Sunday, December 21, 2008

Neuschwanstein Castle

Yesterday Jay and I celebrated our first Christmas together. We took a trip down to the Neuschwanstein Castle. This is what the Cinderella castle in Disney World was copied after. Beautiful castle, but even better was the surroundings. We were down in the Bavarian Alps. Unfortunately, it rained and sleeted the entire day. We drove in it the whole way there, were soaked as we walked to the castle, and drove in it home. It was never slippery so that was good. We weren't too thrilled with the castle because we couldn't see much. We were not allowed to walk around it because of the weather. There is a bridge out aways from the castle that is the perfect spot to take a picture. That was also closed. So.... we didn't get very good pictures. We'll go back another time in the summer to see it again.

We came home, opened presents, watched a Christmas movie, and had popcorn and hot chocolate. We had a great evening!! We simply just enjoyed being together. Couldn't have asked for anything better!

Now that family Christmases will begin happening, hope you all enjoy the time spent with your family! We get to see ours in ONE MORE DAY!!! Yippeeee!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Busy Season

It's been mighty busy around here as the year comes to a close. Jay has spent many hours in the office trying to get paperwork done before we leave. He spent three days jumping at the beginning of the week, so is trying to play catch up. I've been at school everyday and have had something going on everynight. By the time I get home around 7 or 8 and Jay pulls in around 8 or 9, we have enough energy to through some food down and go to bed. Then the alarm goes off at 3 or 4 in the morning and we do it all over again. We are really looking forward to our break. I'm really looking to seeing my husband more than a half hour each day! We haven't spent much time together this week, but I'm still so thankful he's home. Knowing he's beside me while sleeping is quite a comforting feeling. I won't have that for much longer, so I'm really taking it in!

That's my attitude this Christmas season. I am trying really hard to appreciate absolutely everything that we're doing, knowing that next Christmas will be completely different. Who knew that sitting next to Jay in our rocking chairs, watching an episode of Home Improvement would be something I really enjoy. I tell ya what, God has really shown me how to appreciate life and what He all gives us, epecially knowing that it won't be there for long. I encourage you to take this attitude this season. Christmas can be such a stressful time with the crowds, traffic, lack of money, so many things to do... Nonetheless, we need to remember the true meaning of Christmas and be thankful for what God has blessed us with. Enjoy every second you spend with your family and friends. I know I will! I can't wait to be with them!! 3 More Days!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snowy Drive

We took a trip to Rothenburg today to buy the rest of our Christmas presents. The drive was beautiful as the trees were covered in snow. I tried to take pictures, but it was hard to catch the trees as we drove by. The town was also so pretty, with snow covering the roof tops. Definitely love this time of year!
Christmas Market, a brass band was playing.
This street was beautiful with the colored buildings and the snow covered trees. The picture doesn't do it justice!

Christmas Creations

We have our squadron Christmas party this weekend and our troop was supposed to be in charge of decorations. I was told two days before, so was trying to create things from around my house. Here are a few of the things I came up with...

Come to find out, another troop already did the decorations, so got off the hook. We just get to go and enjoy the party! Nonetheless, I ended up liking all of my decorations, so they are now sitting around our house. We get to enjoy them for another week before we leave.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Is it fair?

So, Jay and I were just playing a game of chess. We were right to the end. Jay had a his king and a pawn left. I had my king and two pawns left. One of my pawns reached to Jay's side and I told him that it gets promoted. He said no way. So, I pulled out the directions and read it to him that if a pawn makes it to the other side, it gets promoted to a queen. Jay said that wasn't fair so we weren't playing by that rule. That's just because he would have lost! Does anyone else know of this rule? And should it not count since Jay didn't know it!!


Nonetheless, I won TWICE!!

Say a Special Prayer

If you have a spare minute, please say a prayer for my friend Angie and her son Noah. Noah's daddy was deployed to Iraq over Thanksgiving weekend. Angie has been so strong, knowing that God is protecting her. The two of them leave for Texas on Thursday. It is going to be a long flight for the two of them. Please pray that Noah is content on the plane and that they make it home safely.

We sure will miss Angie, Jon, and Noah.
Can't wait to see you in March!

In the Spirit

I have definitely been in the Christmas spirit lately. One way I've been getting ready for Christmas is by being extremely busy. I've been working at school every day lately and am trying to buy gifts and get things ready to be taken home. We all know the Christmas season seems to make us busier. Don't know why, but it sure is true. Also the lights around town have been fun to look at. The lights here aren't as neat as Iowa, but I still enjoy looking at them. Another way I've been preparing is by listening to Christmas music. I don't have any of my Christmas cd's with me, so I've had to check a few out from the library. I've also been very thankful for KNWS online. I have my computer playing all the time. It just makes me feel so warm inside.

