Friday, June 15, 2012

A Month of Visitors

At the beginning of April, I wrapped up my year of service as the Vice President at the WAC. I have to say, being involved with these women for the year was definitely one of the best things that happened to me during our secondment in Switzerland. I'm so grateful that the preschool director asked me to consider it as the experience changed our life here and brought me a couple of my closest friends. It was fun working at the various WAC events, painting and redecorating the clubroom and doing what we could to keep the club running smoothly.

Thanks again ladies: Carol, Angie, Susan J., Susan K., Anna, Heike, Ida, Jen, Judy, Danna, Stacy and the wonderful teachers that made my job easy!
More good times at the Jucker Farm

We spent the first half of April celebrating Easter! First, a wonderful Easter Brunch and egg hunt at Sienna's house. Then a long weekend at Oma & Opa's with more Easter festivities. Mind you, Easter in Switzerland/Germany is a little different than Easter in North Carolina (ex. The weather was such that one could wear the same outfit as you did at Christmas, as Jonas did :-) Sara wore her "new" dress, but the egg hunt was very short-lived as it was freezing!!!

Oma's known for setting a beautiful table complete with scrumptious cakes!
And then, we kicked off an entire month of visitors. Yes, a month! But, it was great! We are very thankful that my parents came to see us again. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate much as April was indeed a month of showers. That didn't stop us from making it to Meersburg, Chur, Kirchheim, Esslingen, etc. We also enjoyed some quality time around Uster. The kids loved all of the extra attention and Andy and I loved having extra help!

Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

The best 4 grandparents ever!
 Aunt Bev and cousin Mandy joined us as my parents were wrapping up their visit. The kids and I made sure they saw as much of Europe as was feasibly possible. We hit Zurich, Appenzell, Luzern and Stein am Rhein in Switzerland and then wrapped up with a whirl-wind day trip to Colmar, France & Freiburg, Germany. A huge thanks to Andy for entertaining the kids while we had our girl's day! Traveling is a little faster without the kiddos :-)
Family Reunion in Uster


Could you resist buying something here? I couldn't!

Lenora joined us on our girl's trip. Thanks, Markus!
 Angie turned 30 in April and had an awesome party at a local bowling alley. Who knew there was American-style bowling so close? Angie quickly become one of my best friends after we both joined the WAC Board last year. She's an incredible friend and mom and I'm going to miss seeing her on a daily basis.

Carol & Me celebrating Angie, our favorite 30-year old! She's an amazing woman!

Best buds - Sara & Santiago

Sara's a little possessive :-)
Quote from this month:

While enjoying some of Oma's leftover birthday carrot cake:
Sara: Cake, Mommy! I love cake!
Jonas: I've never heard Sara say love before.

(Actually, I think she had only said it once before, when she told Daddy that she loved him on his way out the door one morning).

March 2012

The weather was actually rather warm, relatively speaking of course, in March. We enjoyed great times outdoors with friends at the zoo & Jucker Farm. The kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves while we moms were often able to sit down for a few minutes and enjoy a coffee together.

March also kicked off birthday season for us. The kids made a mosaic mirror for Oma's birthday. (Thanks again to my creative friend Angie for the great idea :0).

We weren't able to be with Auntie Wendy on her birthday weekend, but we celebrated it in style in Cannobio, Italy.

It's a requirement to have gelato at least 2x/day in Italy!

I spent my birthday with my wonderful friends and their kids. First, a celebration at Playgroup. Then, lunch with one of my best buddies, followed by an incredibly chaotic but still very special cake & coffee time with friends (and all the kids - hence the chaos :-). Then, Andy & I enjoyed a peaceful dinner at the Argentinian Steakhouse. A good day!
Connie & Lenora - the best neighbors God could ever have given

Another good one from Jonas:
M: Andy, we don't want our children playing video games and yet here you are...
A: This is different.
Jonas: This is Angry Birds!

2012 Beginning

The year began with a miracle. I saw my first live birth! Sara and I happened to be walking by just as a cow at the barn nearby was about to give birth. Amazing experience, no matter which species. Cheers to you, kleine kuh! 

Sara began preschool for the first time.  She was really excited! She loved her teachers, Miss Heather & Miss Sangeeta, and enjoyed making new friends. It was sweet to have her tell me about her day and her friends. She's definitely a talker, like her big brother! She learned a lot - including the days of the week, counting and recognizing colors. Her teacher said that she's really good at puzzles and at arranging things by size and that she follows instructions and participates :0). Proud mama!

We enjoyed hiking in the fresh air and many more snow days. I'm amazed at how many pairs of shoes and various jackets that we accumulated while living in Switzerland. But, you really do need them all for the various weather circumstances.

Jonas & Jack

Valentine's Day Pizzas with Aari & Sam
 Jonas had his first skiing lessons in February. During the Sports Break, he and his friends hit the slopes together. It was amazing to see how brave and fearless they were. And they do live charmed lives, having their first ski lessons in the Swiss Alps!
Check out his form!

Aari, Jonas & Sienna

The Wagernhof sponsored the local Fasching Parade. Oma and Opa came over to join us in the festivities and we met Sienna's family there too!

We wrapped up February with some more fun in the snow with Oma & Opa!

A few more tidbits:
Jonas: If I can't be the boss of someone here, I'm going to move out.
J: Mommy, Sienna told me the other day that she wants to marry me when she grows up.
M: Really? And what did you say?
J: Nothing. I was too frightened.
Just enjoyed some coffee and hot chocolate at the Wagerenhof shop. As he was paying, the lady complimented Andy: "Your German is really good!"
Jonas was just playing doctor. I hopefully asked him, "Do you want to be a doctor someday?" His response: "A monster truck driver." Oh brother!!
Andy was on a call with a client today and they tell him, "We've been talking. The schedules you're requesting and the questions you're asking actually make sense. You actually know what you're doing, unlike the last person that was on this engagement." I'm proud!