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.