Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cute sisters, cute nieces

My sister, Cea, had her first baby this week! I'll talk more about that later, but I did find this video and these pictures I wanted to share with everyone.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Take your sister to work day

So...Russell took me to work one day when I was in NYC....No wonder my brother is so broke.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mountain Dew, Lice, and adventures in church

I've been here for two weeks.
It feels like I've already been here for months. And yet, I can't believe it's already been two weeks. Let's see what this week entailed....
I'm getting the schedule down with the girls finally. Well not all the way, but that is definitely getting easier.
I found a cafe that I love. During the day I get out of the house and spend time there, reading my book of mormon in German, writing in my journal, eating pastries or drinking hot chocolate or fanta. I love being here, and the house is great, the room is really becoming my own, but I really like to get out of the house, so going into the town and looking around is really nice for me.

Well a few things that happened this week...Well for one, one night I was exhausted. SO TIRED, and I had to go get the girls from school and knew I was just going to be so tired all i left a little early, and bought a Mt. Dew. Now...Mt Dew bottles are GREEN here. Like...I was kinda scared to drink it, because...I was afraid I would turn into some teenage mutant ninja turtle or something. Nothing can be that acid green without having some radiation side affects.
Also, Cara had lice. I was like...OOOOOOOOHHH GRREEEEAAAATTTT. I spend a summer in India cuddling with kids crawling with lice and scavies and don't get either and I spend two weeks in Germany and I am goign to have lice. Luckily I didn't. Phew! breathe!

I also met my neighbors, they're from Seattle. They are awesome. Julie and Rob Platt. Julie is a lot like me...and a lot like my sisters. They have two boys, Charlie and Chad, and I love them. Boys are so easy to babysit! American kids are so easy to entertain! Here, Watch a movie. Here, draw a picture, here, beat up your brother. haha. No, but Julie and I connected really fast and I already know that she's going to be my haven here in this european foreign place. My little piece of America, with her American food and shipped costco stuff and american furniture and pottery barn.
Lastly was my experience getting to church on this video to understand better.

Well Yeah....So that was my opposition to getting to church this week. I missed sacrament meeting, but I made it and it felt so good to be there. I am having my records moved to this ward, and There will be an English speaking tute class starting in February, but I'll probably opt for FHE on Mondays. We'll have to see. Well That's my week at a glance. Please write! I miss everyone. And leave comments. I love the comments. :) Hope you enjoyed the video.

Hope things are going well! LOVE Y'ALL!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We just did!

So Carola and I spend a lot of time talking and lately the topic of choice and questions has been how in the name of all that is holy did your mother have ten kids?
My answer is usually: I don't know...she just did.
I look back on all of this and I think I am really lucky to come as the youngest of my siblings. She kept saying things like,
How did she keep the house clean?--She didn't
When did she wash the dishes?--After we went to bed
Who drove you all to your different activities? --She did
Who cooked dinner?--She did
Every night?--Yep.
When did she sleep?--Well...she didn't.
How did you guys find time to get what you needed from your parents with that many siblings?
--I don't know..we Just did.

I never in my life have felt unloved from my siblings. And I most certainly have never felt unloved by my parents. I can't speak for my siblings, but I think we all pretty much feel this way. I always felt as a child that if my parents wouldn't take care of me, my siblings would. And they still do. I didn't care that there were dirty dishes, I didn't care that there was laundry everywhere. What I cared about was when my siblings would go to school my mom and I would go on morning walks through the orange groves. I cared that Russell would let me come swimming with him and Ed. I cared that Kendra would help me with my math when I needed it.
I also think my mother taught us to be independent in the sense that I remember doing my laundry when i was 10 years old. My mother would have done it, and I'm sure i didn't do it every time (I still don't do my laundry every time). I remember packing my own suitcases for vacations (we always had to buy me a new toothbrush and once a sunday dress) but they point is, my mom didn't do everything for us like most mothers do. She couldn't. She relied on us to do things and help each other do things.
So I don't know how we did it. I don't know how we stuck together and all loved each other and had a mother who raised 9 of us. I just know...
We just did it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Riecht wie ein fuss....vielleicht schmeckt wie ein fuss

Smells like a foot...probably taste like a foot.
That's what I've discovered with the cheese here.

