Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday, December 29

Hello All!!

Hope everyone is doing well out there :-) My cold is finally on the way out the door (thank goodness!!) - and everyone here seems to be doing well. We have went to all of our Christmas parties now, and I think we will have room in the luggage for everything to go back to Germany - thank goodness gifts were small :-) (although Brenna's kitchen can't come back with us...)

I think our best gift this year was just getting to see and spend a good amount of time with everyone :-) It was really great to be back for a month during this busy time of year. I can't believe how quickly January is approaching...

I will be posting our pictures after we get back - I think I got some pretty good ones :-) I think I'm going to have to invest in a digital picture frame for Brenna sometime in the near future so that she can enjoy all these pictures of family...

Well, that is all for now. Take Care!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas December 25

Merry Christmas to anyone who may be following our blog!!

Brenna has had a great holiday so far - great gifts - I think they have all been perfect for her so far!! No pictures up yet (although I do have some great Christmas ones). Hopefully, we will be able to share those soon.

Anyway - just wanted to say have a safe and happy Christmas where ever you may be today!!

Take Care!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday, December 21

Hello All!!!

Well, the words of the last few days were delays, detours, and cancellations, but luckily Dustin made it to his parents late last night. The weather caused him horrible trouble flying into Detroit - both his possible flights on Friday were cancelled due to the weather. He had a detour in Bangor, Maine where they didn't let them off the plane at all before getting to NY and JFK airport. Once at JFK - he stood in line for hours only to find out that he was stuck in NY overnight (unless as an exhausted passenger he wanted to drive back - I didn't think much of that idea). So, after an overnight in NY - he stood in more lines for stand-by to Columbus. Boo to Delta for all the trouble and lack of help they provided to him. He said yesterday that he never encountered so many rude Delta employees who were not helpful. The roads driving home last night were covered in ice - which made for an interesting drive. I certaintly looked like a grandma behind the wheel as I had it gripped very tightly (and I felt like I was in the windshield the whole time in Dustin's truck). Dustin's luggage is lost currently - no clue when it will finally show up :-(

But, on more positive notes - he is here safely and Brenna is enjoying her time with him immensely (as well as with her Gammy and Papa Carpenter). She got to open her presents from them this morning - they picked the best gifts for her. The kitchen set is bound to keep her busy all day today :-) I will try to get pictures posted soon - it will be the best toy for her (too bad it can't come to Germany :-(

Well, that is all for now - Take Care!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday, December 14

Hello All!
I feel the need to keep posting when I can for any "loyal" blog followers :-) Brenna and I are doing well in the States and made it over to Dustin's parents this weekend. They have spoiled both of us rotten - I'm not sure how we will adjust to our first month back in Germany after all this Grandparenting :-)
Brenna is enjoying the attention immensely - she didn't have a great nap today as we were out shopping - but she is still behaving pretty well :-) I'm sure after all of our shopping and Christmas that we will have some very full suitcases to take back home :-) I'm glad that Dustin will be there for that trip...
Hopefully, I will get some pictures posted around Christmas - but none for now. I'm going to have to give Dustin a hard time that we aren't getting any pictures from him in Germany :-)
Well, take care!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday, December 12

Hello All!
Not sure if anyone is following this while Brenna and I are back in the U.S., but thought I would give you a quick update on our travels. Brenna was a trouper on the plane with me - she stayed awake for the majority of the trip - only napped for 20 minutes or so of the 9+ hour flight - but we managed to stay pretty entertained with switching activities. She has adjusted pretty well to the time difference - but we are waking up way earlier than in Germany (usually before 6 am - when there we didn't wake until around 8). Brenna has had a chance to see some of her cousins and play with them and do a little shopping here in the U.S.
We are at my parents and will get to go see Dustin's parents tomorrow - all this change has been great for Brenna as she hasn't missed Daddy or Justice too much (but she is still missing them ;-)
Well, that is all for now!
Take Care!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday, December 7

Hello All,
I figured I would post a couple of pictures from Germany in Amanda's absence. It is really quiet here without Brenna and Amanda and kind of boring. It is amazing how much our lives revolve around those things and when they are gone is when you notice. Today, I went to Baden-Baden to walk around, need something to do to pass the time. When I returned I went up into the black forest to run at Lake Mammelsee. Lake Mammelsee is 1,000 meters in altitude (3,000 feet) and there was a very clear line on the way up where the snow line was. There was about a foot and half of snow there and no snow where we live. It is amazing how different it is in just a 10 minute drive. I ran up to 1,100 meters (3,300 feet) and the oxygen content was real low making it a challenging run (plus the 12%grade). It was an enjoyable workout and beautiful. Well, I look forward to being in the US to see all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday, December 5

