We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~

Loehrmann Family Favorite Recipes

Monday, April 30, 2012

Always Something Happening

The fire engine roared up, two women firefighters jumped out, one hooked up a huge hose from the hydrant to the truck and started cranking open the hydrant valve. The hoses moved like snakes and when their drill was about done, one firefighter was out in the field sitting on the hose as it sprayed really high up into the air. All these little boys kept creeping one step closer, than another, until we actually ended up at the truck talking to the woman with "man arms" because she was so super buff. There was a guy with em with a stop watch, timing their drill, and they were so super nice, handing out stickers and plastic firefighter hats with which these Davis Fire Engines always seem equipped. At OP, it seems like there's always something going on!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

When someone else is behind the camera and offers to take our picture, I jump at the chance! Lukas' little friend Claire just turned one and Lukas was really excited to sing to her and give her a gift. He rode his bike the 1/2 mile to the park and was thrilled to down a few brownie cupcakes (HAVE to remember that idea: Baking brownies in cupcake papers!)

 By the time we got home his cheeks were so red from the heat, and from running around, that a jump in the pool was in order. Remember this picture from TWO YEARS ago?? We did redo pics of the flying boy, and I was thrilled that his new bathing suit came in the mail THIS day! It covers much of his super-whiteness that burns so easily, and lets him run around and play without all of us slathering him slippery silly all the time. He did lots of flying, lots of kicking at the sides, and even climbed out on the side all by himself- I didn't expect that at all. He's sure lucky that Jared would jump in with him (and practice all his skills from last year) since the water couldn't have been warmer than 60 degrees.

 Lukas and I capped off the day by heading to a park to play and hang out while another family celebrated a kiddo turning a year older, and he enjoyed a new space, got to see a huge spider, and crawled across lots of tires all by himself after a bigger boy from our ward showed him how (priceless!)
Helping Hands project + good nap + party + pool + playground = one pretty awesome day. (And one tired mom!)

Because there's Pink Ice Cream at the End

For the "Mormon Helping Hands" project this year, our stake went down to Winters to beautify some of its river areas. Lukas and I went, armed with apples, sandwiches, carrots and strawberries to keep him going. We pulled a ton of weeds around seedling trees, and packed mulch around them to keep the undergrowth from returning. Lukas' hard work included running up and down river banks, throwing rocks and large blades of grasses into the current.  Here you see him at the beginning, the middle and the end... so tired, and SO ready for that promised hot dog picnic lunch over at the church.  I felt like I was in the south, sitting under a tree as all the kids ran around on the thick green lawns, playing tag, some wielding sticks bigger than themselves, as some discovered the perch of old tired trees on the grounds. And why is it that a hot dog tastes SO amazing after a lot of work?! Please, pass that relish, this is the BEST FOOD EVER--- really? Did I say that? And the reward of all rewards, saved for things we need good associations with (always church and sugar right? Please. Where there are Mormons -ah, hem, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-- there is almost ALWAYS food... and almost always some sugary food.) and we had ourselves some yummy strawberry ice cream out of those little cups like in the elementary school lunch lines. And that was Lukas' little piece of Heaven. And he even gave me some. I'd like to think he's got a hang of this whole "service" thing.

Recently at a General Conference address the Prophet asked us to help serve in the communities. So on the way there, having talked about it on the way, Lukas would say "Wir helfen dem Propheten!" (We're helping the Prophet)-- and more correctly, we're serving the Lord. "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God"- Mosiah 2:17

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Family Night Ideas!!

We had a big Relief Society Meeting about ideas for Family Night, and it was SO fun to see what other people do, and to collect some really cool ideas.  Among a couple that I shared were these cards that I use for choosing the songs we sing at the beginning, and these felt story-telling boards.

For the song cards, I just used clip art off the computer, glued em to card stock, wrote the names & numbers of the songs on the back (Eng & Ger versions) and fwa-la! Done. There are still tons I could make, but I started with ones he knows, and we add cards as we need new songs for different lessons.

The felt is really forgiving. Not much sewing required. Just cut out shapes, and done. Those backgrounds are in a little velcro-shut kind of felted book that I got at a yard sale, along with tons of free sheets of different colored felt (which is super cheap!) The cutting out and simple needle/thread sewing is sort of therapeutic and gets my creativity juices flowing. Got any ideas for some stories to make pictures for? These are from:
Lehi's dream, Joseph in the Grove, The Brother of Jared and the stones that he asked the Lord to touch to have light the ships, and Jesus' last week (Easterish).

