Thursday, December 31, 2009

Massive Eruption

The boys have recently been very interested in Volcanoes, so we decided to make one. It only took a few minutes, but they are still talking about it. We went into the corner of our back lot and made a small mountain with a glass bottle in the center. I know the Baking Soda Vinegar trick, but googled it to see if we might get a bigger explosion. With warm water and dish soap the reaction almost doubles and the boys were so impressed. We also added red food and a whole bottle of Vinegar. The next time I go to the Commissary I will pick up a couple of bottles, we'll see just how big of an eruption we can get.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Came and Went

Christmas morning was filled with ooohhhhs and aaahhhhs and 4 very happy children. They have been very content to stay home and play with new toys and each other. It's going to be really hard to go back to our routine.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

An Unhappy Reindeer

There has been so much excitement about Christmas and all that it brings. Each child had a special advent calender in their class as well as a gift from their teacher. The kids have sung Christmas carols and played with Nativity Scenes set up at school. It has been a breath of fresh air coming from a country where you can't give a Christmas greeting to someone let alone talk about the real reason for Christmas. We are so blessed to live here and have this great opportunity.

Last week Eyan's class had a special party for a Kindergarten class. They did a dance and craft for them, Eyan was a reindeer. Here is a class picture before the party. 

If you can't spot Eyan he is the very small unhappy kid in the back row. When I asked about his expression, he had no answer. He does say that he likes school.... couldn't guess by this pictrure that's for sure.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rain Sleet or Snow

One thing I have begun to appreciate about the German culture is that they are outside rain or shine. I think the American Post office Slogan "Rain Sleet or Snow" came from here. They walk dogs and walk the trails, they walk to the Bakery, they walk all over town. Even little babies all bundled up going for a ride in a stroller in December! It is so nice to see that life goes on in the winter and you don't have to sit inside and wait for spring. From what the locals have told us this is a very warm winter so far. (Maybe for them!)

We piled on our own layers and went on a trail walk. It was nice to be outside, and I know the kids definitely could use some running around! And as you can see in the picture it's very green still. This is a winter crop and helps keep things not feeling so dull.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It Snowed

Saturday Eyan sat by the back door on a pillow with my iPhone checking the weather about every 3 minutes and looking outside. "Mom, I'm checking to see when it gets cold enough to snow!". It never did snow on Saturday, but there was excitement in the air just at the thought that it could snow. I was surprised when Naomi and Eyan were both so excited about snow. We lived in Colorado! Then Naomi reminded me that it only snowed in El Paso once and she didn't remember the snow in Colorado. Sad, but true.

Sunday morning Martin and I woke up to the kids practically screaming "IT SNOWED!!!!" and yes it did. There wasn't a whole lot, but that didn't matter. The kids were thrilled. They begged to go out immediately. That wasn't happening! It wasn't even 7am. By 8 they were reared up to go and played outside the entire morning. Toben didn't last so long, but he helped in the kitchen and danced to music, and was mostly content to be inside and watch everyone else.

At noon we ate lunch and had a short nap. The three older kiddos bundled up and played outside with each other and also with our neighbors. When it was almost dark I served Hot Chocolate and Gingersnaps, by 5:30 they were done and it was completely dark. We had a nice bowl of soup and finished the evening around the table doing homework.

I am so glad that most of the kids are finally at the age where they can enjoy the snow. There were no tears about freezing and besides Toben they all dressed themselves and played, and played and played. 

We are finally rounding the corner into a new era. It's really nice to say the least.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Midevil Christmas Market

Down the Autoban just a short distance there are many beautiful Castle ruins. This particular day we drove about 30 minutes to a Castle and a mid evil Christmas market. It was cloudy and wet, but that doesn't stop anyone here from venturing out and having a good time.

We were welcomed into the Castle with singing, and people dressed in clothing for the time period. Booths lined the pathway and ranged from wooden bowls and toys to candles and food of every kind.

This little duo to the left had a stash of musical instruments and played through out the day. The gesture also told little riddles and jokes. He must have been funny because the crowd was laughing.

It is a little difficult to order food when you can't read the menu, but we fallowed our noses and were not disappointed. One of the first places that we tried was a bread that was toasted over coals and then butter and Cinnamon coated it. I think the best way to describe it would be a hallow Cinnamon roll. Yummm

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Time

7:30 Finish Popcorn balls for Silus's class. Burn 1/2 the batch and start again.

