Our Family Story


16 December 2011

Visitors Welcome!

Bayreuth - Old Palace


Speinshart Monastery


Just thought I would tease our family with pictures of some of the cities that are in close proximity to our place.  If you really do come and visit you could see these awesome places!  Also, Mom and Dad (Evanson) we are seriously taking you to these places when you come out!!!  You will love them!

Grandma & Grandpa

We were extremely privileged to have these amazing people come visit us for 2 weeks.  We loved every minute of our visit!  I loved the company and all the help.  I think Kenneth loved not having to go into the carseat every two hours to go and pick someone up from school too.  I fear for this little mans head and becoming flat.  We ate tons of pastries and real German food and toured as much as possible.

3 generations ... and the two people Kenneth Christian was named after

family photo opt - and yes I am aware that I seriously look insane!

This is the amazing person that we named our baby boy after.  Miles has ALWAYS admired his father in every aspect, and in every area of his life.  To be totally cheesy but to put it plainly, Miles' hero is his father.  If our little boy could grow up to be half the man that his Grandfather is we will be incredibly blessed.  We love you Grandpa!!

(P.S. - it was so cute to see Grandpa with his name sake - I don't know how to explain it but there is already a special bond!  I loved it!)

New Traditions!!

(1)  Each December I am going to go to a Christmas Market - any Christmas market.  It could be crowded and unrealistic with our 5 kids but regardless it will be charming.  I love the atmosphere and the excitement of Christmas coming.  The kids catch the spirit and love it.  Also - the food is great!

This is our new little treasure.  When Miles was here on his mission he loved these nativities - you light the candles at the bottom and the heat from the fire spins the wind-mill top and spins the nativity around.  It is really neat and a perfect addition to our decor.  Love it!

(2) December 6th - St. Nicholas Day!
If you leave your boots or shoes out on the night of December 6th, along with carrots for his donkey or horse, St. Nicholas will come and fill them with goodies if you have been good and tree twigs/branches if you have been naughty.  The kids were so excited!!  I love how Emi and Paige got their biggest shoes in hopes to get more goodies!

19 November 2011

3 entire weeks

I have to hand it to all those amazing women who photograph newborns in such awesome ways.  You know what I'm talking about.  The pictures you can find on the internet are so precious and so sweet.  They seem to capture babies in such an innocent and beautiful way.  I seriously love all 'those' newborn pictures.

Furthermore, the tutorials on the interent about 'how to photograph a newborn' are ridiculous.  Seriously?  They make it look so easy and so fast!  Let's be honest, they are totally LYING to us!  Photographing a newborn is a TON of work and it is HARD.

These are the best ones I had ... which aren't good!  And did you see the cute little hat I bought specifically for a picture as a newborn?!  Yeah, it didn't make the cut - he screamed when I put it on him and I have no sense of style when it comes to stuff like that (ex: posing him and then getting the picture to turn out well).  I guess that is why we pay other people to take our kids pictures right?!

So ... enjoy my little man, despite the photographers flaws!  He is such a cute little guy, we all adore him.

And, YES, I have to include pictures with his siblings.  It's just too cute to resist!  I mean, come on, check out how much Evan loves his little brother!

This little girl was actually the one who started the picture taking escapade.  She hovered over Kenneth and yelled at me (right in Kenneths ear, mine you) to take a picture of her and smiled this huge smile.  Who could resist?  Not I?  If someone wants their picture taken, by golly I'll take it whether it turns out or not!

2 weeks gone by

Here's our little man after a bath.  Miles and I still can't get enough of his hair!!  Honestly I think we have to bathe him more often due to us playing with his hair and making it all greasy.  

Daily Happenings

Life with baby Kenneth ... Evan and Anika absolutely LOVE their baby brother, and whenever he makes a sound these two are right there next to him trying to see if his eyes are open.  They are both constantly saying 'he's soooo cute!'  As soon as they wake up in the morning they come into my bedroom to see the baby and to kiss and hug him.

