November 30, 2009

1st sunday of advent

starting the new church year with the 1st sunday of advent has been and still is a very special moment.
as a child i vividly remember of the joy and expectation when the time came light the first candle in advent. i want to pass this on to my kids and feel like it's still an important moment for myself.
just a moment of peace and quiet. a moment of reflection on the meaning of the 1st candle of advent, hope.
the candle draws attention to the anticipation of the coming of the messiah that weaves its way like a golden thread through old testament history. and we still hope and expect him to come again.

Now we watch for the day,
hoping that the salvation promised us will be ours
when Christ will come again in his glory.

November 27, 2009

apple pie

yes we were able to make an apple pie, amos helped a lot and it turned out super yummy. i used butter and could not believe how flaky the crust was. it was definitely not the sweetest pie i have made, but for some reason the boys really liked the tart flavor. naomi's voice sounded all excited as she announced: "mama i can taste the cinnamon!" there is a little gourmet in the making.

then this morning i was so happy, waking up, eating breakfast and the sun was out. naomi heading out to kindergarten, and together with amos we made the pumpkin pies. this time two, as we bring one to my brothers house.
i didn't have maple sirup in the house, instead i used local honey. even though i reduced the amount called for, it turned out to be a very sweet pie. of course, joel was excited about this!
and yes it was christine's recipe for the pumpkin pie! what a sweet memory, thank you jp neighbors for the recipes you put together (neighborhood school parents).

November 25, 2009

things i want to do during advent

everything has changed around our family, we will be in switzerland, our new home. advent in a new community setting, a different church, having the kids attend school soon, oh and so many more things. it's not easy for me to plan and predict how things will be this year.
the first time too to be around family for the advent and christmas time. i'm very much looking forward but am also a bit skeptical, as i got used to no family obligations. of course we missed our parents siblings and their kids, but there was also the time of enjoying to be just our little family of six.
the following is a list of things i will atempt within the coming weeks. i'm looking forward to prepare for christmas, be it a physical or spiritual act of getting ready and remember the birth of christ our saviour.

- get the advents calendar ready for our family (buy little gifts for 24 pockets) *did it
- bake traditional grittibaenz for saint nicolas day (december 6th) *did it with elias
- make christmas cookies with friends *did it yesterday afternoon with communitiy
- find mistletoe and hang it in our house
- make spiced cider is planned for christmas eve, outside on the fire!
- address and mail christmas cards will not happen!!!
- go to the christmas market in the city with the kids, we went to winterthurs christmas market
- listen to handel's messiah as well as some christmas revels (as we are not able to hear/see them life)
- enjoy the advent evenings with the kids in front of the fire *we do it some times
- help the kids feel at home in their new school setting *so far this is going well
- start tutoring english *starting tomorrow at 4:30pm
- make hot chocolate we made hot cocoa from scratch, last friday, to celebrate the first day of christmas vacation
- make a gingerbread house did it, see here
- make an orange/cinnamon garland
- sing and play (or listen) favorite christmas songs gentle mary...
- read christmas story from the bible
- go to a concert with the family, went to a suzuki recital, i make it count, as we are not able to go anywhere else...
- have a traditional rice porridge breakfast with marzipan pig
- enjoy the advent candles and short meditations regularly *so far so good... still going strong!

thea's adventures...

how much fun is it to be able to climb on your big brother!
it's tons of fun, especially if the big brother is excited about the little sisters adventures. climbing up in front and letting her slide down on his back.

and of course our new huge bookshelf lends itself to play games with the littlest family member. joel loves those moments, when fear and joy are so close together and thea's excitment is a big gift to us. one of the most exciting feelings of being a parent, seeing her enjoying life! blessings which are so quickly overlooked or taken for granted. but in the middle of our still very jammed and not all set up office room, this is a big flash of joy and gratefulness to have her, right there with us in our every day doings.

