Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finally Fall!!!!!

A ghost and a chicken met on the street. The chicken said, "Do you have a telephone? I lost mine." The ghost said, "BOO!" and the chicken fell over, unconscious, and lost all his feathers.

That was Nico's Halloween joke. He made it up. He looked at me after he had told it and asked, "Why are you not laughing?" In return, that made me laugh and all was right with Nico. Haha!

Fall has officially started!!! I suppose the official day it started has come and past by me, but this week it was not only chilled that way I expect and love Fall to be, but the leaves are really starting to change their color and flutter to the ground... beautiful. I was waiting to "officially announce Fall," because that means it's official worldwide or something (?), and today the moment happened...

I was riding my bike through the streets of Bad Godesberg and the Fall wind lightly blew a little whirl of leaves up from the ground and around my feet. Simultaneously, the wind gently shook the trees above me and a few leaves came tumbling toward the sidewalk. Fall is finally here.

It's beautiful.

So, in honor of Fall and it's beauty (and because I can), I am going to celebrate with a four-day trip to Prague! That's in the Czech Republic in case any of you were wondering... and I know some of you were.

I didn't know much about Prague when I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to go there - I did know it was in the Czech Republic. However, over the past few days, pouring over website and friends suggestions on what to see and do while there, I have grown ultra excited. I also stumbled across a blog by someone who is living there, and they posted pictures of the changing colors there... and officially announced Fall. That's when I determined this was a Fall Celebration trip! :) Get ready for the mass amount of picture I shall be posting next week of this beautiful city...

Also, I'm taking a night train! I have been on a hundred plus trains while I have lived here, but I have never ridden a night train... I'll be sleeping in a pull-out-of-the-wall cot, and staying in the same train for 11 hours. Crazy. It's great though because I'm getting to a city while SLEEPING IN A BED. It's sheer beauty in my mind. We'll see if I still believe this after I have been on the train for 11 eleven hours...

Since I have no Prague pictures yet, I will merely take a shallow moment to discuss something other than a beautiful cities... beautiful men. Did I just type that? Yes. Yes, I did.

I have been watching my seasons of The West Wing (LOVE) and noticed how beautiful and attractive some of the older men are. That's when I realized something... The day has arrived. What day is this, you ask? The day that I am attracted to men who are old enough to be my father. Gross.

Now, before you think I'm some sort of grandpa-loving-creeper (I do love my grandpas, but not like that... I'm from Virginia - Not West Virginia), none of you can tell me you have never been diggin' on someone older on the golden screen, or in real life - that's a bit weird to me though. If the actual older (like OLDER) man was in front of me, the very thought of kissing him would gross me out - even if he is attractive... Too old = not gonna happen. When I say too old, I mean like over 40 years old. Yea.

Thought I would clear that up.

Anyway, I have complied a list of those men who I would classify as "older hotties..." Creepy yet? Sorry. It is what it is.

Robe Lowe - 46
Denzel Washington - 56
Matthew McConaughey - 41
Brad Pitt - 47
Tim Daly - 54
Pierce Brosnan - 57
Richard Gere - 61
Mark Harmon -59

Dean Cain - 44

Okay - that's done. You can click on any name for a delicious snap-shot. Yes, I just said delicious.

Until Prague.... Caio!

Song of the Day: I am currently in love with the song Choose You by Stan Walker... LOVE! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Beethoven Gone WILD!

I pose a question to all of my fellow readers of this here blog... What could be better than water works, lasers, Beethoven and rock, and pop music, cold drinks from a birgarten station, projected pictures onto a "flat-screen" of water, and good friends/family all in the middle of city center in Bonn, Germany?

Okay. There are probably a few things better than that... Disneyland is pretty far up there - I think that trumps most things. I think that a few other things in life might trump this too... just a few... However, last night, it was pretty perfect.

Then, after last night I found out that it was going to take place every night for the next week. Score... I'm going again on Wednesday or Thursday. This week will be EPIC.

P.S. I ate sushi for the third time in my life, and liked it for the first time... Score, again.

