Friday, 25 January 2013

a birthday

When family and time is plentiful, birthdays become week-long events. Here's a story of a little girl who turned 9, one of forested table settings, of dragons and bubbles and science, of cake in a restaurant and mud cake at home, of candles and hugs and treasure hunts, too. One where cowboy hats and streamers, fruit from warm places and octodog wieners all play together to bring a few perfect days, one here in Germany where three countries meet in one little spot. ... I love my kid!

Germany, France and Switzerland meet in one point here, exactly where the rocket looking metal statue is, if you can find it in this sea of grey.

Monday, 21 January 2013

home (travel the world) school

If you're a home schooler, as we are, you've most likely heard something along these lines in response to your family structure - "Wow! I could never do that!" I tend to reply with, oh, sure you could, or, it's much easier than you might think, but mostly I divert to another topic, because I know it's hard to truly understand when you're not living it day to day. Inside I secretly wonder if  I have totally missed the mark, am I doing all I should, and why does this seem so easy, so normal? Should it be terribly hard, then I could nod to these remarks, and thank onlookers for their sympathy? Yet here I sit at my parents home in Germany, many miles away from home, my beautiful Canada, enjoying a gorgeous view, sipping coffee, guiding my awesome kids through their math, spending our reading time together and learning about geography and history without textbooks or pop quizzes. I get quality time with my sisters and parents, too, who aren't getting any younger, by the way - we are able to do life together even though we live so far apart. So when asked how I do it, maybe even why, I guess I would say our life is pretty great. We may not live a fancy one, but we certainly do live a full one. And yes, there are trying days, days I count the hours for the weekend to arrive. That's when I take a moment, look around, and I just know. I know I can do this, I know this is an incredible journey, one I will never take for granted or wish away.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

boat rides and roasted chestnuts

 First snowflakes... which seem to keep coming even though I never said they could!

Afternoon in Basel, Switzerland... stumbling upon more Roman ruins.

Sadly included a child's grave.

Ringing for the ferry, which took us across the Rhine River.

Couldn't help but think of my nephews the entire way (they know why).

 It may have been a little cold, but it makes for good snuggles.

And the views!

Syd found a dragon fountain. Which is super fun when you love Toothless and Hiccup.

Houses here are often over 800 years old, and rather narrow... wouldn't you say?

Roasted chestnuts are what winter smells like to me. YUM!

Then for some hot cocoa's and cake at my sister Tanja's favourite cafe in the city, which only the locals know about.