Hello All!!
I can't believe that Brenna and I fly back to the U.S. tomorrow...I'm not sure how much sleep I will get with all this going on tonight!!
We made it out when the weather cleared to the Baden-Baden Christmas market today. Brenna once again really loved the carousels...I knew I was having a bad hair day today, but didn't realize how much my rain hat covers up my whole face - hope you get a laugh out of this picture!!
I never knew what wild mistletoe looked like in trees until coming over here (hopefully, I am correct in the picture I took). The trees look a little strange with it :-) Hopefully, you enjoy my quick snapshot of it from the moving car!
This may be the last post for a while as I'm not sure how many chances I will have to post in the U.S. I'm sure Dustin would appreciate the updates and pictures back in Germany while we are gone!!
Well, I need to finish packing - almost done!
Take Care!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday, December 3

Hello All!!
Well, I'm glad that this is the last trip for Dustin before I leave - it is a challenge to manage the dog and Brenna when he is gone! Today was another rainy day, but at least Brenna and I made it out to kinder group. The kids got a chance to play with puppets and stuffed animals - Brenna loved that someone also brought a toy doctor set - she played doctor on all the animals and on mommy too!!
Tomorrow morning will be my last German class for a month - it will be weird not to have that and hear the language for a month. I really hope that I do study when I am in the U.S. though as my language skills are not so hot right now.
For my sister, here are some pictures of my wreath - it really isn't too impressive (sorry!). Not too much to say on my pictures either - it is late and I am tired! The stars are the hanger if you can't tell...
Brenna and I will also get to pack tomorrow - I've made a list so hopefully, I won't forget too much. At least the stores in the U.S. are open 24 hours and on Sundays if we forget anything!
Well, I need to get some sleep!
Take Care!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday, December 2

Hello All!!

I can't believe how quick this week is going to go by - Dustin left for England tonight - so Brenna and I are on our own tomorrow. We had German class this morning and baked a loaf of bread - it is so yummy to have fresh bread, but bad for my diet (although not any worse than the homemade mound bars in the freezer which are finally gone today :-)
I couldn't convince Brenna to get her pj top off today - we'll face that battle tomorrow... We took a very short walk with Justice and bummed around inside the rest of the day. I'm getting the apartment set up for Dustin when I am gone - washing the sheets, towels, and all the clothes - all that he will need to do is keep it picked up after him. I will be interested to see how much he is even home when we are gone :-)
Anyway, tomorrow we will be busy packing, going to kinder group, and getting the apartment in order...
Hope all is well with everyone!
Take Care!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday, December 1

Hello All!!

I can't believe that we are into December already (didn't I say that about October and November too?!?). The weather here is really cold, but Brenna, Justice, and I did make it out for a longer walk today. We are working on getting used to living in town - although just when I think I am getting used to the hills and our apartment, Brenna and I will be going back to the US on Saturday :-) It will be really nice to spend some quality time with our families, but I will probably have to get back in shape again when we come back!! (maybe I should take up running or something when we are home...)
I still haven't got a picture of the wreath I made - maybe tomorrow - although I'm sure it will be a busy day with German class, doing some last minute shopping, starting to pack, and Dustin flying out to England... At least Brenna and I won't have to deal with that until we come back in January.
I'll be making some homemade bread tomorrow :-) Although it is not really necessary to bake much in Germany, Brenna and I do have fun in the kitchen. I'm hoping when I am at my mom's maybe I can get some matching aprons made for Brenna and me...we'll see :-)
Well, I should get ready for bed - Take Care!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday, November 30

Hello All!
Dustin, Brenna, and I got our first taste of the Christmas markets this weekend :-) We drove to Nuremberg on Saturday and enjoyed fighting the crowds to see one of the most popular Christkindlesmarkts. It was amazing to even find a parking spot in town, let alone walk along the booths and see everything. It was extremely cold - we all came home numb :-) Brenna enjoyed seeing the horses they had there for the carriage ride, but unfortunetly, we didn't get to ride. We bought some of the Nuremberg Lebkuchen (not sure it is really our thing though...) - but worth trying once :-) The Lebkuchen have kind of a gingerbread flavor in them.
We drove to Heidelberg today to the market there - it was crowded, but not nearly as crowded as Nuremberg which was nicer to see the booths. We enjoyed the food and the Gl├╝hwein (hot wine) immensely today :-) Brenna loved that there were a couple carosels at the one in Heidelberg today - so we let her ride several times :-) She also got to pet the donkey today at the live nativity and feed it a carrot :-) Although - we couldn't convince her to get close to Santa Claus yet...
Only a few more days until Brenna and I travel back across the ocean for Christmas. We hope to get to one more Christmas Market :-)
Hope all is well and enjoy the pictures (finally!) from the last couple days :-)
Take Care

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday, November 28

Hello All!!

