Sunday, March 31, 2013

The ElPhi Zoo

Come one, come all to the new ElPhi Zoo.
The entire family will enjoy the many exhibits, friendly animals and informative presentations.

The quaint environment is like no other zoo on earth.

The Africa exhibt is outstanding. The tiger, elephant and bear enjoy the wonderful view from the window sill.

The water in the Artic exhibit stays perfectly fridgid for the penquins and polar bears and is equally cozy on the couch.

Like most rabbits, the ones at ElPhi Zoo seem to have multiplied. It is the largest exhibit.

Visitors will enjoy the pretty songs from the Bird cage.

The zoo keeper loves to greet the guests at the aligator pond. She has trained them so well she can pick one up and allow the guests to pet it. But don't get too close to the mouth.

The monkey and racoon live high up in the tree couch. We are proud of our unique combination of animals.

Hi!Its me,Miss A. told everytheng riht but they were just .....not real!(the Animals!)
We had like 10 rabbits and 5 Penguins and a Sheep Family and 4 bears and......and......and.....

And Miss A. you forgot to tock about the Shepp!So I will tock about the Shepp.
There was one baby sheep that was a newborn. All people wanted to hold it. Her name was Schleify.

We did signs for all of the animals and put them on the cages. It included the animal and the name in English and German. Sometimes there was a picture of the animal. The crodiles did not have a sign because I forgot it and I first saw it when the tourists were already in. 

At the end we gave two special information stuff fo rmommy. Ph did one for the elephant and I did one for the brown bear. 

If you would like to come to our zoo, admission is 1 cent (but everyone gave more :)

****It is EHB's bedtime. We are going to end the story here tonight and schedule this to post on Easter Sunday. We wish everyone a blest day. Happy Easter! ***

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dying Easter Eggs

Yesterday we dyed Ester Eggs.It was fun! I made two yellow eggs because yellow is my favorit color.I did one dark and one in the middle.Miss A. helpt me sometimes!:D

 My brohter PH. did a lot of blue and green eggs.And my Sister did a lot of  pink  eggs.
We did not spill any color for the forst time!Mom was soooo happy!All the eggs turned out very good.
My egg was the last one finished because I wanted it as dark is it could be!Well it got pretty dark.Then, at supper I ate two eggs!They were yummy!!!!

 At the end Miss A. took some "Family-Easter-pics".

 I still have my egg  in the cup (in the pic :D).

See you soon , E.H.B.   :D

Friday, March 29, 2013

Guest post by EHB

Today's post took an extra security question to allow for log in. Blogger recognized that I was logging in from a new part of the world. I would like to introduce my special guest blogger Miss E.H.B.

Hello!My name is E.H.B.
Today we pickt up A. from the Airport!Miss A.´s Playn was late. So we windt playing at the Airport-playground.There were a  bus,a train,a rocket and a hillecopter.We playd that we went to Amerika with the bus.First I flow to the Mon with the rocket!It was cool!!!

Then we saw that there was a suitcase on the screen and wint to the place wer Miss A. should come out.Mom said that we were chanting like Miss A. would be a Rock star.

We were wading 15minits and we were chanting 10minits.PH.was giding nervis and me and N.S.B. were giding bord.BUT THEN GUES WAT ?MISS A. CAME!
We were all sooooooooo happy......But PH.`s first question was :What was taking you so long,Miss A.?We took some Pick`s and then we wint Home.
Wenn we came Home,we ate my favorit food!

Thank you Miss EHB! Didn't she do a great job writing in English. English is her second language and she is my wonderful translator. We have lots of fun things planned for my visit. Their welcome made me feel like a rockstar. Not only did I have a huge cheering section at the airport, I also had tulips, Duplos and Schoko and Keks waiting in my room for me. My chocolate is filled up again. 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Adoption video

One of the many blogs that I love to read is The Lettered Cottage. Layla and Kevin write about photography, interior design, craft/remodeling projects, their neighborhood and adoption.

Today's post is quick update on their home studies. They didn't share much about those details but they did include an amazing video.

It is about 6 minutes long.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

the countdown continues

It has been three years since I have been to Bonn. My faithful international friends have kept me well stocked in chocolate, but I have opened my last package of Duplos.

My Shoko and Keks have been gone for a couple of months. 

I'll make these stretch for fourteen more days, but I'm very much looking forward to some fresh chocolate. Three year old Duplos are still better than American chocolate any day. Fresh Duplos are even better than H's cookies. Or maybe it is the company that makes fresh Duplos so much better. 