My number one reason for being excited for Christmas (other than the obvious birth of our Savior) is being able to go home and see my family! I can't wait to spend a week with everyone. I know it is going to fly by, but I will be savoring every second of it. I am also excited to go to Church of Promise for Christmas Eve service. I also love a candle lit service, that tells the real Christmas story, and involves the usual Christmas hymms. And I get to see my chruch family again. I love them all so much! Oh my! I can't wait!!

We have added a few more decorations to our home.
This is our Jesse Tree. We put an ornament on each day. The ornament goes with a story from the Bible. We started it on the 1st of the month and it goes up until Christmas day.

This is the vase we bought in Prague. Jay filled it with red and silver bulbs.

This was my Cav Coffee Group Christmas Party.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving in Berlin

We spent Thanksgiving weekend traveling around Berlin and what a history lesson it was. This town is filled with stories from both world wars, the cold war, Hitler, and the wall. We took a walking tour on Friday that lasted 4 hours long. It was the best part of the whole trip. We went to spots that we wouldn't have gone to on our own. Our guide knew so much history and told so many stories to go along with everything. For example... we walked to an old, rundown parking lot. Not too exciting to the usual passer-byer, but he explained that it was the spot where Hitler's bunker had once stood. The city it trying not to remember things about Hitler, so they are leaving it an ugly lot instead of putting up a memorial or something. Definitely wouldn't have known that just by walking by. Some of the other big things we were able to see were the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the stadium from the 1936 Olympics, and the Holocaust Memorial. We also saw several churches and museums from the outside. Another one of my favorite parts was the Christmas markets. This time of year, nearly every town in German has markets going. I like to explain them as a county fair with a Christmas theme. There are hundreds of booths selling Christmas ornaments, crafts, hats, candy, and lots and lots of food. We ate brats for at least two meals. At the markets that we went to, they also had rides going. That's the bigger towns though, not all will have rides. Walking through all the lights, smelling all of the Christmas smells, hearing Christmas music, and seeing all the booths definitely puts you into the Christmas spirit. All in all, we had a wonderful trip!!

Brandenburg Gate

Reichstag (where the German parliment meets)

Checkpoint Charlie

Holocaust Memorial
The Berlin Wall

Olympic Stadium
A Christmas Market
This is the old parking lot where Hitler's bunker used to be.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

I know we're jumping the gun a bit, but Jay and I went out and bought our Christmas tree tonight. There is only one place for us to get a fake one, and we didn't want to chance them running out... which will most likely happen. After lots of debating and picturing what it would look like in the apartment, we decided on the biggest one. We came home and couldn't wait to put it up, SO WE DID!!! The tree ended up being a lot bigger than we thought. It touches the ceiling, so we had to bend a few of the top branches down. Nonetheless, it's perfect!! We wrapped ribbon around it and put our ornaments on. We looked at buying lights, but one strand was $18, so we decided we could do without. Then I found one strand in my box of Christmas decorations. It wouldn't go around the whole tree, so we wrapped it just in the front. It's very sparse, but it still looks good. We still have a few more things to put on it, and then it will be perfect.

Jay putting the top on

The finished product

With red ribbon

With everything, lights and all

We also put our nativity scene up. I absolutely love my WillowTrees. This is the first time I have had the entire set out at once. I had it up last year, but was missing a few pieces. It's perfect!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mommy and Daddy

Jay and I get to try out being parents this weekend! We are so excited, but might not be by tomorrow morning. We are giving our friends a weekend alone because the husband is getting deployed next week. I know they love their little guy and don't want to give him up, but we thought they could really use some TLC before the next year apart. Jay and I know how tough it is to leave the love of your life. So, while we're helping them out, we get to test out our parenting skills. I can't wait for him to arrive in an hour!! I think Jay's a bit nervous, but he's going to have fun. Noah and him are good buddies!! This also may be our incentive to not have kids for several more years. But Noah is a really good boy, so hopefully he won't put any thoughts in our heads!! : )

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Sweet Birthday

I turned 24th yesterday and celebrated in the best possible way. We stayed home the entire weekend and simply enjoyed each other. We have been running so hard lately that we haven't had any down time. All week I was looking forward to a quiet weekend. We slept in on Saturday morning, had pancakes, and bummed around. In the evening we went on post to eat a Thanksgiving dinner put on by the teens. Then we went to our friend's house to play our new favorite game. On Sunday, we went to church in the morning and then had dinner at different friends' house. We stayed there all afternoon and talked. They gave me a bouquet of flowers for my birthday to bring home also. After we got home, I opened my presents from Jay. He got me candle holders that match our lamps perfectly, a sweatshirt from Ireland, and gummies!!! It was all great!! We then played a game of Life, which Jay killed me in. For supper we had frozen pizza and watched a movie. For dessert, we had extra large pieces of confetti cake (my favorite... thanks Erica) that JAY MADE in the morning!! He had some supervison, but did a marvelous job!! It tasted wonderful!!

