Sunday, 28 March 2010

Alexander's New Bike

Alexander's birthday present was a new bike. In the past 5 months he has had a growth spurt, and his old bike was now too small for him. The seat couldn't go up any further.
Finally all the snow has melted, and the weather is getting better for bike rides. Today was the first day of getting the bikes out and riding to Wannsee. He loves his new bike!

A quick rest on the way home.

Cameron's almost ready for the next size up too....probably only another 6 months to go for him!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Easter Decorations

The snow has all melted, and we have finally put our winter jackets away after 4 months of constantly wearing them.
Time for Easter decorations. I love the German tradition of buying branches with buds on them, decorating the branches and then waiting for the buds to blossom.
I have collected some lovely egg decorations since we have arrived.

I hope I can keep this tradition alive when we return to Australia. The only question is, where will I get budding branches in our Autumn season?

That's Not a Knife!!

We had a dramatic morning to begin our week.

Cameron was out of bed, breakfasted and ready for school. He unloaded the dishwasher and refilled it, and decided to get the lunches ready as well.

Out came the bread knife, and through the middle finger. There was blood all over the floor, bench and wall.
We got it wrapped in a face washer, and Cameron held onto it really tightly. We quickly got Alexander ready for school, and shuffled him downstairs to Antje and Thorsten to sit in their living room until the bus arrived, and I took Cameron to the emergency department in the hospital, which is only 3 blocks walk away from our house. (Phil was in transit on his way home from Dublin).
Luckily it was only .6cm deep, and the doctor said he could either put 1 stitch in, or use the magic glue. We opted for the magic glue, much quicker and less painful.
Home by 10am, floors, benches, and walls cleaned and now blood free. I was glad Phil didn't have an earlier flight, we left the house in a bloody mess, and he would have had no idea what had happened....
Home for the day, incase he knocks it at school. I have taught him how to play backgammon, and he is already great at it!.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Chocolate Ornaments.

Cameron's class had a chef come into the classroom to show them how to do some cooking. One of the things that really interested Cameron was making chocolate ornaments, and he was keen to make some at home.

Cameron showed us how to make the paper cones to put the melted chocolate in. Then cut the corner of the cone and start to decorate.

Cameron's tray of decorations.

Alexander's tray of decorations.

Once the decorations were finished, the rest of the chocolate was eated out of the paper cones....with a lot of mess!
The finished result was delicious on top of ice cream!

Icy Lake, Dead Fish, Travel Show, more snow...

With no ice skating today, we decided to get out in the "Frische Luft", and go for a walk around Lietzensee.

The lake was still frozen, but the weather has been warming up, and thin layers are visible. Even when it is fairly solid, none of us want to walk on the lakes.

As we walked around the lake, we kept seeing dead fish, and some of them were huge. We are not sure whether there is a problem with toxins in the lake, or perhaps these are the fish that have died in the super freezing weather we have had this Winter, and now that the lake has started to thaw, the fish have floated to the surface??

After our walk, we stopped at a cafe for a really crappy cup of coffee. Then we headed off to the International Travel Show at the ICC. We got some great information about Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the kids got some freebies as we walked around.

We walked back home, and just as we stepped in the door, the skies opened up and it has started to snow again heavily.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Birthday Week. Part 4. The Finale...

Alexander wasn't sure what to do for his birthday this year. Phil suggested go-karting and Alexander loved this idea! Phil found an indoor track where he had driven a few years back and booked for 10 kids (He was a little sad it wasn't 10 kids and one keen dad!). The indoor track makes sense in early March, as the temperatures are often below zero and snow is still about.

Ten kids enjoying the pre-race drinks and snacks.

Getting prepared..

Emily is ready to burn some rubber.

Ready to drive. It may have been indoor, but jackets and gloves were a must, it was freezing!

Get your motors running....

From cautious beginnings, the kids quickly got the hang of it.

Practicing for the awards ceremony - Cameron was the fastest in the first leg

Ready for their second drive

Excitedly checking the results on the TV monitors.

They had a fabulous time! Here are the 10 kids after the medal ceremony. It sounds like most of the kids will be back for their birthday parties here throughout the year.

(Back row L-R: Emily, Kirsten, Alexander, Cameron, Myron, Toby, Bradley, Front row: Harry, Isaiah, Lynes)

So that's the birthday week over for this year.
Final count for cooking...2 cakes, 92 cupcakes, 23 eggs cracked, and no idea how much butter, sugar, flour and icing sugar was used.

Ice Skating for the last season...the end of a Sunday ritual

Our last skate.

The first Sunday in March represents the last Sunday of skating at Horst Dohn Eisstadion. Since 2005, it has been a happy routine to meet friends there at 10am on a Sunday morning, skate and chat, stop for a coffee, and do a bit more skating.

As this is our last year in Berlin, there was a touch of nostalgia about this particular Sunday - it would be the last one of its type for us in Berlin (the first of many 'lasts'..). From the first days in 2005 until today, we have all improved and Alexander adn Cameron have really grown. Below are some photos from each year.





Some very happy memories.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Birthday Week. Part 3.

HAPPY 11th Birthday to Alexander...on Tuesday.

Alexander's dinner request was for Apricot Chicken Curry and Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Cloud Cake.....

After dinner it was time to make more cupcakes for school on Wednesday for a cake stall