Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gold Mining in Dahlonga, Georgia

Yesterday, we took the boys to go Gold Mining in Dahlonga. Dahlonga is where the Gold Rush began in 1828. At that time, you could just kick a few rocks around in the creeks and you found gold. Eventually, the real mining began. The consolidated mines are approximately 5 miles long and go about 750 feet under ground though we were only allowed to go 350 feet. It is the large gold mine east of the Mississippi and at one time they found a vein of gold that was 22 feet wide. We even saw a handful of bats inside the caves. The boys tried mining for gold, and for gems. While they found no gold, they did find some Quartz, Amethyst, and a few other types of rocks. The boys had fun! Winston wanted to come home and mine the creek behind our house. Afterwards, we walked around the town square of Dahlonga which is charming. We stopped at Connie's Deli for ice cream and sandwiches. Yummy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Lake Lanier Magical Night of Lights

The other night I drove up to Lake Lanier with the boys and my mom to see the Magical Night of Lights. It was the first time that we had gone in the 6 1/2 years of living here. The boys loved it! I was surprised that Roman went on Santa's lap. At first he was not so sure about the whole thing. The boys had fun roasting marshmellows over the open fire pit and before we left they went on two carnival rides. I am so glad that I can turn on the holiday music and bring out my decorations today.

Turkey Day!

Yesterday, we spent Thanksgiving at the home of our friends Tony and Monica. There were 36 of us in all. It was so much fun! Amazingly, the children were angels and no tears were shed.
The food was fantastic! We were definitely not for want. Besides turkey there was ham,
prime Rib, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, stuffing,
salad, dips, along with a variety of dessert such a pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, cheesecake, and pecan pie. See what I mean? Today we are going to go see Planet 51. Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I am writing, my children are sitting on the floor putting together a puzzel as they watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I have watched the parade since I was a child. I love the balloons, bands, and all the performances. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the health of my family, that my husband has a job, family, friends, opportunities to travel and learn about other cultures, and my testimony in my saviour Jesus Christ.
Cranberry Salad
2 cups cranberries then chop
3/4 cups powder sugar
1/2 cup red halved grapes
2 cups diced apple
1 cup chopped pecans
3 cups mini marshmellows
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups of whipping cream
Whip cream and add powdered sugar . Add apples, grapes, pecans, and marshmellows. Make the night before or first thing in the morning. This recipe was adapted from my good friend Kierste who made this many years ago at our house in Michigan one Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Corner view Le Menu

This weeks corner view was titled Le Menu what would you find on a typical menu in your city. Well, I live in America. The land of plenty and that also means unfortunately plenty of fast food restaurants. There are so many fast food restaurants in the average U.S. town that I am most positive you could probably go a couple of months eating out every night and not eat at the same restaurant twice. The good side of so many restaurants is that you have lots of variety the bad side is that with these fast food chains it is almost impossible for independent restaurants to operate. The other bad side is that Americans are growing fatter by the day. I am not immune to this side effect either. I try to stay away from fast food as much as possible. I am getting smarter though on what I pick on the menu's and looking for healthier options. One place I like to eat eat is called Panera Bread it features European style breads and pastries along with soup, sandwiches, and salads. My favorite is the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad a bed of mix greens dressed with roasted rosemary chicken, pecans, apple chips, blue cheese crumbles,tomatoes, with a white balsamic vinigerette. Another place I like to go is a place called Chipolte. What I like about this fast food restaurant is that the food is organic. The flavors are clean and simple. The product is fresh and while there are only 4 options the calories aren't going to set you back.

Pilgrims Hats

Thanksgiving is only 2 days away and what a fun way to prepare for Thanksgiving than to make these pilgrim hats. Great for all those children who do not like pie and easy to assemble. It is OK if they are a little imperfect looking because the fun is in making them. For this project you will need either sugar cookie dough or you can use ginger snaps, Reese's peanut buttercups, white frosting, and yellow frosting. The trickto making these look more authentic looking "which mine do not" is to make sure you use a smaller size ball of dough. Instead of using a tablespoon make sure you use a teaspoon that way the peanut buttercup is more proportionate to the cookie, but you will not have this problem if you choose to use Gingersnaps because they are allready the right size.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Love