I found they're more useful in Family night than being quiet at church, and Lukas likes to play with em at home. He'll see em, start fiddling with them, and ask about the stories. I love it because I get to tell him the stories and tie in the principles of faith, or prayer, or love.

Ideas for future stories include: Moroni's preparations for war in building up the city strongholds, Daniel & the Lion's den, Jonah & the whale, the Armor of God, Prodigal Son, 10 Foolish & Wise Virgins, Plagues of Israel. Got ideas? Red Rover Red Rover, please send em on over!

We finally got it on video last week at Family Night! And it finally uploaded!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Life Ain't no Picnic...

...but UCD Picnic Day is pretty fun, and starting off with a pancake breakfast over at the Institute Building at 8 in the morning, we walked over to campus to see the Picnic Day parade for the first time!! While waiting for it to actually start, we scored some free popcorn, we got to use an old 1940s dried cob popcorn kernal shucker, and got to put the dried seeds in a baggie to take home to pop that afternoon. Lukas also made some "sand art" with different shades of Earth provided. (Note to self: Bring a paper plate and glue to the park sometime!!)

We saw the band perform, cheerleaders do stunts, lots of old bicycles in the parade (this is Davis, after all!) and lots of politically insensed entries in the parade as well. Especially funny was when he saw the smoke from the BBQ pits in the Food Quads on campus, and said, "Was ist DAS?? Sollen wir DA 'rueber gehen??" (What is THAT? Should we go over THERE??!!")

We watched some water polo, toured the fire station, watched the dogs catch frisbees and do tricks outside before heading indoors for the big Doxie Derby, where wiener dogs race for first place. There was even a doxen with a wheelchair of sorts for its non-functional hind legs. Some dogs ran in the wrong direction and some nipped at the legs of other dogs. The owners were also a hoot to watch, sooooo into their little poopsies, trying to make sure they were in their little gates all safe & sounds before they'd finally leave em to get to the other end so the race could start. Much like the interesting cross section of society we call 'the people of Wal-Mart' were also the interesting "people of Doxey Derby." After a few heats, we headed back out. Lukas really wanted to play football with dad on the grass (I thought it was such a sweet expression of his priorities!) as a band rocked out on a stage behind us.
Lukas was also so excited to see a helicopter fly so low as it was landing on campus, and was generally thrilled to see everything new, hold a red balloon, eat things, try new activities. The last time he was at picnic day, he was just a few weeks old, and then it was also super hot!

We watched some rugby to close out the hot afternoon of walking and looking at things while super sweet Jared went & got the car. The boys jumped into the pool after naptime, despite the frigid water temperature! To appease the please of his son, Jared did many a cannonball into the pool to make huge splashes, and took Lukas swimming all over the pool with his noodle and little diving fishes.
Happy Picnic Day, and goodbye Winter. Hello Summer. (We don't really get too into spring around here, do we?) Can you believe it's just the middle/end of April??

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Danke Omili und Opili für das Geburstagsgeld für Lukas!! Wir haben uns Tickets für den Jahrmarkt gekauft und haben SUPER viel Spass gehabt! Erinnert euch die Autofahrt an etwas? Und die Flugzeugfahrt? Ja! Wie bei dem Weihnachtsmarkt!! Er war überaus glücklich, die immer wieder zu fahren, weil sein Ticket das ihm erlaubte. Wir waren auch auf einem Riesenrad, worauf der kleine sich SOOOO sehr gefreut hatte, und er ist bestimmt viermal gefahren! haha! Bei diesem Karneval, ist er in so ein lustiges Haus gegangen, mit Treppen und Bodenteil, die sich komisch bewegen und kam ein bisschen gestört raus, weil ein unechter Clown ihn ein bisschen überrascht hat, aber Papili war die ganze Zeit bei ihm, damit er ihn beschützen, bzw. trösten konnte. Er hat danach immer wieder gefragt, Warum gab es einen Clown? Dann waren wir bei einem, wo man SOOOOO schwindelig wird, wegen des Drehens.... ich dachte ich wäre danach ganz fertig! Super viel Schwerkraft, die uns runterdrückte. Meine gute. Und ich habe die ganze Zeit so getan, als wäre das voll der Hammer, damit Lukas kein Angst hätte!! Der LIEBTE es, eigentlich, und ich habe Jared gesagt, er musste dran sein, wenn der kleine nochMAL gehen wollen würde, aber zum Glück gingen wir alle einfach weiter, und die tolle Flugzeuge waren der absolute Hit! Er ist bestimmt 6 mal+ geflogen! Wie Captain Sky Blue in einem Kinderbuch, das er neulich von der Bucherei ausgeliehen hat. Es macht SUPER glücklich das eigene Kind sooo glücklich zu sehen!! Wir hatten halbfußlange corndogs und genossen die Zeit zusammen. Hier war seine erste Achterbahnfahrt, und man sieht von den Bildern, dass in einem Bild er schon ein bisschen Angst hatte, aber dann, je länger die Fahrt dauerte, desto glücklicher war er. Süß, oder? Zum Schluss waren wir alle zusammen auf dem Karussell, und haben so viel Freude an diesem Tag gehabt!