8:00 Get Naomi and Eyan out the door for school with 2 Pumpkin Pies and a huge plate of Pumpkin Muffins. Not before dropping a pie on the floor.

10:30 Turkey in the oven. Will the Turkey turn out?

10:45 Martin and Toben peal potato's. So nice to have the extra hands in the kitchen.

11:45 Walk to school get Eyan and Silus. It's about 50 degrees, but a bit windy. So we have to bundle up before leaving the house. Coats, hats, gloves, and winter boots.

1:45 Sit down to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey turned out great, mashed potato's, gravy, green beans, biscuits, stuffing and 6 hungry people to eat!

3:30 Go to Kaiserslautern Christmas Market. A small Christmas Market mostly little Boothe's with food and hot cider. Parking the Suburban a little bit of a challenge, but Martin did a great job maneuvering the beast.

6:30 Home and get ready for bed! Well we made it through another day, and the kids have school in the morning.

7:30 Call family in the US it's only 11am on that side of the world.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Look Who's Two

Toben James.
Enjoys sitting in stroller and being pushed all over town. Every afternoon finds time to take a nap.

Quote of the day: Daddy watch this!

Favorite toy: anything small that he can carry

Favorite food: milk

Favorite Animal: horse
Word of the day: nein (German for no)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Musical Beds

Martin and I sleep in our bed.

The kids they like to play musical beds.

Toben has gotten to where he likes to sleep with Eyan or Silus.

If Toben sleeps with Eyan Silus will fall asleep in our bed or with Naomi. Or Silus might sleep in his bed, and Naomi will sleep with Eyan.

Most nights all the kids go to sleep in their very own beds, but by morning they will not be where they started out.

  • The boys getting ready for bed with nightcaps on. It's pretty chili here and I told them they would stay warm IF they wear socks and keep hats on. They decided to wear hats.
  • Eyan and Toben sleeping in Silus's bed

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Left or Right!?!

I don't know what it is, but I have never been very good at right and left. Yes, I know it's strange but, really it's true. I still have to look at my hand to see what finger has the ring on and what hand I write with. This has caused a few embarrassing moments when giving people directions and I say right, no wait I mean left. Oh sorry I meant right.

Honestly, I never thought much of it, until now. Why you ask? Because the beautiful roads in Germany are very funny. There are many unmarked intersections in these little villages. And that might not mean much, until you need to know right from left. BECAUSE when you are driving down an unmarked road and there is a street on your RIGHT the traffic coming from that road has the right of way. It sounds crazy I know. It is. Where are the stop signs and traffic lights? There are far from here and it's all about knowing your left from your right.

On Thursday the 12th of November I became a USERA license holder. Which means that I can legally drive here! I am learning quickly and hoping that I don't have a slip up on what is left or right.

My wonderful neighbor made me a cake to celebrate passing my test. That little piece of paper let me take the roads and never look back. That's because I'm looking down to see what hand my ring is on, oh wait that's my left.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Naomi has surpassed any and all of my expectations in the learning department. Knows more German words than I can count and has very good pronunciation. For school here the kids eat breakfast at school at about 9. So, I did what any mother would do and we pack a snack. According to Naomi " all the other kids are eating breakfast and there I am eating GOLDFISH! It just feels so weird". Ok ok fine, she'll eat two breakfasts.

Eyan is enjoying his own room now. He keeps his room very orderly and loves setting up his Playmobile. It works out nice because Toben is still in the smash everything up stage so this gives Eyan a safe place to keep his stuff. He is also drawing a lot and writing with his special pen. It is close to a calligraphy pen, but that's what the kids use to write with in school.

Silus is enjoying school. He goes has a small group (class) and really likes his teacher. The 4th of November, we all went to his school and had our very first Lantern festival. Free pretzel's and some singing, but best of all was the little lantern that each child carries. Silus has also been drawing a lot at the table and loves the color black.

Toben! Man this kid has a set of lungs on him! He can reach a pitch that is literally ear piercing! The other night we went to the PX and Toben wanted to get out of the cart, which I was not about to let happen. He screamed so loud and his face turned so red that I thought he was going to pass out. He didn't, but it sure was embarrassing.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lovely Home in Mehlingen

5 Weistrasse, Mehlingen. Here is a lovely 4 bed room home with two bonus attic rooms, 1.5 bath which includes an extra large bath tub with separate shower, over 2000 Sq feet, large dining area, little to no yard work, friendly neighborhood lots of extra parking.

