Monday, April 30, 2012

A house in the Provence

I found this nice vacation house. Maybe we should go to France instead of Italy? I love lavender and sunflowers! It’s cheaper then Italy and has it’s own private pool. It’s also one hour closer then the house I found in Tuscany.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Too tired for a vacation

I'm almost too tired to take a vacation. We may have a house sitter. I may have also found us a house. This is a 4 bedroom house near Lucca in Tuscany. Nice house! But Juergen needs to be at his dads house in the North of Germany at the end of our vacation. So the vacation needs to be a few days shorter. And I need to get some rest. I'm almost too tired to go. At this point I need to force myself to plan it...because I really need this vacation. It's been a stressful year, and it's catching up to me.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Two Greedy Italians - The Family

I just ordered this dvd. If it works out, we will rent a house in Italy. We are so tired we have to make ourselves go some place. I think it's crazy, we need to make ourselves go to Italy! We could just stay home, but I know we would not rest. The work is all around us. We could not rest here. But if we go, we will rest. If we go, we will be inspired. So we need to find a house sitter for 2 weeks at the end of May, first week in June.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I really want to go to Thailand, but I'm looking at vacation houses in Italy. I also looked at you tube for some inspiration. I like Italy. But Tuscany is not so warm in May, and it cost too much in August. So if we go at all, it will need to be in May. I know, I know...Many of you would love to go to Italy any time! I'm tired and I need some rest. I'm trying to talk myself into Italy, but I want to go to Thailand! Maybe it's like chocolate. When you crave chocolate you should eat it. If you don't eat chocolate, you'll eat everything else...and then you'll eat chocolate anyway! Maybe we had better just go to Thailand because that is where I want to be!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

I was just in Rothenburg a few weeks ago with my parents. At the time I was taking care of Jessica so I didn't see much. This Saturday I have been volunteered to take 7 International students to Rothenburg for a tour of the old city. I don't mind. I love students, and I think I'll have a relaxing time. They say the weather will be very nice. And I've never had a chance to walk slowly through the Christmas store. I was always watching one child or another. I've been there 5 0r 6 times...but never with out the kids. So I look forward to a nice day. The trip with my parents was also nice, but I personally didn't get to see much. Jessica didn't want to get out of the car.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I got my "Ballerina" roses in the mail today. I planted them right away. So now I've got 7 rambling rose bushes. It will take awhile before they look like anything more then branches. My whole garden is planted with small plants. We planted 25 lavender plants yesterday. They are tiny little things. Most of my plants are small. I saved money that way. But I can just imagine what it will look like in a few years. Right now the dandelions are the biggest plants! I also bought 6 heirloom tomatoes, 2 egg plants and 3 peppers to replace what was lost when we had that last frost. I moved some cabbages from my sack garden to make room for the tomatoes. I also planted 4 poppy plants. They are yellow, orange, white and red. I placed them near the pond. Poppies don't like to be moved. I hope they feel good in their new place. I'm nearly finished with the planting. I'm going to need to move forward with maintenance. Like pulling out those weeds! That's not nearly as much fun!

Cool idea, or should I say a hot idea

Maybe I can get Juergen to build me one of these to heat my green house. I've seen this with cans, but maybe this is even better. We could buy a solar powered fan to run it on. It could be put on top of the garage, with the green house next to that. Then I could grow plants 12 month a year. And if it works well, maybe we could add this to our balcony and help heat our house with it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


We finally got a renter for our house in Leimen. The wonderful family I met on Saturday. A husband and wife with 2 kids, a dog, and 2 cats. I liked them allot. I hope they will be happy there. I think it was a good match. They still need to do some paperwork. But they sent in the application, and Juergen spoke with them and accepted the application. As far as we are concerned it's a done deal. The University Professor never replied to our offer to buy the house. So we won't be selling the house. But our renters want to rent for awhile and maybe even buy the house if they find they like it. So I want to do my best to make them feel welcome. Actually, I felt that the moment I first talked to them on the phone. And I totally liked them when I met them. I think they are just perfect. So after all these months of saying no, and hearing no we finally got a yes! Thank you God!

Maybe another year?

It's cold and wet here. We needed the rain. My garden was very dry. But I'm stuck inside. I wish I was in Thailand! I was pretty content to do with out a vacation this year. We didn't take a vacation last year because of the move. This year we have more renovation to pay for. The kids will all go to camp. But Juergen is tired. He really wants a vacation. So he planted that seed in my brain, and the rain outside watered it! Oh how I wish we could go to Hua Hin for 3 weeks. Jessica loves Thailand. If you wanted to relax with Jessica, you would really understand how important it is that she loves it there! I know I'll be ok when the weather improves. I'll get busy in the garden and forget about a vacation. It is my brain begging for sunshine. I had better get busy doing laundry and cleaning my house. I feel this way every Spring!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nicole's work

Nicole's working on a water feature for our pond. She is making good progress. You can now see it's a face. It will have a running nose. I love it!

looking at a new kind of heater

this is the idea. You have a engine powered by natural gas. The engine makes electric power. You use the power, and sell the rest of the electricity to the grid. When you make the electricity, the engine makes heat that is used to heat your water. Your home is heated by this hot water. So it's heat and electric in one. I'm not sure what brand we will go with, but here is the idea.


