February Break, Alps and Florida

For the February break, we opted for a divide and conquer approach. Larry needed to work for most of the week, and both Elliot and Larry wanted to learn to ski.  Merrie had no desire to try the slopes, and both she and I wanted some sun and warmth.  It had also been too long since I had seen (in person) my mom and dad. So the boys headed to the Alps and Merrie and I headed to Florida.

Continue reading February Break, Alps and Florida

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These two have become thick as thieves

img_2367One of the benefits of this relocation has been how close Elliot and Meredith have become as they both have become older. They both have a nice group of friends from school, but over the past year they have become better friends with each other.

Last night, the kids continued the dinner conversation even after everyone was done eating. They kept talking while they did the dishes. They continued talking well after that, too. Their discussion was about the constitution (tho it definitely wandered in many political and ideological directions).  And while it was mostly Elliot in the role of teacher, Meredith was far from a passive learner. She was engaged. She questioned and she challenged. She brought up good points and she stopped him from verbally steamrolling her (something he’s always working to improve with everyone).

I was off doing my own thing, but occasionally I picked up snippets as I passed through. It all made me smile. But the part that sent me over the moon was when I heard the very familiar strains of School House Rock’s “Preamble” floating through the house. I was a proud mama at that moment. (and it’s still stuck in my head). When I went downstairs later in the evening to wish them goodnight, I found them on their beanbag chairs happily watching a movie together.

I know that sometimes she is just humoring him. More often than not his passions are not in her wheelhouse. I know that sometimes he is over protective, and sometimes they just drive each other crazy. But they also really look out for each other. They take care of each other. It looks like they are on a path to be really great friends with each other for the rest of their lives.  I don’t know that I could ask for more.

They lose their sh*t; I lose my mind

For the past 3-6 months, my kids are constantly misplacing or losing things. Important things. Expensive things. I’m not talking umbrellas or paperbacks (tho, those have been lost too). I’m talking keys, phones, wallets, train tickets, money, IDs, jackets, earbuds, hats, thermoses, computer chargers, razors, phone chargers. You name it, they are losing it. Like little costly breadcrumbs, trails of Underhill possessions are scattered everywhere. Berlin, Starnberg, Switzerland, on the trains, at the school. Continue reading They lose their sh*t; I lose my mind

Boy, it’s quiet around here

Elliot left yesterday morning for a 5 day bike trip with his class starting in Passau, GermanIMG_7400y, following the Danube, and ending in Vienna, Austria. (raise your hand if, like me, you wish you could do this trip).

Needless to say, with him gone, it’s pretty quiet around here. There’s been no talk of politics or political correctness for over 24 hours. But there’s also been  fewer jokes, puns, comedy (both the successful and failed varieties) and laughter in general.

We miss this froody dude. Even Merrie, who enjoys being an only child, admits she misses her brother. We are looking forward to hearing all about the trip when he gets home on Saturday.

Elliot’s birthday

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I realize I’m a little behind on posting pictures. Unfortunately, in scrolling through my camera roll, most of my pictures are of lists of things we need or possible furniture ideas from the different stores (Ikea, Roller, Momax, Masions du Monde, etc). But there are a few to share. Here are the pictures from Elliot’s birthday celebration, well, at least the first half.  The second half involved an amazing hike out of Garmish with Larry.  Larry has the pictures and the tales of their adventures which he will share soon. Not to steal his thunder — rather to build suspense, I will include the above picture (because I love it!) and a teaser story of Elliot Humperdinck who sleuthed around the scene of what appears to be a hare successfully hunted by a big cat dog (thanks, Todd for your help).

Elliot’s birthday was pretty low key, per his request. He chose Vietnamese for the meal, and let me tell you: the restaurant (a mere 10 minute walk) was out of this world delicious!  When we got home from dinner we gave him his presents, which included a t-shirt from his sister and a bag full of American junk food goodies that he had been missing and craving. Top of that list was his coveted A1 Steak Sauce (I try not to judge). The next morning, his actual birthday, I cooked him his favorite breakfast: bacon, eggs, and toast with homemade jam. That afternoon, he also got to make a wish on his birthday krapfen (we haven’t found any cakes, per se, yet).  Then Sunday was the Man Hike in the Alps… but that’s a story for a different writer.

Advent Calendar 2015

This marks the end of another Advent Calendar season.

As you may or may not know, one of the rules for Advent Calendar is that before they get to open a drawer, they need to write something for which they are grateful or thankful. Without commentary or edits, here are this year’s gratitudes.   From all of us to all of you, may your holiday season be filled with gratitude, humility, peace, and laughter.  Continue reading Advent Calendar 2015