November 24, 2009

a few more travel photos...

klick here...

guest and more

this is a wonderful thing now, living in switzerland brings us close to our families and friends.
we are all very much enjoying the people coming over. be it for a quick chat or just to share a cup of tea, or an extended visit for a brunch and some play time out of doors. especially my sister and her family is being enjoyed. how much fun is it, when your cousins are coming over and everyone is playing soccer on the muddy lawn... as well as when they bring a big box of cloths which they have out grown, this is heaven on earth!

an other wonderful happening, joel is playing the piano. once more there is a stand up piano in our living room and joel loves to just sit down and get the music going. i love it and thea does too. i'm so glad about the fact, that music is a central point in our house.

November 23, 2009

the "pomme grenade"

i had a smile on my face looking at amos peeling a pomegranate and i know some of you do too. as you know how i used to pronounce that fruit's name it sounded "pomme grenade" like the weapon you throw and explodes. i was often irritated amd felt, that i didn't really want to use that name for such a yummy fruit. but then it also looked like a grenade...
until at some random evening in our house, my friends told me how to correctly pronounce it. i was very embarased but at the same time relieved! that much to my pomme grenade story. i like the fruit and amos loves it, he feels like it's super interesting to digg out all the little juicy red arils.

i felt like winter is coming soon, as it was cooler and cloudy today. very windy and even some drizzle. we enjoyed some moments opening the fruit and just sitting there at the table eating juicy arils was a pleasure for the three of us.

November 22, 2009

our new office...

yes it's slowly but steadily getting easier to find things in our new office space.
we got our first piece of furniture from the second hand shop "" a huge book shelf. and it's a wonderful thing to put all our treasured books up on a wall. they will have to be put in order yes, but are now readily available to take down and be used again.
a few more hours and the desks will be at their spots, as well as some seating possibilities... of course my sewing machine (which is not yet bought) will be in this room too. all the crafts materials and fabrics will also have to find their corner.... we will see, there is still a lot of work waiting to be done. as for now, my little mac is in it's corner and i'm once more happily standing in front of it, typing and "googeling" around the world.

November 19, 2009

a sunny november lunch

the days are often very fogy and we do not see the sun every day...
this makes a day like today a day to celebrate! it didn't occur to me to set up outside and enjoy lunch in the garden. this time it was amos who wanted to go out and so we did. everyone grabbed something and carried it out into the autumn sun.

pasta casserole, one of a kind. everyone in our family loves those dishes. what ever is in the fridge is going together in a bowl of pasta, topped with cheese, mmhhh

November 18, 2009

a surprise before breakfast

today started with a surprise. just before we wanted to sit down for breakfast the piano tuner arrived, i didn't know as a housemate of ours planned the tuning. this of course was a wonderful moment for the kids to observe a master at his work. an open piano, a very specialized professional at work.
i stopped my work too and stood there, listening and watching. it has been a long time since i have observed a piano tuner at work.
a good way to start a new day. we do take the opportunities as they present themselves and call it school...
by the way, i got on the phone with the "schulpflege" and had a good chat about our kids starting school. naomi will have her first day of kindergarten in a week, i could pick her first day.... and decided that she will start on wednesday. as our plans for monday and tuesday are already set. we are going to meet the suzuki teacher at the konservatorium winterthur and a friend of ours will be visiting on tuesday, it would have been to bad if naomi could not have been with us and enjoy her "goetti" p. we will see and take it one day at the time, how our transition into public school will develop.

November 16, 2009

leafe racking...

there is a big chestnut tree in our back yard, and lots of shrubs with leafs who have now turned brown and fallen to the ground. of course we had to go and play, gather and jump in those leaf piles.

it has been a long wait for all of us, as we were in california until last week...
i'm so glad we made it 0s`till on time for some fun.

November 15, 2009

thea's 1st birthday

last thursday was thea's first birthday, our first big celebration in switzerland...
what a happy girl. we are so happy to have her and enjoy every smile of her.

blowing out the candle was a bit of a challenge, of course the big siblings were ready to be her "blower-helpers" and the one little flame was blown out withing seconds by them. never the less,

cake is yummy, thank you grosi for the delicious dessert. thea of course was biting right into it, fork or spoon would have been too slow and to hard to work with.
for me, it was a day to remember last years november 12th, the birth of thea. that day when i cooked splitt pea soup and then welcomed our little girl into world rather quickly!

