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

Friday, August 24, 2012

9 Year Anniversary!

Really? Are we that old now? I'd say it seems like it's all gone by so fast, but that would be a lie!
It's been nine whole years full of adventure, fun, trials, stress, and also much joy.
In retrospect, I've thought of a few stats for us: The nine years conglomerately include:

1800+ kids taught
23+ church callings
19 different money paying jobs between us

10 places of residence
10 states visited
10 nieces & nephews
5 trips total to Germany (one was Jared solo)
3 countries visited
3 college degrees obtained
3 broken bones
2 cars
2 snapped tendons
1 pet fish
1 child
1 speeding ticket

Oh, and the running total on the eternal score sheet for Triominos?
After 77 Games (which includes 3-4 rounds per game)
Jessica has 33,801 points
Jared has 33,941 points

No matter what the score is though, I'm always a winner because I have this guy at my side, and we're still happy to go through this life together, finding new joys and adventures along the way!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Note em & Quote em

With crayon blocks this morning while coloring: "Ich baue ein TV show." Oh ja? "Ja" Und worum geht es? "UMKEHR!"  Glad that the principle of repentance has been driven home to this kid.

Elmer the Elephant book this morning: As the elephant covers himself in elephant colored berries to turn his patch-work colored self gray, Lukas says, "Mmmmmmm". Then was delighted to see the baby elephant in the parade "haelt den Papa am Schwanz" damit er nicht verloren geht. Einfach suess wie er seinen Papa in seinem Tag einbezieht. 

"MMm! Yummy Frucht!"   says Lukas as we're reading the children's story of Adam & Eve and the creation of the World  this afternoon before naptime.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

You know what?

Lukas at dinner tonight:
Mama, weisst du was? .... ich liebe dich.

(Danke Suesser!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Just to be the man, who walked a thousand miles and fall down at your door!

On the first day of hiking, we went all around the park trails, spending an especially long time at the frog creek watching tadpoles and floating frog eggs, then hiking up this ridge behind Lukas in the first picture previously (see trail on right side) and found huge rocks, pretty flowers, watched a hawk (which has a hook beak, says Lukas, which could eat us. I told him rest assured, mice taste better than people, so no worries.)
No rattlesnakes to be seen yet, but we know they're out there. What we DID see was this girl up on the top getting her modeling pictures taken by some guy. The essence of total self-consciousness as we were coming back down from the peak toward them, her with white body suit and tutu on as her friend coached her from the side. All a little much I thought. And, having left that industry years ago I kind of had a quick, dumb, knowing thought of, "Girl, with those tattoos blazing all over your back (and sadly backside too- that tutu could not have sunk low enough) and your shorter than 5'9" self, there's a far cry chance that this will work out" as she was awkwardly posing with her arms over her head, looking quite out of place, and ... yeah, just as awkward as a person could be up on a mountain ridge in high heels.

The second day was so sweet as we came up on the ridge and saw a family up there, just enjoying the view, each with a Bible in hand, and saw them later having a family scripture study at a picnic table in the park.
I guess that ridge is the place of good vs. evil lately, eh?  Then we met an ecologist who told us the names of most of the birds hanging out at the pond. See the Snowy Egret down there on the right? He's beautiful! There's a Great Blue Heron that comes here too and swallows Blue Gills whole- just like in the cartoons you can see it move all the way down its neck!

 I know, I know. Did you also notice he had the same shirt on twice? Gross after these trips, but it's a favorite shirt. Day three I drew the line. And got a better sun hat for the boy of white. Just look at our arms. The walk today was beautiful!  We got to see some lizards, some really pretty spider webs, and Lukas got to go poop in nature. Yep, a full day of fun.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

From the Helm...

The beach is an awesome place of relaxation for the soul. When I look at this picture and think "Booyeah- THIS is my LIFE!!??!!" I can't help but smile again! The beach is amazing for so many reasons.
It's a place to contemplate the greatness and power of the waves and a creative God that made the oceans and little 3 year olds who think they can stop them. (He's guarding his sandlumpcastle)
It's great to know that Lukas sees who is boss in this universe, but also knows of his own strength at the same time. This is the little boy who was terrified of the waves just a few weeks ago. Now we hold hands and run down into the water and yell WHOA!!!!! everytime a wave crashes into us. We take joy in the little burrowing crabs that we catch and play with and use the sea grasses to "go fishing" as the waves pull back. It a wonder each time how the powerful water can clean a beach within minutes and why "The wise man built his house upon a rock!"
I love the bright colors on the beach, and to people-watch-- especially my two people.

Believe it or not, the wave that Lukas is staring at contains a dot which is Jared on a boogie board. Lukas takes great joy in watching Papa out in/on/under the waves- especially when he rides one all the way in to greet us! :)
The fly-by ads contribute to the carefree atmosphere. I laugh when the Geico ad zooms by and Lukas yells "GECKO!! Ich mag den Gecko!!!"
Sand shovels = endless digging and crab catching that makes Lukas so happy! No more West Manor Park sandboxes, but the beach has made them quite useful!
I love the feel of sand between the toes!

