Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Snow has arrived 

We have had our first snow, and the second, and the third! Over the past week and a half it has been snowing off and on, the most we got at one time was about 8-10 cm one night. Jacob has been wanting to do all the winter stuff possible, he is really enjoying the snow this year. At kindergarten the children bring their sleds and play outside in the snow. There is a small hill that they sled down and everyone has so much fun! We also make use of the hill in the playground behind us, it's short but Jacob will sled down it all day if you let him.

Kenny is working in Mannheim right now, a pretty busy schedule. They even worked on Thanksgiving! He only makes it home one day a week, and last week Jacob and I decided to go see him instead. We spend Kenny's day off at the Heidelberg Christmas market. It was really nice, not as hectic as the Nürnberg Christmas Market. I will put some pictures up of it in the next couple days. We ate at a really good Chinese restaurant near Kenny's hotel, and even looked around Ikea while Jacob played in the kid's area. A nice day together, and we are looking forward to when he is finished with the project over there.

I've been busy trying to get my Christmas mailing done, they have deadlines posted all over the base telling you to get your stuff mailed ASAP. Or it won't be there for Christmas! Other than that Jacob and I are staying busy planning his pirate birthday party and looking forward to Christmas. I'm sure I have more things to post but just can't think of them now, maybe when I get back on to put the pictures on I will remember...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

St. Martin Parade 

We were lucky enough to attend two St. Martin events this year, it was really nice. This is a celebration of St Martin, who was the Bishop of Tours. If you want to read more in depth (really in depth about him) you can find it here, on a Catholic Saint info page. If you would just like an overview of the "story" that the kids learned about at kindergarten, and the activities check on this blog.

The first one we went to was in Ansbach, and we met some friends there. They brought Jacob a sun shaped lantern that had a little flashlight bulb inside it to illuminate it. We walked from the mall in Ansbach through the old town, and ended with some bratwurst and sweets for the kids. Here they are at the end - Michelle, Hörst, Kenny and Jacob.

The next weekend Jacob's kindergarten had their parade. The children made their lanterns, complete with tall candles inside to illuminate them! I was positive one of the kids would catch on fire, all the dangling scarves and hair. But of course I was wrong, and it was such a beautiful parade. First there was St Martin on a horse, then a band. After that came each class with all their lanterns glowing. They walked from the kindergarten along the old walls of the city, and then down the main street, ending at the church.

Here is Jacob in the parade, his teacher is next to him

As you can see, it was quite crowded. It appeared most of the town came out for this event. Outside of the church they sang some songs, then we all entered the church for more songs and a short program. Afterwards, there was lebkuchen (similar to gingerbread) and more bratwurst. The weather was cold but not too bad, and the children looked great. Jacob thought it was really fun, and we are looking forward to doing it again next year!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Continued - Part 2 

So, we arrived very late at night from the Paris trip so the next day was spent recuperating. I think this is the night we went downtown to Ansbach for döners, at our usual place.

The next day they took the train to Rothenburg o.d. Tauber, which is a must see while you are in Germany. I had church in the morning, and then that evening I meet with a small home group for a bible study. It worked out well, and they did great on the train. Even changed once and had no mishaps! They spent all day and it sounded like they had a wonderful time. The following day I took the train with them to Nürnberg, we saw a few sights on the way to Starbucks. After coffee I headed back home so I could get Jacob from school, and left them with a guide book. Once again they fared quite well on their own, I picked them up at the train station with their bags full. (Some serious shoppers!)

We left a couple days later for Garmisch, which is about a 3 hour drive from Wolframs-Eschenbach. Kenny, Jacob and I have been to Garmisch quite a few times, but were excited to go back! It is so beautiful down there, and we have never been when the fall colors were out. We stayed at the Edelweiss hotel, which is run by the Armed Forces. Isn't it beautiful?

It is a new (opened last year) resort hotel that was so beautiful! I had heard both good and bad things about it, and wasn't sure what to expect. I thought it was great, especially for our group. They were able to take bus day tours directly from the hotel each morning, and really enjoyed themselves. One day they went to Berchtesgaden and the salt mines, another day they toured Neuschwanstein and made a couple shopping stops. They also went to the top of the highest mountain in Germany, the Zugspitze. For details and pictures of everything they did and saw you will have to check with Kay or Nancy, they are practically finished with their albums. Realize that we arrived Friday evening, and left early Tuesday morning! So they accomplished quite a bit in that little time, I get tired just typing about it.

