Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter Pics 

Easter pictures are up on the photo site!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Free Drinks! 

On the way home from kindergarten the other day, we saw a man scurrying from door to door. I wasn't quite sure what he was up to, then he went around the corner and hopped back in his Brunnthaler Mineralwasser truck. Aha! The water/drink man was making his deliveries. I had never seen his truck before, but I know the local brewery makes home deliveries of beer. So I assumed that it was the same thing. But when I got home I found the items pictured above on my front doorstep. He was passing out free samples! Came with coupons for the local getränkmarkt ( beverage market, sells beer, juice, water, soda etc in crates, usually in returnable bottles) and information on the springs where their water comes from. We have tried them all, and have mixed reviews. The Apfel-Kirsch (Apple-Cherry) juice was pretty tasty, it was the favorite out of all three. The Bruny-10 was the least favorite, it had a strange taste to it. It's a multi-vitamin drink, a blend of different juices. The Cola-Mix is a very popular drink here in Germany. I've seen it under all sorts of names, Mezzo-Mix, Spezi are a few examples. It's basically a blend of cola and orange soda. It was good, just another type of soda.

So, is it a slow blog day or what? :)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Frohe Ostern! 

Today was Jacob's last day at kindergarten before the long weekend, he has Good Friday and Easter Monday off. They have been busy this week, making lots of Easter themed items. He brought home 2 of his decorated eggs, we were so excited they made it home. The first one is mounted on a stick, and the other hangs from a string. (In the picture above you can see the eggs in with the pussy willows) Then he also made this large "egg", which the teachers filled with grass and candies. They had an Easter Party one day, and made a little "Easter candle" that he brought home. Lots of fun for him this week!

The weather has been really nice, Kenny has been cooking on the grill quite often. We went to the Easter Market in Nürnberg last Sunday.

It was a little cool, but still nice. There were various booths with everything and anything, like Easter decorations, cleaning supplies, curtains, dishware, small tools, and of course food. It was set up in the market square, in the right side of the photo you can see the Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain). It was a little smaller than I expected, but still pleasant. We also hung out at Starbucks for a while, and Jacob enjoyed a chocolate chip cookie. It was a nice way to get out and do something a little different on a Sunday.

We are already making our list of weekend trips we want to make this summer, trying to get to some places we haven't been before. These include Dresden, Battlefields at Verdun, and Hamburg. We already have a trip planned in late May to Holland, we are going to stay at a

Center Parcs "bungalow village". Just a nice relaxing long weekend to look forward to! So, hopefully the blog will be a little more exciting this summer, it's been a long winter :)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Big Thaw 

We had a whole lot of snow over the weekend, but on Monday the sun came out. It has been out since then, and the temperatures have really warmed up. It actually went up to 60 degrees, which is practically summer weather here. The snow is slowly melting, but there is still some lingering around. Downtown Ansbach has a creek that runs through it, and it is overflowing it's banks into some parking lots. The farm fields are also pretty flooded, but it should resolve itself in the next few days.

Yesterday I went into downtown Ansbach while having the oil changed in the Toyota. All of the cafes are putting out their outdoor tables, it was very nice to see. You know that spring is coming when they do that. The above picture was of the side of one of the churches downtown, I was killing time sitting on a bench. They are actually pretty interesting to sit and look at. There is a large baroque building with lots of statues on it that I was showing Jacob a couple weeks ago. The next few times he called them the "broken statues", he thought that was what I was saying. (Now we really enunciate when we say it "baaaa-roque") It was pretty funny.

They are really into spring and Easter here, probably just the excitement of something besides the cold gray of winter. Jacob's kindergarten is well decorated, the kids have been busy making all kinds of decorations for the classrooms and hallways. There are always little notices by his classroom door that lets us know what is going on that week, if we need to bring anything for them. This week we had to bring drei Eier (three eggs) for Jacob's kindergarten class. They had to be ausgeblasen, which means "blown out". So Kenny and I had a good time doing that, it was a first for both of us. We only squashed one, so we considered it a success. I couldn't believe that they were letting children that young decorate them, I really don't expect any of the eggs to make it home. But you just never know.

I walked to Jacob's kindergarten to pick him up today, it's about a 10 minute walk. I brought the wagon, in case Jacob didn't want to walk back up the hill on the way home. He really enjoys riding in the wagon, but then we saw one of his classmates climbing into their transportation for the ride home. It was a tractor - a big green tractor. So the wagon wasn't quite as exciting anymore, after seeing that. All the tractors are out in full force now, I counted 5 on the way to Ansbach this afternoon. Soon they will start fertilizing, which we know almost immediately when they do it. It's just something you have to experience to truly understand, I will leave it at that.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Parent's Week 

This week at kindergarten it is Parent's Week, we were able to sign up for a day that we wanted to come participate and see what our child's day is like. Today I went for a few hours and it was really fun. They have plenty of unstructured time to play, and then of course singing and art. Today was also the day they have their "gym" time, we went up and they had some more physical games to play. I see why Jacob enjoys it so much, it is really nice there. Not too stressful and structure, he's only 3! We painted a giant picture of an Easter egg together, and I also joined him for his brötzeit time. The picture above is him drinking his "kindertee", they have it everyday and he really likes it. I made some at home last time he was sick and he wouldn't touch it, but at kindergarten it's the best thing ever. (It's a fruit tea, no caffeine in it in case you were wondering!) There are some little girls in his class that are about 5 or 6 and they take care of Jacob like he is their little brother. The older kids really help out with the younger ones, it is a nice way of doing things. And probably easier on the teacher too!

I took a few other pictures, they are in Feb/Mar chapter of the Everyday Pictures section in the online photo album. (linked in the side bar also)

Thursday, March 03, 2005

So, I keep thinking I need to post something to the blog, but really don't have anything of interest to post. It has been rather dull around here, and really cold. I was watching Euronews the other night and it was reporting on the colder than normal temperatures. Apparently this cold has blown in from Siberia, and is causing snow in areas that normally have no snow this time of year. Places like the south of France and Spain, and places that usually get snow are experiencing much more snow than usual. So at least it is not my imagination that last year was not as cold as this year.

Kenny has finished up his project at work which had him working 7 days a week, we are looking forward to all being together for a relaxing weekend. He is especially looking forward to sleeping in and not having to go to work, this will be his first day of not working in quite some time.

I saw some interesting items at the German grocery store the other day. I was checking out the pork, it is often cheaper than on post, with more to choose from. Unfortunately I stumbled upon things I really didn't want to see, all wrapped up and labeled for a quick meal. All pig parts, like the heart, and the lungs were there. Of course there were pig snouts, looked like about six of them in the package. I guess if you need them, you need more than one. And feet, liver etc ---- needless to say I didn't get any meat either. After that discovery I was done with grocery shopping, so I moved on to better things. (A latte with a friend - much better!)

We have some huge icicles hanging from our windows, they have been there about a week. Growing a little some days, but never melting off. From inside the house they look like giant fang teeth (if you use your imagination). The snow is not melting, so they have tractors (surprise! more tractors) out scooping up the snow and carting it off. It really had to be done, the roads were getting very narrow where the snow was getting plowed and pushed to the sides.

Speaking of tractors, they really do use them for everything here. Farm work, snowplows, backhoes, bulldozers. I've seen just about every attachment on them. The other day one came out of the field with something in the "scoop" attached to the front. It appeared to be a military footlocker, covered with dirt and rather old looking. I had to wonder where he got it ( looked like it had just been dug up) and what was in it... I guess I'll never know.

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