Tuesday, August 26, 2014

John is 8

On Friday John turned 8!
I can't believe this little guy is now 8!!!  Time has just flown bye.

Love these four kiddos.
 John had a little family party at home with Hans' homemade pizza.  That is all he wanted.

 He received numerous presents.  But I think his favorites were the two Lego sets.

I have to say I am loving the Legos.  My parents gave John a set a few days earlier and for 2 days I didn't hear any fighting or cross words from my boys.  They sat at the dining room table for a couple of hours after school for two days putting it all together.  They had just finished that set when Sophie gave John another set.  I had absolutely NO FIGHTING yesterday while they were putting that together. Go LEGOS!

 John wanted a Lego cake.  I attempted to make one without a mold.  I have lots of notes for myself if one of the other boys chooses a Lego cake in the future.

He's only been 8 for 3 days and he says they have been the best 3 days ever.

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day of School

The boys had their first day of school last week!  All three Fiene boys are now in school 5 days a week!

John had his first day of school on Tuesday.
 John with our next door neighbor, Mason.  Both of them are ready to start 3rd grade.

 My big 3rd grader.  I can't believe we have a kid in 3rd grade!

Happy to be waiting for the bus.  Gus would be joining John on the bus the next day.

The day after John started school the other two had their first day.
 Gus started Kindergarten.
Gus was very deliberate in looking away from the camera.  Not sure what that was all about.  Apparently he wants to be a model. He might want to work on that awkward smile before that happens.

 Anders started preschool!  He was so excited.

 My three boys.

 John was very sweet and protective with Gus riding the bus.  What you can't see in this picture is John holding Gus' hand, leading him the whole way.  What a sweet brother.

Anders walking into school for the first time.
He looks so small.

The boys all had a wonderful first week of school.  They all LOVE their teachers and look forward to going back everyday.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

While I Was In Wittenberg...

 The boys enjoyed some quiet time playing with Uncle Mark's old legos.

They also crashed at the end of each night.  Even Fritz was tired.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Travels Abroad: Wittenberg

We arrived in Wittenberg around 4 pm.  By this time I was less than coherent.  I was waiting in the hotel lobby for Hans when I saw a group of  laughing kids, and in the middle of these laughing kids is my hubby.  I felt as if they swarmed around me when they found out who I was.  I met a ton of kids whose names I regrettably don't remember.  But you'll have to give me a break because I hadn't slept in over 22 hours.  If I could have laid my head down and closed my eyes I would have slept til morning.  But I had just enough time to shower and change before the farewell dinner and service for the youth conference attendees.  I had a wonderful time meeting everyone...even though I'm sure I burst some of their bubbles by saying that I don't watch my husband's videos.  I'm sure it would blow their minds to hear that I don't find them funny.  I know, I know.  I'm not a very good wife.  Or, maybe I'm the best wife ever.  He knows I love him for him and not for his Lutheran popularity.  I digress.  After a wonderful church service I went to bed and slept for about 12 glorious hours.

The next morning we got up and explored Wittenberg.

 This is the Katharinenportal. Luther's wife, Katherine, gave this door/entryway to him as a birthday gift in 1540.

 Katherine von Bora, Luther's wife.  You can see that the ring on her left pointer finger is shiny.  Evidently it is good luck to rub her ring.

 Yep, that is my hubby.

 I'm not sure I could ever get tired of these views. Even the streets were beautiful.

 You could tell that Wittenberg and the surrounding villages are gearing up for the 500th anniversary of the nailing of the 95 Theses.  The anniversary will be in 2017 and many of these villages have a bit of construction and cleaning happening to the buildings.

 As you can see the Castle Church is under construction. This is the church where Luther nailed his 95 Theses in 1517.

 The 95 Theses.

 The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), our church body, owns a building they are currently restoring.  This is called the Wittenberg Project.

We had another relaxing night in Wittenberg and took off the next day for Erfurt.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

9 Years

Well, we made it 9 years.  It was touch and go there yesterday, but we made it.  All kidding aside, I married a wonderful man.  He is gentle, patient, kind, funny (to some), totally sarcastic, loving, passionate, sincere, and pretty darn handsome.

Thank you, my love, for 9 wonderful years.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

While I Was In Berlin...

Before leaving for Germany I drove the boys down to Texas to spend a couple of weeks with my parents.  They had all kinds of fun things planned.  I don't think our boys even noticed we were gone.

 The boys got to attend the last two days of VBS as my dad's church.  This was part of the closing program.  Gus looks absolutely thrilled.  This was just too much of a commitment, too soon for this kid. John looks like he's been there all week.  He had a great time performing and doing the actions for songs he had just learned.  If you need a kid to enthusiastically sell something I'll gladly lend him out. And Anders, I don't even see Anders.  That is probably because he was sitting next to the teacher.  Not always a good or reassuring sign when your kid is sitting next to the teacher.  At least not in Anders' case.

 The boys enjoyed fighting Grandpa with water guns.

 Seems that Grandpa was at a disadvantage.  I wonder who was hit the most.

This was only day one folks.  My parents had a lot more in store for the days ahead.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Travels Abroad: Berlin

Hans wrote a satirical play.  I'll let that statement sink in...because it is hard to believe my husband being satirical <insert eye roll here>.  But this play earned him a trip to Germany for the Confessional Line Youth Conference put on by Advent Lutheran Church in Zionsville, IN.  Youth from Indiana, Wyoming and Minnesota traveled to Germany and met youth from Germany, Sweden, and Norway.  This group remained together for a week to learn, socialize and take in the sites.  During the week they did a reading of Hans' play.  I'm told it was funny. (Editor's Note: It was hilarious.)

After the week was over there was another group flying in from the states to start a week long Heritage Tour of Germany and France.  John and Solveig were very kind and paid for me to fly over and for Hans and I to enjoy the week with them and members of their church.  It was a wonderful trip.  I took a lot of pictures.

Solveig and I, along with about 15 other church members, flew from Indiana to Berlin.  We arrived in Berlin at about 8 in the morning and hit the ground running.  Berlin was a little bit of a blur for me as I was half asleep.  But I learned a thing or two.

 This is a piece of the Berlin wall in the Allied Museum, located in the Dahlem neighborhood of Berlin.

 Also apart of the Allied Museum is Checkpoint Charlie.  Checkpoint Charlie was the best known crossing point between East and West Berlin.  Now it is a big tourist attraction and men stand their dressed as soldiers so tourists can stand in LONG lines and take pictures.

 The parts of the Berlin wall that are still standing are almost all covered in graffiti art.

The gate was constructed between 1788-1791.  The US Consulate is located just to the left.

After our tour of Berlin we were driven to Wittenberg where we met up with the youth conference attendees.