Mehlingen sits on the outer parts of Kaiserslautern Germany. This charming village has several restaurants,1 small grocery store, 2 churches and 3 Backeri's just to name a few amenities you will enjoy. Beautiful walking trails and 2 parks for children are in close walking distance from this property. There is one main street running through the town which is currently undergoing construction.

This home is constructed out of red sand stone and was updated in the early 90's. As you enter the home you will find a mud room, take off you coat and shoes and please have a look around. To your right there is a guest bathroom which includes a urinal, an outstanding feature for younger boys who want that "public restroom" feel right in your own home.

On your right there is a lovely play room that any child would enjoy. Complete with a reading area, craft table and more toys than any child would know what to do with.

Walk on through, please watch for toys. Enter into a spacious living area. Here you will find a comfortable place to rest and put up your feet. There is also a TV, and a door straight ahead that will lead you to the porch. Don't head out there yet, there's much more to see.

Here is the dining room, feel free to make yourself at home. There is plenty of room for everyone, the table seats 6 comfortably, but we always have room for more. In the kitchen you will find a very bright canary yellow that will surely brighten even the darkest day. Enjoy the opened shelving and the easy access to whatever you are looking for.
Beyond the kitchen is a large pantry, loaded with both American and German snacks. Ok, well now lets make our way upstairs! There are 4 bedrooms. To the left is a craft/office area, and to the right a master bed room. Please watch your step, it's small, but I'd hate for you to trip! Straight ahead is the bathroom, the surprise feature here is this wonderful boudey. Now on to the bedrooms here, to the left and right are identical rooms. One for a girl on the left and the boys to the right. Each room has a bonus attic room, perfect to store even more toys, or children.

So sorry that you don't have time to see more, I hope you can come again and stay longer!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Here we are!
We have officially been in Germany for 2 months now, is that it? It feels like so much longer. So, I've come up with a list of some things you need to know before you come to Germany. We didn't really know these things. They may have been eluded to by others, but we didn't really grasp the full understanding. I think it's one of those things no one can tell you, because really you have to figure it out on your own.
Top 4 things to know BEFORE you move to Germany

1. When you're thirsty DO NOT drink the German water. After a long walk in the woods and up to the top of a Castle ruin everyone was thirsty. So proud to hear them talk about how thirsty they were, not for soda or kool-aid, but water! Down to the shop and get a bottle of water..... it's water with carbonation and a direct quote from 3 of the 4 kids "it is disgusting!" Toben didn't say it was bad, but he also refused to drink it. I'll have to agree with them. And after 3 tries with different bottled "water" we all came to the same conclusion. Maybe it's one of those things that will grow on you with time, but I'm not counting on it.

2. Bring a milk pail with you. The Commissary here is much like the one in Texas or any other Grocery store that you might shop at, probably with one exception and that would be the milk. First off you can not get a gallon of milk. They only sell it in 1/2 gallon containers and my guess is because they don't want you to actually think that your milk is $4 a gallon. It's a 1/2 gallon for $2. So when our 70 year old neighbor Walter insisted on taking Martin to get milk from the farmer I was all for it. Only one problem, where to get the milk pail. Lucky for us Walter let us borrow his and has since found one for us to keep. (More to come about our helpful neighbor Walter later)

3. Less is not always more. Number three is not for the weak stomach. And my apologies for the disgusting nature of this. Germany is an amazingly Eco friendly country. Trash is carefully separated and recycled from each and every household. This also includes water conservation. Now I can see how in the US the toilet may seem like a water waster, but I am here to tell you IT'S NOT. And the reason is because it helps flush everything down! If you can imagine 80% less water in the toilet, now imagine you just used the toilet. Where does it all go? Let me tell you, it goes all over the porcelain and most houses have a toilet brush next to the toilet so that you can help everything go down. Personally I think we need to call the guy from Dirty Jobs. You get the idea. It's just not right!

4. Transformers are your friends. Not having ever lived overseas I had almost no experience with voltage and assumed all you need to plug something in was a little adapter. Boy was I wrong. There is a 20 lb box you must (find) plug in the wall and then plug in your appliance. I thought maybe some of our appliances might be duel voltage where you can plug it into the little adapter. No. That would be too easy. I learned the hard way, and that's why I say transformers are your friends. Just plug everything into the big heavy box. Why you ask? Because you'll blow it up if you don't. Just ask my sewing machine and she'll tell you.