Friday, June 25, 2010

What should I do?

Andrea is the most stubborn, determined, strong-willed, and opinionated little person I know.

She will NOT, no matter how hard I try, keep a clip or barrette in her hair. I"ve tried various sizes, types, ones with cute kitties on them. Our family even walked around with clips in OUR hair for a day. I tried to hold her hands down and let her cry until she forgot it was in her hair, but I can't hold her hands down all day. I've tried candy while I'm putting it in but on the off chance I sneak it in her hair she always finds it and then is suspicious of whenever I touch her hair after that.

But her hair ALWAYS in her face. It's floppy and straight and so fine, and I'm always blowing in her face to push it out of the way. It doesn't even have a part that goes a certain way... it just goes down. her face a shaggy dog. You would think it would drive her crazy but she doesn't care.

I think I will have to cut it. Bangs? Or would that make it look even worse???

Thursday, June 24, 2010


... in 1994, with my Dad. :)

He bought me a Romania t-shirt and the extra large sized container of nachos to eat.

I still have my ticket see...
...and while posting this picture I noticed the ticket was $140.00!!!

That was like $900.00 back then!!

My dad must love me. :)

...maybe that's why we left the rest of the family home.

I'd pay $140.00 to take my kids somewhere if I knew they would remember it 16 years later.

WHOA. 16 years ago? That makes me feel old.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ein, Eine, Der, Die, Das

Get this.

...and before I start I'll mention the number of people speaking German around the world is decreasing. Gee, wonder why.

Every noun is a girl or a boy or nothing.

Der - male
Die - female
Das - neutral

I get this... It's the same in Spanish.

However, unlike Spanish you can't assume a words gender based on how it sounds. In Spanish, el gato, el platano: have "o" at the end so they are boys. la casa has an "a" at the end, it's a girl. This usually works and you can get by.

In GERMAN there is no reasoning to it.
der stuhl - the seat - boy
der kuli - the pen - boy
die lampe - the lamp - girl
die uhr - the clock - girl
das telefon - the telephone - neutral

The gender of a word determines words in the entire sentence, not just adjectives!!
Andrea says, "Das ist meine tasse."
Scotty says, "Das ist mein tasse."

I thought easy enough, I'll just learn the girl words since I'm a girl.

But I say, "Das ist dein tasse Scotty, und das ist deine tasse Andrea."

BUT, if the cup, which is a girl.... was a boy like a chair.

Wait, ???? I don't know. I thought I was doing good. Oh, I'm confused I have no idea anymore...

An hour and a half of German lessons twice a week and I'm more confused than when I started...

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Lesson on Sweden

After spending the weekend with our SWEDISH friends we are now experts on Sweden.

Sweden has a king and queen. (Weird huh?) I find it odd that kings and queens still exist. I might be giving away my previous ignorance about Europe, but before moving to Denmark two years ago I thought all that stuff was from way back in the days before cars were invented. You know, draw bridges and moats, kings and queens, fire breathing dragons, etc....

Anyways. Sweden (and many other countries) still have kings and queens. But guess what, they can't vote, so they don't have any power. They don't really "rule" anything or make any decisions, BUT they do really wear tiaras and crowns! It's just for fun, but I guess they plan an important role for promoting their countries. Helping other countries, telling people to be nice, country pride... like a mascot. :)

I will admit it was funny to see these grown ups in these huge sparkly dresses, wearing crowns, like a four year olds at Halloween! But it's all for real!! :) Some looked nice, some looked pretty "royal". ...but that was just me judging people on their appearances. :)

So. The King and Queen invited all the other Kings and Queens to come see their Princess get married. Everyone put on crowns and sparkly dresses and had a HUGE party!

Geez, I hope I'm not offending my Swedish friends. I'm just being silly and offering up my American view. :) It's just such a unique concept to me. Really. But I was impressed how much my friends knew about it. They were able to list off who was walking down the aisle and point out different royalty from different countries... I'm happy to know who the US Secretary of State is. (Hillary Clinton right?) :) It seems other nationalities know so much more about their countries than I know about my own, but that just may be me. I've never been political... sorry.

Anyways... I don't know the complete Swedish story, but I know more today then I did three days ago, and so here is your education on Swedish royalty: Please don't quote me on it. :)

There is a king and queen who lived in Sweden. They had a little girl. Two years later they had a little boy... I don't know his name, but the boy was going to be king, because the first born son gets to be king. BUT when the little boy was two they changed the rule. NOW it was the first born child... the DAUGHTER. So the daughter, who was four, turned into a princess. (Hey Ingrid, are all the children of king/queens called princes and princesses but the one who will be King/Queen is the CROWN princess?)

