Merry Christmas to everyone! I took the time last season to just take pictures and enjoy the quality time rather than blog. So this post is after the holiday season but it was worth it. About 3 months before Christmas we found out the grandparents wanted to visit. I am a planner, so of course I had our Christmas trip planned since September. We decided we would go to Prague for Christmas.  We always do a “Trip Under The Tree” for Christmas instead of tons of gifts. Memories are what will be remembered not the “stuff”. We had been to Prague before and thought it was a very beautiful old city so we decided we would do it again. We told the grandparents of our plan and they decided they would meet us in Prague. I asked them to keep it a secret so we could surprise the kids. They didn’t think it would work. If you follow me on Instagram you saw the video and the shock of it all by the squeal that burst from their mouths. It was a very teary-eyed emotional moment of all parties involved. It was amazing and by far the best surprise ever! My children are blessed to have such loving, dedicated, and involved grandparents in their lives. My husband and I are blessed that they make the effort at least once a year to come and see our family. Family is the most important thing in the world no matter your differences. I am glad that my children have that as I had it growing up as a kid and it was amazing.  My grandmother was the most influential woman in my life and still to this day even though she has passed on. The legacy I want to leave behind is Family Is Important. The good, the bad, and the not so nice times. Everyone in this photo is all because of a boy met a girl in 5th grade and they created all these blessings. Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Wie Gehts!
I was privilaged to run my first Prague Volkswagon Marathon Relay recently in Prague. When Monique over at Mo’ Travels asked me to be a part of a relay team I was beyond excited! Hannah over at I’m Actually A Mermaid is truly an amazing lady who inspires me to get out and run! This was my first relay marathon and I had no expectations but to have fun and finish the race with a smile! This race was more than I could ever imagine and was by far the best race I have ever run.

The day before the race Mo and I went to pick up our race packets! The building was huge and you couldn’t have missed it if you wanted to. Everything was extremely organized and the volunteers were eager to help you any way that they could. I have run many races in Europe and RunCzech was on top of their race!

Prague Marathon is the only marathon in the Czech Republic! I am in awe as this city is beautiful and flat…a runners dream!  I will certainly run this race again next year. If you have been wavering on running this race…get a group of women together and train..you wont regret it! I finished with a smile and have two new friends….RunCzech!!
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Hallo,
As many of you know I recently had a birthday! I have been waiting to turn 40 and it finally came. I would like to say that my friends did a fantastic job surprising me and all of the text and emails just warmed a sistah girls heart to the core. I am blessed around the world 10 fold. I have a different outlook on turning 40. I’m in the best shape of my life, Jesus is never changing, my kids are wonderful, my husband is awesome, and our family is my center. Life isn’t always easy. Things are always changing especially when kids are getting older, you and your spouse have resorted to sharing a calendar just to keep up with the each other. I like consistency and I am a planner. Lately, I have not been so good at keeping up with life so I had to take a break and “get my life”. I have re-evaluated some things in my life and I am the biggest factor is holding myself back. “Why”, you ask? I have had a habit of being an apologetic whore. I apologize for things I have no control over and even worse I apologize for being me. Well that girl has left the building. I am going to do the things that I love and enjoy and embark on new destinations and hobbies in life. I love running, scrapbooking, working out, shopping for workout clothes, blogging, kids, and growing closer to Christ everyday. This is what living is no matter where you are or the reason you are there.  My kids especially my girls are watching me all the time. I want them to grow up and be who God created them to be not who society says they should be and do. Even at 40, I need to take the advice that I give my children and friends. Life has a lot to offer and why wouldn’t I live it to the fullest? Look at me living and all grown up…

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Wie Ghets,
Merry Christmas to all! I hope that you are enjoying this holiday season. It’s cold here in Deutschland but not as cold as last year. This fall weather isnt going to fool me…I know Winter Is Coming!THe other day I was on Pinterest as I am on there more than I drink water it seems. Pinterest in my “happy place”! It’s very informative and has all the latest styles, recipes, books, crafts, and even sewing patterns! If you can think it, Pinterest has it! So, as you may know…our theme for Christmas 2013 is Homemade. We are making a variety of crafts and creating a fun family after school day at “home” during the month of December. We are having a blast and learning more about each other and practicing patience with one another. I am so glad that I came up with this theme and so is my family. I found a tutorial on how to make map ornaments. This was a perfect idea as we are always traveling and I thought a geography lesson could be taught through this craft in particular and I was right! We mapped where we lived in America and places we have visited in Germany! This was definitely one of our favorite crafts.Whats a craft that you can make a memory this holiday season?
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Wie Ghets,
Every Christmas season we keep our old traditions and also add new ones. Our new tradition this year was to have a tea party every Monday after school. My kids are definitely tea connoisseurs! My mother in law contributed greatly to this love of tea by having tea with them in the mornings when the kids would stay overnight. This was is a favorite that will go in their “Grandma and Me books. Over the years, we have accumulated lots of tea pots as I like to collect them and my girls have joined me. I need a china cabinet just house my beautiful tea pots and tea cups! The greatest benefit of drinking tea that I have noticed is that it helps my kids calm down after a long day at school and get to have those special “conversations” about their day! This alone is an added benefit of “tea time” What traditions have you added?

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Wie Gehts,
Merry Christmas to all! I am absolutely love Christmas! I always have and I always will…maybe its has something to do with my birth name and my mom being born on Christmas Day. Thanksgiving was late this year and it was all I could do to hold off on putting up the decorations until December 1st! I have lots more to do but we had to keep the tradition and get our tree the day after Thanksgiving and that we did! The kids have decorated with the ornaments and now its time for me to “get my decor on”! We started out on the right path so its all good. Everyday we are doing something new,so come by everyday and help us celebrate the holidays!

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Wie Gehts Freuden,
Let’s Move! I love working out. I have always been pretty active since I was about 10. It’s never been about weight just about being and looking healthy. I have my ups and downs when I can be obsessive about it when I make a goal but, I have learned to enjoy the moment. Dancing and running are the two of my favorite things. Music is the key to any workout I do…my iPod once broke once and it was replaced the next morning. I can’t workout with my music. My friends often comment on my apps and gadgets. My reasoning is since I am rarely sick and don’t have to spend money at the doctors, I can spend my money on workout clothes, gadgets and apps! I noticed my family rarely gets sick. I would like to keep it that way so I decided that we should start a new family tradition! It’s time to Get Moving so, every year we will run two races as a family! The kids and the hubby were very excited. This year we ran our first race as a family in Berlin. We trained 3 times a week for 5 weeks and the kids all did great! We ate very healthy while training as I wanted to be a good example to the family and show them what I have learned all these years. It was a beautiful City Nacht Laufen (City Night Run). I need to step up my speed because my son beat my time. Yes, I was humbled but I don’t lose well so I am not holding back next race. I let him have bragging rights. My kids loved it so much they all asked for iPod touches for Christmas so they could add running apps and music. I thought to myself, they could be asking for mini skirts, boyfriends, or girlfriends. I’ll take the ipod touch request for 199 Alex! What do you have time for with your family?

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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