Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pie, pie, me oh my

Sunday, March 25, Kelly spoke in church and did it in GERMAN.  She wrote her talk herself and I think she did a great  job.  I don't really know, I don't speak German.  After church we had the Bradys, our friend Nadine, and a girl that just moved here from Idaho for dinner.   After dinner we went on a long walk, I am appreciating this experience more each day.  Time is going so quickly.

Tuesday, the kids and I went downtown and after an hour of shopping Josh headed to Judo, Kelly headed home, and I met Keith for dinner and a long walk around Bern.  After a couple hours I called to check on Kelly and that's when I realized I had sent her home with no cell phone and no keys.  We hardly ever lock our door but I had locked it when we left.  I felt awful and I'm sure Kelly will not soon forget being locked out for two plus hours.  In fact I'm sure in a few years it will be remembered as us having left her in the freezing cold, late at night, for more than five hours.  Isn't that how these things work.

Wednesday, Keith left for a conference in Boston, Josh went to baseball, Kelly hung out downtown with Lara and then went to Young Women's.

Friday was a wonderful day.  I met Lori at the tram, we walked to Fulya's house, then drove out to the country to Lisa's.  There she taught us how to make pies.  She made a cherry pie which was the best I've ever had.  We had a lovely lunch and then each made our own pie with her supervision.  I won't tell you whose pies these are, lets just say, I need a lot of practice.

Fulya, Lori, Kelly, and Lisa the pie extraordinaire
Friday night Kelly went to a party and then spent the night at Lara's.  
Josh and I babysat six of the cutest kids ever.

Saturday Josh and I took a long bike ride, then ended up in Bern for lunch and as always an interesting multi-cultural experience.

The Rosengarten 
They had music, dancing, and great food from many different countries.

An apartment building I love close to where we live.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

As Good As It Gets

Weather really does make or break me.  When it's sunny and beautiful outside, so is my demeanor.  It was gorgeous all week.
Monday we had book club and reviewed the book "Left To Tell" about the Rwanda Holocaust.  True story, a must read!!  We always meet at my friend Michelle's home because it is huge and is the coolest old, Swiss flat ever.  It overlooks the Aare River and is right downtown Bern.  It's a treat every time I go to her house
 because she is as great as her home.

Tuesday was my amazing son, Ryan's birthday.  He is an incredible person.  He is smart, hard working, great husband, and according to his wife, an amazing father to his six month old little boy.  He just turned 29 which means that he and my daughter Jenny are the same age for the next six weeks.  Two kids, from the same mom, the same age, and not twins.  Crazy.  Ryan was a miracle to have come when he did because if he hadn't, it would have been just Jenny and I for the fourteen years I spent as a single mom. 
 I love him with all my heart.

We had German class Tuesday night and Keith and I stopped for a kebab on the way.  Josh had Judo class and Kelly loves having some time at home to herself.

Wednesday My friend Lori picked me up at 8:00 and we drove 40 minutes through the most beautiful country roads to get to some friends homes so we could go visiting teaching.  We were invited to breakfast at Becky's house which was delicious.  Afterwards we shopped at Aldi which is so great because I can really stock up on things since I'm with Lori in her car.  I then had a chance to stop by Monique's house and visit for an hour, always a treat.  That afternoon Keith met Josh and I so we could take Josh to his first doctor's appointment.  Simple tasks like finding Josh a speech pathologist is not very easy when you live in a foreign country.  This appointment was a long time in the making.  I am excited though, because unlike anything we came across in the states, they are looking at all different things to help him with his stutter.  Right after the appointment we met our friend Faith at the train station so Josh could go to baseball with Jack.  Kelly had Young Women's and learned to make Spanish food.

Thursday was cleaning day.  Luckily Lori pulled me away from all that so we could go visit another friend named Kayli.  Kayli is from the states and has lived here for just over two years.  She has five adorable children and a really fun blog about her two years in Switzerland. (Belles and Whistles)  In the afternoon Josh had a fund raiser at his school where they sold goods but also sold performances from the kids.  I paid 1.50 franc to hear Josh recite a poem in German.  The fun thing is a bunch of other people paid for his performance as well.

Friday I joined a group of ladies for their morning walk.  It has been too cold or too wet before now, so this was the first time I have gone and it was such fun.  We walked for about an hour and would stop occasionally to do exercises.  The weather and views were amazing.  Then at noon my hairdresser came to my house where she did my color, cut Kelly and Josh's hair, and Becky and Lori's.  Hair cutting party.  

We climbed up a hill and this was the view on our way down.
Lori is going to kill me for posting this,
but she is so cute and I thought it was funny.

Keith said Saturday was his favorite day since we've moved.
We rode our bikes to Gumligen where we got on a train and took it to Interlaken.  We rode around Interlaken and got a little lost as we were trying to find the trail out of town.  We went to the Coop and got rotisserie chickens and bread and ate them by the river.  We then headed along Lake Thun to Spiez.  The weather was so warm but halfway to Spiez these thunder clouds rolled in and it poured.  We rode in the rain until we could find some shelter but by the time we did we were all soaked to the bone.  We waited out the storm and then rode the rest of the way to catch the train home.   When we finally got to Spiez, wet and tired, we saw that the train was just about ready to leave.  We rode as fast as we could through the station, down the ramp, and up the ramp to our gate.  We barely made it but I'm sure we made a few people mad as we zipped past them in a place where you are not suppose to be riding  bikes.

