Thursday, September 15, 2011

Celebrating Jonas

Today we celebrate the adorable little boy that captured our hearts even before he was born on September 15th, 2007.  Jonas is 4 now!  We are so proud of him and so thankful to God for blessing us with this precious gift.  Here's a look back at some of our favorite pictures of him.

2007 - First Precious Moments

2008 - First Birthday

2009 - Life is about to Change! 

2010 - Three Years Old!

2011 - European Adventures

Well, it was a Knight party, until the Superheroes crashed it :-)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Swiss Summer

It’s hard to believe that summer is over. It was great!  There were even 2 very hot weeks, by Swiss standards, considering that we have no air-conditioning.

Auntie Wendy and her friend Sarah came to visit us in July.  The kids enjoyed showing Auntie Wendy some of our favorite places: Seefeld, Zoo, Preschool, etc.  Their visit would not have been complete with a trip to Germany.  We took them to Konstanz and rode the ferry over to Meersburg.  Jonas is really into knights lately, and Auntie Wendy treated us to a visit to Meersburg Castle.  Jonas stocked up on some knight attire J.  Oh, and here's documentation that Andy is my knight in shining armor :0).


My Knight

One day, we all journeyed to Mt. Pilatus, outside of Luzern.  The weather cooperated beautifully.  We took the world’s steepest cog wheel to the top, which offered a spectacular view along the way.  We rode the cable car down so that everyone could take a ride on Switzerland's longest Sommerrodelbahn.  They flew by so fast, I had a hard time getting pictures!  Jonas was very brave and rode too (with Andy).  I was so proud of him.

Coolest statue I've ever seen :-)

In July we attended a Knight’s Tournament outside of Munich.  It was so fabulous that we plan to attend it next year.  We spent some time eating and shopping our way through the medieval market.  Then we watched the 2 hour professional production of the Dark Knight’s battle with King Arthur - amazing costumes and action.  Jonas loved it!  Sara handled it much better than expected.  Andy and I feel it was our best family day-excursion to date.  I now spend a lot of time playing jousting knights with Jonas, but I suppose that is better than having to be a dinosaur!

Jonas had a 5 week summer break from Preschool.  Connie and I took turns, each watching all of the kids one day/week.  I biked around the 2 lakes nearby often, and enjoyed some time to myself.  In addition to the beautiful mountains and lakes, I saw men practicing their Alp horns and people foraging for mushrooms in the woods.  We also alternated weeks babysitting on Wednesday evenings so that we could each have some quality time with our spouses.  (Have I mentioned before that Connie and her family are a God-send for us?).  Lenora and I also worked out a few alternating play-dates with Aari and Sam.  Another friendship that has been such a blessing in so many ways.  

We also enjoyed another precious visit to Ur-Oma & Ur-Opa's.  The kids were really warm with them, from the beginning.  Ur-Opa was able to fix the door on Jonas' space shuttle, which was recently broken.  Ur-Oma kept us fat and happy with her delicious cooking!

I also attended a few ladies nights this summer with moms I met through Sara’s playgroup.  Angie was a very gracious hostess, and we all had a good time catching up and enjoying some wine and dessert.  I have been so blessed to meet so many wonderful women through the school. 

A friend asked me recently if it has been hard to transition here since I know that my stay is so temporary, noting that I’ve done a good job of involving/integrating myself.  I expect that when the time comes, the goodbyes here will be just as hard as the ones I had in Charlotte.  These women have provided wonderful friendship and a great support system to me and the kids and my life would be incomplete without them.

The highlight of the summer for me relates to speaking, for both kids.  Jonas has started speaking German with Andy sometimes.  Andy really buckled down this summer and consistently spoke German with him.  Also, when Connie watched him, she spoke German.  It was all reinforced by some Franklin (the turtle) videos auf Deutsch that Judy loaned us, the knight’s tournament and time with Oma & Opa.  A huge thanks to all of you!  He still has a long way to go, but Jonas will initiate German conversation with Andy and one of his little friends from Oma’s house, Joel.  He even addressed me in German a few days ago.  Very exciting! 

Sara has started speaking!  It seems she says something new every day.  She says the word, or  something recognizable (by me at least J), for the following (more for my record than for your interest J):  Mommy, Daddy, Jonas, hello, baby, bear, water, drink, juice, washcloth, bib, cookie, ice cream, dog, quack, moo, stroller, good night, bye, no, yeah, bee, shirt, again, monkey/affe, book, shoe, look, cereal, waffle, apple, bike, scooter, roar, peacock/pfau, fish, vogel (bird in German), nein, zebra, diaper, outside, dirty, potty, poop, snack, slide, oh, wow, uh-oh, run, mund, nase, auge, (Santi)ago, more, flower, Jack, coffee, row - and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.  Andy reads to her in German every night that he is here before she goes to bed, and she seems to understand him.

Sara loves to dance, climb, and look at her little princess book.  She regularly begs me for the foam from my morning lattes (I made the mistake of letting her try it) and loves her nightly reading sessions with Daddy.  Auntie Wendy initiated Sara's first pedicure, and she loves having pretty toes - and wearing lipgloss :-).  She wishes she could go to school with Jonas, but is also happy with her weekly playgroup.  She has her first best friend, Santiago (Angie’s son).  She loves him and mentions him often.  She’s the sweetest little girl - always happy and smiling and quite the little snuggle-bug.  I love her sweet personality and affectionate nature.

Sara & Santiago


Jonas & Joel

Jonas Comments:

Recently, I signed Jonas up for a pizza class with his friend Sienna.  He refused to participate and when I asked him when we got home how he was going to learn to cook so he could feed himself someday, he replied, “I don’t need to cook.  I’m going to be too busy flying around. (He’s going to be a pilot).  The co-pilot will cook.  Will you be my co-pilot?”  When I explained to him that the co-pilot wouldn’t be cooking, he said, “Well, those people that give the passengers their food can give me some too.”

J: Mommy, Jack and I were born in America, right?  M: Yep. J: That’s why we’re English, huh?

During a recent visit to Ikea, we asked Jonas if he wanted to stay in the children’s play area while we shopped.  J: No, they only speak German, Swiss-German, there.  M: That’s a valid point.  J: What does that mean? M: I see where you’re coming from. J: America!

On a recent trip to Oma’s house, Jonas had to go to the bathroom shortly after leaving.  We reluctantly stopped.  While using the bathroom, he said to me, “When I’m a dad, if my kid wants to stop and use the bathroom, I’m going to say no.” M: You will?  That’s not very nice.  Why?  J: Because, then we’ll get there faster!

And one from Sara:

Upon seeing my morning latte on the kitchen counter last week, she stands up on her tippy-toes, trying to grab it off the counter, and yells, "Coffee!!  Coffee!!"