Tag Archives: holiday

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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Back in the Wild West

The girls and I made the epic trek from Germany to Phoenix on Saturday (15.12.2012).  We left Frankfurt at 10:30am Germany time and arrived in Phoenix at 3am Germany time.  It was over a 24 hour day for me from when I got up to when I finally got to bed at my parents house.

The flights were pretty good.  I feel like I’m a ‘yes mom’ when I’m in public with my kids.  To an extent, anyway.  Can I have another cookie?  Yeah, since you don’t want to eat anything else the flight has to offer.  Can I play puzzle?  You bet.  Can I have more juice?  Yep.  Can I walk up and down the isles for a while?  Sure, as long as you treat the other passengers with love and be respectful.  It’s hard to keep nap times and a normal schedule in such a confined place.  I don’t want to make my kids have a meltdown where they will pester other people so I try to loosen up on those kinds of things.

The flight attendant on the first flight tried to tell me I couldn’t place Little E’s car seat on the isle seat.  There was no other way the flight would have worked with our 3 seats in the middle section with the aisles on both sides if Big Ive had to be on one side of Little E and me on the other.  Thankfully she didn’t make me change it.

We had at least 4 hours left of the flight and I was down to pulling out one of my last tricks in my bag.  I thought for sure it was going to end terribly.  Big Ive was happy to chat with some German ladies sitting across the isle from us.  One was crocheting little flower looking things and gave one to Big Ive after I told her to ask, “Was machen Sie?”  Little E was pretty content to stay strapped in her car seat for the vast majority of the flight.  I was very thankful for that.

Big Ive fell asleep as we were landing into Dallas, TX.  Of course she would do that.  I know it was about 9 or 10pm to her so it was reasonable.  But then I had to wake a sleeping child to get off the plane, and then walk through passport control and customs, and baggage pick up and drop off, and then security again.

We had an extra hour layover in Dallas than was originally scheduled when we purchased the tickets.  This was a relief to me because I was afraid we wouldn’t have time to make it through passport control, customs, baggage, security and then do the bathroom/diaper change and grab something to eat before having to board our connecting flight.  We got to our gate and ate the wonderful (puke-tastic) McDonalds chicken nuggets and fries.  Big Ive was so tired she fell asleep sitting in Little E’s car seat on the floor.

There were just enough helping angels on this trip to get us on and off planes and through lines with little to no troubles.  It was me traveling with my 2 little toddlers (2.5 and almost 1.5 years), a double stroller, 1 giant car seat, backpack (with laptop, iPad, liquids bag, etc), kid backpack of toys, coats, blankie for Little E.  There is a system to how I pack the backpack diaper bag so I can get through security easy.  But there is just a lot of stuff and wrangling of children that makes it take so long.  I do have to say it is nice to travel with kids because you can get away with bringing larger amounts of liquid through security (which means I don’t have to buy them as much juice or food in the concourse).

Phoenix for a week, then Iowa for a week to spend Christmas with LOML’s family and then back to Phoenix for January.  It should be a good holiday for Haus Miller.

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NaBloPoMo Day 22 – Happy Thanksgiving!

For all those American’s celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.  May you be surrounded by friends and family and enjoy some good food, wherever you may be and whomever you are with.

For all those Germans, happy November 22 to you.  May your Thursday be good.  :)

I think this is the first Thanksgiving I haven’t spent with my family (one side or the other).  And right now I am ok with that, not sad.  But I mostly think that is because this is not a holiday in Germany so there has been no advertizing, no decorations at the stores, no one asking me about my Thanksgiving plans.  Autumn decorations went up in the stores about the beginning of October and then Christmas decorations came into the stores the beginning of November.  This is the second Thanksgiving in a row that LOML has been away from extended family and friends.

I met some people in my German class that invited us over to their church for a big group Thanksgiving (with lots of Germans in attendance).  It was a nice, simple dinner.  Our girls got to play with the other kids.  LOML and I were able to chat with some adults in between wrangling children.  And we were able to leave without a meltdown from either child.

I am thankful for my husband, my girls, our families and friends back home, our new ‘family’ here in Germany.  I’m thankful for this experience, hard as it can be at times.  I’m thankful for growth — even the painful kind.  I’m thankful for my trials, as they are shaping me into a better, more loving person all the time.  And I’m thankful for my God that has provided me with immense and seemingly countless blessings my entire life.  I am overwhelmed when I start to think about everything in my life and how incredibly blessed I am.

