Thursday, December 24, 2009

Looking back on the year that is coming to a close is always good for me. I feel like it all went by in a big fast-forward blur so it’s good to think of the events that actually did take place.

The biggest and most thrilling thing that happened to our family in the last 12 months happened in February, when our Alinya was born. When I saw that she was a girl, I immediately said (I thought it was just to myself, although later I realized that it was said aloud) ‘what are we going to do with a girl?’ This curious reception aside, she has been welcomed into our family with great enthusiasm and has barely survived the kissing, hugging and being generally smothered with love on all accounts. She rewards our behavior with sunny smiles and general good humor constantly. She is developing a quirky little personality that makes us laugh loudly and often, which just has to be good for you. She is taking her time with development, still content to sit up and play with toys given to her by her brothers, selected with great care as to not cause any choking. They are very protective of her and she is nuts about them.
The boys are doing fine in school. I try not to get too hyper about the daily ups and downs that they bring home, things others did/said, things their teachers did/said to make their day what it was, good or bad. This is something that is a challenge for me and I find myself muttering under my breath a sentence that our mother threatened almost every week of our school career ‘well I am just going to have to call the school’. We responded with NO MOM, please don’t call the school, so maybe she was just actually testing us to see whether it was really serious or not. Hey, I just caught on now. Duh. Hannes is in third grade and finding it very interesting as well as challenging. He has a new teacher this year and she is very serious about rules and regulations which is right down his alley! Once you catch on to how her classroom works, things are fine but it does mean for a rocky start. Hannes continues piano with varying degrees of enthusiasm! Dylan also has a new teacher in first grade and he seems to be meeting the challenges as well. Their classroom is very full this year, making the available space limited…..Dylan needs lots of room to move around so that is difficult for him sometimes. He loves recess and gym the most but is making progress in reading and seems to have an aptitude for math. They both started soccer this year and seem to love it. Their involvement in that extracurricular activity has given me leverage to ensure their cooperation in less interesting matters (clean rooms, completed homework, good attitudes….) that I needed! Liam has started preschool once a week. He likes to go and has learned a lot of French so far. He tells us a lot of stories about ‘his friend’ at school, many of them fabricated I suspect. He has a great imagination, maybe he is adding events to make up for the parts of the conversation he misses through the lack of French skills, I am not sure. It is entertaining and for the most part harmless for the moment. He is still the little happy guy we know and love but has had bouts of the ‘terrible fours’ too.
Ralph and I continue to try and manage this family to the best of our knowledge and ability. He has plenty of work for the moment and it seems like he has reached his goal so far of gaining at least one new client per year. He loves time spent with his kids and usually spends it kicking a soccer ball, hitting a tennis ball or building lego creations. Life is busy but good. Exciting events are few and far between so we just try and enjoy the daily routine. We did spend a weekend in London in November, a good friend turned 40 so we marked this occasion with a big ‘VanDenBerg surprise’ for her birthday. It felt good to be surrounded by English again and to stroll around that big beautiful city taking in the sights, sounds and smells.
Wonder what you’ll be putting in the oven this holiday season? We are looking forward to a slew of visitors, food, fun and games. Thinking of you and yours, The Meyer Crew

Friday, December 11, 2009

Alinya's photo shoot






Alinya seems to like the camera so far! She is moving around on the floor backwards now, I guess it won't be too much longer until she crawls. She is certainly taking her time but it beats chasing her around for the moment.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

London is a good place to turn 40!












This weekend was very exciting for a few of us! It was Kim's 40th and we decided that it would be fun to surprise her with a weekend away. Aschi organized the childcare and we got all of the tickets a few months ago. So in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, we took of for their house. Our flight left from Basel around 7am so we had to get going pretty early. Kim and Aschi were saying goodbye to Heidi R., who was going to keep their kids for the weekend when we walked in and began to sing 'happy birthday to you' quietly. She was well and truly surprised. A quick easyjet flight took us to London and we had a great weekend. We came home Sunday night and all had gone well with the kids. We had Alinya with us and she did really well, on and off of buses, tube, trains and plane, smiling at everyone she met. We got in some good food, good shopping but mostly just being together, good old friends enjoying each other's company. We spent some time with some great people who live in London and who are fantastic hosts...they actually babysat Alinya Friday night while we went out on the town. Hearing english was so nice, esp Sunday morn. Our experience with those special people gave London a heart. We did forget our cameras so these are all taken on the iPhone.









These were mostly taken last week and I just didn't have time to post them. The boys were excited about new shoes and I was excited about dew on spider webs in the mornings.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

To vacinate or not to vacinate?

Ok, I am in a bit of a quandry here. Do I get the kids vacinated aginst the H1N1 virus or not? So far I have decided not to, but I change my mind about 30 times a day whether I am doing the right thing or not. Am I being an irresponsible parent by not doing it? There are so many good arguements for both sides. Alinya is 9 months old now and she is still getting mom's special antibodies so do I need to worry? Who has vacinated and who hasn't and what are your reasons behind it? I NEED to know. My pediatrician, who is definately not an alarmist, has left it up to us. Not much help there...but what it does tell me is that he does not think it is absolutely necessary. My mom is pretty sure she has the virus and has been fairly miserable for several days now. Can I be sure my kids won't get it if I vacinate or is there still a chance they could get it anyway?

Friday, November 13, 2009




Nolan, one of my Thursday kids, had his 9th birthday today. We had his choice of lunch (cordon bleu, french fries and raw carrots) and my choice of a cake, the hamburger cake. It was a fun lunch hour again. Acutally they are here from 11:05-1:30. That is the lunch break. They all come home starving hungry, eat lunch and then tear around the house until it's time to go back. They were just in Kenya for vacation hence the braids.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Raised Glazed anyone?









Since the nearest crispy creme is a few thousand miles away (I even love Roth's donuts, but don't tell my dad I said that) and the swiss are known for their yummy croissants but couldn't make a good donut to save their neutrality, we decided to make donuts. We had the help of a veteran donut maker and they turned out really yummy. We'll make a few slight changes to the recipe next time, but they were better than any I have tasted in a long time. Judy and Suzanne were here for a few days. I also decided to repaint in the living room and the kitchen to accomodate a recently acquired treasure and to display an older one. I was proud and excited to say that it cost me about a hundred bucks in paint and rollers and it made a great change in our room=cheap thrill, right?! That was until I pushed down on the paint bucket lid to close it while it was sitting on our stovetop and cracked the whole thing. Guess I don't know my own strength. Hey I wasn't Paul Bunyan in the 3rd grade school play for nuthin. Duh, so the 100 buck project just got another zero added to it and that stinks. But I'm still happy about the changes. And I can use two burners out of four on my stove.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

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Alinya jives

videoAlinya was jiving with Marie Helen the other day to some tunes the boys had going upstairs