29 January 2011

Check-up time for those new year's resolutions

Can you believe that the month of January has come and gone?

Well, so I am here to check on those resolutions that I had set up in the beginning of the year. Confession time....

Am I a better wife? I hope so. There were multiple days where I so did not feel like cooking dinner, but than made the kids run out in the afternoon to get ingredients, in order to cook a meal for the Hubby. He is working so hard to provide for his family, I think he deserves a good meal at the end of his hard day.

Am I a better Mami? I think so. I have purposely played more with Coqui, especially when Peanut sleeps. He still gets a short quiet time, but it seems not to work as much as just simply playing with him. So I do it.
Also, I have done some research on the homeschooling. I want to be all prepped when September comes, and he would actually start school. He is doing great, still enjoys it, but there are days when he doesn't so much. And I have to find a way to make it more exciting for him.We recently painted, cooked and baked together, doing some arts and crafts that he enjoys very much, and reading together. He loves his time with Mami all by himself.
And Peanut? Well, here is my announcement...... drum roll...... she is not having her screaming sessions no more!!! Yeah. And she sleeps better in general. I can not spend much alone-time with her, but sometimes I do on the weekend when Coqui is on a daddy date.

Am I a better Christian? Well, since Peanut sleeps so long in the morning, I can actually make my cup of coffee and sit down with it and read the bible. Though I am not doing it every single day, the mornings that I am doing it, I feel much better in general, filled with the word of God. Following Jesus is not just about knowing all the facts from the bible, but it definitely helps to understand why God does some things the way He does. It makes me better, or at least trying to be better, with the struggles that I have. Like cooking dinner. Or throwing a party at my house.
I am also taking a class at our church, that I hope will give me some insight on myself and what God wants me to do in the future.

So there you are. Confession curtains closed.

27 January 2011

Down Memory Lane

I was driving in my car the other day, and thoughts kept running through my mind. Actually more like flashbacks. I live in this country for more than ten years now. I got all melancholy about it, too. Remembering my first impressions. Remembering the hardship in the first year, and the following, the struggle of adjusting in a new world and the love I felt afterwards, for this country. America. It has been a good ten years. Even though I had my share of difficulties.

What I was thinking was that because of those experiences, I am the person I am today.

In the movie "Greek Wedding", the brother comes up to the main character and says "don't let your past dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you will be". I researched if this came from a big philosopher, but I guess it just sprang from the writers hand. Nonetheless, it is deep. We are what we are today because of our experiences on this earth, because of the people we met, the circumstances we were in, and the personality we have to deal with those situations. (Besides the "small" fact that God has a plan for us no matter what happens!)

I had to work some odd jobs, real odd ones at times, but they all helped to get me through the rough times. I had lovely friends that stood by my side. The people that helped us out were family people - we were watching their precious children (I know what I am talking about because I have a hard time to leave my kids.).
But these odd jobs are what America is all about: the country where a dream can come true!

America is not just the country of workaholics and crime and Hollywood. Real people live here. And the real people that I have met are among the greatest people in the world. They care about others - at least that's what they taught me! They have the joy of giving - something we are currently teaching Coqui. They stand by what they believe is right. Most of them treated me with respect and fairness. I point that out because I am a foreigner in this country, but nobody ever has made me feel like one. It amazes me to look back and say, wow, I could not have done it by myself if it weren't for all the support that I had.

I thought I'd share that with you today!!! How happy I am to live in this country, by God's will, the country where dreams still (!) come true.

19 January 2011

Honesty and Encouragement

Finally, I have come back to the habit of reading the bible in the morning, with my coffee - yeah, the coffee is essential! The coffee wakes me up, the bible gets me ready to face the day...

So I read some chapters from the book of Proverbs this morning. It's a good book. Really. But what hit me the most was how often it talked about correcting someone, in a nice way, in a Godly way. Because we Germans have to do things right, the correct way. And positive criticism is suppose to be encouraging. God is not asking you to be mean and discouraging at all. So here are the verses that I liked:

Proverbs 27:5 "Better to correct someone openly than to let him think you don't care for him at all."

Proverbs 27:6 "Friends mean well, even when they hurt you. But when an enemy puts his arm around your shoulder - watch out!"

Proverbs 27:17 "People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron." 

Proverbs 28:18 "Be honest and you will be safe. If you are dishonest, you will suddenly fall." 

Proverbs 28:23 "Correct someone, and afterwards he will appreciate it more than flattery."

So when foreigners come to my home-country, we have to constantly correct their mistakes in learning our language - a language that is not easy to learn in the first place! So cut them a break! For me, that always seemed so unnecessary and definitely discouraging. When I was a foreigner myself, in France, I have to say, they did correct my mistakes over there; not always, but the big ones, yes, totally! And as an eager learner, I appreciated that. It helped me.