Juergen and I just spent 3 hours talking with an energy person about new windows, heaters and insulation for our house in Bad Schönborn. It’s going to cost us a small fortune to renovate this old villa! Then Juergen got a call from a real Estate agent. The professor wants to buy our house in Leimen. We gave him an offer. I'll be holding my breath until we get an answer. Never in my wildest dreams!!! That would be more then I had thought or hoped!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

rose "Ballerina"

I just had to add one more rose to my garden. This rose is famous for blooming all summer long. It's called "Ballerina". They say it does not have the great smell some of the others have, but that it flowers more then almost any other rose. So I bought 3 of them. I plan to plant it between the other roses. So maybe I will have continual flowers from May until September. I might also add clematis for the same reason.

maybe Berlin

Juergen has a seminar in Berlin during the next school vacation. We may join him and spend some time there with the kids. I've never been to Berlin. It's a big maybe, but I know I need to go there someday. Maybe now, maybe later...but I know I need to go to Berlin.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I bought roses to replace the hedge in the front garden. Alberic Barbier
Rose Bobby James
and a wild rose called multiflora

flowers and baskets

Nicole picked a few of our beautiful tulips from the garden. I went out and bought more bulbs to plant (summer flowers). I also found these cool baskets made from News paper. I put my magazines and books in them. I love recycled art!
I showed the house in Leimen to the nicest family. They have 2 kids, and they just seemed so peaceful and balanced. They liked the house allot. They will send me the application tomorrow they said. We have a few applications. But I like this family best. I may need to lose a few more months rent waiting for them. 2 of our applicants want the house right away. But this family want the house for at least 5 years. I really hope we get their application, and everything checks out OK. I think we found what we have been praying for. I hope , hope, hope it works! I think it’s important to like your renters. I think they could be good friends! We would be so blessed to have them in our house!

Friday, April 20, 2012

a good word

Little House On The Prairie-Mary Goes Blind

We don't have TV anymore. My kids can only watch DVD’s. Right now the love Little House on the Prairie. Today they finished season 4, when Mary goes blind. They begged me to get them season 5 and 6. There are 10 or even 11 seasons I think. It's so funny! The boys are really into it, like a soup opera! They would never have watched it if I didn't take away the TV and limit the computer.

The house in Leimen

I got a call today from a company that looked at our house as a possible guest house. They say they definitely want to rent our house now. I don't really understand why they have not done a better job communicating with us over the past few months? Anyway, we have 2 more families looking on Saturday. The University professor also wants it. And God willing we will have a renter very soon. It's very nice to be able to choose. After all these months of rejection things have started to come our way. Thank you for your prayers.

The Fairy

'The Fairy' is the first of the groundcover roses, and it tends to spread outward and downward. It produces large trusses of small (3/4" to 1"), light pink, double flowers that fade to almost white in hot weather. 'The Fairy' is very healthy, and tolerates poorer soils and general neglect. The bloom is continuous from April through Christmas. It is an excellent choice for mass plantings and low borders. I just bought 10 fairy roses to add to the boarder at the entrance of our house. I will pair them with lavender and herbs. The lavender is on it's way. It should be lovely in a few years.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nicole's Art

Nicole spent 8 hours in the metal workshop today. She is making a metal face that will be the water feature for our pond. She is taking different pieces of scrap metal and welding them into a face. The nose will be a running faucet. It will be mounted to stone. This is the start of the face. Juergen showed the house again. The person said they wanted to move this wall, and that wall. He talked about a total remodel. Then he offered us 50,000 Euros less then what we are asking. Like we should pay for his remodel? Why do we even bother showing the house to these people? We gave our lowest price to the real-estate agent. Why did he waste our time? It makes me mad! Juergen said they will come back with a new offer. But I'm sure it will be too low.
We have 2 good families looking at the house to rent. No more buyers! They are all out of their minds!

