Monday, April 30, 2012

Hello from Germany!

Germany greeted us with the most wonderful gift of fantastic weather. The last couple of days have been amazing. I have never seen weather like this at the end of April here in Germany. It was so warm that we were even able to swim outside. Kind of crazy, but I am not complaining. The last couple of days have been hectic as we celebrated Oma's birthday. Wait till you see the cakes she had for her birthday, but that is another post. We went swimming at the neighboring city swimming pool. Visited with family and friends and set up our apartment here in Heidelberg which was no easy task when you have 4 children. I am sure the lady at the checkout counter has never seen so many groceries being bought at one time.    Well, it is late here.  While the others have adjusted well to all the changes, Addy is not so thrilled.  She has cried all day.  I don't know if it is her teeth, the new formula, or what, but she is one unhappy girl.  Her and I made a deal that she would give me ten minutes to make this post and the ten minutes are almost up.  Praying though that she will sleep well.  Hope you are all doing well and look forward to catching up with all of you, but before I go I thought I would share this picture of Winston and the Rapeseed field.  The fields are gorgeous right now and spring is in it's full glory here in Germany.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Corner View "A Room with a view"

I have been blessed to have many fantastic views from many different rooms.  Growing up I lived in Anchorage, Alaska and could see the Chugach Mountains from my bedroom.  When I graduated from high school, I went to South Africa, and from my bedroom window I could see the Indian Ocean.  After college I lived in Seattle,Washington, and from my living room I could see the Seattle skyline and the space needle.  Then I got married and we went to Italy on our honeymoon.  From my hotel room I could see the Duomo (Florence)-just like in the movie A Room with a View.  I even re-enacted the scene where she opens the shutters and sees the Duomo.  In 20 minutes I am off on another adventure to spend the summer in Germany.  Amazingly, I got all the suitcases packed.  So, stay tuned and I wil be showing you the view from my room on the other side of the pond.  See you soon. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

2 more days and a look at my day

Two more days until we leave. It is crazy around here andthere are suitcases all over the house. So far, I have 2 out of 6 packed. When Hilary Rosen said that Anne Romney never worked a day in her life I don't know what planet she lives on because Anne has 1 more child than I do and I work all day. I might not get paid for my work, but it is work. Here is a look into my day. Got up at 6:30 a.m. and got boy number 2 off to school then changed and feed the baby. Feed boy number 3, got him dressed, and took him to school. Came home and got boy number 1 off to school. Then I did the dishes and put a load of laundry in the machine. Got myself dressed. Went to the DMV to register the car.  I dropped off a bag of clothes at the Goodwill, went to UPS, went to the bank, worked out for 90 minutes, and went to Target to buy things I need for our trip. Picked up boy number 3 from school and feed him a snack. His friend came over for a play date, fixed dinner. My day isn't over yet. I still have to pack my suitcase because tomorrow I am at the hairdressers. My son has Karate. So Hilary, I don't know where your comment came from, but except for the few minutes to write this post I have been going all day long from one activity to another.   I did not go to the spa, have someone fold my laundry, eat bon bons. Heck, I ate my lunch in the car after swinging through the drive through because I was so hungry I couldn't wait to get home and fix myself something to eat. I will be lucky to get more than 6 hours of sleep.  Addy still wakes up 2-3 times a night.  She hates wet diapers and once it gets too wet she will cry until you change her.  Sometimes her brother crawls into bed and snuggles up next to me which I am not complaining about,  but it is not very conducive to a good night sleep.

Heidelberg /taken December 1996
Engagement dinner

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Almost Blackbelt

Harris with coach Mike
Harris with his coach and classmates.

Breaking the board.

