Sunday, May 31, 2009

Road Trip/Day 1 A little secret

Roman loves chasing the seagulls
A little Boogie Boarding never hurt anyone
Building sandcastles in the sand
barefoot and fancy free
I have a little secret. Don't tell anyone! The secret is that the best beach in the south is Gulf Shores, Alabama where the sand is as white and fine as baby powder. No Crowd!!! Yummy Restaurants and you can pull your car right up to the beach, so no need to slept ones things for miles. On our way to Galveston, we made a little detour to Gulf Shores because we love it so much. Then why to Galveston? Well, we bought a time share there 5 years ago. When we go to Gulf Shores we always eat a Lulu's which is owned by Jimmy Buffets sister. The restaurant is bright and fun. The children love the outdoor sandbox and water feature. It is beat known for it's seafood.

Lulu's Restaurant
East 1st Street
off coastal hwy 59
Gulf Shores, Alabama

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Battle for the Smithsonian and a trip to the Louvre

On Tuesday, we took Oma to the Art Museum. Despite the boys first complaints they really did enjoy going to the art museum. It didn't hurt that Oma splurged the couple extra dollars for the head sets. I had never actually seen these pieces when I was at the Louvre, so I am glad that we went. The boys really liked the bronze statue of the lion, but the Winston also really liked this piece of Turkish pottery that was a white plate with blue ink that had a peacock on it. It really was beautiful. I would mind having something like this to display food on or hang on my wall.
Jesus Carring the Crossby Lorenzo Lotto
Lion Crushing a Serpent

by Antoine Loise Barye

This movie Rocks! It has been raining quite a bit around here, so we have had to get creative. Oma has played more than her share of UNO Spin, we have taken walks in the forest and we even attempted to see the fireworks at Stone mountain, but the rain has just been too much!!!! I liked this movie even better than the first one. Amy Adams who plays Amelia Earhart is delightful. She is a fantastic addition to the cast of characters. In this movie, you will still get to see the first cast of characters but the location changes to the Smithsonian where you will be introduced to a new cast of characters. I think this movie is a great way to introduce your children to historical figures and then you can even take it a step farther by going to the library and checking out some books or even doing some Internet searches. If the first movie didn't leave my children with enough memorable quotes the second had them quoting even more. Favorites are "Hey! Dumb Dumb give me some Gum Gum" and "Check out these guns-Bomb Bam Firepower". Oma, Opa Thijs and Harris are now on their way to Germany. I am all ready starting to miss my boy. He will have a great time though, so I am really happy for him.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Homemade Bliss

Summer is the best
Here he comes
Noodle Cannonball
Roman against the boys
Homemade Brotchen
Homemade Yogurt
Yogurt Orange Marmalade Cake

Today, we are not only remember my ancestors who have served in the American revolution, but my cousin Jimmy Haws who served with the Marines and was killed on the first day of Desert Storm. There are many brave men out there who have served and protected our country, so that we can live in freedom. We can never take this for granted. Today is also a special date for it marks the second anniversary of our son Roman's open heart surgery and repair of his heart. We are grateful for those men who pioneered the way into heart surgery, when everyone thought that it could not be done and should not be done. I am forever grateful for without this advance I would not have my son. On another note, we did not let the scattered storms of the day stop our fun. The boys enjoyed playing at the pool. There is nothing like the smell of boys covered in sunscreen, picnics on the back deck, children covered in sticky ice cream, sunshine until 9p, going to the beach and building sandcastles in the sand, sleeping a little later each day, and not having to fight over getting homework done. We enjoyed a breakfast of homemade bread rolls. That is right, I made these rolls myself from scratch! I found the recipe off the Internet on this following sight http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/. I also made homemade yogurt it is really simple and is very cost effective. Then I found a recipe for this yummy yummy yogurt cake and found the recipe off of another blog called Pioneer Woman http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/07/yogurt-marmalade-cake-to-die-for/ . In the evening we sat off the back deck and enjoyed cheeseburgers, broccoli slaw, fruit salad with Oma Ute and Opa Thijs.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Happy Birthday Winston!!!!
Last week was Winston's Seventh Birthday, but because all that was going on with all the end of the school year stuff we didn't get to celebrate it till this weekend. Out of all the choice of things to do he choose to go to Monkey Joe's. He also got to have a family party on his original birth date. He is such a sweet boy who loves to read and is very kind to others; especially, his baby brother. He has a wicked little laugh and still skips. He is good at chess and achieved his green belt this year in Karate. He is always inventing new games to play with his papa in the evening before he goes to bed. His best friends at school are Jack and Josh. He loves to help around the house and is very good at putting the laundry away. He has been such a joy and blessing in our family and we love him so much.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Recipes and Old Friends

