Today is Nikolaus in Germany.


I hope you were good this year and got lots of goodies in your boots!

By the way, I took this picture before the kids got up and of course the cats had to get in on the action, they always try to escape when the door is open.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Casa Loca!!


We will be eating lots and lots of turkey celebrating Thanksgiving on Saturday with some friends we call family. I hope you all in America, and those not, have a great day and eat tons.

Artwork compliments of Alexander.

St. Martin

…going on latern walks for St. Martin’s day at both schools,


drawing and decorating the living room with numbers and pictures,

egg directions

writing directions on how to cook an egg, (Don’t ask-this was his thing)

uno cards

making Uno cards, (This was, once again, Alexander’s own idea and I love them)

swinging swinging

swinging in the hall over the mattresses that are covered in street fabric, so the person who is not swinging can play with the Matchbox cars


and losing teeth. The second one is hanging but I’m not allowed to pull it out like I did with the first one. I can’t understand why. Hehe (NO, I didn’t pull it, but I did tickle him until it fell out)
no teeth

ETA: They are now gone!! Those mean front teeth. The second one finally fell out while we were eating, so there was no tickling going on. We now have a real pumpkin.

Yep, you heard that correctly, we did not have a party. Well, not in our apartment anyway. You see, on Monday after work we all came home early to bake, cook, decorate and just get in the mood for Halloween. We worked until the kids went to bed and then I worked until I went to bed in order to get this place good enough for a witch or two.

Well, Tuesday morning we woke up to Alida complaining that her tongue hurt. We looked in her mouth and lo and behold her tongue was a bit swollen and just plain funny looking. I took her to the doctor first thing because I didn’t have to teach until 10. The doctor told us that she had the highly contagious hand foot mouth virus which meant kindergarten and parties were out of the question.

So, I rushed to school to tell them that I wouldn’t be in this week and to quickly write up some substitution plans with poor little Alida in tow. I was told I have to go back to work tomorrow because it’s parent teacher conferences and I have a few parents to torture, so Martin’s staying home with our sick little monster.

We did decide to come home and finish the cakes and decorating and then I made some pumpkin sandwiches for dinner, so we didn’t have to forgo the party altogether. I also called two of my friends with babies to tell them not to come at all. My other two good friends have kids that were just so excited we decided to go trick-or-treating anyway. Alida was doing fairly well and even put her costume on herself, so it was a bit of a success. We also managed to get a few pics so here they are.

carrot cake ghost

First we had a carrot cake ghost decorated by the little man.

bloody hot dog fingers

Then we had some bloody hot dog fingers. Don’t they look gross?

yummy cat litter

Of course, we also had a little cat litter cake. The recipe is found here. I didn’t do the green food coloring but I did the two cakes and pudding together with melted Tootsie Rolls on top. Thanks, Linda!!!
bugs and pooh

Here are some bugs on cookies. Alexander made the bugs with the eyes himself and I melted the chocolate with coconut, raisins and pretzels to make other bugs that turned out to look like giant poohs. Oh well, it grossed us out so much we left them like that. They were yummy!!!

pumpkin sandwiches

We also had some pumpkin sandwiches I made using a pumpkin cookie cutter. You see, my plan was to feed the kids hot dogs and sandwiches before we took out the goodies. My friend and her son had a sandwich and some cat litter in the hallway while waiting for the other trick-or-treaters to arrive. I didn’t dare let anyone in this virus infested apartment.
harry and the princessLaura-me

Here are my two favorite trick-or-treaters and Alexander’s picture of me. I was Laura from Little House on the Prairie which I had made last year. Alexander and I painted the H on his shirt using wax paper and I have to admit it’s a really cool technique. Christina, I’ll give you some of my paper if you want. I bought tons of it and it’s sooo fun to do with the kids.

batsboo banner

Just a bit of the decorations which, as you may notice, are from last year.

crown and magic wandcrown back

Here is the princess crown I made along with the ‘wooden’ magic wand Martin made using a brown paper bag and some brown crayons. I thought they came out pretty well. The kids were definitely happy so it was worth it.

Just an action shot. I think you can tell Harry was having a great time.


Here is one last look at my two favorite people-Harry and the princess.

Thank you all for joining my contest. We pulled names from the caldron (actually I wrote down all the numbers from the comments on a piece of paper and had the kids pick 3 numbers) and the oscar goes to sock pattern goes to:

#1-Leah and # 6-Rain

And one set of the above pictured stitch markers (one strawberry or cheeseburger, a beer from Germany, a giving flower and a socktoberfest sock in blue or pink) goes to:


The other set of stitch markers goes to Lolly, of the socktoberfest fame, for having such a wonderful knitalong and for being a great blog buddy!! She also has a fab nick name.

