Sunday, June 12, 2011

Selbst Erdbeeren Pflücken!

Strawberry picking with friends...a lovely way to start a Saturday! The weather was perfect, not too hot, the sun was shining and the sky was blue.
We even saw some beautiful horses on the way in.

First things first, bring your own basket, and have it weighed before you start picking your strawberries.
It was really exciting to spot big, juicy, red berries hiding under the leaves of the plants.

A few years back, I made the mistake of introducing A.M. to strawberries that were chocolate covered. So now, when I try to serve him strawberries, he always asks, "Where is the chocolate"? I was hopeful this experience in the erdbeeren patch would inspire him to eat the berries, yeah, not so successful.
My little one preferred playing with hay, to strawberry plucking.

                              Which then turned into a messy game.

Ther Germans take their berry picking VERY seriously.  They leave with buckets filled with fruit.

The Boys scouting out the best spot for picking!

When we were finished, F.M. did a celebratory dance on the car.

A rare moment of stillness for my Preschooler.

We stopped at a little spielplatz on the way home.

Where the boys were fascinated that the ground was covered in rocks!  Not sure why I was surprised when I went to change F. M.'s diaper upon arriving home to find hay & gravel attached to his privates.

Water play at an interesting fountain at the park.

A collander full of our berry booty!

A.M. helped me turn 1/2 of our collection into Strawberry/Lime Popsicles!  Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope about getting my guys to eat strawberries in this form!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Blumen Selbstschneiden

For the first installment of, "These are a Few of Mein Favorit Dinge...about Deutschland", series, I want to tell you about Blumen selbst schneiden.  (Flowers you cut yourself).

Every few villages you can spot an open field with bountiful, vibrant, seasonal, flowers, alongside of the strasse.  You cut your own flowers and pay with Euro coins, on the honor system. 

It is a fun thing to do with children, and the photo opportunities are boundless.  Unless of course, you are the mother of mein kinder, who like to run away from the lush rows of Tulpen, straight for the dirt.

Or, try their hand at breaking and entering.

The preis is listed on the sign, on the way in.  Super-cheap for the freshest flowers you'll ever buy!  Knives are provided.  Busy bees are doing their job.  Did you know killing bees is illegal in Germany?

The best part, for this guy, is getting to drop the coins in the slot.

Here is the secret:  Cut unopened tulips.  Many Americans make the mistake of picking tulips mid-prime, on their first visit.  While the open flowers are stunning, they will not last very long.  Our tulips opened beautifully the very next day.  We have had them for almost a week and they are still going strong.  A fresh cut and replacement water helps to extend their life.

Blumen Selbstschneiden - a thoughtful treat for a hostess, a babysitter, a friend or yourself!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Messy Monday- Toilet Issues

As a courtesy to you, I cleaned the toilet bowl before photographing, because I'm OCD classy like that.  Ahem.

For this week's mess, I could talk about the toddler running with scissors, or him walking around with my eyebrow brush sticking out of his ear.  There were even a few juice box spills down the stairs, and a full-glass of iced tea spilled on my freshly mopped kitchen floor. However, I settled on our toilet dilemmas.

(Please excuse our laundry.  It happens to be great fun throwing it down the stairs).

Sunday, the toilet seat pinched my heiney...and Monday morning, it was a full-blown arse avalanche.  Before coffee. Yes, that's right, I was sitting on it when it broke.  Which made me feel really skinny and awesome.

This is the second time I will have replaced this stupid toilet seat.  Let me tell you, they do not run cheap in Germany, either.  On my last trip to the States I saw a similar model, at a local megastore for the low, low price of $17.99.  Daddy War-Bucks and I were afraid that the toilet specs may be different in Europe, so we did not purchase, and mail it back to ourselves in Deutschland.  Instead, I paid 28 Euro - which works out to be about $45.  Something tells me that my kids slamming the toilet seat down is the reason we need to keep replacing the suckers. This time I will buy plastic.  Perhaps the models that trap coins or sand dollars in crystal clear resin.  I will keep you posted on this riveting development. 

Speaking of toilets - my son recently saw a bidet for the first time at a friends' haus.  He proclaimed it to be his most favorite-est toilet he has ever seen in his life.  Imagine if I let him give it a whirl.  He may have never wanted to leave.