We also stayed busy while they were out touring the sights, in a more relaxed way. Kenny went with them on Saturday, but was with Jacob and I on Sunday and Monday. We made use of the indoor pool and outdoor hot tub at the hotel every morning. Then both days we rode cable cars up various peaks and enjoyed the views. It was a little hazy this day, but you can get an idea of the changing fall colors.

There are usually cafes up there, one day we took some sandwiches and had a picnic. We of course had a run on the rodelbahn, and went to our favorite italian restaurant, Da Renzo. Another highlight was going to a hockey game Sunday night, it was great! We saw the hometeam, SC Riessersee play the Ratinger Ice Aliens. Whenever the home team scored this one section raised a banner, cheered and banged on drums. Jacob was really getting into it by the end of the game. Click here for a short clip of the festivities. We usually ate dinner together every night at the hotel, and caught up on what everyone did that day.

On Tuesday it was time to check out, and then we dropped Kay, Richard and Nancy off at the airport. They flew out of Munich, which is directly on the way home. After making sure they were checked in then we headed back to Wolframs-Eschenbach, to a quiet and empty home.

So -- whose coming next to visit? If all that doesn't make you want to come I don't know what would!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Paris Photos 

I’ve finally put the Paris trip pictures up on my PhotoAlbum site, more to come soon!

Friday, November 04, 2005


I'm finally posting this, I just don't have the free time to post lately. Kay, Richard and Nancy arrived into Munich airport and they never stopped after that... I can honestly say they made the most of every minute they were here!

The very next day I had a board meeting at Chapel so I dropped them off in Ansbach with some Euros and directions to a good cafe. A few hours later I picked them up and they had a great time just checking out the altstadt (old town) and even made it over to the mall. We also took them to our latest favorite Greek restaurant, we had taken my Mom there too when she was here. They enjoyed it also, it is just so good. Friday night we (Kay, Richard, Nancy, and myself) left on our bus tour to Paris, which was quite the adventure. Things were going well until the bus broke down and we waited all night for it to get fixed! We missed our first 1/2 day in Paris, which was quite the bummer. But our tour guide was great and did his best to catch us up on as much as possible. We had a really fun french dinner with the group, complete with entertainment. If you click on the picture of me and Kay at dinner you can see a short video of our entertainment.

After that we saw some of the sights lit up at night and went on Seine river cruise. Finally up to the top of the Eiffel Tower for a look around. The tower "twinkles" all over every hour in the evening, it's really beautiful. After all that it was time to get to bed, I don't even remember the time. I just know it was late!

The next morning we went out to the Palace of Versailles and toured through there, it is always amazing to see the riches of the Kings from so long ago. Everything is so lavish and ornate. Our tour took us back into Paris after that, and we did some shopping and then went to the Louvre for a fast tour. We just picked a few items in the Louvre we wanted to see and made our way to them, there just wasn't enough time. We had an excellent lunch at a cafe by the Louvre, we would have loved to linger there a little longer. Here's a picture I snapped of the cafe, so I could come back another time!

But our bus was waiting right up the street, so we had to run! Then it was off to see Napoleon's tomb and see a few more sights from the bus, as well as hear a little info and history about Paris. Then we were on our way back home! Talk about fast, just thinking back it really was rushed.

There is so much to see in Paris, this was like reading the summary on the back of a book. Kenny and I have been a couple times, and going on this trip made me want to go back again. On our own with a good tour book, and an underground (subway) pass! So we could take it a little slower. We had a good time, and I do think that it was a good way for them to see Paris along with all the other things they wanted to do.

More to come.... This was just the first 5 days of their visit!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Some Fall colors on the way to Ansbach

Happy Halloween 

Halloween has been going on here for a while. First we had the Fall festival at church last weekend, then the military held Halloween on Friday night. (They are the military, they have the power to change minor holiday dates) It was a lot of fun, Jacob brought a friend from school with him to trick or treat. Then Monday night (the 31st) we went to one of Kenny's co workers house for snacks and trick or treating again! So he has gotten a whole lot of use out of this costume.

This was last night, it was pretty cool so we bundled up under the costume.

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