Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 2010...One Post is better than no Post :)

People enjoying the snow in Düsseldorf.

Snow in a pretty little neighborhood near us.
Fountain a block from where we live...on the main street in our neighborhood.

Our street with snow.

These are Christmas Eve and Day Pics....Emeline is surprised on Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve 2009

Christmas Eve 2009--my babies.

Callum Christoph's very first Christmas Eve.

What a great smile...I couldn't pick just one.

Emeline helps me decorate the tree on Christmas Eve....very German of me!

I have decided to give a bunch of random update information in this blog post. These little bits o’ info are not in order of importance. I am just going to write what pops into my head at the moment. (Scary, I know!)

First subject: FACEBOOK. I do have tons of pics posted on Facebook that are not on the blog. I can control better who sees my pics, and I feel a bit safer posting more pictures on facebook, because I have all of my photo-albums set so only friends can view them. There are pics there, for instance, from our vacation last August in Italy. This blog has mostly pics of Emeline and Callum, because my mom cares more about seeing her grandbabies than some cool place in Italy. I also update my status pretty regularly, so you can get some details about daily life or just weird thoughts that I am having that day.

CHURCH PLANT—We had our second Bible study discussion group and had several visitors again. The entire core group was also there and did a great job. Chris did well with the introduction to the passage. We talked about Nicodemus in John 3. I personally thought it went really well and that others felt comfortable to talk. However, I was in and out with Emeline, so I really didn’t get to participate. I was amazed that many of the visitors brought goodies to share—we usually have cake/cookies and coffee for afterwards. One lady who was not in the core group baked an amazing cake. I say that not because of the cake, but because I think it is great she took so much time to make this beautiful cake for our Bible study discussion group. We still need to work on how to get people to talk/discuss more as we want all to discuss—especially those not in our core group. Some other totally useless information: Emeline threw up on me after the Bible study. She was trying to eat a sweet and choked a bit, which is not unusual for Emeline. I then proceeded to beat said object out of her and she puked all over herself and my sweater. So, for much of the after-discussion with cake and coffee I smelled like barf…so is the life of a mom of baby and almost 3 year old. We are still pretty bummed that we will have to leave for an entire year in June in regards to our work here. Please pray for all involved with the new church plant.

YOUTH—We helped with an area-wide youth event this month. The youth group that Chris helps with did a skit for the event. Chris and I were a bit stressed about it. It was about 8 minutes long and involved about 10 kids. We did not have much time to practice with the entire group, but in the end the kids worked hard when they had to and did a fabulous job. On a funny note…we were at the hotel where the event was to take place hours in advance so we could run through everything on stage. I was handling the technical side of things and working with the tech people about mics and lighting, etc. Chris was talking with the group about the game plan at the same time and took Callum with him to a small side room. Afterwards the rehearsal began. About 10 minutes into that I noticed Callum was nowhere to be seen. I asked Chris and he started running towards that side room, but I beat him to the door. When I opened the door Callum was just smiling at me and sucking on his shoe in his stroller. Thankfully, the room was not dark while he was left in there. We were also late picking Emeline up from Kindergarten that day. We had decided to leave her there to play later than usual so she would not have to be at this event so long and did not realize the closing time was different on Fridays. The teachers were still cleaning up and very nice about us being totally irresponsible. Yeah, good grief!

SNOW—We have had more snow the past couple of months than we have in our 4 years here in Germany. We just don’t get so much snow. I don’t know if it has to do with being on the Rhein, because Cologne doesn’t get much snow either. I have enjoyed the bright whiteness. The winters here are so dark, so I have enjoyed the snow brightening things up a bit. In my opinion snow is better than cold rain any day. I still get excited about the snow, because it only snowed once the whole time I was growing up in Louisiana. I am just like a little kid with the snow.

EMELINE—Emeline continues to learn more and more German. It makes me a bit sad to think she will forget much when we are home for a year starting in June. I am planning to do what I can to keep her language up, but one can only do so much. She is already registered for pre-school in Louisiana. At least she will get a good foundation in her English while we are in the US. We had our first parent/teacher conference at her Kindergarten, and it went really well. Emeline continues to come out of her shell more while there as she learns more German. She is very helpful with the other children, especially those a bit younger than her. She is quick to comfort those who are sad or get hurt. Oh, and the teachers agree that she is just not quite ready for potty training. Is death by potty training possible???? I am about to go crazy potty training this girl. She CAN go. We bought her a potty that sings when you go :-). She will be three in a couple of weeks. She has been watching the Elmo potty video since before she was two. She knows all about going potty. She can go on demand—when she chooses to do so. However, a few weeks ago she got REALLY upset about going potty, so I pulled the plug on trying for a while. I personally think she wants diapers because Callum has diapers. She even has Hello Kitty suckers and numerous rewards waiting for her if only she would, well, you know…. On another note, Emeline is now quite the artist. She has been painting with a passion. I keep her watercolors out almost all the time. The other night she woke up and would not go back to sleep until I confirmed that when she woke up the next morning she could paint. She was saying, “When I wake up, I paint, Mamma!”

