Wednesday, 10 October 2012

wow, it's been a long time...

My summer was very busy - there was a vacation, my son started first grade and I went back to university. Right now, I have some time between lectures and it feels like I can come up to breathe again. I'm very sorry for not being here - but if you want to get a hold of me, my facebook page is always open :-)

We had a great time at the Hobbit Fest - a friend organizes these ridiculously detailed and amazing parties just for her family, our family and a couple of friends. We dressed up as hobbits, too - I actually made the dress I'm wearing !

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Empress Sisi on my Blog? I'm honored, your Majesty!

This beautiful little princess is going to australia - i took part in a dolly swap :-)

I will upload two new dolls today - a very cool and sporty boy and a sweet little berry of a girl :-D
Also - something new is coming in a few days - be sure to come back here or to check my facebook page


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Steam engine museum - we had a great time!

We did this quite a while ago and the kids had so much fun! We got to stand on a working steam engine, play with model trains - and the severe lack of visitors was a big bonus - no lines anywhere :-)

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Day nine - all our bags are packed, we're ready to go...

We enjoyed ur last day at the farm, said our goodbeyes,  packed up all of our things and left the farm around noon. We added a visit to the MostBirnHaus to see the awesome playground tjaz friends had told us about. It ended up being a lot of fun and we spent a very hot afternoon sitting in the shade, watching the kids get muddy in the sand pit...

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Day eight - pony express

One of the highlights of this vacation for me is interacting (and see the kids) interact with animals. I think i mentioned that i'm super allergic to everything that is even remotely hairy, so none of us have a lot of contact with animals at home, but since i'm taking high doses of antihistamines, i might qs well reap the benefits...
Katinka the horse is awesome - she's super patient :-)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Day seven - a day at the farm

Since this was a pretty typical day at the farm up until the point when we got a visitor, i thought I'd tell you how our days went by.
The kids wake up around seven and get dressed for breakfast while my husband and i still wait, that was a commercial... so, the kids wake up around seven and then shout at us until we get up, need help finding their socks etc.
We have breakfast with veggies from the greenhouse,  cheese and homemade jam and feed the leftover cucumber to Maxi the goat afterwards.  We get some food for the animals (dandilion leaves, mostly) and feed the bunnies, guinea pigs, ponies and goats. We usually take some animals outside, a couple of baby bunnies and the goats, perhaps.
The kids play at the playgroung while my husband and i laze around for a bit, maybe on one of the swings. At some point, one of us will go and get our guitars down so we can practise, Mr. Noodles will ride around on a bike for a while and both kids will help the farmer get the food for the cows.
We spent most of the day like this - helping a little, playing more. I highly recommend it :-)
A friend drove down from vienna today to play Dominion with us - we had a great time.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Day six - awwwww, cute!

A very cold and rainy day led to us spending most of the day inside playing chess and boardgames,  but we went to a different farm in the evening to see where the milk comes from - the kids were very excited, especially since they got to feed a tiny calf - it was less than 24 hours old :-)  the kids got to hold the bottle...

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Day five - learning to play chess - check :-)

Sunday as very, very hot. We spent the morning hanging around at the playground and rying out the pool  - but the water was still super cold, so nobody spent a lot of time in the water.
We headed to a public pool around noon and i swam over 1km at the pond.
We had a bbq back at the farm in the evening and finished up just before it started raining - and inside Mr. Noodles asked me to teach him how to play chess. He picked up all the rules right away and we ended up playing for quite a while ...

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Day four - Strawberry fields forever

The morning was very, very wet, but the rain didn't keep us away from the animals. We fed the cows and the chicken, played with Maxi the goat and discovered that some of the chilli plants in the greenhouse have small chillis on them already.

We wanted to look at some street parties by local volunteer fire departments, but they were not what we expected.
We know them as teeny tiny parties that go on all day, have some stuff for kids to do, let you look inside a fire truck or handle the big hose... this wasn't anything like it - they only started in the evening with booze and music...

So we went to a huge bakery instead where they let you bake your own roll, let you look into the factory and give you some free samples. The kids whre at the kids bakery and got to bake some stuff, too. After the tour was finished, i went to the nearby strawberry field to pick our own strawberries. I picked almost 3kg - thats six pounds!

We had dinner at 'altes presshaus' where we where a bit surprised by the food - we expected rustic and got fine dining - but it was really, really good.
See ya

Friday, 1 June 2012

Day three - learn to ride a bicycle - check :-)

Mr. Noodles learned how to ride a bike today. He practised with his balancing bike, but he's never been on a 'real' bike before. It took him less than ten minutes...

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Day two - so many animals!

And you know, as someone who is highly allergic to almost every animal, i have to say that antihistamines are an amazing invention...
Not all of the animals are allowed on the playground, but some of them are - right now we have two goats, three ponies, a bunch of guinea pigs and a couple of rabits out here - the kids love it! 

We had some heavy rain this morning, but now the sun is out and everything is awesome :-)

The kids are really getting the
free range treatment here - they run around as much as they want and basically come to us for food - this time there are more families here on vacaton and all the kids can play together.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

We're here!

We have arrived at the Kerndlerhof for our farm vacation. The kids felt at home right away - i don't think we'll see much of them for the next eight days...

I plan to keep you updated :-)


Friday, 20 April 2012

Homeschooling? Me?

I contemplated homeschooling my son - in this post i'm exlporing my reasons for it and how everything happened differently than i planned it

Hello there,

It looks like i’m not going to homeschool my son next year.
Let's step back and take a look at what happened and why I, who have NEVER considered homeschooling to be for anyone other than religious fundamentalists, seriously planned to do this in the first place.

