Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Garden

I have not packed for our trip to America. Instead I am getting as much work done as I can in the garden. The gardener planted a wild flower meadow in the back boarder of our new lawn. Today, Nicole and I added wild flower seeds to what has already been planted. We figure variety is good. I don't really know what the gardener planted, so I wanted to add more. And we pulled allot of weeds, but there are plenty more to pull. And we planted some tomatoes, spaghetti squash and cucumbers into the straw bales we prepared last fall. The bales have been outside all winter, and we have soaked them in compost tea and urine to prepare them to be planted. So we will see how well plants grow in straw. And I planted about 20 sunflowers we started from seeds, and 2 pumpkins. I took a few pictures. We have allot of tulips, and our alpine flowers are beautiful. The rhododendrons are starting to bloom. We also have lettuce, carrots, parsley, and bush beans. The 2 year old apple is blooming beautifully. And I didn't take pictures of it, but all our 2nd year blueberries are flowering. I look forward to seeing this garden in June. I don't look forward to all the weeds that will need to be taken care of then, but It should be very nice with the new grass.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Back from London

Here are a few photo's from London. I'm so tired! We walked and walked! And we saw so much in 4 days. But now we need to pack for America. We leave on Friday. Juergen did an awesome job with the kids. What was I worried about? He even cleaned the house. London could break your heart. The people look so sad and alone. Everywhere you look, they all look down. And there are homeless people everywhere. So lost. On the way to the airport they announced that the tube would not stop at a certain stop because someone had killed themselves on the track. Really tragic, but it didn't surprise us. People in London are so lost. We did attend Hill Song church. That was really very good. Much better then we had expected. It runs 5 packed services each week, in the middle of the city. And there are 2 other Hill Song churches in London too. They are doing a good and hard work. They bring some hope and light in a very hard place. We are happy to be home. But it was such a good time!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

We had a full day of walking yesterday, and quite a few impressions to go with it. We saw the the Tate Modern and tried to figure out how long it would take either me or Mom to be exhibited there. Then we had a very good lunch at a hole-in-the-wall thai restaurant. It was run by 6Thai women and located between train bridges, old factory buildings and in a back alley. We loved the food and the price, too! Definetly an insider.
Then we took a voyage to the Tate Britain. It was a long walk from the station, but worth it. I liked the works here better than in the modern Tate. These were more "timeless" and more interesting, actually.
Then we went back to the hotel to get ready for the musical "Singin in the Rain". The show was great, but the seats were really small. There was less leg room on them than in a tight airplane. We had a good view, though, considering it was the nose bleed section.
So after that we went to bed, very tired and with sore feet but with great experiences at hand.

Today we will go to Kews, I am excited!

We had a full and wonder ful day in london´ i.m so tired I must write it down tomorrow´

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day 1 in London

(written by Nicole) We got up between 3.30 and 4.00 in the morning. Surprisingly enough neither I nor Mom hat too much difficulty getting up and out on the road. We left thinking we had plenty of time to get there, but then we couldn´t find the long-term parking and thought we´d miss our flight. Luckily the airport is very well organized, so we could catch the flight anyway.

When we got to the hotel they let us check in our bags, but the room wasn´t ready yet. So we went to breakfast and saw the National gallery. Mom was wiped out and so was I. However, I motivated myself to see and take in as much of the gallery as possible. I looked at some art and Mom, for the most part, sat down in front of paintings and waited. I saw some very famous pieces and artists, such as William Turner, Hans Hohlbein or Caravaggio. I think I could take much more from this visit than our last visit to the National Gallery 10 years ago. now I actually know some of the artists and their significance, that makes the whole thing much mor interesting. There were  alot of school classes there, but I think the disabled class was most impressed by their visit. One girl was going wow in a loud voice, that was sweet.

