Tuesday, August 16, 2016

More Visitors!

When we lived in Maryland we met our neighbor across the street during Brian's block fest that he planned yearly.  This man was actually from Germany and spoke German.  My husband, not being shy like me, asked him if we could trade German tutoring for dinner and beer.  His response, being a German was an affirmative.  Over the years he came nearly every week to help the kids with their German (Saturday school) homework and give them additional assignments to work on throughout the week.  He worked on conversational German with them, and occasionally Brian or I would sit in and learn a few things as well.  Though most of the time I was trying to keep the little ones from showing him stuff and stealing his attention.  During all of this time spent with the big kids, he really came to love our children.  When we left he cried as he hugged them and each of us goodbye.  It was such a treat to find out he was coming to visit with his girlfriend who we had also gotten to know well.  

Frank and Julie at the soccer game in Kaiserslautern

Hannah and Isaac's godfather was already staying with us in the guest room, so Hannah and Genna gave up their rooms and bathroom for a few days while they were staying with us.  They spent most of their time in Bavaria with his parents.

Godfather Brian at the soccer game

They all were able to attend Genevieve's play before heading out with Brian to the soccer game in Kaiserslautern stadium.  This kids and I stayed home for that one, but Brian promised the older ones that they can go with him some time.

The next morning they walked to the bakery and the park with the kids.

We spent a lot of time out on our balcony off the main living area in the evenings.  This evening had a particularly pretty sunset.

Hannah had been sick the last half of the week, so on Saturday she stayed home with me and Bobby while the rest of the crew went to Luxembourg and Bern-Kastel Kues.  They had a great time!  The kids came running in telling me how daddy got them two gelatos.  Judah normally gets a fruit sorbet, but his had cream in it they were pretty sure once they tasted it.  They tested his allergy and he didn't even get a rash.  We've been giving him baked and stove cooked milk products more and more, but never raw milk like that.  (Since this happened he did have a mild reaction to uncooked cheese.)

I love this picture!  This captures his personality well.
The last full day they were here was the car free day which is a whole 'nother post.  Frank and Julie ended up doing the "Devil's Hike" instead of the car free day with us.  They love to hike and they really enjoyed it.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Hot Air Balloon Festival that had No Ballons

Hannah and Isaac's godfather is visiting us for the whole month of August.  He and Brian found out about this hot air balloon festival, and, of course, they planned a day of it.  Turns out that we never saw even one single hot air balloon.  We never figured out where they went or what the deal was.  So we attempted to fly a kite and ate a bunch of German fest food.  Then the kids rolled around, buried themselves, and got covered in itchy hay.

As usual, Hannah didn't have a single straw of hay on her.  She always manages to keep clean.  Nonetheless, they all had a bath/shower when we got home.  There was no avoiding it.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Genevieve's Big Debut on Stage!

The week of our Totus Tuus (which is kind of like a Catholic version of Vacation Bible School) I had already signed Genna up for theatre camp.  It is run by Misoula travelling theatre company.  They put together a play in one week.  Hannah and Isaac went to Totus Tuus and Genevieve went to theatre camp.  she wanted to try her hand at acting, but I was afraid to commit to one of the full plays that practice for months, four days a week.

For reference, Genevieve was the white fairy.  The pictures get closer up.

Her good friend, Anna, was in the camp with her so she was pumped, excited, and generally acting completely normal for herself.  Hannah was not happy at all about having to go to camp without Genna or their friend, Anna.

Monday was try out day and practice began right away.  The play was Sleeping Beauty.  They got their folders and learned their lines and cues as soon as possible.  Genevieve was chosen for fairy #11, the funny fairy, she called it.  Her friend was to be the queen's lady in waiting.

Genna said her best line a little too quietly, but other than that she was the best fairy ever!  I'm only a little biased, so you can trust me.  She had us laughing the whole time.  At one point the fairies are all dancing across the stage.  She totally hammed it up.  I was amazed at how comfortable she was up on stage having never been there before other than small piano recitals.  She LOVED it!  Now I'm in trouble because we live at least 25 minutes from the theatre here, and she can't wait until she can do it again.

A star is born!