The Best Chicken Coop - Wichita Cabin Coop

Raising Backyard Chickens

Backyard chickens

She wants all my attention

It's like Jessica was waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to leave. now she is holding on to me the entire day. She wants all my attention. and she wants to go,go,go. I'm tired! I took her shopping today. I found the German Bible on DVD. So I'm listening to the book of Matthew. It's good for my Spirit and my German. The last few years I've heard the whole Bible in English. Maybe this is the year I hear it in German. So far I understand it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

wild roses

I found a wild rose hedge with 100 plants for sale on eBay. It has 4 types of roses in the hedge. I'm thinking of replacing the front hedge with wild roses. They grow fast, don't need to be pruned very often, and give you roses, and rose hips. The hedge we put in isn't doing very well. I could use the plants we have now some place else. Maybe between the garage and the house?

5 years ago in China

Dad, you forgot Mickey

He is sitting in the living room and will not eat. He is sad, and misses you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hope they got there OK

Everyone has gone to bed. I was staying up, hoping to hear from Mom and Dad. I hope they got there OK. I need to sleep, so someone please e-mail me. I'll read it in the morning. Do not call, just email. Goodnight!


Juergen and I got up at 5am. I made the coffee, and he packed the car. Everyone but Jessica got up to say goodbye. I didn't ask the kids to do that, they wanted to. I think that's sweet. There was not much time to say goodbye, just a few long hugs. Nicole and I both cried as the car pulled away. I had no words. I just wish we didn't live so far apart. I thank God for the time we had together. I hope to make a trip to America soon. I value the company of my family. Juergen drove them to Frankfurt and checked them in. They were to have the last row in the plane (3 seats). And Dad's wheel chair was to be lifted directly to the plane. Hopefully it's a more comfortable flight. They are already on their way. My brother will pick them up. They will have jet lag. I think they will need to rest a few days before Mom is able to drive home. I have spent the whole morning eating chocolate and watching a garden DVD. I am pretty sad. But I'll be ok in a few days.

Monday, April 16, 2012

waiting to sleep

It's after 11pm and everyone has gone to bed. Everyone but Jessica. We need to get up at 5am. Juergen will take Mom and Dad to the airport. We figure it will be easier that way. It's not safe for me to drive when I'm crying. I'm sure I will cry...but I'm trying to just not think too much right now. Sometimes denial is good. I don't know if or when I'll see my parents again. Juergen said I can go to the USA at least by next spring. Maybe sooner? It is not good to be so far apart. But I'm going to just think of how glad I am about this visit. It was really good. We had a very good visit. And I was not sure we could have this time together. So I'll just think about the gift of this time, and not about the if or when we can do it again! The kids made a really good dinner tonight. Sarah and Philip made the potatoes. Thomas cut the pineapple. Nicole made a green salad. Philip cooked the chicken, steak and fish. We had ice cream for desert. After dinner we made funny faces around the table. Then the boys did some break dancing for us. Then Nicole showed Grandma and Grandpa some Phineas and Ferb on You Tube. They had never seen them before. I filled a memory stick of photos for them to take home. Now everyone is in bed. I'll go to bed too when Jessica lets me. And who knows what gifts await us? This visit was a gift. I thank God for this good gift!

Our last day

I watched Fawlty Towers with Mom and Dad. I also did their laundry. Mom packed. I bought a few more things. I hope it does not put their luggage over weight. It's only candy and coffee. But who could leave Germany with out chocolate and gummy bears? Philip is playing rummy with Grandpa. Philip is winning. Nicole is trying to draw Mom. It's hard to get her right. I'm trying not to think about goodbye. Just going though the motions. I'll save the tears for tomorrow. I'm just grateful for this time we had together. We got one good offer for a renter in Leimen. They can not rent until August. We would lose another 3 months rent. But it's a University Professor. We need to decide if we want to rent to them. I'm inclined to just say yes. We might be able to find someone sooner, but there is no guarantee. We have already lost allot of money. It makes me sick. But I would be grateful just to move past have a good renter. I think we should bite our lip and just say yes. In the mean time we can paint, wall paper, replace floors, maybe even doors. Anything, and everything to make the house perfect. Perhaps it would make them want to stay long term. I'm sad we did not rent last fall when we had the chance. It's been a very humbling experience. I’m sure it was all for a good reason. I may never know why, but I hope I can just let go of everything that has been lost. It’s water under the bridge. I love my new house. I’m happy we moved. I love my new garden. The whole thing cost much more then we had hoped! But the
time loss has been the worst thing.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

tomatoe house

It's turned cold here so I had the kids move my
tomatoe house over my tomatoes. I now have 10 plants. Nicole also started dozens more seeds. I'm hoping to have a 100 tomatoes. Enough to share, eat, and can some salsa. Mom also made us pan cakes. I love pan cakes but only eat them in America. I know they are easy to make. But it makes it special to only eat them when I'm home, or with my mom. I think I'll keep it that way! The lettuces are doing very good! Ready to eat!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tonights Movie

This is a very touching movie. I think the older you are, the more your able to understand it. My kids laughed at it, but they did not really get it. It's really about the value of having a home, and a family. That love is everything, and money is not. And even old people can change the life of a child. At least that's what I got out of it. The old guys died with their boots on. I hope I do the same!

shopping with grandma

Jessica and I went shopping with Grandma. We bought gummy bears for the family back home. Jess was being funny. She insisted on sitting in the front seat of the car. Grandma had to sit in the back. This afternoon Juergen took them on a river cruise on the Rhine. Mom took allot of photos. Here are some of her photos.

