Saturday, December 23, 2017

Poppy's Visit

Brian's dad, AKA Poppy to our children, came to visit for about a week.  He mainly came for Brian's promotion ceremony, but he did get to do a few European things while he was here. 

On Tuesday of his visit, we took him to a wine tasting in a small village.  It was our second visit there.  It is attached to his house and he has the cutest little room with a family table.  He has some seriously amazing artifacts that have been found on his vineyards and he has all kinds of fun stories.  he's full of information.  

I took a  picture of this wall because I really love it.  Maybe one day I can have a wall like this in my own house, minus the red.

Wednesday we had a lot of homeschool commitments and Drew was sick and had to be taken back to the doctor so I could only spare Judah and Isaac.  Brian took them and his dad to some car museum places in Stuttgart.  Don't miss the sarcasm when I say that I was truly heartbroken to miss out on this.

This has the cuts of a pig marked out in German on it.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Isaac's Alligator

Isaac was very proud of his Play-Doh creation that he wanted me to take pictures of it.  He likes to claim that he is not talented in the art department, but I know this isn't true.  He has been drawing more lately, not subjects I personally like, but I am just glad he is drawing.  I'm hoping he will gain more confidence and let me work with him on it.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Little Bit of Drew

Drew has been learning to read and, although he is going slower than most of my kids, he is coming along.  He's definitely more of a math and science guy.  He is picking up the math very quickly and he's always up for a science experiment.

He's learning his German very well too.  Poor guy missed more than a week of kindergarten because he got very, very sick.  He also had to miss the St. Martin's Day Procession that was on a Saturday evening.  His class made lanterns and sung songs with the rest of the village.  I stayed home with him and Judah because Judah was still recovering from his bit of illness as well.  Judah's was a quick little bug of two days of a fever and a sore throat, but Drew's ended up turning into strep throat.  I didn't recognize it right away though because he had the fever but kept saying his throat didn't hurt, but started complaining of neck pain.  A couple days in (over the weekend, of course) he starts refusing to move his neck.  I was panicking and suspecting meningitis, but Brian was sure that was not it.  I ended up calling the urgent care nurse and she was pretty sure that if it was meningitis he would be sensitive to light and much more immobile. 

I took him in on Monday since his fevers had been around 102-104 every time the meds wore off for four days by then.  He was walking around with his head cocked to the same side all the time and was up every night in severe pain.  The doctor walked in and said,"So, run of the mill virus, huh?" and I had to bite my tongue.  This pediatrician knows me and knows how many children I have.  Do I have time to just come to the doctor for a "run of the mill virus?"  We live forty minutes from the hospital.  I was sure the strange neck pain and high fevers would warrant a trip to the doctors.  After he examined him, he determined that it was probably just his lymph nodes that were making his neck hurt.  He said we needed to wait it out until Friday before taking further steps.  Well, Friday was my husband's promotion, and so this news that he may not be better by then and I may have to come up to the doctor again on the busy day when I would be baking and getting ready for the reception did not make me happy.  Plus, my sweet boy was still in a ton of pain for all but a  few hours here and there when the medicines were overlapping.  He said if the lymph nodes get any bigger or lopsided to come back sooner.

Sure enough they did and we were back up at the doctor's office on Wednesday.  This time the doctor ordered a blood draw and a strep test (although the latter was just to be thorough because he was sure that wasn't it since his throat wasn't very red.)  He was putting in an antibiotic at the pharmacy regardless because the blood work wouldn't be back for a few days. 

Drew was so very brave about his blood draw.  It was his first and he just sat there so tough and trusted me that this was easier and less painful than a shot.  After we finished the nurse got in touch with me to tell me that his strep test was actually positive.  Whew!  I just wished he'd been "thorough" on Monday!  Drew was feeling tip top by the promotion just two days later, but he still had a slight head tilt.  That went away gradually over the weekend.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Immunization Blues

The girls had to have well checks for me to get Hannah her allergy medicine and Genevieve needed a physical for an activity.  They ended up both needing the tetanus shot and I went ahead and got them the flu shot as well.  Bobby and I also got the flu shot.  After Genevieve got her shots, she got majorly pale and nearly passed out.  We had to lay her down with a cool cloth for about ten minutes. 