Hope all is well on the day after Thanksgiving :-) We have had a pretty quiet last couple days. We are off to our first Christmas market tomorrow so we are really looking forward to that. I've read over and over again that there is no more beautiful place for Christmas than in Germany - especially with these markets :-)
The apartment is finely nearly all clean (just to do it all again next week....grrrr...) just in time to leave it all to Dustin - hmmmm....
Thought everyone may enjoy a sunrise view from our apartment on a snowy morning - really beautiful.
Well, take care!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday, November 26

Hello All!
Well - we had another cleaning day here at the apartment - it is not easy keeping up with a toddler and a hairy monster (I mean dog). When people tell you that a Golden Retriever has a lot of hair (and I do mean alot - believe it!!) I fully believe after almost 5 years with him, that I should be used to all that hair, but man I think he has more over here...We couldn't ask for a better family dog though - he is the best companion for Brenna - she loves him to death...
I went and made a wreath tonight with several of the transplants here in Germany - I didn't do a great job socializing - but when do I ever. One of these days, I will learn how to mingle better - just not sure when... The wreaths that everyone made turned out really pretty - I made the least decorated one, but they are still pretty. My hands still smell like Evergreen though!!
I think I figured out my video stuff - so that will be great for Brenna and me on the plane - I can't believe it is only a little over a week away :-)
Sorry - no pictures again today...
Take Care!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, November 25

Hello All!!
Not to much to report on today - just spent some time cleaning (much needed - I'm not a very good housewife on cleaning duties - that is for sure), had German class, and spent time trying to get some videos downloaded for the upcoming trip (which the downloads were not successful yet - grrrr...)
The leftovers keep calling my name - I wish I had some will power - hopefully, things will get back to normal food wise after the holidays. I'm curious to see how Dustin does here all by himself ;-)
Sorry, no pictures and not a lot of thoughts about today - I think I need to get more sleep ;-)
Take Care!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday, November 24

Hello All!!
Well- it was a cold and rainy day here - all our pretty snow is gone in town. Brenna and I downloaded some new Handy Manny and Johnny and the Sprite episodes on itunes today - it was good to watch some new episodes :-) I also put Brenna in her cute new shirt from France today - I love the color - wish I could have found something as nice in my size :-)
Brenna was very interested in her books today - I think we read a quarter of her large library
She obviously adores her baby dolls (see picture today) and took one our walk with the dog :-) I was happy that the baby didn't hit the ground the whole time :-)
Not too much else to report - I did manage to study a little of my German today - although my attention span didn't last as long as I would like...
Hope everyone is well - Take Care!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday, November 23

Hello All!!!
Another snowy day here in Germany - we didn't even all go out as a family today :-) Just were cozy in our apartment and had a nice relaxing day. Dustin took some pictures of our beautiful surroundings - hope you enjoy the picture postcard quality :-)
Our freezers are full of all the leftover yummy food :-) I think I may need to bike twice today to make up for yesterday (and the day before!!) I can't believe how quickly the holidays and are upcoming travels are approaching :-)
Brenna really enjoyed her pizza for supper - hope you enjoy the humor :-)
Take Care!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday, November 22

Finally, some pictures :-) Hope you enjoy my two shots from tonight. One is Brenna - who I couldn't believe wanted to have her picture taken...The other is my new hat from France. I just got tired of stealing Dustin's hats over here - and I fell in love with this one :-)
I didn't catch of picture of the snow today - it was amazing to see the clouds hanging over the Black Forest though!!
Hope all is well!
Take Care

Friday, November 21, 2008

Saturday, November 22

Hello All!

Well, there is something to be said about snow in the Black Forest - I woke up this morning to find our little village looking like a Christmas post card!!! I'm waiting for Brenna to wake up this morning - I can't wait to see her excitement :-) It almost feels like Christmas morning with how pretty it is, plus all the baking and cooking I did yesterday :-)
I know I always go overboard on making stuff and our friends probably will be overwhelmed by how much stuff I bring, but I just get carried away and my stomach really starts taking over ;-)
I ended up making the following (mind you that there are only going to be like 10 people there today...): homemade banana pudding, yeast rolls, cinnamon cream cheese bars, no bake cookies, and buckeyes. For the last two - the peanut butter was really talking to me... Mmmm-peanut butter and chocolate :-) Anyway, I love a Thanksgiving or Christmas with a ton of food - that does say the holidays to me (no matter how much Weight watchers tries to say - family and visiting - sorry!!)
Well, I will try to get a picture or video up today or tomorrow. No travel pictures from this weekend as we aren't going to be going far ;-) We are definetly looking forward to the Christmas markets opening up next weekend.
Take Care!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday, November 21