Anyways, now the oldest daughter was the Crown Princess. I wonder why they changed the law? Maybe the two year old little boy was a bit like my nearly two year old Andrea and Sweden got a little scared!!!

So now the Swedish Princess, CROWN princess, is getting married. She is 32. So very young like me... (She's not queen until her both? her parents die.) BUT the part of the story that is unique is that she married her personal trainer! Sounds like a tabloid! :) I guess she had to wait forever and change a bunch of laws to be able to marry someone who wasn't "royalty", but she did and she married him and the poor guy looked like a confused squirrel during the entire event. His parents too! It was cute to watch his parents... just normal parents ...doing the first dance with the KING & QUEEN and all the other kings and queens from wherever has kings and queens. :)

Sounds a little Aladdin like huh?

So It was a big event and we watched it on TV. Was it covered in American on any news channels?

Here is some more of my American opinion. I think Kings and Queens are not fair. (Blah, blah, blah... life's not fair. How many times have I said that to my kids?!) Why just because someone is born to certain parents are they suddenly special? I know it happens to movie stars kids and presidents kids and etc... but the whole term King and Queen and Prince and Princess just seem so Disneyland to me. :) But I guess if they don't rule and get to pick what goes on then it is okay...

Nevertheless, my children and I watched the Crown Princess of Sweden get married and when the girls saw a picture of her today they all recognized who she was and that "funny looking guy" she married. :)

I am happy we had the chance to watch it with some real live Swedes too. It was pretty amazing all the things that this wedding had going on. I was happy to get to see it... and I didn't know I even wanted to! I'm sure you can google it or youtube it, but you won't get to watch it with real Swedish people who can tell you all about it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sing with me!!!!

da da da da da da daaaaaaa... We're comin' to America. da da da da da da daaaaaa.... We're comin' to America. :)

I remember listening to that cassette tape in my parents car while on a very long trip from somewhere to somewhere ...but that's all I know.

I was getting pretty frustrated with the whole acquisition of the plane tickets but my wonderful husband yelled at someone and we got tickets. I'm sorry to whoever he yelled at, but that person was about to make us miss our summer trip home. Which, by the way everyone... next summer we will be staying here in Europe. We always leave at the only time of year this place has halfway decent weather and we are planning a big road trip... if we don't chicken out. We'll try to make our yearly trip home in May or December. But that's next year....

As for this year... IN 13 DAYS TO BE EXACT!!!! I will be headed back to the land of happiness. (California) :) I'm really impressed at how improved my mood is just knowing that on June 29th at 7:00 AM I will be on a big airplane all set up to spend 24 hours of traveling with my four young children. :) We are going to California for three weeks and then onto Canada for three weeks. I'm super excited, but stressed out at the same time because it's just in 13 days! Yesterday I made and froze individual metaloaves and lasagnas for Happy because he has to stay behind in Hamburg and work while we are in California... someone has to fund this trip I guess. :) WE LOVE YOU HAPPY!!!

It's hard leaving him. Last year when we left him we were all pretty sad about it. He helped us through security and then said bye... It was a little depressing and tears were involved. Now I'm sad, we'll miss him. ...really. BUT HE'S NO MATCH FOR AN IN-N-OUT BURGER and TACO BELL!!!! :) (hee hee) He just can't take that much time off of work all at once. Six weeks is a lot. We are lucky and we know it.

He will meet us in Toronto where we spend three weeks with his parents. I am hoping our friends, Peanut Butter Cookie Woman and her Engineer can come and visit us too. mUm, can I invite some friends over? :)

I've decided that the secret to survival over here is to always have something to look forward to. If you don't, it's extremely difficult because every week becomes pretty ick and the same old things, nothing to "get ready" for. After my parents left I had nothing else to look forward too. To look forward for something you have to have it confirmed and have an exact date, or else it doesn't really work, "over here" I've learned that nothing is definite without a confirmation number and a reservation. Then you can get excited...

So until August I'm all set up and I have two sets of friends planning on visiting in September from the States so even when we get back here I'll be all set up with something else to look forward to!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


One of my friends in Denmark is a master chef. :)

Her recipes are really good and her blog has recently turned into an official website. (KP are her initials.)

If you look at her website you'll see that it's filled with such pretty food pictures... Of course, now my husband is jealous because he sees what HER husband gets to eat all the time.

Of course I have made some pretty food over the years and even have a picture of my first Chicken Pot Pie hanging in my house! So here is my Giant Meatball dinner I made tonight. Usually it's a loaf but everyone argues over who gets the two end pieces. Then the sides get cut away and someone takes the top off... Really everyone just wants the sugar, ketchup, vinegar sauce that covers it. :)

Anyways, here is a picture of my super cool Meatballs. The whole family likes them... even little Poozie ate a lot.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Yuck. The grossest thing I've had to deal that I can remember. ...and I have four kids and used to work with dead animals.