Camels in Interlaken

This was taken minutes before the downpour.
Cold and Wet 
The skies look blue and yet it was pouring in this picture. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

No title, No pictures, Just day to day boring stuff.

March 14 - The weather is gorgeous.  Spent the day doing wash and sitting outside soaking up the sun and reading a book about women of the New Testament for Relief Society.  Kelly and Josh went outside after school to play badminton, miracles never cease.  Josh went with Jack to baseball and Kelly met Lara downtown to hang out and then later met Erin on the tram to go to Young Women's.  Keith and I spent the evening alone planning our next trip that will be here before we know it.  My plan was to take the train to Rome and spend Sunday and Monday seeing the sights in Rome, that is before I realized it was Easter.  Oops, plan B.

March 15 - Jack and Maggie spent the evening with us.  We had soy chicken and rice, played outside, and then came in and had an impromptu talent show.  Kelly danced. Keith and Maggie played the piano, I clapped with one hand, and Jack and Josh did Judo and wrestling moves.

March 16 - Josh went rollerblading with Matia and then after dinner Keith took the kids downtown to the Museum Night.  I stayed home and baked for Saturday.

March 17 - Met Lori on the tram at 9:00 to take the train to Zolikofen with my baked goods.  We had a Stake Relief Society Conference.  Classes in the morning where I learned self defense and how to make lotion.  For lunch we had a great pot luck with foods from many different countries and then a wonderful fashion show of old wedding dresses that dated back to the 50's.  I left around 4:30 but the party continued without me.  After hanging out with the kids all day Keith needed time away so we had a nice quiet dinner in Muri.  Keith and I shared a bowl of soup and a hamburger, each had a drink, and walked out for just under forty francs.  I mention this because at home we would go out and share something and spend less than $10.  We don't do this very often in Switzerland.

March 18 - I love my ward so much.  One thing I had to adjust to is everyone hugs and kind of kisses.   Three times cheek to cheek.  It seemed awkward, especially with the men.  But now I realized it makes me feel loved and makes me feel closer to these people.  It's a wonderful tradition.  We had a special Relief Society Birthday lesson and I had to talk about women in the Old Testament.  It is so difficult to have your thoughts flow when after every sentence you have to pause while someone translates.  It was rainy and cold so after potato cheeses soup for lunch we stayed home, watched The Story of Anne Frank, and skyped with friends and family.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ich bin ein Berliner

"I am a jelly doughnut" , but that's a whole different story that I really don't want to talk about at the moment. (too much swiss chocolate)  And yes, even though the story goes that this is what JFK said in his speech in Berlin, others say the translation does not make reference to a pastry at all.

Keith and I left Friday, without the kids, and spent five fabulously interesting days in Berlin.  The weather was cold and dreary but the city was amazing.  We stayed in Alexanderplatz which was a perfect spot to head out every morning.  We went to some incredible museums, saw the most diverse architecture of any city I have ever been in, shopped at the KaDeWe which is the most beautiful mall I have ever seen, and enjoyed some wonderful restaurants.  

A lot of the city is new and modern.

Bellevue (Chancellor's official residence)
Victory Tower

Charlottenburg Castle

Remnant of the Wall... chipped away by souvenir seekers
Gendarmemarkt Schauspielhaus Konzerthaus, Friedrich Schiller Denkmal

Französischer Dom - a Church built for French Huguenot refugees in 1701

Marienkirche, 13th century
A section of the wall is the "Eastside Gallery" where artists have painted murals on the wall.

The Holocaust Memorial
The idea for a Holocaust Memorial was first proposed in 1988 but the design for the monument wasn't approved until 1999. At that time, U.S. architect Peter Eisenman's controversial design was chosen as a fitting tribute to the Jews that died before and during World War II as part of Hitler's plan to exterminate them.
The Brandenburg Gate

Reichstag (3 working days for reservations to go inside)

Humboldt U. 
Planck's U. of Berlin classroom

Euler's home for 25 years, now Bavarian State Offices

Neue Wache memorial to victims of war
SchlossbrĂĽcke and Berliner Dom

TV Tower, 368 m high - tallest structure in Europe
Sony Center
Buildings on Potsdamerplatz
A Modern Apartment Complex
Checkpoint Charlie
This was a bombed out church that they did not rebuild.
 Unforunately is was covered in scaffolding and all I got was a picture of a picture. 
Symbolic sculpture of German reunification
The most beautiful mall I have ever been to.  One floor was just gourmet food.

Market Gate of Miletus, 120 AD
The Gates of Babylon in the Pergamon Museum
So much culture, history, art, commerce, tragedy in one phenomenal place.