The best advice we ever got before moving here was from Andrea who told us to just "Embrace the Sand" because it will be everywhere. Um... our car can attest to that. One Croc too full and one kick too much. Oops.

Ever since we got the estate sale shovels, I revel in the literal cheap thrill that they have become. One mini swimming pool, coming up!
Lukas has no fear at picking things up. Which is awesome- unless it's a jellyfish. There was a close call once. Luckily we just ended up looking at it.

We like to watch the surfers! Some are just kids and it's awesome to see anyone catch a wave. And, I love that Lukas knows that my favorite car is a Jeep, and that we often get to see one driving by when the lifeguards stop by to chew someone out for swimming in the surfing area, or vice-versa.

I love that it's 8 miles away! I love seeing the lifeguard stations- the mile markers of the beach. It's a numbers game. Where do you hang out? Oh, at 36 and 35... or today at 31. And this is super nerdy, but is it not exciting to get THE best parking spot RIGHT next to the entrance which is at sand-level?? So much nicer than lugging everything down stairs, although just fine too. I mean, the beach is the beach. It clears the head, it quiets the world's loudness, and it's so easy to just grab "the bag" and GO!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tip Top Meats

The German restaurant has been recommended to us as soon as people heard we were "German" (well, one outta three is not bad, eh?)

They have a HUGE selection of everything German in their store, but there's no WAY I'll pay $6.50 for a box of 6 Semmel-Knoedel. Ever.  They're like 50 cents or a buck in Germany, and my supplier is going back next summer. Nosiree. I'm already making a list.

The dinner was awesome though!! Jared got authentic, amazing Rouladen and I had Kohlrouladen, which Lukas is finishing in the picture. With red cabbage, potatoes, Linsensuppe and rolls to boot, it was a fantastic evening, topped off by a piece of Black Forrest Cake "ooooooohhhhh!- mit der Kirsche!!" says Lukas. He was beyond ecstatic about their huge case of desserts, and said very matter of factly  "Ich zeige dir was ich zum Abendbrot essen moechte!" as he pointed to a piece of Schwarzwaldkuchen.  Oh, how cute is that little boy. I never tire of his comments, his honesty in his dinner wishes, and his complete joy in little things-- like dessert in a restaurant after an amazing dinner. And you see the lady in the green shirt behind him to the left? She just doted over him, how tall he is,what a good eater he is and what good manners he has. She didn't know that Dad just told him to be on his absolute best behavior because he had to go get in line for the cake. Yes, he was an angel. I'll polish that halo when we get home!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This little piggy went to market...

Cousins. They wait for each other so they can slide together. Adorable.

Cousins. They herd each other like sheep. They stick close to the other since they're the only other one they know in this crazy market place, and so they don't lose their place in line, and they share the excitement of another amazing ride, which may have involved some arm grabbing & squeezing accompanied by squeals of happiness. Michael was a good sport about it.

Cousins. They hold that line.

Again and again, they went through that line together, and made all kinds of crazy faces, danced to the nearby band in-between rides, and got cheesecake samples and balloons to boot. Not a bad night for two small men.

We know better than to let anything, and I mean ANYthing happen to this new balloon after having witnessed the meltdown of the month when Lukas' balloon flew to heaven at a birthday party recently. I'm beginning to think he has a hard time dealing with personal loss. Hmmmm. For now, all balloon string tied fest, even with protest. And cousins, really sweet cousins, even sometimes leave balloons behind for little cousins to play with.   

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Boys + Ducks + Dirt = Happy Boys

Bike trailer + 100 pounds + warm weather = good workout for Mommy.

Lukas' cousin Michael came to visit on Saturday night. Laaaaate Saturday night. They got here around 12:30 am and were up for the next long while with poor Michael who was puking his little guts out.  Mixture of  a long car ride (Washington to Utah to California) and maybe some bad chicken.

Lukas was of course thrilled to see them Sunday morning, and pulled out grapes to share with Michael on the kitchen floor.  After some skyping and Sunday breakfast, we headed to church where Lukas completed a decent score on the vault and floor exercises during Sacrament Meeting. It was a hayday for sure.

On Monday, I walked everyone down to the duck pond. Michael was especially excited, having never  been there before. The boys had a blast exploring the area, and we found lots of neat places I hadn't discovered before. Frogs hanging out in a stream with eyes above water, red and blue dragonflies, and lots of hidden trails. And then I remembered about rattlesnakes in the parks here and was grateful we were spared. We finished a long hot trek before heading home to dump bodies into the pool. And again, I felt so grateful that there is a pool in our complex!! A saltwater pool no less! We're there most evenings, taking a load off at the end of the day while relaxing in the jacuzzi (me) or swimming (or bouncing) along in the pool (them). Lukas has now reached the point that he can bounce along one whole half of the pool unassisted, and is quite proud of that. Not yet ready to put his head under yet, but with enough swim time he'll get there. His little friend at the pool, Makatu, is his latest evening motivation to go swimming. It's adorable really.