These are ticks. One is normal size and the other is a fat and blood filled.

I've never lived in a place ticks were a problem, but now Paul and I bond with our cats over tick removal sessions. It is a huge problem here!!!


At first we found a few of the big ticks on the floor in the house and just thought they were some weird German spider. I had never seen anything like it before.


Then when we found one attached to each cat and we realized what they were!


THEN we realized that both cats had varying sizes of these ticks attached to them.


I can't pull them off due to psychological reasons. I seriously don't have it in me. I am in charge of holding the cat still, I close my eyes and Paul uses tweezers and pulls them off.


We bought some drops that were safe for the kids but they don't seem to do much. I heard a rumor that Frontline is at the pharmacy of all places so I'm headed there tomorrow. In the meantime I've found several small ones attached to Velcro the orange one as she comes in the front door. (Since they are still killing machines and we have to check for live rodents before they come in.) But Skwaky is a fluff ball of dark fur, hopeless to find any small ticks on her. We try to use a brush on them, but I don't know that it helps. We check them every day but still seem to find a fat full tick on the floor every few days.


That's the grossest part. They are small and normal looking at first, but then they fill themselves so full of blood they get fat and fall off!

Yep, bought tick spray for the kids and playing in the giant hedge is off limits.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ugliest Thanksgiving Ever

I decided to cook a turkey and make a mini-Thanksgiving. I decided to go all out and even make a pumpkin pie!

Good thing I tried before the real November holiday. I used puff pastry on accident for my pie crust and it puffed and went all funky. I also learned that evaporated milk cans from England have three more ounces in than a standard American can. Try scooping only the milk out of a pie mix... It tasted good though. I don't like the crust anyways...

At least I added the eggs Grandma!!

...and my turkey. It was super ugly. I tried to cook it in an imported oven bag, which are pretty handy and it worked fine... but it turned out quite ugly, but tasty! In my defense it was a scrawny chicken-sized turkey which started out a bit odd looking..

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All mine.

I am now laughing again just thinking about it.

I got a secret tip that Doritos were at Lidl, a grocery store here. I picked up the kids afterschool and quickly drove to Lidl. I left the kids in the car. Since I had already been to two grocery stores earlier in the day I knew I'd be quick. ...just go in, look for the American Chips, and get out.

There they were....

They were only 1 EURO! In Denmark they would be at least 30 kroner, $6.00, 8 euro!! I grabbed all the bags I could carry and went to the check out aisle. I was wishing I had kids to help carry bags. I dropped off my prized Doritos on the little conveyor belt, said excuse me in English to the people behind me, and went back for more. I went back twice to fill my hands with Dorito bags. I felt like an idiot. Then I starting laughing. Then I felt like a bigger idiot.

I was by myself, now laughing out loud uncontrollably... Tears in my eyes laughing... Couldn't even talk laughing... Even as I'm typing now I'm laughing thinking about it. Paul is looking at me weird because I'm laughing so hard right now sitting next to him on the couch. I have no idea why I found this so funny, but it was even more embarrassing that I was standing in the store now in tears from laughing so hard. They probably though I was on drugs or something.

Either way, I got my Doritos and I only feel mildly guilty for taking them all. The guilt is quickly overcome by the yummy taste of Cool American chips...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our recent guests!

Yep, last weekend we had some more visitors to the Happy Hotel. :) I love my friends!

Kerstin and her family came to see us because this summer are moving to Stockholm to escape the joys of Denmark. :) Kerstin is my friend who used to hang out with me all the time until she got a job and moved far away to Horsens... (near the Target, hee hee)

She and her family are so much fun, we loved having them. When they arrived on Saturday we walked down to a see a little horse derby going on. A few weekends ago they had the big Championship Derby, so I don't think this was a big event, but it was free and cute to see horses jumping over those poles. We rode the train home, fed the kids some macaroni and cheese, cooked some salmon for the grown ups and had a nice evening after we got ALL SIX kids to sleep. :)

The next day we all slept in and ate a big breakfast... Since it was raining we headed off to the Hauptbahnhof train station where we found.... Pizza Hut, Subway, KFC, and Haagen Dazs. We came home VERY full after our American Food Binge and then we had to say goodbye. We miss them...

I was talking to another mom the other day... I was telling her how I have found a definite perk of this International Lifestyle we have... and it's one that comes from the biggest downside... How is that for looking at the bright side of things? :) I'm so positive. :)

Anyways, the worst part about being in our "ex-pat" situation and living here is that all our friends come and go... you are never with anyone for more than a couple years. You always know that soon your friends will leave and it's honestly impossible to have faith that new ones will show up... although they always do.