Then I came to America, and my, was I in for a surprise. One is suppose to be 'nice' and it is considered impolite behavior to correct someone - at least that was my perception here. Being still an eager learner, I asked my friends to, please, correct my mistakes - I mean, how else am I gonna learn it, right? Surprisingly, or maybe I just had good friends, they listened and I was able to ameliorate my English, a little bit!?!

So listen to God and please, correct my 'bad' English!!!

Isn't it rather nice to know that some people do care in our life and do the right thing to correct us. That goes for any kind of behavior, not just the language thing. I rather have someone point out to me that what I did was wrong, in person, openly, than behind my back, 'bitching' about me.... at least that's my thinking!
I also want to hear when I am doing things right.

But I found this saying:"Being honest is more than NOT laying." Wow. It also requires our understanding that the words coming out of our mouth might hurt someone. So we should put those words in a thoughtful and meaningful way, a way that it is beneficial and profitable to the recipient. Don't speak before you think about it. And I know, I am guilty in that way myself - I didn't say I was perfect. But I sure can try. This is an encouragement for all of us. And if hurtful words were spoken, that's were forgiveness comes in, and friends do forgive each other.

18 January 2011


Coqui is sick.

Seeing him 'out of order' like that is just so sad. At least to me.

I have very active children, wild at times even. But I have to admit that I love it. To me that means they are happy. It means they are full of energy, so full that it just needs to bubble out all the time. (I always thought lethargic children are way to sad for me.) Kids are suppose to run around in circles, laugh to the fullest and ask a million questions because they are kids.That's how they learn...

So that all brought me to the homeschooling idea.
I am reading up a few books on the subject, and it just fits right with my ideas. So that encourages me to pursue it even more. One of things that came up in one book was children's energy and how to encourage it! Encourage you say? Wow. Because every school settings tries to calm that energy down in stead of raising it! Wow again. Think about it for a minute. In school, you need to sit still for long periods of time. At home, as the parent that really cares about the progress of our own children, we want to encourage them. Because the early years of childhood and learning are really just "information-gathering". And how children do that? Motion! It's all about motion. Using all our five senses. It's about touching, yes the constant and annoying touching of everything that comes their way. It's about seeing. So they can copy us, just like Peanut copies her big brother in pretty much everything he does. Hearing. The words coming out of our mouth, in order to learn our language or another one. Feeling. Feeling the love we give them - okay, okay, of course feeling different textures. Smelling. And tasting. You know what I mean.
We want our children to be curious, to be creative, to be imaginative, to be enthusiastic, to be adventurous in discovering and trying new things. The point being: to be energetic. So why trying to undermine that?

So I am very much looking forward to my child getting better.

And I am looking forward to this homeschooling journey - 'cos a journey it will be! But I am dedicated to pursue it.

15 January 2011

Coqui's obsession with trains

 This might be news to you, or not, but I have a train maniac on my hands!

Coqui loves trains. Alot! Trains are everywhere in the house. He has train system called GeoTrax, that are plastic, and the wooden ones from Thomas the tank engine. He has train books. Many! We have shirts with trains on, we have train hats and whistles. We have posters and calendars. And he has DVDs. I mean the plain ones that are all about trains, and nothing else! Yeah.

I have absolutely no idea where it comes from. At first I figured, it's a boy thing. Right? We got him the GeoTrax because it was plastic, so less breakable. It has push trains and remote-controlled trains. So we thought it's a good start. When playing with it, he just has to wear a certain shirt, matching train pants and hat. And the remote control in his hands! My train engineer!

When he was younger, I had to help him alot with building those train tracks, but now, that he is older and has much more practice in what works and what doesn't, he has become quite excellent in building complicated tracks with ups and downs and under the bridge and over the tunnel. It's amazing. And it teaches so much. Patience when things don't work. And when things don't work, it teaches also problem solving. It teaches perseverance. Sharing with his sister. Obedience for following rules in how to set it up a certain way that works. And while we are at it, it teaches integrity. I love the enthusiasm. I love his seriousness about this hobby.

And I have to admit, I love learning about trains with him through the books we have. It is interesting. And it is a fun way to travel, too. He has been on fun trains in amusement parks, but he also has been on real trains! I find it sad that no-a-days kids don't get to ride trains anymore. I grew up with it, went on vacation with it, overnight, and I have alot of memories about trains. It's exciting, especially as a kid. So I want to make sure that my kids know that there is more than just cars! Like there are bikes and trains and airplanes and trams and buses - the public transportation system is endless and there to be used.

