Our Family Story


13 August 2013

Maibaum (May Pole) in Eschenbach, Germany

The first of May (erster Mai) is a big celebration in Germany.  The kids don't have school and the town gathers together in the center as they raise the May Pole.  It 's a celebration to bring in Spring and a celebration for those who labor (kind of like a Labor Day).   I actually love any reason for my little town in Germany to celebrate while I get to be a part of it and have my kids experience their culture.

10 August 2013

Guess who FINALLY learned to ride her bike?!

The day where life is totally crazy!  The day where you seriously have a million and one things to do!  The day where your 4 year old finally gets the courage to ride a bike on her own!  So Cute!  She was one proud little lady!

Herrenchiemsee Castle - Another Ludwig Palace

Sometimes we do crazy 'day trips'.  We have this huge obsession that we have to do everything possible to squeeze in as much as possible before we move back to the states.  To be honest, I think in the process we are going to end up broke ... but at least we will have good memories and some amazing pictures.  We won't have any regrets though, and I would do it again in a second too!

Our Last Easter Market in Prague!!

Our last trip to the Prague Easter Market!  I am still in denial!
I just HAD to document how steep this elevator is!  You seriously have to hold onto your little ones!

We didn't really explore much this day.  Basically we shopped around the square, ate crepes, shopped some more, climbed the tower again, and visited with the LDS missionaries.  I love that we see the missionaries ALL the time, in each major city that we have been to.  The Lords work is moving forward.

An afternoon in Waldjugend, Eschenbach

Not even 10 minutes from our home is this little walking park.  That is really the only way I can describe it.  It is circular walk (about 2 km) with 'stations' every 100 yards or so where the kids can stop, play, and explore.  Each 'station' is different - with different toys or games or something to discover.  It is really neat!  Everyone likes going and it is perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon! 

03 August 2013

Another Birthday Girl!

Happy Birthday!!

Our Last Easter in Germany

Easter at our house wasn't too elaborate or exciting, but we did have fun.  
Here are the kids before we let them come downstairs to where their baskets were.

02 August 2013

Lastly: Dubrovnik, Croatia (Part III)

Can you tell it was close to Easter?!  I love Easter in Europe!

Remember When we Were in Istanbul, Turkey? (Cruise Part II)

Istanbul, Turkey was next ...

Here is the family, including Paige looking at who knows what.

I will always remember Istanbul and our experience with a rug salesman.  We were headed to the Blue Mosque when a man approached us asking us where we were from and where we were headed.  He was friendly so we answered his questions (everyone is friendly in Europe ... they seriously don't usually have alternative motives, I promise).  He then told us he could help us find the 'special entrance' for families to the Blue Mosque.  We thought to ourselves ... sure, why not.  He showed us where the restrooms were since our children have bladders the size of a pea and then he took us to the special entrance for families ...

It was hilarious!  Basically, he walked us past all the people waiting in line right to the front.  We seriously cut in front of people who had been waiting for an hour.  Miles and I kept making eye contact with each other wondering if this guy was serious and how in the world were we getting away with this?!  He toured us around the Mosque, giving us the history, pointing out historical pieces of art, making sure we saw and experienced everything, and even gave us adequate time to take pictures.  It was actually wonderful.  Then he helped us outside and escorted us to his shop to give us a sales pitch on Turkish rugs.  One day I would LOVE a big beautiful rug from Turkey, but not when I have five little kids who could completely ruin such an expensive piece of art.  We were politely rude and walked away from the salesmen.  Sorry for not buying anything but thanks for helping us skip the huge long line to see the Mosque!

Our little man contemplating deep questions of the universe.

In the Grand Bazaar after buying our new Turkish scarves!  
(BTW: these were our kids new best friends with whom we spent the entire cruise playing with, they just so happened to be in the Air Force stationed in Germany ... it was a nice coincidence)

This is where we had our lunch ... they put us upstairs where their storage was.  There was no railing around the hole in the stairs and it was a nightmare trying to keep the baby away.  They just kept passing up chair after chair to us, it was great! The food was delish too!

The Pet Market!!

This is what the kids loved the most.  I have to admit, I had a blast as well.  I love seeing the kids eyes light us with things like this.  They were so excited and so happy to see all the animals!

Check out how many kids we had there!  The man in the back (behind the little girl in the purple jacket) just kept throwing these rabbits at the kids, one after another.  He wasn't gentle either, he was literally thrusting them to the kids and forcing the rabbits in their little arms.  It was so funny!  Emi didn't think it was so funny, she thought he was just plain mean to the animals.

I adore this picture!  I love how content my little boy is, but also how happy his sister is to see him happy.  I love a good family moment like this!  Pure joy!

(I don't think you can see it, but just for information sake, this cute little gray rabbit was held so tightly by my baby that it peed all over his shoulder)

Hey, I have an idea, lets whip each other with our brand new turkish scarves!  It will be fabulous!

We seriously cannot go anywhere without trying their ice cream!  This little girl always get chocolate.

To end the day in Istanbul one must always do limbo in front of the police officers.

01 August 2013

Our 1st Family Cruise!! (Part I)


Right before Easter, for the kids' two week break, we took off down to Venice and caught up with this huge cruise ship for our next adventure ...

I seriously love this picture!  The picture that was being taken here (by Miles) seriously did not look good (I mean constipation faces from all the kids) but this picture depicts what we did all day, all over Europe while we traveled.  Just another typical day in our life here.

Mom & Dad, Look what we found!  The air was even warm, making it even better entertainment.

My little budding photographer.  I love this girl!

First things first, marking our territory by immediately doing blowfish after blowfish on the balcony window.  I told you going on a cruise was a blast!

Crystal stairs!  The kids thought this was SO fancy!

First Stop
BARI, Italy

The other 3 kids decided to entertain themselves back at the ship in the kids club ... we were amazed how easy it was to move with only 2 kids!  Love it!!

Here we are standing by the Castello Normanno-Svevo.  I totally forgot to turn and show the little one on my back.  Sorry Baby! 

My little girl standing next to the Mediterranean Sea.  We made her put her foot in it just so she could say she that she had touched it.  We are awesome parents like that :)
(or as the Germans would say, the Middle Sea)

My three companions for the day!

Well, hello baby!

Second Stop:
Ephesus, Turkey

It rained almost the entire time we were there.  Not just a light rain, it was a downpour that soaked everything!  Can you see the drops of rain on our lens?  The kids didn't notice the cold until the very end - they were too busy running around jumping in the puddles.  It was seriously giving us heart attacks every time we turned around and we could find them.  Several times they were gone, lost among the scores of MSC tourists.  

During the last 20 minutes the rain stopped and I ran back up to the top and took a ton of pictures!  It turned out being perfect.

This is how we entertained ourselves while they tried to convince us that Italian leather is really Turkish leather and whatever you can get in Florence is cheaper here in Turkey.  Hah! It was this ridiculously over-priced leather store.  Really Turkey?  I think I'll stick with my Italian leather purse from Florence thank you very much.  It was cheaper and it smells wonderful!

Can you guess how old the kids are? It is a fabulous talent that we have to find joy wherever we are in whatever circumstances come our way.

Above & Below: Taking part in the classic cruise photo's