Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Geno and Mommy's Trip to Jukerfarmart

Geno and I decided to drive about an hour away to take a look at the Jucker Farm outside of Zurich. We have been told that they sell many pumpkins, gourds, squashes, and have a theme where they create statues out of pumpkins for all to see. This years theme was dinosaurs. Throughout the farm, you could see very intricate designs of dinosaurs made out of all sizes of pumpkins and they even had a pumpkin throne you could sit on.

Geno specifically liked the croissants and apple cider as well as playing in the hay maze created. Above is a slideshow of pictures from our day at the farm where I brought home pumpkins and pumpkin beer.

Family Trip to Bescanon France

Besacon France was a great trip. We spent time shopping as well as touring the Citadel where we saw several museums such as the most visited one, The French Resistance Museum. It is here where we saw actual Nazi regime china, original swastikas and stars of david as well as ration cards and several other memorabillia. To date, this was the best exhibit I have seen on the Holocaust and if you have the chance to see it, it is worth the stop.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Come in Star Commander!

Geno latest fixation is on Toy Story movies. He loves all of the characters and can recite the lines word for word. His favorite character is Buzz Light Year who is a space ranger whose catchphrase is "to infinity and beyond." Buzz Light Year is given to a young kid as a present, and the other toys are worried that they will be replaced if the toy is more special. This makes the cowboy toy named Woody nervous and tries to make Buzz Light go away. The other side note is that all of the toys realize they are toys, except for Buzz Light Year who really thinks he is a space ranger.

Geno will walk around the house pretending that he, too, is a superhero like Buzz Light Year. Today I bought him some pajamas with Buzz Light Year and he couldn't wait to get them on. When we were at the store last week, he saw the life size action figure of Buzz Light Year and this has become a great reward to dangle in front of him to be good until his birthday.

School is going well for him at Children's World which is a montessori based preschool in a bilingual environment. He is well liked and has several friends. His teacher has told me that he understands everything said to him in German and it will be just a matter of time until he speaks German as well.

He is still in speech therapy, but the focus has shifted away from speech and more on his fine motor skills. He still has some difficulty in cutting and holding a pencil, but in time that will come around too.

Overall, he is just a well rounded, secure, physical three and a half year old boy.

Coretta's New Haircut

Since Coretta has had the last week off from school, we decided to have a Mom/Daughter Day in Zug. That would include starting our morning at Starbucks, getting her hair done, shopping, and having lunch. Coretta bought a Snoopy t-shirt, a winter hat, and some leather boots. I love being able to have this time alone with my special girl. It can be hard when the weeks get busier and busier, but such a priority. By next year when she is in middle school, I will have to pencil in time to spend with her. I cherish this time more than she realizes. I love you Coretta.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Family Trip to Annecy France

Last week, the family and I went to Annecy France for the weekend. Annecy is supposed to be the "Venice" of France and it did bnot disappoint. It had the same quaintness and charm with the canals and bridges connecting the city together. The first day, was quite rainy, and in genuine Bieter style, no one brough an umbrella. We must have walked around the city for a good five hours and were soak and wet. A little rain wasn't going to get us down or dampen our mood. We spent time down by the lake, shopping, and taking in the architecture and beauty.

That night, we ate at the Novotel Cafe which was located in our hotel and we were pleasantly surprised. Coretta had the pesto penne that was delicious, Geno had his favorite German sausages, and Nick and I had the hamburger served with roasted tomatoes and cheese placed in the middle of what resembled the texture and appearance of a potato pancake. The thai curry chicken soup was good and the kids loved the dessert. While we waited for our food, Geno was able to go out in the lobby and play XBOX 360 with some friends he made at the hotel.The best thing about playing this video game was that the game they were featuring was from Toy Story 3 and featured Geno's new idol, Buzz Light Year.

The next day, we had breakfast in the cafe, and headed back into the old cobblestoned streets of the old town looking for the Chateau we read about. We found the chateau, but sadly they didn't open until 2 pm, so we opted to walk around some more and take pictures.

Although this wasn't the typical type of vacation we take, it was thoroughly enjoyable by all and must needed escape from reality. Below are some photos from our trip.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Coretta's Presentation on Peace and Conflict

Coretta had her fifth grade dinner presentation at school, and we all attended this event. It was called a "dinner party" but they didn't actually serve food. Thank goodness Coretta informed me of this ahead of time, because many families thought that food was going to be served and didn't eat.

Once there, the teachers explained how the fifth graders unit of inquiry this past month was on peace and conflict. There assignment was to find a world leader that falls into that category and write information about them. Thy then created a placemat that highlighted symbols that would represent that leader. It was then the parents job to guess which world leader they had picked. This was an interesting assignment where we saw projects on Theodore Roosevelt, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Florence Nightingale, and Martin Luther King just to name a few.

Coretta chose to do hers on Martin Luther King. Recently Coretta also had school conferences and her teacher Ms. Graham stated that she is a natural leader. She stated that Coretta works hard in school and is very mature for her age. Coretta is currently the student council representative, in martial arts, campus choir, piano, and guitar. Amazingly enough, she still has time to hang out with friends and doesn't seem overwhelmed.

Keep up the good work Coretta! We are so proud of you!

Geno and Cameron's Play Date

Geno had an early play date with Cameron this morning because Cameron's Mom was going to Paris. Cameron arrived at 6:30 am and they have been going strong ever since. They have been riding bike, playing with cars, play-dough, and watching movies.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Coretta Makes the Campus Choir

Coretta is already in both piano and guitar, but has always enjoyed singing. This year she decided to audition for the International School of Zug Campus Choir. This is the top choir at the school and they travel all over Switzerland singing and performing. According to the music director, they auditioned well over 100 students and could only choose ten. I am pleased to report that Coretta has made the campus choir and we are so very proud of her.

