Saturday, December 27, 2008

Amelia Island, Florida

For the first five days of our vacation we rented a little house on Amelia Island, Florida. From the living room window we could see the ocean. Look at the view we woke up to:

We had our own board walk, leading from "our" little house to the ocean. Someone was jumping with glee.

Historic downtown of Amelia Island is beautifully restored. It consists of a surprisingly large amount of old buildings that were decorated for Christmas. One morning we had the most delicious breakfast here. "Bright Mornings" and its chocolate chip pancakes, onion and red pepper omlets, warm grits...we might have to go back there on our way back home...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Son's view of Jacksonville, Florida

On Our Way

I packed our suitcases late at night, telling the kids they each should bring a bag with a few items they really need for our trip. We now travel with a plush toy deer, dog, dolphin and sheep.

I think, deer was comfortable.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Oma and daughter celebrating Christmas and each other with apple juice.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Last night we had our annual "Sleeping Under The Christmas Tree Party". Maybe it was not my best idea to have it on a school night but we are running out of time husband dragged the mattresses into the living room. We had pizza, ice-cream and the home make cookies that fairy godmother had brought by (very delicious). We watched a Christmas movie and just after 10 pm, someone remembered that he still had homework to do.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tree

A few days ago, we decorated our Christmas tree. Especially daughter was very excited about it.
She managed not to break our favourite ornaments, like the little guy that son picked at a Christmas market years ago. At the time we lived in Georgia and visited Germany just before Christmas. He was only 3 years old and I still believe that he picked that particular ornament because it looked just like himself at the time.

Daughter was also very careful with her most treasured piece... 
and husband's ornament, a guitar, of course. Only if you look very closely, you can see that she tried to play it and messed up the strings...

all of my toadstools made it...

she did, however, break our most beautiful bird ornament. And then our snow owl. She was unconsolable and wanted to interupt our tree decorating and have a funeral for the birds. She wanted us to go outside and dig a grave in the frozen ground.
"No," I said. "Absolutely not."
"What are you going to do with them?" she cried. "You can't throw dead animals in the trash."

I haven't wrapped all the Christmas gifts yet. I haven't baked one single cookie yet. 

No funeral for the bird ornaments. 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Party

We are going to the annual Christmas party from husband's work. There will be lots of speeches, nice food and the gift exchange, which is my favourite part. Everybody has to bring a gift for around $15 and put it under the Christmas tree. Later one guest after the other will chose a gift, unwrap it and keep it if they like it. If you don't like a gift, you can go up to a person whose present you do prefer and take that instead. The guest who was just robbed of his gift can either unwrap a new one or take one from another person. Normally there are one or two gift that everybody wants and there are a few nobody wants to take home. (Awful pottery, anyone?) 
It is a hoot and very, very funny.
Of course, you have to dress nicely and since I am a jeans kind of person, this takes a bit of planning for me.
Daughter and I decided on the MaxMara skirt:

Besides working at a farm, this is her favourite thing to do: going through my clothes... 

now I will have to spend the next hour putting all my clothes back on their hangers...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Enoki or the Winter Mushrooms

I am not quite sure what it is about mushrooms and me lately but I have stumbled upon a kind I had never seen before: Enoki mushrooms or, as they are sometimes called "winter mushrooms". They not only look nice, they taste delicious:

Soup with Enoki

a handful of Enoki mushrooms,
a teaspoon of butter
2 carrots (cut into small pieces)
a handful of frozen peas
a bunch of chives
3 cups of vegetable broth

heat butter in pan, add carrots, after about one minute add broth, then peas and chives (cut into small pieces). Let come to a boil. Cut mushrooms into smaller pieces and add just before serving. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008


This is what we woke up to this morning...

