Happy Valentine’s day from HausMiller

These are the cute little Valentines the girls handed out in class on Tuesday.  Big Ive helped me fold all of the jumping origami frogs they handed out with the cards.img_7885

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New IKEA opening adventure

JR and I went to the new IKEA building opening on February 8, 2017.  The old IKEA building in Burbank was 26 years old and much smaller than their newer ones.  The new IKEA building is now the biggest in the world and has it’s own parking garage.  JR and I went for the adventure of opening day — and we hoped we would score some free stuff!

After dropping the girls off at school, we got to IKEA a little after 8am.  Opening was scheduled for 9am.  The line was already huge.  There was no way we were in the first 26 people in line to win a new sofa, or in the first 100 people in line to win a POANG chair.  Oh, well.  JR got a stuffed heart toy and they were still giving out about 2000 little gold envelopes with random gifts.  Ours had a buy one, get one free cinnamon bun card inside.  One of those gift cards with a monetary value would have been nice.  : )

In traditional non-tradition IKEA style they had a log sawing instead of a ribbon cutting ceremony.  One of the associates played trombone while another sang the national anthem while the American flag was being raised.  It was a fun little opening ceremony.

A friend of mine came along and we walked through the entire showroom and the warehouse below.  The line for the cafeteria was about a 90 minute wait.  We did not think it was worth 90 minutes for meatballs.

The only thing I bought was a child-size POANG chair.  We had 2 for the girls and JR needs his own now.

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First visit to Disneyland for the kids

LOML was able to get us some one-day passes to The Happiest Place on Earth.  We decided that was a good reason to take the kids, even though we hadn’t been planning to visit Disneyland at this time.  The last time I had been to Disneyland was when I was in high school.  LOML hadn’t been since he was 6!

We didn’t tell the kids what we were doing and they managed to guess what it was as we drove down to Disneyland.  When I first asked them what the surprise was they guessed going to get ice cream, going to the park, and going to paint pottery.  Those are all fun things to do, too.  We didn’t try to get everything done.  We didn’t want to rush and we didn’t want to push the kids on rides that might scare them.  Our kids can be very sweet and sensitive to scary things at times.

It was a really fun day, even if it was cloudy and on the cool side.  The kids had no idea what Disneyland had in it.  They rode the rocketship ride first and asked if they could just keep riding that.  We didn’t talk up all of the many many things to do at Disney, so they were content to just go with the flow.  We rode Roger Rabbit’s ride, the train, Storybook boats, small world, Dumbo, Pinocchio, the jungle cruise, carousel, Buzz Lightyear ride.  They got to see Mickey (Big Ive did not want to join in the family photo with him), Goofy (I had to give him a high-five before JR decided he could), Pluto, Mary Poppins, and Alice and the Mad Hatter.  While talking with my mom on the phone Big Ive said her favorite thing was watching the musical chairs game that Mad Hatter and Alice put on for some people during our ice cream break.

The only negative was that it was really really crowded.  It seems everyone decided to skip the Super Bowl and go to Disneyland instead.  I overheard some people saying it was as busy as it gets in July during their peak summer season.

With my 3 leg surgeries last year we never got the chance to go to a theme park.  This was definitely a fun day.  I’m so thankful my leg has recovered so well to allow me to do a whole day out on my feet with my family.

Who knows…we may just become one of those people who get the SoCal season passes so we can go more often.  : )

img_2960very first photo inside the park

img_2900I grabbed Big Ive and carried her over with me
to get the whole family in the photo with Mickey Mouse.

img_2916Family Selfie — “Felfie” — on the little train ride


Little E’s first day of Kindergarten

More than half of the school year is done, but better late than never to get this post out.  I was happy to not be in a boot and using crutches for this child’s first day of school.  And like the typical middle child, I have less photos of her than of her older sister.  I feel guilty about that often.  Also, it was really hard to divide my time between Big Ive and Little E when they both needed me on the school yard before school that first morning.  Big Ive didn’t know how to read and couldn’t find her teacher’s line without me.  Little E had no idea what to do as this was her first day at the school.  I couldn’t leave her alone.  So, with JR in tow in the little stroller we all found Big Ive’s line first and got her settled.  Then we found Little E’s line.  Big Ive looked so sad and little when I had to leave her to go to Little E’s line.