Please let your kids ride a train - at least once in their childhood! It is so much fun. We have. On a train with a steam engine. On a train with a diesel locomotive. We rode on a monorail and on an airport train. We've been on a little garden railroad that they have in Germany. (picture to the right) We've been to a train museum and explored all about trains. Coqui was fascinated. He has a great hobby.

13 January 2011


I miss the days where I can just grab my camera and go out on a scavenger hunt - capturing scenes on the street, be it landscapes or funny objects that caught my eye. I miss that.

So here is my other blog that I haven't had a chance to spend much time with. It is only the initiation - even though I started this over a year ago. The idea is that even though I am not shooting nearly as much in an artistic matter (we are NOT talking about the millions of pictures of my kiddos!), at least I can show off my 'old' work. When I had all the time in the world... to myself and my art.

Have fun!

08 January 2011

My New Year's Resolution

I know, I know, what a cliche! I am sure that I won't even remember this by, say, March or April.... But I have thought of a couple of things that I want to change in the new year, or simply to improve. Some of those points are very important to me, others are less crucial, and yet some few are just suggestions to myself...
  • be a better Christian - and what I mean by that is to get closer to God and seek Him more often. I was talking to a friend and tried to explain it like this. Something happens in our life and we get real close, we promise ourselves that it will leave it that way. But guess what, daily life and other things catch up with us and we kind of let the leash get longer again. To a point where we are so detached from God that we feel something is missing, and we get close again. Almost like a boomerang effect. So I want to try to keep God real close, ALL the time. 
  • be a better friend to some of my friends, and new ones that I don't even know yet - that is a tough one, but I feel friends can give us so much in our life that it would be seriously devastating to me to loose a friend. It is always fun to meet someone new and start the whole get-to-know-you process, and it takes alot of effort to keep an older friendship going. Sometimes at least. It's like any partnership. It takes work, from both sides. And I just want to do anything possible on my end.....
  • be a better wife to my husband - again this sounds so cliche but what I mean is that seriously, I need to get a grip on dinner and planning this major chore (at least it is one big one for me!). I just want to try to step up and get more motivated. For the hubby and the kids. After all, the correct nutrition is essential to their well-being and I believe that falls under my job description.
  • be a better mother - I mean I want to make a commitment with myself, and them, to spend more time with them. In order to mold them the way we want them to be, we need to spend time with them so that they can copy us. I see it in Coqui when I do spend more time with him, he seems so much calmer. And Peanut is less clingy, and more adventurous. What can be better than building a train track, or dancing to "Pump up the jam", or operating on the bear that got a 'cut from the saw', or cooking up a 'stew' made from paper noodles and plastic veggies!?
  • become more healthy - it is always in the back of my mind but it is not consistently executed by me. You know, one gets busy and you just stuff something in your mouth for the sake of filling the tummy on the run. Or eating in the evening in front of the TV set..... yeah, confession time! So I have a few things in mind, I just have to put it into action....
  • run more regularly! Yeah, I actually thought to set a goal for myself for the year. I ran about 170 miles last year, so I think I should double that and make that my target!
I will come back here and add a few things as they come to mind. So keep checking in. Being at it, I should make a progress chart every month or so - good idea!

Happy New Year! 

A New Year’s Prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous
Dear Lord, please give me…
    A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;
    A work to do which has real value,
        without which the world would be the poorer;
    A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;
    An understanding heart;
    A sense of humor;
    Time for quiet, silent meditation;
    A feeling of the presence of God;
    The patience to wait for the coming of these things,
    With the wisdom to recognize them when they come. Amen.

07 January 2011


Two days ago, I wrote about the dailymile website. I got to run this morning and am always eager to log on and add my accomplishments to my total mileage. What an encouragement to see that number increase every time, even if it is just a little bit at a time. That progress is so encouraging to me. Seeing others running much farther with a much faster pace. And I hope that I am an inspiration to others when they see me go run so early in the morning.

For three days, my right knee was bothering me - from my run three days ago. Even this morning, I was laying in bed debating to talk myself out of running. But I got up. And when I started running and feel that fresh air go through my lungs, I felt good. Good about myself and good that I made it out of bed. I ran very slowly at first; eventually I sped up to my normal pace - whatever normal is?! Well, I felt enthusiastic. My knee didn't hurt; it doesn't hurt now. I am glad I took it easy and listened to my body, so I wouldn't pay for it later.

