Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 4 Switzerland—the Schwendiman(n) party!

This was by far, the best part of the trip, and I think we would all agree!  When we were planning our trip, my Dad called Fritz and mentioned that we’d love to have a Schwendiman party, inviting any Schwendimans in and around Niederstocken to come.  Little did we know that Fritz and his wife Lotti would go above and beyond.  When we arrived on Day 3 in Niederstocken, they showed us the room they wanted to have the party in. . .starting to get set up already, and mentioned that about 60 people would be coming.  SIXTY!  We were thrilled.

  Day 4 Schwendiman party (13)We were so, so busy chatting with everyone (well, trying. . .) and taking pictures that I think this is the only pictures of the delicious food!  We had pasta with veal and an amazing cream sauce, green salad and a yummy dessert too!Day 4 Schwendiman party (14) Day 4 Schwendiman party (15) One thing we wanted to have happen at the party was for us to figure out how we all were related.  I had worked hard before the trip to make up our family charts, with as much information as I had about our ancestor Samuel and his family (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.)  I posted the chart at the entrance to the room, and was so excited when people, as they entered stopped and seemed to recognize some names.  We also worked that afternoon on making some other charts with siblings of Samuel listed, so hopefully we would be able to put people in where they belonged.  We made up and copied a 3 generation chart for everyone to fill out when they came in with as much information as they had, as well as their address, email, etc.  We gathered them up and were able to make connections right away!  So exciting!  It was most exciting to see how many had come with charts of their own, lots of old pictures of families for us to take photos of, lots of memories to share!   Most of the work came that night as we poured over the charts in our jammies, and put families together and figured out how we were all truly family.Day 4 Schwendiman party (16) Day 4 Schwendiman party (17) Day 4 Schwendiman party (18) Day 4 Schwendiman party (19) Day 4 Schwendiman party (20)My Dad hired a true “Swiss” band to play music for us during the party.  He even introduced them as the “Switzerland Beatles!”Day 4 Schwendiman party Dad and Niederstocken BeatlesDay 4 Schwendiman party (21)

Day 4 Schwendiman party (28)Here’s the whole gang! (except me, of course, taking the photo.) Day 4 Schwendiman party (22) In true Schwendiman style, my Dad made each of the kids introduce themselves, say how old they were, etc. . .they he treated them each to a chocolate bar.

day 4 Schwendiman party (24) Levin and Sirioday 4 Schwendiman party (25) This is Nils Heusser.  It was so great to see these little Schwendimann boys.  As they left, one of them shook my hand and said “Thank you so much”, and I said “It was so nice to meet you!” He looked at his Mom and smiled and kind of shook his head like “I have no idea what she just said.”  They were so kind and sweet and polite young men!!day 4 schwendiman party (26) The Heusser boys from left Till, Jens and Nils.  Levin and Sirio Guinig.day 4 schwendiman party (27) 

Till Heusser day 4 Schwendiman party (30) Table one with Lotti and Fritz in front then Urs and Rosemarie next.day 4 Schwendiman party (31) Table 2 with Anina and her Mom Christine, and my sister Julie next to Susi and Ida.day 4 Schwendiman party (32) Table 3 with Ueli and Margarete on the left and Lilli and Christian on the right.day 4 Schwendiman party (34)  Sweet Lilli brought us these great Switzerland hats.  So perfect.  We even convinced Ida to come up and put on Todd’s with us for a picture.  Ida was truly the hit of the party for me.  She is actually a FIRST cousin of my great grandfather!  She is 95 years old and was so excited to be at the party, and it was such a joy to see and meet her!day 4 Schwendiman party (36) day 4 Schwendiman party (38) The party winding down. . .we started about 6:30, and I don’t think anyone left until at least 10pm!Day 4 Schwendiman party (Dad, Margarete and Ueli Schwendimann--Lilli's brother)Dad, Margarete and Ueli Schwendimann

day 4 Schwendiman party (Anina, Dad, Christine, Yves, Severine, Dora, Florian, Rosemarie, Urs, Silvia, Sirio, Ernst, Markus)Dad with Ernst and Dora Schwendimanns family. . .(Anina, Dad, Christine, Yves, Severine, Dora, Florian, Rosemarie, Urs (hidden), Silvia, Sirio, Ernst and Markus.)Day 4 Schwendiman party (Till, Jens, Angelina Heusser, Nils, Andi Heusser, Christian and Lilli Aeschlimann

