Keep Moving!

I guess that is what we have been doing.  I’ve seen some ads for leased cars here in Germany and the monthly price is good, but you can only drive 30,000 km per year for the three year contract.  How would we do?  Not so good.  We have driven over 31,000 km in a little over a year (19,000+in American).  That is a lot of driving.  That is an average of 2,390 km per month – not bad considering our limit is 2,400.  And actually we’ve gone a lot more than that.  I ride 2 or more times each month to High Council with a member in his car (200 km per trip).  We trade with the young elders in driving to Zone meetings and Interviews.  We catch rides with members to Stake conference and stake meetings.  Wow, that is a lot of travel for old people.  The circumference of the earth is only 40,000km, so our goal is to drive around the earth during our mission. 

We are doing well and are sad we will miss the Chili party tomorrow (today now).  We will have a big party when we get back.  We aren’t trunky, but that is in a little more than four months.  Janet and I have study goals for reading.  I’m going to read all 702 pages of Das Buch Mormon (auf Deutsch) and also Verkündet Mein Evangelium.  

We have a baptism on Saturday next week, and we are excited.  The nine year old, Andrew Kuban, is really a sweet young man and is very smart.  The family is moving soon and we will miss them as they are a lot of fun.  Andrew asked me to baptize and confirm him, and I’m honored to do that.  

We stay busy.  We average over 8 visits a week to less active or recent convert families.  We try to visit the families of deployed soldier either weekly or bi weekly.  We have taught temple preparation classes to two families and are teaching two others now.  As a result, one brother was ordained an elder and another sister just got her temple recommend.  And we eat lots of meals with good families and I’m trying my best to eat enough chocolate to last me the rest of my life – but I doubt I can.  My capacity is constantly increasing.  

Love you guys.  Keep posting. 

The end of another month

Which means only four more months before mom and dad’s return!  It really doesn’t seem like that long ago that you left!  But we’ll let you come back anyway!

I hope Carolyn had a good birthday today.  She got breakfast in bed and a hot date with her hubby.  The girls were good over here.  We played outside for a couple of hours.  My hands were ice blocks when we finally came in.  We fixed Hawaiian Haystack for dinner and sat around a bit and talked about the stinky economy before they took their tired girls home.  It was a good day.
Mark is coming to town tomorrow and we’re going to get together at our place, anyone who is available.  I’m going to make chili, so bring a side dish or topping to go with it.  Carolyn and Dave already had dinner plans, so they’ll probably just come to visit some in the afternoon.   As far as I can tell, everyone is healthy.  So hopefully we won’t have to make any changes of venue tomorrow.

We’re going to be building a pinewood derby car in the morning, Dix has to work, and Hayden has a dress rehearsal for his concert.  He is again the concertmaster and he may have a solo part in the concert.  But he won’t know until tomorrow.  He’s out at a party tonight for the Pickens’ grandson who is living with them.  He went and hung out at the Moss’ earlier today, so his social calendar has been pretty full.  It will be nice to be able to have everyone at home tomorrow evening.

The kids are doing grate.  Cooper is cuter than ever.  I keep thinking that there’s no way that he can get any cuter…and then-poof-he’s even cuter.  Should be illegal.  He’s that cute.  Love that kid.  He loves playing ball.  He walked around with a mini basketball all day today. He dribbled it (soccer style) all the way to the park.  What a cutie.  The rest of the kids are good too, but the baby is always the cutest, right Kurt?

I need to go pick Hayden up from his party.  Hope you all have a good weekend and hope to see all you stateside Abersolds tomorrow.

Beautiful Morning – Burrr

We woke up to this beautiful sunrise.  Since the first day of winter we have gained well over an hour of daylight, but …

When we went to the car to go to the gym, we discovered it was 8 degrees  (-8.5C).  Yes, it will get warm – sometime.



And, not that we are counting or getting trunky, but today marks the 75% point of our mission. 


You Probably Don’t Want to Go In There

That’s what Dale said right before he left tonight…as he was walking out of the kitchen, where Porter, Landon and Regan were doing “an experiment.”  What they didn’t know is that flour plus water equals glue.  And glue, plastered all up and down your arms, is hard to get off, and when it gets on your shirt and you try to take your shirt off, it gets stuck in your hair.  In massive amounts.  And when the big boys use up all the hot water trying to clean off their arms, it makes for a long cold shower with a very cranky mom trying to comb all the glue out of your hair.

Thanks for the tip, Dale.

Family Band

We have a borrowed mandolin and several violins and guitars, so we decided we would start a family band.  We have one song that we can all play.  It’s “Boil ’em Cabbage Down.”  Porter and Dix on the guitars, me on the mandolin, Regan, Landon and Hayden on the violins.  Turner and Cooper do a good job dancing.  It’s been a lot of fun.  We’re going to record it tonight and if it’s worth listening to (if we can make it through without anyone crying that they messed up!) then we’ll post it for all to hear.  So, be excited…

Happy Valentine’s Day

Today has been our preparation day.  It is really beautiful outside with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.  It is also very cold.  Part of the reason for that is a little cold breeze blowing on us whenever we go outside.  We did our recycle this afternoon and we certainly didn’t waste any time just standing around.  This morning we cleaned the floors (we meaning dad) and the bathroom (meaning me).  We have also done a bunch of laundry and intend on doing more. 

We are going to the Cella’s tonight for dinner and are looking forward to seeing them.  They are a lot of fun.  The young elders are going with us and will be giving a lesson.  Their car is in the shop again and we saw them on bikes (brr).  I would have a hard time with that! 

