Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hughes latest

Just a couple of things I would like to share:


So, I just got my "your pregnancy at 37 weeks" email on Tuesday and I can't believe we are that close to having a baby! This has seriously been the easiest pregnancy that anyone could ask for. All of my pregnancies have been easy, so I didn't expect it to be hard, but I didn't know it could get easier! I have not been tired at all. I still go to bed between 11:30 and 12:30 every night, and then take a short nap during the day. But I did that when I was not pregnant. The only thing that bothers me is when the baby kicks my bladder and I don't feel like getting up to go to the bathroom. That is really annoying. The other amazing thing is that I have only gained 4 kilos this pregnancy! That is about 9 pounds! That is like unheard of for me. I have always gained at least 30 lbs when I am pregnant. I just haven't been very hungry and so I don't eat very much. That seems to have done the trick. :)

And speaking of the baby... we have for sure decided on the name Brandon! We have liked that name since we got married, and are finally deciding to use it on our 4th son. I don't know what has taken us so long. We are 90% sure of the middle name, but we will keep it to ourselves for now so we reserve the right to change it if we want. :)

Here is a decent picture of me from Sunday if you are curious how big this baby is getting. :)

2. The Branch

This is mostly for Chrissy and Jen, but the rest of you may be interested as well. As of Sunday, the Darmstadt Military Branch has been dissolved! Our Branch President moves back to the states on August 3 and we were down to about 40 attending Sacrament meeting, so they have decided to send us to the Frankfurt International ward. I have heard a lot of interesting things said about the Frankfurt ward, but I will wait to judge it until I have actually gone.
I have really, really loved our Branch for the 3 years we have been here! It has taught me so much about serving in my calling and the people have been so good to each other. I have learned valuable lessons that I hope will stay with me forever and have made me a much better person. I am happy for the decision for them to close it at this time though. Both the Relief Society President and myself as the Primary President were carrying a big responsibility. Once the warm weather came, both our counselors started traveling, so there was a lot of planning each Sunday that was all on one person, and it was getting tiring. Also, with me having a baby in 3 weeks, it is going to be much less stressful for me to just be able to go to church without having to do a sharing time, and to have Steve sitting on the bench with us will be wonderful!! It is perfect timing as far as that is concerned.

I took pictures of the boys on Sunday just because they all looked so cute. The sun came out to shine right in their eyes as soon as I got out the camera.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Steve and I had such a wonderful weekend. Our neighbors Noel and Katja, whom I have talked about a couple of times before, got married this weekend (actually on my Mom and Dad's anniversary). They were married in a town called Dresden, where Katja grew up, and is a big city that was almost burned completely in 1945 and is part of East Germany that was behind the iron curtain. So, it had a lot of history, and was a beautiful city. The wedding was also beautiful and we are so happy we took the opportunity to go.

We left Thursday and stayed in the house that N&K had rented for the week since they were staying with her parents and in hotels for those two nights. We got to see their civil service at the courthouse on Thursday.

{They had to sign the book to say they agree to the marriage. Ronja (their oldest who is 5) had to as well, and she was a little shy about it.}{Right after the civil service this is Katja with her youngest, Oshin. He is exactly Blake
Skinner's age, and Krista says he is the same size.}

Then the church wedding was on Friday.

We again had a great cultural experience as we always do with them. All of Noel's brothers and his parents came from Ireland and so we got to see the beer drinking and hear the Irish songs. They are also all so friendly.
{The cake}
{The hair, which I totally Loved}

And of course we got to see some German wedding traditions that I thought were fantastic. The first was right after the wedding as people were drinking champagne, N&K had to cut this log in half with a two person saw. It took them about 20 minutes and looked like hard work. It symbolizes that they can work together.

Another thing I loved that I didn't get a picture of was they had enough helium balloons for each guest at the wedding. Tied to the balloon was a post card with N&K's address on it and there were sparklers on the end. We waited til after dark, then lit the sparklers, then let the balloons go. Now they just have to wait to see how many postcards they get back and how far the balloons got. It was a really cool idea.

But.... the best part of the weekend was that Steve and I got to go ALL BY OURSELVES. We have Tawna here who is doing a wonderful job with the boys and with driving standard transmission, so we took off without them, and it was so awesome!!! If you haven't ever done that, you have got to try it. We only had a 10 minute stop on our 5 hour drive there, and so much peace and quiet in the car. Then we got to enjoy the wedding and the dinners without constantly putting someone in time-out. We were able to sleep in until we wanted to get up, and tour the city according to what we wanted to do and not according to the boys behavior or someone needing to find a bathroom. It was so, so fantastic. And everytime we called Tawna she said things were going great, and we came home to a clean house with all the boys tucked safely in to bed.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Ginger the Cat is the story. On the 4th of July while Steve was grilling in the backyard, he found this hedgehog. We have seen them around here before, they always come out at night and scrounge around for things. Well, Steve decides he wants to capture the poor thing and keep it as a pet. He has been wanting a pet for a while, and I keep brushing him off. So, he puts it in a crate for the night with some food and goes the next day to buy a cage, food, straw, etc. so his hedgehog would be comfortable. The boys were very excited about it, but every time they came around the hedgehog (Spartacus) he would get scared, so Steve would tell them to sit really still and not talk(Yeah Right!).
{The cage}