With these ingredient is can only be delicious
If you choose raspberries then make sure they are o side up
Yummy and not to sweet

Today I tried a new recipe called Raspberry Buttermilk Cake from another blog called the Smitten Kitten . It worked and was delicious, but since Memorial Day is around the corner I added blueberries and lowered the temperature to 350 degrees from the original recipe of 400 degrees. It bakes up amazingly fast only 25 minutes and if you aren't careful it will get too dark. The only mistake I made was that I didn't put the raspberries o side up and, so I didn't get the same design on the top. The recipe goes fantastic with a side of vanilla bean whip cream. Then I took it over to an old friends house. I haven't seen her in years because she usually lives in Italy and when she does visit she is so busy visiting all her family. It was so wonderful seeing her again. It really seemed like yesterday that we last saw each other. We met 5 years ago when our boys were in preschool together. Our boys were the best of friends. Today was a happy occasion because we were celebrating the adoption of her twin girls. My heart was so over joyed for her because this has been a long road for her of failed pregnancies and one failed adoption after having the baby for 10 days. The girls were beautiful and smelled like heaven.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Angels and Demons
Today after my husband and I left the attorney's office to close on the refinancing of our home mortgage, we had the opportunity to go on a date. You are saying a date -what is that? Well, it is about just that often that we get to go on a date; especially, one that is not related to a work party. Since we don't own our own private jet to just fly over to Italy for the evening, I took the next best thing, and we went to see the movie Angels and Demons. It was really good. Though I loved the book the Da Vinci Code better than Angels and Demons, I liked the movie Angels and Demons better than the Da Vinci Code. They did a good job of translating the book to a movie. They left out a few things and changed a few things, but over all I think they did a good job of pacing the movie without making it seem like the Transformers or a 007 movie. I would give this movie an A and for the few dollars you spend on seeing it you get the extra bonus of taking a trip to Italy. Other movies I have seen recently worth watching are The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas and Seven Pounds both on DVD, but warning make sure you have a box of tissues sitting next to your bowl of popcorn.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Queen, Knights, and Rooks

Harris obstacle chess 4th grade Champion
Winston top 5 Bug House Chess

The end of the school year is almost to a close, and so is chess. The boys have both played chess since Kindergarten. Some years they have played better than others, but what is more important is the skill it teaches them to think logically and outside the box. Harris participated in a regional tournament and while he did not win an individual trophy he helped his team win a 3rd place trophy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Being Two

A picture say a thousand words. Two year olds are so much fun at least most of the time until they learn to have a tantrum. Roman seems to also have a huge fascination with other peoples shoes. The photo above is of him walking in his grandpa Nerney's shoes. It was so funny to watch him walk in the shoes because they are bigger than the average persons shoes. My dad is 6 foot 6. Roman even wants to wear his crocs to bed. He is really starting to talk. New words are Come on, guy, cat, dog, owl, don't know, milk, bowl, bed, night night, go, toes, eye, and nose. Oh, did I tell you he wants to do everything for himself even though he can't do it all by himself. His favorited tv shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, The movers, and Yabba Gabba or something like that.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Pretzel anyone?
Not a party without a Bratwurst
Tasty Treats
Winston with Frau Lernen
Harris with his class. Frau Boettcher was
his teacher this year
Living here in Atlanta we are really lucky that there are so many language schools that are either full time or just on Saturdays. The boys attend the German School of Atlanta. It has been a great way for our family to keep the children connected with their German heritage and learn a life long skill of speaking a foreign language. Harris placed 53 this year out of over 300 hundred children tested this year on German language competency. The end of the school year is always marked by an end of the year fundraiser and party called Spielstrasse. The children look forward to it all year. This year there was a great addition of a dunk tank. It was all I could do to keep Winston out of it. He wanted to bad to be dunked. Side note: Mother's Day was wonderful. Winston made me a really nice personalized notepad, my husband treated me to some new clothes, and we enjoyed a yummy dinner with our friends the Ceccagnoli's off our back deck. Steak, pesto bow tie pasta with sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts, spinach salad with grilled peppers, eggplant and artichokes, and for dessert brownies with homemade vanilla ice cream and strawberries.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