Another potty dilemma in our haus...MY BOY CAN'T AIM.  My bathroom always smells like pee.  It must be cleaned daily, to keep me from going over the edge.  Lysol clean-up wipes have become my new best friend.  Once, he was urinating all over the the back of the toilet lid, saying, "Look Mom, I'm painting".  Boys, will be boys.  Sometimes that means peeing in the waste basket. 

My Preschooler turned 4 this week.  The very next day, I took him to get his 4 year old vaccinations.  Not because I am on top of life like that, but b/c I am desperate to get the kids into Hourly Care, on base for the respite given to me by good old Uncle Sam.  Shots must be up-to-date. Well, let's just say, WANTED TO DIE, is an understatement of how embarrassed I felt about what I am going to lay on you.  The medic asked that we pull his pants down to his knees, so that they could inject shots in each thigh.  Well, low & behold...a poop stain, on the front, side of his little Sponge Bob Square Pants undies.  In plain sight, not to be missed by either of the people vaccinating my lovely child.  Not even going to delve into how it got there in the first place.  Note to self - before anymore injections, ever, I will make my offspring don a fresh pair of undergarments.  This too, I shall pass onto my friends, as a sort of public service announcement.

Oh dear.  As I was typing this, he waltzed into the kitchen wearing 9 pairs of underwear...all on top of one another.  Too priceless to not share:

The spider web pair are boxers that he creatively fashioned into a bandeau. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Patchwork Bird - $1.50, Twig Wreath - $2.00, Hanging Glass Star Candle Holder $5.00

Thrifty Thursdays...a new addition to the blog.  Hausfrau is going to focus on Thrift Store Treasures, Flea Market Finds, and my favorite, Street Treats!

If you ask me about my local thrift shops, I will rattle off their opening days & hours.  I was a trash-picker before it was cool.  My Dad found it rather embarrassing.  He used to claim that it was illegal in our town.  Hah!  Here are examples why I choose to buy second-hand, upcycled, or repurposed goods.

"Luck come in the house, bad luck, get out"!  Translated by my German friend.  Ceramic Plaque $10

Some of the most unique decor in our haus has come rather cheaply, if not free.  Not only is it great for my wallet, but it is also good for Mother Earth.  Keeping things out of landfills is a wonderful source of  inspiration. 

Here is a collection of recent scores:
Milk Glass Easter Chick Cup - 25 cents, Yellow Doily 50 cents
Nepalese Wool Rug $20
European Farmhouse Ladder - a little pricy at $35, but I LOVE it!
Newest Funky chair addition to my Dining room table - 20Euro, (also a bit high).
Entire collection of German Wooden Hearts $1.00

60's School Desk $10.00
I cannot remember the price of either the wall-hanging or the iron candle stand, but they sure make me happy, and fit right in with the wild bathroom we have!

The wonderful thing about Flea Markets - especially in Deutschland, is the photo opportunities. Wonderful scenes appear, everywhere you look.  It is a Photographer's Dream!

LOOK!  My chair made an appearance in the far right of the frame.

That yellow chair in the front is calling out my name!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fun With Cheerios


Some families do really lovely things with Cheerios.  For instance, they make treats as an alternative to Rice Crispies:
                                cheerio marshmallow treats

 Or, they recycle the boxes for nifty crafts, like these beads to make an eco-friendly necklace.

Not my family.  We, and by we, I mean, mein kinder, play games like stick the Apple Cheerio to the scrotum, for fun.

Two years ago, my husband and I removed several Cheerios from A.M.'s nose, until one was stuck, and irretrievable with tweezers.  Much crying ensued, and nose blowing, and that took care of that annoying habit. 

Lately, the game of choice has become, "put-a-Cheerio-between-each-toe-on-each-foot".  Since my boys are perpetually naked, and since Cheerios are readily available, at any given time on the carpet, the game has evolved.  If I don't vacuum daily, I am afraid that people think I am offering them, or their children a floor snack.  Currently, the copious amount of Cheerios residing in the backseat of my car, is enough to feed a small family in Africa.  Facepalm.

At first glance, I was worried that the Cheerios were entering an orphus.  Luckily, that was not the case.  It would not have been a surprise, as, once, I had to explain to my 3 year old why it was NEVER a good idea to put marbles in one's butt.  Mr. Potatoe Head is allowed to use his arse as a stowaway compartment, not my boys.