I know it probably doesn't sound like the most exciting birthday, but I tell you what... being able to be with Jay was simply all I needed. If the Army has taught me one thing, I have quickly learned to cherish every moment I get with my man. Jay was gone for my birthday last year and will be deployed next year, so I took in all that I could. Him being by my side all day was the best birthday present I could ever ask for! God truely blessed me!

My presents from Jay
Flowers from Bill and Marcia
Jay's first cake!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Visit to Denmark

Jay and I took advantage of a four day weekend to visit the country of Denmark. We started our trip on the west side of the country. We were able to take some time looking at the North Sea. We saw lots of ships and busy ports. Unfortunately, it rained most of the time, so we didn't walk around a lot. On Sunday, we traveled across two islands to reach the capital city of Copenhagen. In order to get to the city, we had to cross a ten mile long bridge. Once we crossed it, we had to go through a toll booth. Jay pulled out his loose coins and much to our amaze, we ended up paying $40 to cross the brigdge. Yikes!!! The entire country was extremely expensive. We spent $25 at McDonalds. We were trying to go cheap and it didn't work. We also spent $30 on a medium pizza. At least it tasted good. In Copenhagen, we walked around looking at several of the canals. The city is full of them. Jay really enjoyed looking at all of the boats. We went through a Hans Christian Andersen Museum and were able to see several of his stories. We also went through the Guiness Book of World Records. The museum had a lot of hands on activities, so we had a lot of fun in there. We traveled to Odense on Monday, hoping it would get cheaper. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. This is the home town of H.C. Andersen. They had several museums for him here. We took off for home on Tuesday morning. After an eight hour drive, we finally reached our apartment. It was a long trip, but we are glad we had the chance to go!

H.C. Andersen statue
Jay being a race car driver.

One of the many canals.
The 10 mile long bridge.

Friday, November 7, 2008

PWOC Worship and Study

I just returned home from this year's European PWOC Conference in Willingen, Germany. I spent a week with 400 other women learning more about how to submit to our Lord. I had an AMAZING time there and learned so much. We had large group sessions with a wonderful speaker. She was a story teller and would tell a contemporary story and then tell the Bible story that went with it. I was completely focused on her as so was so good!! We also had a night with a christian comedian. She had everyone rolling in their chairs. Before the speaker gave her talk, we spent a lot of time singing worship songs. This was my favorite part as I love to worship God by singing to him. People were dancing and clapping during every song. I even saw 70 year old women shaking their hips. It was great! During the days, we attended classes on a variety of topics. A few of the ones I went to were on devotion, attitute, and personalities. We also had time to spend with the rest of the ladies from our chapter. We had five people from Schweinfurt attend. I really enjoyed getting to know them all better. I roomed with Sandra all week. We stayed up each night at least until midnight and usually much later talking about everything under the sun. She has been such a blessing to me!! Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what the conference looked like.
Where we had all of our sessions...

One of the nights, we sang worship songs by candle light. It was so beautiful!
We did a lot of dancing and grooving while we sang!
We had a banquet our last night there and dressed up like princesses!

Me and my crazy roommate for the week!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Restless Night

A funny story... the other night when we were sleeping, Jay sat straight up in bed and started to yell in his sleep. He was saying "who the hell is there?" and continued to yell "hello?" This obviously woke me up, so I tried pulling him back down. I was telling him to calm down and relax. Then he fired back at me, "I am relaxed, but someone's out there." I told him no one was outside, he was just dreaming. Then he started to go on saying that we were stuck in the washer. We had to get out of the washer because someone was outside. Once I got him to lay back down, he slept real tight to me the rest of the night, like he was scared of who was outside. When he first layed down, he was shaking. I found this whole thing quite hilarious. Jay on the other hand... doesn't remember a single part of it.

Having FUN!!!

We've been having lots of fun over here in Germany and it's not all because of traveling. We have met some great people that we love to do things with. Here are a few pictures to show how much fun we've been having!

These are at community day. They had several 'rides' outside and the guys took advantage of them. This was a sling shot that threw you into the air. Ieven got to ride this one... but my eyes never opened. A night out for ice cream after watching a play.