To The Deutschland Mannshaft, Vielen Dank!

Monday, June 30, 2008

"Football-Fever" courtesy of konr4d

Sunday, June 29th, Germany lost in the Euro 2008 to Spain. While I was hoping to be celebrating a German victory, I wanted to thank the team for what they brought to their fans and to Germany. So to the German Team (Deutschland Mannschaft), Vielen Dank (Thank you very much)! Thank you also to Austria and Switzerland for hosting the Euro 2008.

Germany loves its soccer (fussball) but the country comes together when there is a World Cup or Euro competition and their team is in the thick of things. Not being a native German I can look outside in. It is nice to see all the German flags on the cars and to see the mood change of your every day people. I’m certainly not the biggest soccer fan, but I really enjoy watching these international tournaments.

Prior to the game I was watching the pre-game coverage and saw a story about the Michael Ballak, the German captain. It seems that the big victory has eluded him for much of his career. He and Chelsea lost a penalty-kick shootout to Manchester United in the Champions League this year in Moscow, after also being beaten by Manchester United in the English Premier League title. His Bayer Leverkusen lost to Real Madrid in the 2002 Champions League finals. His 2000 and 2004 German national teams were knocked out in the first round of the Euro tournament. He was suspended in the semi-finals and forced to watch the German team lose to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup finals. His German team finished third in the 1996 World Cup hosted by Germany. To be so close to the big prise has to be very frustrating. While he is 31, and can probably play for some time to come, you have to wonder how many more chances he’ll get to really grasp the big prize? I ran across a nice story about The Burden of Michael Ballack if you want to check it out.

It was exciting watching the tournament this year, there was certainly no shortage of highs and lows. The semi-final against Turkey was very memorable, there were power outages, attempts at having audio only coverage on television, and finally coverage from Swiss television because a storm had disrupted coverage from Austria. Oh, and yes, Germany scored a goal in the closing moments to go to the final. Earlier the German team looked very good against Portugal and looked like they were really in the race after a disappointing game against Austria that they somehow managed to win, they seemed to be a different team.

After the 2002 World Cup Finals, where they lost to Brazil, the German team received a huge welcome in Frankfurt. I was so surprised to see all the fanfair. I’m used to people forgetting who was the losing team in the Super Bowl or the World Series or other major sporting events in the U.S., so it came as a shock to see the country celebrating that their team finished second in the World Cup. I thought at the time, if they celebrated this strongly for finishing second, imagine what it would be like if they had won? After the 2006 third place finish in the World Cup, there was a huge celebration in Berlin. Well, lets see about the 2010 World Cup. Congratulations to Spain on their victory and Danke to the German Team. Did you have any favorite moments of the Euro2008? If you like the blog, feel free to add us to your rss feed or subscribe via email. We welcome your comments.

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Hobbit The Rock Star

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hobbit, scateboarder, puppy extrodonaire

Hobbit keeps growing as you would imagine. We hear comments all the time about how big he is getting and of course when you live with him you don’t notice the changes so much.

We’re phasing him into adult dog food. As the puppy food was getting near the bottom of the bag, we bought some adult dog food and are mixing the two together until the puppy food is gone. We’re also changed his feeding schedule from four to three times a day, with a wasa bread snack after his first walk of the morning. He is still inhaling his food (and any other food that you offer him). The breeder had said that he wouldn’t always eat so fast, I imagine that he’ll eventually slow down but he might be in doggy old age by then.

"Do I Know You?" courtesy of Spangles44

Christine has found a group of women that walk their dogs together once or twice a day and often joins them. One of the women is a semi-professional photographer that has taken some wonderful pictures of Hobbit and posted them on Flickr. Some of her pictures are amazing and it is interesting to read some of the comments that people leave. Three of the pictures post here are on Flickr.

"Have We Met? " courtesy of Spangles44

Hobbit is starting to lose his teeth. It started with five in the middle of last week and they seem to keep falling out. I hope that when all his adult teeth are in that he doesn’t bite so much. You have to feel sorry for him because he doesn’t have so many teeth left.

"Hobbit on the run" courtesy of Spangles44

don’t wish to jinx it but, it has been a while since he had an accident in the house, over a week anyways. Prior to that, it had been about a week or so since that had happened. We’re being very vigilant about taking him outside, so he has less opportunity to have accidents, but I think that he is also learning that we don’t want that in the house (I’m keeping my fingers crossed).

Hobbit has discovered that he really likes water. This discovery happened when Anna lured him into a kiddie pool of ours with some of his doggy treats. He first put in front paws and then discovered that he liked it so he put in the back too. Encouraged by some of the dogs in the walking group, he has gone into the creek a few times. He often returns from his walks very muddy (even when we manage to keep him from going into the creek).

I’m still amazed at how much people like him. Several of the neighbor kids get excited to see him. We went to a special service/cook out at our church yesterday and several people wanted to pet him while I was trying to find seats. When we take him for a walk it is always a big social thing for Hobbit, he wonders what people he’ll see and what dogs he’ll get to play with.

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Our Trip to Europa Park

Monday, June 2, 2008

The family along with Ruth and Diana near the entrance of Europa Park

Last Monday the family went to Europa park along with our former neighbors Ruth and Diana and family that we have been friends with through the girls' kindergarten. The girls were both pretty excited. After all the stuff that we have had to do related to our shed, this was a nice vacation for the family.

Because Anna was taller than last year, she was able to do more rides and Sarah was also able to do more rides. Anna became very excited about riding roller coasters and wanted to ride them all, fortunately, age and height restrictions are in place and she didn't get to do the real dangerous ones. And I didn't ride my first roller coast until I was 10!

Because of the three girls and all the grown ups, there were some arguments about who would ride with who, but it worked out pretty well. Of course the girls were talking about going with the same group of people again. We decided that one day is not enough and will probably try to do some sort of two-day pass next time. After almost every ride the girls would say that they wanted to ride whatever again. I kept saying that they wouldn't be able to ride everything that they wanted to if the did everything that they rode twice or more. Last year, Christine and the girls saw a couple of shows, this time we only managed to catch the end of a parrot show (which was entertaining).

In the England area of the park there were a couple of new rides. One was made to look like one of those double-decker buses that was kind of like a mini ferris wheel. There was another ride where you were in a replica London taxi and were spun around in circles. The girls also got a kick out of driving the cars on the track that was set up.