Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Review: Campingplatz auf dem Simpel in Soltau

the girls enjoy the Go-cart rental at the camping grounds
It was a three-day camping break for our family. It's supposed to be a surprise for the girls, too -- a reward for their good grades.

There were enough camping grounds to choose from in Soltau but we landed at Campingplatz auf dem Simpel. Why? Because it's just a few minutes walk from a theme park that we wanted to visit, the Heide Park; because of the swimming pool, because of the huge playground, and because they allow dogs.

Finding Campingplatz auf dem Simpel is easy, even though we don't have a navigator in the car. We simply printed out the directions using ADAC maps.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

After 27 years...

School friends mini-reunion after more than 27 years
Thanks to Facebook, old school friends have met again after 27 years to reminisce about the good, old times.

Who would have thought we would all be leaving our home country and would be finding each other again in Europe after those long years?

Let me savor this short visit from these girls first. Let me cherish our reminiscing until late nights. Let me linger with laughters ringing in my ears. Let me fill my stomach with those comfort foods reminding me of home. Let me enjoy the warm company, sprinkled with thoughts of those missed friends. Let me talk about lost loves, found loves, missed loves, future loves. Let me get to know them again, over and over again.

Will blog later :-)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How I Told My Girls About the Death of Finn Hudson

Image from AP/Fox

My girls are GLEE fans. They love Rachel and Finn. They love Puck and Quinn and Sam. Okay, they love the whole cast of GLEE.

Therefore when I heard early Sunday morning over the radio that Cory Monteith, that adorable Finn Hudson in GLEE, was found dead in his hotel room, I decided to turn-off the radio because I wanted the girls to hear the news from me.

Not that they would be hysterical, I just want to personally inform them about Finn's death. They know him as Finn, they don't even know his real name!

When I heard movements in MC's bedroom, I knocked and approached her, looking into her eyes before telling her, "MC, do you remember Finn from GLEE?" After her nod, I told her that Finn is dead, mentioning the news. She slowly nodded and said she'll be down soon. But before I left, she asked me again if it's true. I simply nodded.

I then went to IC's bedroom, cuddled with her in bed, before telling her about Finn. She looked at me and gave me a tight hug before letting me go.

That was that. I believe that such news should be delivered directly, face-to-face. Just in case there are questions, just in case there are tears. I believe that my girls appreciated what I did.

Later that day, MC told me that a classmate of her burst into tears after someone casually informed her about Finn's death. That classmate was almost inconsolable.

MC said, "Mama, I didn't know that she likes Finn, too. If I did, I would have approached her just like you did to us at home."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Focaccia Bread and Tomato Salad

Un-tossed Foccacia and Tomato Salad
It's the traditional end of the school year barbecue party of IC's class this afternoon.

I planned to bring a cake and a salad. The cake I baked yesterday, after picking up more red currants, gooseberries and cherries from our backyard garden. (I will share the recipe later.)

I wanted to bring a green salad but my girls said it's boring, so I have to think of a not-boring salad to make. 
I used a baguette in this Bread and Tomato Salad
Then this morning, I realized my husband would be out almost the whole day, meaning, he would be having the car most of the day, meaning, no chance to grocery shop. I could walk, yeah, but the girls have friends over and they wanted to play in the inflatable pool. No way I would leave them alone!

But I have tomatoes, rucola and some herbs in the garden. What could I do? I searched the internet for a simple no-cook salad recipe and found this. Only I don't have any country-style bread, nor do I have arugula and basil (the snails loved our basil so much our basil patch didn't survive!). Good thing I found great alternatives: rucola and chives!

So here goes our newly-discovered salad: Focaccia Bread and Tomato Salad

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Language Challenge

IC cannot sleep last night. She was worried.

Tomorrow, a Turkish mom is scheduled to pick their group up after their school's swimming lesson.

'Papa, could you please pick me up instead?' she asked.

'Why?, O's mama would be there to pick you up,' Papa said.

'I am afraid that she would not understand me when I speak in German to her. And then she cannot drive me direct home,' IC replied.

Papa calmed her down and informed her that O's mama is the daughter of an old bank customer and that he knows her and that she could speak German because she's born in Germany.

A bit reassured, IC got to bed.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Picnic, Red Currants and Cherries

It was a last minute decision because it's a sunny Sunday. A picnic.

But what do we bring? A picnic blanket, a bag of cookies, enough drinks and empty baskets. The girls  brought their books, too.

Our destination: our mountain garden, a 10-minute ride.

Upon arrival, we chose our spot for the picnic blanket. Then we picked red currants, (I mean I picked and the girls munched) until one empty basket is full.
our picnic
Then we found our place in the sun, reading books and enjoying our red currants.

Meanwhile, my husband got busy trying to position the ladder in the cherry tree. After all, we still have one basket to fill.

Monday, July 1, 2013

DIY: No-Sew Loot Bags using an Old Pillow Case

It was a last minute decision to invite IC's former classmates and good friends to finally celebrate her birthday with them with a swimming pool party. Last minute, because the weather forecast that week was really hot!!
A loot bag from an old pillow case

That Monday, I managed to coordinate with all the participating girls' moms and scheduled the party on a Wednesday afternoon.

Now that means I only have two days to organize a swimming party for five girls. Yay! No chance to go to the grocery store to shop, too, because my husband have meetings planned from Monday to Wednesday! Another yay!