Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Five Finger Prayer

I have this laminated paper that has this cute "Five Finger Prayer" on it and sometimes when I am doing night prayers with just the littlest ones (usually if we get too late a start on family prayers I have to separate the little ones so I can get them in bed on time) I use this format.

Tried to get a close up, but it's laminated, so glare it is.

The other night when it was just Judah and Bobby and me praying in Judah's room, as is always the case on the thumb prayer, the one for "those closest to you," Judah doesn't pray for his family.  I always do pray for my husband and children for the thumb prayer, but Judah always prays for the same person.  He always prays for his friend, John.  I sighed and said, "You know I prayed for the people in this house that are actually physically close to me.  There are people close to your actual body that you could pray for on this one."  He immediately replied, "You are close to me, Mom, but John is close to my heart."  Ouch.  I guess I asked for that one.

Sometimes I think I can't figure this guy out, but he's adorable in a suit!  His longer hair looks nice when it's combed to the side, but it will not stay without a lot of hairspray.  He says he doesn't like it when it's stiff.  :(

Monday, October 30, 2017

Burg Eltz: A First for Everyone!

This was a castle not too far from here that everyone raves about and we had never made time to see.  It was an exciting first for us all together on our family's last day of their visit.  You park and hike to the castle through beautiful woods on a nice wide path around a hill.

It's like a fairy tale castle up on a hill out in the middle of nowhere.

We paid and went in first to satisfy the hunger of the wild children at one of the restaurants there.  They had soups, Flammkuchen, wursts, and such.  And after many trips to the bathrooms we finally headed out to find the guided tour.

Waiting on the English tour...

Judah has quite the personality, doesn't he?  He has been much better behavior-wise lately.  I hope it sticks!  We are trying out a little bit of hair on him again instead of shaving it all off.  

The tour was very interesting and the castle still had lots of the furniture in it.  My favorite part was the bedroom had an altar that was like a large closet with double doors that protruded out of the rest of the castle.  You had to step up into the altar because Jesus always had to be the highest in the house.  No room or anything could be level with or directly above Him.  Kind of cool, huh?

Would've made a great family picture if we could see Bob.  He's in the Ergo on my back, but all you can see is his hair peaking over Genevieve's head.

Selfie while hiking back to the van.

Love this hug!

Bob and I walking back to the van.  He always surprises me how far he can walk.  Once he asked to get out of the Ergo on the hike back, he never asked to go back in.  He can walk a long way now.
An epic finish to the epic trip!  We were sad to see them go, especially Isaac since that is his only cousin that is his age.  They were great buddies, and it gave me oodles of happiness.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fun Around the Village

Saturday was supposed to be questionable weather so we switched our plans and moved the last day trip to Sunday.  On Saturday instead we hung out around the house in the morning.  Since it wasn't raining yet, the boys went out in the woods again.  Bobby and Judah had been begging to go and I only let them go if the girls go or if I take them for a short 10-15 minute walk back there.  So, Auntie took them for a walk in the woods.  They took a book for any good reading spots they found. There are several benches on the trails and many tree stumps perfect for such things.

All the Boys!!!

When Bobby went down for a nap, everybody else walked to the main square of our village to attend the Curve (translation = carnival.)  It started raining on them and I ended up driving to pick them up once Bob was awake.  

This is in our center square.  They are eels, if you are wondering, because the name of our village is translated as Eel Bridges. 

After the carnival, we ran to the store to get some food for a potato soup dinner.  We went to our village church for the vigil Mass and then the adults got a night out without kids.  The big kids watched movies after the littles went to bed.  We went to a local favorite of ours for dinner.  We had hoped to show them the 100 year old bar that is leaning like the tower of Pisa, but it had already closed for the cold season.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Our Mini Tour De France

To top off our car troubles, we had more car troubles!  Our third car that just had a new transmission put in it started having transmission problems again.  It is supposed to be under warranty, so we are hoping all goes well with that whole process, but we will have to wait and see.  Probably, there will be a lot of waiting since it took 8 months to get it fixed to begin with.

Thursday of that week, Brian took his sister and family and some of our kids in a rental van to the Rhine River tour.  I stayed home and consequently do not have many pictures of their day trip.  Friday we all went to France, first to Souflenheim (the pottery village that I have been to twice previously) and then to Strasbourg (we've also been there several times.)

Souflenheim, as previously mentioned, is a precious, quaint town that has a plethora of potters that set up shop sometimes right out of their home.  We had a few pieces we were looking for and we found them within a couple of hours.  We didn't shop too long because we had all the kids with us and these shops crowded with breakable pottery are not the place for children.  The dads kept the boys outside while we looked in each shop.  After our shopping was complete, we ate at Creperie Hermine which is always a treat.  The children all got sweet crepes and the adults all got savory ones.  The menu, which is in French and German, is extensive.  

Here's an example of the preciousness of the town.  Nearly every house has amazing flowers like this.

Waiting on the moms to finish shopping

My favorite!
Then we drove a ways further to Strasbourg.  There was a good amount of car sickness going on during all this driving.  The van we rented had 9 seats, arranged in three rows of three seats.  You feel a lot more "closed in" I guess when the seats are so high and go all the way to the end of the car if you know what I am saying.  When we arrived in the city, parking was becoming hard to come by since we were still too tall for any of the parking garages.  After trying one and then having to back up and leave, an elderly French woman in a window three flights up from an apartment building was waving and pointing.  I was sure she was talking to someone else, but everyone else in the van thought she was talking to us.  Turned out she was motioning to us that there was an open lot around the corner to park in.  That just made us all laugh because it is certainly not something you'd see in the states.  In Europe, grandmas just hang out their windows and watch passersby.  In fact, in my village, some of the Opas (Grandpas) that have walkers, will walk up and down the main street and then just take a break sitting in their walker "chair" just watching the cars go by.  I think it's pretty adorable.  They say that the Omas (Grandmas) know everything that happens in the neighborhood.  I believe it.  One neighbor down the street was talking to Brian for the first time ever and knew that we had two boys in the Kindergarten in the next village because our village's Kindergarten was full.

We toured the Gothic cathedral and had a meal of Flammkuchen.  One of the Flammkuchens we ordered had the world's stinkiest cheese on it that we ended up scraping off.  It was too much even for Brian which is really saying something.  

Hello!  How cute is he?

I mean, really, this sweet Bob brings us so much joy, I can't even tell you!

We had promised the children a gelato stop.  We ended up at this chain gelateria that makes their ice cream into flowers.  You can get a macaroon in the middle too, but we'd already all had macaroons so we didn't get that this time.  I was sleepy and chose a scoop of ice cream in my coffee.  It was divine!

Just hanging out in front of an almost 600 year old cathedral, no big deal.

Brian swears we don't look alike.  I'm not seeing it.