Sunday, July 10, 2005


I am a lousy liar. Always have been, probably always will be. So I'm especially proud of what the kids and I were able to pull off this morning.

Back when Fred and I agreed that we would re-do his promotion ceremony here in Germany once he redeployed, I got the brilliant idea of asking his parents to come over as a special surprise. As it turns out, they needed very little coaxing. In fact, the discussion went something like this:

ME: Well, we're going to have a promotion ceremony and the kids and I were wondering if you guys--

FRED'S DAD: Yes!!!
Since then we've been conspiring to make it happen. I knew that we would need a solid excuse to get Fred to the airport this morning, so I told him ages ago that my grandmother and her husband would be spending the day there on a layover on their way to Africa. (This was only a quasi-lie, as they will indeed be making that journey later this summer. Yes, my grandmother is very cool.)

I had a mild shock yesterday, however, when I came across the flight itinerary clearly labeled for Don and Mary Taylor in a pile of papers that Fred had tidied up on the table. I spent the rest of the day looking at him cross-eyed, wondering if he was on to me. Was he cleaning, I pondered, because he knew we were having company the next day? Or was he cleaning because he is Fred and he can't help himself?

At the airport this morning, as we waited for Grandma to come through the sliding doors from Customs, I was pretty sure that he was clueless, especially when he pointed out one lady with white hair and said, "I think that's her! No, wait, she's Asian." When the doors finally slid open to reveal his parents and Fred's jaw dropped open, I delivered the line that Mike had suggested for the occasion: "Dude, you have been punk'd."

There were hugs and high-fives all around, and I herded everybody together for a quick reunion pic:

We've had a lovely time together today. We went out to the Odenwald for lunch at the Hotel Morgenstern and then spent the rest of the afternoon just chilling out.

I won't be around much for the next few days. We're all leaving on Tuesday for a quick trip to the Black Forest. We will spend the night in Freiburg at the same hotel we stayed at shortly after we arrived in Germany almost 2 years ago. On Wednesday, we are driving home through Triberg so that Fred can pick out a clock to commemorate his promotion. I hope to have some pretty pictures to post when we get back.

Speaking of pictures, we did remember to take the final back-to-back shots to demonstrate how much the kids have grown over the past year:

Isn't it amazing what a steady diet of Cap'n Crunch over the course of 14 months can do?

Those are So NOT the same kids! Wow, what a difference a year makes! I am so glad you are all back together again, and loved Mike's line about being Punk'd. Enjoy your last few days in Germany, and now figure out what you are going to rename the blog!
How cool is this! Great pictures of the kids with Fred. You must have watered Mike at least once or twice between bowls of Captain Cruch.

My brother bought a cuckoo clock for my parents from somewhere in the Black Forest...I wonder if it's the same place? Have a wonderful time!
I didn't realize that people shrank so much when they spent time in the middle east :)

But... Oh my how Fred's hair has grown!
Have you had Fred's famous pancakes yet? Have you been "Fredded"?

Dying to know that the reunion is happily carrying on!!!!
What great comparison shots! Fred's home (and cleaning) -- things at the Taylor house are just practically normal. How cool is that!?
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