Monday, November 16, 2009


Say what? Yes, we have added a new addition to our family and she is an "Entlebucher Mountain Dog". This is indeed the English name for her. Not to be confused with a Bernese mountain dog, they are MUCH larger and have a lot of long hair. We loved Luna - Oma and Opas dog, but we wanted a somewhat smaller dog.

When we were interviewing for the position of house dog, we ran across this breed and were really excited to find a dog with similar traits as a Bernese Mountain Dog, but with shorter hair and smaller frame. In addition to being good family dogs like Luna, they are known for their agility and liveliness.

Lexi was born on September 1, 2009 and joined our family on November 4th. She is a purebread with all the papers you need and she came with an offer for free vacation care - can't beat that. The kids were so excited to finally have a dog and they all take turns taking her out for her business, to play and for short walks since she is still too little to really go far.

Sunday, July 12, 2009



Early the first day we packed up and headed to Disneyland. I was especially excited to share something from the Disneyland magic of my childhood with my children, but as things with expectations go, it didn't turn out how I had planned it in my head. But that's just life. By some bizarre twist of fate, the week before we arrived, Josh called Caleb and told him he was planning on being in CA and taking his boys to Disneyland – on the exact day we had planned for several months already to go with Caleb, Julie, Max and Emily. So we were 14 people total – now that’s enough to really call it a reunion. And we were all about reunions this vacation trip!

I won’t take much time describing Disneyland – it is always magical, even when the lines are way to long and the family got spread out everywhere because it was impossible to cater to everyone at once. The weather was fortunately quite tolerable. They haven’t had the electrical parade there since about 1996, but they have a pretty amazing fireworks show that a lot more people can see from all over.

Tyler was the only one that got to meet Mickey Mouse and after seeing the lines to meet other characters that day - it amazes me that he did. He looks a little wary in this picture, but actually he ran up to him and gave him a big hug and said, "Hi Mickey"! It was absolutely adorable and the prof. photographer there didn't stop clicking, but his pictures were not much better than mine and I still haven't decided to fork out 15$ for ONE.

Tyler LOVED Max.

The teacups must be.

Caleb and the boys.
I'm glad I finally know what the “Tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room, where birds sing words and the flowers croon” is, after hearing the song for the first time last year on vacation in Italy- again and again and again. I can’t believe I never saw that as a kid.

MY favorite ride is still “It’s a Small World”.

And all days must come to an end - even a magical day at Disneyland

Friday, July 10, 2009


We arrived in the afternoon (the same day that Michael Jackson died - we realized this while listening to the radio and hearing them say, "in memory of"), just in time for rush hour, we were fortunate enough to pick up ALL of our luggage and then our rental car. We had rented a “mini van” for the time, but actually got a big 15 passenger van minus the last bench, giving us lots of room to live out of the back, where all our suitcases could be thrown. The kids dubbed it “Emmet” due to it’s vastness. Emmet made it to the freeway before he started blinking “low tire pressure”. We even pulled over on the 6 lane freeway during rush hour, because the on ramp had been so rough, we were convinced we had somehow gotten a flat tire.

We actually made it to Pasadena though - without a flat - to first greet Emily, Caleb, Julie and Max, but Benny took Emmet back and exchanged him for a white van they named “Moby Dick” – needless to say, it was as big as whale. Kind of our "closet" to be for the next 5 weeks, we grew fond of our new transportation. Pictures to come.

After such a long trip, it was just perfect for Tyler and Max to get to play before having to go to bed. They hit it off from the first minute. Tyler still talks about "my Max"

(Caleb actually had taken a really cute video of the boys and Julie playing, but after uploading for over 24 hours, I "cancelled" and upon investigation found that it is 197 MB and uploads can't be over 100 MB, so I will need to shorten or shrink it before I can upload it for you here, neither of which I know how to do - never had the need. I will find out though.)

Cousins before bedtime the first night, except Niklas - he crashed.

Monday, July 6, 2009


The time had finally arrived and vacation had officially begun, however, we still had a lot of travelling ahead of us before we finally reached our vacation destination: USA. Since the prices for airline tickets were significantly cheaper from London, that is where we headed first. We loaded up the car and drove to London, where we parked our car for 5 weeks and flew to America. To get to London we endured hours and hours of traffic jams because the autobahn had been closed completely due to traffic accidents – plural. We drove through the CHUNNEL, a first for us. Upon arriving in London, we stayed in a hotel, giving us a head start on the next day. It was a very relaxed trip to the airport the next morning and a great flight to the states.

