Green and Creative Masks On A Budget

What do you do on a June gloom day? Why, paper bag masks! Especially good for those of us on a budget, this is a fun and easy craft your kids can make all by themselves. Except for the staples. Help them with the staples.

I call him Scary Pinocchio.

Paper Bag Mask Continue reading

Sh*t Americans Say

Pizza In GermanyLet’s talk about this for a minute. I am from a country where pretty much everyone is white. That’s it. There was one black kid in my school. So much about diversity. I never had to think about being politically correct, sensitive or anything along those lines. I learned a lot once I moved here about what NOT to say. Or do. Or even just think. Not even jokingly. Hush was the word. People are really easily offended here. I bet that last sentence alone just offended a whole bunch of people. Continue reading

Learning How To Write (Or: Why Is English So Difficult?)

Did your mom save your first attempts at writing from when you were in first grade? Did you save your kids’ work? My mom’s saved every single paper I ever wrote on in elementary school, and it is just so funny to go back and look at all the mistakes I made. Just the same, it’s funny to look at the mistakes Christopher now makes. The way he writes things really make more sense than the way it is supposed to be… so whoever came up with English spelling and grammar rules wasn’t in his right mind. (It must have been a man, no question!) Continue reading

Mickey’s Magical Map – New Show At Disneyland

Mickey and The Magical MapI used to love Animazement. Can anyone remember this show that was THE show to see at Disneyland (on the Fantasyland Theatre Stage, too?) I know I am dating myself here, but when I was 17, I use to go to Disneyland just to see Animazement – all show times during one day. I just kept going back. That’s how much I loved that show! It had a huge following, too. And then one summer, I came back, and guess what: No more Animazement. They had discontinued it. One of the saddest Disney days ever. Continue reading

UEFA Champions League Finals At The Phoenix Club (Memorial Day Weekend Day 1)

UEFA Champions League FinalsIf there is ONE thing Germans love, it’s soccer. I am not much of a sports fan, but when it comes to German teams in big soccer matches, I am all in! And for the first time in history, 2 German soccer teams played in the UEFA Champions League Finals, happening at the Wembley Stadium in London. If you don’t know: The best individual teams from around Europe (not the national teams) play each other. Sort of like a Europa Cup, but with city teams. Of course this was too good a game to watch from home. So I joined a few hundred other FC Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Dortmund fans at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim to watch a really good, really nerve-wrecking soccer match. Continue reading

Completely Green Father’s Day Cards @paperculture

Paper Culture CardsWith Father’s Day approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what to get for dad. As every year, it’s a battle finding something to buy for a man. And as every year, we are going to send out cards. One to Christopher’s dad, one to my dad. And some to a few dad friends we have who would care getting a card with our picture on it.

This year’s cards come from Paper Culture. Paper culture is a green business that produces products made from 100% post consumer recycled paper. With every order, Paper Culture plants at least one tree, too, as their charitable contribution to the planet. In the last 4 years, Paper Culture has planted over 300,000 trees in their customers’ names. Continue reading

Despite It All – I Am Proud To Be A German American (Kind Of Part 6)

The Phoenix ClubSurprise – There’s a Part 6 after all! Who would have thought! This Tuesday was Activity Group Night at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, a German Cultural and Events Center here that has given me personally a home when I most needed one. The members of the Phoenix Club welcomed me with open arms as soon as I showed up. They have truly become my German family away from Germany and made it possible for me to have a stronghold amidst the chaos that has been reigning my life.

In Part 1-5 I have focused on counting our blessings, my immigration story, how I became a divorced weekend mom because I forgot how to count those blessings, and how I remembered to count those blessings again. This part takes a bit of a different approach. While I am still proud to be an American, I think it is possible for me to say that because I have first learned how to be a proud German. I have learned that if I don’t embrace who I’ve always been, if I don’t embrace my innate culture and roots, then I am just sort of lost, always looking for an identity. And while it would make sense to look for that identity within the American culture now, deep in my heart I am German (because I was exclusively German for the first 21 years of my life). It’s just that I am a German who’s been in the U.S. for the past 9 years. So – I now proudly call myself (and my son) a German American. Because that’s truly what we are. Continue reading

Despite It All – I Am Proud To Be An American – Part 5 (I Am Still Here)

Proud to be an AmericanYou can view this sentence, “I am still here” in so many ways. Number 1: I am still here on this earth. I haven’t killed myself out of depression, desperation or unhappiness. Number 2: I am still here because someone else hasn’t killed me. I didn’t live in the worst of all neighborhoods, but it was certainly not the best either. Number 3: I am still here in my situation. I am getting better, but it’s still the same situation. And number 4: I am still here in this country, I haven’t left to go back to Germany. However you view it: I am still here.

This story has come a long way and is coming to its final leg. I’ve mused about all the luxuries we have in the U.S. and how we should be thankful for it in Part 1. In Part 2, I told you about my immigration story. In Part 3 and Part 4, I talked about how I became a divorced woman and a weekend mom because I couldn’t appreciate all my blessings. In this part, I will venture into why I am still here, on all kinds of levels. Continue reading

Sunny Sundays = Sunny Sanddays

Sunny SundaysA friend of mine arrived from Germany today to visit. So Christopher and I took her to the beach in our backyard. As we were sitting at the beach enjoying the sun and playing with our beloved Costco play set, I started wondering out loud what I would write for my Sunny Sunday Column today. So Christopher said: “What day is it today?” – Sunday. “Sandday?” he says. “Yes, it’s Sunday,” I say. He says: No, it’s SANDday!” Why, thank you Christopher! That’s what I’ll write about! Continue reading