Saturday, January 5, 2013

CHRISTmas & happy new year. switzerland.

We were blessed to have my parents here for Christmas!  As the girls get older it becomes more fun to watch them absorb the meaning behind things. They ask so many questions and take things seriously (for about a second) and then, poof, they're onto the next adventure.  Here's a few shots from our relaxing Christmas morning...
So many blessings under our tree!

The girls got a few movies for Christmas - all the chicks had to sit and enjoy!
Books and new slippers from Papa for Christmas.

Following Christmas we headed to Switzerland to celebrate New Years. On the way to our Swiss adventure we stopped in Strasbourg, France to enjoy the Christmas market still in full swing.
I love the cathedral in Strasbourg.
We spent a night Triberg, Germany where there was a huge light display and fireworks.  The lighted area was stunning and amidst the lights were fire pits, a waterfall and even a live choir singing gospel musik.  We didn't enter the park until everyone was leaving (the cover charge was too much for us!)...this gave us the advantage of having the area to ourselves for the last 30 min!
Once we were in Switzerland we relaxed at the apartment, skied for a day, had fondue, went for a hike and played a lot of 500 (a card game my parents taught us).

My wonderful parents.
Toward the end of this hike my dad and I had a very intimate conversation about life and death. I was able to talk to him about how much I love him and appreciate him in my life - this last year has taught me a lot about having a loose grip on this life but taking full advantage of what we do have in the now. I will always fondly remember this special time with Dad, you are cherished.
Switzerland is known for fondue, it's so cheesy and rich!
A view of the cool restaurant, cow bells and all :)
What it really looks like to travel as a family of four... all in one room. Not our favorite part of travelling but we can't complain too much - the girls are so adaptable.
A stunning drive from Germany to the alps.
The view from our apartment, not bad!
Reading books with Papa, the girls are so in love!
Quiet time in her tent. One of our favorite purchases to date!
Mom did a lot of knitting on the long road trip.
The way Norah falls asleep needs to be documented - here's segment number one, cute!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

mid-december happenings/happiness.

To kick off the first half of December we hit up a few Christmas parties... and even got one decent picture of the two of us, I like it!  We had a great meal with some of David's co-workers at Kusel Castle that evening.
The girlies posing for me because I made Norah's skirt from fabric my Grandma gave me, and Evelyn's wearing a shirt my cousin Kyleen gave me... special clothes :)

Each day of December until Christmas our village does an Advent window.  A family volunteer's to host each day and they decorate one window and light it up at 6:30pm usually with a poem (which we cannot understand) and/or musik and then serve cookies and beverages - gluhwein is the top choice, yum!  This was the only picture I got but it shows how many people come each night, it's so fun to see your neighbor's out and talk with them for the annual event.  We are considering joining in the lighting next year.  After the lighting then they opened up their garage and had tables and lots of treats at this house. You can see my Dad holding Norah as they eagerly await the lighting.
So, my parents came for Christmas!  What a major blessing!!  Everyone was taking in the beautiful tree and too many gifts for the little chicas :)
We took a night away back to Rothenburg for their beautiful Christmas markt.  Here are a few beautiful pictures us enjoying, bratwurst, bakerie, and the beautiful decor of Rothenberg at Christmas time.
My parents are so fun!
  Käthe Wohlfahrt stores/truck.
 LOTS of meat to choose from in Germany!

 I have to say, one of the things I've come to love here is the Apotheke (pharmacies).  The pharmacists that work in them are so helpful and always have the most natural options for healthcare. I love it.  When we were in Rothenburg a few of us came down with a nasty cough so we stopped at the local apotheke and chatted with this darling man and he hooked us up with some great cough drops, even for the kids!
 German stores and homes decorated with Christmas gear, beautiful.
 The girlies playing.
A very German thing to do is window decor, especially in the villages.  Since there is virtually no yard the windo eansamble is very important and usually beautiful... inside and out.  These are winter flowers that last throughout the cold and then in the back you see the orchids peaking through (VERY popular here, we only have 5 in our house!)
 Famous intersection in Rothenburg oh der Tauber, beautiful December weather too!
 One last family pic... Frohe Weihnachten!


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