I am in love with Chobani Greek Yogurt. It is so rich and creamy. In fact, it has renewed my love for yogurt. Sprinkled with a little granola it is the perfect breakfast, snack, or even dessert. Who needs ice cream when you have this yummy stuff in the refrigerator. I was scared to taste it at first because I thought it might be sour, but now I am so glad I tried it. It never hurts to try new things. The best part is that this yogurt has 20 grams of protein. No fat and only a 140 calories per oz serving. Have you tried this yogurt yet?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blind Side Movie Review

Blindside is a perfect way to begin the holiday season. It is more than a football movie, but it is a movie that will warm your heart and leaving you wondering if you are doing everything you can to leave this world a better place. This is a true story about Michael Ohr a 2009 draft pick for the NFL. A boy who was left to defend himself in the world and passed by in the system, but it nurtured and taken care of by Leanne Toohey and her family as they decide that they can't pass him by. This was a perfect role for Sandra Bullock and the little boy in the film is a totally crack up. I would not wait to see this movie I would run to your nearest movie theater. It was well worth the admission price.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book Club

I love book club! It keeps me sane. I love reading and if there wasn't book club I would still read, but I love talking about books and hearing what others thought about the book. I gain so much more insight into the book this way. It also doesn't hurt that I get to gather with my friends and eat treats too. This month we read the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I amazed that this was her first book. It was fantastic! The book is fictional, but at times you almost think that these were real characters. The book takes place in the early 1960's in Jackson, Mississippi. Skeeter who is the main character is an aspiring journalist she is challenged to write something with more depth after submitting her work to a publisher in New York. She decides to write on the relationship between the white and blacks from the perspective of the black housekeepers. I couldn't put this book down. It is so well written and I fell in love with all of the characters. This is a must read.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon!

Last night, I went to the midnight opening of New Moon with a group of friends. It was so much fun. It was fun to listen to all the teenage girls ooh and awe over their favorite characters. I wasn't really impressed by the first movie, but the second one was much better. I can't wait for the third movie to come out in June, but I don't know if I will go to the midnight showing of it again. My children are just not late sleepers and so it was very painful waking up this morning after only three hours asleep. Now, I need to hit the pillow and get some sleep.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Corner View cell phones

OK, so I am a little lame!!! I didn't get my corner view done this week because I was doing a little bit of playing elf this week getting ready for the holiday season. Sorry! Just way too much going on with the boys Thanksgiving programs at school, trying to find gloves and ski pants for our ski trip in three weeks, the orthodontist, book club, Boy Scouts and Karate this week. On top of that I haven't really figured out how to use the new cell phone I got, so I haven't gotten any calls. However, I will report minus the Christmas cards I am ready for the holidays to begin next week, so bring them on. Now if my sons hair would just grow a little faster then I might get the cards finished too!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Be Grateful!

I could be upset that I washed my cell phone and the new one isn't as easy to use as my old one along with that I lost all my phone numbers. I could be upset that I got a ticket for a law that I didn't even know existed. I could be upset that when I took my son to get a haircut the lady didn't understand and cut it too short, and now it is sticking up in every direction. However, I think I will just be grateful. Grateful that I have a cell phone. Grateful that the ticket wasn't because I injured someone. Grateful that hair grows. I am also Grateful that my children will be able to participate in the Can A Thon that provides food to the food bank, and grateful for the teaching moment that will be given to my children to share with those who are less fortunate. What are you grateful for?

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Yesterday, My husband colleague's and old time friends came to visit us from Germany. It was so much fun catching up on their lives. The hard part about living on the other side of the Atlantic is that my husband only gets to see his friends every couple of years. We took them to a local BBQ restaurant called One Star Ranch. It is the best BBQ here in Atlanta! The meat is slow smoked leaving the meat tender and not fatty. The side dishes are fantastic too! We ended the night with Peach Cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. BTW, it is 78 degree here in Atlanta. This is why I love Atlanta.

One Star Ranch
25 Irby Ave. NW
Atlanta, GA. 30305

Also located in Alpharetta, GA. 732 North Main Street. 770-475-6695

Herr Cassel
Frau Michalski
Baby back ribs

Happy Birthday Mason!

