Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mr Buckethead (Part 1)

video

Mr. Independent

Everett is learning even more life skills, such as peeling oranges. It is pretty amazing how independent he is. He can navigate all of the buses all by himself (if any of you visit Feldkirch or Liechtenstein, he would be the only guide you need to show you all of the main highlights). He can speak German so well now. He goes to school without any issues. He participated in the Primary program, and he did it all in German. He pours his own milk and juices. He helps Liam get ready for the day. He gets onto trains all by himself. He puts all of his own clothes on, and we are just so proud of him.

Here is a picture of Everett realizing that he is a big boy!


Everett working hard to peel his orange.



Everett happily displaying a "Temple" that he created all by himself.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hilti Steve

Steve is working for Hilti (a tool company) if you didn't already know it. He is in the Marketing department, and here he is in his Hilti gear showing his fellow employees how to use rotating lasers and receivers, etc. He is really liking his job, and the tools he gets to play around with are pretty cool.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Just to show the world that Liam's Gap is Gone


Liam has always had a huge (and quite cute) gap in his front teeth. This is to show the mouth he has now because his incisors have pushed them together.

Everett's new life skill...


Everett's kindergarten here is different than most schools in the US. They teach mostly about his life skills and things that kids need to learn while growing up. This week he learned how to make vegetable soup, and most importantly how to chop vegetables!!!! Now no food is protected from this kid and a knife. He now wants to help me "cut with his knife" everything I cut. It is a great skill that I otherwise would have waited a little while to teach. He is GREAT at it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ya' never know what ya' gonna get!

Our kids are complete opposites! I mean completely! It is learning everything over again with the second child. Makes me realize even more that children come to earth with personalities, parents have influence, but really they are who they are. I just want to list here some differences of our boys if you don't have the opportunity to know them super well.

Good thing is, they influence each other to bring out qualities that they otherwise wouldn't have without each other.

Everett is very cautious, extremely cautious-- Liam on the other hand is a force to behold. He can climb any ladder, go down any slide, climb mountains, jumps off at any height, and loves to jump into deep pools with no floaties on with no thought that he can't swim.
--Liam's recklessness has recently helped Everett become more courageous. He now will climb rope ladders, jump off jungle jims and body slam his brother off of the couch (while they both laugh of course).


Liam loves the outdoors. He hates being inside. I can't tell you how much I live outside. He loves slugs, bugs, birds, and leaves. He loves to walk everywhere!--Everett on the other hand would be very content staying home all day. He is a homebody. I ask him what he wants to do after school and he always remarks, "stay home". Good thing Liam gets him out to do great things, and when he is there he loves it.


Everett is extremely intelligent. At 18 months old Everett knew the entire alphabet and could identify all of them. At two he knew the sound that each letter made. Liam could care less about numbers and letters. Liam loves colors however, where Ev didn't care to learn his colors until his was almost 3. Liam on the other hand has an infatuation with colors. He always has to know every color of everything. This week he got all of the colors right on a color wheel (so sad that he doesn't call everything yellow or pink now).

Everett is awesome socially. He always makes friends where ever he goes. When he went to nursery you just had to tell him his friends were there and he would walk right in and didn't care where mom and dad were. Liam on the other hand, cries thinking about the nursery room. Not just a little cry but a full on screaming for the duration of the time in there. He is almost 2 and still won't stay in the room. Major separation anxiety. Liam has only been able to stay with Grandma's without crying, or my sister Dawn I think one time.


Liam is bulky--Everett is thin

Liam loves animals--Everett has just recently stopped being afraid of anything with fur.

Everett didn't really care to talk until he had his words right. Lets face it he is a perfectionist. Liam on the other hand is one verbal kid. He is a parrot. He repeats anything we say. He can now say almost every word he knows in German and English and that is not a few words. He can say everything in sentences. And tries to talk about everything. The only problem we realize is he won't talk in front of people, just Steve and I.

The things they have in common--They love legos, trains, cars, and cookies.

The biggest similarity--They love each other!!!! They are best friends. They love to fight, hit, hug, kiss, play doggy, but most of all they love each other. When we drop Everett off at school, he mostly wants to kiss and hug and wave to Liam.

What we have learned is they rub off on each other for better or for worse.

But we are so in love with them for who they are! We love who they are, and we love that they teach us everyday. I am so grateful fo rmy kids--even though some days I could pull my hair out. TO us--they are the best!














4everett

Family Night - Paper Airplanes

For Family Night we all made paper airplanes and threw them around the house, and it was awesome. Everett had a hard time finding the right throwing velocity, but after a few training sessions, we were tossing these things all over the place. It was a blast. When you are in a new, foreign place, you spend a lot of time together as a family, and we have found some pretty interesting activities to try and keep our boys occupied. This was one of our many Family Night activities that went really well. But, Mommy was the one who had the farthest flying flight. Just Don't tell Everett... he is pretty competitive.





New Toy Purchase

Yup, you guessed it... ever since Lego Land, our family has been on somewhat of a binge of the Danish toys. We found a Lego set that the boys have been playing with constantly.



This is one of the many towers that we have seen recently


This is a house that Mommy and Everett built.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Everett Racing Lego Cars

video
This is Everett's favorite Legoland video, so I promised him that we would share it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Liam meandering

This video captures the essence of Liam right now. He is such a little stud.

video

European Cities All Made Out of Legos

As a lifelong Lego fan, Steve was entranced by the millions of legos that were used to build several European city.

Here is Lego Venice.


