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Friday, May 20, 2005

finally 

So, I realize it's been a while since I posted, I really have been busy. And honestly, most of it is boring busy stuff! Nothing too fun and exciting to post about. Where do I start?

Jacob is back to kindergarten, and enjoying it. He really missed it while we were gone. We brought back shells from the beach for all the kids in his class, they really liked them. Jacob enjoyed handing them out to all his classmates also. The weather is warming up and they have a great playground there, so they are out in the fresh air almost every day. When it rains the temperature really drops, so those days they are usually inside.

While in the States I remembered how much I liked bagels, especially fresh ones. We have the frozen ones in the commissary here, but the fresh ones are so much better. I tried my hand at making some, and they came out pretty good. Not the best I've ever had, but better than the frozen ones I think. I made garlic/italian herb bagels, since Kenny is a huge fan of garlic bagels.

Our seedlings, which are now plants, are still inside in our bedroom. There was frost again this morning, we're not sure if they will ever go outside. I'm really tired of looking at them in the bedroom, I am so ready to get them into pots. We think maybe this weekend we will do it, and just cover them if it's going to frost. I still can't believe we had frost on May 19th!

We have had a saga with our "Energie" bill, which is our electric and gas. Our hot water and our house is heated by the gas. The system here is that you pay the same payment every month, and then at the end of the year you reconcile it. We got a post card in the mail and we record our meter numbers on it, then mail it back. They send a reconciliation with how much you over/underpaid. We expected to owe them something, but the bill showed an additional $1300 (mainly from the gas portion)! Needless to say we were shocked, and were looking forward to a dark, cold winter this year. We really didn't feel like we overused the heaters, but planned to use as little as possible this year. We are entitled to some "tax relief" here, where we can turn in a form and not pay german taxes on certain things. A friend passed on some info about how to get the tax relief on my energie bill, and also about rate classes. So I went down to their office in N├╝rnberg and brought my tax form. I also checked my rate class and found out I was in the wrong class, and paying about 1/3 more than I should. They wouldn't go back and change it for last year, which was a bit of a bummer. But at least this year will be better. Our payment is less and we shouldn't owe anything at the end of the year, which is a relief. Just one more thing we now know about Germany, you have to ask for a certain rate class on your energie bill, or they will charge you the highest possible amount!

I have really suffered from jet lag this time, usually it just makes my sleep schedule a little off. This time however, I have truly been exhausted, and ready to sleep all the time. Seems to be easing up, with the better weather and more sunshine. I'm sure I have more I should write about, but for the sake of finally getting a new post on the the blog, I'll just stop now!

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