Monday, 16 December 2013


It's been two and a half years since I last wrote on the blog! I'm actually quite shocked how quickly the time has flown by. Why did I stop? The kids were complaing that there were too many pictures of them floating around in cyberspace and they didn't want that! What's a mom to do?
What's been going on, you ask?
Well last summer Melissa decided she wanted to serve a mission and sent her mission papers off within 2 1/2 weeks of making that decision. Five weeks later she received her mission call to the Spain Madrid Mission and left for the Provo MTC on October 23rd. She spent 3 weeks in Provo and then had 5 weeks training in the Madrid MTC before being" let loose" on the poor unsuspecting citizens of Madrid on December 17th! ;)
Her first area was smack in the middle of Madrid in the 5th Barrio (ward) (about 1 1/2 km away from the Real Madrid's football stadium) and she was trained by the lovely Hermana Gonzalez from Florida. She spent a total of 6 months in B5 and after being trained herself was called as a trainer. In June she was transferred to Gijón which is on the north coast. I was so glad she was transferred out of the city for the summer as she would have died with the heat and her English skin would have burnt. She loved her 6 months in Gijón which she explained was "real Spain" compared to the melting pot of Madrid. She trained twice while serving in Gijón. The members there were wonderful and they took care of our baby girl really well. For that I will be eternally grateful.
Two weeeks ago she was transferred back to Madrid to the 9th ward and feels like she could be living in Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Columbia etc instead of Spain. For once she's not training (which pleases her) but she was called as Sister Training Leader instead! :) This week she will be busy with leadership and zone meetings and gets to go to the temple. She's only got 15 weeks left on her mission and it is going by so very quickly. We hope for her that it will go by slowly.
We are so excited to talk to her next week for Christmas!

Modeling skirts a member made for them in Gijón - August 2013

On a bus ride to Oviedo

 Gijón November 2013 

New hair cut - Madrid December 2013

More later on the boys!


Christmas 2012

Our two family Christmas photos/cards from 2012

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It's did that happen?

Where on earth is this year flying to? I can hardly believe that 5 months have gone by since I wrote on this here blog! I'm sooo bad, I know.  I have a hard time dealing with the winter months. I just want to hiberbate and I'm not motivated to do anything. It's getting worse the older I'm getting, so I have to figure out how to manage my "winter moods" better next year. I know I'm going to have to take more vitamins and force myself to get out of the house. I never had any problems when we lived in Basel-Land as the winters were very mild and we nearly always had sunshine but here in St. Gallen the winters are hard and long. You know, I could very easily live in a climate that has a constant 20-22 °C!

But I promise I will be better in the future. I feel that I have my blog mojo back and am ready to fill these pages with my "stuff".

From May 28th until June 5th my mum and sister, Barbara came to visit. We had a lovely time and even managed to do some sightseeing. We went to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany and Melissa even managed to free some time that she could come with us. The weather was fantastic and the castle fresh out of a fairy tale. They used this castle for the exterior flying shots in the film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Don't you just love that film? Although I was pretty scared of the child catcher when I was a kid!:)
The view up to the castle from the village of Hohenschwangau
Isn't it beautiful?

We took a bus from Hohenschwangau to get up to the Marienbrücke, the bridge we are standing on to take some photos of the fairytale castle.
Seven weeks after the death of King Ludwig II in 1886, Neuschwanstein was opened to the public. The shy king had built the castle in order to withdraw from public life – now vast numbers of people came to view his private refuge.
Today Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces and castles in Europe. Every year 1.3 million people visit "the castle of the fairy-tale king". In the summer around 6,000 visitors a day stream through rooms that were intended for a single inhabitant.Sadly, the castle was never completed. The King only managed to complete the first and upper first (kitchen and servants quarters) third and fourth (apartments and state rooms of the King) floors. He died before the could finish the second floor, which was to house his guests. It now houses a gift shop, a cafeteria  and a mutlimedia room.

