniversary. The kids were in school, and Nicole watched Jessica for us. We went out to breakfast. Afterwards we went to IKEA to buy a sofa sleeper for the office/guest room. That may not seem so romantic. I know some of my friends go on vacations in Greece and Cyprus. I would love to go some where with Juergen. Just the two of us. But our babysitter is taking exams. We will be able to go to dinner and a movie in about a week. I look forward to that. A vacation alone, that is pretty hard to imagine because of the kids (especially Jessica). But I'm not complaining. Even IKEA is great when your holding the hand of one of the greatest guys around! If you know Juergen you know how blessed I am. And I spent my 20th anniversary alone because Sarah and Juergen where in quarantine in the hospital. Sarah had an infection they though was mumps. Juergen stayed with her, and I couldn't even visit. A nice breakfast out is so much nicer then last year! And just spending my life with him is a dream!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A new blog

I'm turning 50 this month. I decided I would blog about it for just one month. I need to give the whole getting older thing some thought. It will be a short blog! You can read about it HERE. If you have any advice to share about getting older, please let me hear from you! Thank's!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Old friends are so special!

I just got to meet my best friend from high school in Heidelberg for coffee. We haven't seen each other for years. She and her husband are taking a bus tour around Europe. One of those 8 countries in 5 days kind of things! Sounds like allot of time in a bus! But I wanted to cry for joy when I saw her! A little bit of Corvallis in Germany! How wonderful to see an old friend.
Juergen came home early so I could go meet my friend. He took the kids to the soccer practice. Sarah and Thomas both loved it. Phillip didn't like it. He wants to play guitar and take Judo. So I need to figure out Philip's after school program. It looks like Sarah is set for activities. Thomas looks like he will be accepted on the team, but it isn't sure yet. One of the other 7th graders from his school is on the team. So maybe that will also lead to a school friend? Juergen didn’t get to pick up the trampoline. Oh well. It’s been a very full day with good surprises.

Our party

Nicole and I wrote a new invitation to our housewarming party/my 50th birthday party. I am now trying to gather e-mail addresses. I want to send the invitation electronically. I am having a time trying to get all the addresses. I hope I don't miss anyone important, but I know I will. I'm hoping to get RSVP's so I can plan better. God willing, that party will be Nov 12th. The dedication party for Anna is Oct 16th. That will be for 40 people (15 are kids). So you can say Anna's party is a warm-up to the housewarming. The men are finishing the tile in our winter garden/back porch today. Philip, Sarah and Thomas start their soccer today too. That reminds me, I need to shop for sports cloths. It's a beautiful day. My favorite kind of fall day! I hope the nice weather lasts awhile. I can see the birds beginning to migrate. I have a good view from my office window. It's really hard to believe it's already October. I will be happy to get back to "normal" life, without boxes and renovation! It will happen.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Mastering the art of French cooking

"Mastering the art of French cooking" is the title of Julia Child's book. I watched the movie Julie & Julia this weekend. Nicole and I decided to try Julia’s dish Boeuf Bourguignonne or beef Stew in red wine with Bacon, onion, and mushrooms. It was totally easy and 100% wonderful! We made it in the Crockpot. It cooked slowly for 8 hours. The meat melted in your mouth. I also used 2 cups of wine, not 3. I served it with mashed potatoes and baked potatoes that had been baked with olive oil and garlic. It was so good the kids were licking the sauce from their bowls! I want to serve it at my God Childs dedication party on Oct 16th. My God daughter is Anna. She is a real gift from God! We are hosting our first party in our new house just for Anna (and 20 pulse others). I thought I would cook pot-roast, but I like this better! Nicole and I will have to try some of Julia’s other dishes. I want to get a DVD of Julia Childs cooking show “The French chef”. That would be a kick to watch!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Canned Solar Part 1





http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
I couldn't find part 3. You basically add the cans to the panel and paint them black. You need an input vent, and an out put vent. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifThere should be a fan that blows the air from your house/greenhouse into the heater, and then venting the hot air into your room. Whatever is near your cans should be able to handle high tempters. This panel can get very hot! The panel should be mounted in a south facing location.

Here are the printable instructions.

instead of building a box, I've seen people just use old windows. We have old windows.

Brilliant Newfoundlander Invents the Solution!



This is such a cool idea. I found another video on you tube that also shows how you can build a solor heater yourself. I want to try heating a greenhouse with a solor heater. Then maybe we can also build one for our house? Free heat!

In the garden

We moved the pile of wood away from the back corner of our garden. We plan to build 3 compost piles. Today we want to move our dirt, and compost from Leimen to Bad Schönborn. I'm not sure if anyone else would be crazy enough to move piles of dirt? But I've been working on improving that dirt for a few years. I grew worms just to help the process. It's very good dirt and I need that in my big garden. Why pay for it when you already have it? Besides, I'm not sure the people who will one day buy our house want large piles of compost in the side yard! The small yard in Leimen will look better without the dirt! So the plan is to build 3 compost piles in the back corner of our yard. Move the dirt and compost from Leimen. Move the plants and garden tools. And build a few raised beds in our yard. We have good weather. Let's see what we can get done!