What it does for me? I get motivated!
 And that is all I need. Do I have goals? Of course I have. Goals and dreams. I would like to be able to run without issues of pain. The trade-off for getting up so early and go running is the energy that I have for the rest of the day! It is surprising and wonderful. Also I hope that doing any kind of exercise will help me to stay healthy. In general of course, fighting colds and such, but also against this big evil invader called cancer. 
In the back of my mind, I always thought I would be running in the NYC Marathon once..... but of course, that is a dream. I have been a runner for a long time, on and off running. When I saw the marathon for the first time ten years ago, I had this image of myself running through the five borrows myself. So I guess one of those goals or more like dreams is to run that! In the meantime, I would love to run a 3K, and then a 5K, and then a 10K, and then maybe a half-marathon, and then...... - I guess I want to say is to work myself up to a real marathon, one day....

05 January 2011

Great website

I have mentioned before that I am using www.dailymile.com to track my exercise. And so do others as well. I recently read a post written by a fellow blogger about that specific website and why she loves it. Here is the link to her post.

All I can add to it - I like it too. I started tracking my workouts this past May, so I don't have an accurate number of miles run for the entire year, but I also know that I didn't work out that much anyhow.... So I estimated that I ran about 170 miles total in 2010. Not bad! 
To see the progress is a great way to get encouragement from the hard work we are doing to get in shape, or lose weight, or simply stay healthy.Go runner!

And happy running in 2011.

03 January 2011

Accomplishments of 2010

Here is a list with some thoughts, thoughts that I am happy about, things that got done last year and things that just make me feel so blessed.

- another year of being cancer-free. I am so happy that I am still here. I am blessed with a family that supports me. I have a great support system at the oncology. And I am happy when I can give back to others that are currently undergoing treatment.
- it was a year of growing friendships with a few very special people in my life. I am thankful to have friends that I can count on when I need them, and I am glad when I can give that gift back.
- it was a hard year with Peanut. Her screaming sessions seem to have ebbed, but I am far from saying that they actually might be over. But if they are, then I am ecstatic about it.
- my love for her grew so much more and I am at a point where I am just enjoying her. It is amazing to see her grow into a smart little girl, that follows her big brother everywhere, copies him with anything, and smiles so much more these days. 
- Coqui is growing into such a good boy - I'm sorry, I have to say it. He is a great kid to have, so compliant and eager to please. He is an amazing student to have, so eager to learn and it seems that he is just soaking everything up what I offer him.
- we celebrated Peanut's first birthday and her baby dedication. It was so special.
- I ran more than 170 miles - 150 of them I tracked, the rest is just a guess. But I am proud of myself for doing it. And I hope to double that this year.
- I wrote exactly 100 posts in this blog - wow, I am impressed by myself.
- I don't want to say that I have become a stronger believer, but I had some real cool encounters and that encouraged my faith and the longing to be closer to Jesus. It was awesome.
- my house looks a little more homey now, we painted, we decorated, we did the backyard, and we also had to do some repairs. But it all feels good, and the house looks better.

I am sure there were many more things, and I will add them as they come to mind. But now I am tired and will go to bed.

An update on the family

Here are a few things that I can think of right now that my kids do or say. It's almost more a reminder for myself than for you..... so you can skip this one if you are not into kids stuff.

Coqui is my pleaser and he tries sometimes so hard to make me happy and does what he is told to do in order to get what he wants. The whole Santa-thing really worked with him - I am just not sure I want to keep it up for next year. I just love him. 
His new phrase among others is in to get our attention: "Listen up to me." It sounds so cute.
He is so curious and wants to do school, runs to his Sunday class, and when he comes back telling me what he learned, it warms my heart.
He is my joy and pride.

Peanut loves to sing and dance, rocks to music whenever she hears a tune.
She learns alot more words, like 'cuck' for clock, or 'anake' for pancake. She makes herself understood in any way she can with pointing and screaming. But kind of in a cute way.
And in case you are interested in our family history, the most important person to her is 'Coqui'. She wakes up and asks for him right away. Her last words when she goes to bed are 'Coqui?' She just can not live without him. I am 'Mami' and we have 'Daddy' of course. Grandma aka Mema is 'Mama' and she says it so nicely: 'Buelo'.
She copies her brother in everything he does, and when we say "Monkey see, and monkey do." she smiles and says 'ooh ah ah' like the monkey sound. I think it's hilarious.

Me aka Mami got behind with running. When one has guests, one feels we have to entertain, especially around the holidays. So I did not get to run as much as I wanted to. Also my back gave out one day and it takes me about two to three days to get pain-free. So I guess there is a new year resolution!

The hubby has been working way too much, but what else is new. He is working hard for us as a family, and as a family we are very proud of him. I just hope that we get to go on vacation this year.... we would all need it!