Little E was excited to begin kindergarten at the school.  Her 5th birthday was just 3 days before school started.  (We later found out there was only 1 child with a birthday later than hers.)  She probably wondered why she hadn’t already been allowed to go to school there.  It is sometimes hard to be the little sister.

Her teacher, Frau KT (KindergartenTeacher), waited until all of the older children had gone to their classes before we started walking to her classroom.  Little E had to deposit her snack bag and lunch box in the right buckets, put her backpack in the cubby, find her desk and go sit on the carpet at the front of the classroom.  Then it was time for me to say goodbye and wait 5 hours to see her again.

le_kinderday1waiting in the school yard before the school day begins
new striped dress that one of her Grandmas had made

img_0196on the carpet at the front of the classroom with friends

img_0192some old friends and some new friends

img_0212happy to be done with school, with Schultüte in hand

img_0217 img_0214


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short art

I seem to enjoy creating what I consider ‘disposable’ art.  Art made on things or with things that have a short life.

braiding the girls’ hair –> braids are taken out within a day or two
hand-drawing gift tags –> thrown away with the wrapping
drawing seasonal displays on our windows and mirrors –> washed off the next season or to clean
doodling on zip-top bags for the girls’ lunches –> get thrown away after use

Although it’s not HausMillerAdventure completely in nature, I think I’m going to try to take photos of what I create and post them on here.  There’s something freeing in creating art that doesn’t have to last forever.  And it is a good exercise to find the art in the daily tasks of life, in the few minutes I have to let my mind go.

img_7575‘O Holy Night’ with chalk markers on a big wall mirror

the other giant wall mirror in our dining room decorated for Christmas
FUN FACT: as of February 4, 2017 it is still on the mirror. :)

Also, photographing mirrors is SUPER hard.

img_7565gift tags for Christmas presents
FUN FACT: no one else in the whole house cared that all the presents had matching gift tags.

2015 Halloween makeup


Some of the hairstyles I’ve been able to create with the girls’ long hair — everything from simple braids, to dutch and french braids, to topsy turvy pony tails, to an attempt to look like a unicorn.

Big Ive’s first day of Kindergarten in the US

August 10 was the first day of kindergarten for Big Ive. I think she was a little nervous. LOML ended up having to travel for work and wasn’t there so I had to walk her and the other 2 kids in while on crutches because of my Achilles’ tendon tear.

She she had to wear her germany shirt on her first day. And Little E had to wear hers, too.

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[daily life] language

“I really don’t like without holding him.”

-Big Ive 10.04.2015 meaning she doesn’t like not being able to hold the baby.

I’ll put it in something special … called a potato.
-Big Ive 14.04.2015

Maybe there’s a rat in the little door. Or a baby monster or alien.
-Big Ive 18.04.2015

Me, too! Me, too! I tried one lasterday and my grandfather told me I could have one!
-Little E 09.05.2015 referring to ginger ale on the flight.

The song Paprazzi turned into Papa Roxie, according to Big Ive. “I know the song she sang to her Papa Roxie. Papa papa papa Roxie.”

Me: what are you doing, Little E?
Little E: making a booby track.

When you cut down a tree and you see the round thing that tells you how old the tree is. It’s a bean-stomp.
-05.06.2015 Big Ive. A tree stump mixed with bean stalk.

Cactuses have a sense of skin.
-Big Ive 13.06.2015

I know bullseye. It’s giddy up in German.
-Little E 28.06.2015

Me: we bought a kiddie pool for the backyard.
Big Ive: but it’s only for humans.

Big Ive, stop talking my words!
-Little E 04.07.2015

Sometimes the trees are little little little
Little little little
Little little little
Sometimes the trees are big big big
Sometimes the trees are dead dead dead
01.08.2015 Little E, sung to the Wheels on the Bus

More ringles, please. (Pringles)
-Little E 09.08.2015

“That thing you have to squeeze and open to make music.” What is it? An accordion.
-Big Ive 09.08.2015

Mom! Ants go in line with what they do.
-Little E 20.08.2015

Laser eggs!
-Little E 22.08.1015 laser rays.

Little E playing doctor on me: “let me check your knee-flexes. Let me check your heart-beep again.”

Sucker cup (suction cup)
-Big Ive 03.09.2015

“Every people is a person, right, Mom?”
“Maybe we can have a playover someday,” Little E said to Tarzan, a preschool friend. Like a mix of play date and sleepover.