All the kids have been so great, always trying to help with diapers and wipes and blankets, and always wanting to be close to him and hold him.

(FYI - I did wash that ratty old Peter Rabbit when I came home from the hospital with our newborn - that thing looked so infested with germs it was disgusting!  With Anika 'sharing' her rabbit with the baby there was no way I was letting that thing get near Kenneth until it had a nice long bath!)

06 November 2011

Another Grandson

Living in Germany so far away from Grandma's, Grandpa's, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins ... I have to post pictures of this little guy!  (not to mention I think I'm in trouble with the Grandma's and Grandpa's for not posting pictures earlier.  Sorry!)

With this picture you get a better idea about his hair - I mean, check it out, he has so much hair, none of my kids have ever had this much hair!  You can't help but play with it and just love it!

A New Sibling!

Yes, of course, I have to do this ... a picture of each child alone with their new baby brother!

Evan -- He has taken on the role of big brother very seriously.  It is one of the cutest things.  He loves everything about his new baby brother;  how soft his skin is, how cute his lips are, how cute his little smile is, and the way he sleeps.  Evan was rather disappointed that Kenneth didn't go straight to sleeping in his crib in Evan's room, he really wanted to have a roommate.  I have been so impressed with how much Evan loves this little guy, and how soft he is when he holds him.  When Anika was born Evan DID NOT LIKE IT ... in fact, he didn't like it for a good month or two, he would growl and grumble a LOT.  I am so grateful that Evan likes his new brother!  The last week Evan was a little sick and it killed him not to be able to hold Kenneth or touch his skin (we only let him touch his hair).

Paige- -- Our little spit-fire loves this little guy too!  Being so busy and on the move Paige takes every slow moment she can spare to sit down and hold him.  Paige loves his soft skin too, just like Evan.  The best is that Paige makes up songs to sing to him when he isn't happy.  It's cute (and a bit hilarious), with the words she comes up with.  Paige thinks he is so 'special' and with how special he is it sometimes makes her 'cry'.  She has such a tender heart, I think Kenneth is a keeper according to her.

Anika -- Yes, even Anika loves her new 'baby brother'.  In the hospital all she did was poke him ... everywhere!  When we told her that we named 'baby brother' Kenneth she looked at me, then down at the baby, and then informed us all that she was going to call him either Elephant or Ryan.  What?!  She certainly has a mind of her own!  Now that we are home from the hospital she pokes him, talks to him, sings to him, hugs him, makes sure he has his binky (rather forcefully, I might addd), makes sure he has his blanket up to his chin to keep him warm, and makes sure he knows that she is saying 'hi' to him in her sweet LOUD voice while turning his head to look directly at her so she knows he is listening.  Anika LOVES her brother and is not afraid to show it!  Sometimes I have to tell Evan and Anika to back up just a little so I can take care of him (or rescue him).  There has been no jealousy with her though and I am so grateful!  Anika is her crazy self but with added love for Kenneth.  

Oh and this week ... Daddy decided it would be a great idea to potty train her ... not such a great idea when mom is left at home with her while dad runs errands and she is scared to go #2 on the toilet so she lets out just a little at a time FIVE TIMES!!!! arg!  I was not a happy mom that day!  On a positive note - she is doing wonderful with going #1 by herself.  

Emi -- This older sister is eating this little guy up!!  Man oh man does Emi love him.  Everyday, all day, she asks if she can hold him.  When he is asleep on the couch she pulls his shirt down so she can hold his hand.  She loves to kiss him, hold him, talk to him, sing to him, and just be next to him.  Sometimes in the mornings she sneaks up to my room just so she can hold him before anyone else in the family cann.  Emi is a great helper too, always getting me a diaper or some wipes ... or helping Anika with her potty-training since I can't lift her up.  Emi definitely loves Kenneth and would do anything for him!!  I am so grateful for this little girl, my big helper!