Getting ready to hit the road. . .

Getting started, leaving Opa and Oma Schulze in Burgdorf.

Getting in the train for the Chunnel!

Somewhere beneath the sea!

In spite of hours in the car, everybody is in a good mood.

The next day, ready to board! Anticipating the adventure that lies ahead.


After four years of Kindergarten, Jeffrey will start school in August. At his kindergarten they have a fun tradition for the kids leaving - they have to jump out of the window. So here is Jeffrey on his last day of Kindergarten.

Here he is anticipating the jump.

Woops, he jumped so fast I almost missed.

They gave him a bunch of foto albums of his time in Kindergarten.

If you look close, you can see Jeffrey's head towards the back of the group. This is a really big group hug. All his friends gathered around him to hug him on his last day. He was a pretty popular kid in his group. Everyone loves Jeffrey.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Since Prague is one of the only major European cities that I haven’t visited in the sixteen years I’ve lived in Germany, I looked forward to this weekend with great expectations. (Unfortunately I didn’t have time to prepare as I would have liked too – reading up on the city and deciding what sites I wanted to see.) The reason for me being in Prague would explain why I was pushed for time, as well as the fact that this weekend was just two weeks before leaving to the states for the summer.

I have worked as a secretary for my father-in-law for the last 5 years. Part of his assignment has been to oversee the seminary and institute programs in the Czech Republic, so consequently I have had contact with people in this country for just as long. It was never necessary or convenient for me to be there personally to meet the people I had contact with, as I had met most of them at different times in Germany. Due to some internal restructuring, Michael is no longer overseeing the Czech Republic, and so I will no longer have any contact there either. We arranged a final meeting in Prague to meet with the main people over there and kind of turn over the keys. It was kind of sad to say good-bye, even though new tasks await, but all of it provided me the opportunity to see one of the great cities of the world. So enjoy a few pictures. The rest are on my photo site.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Since I am going to play catch up today and bring everyone up-to-date, I am going to make sure I don’t leave anything out, especially Benjamin’s BIG day.

On June 4th Benjamin had his oral exam to become a board certified surgeon. He had reviewed for several months and attended several seminars to prepare for it, including a seminar held locally that he found out about just the night before and adjusted his schedule to attend. He realized what a blessing this had been when the first questions he was asked, were pertaining to rectal/colon cancers – the exact subject of the seminar he went to. He was able to answer ALL the questions to such an extent that the professor asked the other professor if he would have been able to answer the question, to which he answered NO. Needless to say, Benjamin passed the exam without a moment’s hesitation. We will be celebrating this milestone in our lives during our five week’s vacation in America – again, and again and again. We are so happy to finally be this far.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I have missed a lot of blogable things of late. (I truly apologize for that, stay with me through the next couple of months, I promise to do better.) But of all the things I have missed, I vowed to finish this one. One reason is because our first son was baptized on April 26th. He has chosen to enter into this sacred covenant with his savior Jesus Christ and follow his example. I could not be happier than to see my children make this kind of a decision in their lives. The second reason is so he can see how much we love him and how important he is to us in our family. Here are just a couple of pics of the day:

The proud parents with Niklas

Baptizer and baptizee

Some of the people who helped make the day special: Michael gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost, Steffen spoke about the Holy Ghost and Marielle led the music and prayed.

Meike came all the way from Switzerland to give a talk about baptism.

Martin was cool as usual and helped set up everything for the cake buffet.

Karin added moral support when needed.

The missionaries provided the interval music while Niklas changed.

Here's a pic of the gang - all his friends who came to see him be baptized.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Jeffrey has a new love!

After finishing 2 years of introduction to music, we were faced with the task of choosing an instrument. I signed him up for percussion, but the other kid didn't show up. Jeffrey sat down on the drum set and pounded away. The teacher said, "Well, if he has that much interest for the drums, you should consider just starting him there." So we did. I figured that our Rock Band drums would suffice for awhile at least. Three weeks into his lessons has been a short "while" however. He started crying after the second lesson, "when do I get my drum set?" We have been blessed to not have to buy one just yet, as we have a friend who had a set in his basement and has allowed us to borrow them for awhile.