Then out of the gallery we went by Trafalgar Square and to the Underground. It was not hard to notice that there was a significant deficiency of pidgeons on Trafalgar Square, merely one pidgeon flew over it. Last time I was there the place was full of birds, the city must have gotten rid of them.
And another thing I noticed was the Baker Street Underground station. I think it must have  been the filming site of the first scene in "Prince Caspian of Narnia", it really looked so similar and classy. That was interesting :)

After that we came back to the hotel and got our keys. Mom is taking a nap and I am resting as well. Later we might check out the British Museum, we'll see.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Nicole and I go to London very early (like 4am) tomorrow, God willing. I'm not even packed yet. Still doing laundry. But I'm very excited about this special adventure. It's going to be a very full 4 days. I will try to blog from London, but I will not be able to post pictures. I'm only bringing a small net book with me. it doesn't have any storage for photo's. But when we get back, God willing I'll post photos too. So pray for our safe travel. I do hope I can sleep at least a little. Tomorrow we want to see Kews gardens.

Our plans

Größere Kartenansicht

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Roadside America: World's Greatest Miniature Village!

Soon Nicole and I will be roadside some place in America.  And I want to see stuff like this.

getting ready

Sarah was already upset this morning because Nicole and I will be going to London on Thursday (God willing). I am a little stressed about the number of things lined up one after another, and the number of days it will have me away from my family. Juergen seems so calm, and I wonder if he really will be alright. But I know he will be ok. I just hope Jessica sleeps so he can sleep too. That she goes to school, so he can work. And that the other kids also don't throw him any difficult problems. They can be really good, but some times they can also have big issues, and demand a great deal of work. So I really hope they will be ok, and actually good. I think it would be much easier if he had Nicole to help him. She could stay with the 3 when Juergen takes Jessica driving. And she could stay with Jessica when he takes the 3 to stuff. But now he has to manage everything alone. And if Jess doesn't sleep, that's going to be very hard. I just did it myself, so I know. I am going to do as much as I can to make it easier for him. We are getting a new freezer delivered in the morning. I will fill it with food so he does not need to shop. And I'm putting together packages of outfits for Jessica. So he will not need to find her cloths. And I am giving the kids models to build. It will be something to keep them busy so Juergen has a few hours of peace. I'm not really worried about the trip to London. It's more the longer trip to America. We only have 4 days to get ready for that trip after London. So I'm trying to do everything I can ahead of that trip. And I know so many people travel all the time, and you may think what is the big deal? But taking care of my family is a two parent job. So doing it alone is stressful. And I'm not worried about my trip, I'm worried about leaving. Juergen is really able to manage it. But I just don't want it to be too stressful for him. But I'm 100% sure he can do it. And maybe the other kids will grow up a little, and actually help him?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In the garden

I don't get to spend much time in my garden this next month. Nicole and I travel to London in just one week. But the weather was so nice this morning. I spent 3 hours pulling weeds and planting boxwood around my raised beds in the vegetable garden. Eventually we will get rid of the cheap wood we built the beds with. The beds will have boxwood boarders. But boxwood can be expensive, so I just buy what I can afford when it goes on sale. And the plants I buy are small, so it could take awhile before I have boxwood boarders. Nicole planted our flat peaches, a giant rose and our redwood tree. We have had the redwood sitting in the compost pile I have in the greenhouse. I didn't want to see it damaged by the long cold winter. I bought it last fall. But now it has time to get established. I also have 10 Christmas trees in the greenhouse I need to plant. I was waiting until the grass was finished. So I guess I can plant them too. My plan was to have a mini tree farm. Christmas trees cost 35€ each. I thought if I grew 10 trees, I would not have to pay for trees for 10 years. And the trees only cost 19€ for 10. They will not be big enough for Christmas trees for maybe 5 years, but then I'll have trees for the next decade. And if they get too big I can just give them to our church, or a school or something. I may even choose to keep one or two trees. We had no trees in this garden when we moved here 2 years ago. None at all. So I have planted a magnolia, a redwood, 4 apples, 2 peaches, and a plum. We also have 2 Japanese maple bushes, Some lilac bushes, giant roses (7) and many other plants. It's filling in nicely. It will be a park one day. And soon we will have nice grass and a wild flower meadow. I love my yard, can you tell?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

