Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Isaac Turns Nine and Takes a Rain-check on his Birthday Celebration

In the middle of the week of the sickness where we only left the house to go to the already scheduled doctor appointments and take Isaac to golf camp, Isaac turned nine.  I let him open all his gifts on his birthday, but we postponed his birthday dinner and his cake because no one would've been able to enjoy it anyways.  Plus, I was on Bobby holding duty the whole week.  So we postponed it until Saturday when everyone was feeling better except for our house guest, who had arrived jet-lagged and overly exhausted from a lot of traveling, just in time for this nasty disease to get him while he was down.  I guess I was the only one to escape it, although Isaac had an extremely moderate case of it.

So it was postponed.  Here's the gift opening pictures.  Take note of all the popcycle eating sickies.

Games, Legos, and books...what more could a boy ask for?

Isaac asked for a Lord of the Rings cake.  This is what I decided on from Pinterest.  I couldn't find a gold icing color, so I went with a mixture of yellow and orange to get this color.  Then I made the "Elvish" writing in black ink so you could see it.  It was fun!  I listened to the LOTR soundtrack on Alexa for inspiration.  I only ran out of room for two letters, so I was happy with that.

Made my sweetheart happy and that's all that mattered to me on his special day!

We went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, the same one Genevieve picked for her birthday.  Everyone was happy to get chips and salsa.

Isaac's nine year old privileges are to be allowed to walk holding Bobby (which he can't do yet because of his arm) and to have a date with dad (girls were with mom) to talk about growing up and "stuff."  We usually don't end up getting around to that until they are closer to ten, but we still count it as a nine year privilege.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Our Heavy Heart and Six Little Sickies

A couple of weeks ago, we had a whole slew of bad news and the children all (six) got very sick.  It started on our trip, when we got the news that Brian's grandmother had died.  On the trip we also got word that a dear friend of ours here in Germany that we've known for ten years had tumors in his brain and was having surgery soon.

The last day of the trip, I mentioned that Drew got sick and threw up all the way home.  Poor guy!  This is not the first trip that he was puking all the way home.  It also happened coming back from Nevers, but most of the sickness then had happened over the night before and not as much in the van as this time.  The next day his tummy felt better, but he developed painful sores in his mouth.  Then a few days later Judah got them, followed by Bobby, then Hannah, then Genna, and Isaac was the last to fall on his birthday.  Fortunately, the big kids had an easy go of it.  The youngest three though had sores for about three or four days before they could eat anything solid.  They were all so hungry, but it hurt so much to eat.  I was fixing them food or smoothies all day long.  They went through fifteen popcycles and four packages of jello in 24 hours.  Not to mention all of the ice cream and shakes, which was just what the doctor ordered when he confirmed what I suspected, that it was Hand Foot and Mouth disease.  Bob's well check had already been scheduled for the Monday after we got back and Bob woke up feeling feverish and wouldn't eat.  So the doctor had a chance to look at his mouth and even found the spots on his hands and feet that I had missed.  My poor, sweet Bobby had the hardest time.  He'd just scream a high pitched scream about every ten minutes and say his mouth hurt, while trying to rip it off.  He was hoarse by the end of the week because there wasn't much you could do to help him save ibuprofen and Tylenol.  He didn't enjoy the popcycles as much because it hurt to stick his tongue out far enough to lick them.

To make matters worse, Brian got it too and very badly.  He had to go to the funeral feeling awful.  Then his cousin died too.  And one final (God-willing!) piece of bad news was that I discovered that Judah has a hernia.

Whew!  It was a rough week and a half.  Our hearts are heavy for our friends and family, but we carry on with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rafting in Cesky Krumlov

When we arrived in Cesky Krumlov, we got settled at our respective hotels/apartments and then set out to find lunch.  We walked over toward the castle and then settled on a place on the river to eat at.

These kids have so much fun at meal times together!
Next we walked on up the hill to the castle and walked around it, taking pictures, and enjoying the view of the city/town from up there.  I was really looking forward to an iced coffee with an ice cream bar stuck in it like I had last year at the coffee shop at the top of the castle, but, alas, it was just a regular iced coffee this year.

Love!  We got so many good pictures on this trip!

The next morning we got up and met the rafting company right outside our apartment.  They took us and two rafts up the river for about a 15km rafting trip.  We stopped often on the side of the river to eat, drink, and play in the river making that trip a very long one.  It was the full day!  Bob and I had a little nap in the raft at one point.  Judah fell asleep at the end of the day too.

Last year, I didn't get to go rafting because Bob was too young.  This year we all got to go and we all fit just perfectly into one raft.  We traded kids out at stops sometimes between our two rafts.  We raced each other on and off , and the big kids all helped paddle.