Oh my, another missed day of posting yesterday... No reason - just not much to post (and I still haven't got my camera out - can you believe that!!!). Brenna and I had a playdate yesterday afternoon - the weather was rainy, but we braved it :-) She was still tired from her nap - I'm sure we will try to go another time. She has been taking some long naps lately...
We got home the same time as Dustin, which was lucky because than I could just run Justice out to go to the bathroom in the rain (it is a bit challenging taking them both out every afternoon, especially when the weather stinks). Dustin was nice enough to run me to weight watchers so I could stock up on their snack bars over here - they are all really good (o.k., so they are good in the States too, but it is way easier there to find 100 calorie packs!!!).
Today will be a busy baking day - we are going to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow with some American friends :-)
Take care!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday, November 19

Hello All!!

Not much to report on today. Brenna and I had a quiet day inside today - cleaned up some, but mainly just hung out. We are going to have a busy baking/cooking day on Friday in preparation for the American celebration of Thanksgiving over here :-) Hopefully, I will do a good job baking all my family favorites.
Well, I thought I would pull an older picture out, but one that made me laugh - another victim of too many pictures!!
Take Care!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday, November 18

Hello All!!

Sorry there wasn't a post yesterday - I wasn't feeling well!! Luckily, Brenna was a trooper and really helped me out by taking a long nap with mommy yesterday afternoon!!
I am pretty much back to myself today (note to self - don't eat so much junk next weekend - I'm pretty sure that is what did me in ;-). Brenna and I are dancing around the apartment again and for our commenter yesterday - we made some very chocolate pudding on the stove today (boy do I miss the easy instant pudding mixes!!). Anyway, I do think it is good for us to learn how to make these recipes from scratch and they are a good time killer with a two year old at home. Although she was quite disappointed that her apron was in the laundry today...
We also decided to buy Wall-E on itunes so that we could watch it over here (it doesn't come out over here until January) and bought some "dancing songs" while we were on as well (Brenna loves Wooly Bully and The Chapel of Love :-)
Hope everyone is doing well and I will see about getting the camera out later today :-)
Take Care!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday, November 16

Hello All!!

We have had a very quiet day here today. The weather was overcast all day - and sometimes rainy, so we didn't go out once as a family (just Dustin and I to walk the dog!!).
Dustin was able to download The Grinch as an i-tunes rental, so he was happy with that - he was missing it!! He ordered it today from the German Amazon site - so he should have it here in time to watch it in English and German :-)
Since we didn't really do anything - I will share some more pictures from yesterday's zoo trip. Hope you enjoy them :-)
Take Care!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday, November 15

Hello All!!!

We decided today to go to the zoo in Stuttgart (instead of more castles). I didn't want to be stuck in the car for too long and I knew that Dustin was probably really tired from all his travels. I'm not sure if he knows where he is at yet :-)
Brenna really loved the zoo (as I think you will see from today's pictures). Lots of the animals were out with the cold weather and with the way the zoo was set up, it wasn't hard to get close to the animals :-)
Again, I think Brenna loved anything with wings the most although she did really enjoy the Aquarium as well... I had to include the picture of this Mallard - he would come right up to you - which is how I got this great shot of him :-) With the traveling, she had a much later bedtime than most nights, but hopefully that won't mean she has trouble sleeping tonight - we will find out...
Anyway, hope you enjoy our pictures from Wilhelma (the zoo and botanical garden in Stuttgart).
Take Care!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday, November 14

Hello All!!!

Things are going well here - Brenna and I have had a relatively quiet day today. I'm really looking forward to Dustin not traveling for the next two weeks though!!! I'm not cut out to be a single parent and I'm much to spoiled with my very good and helpful husband....
We skipped music class today - Brenna didn't sleep well last night and after last week, I didn't want to fight with her on it. So we stayed in and made edible peanut butter playdough (which was much too good for playing with in Brenna's opinion and better to eat :-), watched Mary Poppins and then went over to the grocery store for some needed supplies. I was going to try to get a picture of Brenna playing with the "playdough", but it went much too quickly!! She is definetly a peanut butter fiend like her father :-)
I let Brenna play with her lantern today - so hopefully, you will enjoy the pictures there. She got some dog hair on her hand - and I loved how puffed up her checks were to blow it off :-)
I'm going to try to make a plan of what we will be doing tomorrow sometime today - I think the best right now is the zoo in Stuttgart. It is only about 1 hour drive and fairly inexpensive. Something I looked at this morning (I think it was in a book..) said it was one of the nicest in Europe.
Not too much else to report so far today - the sun is shining and it is a beautiful, chilly day in Germany :-)
Take Care!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday, November 13

Hello All!!

