Category Archives: Sophie

Eastern Europe- Christmas 2015: Part 4- Berlin

The train ride to Berlin was one of our longest rides, about 5 hours, the girls did a great job on the train.  Apparently train rides are better than plane rides, they can get up and walk around, they aren’t strapped down, it is so nice!


We arrived in Berlin got situated and Grammy and Gramps arrived as we were checking into our house.  The girls were excited!  We caught up,. visited and then let them nap while we went grocery shopping.  That night we visited our first of many Berlin Christmas Markets.  This one was in a courtyard, and supposedly very traditional.  It was cute, but SO, SO crowded.  the girls got to shoot plastic darts at the castle invaders and won some prizes.  i was disappointed that this was the first market we showed Kelly and Gerry, but it was fun, and we knew we had several more to visit throughout the week.  Besides, we got our delicious potato pancakes with applesauce… YUM!

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The next morning we headed out to Checkpoint Charlie.  This was the spot during the Cold War that America controlled and allowed passage through the Berlin Wall.  We visited a nearby site where there was a part of the Wall left, and then a couple museums about the Cold War, the most interesting parts for me were the stories about escape attempts- people did some crazy things to get out of East Berlin.

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Our next stop was the Berlin Wall Memorial.  This is the biggest remaining chunk of the Wall.  There also was a statue that has matching statues in Salisbury UK and Japan… I had visited the monument in England and Jeff had visited the one in Japan, kind of cool.  It was so interesting to see and learn about all the history in Berlin.

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That night we visited a Christmas Market within walking distance of our house.  We had our favorite dish of the Christmas Market tour there… pitas with shaved pork and onions, yogurt sauce and cabbage… holy goodness, I wish I could eat it again!  The girls got to play a few more games and we ate our hearts out until we rolled ourselves home!

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Our next day took us to the Reichstag, which is the Parliament building in Berlin.  The views were great from the top!  Then we walked over to the Brandenburg Gate.  We ate at Jeff’s current travel favorite, Hard Rock Cafe and visited the Lego Store and then we headed to third Berlin Christmas Market… we had goulash, hot dogs in BBQ sauce and Jeff took the girls tubing down a big fake hill (no pictures, it was too dark).  The night before during the duck game Hattie won a pirate set and walked around all day with her pirate sword saying “Arrrrg!”  It was adorable!

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Eastern Europe Christmas 2015- Part 3: Nuremberg

Our next stop was Nuremberg.  We checked into our hotel, admired their Christmas tree and then headed out to the Christmas Market.  We had delicious sausages, and this delicious pork sandwich with mustard grilled onions, and it was divine!  The girls scrounged and had whatever looked good to them, corn and chocolate covered fruit and a myriad of other food!

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The next day we headed to the Documentation Center and learned a whole lot about Hitler’s rise to power and the trials.  Nuremberg is the location of all those photos of Hitler in the stadium with the flags behind him and the troops in front.  The history was super cool, and a little disturbing.  We walked back to the hotel and got lunch at a cute German restaurant, the only place we ate where the staff didn’t speak perfect English.  Afterwards we headed to the American theater to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  It was fabulous!  Opening day, no crowds, no more than 20 people in the theater, and the lady brought us our drinks and popcorn to our seats!  Hattie fell asleep first things and woke up as the credits were rolling.  The theater owner even gave us a pillow and blanket for her nap!

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We headed back to the Christmas Market, walked through the castle and ate dinner again… this time enjoying Nuremberg sausages, which were our favorite.  We ended the night with a bunch of giant chocolate covered marshmallows!

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The next day we were off to Berlin!


Eastern Europe Christmas 2015- Part 2: Frankfurt and our First Christmas Market

We took the red-eye out of Joburg and landed in Frankfurt at 6:30 AM… we hoped to check into our hotel quickly, but it took a few hours.  After we checked in, napped and showered we were ready to visit our first Christmas Market.  It didn’t disappoint.  The atmosphere was so festive, the food was delicious and abundant and the number of fun things to see and explore were innumerable.  It was great.  We had bratwursts and steak sandwiches made on a giant grill, kinderpunsch (the obsession began) and chocolate pretzels the size of our heads.  Delicious and fun!  What a great way to start our vacation.

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Eastern Europe 2015- Part 1: Johannesburg

I know that the title doesn’t make sense, Joburg isn’t in Eastern Europe, but it IS where we started our trip… as always.  We got to spend a couple days in Joburg finishing our Christmas shopping and getting yourselves in the holiday spirit.  We were just so excited for our vacation and a trip with so much cool stuff to do.  While in Johannesburg we visited the Garden of Lights, it was a lovely display, and the girls loved their light up wands more than almost anything they saw!