"I'm excited to see you soon!!!"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Secret recipe

At Christmas time, all of us at the office received special packages with these heavenly cookies in them. My dear co-worker H is the pastry chef responsible for these works of art. We all raved and raved over them and asked for the recipe.

But she keeps it a secret. She wants to keep the cookies special and if everyone had the recipe they wouldn't be special anymore.

When it came time to plan E.A.'s Open House, we strategically asked H to make cookies for it. She let us shop for the ingredients, but she kept her recipe book hidden from us while she baked. She's a sneaky wise one.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blue skies, white snow and sunshine

Back when I was in 4-H, my Federation group took a ski trip to Galena. Even though I did not ski (the girls went shopping) that trip stuck with me as a highlight of my high school days. When I started in M-P, my group of high schoolers decided they liked the idea of going skiing. It had also been a tradition in M-P and it was not hard to convince the parents to let their kids go on a ski trip. In fact, it was the only time I had adults ask if they could chaperone.

One of those dad's was Dean. To the best of my memory, he helped chaperone my second ski trip. It was the one that we got caught in a winter storm and ended up staying overnight.

In his single days, Dean worked at ski resorts out west. He is a very good skier and instructor. He helped me learn how to ski - more than just on the bunny slope.

Unfortunately, that was the only year that it worked for Dean to go skiing with us.

As the Federation ski trip became an annual event, we added a 4-H alumni, Josh, to the chaperone list. Josh was one of the regular chaperones who came on the trip every year. Despite the many aggravations that go along with a group of 20+ teens and a high maintenance Program Coordinator (me) he always agreed to chaperone.

Shortly after I moved on to Taz., Josh, Dean and I were at the same wedding reception. We began making plans to go on our own little ski trip without the teens and all of the planning/coordinating needed for a large group. We just needed some snow and a day all of us were free.

Well, sadly, the winter of 2012 was not a big snow year - even in Wisconsin. So we missed our opportunity to go skiing. 

I do not run into Dean very often, so it seemed like the opportunity to plan another trip was not going to happen. Well, praise the Lord, Dean planned it anyway.

I got a call late Monday night from Dean who had already gotten a thumbs up from Josh. My calendar was free and a snowstorm was predicted for Tuesday. We aimed for Thursday and waited til Wednesday to make it official. All of us had items on the To Do Lists that had to get checked off first. We can only be so spontaneous. Our sense of responsibility is too strong to be totally care free. :)

Bright and early - well actually it was still dark out - they picked me up and we headed north. I was glad to get to sit in the back and nap while they talked tractors. 

You are probably getting a bit bored with this play by play of the day. So I'm going to switch gears and try and share a few insights and happenings of the day.

I made the decision to leave my camera at home. It is too big to ski with all day and I didn't want to have to run back and forth to the car to get it. I missed it terribly. It was a beautiful day. There were so many times throughout the day that I said "Oh, look at that shot." "I wish I had my camera." "I miss my camera." "Isn't that pretty." "If I had my camera I would take this...."

So the only documentation I have of the day is this photo, taken the next day, before I packed away the snow gear for next year.
Next year, I will make sure Josh brings his camera. And I will pray that we have the same clear blue skies, sunshine and snow in the trees.

For now, I will try to etch the scenes in my brain that I wish I had in jpg.
  • the top of the ski lift chair with the blue sky background
  • Josh and Dean riding on the chair lift with the sun back lighting their profiles
  • the afternoon sun shining thru the tree branches with the empty ski slope running thru the frame
  • Josh and Dean swishing down the slope ahead of me with snow clouds trailing behind them
  • the view from the top of the hill - a wide landscape of Wisconsin
  • the frozen river with untouched snow and the morning sun shining thru the break in the trees, glistening off the ice and snow.     
Those are some of the pretty scenes I remember. Some of the memorable ones are:
  • Josh wrapped around the tree in the middle of the slopes (staged)
  • The Batman and Robin sunglasses that Josh bought at the gas station on our way there
  • The retro sweater Dean wore. He found it in a ski hut when he worked out west. It was in great condition, very high quality.
  • The group effort to get my boots tight enough and in the skis. Only a photo could really work to give you a good picture of this process. I felt like a little girl who couldn't tie her shoes and a horse getting her hoofs cleaned. (Either way it made me smile to be taken such good care of.)
  • The awesome restaurant we ate at for dinner (Thanks Wisconsin J for your help with that.)
  • The $3 bottle of water.
  • The endless smiles on all of our faces throughout the day.        
Skiing with two guys who I consider to be very good skiers is a bit intimidating. It had been 4 years since I was on the slopes. I wasn't even sure if I remembered what to do

Being the stick in the mud that I am, I would have been content to stay on the green (easiest) and blue (middle of the road) slopes all day.  But after a couple of trips down the blue slopes, the guys were ready to move on to black. 