He built the castle in honour of the composer, Richard Wagner, to whom he wrote:

«It is my intention to rebuild the old castle ruin of Hohenschwangau near the Pöllat Gorge in the authentic style of the old German knights' castles, and I must confess to you that I am looking forward very much to living there one day (in 3 years); there will be several cosy, habitable guest rooms with a splendid view of the noble Säuling, the mountains of Tyrol and far across the plain; you know the revered guest I would like to accommodate there; the location is one of the most beautiful to be found, holy and unapproachable, a worthy temple for the divine friend who has brought salvation and true blessing to the world. It will also remind you of "Tannhäuser" (Singers' Hall with a view of the castle in the background), "Lohengrin'" (castle courtyard, open corridor, path to the chapel); this castle will be in every way more beautiful and habitable than Hohenschwangau further down, which is desecrated every year by the prose of my mother; they will take revenge, the desecrated gods, and come to live with Us on the lofty heights, breathing the air of heaven».

The entrance to the castle

You can only visit the castle with a guided tour (English and German) and the admission is 12 euros. (If you speak another language then you have the possibility to listen to the tour with a headset).

Looking out to the Marienbrücke
The view from the castle looking down on the village of Hohenschwangau and its castle
As we took the bus up we decided to take the horse and carriage back down

We were at the castle for four hours and it went by really quickly. The journey back home to Speicherschwendi took us two hours and I decided to see how fast our little Mazda 2 could move! I managed to get her to 175 km/h - not bad for a 1.3 litre engine!
When we got home we got the kids together (they'd had school that day) and mum and we went to the cinema to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It was a busy but fun day!

More to come about our trip to Insel Mainau on my next entry.

Until then.....



Sunday, 9 January 2011

A good start

Well the first week of 2011 started off well. It flew by, mind you, but all in all it was good. Jordan still wasn't well enough to go to school on Monday but he went on Tuesday and is feeling a lot better. Melissa has a revision break and will start her semester exams next week, so she is busy learning. Jordan seems to have passed his cold on to her, as she is coughing and spluttering all over the place! Nice! I hope she keeps her germs to herself........

It was the tri-stake (Bern, Zürich and St. Gallen) Relief Society temple day yesterday so Melissa and I went to that. We were dead tired as we had to leave at 5.30am but it was a good day and we always come away uplifted regardless of being tired. The temple was heaving but it was good to see it so full and to see so many people we knew. I guess that's what comes from having lived in all three stakes. The hubster's father was also at the temple and we got to have a quick visit and swap some family temple cards. One of the sisters from our ward saw René and said "that's R's dad isn't it? Wow, there's definitely no denying who he belongs to!" Yes, the older the hubster gets the more he's looking like his dad!
The sun was shining so brightly when we came out that it almost blinded you. It was so warm that you could have believed that it was spring not winter. We mananged to take a few photos but not as many as I would have liked as my battery died on me! So typical!

Today was a sepcial day for our family. As Daniel turned 12 on 22nd December he was now old enough to leave the primary organisation and progress into young men's. Last Sunday he was "picked up" and taken out of sharing time and taken to YM by his quorum and today he was ordanied as a deacon in the Aaronic priesthood! He is so excited to finally be able to pass the sacrament which he will do next Sunday. I can hardly believe that my youngest is finished with primary! When did that happen? He is so happy to be able to go to Mutual with Jordan every Wednesday and I love it when my boys go off and do activities together.

Here are a few photos of today:

Let's see what "week two" has in store for us.

Have a lovely week.


Sunday, 2 January 2011

Christmas / New Year

Who would believe that a year can go by so quickly! This has been the quickest year yet. I wonder what 2011 will hold for us? Are you ready for a new beginning? Have you made any resolutions?

We had a lovely Christmas and New Year. We sadly didn't take many photos and that was with the hubster having a new camera! The snow had nearly all gone but it returned for Christmas giving us a "White Christmas".

Music School Rorschach-Rorschacherberg looking out onto Lake Constance
 Our back garden full of new snow

  The view out of our living room window

The hubster went on a snow-shoe walk to Gäbris
 ......just beautiful.....

Christmas Eve 

 Our four kids - just look how quick they are growing up!

