First Snow of the Season

December 19th, 2013 by ninja

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Much to the children’s disappointment, their school was strictly enforcing the stay-off-the-snow rule during recess. At pickup, however, even the teachers had fun playing on the remaining heaps…

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Chorus Rehearsal (3 Songs)

December 13th, 2013 by ninja

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Chorus rehearsals are in full swing, as the 4th and 5th graders are preparing for Wednesday’s big concert. The kids are all so excited to be part of Advanced Chorus, that they even hold their attention for an additional 75 minutes this past Friday afternoon – for an additional rehearsal after a long school day/week. So proud of them!

Here are three more clips:



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Let Them Eat Pie

December 8th, 2013 by ninja

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One of our school’s most popular fundraiser events is Eat Pie and Shop. It’s an annual pie extravaganza, combined with an artisanal Holiday gift market. The main attractions are a celebrity judged pie contest for adult bakers, and some 300+ additional pies, which are sold to the general public by the slice. Flavors range from savory (quiche, meat pie) over fruity, nutty, to creamy and chocolate-crazy.

For the first time ever, the students had their very own pie contest – and Mika was chosen to be one of the five jury members! Submissions had to be baked with no or minimal help of adults. Winners were judged by the kid jury, and the sampling kid audience. The jury had to systematically sample 50+ pies (!), but everything was set up and paced professionally, so nobody got sick. Mika’s own pumpkin pie did not win an award, but Z & T’s team effort – a family recipe Apple Strudel – got second prize. Congratualtions!!!

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Pottery Party

December 7th, 2013 by ninja

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For this year’s birthday party, Mika wanted to paint pottery with seven of her best friends – plus Tobin. All kids were extremely focused and creative. After our studio time, we took all nine of them home for dinner and a movie (Turbo), followed by the real birthday cake … and a chance to dance off the sugar rush in the Annual Just Dance battle. The last two pictures are of the dancers watching their results and playback video. Will post our video soon…

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Gift from Vermont

December 6th, 2013 by ninja

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Dawn, our AirBnB host from Vermont, called me a few weeks ago to ask if the kids would be interested in studying a beautiful, massive wasp’s nest she had just cut off her house at the end of the season. Back in July, when we visited Jason (<- I finally posted those pictures as well), the kids had found a small scrap of wasp nest ‘paper mache‘ in Dawn’s garden, and she remembered how fascinated they had been. What a quirky, lovely offer … of course I said yes! At first, we thought about the best way to mail the fragile structure, but then it turned out that she was about to visit family in Brooklyn over Thanksgiving, literally a couple of blocks from our house, so she hand delivered the sculpture to us. The nest is amazing: about the size of a football, with a complex maze of layers, but weighs only a few ounces. This particular one shows the inner layers exposed, as it had to be cut out of a corner. After a few days of studying, we donated it to the science collection of our kids’ elementary school – both science teachers were thrilled!

1 Comment | Category: Photos

Chorus Rehearsal: Home

December 4th, 2013 by ninja


Mika is part of her school’s Advanced Chorus (4th and 5th graders), who meets for practice every Wednesday during recess. Can’t wait for their two performances this month: one on Sunday, at the Eat Pie and Shop event, and another, full concert on December 18, before the Holiday break.

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Happy Thanks…birthday, Mika!

November 30th, 2013 by ninja

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Mika’s birthday, like Opa Addi’s, fell on Thanksgiving weekend again. Most of her friends were out of town, or spending all weekend with their families. Since we couldn’t celebrate a party on the actual date, Sung organized last minute tickets to one of Broadway’s most successful musicals, which also happens to be the story of one of Mika’s favorite books: Roald Dahl’s Matilda!

We spent the day playing tourist in our own city, going to all the places we usually avoid, and it was fun! The kids oogled Macy’s holiday windows, we all had great Korean food for lunch (an activity we certainly don’t avoid), and spent an hour people watching at Times Square. The actual show was amazing (!!)  Both kids were transfixed by the smart storyline and professional performance. Sung and I loved it as well. After the show, we strolled through Rockefeller Center, packed with tourists, before heading home on an equally crowded subway.

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Frische Luft schnappen…

November 29th, 2013 by ninja

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The things we Germans do to get our daily dose of fresh air, include biking to Dumbo in 34°F weather. We dressed appropriately (with wind stoppers under the helmet), and the golden late afternoon light couldn’t have been more beautiful. In Dumbo, we enjoyed Jaques Torres‘ excellent hot cocoa, before we rode back home, into the sunset.

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Happy Thanks…birthday, Opa Addi!

November 28th, 2013 by ninja


Lieber Papi – Dear Opa Addi!

Happy Birthday from all of us here in Brooklyn – we hope you have a fantastic day! We will call you after Thanksgiving Day in person, but here is a little Morgenständchen to get you started!

When Tobin went to bed, right after recording the video, we could hear him sing “Happy Thanks-birthday to youuu, happy Thanks-birthday to youuu … “ and he followed the song in elementary school fashion, chanting “Are you one? Are you two? Are you three? “ … etc.   I am not sure if he made it to 75, because his voice got quieter as the numbers went along ;-)

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Boom! Happy Birthday, Bruno!

November 24th, 2013 by ninja

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Tobin and Bruno are BounceU veterans by now, which made it all the more exciting that Bruno got his turn to celebrate there. The boys are experts at all the biggest slides and castles, but the foam ball battle range proved to be the top attraction again. Two very efficient teams fought an epic, 20-minute battle. Many adults got into the crossfire…

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Squirrel Squad

November 23rd, 2013 by ninja


A few days ago, the kids noticed a piece of fur sticking out of one of the many Halloween pumpkins left on our neighborhood stoops. As it turned out, the fur belonged to a thrifty squirrel, who was sitting inside the pumpkin, mining for fresh pumpkin seeds. Before I could get my camera ready, the little guy leaped out and ran up a nearby tree.

On Thursday, we were passing the squirrel pumpkin again with a large group of kids heading to Korean after school class. As you can see, the pumpkin has been reduced substantially but there was a squirrel sitting inside it again! It might have gotten either too heavy, or too brazen to run away. Instead, it was simply hiding behind the planter on the ground, patiently waiting for the gaggle of kids to move on…

(The squirrel was about as fat as this guy, who showed off his survival weight on a local playground.)

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Super Soccer Season

November 16th, 2013 by ninja

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Tobin has been taking soccer classes for a little bit. His favorite group meets on Saturday mornings in Prospect Park. Unfortunately, it’s all indoors now until Spring ’14. Mika usually has her own activities on Saturdays, but due to a strong cold, she couldn’t go swimming and tagged along to Tobin’s practice.

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