Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It's June......how 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 .......so 2011........ BRING IT ON!

Happy New Year to you and yours!