Wie Gehts Freuden,
I’m going to just say that my 12 year old daughter is the most amazing young lady I have met. She sent me this email tonight as I was just ticked off. I can be just as transparent as the next person and I’m going to give her 110% because I have done well thus far!:
Dear Mommy,
I hope you and Dad figure out a solution to you guys’s dilemma. I am positive that if you let Daddy explain himself he will clarify what he said and how he meant it and should have said it. Please let daddy explain himself. Daddy did not mean what he said and I know for a fact somewhere in your heart you know he did not mean it as well. Now whether you decide to let him clarify what he meant is not my decision but I know you know God would want you to let him.

Psalm 37:30 says the mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue utters just.
Now I think what this verse is trying to say is this : The man who is usually right has wisdom and he says fair things. Now this righteous man is not always right and his tongue does not always say the right things. But God would want you to listen to the righteous man anyways. If you haven’t figured it out the righteous man is Dad.

Please let Dad explain.
Love your daughter,

Kelli Michelle

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Wie Gehts Freuden,

It’s spring time! The birds are chirping, the  flowers are blooming, and that means it’s almost my birthday! I am so excited about Spring and Summer.  Our in-laws will also arrive this Spring!  Normally my dh plans a getaway for us when they arrive because that’s the only time that we get away from the expat life and reconnect. As a couple its important to have “couple time” as an expat couple it’s crucial!  This year the kids are actually out of school for Ostern Vacation (Easter Vacation), its my bday (yay), we pick up a car (awesome), and we have family in town (always a treat). So how do we schedule the most important time as a couple during this busy time of the year? this is when you have to prioritize and make your marriage a priority.  I’m just going to keep it real! Not only am I often forgotten as a mom and wife,but our marriage is often overlooked do to my husband’s job, day-to-day activities, social events and homework. Dont get me wrong I am thankful for his job and that he loves it so much. This international move was the best thing ever for us as a family. I have changed my view on that recently, as I doubted the move here to Berlin. I would not trade his happiness at his job, or my kids having the experience of a lifetime for anything although,  it comes at a price. I notice how much our relationship has been put on the back burner when I look at the pictures below. Getting away once a year seems like more of a requirement than an option. Date Nights are good but it’s not the same as you still are occupied with what you need to do around the house. I know that life gets busy but if you devote your life to the kids, work, friends, and house work one day when all those things are gone you won’t know how to spend time together because it stopped being a priority along the way. I’m trying to teach my kids that you must first make time for your relationship as it was a choice and it requires commitment.  Make your marriage a Priority as it comes everyday just like the mail (Sundays are for rest).

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Wie Gehts,
We are making all sorts of goodies here in Berlin. My house smells of cookies, hot chocolate and gingerbread! We decided the other day to have a friend over to stay the night and decorate gingerbread houses. We found the entire kit from Woolworths after leaving the Zehlendorf Christmas market. I am still in shock that Germany has a Woolworth, as it closed down in Georgia about 25 years ago. It still looks the same and has the same layout as I remember. We bought the gingerbread kits for 6 euros each! The girls and their friend had a fantastic time decorating them. Although, they ate half the candy before the houses were done. Girls tend to chat a lot, so this project took them 2 hours with all the chatter but they had a blast! I know my son can appreciate he was away at a sleepover with all the giggles and little Miss Chatter Boxes. Gotta love Girls and Gingerbread Houses! What traditional crafts have you done this Christmas?

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Welcome to the Montgomery Academy where learning isn’t optional it’s required. As a kid I loved school and I was excited every morning to get out the door. I was a good student with above average grades but I had to study! My parents expected me to do well but didn’t put a whole lot of time into my education as far as helping me stay ahead of the game. I had to teach myself all sorts of study methods and make sure I remembered to mark my calendar for assignments that were due. It was a lot for a kid but it made me a great teacher in the classroom and a great teacher at home. I absolutely love teaching my kids and I have always thought I would home school at some point. I thought when we moved abroad I would have the perfect opportunity to home school and travel with the kids. I’m all about the field trip experience. I lived in the land of the free so I had the option of homeschooling my kids wherever I wanted. Im American so of course I can…HA! One thing you learn when you live abroad is that you “aren’t in America anymore”! I had ASSUMED that homeschooling was a worldwide option…silly me. As we say back in my child “hood” nawl son, they don’t do that here. It is illegal to home school your child in Germany. You are not allowed to decide your child education or as we have learned question it. Its Germany and your child must go to school or you go to jail. I was shocked at this as my mind couldn’t comprehend such craziness. We have had school issues since day 1. It hasn’t been a smooth road by any means, but we have friends living here and in America who support us and make us feel like we aren’t alone. Living in Germany, you have to learn the system and be your children’s biggest advocate and show up so the teachers and other kids see your face. In Berlin, the schools are not great by any means. We have had a lot of ups and downs and tough decisions to make because of the lack of education and laxed authority when issues come forth. I have no problem with educating my kids as I have always supplemented their education as I don’t think it’s the schools job to solely educate my children. The fact that I MUST educate them for the entire summer and 2 more hours after school each day during school year irritates me. I admit I was laxed on the education when we first arrived because I was extremely stressed and I thought to myself “its Europe, education should be amazing”!
After our first year and a half I had to get back on it and educate my children. I found all sorts of resources on the internet and went to the bookstore and picked up our Summer Bridge, and sign up for Spelling City summer modules. They are accustomed to this as we have always done it and it’s like waking up in morning. This summer I pushed them harder to make up for lost time. We had a schedule and it was to be complete  before any outing for the day. It was a fantastic learning experience for them and myself. The kids went back to school last Monday and on Wednesday I had a teacher from the previous year tell me that I must have done a lot with the kids over the summer because she could tell just by their handwriting! Yes, I still have my kids journal two paragraphs a day(dh’s idea) and write postcards to friends and family. I think handwriting is an important skill to posses. I know that we are in the high technology age where everything is done on a computer, but as an expat that travels I know that “everybody ain’t able” to have a computer or iPad regardless of how necessary we think it is. I’m constantly teaching and showing my kids life lessons on this journey for his purpose. summer learningksummer learning2Summer learning