Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fasching!

Today, Germany celebrated Fasching (their version of Mardi Gras). It is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday when Lent season begins.

Around here, the Germans celebrate with parades and candy and most of the schools take off. Everyone dresses up in fun costumes or just strange outfits (both those attending the parade and those in it). Various groups sign-up to be in the parade. Since ours is so close to an American military base, there were several groups of Americans involved, like Girl Scout troops and military bands, as well as, German groups.

As the floats and bands pass by you greet one another with a hearty "Ralau!" and then take cover as candy comes flying at you. (Mental note for next year: bring a bag to collect candy in! There is THAT much thrown!) They also chant something that sounds like "Allee-oop" while waving their arms in the air above their heads.

It is quite a festive atmosphere. Everyone is smiling and cheering. There are carts along the side of the parade path selling hot pretzels, fries, and beer. There were a lot of fun colored wigs that Alethia was fascinated by. And lots of loud music to bob to.

These are chimney sweeps with patches of clovers and pigs on their costumes...all considered good luck here in Germany.

We decided to attend the parade today despite how worn out Anthony and I were feeling from our long weekend with the middle schoolers and I'm glad we did because the kids really enjoyed it. Alethia dressed-up in one if her fairy dresses and Masami donned a mix of his super-hero accessories.

So, happy Fasching to all of you! I guess I need to figure out now what I'm going to give up for Lent. What are you doing?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How We Celebrated

We do not usually do much to celebrate Valentine's Day mostly because Anthony's birthday falls in the same week. This year, however, our chapel sponsored a dinner for couples. How could we pass up a free dinner with friends at a cool place?!

Our friend, and single coworker, Heather, watched the kids for the evening. They love her, so it was a treat for them too. She is also one of my most fashionable friends with the added benefit of being my size, so she gladly took the role of my personal dresser for the evening. It was really fun to get dressed-up and feel pretty for a night.

We are blessed with many good friends at our chapel. So, on top of a nice meal, we had great company.

And some fun entertainment which included Anthony serenading me. You have to admit it takes some guts to pull out Boys-2-Men at a church function! :)

It was really a wonderful evening! And I even got a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from Anthony on Valentines Day. I know, I'm spoiled! ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 10, 2012

Superheroes vs Pirates

Did you ever wonder who would win a battle of pirates versus superheroes (with a little help from Simon of The Chipmunks)? Well, Masami and I have, so we ran some trial battles this morning.

It always ended the same way with the pirates ravaged and the superheroes victorious.

I'm not sure but it could have been fixed. :)

Victory dance...

I'm so blessed to get to be a part of his wonderful, imaginative play!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Alethia's Fancy Nancy Tea Party

Last weekend, we officially celebrated Alethia's 5th birthday with a Fancy Nancy Tea Party.  For those of you who are ignorant of who Fancy Nancy is, she is every little girls favorite book character these days.  Nancy is a little girl who likes to be fancy in all that she does.  So, she walks around in frilly dresses, boas, and lots of accessories and uses big, fancy French words when she can. 

Striking her "fancy" pose

 Alethia knows these books well and loves Fancy Nancy.  So, it seemed like an easy choice for a party theme.  The party was for Alethia and one of her best friends, Moriah.  We had the tea party at the youth building where Anthony works.  We decorated the room with rolls of lavender tulle and strands of twinkle lights.  We made up the table with a friend's pretty European china set.  And we made lots of fancy petite food. 

The birthday girls

There were six little girls in all.  Each guest was greeted at the door with a tulle flower corsage and a pile of fancy high-heels and other accessories to put on.  Then, we made tutu skirts (with lots of help from their moms) which all the girls wore for the party and could take home.  They had their tea party complete with petit fours and chocolate covered strawberries.  Most of the girls opted for hot cocoa or cider in lieu of tea, though.  We ended with a fun game of hide-and-seek (one of Alethia's favorites at the moment). 

Alethia had been anxiously awaiting this party and it met her every expectation.  She had a great time.  When we got home, I had saved a few last birthday gifts from family for her to open.  Among them, her American Girl doll look-alike.  Here's the back story:  for months, she has been asking for an American Girl doll.  Some of her older friends have them.  I feel like they are a bit expensive for a 5 year old girl.  So when she received birthday money from her grandparents, I went on-line with her and let her pick out a Madame Alexander doll (much more in our price range) and she even had enough money to get a couple of outfits with her.  The deal is that if she takes good care of this doll, then we will consider getting an American Girl in the future.  So, her doll arrived in the mail the week of the party, and I saved it for her to open afterwards.  She was ecstatic!  She has barely put the doll down since she opened her.  Alethia has named the doll Emma and changes her daily from her PJ's to her clothes to her bathing suit and back again. 

Alethia & Emma

All-in-all, 5 will be a birthday she remembers with joy.  And that makes me one happy Momma!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dance Videos

Here are the videos from Grace Studio's performance of the Nutcracker and their Winter Showcase.

This is Alethias performance in the Nutcracker as a little snowflake:

And this is Anthony's hip-hop class performance in the Winter Showcase:

Our Little Snowflake

In December Alethia's ballet class danced in the Nutcracker.  I have to say that all of the preballet dances were just so stinking cute from the little mice to the German dancers who threw candy out at the audience!  Alethia's class were the little snowflakes.  She loved performing on stage and getting so much attention.  They had two shows and Granny got to be here for the first one.  She had lots of others come to see her dance, as well.

Gin & Granny

Alethia with her ballet teacher, Miss Jenny

The Hooke family

Miss Gracie & Destiny

Heather & Kat (one of our students who was also in the ballet)

After the Nutcracker, the dance studio hosted a winter showcase for the non-ballet classes to perform.  This year Anthony taught a hip hop class at the studio with students from age 7 to adult.  This was their first performance.  It was really fun to see him and his students dance.

I'm so proud of both of my dancers!  This semester, Anthony will be teaching a children's hip-hop class and a teen/adult class.  Alethia is moving up from preballet to beginning ballet.  And I'm thinking about trying a dance class myself this semester?! 

***Videos to be posted soon!:)