I’ll get these off as soon as I can but it may take a few days-things are just so hectic around here. Thanks again, everyone!!

the man

With the start of school there is a fun German custom of giving their little ones heading off to school a large cone (Schultüte) filled with sweets to ease the transition from pre-school to the real thing – school. It’s believed that these sweets will make it so much more appealing.

Alexander has been going to school for a week now, he loves it, and just yesterday was his Einschulung. There was a ceremony at his school, where we took lots of pictures, and then a party with family and friends back at home. Einschulung, which ranks up there with christenings, graduations or confirmations here in Germany is a really big event.
It is so important that If someone only has one picture of himself when he was little, you can pretty much bet it’s the one of the Einschulung with their school cone in their arms. Martin and I took the day off for the occasion and it was just so cute. Hey, who am I to pass up a reason to celebrate?

with opa

Here is Alexander with his favorite Uropa (great-grandfather). Uroma (his great-grandmother) wouldn’t get in a picture. These two are my life savers. When I have to work and the kids don’t have a place to go, this is where they land and they love it! Look at that smile, he loves his Uropa.
As you can imagine the school cone is the most important thing and some people go way out to decorate them. Alexander had told me that he wanted to have a Harry Potter cone, so last week I managed to keep my eyes open long enough each night (we’re talking a little after 8 p.m.)to work on it. Of course, Alida got a miniature cone too.


Here are the finished cones before the ceremony, full of good stuff and some Playmobil, no less. That is supposed to be fire around the top. I liked how they turned out and quite a few kids even recognized him. One dad took a picture of them-now that’s a compliment in my book.
classclass picture

I also took some pictures of the class before the ceremony and after they got their cones and were singing songs in their classroom. His teacher is so funny, she even had yellow school bus earrings and necklace.

I’ve also been sewing and knitting but I have no pictures quite yet. I have a sewing pattern coming, so if you’re interested in a pattern for a travel needle case, hang tight, I’ll be finishing it soon.

I’ve been feeling a bit exhausted lately, and even slept for 3 hours yesterday after the party. I’m trying to fight off the colds that seem to be attacking everyone around me.

Can you imagine this kid at the age of 17 months not wanting to leave the beach towel for fear that the seaweed would bite him?


These pictures are the result of years of work trying to convince him that seaweed is grass which happens to grow under water. Now Alida is playing the game of being scared of seaweed. Typical!

Here are just a few of the pictures from our trips to the beach.

You know the drill: click to make them bigger.
Alexander on the jettyAlida on the jettycool dudechasing wavesrunning from wavesour beachchasing wavesAlidaDennistoes

When we visited my sister, Judy, in Dennis we brought ice cream cone cupcakes we baked using a mold she had given me from Williams-Sonoma. She works there for fun and I have no idea how she could possibly take home a pay check-they have such cool stuff.

ice cream cupcakes

After spending the day on the beach, we came back to the house to have dinner with my sister’s 2 kids, my brother, sister-in-law, their 2 kids and my dad. Here are my kids doing what they do best; Alida is reading a Barbie sticker book my sister had given her and Alexander is watching TV with two remotes under his arms. That way he could be in control of both the television in this room and the one in the other room. He is a mechanical control freak, wouldn’t you say?


Is it clear now why I didn’t want to come home?

Some fiber content is coming.

We’ve sent our first tooth to the tooth fairy.


We’ve also been making bridges.


Just for fun.

Unser erster Zahn ist bei der Zahnfee.


Und wir haben eine Brücke gebaut.


Aus Spaß an der Freude.

Am Samstag waren wir bei Mercedes am Salzufer, wo Alexander seinen Führerschein gemacht hat. Erst mußte er die Straßenregeln lernen. school

Dann ist er ungefähr eine Stunde rumgefahren.


Nachdem er seinen Führerschein bekommen hat, hat er sich sein Traumauto ausgesucht. Dieses War zufällig das Auto aus dem James Bond Film Octopussy. Dieses Bild ist für Dich, Bumpa!On Saturday we went to the Mercedes showroom and Alexander got his driver’s licence. First he went to school to learn the rules of the road. school

Then he drove around for about an hour.


After receiving his driver’s licence, he picked out the car he’d like to have. This one just happened to be the one from the James Bond movie, Octopussy. This one’s for you, Dad!!
Mercedes from Octopussy

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??

Just some of the fun we’ve had in the snow Berlin has gotten over the past couple of days. What a treat it’s been for us to be on vacation during a snow storm!!



Our thank you cards are done, thanks to Alexander and Alida. They just need to be sent, along with our Christmas card. Ok, correct that, January card. This happens every year, so I hope our friends and relatives aren’t too upset.

cardsthank yous

Update: Sorry about the tiny thumbnail pictures. I just updated my version of WordPress and lots of things have changed, so now I’ve got to figure it all out. ugh In the meantime, just click on a picture to see it bigger.

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