Song of the Day: Billionaire, by Travie McCoy Feat. Bruno Mars - Sorry for all who heard the "F Bomb" via the one posted last night. It's fixed now.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Live at Five: Nico & Finn

"I can run faster than a monkey." - Finn... out of nowhere.

"A little bleeding never hurt anyone. Well, it hurts, but... Yea." - Nico after falling and scraping his knee outside the aquarium. He acted like SUCH a big boy that day - no tears or anything!

"Want a tie?" - Linze
"No. I'm not a missionary yet." - Finn

I was reading scriptures with Nico and as I read, I always take time to put the stories into simpler, children terms. We were reading in Alma's "War Chapters" and I was discussing the war strategy that Moroni used to sneak into a city when provisions were being passed through the gates to the Lamanites. I said, "It was kinda like they were shouting, 'I've got your food and your weapons!'" To this, Nico BURST out laughing, tapped my arm in an adult-like way and said, "Oh... 'I've got your food and your weapons!'... That was good. Thanks, Linze." Haha!

Finn was singing the ABC song and this was his version... "ABCDFHG, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree!"

"That would be cool if I would be a talking penguin." - Finn... again, out of nowhere.

"We aren't lego people. I'm sure glad we aren't... cause we couldn't move." - Nico

"I'm going to be a man, and you're going to be a woman." - Finn, on growing up.

I told Nico my mom was older than his mom and could no longer have children, to which he responded: "Why? She doesn't have breast anymore?"

"Nico, where do you learn all these things?" -Linze
"My brain just teaches me them." - Nico

"My bike just wanted to ride alone.” -Finn (after falling off his bike as the bike kept going...)

"Can I give you a secret? I love you, friend!" - Finni

"You're like my giant teddy, because I love you SO much! Am I your teddy bear too?" - Nico

The last two are perhaps my favorites... :)


P.S. I am thankful for good friends. Each Sunday, I have the chance to talk to friends from back in the states, and it makes me realize how blessed I really am for having the friends that I do in my life. I am one lucky girl.

Song of the Day: I know that I have a living prophet on the earth today... we all do. His name is Thomas S. Monson, and if we heed to his words, we will grow to be happier people. He loves us so much, as does our Savior, and our Heavenly Father. That is why we have a prophet here - because Heavenly Father loves us SO much and wants us to return to Him... a prophet teaches us how to do just that... So, with those words I leave you Spencer Mangum's arrangment of We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet. Enjoy... :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Germans Know How To PARTY!

If you had any doubts in your mind, rest assured that Germans do in fact, know how to party... hard. Haha! This past weekend I stayed in Darmstadt for a church YSA Convention involving young adults from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. I was a bit nervous because of the language barrier I have, but true to most Germans I have met so far, many of the others there could speak English, and were understanding that my German is... struggling. Haha! In fact, one boy I met this weekend told me, "No one is going to punch you or laugh at you if you mess up." Not true. When we experienced the laughter over my incorrect pronunciations and awkward sentence structures, I turned to him and said, "You said no one would laugh at me!" He smiled and said, "No one punched you." Thanks. Haha!

So, let me back up... I got there Friday night after a LONG trip there. Dana and I caught a train to Koblenz and met up with Mathias, a guy from our ward in Bonn, who offered to drive us the rest of the way. We were grateful and headed on our way as soon as we got there... Koblenz is a cool lookin' city though... It's just got a nice feel. I might head back up there before I leave here - why not?

After a small drive through the city to the autobahn, we were on our way... for awhile. Then, out of nowhere the car started smoking a bit and driving funny. We pulled over to see oil was leaking everywhere and the car wasn't exactly drive-able. We waited for around a half hour for someone to come tow the car and hook us up with a rental to finish our journey. They were actually really fast - I was impressed. So, after we got a new car, we headed the final stretch to Darmstadt. We arrived as the dance was "suppose to begin," but of course it took some time for it to get really started.