new grass

Today the gardener came with a crew to redo our lawn. He had some really great equipment that broke up the ground, tilled it, smoothed it out etc… and they pulled grass out by hand. I had them put the old grass and dirt in a pile. I’ll use it as compost in the bottom of some raised beds I’m building. And then they sowed grass in one area and wild flowers along the boarder of the garden. I hope that works out! And finally they rolled over the whole thing with a special roller. It’s suppose to rain soon. In about 6 weeks we will have a new lawn and wild flower meadow. I think the moles took off. I have not seen a new mole hill for over two weeks since our neighbor got his lawn done. Maybe the sound of these big machines sent the moles packing? I hope so. I can imagine how upset Juergen would be if a mole destroys his new grass! We already have trouble with wasps in our front yard. And these wasps are one of the protected sort. So I’m not sure how that is going to go? At least we don’t hang out in the front yard! But I won’t be able to open the living room window all summer. This is trouble! Juergen also went to pay for the new car. It’s a 1998 Mercedes A140. It has very low miles on it. It was owned by a local farmer. He drove back and forth to his field in this car. But now he is 90 years old and does not drive anymore. It’s in really good condition, and we are getting it for a good price. Jessica’s teacher will be driving it to take Jessica to her workshop Monday- Friday. And Nicole can drive it in the afternoons. So now I can finally have a car in the mornings (when I actually have time to do my errands). I have not driven the new car yet. I need to wait until Juergen goes and gets it registered and insured. He is busy, so it maybe a few days still. But the deal is done so I have hope of my own set of wheels. Finally, the internet has been down for the past day. We just got a new router. So when I post this, I’m finally able to use the phone and check my email. Sorry if you tried to reach us, but the phone line has been down. It’s interesting how much we depend on technology. I’m wondering how I will manage in America for 12 days. I may actually bring a computer so I can use Skype.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Amy's German Garden by Amy Moreno Heymann : HGTV Gardens

Amy's German Garden by Amy Moreno Heymann : HGTV Gardens

Just busy in the garden

I need to find my camera today. I've been busy in the garden. Nicole has actually done more then me. She seems to own the garden, and loves it too. And Juergen is very excited about his garden! He has hired someone to redo the grass. We put sand all over the grass. 2 truck loads of sand. And now the gardener comes to do the rest. He brings heavy equipment and a crew. They will give us both a grass area, and a wild flower meadow. I'm also busy trying to arrange everything for our up coming trips. Nicole and I go to London on May 25-28. We plan to be in America on May 3-12. Then we are in Italy May 17-June 1. I have someone staying in my house most of the time we are in Italy. I just need a person to feed the fish and water the green house for a few days. I ordered a freezer. I hope to fill it up so Juergen does not need to do so much shopping. And I'm building a pallet garden in San Diego for a friend. So I've been busy trying to find the building material ahead of time. I will not have the time to run after everything when I get there. I also want to build a pallet garden this weekend for myself. We want to test our ideas before we try to do it in America. Originally I wanted to build my sack garden, but I can not find the material there. So if I want people to use the idea in missions, I need to build something with material they can find (pallets). So we have the idea we are pretty sure will work, but I need to build it this weekend to be sure. It is crazy busy, but i love this weather.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