{I am so mad! I took a great picture of Steve holding our hedgehog and it must have got erased because I can't find it anywhere! So, here is a stock photo.}

Then about 4 days later Steve is in the backyard again, and this little kitten, maybe 8 weeks old comes sauntering in to the backyard. Of course Steve picks her up and brings her in to show the boys. She is soooo cute! (for a cat that is) She seemed so comfortable in the house and with everyone petting her, and as you can imagine the boys enjoyed her much more than the hedgehog, so Steve got out the litter box from the old cat, and decided to keep the kitten for the night. Amazingly when he put her in the litter box before bedtime she went potty in it and we couldn't believe it.

Long story short, we have kept the cat who is about the most perfect pet you could ask for. She pees where she should pee, she is careful not to scratch too much when she is playing, the boys think she is the best present they could have ever had, and she is really adorable. And after reading that hedgehogs typically walk 5 miles a day, and it is illegal to catch them, we decided to let our little hedgehog friend go. I think she really appreciated that!

{Where do you think the cat is hiding??}

As far as the cats name goes, I was at the store with Jacob and was translating the ingredients to something, and was talking out loud. Well one of the ingredients was ginger. So when I said that out loud, Jacob said "Ginger the cat. That is our cats name." We hadn't named her yet, and he seemed so sure that was her name that I decided he could name her.

{Super hero Jacob}

And that is our pet story.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Auerbach again

So, as some of you may have guessed by now, The Auerbach Castle is on of our favorite places to take people when they come to Germany. I think every guest we have had has gone there (with the exception of Jessica, life was crazy when Jessica was here). It is such a beautiful drive to go see these castle ruins, just a short distance from our house. You can look out of the watch tower to a beautiful setting below, and they have a restaurant right there within the castle walls that we love. This is the castle restaurant Steve has taken me to for our past 3 anniversaries.

{Our kids live the Good Life. (and actually don't break too many of these German wine glasses in the process)}
So...we took Tawna and Krista to see the castle as one of the last things we did before Krista left. The weather held up for us, although it rained much of the time Krista was here, and I think we all had a great time.

{Steve made an attempt at getting a picture of us in front of the castle. How do you think he did?}
{I hate this picture of me, I look wind blown or something. But...Steve looks Good so I had to add it. :)}

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More France

Next day in Paris....
We started off going to see Notre Dam. It was beautiful, and the boys were excited that this is where Quasimodo rings the bells. Steve and Tawna took Nathan and Steven up the 422 stairs to see the bells at the top of the church. The boys did a pretty good job it sounds like, but when I saw Nathan again, he told me that his legs where shaking. :)

Steve and I got to stand on this little gold circle that is the center of Paris.
Then we got some hot dogs for lunch and sat out in front of the Mayors house to eat.
Next we saw the Egyptian Obelisk

Then we went to see Saint Sulpice so we could have a "DaVinci code" moment. Steve is standing at the base of the Rose Line!

That evening Tawna and Krista went with Sarah Steffen to see some things and then went out to dinner. And Sister Steffen, Steve and I went out for some Sushi. We left the kids at the hotel with Aaron Steffen who is their 14 year old son. We owe him big time, and we had a great time out on the town without the kids for a couple of hours. We got to see the Arc de Triumph which was neat to see.
To finish things up we went on Sunday to the Louvre which happened to be free that day. There were a ton of people there, and it was a bit overwhelming, but Steve was excited to be able to see the famous things there.

He also took some very illegal pictures much to my dismay. :)

We had a wonderful time, and were so happy to be able to go. Who knows were we will go next! :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Krista's B-Day and "The Eiffel Tower"

So, we are back from Paris and ready to report! :) We had a GREAT time, much of which we owe to our wonderful friends, the Steffen's who lived in Paris for a year and were wonderful tour guides. It was great to have Tawna and Krista there, although sometimes I think Krista would have preferred swimming in the hotel pool and eating Taco Bell for dinner, rather than seeing ancient architecture and experiencing French food. :()

We had a little time to celebrate Krista's birthday in the morning, so we made the best of it. She got the Hughes birthday treatment with streamers on her door when she woke up. I made a decent tasting German cake for breakfast, so we got to sing and blow out candles over breakfast. Then she opened a card from Mom and Dad, and she got an adorable jacket from Steve and I to keep her warm in France. Unfortunately it didn't fit right! I wasn't sure what size she was in German sizes. Ohhh I hate messing up on birthday presents! So that was it for the morning birthday, then we got in the car and headed to Paris.

We got their at a decent time, and checked in to the hotel. Then we headed straight to the Eiffel tower. Krista considered not going up because of, I think..... elevators and Tawna had some major fear of heights once we got to the top, but they made the sacrifice and we are happy they went up with us. It was amazing to see the tower. It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be. We had crepes (said the way Sarah Allred says it) for dinner and then were ready to head home for bed.

Oh yeah, Nathan did excite the evening though by changing the color of his pants. Unfortunately Steve took two more bites of dinner before taking him to the bathroom. :) GROSS!!