Love this picture!

Judah crashed in the raft at the end of day 1.

Great picture at the end of day 1!  Judah had just woken up from his raft nap.

Day 2 was a bit longer of a distance, maybe 17km, unless I am getting these two days mixed up.  I am late writing this so it is entirely possible that it is backwards.  This day was basically a repeat of the fist day.  The food along the river was not super, but maybe I was just comparing it to Prague's delectable food options.  Lots of fried sausages and some questionable meats that they called hamburger patties were no ones' favorite.  The baked sheep cheese was good though.

Because the weather had been so hot, it was really refreshing to play in the water and not too cold.  The river was slow enough that there wasn't much danger of children floating off down stream, so it was a blast for the kids.  

The kids were loving this pond that had been made by some other people before us.  They kept trying to catch the tiny fish in their cups.

At one point we got tired of racing each other and tied the rafts together using the extra life vests.  Bob looks like he's jumping ship in this picture! 

Bobby fell asleep at the very end of the rafting trip on the second day and just slept through two chutes and unloading the raft, and then the dads dragging it up out of the water all the way until the rafting company came to pick us up and needed to load up the raft.  He has a straw in each hand that he held onto the whole time as well.

Our boatload from the view of the front seat where Bobby and I sat.
Poor Bobby got a bad rash from his wet bathing suit the first day, and on the morning of our departure Drew woke up sick.  He threw up all the way home, but he's a pro at it and hit that bucket every time.  Poor boy!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Two Days in Prague

This was to be our last vacation with our friends that we've been on so many European vacations with because they are moving back stateside soon.  So we first met them in Prague on Saturday afternoon.  We met them for lunch first and then we headed out to get ice cream in a "donut"cone and see a war memorial.  Then we went to Saturday vigil Mass at Our Lady Victorious where the Infant of Prague is kept.

Waiting for Mass, outside the church
The Infant of Prague
After Mass we had reservations at a Mexican restaurant called Cantina.  It was the best Mexican I've had in Europe.  It was delicious!  The food was divine for the entire Prague stay, so forgive me if I gush a little here and there.

The last time I was in Prague was in May or June of 2008 when I was pretty pregnant with Isaac.  I remember it being very hot then, and I was unprepared for how hot it would be this time.  Especially, if you consider that it had been pants and sweater weather in Germany the whole week prior to this trip.  We traveled slightly north east and the weather must have just flipped a switch because it was very hot.  Add that to a lot of uphill walks and the kids having no adjustment to the heat, and they were not as happy campers in between sites and meals.

The second day was even hotter than the first.  We started the day out right though with a later start and a brunch at a "fancy" restaurant.  We had fancy coffees, hot chocolates (melted chocolate with a little milk), croissant sandwiches, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and more.  The children were well pleased with this meal.  Then we did some site seeing and shopping.

Astronomical Clock
A chandelier and stunning ceiling...as I was standing here staring at it, Hannah came to tell me this was a Protestant church, but the design and all the Catholic stuff left me not convinced.

Look at this organ!
Then we went walking to a beer garden for some drinks and let the children play in a field next to us.  It was a long walk, but Bob wanted to get down and try to walk some of it.

And then this happened!  THE Best Hot Dog in the World!  I kid you not.  I wasn't even very hungry, but when we passed this street food stand, I HAD to try it.  A delicious hot dog with chopped beef, sauteed onions, cheese, and a jalapeno sauce.  My only wish was that my dad could be there to eat one with me.  I took this picture for him and sent it to him immediately.  He and I are real hot dog lovers and this one takes the cake.  His response was, "That's my kind of dawg!"
After our beer garden and hot dog stand, we went on a huge hike to get to a brewery for dinner.  I know that seems weird, but when you've seen your sights and got your souvenirs for people, the only thing left on the to do list is eat and drink more of the local flavor.  I shared a hamburger (also delicious) with Isaac since I had just eaten that amazing hot dog.  Although the walk was so long and steep and hot that I had worked up a little bit of an appetite again.  You wouldn't believe the amount of water the kids drank at dinner!

Bobby at dinner, he was tired.

Being silly might wake me up!

All the kids lined up!

Notice the beautiful sky, while standing on this hill talking to a Canadian and an American, it quickly changed to a dark gray.  We did not make it back without the rain starting up, but our friends' hotel was closer so we rode out the worst of it there and then headed home kind of late.

On our walk home after the rain went to a drizzle.
The next day we all woke up and went towards Cesky Krumlov, the rafting city that we went to last year to meet up again for another adventure.