i just realized, i never wrote the whole birth story down on paper...
it's ok, i will remember allways, it was a spectacular birth!
her in a few quick words.

after dinner i took a warm bath to relax and figure out if the contractions are real and stay steady. they didn't really, they totally slowed down and i told the midwife on the phone that i'm doing just fine and we will see if maybe later or tomorrow i will come to the hospital.
just a few moments after hanging up i realized, that i had very strong contractions for a good 35-40 seconds. but i kind of didn't take them serious. though they would not slow down, i wanted to make them slow down again with some warmer water in my tub. it didn't help...
joel was just finishing up with bringing the boys to bed as i called him, that we have to go right now, and he should call the midwife! i guess i must have been yelling, he burst into our bathroom with phone in hand, trying to get through to our midwife as i felt the urge to push. knowing i should not, i could not hold it. yelling for m our friend in the house, joel on the phone with the midwife i felt thea's head crowning and apearing. now time for a ride to the hospital... and thea was born in our incy whincy bathroom, a waterbirth... (what i wanted but have given up, because of hospital policy). a few moments later, the boys came too and checked out how their new sister looked. months after that they both mentioned to me: "she doesn't look like an alien anymore."
that's what they felt like, i realize... that's ok though. we clammed the umbillical cord and elias could cut it! the very proud big brother.
thea was not even 1hour old when we gathered with our greenhaus people to pray and bless her with a word. thank you b.

of course there would be many more details and little moments, but this has to be enough for now.

November 13, 2009

not my own photo

slowly the things are getting more settled in our household. today i picked up with some blog reading...
i really didn't read a whole lot of the regular blogs over the past few months we were traveling. it was to complicated and we also were not willing to spend a lot of hours at coffee shops or books stores with wifi access....
so here we are and i stumbled upon my friend stacie's blog. you have to pay her a quick visit, she is such a great photographer and mom.
we stayed with her, her husband and three kids in denver a few days. back in august, when it was still summer. she took a few photos of me working on that yellow bamboo top for naomi, which by the way turned out great and naomi loved it and wore it on many many sunny days!

stacie's photo, which i absolute love, concentrated at work, with the babies intent eagerness of learning

November 11, 2009

the first couple of days...

we arrived in switzerland last saturday. touch down at 3:40pm after a bit more than 9h of airplane, it felt good and we were greeted by family and friends.
-thank you all for your love-
the new place had to be explored first by the kids, lots of running around the house and of course up and down all the stairs they found.
we enjoyed a quick dinner and got our sleeping bags out once more to camp out here at our new home.
our sleep is still a bit out of sink with everyone else here in switzerland, but that's ok and will soon be over.
as of today, we unpacked a lot already and are looking for some big book shelf's....
the kids are still without their mattresses but that's ok too. it will take a few try's at second hand stores to find a bunk bed for the boys. joel's brother is scouting for that one, thank you ph.
we are not organized enough to post photos yet, but it will be up in a few more days. as i write this post, i'm standing in our to be office and work space. joel put the mac up on a pile of book boxes, he is doing all he can to get us settled with the "wires".
and of course today is the first time the sun is out! yeah! the kids have been out a lot regardless, there is a back yard with a swing. then also a big space to play badminton... the library is on our schedule for this afternoon.

November 5, 2009

the last few days in america

we have not been on-line a whole lot, it's a big effort to find a free wi-fi source and having the whole family in tow, including house and all...
not much longer tomorrow is the big day. joel and the boys will return the rental motor home which we used the past three days. shasta has been sold including lots and lots of trouble but it is gone for good, the plates will be in the mail by the end of today.
dockweiler has become our second home. still, every day we discover new things be it at the beach, where elias and joel spend most of their time, or in the process of cleaning and packing our stuff for me. naomi and amos enjoy tons of time in "driving" the "house" to friends. which sounds something like: "you have to take a right at 5th ave., ok, then you go for two blocks and turn left onto yellow blv., it must be right there, o!! i see our friends. ok, i will help you back up into their drive way...." it is very serious and then of course visiting includes having a snack and gatorade (which has become amos favorite drink).
photos will be up on flicker by next week, it's a bit lame i know, but that's how it is for now.