1). The situation in viennese Schools isn’t the best overall, but our district is fairly catastrophic. I really don’t care where anyone comes from or where anyones parents come from, but i would like for all first graders to be able to speak the language that is used for teaching, thank you very much. If they don’t, they need to learn the language as quickly as possible to be able to understand their classmates and teachers. Yes, there should be a fund for that, that’s a good thing to spend tax money on. If there are a couple of kids that aren’t fluent in german, that’s no big deal. They will learn the language soon enough. But in the Schools that are closest to our home, there are perhaps two or three kids starting each year that ARE fluent in german, and no teacher in the world can teach 20+ kids in a language they don’t understand.

2). I know my kids need social contacts and the whole peer group thing is important, but i don’t like our district very much and i definetly don’t like its people. Is that really who i want my kids to hang out with and learn from?

3). I’ve seen with a couple of kids that the start of school stopped their fun they had with learning. My son is smart and interested in many things and i’m dreading the time where learning will become a chore for him. I would love for that point in time to be very, very far away. I have an examle of that – my friends daughter is very smart, but impatient and a bit of a wild child. She’s also very exact when it comes to coloring or glueing, so stuff like that takes a long time. The normal classroom situation is just not what she needs. She’s always behind and has to take work home that she didn’t finish in addition to her homework. She’s smart – it’s not like she can’t do the work, everything just takes soooo long because it has to be perfect and then she gets bored and distracted. It takes her two to three hours every day to get that stuff done. That girl is eight years old. She loves reading, but she doesn’t have the time to read much…

So, these were the main reasons for me to consider homeschooling, and i actually started preparing for it. I read so much, mostly things from mothers who homeschool, i had a couple of wonderful conversations with some fantastic people, and i was quite confident that i would be, in fact, able to pull this off. ’ So what changed?

1). I found a school that I actually like. It is fairly close and they have good tutoring programs for kids whose german isn’t too good, they start with english in first grade and they have a model class that i really, really liked. They teach the grades one through four in one classroom, with five to eight kids per grade. The kids have three to five years to finish the first four grades, and a lot of the work is Montessori based and the kids work things out for themselves.

2). My kids will have to learn to get along with all kinds of people, and while i would love to shelter them from all unleasant kids, i can not (and will not) do that. School is a somewhat controlled enviroment to meet these people and if things don’t work, there are grown ups to help.
3). I applied to the school, and even though there are only seven spots this year, we got one of them. My sons best friend is in the same class, she started last fall and their experience has so far been really good. The homework load is minimal and she can work at her own speed. I know my son will be really fast in math and slow when it comes to coloring, cutting or even writing. I hope he will not be judged on his weaknesses but his strengths in this class.
I am extremely happy we got in – but with a little bit of sadness mixed in. It would have been a great opportunity. I loved being there for my kids firsts – and now someone else gets to do this. We will continue our study time, i think – greatly reduced, maybe, but it’s not over completely.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

wordless wednesday

Tuesday treasury

We love going to medieval markets and festivals and the kids always dress up as knights. I put together a few things that every little knight or shieldmaiden might need :

keep crafting,

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Monday Meme

hi there, i decided to start taking part in some memes so y'all get to know me a little better. Come on over and join me, these things are so much more fun with more people :

Acting Balanced

so, here we go:

1. Finish this sentence - I dream of....
sleeping in on weekends :-) Seriously, sleeping in until 9 or so sounds amazing. Oh well, there's always mothers day :-)

2. If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?
Something that will take a while to eat - i'd go with an all you can eat salad bar, garlic bread and fresh made lemonade. If my grandmothers potato salad would be available, that would be awesome!

3. What was your favorite toy as a child?
I had a waldorf doll that my Mom made herself. she had blond braids and a pink dress and I called her Gretchen Margaretchen - and that name isn't much better in german, beleive me :-)  I got that doll for christmas, and while I had other toys that I loved, this one is the one that comes to mind first. I always loved books and I had a telescope that I adored, but my dolls and stuffed animals are still "there" when i close my eyes. many of them had really, really weird names...

4. What color looks best on you?
I know, I should probably say that earty colors look best on me, but I simply don't like wearing dark colors. I like bright colors and all shades of blue, too - the only thing i don't want to wear are pastels and yes, earthy tones...

 And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
(5) If you had a time machine, where would you go? (yes, I'm a nerd)
I would like to take several short jumps into the future to see what will happen to humanity and our planet...

keep creating,

Monday, 16 April 2012

Sweet strawberries

I did it - my daughter finally got the sweater I always wanted to make for her...
I  have wished for a while that my sewing skills would be good enough to tackle some bigger projects, preferrably clothing for my kids. Our son grows legs first - and combined with a desire to always slide on his knees and crawl into small  spaces, this leads to an extreme shortage of pants that  a) have legs that are long, b) a tiny waist and c) no holes at the knees... I already repaired/elongated lots of his old pants, but a couple of pairs of pants for Mr. Noodles are next on my list.
Anyway, I found this super cute Fabric - pink/red stripes and hearts in a nice cotton velour that I simply had to use for the Mouse Princess. I combined it with a couple of different greens I had at home and added some classic strawberry shortcake apliqué - vóilà, a new favourite :-)
She wants  to wear it all day, every day now :-)
keep creating, 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Project Run and Play Sew Along

Only a couple of hours left to post your sew-along projects for Project Run and Play - and here is mine :-)
The Task was to play with the this Pattern:
Dana's Circle Skirt Pattern
This is my version of it - Pattern mix in rainbow.  The Mouse Princess loves it :-)
I had a lot of fun with this pattern and it really is super, super easy to make. it doesn't take long to make at all - even with the modifications I made it took about 1 hour all in all.

I used quilting cotton and vintage (upcycled) sheets, and its still an awesome dance skirt. I HAVE to make it again with a flowy fabric to see what happenes...