Friday, January 31, 2014


Ned & Julianne flew home on the 2nd of January, and life went back to normal.  It's always kind of sad when the holidays are over.  But at the same time I get excited for a fresh new start to a new year!    Nothing huge happened for us during the month of January.  We celebrated both Omi & Grandma's birthdays (from afar!).  And Nathan and I had our 7th Wedding Anniversary on the 27th.  I was sick as a dog that day, so we didn't end up going out.  Instead we sat on the couch together and watched the Bachelor Wedding while Nate worked on his scout stuff.  That's the great thing about us.  We can be doing nothing at all, but as long as we are together we are happy :).  I am so grateful for a man who loves me, loves our family, and loves the gospel.  He works so hard to provide for our family, and he always supports me in whatever I do.  He plays with our kids when he gets home from work everyday, and he tucks them into their beds at night.  I couldn't ask for more!  Here are just a few random pictures from the month of January.

We played Pictionary for Family Home Evening one night.  Sawyer drew our family and I was super impressed.  He is getting better all the time!
Anytime the sun comes out (which isn't that often), we go out for a walk or bike-ride.  It's still cold, but at least its not raining! We haven't had any snow this year either.  Just lots of rain and clouds.  I guess we should be grateful that it hasn't been that cold.  I think it would be a real shock to our desert blood after all these years in the Southwest.
Since moving to Germany, Violet hasn't been taking regular naps.  Mostly by default, because we've been on the go so much.  Every now and then when we are home, I make sure she gets in a good nap. When she doesn't, she is likely to fall asleep in some random place in the house.  Like this bar stool, or at the dining table.  (side note--a few minutes after taking this picture she also peed her pants while sleeping on the barstool.  the potty has been a bit of a struggle for Violet)

We made one of our favorite Larson desserts for a family movie night--chocolate covered popcorn!  Mmmm...
The aforementioned movie night, complete with fort.

Isla has been pulling herself up to stand all over the place!  I think the first time I really noticed it was shortly after Christmas when I went to get her from her bed  (almost 8 months old).

The SUN!!!!  It DOES exist in Germany!

Finally checked out the Ramstein Aquatic Center and had a blast

Went to lock the front door before going to bed one night and noticed a light dusting of snow.  Nathan was so excited, he ran out with bare feet.  It was gone by morning :(
Found a snack that I used to eat as a baby.  It's called Zwieback...basically like little Melba Toasts.  Isla liked them.
Selfie in the church bathroom, haha. Isla is doing her little 'tongue behind the lip' thing. Also my screen was cracked, hence the fogginess on the camera.

Such a tender moment for me...both of my sweet girls asleep in my arms.

And another one...Violet wanted to help feed Isla.  Love it when she takes an interest in her sister.

 Grocery shopping!!  Isla has graduated to the shopping cart seat.

I have been trying to get Sawyer into the German preschool since we moved here, and I have not been successful so far.  We would really like for the kids to learn German, but I'll be the first to admit that I am NOT doing well teaching them on my own.  It is so hard to be the only one who speaks it, and it's not natural to me, so it requires quite a bit of effort on my part.  I really need preschool to help me out.  I have had contact with them here and there, but we are basically waiting for them to have a spot.  We are debating sending Sawyer to German schools while we are here, but I really wanted him to have a few months of practice before I make the decision about where to send him in the Fall.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he gets in soon!  In the mean time, I have had all 3 kids home with me everyday, all day.  It has been interesting.  Not as bad as I would have imagined.  For the most part, they get along so well.  Sawyer and Violet love to play together.  And Isla is about the easiest baby anyone could ask for.  And I've become pretty good at grocery shopping with all 3 too.  Not fun--but it can be done.  I feel like I am learning a lot about myself and expanding my abilities for patience and love.  It's a busy life, but it's a very blessed life.  I have so much gratitude in my heart for my many blessings.  And these 3 kiddos have a lot to do with that!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Battle of the Bulge

I asked Nathan to write the post for this event...since he was the one who experienced it.  Here's what he said:

Well I was called as scoutmaster and assistant deacons quorum adviser in Nov.  There was no time for a campout in Dec so Jan was our first campout as a new scoutmaster.  One of the things I have been trying to do is let the boys lead.  With a bunch of deacons (12 & 13 yr olds) I feel like it's kinda like giving a kitten a loaded gun.  So I had one boy reserve the campsite and then I figured out where we would go in the morning and do a hike.  I talked to the boy that was bringing the food several times and he said he always had everything worked out, so at that point I just crossed my fingers and hoped it would all work out.  I also then brought enough food for the scouts as a backup plan.  The night before, I downloaded a few documentaries about Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge and burned them onto 6 DVD’s.  (one for each car) Well off we went to Bastogne, Belgium.  We got there and surprisingly everything went very well.  We had plenty of food that actually tasted pretty good and it was the rain/snow mix the forecast said it would be.  The next day we woke up, the boys made breakfast and then we cleaned up and off we went to the city center of Bastogne.  The scouts here offer a special patch for hiking what's called the Bastogne Historic Trail.  It starts at a tank in the center of town then leads out of town to a memorial.  As I already alluded to, a very important, perhaps the most important battle, in the battle of the bulge took place in Bastogne.  It was fun to learn the history and then go and see the city.  At the end of the trail was the memorial and it was huge.  You could go on top and see the surrounding city and there were maps to tell you what you were looking at.  After we were done we went to the edge of town where there were a bunch of fox holes from the battle in the forest.  They were scattered about and part filled in from erosion but it was still obvious that they were foxholes.  Some could have been holes from mortar fire because they were very circular but most of them were all sorts of different shapes.  The boys loved it and soon started a pinecone war, complete with stick guns and pinecone grenades.  I was amazed at how dark the forest was, from the outside it looked like someone had turned out the lights inside the forest.  Well we came back, had some PB&J, and that was it.  I just cant imagine how those young men fought that war in the cold snow without all our modern equipment.  Here I was in my waterproof shoes, with nice snow pants and I was marginally comfortable.  We got a light dusting but during the actual battle there was a lot of snow on the ground, it must have been miserable.  They truly are the greatest generation.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Metz, France

We had a day off and decided to visit the city of Metz, France.  We went with our friends the Barons. It was a rainy day but we still had fun traipsing around, exploring the city.  We forgot our stroller sun/rain covers, but luckily we had a couple of umbrellas in the car.  Got some eclairs from the Patisserie--the maple one was to die for!

They still had their nativity up inside the cathedral.  The kids had fun looking at that.  It was a really cool one where they went through the entire story of the nativity in progression...

Nathan and Andrew went on the tour of the catacombs underneath the cathedral.  We thought it would be a short thing--an hour later they came out to two very exasperated women with a bunch of bratty kids in tow.  Our cell phones don't work outside of Germany, so we had to either wait outside the front door in the cold rain, or try and keep everyone quiet inside the cathedral.  Not cool.
I was in love with the purple gates on this church!
Ok so they were probably a little bored...

I am seriously coming back to this door for family pictures next year!  So cool!
I think Nathan is training our kids to mimic his facial expressions at an early age...