And whose brilliant idea was putting sardines in a can? I mean...gross.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Week Down. 51 to go!

Well I got through the first week.

It wasn't easy. I admit, I tried to put on this brave front making it seem that I was having a grand ol time, but the truth is I was extremely emotional and homesick for pretty much the whole week. So thank you for all your prayers and thoughts and emails of encouragement to help me get through this first week without my momma and puppy.

Well this week had some neat things. One moment that really helped me start to overcome my sadness of not being home was when I had to walk over to this stand that this little farmer has and buy some apples. So I asked him for a kilo in apples (in german) and he started getting the apples, but he started talking to me really fast and i just sat there and stared at him. He looked at me waiting for me to respond and I said, in german, "I'm sorry. I am from America and I don't speak German very well, so please speak slow." He said, "ah" as if he understood and slowed his speech to 85 mph rather than 90 mph through his gums. I just smiled, thrust two euro into his gnarled hand and escaped out into the cold. This is usually how our exchanges go.
But walking through the little village the farmer lives in, it was really neat. It was one of the first moments I stopped feeling homesick.

I've been able to walk through the village of oberursel and it was amazing. The town was first mentioned in histories in about the 1000 century, but it really became prosperous between 1400 and 1600. The houses are really old and the church sits on a hill in the middle of the village. Still to this day. The roads are really small and there are little staircases going in between the houses up the hill. It's amazing. (Russell and Kristi, you know exactly what I'm talking about, these little old European cities.) Anyway, I got a library card, yay!

My days start out about 7 am and I go down, get the girls breakfast. I pack them snacks, always apples, and then struggle to get them to eat. They just want to talk, not eat. So then I drive them to school (in the mercedes), occasionally stop at the bakery on my way home to buy bread (German bread...oh my gosh...yum). I have the whole day to myself while they're at school. Then I pick them up and well..that's where it changes each day with piano lessons and activities.
The last day Carola helped me take the girls to school, I got pulled over. I started to FREAK OUT. So I pulled over and Carola got out. They thought we had one of the kids not in a carseat, but we just showed them we did and they let us go. We got back in the car and sat there. then we looked at each other and both started to laugh. She said, my heart was pounding, and I said, not mine, it completely stopped.

Anna (9 yr old) brought home the class pet this week...a rabbit named......Coco Chanel. yep. Just like my puppy. I laughed when they told me its name. anyway, so the rabbit is the big hit at the house this weekend. But man, Sophia's friend, Emma spent the night on Friday, so when I picked them up from school, i not only had to fit in an extra child, but a rabbit, and all the rabbit gear. It took a while, but I finally did it. And poor Cara was smashed in the back of the car.

Yesterday, Michael (the father) and I took the kids to the swimming pool. Now, in Germany, each city has its own swimming pool, but they're so expensive, a lot of towns don't upkeep theirs. But Bad-Homburg has it's own swimming pool, and it's nice. Now let me describe nice. It has a shallow kids pool, a deeper lap pool, a huge like hot tub whirl pool, a kids hot tub whirl pool, a ice cold walking pool with these pebbles you walk on, apparently good for your legs, and then like a HUGE indoor fun pool center AND a huge outdoor fun center and a big waterslide. Yeah. Seriously. Oh not to mention HUGE dressing rooms and then a spa. A full functioning dayspa. It's pretty intense. But I guess it makes sense for this city to have this since Bad-Homburg used to be a spa-city for king wilhelm. Hence the castle here.

Anyway, we went into the pool and we had the three girls, Emma (a friend) and Aysha (another friend) and me and Michael. So 5 girls. He was like, this is a lot of kids. This is too much. Are you going to be okay? I just looked at him and said,'s going to be fine. And of course it was. But when we left he was like, wow. I'm exhausted, how are you? i just looked at him. I'm fine. I'm used to this. This is normal for me. Sooo...yeah. I'm fine. He laughed. They keep asking me, How did your mother do this with ten kids? I'm like...I don't know, she just did. And it worked. So funny they are afraid that their three girls are too much for me.