It has been three weeks since Mason passed away. He would have been 11 yesterday, so in his memory his friend,and family met at a local party to release balloons in his honor. He was a great kid! Let's remember to tell those we love that we love. Happy Birthday Mason!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fritti and Baraonda

wWe don't go out to eat much, but with my friend in town last week I took the opportunity to splurge a little. Fritti is a fantastic Italian restaurant located in Ulman Park. The pizza I would have to argue rivals any New York Pizza or even Italy. The crust is thin and crunchy. The sauce is light in that it is not seasoned with a ton of oregano. However, that night I choose Pizza Bianco. The Vegetarian is fantastic too! Ever had an Arancini? These little risotto stuffed with sausage balls are ever so yummy. We also went to Baronda the last night she was here. I have wanted to try this restaurant for years based on a recommendation from some friends of mine who are from Italy. While we shared a Caprese Salad, I had the Penne Salciccia (sweet and hot sausage with mushrooms and a touch of cream), and Jennifer had the Pollo Damicuta which is a lightly eggs washed chicken breast dipped in Parmigano served with mixed vegetables and a light lemon caper sauce. The food was heaven! It made me feel like I had taken a trip to Italy. The decor in both restaurants is warm and modern. Looking for some place new to try then try these restaurants because you will not be disappointed.

309 Highland Ave.
Atlanta, GA. 30307
404 880-9559
Baraonda Cafe Italiano
710 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA. 30308

Winston loved the Pizza
Pizza Bianco with Spinach and Arancini

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Corner View "Favorite Dish"


The rain is coming down in sheets here in Atlanta. The last of the fall leaves are clinging on as if not wanting to say goodbye. I am cozy and warm in my house drinking a peppermint hot chocolate while reading with my boys. This weeks corner view is favorite dish. I choose this 1930's Bauerware bowl that I found at flea market 13 years ago in California. I love this bowl, and just about every happy moment I have is wrapped up with this bowl. 13 years of dinner parties. I celebrated my 25Th birthday, my marriage a year later, my husbands graduation from graduate school, birthdays, baby showers, just because parties, and my husband becoming a citizen with this bowl. I hope to celebrate many more years to come with this bowl. For more corner views check out Jane at Spain Daily listed on the left under blog roll.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Berlin Wall 20th Anniversary

Where were you 20 years ago? I was living in South Africa at the time, but I remember watching CNN and seeing the news that the Berlin Wall was coming down. I cried. Just 2 months before this, I was in Berlin. I remember seeing the guards with their guns sitting on the towers watching the wall. The wall was 27 miles long. I remember seeing crosses of people who tried to cross, but were shot down. We crossed over Check Point Charlie on our way to Russia. I remember being a little scared. 10 years later, I would cross over that point freely with my husband and son Harris. The wall had more significance to me then because my husbands mother came from the part of Germany that was known for those years as East Germany. She fled with her family after the war leaving behind their home and family not knowing when they would be able to see them again. They were smuggled over the border by American GI's. I am grateful she was able to make it over alive. Since the wall came down in 1989, she is now able to visit her family freely. Berlin is a great city with lots to see and to do. Have you been there? I would love to hear your best story of what your were either doing at the time or your best Berlin story. The best story will get sent by me my favorite German candy bar.

Harris and I at the Brandenburg Gate

Talent Show

This weekend Harris along with other children from our church participated in a talent show at a local retirement home. He participated in the flag ceremony as part of his local boy scout troop, and then he song in the childrens choir. I was really impressed with the talent of the children some being as little as three and four getting up among all those people singing, playing instruments, showing off their art work, and even telling jokes. I am proud of you Harris for the service you provided. The senior citizens were so happy that you came.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Love Atlanta!

My dear friend Jennifer came to visit this week from Alaska. We showed her what our city has to offer. We are the home to the worlds largest aquarium, Martin Luther King Jr., Coke, CNN, and the 1996 Olympics. She was only here for two days, so we just picked a few things to see such as the the Leonardo Di Vinci collection at the Art Museum. While there we practically rubbed shoulders with Ted Turner he was looking at the same piece of art work that I was looking at. I didn't say anything to him though. Afterwards, we stopped for lunch at the Varsity where I ate a Chili dog and Jen tried a Slaw Dog. A visit to the Varsity would not be complete without onion rings. "No wonder I can't lose any weight?" Go figure. The are the best! Then we headed over to the Martin Luther King exhibit. One can not be in awe of this man's courage to stand up for equality for all men. The next day we visited the Oakland Cemetery. Seems a little strange to go visit a cemetery if you don't have relatives buried there, but Oakland Cemetery is rich in history as well as one of the largest green spaces within Atlanta. The views of the city are beautiful. Historical greats such as Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones, and over 6,000 confederate soldiers. We wanted to visit the Cyclorama which is one of the largest painting depicting the civil war; unfortunately, they were closed due to technical difficulties, so we headed to lunch at Chicken and Waffles a restaurant owned by Gladys Knight. The food was fantastic! My friend said the chicken was the best she ever had. The grits were anything but bland and were very creamy. My Mac&Cheese was phenomenal. So cheesy! The salmon was sweet and cooked to perfection, but the best thing of all were the corn muffins. They were sweet and tender and didn't crumble into a zillion pieces upon taking a bite. What was even more surprising was the prices; especially, with the restaurant being a downtown restaurant. The average plate ran around $12. I will be going back for sure.
Chicken and Waffles
529 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30308
Phone: 404-874-9393 Fax: 404-874-07


