August 26, 2009

Peach Jam

A friend of mine from church is married to a French man. They visited family on the French/German boarder this weekend and brought back buckets of fresh peaches. We got together yesterday and made peach jam the German way.

First Day of School

This is a different first day of school photo from any other year! Here's a view at day 1 of homeschooling!

We're Back!

Well, we've finally gotten the internet hooked up in the house - after rewiring everything. It's a very long story and I'd rather not rehash it. Anyway - we're alive and kicking here in Rohr. I've been thinking about the best way to update everyone on the goings on over here for the past 3 weeks - and I've decided to just recap through pictures. Here goes:

After the last post we finalized everything on the house and moved in on August 6th. The house was SO dirty and I didn't have any "tools" to clean before the movers arrived with our household items. The movers arrived early and things were looking great to finish by early afternoon. Upon opening crates 4&5 and seeing standing water on the bottom we knew it couldn't be good. After close examination it appeared that the crates were never sealed with silicone and therefore didn't weather the rain and sea water well. All in all that was 1/3 of our shipment ruined. Because mold had started growing we were forced to place all of the wet and moldy items in the garage - where it still sits 3 weeks later. We realize that all of this stuff is just that - stuff. It can all be replaced and we're just haggeling it out with the movers on the settlement so we can have the items removed and the garage professionally cleaned and "fogged". Here's just a few pics to let you see the craziness!

look at that mold - yuck!

All that aside, the house is great. Brad did a great job in finding this one. After many days of not knowing whether to clean or unpack it started to feel a bit like home. We have more room than we know what to do with. We decided with all of water damage that we would go ahead and request the rest of our items we'd stored in DC to be shipped. We're praying these stay dry! So come October we should be really settled.

old kitchen above - new below

Upon moving in we had our kitchen torn out and updated. What a mess, but the end product is great! Check out our huge fridge and freezer - still working on how to fit a frozen pizza in there !

Notice the size of the 64oz grape juice in comparisson to the rest of the fridge

Our house came with yard service! I didn't think they made these kind of mowers anymore - but apparantly they do!

This is actually a funny picture - this was our first attempt to eat at home without any cooking utensils. As you can doritos and wheat thins were on the list along with pb&j. The kids were so hungry and excited to eat. Wouldn't you know our luck - the bread had mold and we didn't notice until Madeline was taking her first bite. Well we couldn't even do pb&j right. We ended up going to eat Bratwurst and pommes at a local festival.

Madeline had an opportunity to meet with her coach for fussbal this fall - here she is at the SV-Morhringen fields. Notice her Heritage shirt worn with pride!

The following photos were taking outside of a neighborhood eatery - right down the street from our house.

August 03, 2009

Barfusspark (Barefoot Park)

Let me preface that this is a lengthier than usual post, but well worth the time!
(Tim- if you're reading this get your sanatizer ready - it's going to be messy!)

Our first field trip with our new homeschooling group from church took us to Detter___ to a Barfusspark. What an adventure. This not only was my first solo trip down the autobahn with a 5-speed, but packed to the gills with boys, what a ride! A friend of ours was having their household goods delivered and so 2 other moms and I decided to take all 11 children on a field trip. We cleverly divided all the girls in the minivan, boys in my car, and 3 and under in the compact mercedes with the pregnant mama!

So, we headed south. The weather looked like a thick blanket of rain just waiting to downpour, but nonetheless we forged on. Upon our arrival everyone needed to use the bathroom and all were hungry. Here's a photo of the kids "picnicing" in the parking lot!

Left to right: Faith, Seriah, Grace, Kidron, Yannek, Madeline, Hope, Katja, Micah, Jack and Eli

After a quick bite of lunch, we headed on our 3 mile journey. Let me first explain the whole barefoot concept. The Germans believe that walking barefoot through the woods on different types of materials (mulch, rock, mud, lava rock, clay, freezing water, glass...yes, glass!) is to heighten your sensory nerves and work a bit like foot detoxification, helping promote a healthier being. Well, that very well may be the case, but I can guarentee you that OSHA was is no way involved!

The first circle through the mudpit!

