Saturday, December 26, 2009

Paris Aquarium

To cap off our trip we stopped at the aquarium. Matthew was the only one brave enough to touch a "Mr. Ray"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!


We spent Christmas day at Disneyland ParisThe "Zurg" ride is still our favorite. Matthew rode it 5 times. Andrew and Brooke only 3 because they are now tall enough (with boots and hats) to get by the guards at Star Tours.

Some of our favorite characters
During the parade the kids even took a break from their candy to shout "thank you for my toys!" to SantaWe stayed until the park closed at 10:00pm, by which time we had four happy kids, asleep in the stroller.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Our old stomping grounds along the Zugersee.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


We got a small tree in Switzerland as well. Being too cheap to buy a tree stand just for the two weeks we were there, we improvised with a ski boot.

Santa found us just fine, despite our travels.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Still not quite ready for the world cup. Brooke is still more interested in eating snow, and Andrew loves falling in the snow, which makes it challenging to get down a run.


In addition to sledding, skiing, shopping, visiting friends, etc., we spent plenty of time lounging in PJs (or less). Many thanks to Talmadge and Jess for allowing us to stay at Chateau Price!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Market

One of our favorite Christmas traditions in Switzerland / Germany are the markets. At minus 8 degrees C we didn't last long, but still enjoyed it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Our favorite sledding hill on the Albis pass. The sledding alone made the trip to Switzerland worth the effort.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Will, now 3 months old is fully capable of smiling.

Long Day

Long day playing in the snow. More of the same tomorrow, why bother with PJs?

Monday, December 14, 2009


We loved seeing old friends and familiar places. Emma, we'll miss you, good luck with your move back to China!


Good to be back for the holidays. You can see why above.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mommy Brooke

Brooke loves Will. She is always caring for him, holding his hands, talking to him, etc. She even reprimands him when he sucks on his hands. Not because she doesn't want him to form habits, but because she wants him to always use her thumb as a pacifier.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Tree

Even though we will spend the holidays in Switzerland, we set up a small tree in the UK. We used our U.S. lights (120 volt instead of 240v). The tree was brilliant for about ten minutes until the top lights blew out. A few minutes after the photo above the bottom lights blew as well.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

British Museum

Anthony's good friend Darren came to visit, so we thought we would take advantage of the extra hands to venture into the city. Overall it was a successful outing, considering Brooke got sick and threw up all over the museum and restaurant (hence the shirtless photo above). Good parenting prep for Darren, who had a baby strapped to him most of the day and will get his own in a few months.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Trunk or Treat followed by a chili dinner for adults and a candy dinner for kids

The Pumpkins: the carving, the lighting and the next day's search for them

The Costumes: A Dragon (and a self-invented Bad-guy Superhero Spy the night before), a Bat and Spiderman.

Trick or Treating: at first a little timid, these guys caught on quickly and had no problem filling their bags.

It was so nice to celebrate Halloween again! It may not be as big here as in the States, but it was a close second! We live in an ideal trick-or-treating neighborhood so the kids didn't have to walk far to ring the next doorbell. And they loved handing out the candy almost as much as eating it. Highlights: finally being able to wear their dress-ups outside, having Mom and Dad say yes all night to opening the candy wrappers, playing with their new fun friends, and sharing the whole experience with Grandma and Grandpa.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

4th Birthday

The Presents:

The Food:

A day full of balloons, cupcakes, presents and family: a complete success. Where have the last four years gone? These guys just get more and more fun every year.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Baby Blessing

We've been so fortunate to have my parents at every one of our kid's baby blessings. And now it's official: William Anthony Shontz. Welcome to the family.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

St Andrews, Scotland

The Old Course at St Andrews


Gleneagles, King's Course

St Andrews Links, The New Course

Monday, September 21, 2009

And We're Back!

Well, it has taken us a full, crazy 7 weeks to adjust to our new house, home and country, but here we are! The kids are finally back to their fun selves (with just the occasional 4 year old/2 year old meltdowns), finally loving school and primary, friends and neighbors. Anthony's got his commute mastered (see collage #3) and Ashley's nesting hit it's maximum limit.

The movers are finally here! (August 10th)

Some purchases were more important than unpacking: a "tramperleen" and a grill

A new addition to our family, making Anthony's commute much easier and Saturday rides that are better than Disneyland.

Backyard camping: Anthony was so happy to see his gear again, and the kids LOVED it!

Coldplay at Wembley: A nice last minute surprise, since baby #4 has yet to arrive.

PS...Ashley is still pregnant, now in her 40th week (the longest she's ever been pregnant before). We're hoping for a baby any day now!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Switzerland A - Z

We're making an ABC book for our kids to remember Switzerland. Here's a quick sample. If you're interested in getting a copy without the letters cut off, I'm sure it will be available in Barnes & Noble soon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Choo Choo!!!

After living in Europe for 2 years, we finally made our first train trip! A quick stop in Montreux, then on to Geneva to submit our UK VISA applications. The kids loved looking out the windows, and having both Mom & Dad's full attention the whole way. Matthew has not stopped playing with his toy trains since we got back.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sweet Land of Liberty

Happy 4th! We scrounged around for fireworks and marshmellows and had our own little celebration with our fellow expats.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Somehow, Spring got away from me. As I looked through our pictures over the past month, I realized how much we did right here at home and how much I didn't blog about it. It seemed every day brought on three changes of clothes: cold mornings, hot afternoons and wet rainy evenings. As the days got longer and longer, we filled them up with getting dirty, getting naked and getting creative. Here is a packed collage of our daily May activities (some of the pictures are quite small, but were just too great not to on the collage to see it enlarged):

1) Fearing the disappearance of her beloved "blowies," Brooke decided to collect all the dandelion seeds she could fit inside a jelly jar. She now sleeps with it at night.
2) A night-time rain walk
3) My three naked ducks enjoying peanut butter and milk on the counter top
4) The daily thunder and lightning storms fascinated us all. We would sit on our outside porch and just watch (with an occasional dash around the house). This one in particular brought huge hail (and no dashing).
5) Andrew's approach to the blowies was a little bit different than Brooke's. Something about "Kill the weeds!"
6) "Go away, mom. We're just coloring." These two seemed to sense that I needed a little more rest than usual and became much more independent of me and more dependent upon each other, setting up their own games, adventures and activities.
7) Same night-time rain walk
8)The first run through the sprinklers of the season. It wasn't even that warm yet and it didn't last very long...but it was fun.
9) Dragon dress-up
10) The first watermelon of the season: "Does this mean it's summer?!"
11) Twirling with blowies
12) Our strawberries growing
13) Brooke is very serious about her play dough
14) Batman
15) An actual view of our front yard (covered in dandelions, blowies and buttercups). You can actually catch a small glimpse of the freedom our kids enjoy here: hills, barns, yards and bike paths right outside our door. Can you tell why we love Knonau so much?
16) Discovering how much fun mud is after a rain storm
17) Hiding in the sandbox
18) Wet sand is pretty fun too
19) Matthew's love of water and fountains followed right in his sibling's footsteps
20) Chicken man

And my three favorite from the mix:

We also enjoyed a warm day at the beach this month. The water wasn't warm by any means, but that didn't stop these guys:

It was a great month. So many things I'm going to miss about the wonderful place we live seemed to be everywhere: the quiet, the freedom, the safety and the beauty. This place will always be special to us; where our "baby Matthew" turned into a talking toddler and where Brooke and Andrew changed from talking toddlers into big kids.