savesyriaschildrenThis girl looks like one of my recorder students. That’s one of the reasons why I am deeply moved by this video (see below). If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you won’t be able to imagine what the refugees –  especially the children – have to go through. Here in Germany, where many refugees are stranded, they are often referred to as “parasites”. Not only by nazis, but also by tag-alongs and those disappointed by the German social system.

“Parasites?” How degrading and simply wrong.

If you are a refugee, you have NOTHING left. The home they used to know and love is destroyed. Bombed, ruined, looted. They can only carry what fits in a bag. They have seen violence, death, sheer cruelty. There is nothing like everyday life any more, friends and family are widely dispersed if not dead. All that is left is hope to find a future, a new place to stay in a foreign land, a completely new beginning. With a new language, new culture, new people. Everthing is unfamiliar and frightening.
And just think about the desperation.
Sounds terrifying, don’t you think? How shocking must it be for the refugees to be greeted by sheer hate here in Germany?! Feeling unwelcome, seeing burning refugees’ homes on the news.

Those people haven’t done anything to us, and they don’t want anything from us. They only want to LIVE.

Those people haven’t done anything to us, and they don’t want anything from us. They only want to LIVE.

Seriously, have those German haters forgotten about our history? I am so happy to live in a town which didn’t have to face the hating yet. We have a group of voluntary “Refugees’ Friends” which offer support for all the new foreign residents.

One of the refugees joined our choir shortly after he arrived in Germany. As he didn’t speak any German, he sang as good as he could by ear. Wonderful! And we all teared up when he sang a traditional song from his home, singing about the beauty of his land. A land which has been bombed, so he won’t ever see its beauty again, only ruins and destruction.
Just the other day I saw a refugee helping a disabled man get on the bus. Friendly, patiently, gentle. Other passengers wouldn’t even consider to offer their help.

“Parasites?” Think again.

Join me for a Pinspiration Challenge

When I looked at my Pinterest statistics the other day it almost knocked my socks off: Close to 1500 pins on 67 boards!

Holy Cow…

pinspirationchallengeWell, my year 2015 has the motto “Forward”. As most of my pins are creative stuff, the idea was to give all those pinned projects a try. That’s why I’m challenging myself to re-create/-bake/-craft one pin per week this year.

A “Pinspiration Challenge”, you could say.


schmelztitel_eSo here comes my first Pinspiration: My son (3) loves his little toys, and he loves water! One evening I grabbed a tupperware box and filled it with little cars, smurfs, and figurines. Then I simply added water and put the box in the freezer.
This is the pin which inspired this activity.
The next day, when my junior didn’t quite know what to do, I put a flat glas bowl on the kitchen table and made my son sit on his chair. He watched me in amazement when I opened the freezer, got out the tupperware box and put it under warm water. I emptied the colorful ice block into the bowl. Wait, colorful ice? “Mommy, tractor! Peguin!” – my son was excited when he recognized his toys. How could we free them from the ice? “Mommy hairdryer!” – um, yeah. Better not.

Nasensauger als PipetteWe don’t have a plastic (aka childsafe) eyedropper, and I didn’t want my son to use a syringe. I resorted to a “nasal aspirator” which is used to free a baby’s nose from snot. That sounds disgusting, and it truly is 😉 It needs to be cleaned thoroughly, of course.
I filled a bowl with warm water and showed my son how he could use the “snot sucker” to suck and release the water, slowly removing the ice from his toys.
My little one was busy excavating for almost an hour :).

Sure, I had to remove the melt water and fill the warmwater bowl several times, and the table didn’t stay dry. But my son had a great time! And lots of patience – very untypical of him 🙂 He beamed and said “Mommy, look!”, whenever he had freed a toy. The first “saved” car was allowed to watch him, of course.

P2120565Doesn’t a frozen smurf look creepy? 😉

Among the frozen toys I had a squirt toy which would have floated to the surface. Obviously. So before putting it in the tupperware box, I filled it with water. After the excavation, this turned out to be extra fun: The water inside melted slowly, so the toy had to “pee” quite often.
You see, our child is VERY interested in bodily functions…
P2120561And he doesn’t realize that drinking water from a snot sucker is disgusting. Toddlers are gross 😉

This activity was a hit, so the pin turned out to be a keeper! For my son, it was a great exercise in fine motor skills and patience.

Let’s see what I’ll try next.

How about you? Do you want to join my challenge?

Glitter Galaxy in a Bottle 1

Glitzer-GalaxieAs I’m a huge Pinterest fan, I recently came across the project: “The Pinterest Project: A Calming Glitter Bottle”. Thanks for the inspiration, Jamie! Our junior loves playing with plastic water bottles, so I simply had to give this project a try. It’s easy-peasy and looks marvelous! Adding blue food coloring (well, I guess it would work just fine with ink) lets the glitter look like a swirling galaxy.

You want to try it, too?


You need:

  • 1 empty plastic bottle (not too large, it should fit in your child’s hands) without the label
  • 1 transparent container for mixing
  • glitter glue
  • transparent craft glue
  • glitter from the stash
  • hot water
  • blue food coloring (or blue ink)
  • duct tape

zutatenI didn’t have any exact measures, it was an experiment after all. On the container, I marked the level of liquid I would need to fill the bottle.

First, I squeezed all the contents of two old glitter glue tubes (silver and gold) into my bowl, then half a tube of craft glue. It makes the liquid more viscid so the glitter won’t settle too quickly. You can add glycerin for that reason, but I didn’t have any. Jamie says that she prefers non-water soluble glue, but mine was water soluble – I didn’t have any problems with foam or suds, so I guess it’s just worth a try whichever brand you use.

gemischtUsing boiling hot water, I filled the bowl up to the mark and mixed the “potion” thoroughly. It still looked a little lame, so I emptied two small tubes of holographic and gold glitter into the bowl. When some of the glitter clotted, I simply squeezed the clots with the back of a spoon.

In the end, I added a shot of blue food coloring which made the water dark blue. When the potion had cooled down to room temperature, I used a funnel to fill it into the bottle. I secured the cap with a strip of duct tape because I don’t want any dark blue surprises on our furniture 🙂lmfarbe2

Anyway, the bottle is a hit! If you shake it and move it around, it sparkles like crazy!

As it’s not easy to capture the effect photographically, I made a short video for you: