January 2020 Memories

Every now and then it’s good to journal about the everyday goings-on that don’t necessarily deserve a whole blog post. That’s what this entry is. 

Car repairs/exercise/and adult conversation:

Our Town and Country needed work and the dealership is just beside the Stuttgart airport. Hayden’s battery was dead and Matt had the Truckster at work, so I drove the T&C to the shop and walked/ran home. It was a gorgeous trail and now I can say I’ve walked from the airport home. I even got to talk to an adult on the phone for about 30 minutes! Love catching up with friends! (Audrey!!)

I didn’t know at the time that we’d be moving away so soon but I do believe I told Audrey I’d miss these running fields whenever we did move. She gets me. I took this picture and sent it to her so she could enjoy the view I was seeing. 

Not going for speed… just enjoying the German fields.

Chore assignment time

Every January we reassign chores. It’s always a bit of a chess game trying to figure out who does what. We always start with one rule: No one has to do the same big chore two years in a row… so, Carson was on bathroom duty last year so that was one chore he could say good-bye to this year. 

In case you’re looking for a really good household system I found Managers of their Chores (and its companion, Managers of their Homes) back when the bigs were in elementary school. We’ve used it ever since, though without the actual, wearable chore packs. 

Anna started ballet!

On her first day I sent her in play clothes. Looking back I realize this was silly! How can a ballerina dance if she’s not wearing ballet clothes!?! She needed her tutu! Fortunately we live very close to the gym so I brought her tutu and tights, changed her in the bathroom, and she participated from that point on. (Grace, please! This is my first girl!!)

Anna started doing school

…WHICH GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING IN MY BEING! As you may know I’m opposed to homeschooling preschool in a formal, forced way. I believe kids need these years to play and interact, read books and be read to. But there are some kids who ask for it. I pulled out our Handwriting Without Tears and we did letters. We only do this about once a week (when she asks to) but she really enjoys it. 


Last summer I won the big grand finale at the Patch MWR Library. The prize was a $1000 gift card to EuropaPark! We bought season tickets went in January… the day before they close for the season! Not funny. And 2 weeks later we get orders. Awesome. We have put 4 trips on the calendar for April and May, trying to squeeze all the good out of those season tickets! We really had a blast and look forward to going back soon.

Parker got to ride a real snowboard!

It’s blurry but that FACE! He was loving it!

EuropaPark had these fires all over the park to warm your hands… at your own risk! This one was beautiful. They had hollowed out a log and lit the inside of it. 

Notice Anna wearing her “Road ID” on her shoe… it’s pink so it blends in. She wears it in case she gets separated from us. She can tell someone to call her mommy and my number is engraved on the metal plate.

Most of the day the teens did their thing and Matt and I hung with the littles. At the very last minute I said that I wanted to ride one roller-coaster. I nervously set off to find one that looked suitable (with LOTS of loops and without a huge drop… I’m picky). I got to the Blue Fire and saw two entrances: groups and single riders. I walked that long and turning single-rider path and by the time I got to the line I was beyond nervous. I even figured out how I’d get myself out of this… when my turn was called, I’d climb in and then go right on out the other side, not looking back.

But I didn’t and I had a blast! I loved it and I can’t wait to go back again! So exciting! 

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Call it an attempt at installing culture in my kids. We went to see a play and they put us om the front row! Anna fell in love with the girl who played Sally, in part because Sally had huge ringlets like Anna’s… though they were white-blonde and extra big (stage hair). She wanted to meet Sally after the show so we stuck around. I warned Anna that Sally’s hair was pretend for the play and she gave me a look of sheer incredulity. I’m so thankful I thought of warning her because otherwise Anna may not have believed that the girl we were meeting was actually Sally!

Anna turns 4

While we were singing Happy Birthday you can hear some really exciting news! We found out that Anna’s sibling is a girl while we were singing Happy Birthday to Anna!! I just love these little treasures God places in our lives. 

Mama Kim texted to tell us that she’s having a girl! If you watch the video you will hear me gasp right after Parker says Anna’s name, then Hayden says, “She found out the gender,” (meaning that I had seen the gender-reveal on my watch) and I held my arm out… Bailey read the text, “It’s a girl.” (At the bottom of this post is a video with three separate clips of Anna. In the third clip you’ll hear the song. Please disregard her messy hair… we didn’t go anywhere that day.)

{Backing up… Mama Kim is expecting and we’ve known all along. We are rejoicing with her with this new life and can’t wait to meet Anna’s biological sister. We are extremely thankful for the timing of our return to the states so we can get these sisters together as often as possible!}

In January Anna also had her Olaf Birthday which I already wrote about.

January date night with my Favorite. 

As I mentioned I now work with Lifegiver and one of my favorite tasks is writing the newsletter that is released once a month. In the newsletter Corie and I want to offer real-life tips for marriages and one I included in the first issue in 2020 was to sit down in January and schedule out at least one date each month. One tip was to schedule it as close as possible to the date you married on. So, Matt and I got married on the 29th of May so sometime near the 29th of each month we will go on a date! Our date for January was on the 31st and we went to my favorite restaurant in downtown Stuttgart, the {M}eatery, and then walked around the city we call home. We sat down on the stairs where Hayden his senior pictures taken and dreamed of our upcoming move… the ‘saying goodbye’ phase had started and we had only known about moving to NYC for three days. 


Video collage of Anna’s silliness

1-7 ~ 10,000 years will give you… Anna cracks us up with her own version of the Genie’s line from Aladdin.
1-18 ~ Baby Monitor – Anna wakes up singing, “The sun’s awake so I’m awake so I have to wake up!”
1-23 ~ Anna’s Happy Birthday – We learn that her new sibling is a sister!

Well, January, you treated us well. We started with family in town, visited a fun theme park, celebrated Anna’s birthday, found out Mama Kim’s baby is a sister, learned we’re moving to New York City, and got to go on a delicious date. Not bad, January. Not bad at all.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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1 Response to January 2020 Memories

  1. Pingback: Quarantine: Days 1 & 2 | thehamricks

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