CALLUM CHRISTOPH—He is now turning 10 months old--today! Can we slow down just a little please??? In the past month or so he has started crawling. It actually looks more like swimming on the floor. His style works well for him on our wood floors. Chris says he looks like a little inchworm. He is babbling more and more. He continues to say Mamma!!! He has recently started saying Dada as well. He continues to adore his Sissy. I have a deal worked out with her that she can take something of hers that he has if she gives him another toy in exchange. This usually works just fine and everyone it happy afterwards. He is eating more substantial baby food now and baby cookies. He will also try to eat any food on the floor. The other day Emeline had dropped a piece of chicken on the floor and Callum ate some of that. So, he is progressing nicely in his eating. I can’t wait to show him off when we get to the US. Get ready to be charmed by my little man!

CHRIS—Chris’ foot continues to get better after surgery in December. His foot is still swollen, and he continues to go to physical therapy. We are hoping and praying he will be able to run again in the next month or so. He really misses running, and it would mean a great deal to him to be able to run again. He does not like not being able to exercise. He continues to be busy and is currently writing up an action plan/vision plan for the church plant.

SHANNON—I am trying to lose the rest of this baby weight before Callum turns a year old. I have known I was going to have to exercise to get the final pounds off, but just was not motivated to get going. I have been exercising 4-5 times a week on the elliptical for 45 minutes each the past couple of weeks. It is already paying off. I want to be in great shape when I come to the US, so I can eat lots of Mexican food and at Chili’s and On the Border. I am not sure “so I can eat more food in the US” is the best motivation to lose weight, but whatever works, right? My sister is also getting married in August, and I want to look nice at the wedding.

I finally got to start teaching English at Em’s Kindergarten, and I am having so much fun. The leader of school wanted me to use a puppet she had. At first I wasn’t sure if it would go over well, but the kids love the puppet that I named Jacob. So, I am teaching English on Wednesdays from 10am-11am. I do one session with each class. The kids really enjoy it and are learning. So far we have done such things as asking about names and colors. When I pick Emeline up, the kids will ask me in German about when Jacob is coming again! It has been a great opportunity for me to get to know the children and all the teachers. I am hoping I can set up an exchange between Emeline’s pre-school in Louisiana and her pre-school here in Germany.

Well, I didn’t post weekly, but this has to go down as one of the longest posts ever! Please keep us in your prayers as both kids have pink eye, and Emeline has had fever the past couple of days. Hopefully, we will not all be sick soon.

*** Also, if anyone can instruct me on how to better sort my pics after downloading to the Blog, I would be grateful. I can never move them around after downloading. I try dragging them, but it doesn't work most of the time and takes forever--very frustrating. Share your wisdom if you have any!***


GritsAndSoul said...

Hey Shannon! So good to read/see an update. Glad y'all are doing well.

I learned this just recently about pictures on the blog because it was frustrating me, too!

Ok, to insert and move pics around like you want, go into your Dashboard and go to Settings. Under the "Basic" link, and scroll down where it says "Global settings" and the first option is "Select Post Editor." Pick the "updated editor" option (and you can click on a link to check out the latest features).

That will update your blog editor and when you go in to add pictures, you can add a whole bunch at once that stay in your images bank during the entire time you're writing a post.

So, when you press the image icon/button, they are all there. When you are ready to insert one, you pick the picture by clicking on it, press the "ok" button and it's in your post. I found it hard to move them around once I've done that, but you can always just delete it and pic. But once the picture is there, a little box pops up and you can adjust size, location, etc.

Once you publish the post, they're gone.

Hope this helps!

GritsAndSoul said...

p.s. I'm astounded at how big Callum has gotten! He is such a gorgeous baby!! Emeline is just a darling little thing - makes you want to just squeeze 'em and kiss on 'em!!

CristyLynn said...

Thanks for the great update! I think I missed some info though during our time in the States. Why do you have to leave for a whole year? Is it just part of your rotation, since you've been in Germany 4 years?

About the pictures, I don't know if I can explain this well, but I'll try: I have found that most browsers load the pics in opposite order from how they are listed on the upload screen. In other words, the pic on top will be the last picture on the actual post when the pics are loaded. If you need to switch them, I have found it easiest to move the bottom pics up rather than the top pics down. I click on the picture and drag it so that the cursor would be in front of the top pic.

I hope that is helpful. I have often been frustrated with the pictures in blogger, but it's better than some other sites I've tried. It does make a difference which browser you use as well, I think. I have not had much success with internet explorer, but firefox and chrome seem to work pretty smoothly.

Lori at The Davidson Den said...

Hey! I'm late to read this, but thanks so much for the update!! I love hearing all about you and your sweet family.

Also, about moving the pictures around. When you're drafting your blog post, there are two tabs. Most of the time, you are working in the "Compose" mode. The other tab is "Html." If you click on that tab, everything is in code. You can locate the code for the pictures as they upload. They will always be right at the very top. Double click on the very first code, and the entire code for that picture will be highlighted. Then you can right click and select "Cut." Then find where in the body you want to place your picture and paste it there. I'm not sure if that made any sense, but on the off-chance you can't figure something out by the time you get to the U.S., then you'll just HAVE to come visit us...and I'll give you a whole tutorial. Deal?

Love you!