Friday, April 27, 2012

Just hanging out

Mav has decided that he doesn't want to sit in the high chair.  So, he is now at a booster seat at the table with the rest of us.  He also wants to hold a fork while he eats.  Notice I did not say that he uses it, he merely holds it because he likes it.
 Marshall took advantage of a break in the rain to grill out, and the kids and I watched from inside.  The highs are still in the 50s everyday here, we are hoping for warm weather soon!
 Someone is a copycat.
 Mav loves his new hat from Nina!
 This is his automatic response to seeing a camera.  How do I break this habit?
 And yes, there is such a thing as getting too close to the camera.

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's a Small World

As is probably the case for all families with smaller kids, the Small World ride was a huge hit with my kids!  Since Maddox's bedroom is done in a "Small World" kind of theme, I was on the lookout for anything in the gift shops that had "Small World" on it, or the characters, or anything, but there was nothing.  I was so bummed!  Oh well, I'll just have to keep searching Etsy and Ebay.

In the boat, getting ready to go in!
I won't embarass myself by trying to name all the countries here!

At the end of the day we had the big kids pose with this statue of Mickey's hand with the wand.  Mav wasn't feeling like participating, so 3/4ths isn't bad I guess.  I convinced Mdx to get a Minnie-ears headband, even though she originally wanted a Minnie balloon.  The reason is because I'm so mean that it was the end of the day and all the balloons had been blown up at the beginning of the day and were already losing their helium.  I knew she'd cry if she woke up in the morning to a deflated balloon, but Minnie ears would last longer.  So, there you have it.

It was great fun, but next time we want Daddy to get to come too!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

More Disneyland Paris!

Just like Disney World (and probably Disneyland too) in the States, they have a Magic Music Days program at Disneyland Paris, where schools groups can come and perform in the park.  This was a Russian Dance group performing during lunch.
The kids were totally into it!
I took S on the Haunted Mansion ride, and Anna took the littles on the Steamboat ride.
We got out of the ride just in time to see the Steamboat pull up!
There they are!  Hi Guys!
Sharing cotton candy.
We went to MGM Studios (right next door) and Mdx got to meet Minnie Mouse!  There was going to be a major meltdown if this didn't happen.  But what cracks me up is all the little kids collecting autographs...
Park food was not too expensive, but pretty much the same thing everywhere.  Hot dogs, chicken nuggets or fries.  That's about it.
Mdx wanted Gramps to see this car.

Still more to come!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A trip to remember!

I met a great lady named Anna here at Zumba class, and we became friends.  We enjoy hanging out together, and our husbands get along (this is important!), and maybe most importantly- our kids get along!  She has been here a few years already, so when she suggested taking a trip to Disneyland Paris together, I jumped at the chance!  For my first trip out of the country it would be a lot easier with someone already familiar with the area.  Marshall couldn't get any time off work because they are very busy right now, and Anna's husband couldn't either- so we planned a trip with just the Moms and kids.

We left bright dark and early at 4:30 on a Wednesday morning to start the drive to Paris.  We timed it so we'd get to the hotel, park the cars, and catch the shuttle bus to the park.  The drive was around 4 hours, and we stopped twice for bathroom breaks.  With 4 kids I think that is expected!  We had to pay around €35 in tolls, which wasn't bad.  I used almost a full tank of gas getting there, and had to gas up on the way home on Friday- and since France doesn't use the Esso cards that we can use to get gas off base at the subsidized price, that meant a tank of gas cost me €90!!!  WOW!  I'm not going to complain about $4.00/gal gas when the Europeans are paying much more!

Here is Anna's son A (not my kid, I'm not putting his name on here).  He's a character, and Mdx's best buddy.  This is on the shuttle bus to the park.

Anna's other son S tolerates the youngsters very well!
Carseat bed head is really attractive.  Mdx was very excited!
Maverick was having no-stop-looking-at-me-don't-take-my-picture kind of morning.  Which was totally my fault for dragging him out of bed at 4:15am.  But it was worth it.

