Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good Morning, Sunshine

This has been greeting us the past few mornings:

Love "like a bike" - so fun!

and this

Frankfurt has so many great parks!

and this

Preparing for Eintagsladen 5 (Sunday!)

oh, and this

New (unfinished) office corner

Spring is clearly here in Frankfurt, and we have been enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather (and doing some spring cleaning/room swapping craziness, too).

One thing I've realized is that if sunny, warm weather is here, don't take it for granted.  Get out, enjoy the sun and savour it, and when gray, rainy days come, remember the nice times you had in the sunny outdoors.

So, enjoy your morning and get outside in the sunshine!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Extra, Extra!

Well, it's not that big, but I am excited because today I was featured on the Rauschmittel blog in preparation for Eintagsladen 5 on April 1 in Darmstadt.

You can learn a bit more about my business Sissy Sue and what I'm currently working on (all in German, though) when you visit Rauschmittel.

If you're in the area, I'd love to have you come out to the Centralstation in Darmstadt next Sunday afternoon.  I'm sure it will be a fun time of finding inspiration and gifts (for yourself or others).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hello, Monday

Another Monday, another week of saying hello with Lisa Leonard.
Hello, week with possible sunshine and warm temps - last Thursday, Friday, Saturday were such amazingly nice spring days!  I hope we have more of these days this week!

Hello, Spring Cleaning (still!) and starting on some major re-arranging - can't wait to see how the changes look (mostly to be done next week but starting this week).

Hello, pretty normal week - meeting with friends, Bible study, cleaning, playing, going to parks and kindergarten.  I think you're going to be fun:)

Hello, week before Igor's vacation - I hope I use you well to get work done, so we can enjoy time as a family next week.

What are you saying hello to this week?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Theology Thursday - Words

Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

We just started learning this proverb as a family.  I am very thankful to have learned many proverbs with rhythm and motions as a child (thanks NCS!).  Although I haven't practiced these verses in many years, it's amazing to see how quickly they return to my memory.  This is giving me great motivation to help my kids also memorize Scripture, to keep this wisdom close to their hearts.

This proverb has a special place in our household right now.  For the kids, we're in a phase of using our words to hurt one another (which, I do think, is one step up from using our fists or biting our siblings) when one is offended.  However, regularly telling your brother or sister that they can never be your friend again or are no longer invited to your birthday party is not what we hope to have as sibling conversations.  And we're also seeing random "adult language" slipping into their vocabulary (it's currently popular in Germany to use "horny (geil)" as a "cool" adjective...not cool when it's your five year old calling something "horny" - what?!).  Also, since knights/Vikings/Romans/pirates are currently our favorite characters, the kids know a thing or two about swords.

Speaking from my current situation, this proverb is also very applicable.  How am I using my words towards Igor and the kids?  Is my speech bringing healing to a situation or simply cutting those around me with reminders of my frustration/anger/being offended?  I've found myself changing responses I would have made because of thinking of this proverb.

So this verse is perfect for our family at this time.  I'm finding myself asking the kids (and myself) if our words are healing or piercing.  It's a much quicker way to get to the heart of the matter (whether the problem is not sharing toys or pushing to be first or trying to get out the door with clothes, shoes and jackets on...we use our words to respond to the situation and need to remember which words we are choosing).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rita Storee - Story time!

Yeah! It's Rita Storee time again!
This Thursday we are looking forward to hearing Rita Storee share some of her favorite stories with us.  It's an afternoon activity that Monkey, Sissy and I really enjoy (and Bubba plays with a friend, so that works out well for all of us).

What I love about this story time is the amazing reading: Rita is actually an actress who bring other actor-friends to read with her (all members of Frankfurt's Theater Language Studio).  Their reading is no boring reading - it's captivating!

He looked like this the whole time!
A very tense part of "The Cat in the Hat"

This week Rita is sharing stories with us about "spring and bunnies and bunnies that spring!"  Sounds like fun!
If you live in/near Frankfurt, stop by the Bornheim Saalbau at 4pm. Admission is 3€/child (adults free)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

School Days

A few weeks ago, we recieved this:

It's a letter from the Education Department informing us in a very official manner that we are to report to our neighborhood school with Monkey.  Igor immediately planned to take the morning off (thank goodness!), and his collegues all agreed that you don't mess with the Education Department.

