Monday, December 27, 2010


I'm usually a fan of keeping Masami's hair a little longer in front, but it was getting a little out of control with it constantly in his eyes.  So, since we do boy haircuts at home (with little prior experience), it is a straight-up buzz.  He'll have 2011 to grow it back out. 


Oh yeah...Dad got shaved too. :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Presents under the tree....

Stockings "hung" with care...

Snow blanketing the trees and roofs...It has been a peaceful and merry Christmas indeed.

Alethia was the first one up.  (Thankfully it was after 8:30 since her excitement had kept her up late last night.) 

Last night we did our last night of advent, lighting the candles and reading passages of the Christmas story.  The Christmas Eve Service at Chapel was canceled due to the snow, so we enjoyed a turkey dinner, then let the kids open a couple presents to play with until bed.  Our friend, Jennessa, stayed with us, so we played a game of Carcassonne before setting out the presents under the tree and heading for bed ourselves.

This morning the kids unwrapped presents in record time...this is the first year that they both understood the concept of unwrapping.  Alethia was excited to get the "painting" (easel) that she had been asking for. 

We had a nice brunch and some more play time.

So now the kids are napping and we are enjoying some mellow adult time.  Looking forward to our prime rib dinner and hoping for some time to reflect on the importance of this day and the greatness of the gift that God gave us through Jesus.  Feeling so grateful for the many "comforts" that we have, for the richness of life that we experience, and for the many sweet relationships that we enjoy.  How precious are these moments with my husband and children!

Praying you all are enjoying a rich and meaningful holiday with your loved ones!  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

It is chilly and snowy here!  School has already been canceled a few days (American school, that is...the Germans don't shut down for a little snow) and delayed on several others.  We have basically had snow covering the ground since Thanksgiving.  I guess if it has to be this cold, then it is nice to have the beauty of the frosted tress and rooftops and the fun of playing in the snow.  We got an inner-tube and sledded down the little hill in our yard.

We also made a snowman and some snow angels.  Alethia really likes playing in the snow, but Masami is not so into it.  It takes a lot of coaxing to get him to enjoy it for even a few minutes.  Like many of you are experiencing, this is an abnormal amount of snow (and cold) for us this early in the winter, so we are trying to enjoy it (even when we are shoveling the sidewalk).

We have gotten several inches of snow in just the last couple of days, then got about 6-8 inches more last night.  Chapel was canceled this morning, so we stayed home and played in the snow some more.  Alethia and I made a snow-dad and a snow-girl.  And while we were out shoveling and playing, we got another inch or two.  More is supposed to come overnight, so we may be a bit snowed in this week.  It is kind of fun! 

Our snow-dad with his "beard" and walking stick and our snow-girl

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our Budding Artist

In Alethia's classroom at school there is a drawer for each child to store their artwork to bring home.  For the first month or so of school Alethia's drawer was mostly filled with leaves and sticks that she had collected during recess.  Then, she started bringing home stacks of paper with just a scribble on it and bits of paper that she had cut up. 

A couple weeks ago. she proudly pulled these out of her drawer:

(They are kind of hard to see.)  I was surprised that she has graduated to actually drawing people.  She must have caught some artistic bug because she has been drawing a lot lately.

Then, last week when I was working on a stocking for my niece, Alethia sat faithfully by my side working on her own project for Lucy.  She was basically just cutting-up some fabric scraps, but she thought she was sewing.  So, I cut out a paper tree for her and she decorated it with her "sewing"...

 She also came home with a Christmas decoration that she made in school:

Now she is asking for "a painting" (an easel) and "a pink sewing" (a sewing machine) for Christmas.  It is fun to see her creative side developing! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Laternen Fest

A few weeks ago, we celebrated St. Martins day with Alethia's school.  It is an annual festivity that German children take part in.

All the children made paper lanterns at school for the celebration.  On that evening children, parents, and family members met at the school and paraded around the village...the children lighting the way with their lanterns. 

We were led by a trumpeter and made a brief stop to sing some traditional carols.

We ended-up back at the school for a short program (which, of course, was all in German).  The school yard had been strung with lights and it was a mild and beautiful evening.  Some of the older children sang for us.  Afterwards, there were brats and gluhwein and waffles for a small price. 

Our friend, Jennessa, came with us, and we had a great time.  Such a fun way to enjoy a fine Autumn evening.  It was fun too to watch Alethia interacting with her classmates.  She was so excited to see them and was searching through the crowd for certain friends.  We were able to chat with several of the other parents and get to know them a bit, which was nice too.