While we were waiting for the dance to really get kickin', Mathias and some others showed me Disco Fox - aka: German partner dancing. People dance to fast, slow, and anything in between with this basic triple-step system of dance that's really fun! I was into it, but my only complaint was waiting for the boys to ask me on fast songs... I just wanted to go out there and jam. So, Dana and I found others and we did JUST that. Haha! I have to say, the music at this dance was some of the best I've heard at a church dance. It was also the first time that I heard some swear words dropped in a church cultural hall - haha! They're European... they don't get the language completely... I think they missed a few of the words... maybe. Haha! It was also the first church dance I have been to that lasted past 1am! Europeans party HARD and we were in that cultural hall till around 3am! I was SO tired from dancing... but it was FABULOUS!

After only a few hours of sleep, I was back awake and heading to the church for classes and a four hour relay-race over a 4K distance. Haha! I was SO tired, but just kept myself going. In the morning I signed up for a Hip-Hop class... I loved that when they announced it they said, "Don't worry. The teacher is black." Haha! The teacher was excellent and SUCH a sick dancer... and really hot. Haha! I thought it was funny though, because some of the moves he was teaching were so basic to my dancing. I mean, he taught the running man and I was thinking, "Doesn't every kid learn this at age 5?" The other American girls I met there said similar things... I think hip-hop is just so embedded in our culture in America now, we assume it's ingrained into everyone else's culture, but it's not. I couldn't help but think, "This is why black guys say white men can't dance," when I was in that cultural watching people do the moves he was teaching... Haha! It was a lot of fun!

Afterward, I hung out with some Swiss girls I had met that morning and got to know them. We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out and I just loved these girls! They were hilarious and so sweet... I like the Swiss.

After lunch (Tacos - Mexican in Germany! Haha...), we were split into groups to compete in the "Space Race," which was four hours of little stations spread out over a 4K area through the woods and around the lake. We had row boat challenges, pyramid building, water balloon passes, tug-a-war, and mind games... but my favorite thing was the rope and Sumo suit challenge. There was a rope tied about five feet high and we had to get everyone over the rope and back as many times as we could in seven minutes... Sounds exhausting, right? Yea. Now, add in the factor of two individuals having to wear Sumo suits. YEA. It was fairly classic! The boys were great though... I had no desire to take part because I was a bit worried I would be heavy and they already had to lift to Sumo girls. However, the team leader convinced me to do it, and the boys would just pick me up and chuck me over. It was amazing... It was pretty great team work!

We headed back to the church EXHAUSTED and hungry, grabbed sandwiches, and went back to the schools we were sleeping at (a popular trend in Europe - renting schools for sleeping in at conferences for YSAs) to take showers, change, and sneak in a power nap. It was perfect because the dance that followed, though this one ended at 12am (the Sabbath day), was intense and crazy. I haven't had that much fun at a dance in a long time! The music was hip-hop and house music, and it was perfection. I found my Swiss girls and just jammed out... I took some breaks to visit with people and because I was fairly exhausted. Haha! I haven't had such little sleep and so much physical activity in a weekend since EFY - haha!

The next morning was an early rise to get out of the school by a certain time and get over to the church for Relief Society and Abenmahl - Sacrament Meeting. I was fading a little during the talks because it took not only the effort to stay awake, but also the effort to listen and translate what was being said... It's not such an easy task on a dead mind. Just sayin'. Haha!

After sacrament meeting we all met outside for a group picture (Dana and I were totally unserious during all of them - haha!) and lunch. Let me tell you, we had a fun little group for our lunch meeting... Good times right there. "How does your throat not hurt?" - Haha!
We headed into the church when lunch was through to find seats for the fireside and were REALLY lucky to squeeze onto the second row... because Elder Russell M. Nelson and his wife were definitely there to speak to us, in the flesh. Haha! It was SO cool! They had great things to say and changed my perspective on a few things in my life for the better... and it made me SO excited for General Conference. It's only about two weeks away and I could not be more excited. I know that we have a living prophet today on this earth, and that man is President Thomas S. Monson... and I am so thankful that I will be able to hear from him and the apostles, so that I can know how to make the right changes in my life. I am a blessed girl.