Now, besides having a school attendance requirement (in a certified school; no homeschooling), the system here is geared towards children starting school when they are 6 almost 7 years old (something which can drive my fellow Americans and British people a bit crazy....we just need to remember to be culturally sensitive, right?).  So Monkey is first required to start school in 2013, but needs to report to the school 1 1/2 years prior.  I think this is actually a good practice, since the school officials informally evaluate a child's German proficiency and, if necessary, provide additional help in learning German.

It is interesting, though, to think about us starting this (long!) schooling process here in Germany.  Kind of makes me feel like my culture shock is about to return in a whole new way.  But at least we still have several months before beginning school, so we'll enjoy the time we have and trust for grace and wisdom to do this school-thing as well as others around us.

At least after his visit, Monkey was very pleased that he recieved a panda bear postcard:)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hello, Monday

Another Monday, another Lisa Leonard link-up.

Hello, Monday with sunshine and chirping birds - wonderful!

Hello, returning to hanging out the wash (since it actually has a chance to dry, not just freeze or remain wet).

Hello, continuing reading The Wind in the Willows aloud to the children - I love sharing this book with the kids!

Hello, spring cleaning - I love/hate that this involves cleaning in places that other people will not notice (behind the closets, etc.)  I'm not sure if  I'll accomplish all I'd like to, but at least I'm motivated to start!

Hello, week full of promise - birthdays, park visits, sewing, a wedding, the German-American-Namibian Sewing Club, date night!

What are you saying hello to this week?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Food Friday

So, the past few weeks have been pretty stressful and tiring.  At first, I hoped it would just be for the last few days of February, but this first week of March wasn't looking too great, either....  So last night, when I was home alone with the kids, I indulged my "comfort" food of choice: ice cream.

Living in Frankfurt, I can have delicious "real" ice cream from an Italian Gelateria - so good and so cheap!  But I'm sure I'll post more on that later; it's one of our favorite cheap dates in warm weather:)

No, last night was purely about sugary sweetness just for me: Cookies and Cream

I only had time to run to our local (cheap) supermarket, so I had to choose an "American" generic brand, but it tasted great, so I can't complain (and some other time I'll talk about the "American" products that you find in supermarkets - very enlightening):

Now, this kind of adventure can only take place at night.  Otherwise, I have this:

before I can say, "Stop taking the food out of your mother's mouth, please!"

Oh, and speaking of comfort food, an American friend brought me Reese's PB Cups and Robins Eggs for Easter - awesome!  Now, if I can only hold out 'til Easter and actually share them with my family....

What's your favorite comfort/indulgence food?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Easy Crafts

The past year has done a lot to change people's perceptions of me.  Suddenly, people who have recently met me think I'm very creative, even "crafty" (and all those who've known me longer than a year are laughing at this, because up 'til now I've only been creative through my singing, definitely not through my handiwork).

Anyway, Create am Main's first Kreativtag went very well, and I had the privilege of preparing and leading the children's corner.  I found these crafts via pinterest/internet, so I'll just briefly describe the project and put the link to the source.

Yarn-wrapped letters - easy to make (mostly - "B" is not easy! "I" is:)) Simply cut out letter/number/shape and wrap with yarn.  You can use glue to help you on the tricky parts (i.e. corners, rounded sides).  http://www.delicateconstruction.com/

Scrap fabric letters - a great way to use very small fabric scraps.  Sissy and I made her party invitations with this technique, which was awesome, since she could actually do it!  Simply choose a motive (letter, number, shape) and glue fabric scraps onto it.  It's amazing to see the differences each person comes up with (lots of fabric, small scraps, particular shapes, colors, etc.)

Do you have a super-easy kids' craft activity to recommend? (I'm always on the look out for new, easy projects.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hello, Monday

I'm greeting another week with Lisa Leonard.

Let's try this again:
Hello, week with less stress than the past one (and I hope this time my prediction is right!).

Hello, recovering and reflecting on our Create! am Main's first Kreativtag - it was such a great event with a fun, friendly, creative atmosphere!  Unfortunately, today didn't allow me time to post photos....definitely some are coming soon!

Hello, warmer weather.  Because of the train strike, Ivan is staying home today.  We're going to the playground (like old times, when all three were home:)

Hello, another week of trying to figure out what is currently the best schedule for our family...I think I do much better with fewer choices (it's so hard to say no to a fun possibility!).

What are you saying hello to?