Our kitchen arrived just in time for us to christen it with our Thanksgiving dinner. Mind you, we have never cooked a turkey before or hosted Thanksgiving dinner. There are still boxes sitting everywhere, but they could wait. Berit and Dennis accepted our invitation and I have to say it was a cozy afternoon/evening with delicious food. Andrew's mum can be proud of his son's cooking skills. ☺
The preparations began the day before with the corn muffins and the stuffing. Then we went into town to look for pecans, which were almost more expensive than the turkey. We also ended up having to buy more butter (and wine) at the gas station, the only place open on a Sunday.
The chef hard at work.
Tatata! Who would have thought we would have a tasty and crispy turkey on the table after Andrew had stormed out of the kitchen in the morning. It was when he found out that neither pots nor fridge were big enough to hold the turkey in the brine. His patience was gone when he spilled turkey and brine juice all over the kitchen floor and fridge. So unlike him, right? ☺
Turkey, a bunch of side dishes and five empty bellies.
Note that Sophie is wearing her kilt for the occasion.
And to top it off, our first ever made-from-scratch apple pie in the oven.
While the pie was baking, Sophie had a quick after dinner runaround in the sheep meadow (aka our future garden) with Berit and Dennis.
Cutting the American Pie
I think she liked it.
For those who would like to join us next year - it should be the same place, same time - unless Andrew's schedule gets messed up for some reason.
One of the things I've been looking forward to the most this holiday season: Christmas markets galore with all the yummy smells of Bratwurst, potato pancakes, crêpes, roasted chestnuts, sugar-roasted almonds, and of course Gluehwein. And for once the best part: it's cold enough here for it to taste right!
Sophie discovered her new Christmas market favorite: hot chocolate with whipped cream.
I know that this might not be what you expected and sorry this one is not about Sophie. But we had our new washing machine delivered today and I am so excited! This is after our clothes-eating device in the U.S.
It even speaks English - the Queen's English that is. I quote: "Degree of Soiling."
Not to be bragging, but that is an automatic detergent dosage device on the top...
...and to Sophie's and my delight, it lights up inside. "You spin me right round, baby..."
Once the packing was done and shoved into my mum's car, Sophie and I hopped on my bike and travelled light. While Berit chauffeured the boys (bless her) and our belongings to Duesseldorf, we simply took the train, bike and all. There was even a seatbelt for the bike. It did not feel like moving at all.
Sophie catching up on the latest princess gossip on the train.
And Daddy was already waiting for us at our new home.
Finally the big horseback riding blog! Be ready for loads of pictures. I told Berit to take many and they were all good.
So, it is moving day and for me that meant packing up our belongings that had somehow multiplied at my mum's. How did Sophie and I arrive with just three suitcases in September?! Luckily Berit had arranged a horseback riding date for Sophie with her uni friend Birte who has her own horse, Ellis. And while I packed, Sophie went on a true adventure:
It was a foggy day out in the country. Saying hello and good morning to (Tante/Aunt) Ellis in the mud.
Birte is showing Sophie the ropes.
Grooming time. Some brushing,
a quick pedicure,
and a squeaky clean horse.
Anyone care for some horse apples?
Down to business: first riding lesson!
All looking good.
Somebody is happy!
Posing for some good shots outside, except that it was so foggy and drizzly.
Sophie did so well that she got to get on Ellis on her own. I think there might be more horseback riding in the future. She enjoyed it so much.
Special thanks to Birte and Berit for giving Sophie this wonderful experience!
Today was Sophie's last day in the Ladybug group at her preschool in Geldern. And although we are looking forward to moving into our own place in Duesseldorf, it was also sad to say goodbye today. Sophie had just started to make a couple of closer friends. We still think that placing her in this preschool for a couple of months has helped her with the huge transition of moving from California to Germany. It's amazing to watch her adapt so well. We could all learn a little bit from these kids. In particular living in the now.
At the end of the last day, she was given a binder with a little report on how and what she did during her two months and other memorabilia, such as artwork and photographs.
And a little gift to her big surprise.
A small purse - perfect for her little pixie books.
One picture with her favorite teacher Judith. Sophie adored her!
Finally, here we go. The big moving-in weekend! The kitchen installers were planning to arrive at 7:30 am on Saturday morning, so my mum and I decided to drive to the new house on Friday night, spending our first night there. Sophie had a fun-packed weekend ahead of her: sleepover at Berit's flat, then a Saturday full of activities with Berit's friend Li (thank you!).
Dropping Sophie off at Berit's with her own suitcase. Where did she get this princess mania from?
Quickly playing games before bed.
Breakfast at Li's.
Meanwhile in Dusseldorf: my mum in charge of making sandwiches and coffee for our numerous helpers. How nice it is to have family close by! A big thank you to my aunt and two uncles (and my mum of course) who came to help!
These guys knew what they were doing!
A very important task: drilling a hole in the concrete ceiling for mounting the princess mosquito net. It was a bit wobbly on the mattress to say the least.
The finished masterpiece. Hoping that her Highness will approve.
Now all we need is the turkey.
The next day, Sunday, we took Sophie with us and showed her her new room:
I really wanted to capture this moment on camera. Unfortunately I ruined it by telling her to wait in the hallway for a moment while I pulled up the blinds and situated myself. That made her very upset and she started crying.
But she was easily comforted because she really liked her new bed. Plus, as we unpacked, more and more of her beloved toys reappeared.