Big Ive said, “Germany is called Englischland.”

Ich bin die Katze. I am a cat.
Ich bin die Schnecke. I am the snail.
Ich bins der Rabbit. I am the rabbit.
-29.08.2015 Little E reading a German book to herself.

Everyone do that on my planet.
-15.10.2015 Little E.

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a year of travel

We have traveled the US and part of the world this year.

March – drive to AZ for spring break

May – Germany for 2 weeks (including dinner in France one evening!), then Pennsylvania to visit family

June – add in a quick trip to Massacheusetts, Delaware and New York while we’re on that side of the country

July – the baby and I went back to Massacheusetts for a university promotion

August – quick 6 day trip to Colorado

September – the baby and I will be making a quick weekend trip to Minnesota to visit family and see a tractor show.

November – the whole family is driving to Phoenix for Thanksgiving with family.

December – we are heading back to the farm where LOML grew up to spend Christmas with that side of the family. We are excited about this as most of them have not met the baby, yet.

Coast to coast and across The Pond, it’s been quite a year. It makes me feel exhausted reading that list. Somehow we managed to do all of that with a 5 year old, 3 year old and a baby who is now just 9 months.

Travel should slow now that Big Ive has started her Kindergarten year at a public school here in SoCal. No more taking the kids out of school whenever we want.

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[daily life] language

Long overdue. I’m trying to figure out life in our new city and most days it’s pretty crazy. I hope to post more soon.



I’m a resth-cute.
“I’m a rescue,” said while wearing her batgirl cape.
-Little E 21.01.2014

I tryin’ a yuppin’. (Said while trying to sweep.)
– Little E 29.01.2014

You daddy, daddy.
-Little E 06.02.2014

How she sit correctily?
“How does she sit correctly?” She was building a mega block chair for a stuffed sheep.
-Big Ive 11.02.2014

Can I machen zu?
“Can I close it?” ‘Machen zu’ is to make closed.
-Big Ive 22.02.2014

I have applesth (pointing to her ankles).
-Little E 26.02.2014

Very first thing Little E said when she saw me upon waking in the morning: Eisth cream. Can we go get Eisth cream?

-03.08.2014: I like to move it, move it. I like to move it, move it.

Daddy, I’ll fleug it to you.
“Daddy, I’ll fly it to you.” She used the German word when talking about her paper airplane.
-Big Ive 11.03.2014

Compitated. Mom’s compitated. Daddy’s compitated. Little E’s compitated.
-Big Ive 20.03.2014 ‘complicated’

Uhh, Daddy? Disth is a bycthacle.
-10.04.2014 Little E, when she first noticed Big Ive’s new bike (before Big Ive had gotten up in the morning).

Dersth a tummy in you baby. (There’s a baby in your tummy.)
– Little E 14.04.2014

…with a very serious look on her face.. ‘His birthday is in 20.’
-Big Ive 26.04.2014 I’m not sure what kind of 20 that is.

Da balloonsth are growin’ outsthide, Daddy! Da balloonsth are growin’!
-Little E 27.04.2014 We had balloons on sticks for Big Ive’s birthday party and they were stuck in the flower boxes outside.

Me: Big Ive, do you want to play I spy?
Big Ive: ice pie?

I’m not the sweetest one. I’m the cool one. Little E is the sweet one.
-05.05.2014 Big Ive, after I said I have two sweet girls because I usually call Little E my Sweet Girl.

I’m thinking the baby should have red hair like me. I’m thinking the baby should have green eyes like you. I’m thinking the baby should have a mouth. And I’m thinking the baby should have a nose.
-06.05.2014 Big Ive

He’sth a little bit! (He’s little!)
-08.05.2014 Little E

A present-taper?
“Present-paper?” (Meaning wrapping paper. These were said very slowly, trying to get the new conjoined word out.)
-11.05.2014 Big Ive

We were at a restaurant and Little E managed to knock over Chris’ beer. Both Chris and I let out a f*ckin-A. To which a Big Ive echoed, clear as day, flockin-A. It was hilarious. So now we are saying that, which I’m sure is not any better than the real words. Little E has picked it up now, too.

