Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Saturday Sledding

Snow, snow, snow, and more snow! Winter wants to stay.

The snow will remain, good thing the sun is shining, therefore, we enjoy!

Why not go sledding? We dragged the girls out to enjoy the snow, the fresh air, the cold, brrrr. And this time, we have a guest.

MC's classmate is staying with us for two nights because she and her mom are transfering to another house, it's the sad story of the couple splitting up. Anyway, we aim to have a good time, so off we go.

My husband and I decided that instead of driving to the mountains of Odenwald like we usually do, we'll hike to the nearest 'mountain' near our place.
Here they are dragging their sleds.

The girls had to carry or pull their sleds depending on the road condition. Of course, it's IC who complained first -- saying that we are walking too long, that she is hungry, that she cannot carry her sled anymore, etc. etc. (despite the fact that I was mostly pulling her while she was sitting comfortably on her sled all the way up!!!).

Our destination, at last!

Oh anyway, after 15 minutes of walking and pulling and dragging the sled (and complaining), we reached our destination. Remember that long, snowy hike last Saturday where we passed a group of people sledding? That's where we ended up at. We conquered the place!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'll help you

The girls' received their mid-semester school report cards last week. I am glad to say that they did well.

MC did surprisingly well, too.  Remember, she's the one who's having some issues with school works but I think she's over those things now.

The middle school rector even told her, "you know what, I don't know what grades you got when you were in grade four but I am telling you, you are doing well this year!"

Anyway, after receiving her report card and getting those words of praise from the school rector, she noticed that a classmate was not happy at all with her grades. In fact, she told me, her friend sneaked in the corner of the room and was very, very sad; almost crying.

She reached out to her and asked, "why are you sad?" It turned out the girl got mostly passing marks.

You know what MC said to her? "Don't be sad, I will help you."

Those words came from a girl who had issues with school works. Those words came from a girl who used to scream and cry everytime it's time to face homework and school projects. Those words came from a girl who fought anything related to learning.

And I am happy because that means...

Those words came from a girl is now ready to face up the challenges at school. Those words came from a girl who is now enjoying school!

The girl brightened up after MC talked to her.

I asked MC how she'd like to help the girl. I told her, if she want, she can invite the girl for a visit and they can learn together.

That same night she called the girl and repeated her offer to help. They are now working on a schedule. And I would definitely support my girl's offer to help.

Let's see what would happen next :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Breakfast

It's Valentine's Day and my girls have been looking forward to this day.

A few weeks before, they went shopping for gifts. A few nights before, they kept on reminding me about THE Valentine's day.

Last night, IC and MC voluntarily left me in the kitchen earlier than usual (they have a week school break), as if prodding me to start preparing. In fact, they asked me if they are still allowed to go down, an hour after they left me. You know, like asking if I am already setting the table, doing the decorations, laying down the surprises :-)
Our Valentine's Day Breakfast Table

Okay, okay, I got the hint. I told them they are verboten to go down because Valentine's day is about to start. I started baking the cake. I started creating paper hearts. I started setting the table. It was around 11 p.m. when I finally got to bed.

Heart-shaped Marble Cake
Then this morning, I woke up early simply because I could hear the girls partying in their rooms already! I decided to start early, feeding the dog and doing the final touches for our Valentine's breakfast.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Weiberfastnacht (Ladies Carnival) or Fat Thursday

The table is ready for the party!
It is Weiberfasching  today, roughly translated, the Ladies Carnival/Wives Carnival. But in German, it becomes Fettdonnerstag or Schmutziger Donnerstag (which mean Fat Thursday or Dirty Thursday).

Weiberfastnacht is the official start of the carnival season, a German festival that marks the last Thursday before Lent and that means, fasting would be near.

As tradition goes,
 the Wives Carnival is dedicated to eating. Why is that? I protest :-) Maybe because it's the ladies who are usually busy preparing the food? Or could it be because the ladies eat too much? Whatever, in the German regions where Fasching or Carnival are celebrated, people CELEBRATE! 

The ladies would be having their LADIES ONLY costume party. Meaning, most of those who plans to go already need to think about what to wear way, way before the party itself. You would be astound on how creative some of them are!

I think most of the cities would be having a party, and the places would be filled, mind you. In fact, most of the costumed-women would be lining up an hour before the gates would open. You know, you need the best seats in the house. Plus, you have to reserve seats for those late comers. As most of them would be coming in groups, wearing the same costumes, really wonderful to see!

The lasttime I attended the Weiberfastnacht party, I saw some men, but, take note, they were wearing the same costumes of the women's group. That was a riot!

And in the city where I used to live, the best part of the program would be the Men Ballet Dancers, they rock!

What would you expect during the Weiberfasching Party? Fun, fun, fun! There's dancing all night long. There would be line dances, polonaise dances, cowboy dances, chair dances, everything goes! It is something that I wanted to enjoy yearly, but... 

Anyway, aside from beer and wine, there would be an overwhelming array of sweets, cakes and other meals forbidden during Lent. The most popular national dish is the berliner, fist-sized donuts filled with marmalade and sprinkled with sugar, and faworki, French dough fingers served with lots of powdered sugar.

The center of this Weiberfastnacht festival would be Cologne or Dusseldorf where the airports issue right inside the airplane a travel warning to men passengers. Women armed with scissors are out to cut those neck ties, a traditional 'game'. And men would be then comforted with kisses afterwards.

Did I say I wanted to experience this fun-filled party yearly? Well, I celebrate the Weiberfastnacht with my girls and we party at home! 

I decorate, set-up the table, cook and bake, prepare some games and prizes, line-up the dance music and we party!!!

Meanwhile,Papa's necktie is waiting to be attacked!