Ingwiller, France

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Saturday morning dawned late, as it would every day for the next ten days.  It was almost 9:00 before sunrise lit the sleepy solstice sky and even the kids were sleeping in.  Everyone is arriving today!  By plane, train, and automobile, from Holland, Connecticut, Zambia, Germany, and Seattle.  We are ready to break out the Wurst and whip up the cheese fondue!  Quick, where are the welcome drinks?

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Break out the Welcome Cheese too!

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Seriously, could we have eaten any more cheese on this trip?  We had two refrigerators and both of them were stuffed to bursting with cheese.  What is that weird smell every time we open the refrigerator door?

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Everyone is here now!  So exciting!!!!

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Nate, what are you doing to your daughter with that helmet on??

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Welcome Baby Noelle!  It’s so nice to finally meet you!

The First Noelle.  Get used to that, Sweetie.

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The house was soon buzzing with music and UNO, the sound of logs crackling in a huge stone fireplace, little kids making crepe stands for their stuffed animals and begging for stories from Oma.  “The dolphin is the chef and Sahara is in charge of cappuccino!”  “I want to do the Christmas puzzle!”  “Hey, stop it!  Give it back!”

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The afternoon was a blur of riding bikes, playing ping-pong, petting the dog, and feeding the horses (“Mom, I can eat horse food too!”)  By now our friend Pamela was here, and we all went exploring through the misty forest behind the house.  Are those gunshots?  Wear your red, kids!  And be careful of the mud!

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Back at home the support crew was getting things ready for Happy Hour.

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Noelle was ready to get the evening’s activities under way!

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Trombone, Clock, Marketplace, it was enough to keep even Opa up until midnight.  Who knew that Poker was the magic slipper that kept Dad from turning into a pumpkin?

The other cousins kept busy with Ring It.  Thanks Aunt Jaclyn!

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They had Happy Hour too.

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The best part is that our week is only beginning.

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