Saturday, December 09, 2017

Happy Holidays from our Growing Family

Ho, ho, ho! It's December again--that most wonderful time of year. When I say in the title here that our family is growing, I don't mean growing in quantity, merely that Danny and Benji are growing!

Hard to believe that Danny will start middle school already next year. Benji will head to 3rd grade then too. Life goes on--the boys both loving baseball, scouting, watching TV (yes, I will not lie) and being loud!

This year we may have set a record (that we will not need to break again soon) for family travel. Let’s see...we saw howler monkeys and spoke Spanish in the Guatemalan rain forest, played in the ocean near Hamburg and attended Su’s cousin’s wedding in Berlin, had a wonderful Peace Corps reunion in GA, stood in wonder at the solar eclipse in the path of totality in MO, played at our BFF’s farm in IL, celebrated Uncle Paul’s beautiful wedding in MN, and went to Universal Studios in Orlando to see all things Harry Potter! It was great to have Nana Ulli with us on many of our trips, who climbed ruins and everything in between, and played many a game of Phase 10, Scrabble, Uno and Tri-Ominos in the evenings with us.

Here are a few pics from Orlando. Love these two. Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! -Monica

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Hellooooooo!!!! (Better late than never)

So apparently I have been remiss in publishing a blog post. For over a year now. Whoopsie!!!

All is well with our family. Life basically consists of work, school, soccer, baseball, school musicals, Cub Scouts and well...I'm sure there is more. Too tired to remember what else. ;-)

I will try to be a better blogger. (I know that I say that every year.)

Danny will turn 10 later this month, and Benjamin is 7 going on 17! ;-) Until next time! -Monica

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring fun in the sun...

Time keeps marching on. In fact it's hard to believe that we are already into spring!

We are keeping busy with school and work and scouts and baseball and (new!) piano lessons, but enough about our "minutia". On to the fun stuff.

A week or two ago we headed south to visit Susanne's mom in SC for spring break/Easter break and it was a blast. For the first time ever, Susanne and I actually snuck away for a few days. While the Danny and Benji went to a cool outdoor Lego garden called Brookgreen Garden and the Pennington Beach State Park with Nana, we went to Asheville ,NC. Of course now we are back into the swing of life back home, but oh the memories!

Firefly, the Lego way.
This Lego peakock was pretty cool too!
Pennington Beach was cold in April, but awesome!
Shining Easter eggs with salami to make them shine is an old German trick.
On April Fools day the boys made a pan of brownies (Brown E's) for Mama and Nana. ;-)
There is a golf course where Nana lives, and this guys is gonna be hard to get off the links before too long.
Time for moms to head to Asheville. Lots of beer, wine and cider tastings. Yay!
We could just feel stress melt away as we leisurely did whatever we wanted for 3 whole days!
Stress? What stress? Let's go to the Biltmore next.
And don't forget the Segway tour.
Overall a nice break for all of us. Until next time!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Proud of our Pinewood Derby Champ!

A few weeks ago Danny's Cub Scout pack held its annual Pinewood Derby. This was his 3rd time racing and in the weeks leading up to the race he and Benji (who is not yet old enough to be a scout but could race in a special race for family and friends) worked on their cars. We added weights this year which we had never done before (but kept it to under 5 oz as is required) and even added some graphite to the wheels (which is allowed.) Getting the wheels on is always the trickiest thing I think any Scout will tell you!

Danny made "Blitzen" which comes from two ideas. One was that "blitz" in German means lightening, and the second was that some of his fiery flames turned into reindeer antlers, and well, the rest is history. The number 88 is because he and his best friend are both 8. It goes nicely with car 77 and 66 that are up on our shelves from past years.

It was an exciting event with 68 scouts entering cars. Each car was raced 4 times (there were many heats) and the cars that won the majority of their races then got to do quarterfinal races, then semifinal races then the finals!

During a break in the action, Benji got to race his car too and it was very exciting that he came in 1st place in both of his heats. We were all a bit disappointed that they just stopped there and did not do a final race.

Then it was back to the Cub Scout finals. Danny's car kept doing well! Suddenly it was down to the final race and Danny was so nervous I had to have him do his belly breathing.

As the cars sped down the track it was clear--Blitzen had won the race!

What a wonderful experience for our Danny. He was a little overwhelmed I think, but so proud.

Here are a few pictures from the day. As I mentioned in a FB post, I am pretty sure that I was just as, or even more, exited than he was! -M

Introducing Blitzen!

Each car raced down a track many times. Car number 6 here is actually Benjamin's car that raced great too!

There was a lot of excitement in the room as the Scouts watched the action.

It's a little blurry, but look at that face. Shock and awe when he won.

Our Cubmaster awarded the best in speed trophy. A great day for Danny and Blitzen!

Thursday, December 03, 2015


We have a lot to be thankful for this year. Our health, our family, our friends and neighbors just to name a few.

When we visited Susanne's mom in SC for Thanksgiving this year we put a new twist on the holiday. A succulent seafood feast! I'm sure that at the original Thanksgiving feast there was seafood so it's not really breaking with tradition right?

We had delicious crab legs, lobster tail and (mostly for the boys) plenty of shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic. I love our new tradition and want to keep it forever! And as an added bonus in the days after the holiday we got to have leftovers with friends that included turkey and potatoes and all the rest. Score!

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving too! -Monica

Nana's friend Vicky is very crafty and the boys love these decorations which were stuffed with M&Ms!

Seafood, seafood, seafood. And happy faces.

The boys kept buys with baseball and other fun stuff. 

They drive us crazy sometimes, but then they drive us happy. ;-)

Yes, very thankful!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Scout Law...

Pretty proud of Danny and his friends. The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts gathered 1,832 pounds of food last weekend for the Capital Area Food Bank. Awesome! They first distributed 10 bags each to neighbors about 10 days ago asking them to buy/gather some nutritious and non-perishable items over the week. Then on Saturday they brought those bags to a local Safeway, and volunteered their time asking shoppers to pick up something extra to drop on their way out. 

This was the "speil" they first came up with:

"Help the hungry donate cans."

After a little grammatical coaching by one of my fellow Cub Scout leaders, they were soon saying:

"Good morning. Help the hungry. Donate cans." (much better).

Great job boys!!!! I particularly like that so many elements of the Scout Law came into play with this project.

A Scout is:

Monday, November 09, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy

This weekend was a typically busy one for us. On Friday night we took care of our 8 and 10 year old neighbors (their parents were away on a short trip), and also Susanne's dad and his seven year old daughter (and their cute dog) came to town for a visit.

But before any of that, we ended up taking home the boys' friends A and D from soccer until their dad could arrive which resulted in a big game of Beyblades! Much fun ensued!

Then while the neighbor girls went to Girl Scouts with another friend, we had dinner with PopPop out on the porch as the temps had been in the 80s all day which is crazy for November in DC!

The next morning we were all up bright and early to go on a community service project with Casey Trees. It was a little rainy but a lot of fun!

On Sunday it was off to church and then on our return we surreptitiously drove our doctor's office to get flu shots for all. There was much moaning and gnashing of teeth. But we all got our shots, and then got a well deserved reward of Gelato. 

I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend! Until next time. -Monica