Saturday, December 22, 2012

thankful in bavaria, take 2.

Last year, we ventured down to Garmish-Partenkirchen in Bavaria for Thanksgiving.  We had such a good time, we decided to go again this year!  Luckily, this year we were joined by some good friends of ours, which made our celebration of thanks even better.
Daddy and his girls at Turkey Dinner.
The Rigsby's (one of two families we enjoyed spending time with)
Norah and her friend Trinity on the jumpy castle provided by the hotel!
Half-awake Ev during our 4.5 mile walk around Lake Eibsee (FYI: 2 hour walks take 4 hours with 7 kids).
The water was so clear!
Our good friends the Gehmans.  We were reunited with them this past summer, as they lived in CO with us!
Nice shot, David!
half way around the lake... why didn't we bring a stroller?!...
Norah on her first pony ride!  She was so excited...until she had to get on the horse!
At the Innsbruck Christmas Market!
The markets are so beautiful, they just make you fall more in love!
Innsbruck, Austria... with a silly three year old.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

(eating our way through) bruge, belguim.

Bruge, Belgium is just about a 4 hour drive from our house so we took advantage of a long weekend to get away.  The four of us had a delicious time eating our way through Bruge and relaxing a lot, too. We rented a cute little flat in the city center and just took our sweet time to see the main shopping and touristy areas.
We always start our mornings off with pastries and kaffee or cappuccinos. We don't understand when friends here in Germany complain and say they miss Starbucks when there is some of the most amazing coffee surrounding us... even in our neighbors' homes!
 A windy picture of me in the main town square :)
 We loved the architecture in the city--this was the big clock tower in town.
 Two of my loves during a canal tour we did through the city.
There were lots of horse drawn carriages through the cobblestone streets. I think mostly for tourists getting tours but it was beautiful to see and hear the horses "clip clops" through the streets.  Can you see the character in the buildings?!  So beautiful.
Bruge is famously known throughout the world for their hot chocolate, waffles and for being the birth place of french (or should I say Belgian) fries - and Belgium is known for good beer with quite high alcohol content (10-12%).  So, the above picture is David about to pore the liquid chocolate into the steamed milk to make the hot chocolate - so amazing!
On a tour of the only brewery in town.  It was also a historical monument and one of the higher points in the city with a great view, even though it was raining.
This is a cute bouquet outside of our flat - all crocheted or knitted flowers :)  I took it as I thought of my mom but really it's just cute and there are so many artistic one of a kind things like this around Europe.
 Walking to dinner down a dark alley... some of the best finds are down those dark alley's!
 Snuggles and dress up time at the flat.
Again, love the architecture... and the random lady. The fabulous peaked homes and buildings were really beautiful to see all in a row.  Many of the buildings were from different time periods too which made it all the more unique.
 More famous hot chocolate and a pink cupcake like Pinkalicious :)
Famous fries... oh such a healthy weekend.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

filling our tanks.

We were very blessed in fall to have our very own Taylor Reunion, European style!  One of David's floor mates at Taylor University and his lovely wife are missionaries in France.  They came over to our neck of the woods for a few days of R&R.  We had a blast reconnecting with them, meeting their two beautiful sons and sharing the joys/sorrows/frustrations/excitement of living in Europe.

The Shorb's trip happened to coincide with Halloween.  Neither of our families are huge Halloweeners, but we hit up the base for some free candy just to experience it all.  A few observations: kids wear some scary costumes (and our kiddos certainly shed a few fearful tears---what a strange "celebration"); David looked really good dressed up as an Airman, me as a cowgirl; and Norah and Evelyn are cute princesses everyday of the year, but especially on Halloween when they don't cost any more to dress up.
 At least Rupunzel was there to soften the scary for Norah!  What a great outfit!

Living in the biggest community of Americans outside of the US, it was nice to be able to bring the Shorbs to "little America" on base.  However, we ventured out into the German countryside and went to a wild park where there are moose, deer, all kinds of birds of prey, pony's and peacocks!  Here is Norah feeding a donkey.
Norah's new boyfriend, Kayden.
The goats that live where the kids park was :)
The moose, taking a break from their mating -- which we saw some of... quite strange and exciting.
Trying to get Norah to feed the eager deer.
Our beautiful friends.
Wrigley taking the cute couple on a walk :)

Thanks for visiting friends and we hope to see you very soon!

Friday, November 30, 2012

wine country, reisling style.

A few weeks ago we had the privilege to help pick grapes at a (semi) local vineyard.  Our region here, Rhineland Phalz, is part of wine country and particularly known for Riesling wine.  It was a fun experience and a great way for kids to help and get energy out.

After we helped pick a lot of grapes for the family that owns the vineyard, we got to learn and see more of the wine making process.  Another neat experience to hang onto for our family.  They also fed us a generous german meal for helping, delish!
Up and down the rows and grapes... yummmm :)
The girls were such great helpers!
The batch our group picked which equals out to over 1,000 bottles of wine!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Thanks to wonderful grandparents we got away for a night in Luxembourg.  It was a quick trip but it was so much fun.  We walked and explored and took a lot of time to sleep and read good books!  Thanks Chuck & Karen for giving us a break and time alone.  We just keep falling more in love with each other and time alone reminds us that we are so blessed to have one another.

We took a full day to explore Luxembourg and spent the night away.  Luxembourg was a really unique city with it's own language and style even though it's the smallest country in Europe (with the highest income per capita). Most of the locals speak at least three languages, pretty amazing.
A random beautiful door.
In the city there is a massive ancient fortress that protected the city in medieval times.  The city of Luxembourg was taken over by many different countries through the years and the forts were modified to fit the wars going on. We took a walk through part of the underground fort and it was huge.  From the picture above (and below), the biggest fortress is on the left wall and goes deep into the earth and even under the river.
Notre Dame.
Always a backerei to be found in Europe, and beautiful too.
My namesake.

On the way home we visited the Luxembourge American Cemetery and Memorial.  It was a sobering remember of the ugly past in this beautiful country.  As General (later President) Eisenhower said and is quoted here, "All who shall hereafter live in freedom will be here reminded that to these men and their comrades we owe a debt to be paid with grateful remembrance of their sacrifice and with the high resolve that the cause for which they died shall live eternally."
One of two maps of the Battle of the Bulge offensive.
This silences anyone, beautifully sad.
General Patton's grave.


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