Thursday, October 19, 2017

Divide and Conquer

Brian took his sister, brother-in-law, and oldest niece to Munich (Munchen) for Oktoberfest for a few days.  I stayed back with our nephew who is Isaac's age.  Here are pictures of their adventures in Munich first.

Oh yes, those are Lederhosen, traditional leather pants that the German men wear to these fests.

Meanwhile, back home we were chilling on the porch with all the nice weather.  The kids were listening to Weird Al some, playing a ton in the woods behind our house (building a fort), and playing games and Legos.  They also made slime and ate Chef Isaac's unique version of an ice cream pie.

A slice of ice cream pie for Bob
At bedtime, we tried to catch up on sleep and get to bed at our normal bedtimes while the fun and crazy people were away.  We did our traditional routines: family prayer time, separate stories for bigs and littles, and tuck ins.  The littles chose picture books, and I read Pagoo to the big kids.  Hannah doesn't like Pagoo, but everyone else has been enjoying it.  Unfortunately, we've been going through it slowly because usually Daddy reads Chronicles of Narnia at night right now.  I only have day times and nights he is away to read Pagoo so we may never finish it.

Bedtime Reading with my Littlest Two
Then we went to a gem mine that is an hour away with a group of homeschoolers for a field trip.  That was quite the adventure.  I have not been brave enough to sign up for many of the field trips since moving here because of Bob and Judah being so young and not being able to carry both of them.  The girls can help some, but they can't carry long distances and most things are not stroller friendly.  So, this seemed like a short enough walk to be able to handle it, and Judah is old enough now where he can walk further on his own.  It was a success until the end when it was time to go, way past nap time, and they both didn't want to leave.  There was some crying, but we made it to the van nonetheless.  Then there was more crying.  Hannah got a little frustrated that they were crying and I tried to explain that if we are going to take field trips, this is what it might look like on the way home.  They were pretty good during the actual field trip and she would have to be understanding that they were tired.  In retrospect, it is kind of humorous that the first field trip I took all the kids on in Germany I actually had seven kids instead of my normal six.  My nephew was, of course, no problem at all, but it just seems funny to me.

Bobby did throw a fit at the beginning of the tour because he saw someone had a red hat and he wanted that one.  The little boy gave him the hat, which I normally would have refused, but that Bobby's fit was making it impossible for people to hear the man speaking in the cave with the echo (and, of course, no where for me to take him to calm him down.)  So red hat it was for Bob.

Isaac found amber in the gift shop that matched his eyes.

I packed a picnic lunch for everyone to eat in between the tour and the "dig."

For the dig, they had an easy side where you could just look around and find gems to take home and a hard side where you had to find geodes and have the leader break them open for you.  The biggest kids did both and everyone came home with lots of gems.

Judah and Bobby were none too happy that I didn't sign them up for this part, but it wasn't cheap and I was not sure if they'd even be able to do it since I'd never seen it before.  Here they are pining to go in and dig for gems.  If was not easy to keep them occupied that long, and I am sure this dissatisfaction fed into the fits they both threw on the way to the van and in the van.
Our van suddenly started making awful brake sounds and so I have to take it in the next day after this trip.  The brakes were so bad they wouldn't let me drive home.  I had to have a friend pick me up and take me home.  This was a terrible time for this to happen.  We had day trips planned for the rest of the week while our family was visiting.  The Germans had a holiday which made fixing it take several extra days.  And then to top it all off, our extra car broke down as well on the way back from Munich.  So we were 12 people with one tiny manual car that held 5 at max.  Rental car, here we come!  And we still had to drive two vehicles everywhere because the rentals only go as big as 10 seaters.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Where we take many visitors...

We usually try to plan the first day of someone's visit pretty low key to give them a chance to recover from jet-lag.  This is one of our local places to take people for dinner and a taste of an old castle.  We went to the bakery in the morning and this castle for an early dinner.  We took a million pictures while the kids climbed all over everything.  Then we had a relaxing dinner before going home.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Happy Birthday to Two Cousins!

Remember that Drew already had his birthday party replacement at Legoland over the summer.  He had his birthday dinner in Gulf Shores, and now that we settled in a bit at home we finally were able to make him his cake.  Genna baked the cake for me because I was quite bus and she enjoys doing those sorts of things.  The only request was that it be a red Ninja Turtle.  I had left-over gold icing from Isaac's cake in the freezer and I ran out of green, so the gold shows on the sides, but here you have it!

His six year old privileges are to stay up a little later than the little boys and to listen to the big kids' chapter books.  Brian always rereads The Chronicles of Narnia series when someone new hits this milestone, and as I write this they are already through the first book.

He got to open our gifts to him also when we got back from our trip.  We got him a bag of mixed Legos, a Holy Heroes Saint story and a Holy Heroes DVD about the sacraments, a drawing book, and a sleep mask.  He's been wanting all of those random things, so he was happy!

Our visitors arrived on the Friday after we arrived home and so it was a perfect time to make the cake and celebrate with them.  Turned out to be even better because my nephew was turning 9 that very day that he arrived.  So, cake for two boys!

Happy birthday, Drew and Carter!