Posted by: the European Family | January 23, 2010

Taming of the Shrew

Recently my daughter has started setting milk out for some of the local cats. All three of the children love to watch the two cats that come to the house on a regular basis now.

Have you read Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder? Well in it they have a cat that brings mice and crows to the door for Ma. Well we woke up one morning to find a shrew in our milk bowl. Apparently one of the cats was wanting to repay us for all the milk we have given it. The children were so excited for the present that my five-year old drew a picture to thank the cat for its generosity, which she placed out by the milk bowl. I must say I wasn’t so excited for the present, luckily my husband was here and was able to get rid of it!

Posted by: the European Family | January 18, 2010


This weekend my husband and I went to the Kino to watch Avatar. This was our first time to the Kino. The first thing we noticed is how nice the theater is. A white grand piano in the middle of the lobby with comfortable red velvet couches surrounding it. Next we saw on our tickets that we had assigned seats. You are not allowed back into the theaters until 5 minutes before the shows start, if you are late to a movie you have to ask to have the doors unlocked for you. When we were allowed in we were glad to find we had excellent seats. We really had no idea what the movie was about the or how long it was. We sat down to hear someone behind us say it was 2 and half hours, man that is a long time to sit in a movie. We then started watching it and little less than half way through the movie stopped. I was not aware there were intermissions in movies now! Is this a German thing or are they doing that in the states now too? With intermission this movie turned into a very long night…not that the movie was that bad but I was VERY tired by the time it was all over.

Posted by: the European Family | January 7, 2010


This winter we have seen so much snow. One evening after the kids went to bed my husband and I decided to build ourselves a snowman. We thought the kids would be excited if they found a snowman outside the door in the morning. It was lots of fun playing in the snow! Here is a picture of our handywork.


Posted by: the European Family | January 4, 2010

Train Stop

Today while my kids and I were waiting at the train stop, all I could think of was the Fiddler on the Roof when Tivea was sending his daughter off at the train station.

Like them we were at a small train stop (not quite as far out in the middle of nowhere like them) and snow was all around us and it was bitter cold. Since our walk to the station took a little less time than expected the snow was appreciated as it entertained my children as we waited. The Omas that were also waiting for the train found a lot of entertainment watching them make pictures in the snow. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of this very cold experience. Luckily however we weren’t in as cold a place as that portrayed in the Fiddler on the Roof.

Posted by: the European Family | December 15, 2009

Gingerbread House

The time of year has finally come to make our gingerbread house. Ever since I was a little girl we have made gingerbread houses every Christmas. Though I am not nearly as good at making/decorating them as my mother, we still try. We started by cutting out all of the needed pieces. One trick that my mother taught me was to roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper, this makes the gingerbread less stiff from added flour when rolling on the table and easier to handle.

Then we assembled the house. The tricky part here is making sure that the icing “glue” is just the right thickness. I did have to add more powder sugar in the end, but it ended up staying in one piece.

Then the best part comes. Decorating the house. This part can leave you with a tummy ache if you, like me tend to snitch while you cook.

Finally we finished the project. All probably having a little bit of a sugar high. For the amateurs that we are, it turned out all right. I hope it makes you proud Mom!

Posted by: the European Family | December 14, 2009

St Nicholas

Since many of our American traditions started here in Europe particularly Germany, we are learning some of the subtle differences  between our Holiday traditions and that of our European neighbors. We recently took the kids to a work Christmas party where the children where able to sit on Santa’s knee. They loved this.

American Santa

This last weekend we went to Koblenz to a much bigger Christmas market than the one in our little village. Here our children were introduced to St. Nicholas. This man came and give each of our three children candy. Because he doesn’t look quite like our Santa they were a little more apprehensive but still welcomed the treat.

St Nicholas

We have tried to incorporate the German St Nicholas Day holiday into our traditions, but I don’t think until they finally meet St. Nicholas did they realize there was a difference between the two figures.

St Nicholas Day is December 6. On the eve of St Nicholas Day the children leave their shoes on the doorstep where St Nicholas leaves them some fruit or candy and small presents. Christmas day is reserved for when the Christ child visits.

Posted by: the European Family | December 10, 2009


I know I have talked about the lack of sunshine here before, but I have been reminded again about how lovely the sun truly is. It is actually a very sunny December day here right now! So to take advantage of the sunshine I had the kids make simple ladybug kites from a sheet of paper and string and we went and flew kites. That’s right, kite flying in December. But having sunshine in Germany, especially during the winter is so rare that I had to take advantage. So bundled up in coats we flew kites for about 20 minutes. The fun you can have in the sun, regardless of the temperature outside!

Posted by: the European Family | December 6, 2009

Our Village’s Weihnachtsmarkt

Yesterday our tiny village had its annual Christmas Market. We all bundled up and headed down to the square. We enjoyed traditional German waffles….one of my favorites.


Then we entertained the kinder by allowing them to go on the merry-go-round. They enjoyed this and the best part of all is it was free! After taking several turns we headed out to see the booths. A Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) is very similar to a craft fair/bazaar, where craftsmen bring their work to sale. Besides crafts, most are traditional German Christmas items, there are also people selling wine, cheese, honey, etc. and of course yummy food booths. This is also where many people drink Gluhwein, a hot spiced wine, so imagine a craft fair that attracts both women AND men. Women for the shopping, men for the food and drinking. Our family doesn’t drink so we purchase the kinder gluhwein (hot spiced grape juice) to warm us up. We ended our night at the Christmas market with wild boar brats. They were pretty tasty.


Posted by: the European Family | December 4, 2009

GPS in the Czech Republic

I recently went on a trip with one of my friends to the Czech Republic. We soon discovered that my handy GPS, which my husband and I call Helga, didn’t work so well in the Czech. Our 5 1/2 hour drive turned into over 8 since for some reason Helga didn’t want to take us on the autobahns. So the second day of our trip we fired Helga and started using my friends GPS…this was a mistake. Her GPS decided that we should go off roading, though we did not know this right away. We were told to turn down a small road, not thinking much of it since many roads in Europe are narrow, we headed on. Slowly the road changed from paved to partially paved to a hard packed dirt road to two paths that you may see in a pasture to eventually no road at all. By the time the road had more or less disappeared it was too late to turn around due to the amount of mud. So we kept on driving and finally made it across a muddy field to the road that GPS was taking us (the whole time the GPS was telling us we were on the right road). Below is a picture of the “road” the GPS decided to take us down.

Posted by: the European Family | December 3, 2009


Okay, I have been a slacker when it comes to this blog. I am making a goal to starting posting at least 4 times a week. We have so many unique experience with being stationed overseas. I feel I need to share those with others. Anyone out there who reads this and sees that I am slacking again please write and remind me to get back on track.

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