If you don’t know who Emily is, you must have missed this post from last year.

We all love her so much in this house.

Alida and EmilyEmily knitting

Here she is with Alida last year getting lots of love, and she is also posing with one of my current UFOs. Yes, she’s been helping me get this one done for my Lent-along, oh she just loves knitting lace.

The kids just adore Emily, and if there is a problem we as parents can’t solve, Emily can usually take over and fix it. What a blessing she’s been.

Have you noticed she doesn’t seem to age at all? I’ve got to find out what she uses!

… dolls, of course.

If you know me at all, you know I’m crazy about dolls.

I remember when I was in the 5th grade, I had a friend, Karen, who had a Mandy doll just like me. She also had a mother who loved to sew. One day we were at her house playing with our Mandy dolls, when we went into her mother’s sewing room. I was horrified how much junk was all over the place until I saw this wonderful mountain of fabric in one corner. I was in heaven. I couldn’t believe anyone could have so much. Then her mother offered to sew two sport bags for our dolls. We sat and watched with amazement as her adept fingers and noisy sewing machine turned some brown scraps of suede into two little Mandy bags that fit perfectly under our dolls’ arms. I couldn’t have been happier. I will never forget that time and how it inspired me to sew. I was so amazed how she turned something so ordinary and unwanted into something I treasured for a long tome afterward. Oh gosh, could this have been the beginning of my bagaholic problem??

My mom is also crazy about dolls. So poor Alida, who happens to be the only girl out of 9 grandchildren, has to love dolls, too.
Luckily, she does. Here are just a few of the babies we have around to play with, and believe me, we do.
ragedydollsreal babybarbies

The first one is my Raggedy Ann doll from when I was little. When I was around 8, my sister’s good friend gave her to me when she came to live with us for the summer . I’ve always loved my Raggedy Ann doll. Her apron is floating around here somewhere.

The big baby picture is a doll that my mom and I bought back when I first moved to Germany because she looked so real. I took her home and filled her fabric stomach with plastic pellets to make her as heavy as a real baby. On the way home in the airplane, I carried her around like a real baby and you should have seen the reactions I got! I was given a seat in a crowded bus, and one man said he’d pay me to drop it on the floor just to see what the people would do. People sure are sick, aren’t they?? Of course, I didn’t do it, although the thought was tempting.

…birds. We love birds. Well, we love them now. The turning point came two years ago when, despite having two bird-chasing cats guarding every window in this apartment, a mama bird made a nest on our balcony. We noticed one day that a peaceful creature was quite busy flying back and forth from grass to our balcony carrying twigs and nesting materials clutched in her beak. After waiting for her to leave on her trek for more twigs, we admired the nest she was building in one of my flower pots.

A short time later she had laid 4 eggs. Cute little white speckled eggs that immediately touched the mother in not just me, but Martin and Alexander as well. Then those wonderful little eggs hatched into little helpless babies that chirped and opened their beaks wide when they heard their mother was around. Discreetly we watched from the comfort of our living room sofa how the mama brought them treats from the backyard. Oh, it was as if we had given birth to 4 babies of our own. The first thing we did after getting out of bed every morning was to check on our babes. They were growing and eating and growing and eating. And we were watching.

I don’t know how to end this story, it’s so sad.

You see, we don’t just have little sweet mommy birds (to be exact it was an Amsel or blackbird in English), but we also have large monster carnivorous birds (Elster or Magpie in English) here that at one terrible point found the nest. We watched helplessly as the big bird did what nature told her to do and our babies were soon gone. I was furious and sad and hurt and mad. How could this happen?? Those were our babies. I felt so helpless.

Since then, birds have been an obsession of ours, or shall I say of mine. We have two bird feeders-one on the balcony and one on our kitchen window so we can watch them come and go and admire their gentle beauty.

bird feederbird nest
click to see a bigger view of the birds nest and bird feeder-unfortunately, both unoccupied.

We haven’t touched the nest since our bird family ‘left’. In fact, I planted boxwood around it in hopes that it would make it more liveable and protected, in case that mama, or any mama for that matter, wants to find a home with us. The nest has been empty for two years but I’m not one to give up hope.

I’ve joined Anne’s ABC-Along and I will be posting a letter of the alphabet every two weeks and telling you what each one means to me. Sound like fun? I think so.
A is for Alexander and Alida. Or as Alida says: Amama and Adaddy. Everything has an A on the front of it. Maybe we should have named them Dick and Jane, then she wouldn’t have had this confusion with the A’s.


This is our Christmas card photo taken in front of our church on Christmas Eve. I was good this year and sent them off in the first week of January. That’s an improvement over last year. Aren’t you proud of me??