Neuschwanstein (the cinderella castle)


Holland's windmills

Berlin's Siegessäule and the Brandenburger Tor

Hamburg Hafen with Lego ships

Daddy loves the Autobahn

You know, I love public transportation, and it struck me this week that it was no longer strange for me to ride on trains and buses all the time. It is just a part of life. I wish that there were a more robust, safe, and reliable public transportation system in the US. Nevertheless, I realized on our recent trip to Legoland, how much I love driving. Furthermore, driving in Europe is so much funner. The grid systems in Cali, AZ, and UT and elsewhere are very predictable. Driving in Boston and New York is enough to give a healthy man a panic attack. Driving in rural New Hampshire is a blast, but there is always the chance that the town sheriff will catch you going 2 miles over the speed limit. I have driven from coast to coast across the fine land of America a total of four times, and highway driving is fun, but again... predictable. There is nothing like the thrill of driving on the Autobahn. You grandmas and grandpas, have no fear that I was putting the lives of my young family at risk on our way to Legoland Deutschland. I was driving a VW Polo with about 25 to 99 horsepower, depending on whether we were going uphill or not. But to drive safely on the Autobahn, you gotta move at least a little bit. It was a little thrilling to have a Maserati blast by me, and I couldn't really count how many Porsches were flying along. Anyway, it is fun to drive in Germany. I love it.



Reines Fahrvergnügen (Pure driving pleasure)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brazilian Soccer Star Power


When Delaine saw the all-time greatest soccer player at Legoland, she just couldn't resist...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

LEGOLAND DEUTSCHLAND IST WUNDERBAR

Well, we had quite a time getting out the door on our way to Legoland Germany. We had already left and were on the road when we realized that we had left our passports at home, so we drove all the way back home to get them. That set us back about 30 minutes, but eventually we found ourselves speeding down the Autobahn with two very excited boys. When we arrived, Everett and Liam were stoked beyond belief. Liam kept telling us that all he wanted to see were the "kids." Everett just wanted to play with the Legos. We will probably have to post a couple of entries to give you all a sense for how cool our trip to Legoland was. Here is the first installment.



This is the boat ride where you can shoot Lego guys and other people.
Everett could actually make it work!


There is Everett and Mommy on a Legoland jungle safari!


Here are the boys about 10 minutes after their arrival in Legoland. Liam was so excited to see Bob. He kept trying to take the tools and facial parts off, though. Thank goodness for superglue!


OK, this was awesome! Everett was controlling one of the street cars in this miniature scale model of Berlin. He could have stayed here ALL DAY! He didn't even want to go on any rides! He just wanted to see all the cool stuff in the cities.


The entrance gates! When Everett and Liam saw this, they were so excited!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Delaine and Everett on a Spiderweb Swing

video
Delaine and Everett should have known that daddy would test the limits of this thing...

Into the woods...

Everett enjoying a spin around the "teacup-like" apparatus. Both Delaine and Steve asked themselves: "Why did we even get on that thing," and felt a little nauseous for the rest of the evening.

Everett calls this stick his Staff, and insisted that we bring it home, which we did.


Liam, on the other hand, broke or tossed about 10 different sticks on our expedition.


Liam loves being outside, and he LOVES animals, so he was entranced!


Here he is telling me all about the sheep he sees!

Next to our new apartment in Feldkirch there is a nice little path up to the woods. We also found a little park on the way. Everett and Liam found some sticks and started hitting things with them (they are such boys). Liam is our little adventurer. He loves to go outside, whereas Everett tries to convince us to stay in the house. Once we get outside, though Everett has a blast. So one of our kids is a homebody, and the other would spend his whole life outdoors, if possible. Anyway, on this excursion Liam led the way up the path until we reached a field where some sheep were grazing (not sure you can see them in the pictures, but that is what he is entranced with in a couple of those pictures, in case you were wondering).

Monday, October 4, 2010

Swings can be dangerous...

video
Riding on a swing is a "full contact" sport...

Guys and Their Guns, etc.

We realized that we hadn't featured very many pictures with Steve, so we added a couple. We spend our lives at parks and museums, so we felt it was only fitting to show a few.


Steve pushing the Boys on a tire swing.


Steve and Ev on a normal swing.


These are a couple of the really old guns at the castle in Feldkirch.


This is a canon in the national museum in Zurich


The Coolest Train Experience Ever...


So we were preparing to board a train in Switzerland, and we were unsure where we could get on with our stroller. Everett was REALLY excited about the train, because it was a double-decker train. Steve asked a man at the train station and he said that there was a car that was totally set up for kids. What we found exceeded all our expectations. There was a jungle gym, kids tables, activities, and a real-live SLIDE. If anyone reading this has ever traveled using public transport with kids, you will know that it is not a simple task to keep your kids quiet and still. This was the perfect place for our boys to get their wiggles out!

Everett on the jungle gym... on a train.


Thirsty Liam...


Liam


The slide on the train...


Delaine and Everett watching a movie on the train...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Fire Lord


In downtown Schaan on the way to the Bahnhof (bus/train station), there is a really scary hooded statue that looks like it is straight out of Mordor. In order to allay the boys potential fear of this daily landmark, we started calling him the "Fire Lord," the airbending Avatar's arch enemy. So every time we rush to the train station, which seems to happen every day, the boys are air-, water-, earth-, and firebending like Aang. It is wicked funny. You can see Liam airbending and smiling (which is a rarity in Photos) as he holds one of his favorite books as Everett looks on.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Car Watching in Liechtenstein

The New Mercedes SLS AMG "Gullwing" (Just to prove I was there)

The New Mercedes SLS AMG "Gullwing"Vintage Porsche 356 Speedster

I am fairly confident when I say that there are few better places in the world, where one can see as many supercars and collector autos than in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Here are a couple of cars that I have seen over the past couple of months.