Dana, Mathias, and I headed home pretty quick after the fireside and I was glad because I was SO tired! Haha... I fell asleep for a little while in car, but it was hard to sleep on the autobahn. I can't explain it, but I get a bit nervous sometimes driving where the speed limit ceases to exist. Haha!

I am so glad that I went and really glad that I had to chance to get to know Dana and Mathias a bit more. They are two really chill, good people... Overall, it was a FABULOUS weekend! Germans know how to dance and party hardcore, and I'm just sad I didn't hit up more of these things throughout my time here. Live and learn! :)

Song of the Day: This is a song that is played at dances here a lot and I'm in LOVE with it - SO fun! Here's Yolanda Be Cool and DCup, with We No Speak Americano. Haha! Creative music video too - Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Nicolo Picolo!

I need to better about blogging, because otherwise, I don't record the things that happen in my life... except in the form of pictures. I always take a ton of pictures... of everything. All the same, it would be nice to have more written accounts of things in my life. I should be better with a journal too, and record my personal emotions that I don't wish to share with the cyber-world.
With that, this past weekend was Nicholas's 7th Birthday! We threw him a grand party with a dinosaur theme including an archeological dig (Patrick and I dug holes by the beach and filled them with plaster fossils and plastic dinosaurs) and kits, games, and a GIANT volcano cake. The cake was built with a round cake and a bunt cake together, was complete with dirt-colored frosting, sugar strip lava, and was surrounded by candy grass, a licorice river, plastic dinosaurs, powder sugar & sprinkle ash, and gummy eggs (I added later) in frosting & cornflake nests. Yea. I MADE that cake - BOOYAH! Haha... I felt mighty creative after I was finished and even found little trees and boulders from the boy's toy boxes to place around the cake, on the candy grass. Don't you wish you could have had this cake at YOUR 7th birthday party? It's okay if you also wish you could have this cake at your 27th birthday party... Perhaps, you will.

In other news, during the birthday weekend one of the old nanny's for the family, Melissa Sunday, came to visit with her husband, Brandon. Can I just say, what an amazing couple!? They are so great to each other and both beautiful and kind-hearted people. I had such a positive feeling around them, and I loved having them around for a little while. One cool thing was that Luise was here before her mission, while Melissa was here as a nanny, and so they were friends already. I just fit into the puzzle perfectly and it was nice to click so easily with someone.

After a visit on Saturday night, and church on Sunday, we all met again for a trip with the family to Dracenfals Castle! It's above Konigswinter just a bit, so not too far from where we are in Bonn... near the aquarium I took the boys to before if you'd like some reference point for any reason. We rode the tram down to Konigswinter and then walked up through the city a bit before getting to the base of the mountain-side where the oldest cog-train in Europe stands to take one up the mountain to the castle and manor. We rode all the way to the top (where the castle is) and then walked down, stopping at the manor, reptile house, and selected look-out points. It was fabulous! It was beautiful out and made me SO excited for Fall season to start! The view was BEAUTIFUL from the top -SO magnificent - where you could see all the way to Koln and the cathedral! I could just imagine how it will be during the Fall... GLORIOUS! Luise and I plan to venture to the top again when the leaves begin to change color, and I could not be more excited.


Song of the Day: Oh, how I wish I could suggest an entire ALBUM for one to listen to! Oh, wait... It's my blog. I can do just that! Haha... Sara Bareilles's new album, Kaleidoscope Heart, came out yesterday and I got it right away by the means possible here in Germany, and fell in love with it instantly. The entire thing is so different from her last album, and yet in comparison to the former record, I still love each track on this album- just like the last one. I can't really choose a song to put on here, but here's one to check out - thoguh you SHOULD listen to the entire thing! Really. Here's a favorite performed LIVE, Uncharted. My favorite line - "
Compare, where you are to where you want to be, and you'll get nowhere." Enjoy!!!

Sidenote: This is in regards to someone else's blog... but I liked the thought I had after reading it.

"As I go through life, I realize how many of the "un-cool" and "cool" lines fade and redraw themselves, only to fade again... and it's never of lasting consequence. You're always a dork to someone. You're always really cool to someone else. What matters, is what you think of yourself." - Linze