I reassured them that I would be OK by myself and I sent them on their way. They only agreed to go after I promised that I would head to the black slopes with them after lunch.

After meeting up for lunch in the lodge, on our first ride back up the hill, Dean immediately said, you promised "after lunch." So I sucked it up, swallowed my fear and meekly said "ok."

The fear of going too fast and loosing control was very strong. A small part of me was worried about making a fool of myself. A big part of me was petrified of getting hurt.

But two things made me willing to stick with it. A) Both Josh and Dean trusted that I could do it. They didn't make a big deal about it, they didn't coach me, they didn't baby me. They just showed me their confidence in what they knew I could do. B) Most of the time it was Josh, but some of the times Dean did this too...half way down the hill the slope became much steeper. When they were ahead of me, they stopped at that crest. Waited for me to get there. Smiled. Debated with me on who was going to go the rest of the way first. "Kicked me in the butt" when I was starting to freak out. Mainly just checked on me. C) They always waited for me to get to the bottom. No matter how long it took me to get there, both of them just simply waited, so we could go back up together.

Encouragement #2
Mid afternoon, I needed a break from the black slopes, so I took a long slow green slope that swung out around the black slopes. The whole resort was pretty empty that day. But this slope was really empty. The only person I saw on it for this particular run was a little boy standing along the fence, facing the wrong way. 

When I stopped to check on him, he asked for help with his ski. He couldn't get his boot back in the ski. As I was helping clean the snow and ice off his boot and in the ski clips, he was telling me his story.
"I bumped into this orange fence and my ski came off. I think it saved my life. I would have gone off the mountain if it wasn't there. My friend is probably wondering where I am. I can't get my toe to go in the ski. This is the hardest green slope here.

After we got him all fixed up, he zipped away and headed down to find his friend. Thankfully towards the bottom I passed him and got to hear and see the next part...

Another little boy was sitting off to the side near the ski lift. He had taken his skis off and was playing in the snow. As my new friend got closer to the lift his friend yells out "Jonathon, what happened."

I turn to see Jonathon coming down the slope with a huge smile on his face, giving his friend a big wave as he shouts "I bumped into the orange fence and lost my ski......" It was the sweetest exchange between two young friends.

That is another scene I wish I could have capture with my camera. 

As you can tell, it was another wonderful adventure. I'm glad I have this blog to share it with you and to have a place to go back and reread in the future, when I start to think my life is too boring and plain or the stress of my To Do list is too overwhelming. 

There are more stories to tell from this sunshiny day, but I think I better save them for another day. 

Love ~




Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Birthday E!

My dear friend E, celebrated her birthday in February. Her mom planned a little surprise party for her. Basically, some of her friends crashed their family birthdays.

 Just ignore the numbers on the cake. She is really just 25!

We all love E so much that we are willing to travel many miles to help her celebrate! Wisconsin, Indiana, Georgia...
 and Germany.
So glad international J could be at the party too! :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A special To Do list

This weekend I spend some quality time with these two lovely ladies...
And throughout the day, they pointed out some things they thought I needed to do....

  • move back to Henry
  • put a floor down in the attic
  • make the attic into a finished room
  • put a fireman's pole from the attic down to the basement
  • find a husband (but only if he likes them and let's them come over still)
  • paint the front bedroom a different color
  • clean my car
  • keep the rainbow fan
Well.....I can paint the front bedroom a different color and clean the car. I'm not so sure about the others. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

It's official, my brother is a dork

When I asked him to pose for this picture so I could post it on my blog, he replied "I don't want to be on your blog. Only dorks are on blogs."

Well, he obviously doesn't follow my blog. Or he would have known he has been a dork for awhile...

The reason I asked him to pose for me was that he and my dad had just finished replacing my attic stairs.

The original ones worked fine when I moved in. But then when I needed to get up to the attic to do some re-wiring (OK, it was my dad who needed to get up there to do rewiring) the stairs would not pull down. 

With some elbow grease and only one fall from the ladder, they got them replaced.

The new stairs pull down much easier. I still need to cover the bare wood and fix the trim, but for now, they work and that was all I needed to move on to the next project.

Replacing this....
and this.

Stay tuned for the updated photos of my "new" light fixtures. They are so pretty.

Thanks Dad and baby brother for all of your hard work!