Friday, December 08, 2017

Take 274

7 Quick Takes Friday 
--- 1 ---
Oh Christmas Tree!
We sped our way to the Christmas tree farm and got ourselves all set up for warm and cozy... And you know what? It was worth it. Get this--this tree farm had one kind of Christmas tree! No debates this year over needle type. Crazy.
--- 2 ---
See that "fireplace"? I went go play it and it asked me whether I would like it to "Resume or Start from the beginning". Umm, huh?
--- 3 ---
The mad dash for a Christmas tree might have been worth it because of more sickness this past week... I won't give you details, but I will say this: when Facebook, Instagram, and Email come up with nothing for each refresh... one is left with Pinterest... and God bless Pinterest--but it's so many different photos of food that only makes one more nauseated. "If I scroll and see one more... I think I'll..." Aaand done. Home button.
--- 4 ---
Did you know that Advent Calendars are a common gift between couples in Germany? I've heard of several couples who have ordered or made advent calendars with all sorts of fun gifts for their partner. Wild! And fun.
--- 5 ---
Rowan has been getting her crafts on at school, and I must say: I love it. 
And yes, I also love that the paint happens at school. Guilty as charged.
--- 6 ---
I feel like I mention this every year, but I will not stop--Prep & Landing. If you haven't seen it, please do. We love it. Think elf Mission Impossible.
--- 7 ---
To close, I want to let you know that it occurred to me that whenever we leave Germany, I anticipate needing to serve Mexican food every other night for years to make up for the lack of it here. #Preparing #WhereAreTheRefriedBeans #CanIMakeThemFromScratch

Happy Friday!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Take 273

7 Quick Takes Friday 
--- 1 ---
I know that we are not the generation for 10 minute youtube videos, but if you get a chance, have a sit down and enjoy this one. It's so very moving. And, I'm so grateful to everyone who does what they're good at. It adds so much to this world we are in.
--- 2 ---
Speaking of the Lord's Prayer, this week at church, like every week, the priest invited all the children up to the altar to pray it together before the sign of peace. This week, though, George got brave and we went up together. Little did I know that Rowan was running behind us, toddling with her sunglasses in one hand and her "My First Bible" with a handle dangling from the other hand. I heard chuckling from the congregation, but it never occurred to me that it could be my child... Well, I got all the way to the front, turned around, and Rowan was trying to climb the stairs of the altar, but couldn't keep all her "treasures" in her hands and climb the steps. I thought the priest was going to die of laughter. 

It's a small thing--but this is the most comfortable and affirmed I've ever felt in church in Germany. So that's a win. And my kids liked being in the limelight for 2 minutes. Hah.
--- 3 ---
This Sunday is the start of Advent! Did you know that in Germany they have 4 same-colored advent candles? They have no pink Gaudete candle. Funny.
--- 4 ---
I've enjoyed many of the New York Times 360 videos. A few weeks ago they featured the Steinway piano making plant... which we pass quite regularly on our way into Hamburg. Very cool.

--- 5 ---
Guys. I finally made it to a thrift store. In fact, I think I only made it to one once last year and now we have a cute and tiny one close to home. Check out the strong china game:
--- 6 ---
Each year I am aghast at the awful selection of Christmas movies on Netflix, Amazon, and the like. Maybe there will be a better selection when December 1 hits, but MAN. I played a 45 minute animated movie about elves the other night and turned it off because the characters were so RUDE. I mean, yeah, my kids are rude sometimes and so are their friends, but there ain't no reason to show them more ways to lose friends. UGH. 

So, I turned it off. Started another movie that was way more innocent... but also talked about having no money at Christmas (an adaptation of the Gift of the Magi)... Also a bit too much for my 2 and 4 year old, but at least they were nice to each other?! :)
--- 7 ---
One highlight of our time with family visiting over Thanksgiving was stealing away to our little Italian restaurant at the end of our neighborhood with my mother-in-law, Beth. It was an hours-long affair with a bottle of wine and divine pasta. Soooo good. And the company? Even better. However, it was the icing on the cake when three men walked in around 9 pm and serenaded the whole restaurant.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November Captures

So, we live in Europe. And yes, that might sound like bragging... but hold on just a minute. In my photography shares from the past month, I'd like to highlight our fabulous weather:



But, I digress. November was a highlight month because we had family visit us from the States! Brian, Beth, and Mairin, it was fabulous to have you here! Most of my photos are from playing tourist with them in Hamburg, which was great fun, despite our weather. We're still buoyed up by your time here and will hopefully float right along to a week off for Christmas. :)




And this month, a special treat! Two photos by Brian, our other family photographer. He's quite good. And, he captured some rare sun--an absolute treat!



Happy Tuesday--hope you're well and gearing up for Advent! I am certainly eager here!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Take 272

7 Quick Takes Friday 
--- 1 ---
My kiddos watched Cinderella for the first time this week, thanks to Netflix. Isn't it funny how monumental I feel like that moment should've been? I mean, they liked it... but... there was no confetti as Cinderella danced with the Prince. 
--- 2 ---
Dogwood Photography Challenge. I have been participating for 32 weeks of this photography challenge... and at about week 9, I got it in my head that it was Dogwoodcreek, which it's not. I had to go back and fix roughly 22 hashtags that connected my photos to... nothing. Because #dogwoodcreek doesn't exist. At least not on Instagram.
--- 3 ---
Pope Clement VIII said regarding coffee in the 1800s, "This devil's drink is delicious. We should cheat the devil by baptizing it." Amen, brother. Thanks, Mama, for sending that along.
--- 4 ---
At the checkout line in Germany, I saw teeny tiny Nutellas -- about 2" tall or  so. Seriously cute.

--- 5 ---
Thanksgiving Prep! I don't know about you, but when I plan Thanksgiving, I pop on over to SmittenKitchen and day dream about my whole meal coming from her fabulous website. What's in your freezer? We have 10 c. of chopped German sourdough bread (stuffing), homemade cranberry sauce, roasted pumpkin waiting to become pumpkin pie, and "home brewed" chicken stock for our stuffing and green bean casserole recipes.
--- 6 ---
As we approach the holidays, I saw this advertisement from dkhw.de on Facebook in Germany (in German, but translated):

Dear Mom, dear dad,
If we look at the photo album together in 15 years, then I'm sure I can laugh with you. But have you ever thought about me wanting to choose who I'm going to look at in the photo album? Just like you, I also have a right to decide what happens to photos of me.
Please share this post and help protect the privacy of children. 
Because children have rights too.
#ErstDenkenDannPosten
#FirstThinkThenPost

It's a nice reminder to check your privacy settings as we get ready to take photos of all of the beautiful children in our lives! :)
--- 7 ---
Give Thanks this week... and wash yo' kitchen towels... 'cause you goin' to need 'em.