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Mother’s Day 2012

A Mother’s Day to remember, that’s for sure.  My first Mother’s Day with 2 children.  My first Mother’s Day in Germany.

Two of the reasons why I’m celebrated on this day.

LOML, my incredibly thoughtful and loving husband, bought my mom a plane ticket to come visit for 5 weeks in June.  I was really surprised when I opened the card and read the little printout with the trip itinerary.  I opened the card when I was talking on Skype with my parents so they got to see my reaction, too.  They were in on this whole thing for a couple of months now!  I can’t believe my mom didn’t slip up.

LOML: Love of my life, apple of my eye, essence of my being, my soul mate, my best friend, my confidant, my fellow crazy person who decided that moving to Germany with 2 small children was a good idea, my traveling companion, my sugar daddy, my baby daddy, the person I am beyond honored to call my husband and get to share the rest of my life with.
And he’s ruggedly handsome. 

On the drive to church LOML left Big Ive’s sippy cup on the roof of the car and drove off.  He made it up about half of the steep curvy hill before it fell off.  We had to turn around and get it.  The girls wore their cute new dresses to church.  I ended up staying in the nursery to help out as there were a lot of 0-2 babies and one worker was sick.  And there was a little boy who was crying almost the entire time.  I picked him up and tried to comfort him.  Poor guy.  I got to listen to the last couple of songs and the band (a visiting group) played one of my favorite songs.  Little E was in my arms during that song.  It was kind of like old times when I played bass and sang at our church back home.  Music, dancing, church.  I need to talk to the pastor and see if they need a bass player or singer.  : )

Then we went to a little restaurant and had brunch.  Little E slept most of the time and Big Ive was all over the place.  I had a little ChupaChup sucker for her and she sat still for most of that.  I think I will be stocking up on more small suckers for her.

Big Ive fell asleep really quickly after getting home.  She has been hit and miss the past week with bedtimes and naptimes.  We’re good for a few days and I get lulled into thinking we’re onto a new path and then we have some really crappy days/evenings and I wonder if they’ll ever go to sleep by themselves at a reasonable time.  Little E played by herself downstairs with LOML and me.  She’s walking everywhere now.

Big Ive got up and LOML told me to go take a short nap before we were scheduled to meet his friends at the local restaurant by the soccer field here in our village.  They have been living in Germany since LOML was in the air force 10 years ago.  It was a really nice time to meet them, enjoy a drink and wrangle children.  The owner, Herrn K, gave Big Ive 2 scoops of ice cream, complete with M&Ms and a sparkly tassel decoration.  Then they gave her a piece of chocolate.  Kid was hyped up on sugar.

There was a soccer game this afternoon so they were selling concessions.  They had a big boombox playing music and Big Ive turned up the dial so it was really loud.  That scared her and she ran behind my legs.  A little later they moved the boombox to a different spot and she danced with the music.  It was cute.

She didn’t want to leave when we tried to go because another little girl had a purple tricycle that she wanted to ride.  She threw a fit and then got over it.  She tried to help pull the wagon with Little E in it.  She’s not a very straight driver.  : )

LOML called his mom and wished her a happy Mother’s Day.  I cooked spaghetti for supper.  Little E got her first taste of spaghetti and really liked it.  I let her feed herself and she was a mess.  But I had thought ahead and put her in her high chair only wearing a diaper.  Cleanup was easy with a quick bath.  When I brought her into the bathroom she started saying, “Ba, ba, ba, ba”.  I hadn’t told her I was taking her up for a bath, but she knew what that room was and that she gets baths.  It’s neat to see the beginnings of spoken language in her.

And she walks!

During another part of the day (can’t remember where, exactly), when we were trying to get Big Ive to leave somewhere she didn’t want, she started to throw a fit and said, “Sad!”  It was the first time I’ve heard her verbally express her feelings.  She had been saying the word ‘sad’ for a long time and says it frequently when Little E is crying.  This was the first time she’s said it for herself.  It is amazing to watch her grow and develop and start doing all of these new things all of the time.

Yeah, her nose may be a little snotty here, but I love her.