Can you tell which kids are used to posing for pictures?
Main Street.  The first day we were there was pretty nice, it was probably in the low 60s, sunny and a little cold when the wind was blowing.  The second day was rainy and in the high 40s- we froze!!
Sleeping Beauty's castle
Swiss Family Robinson's tree house
This was a boat ride that went pretty slow, and the train you see is from the little kids' favorite ride- Casey Jr.'s Circus Train.  Maverick loved it, and it went pretty fast!
There were ducks in almost every water ride.
Mdx and A looking abnormally good.
Mdx and A looking normal.

More to come......

Thursday, April 12, 2012

German family members

Marshall's Grandma Mac was originally a Schlueter before she married a McIntyre.  She still has some Schlueter relatives who still live in Germany, and they keep in touch.  It's actually a complicated story of how they are all related (as many immigrant stories are), it involves step-family, cousins, you'll just have to believe me when I say that they are "extended" family.   When they heard we had moved to Germany, we got in contact, and found out that they live only a little more than an hour away from us!  They invited us up for lunch a few weekends ago, and it was so lovely!

This is Gertrud and Klaus.  They welcomed us to their beautiful (and huge!) home, and told us many awesome stories about the family.  Klaus has an amazing hand-drawn family tree, done as only an engineer could do.  They both speak great English, and are taking a trip to the States soon!

 The beautiful table set for tea, after we played outside for awhile!

 This is Lukas, Klaus and Gertrud's Grandson.  He doesn't speak English (yet!), but he still enjoyed playing with Mdx.

 This beauty is Hannah, their granddaughter.  She's even prettier than the Gerber baby!

 Here is Bernhard (Andrea's husband), Andrea (K&G's daughter), and Marius (K&G's son, and our main contact with the family).

It was a wonderful visit- I felt like we had known them forever!  We hope to host them next time at our house, maybe after their trip to America.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

Every kid needs to have an Easter Egg hunt for Easter, right?  We decided to host one, since we have such a nice garden at this house, with tons of perfect nooks and crannies in which to hide eggs.  I (of course) got excited and started planning decorations before I had even invited anyone!  We invited just a handful of people (heck, we only know a handful of people), but I imagine next year this will be a bigger deal!  I even called my Father in law for some Egg Hunt advice, since he hosts one for all the neighborhood children at his house every year.  It's like the White House Easter Egg Roll, except their house is tan, and they aren't rolling eggs, and he isn't the President- but anyway....

I made a few of these pennant banners once I finally (thank you Genevieve!) got my hands on some bias tape!  Note to self- buy tons of bias tape next time I'm home.
We hung the egg Mdx made at Kindergarten.
Yes, that is a Peep topiary.
This was a Pinterest idea gone terribly wrong.  Many bad words were said, and many innocent marshmellow birds were impaled (and in the end glued) in the making of this blasted thing.  But it's pretty.  Can't say I'd do it again.

Bunnies on the lawn- see my previous post!  Some smarty pants commented that they looked like mice- yes I realize that, but what is your suggestion to fix that?  Hmmm??  Exactly.  Don't criticize unless you have a better idea.  Or better yet, don't criticize at all.  So there, pinterest bully.
As if there wasn't enough sugar involved- you've GOT to have some Capri-Sonne!
Germany has these cute Easter plates all over the place.  They are laminated cardboard, so I got ten different pictures.  After the party I wiped them off, and you'll be seeing them again next year!
The Dads went out to hide the eggs.  Or drink beer.  Or both.  The eggs hanging in the trees and bushes were just decorations and didn't have candy in them.
Some of our guests!
Mdx and her best buddy!  He should have put his glasses on for the egg hunt!  :)
I think there are more in here!
Mav didn't care about the eggs, and he kept giving them to pretty girls.

It really wasn't too much work, and it was totally worth it!  Let's make it an Annual event!