Our leader, Debbie, (the only who has done this) promptly explained that we leave all shoes in the car in the parking lot. Being good pupils, we followed the instructions and hit the path. As Brenda and I "oooh, aaaah, & ouched" our way to the trail head, be quickly realized that it was a 300 meter walk to the entrance of the park. Use your imagination and picture walking on a heavily traveled razor sharp gravel road and then you'll just being to appreciate the pain we were feeling in our feet.

Upon arriving to the start of the trail there was contrevoursey as to which place we should start. Good thing both of the other moms speak fluent German. Although with all that German we still began our trip in the "out".

In the beginning it wasn't too bad, weathering the 60 degrees in the air and the freezing temps of the cold wet ground. The kids.....oh yeah, they were there and loving every minute of it. I think once the cold set in, their feet were numb, so they didn't mind the pain!

In all actuality the park is pretty neat. It is nestled on the edge of the Schwartzwald and very picturesque. Along the way we came upon a playground with ziplines and swings.

Wading through more mudpits! Can you believe we did this by choice? So not me and my germaphobia! It obviously hasn't affected the kids in the same way.

In this picture you can't tell if Madeline is wearing her khaki knee socks and black shoes or just different layers of mud and muck...yuck!

At the end we came to the plunge pool - did I say it was freezing? Jack decided to do a cannon ball and disregard all warnings that he would be freezing afterwards. Madeline soon followed suit - although she was the dirtiest and it was well needed.

Wouldn't you know as we were heading back to load up 11 dirty children it began to rain. We tried as best as we could to change every child's clothes, wipe and towel dry all 22 feet, take to the bathroon those which needed to potty and buckle into the car while we were being drownd by the much needed rain. All in all, a great day...a day the Lord had made!

What a fun day! Through it all we made great memories!

Thanks Debbie and Brenda for the wonderful time!

August 02, 2009


Saturday we discovered the quaint town of Tubingen, south of Stuttgart 30 minutes. What we didn't figure in to the days' adventure was that all of Europe is on "Holiday" and it was packed. When we arrived we experienced our second adventure of "The Borkes Do Europe" by driving down an Einbanstrasse (one-way street) - going the wrong way! When we came to the end of the road we had only one option....jumping the curb, swerving pedestrians, and acting as if nothing was wrong! Who was driving? Well I leave that up to you to decide, feel free to read the post from a few days ago and maybe you'll put 2 and 2 together!

The town was beautiful, built right into a hillside along the Nekar River. Of course since we've been here we've had mostly cool days, but this day had to be 90 and remember, no A/C over here! Brad decided that the best way to view the town was by Ruderboot (rowboat). Take a look at who we hired to row our boat!

There was only one small problem, or should I say big problem. The boat was made for people shorter than 5'5". Brad had a time being able to row around those 6'4" legs! Nonetheless, the passengers were quite happy!
Along the way Jack spotted this tiny sailboat and offered the idea that we rent it next!
We nixed the idea and deceided to train the shorter folk aboard to row!
The sights were beautiful, here are just a few:

After all that hard work, the hired help was treated to an ice cream. Believe me, they know ice cream in every language!
After our rest we deceided to stroll the streets and ended up in the town plaza where the kids enjoyed the fountain!

And that wraps up our 3 hour adventure in Tubingen!

Happy 40th Anniversary!

Just wanted to comment and send our congratulations to my parents for celebrating their
40th wedding anniversary! We love you both :)

Kung Fu Panda!

Since we're still living in a hotel, we've been able to find all sorts of things to try. Why not, right? Our first week here we stumbled upon the base martial arts studio. They offered for us to come in and try a class, "Why not?". Thursday we gave it a try, or should I say the kids did! Here are a few photos to document the fun!

Note the flexibility that Madeline has, then note Mr. Flexible...I think I can........

Look at that smile! So proud he finally made it!
Next came breaking a 1" board with their foot! Jack - the first time!
Madeline, a little more timid but the 3rd time is a charm!

The next day came sore muscles....not sure "Kung Fu" is their thing. Just buying time until soccer starts in September!