Friday, April 13, 2012

lunnch in Heidelberg

I had to pick something’s up in Heidelberg today so I took Mom and Dad out to lunch. Afterwards I needed to clean house. My small group Bible study is tonight. Mom and Dad made apple pie. I'm feeling very tired! But my small group always cheers me up! We have a few more days with my parents. I'm feeling tired, but also sad. I hate goodbyes. Juergen is picking the boys up from camp. I know they had a bad start, because Thomas almost came home. But I'm glad he stayed. I hope it ended well!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


One very nice thing about today was canning soup, and pears, and potatoes with Mom and Dad and Sarah. I love how beautiful the jars are!

I did not want to be here

Everyone finds them selves in a place where they did not want to go. For some people it's a divorce court, or bankruptcy court. Others find themselves in a hospital room saying goodbye to a friend who dies too early. Juergen and I have been trying to sell our house for an entire year. It's been hard. Dealing with dozens of strangers. Many of them so rude and insulting. Most trying to find anything and everything wrong with the house, hoping we would sell at ridicules prices. Almost every single week it has been like placing myself in a situation where I could be treated like a victim. It's a buyers market. That's all there is to it. We treated the seller of our house with respect. We gave them what they had asked. We did not criticize or complain about the extensive renovation we would need to do. We wanted the house, and we were grateful to have it. I guess it was asking too much to find a renter or buyer who treated us the same way. I'm so tired from this process. Today I went to Leimen and started to strip wall paper in Nicole's old bedroom. Juergen had put up new wall paper in the room, but it didn't turn out very nice. So we feel like we need to do it again. We also dropped the rental price. It all hurts. I just want to see this whole drama end. Sure, this is not a death, or a divorce. It's just a house. But it drags on and on. It robs us of time and allot of money. It makes us question where we went wrong? We are trying to remain faithful, to trust, to persevere. I did not want to be in Leimen stripping wall paper...but I was there. And so I worked and prayed. And I will keep on waiting for the answer. I'll keep trusting God for his provision. I think it would be so much easier if I knew how long I needed to wait. If I had a map that said do XYand Z, and then wait for this period of time. If I knew we where just days from the answer. But I don't have a map, I am blind. Faithfulness is all I have...not my faithfulness, Gods. I remembered an old song today. "He didn't lead us this far to leave us, He didn't teach us to swim to let us drown, He didn't build His home in us to move away, He didn't lift us up to let us down". I'm so tired...but I know who I believe in, and I know that He is faithful. So I will hang in there! Eventually we will find our answer. And I think God for his answer!

Happy Birthday Shelley!

Here is a big birthday Hug to my oldest sister Shelley. I'll make sure and eat a magnum just for you. I love and miss you. I hope you have a special day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Yesterday I took Mom and Dad to Rothenburg ob der Tauber for lunch. We were on our way to some castle when I asked Dad if he would rather go to Rothenburg. He has been there a few times, but I know he loves it there. But pushing his wheelchair on the uneven streets was pretty hard. We didn't get very far. We sat and had lunch in a beer garden. The weather was very nice. Then they took a short ride in a carriage. I stayed with Jessica. I have been to Rothenburg many times. Dad was pretty tired today. It's a good thing I didn't take him to Italy. I'm sure it would have killed him. It's got to be hard not being able to do so much. Mom already started to pack for the trip home. Sadly the time has gone by very fast. We have less then a week left.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter

Jesus has risen. Today Juergen and I got to sit together in church. Mom and Dad stayed home and took care of Jessica. It may sound like a small thing, but we get to go to church together about once a year. It was nice. Mom and Dad also made us a special Mexican dinner. So I'm feeling very good. I have to admit I have been feeling a little tired. I guess I always feel this way when the kids have vacation. Thank God the boys will be at soccer camp this next week. There are too many voices and needs in this house. I'm sure it makes all of us tired. I thought about taking my parents to Italy this week. My dad has always wanted to go to Italy. But I think it's just too much for him. I would need to take Jessica. Her needs are great, and Dads needs are great. It's a 9 hour drive. I just wish we could have managed it. Maybe next weekend? This week we will do some more gardening and some canning. I have so much to learn.
I did find a vacation house in Lucca ,Italy
but the weather is going to be bad. Oh well! I guess it was not ment to be. We will see what we can do near here.