Danke nochmal!
Jessi & Co.

Like Dumbo's Feather.

BIG balloon. BIG bikeride. He can ride the entire half mile to the park without stopping!!! WOOT WOOT!
He looked so grown up, head up high, looking down the street as he pedaled and pedaled (and I ran, and ran--- boy I can't wait til he can start up on his own! Til then, I'm just a runnin' fool!)  He is So proud of himself, and I am so happy for him. It really is so rewarding to see kids accomplish things.

And I had this fleeting thought this week, amongst comments that "being a mom is just so hard"--
It's true, but not all the time. Maybe not even most of the time, depending on the day I guess. It's like the best kept secret. You get to stay in jammies as long as you want. You get to play in the dirt, be at the playground for a few HOURS -- every DAY if you want!! And when another mom you know is there, you even get to have a real conversation, which can feel so validating/uplifting/wonderful/annoying (see, it depends on the day!) And I get to watch all these little discoveries he makes, and see how lady bugs, sticks, and dirt leave him utterly fascinated by the world around him. THAT fulfills me. THAT stays with me.

Davis--- on the way out!

When Lukas and I steal away to the Farmer's Market so Jared can get more school work done, we have kind of a ritual. We'll wait on that main street for a parking space -- someone ALways leaves, and we get a really close spot which is SO worth it when it's time to leave. Then, after carefully getting across the street, Lukas b-lines for the carousel! It was packed the day of our most recent trip, and the kids all stood in line, clutching a dollar that would buy them 3 minutes of blissful youth on a bicycle-powered carousel. I asked Lukas what he wanted to ride, and he was pretty into "that animal with the ball on its nose", so I asked him what he wanted to ride in case the seal was already taken-- you know, just in case. Well, that little three year old just said all matter-of-factly, "Dann werde ich warten!" (Then I'll wait!) And I had a quick reminder of the famous Marshmallow Test, and was exuberant about my child's ability, in moments like these, to wait. Apparently the wish for the outcome just has to be strong enough.  Turns out, he got to ride the seal, and our sweet neighbor who always calls him "Master Luke" was there as a volunteer to help him off when the ride was over.  And to our surprise, we ran into Michelle and Lily there, and were so happy to see the two kids running freely through the huge field, and climbing on the caterpillar, and the rock fountains, and just playing. And the sky was blue and clear, the huge purple and white flowers were brilliantly covering the trees, and life was just amazing. Don't I wish I could put that feeling in a jar to set on the shelf for rainy, or unhappy days!

Other adventures this week included going to the grocery store to buy celery for Jumbalaya. We love to eat it and I'm sure Lukas mostly likes to say it: JumbaLAYa....   And he picked out what he always gets at the IGA-- a huge carrot.  How can I say no? Yes, we buy them when he's begging for a huge carrot or two. And we'll walk home crunching away, til it's time to sit down and wait for some bird to come eat the "cherry" Lukas has found, and he'll call up to the roof where a bird is perched saying, "Iss mal Vogel!!!" (Eat it Birdie!!) and I don't laugh too loud, lest he stop and my amusement come to a questioning stop. I just munch my carrot and watch.

We made it across campus to see Bronson. Lukas realizes now that he's moving away in a few weeks. He knows that 2 hours away from Davis is farther than where Dad goes to school in Sacramento... which led to major devastation and some tears, mumbling "Can we go see him??"  We'll see honey.

Because who on Earth knows where we will end up anyhow??  The job in Galt didn't work out. The teacher who wanted to retire isn't allowed to because her school district won't pay her health insurance. So, away we look for other options. Most recently Jared was reading off places with job listings for HS German Teachers: How 'bout New Jersey Jess? What about Illinois? Or Minnesota?

I said, "What about GORTEX?! You invest and we can live anywhere." (I freeze quickly)