In the picture above, the whole cast is on stage while one of the travelling teachers is thanking people and giving information about their organization.  Genevieve had Hannah and I giggling up a storm.  Everyone was kind of just standing on stage looking around or listening, but not my daughter.  She's playing it up, waving, posing, and curtsying to us, acting like she is the only one on stage and we are the only ones in the audience.  I got part of it on video, but it was too big of a file to put on here.

These pictures are of all the fairies.  Look at that crazy white fairy!

Daddy's getting a picture with our new star.

On Cloud 9!

Her audience, waiting for the stars to finish changing after the show

We had a few visitors here that got to come see the play and cheer her on.  One of them kept yelling, "Fairy #11 is the best, and all you other fairies stink!"  It was very awkward.

Just kidding.  He was only whispering it.  :)

In conclusion, my sweet daughter may have finally found her "thing."  She's been searching for a hobby.  She loves to run, but the running club filled up too fast.  We'll see how this goes.  Sounds like it will be hard to swing, but maybe we will get lucky and find a carpooling option.  In the meantime, I am trying to get her to do more things that put her up talking or singing in front of people, like joining the choir at church or being a lector at daily Mass.  If her gift is not being afraid/shy being up in front of people those are two ways she can use her gift for the church community to spare those of us who cringe at a microphone.  Our biggest hurdle for all of this is working it all in with our travel plans.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Big 8: Happy Birthday, Isaac!

Poor Isaac!  His birthday was foiled by illness.  Brian, Bobby, and I were all very sick with a really nasty virus.  This meant no going out to eat on his birthday night and no special cake.  I did have some frozen cake pops I had made with left over cake from the last two parties.  They just needed the chocolate coating which is easy even when you are sick.  So other than gifts, renting Kung Fu Panda 3, and cake pops his birthday was postponed.  He also go to have Sloppy Joes for dinner which he had requested a while ago.

Giant Cake Pops:  FYI, if you make them too big and awesome, they don't stay on the stick in a vertical position.

Gifts this year were Legos, Legos, and more Legos from all his aunts and uncles and grandparents, with the exception of a couple Hero Factory thrown in.  All Legos were of the Ninjago variety and have been put together already.  Don't worry, he'll take them apart and put them back together a few more times at least.

Eight year old privileges are no more booster seat in the car, can hold babies while standing up, and can stay alone at home.

Instead of a birthday party this year, Isaac is going to go to the theater to see The BFG with a few friends.  As soon as we can shake this bug!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sweet Siblings

Isaac loves to read to Bobby before his nap.  It's just about the sweetest thing ever.  Normally, Bobby wants me to put him to bed, but he loves books so much that for this part of the bed time routine he doesn't care who reads the books as long as someone does.

The rainbow didn't show up as pretty on the phone camera, but the big kids were excited to see this giant Regenbogen across the sky at sunset when the little ones were already tucked into bed.

All the kids love to play in the sheer curtains when the door is open and the wind is blowing them.  We keep the sliding door open a lot during the "summer" (I use that term loosely since there have been precious few days I haven't needed a sweater) and the curtains over the open door to deter some of the flies from making it into our abode.  No screens make flies a common house guest around these parts.

This is an adorable video of Bobby giving Judah a hug.  It looks like he is attempting a kiss as well.  His hugs are the best!  Judah is thrilled because he LOVES hugs.  He's a cuddle bunny.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Long Overdue Celebration

We had Isaac's First Holy Communion in Italy and then we had one trip after another which brought us to a very overdue party for this monumental event in his life.  We had a few families come over for a big meal and a special cake.  The inspiration for the cake was, if you can even believe it, not found on Pinterest.  It came from the design on our Holy Water font.

Random and bad picture of our new Holy water font that we bought in Orvieto days before his First Communion.  The symbol of an A intertwined with an M is for "Auspice Maria"in Latin which means, "Under the protection of Mary."

Under the protection of Mary, seemed like the perfect theme for my sweet boy's cake.  As usual, I was not as pleased with the results as I had hoped, but I took heart in the knowledge that my kids all really liked it.

We ate outside since it was a beautiful day.  Brian grilled chicken, hamburgers, and brats.  I made a lasagna, a BLT salad, corn on the cob, watermelon, and had hummus with carrots and chips out before.  It was a lot of food, but it was for a lot of kids.  It was very relaxing considering I was hosting.