Today I got to go to church. I went to the international ward, which is about a 45 minute train ride, and then a 10 minute walk after that. it was raining pretty hard today, so when I got to church I was pretty cold and wet, but It felt so good to be in church. The missionaries introduced themselves and so did the bishop and the primary president. It was just so fantastic, and gospel doctrine was great, but it was in Relief Society that I met some great people. The Mission President and his family are in our ward, and his wife is just awesome.

I also met a family who lives in Oberursel. They are from Utah, but he works for Conoco, so they move all over the world. They moved in here in August from Abu Dhabi. They have a daughter 21, Jen, so it's nice to meet someone about my age who lives so close. They invited me to go to Denmark with them next weekend, but unfortunately I have to be home next Saturday night. I talked to another girl who told me about institute, and how to get involved.
The family took me home and said I was NOT going to take the train to church (which I'm really glad about, because round trip it would be 14 euro. which is about 56 euro a month for church and I'd do it, but I'm glad I don't have to.)

Anyway, There's my week. It feels good to be sunday, to sit in my room, work on my blog. I'm watching Gone with the Wind and just relaxing. I lvoe the emails I've been getting, so thank you for that. I love you all so much! Thanks for your prayers, keep them coming.

The girls made up a dance of course. And we had to sit and watch it. doesn't matter what language they speak, kids are all the same.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Here at last

Well I’m here.

Let’s see, I spent two days in New York with Russell and I had such a good time. I love him so much! We ate at Lombardi’s and Café Lalo from You’ve Got Mail, where Meg Ryan gets stood up by Tom Hanks, but she doesn’t know she’s actually stood up. He just antagonizes her. And we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and I almost got arrested. I got to go see him work. I mean I’ve been to his work before, but I got to see my brother be adorable and awesome and work. But all in all, I just love being with my brother. For the first time I felt like I was ready to stop visiting NYC and start living there. I love New York….er..I heart NY

I’m here with my family now in Germany. I had a long flight to Warsaw and even though it wasn’t, it felt like an even longer lay over in Warsaw, then a flight to Frankfurt. But I did get to see an amazing sunset. The sun is lower here than in Utah, so it always has that low feeling. I can't explain it. So it gets dark really early and the sun doesn't come up till like 8:30. Oh and it's FREEZING! I'm talking in the single digits.

It was so weird to get off the plane and see German everywhere. Michael and the girls were a few minutes late so I sat in the terminal internally freaking out that something had gone wrong. But he got there with the girls and they were shy as anything. They all learned to speak English from British examples so they all have little British accents. Not the easiest thing to understand. We got here and I sat up with the parents talking for a while. They’re awesome. I thought I wouldn’t get along with the father, but he’s really cool. More extroverted like me and Carola is more introverted, and in some ways…high strung.

They let me sleep in my first day, and I slept until 2 pm. We went to get the girls from school and she said, I think there’s a mormon church across the street from the girl’s school. I was happy to hear that but then as we pulled up…I saw that steeple with that familiar gold statue on top of it. It was the temple. I was like, Oh that’s not a church, that’s a temple! But there were apartments all around and a meeting house, so I went and saw what time meetings were. One meeting was at nine thirty and one at one thirty. My two least favorite church times. J hahaha. While Carola went to help the girls in choir and told me to go walk around and explore…umm..okay. So I went and got Hot chocolate from a café. I’m going to have to remember to take a book with me everywhere, like in India. But Germany is really like you imagine it. Old houses everywhere, tiny streets, cafes, shops, etc. It’s like you think. Our village sits right up next to another one called Bad-Homburg and it has a castle. Yep, an honest to goodness castle.

My room is on the top floor of the house, kinda attic like. It has a heater, but it’s still a little cold. Now I wish I would have followed mom's advice and packed my blanket, I bundle up at night. I’ve unpacked and moved in, but It still doesn’t feel like my place yet. I’m sure it will get there.

I've discovered that Christopher Plummer is attractive no matter what language he's dubbed in, Christopher Plummer is pretty dang attractive.

Well the kids will be home from school soon and I'd better be ready for them. Anna has violin and Sophia has something with her dad, so i have cara all to myself.