However, just from a couple years in Denmark... My friends are starting to move around the globe and I'm ending up with friends everywhere! I have all these new "vacation destinations!" When Kerstin arrives in Stockholm we will be definitely be visiting... I'll go say Hi to Ingrid in London... and I know Holly will always have a batch of peanut butter cookies waiting for me in the US of A! ...and of course all my friends who are still in DK, I'm headed that way in a few weeks to say hi! :)

I still miss my friends back home too... Hi Trini!!! I SOOOOO can't wait to see you in July! As soon as I get those tickets confirmed you will be the first person I call! Love ya!!

I get jealous of all Trini's "new" friends that I hear her talk about and write about... and I'm sure she may feel the same about my "new" friends, but there will never be another Trini and nobody will EVER do the things we have done! (Thank Goodness!!) Scooby Snacks... they were green, Catalina Island... after we walked to that place that wasn't a casnio and before I bought those ugly orange sunglasses I thought were SOOOO cool and I still have. :) You have to remember those!!!

Berlin.... again.

Oh yah, and last week Michaela's class went to Berlin for the day... just to go to a museum! Can you say "lucky sixth grader"?

Monday, June 7, 2010


Michaela (KE) left us... Guess where their week long 6th grade class trip was to this year...

Denmark. :)

So she is back in Denmark this week at a camp where they do Stone Age/Viking type things. I even signed the permission slip and checked the box that said my daughter was NOT allowed to witness an animal slaughter. I tried to be very open minded about this stupid idea and allow her to decide for herself what she would like to do. When she said, "No way", I was secretly very happy. I think that would be a bit much and could traumatize any kids who think it would be sooooo cool... seriously, dumb idea. :(

Either way, they will have lots of fun, I'm sure of it. This was the first trip for her that I didn't supervise packing either! She is getting older! I hope the weather is good for them this week, but it's not looking too promising. :) I guess I'll just hose her and her belongings off when she returns on Friday. Andrea and Scotty will miss her the most, they love their big sister. I think Sierra misses her too because she is hanging around me a lot more. :)

With Michaela's bus picture I forgot to mention that Scotty's class went on a field trip last week to the zoo. They were WAY COOLER though because they got to ride in the Hamburg Freezers Ice Hockey team's bus. :) I think when they got to the zoo, people thought the Freezers were there... until a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds piled off. :) The bus with an upstairs and TVs and clocks and seatbelts was a definite highlight of the trip for The Boy. Scotty is pretty cute... and still loves school.
See Scotty? He got the seat in the front... to the left of the ice hockey man. :)
I remember when KE went to the zoo... :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Once I really had to go potty but refused to pay the required 50 cents to do so. So I didn't go. I waited ALL THE WAY UNTIL WE GOT HOME. 50 cents to pee. Whatever...

THIS TIME it was 70 cents... that's like an entire AMERICAN DOLLAR!! An entire dollar to go potty!!?? I couldn't believe it! I paid though, I hope Michaela and her bladder appreciated it! :)

It wasn't even the kind where you just put money in a dish, you had to insert money into the machine and then go through the turnstyle thingy... After she went in I realized I should have just made her crawl under. 70 cents. UGH

I'll never get used to paying to use bathrooms everywhere: shopping malls, grocery stores, banks, bus stations, movie theaters, gas stations, rest stops. I've even paid to go potty in a porta potty! IN AMERICA.... going potty is free. :)

...AND don't tell me that when you pay then the bathroom is cleaner because that isn't always the case. Sometimes yes, but sometimes not.

I wonder though, who is the "bathroom attendant"? I always thought it was just someone who claimed a gas station bathroom as their own; just like a homeless person would claim a corner as their own to ask for money. But now that bathroom attendants are everywhere I wonder. Is the bathroom attendant actually employed? Do they get a paycheck? Do they go to bathroom attendant school?

I just don't like paying the turn style one. I'm happier putting money in a dish. I'd be less annoyed at paying 70 cents if someone didn't ASK for 70 cents. I'd rather give 70 cents out of the goodness of my heart, then I feel generous and that makes me happy. ...and I do actually pay alot. I mean, if someone stuck is in a mall bathroom all day while I am out shopping buying whatever I want. I usually give them a euro... but then again I'm taking four kids potty so maybe I really am being cheap. :) Maybe I should toss down a tooney next time. :) That's my cool Canadian lingo... "tooney". Is there a cool word for the 2 euro coin I should know?

night night

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Corn in a Jar

I am a total sucker for food that is cute and fun. Corn in a Jar?

How odd... :) But it checked the box for fun so I bought four for the kids.

Yes, it was super gross...

Yes, the kids still ate it and proclaimed it to be the best corn ever...

I think corn in a cup was way better. :)


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