Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

It was another nice, wintry day here in Germany.  Catherine had a crown come out last weekend, and had an appointment with a German dentist (actually an American - he just loved it here when he was in the Army so much that he move to Landstuhl and started his own practice) to get that fixed.  While she was in the chair, I took the kids to Burg Nanstein - the castle/ruins that sit over Landstuhl and Ramstein.  The photo below is of Ian and Leah sitting on a log very near the Burg.  I took at least 7 shots of them and this is literally the ONLY one where they were both smiling and looking at the camera (and I really like this one of them too!).  Good thing digital is so cheap!

We also went into the Burg and climbed around - there are loads of stairs and towers, and as the photo below illustrates, a "dungeon".  And climb we did.  We had a great time; the view overlooking Landstuhl and Ramstein was pretty, and the view from the towers into the Burg grounds was pretty cool too.  This is the best preserved abandoned castle that I have climbed around in yet.  I hope to get back there to explore it more fully as we were limited on time (Catherine was in the dentist chair, if you remember).

So after all that fun we ran home so we could have Thanksgiving dinner/lunch at the dining facility on post.  They really put on a very nice spread, good enough that I would say it was worth the 20-30 minute wait in the cold.  After lunch we came home and took our tryptophan naps.  Great way to spend the afternoon!

I woke up just in time to get some photos of the sunset - this is a crop of the view from our living room window (a favorite subject of mine).

We hope everyone out there has a wonderful Thanksgiving!  



PS.  If you click the photos you get a larger version that will open up in a new window - in case you wanted to see a larger version.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

First Snow!

We had our first "real" snow of the year!  After a crazy day on Friday, it finally fell in spurts through the night and into Saturday.  Friday was a crazy day for me (Marc) - I participated in the final portion of Das Abzeichen fur Leistungen im Truppendiesnt, the German Armed Forces Military Proficiency Badge.  I had already done the shooting and "sports" portion, Friday was just the 30 kilometer (18 mile) roadmarch in under 5 hours.  Aside from some blisters and some REALLY sore muscles, I did it.  Good to have that done.  Although the weather was pretty crappy - rain, then sleet, then hail, then rain, then sleet.  Even some lightning and thunder.  Easily the second most miserable road march I've ever done.  Like I said, good to have that done.

So Friday night, while I was recovering, it started to really snow.  On Saturday morning, I got up good and early to get out and get a shot of the local ruins.  Ruine Frauenberg is only 10, maybe 15 minutes away and has been around since 1320.  It is open to the public and free of charge - Germany is pretty amazing.  Ian and I found the perch overlooking the castle ruins on a previous trip out there, and I knew I was waiting for a morning just like this.

After I went home, I picked up the kids and we went back out there so Ian and Leah could have some fun in the snow.  And did they ever have fun!  There is a path that runs along the Nahe River very near the Ruine Frauenberg that I had been wanting to check out, and this was the perfect time.  Ian and Leah had a great time running in the fields on either side of the path playing in the snow.

After our trip along the Nahe River, we went up to the Ruine for a look around - we were the first (probably only) people to get there in the snow.  They wanted to climb the stairs to get to the top - but the stairs were a little slippery so we just stayed at the bottom of the towers.  The picture below is of the kids standing in the only entryway to the Ruine.

We hope everyone is well out there!  Enjoy the photos (we'll try to keep up a little better than we have been!).


Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh, How they are Growing!

So, since I had 2 of you ask me if we were still blogging this weekend, I realized I'd better get back to the family blog here.  Marc did arrive home safely from the states, and we have been busy spending time together as a family, and doing some Christmas Shopping! 
We also had a request for a pic of the kids with something recognizable so everyone can tell how much bigger they are getting.  So, here it is in front of one of our famous green couches from the house in KY.

I just had Marc measure the couch & he tells me it is a little over 2 & 1/2 feet.  Not exactly the perfect way to measure them, but it gives everyone an idea of how big they are getting.
Hope this message finds everyone well!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Christmas is Coming!

Ok, so I know this is WAY earlier than when I usually start to think about Christmas, but the shipping issue is worrying me A LOT!
So, if anyone wants me to buy gifts for the kids for them this year, please send me an e-mail asap with the amount & what type of gift you're thinking about.
Anyone who wants ideas for Marc & I please e-mail as well.
I am going to be starting to ship boxes in the next couple of weeks, so just wanted to give everyone a heads up.
I will be in contact with several of you once I survive my coupon class I'm teaching tomorrow.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My new Cheese Racks

I am so excited that I finally get to share the pictures of my new furniture!

First is the bookshelf we bought (sorry our plant is dying a little bit).  This one is SOLID wood.  Marc had to get one of his friends to help him bring it up the stairs.  Tall & Narrow.  I wish I had taken a picture from the side so you could see the edging:

Here is a little planter they gave us as an extra:

The planter is sitting on one of the cheese racks.  We are using this one as a bookshelf.  It has adjustable shelves and is very sturdy as well.  Both of the cheese racks are probably close to 7 feet tall (with the book shelf one being slightly taller than the cabinet one).

Finally, here is the one that we bought in Holland.  We purchased the other 2 in Manheim when we went to pick this one up.  It is another cheese rack that has cabinet storage in the bottom, and a really nice divided cabinet/shelf on the top.  This one is in the kitchen for now.  

Well, that's all the pictures for today.  Hope some of you will post comments or send an e-mail so we know you're reading.  It's starting to feel like we're blogging only so we can read the posts ourselves!


I wanted to share a picture of Marc and the kids for a change of pace.  Here is one that we took while we  were in Amsterdam a couple of weekends ago.
This was taken outside of one of their museums right before we went to have an ice cream break.

The hotel in Harlem, Holland

So, I know we have talked about how steep the stairway at the hotel we stayed at in Holland, I finally got the pictures.  

The first one is taken from the top of the stairs with yes, my feet at the top and that pink spot at the bottom left of the picture is Leah's coat where she is at the bottom of the stairs with Marc:

Here's another one with Marc and Leah to show another look.  Yes, we were ducking out heads not to hit them on that low ceiling as well.
They were very steep, but the room was nice and it gave us a memory and a funny story to share with all of you.

Halloween Fun!

Thought I would share about our Halloween here. 

The kids & I started the day with a party at the play group we go to in the mornings.  The kids each had a doughnut (well, Leah just likes the icing).  So, the kids were pretty wired by the time we got home for lunch.

We tried to have a little bit of quiet time after lunch & that wound up only lasting for around 15 minutes or so.  

We then had another party to go to that turned out to be a lot of fun!

The kids decorated rice krispie treat "pumpkins" and then enjoyed eating them:

Here are Ian & Leah with their friend Ethan.  Leah wouldn't keep her costume on for the party.  

All of the kids helped to "mix up the candy that was going to be given out for trick or treat.  They each got a treat bag as well.

And here was our brave knight Sir Ian the good and Ladybug Leah out for trick or treating.  It was a cold one, but they did great and really had fun with it.  We went out with Ethan & his brother Erik who are twins & dressed as Storm Troopers.

Leah didn't scream at the people in masks this year, which really helped a lot.

Hope everyone had a fun and Happy Halloween!