Lilli and Christian Aeschlimann with their daughter Angelina and her husband Andi with children Till, Jens and Nils.  Lilli didn’t remember but when my Dad had completed his mission for the church in Germany he came to Niederstocken to visit family and went to Lilli’s father Hans’ bakery.  She was only about 15 and took him for a little tour around the area.  He was so excited to meet her (again!)Day 4 Schwendiman party (Dad, with Christian and Lilli Aeschlimann) Dad with Christian and LilliDay 4 Schwendiman party (Dora, Dad, and Ernst Schwendimann( Dad with Dora and ErnstDay 4 Schwendiman party (Erwin, Andreas, Eva, Marcus, Gertrude, Bernard, Christine) Erwin, Andreas, Eva (Erwin’s wife), Markus, Trudi, Bernard and Christine

Day 4 Schwendiman party (Fritz and Dad)

Dad and FritzDay 4 Schwendiman party (Hans Sr., Hans Jr., Margrit (Hans sister), Dad, Vreni (Hans Sr.'s wife), Tanya and Martina, Susan Dad with the Hans Schwendimann family (Hans Sr., Hans-Jorg, Margrit, Vreni, Hans-Jorg’s twin daughters Tanja and Martina, and his wife Susan)Day 4 Schwendiman party (Lotti and Dad) Dad with Lotti (Fritz’s wife)Day 4 Schwendiman party (Margarete Vampf, Dad, Christian (brother of Margarete) and his wife Mariann Dad with Margarete, Christian and his wife Day 4 Schwendiman party (Markus, Silvia, Dad, and Susan Schwendiman (Hans Jr.'s wife) Dad with Markus, Silvia and SusanDay 4 Schwendiman party (Dad, Dora, Suzi Silvia) Dad with Dora, her sister Susi, and SilviaDay 4 Schwendiman party Dad, Ida, David and Regula (schwendiman)  Sommer Dad with Regula Schwendiman and her husband Daniel Sommer, with Ida.  Ida is Regula’s great aunt, and she promised her father that she would always care for her.  Day 4 Schwendiman party Dad and Ida dancing Regula said that Ida had said that “she loved to danced, and if anyone had asked her she would’ve tried”.  So with that my Dad scooped his arms right around her and gently danced with her. . .she was so happy.Day 4 Schwendiman party Dad and Jens Heusser (Angelina and Andi's son, Lilli's grandson)

Dad with Jens (Angelina’s son) and chocolate!!Day 4 Schwendiman party Dad and Margarete

Dad dancing with Margarete Day 4 Schwendiman party Dad and the Heusser boys--Nils, Jens and Till Dad and the Heusser boys!Day 4 Schwendiman party Dad with H. Ruedi Vampf (Margarete Schwendiman's husband) Dad with H. Reudi VampfDay 4 Schwendiman party Dad with Susanne and Peter Schwendimann