Bobby had seen us all get shots without crying and we told him he'd get a lollipop if he was brave for his shot.  So he laid right down and was talking about his lollipop when she gave him his shot and he started screaming like he'd been completely betrayed.  We sat him up and she handed him the lolli and his crying instantly changed to laughing without missing a beat.  Genna had been laying down next to him and she asked if he was crying or laughing because the transition was so seamless it was hard to tell without looking at his face.  I wish I'd captured that on video. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Random Cute Pictures

Because I couldn't find a good post for these, you get a bonus picture only post!

The sign reads, "Bobby pooped."  Isaac was trying to tell me that he needed a diaper change, but I was teaching the girls math and so he thought this would work and it did.  :)


The girls have been practicing with the German basketball team for over a year now, but it is only in November that they were finally approved (paperwork and all that done) to play in the games.  It has been difficult to get all the information, but we are finally getting in the swing of things.  Poor Genna usually has to play against mostly boys because basketball is not a popular or common sport in Germany and there are not enough girls to make full teams besides her own.  Hannah only has two girls in her age bracket and, therefore, plays up with the U16 team.  Both are a challenge, but that could be good.

Below is a video before Genevieve's game of their challenge ritual they do here.  I think it is very fun!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A New "Do" for Judah

I finally acquiesced and got all three of the youngest boys haircuts in a salon instead of just Drew.  I think Judah looks better with more hair than his typical buzz cut, but I just can't seem to do a good job with a pair of scissors.  I buzzed Isaac and then took the other three to Drew's hair dresser.  Judah was looking sharp!

Bobby's hair is just growing at different lengths and needed some trimming.  It really didn't look too different and so I didn't even get an after photo that day.

This is his Popeye face that he does frequently.
Everyone likes his new hair here on the homefront.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Camping and Hiking

The Friday before All Saint's party and Halloween was one last day of good weather.  Brian came home from work and took the three willing kids camping for the night in a castle ruins above a village only ten minutes away from our house.  This was very last minute decision and it was only possible because they didn't need much preparation since they set up camp and then went into town for a pizza dinner.

They said it was very cold at night even with all the layers I sent with them.  Other than that they had a lot of fun and they came home after a bakery breakfast, ready to go on a major hike.  Again, I got to stay home for this one with the littlest two, but Hannah was forced to get out of the house and go with them this time.  When they do the Teufels Tour it is a long one and they usually start from home and have me pick them up at a restaurant that is somewhere around halfway.  

Hannah doles out her hugs sparingly these days, so this picture is a real treat for me.

It ended on the "Giant's Bench" in a fit of sugar highs after getting a lot of ice cream and treats at the restaurant.

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Genevieve literally worked on her costume for the whole month of October.  She wanted to be Hestia the goddess of the hearth.  She found pieces of clothing from her closet and the dress up box.  Then she cut out a bunch of flames from different colored paper and glued them together.  She then pinned them all over the clothing.  She taped some to a black headband and some to a flashlight.  I was proud of her for her diligence and her creativity.

Bobby wanted to be Captain America from our dress up box.  Judah had asked for a Robin costume for his birthday.  Drew got the Luke Skywalker costume and Isaac the Jedi robe for gifts this year.

Hannah used Genna's Saint costume gown for her easy costume of Athena.

We met up on base with some homeschool friends to go trick or treating.

Bobby's friend hat loves to give kisses!

Bobby trick or treating!
It was a cold night, but not too cold for costumes as long as we layered underneath.  Bob and I were pulling up the rear big time.  He wanted to go home about halfway through, but he kept going.  Everyone had a friend and so all were happy!