Monday, July 30, 2012



I needed to pick Nicole up from camp today. She was sick. And Jessica is also sick. She has a very bad cold. Maybe she was already getting sick and could not tell us. Maybe that is the reason she didn't want to go to Disneyland? Sarah is having fun with a friend. They are skating.

Disney ups and downs

We dropped the kids off at camp and drove to Paris. The drive was very nice. The girls were wonderful in the car. Sarah had an I-pod to play with, and Jessica could watch a movie. Juergen and I could talk. It was nice. We walked around the shopping mall next to our hotel. Then we checked in. The hotel was clean and actually nice for the cheap price. I would gladly recommend it to anyone traveling to Paris on a budget. But Jessica would not sleep. Juergen and I were both so frustrated. She would not sleep until 3am. Then she woke up at 8am. So we should have just said no to Disneyland. I should have dropped Juergen and Sarah off at the park, and saved the 15 Euro parking fee, plus the 10 Euro dog kennel fee, and the 60 Euro entrance fee. But we wanted it to work. So we tried. And Jess was awful. She was just too tired to handle it. So Juergen and I took turns with Sarah in Disneyland and Jessica in the car. And we were angry and disappointed. But I could have driven to Monet’s garden in the North of Paris. I could have chosen a better direction considering Jessica’s condition. I was not very wise. I wanted it to work and I just didn't read the situation with open eyes. But I did get good pictures of Sarah in the park. And Sarah was so wonderful. She loved Disneyland. And Juergen and I both got to share good moments with her there. And Jessica was happy in the car. And the trip home was another very good talk with Juergen. So over all it was worth the trouble. I'm glad we did it. I just need to be willing to adjust my plans if Jessica can not fit into my plans. It would have been better for all of us to not push it. Autism is the pits, and we are just imperfect people trying the best we can to live a normal life. Considering the circumstances, I think we do OK. But it’s pretty hard sometimes. I can not lie, it really can be frustrating. But I love Jessica. And I totally love Juergen because he still made it awesome just be walking the hard road with me. And I never saw Sarah so patient and good before. She reminded me of Nicole. She really was awesome!

Friday, July 27, 2012


I just bought 3 water tanks to capture rain water from our roof. We have a well, but can not get the pump to work. It's old. So I bought 3 super sized food grade containers 1000 liters each. They can be placed next to the rain gutters by our house and garage. They will give me the water I need for my garden. I can also use a pump on these containers so the hose will spray the water out. Very covenant. My garden needs allot of water when it's not raining (like this past week). I do not want to pay for city water when rain water is free. Some places do not allow you to capture rainwater. But this is not the case where we live. I may need to rent a van to pick these containers up. I'm not sure they will fit in our car. They are in Leimen of all places. The kids are getting very excited about summer camp. Today we are trying to get a place in the camp for Philip's best friend. I hope that works out. It's a Christian camp. I also pray it has a deep and lasting impact on the kids. That it's a real awesome experience that brings them closer to God, and each other. The boy's are going to be with a few other boys from our church. It's great that they grow stronger in theses positive friendships. Friends can build you up or lead you down at this age. My boys need good friends.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Disneyland Paris

Philip, Nicole, and Thomas go to camp on Saturday. They will be gone for one week. Jessica gets her new teacher next week. I thought it would be really nice to take Sarah and Jessica on a short trip. Someplace Jessica loves, and Sarah has never been. So We are dropping the kids off at camp and driving to Paris. I rented a cheap hotel that allows dogs. It was too last minute to get Mickey a room in his normal doggie hotel. Disneyland actually has a place visitors can board their pets for the day. So Mickey will stay in our hotel room Saturday night, and at the Disney daycare place on Sunday. We will see Disneyland (God willing) on Sunday, then drive home. A mini vacation. The rest of the summer will be work. Lot's of renovation projects. I've wanted to take Sarah to Disneyland for awhile, but it is too expensive with 5 kids. But all the other kids have been there. So now it's princess Sarah's turn. I don't expect the hotel to be nice. I think I've been there before. I should bring ear plugs. But driving 5 hours to Paris, spending the entire day at Disneyland and then driving 5 hours home was just a little too much for Juergen and I. We have done it before, but we were young then!

water balloons

it's a great day for water balloons. I bought the kids 300 water balloons, and a few hours of wet fun. Sometimes it’s the small things that bring the greatest joy! I have to say no allot these days. But I like it when I can say yes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

a pond

My big summer project will be renovating our pond. I just ordered the material I need to do it right. Ponds are awesome for attracting wild life. Frogs for example eat all kinds of bugs. They are wonderful for the garden.