While the beginning of this week did not start well, it ended in on a good note. Harris went up for his black belt today. We won't know for about a month whether or not he passed. Hopefully I am not jinxing it by posting the photos now. Lots of people including his coach said he did well. I hope that means he passed. Harris has been doing Karate since Kindergarten. We could not be more proud of him. He really worked hard to get to this point. We love you Harris and we are so very proud of you. Congratulations! We hope the skills you have learned from participating in Karate will translate into lesson to help you in the future.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cornerview " typical family dinner"

This week and next week before we go we are trying to use what is in the refrigerator and pantry before we leave for our big adventure in Europe. I don't want to throw anything away. Last night we ate homemade cheese and salami pizza. Today, I was able to find some beets that I forgot to use last week and some salmon in the freezer. Often we eat breakfast for dinner, and there is never a complaint when I do this. Recently, we made cinnamon waffles with praline syrup. We were licking our plates because they were so yummy. Next time, I think I would like to add a little pancetta to the batter. I think that would kick the recipe into the next world. Here is the recipe! I hope you like them. I found the recipe through a catalog for William and Sonoma.

3 eggs separated
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
8 Tablesppons or 1 stick of butter unsalted melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/4  teaspoon of salt and 2 pinches of kosher salt
3 Tablespoons of gradulated sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
8 Tablespoons  of butter cut in cubes
1 cup toasted chopped peacans

In a large bowl whisk egg yolks  and buttermilk together.and then add the melted butter. and vanilla.  In another bowl mix cinnamon, baking powder, flour, and baking soda and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the gradulated sugar.  The add to the wet mixture.

In  another bowl beat egg whites until they form a stiff peak.  Using a rubber spatula fold 1/2 egg whites into the batter then add the rest.

In a frying pan over medium heat combine brown sugar, maple syrup, and the cubes of butter, and 2 pinches of salt.  Heat mixture, stirring when the butter melts. Continue to cook until syrup is smooth about 4 minutes, then stir in pecans. Remove from heat.   Poor over your cooked waffles.  Makes about 8 servings depending on the size of your waffle maker.  This recipe seems like a lot of work, but it is so worth it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lost photos from Asheville

OK, I had a very terrible good for nothing rotten day. My almost 10 year old got kicked off the bus for 2 days because he was making burping sounds, and the little girls next to him don't like it. While I don't agree with him doing this, I think it is kind of silly. I mean seriously! It wasn't that he was using cuss words. I think he just gets a kick out of getting a rise out of the little girl sitting next to him. I just don't understand why he wasn't moved to a different seat. So now I have to drive him to school and pick him up which will now take 2 hours out of my day that I don't have right now. I feel like having my own tantrum. I cried.  Anyway, the good thing is next Wednesday I will be on a plane to Germany. Yahoo! Now, I just have to go pack, but before I do that I wanted to share these cute photos of Addy in her swimsuit. When we go on vacation a pool is a must. It is a great way to get restless energy of of the children and make them very sleepy. Hope you are having a better Monday than I am having!

 sitting pretty
 He brother loves her.
 hanging with Nana
 Eleanor, Roman, and Jonathan

While I am at it Roman on Thursday went to Chuck E Cheese.
I hate that place, but the boys love it.
He with with his best friends Jacob and Bryson.
All three are now 5 years old.
We bought a cake and sang Happy Birthday 3 times.

Liebe Oma

Liebe Oma, Hello aus Georgia! Wie gehts! Ich kann nicht warten zu dich sehen. Sehe was ich kann machen! Krabbeln! Ich bin ein ganz gute maechen! Bis naeche woche! Ein grosse kuess! Liebe, Addy

Dear Oma, Hello from Georgia! How are you? I can not wait to see you. Look what I can do! Crawl! I am such a good girl. Until next week, a big kiss. Love, Addy

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hiking, Waterfalls, and Carl Sandburg

Located outside of Asheville in a neighboring community called Flat Rock and Hendersonville you can find the home of the famous poet Carl Sandburg. Have you heard of him. We read his poetry in college. While the children had no idea who he was or why we were visiting the house, they did enjoy petting the goats and romping around his farm. After we left his home and got some lunch we headed to Du Pont State Park where we hiked Hooker Falls and Triple Falls. Both are pretty easy hikes though Triple Falls we had to hike in shifts because you could not push a stroller to see it and it was a little to steep to carry Addy in my arms. Winston was so excited to see this waterfall because it was where the Hunger Games was filmed.    There are many easy hikes in this region of North Carolina and I can't wait to  back and continue to explore.  If you are looking for great places to eat while in Asheville and Hendersonville check out these restaurants.