For Family Night on Monday, Lukas and I went to Jared's classroom and finished (started) making posters of different procedures for his class, which was starting the very next day!! And when Jared came home from work on Tuesday we had a First Day of School Party to celebrate the big event! With a Schultute and posters and hamburger dinner, we congratulated, hip hip hooray-ed, and were grateful for his job.

Career Start. Ready, Set, GO!

Jared's first day of school is today. He's been doing a marvelous job of balancing things out since we got here. And even this week, with trainings and the pressure on, he's pretty cool, pretty calm, pretty collected, and I am SO excited to hear about his day when he gets home!! He left a message at lunch time saying he had 4 classes behind him already, that the kids are awesome and that he's having a great time. I am SOOOO happy to hear that, since HE is just so happy!!! We were in his classroom yesterday late afternoon for about 3 hours making bright posters of his daily routines and some important procedures.  His room looks great! He was blessed to get some great materials from a few retiring teachers before we left Davis, and has found a great colleague in the previous German teacher here, who has just changed over to teaching history.  He says it feels good to feel part of a team all working towards the same goal, and it feels great to be on that team, to get to know the other teachers better, and to finally start his new career! :)

Lukas and I celebrated by making a sign for the front door, and making his lunch this morning, and crying because foamy soap was an option instead of regular soap (Lukas, not me- lol).   :) Tonight it's burgers, corn and celebration!!  And then mutual, since I just got called to be the Laurel's adviser! Tonight will be my first mutual in.... um... 14 years.  A poignant moment came when Jared and I accompanied the youth to a temple trip Friday. (*Our first visit to the beautiful San Diego temple!!!... which means we finally found a babysitter!!) Jared was sitting there at the rail as one of the witnesses at the baptismal font, and I was standing there in my white dress with towels for those coming out of the font.  So interesting to be on the other side of that perspective. 

We've had a little stress getting everything done over the last week, especially with lots of phone calling being made about some interesting family situations, and with Jared prepping for his first week of his career.  My brother Joel and his wife and son dropped in late Saturday night to visit for a few days. Craaazy.  Family brings out the best and worst of us for sure. Interesting waters to navigate for sure.

After a long day already, Lukas is passed out right now. For him, the day started early (he hears people up, and gets up to join the party), and we walked a mile up and down hill to get to a duck pond/ nature park/nature walk. I pushed Lukas and his 6 yr old cousin there and back in the bike trailer. (Feelin' pretty good about that!) Then we all jumped into the pool after Popsicle. It's pretty hot today!! (Say people here because it's around 80, but to their credit, it is more humid-- and pushing 100 pounds up and down hills, I can agree!!)

We are LOVING the weather here, and have taken ample advantage of the close proximity of the beach!!! Just there again yesterday, and even bought a boogie board at Costco. Lukas loves the waves, and holds my hand as the waves push against him, then pull back into the ocean, taking sand under his feet with it.  It's such an easy activity to plan, and we find ourselves often grabbing a bag and just going to the ocean.

It feels right to be here, and the right time. I visit teach two super neat ladies, one who just joined the church on Christmas Eve, and another who is older and super adorable. We even saw baby racoons at her house in the backyard as we were leaving. Lukas was of course more than thrilled, and she was so happy to get to show him. (Her property backs a nature preserve).

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Not all it's CHALKED up to be.

Sometimes life it not all it's chalked up to be. Like the time Lukas really wanted to bring a cute little girl flowers for her birthday. Yep, he chose flowers. "How gentlemanly" I told him.  He picked out very pretty ones, and was so so excited to give them!As the birthday girl arrived, Lukas went to meet her, with bouquet in hand. She wasn't having it although Lukas tried his darndest to get her to take them. I know, the pictures make it kind of dramatic sad. He really likes her, you see. But hey, no big deal. When life tells you to "Go fly a kite, you find a friend and go fly a kite!"

 It was the first time he'd flown one before and had so much fun running all over that field! It was such a fun birthday party and the kids had a blast... til a minor mishap later occurred when his little red helium filled balloon went to heaven. Literally. There were many tears, and loud wails. It's the ultimate straw to break this calm camel's back,... the only time I've seen such wailing and gnashing of teeth from him is at the loss of a balloon. -sigh- The sense of loss is a hard thing for him to deal with...when things break that cannot be put back together, or are lost that cannot be gotten again. It's interesting to find and understand kids' switches-- the different ones each kid has, that if pushed tip them over the edge of what they can handle. The upside? My kid knows a lot about "helium" and its properties, since it's been the villain on more than one occasion. He's sure a clever boy and we just hold him close and love him. The little girl in the picture right next to Lukas had a little brother who died just a year ago. The boy was three. The mom talked about how it's changed her perspective of parenting. Now she savors the moments more, sweats the small stuff less, and revels in her kid being a kid, and knows no end to the love which she has to give to her. She said she can literally count on her hand (notice there's no 's' at the end) the number of times she's been frustrated with her in the past year. When we see people for who they are without all of our stress, our baggage and our expectations of what WE want, then it takes some selfish scales from our eyes that let us see clearer, appreciate more, and love more fully.

Hug your kiddo today.
And go fly a kite. 
And if a balloon gets lost, just love the screamer :)