Friday, December 04, 2009

The Advent Storybook

We purchased this book several years ago. The story begins on Dec 1st and there is a story for each day up to the 24th. The little bear hears a story from his mother each night about another little bear following the special star. He meets various people and animals on his journey to Bethlehem. This is our 4th year reading it. I opened it to check when it was written and was suprised to find that it was first published in German in 2004 and in English in 2005. It is the type of book that is timeless, so I expected it be written a long time ago. It is for children, but the book is actually quite thoughtful in it's simplicity. Isabelle and Joseph still very much look forward to reading it, and actually so do I. Reading this book seems to have made it's way into becoming a sweet family tradition!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for our Thanskgiving Feast last week!

Now, I'm thankful to be working that food off!!

For calm daily life.

For our children!

For our dogs who are so funny!

For the richness of family life.

For all our blessings!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Thanksgiving was really lovely! Lot's of family and lot's of food! It was Aunt Becky and Uncle Tony's year to host the meal and so we headed over there for the day. Everyone brought along a dish or two for the feast.

These are some random photo's. Guess what? Brendon snapped all the pictures this holiday!

Uncle Tony and Dad
Mimi and Isabelle holding Lily!

The guys playing rook!


Papa with Isabelle and Joseph

All of us ladies looking at photo's!
Tamara, Alison, Teresa
Susan, Isabelle, Becky, Shelley

Friday, November 20, 2009

Babies and Hair!

Isabelle and Mommy!
This cute picture scrolled across my screensaver, and I had to share it!
I also noticed that there was not single gray hair in my head!
(and there's still not!;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Coffee Break

We have been concentrating on homeschool this past week. Believe me, it takes all our concentration at the moment. We are craving a break in our routine and looking forward to a lighter work load. We will have a week off for the Thanksgiving Holiday!
I'm looking forward to coffee breaks (and suddently I have a craving for tea) and visiting relatives and friends. Just having fun in general!
I wish I could meet all of you for coffee/tea and chit chat!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm so blessed to be a wife and mother!
Thank you Brendon for fixing the mirror over the mantle!
I'm thankful for homeschool!
We are thankful for the amazing art class the kids have this year! It's a highlight every week!
We give thanks for our good friends!
Thanks to the chiro/sports rehab who is fixing me up, so I can run, bike and swim again!
There's always thanks given for that hot cup of coffee! Joy!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Wedding Picture

There were a few requests for a wedding picture! You know, back in the old days we did not have digital photography and therefor it takes a few minutes to find a photo and scan it etc..and I just got a little busy this week. In fact (speaking of computers) we never even emailed each other the entire time we dated! Isn't it crazy how much things have changed in just over a decade?!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How did we meet?

My cousin Kristen posted a few weeks ago about how she and David became one and said she'd love to hear others story. Here it is baby!

The short story is that we met through a friend, but that is sort of boring isn't it? It seems like these days I'm so busy with raising and educating children and homemaking that I don't spend too much time in reflection unless someone ask me how we met. Brendon was born and raised in Tasmania, Australia and I was born and raised in North Georgia and grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, which is where we have lived since we were married!

I graduated from the University of Georgia and worked for a year. I had always enjoyed travel and decided that now was the time to set off for a little adventure. I bought my Let's Go Europe book, my Eurail Pass, a plane ticket and packed my big old backpack and set off!

I thought it might be fun to learn a foreign language and so I ended up living in Germany and a working in a day care on an Army base, because you need to be able to get a visa to live in another country. I was staying in a student dorm and another American girl told me that was what she was doing in order to get a visa.

That's me at the daycare. I worked with Sue, Gretchen and Erma.
It surely was an interesting place with a few characters and one crazy boss!

Brendon had decided to travel as well. He went to Malaysia for awhile and helped at a mission (believe it or not!) and did some side trips to a few places in Asia. Then he moved on to London, where he apparently had a very good time! He ended up getting a decent job and through coincidence was transfered to Neuchatel, Switzerland. He met up with this guy who I knew as well.

One day this friend, called me up and said he was coming up for the weekend with two of his friends! What do I remember from this weekend? It was the middle of winter and absolutly freezing! Also, that Brendon was interesting, but other than that it was just a weekend with friends.

The weekend we met. Brendon is looking back.

I'm on the left. Audrey is on the right! She was also up for the weekend, but this picture is from a weekend later on. (This is in CH, but I'm not quite sure where?)

About a month later his sister flew in to see him. He immediatly took her down to Italy and then on to Germany. While he was in my area he called me and they got a hotel down the street and we all went to dinner. Narelle, his poor jet lagged sister, was so completly exhausted from travel and she said she had to go to sleep. Brendon and I ended up talking for hours.

After that we took turns visiting each other. When we were in Stuttgart we often went to O'Reilly's (Irish) pub which was two blocks from my apartment. My friend Lavonne, from NZ, went with us a lot. Of course we had lots of fun!

My apartment
The gold colored one, two blocks down hill was the pub!