Hooker Falls
Winston at Hooker Falls
Roman, Ellenor, and Winston

Self Portrait of me at Triple Falls
Triple Falls the locations is where  Hunger Games was filmed

Triple Falls
MANY birds and the beating of wings
Make a flinging reckless hum
In the early morning at the rocks
Above the blue pool
Where the gray shadows swim lazy.

In your blue eyes, O reckless child,
I saw today many little wild wishes,
Eager as the great morning.
by Carl Sandburg

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eggs "cornerview"

While we spent Easter at home, we had a very simple Easter.   Just the 6 of us eating a simple dinner of ham, asparagus, peas, fruit salad, and strawberry pie.  Totally yummy.  However, the day before the boys participated in the Asheville city Easter Egg Hunt in Pack park.  The boys had a blast jumping on the inflatables, looking for eggs, and playing the other carnival like games.  Baby girl thought Easter was pretty fantastic too.  She loves playing with the plastic eggs.  The boys enjoyed eating her share of the chocoalte.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Biltmore

I have wanted to go to the Biltmore for years, and when my friend mentioned she was going to Asheville for spring break I invited myself to go along.  Then my mom wanted to come with us too since she had never been to Asheville or the Biltmore.  When  I saw the price of the tickets to get in to the Biltmore I made the decision not to take the older children with me.  Roman stayed back with Nana at the hotel along with my friend Lucy's older children.  I couldn't resist taking a photo of Addy and Roman with the tulips when we dropped Nana  off for her turn.  The estate is gorgeous.  What a beautiful family too.  I was surprised that the only three people lived in the Biltmore along with a couple dozen staff.  Very Downton Abbey.  Later the owners moved out when George Vanderbilt died and they opened the house to the public to offset the cost of operating the estate.  The estate is over 8,000 acres.  I would love to go back just for a weekend and stay in the hotel with my husband.  You can go horseback riding there and rent bikes.  The sheep in the meadows are so quaint, the gardens are beautiful, and the stray wild turkey running across the road is a wonderful surprise. 

Some things you should know if you would like to visit the Biltmore.  There are different prices to see the estate that will give you different access to the property.  It is worth it to pay the fee for the headset because you will not know anything about what you are looking at without the headset.  The house is lit very dimly in keeping with the time period and I was even told that it would have been even darker inside because they only had 17 watt light bulbs; however, I found it was almost too dark inside.  It was hard to see what you were looking at.  I would not go at a Christmas even though I am sure the Christmas decorations are beautiful.  Too much to look at and you will not notice the original decor.  The house is not really made for small children.  You cannot take a stroller to two levels of the house and bring an umbrella in case it rains because you will get soaked, and without an umbrella you can't see the gardens.  I still thought it was worth seeing even with the $50 price tag.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Today was our last day in North Carolina.  We stayed till about 3 p.m. and then we made the 3 1/2 hour drive back to Atlanta.  We wanted to spend Easter here at home.  By the way, Happy Easter!  I don't know about you, but I am glad this is the last holiday involving candy until Halloween.  I can't seem to resist the Easter time pastel wrappings.  Monday back to healthy eating.  I am digressing here.  Boy is North Carolina gorgeous!!!!  It made my heart leap as we got closer and closer to the mountains.  North Carolina is definitely God's country though Alaska claims that title in their slogan.  I think North Caroline and Asheville in particular is just as beautiful as Alaska.  It is one place I am glad I can say I have been too.  We got up pretty early this morning to make sure we had time to go to the farmers market before heading out to Chimney Rock.  I had seen on the food network a cupcake maker called Take the Cake who was from Asheville.  Anyway, she doesn't have a store front, but on Saturdays from April-December you can find her at the farmers market.  I bought a half dozen cupcakes along with a few other items for Sunday Easter dinner.  My mom  loved the hummingbird cupcake.  I had the lavender honey and the peanut butter chocolate cupcake.  The lavender honey was my favorite  and the boys had chocolate vegan cupcakes.  The cupcakes made a fantastic breakfast to go along with the gorgeous views.  Chimney Rock is located about 22 miles to the west of Asheville.  I was a little shocked by the entry fee, but the view was well worth the money.