Advent calendar made for me by daughter. Every day I get to look at a little picture. One day, instead of a drawing I get to look at the word "Mama". I guess it is just a reminder of who I am...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We have a few Christmas traditions that are very dear to me. As the years go by, we keep on adding more and more till this year, I realised that we have too many of them. We can't possibly squish them all into December.
There is the annual Christmas tea and gift exchange we invite goddaughter, her sister and mother to. There is the night our family sleeps under the Christmas tree. Of course we have our visit to the Christmas market where we buy an ornament every year. We have an afternoon of cookie baking. There are many more but one that really sticks out is the night when fairy godmother, son and I go and see a musical or a play at a small, local theater. We have been doing this for the last 5 years, I believe and this year is the first time we have to move our tradition from December to January.     

I need more time for Christmas.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Santa Claus Day

On the night of December 5, kids in some European countries put their boots in front of their door step, hoping for Santa Claus to leave a little gift, some chocolate, apples and nuts. They always leave the largest shoes they own, in the hope for lots of chocolate and presents.
As one can see, husband was hoping, too: 

This year this was also the night, adventurous friend of mine and I decided to have a sleep over party. Our sleep over parties are always the same: Son waits not so patiently all day for his best buddy to arrive. They see each other, hug each other, hit each other over the head, push each other around. Then they will disappear in son's room or they will play playstation. For many, many hours. If we let them, from 8pm till 3am, like last night. The whole time they talk in a very quite manner as if not to draw attention to themselves. Which always works since buddy's mother and I are busy talking for many, many hours, too.   

Sometimes, friend and I mix some great cocktails. 

The next day the boys normally wake up early. They start playing immediately and don't stop till buddy's mom tells him he has to get ready to leave. Another 3 hours later, the boys are still talking in their low voices, playing. Buddy's mom will try to drag buddy out of the house. She will tell him, she REALLY has to leave. All the while the boys nod friendly and keep on talking and playing. After another hour, friend is considering leaving the house without her son. When the boys finally realise that there will be absolutely no further delays, they give each other a hug, hit each other over the head and push each other around. And they are loud, very, very loud.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ice Skating

Ice skating. Christmas cookies and hot tea. Frozen toes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Report Card

Husband and I were presented each with a report card by daughter the other day. It looks like our parenting style is pretty much the same. We passed "playing with daughter", "giving her sweets once in a while", "bringing her to bed and praying with her", "helping with homework", "cooking delicious food" (I was sure I would fail that) and "always picking her up, no matter where she is". However we failed in the subject of "providing her with a pet". 
Altogether we got a A-.
I am pretty pleased with myself.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent Calendar II

Son's advent calendar. He has never opened a package early. Which amazes me because, as a kid, I for sure did.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Alice Cooper/Whitesnake

Saturday night,
moi: working
son: sleep over party at friend's house 
husband: taking daughter to Alice Cooper/Whitesnake concert

Advent Calendar I

Every year in October and November I start preparing for one of my favorite Christmas traditions: the Advent Calender.

I will make one for son and one for daughter. Husband gets one. And each year I will pick someone special to me, whom I feel should have one.
This year, for the first time, I also made one for my godchild.

Which means I needed to wrap 120 little gifts and notes. There were times I thought I would lose it and I had to eat lots of chocolate to keep on wrapping. 

But come December 1st, daughter will wake up at 5am (and she will continue to do so till December 24th) to open another pocket of her advent calendar, she will be singing Christmas songs and dance around the apartment. And I will decide that come next November, I will wrap another 120 little packages.   

Here is the one for my "special person, Helenchen" this year:

This one I made for my godchild:

 And now I will start wrapping Christmas gifts... 

Friday, November 28, 2008


Thanksgiving is turning into one of my favorite holidays. Not being American, this is husband's day and he does all the cooking and planing, unless his mother is flying over for a visit. Then she is the one stuck in the kitchen with my 3 pots and a lonely pan.
But yesterday husband did all the work. He made his delicious mashed potatoes that are truely the best I have ever eaten. Turkey and corn. We even had cranberry juice. He did all the cleaning up afterwards while the kids and I were laying in bed rubbing our bellies.