It somewhat reminds me of the television show Glee because they sing and dance. The first piece they are working on is Kahuna Matata by the Lion King. She has a small solo part in the beginning of this song and she sings as a soprano. They have rehearsals every Tuesday for two hours after school for the rest of the year. I can't wait to go to her first performance.

Nick turns 37 Years Old

Nick turned 37 years old yesterday, and although he didn't want anything including acknowledgement of the day, he surprised himself in how much fun he actually had. The day before his birthday we had a family celebration, since he had class that night. I made spicy thai food and his favorite, carrot cake.

He strictly stated to me that there was a no present rule, but I can never hold to that rule. Nick opened up his presents which were simple and funny. Coretta bought him a big bag of snickers because he tends to have one a day and has become a running joke at our house. Geno made him a card and a photo frame of him in his costume with the magazine title "Super Dad." Mom then made another magazine cover with Charlie and Coretta which he could hang in his office.

The actual day of his birthday, his good friend Bob took him out for lunch and his other close friends Christian and Dave took him for beer and hamburgers at the pub. We followed this up with watching his favorite movie of all time, American Beauty.

Days like these make turning a year older a little easier. We love you Nick!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Geno and Mommy's Trip to the Open Air Museum in Ballenberg

Geno, Cameron, Brittany, and I decided to have a mountain adventure yesterday and travelled to the Ballenberg Open Air Museum in Hofstetten Switzerland. We left around 10 am and drove approximately on hour through beautiful countryside and mountains. Once there, we paid for our tickets and then decided to take the carriage ride down the path. The boys really enjoyed this a lot.

Once off the carriage, we walked around the grounds stopping to check out the old architecture, animals, pottery, and had the best alpine macaroni I have ever had. The kids enjoyed playing at the park on the grounds as well as seeing goats, donkeys, chickens, bunnies, cows, pigs, and roosters. Geno even jumped in the pig barn and started petting the pigs.

The Open Air Museum has several things for people to see including witnessing what life was like in 1500s to present day. You are able to watch them make handcrafts such as baking, Bobbin-lace making, chip-box making, chocolate production, embroidery, making cheese and many more.

It was a great day surrounded by mountains, friends, and beautiful scenery. Well worth the trip. Here's the link to the site: Ballenberg Museum

Monday, October 4, 2010

Coretta's Hollywood Birthday Sleepover

This past weekend, Coretta had her birthday party with six of her friends. It was a themed party where the guests were asked to dress like their favorite pop star, book character, or fairy tale. Her friends all came dressed in costume and it was quite fun. We had girls dressed up as a film director, Hannah Montanna, Katy Worhal from a book series, Princess Diana, Brittney Spears, and Alice in Alice in Wonderland.

When the guests all arrived, I had them write a persuasive speech telling everyone who they were dressed as and why they should be voted as the best costume. The girls jumped right into their characters and were very creative. Coretta's friend Daisy one the trophy and they seemed to think that was "cool."

We then played Pin the Lips on Miley Cyrus which was also fun. No one was able to place the lips in the right place and were spun 11 times (the age of Coretta). When Geno had his turn, he peeked through the blindfold and put his lips right on her boob. Doesn't surprise me. Thats my son. For better or for worse he seems to have a boob fetish. My question is whether he will grow out of it anytime soon or at all for that matter.

Each guest, including Coretta, and Geno took their turn walking the red carpet and posing for the paparazzi which was fun as well. From these photos I created a magazine covver with their photo from the computer and each girl received a white board/memo board with a photo of them all together at the party.

We then played musical chairs and freeze dance where the winners were given a choice in prizes ranging from books, pop star posters, and candy.

The girls ate pizza and tortellini and had chocolate cake and ice cream for dessert. After dinner they decided to go out side. I made the mistake of saying Have fun "playing outside." Coretta quickly stated that "Mom we don't play, we hang out." Welcome to the start of the never ending teenage years. I can't believe she will be in middle school next year.

They then put their pajamas on and watched the 2004 movie called Sleepover and Nick made popcorn for them to share. The girls tried to stay up as late as they could, but unfortunately the first couple girls started to fall asleep at 10:30 pm with the rest falling asleep at 1:00 am.

Coretta said this was the best birthday yet and surprisingly enough Nick and I had a lot of fun too.

Geno and Mommy's Hike In Engelberg Switzerland

Geno has this week off of school for holiday, so we decided to drive about an hour and a half away and go hiking in Engelberg Titisee. We arrived around noon, took the funicular up, then a cable car, and decided to start with lunch. A nice and big helping of alpine macaroni. For those of you who are not familiar with this Alpine treat, it consists of penne style pasta, cubed potatoes, bacon and cheese served with a side of applesauce.

Once we finished our lunch, Geno and I walked around the Trube See. The funicular to the top of Titisee was closed due to the high winds, so we explored Trube See and were not dissapointed. Geno and I hiked for two hours taking in the scenery and landscape of beautiful mountains, vegetation, and lake.

The winds were the only complaint. From Geno, that is. At first he found it quite funny how the wind would almost knock him over, but close to the end of the hike he was crying and saying "I want Gabriel" who is one of Coretta's friends and his catch phrase for any time he needs comfort.

Geno and I had fun on our mountain adventure. I look forward to the rest of the week and where our travels will take us.