Monday, July 16, 2012

Hello, Monday

Another week of linking up with Lisa Leonard as we greet a new week.

Hello, Monday...this morning is a bit different: both Monkey and Sissy are away, just me and Bubba:) 

Bubba's so amazing to see him standing in one place!
Also, Igor told me to pick him up from work at 6pm - he has a surprise family dinner planned.  I love surprises!

I love this guy:)

Hello, one more week of kindergarten.  I am really looking forward to Ivan's summer break!

Monkey and Sissy playing in a fountain at our local pool

Hello, trying new outfits...I'm in that can't-fit-into-regular-clothes-but-too-small-for-pregnancy-clothes phase.  After wearing the same two outfits the past two weeks, I'm ready to try a few other alternatives...mal schauen (we'll see).

Hello, week full of potential! I love starting the week out, thinking about the various activities there are ahead of us. I am learning to limit my activities and do much less. It's not an easy lesson, but it is necessary, and I'm hopeful for a week of living within my new limits.

What are you saying hello to this week?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fourth of July

First off, Happy Belated Fourth of July!

Celebrating Independance Day outside of America is certainly an experience.  First off, there is no rush to buy the normal picnic supplies, since no one else is preparing for a large picnic (or very few others).  This definitely makes my life a bit easier:)  However, finding guests who can come to your picnic can be rather tricky, especially if the Fourth is in the middle of the week.

Since having children, holidays that are unique to America and also family traditions on other international holidays have become very important to me. This year, we baked blueberry muffins and I sent them to Monkey's kindergarten group, along with a map of the U.S. and a letter explaining the Fourth of July and how it's celebrated.

My amazingly supportive husband has been making a habit of leaving work early to help me feel like we're really celebrating this holiday.  The past few years we've had picnics in our garden, some large, some small.  This year, we celebrate with good friends from a German-English family (although the Englander couldn't come since he was working).  As well as getting once again comfortable with grilling over our fire place, we were able to enjoy fruit salad (one of my favorite things about summer!) and smores (again, high on the "favorite things" list).

Because we're not here with an Ex-pat group, there's no larger organized gathering. It's up to me to decide how big or small to celebrate. As far as I've understood, the firework display that's offered from the US Army post in Wiesbaden is only available to us if we're escorted by someone with a goverment pass (either who works for the Consulate or is in the Armed Forces). Bummer. But since it doesn't get dark until 10pm, driving 45 minutes to a fireworks display at such a late hour with our kids isn't really an option I'd like to explore.

Igor's favorite food from the picnic
Instead, we're  happy with hamburgers, fruit salad (can I mention again just how good this is in summer!), and smores.  I've needed to become a bit creative with smores, since we don't have graham crackers.  However, chocolate covered "butter keks" work perfectly and marshmellows can be found in several larger grocery stores.  We end the day with our annual "give the kids a bath because they're covered in marshmellow, chocolate and dirt" activity.

If you're American, I hope you had a lovely day celebrating our freedom as Americans.  I'd love to hear what you did or what traditions you have.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello, Monday

Linking up to say hello to another week with Lisa Leonard.

Hello, summer weather!  We've enjoy sunshine, warmer temps and a few thunderstorms - I hope this keeps up! (especially the sunshine and warm weather)

Bubbles are a big part of our outdoor fun:)

Hello, Fourth of July!  I have way less energy/strength than previous years, but I'm very happy to be having a simple Fourth of July picnic on Wednesday - I hope the kids can get at least a small taste of American holidays through our family celebrations.

I'm still amazed at this guy - he's taking off early to celebrate July 4th:)

Hello, saying good-bye to good friends.  I'm so thankful, though, that they're moving within Germany and not across the world - finally, we have friends to visit who live in the country! (most friends live in larger cities)

Hello, week of accomplishing more "outside" work (by that I mean, not just the basic housework)....we'll see. I've been hoping to have much more energy since the beginning of June....guess I just need to keep being patiently hopeful:)

Hello, almost kindergarten break!  I am counting down the days until Monkey can stay home with us - although there is some extra work when everyone's home, it's really fun having us all together (except Igor who needs to work during Monkey's break).

Igor teaching Monkey and a friend some soccer basics

Hello, being patiently hopeful. I like the sound of that and hope I can apply it to my daily life.  There are quite a few "construction sites" in our life right now, and I want to keep working on them and not simply resigning myself to being disappointed.  "Patiently hopeful" sounds like a good attitude for me during this time.

What are you saying hello to this week?