 Christmas Eve meal with Roland's sister Michèle  - eating fondue chinoise - the kid's favourite

 Playing with the new Wii
 Daddy and his girl

On Friday morning we drove to Basel/Dornach to spend the New Year's Eve with our friends. We enjoyed our time catching up, eating good food and having good conversations - what more does a person need! :) We didn't hear anything from Daniel and Noah for the whole two days. They just played in Noah's room and went unnoticed! We went to Arlesheim Dom just before 11 and listened to a lovely organ concert and then we listened to the bells ring in the New Year. WELCOME 2011!
Poor Jordan wasn't feeling well and missed it all as he was in bed with a raging temperature with a cough and a bad cold. He and Aaron had to share a double bed so we hope that he hasn't passed anything on to Aaron as he is just recovering from the cold and cough he had!
On 1-1-2011 we had a lovely sleep in. Just the right thing to do when you are on holiday - right? After lunch the four adults went on a walk along the river Birs......

This is the river that the hubster used to jog along when we lived in Münchenstein and he really misses it

Finally a picture of me....and our friends, D & P

The kids stayed at home and watched TV and played games. Jordan was feeling a bit better.....thank goodness. Here he is with Romina.

 Daniel with Noah.....I don't think their hairs' had been combed yet.....

 Mama and Papa with Safira

I don't know where Aaron and Tizian had disappeared to when we were taking photos but they were around somewhere. Dario (their eldest) had gone skiing and Melissa was at YSA Snowcamp. We had a good time and enjoyed our start to the New Year. Once again we say goodbye to another year and welcome in a new one. I wonder if this one will go by as quickly as the last one?

School starts again tomorrow 2011........ BRING IT ON!

Happy New Year to you and yours!


Friday, 26 November 2010


It was Thanksgiving yesterday in the US and although we don't officially celebrate the holiday here it's still a time when you think about what you are grateful for. All the talks on Sunday were about gratitude and being thankful for what the Lord gives us, and after church we all stayed together for some soup and bread to give thanks for what we have. When I was a child in England we had Harvest Festival which is a tradition since pagan times to give thanks for successful harvests. I remember Harvest Festival during my primary school time. People would bring fruit and vegetables from their gardens or farms, and there was always fresh loaves of bread that made my mouth water. This food was then distributed among the poor and senior citizens of the local community. I remember staying over after school to practice the dancing which we performed. Good times!

I am grateful for so many things that it is impossible to list them all here but here are just a few:
  • Family
  • Husband
  • Children (even if they don't pick up after themselves!)
  • A kind and loving Heavenly Father
  • My Saviour Jesus Christ and His atonement
  • Friends
  • Good health
  • The scriptures
  • Living in a safe country
  • Having enough to eat
  • My husband's job
  • Modern technology
  • Running water
  • trials that make me stronger
  • callings to help me grow
and so on.......this list could go on forever!

I know I am blessed and I count those blessings frequently.

Hugs to you all,

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Before the autumn break Daniel's teacher mentioned that she thought it might be a good idea to get Daniel's eyes tested as she feels he may need glasses. He couldn't read certain words or letters on the overhead projector and she'd even put him to the front of the classroom. As you can imagine, Daniel wasn't very pleased to hear this news although I am pretty sure he was aware that he couldn't see correctly.
I rang my opthalmist to make an appointment and was told that we'd have to wait 5 weeks to see the doctor. Wow! What a long time - although Daniel was quite pleased at this news.

Well, we finally got to see the doctor on Monday afternoon and guess what? Yes, Daniel is short sighted (-1.0 in both eyes) and he is colour blind! He can't see pastel shades of red and green! Well that shocked me! Apparantly I carried the X-gene through me from my father who was also colour blind. This I did know. My brother Keith is also colour blind but apparantly it only jumps over a generation meaning he couldn't have got it from our father, but rather from our maternal grandfather, J.Cecil Tullett. I called my mother and she confirmed that he was indeed colour blind. Wow! All of my kids have a 50/50 chance of being colour blind - nice!

This was the test that the doctor did on Daniel and he couldn't see any of the numbers except for the 25. The number 29 is Daniel's main problem - red and green.

This afternoon Daniel and I went to the opticians and looked at some glasses. After about 45 minutes he had made his decision and we ordered them. They should be ready in about 7-10 days and Daniel doesn't care how long they take! It will take a while to get used to them but hey, if you can't see then you need glasses! I know how he feels: I was 13 when I got my first pair of glasses and I cried!!!!

Anyway, photos will follow once the glasses arrive......

Hugs all,