what's up

I'm a bit tired and overwhelmed getting ready for our up coming trips. Nicole and I go to London in 2 weeks. Then we are home 4 days before going to America for 12 days. Then home for 4 more days before going to Italy for 2 weeks. The weather has gotten warmer so I'm trying to get some work done outside. I also taught a garden workshop at my church this week. It went very well. Compared to my dad and sister, I don't know much about gardening. But I could teach some basic stuff to new gardeners. And it was so much fun to do that! We are getting all sorts of quotes on painting the house and fixing the balconeys. So maybe those jobs will get done this year (or next year based on the cost). And tomorrow Juergen plans to test drive the A140 Mercedies we may buy for Jessicas teacher to use. Right now Jessicas teacher drives Jessica every day with my car. So even when I have time, I don't have transporation. And I need to get the shopping and other stuff done when I have the time. So this is why we want one more car. It is a 15 year old car with very low miles on it. It should not cost much to run, and it does not cost much to buy. And right now we get money for Jessica's transportation. This money will cover the cost of the car. And I can use my car again. So I'm hoping this is a good car, and that we can buy it tomorrow. We also have to start preparing the lawn to be renovated in the next week. The gardener brought us sand to spread over the lawn. We also need to remove small bushes and trees that would be hurt when he digs up the old grass.

Monday, April 08, 2013

maybe a new car

we found a 1998 Mercedes-Benz A 140 for sale. It has only 84,000km on it. It was driven by a 90 year old farmer. His son is selling it because his dad does not drive anymore. We test drive it on the weekend. It may be a good car for Nicole and Jessica to share. I never get to go anywhere because my car is always being used.

How to Call via Skype on Your iPod Touch. (Free)

The Omega Balance: Getting Smart about Inflammation - Health & Science - CBN News - Christian News 24-7 - CBN.com

The Omega Balance: Getting Smart about Inflammation - Health & Science - CBN News - Christian News 24-7 - CBN.com

Saturday, April 06, 2013

grass or wild flowers

A gardener is coming to breakup our old lawn and prepare the soil for new grass.  But the process is the same for planting a wildflower medow.  The advatage to a wildflower medow is it only needs to be mowed one time a year.  It is beautiful, needs less water, and attracts good birds, bees, and insects.  I want the wild flower medow, but Juergen wants grass.  I really hope I can talk him into the medow because you can not have both.  And it cost allot to prepare the ground. 
Update : We decided to do a large wild flower border and grass for the kids to play in. So we will try to have both.

Friday, April 05, 2013

getting ready to start my tomatoes today. It's late, but it’s been so cold. Last year I had 70 heirloom tomato plants. This year I may plant 100 plants. I made allot of sauce for soup and spaghetti. We also love fresh salsa, and tomatoes with mozzarella , fresh basil, olive oil and vinegar.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Hiking the Navajo Trail - Bryce Canyon National Park - UTAH

Good news and bad news

The good news is Nicole and I will be going to America May 3-12 to help my friend Cindy move back home to Minneapolis. The bad news is I will not be going home this trip. I'm going to need to come again in the fall. Cindy really needs our help now. So we are going on a great American road trip. This is something Nicole has always wanted to do. We will be in San Diego Las Vegas, Bryce Canyon, Denver, Mt Rushmore, and Minneapolis. The first two days we will help her pack and get over the jet lag. Then we take off for one very full week. but it should be cool to see America, and visit with my best friend. I'm sorry I don't have time to go to Oregon too, but it's already going to be a very full trip.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


My best friend Cindy may need to move back to Minnesota from San Diego. She has struggled to find full time work since 2008. Just getting by on unemployment and temp work since then. It's been really difficult. But she has been faithfully working with the homeless church. I'm just worried she ends up homeless. And her dad just had heart surgery, so there is a need to have her back home to help. If she moves it will be soon (begining of may). And if she can not find anyone to travel cross country I'm considering taking the trip with her. It does not come at a good time. Nicole and I travel to London the last weekend in April. Then we go to Italy the last two weeks in May. Juergen would need to take most of May off in order for me to go. So we are hoping she can find someone else to go. But the idea is still interesting. America is so beautiful. San Diego, Bryce Canyon, Denver, and Mt Rushmore then Minneapolis. All the dinners, and national parks, and beauty. It is only an idea. And an idea that most likely will not happen. But maybe?