Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

OK, so a pre-church pic. probably would've turned out a little better than this post-church shot, but we were in a rush to get to the train.  I loved the homemade presents the girls made, wrapped, and hid for everyone.  I also liked this video that our friend shared with us today.  We know the young woman riding the train during the shot that says, " a clean slate."


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Year's


A great time with the Lagunes Family!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas 2013

Some of my favorite moments were seeing how excited the girls were to give their thoughtful/homemade gifts to each other and to Myles and me.  We're thankful for all the family and friends in our lives who made this season such a nice one.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Markets

After Myles' work party, we had a chance to walk through a Christmas market downtown.

The quality of this pic. isn't real great, but you can see the traditional clothes some of the vendors are wearing.  At this stand, they are selling fresh candied nuts.  They smell and taste so good!

The girls in front of a fountain all lit up.

Part of a little fairy tale land they had.  Notice the mushrooms and hedgehogs on the bottom--very German.

A department store with a circus theme this year.  I remember thinking it was fun to see windows like this downtown Chicago as a kid.

A lot of the stuffed animals moved and were really cute. 

I was sorry I didn't have our camera with us when we went to 2 other markets.  They often have rides like carousels.  Last night, Robyn went ice skating at a one with some friends.  Whenever you buy food or drinks, you pay a deposit and use "real" dishes.  It's quite the experience to just walk around and take it all in.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Italian Style

My good friend from Italy brought over 2 huge traditional Italian cakes for us-one with powdered sugar and one with raisins and dried oranges.  She has been patient with my German and so kind about helping us out ever since we got here.  It was so "sweet" of her to bring an Italian Christmas party to me so Ivy wouldn't have to wake up from her nap early or go out in the cold.
The cookies in front are from a German neighbor.  Cookie baking is not something they do for Christmas in Italy, my friend told me.  I should have asked more about what they do, besides eat yummy cake! 

Especially during this busy season, time with friends and family is one of the best gifts of all.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

German Christmas Traditions

This year, Carly made us a fun, big advents wreath.  On the first Sunday in December, we light the first candle and do something together as a family...

like sing Christmas songs.  Then, we light it every night at dinner or when we read scriptures together.  Every Sunday, we add another candle.

Macy checking out what she got from St. Nicholas.  They like it that they get to hang up stockings on Christmas Eve, too.  There are some benefits of embracing both cultures :)

Carly's Birthday

They have the cutest napkins here!

A double digits crown from Dad.

A bracelet loom from Gram.

One of my favorite parts of the day--Macy and Robyn giving their present to Carly.

Crepes for breakfast.

Gingerbread house from Aunt Rita.

Carly seemed extra excited for her birthday this year.  She got to bring American brownies for her treat at school and pick the game for P.E.  She continues to be creative and thoughtful.  We're so glad she's in our family!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Germany!

Here are 2 of the missionaries serving in our area--one from Finland and the other from Utah.

Thanks to our friend, Susie, we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.  She rode her bike around town in search of American oddities like sweet potatoes and marshmallows, cooked for 2 days, and made everything just perfect.

It ended up being a send off dinner for Elder Pearson, as well, who is headed to eastern Germany next.  Macy, Carly, and Robyn were great table setters and servers.

It was fun for Ivy to get to wear her "My First Thanksgiving" onesie from Gram.
I loved the idea of using hollowed out peppers to hold the dip.

We are sure blessed in more ways than we can count.  Hope this Thanksgiving Day finds you happy and healthy, as well.

Clean up Crew

Steve and Myles having a fun time cleaning up together.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ivy's 6 months!

It's hard to believe she's this old, and yet if feels like we've always had her.  I didn't take either of these cute pictures--the girls did.

It's fun to see her personality starting to develop.  It seems like every day she has a new trick.  Lately, she likes wrinkling up her nose and making sniffing sounds.  The girls think it's hilarious.  She also likes to growl like a lion, and is starting to get into things that aren't her toys.  She responds to her name and "Daddy." She also likes smacking her lips, playing with her tongue and clapping.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Czech Republic

We were blessed to get to take a road trip during the prettiest time of year with the leaves in their prime.  Our first time to the Czech Republic, we saw the sights.  This time was more relaxed with more time enjoying our friends in their new place about 30 minutes away from downtown.  We did go to church downtown, which was neat.

All of our kids played amazingly well together, especially considering that they have no language in common.  Their oldest remembered a few words from his short time in German kindergarten, and had fun teaching us some Czech.  We learned lots of animal names and sounds.  One time, I was holding up a pair of socks, trying to ask him what to call them in Czech.  He looked at me like I was crazy, pulled them apart for me, and showed me what to do with them.

Their home, lifestyle, and area reminded me of Montana.  We enjoyed trying new foods, playing games, going on walks, and just being together.


After staying outside of Prague, we stopped to see our church's temple in Freiberg on our way to Berlin.  The gardener gave us a personal tour of the area and visitors' center, which was fun.


The girls appreciated the Halloween decorations and surprises that awaited us at our friends' place in Berlin.  They walked around with us all day to show us their favorite spots downtown and point out neat things we would've otherwise missed like the bricks running through the street where The Wall used to be, gold memorials in the cobblestones to the Jews where they used to live, and the best place for currywurst in town.  I never thought I'd see The Wall in person or get to take my kids to see it, so that was a neat experience.

Another highlight was seeing the sites made out of chocolate and the girls getting to design their own chocolate bars.  We also enjoyed "seeing" and eating from Paris in one of the malls.

Halloween was a different experience at the zoo in Berlin.  Our friends joked (maybe not so jokingly) that the scariest part of the "scary walk" were the moms and all the kids in strollers in the dark.  Or, maybe the open candles everywhere.  Or maybe the real, live maggots in the "feel box."  Not so many restrictions here as in The States for these kinds of things.  Luckily, they were good sports about it, and our kids were happy to get to dress up and celebrate in a memorable way.

On our way home, we found a pretty park in Leipzig for a picnic and playtime in the leaves.  Ivy did well in the car, thanks to her helpful and entertaining sisters.

I returned home feeling rejuvenated--a sign of a great vacation.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Apple Time!

A friend gave us a bunch of good baking apples from her tree, so we decided it was time to make some apple pie to go with Ivy's apple shirt for her first time in the high chair.

Just kidding! 
Luckily, she seemed just as happy to try her first food--German cereal.

The big girls were super excited to each take a turn feeding her.

They'd been counting down the days 'til Ivy could start eating real food.

Enjoying her washcloth for dessert.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin time!

Macy and I had fun making these cute, easy pumpkins together found here.  It was her idea to use them as invitation holders for her friends to invite them to a program at church.  I think they could also be cute as napkin holders for a party with people's names on the leaves.

Last year at this time, we announced we'd be adding a pumkin to our patch.  This lil punkin is growing like a weed!  Although she's not crawling yet, she's rolling and moving around in circles to get what she wants.

She does make us smile.  Yesterday when Macy was holding her, she said, "I'm so grateful that we have you."  So sweet, and I sure agree!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Do you have someone to thank, but you don't know who?

My brother introduced me to a site called anonymous thank yous, and I just noticed that they published my story here.

What's your story?