The Man -- Little Kenneth!  How can such a small person have such a huge impact on a family?!  It is amazing how much love the kids have for him, it is so cute.  I wish this picture depicted how much hair this boy has but you can't really see it.  His hair is so much fun (that is the best way to describe it)!  We all love to play with it!  We even mess it up just so we can smooth it over like he is going to church.  I love getting to see all the different styles of 'bedhead' he can pull off whenever he sleeps.  Kenneth doesn't look like the rest of the kids - he actually has earlobes (all the other kids have my earlobes - none), he has Miles' lips and nose, and even his forehead.  Miles has the ability to crinkle his forehead.  The other kids are constantly trying to crinkle their foreheads but are unsuccessful, you either can or cannot do it.  This little man can do it!  When I first saw it happen I was so excited; I finally got my little Layton.

10 October 2011

Pumpkin Festival in Ludwigsburg

Over the weekend we headed to the Ludwigsburg Palace to check out their annual pumpkin festival.  We didn't tell the kids ahead of time what this pumpkin festival was really about because we were too excited to watch their facial expressions when they finally saw it.  Evan did not disappoint - he was giddy when he saw T-rex with pumpkins all over him!

For more pictures go HERE

The kids ohhh and ahhh over the cute little baby dinosaur - we just HAD to take a picture!

This is one of my favorite pictures of the kids with a dinosaur, they were all too thrilled to be making these faces!  We couldn't even eat lunch before we got this picture, they were too impatient.

Then we saw Rapunzels Castle!!!
At first we were just getting Anika excited but the closer we got the more we realized that it really WAS Rapunzels Tower with her hair hanging out and everything!

See?  Rapunzels Hair!!
The kids climbed up as far as they could go but they weren't able to get to the very top.  Mother Gothel had locked the door and wasn't allowing anyone up or Rapunzel to come down.  Anika kept telling us how mean Mother Gothel was because she really wanted to see Rapunzel at the top of the tower.

And of course I had to include this picture - Evan was done with pictures and just wanted to go to the park!  

Pirate Park in Amberg

Since the kids are in a German school we don't get any of the American holidays off, but we do get the German holidays off.  Monday October 3rd was their "Tag der deutschen Einheit", which is the Day of the German Reunification.  It has been celebrated throughout Germany since 1990.  It's sad that we don't get all the 4 day weekends that Miles gets off but we'll be able to vacation for weeks at a time when the kids eventually get their holidays.  (We'll see how it all works out in the long run.)

Anyway, for their day off we drove to this park in Amberg ... the pirate park

The kids had a blast going back and forth on these boats.  At first they had no idea how they worked but when they finally figured it out they spent a good hour playing on them.  

09 October 2011

A Castle - Burg Rheinfels in St. Goar

While traveling up and down the Rhein River we stopped in St. Goar to tour the Burg Rheinfels castle.  It was perfect for the kids because they got to run after being stuck in the car for a long time.
(For more landscape pictures go HERE)

Isn't this the coolest door ever?!

The kids posing inside the castle ruins

The executioners stand ... I swear I didn't pose them this way.  I'm not sure if this was all Paige's idea or if Emi had a say in it or not.  Classic though!

Kinder School

Its been a couple of weeks since Evan started his Kinder School and he is still kind of getting used to it.  At first he told me that school was boring because they wouldn't let him watch a movie or play on the iPad.  Isn't that exactly why I put him in it in the first place?!  When I pick him up after school they are all out at recess and he is slowly making friends and trying to play with the other kids.  Usually I see him exploring or playing on his own, or hanging out with his teachers.

I have to say though, I've been really impressed with the school so far, they have lots of fun themes and activities.   I seriously want to own all the toys that they have in there for the kids to play with too.  There are these awesome wooden trucks and tractors that I know the kids would love.

(this is Evan after his adventure to the potato field after learning about the potato king - he brought home a bag of potatoes that he picked at the field and we made beef stew and a casserole with them.   He was so excited to be eating his potatoes, it was so cute!)