Monday, April 23, 2012

Hello, Monday

Saying hello to the week with Lisa Leonard.

Hello, April weather.  It's been rainy and sunny, windy and calm, cold and warm the past few weeks, and I'm expecting that to continue this week.  Makes for difficulty planning outings with the kids, but I love seeing the amazing colors of the clouds, sun and rain.

Hello, preparing for the US Consulate Bazaar in Frankfurt and Kaufladen in Darmstadt- I'm excited to participate in these events (and hoping to accomplish much this week!).

Hello, cute kids!  I am really glad to be photographing more of our life since beginning this blog.  It helps me remember how many really great moments we experience as a family.

Hello, choir - it's been so nice to be back singing!  Hello, Grapevine (English-speaking Bible study in Oberursel) - I'm looking forward to returning (with healthy kids!).  Hello, being thankful for the many, many things that I have and experience.

What are you saying hello to this week?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Food Friday - Beet-Feta Salad

I love salads.  Nothing says to me "adult meal" like a nice salad.  Most times when I'm at a restaurant, I'll order a salad and savor using a knife and fork (two hands!) to eat my salad...I guess the years of eating one-handed while feeding little ones with my other hand have made a strong impression.

Currently, this is my favorite salad for dinner - quick, easy, nutritious and delicious.

Beet-Feta Salad

1 cooked beet or 6-7 sliced pickled beets (from jar), chopped
3 Tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted
125g Feta cheese (about 1/3 cup) crumbled or in chunks
1 Head of Butterhead lettuce (or Feld Salat or another dark green lettuce)

Balsamico Vinaigrette Dressing

In a frying pan, toast sunflower seeds on high heat for several minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning.  Clean and prepare lettuce, add chopped beets and Feta.

Dressing: (OK, I've never actually measured, so this is my best guess)
1 Tbs Balsamico vinegar
3 Tbs oil - I use olive oil, sometimes with lemon or lime flavoring. Pumpin and walnut oils also work well and add a nice flavor.
1-2 Tbs beet juice
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt, pepper

Sometimes I add mustard to the dressing, which overrides any other flavors in the dressing (so I do that only if I'm not using a flavored oil).

Add sunflower seeds to the lettuce, Feta and beets and mix with the vinaigrette  - Enjoy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hello, Monday

Another Monday, another chance to anticipate with gladness what lies ahead of me.  I'm happy to have started this habit of linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Hello, Monday.  You're gray but that doesn't mean you'll stay that way.  We are having very changeable spring weather, which makes for lots of spontaneity.

Hello, Igor being healthy enough to be back at work.

Hello, apartment that is continuing to make steps towards being organized...this is so difficult for me to do/maintain!

Hello, ideas of picnics in the orchard, times swinging and riding bikes, reading books in my new-favorite place (I need a photo of our couch with the afternoon sun - herrlich!), making good food and simply enjoying this wonderful life I've been given!

What are you saying "hello" to this week?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Life

It's been a pretty crazy past few months.  Igor and I have made some major changes to our lifestyle (lots of slowing down and stepping back from activities/commitments) and yet for each thing we've given up, something else has popped up (family members needing our help in an emergency or an outside person demanding (in a stressful and not nice way!) our attention).  The other day, I asked Igor if this ride called Life would slow down and let us take a break.  Nope. But then I recieved an email from a friend and it reminded me of the New Life that is my Hope.  I'll just share her email with you, since I found it so beautifully written.

Christ died on the cross and rose again. He is ALIVE now!
I pray that you will know the power of the resurrection in your life.

Because we have been baptized into Christ Jesus we are ALIVE in him! (Read Romans 6:3-14)
Because he died we are a NEW CREATION! (Read 2 Corinthians 5:17)
Because he gave us his Spirit we are TRANSFORMED!

I have been praying that you will be confident in your identity in Christ. I pray that you will think of NEW LIFE when you see Easter eggs, chicks, & bunnies. And when you eat candy that you will- Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8.

Romans 6:3-14

English Standard Version (ESV)
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

2 Corinthians 5:17

English Standard Version (ESV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 3:18

English Standard Version (ESV)
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

German Design

There are many fun advantages to living in Germany.  One of them is being able to benefit from German design - so many things are simply taken to a whole new level of efficiency (like egg timers and flour mills).

Our family is particularly enjoying the balance bike (Laufrad).

The orignal design was by Karl Drais in 1817, who designed a bicycle without pedals (for adults).  In 1997, a German designer Ralf Mertens re-designed the "Draisine" to be child-sized.


We see these bikes quite frequently being used by children 2-5 years old.  They are so fun and practical!  And we frequently hear that using a balance bike helps children be able to more quickly transfer to a regular bike, since they already know how to maintain balance. 

The balance bike is definitely one of my favorite kid play equipment so far.  The kids are getting very fast on them (which is kind of nice - it gets me running again). I'm just seeing that very soon I'm going to need to re-learn how to ride a bike (something I've done about 15 times in my life).  Do you see balance bikes in your neighborhood?  Do you have any favorite children's equipment from your childhood or that your kids currently use?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hello, Monday

I'm linking up with Lisa Leonard to greet the week.

Hello, Monday!  I have high hopes for you - the sun is shining, Ivan has no kindergarten (Yeah!), and we're planning to go to the orchard this morning.

Hello, sunshine and spring! The plum trees are blossoming in our orchard - beautiful!

Hello, having more time for my family, now that Eintagsladen is successfully over - it was a lot of work but very fun!

I love this Amy Butler laminated fabric - so pretty!

Another favorite of mine - this retro fabric clutch

I love that we have a sunny picture of the two of us!

Hello, remembering the significance of this week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.

What are you saying hello to this week?