Today the boys celebrated Martinstag or St. Martin Day at German school though it is officially not until November 11Th. St. Martin was originally a Roman soldier who legend says once gave a part of his coat to a beggar. That night he dreamed a dream that Jesus told him he was a good man and that he should be baptised and be a missionary. In Germany children carry lanterns in a procession going from house to house singing songs, and the most popular song is called I gehe mit meine Laterne in translation the lyrics are My lantern goes with me. Above the stars are twinkling, And twinkling, too, are we. When my light goes out, it's time to go home, rabimmel , rabammel, rabum. The children then knock on doors similar to trick or treating where they then will receive candy or money. Afterwards they meet in the town square around a bonfire. In many homes a traditional meal of Goose is served. Our St. Martin gives the children pretzel bread instead of candy since they receive enough candy during Halloween.

St. Martins Day 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Pink Pig

Yesterday, I took the boys to a party at Lenox Mall put on by Macy's and a list of contributors in support of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Patients and those who volunteer were invited. We had never ridden The Pink Pig which is a long time Atlanta holiday tradition  The older boys were not so impressed, but Roman loved it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Corner View "Contrast"

Due to being very busy this week and technical difficulties my corner view is late this week. The challenge was contrast and originally I wanted to post a photo of my small children with their great grandmother with the thought in mind of very old and very young. However, that did not work out since the scanner is on the blitz. What I did come up with are photos of my family which is very young in places that are very old. We love to travel! In the photos are Pisa, Venice, and Munzenburg, Germany. For more corner views check out Jane at Spain Daily on the left hand side of my blog roll.
1.Where is your cell phone? in car
2.Your hair?curly
3. Your mother? talented
4. Your father?funny
5. Your favorite food? Chocolate
6.Your dream last night? too tired to dream
7. Your favorite drink? Pepsi Max
8. Your dream/goal? lose weight
9. What room are you in? kitchen
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? losing spouce and having to raise children alone
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? at Karate
14. Something that you aren’t? Athetic
15. Muffins?Blueberry
16. Wish list item? Don't know
17. Where did you grow up? Anchorage, Alaska
18. Last thing you did? rode pink pig
19. What are you wearing? jammies
20. Your TV? off
21. Your Pets? 2 fish
22. Friends? treasured!
23. Your life? fulfilled!
24. Your mood? tired
25. Missing Someone? friends
26. vehicle? minivan called Shamu
27. Something your not wearing? socks
28. Your favorite store? The loft
29. Your favorite color? orange and pink
30. When was the last time you laughed? this morning
31. Last time you cried? last week
32. Your best friend? in Colorado
33. One place that I go to over and over? Italy!
34. Facebook? Yes
35. Favorite place to eat? Just depends
if your interested in playing along let me know and I will visit your blog or if you just want to answer one of these questions then leave a comment.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Art 2009

I don't save much of the boys artwork, but when they came home with these drawings I was amazed. Harris drew the Southwestern scene and Winston drew the Monet like bridge with Waterlilies. I wonder if he choose to draw this since we saw part of Monet's collection this summer at the art museum. While neither one of them really like to color too much, I am finding drawing in Harris backpack on a weekly basis now. The other day I found a sketch of glasses that you stick a memory card into and it will play a movie for you. Mostly though his drawing are of mythical and futurist creatures.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 09

Happy Halloween!

It has been raining for the last two days, so I wasn't able to get pictures of the boys outside in their costumes. My cousin Mia joined the boys all dress us in her Bell costume. Boy did they come home with a sack of loot! I am sure they have enough candy to last them until Easter. The raid didn't stop them from having fun. Oh, I totally forgot that last night we watched The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Also, Roman was so cute. He wanted to be the first one out the door. He kept saying I am ready. I want to go! He was so excited.