Tomorrow we are both speaking in church.  Our subject is the blessings of sacrifice.  Kind of boring, but I will liven it up with some knock-knock jokes or something.  The funniest story about sacrifice was told in a stake conference when we were in Berlin.  I don’t know if I dare tell it at church because of the history behind it.  Suffice it to say that Boyd K. Packer didn’t think it was funny.  We will let you know how it went.  We will be going to the Durtschi’s for dinner tomorrow.  They are so much fun.  We love going there. 

This has been a good week.  We are one week closer to spring than we were last Saturday night. That thought makes me happy and grateful for the wisdom of a Heavenly Father who knew we needed something special after a long, cold, miserable winter.  We keep thinking it will start to warm up a little, but now I’m thinking that it won’t happen until the first day of spring when suddenly everything will be warm and lovely.  I’m still allowed to dream, right?

We don’t know how hard it will be to find a parking place when we get home.  This is not the last weekend before lent, but we are getting closer.   Can’t wait for next weekend.  It may be noisy, but it will also be fun to watch from our vantage point.  From then it is only 6 short weeks to Easter.  We will try and get a box together before then.  I don’t know if I should send it to Leslie or Carolyn since they are doing a healthy living challenge.  Guess I will send it to Kurt. 

The Steinway

I’ve done a little research on the piano and found out some interesting things.

  • The piano is a model O, built in 1919 in Hamburg
  • The music desk is original, and because of the style (intricate carving) it increases the worth of the piano
  • Its original finish may have been mahogany veneer
  • Some of the strings have broken and they were replaced poorly
  • It may have had extensive work done in the past- the key tops appear to not be the originals
  • Steinway experts were intrigued at the Steinway logo being beneath “Steinway & Sons” as they had never seen it before

Here’s an example of the same year and model of Steinway, fully restored:


And of course Mom & Dad’s piano


Another Delicious Dinner

They had schweineschnitzel on sale at a local grocery store so we bought a few.  Yesterday, as previously announced, I made Geschnetzeltes, Zuricher Art (which means, Zurich style).  It was great.  Today I made the schnitzel, with no breading and I made “space noodles” from the package Mark gave us at Christmas and topped it off with a Champignon sauce, with added Champignon.  Yum.  For the next 9 days we have dinner appointments, but it was fun to cook at home for a change.


Notice the small space needle pasta. We’ll bring some of the sauces home with us next summer. Love you guys.

Valentine’s Day Approaches

I guess we have been here more than a year because we are making Heart Shaped cookies – not the kind of hearts that Porter made.  We did this a year ago and they were a hit.  They loved the sugar cookies we made and we had to give the recipe to several people.  We’ll probably have to make two batches or more. 

This was a busy week for us.  We had several meeting with less actives or new converts – eight to be exact.  Plus we had several other meetings.  We love Fridays they are natural to plan for.  We work at the Library from 11 – 3 then we have a standing appointment with the Clarks at three.  They are really fun to visit.  The kids are so darn cute and the mom is always upbeat, even with sick kids and a deployed husband.  We had another meeting scheduled after that, but it was an empty doorbell.  That gave us about 20 minutes to relax at home before we drove off Vilseck for another meeting followed by a dinner appointment meeting with the Nebekers.  They are another really neat family. 

Today we had our P-day so we went shopping and washed clothes.  I’m going to make Rahm Schnitzel tonight as we don’t have a dinner appointment.  We don’t have one on Sunday either, but we are scheduled for every day next week and into the following week, except on the day I have High Council.  The people here are too good to us.  This week the dinner schedule was pretty empty, but as we called to make visiting appointment, they invited us to dinner. 

Wednesday was Tranfers, so Tuesday we had a district meeting and we made the district pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage.  All American stuff.  Well, of the four elders one was American.  He knew you ate crisp bacon with your fingers, not a fork.  They seemed to like it as everything was slicked up.  We got a new elder serving in our ward and he is an American.  He seems to have a good personality, which is good working with our ward.  I know why the Mission President sent Germans to work here – to learn English.  I think the American will relate better with the ward.  In two years we have had about 13 or 14 baptisms.  All have been friends of our American soldiers and families. 

Well, I’ve got to get cooking.  I hear the bell saying the cookies are finished, so now for some serious cooking. Love you guys.

Fun at the Olivers

What’s more fun than waking up to a three year old covered in urine?  Waking up to a one year old covered in vomit!  Lucky me, I had both this morning!  Cooper has been a bit cranky the last few days, so I’ve kind of wondered if he didn’t feel grate.  So I guess there’s my answer.  Hopefully he feels well enough to go lay in the stroller while I exercise because I’m on a pretty good roll and don’t want to miss a day.  I guess I won’t be able to go to the gym for a few more days, but I can exercise at home just as well…as long as it doesn’t start raining.

Speaking of that, we have had some beautiful weather this week.  Sure it’s been cold, but it’s been clear and no wind.  The kids have played outside for many hours this week so far.  Which means that obnoxious behavior in the home has been greatly diminished.  Hooray.

Today is my crazy morning with having to drop the elementary school kids off at 8:35, pick Hayden up from violin at 8:45 (Dix will drop him off at 8), then take him to school then take Turner to preschool.  At least Dix is here this morning so I don’t have to do both morning runs!

Well, I’m off to my day.  Just thought I’d better post something since it’s been AGES since I posted.  Sorry bout that.  I’ll try to do better.