Saturday, September 15, 2012

Action shots

**Disclosure- most of these great photos were taken by my friend Margaret who grabbed my camera.  The bad ones are mine.  :) **

This little lady ate them as fast as she strung them!

 And this young lady was my helper with the painting table!

 Some kids opted for abstract art.

 While others were very meticulous.

 Over at the Robot Factory there were some very creative interpretations.

Lots of teamwork!

And so much gloopy-glue fun!

The wind blew over the number 2 while we were singing and Mav was saying "TOO LOUD!"

 He was ready to eat some cake!

 And it was awesome!!  Perfect tutorial to make this cake here.

 This is one of the only pictures where you can see Mdx's dress, that I made for the party.  I didn't have a pattern, so I made one up- which equals ripping out over 50% of the seams because I made mistakes.  Oh well- sew and learn, right?

 Then we opened the presents that our sweet guests brought, and were so thankful for fun and friends!   Taking suggestions for next year's theme now!  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Maddox is really into Art.  And when I say "really" I mean that everyday there is some kind of project going on in our house.  Coloring, painting, cutting, gluing, etc.  I draw the line at glitter.  Maverick is really into messes, so it works out well!  I decided to have an "Art" themed birthday parties for the kids, and a combined party, since their birthdays are so close together.  They've shared every birthday party they've had since Maverick was born, so hopefully we can continue this as long as possible!

Now, before you go thinking I'm Martha Stewart, let me just be honest.   I really don't enjoy throwing a party.  It is stressful, expensive, and a lot of work.  But, even though Marshall is gone and I didn't feel like it, I had to do it for my kids.  So I stole found lots of ideas that other people came up with, and copied them.  I don't try to pretend they are my own!  I am very good at executing other people's plans.  And truly, I'm so glad I only have to do this once a year.

The party was in our courtyard, and it was a windy day- but beautiful!  My friend Julia's daughter C, and my friend Ursula came over to help me decorate- I couldn't have done it without them!

I got these aprons to help keep the kids clean while they did the art projects.

There was a threat of rain, so we did everything in the carport.

Did you know that Froot Loops are spelled that way?  I don't buy them, so I did not.  But they are.  These were a hit!

We had canvases and paint so these kids could paint whatever they wanted.  The egg cartons were used as palettes to hold the paint.   As you can see, German eggs come in 10s instead of 12s.

I saved boxes, plastic tops and odds and ends to use as Robot materials.  Stickers, buttons, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes were also used.

They were so cute!

Sugar bombs, also known as marshmellows coated with frosting and rolled in sprinkles!

Tie-dye cake.  The inside was awesome too!  (coming in next post!)

Rainbow jello.  It took 3 days to make this because of all the layers!

Thank you pinterest for this idea!  Paint chip utensil holders!

Finally an idea that was my own!  (Skittles) Creativity seeds.  The label says "Eat of few of these and let your ideas blossom!"

Goody-gifts.  Each child got a paint set to take home.  The sticker say "Thanks for making our party a Masterpiece!"

Next post- pictures of the kids at the party, and all the MESSES being made!  :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Berlin Zoo and Sanssouci

After the chocolate factory Mav passed out in the stroller, and we headed to the Zoo.  It was a sunny and HOT day, but there were still crowds!  I hope you don't mind, but I didn't really take animal pictures, I figure just about everyone has already seen a million pictures of a monkey.

This is the side entrance to the Zoo.

This is the Aviary, it was pretty cool looking!

Finally, a decent picture of me and the kids!  Mav had just woken up and did not want to smile.

Mdx is pretending to feed this massive gorilla statue, while Mav wanted to get on top of it, and Rachel was happy to oblige!

This is the next day, when we headed to one of Frederick the Great's palaces, called Sanssouci, which means "Without Worries" or something like that.  He actually hand drew the plans for how he wanted the palace to be.  The day was cooler and Mav was in a better mood!

Mdx really wanted to be the Princess and live in this castle.

They built these fake Roman look at.  

The courtyard of the palace.

We got to go inside, but couldn't take pictures.  We got a handheld audio tour, and the kids each got one too.  Mav just pushed all the buttons and kept using it like a telephone, but Mdx actually listened to the whole thing!  I was surprised! This palace was strictly for Frederick and his philosopher friends to hang out in, basically no women allowed!

Amazing gardens and fountains!  I definitely remember visiting this with Andrea and Brigette when Emily and I came to Germany in 1994.

The rainbow of flowers was gorgeous.

Mav enjoyed playing with his shadow- you can barely see it, but his head is really sweaty in this photo!  Also, some Asian tourists took pictures of me, taking pictures of him.  :)

 This was the New Palace, for the women and guests (and later for other German monarchs). 

Rachel, Maddox, and I definitely walked miles and miles the few days that we were there!  I can't wait to go back to Berlin and see some of the other stuff in town like the Reichstag, and Checkpoint Charlie.  Our train trip home was delayed because the heat made the trains break down (supposedly), and the kids were sweaty, crying messes by the end of it. However, ALL the people we encountered were overwhelmingly friendly and helpful.  So many people offered to help me with the suitcase (small carry-on roller bag) or the stroller.  Everyone was so nice to Mdx when she talked their ear off on the train, or while we were waiting.  So far Germans are doing their best to compete with the Koreans in how nice they are to me and the children!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ritter Sport in Berlin

Our friend Rachel lives up in Potsdam, and invited the us up for a weekend visit.  I thought about driving, but then decided that would stress me out- and I really HATE driving in the bigger cities here!  6+ hours in the car with my two kids (alone) just didn't seem like fun.  So I decided we'd take the train.  The cost was around the same as driving, and it would take around the same amount of time (if not for the two broken down trains, but I digress).  We used public transportation once we arrived, and it was great!

Here we are waiting at the bus stop in Rachel's village, to head into Berlin.  There is graffiti everywhere in Berlin- it was so strange to see it!  Notice in this photo Charlie Sheen is #winning.

We headed into Central Berlin to the Ritter Sport Chocolate factory.  When you first arrive you get to create your own chocolate bar that you pick up when you leave.  There were so many ingredients to choose from like mini marshmellows, rice crispies, all kinds of fruit, coconut, etc.

 You could get white or milk chocolate.

They pour your mixture into a mold, and then it goes into the fridge.

Of course the gift shop was a big hit!  This is a tower of all the types of chocolate they make.

My kids definitely love Ritter Sport!

We stopped at the cafe upstairs and had this chocolate shaped piece of Mousse.

So true.  I am not strong.