Dad with Peter and Susan SchwendimannDay 4 Schwendiman party Hans (Sr.) and David (married to Regula) Hans Schwendimann  Sr. and Daniel Sommer (Regula’s husband)Day 4 Schwendiman party Dad, Verena and Hermann Saurer-Schwendiman (Lilli's cousin) Dad with Verena Schwendimann and Hermann SaurerDay 4 Schwendiman party Erwin, Andreas,and Dad Erwin Schwendimann and his son AndreasDay 4 Schwendiman Party Dad and Hans Dad with Hans-JorgDay 4 Schwendiman party Christine and Paul Schwendimann (Friederich Jr.'s son) Dad with Paul Schwendiman and his wife Christineday 4 Schwendiman party Dad and Angelina Angelina was a huge help to us!  We put her right to work for translating.  Even with my Dad’s good german, in these small towns where they not only speak Swiss-Deutsch but even Niederstocken-Deutsch!  It was great to have someone to help us out!  Day 4 Schwendiman party Dad and Ernst Dad and ErnstDay 4 Schwendiman party Dad and Erwin Schwendimann) Dad and ErwinDay 4 Schwendiman party Dad and Florian (Urs and Rosemarie's son) Dad with Florian (Urs and Rosemarie’s son that was helping out in the barn earlier in the day.)  Day 4 Schwendiman party Friederich family Some of the Hans-Walter Schwendimann family membersDay 4 Schwendiman Party Johannes family Some of the Johannes Schwendimann family membersday 4 Schwendiman party Ida Here is Ida!day 4 Schwendiman party Ida (2) She got a little chocolate from Dad too.day 4 Schwendiman party Ida and Dad Again, it was so amazing to have Ida be there with us.  Day 4 Schwendiman party Ida and Suzi Ida Schwendimann with Susi Schwendimannday 4 Schwendiman party Ida singingThe whole group sang Happy Birthday to my Dad (he said that he knew he truly was Swiss because his birthday is August 1st which is Swiss National Day!).  After they sang he was talking to Ida, and she said that she loves to sing, and she used to sing everyday.  He asked her if she would like to sing a song, and she said sure!  She was so sweet, and we loved hearing her little yodeling song. . .it brought tears to many eyes! 

Day 4 Schwendiman Party Julie, Hans' twin girls, Wendy Julie and I with Hans-Jorgs twins Martina and TanjaDay 4 Schwendiman party Margarete Schwendimann-Vampf Margarete with Dadday 4 Schwendiman Party Margareth, Hans and Ueli Hans-Jorg talking with Ueli and MargareteDay 4 Schwendiman party Miriam, Dad, Patrick Schwendimann

Dad with Patrick Schwendimann and Miriamday 4 schwendiman party singing (3)Margarete came up to me and was trying to explain that they had a song to sing to my Dad.  She was so cute, and said with her voice going up, “you know. . .la, La, LA!”  I said, “Oh, of course!  He will LOVE it!”  Here is Margarete and Vreni,  Christine is behind Margarete with two of the Swiss Beatles as they yodeled for my Dad!  This video is split into two parts (I think it accidently had shut off), but be sure to watch the end of part 2 for Margarete’s big finish!  I LOVE it!

Day 4 Schwendiman party the WOMEN!  The Schwendimann women!  We had all the blood relative Schwendimann women come join us for a picture.  Back row from left is Silvia, Christine, Julie, Lisa, Heidi, me, Lilli, Margarete, Margrit, Verena.  Front row is Regula, Ida, Christine, Tanja and Martina.

Day 4 Schwendiman party the MEN!

The Schwendimann MEN!  Just a little resemblance huh?  Back from from left is Paul, Fritz, Dad, Ueli, Urs, Markus, Andreas, Erwin.  Middle row is Christian, Hans Sr., Hans-Jorg, Ernst, Peter.  Front row is Florian, Patrick and Marco. 

It’s just not sufficient to say what a great night this was.  To have that many Schwendimanns in one room was amazing. . .lots of talking, singing, dancing. . .we really ARE family!!!  Thanks to Fritz and Lotti for putting it together and we were so thankful to everyone that came!!  Let’s do it again!  Next Summer??  I wish!


Julie Ramsay said...

What an awesome party! Amazing you could remember the names so well!

katles said...

Wow! That looks like some amazing good fun. What a treat for you and your family...the whole trip sounds simply awesome. Thanks for sharing!

Erin said...

This is just AMAZING!!!!! I did a family history trip about 5 years ago and ended up in this tiny town in up state New York that was full of Swartwood relations! It was amazing to see so many people who looked or sounded like me! Family is just plain terrific!!!

Katydid said...

All of that yodeling has made me just a little nostalgic and weepy.