The Jeffersons - Mother Jefferson's Fall Pt 1 of 2

Goodbye Mr Jefferson

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How to Apply Sempatap Thermal Solid Wall Insulation to walls

Has anyone used insulation wall paper? We can not put insulation on the outside of our house so we are thinking of applying it on the inside walls. Does anyone know if it works?


I went to Sarah's new Dr to pick up a prescription for her speech therapy. The Dr said that she was not allowed to get speech therapy because she goes to a special school for kids with language delays. He said she should never have been allowed speech therapy. He even sounded like he would get her old Dr into trouble for allowing her to get this therapy. I was so shaken I could hardly speak. She is really benefiting from this therapy and she does need it. I called Juergen. He will call the old Dr to talk to them about this. We are also changing Sarah's Dr. This new guy was just plain mean! And I hope the therapy can continue because it is really working. We should never have changed Drs!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Home art show

Nicole brought her art home this morning. Her first year of art school is behind her. I took some of the photo's off the living room walls. Now we have a small private showing of Nicole's art. There is the China cabinet, a drawing of my dad, and a surreal self portrait and a portrait of my grandma Moreno. Now I need to find a place for our Thailand pictures. The flowers are from my garden. They are so lovely.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

is this art when no one is looking at it?

This old house on line

I found This old House on line. It has lots of tips on home repairs. We need to put in a new heater, windows and insulation. This needs to be done in the next few weeks.

Time to think of the fall

Today I'm planting some Lettuces and fall flowers. I also need to think of starting my fall crops from seeds. Where has the time gone? But we already have fall weather. It is cold and rainy here. I hope it warms up so my tomatoes can get ripe. But here are some ideas of what you can start from seed in the next few weeks. Late July – Early August Sowing: Carrots, Salad, turnips, Beets, Scallions, and Parsley August - Early September Sowing: Spinach, Asian greens and Lettuce September – Early October Sowing: Spinach, Broccoli, Cilantro, and Radishes

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer art show Kunstakademie Karlsruhe 2012

I spent the day with Nicole at her art show. She is just one of the very talented people in her school. I was impressed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 2012 garden update

I thought I would show you a few photo's of my garden. It has grown allot. I get pretty busy and forget to take pictures. Here is the vegetable garden. We have allot of green tomatoes. I got these cool wooden fans off the street yesterday. Nicole helped me put them up to stake the tomato plants. The potato vines are starting to wilt. I guess we can start digging potatoes in about a month. And we have cucumbers and peas, and zucchini. I also have Chinese cabbages. And the flower gardens are doing wonderfully. We have a Hugh variety of flowers. The new flower bed in the front yard will be lovely in a year or 2, once it gets established.

They are off

I woke up at 4:30am, and again at 6am. I guess I just didn't want to miss Sarah's bus again today. But I got everyone out the door. It's raining. I'm all wet. I think it's going to rain until the middle of next week. We have wonderful weather for my flowers. They are happy. But I must have over 1000 green tomatoes. I've only had about 6 vine ripped tomatoes this year. I finally picked a bucket of the green tomatoes. I place them with an apple in brown paper bags. Maybe I can get them to turn color? Yes, I know they are better off the vine, but in this weather they are going to need weeks to turn. And there are plenty of tomatoes still on the vines. I'm going to can some vegetable soup today. I had all sorts of vegetables that needed to be used. So I chopped them and cooked them into a nice soup. I think I can fill about 6 canning jars. It will be an easy lunch some time this winter. Philip gets to go to a planning weekend for a summer camp. It is a test weekend. He wants to work at the camp, but he has to be "good". He is a 14 year old boy with ADHD. He can be good, but sometimes he acts up. And He realizes that his behavior could basically kill his chances to do cool things. So I hope he can control himself this weekend. I think it's wonderful that he even wants to help. And wonderful, despite his poor behavior that they will give him this chance. I can imagine he will grow up. In a year or so it will not be so hard for him to control himself. I am always amazed to see how much kids change between 14 and 20. He can get wild and a little fresh, but he has a good heart. I really hope he does well this weekend, surpassing everyone’s expectations. I'll be praying for him.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I miss Juergen