There is nothing like a good bowl of soup. Soup equals comfort and that seems to heal the soul. As a child, I remember eating chicken noodle soup and crackers. MyAunt Peg made the best corn chowder. It was my favorite. I love the combination of the sweetness of the corn mixed with the potatoes and cream. A few years ago though I found a recipe for a soup that was a little bit of a surprise because it contained ginger. I have made the recipe so often that I don't even have the original recipe any more or even remember the original name, but I call it ginger carrot soup. My children love it! It is a great way for me to get them to eat some carrots. It works wonders when you are pregnant with an upset stomach. The ginger quiets the stomach.

6 large potatoes peeled and cubed
4 cups of chicken broth
1 large carrot peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon powder ginger
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 poached chicken breast cubed
serves a family of 4-5

Place the potatoes, carrots, garlic, and ginger in a large pot and cover with the chicken broth. If the broth doesn't cover the mixture then add just enough water to cover. Boil for 20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender. While the other mixture is cooking in a small sauce pan poach chicken breast by covering with water and cooking for 6 minutes. When the chicken is finished cube it into bite size pieces and set aside until potatoes mixture is cooked. When the potatoes are fork tender turn down the heat and add chicken, cream, and butter and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste. By cooking the chicken in a separate pan you will ensure tender chicken. Serve with a yummy loaf of french bread or a side salad.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Good Enough for the President

Roman and Grandpa Nerney
Naked Dogs, Chili Dogs, the works
The presidents have eaten here, actors have eaten here, musicians have eaten here, so it is good enough for me. The Varsity is an Atlanta institution. Once you have been you will go back because the onion rings are out of this planet. Lightly battered and not with that scratchy corn meal batter that alot of places use to coat their onion rings. The food might be a little too greasy, but definitely a crowd pleaser. The place is always packed. Grandpa is here visiting, so it was a must that he try the Varsity. When you order the cashier ask you What ya'll have? usually in a thick southern accent.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Friends Old and New

The Ya Ya'sOn the way to Los Hermanas

Paul and Misty
dancing queen
Heart Friend
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad
The Y
Spring Blossoms

This week I had the opportunity to travel to Utah to visit some old friends and meet some new. I hooked up with my BFF's from high school Jen and Buffi as we attended a Women's Conference. We were spiritually uplifted and filled for two days as we listened to various speakers on a variety of topics. We attended a concert by some of the best entertainers within our church such as Hillary Weeks and Eclispe. We ate our fair share of delish food at the Indian Palace, Los Hermanas, and Costa Vida. We had the opportunity to see other friends from high school such as Paul and his wife Misty, Amy and her husband Emilio. We rejeuvenated our bodies by going to the spa, and of course we went shopping for a girls weekend would not be a girls weekend without shopping. I also had the opportunity to hook up with another two friends of mine from high school that were on the swim team with me. I hope to see her again. We ate a tasty lunch at Gloria's Little Italy. Then it was time to meet some new friends that I have gotten to know through the Internet, Dancing Queen and her little brother Heart Friend. Heart Friend has a heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. His family and the many other families of the Intermountain Region have been a great support to us as we have walked the journey of being a family with a child with congenital heart disease. It was so great to meet them finally in person as we enjoyed dinner from Cafe Rio. The Sweet Pork Salad was what everyone said it would- Fantastic! The time flew by quickly and before I knew it I was heading back on a plane to Georgia. It was a fantastic weekend. Thanks everyone!