Saturday, December 05, 2009

November proved to be a crazy month, too. Unfortunately, it was sickness and health problems that kept us busy. Early in the month, Ashlyn complained of stomach pains. This had happened once before and nothing came of it, but after 12 hours of pain, we thought it best to take her to the ER to get checked out. After 8 hours in the hospital with multiple opinions, a pediatric surgeon decided to operate immediately to remove her appendix. During the surgery, her appendix ruptured. Here she is at the hospital, near the end of her 1 week stay. (more of her story can be read here.

After the appendix problems, 4 out of the 6 of us got what I believe to be the Swine flu. Thankfully, everyone's case was mild. A couple days fever and a cough was all anyone really had. By the end of the month, only I was still feeling a little puny, but we were still able to go to Prague and celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends there. The kids don't have Thanksgiving day off, so we traveled down Friday after school and stayed the weekend. Fun and delicious food was had by all.

Here is a picture of the boys during Ashlyn's hospital stay. Amy took good care of them when Jason and I both needed to be at the hospital. They even had a homemade hamburger picnic in the living room! Thanks Amy!

Here are 2 pics from the hospital. The courtyard:

and here is the sign pointing to Ashlyn's wing. She was in Haus F and the Kinderklinic.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

When your busy, time flies. This was the fastest October ever! In addition to a busy work schedule and new, harder school for all the kids, we had a lot of additional things going on.

Cheryl's parents came out for their second visit. It had been two years since they had seen the kids, and at that age a lot changes in two years. They also got to meet Jack. He loved them... and never let them out of his sight.

Jonah and Ashlyn and I took them out to Berlin on a cold day to show them the sights and the history. The kids enjoyed a classic of Berlin cuisine, Currywurst!

Cheryl and I took advantage of their visit and the fact that we live so near it to visit Paris for our 15th Anniversary.

To cap the month off, we had a family visit us for a week so we could get to know each other and show them the sort of work we are doing. The kids had a blast carving up pumpkins and sharing our strange American culture to the neighborhood. We got some nice reviews!

October ended as usual with a cold front blowing in and sending us below freezing. Jonah and I spent a lot of the day outside helping some friends move out of their apartment. Before we knew it the whole month had flown by.

Time to start playing Christmas music!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Back to school pictures. The kids started back on August 10th. We were the first german state to let out of school (June 26th) and the first to go back. Jonah started Gymnasium this year and Caedon started school with Ashlyn. Jonah is in 5th, Ashlyn 4th and Caedon 1st. (We held Jonah back a year so he wouldn't have the stress of learning German and catching up in math in the same year.)

Caedon at his desk at school.
Caedon's class, 1 a
Ashlyn and Caedon at his welcoming program. He is holding his Zuckertüte.
Walking out of the program. Ashlyn, as a 4th grader, danced and sang at the program and then each 4th grader picked a 1st grader to walk out to their Zuckertüte presentation.
Caedon with his best friend Tim and their Zuckertüten.
Jonah on his way out the door to walk to his first day at Gymnasium

The Germans really celebrate when a child begins school. The parents, grandparents and friends (and church) all give the children cardboard cones filled with sweets, school supplies, and toys, etc. The parents' is the biggest usually. Then they usually have a party with family and friends. We were invited (last minute, which is amazing) to Tim's party.His parents, grandparents anda adult friend/neighbor were there. We had good food and after dark, we had sparklers and small hot air balloons that we set off. (Tim's dad is a fireman.) It was fun for the kids and very special that they invited us to a "private" party.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Some random pics from our drive down to Bavaria for our annual meeting. We saw Nurenberg and Rothenberg ob der Taube, two medieval cities in Germany. Both were very pretty and we enjoyed ourselves.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Some pics from the last weeks before summer break officially began.
The boys' new bikes. We bought them for 15 euros each at the flea market on the river. Bikes are really expensive here (60 euros, $75) for the cheapest, smallest bikes (too small for even Logan)!
Caedon riding Logan's new bike. After Logan got his,Caedon decided he needed one, too. Logan's was a bit too small.

Logan riding his new bicycle. He learned without training wheels and was riding it within 30 minutes or so without help. He still needs help with stopping and starting though.
Jonah's school won 1st place in the state for their grade school newspaper. The teacher says it was because of Jonah's comic strip! Here are some of them receiving their award and "interviewing" the artist Jonah.
Ashlyn at her end of year recorder recital. She has been learning on it in preparation for the flute or oboe, she can't decide.
Jonah's report card. The 2's at the top are grades for working with others, neatness, etc. A 2 is anywhere from a 80 to a 94. The numbers below are german, math, science, crafts, art, music, english, ethics , gym and french. He received two a+s for english and ethics.

Ashlyn's report card. She received an a+ in her industriousness. She earned a 1 (95-100) in music and ethics. She only got a b- in math but her grades are good enough to get her into gymnasium too!
Good jobs kids!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Caedon and Logan had school pictures done!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Time to do some bragging on Jonah. Yesterday, he was accepted into Gymnasium. It is the German equivalent to High School, but goes from 5th through 12th grade. It is college prep school. Only the best kids get into Gymnasium. The rest have to go into middle school, which then leads to trade school or a possible later jump into High School. There is a lot of pressure on kids and parents all during 3rd and 4th grade. And in the GErman mentality, it isn't even about trying hard to get in... some kids are cut out for education and some aren't.

Also, he was featured in a state wide magazine this quarter! His school newspaper, where he is the resident cartoonist, was the subject of an article in the Sächsische Zeitung's Family Magazine. Their newspaper won third place in a state competition of school journalism, but they were the one featured in the magazine. Jonah was the lead off part of the story, with a couple paragraphs describing the mascot character he created and then information about him.

It was pretty cool! Here are some scans of the story:

Sunday, May 03, 2009

So what is this all about? "Do not let your dog give the birds rides!" (Seen in Basel)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Jonah and Jason on the alpine slide not far from the retreat center.

Ashlyn and one of thousands of frogs migrating from hibernation to the pond at the retreat center. The kids had hours of fun catching, holding and watching them.
All the kids in front of the waterfall near Schneeberg.