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Get ready for some serious blog overload, it is coming your way over the next bit… aren’t you so excited?!?!

Pre-Christmas 2015

Because we were going to be tripping around on trains, planes and automobiles (just kidding, no cars, just taxis, buses, trams and others) during our Christmas trip we decided to have all the girls open their presents from Jeff and I before we left, we just didn’t need more stuff to haul around Europe!

So the weekend before we left we had a little Christmas celebration.  We watched Home Alone (1 and 2) and had homemade hot chocolate (I will never make it another way again) and opened several presents.  The girls loved it, and it made the trip a whole lot easier for us, without having to ruin Santa and his day.

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This was the year of homemade gifts… the girls got at least 1 homemade gift.  Sophie got a pineapple quilt (the pineapple craze hasn’t left her life yet), Violet got a doll with a variety of clothes, and Hattie got a bunch of peg dolls (our family and her Frozen friends).  We had a lot of fun, and the girls seemed to like everything, always a plus!

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After all that Christmas fun there wasn’t anything left to do but pack and leave on our exciting trip!  We couldn’t wait1

Aerial, Ballet and Cute Girls

A few other pictures that needed to be shared before we leave for vacation!

I went to one of Sophie’s aerial classes to see her progress and was amazed at how strong she has gotten and what a good job she is doing.  So fun to see her learn grow and like this new skill.

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Violet had her last couple days of ballet, so we had to get a couple pictures of the group, they are such cute kindergarteners!

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I had to take a few pictures in front of the Christmas tree, we had a lot of, “hold still” and “just smile for one second” before we got this… but hey, one cute pictures is fun!


Santa Claus in Monte Belo!

We had cookie decorating and a Santa visit here in MB again this year.  As a special treat the ballet class performed before Santa arrived, and they did great!  It was pretty adorable, and they were so excited to be there and not scared at all.  It was a lot of fun, and all their friends got to cheer for them.  There were so many kids there this year… at least 3 times the number from other years!  It was just utterly a mad house in there!  Hattie wanted nothing to do with Santa, she sat on Jeff’s lap, far away from the action and then flipped out when she had to get near him… we like the torture and took a picture anyways!

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Always an adventure with these girls!




End of Term Parties!

The room moms were super on top of things this year and planned end of term parties for the Year 4 and Year 1 kids.  They presented the teachers with their presents and then had a TON of food for the kids, all held during snack time.  It was a lot of fun to go and see the girls play with their friends, and get some pictures of them all together… I think I am getting all nostalgic here, who knew that would happen!?!

For Sophie each parent brought food to share for all 3 classes, the amount of food was insane!  Here are some pictures of Sophie and Molly, and then Sophie with Mafalda, Alissa and Stella.  It has been nice having more girls move here, her age group has been overwhelmingly male since we arrived!

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Violet’s Year was mostly organized by room moms, we had a good amount of cupcakes and then a whole bunch of other treats showed up, she definitely didn’t eat her lunch that day… she ate at least 3 muffins… but better muffins than cupcakes, right?  A few of Vi with her buddies, Miranda and Hayley and one of her with Henry.

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MB Thanksgiving 2015

This was my last year organizing the Thanksgiving here at MB (seriously… I don’t care what else happens, Jeff will kill me if I ever do this again!).  Luckily, I had my friend Roxanne helping me co-chair everything… as always, the event was fabulous and the tables were great!  The hostesses always do a great job decorating their tables, and no matter how different they are they are always beautiful and make the event a success!  This year I remembered to take pictures of all the tables, so I could share them.

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This year I decorated a table with Lisset, we had too much fun.  We visited the local fabric store and bought the fabric for our tablecloth and runner and pooled together resources from our houses… jars from everywhere, lights from me, cute crates from her and a whole lot of flowers from all over the neighborhood.  I loved how it turned out!

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As always I didn’t take enough pictures once the party started, but I did get one of the kids and our table… so at least I took some!

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Math Expert Teacher Sophie!

The Math coordinator for the PYP had a coffee morning to explain the math program to the parents and discuss the approach they have in IB, the differences between traditional (old) practices and answer any questions the parents might have.  As part of the discussion they had set up stations for all 6 years.  Each station had students from each year to teach us what they have been learning.  Some years played games, some showed us their learning, some taught us lessons… and each station was run by the students.  Sophie was asked to be at the Year 4 station.  It was cute, all the students had tags that said their names and Expert Teacher underneath.  Adorable, and well worth it, as it helped me understand how she is learning to learn, always appreciated.

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