I’m staying up late tonight to call my family as they are celebrating Mother’s Day at my grandparents house this year.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there.  You are a mother if you have a living child or if your child is no longer living.  You are a mother if your child still lives at home or if they don’t.  You are a mother if you gave birth to your child or you did not give birth to your child.  You are a mother if you gave birth to babies you never saw and a mother if you took those babies and gave them homes.  Biological, Step, Birth, Foster, Adoptive – all mothers.  All deserving of a happy Mother’s Day.

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Easter 2012

It started with us waking up and finding a couple of easter baskets out on our front step.  LOML asked his co-worker (who was with us that weekend) if he had put them there.  Then he asked me if I had put them there.  Nope.  It was our wonderful Landlord.  They put out 2 plates with real moss and real grass — not that fake plastic stuff — with real hard boiled eggs, colored with onions.  Also, lots of chocolate candies, a small toy for Little E and a big sand beach toy set for Big Ive.  It was a hit.

Big Ive has just gotten up so she still has puffy sleepy eyes and a whole mess of bed head. I thought it was adorable.

Then we went to church.  Easter service was good.  Big Ive stayed in the toddler room without any issues.  Little E fell asleep after I fed her so I was able to sit and enjoy the entire sermon.

Big Ive sitting on the floor at church during the music before we took her to the toddler room. 

I had LOML take this shot of me and Little E during church.  He gave me a look, but I knew there would be no other shots of me today so I made him. 

We took a detour on the way home from church and found the wild animal park.  We made plans to come back on Monday if the weather was nice.  It wasn’t.  So we didn’t go.  Some day we’ll get there.  It’s only a 15 minute drive from our house (gotta love GPS!).

Afterward we came  home, opened the easter baskets from LOML and me and other goodies my parents had sent over.  I’m not sure how much chocolate Big Ive had to eat that day.  She was H.Y.P.E.R.  I have never seen her like that before.  She was almost literally bouncing off the walls.  Maybe not the best parenting move to let her eat so much.  We figured it was only one day; she normally doesn’t get chocolate every day, nor anywhere near that amount.  She took a nap at some point (I think…I can’t remember now).  When LOML took his co-worker home that night near bedtime I asked him to take Oh Chocolate One with him.  He reported back that she was chattering away to herself for half of the 40 minute ride over and then fell asleep and didn’t wake until he got home.

Also not the best parenting move: letting your baby gnaw on a foil wrapped chocolate bunny and only realize when she has chewed through the foil and is eating the chocolate. 
She was pissed when I took it away from her.  Thankfully I didn’t find any foil pieces in her mouth.

Then we had an easter egg hunt on the back patio.  LOML hid all of the colored hard boiled eggs in our flower and lettuce pots for Big Ive to find the eggs.  We asked the Landlords to come watch because they like our kids.

And then I cooked Easter dinner.  We had herb dry rubbed pork tenderloin with garlic cloves stuck in it (what’s the right term for that?), green bean casserole, French bread, foi gras, butternut squash soup.  It was a really good dinner.

Only the French bread and butter got a photo.  I forgot about the rest of the food.  Oops!

So, yes, I know that just about all of my photos are of the “Hallmark” kind of Easter — goody baskets from the easter bunny, egg hunt, chocolate overload.  But that’s not the big celebration of our Easter.  The bigger celebration was church and celebrating our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I was most excited about that celebration; going to church to celebrate with our big extended church family.  This Sunday, and Christmas, are the biggest church holidays and I love them.  I love the planning that goes into both days with advent and lent.  It is an awesome preparation time for me to really think about and remember all that my Lord has done for me.

Now that Big Ive is starting to understand more and can comprehend the bible stories, I am excited to tell her about it and have her see for herself in church.  It was Maundy Thursday or Good Friday and LOML and I were putting Big Ive to bed, so we said our prayers.  I told her about why that day and the weekend was special.  She looked like she understood.

It was hard to not be with my whole big extended family this Easter.  Just about every single holiday we would all always get together.  If there wasn’t at least 20 of us there, it seemed like we had a lot of people missing.  I miss my big crazy extended family.  Maybe Big Ive won’t remember this one, but I hope to have lots of these holidays WITH my family so she’ll have that kind of a memory, too.

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