Tamara and Lavonne at O'Reilly's

Susanne and Dirk
These were my flat mates. They are married with kids now.

When I went to visit Brendon we would drive around to different places and meet up with people we knew. We had great times!

That's me. We drove around alot. Here we were t Lake Geneva.

Brendon and Raph eating fondu for 4 all by themselves!

When we first met, Brendon had a business trip to London and my friend Lavonne and I were there on the same weekend. We met up for lunch one day.

Cilla and Martin are some of the people we did stuff with and they were married a month before we were!

Other people we saw frequently were Heide and Ralph, Kim and Aschi, Maggie and Jens. I don't have good enough pictures to post.

We were married a little over a year after meeting. Here we are!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Petite shopping!

I like to shop when I have the time and resources! I'm shorter than average, so I shop at retailers who carry petite size fashions. Ann Taylor is one of my favorites! Recently I came across a few blogs and websites about petite fasion and found there are many retailers that carry petite sizes on- line, but not in their physical shop. I knew about Lands End and Eddie Bauer, but take a look at some of the other ones. I still prefer to go out shopping, but there certainly are more options on-line. (Today two of the blogs are about lingerie, but that is not the norm! Ha!)

Petite Resources...This site just list many/all places that carry petite sizes. You can look up retailers by brand, store, price, item etc..

Petite Fashionista...a blog

For Petite Sake..another blog

Alterations Needed..a blog

Paula's Petite Fashion Blog..another blog

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kristen posted a blog about how she met her husband! I was around for some of this time! They are really great together, even though we don't get to see each other that often. I should haul myself out to Texas for big ole visit sometime!

I might post about how I met my husband too. I'll have to get that together and find some pictures etc.. I tell you what would be funny is a post about how you stay married..aghh you first! Kristen? Giggle giggle! Now, I know that is never going to happen in blog world! Men and women: we do make a pair don't we?! It is fun and I love Brendon! He's the best!

We are cruising along with our homeschool year. I have to say homeschool suits our family. I'm so glad we had some school experience though. Schools can be great and really suit some families. For us though, we learn so much more, and life is so much easier and simpler. We do get out a lot and and Mondays and Fridays are the only days we are truly home all day.

Last week the floods damaged the church where our homeschool class meets on Tuesdays and they can't be occupied any time soon. Churches tend to be the only places that will rent out space for one day a week, so I called eight in our area and one was very interested in an arrangement with our "school". (Alot of them run preschools so they don't have space during the week.) The most delightful thing about it is that it is virtually right across the street from my neighborhood. It will take me literally 5 minutes to get there! Tomorrow is our first day in the new facilities! Woohoo!

Did I mention that I ended up with an injury from running? It seems to be clearing up, and I might attempt a tiny little run one day this week to see what happens. I'm looking forward to running again. I know I will have to start out slowly, but I've got all winter to build up again. I really want to do another triathlon next spring..or several! It's fun for me.

My camera is still broken! ARGhhhh!

What's up with you?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dad, Happy Birthday!

Mom and Dad!

The kids wish you happy birthday too!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Isabelle and Joseph go to class one day per week. A few weeks ago they had their first day of class! They began their school year at the beginning of August, and these classes began a few weeks later. They go over their liberal arts/humanties curriculum in this class. It's fun for them, and I get 5 hours in a row once a week to do what I want or need to do!
On another day they have homeschool PE at the gym ( I get my own workout in while they have PE!) and an art class in an art studio.
We also have a great piano teacher nearby and take lessons once a week as well!
It's enough to keep us quite busy!
For math Isabelle is using teaching textbooks and it really is great!
Joseph will begin to use teaching textbooks soon, but they are still working on his level.
For now we are just doing workbooks with him.
If you need some fun help with multiplication check out these resources:
Times Tales is so interesting and fun. It's amazing how it works!
Timez Attack just helps reinforce the facts in a very fun way.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I've been a leetttle preoccupied!

Take a look at these cool headbands I saw online. Look at the video of how to tie them.

Isabelle loves headbands. I think they are messy. This might do the trick!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Brendon!

We celebrated Brendon's birthday today!

We made Italian Cream Cake (not Italian, no cream, but creamed cheese!)
It does taste awesome.
We sang, of course!

Blowing out the 5 candles!
(No one is only 5 in this house!)
The girl picked ripe tomatoes!

Daddy talked to his brother!

We all love you!

Friday, August 07, 2009



Can you believe there is something new on Mommabelle????!!!

I still do not have my camera repaired, but my Mom loaned one of hers out, and so there are a few pictures to post. Not nearly as many as I would like though!

Brendon's parents were here for a 3 week visit in July! Really, Queensland is quite aways from Atlanta, so 3 weeks is not long at all when you have so much to catch up on!

We had a vacation down on the gulf for one week while they were here. The weather was so fabulous! It was nicely warm, not too hot and humid, and the wind was blowing out into the ocean so there were few to zero waves! It could not have been better!