Well - we didn't get everything done on our list today, but we did get a lot done :-) Brenna and I had German class this morning and then we went to the sale at the Haus de Gastes. The sale was only for toys/books/CDs/DVDs - but we still picked up some good stuff. I got a new CD that I know that Brenna will enjoy dancing to (in German) and small cooking (metal pots) pots/pans for Brenna (boy, are they loud!!). We had a quiet afternoon and Dustin actually was able to get off work early to join us for the lantern walk (wow, was it cold outside - my hands were numb when we got home!!). It was cute to see the lanterns all lit-up, but of course, I forgot my camera today... Oh, well - Brenna wasn't really in a smiling mood for the walk anyway - just kind of straight faced...
We didn't make it to the grocery store or to the weight watcher meeting (to pick up some snacks) - I guess I will just have to see what I can make here with what is available :-)
Dustin is off to England tonight :-( At least he comes home tomorrow and we will be able to spend the weekend together. Not sure yet what we are going to do. We talked about seeing more castles (which I think would be fun), but I haven't checked the weather forcast yet to see if it will pleasant for that.
Anyway - I'm going to try to turn in early tonight. Sorry - no new pictures today - I'm sure we will have some after the weekend (if not tomorrow :-)
Take Care!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday, November 12

Hello All!!

Yea! - Dustin is back in Germany (although not home yet at this writing) :-) I'm sure Brenna will be very glad to see him tomorrow (and I will be glad to see him today). Brenna and I had kinder group this morning and finished our lantern - the kids get to march with them tomorrow evening - I hope Brenna will want to carry it :-) I will try to get a picture with her tomorrow with it, but no promises there :-) It started to rain on the way back, so luckily the lantern did fit under her stroller :-)
Tomorrow promises to be a busy day with German class and the walk in the evening. I also found out that the Kindergarten here (similar to a U.S. preschool) will be having a sale tomorrow close by with clothes and toys :-) I have been waiting for this to try to get some more clothes for Brenna even if they are just for playing in the dirt :-) Hopefully, I can find her some skirts and tights as that is all she wants to wear right now.
Not too much else went on today... I haven't decided if Brenna and I will decorate the dog bone cookies - I'm thinking not, they are good the way they are and not messy to let Brenna have them. The dog sure thinks they look tasty when Brenna gets one :-)
Anyway, I need to get my German homework done for tomorrow...
Take care and enjoy Brenna's fashion sense today and her lantern for tomorrow :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday, November 11

Hello All!!

Hope you all are doing well. Brenna and I are missing Dustin, but other than that, we are doing well :-) It rained this morning - so Brenna and I worked on making cutout cookies for the first time together :-) (and for the first time on my own for me!!). Brenna had lots of fun and I wish you all could have seen how covered in flour she was. There are only a few cookie cutters that I have here - o.k. the only ones I have are the ones that Renee gave me that are dog bone shaped - hope you enjoy the picture of this one :-) Brenna loved them - I think she is going to be a little confused the next time we buy Justice dog bone shaped treats :-) The landlord left a star cutter - so we have a few of those as well, but since it isn't Christmas yet - I thought the dog bone shaped ones were more appropriate :-)

We managed to get some laundry done this morning and took the dog for a nice walk after Brenna woke up from her nap. This morning, I caught some sun rising over the Black Forest before the clouds came in - hope you enjoy that picture. It was much more impressive a site this morning in person :-)
Well, that is all for now!! Take Care!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday, November 10

Hello All!!!

Not too much to report on our day today... We cleaned the apartment this morning - Brenna likes playing with the duster, but does get bored after awhile (heck - I can't blame her - who likes to clean...). We walked to the local grocery store for lunch food and I bought Brenna ice cream since Dustin isn't here to eat it - she was very excited for her special treat and gobbled it right up :-) We had German class today - I really need to practice and study more, but it is hard with Dustin traveling and other things to do around here...

We only took Justice for a short walk today as it was really windy (but fairly warm) - but a least it was some walk... Maybe someday - he will be a dog caring this big of a stick - we thought it was so funny to see this dog at the Castle this weekend :-) (The dog is not Justice - but kind of looks like him :-)

Also, thought we would share the horses that we saw (and Brenna loved) on our trip to the castles as well :-)
Take Care!!