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Today is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.

I remember watching the news when the wall came down (I was eleven!) About a year later my parents decided that we ought to go to Berlin for a visit in order to get a chance to experience history for ourselves. I would have been twelve. Uncle Dave was ten. Auntie Janice was three. My friend Catherine came along, which was the best part as far as I was concerned!

We stayed in East Berlin. I remember being surprised by how shabby everything was, although the hotel was supposed to be a nice hotel. Even the toothpaste was super gross. By the time we were there, we were able to visit some hastily erected museum displays. I was most interested by some of the contraptions people used to try to cross from one side of the wall to another (well, technically there were actually two walls with a no-man's land in between them)

We visited Checkpoint Charlie - broken glass everywhere - people had busted up the windows. We ate at the Fernsehturm Television tower. We admired the East side of the wall and spent a bit of time chipping our own pieces off the wall. All the paint on the side was added by tourists post-fall. I gave my pieces away to friends when I got back and they all LOST them and asked for another piece. I still remember how disgusted I was! We also bought some pieces near the Brandenburg gate (I still have mine) I had a "certificate of authenticity" but I think that was sadly lost in the move from Belgium to Canada.

And that's the story of how I ended up with my own pieces of Berlin wall!


As we approach Halloween, Elizabeth has started to wear a lot of costumes. She's quite adamant that she's going to be Elsa (like Adi and I presume nearly every other little girl her age given the difficulty in locating Elsa hair...), but I think she wants to try on all her other costumes just to make sure she's not missing anything.

So - that's how she ended up wearing a costume to the park. To the store. And to garden in.

Uncle Dave and Auntie Karen gifted us with two different monkey costumes for Matthew. (Do you think they are implying anything??) He wouldn't wear one of them because it had to be pulled over his head.

Elizabeth tried to convince him it was okay by putting it on herself.  Mommy was amazed that a 2 year old costume fit an almost 6 year old.


I picked Elizabeth up from school early so we could go on our annual field trip to see the Carleton butterflies. I hadn't wanted to brave the weekend lines, so I was thrilled when we managed to time it such that we basically didn't wait in line at all!

Elizabeth was super excited because they made bread at school. She apologized quite a few times that it wasn't gluten free so I couldn't try it, because it was "SUPER YUMMY".

Last year was gruesome with school crowds trampling the poor insects and my terrified small children not too sure about the dangerous butterflies possibly touching them. This year Elizabeth actually attempted to catch her own butterfly. Matthew did not want to hold his own butterfly though (a very nice lady thought he might like to hold her orange with butterfly - nope!)

Afterwards I still had quite a lot of time left on my parking voucher and it was a gorgeous fall day so I told the kids we could play in the leaves a bit.


It was party weekend and long past time to celebrate Xander's birthday which was technically last month. He's into Bob the Builder so had a construction theme to his party. Elizabeth approved, especially of the many chocolate options. The kids spent quite a while playing outside and were sorry when it was time to go home.

We gave him a sock monkey umbrella from the "store with the skunk" (aka the Christmas store in Huntsville). Elizabeth kind of thought she ought to have one too. Grandma H wrote Xander his very own book for his birthday! Lucky boy!

Erika did come too, but she spent most of the afternoon arguing with her dad so she's not in any of the photos.


We had the whole crew over to celebrate Brendan's birthday on the weekend. Lasagna, garlic bread, Caesar salad and homemade gluten free black raspberry forest cake. Of course the cake was too hot when I iced it as usual, so we had to get creative with chopsticks to hold it together...

Brendan wanted to go to Home Depot before the party and we were amused to discover it was fire safety awareness day or something. A real live fireman gave Elizabeth and Matthew fire chief hats. Matthew promptly threw his into the cart but Elizabeth would sleep in hers if she could.


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Recent posts:
*Berlin Wall
*Costume deliberations
*Butterflies 2014
*Xander's THREE!
*Brendan's party

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