June 21, 2022

Trying Again

 Looks like I tried to revive my blog in 2017 and failed tremendously.  Five years later.....  

Things that have happened.

Asia played volleyball, softball and tennis in High School, played trumpet in the North Hills High School jazz band and marching band,  stayed in Girl Scouts til she graduated from High School, and finished her first year at Temple University majoring in advertising. 

Zach is majoring in Computer Science at Berea College and is almost finished. This summer he is interning as a software developer focusing on web design (I think).  He is learning how to live on his own (with roommates) and I'm so proud of him. 

Both Zach and Asia have their driver's licenses - made much easier during the pandemic when the driving proctors weren't allowed in the car with them.  John and I had to sit in the car with them instead and were not allowed to talk or make any indications. Ha Ha!  They had to parallel park (the hardest part since only our big Honda Pilot had a back camera and our little Honda Insight had no cameras) and drive around the parking lot. 

My little Katt is now 10 years old!   She loves her big brother and sister. Luckily Asia is staying with us this summer.  Katt does miss Zach!   Katt and Asia will play Mario Kart together or walk down to Sweet Mary's Ice Cream where Asia works (along with an unpaid advertising internship Asia  has this summer).  Katt loves Roblox and has me playing with her now. I'm more of a Restaurant or Mall Tycoon kinda gal.   Katt has a comic Instagram channel that John runs for her = kattkomix.  She also just finished her 1st year of ballet with Dance Explosion.  She plays the violin (private lessons) and flute (through the school).  She's broken both arms (one arm from falling out of a crib when she was trying to climb out and the other arm falling off the monkey bars at school).  Katt is amazing with origami, stop motion animation, Imovies, and making anything.  She is in Girl Scouts and my Girls Who Code club. 

Random pictures in a very random order

A more recent picture of the family

June 19, 2017

Welcome Back! Me, not you....

Apparently I haven't posted since 2015 when we were all in Paris.  Not that this is only a travel blog.  I'm going to try and find some interesting things to blog about that has happened since 2015.  Do I go chronologically backwards?   It's like all the photo albums and pictures I have stored in maybe the basement. Once you stop documenting, it's hard to start back up.   Well here goes.

July 22, 2015

The Apartment

Sadly, I think we've grown out of our apartment that we rent in Paris in the 11th.  It's a two bedroom which was perfect when Zach and Asia were small and willing to share a room and bed.  The second time we went, Zach slept on the couch, Asia in the 2nd bedroom.  The third time, Asia and Katt slept in the second bedroom on a full size bed and Zach still slept on the couch though he didn't really fit.  Katt kept getting up though and coming to our room which meant waking Asia up to have her switch rooms again or someone switch rooms or trying to get Katt back in bed, etc. It was also really hot when we went this last time and the apartment doesn't have AC or fans.  It made for some uncomfortable nights. 

Here's the entrance to the apartment building. With its locked gates, the complex felt very safe, even though a few homeless people slept right on the corner.


Here is a picture of the lobby to our building.  One day, Asia walked up and down the floor to the mirror imitating a model on the runway.

Getting in the small elevator was always a challenge with all of us and the jogging stroller.

The bathroom had been newly remodeled with a washer and dryer, rain shower, but no bath tub. Luckily we already knew that so we brought the inflatable tub.  Some days it was so hot that Katt and I hung out in the shower pretending we were swimming.

Zach was missing a lot of marching band this summer and was playing a new instrument - the tenors/quads.  Here is a picture of him practicing on his make-shift drums. 
 The advantage of having an apartment is not eating out for every meal. We tried to go out to eat only once a day.  For breakfast, John would go with Katt and get chocolate bread - croissants filled with chocolate.  I brought Chinese instant noodle packages with me so I often had those. We also would go to the grocery store to get things to make for our meals. Since Katt didn't like a lot of the food, it helped to be able to bring her home and have her eat then. She loved the fruit we would get at the markets and of course she loved the bread.
 Here's a picture of the living room.  There were no screens or curtains in the windows. We'd just roll down these huge metal blinds.

 We loved the rooftop deck. We ate most of our meals up here. Katt would run around up here but one night we found out that the downstairs neighbor could hear all the running around. The downside of apartment living with kids.

 One of the views from the deck.  Imagine drinking your coffee on the deck as the sun comes up or sets.
 Here's what I called my office. It was the desk in our bedroom. I would work from here, usually working from 3 PM to 7 PM or full days while John and the kids were out exploring.

Here's a picture of the photographer.  She documented most of the rooms on our last day.

July 21, 2015

Getting a self-portrait

Asia tried a few times to get a good self-portrait. She wasn't really happy with any of the pictures she got and she paid for them herself.  It was fun watching though.

July 20, 2015


Oh the walking. Great exercise. The people you see.  Definitely something I love to do when we're in Paris. It's bonding time. Talking with the person next to you. When Zach and Asia were smaller, John would ask them to look up while they're walking, look around, don't focus on the ground as you step. With the kids being older and GPS on their smartphones, we'd give them some money and send them out to explore on their own. They knew some basic French or enough to say, "Je suis Americain."  Yes I'm an American and you knew that already, didn't you?

Some of the walks involved a ride on the train.  Katt didn't like the announcements and bell sounds the train made. Luckily her big sister was there to hold her hand most of the time.

July 19, 2015

King of the Mountain

I'm not sure how you're supposed to be playing on this contraption, but I enjoyed watching Zach and Asia play on it instead of sitting on a bench on their phones.

So I had to compare the videos with past trips. It's hilarious to see the difference.

Here's the video of Zach and Asia at the park in 2009.

Notice how unreserved they are at this age. They're having fun, who cares what others think.

July 14, 2015

Uncle Sam

Not only were Sam and Christy Neider in Paris at the same time as we were, but my brother Sam also came to visit.