Welcome to the MoritzOnline.net blog!
The place where all five of us will regularly contribute to keep our family and friends informed of happenings in our lives.
Be sure to check back regularly.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Jonathan and Andrew photos
Here's a link to a few photos from Jonathan and Andrew's recent visit to see us in Washington:LINK
Saturday, May 24, 2008
As quickly as they came, Jonathan and Andrew left today. We had a good week playing lots of games like Scrabble, Monopoly and Rook. We also watched some movies, took a walk in Seattle and visited the famous Pike's Market; watching the guys throw fish. We thought one of them was going to hit Andrew in the head. Luckily the guy could catch fish! All in all it was a good time to touch base and re-connect. We look forward to our next visit which will probably be for Jonathan's graduation in December.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
My New Allegiance
Just to make sure we are all clear here, I'm going to start by saying that I always have, still do, and always will love Canada.
This Monday I took a huge step in my life. I became a Citizen of the United States of America.
Last summer I attained my 5 year residency requirement to apply for citizenship in this country, and I decided that getting citizenship here in the U.S. was something I wanted to do, so I sent in my application right before the application fees doubled. Because of this increase in the fees there was a huge influx of applicants, this meant processing times were ridiculously long.
This past spring Andrew and I finally had our fingerprinting appointments (we both applied at the same time) and a little more than a month ago we received our letters letting us know that we had an appointment for our interviews. My parents had their interviews before us because apparently there are fewer immigrants in Washington than there are in California (who would have guessed it?). Unfortunately for them, the USCIS location in Yakima doesn't have regular swearing in ceremony's like Fresno does.
My interview went great, and I got (almost) all of the US civics and history questions correct and I did a superb job at the English proficiency test. At the end of the interview the Immigration Officer interviewing me asked me if I was busy later on in the afternoon. After informing he that I wasn't, he asked me if I would like to be sworn in a couple hours later. I said sure and before I knew it I had a short time to wait before I officially received my citizenship. The ceremony was nice, but with such a short notice I didn't have anyone there with me.
Therefore, I am now the first American Citizen in my family. (Andrew had to postpone his interview because he is currently visiting our parents
with Jonathan otherwise he would likely be a US Citizen now too.)
Monday, May 19, 2008
Jonathan and Andrew in Washington
Kathy and I are privileged to have Jonathan and Andrew with us for one week. Friday evening they took the Greyhound from Fresno and arrived in Bellingham, Washington a little more than 24 hours later. We picked them up from the bus depot Saturday evening and then, after spending time in Bellingham and Seattle on Sunday, we returned to Yakima. This is the first time for them to be at our Yakima home.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
As Kathy previously indicated, Leavenworth is a beautiful Bavarian town less than 2 hours away from us. It is amazing how authentic it feels. I had to remind myself that I wasn't in Germany. It is a must visit when you come to see us in Washington (hint, hint).
Here are some photos we took this past weekend: http://picasaweb.google.com/lloyd.moritz/LeavenworthWA?authkey=P9AjLhR9k4A
(Don't forget to click on each photo to see it larger)
Saturday, May 10, 2008
As you may or may not have heard through the grapevine. I bought a scooter last weekend.
It is a Yamaha C3, it gets 115 mpg in gas mileage and it is awesome.
I had some issues with my car, so I thought I would get a reliable scooter to save on gas and to help out the environment.
This is what it looks like.
My brothers and I don't get a lot of time to hang out all together, so we decided that we would get together once a month for a special breakfast. Today was our first monthly breakfast.
I was in charge of organizing it (we are going to take turns). We have the option of going out to a restaurant or making it ourselves. Since I enjoy cooking, I decided to cook the breakfast myself.
Here is the result
Breakfast consisted of:
- Apple Streusel Pancakes (Archer Farms of Target)
- Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms
- Breakfast Sausages
- Fresh Fruit (Apple Slices & Strawberries)
- Orange Juice
- Blueberry Green Tea
It was a success. After breakfast the three of us headed over to the park and threw around the football for a while. It was a great time to spend time together. Even though we see each other fairly often, it'll be nice to have this time to hang out.
Visiting Leavenworth Washington
I've had the privilege the last couple of days to be in Leavenworth, Washington helping with the logistics of a Facilitator's training program with Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform). It is truly a beautiful, Bavarian-like city in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. The views here are spectacular and the warmth of the townspeople make the stay a really enjoyable one. My only wish is that my family could be here to enjoy it with me.
Information including the history of the town can be found at www.leavenworth.org
. The website says this: "The story of Leavenworth is a testament to the determination of the human spirit. From a dying timber and rail town it converted itself into an alpine Bavarian village. Leavenworth has become a pillar of the tourism industry in the Pacific Northwest. Today, more than 2.5 million tourists come to Leavenworth each year, each visitor finding their own individual love affair with the community."
This weekend is Maifest in Leavenworth and I've attached a picture of the Maypole dancers in the town center.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Some of you may know that I was in Ontario for 9 days last month. I had the privilege to go and help out my brother Doug, whose family has been going through some serious health issues. I flew from Seattle to Buffalo on the 15th of April via New York City. I was able to see Manhattan and its skyline as well as the Statue of Liberty (although it was just a tiny speck from the air). When I arrived in Buffalo, Doug met me and we drove back to Kitchener. I was very fortunate to get to attend a few of Elisabeth's rugby games and believe me, you don't want to get tackled by Lis! She is always one of the tallest players on the field, and she will take you down! It was fun to watch her cream the other teams and their team placed 2nd in the tournament we saw.
On the weekend, while Doug spent time with Gisela and Rebecca, (I was able to spend a little time with them too) I took a whirlwind trip to Zurich/Bayfield to visit Ken & Ginny and their family. I was able to meet my great-nephew Bryson who is 1 1/2. What a character! He reminds me a lot of his dad, Jeff. The next morning we went to the Zurich Mennonite church where I was able to see some friends from way back ( and I do mean, way back!) as well as some extended family. Lunch was hosted by Ginny and my Uncle Dave & Aunt Carol were able to be there. (Thanks for all the great food, Ginny!) On the way back to Kitchener, I stopped in for a couple of hours and had supper with my mom and dad. It was really good to see them again. Did I mention Ginny made three kinds of pie - rhubarb, pumpkin and raspberry and that my mom made her famous crumby apple pie! Wow! Lloyd was really jealous...
During this week, there was the regular things around the house to take care of as well as get Lis ready for a trip to Chicago with her school as well as to spend a day with my parents. Then as quickly as I went, it was time to return home again. Doug and I spent my last day shopping and had a lovely lunch at the Cheesecake Factory before I got on the plane once more. My return flight stopped in Philadelphia and when I was looking at the map of the continent I realized that I was flying almost coast to coast. I'm so glad for the opportunity to go out there and do what I could to make their lives a bit brighter.
SCHOOL UPDATE: I've finished the spring semester and am on to my last two glasses. At the end of this semester, I will have my degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management. I am looking forward to being finished, but also wondering what I'm going to do with all my spare time! I'm not going to worry though, Lloyd said he'd be able to find something for me to do! :)