Nanny, aka Lyn, arrived on her birthday, so a little celebration was in order to start off with!

We went putt putt golfing in FL towards the end of the week and it was truly sweltering! We only made 9 holes!

The kids taking a break from the swimming and castle making!

My girl building castles!

Lyn and Kevin relaxing!

Joseph playing in the gorgeous surf!

Lyn, Joseph and Brendon playing in the water!

Joseph snorkling!

Isabelle snorkling!

The fantastic weather and water!

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's July

We have been busy and my camera is still broken! Those are a couple of excuses for not updating around here! Here are a few lines about the latest goings on:

It was so blazing hot and humid for awhile that we couldn't breath. We have had a reprieve this past week. In fact because it was so hot for awhile, I actually walk around with a sweater on these days when it's below 80*!

The kids finished up the summer league swim team season. It was a lot of fun and what's more is that most of the families that do summer swim are really nice people. We hope to have many more swim team summers.

On a sad note Brendon Grandmother passed away last week. It was a bit sudden, but she has gone to a better place.

Brendon's parents, Kevin and Lyn, were supposed to arrive here last week, but had to postpone for the above reason. They will arrive this coming Monday and be with us until the beginning of August. We will have good times!

We really enjoyed our July 4th holiday weekend with family and catching up with cousins! We look forward to next time already!

Yesterday, I caught up with one of my best friends. Our daughters were born a week apart. We don't get to see each other often enough!

Today another one of my best friends is having lunch with some of her Aunts and I'm keeping her kids. Which is fantastic really, because it keeps my kids busy all day! In other words I will not hear a word about being bored for several hours! We are having delicious frozen pizza for lunch! Ha!

This is Nana several years ago. Isabelle is on the end and Joseph in her lap.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


We had a few pickling cukes already matured.
Here's one being prepared for dill pickles.

Here they are! This is a quick ferment method.
They are made with a salt brine, mustard seeds, dill (we used regular dill becauase we could not find pickling dill. We should grow our own!) and some garlic.
Next time we will use a little less salt. They sit out for two days, and then go in the fridge and last for several months. Apparently if you add in a little whey they last for 6 months.
We are having major fun with all the veggies!
(My camera is broken:(, so I'm using the little camera, and it shows in the photo quality.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

My First Triathlon!

Isabelle and Joseph with me after the finish!
I have enjoyed fitness for a long time, but had a break for awhile because of the hypothryoid.
About two years ago, I got back into fitness, but this time with running.
I started with the Couch Potato to 5K program.
I enjoyed running a few 5k's, and then a running friend suggested we sign up for a triathlon!
I had to think about it for awhile, but I'm so glad I did it!
I found a 3 month training program on line that was specifically for sprint distance triathlon.
It was fun to do the training (well, most days it was fun), and then cross of the work for that specific day, and it felt like I was accomplishing something. It was really fun to train for something specific as well.
Also, my friend found a swim club that met each Friday morning, for a one hour pool workout. It was awesome! We ended up regularly swimming about 2000 meters. Having the swim coach and people to swim with made a huge difference in my swimming ability!
Our triathlon was a 400 meter swim, then a fairly long uphill run to transition. Followed by a 12 mile (20K) bike, and a 3 mile (5K) run.
My swim was 11 min (which included the run to transition)
My bike was 53 min (on Mom's mountain bike! I need a road bike at some point.)
My run was 26:57
It was great fun!
I can't wait to do another one!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Happenings

I totally need to catch up around here!

Tonight I turned on my camera to take pictures of the latest garden yummies, and my camera did not work! I changed the battery, and it still did not work! I'm very concerned. I put the battery back in the charger and will try again in the morning. Oh, please please work tomorrow!
Then, I took pictures with Brendons little camera and I can't get the images to upload. Oh, well!

Someone in this house took this photo a few weeks ago, and it very well could have been a kid! I have my morning coffee and catch up on emails and blogs. Sort of like my version of reading the newspaper! Also that counter space right there is the designated drop zone in this house and nearly impossible to keep tidy. Nearly... Oh, and my brain definetly doesn't work before that first cup of coffee kicks in...I warn you not to talk to me before then!

We have been busy with swim team. Every morning we have practice and it takes up most of the morning. By the time we get home the kids are starving, so we do lunch and then we do a little math work. We have a couple of play dates each week, go to the library one day and have a swim meet on Thursday. It's been a very pleasant summer so far!

Hopefully my camera will start working and I can post some more pictures.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


The dogs needed a good washing, so on Saturday Brendon tackled the job!
Sarah, is shaking it off as quick as she can.
It's hilarious, because this dog actually loves to swim!

The bath is over and now she's rolling around to get dry and dirty!
Mavis had a bath before I could take a picture, but she's on alert and ready to sprint just in case we change our mind!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Garden Herbs

It was time to pick some herbs and dry them!
We have basil, shown here with Isabelle, Cilantro and mint right now.


Joseph with his bounty!