Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The big surprise

We've known for about 2 months that Eric and Lexi were coming to visit over the holidays, but we decided to keep it a surprise for Maddie.  It was a GREAT surprise!

During the first couple of days we put up our tree...

It was exhausting...

Felt Queen

Thats right - I've designated myself the queen of felt because of my most recent and fabulous craft project.

I had to do this per force.  When we left Arizona I think I was deranged in thinking I didn't need to bring all my Christmas boxes with me.  Instead I packed most of it in long term storage...I had forgotten all about that until I opened up the Christmas boxes I did bring and found a few piddly items...

-Santa Hat
-tree skirt
-two stockings
-two wall hangings
-various candles
-reindeer stocking hangers.

And that was it.  No garland...no lights...no decorations...

And with two extra kids coming and one new one living with us unexpectedly...no stockings!

I went to the PX to find some and they had a green stocking that said, "I love my cat." and a single white stocking that wasn't really my style anyway.  So, I went to a German store and found some beautiful stockings...for $20-35 euro each...thats like spending $35-50 dollars on each stocking.  I got better places to put that kind of money.

So, I got creative and made them.

Ok...very funny...you can get up off the floor now.  I'm insanely proud of them.  Yes, they are a little lopsided, but overall I think I did a pretty great job.

Monday, December 14, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, John went out to buy us a new microwave.  Well, it was new to us...but it was previously owned by Berndt.  Berndt is a German man that works here on post.  As he and John talked, Berndt let it slip that he had lots of items he was getting ready to sell and one of them just happened to be a handmade (by his father) nativity.

Well, John knows how much I've longed for a beautiful full nativity set.  The ones I truly love always seem to cost hundreds of dollars.  I had decided that before leaving Germany I would invest in one since theirs are renowned as the most magnificent of all nativities.  With that in mind, John asked Berndt how much he was selling it for.

"Oh," Berndt replied, "How about 70 US dollars."


I couldn't buy three of the figurines for that sum.

So, John brought it home...its quite large and has a base as well as an inn/stable and all the figurines.  The base was covered in moss and rock and the inn was full of cobwebs and dust.

I put on my cleaning gloves and set to work...



And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Fa la la la la.....

Deck the halls with Nurnburg KrisKringle Markt

Fa la la la la.....la la...la...la.

Tis the season to wear leather and puffy pants.

Fa la la la la.....la la....la....la.

Don we now the crooooown jewels.

Fa la la...la la la....la...la....la.

Watch out for those weird opera ghouls.

Fa la la la laaaaa...la la....la...laaaaaaa.

Deck the halls with baby steps.

Fa la la la la.....la la....la....la.

Don't let that candle burn their heads...

Fa la la la la.....la la...la...la.

I am touching ancient stonework.

Fa la la....la la la....la...la...la.

These family photos really need work.

Fa la la la laaaaaaa....la la....la....la.

So many people as you see...

Fa la la la la.....la la....la...la.

Count the booths - one, two three...

Fa la la la la.....la la....la...la.

The best part is meeting Kris Kringle.

Fa la la...la la la....la...la...la.

He gives you walnuts and smiles and makes you tingle.

Fa la la la laaaaaa...la la....la...la....

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Wibble Wobble

When we returned home from the Amberg Christmas Market we had an early Christmas surprise.  Bella decided she wanted to walk!

I was so proud of her....  As the big sap that I am I also had to cry that my little one is growing up so fast.  But listen to her shrieks of excitement.  I just love seeing her figure out new things.  She's so beautiful and smart.  How did I get to be so lucky?

Amberg Christmas Market

The day after Thanksgiving we went to our first Christmas Market in Germany.  It took us all day to get it together so we didn't leave until 4pm.  We were hesitant about even going, but were SO glad that we did.  We ended up in Amberg which is only about 25 minutes from our house and the market itself wasn't very big, but we definitely started to feel the Christmas spirit with all the fun that we had that night.

Maddie HAD to pose with these festive lions outside a store along the pedestrian walk. 

Soon after that we happened upon this organ grinder.  At first we thought he had an actual monkey....

...then we realized that it was Maddie.  :) 

Bella had a great time watching her dance in the streets.  It was sooo cold we had to really bundle up.

My favorite thing about Christmas decorations has to be lights.  This booth really took 1st prize for being lit up.

John's new favorite thing is the gluwein - or the hot spiced mulled wine.  They also have a non-alcoholic version that hot spiced punch.  Its very yummy. 

We had to stop to feed Bella...we ended up just sitting on the steps of their Cathedral that was in the square where the market was located.  Bella's new favorite thing is to bite the spoon and refuse to let go.

We tried a few times to take a fun family picture.  This is what we ended up with...do we look like we're having fun or WHAT?!

Woohoo!  Christmas is on its way!