Juergen is the one who gets Sarah on the bus. I got the boys off to school, then fell asleep. I forgot to wake Sarah up, so she missed the bus. So I took her to school. But we had a good talk. Her soccer coach wants to change the practice days to Monday and Wednesday next fall. She has her youth group on Wednesdays so she can not go. I asked her if she wanted to go to another activity. She wants to quit soccer and ride horses instead. I need to find out how much this will cost, but horseback riding is very good for the brain, and great for kids who have attachment issues. And on the way back home I picked up some old farm tools that were left by the side of the road. I will put them in my vegetable garden as art. I miss Juergen, but it still worked out good today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

on his way

Juergen is on his way to America. He has a conference in Philadelphia he has to speak at. He will only be gone until Saturday. That's a long trip and allot of time zones to jump for such a short trip. But I miss him more when he is in America then when he goes to Northern Germany. Somehow having him out of the country just makes it harder. Everything is running well at home. The kids are all being good. I wish I was also going to America. I even looked at the airline prices. But the cost is very high. I could buy 2 tickets to Thailand for the price of one ticket to the west coast of America. I sure miss my family. But we need new windows, and a new heater, and insulation in the attic. I just need to get that thought out of my head. Maybe next year? I sent a package with Juergen to send to my parents. Just some chocolate. I hope it does not melt. Nicole and I did some work in the garden today. I also took Philip and Thomas to get new shoes. Just the normal stuff. I miss Juergen, and I'm glad he doesn't need to travel allot. I don't think I could get use to this...I just need him with me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

it was about money

Today it became clear that the older students got to show more of their work at this art show, because they "need to sell" it. Nicole is a first year student and this is why they would not allow her to show her work. It was a money thing. Her professor even said this was so. The older students need the exposure and money. Lucky for her money is not an issue. She could sell her painting, but will hold on to it for now. And the fish jumped out of the toilet of “finding Nemo”, so she is bringing them home. It is for the best. And I'm going to see the show later in the week. Juergen goes to America in the morning. He will only be gone for a few days. I would rather go to the show later when the other classes also have their stuff ready to show.

It's just a show

The anger fell off me. It's just an art show. If she is a good artist, there will be many shows. So she took her "Finding Nemo" water feature to school. The 3 fish are also going. She will show what ever they let her show. I don't like how this was managed, but it is just a show. I'm just a mom, and my kid was treated unfairly so I got upset. And even if her class try’s to water down her talent, even if they only let her show her least work, she will still stand out. And being different is a good thing in art. I will go see the show tonight. And at least I know her best work isn't being shown today.

Monday, July 09, 2012

I'm upset!!!

I'm trying to be calm and not get mad. But the class decided not to let Nicole show her China cabinet painting and her man. Both pieces standout too much. I think they are afraid she will steal the show. The whole thing is crazy! The professor will hear it tomorrow. And perhaps the situation will change. They are letting her show her water feature "finding Nemo", and they will let her show the Rhino mask by it's self. "Finding Nemo" is a cool work, but it happens to be the least of what she has done. Shouldn't she be allowed to show her best work? Finding Nemo will still stand out. It is the only water feature in the whole school. And it will have 3 live fish swimming in the toilet. Her rhino mask can also stand alone, but what gives them the right to dissect her work and show it in part? I thought artists are suppose to be original? I thought being different was a good thing in the art world? What happened to "one of a kind" and "being in a class by yourself"? I guess the other students do not see it that way? But I'm not objective. Still, I personally think she should have the right to show what she wants and let the public decide what they think. They should all be allowed to put their best foot forward, and let the public judge what they like and don’t like.

left behind

I'm watching a DVD called "Left Behind, what's it all about" by Tim LaHaye. It is a conference on Bible Prophecy about the end times. Did you know that there is more of the Bible devoted to the subject of the end times then any other subject? If you believe the Bible you need to understand the age I believe we are living in. This isn't an age of fear, but an age of hope. If your interested in this subject, I'm thinking of having a small group this fall that watches these videos and talks about it. And if you do not live near by, consider buying the DVD's yourself. They are available on Amazon and eBay. Why is this subject important? If you have faith in Christ, you should keep your focus on what really maters. We know that this world has an expiration date...our hope is in God, not this crazy economy. And if you don't know if your heart is right with God, you may want to consider these teachings. Perhaps you will find faith in Christ?

Sunday, July 08, 2012


I am trying to get some extra rest. I am feeling tired, and yes We have been doing too much. Next week also looks busy- The last weeks before summer vacation are generally full. But we went out to lunch after church. And I didn't try to get anything done...just rest. The boys and Nicole will be at camp in a few weeks. Jessica will have her teacher by then. I'll have time to spend with Sarah. This week Nicole has her art show. Juergen also travels to America , but just for a few days. And a great deal of our focus will turn to renovating the Bad Schonborn house. We need new windows, insulation, and a new heater. I guess we will do everything we can afford to do now. Our heating bill was pretty awful this past winter. We need to see how we can improve things. I don't know if we can afford to paint. Yes it needs it, but that may need to wait another year.

Rocket Stoves - Hot, Healthy, Efficient

I was asked how I would heat my green house. I will build a rocket stove.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Nicole's Art

Here are a few photo's of Nicole's man. A friend helped her move it back to her studio yesterday. We are all excited for her art show next week.