Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sweet boys

Tonight as I was putting Rachel to bed, I was singing her a lullaby when Samuel came in and started singing along. A little bit later Benjamin came in and joined us for the end of the song. We quietly left the room together. I was touched with how sweet they were. They love their baby so much; this is one lucky little sister.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Starting Solids

I've inducted Rachel into the ranks of those who eat solid food. She was very excited, as though she understood the importance of this new phase in her life. Actually eating the rice cereal was another story. Her older siblings were more than happy to help out:

Benjamin eventually found her mouth.

Elisa is still learning how to be gentle.

Samuel did a great job.

The verdict? Rachel ate it all up, making faces with every bite.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cold War Memories

The 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall collapse just passed. At first I thought the cold war didn't really affect me, but in fact it had a big impact on my life.

1. My dad could either join the military or get drafted. He joined as an officer. Because of that decision, our family was stationed in West Germany when I was born.

2. As a child I thought the Berlin Wall was the Iron Curtain people kept talking about. They both conjured images of darkness, sadness, and depression in my young mind.

3. The wall came down when I was 12. It was an exciting time: pictures and videos all over the news, stories of families reuniting, radio stations giving away pieces of the wall, and an overall feeling of happiness and hope in the air. It wasn't until college that I realized how long it took for the Communist Bloc to disintegrate, or how the former Bloc countries fought for self-government and peace. Living in an established democratic republic, I think we forget how difficult change can be. It still surprises me that communist governments currently exist in the world.

4. My eighth grade year, 1990-1991, I began studying Russian. German was my first choice, but not enough students signed up for the class. I continued to study the Russian language and culture into college. It was new, exciting, and very different from the romance languages typically taught in school. I especially enjoyed hearing my teachers' stories about traveling in the Soviet Union - stories filled with danger and excitement, as well as the commonalities we shared with the regular, everyday people.

5. I hope to some day travel to both Germany and Russia.

I believe the Cold War will separate the generations before and after, much like the Great Depression and World War II did. In remembrance of Veteran's Day, I am very proud of my dad's, grandpas' and great-grandpas' military service. Thank you for your sacrifices.