Jeffrey can't stay away from them. Normally he is scared of the basement... that fear is suddenly gone. He runs down there several times during the day. (I know this will not last forever.) Today he started at 7:45am. I am glad we don't live in an apartment. He loves to rock out and "practice his beats". It is really fun to see how much energy and concentration he puts into it.

A side note on the subject of Jeffrey: today for lunch we had an interesting conversation. He said he wanted the other half of his heart back. If he hadn't been so serious I probably would have laughed, but instead I had to explain, that he never had a whole heart and he couldn't just get it back. Some things just come out of nowhere and really get you thinking. I suggested he could be happy that it was only a half a heart he was missing and not half of his leg or something, because this way he can still walk and run. The conversation took its turn.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Last fall I flew to the states on Oct. 9th. I had also been invited to a wedding reception that very night - a wedding reception for which I had volunteered to make their wedding cake. (This is a secret hobby of mine for anyone who doesn't already know.) So I had planned this elaborate 5 tiered wedding cake with alternating cakes of chocolate chip (recipe: compliments of Lee & Lisa Broadhead) with an incredible chocolate mousse filling and orange cake with an orange buttercream filling (recipe: compliments of Sister Smith). Then my husband booked me a flight to the states. I was a little worried how I was going to pull off getting this cake finished before leaving for my flight at 10am. The biggest thanks here goes to Sister Beazer. She is an older sister serving currently with her husband here in our ward and I had heard she had made wedding cakes in a bakery for many years before she retired. So we met and planned how everything would work. I made all the cakes ahead of time and froze them. Then the day before, I made all the fillings and frosting, ordered the flowers and gathered all the other paraphernalia together that one needs to complete such a monumental task and took it to her and wished her the best of luck and thanked her greatly. I knew it would turn out great... and I think it did.

Here are some pictures of our work of art.

This post is dedicated to Mariella, who also tasted several of the cakes I made for Peter and Maren to try, but didn't see the finished product. Since Mariella and Steffen need to decide what kind of cake they want for their wedding that's coming up, I thought I would post a few of my previous cakes...

This was the yellow cake with lemon creme I made for Franzi's wedding.

This was the strawberry cheesecake with white chocolate frosting I made for Julia's summer wedding.


I know, it was funny the first time, but not as funny this time... I had to say it again though, I just couldn't resist. My kids love the WII Fit board and are always battling over who gets to excercise. They try to out hula or out ski or out race the others and it is fun. I love that they actually enjoy the idea of excercising.

Since Tyler is always around, he is probably the best observer. Here he is carefully watching Tori.

But just always watching is not really any fun. He wants to be part of the action. "I too, I too" he begs and steps on the board... of course throwing the weight way off and frustrating Tori in the process. How can she beat my scores when Tyler is on the board too.

And here I have caught him making another attempt to get on the board. "Ah, ah, ah Tyler," I say and he looks at me again to make sure I'm not looking before he puts his hand down where he knows he's not supposed to.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


We toasted in the New Year with sparkling apple cider, kissed, and then headed outside for the show!

New Year's Eve in Germany is crazy - like 4th of July crazy. The streets are so littered in the bigger cities, that you literally have to wade through the debris from the night before. Our little street is not in the big city, but the show is quite worth watching anyway.

The fireworks display lasts at least a half an hour, and as with most years, this year being no exception, we were frozen by the time we headed back inside.

The kids really get into the action too.

All the kids have sparklers and pop rocks and can't wait to help an adult light off some little spinning thing or anything they might be allowed to.

I'm not sure if Tyler really thought he'd get to light everything in "his" package, but he wasn't letting go of it for anything. It was his!

When we came back inside we had "BERLINER," most commonly known as a jelly filled doughnut. This is a huge tradition to eat these on New Year's Eve / New Year. I'm not sure why, but we do. Funny thing though, Boris and Becky lived in Berlin the last 8 years or so and Boris told me that in Berlin they call them "PFANNEKUCHEN" which means pancake. Go figure! In any case - here's wishing you all a belated HAPPY NEW YEAR!!