Oh, my neck doesn’t put the noodle inside.
-Big Ive 21.05.2014 She was eating noodles and felt like one got caught in her throat a little. Took a drink and all was fine.

Be carefully, ok? Be carefully.
-Little E 05.30.2014

Oh, my tummy. My tummy doesn’t have so many choices!
-Big Ive 05.30.2014

Here’sth sthome a-more butter. Sthome a-more.
-Little E 30.05.2014

I’m an engtineer. I’m a fix kid.
“I’m an engineer and a fix-it kid.”
-Big Ive 09.06.2014

I put my lips in my mouf and make elephant words.
-Big Ive 12.06.2914

I hear something over there. It’s the washmacleaner. (washing machine)
-Big Ive 29.06.2012

I just wanna stay away from mommy.
I’m allergic.
-Big Ive 01.07.2014

Da ansthwersth (answers in Little E-speak) are gonna get usth (us)!
-Little E 02.07.2014

Squirt water! (Sprinkler)
-Little E 14.07.2014

Does Little E have a tail fox zipper? A tail fox zipper?
(A fox tail zipper, because her new little backpack looks like a little red fox.)
-Big Ive 15.07.2014

Little E: I don’t know where your hair is.
Grandpa: I don’t know either.
-10.08.2014 Little E referring to grandpa’s balding head while playing

I have room. It’s on the side!
-10.08.2014 Big Ive, referring to the room in her stomach for frozen yogurt

(Bubblegum. She was so sure of it being said like that.)
-18.08.2014 Big Ive

No, pleasthe.
“No, please.”
-29.08.2014 Little E’s version of ‘no thank you’.

Stop putting air in my ear! (I was breathing too closely to her, I guess.)
-Big Ive 18.09.2014

I wanna slide down a big mountain where there’s lots of snow on the bottom, lots of snow on the middle, and lots of snow on the top.
-19.09.2014 Big Ive

Kritzel-kratzel drawing = scribbling in German
-23.09.2014 Big Ive

Little yelled over to me, “Hey mom! Come see Charlotte.”
I walk over to her in the back patio and she says, “Hi, Charlotte. My name is Little E.”
-29.09.2014 Little E talking to the little spider she found in the cooler in the back patio.

I don’t want them take my bed!
-29.09.2014 Little E said this about the movers packing up her bed.

I’m gonna miss Germany a lot.
-01.10.2014 Big Ive. [[I know, kid. Me, too.  Me, too.]]

Mommy, it’s no schlimm.
“Mommy, it’s not so bad.”
-02.10.2014 Big Ive, said after I pointed out she dribbled chocolate milk on her white shirt.

Me to Little E: Shhh! You’re so loud!
Big Ive’s reply: I can’t hear my paper.

I want some so viel!
(‘so viel’ means ‘a lot’. She wanted a lot of coins to play with.)
-04.10.2014 Little E

Ooooohhhh, dat’sth stho Süß.
(Oh, that’s so Süß. Süß =sweet. Said while flipping to a new page in a coloring book.)
-06.10.2014 Little E

This is yummy salt.
-12.10.2014 Big Ive, referring to the sugar on her donut.

Hey, my thumb is wrinkly. Can I suck dis one (the other one)?
(Said as she walked in the living room right after waking up in the morning.)
-13.10.2014 Little E

Mommy, I see a knuckle on my leg.
(Mommy, I see a freckle on my leg.)
-15.10.2014 Little E

After finishing her alphabet game Big Ive exclaimed, “I won the whole entire iPad!”

Trinkle trees!
(Trick or treat)
-31.10.2014 Little E

I have a piece of mastisstance!
(The piece of resistance from Lego movie)
-17.11.2014 Little E

Little E has eye-brawls (eyebrows) and Big Ive has eye-leashes (eyelashes).

-01.04.2015 Little E

The hot is still there.
(Trying to say her oatmeal is still hot.)
-01.04.2015 Little E

Big Ive kept calling the enchiladas “bazanya”, like lasagna.
-01.22.2015 Big Ive

“Base-ket-ball” Basketball
-01.18.2015 Little E

Big Ive: What are those called that goes on a string and has a hole in the middle?
Me: Beads.
Big Ive: Yeah!
-01.16.2015 This was a conversation with Big Ive in the car on the way home from school one afternoon. We have many conversations like this where she describes something in the strangest details and expects me to fully understand.

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