Wild blueberries

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Yesterday Meg and I joined our friends Thomas and Ulli for a little hike in Belgium to pick wild blueberries (in German Heidelbeeren); they had discovered a big patch of them while hiking last year. Even though it was a little bit later in the year than peak time, we still managed to find quite a few blueberries.

Meg made muffins today – a recipe out of the cookbook that grandma Felty got her several years ago. They were very tasty! She shared them with some neighbors as well as her fellow scouts.

Blueberry muffins

Thanks Thomas and Ulli for taking us out for some adventure!

First day of school, 2021 edition

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This is our fourth first of day school event in Würselen. Spencer is starting the 7th grade. Meg is starting 5th grade. They are both at the same school now, for the next seven years hopefully.

One more golf game

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Spencer, Grandpa Dibble, and I woke up early today to play one last round of golf before flying back to Germany. Spencer went with grandpa several times, but I was too busy with packing up the house, so I only made it today. We had great weather, and all had a great time. The highlight was probably Spencer’s 250 yard drive. Thanks for taking us Dave!

Cake Maker

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Meg has been wanting to learn how to decorate cakes. Our friend Sarah is very good at it, and volunteered to teach her. She made a fantastic lemon cake with raspberry jelly filling. Sarah’s daughter Natalie and their friend Sofia helped a bit as well. To give you an impression of how good the cake was, note that even Spencer liked it, who usually only likes ice cream cake. Thanks Sarah!

Building a PC

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Spencer has been wanting a gaming PC for probably close to a year now. He has been saving up his allowance and birthday and Christmas money. Clare and I decided to also chip in some, and that it would be fun to build a PC instead of buying one pre-made. We also decided to do it while we were visiting the USA, since electronics are generally cheaper there. Spencer and I both did a bunch of research, and ended up putting together a decent PC. We put it together with his uncle Drew, who has quite a bit of experience building PCs.

RGB is all the rage these days, so there is as much RGB as possible! – 3 fans in the front of the case, the RAM, the CPU cooler, and even the power supply. We did get a bit unlucky with the graphics card. The first card we ordered on Amazon.com got cancelled. Then we decided to order one on Newegg.com instead. We ordered it on July 3rd. It said that customers typically receive it in 5-17 days. A label was created on July 9th, but no other status updates yet. If we don’t get it by the time we leave for Germany, we will have to cancel and order one in Germany I think. Luckily uncle Drew let us borrow one from his gaming rig, which he doesn’t spend too much time using these days, since he is busy wrangling his three young children. We made a few mistakes along the way, like installing the m.2 SSD into the wrong location on the motherboard, and not ordering a Wifi/bluetooth module. Drew fixed the first issue, and we are still waiting on an order for the second issue.

Specs:

Case Corsair airflow
CPU Intel Core i3 10100f LGA 1200
CPU CoolerVetroo V5 White CPU Air Cooler w/ 5 Heat Pipes 120mm
Graphics card MSI Nvidia GTX 1650 dual
Motherboard –ASUS Prime Z590-P LGA 1200
RAM Corsair vengeance rgb pro 16GB (2x8GB)
SSD Western digital blue 1tb m.2
Power supply Corsair CX650F RGB

So far Spencer was able to get about 85 or 90 FPS on Fortnite, which is a big improvement over the 30 FPS playing on the Nintendo Switch. We decided to spend more on the motherboard and less on the CPU, so that it would be easier to upgrade in the future. Hopefully it will last for a number of years. Spencer was very excited to show his friends his new PC.

Big Gulp

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Meg could not believe the size of the Big Gulp cups at 7-11. She asked me to take a picture with her hand for comparison. I think they hold 2 liters each!

Golfing with Sadie and Grandpa Felty

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Spencer was very excited to go golfing with Grandpa Felty. We carved out some time to go on Friday, while Meg, Clare and Grandma made a tasty tart.

We played nine holes at Wyandotte shores. I was really impressed at how good Sadie has gotten. Thanks for taking us dad!

Felty group photos

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It wouldn’t be a visit without capturing a group picture. We tried a couple different spots around grandma and grandpa’s new condominium. Still not certain what the best option is. I finally had to replace the batteries in my remote control after 12 years or so. That little remote was a great buy! Which picture is your favorite?

It was really great to get together. We have really missed the Feltys. Hopefully it won’t be two long years again before we see them. In the meantime, we are thankful for the modern technology of video chat.

Meg’s 4th grade graduation

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July 2nd was Meg’s last day of elementary school. In August, she will be heading off to the Gymnasium for 9 years, and then likely off to university (perhaps in Paris) where she will prepare to be a programmer for space ships (unless she changes her mind along the way). Several of her classmates will be joining her at the gymnasium, while some will be going to different schools.

This is my second elementary school graduation ceremony so far. Spencer had his two years ago. That was before Corona, so it was quite different. In spite of Corona, the school was able to put together a very nice ceremony for the kids. The class performed a cup song, which was very cool.

In addition, Meg got a certificate for a Math competition she entered. She made it to the third round (along with 1000 other kids out of 23,000 who entered from North Rhine Westphalia). We are very proud of her. (Spencer also did really well in the math competition he entered (49 out of 50 points).

Spencer’s 6th grade final art project

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Every year there is an art competition from the Lion’s club which Spencer’s school participates in. It is an international competition, so the students have to draw something without words to demonstrate peace through helpfulness. This year’s theme was “we are all one”. Spencer chose to make a jigsaw puzzle with the colors of the rainbow, and a hand with different skin colors representing the diversity of the world, and how we all make up part of the puzzle that is our earth. He worked a long time on it, and I think it turned out really nicely.

Spencer’s art project