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10 October 2011

Pumpkin Festival in Ludwigsburg


Over the weekend we headed to the Ludwigsburg Palace to check out their annual pumpkin festival.  We didn't tell the kids ahead of time what this pumpkin festival was really about because we were too excited to watch their facial expressions when they finally saw it.  Evan did not disappoint - he was giddy when he saw T-rex with pumpkins all over him!

For more pictures go HERE



The kids ohhh and ahhh over the cute little baby dinosaur - we just HAD to take a picture!


This is one of my favorite pictures of the kids with a dinosaur, they were all too thrilled to be making these faces!  We couldn't even eat lunch before we got this picture, they were too impatient.


Then we saw Rapunzels Castle!!!
At first we were just getting Anika excited but the closer we got the more we realized that it really WAS Rapunzels Tower with her hair hanging out and everything!




See?  Rapunzels Hair!!
The kids climbed up as far as they could go but they weren't able to get to the very top.  Mother Gothel had locked the door and wasn't allowing anyone up or Rapunzel to come down.  Anika kept telling us how mean Mother Gothel was because she really wanted to see Rapunzel at the top of the tower.



And of course I had to include this picture - Evan was done with pictures and just wanted to go to the park!  

Pirate Park in Amberg


Since the kids are in a German school we don't get any of the American holidays off, but we do get the German holidays off.  Monday October 3rd was their "Tag der deutschen Einheit", which is the Day of the German Reunification.  It has been celebrated throughout Germany since 1990.  It's sad that we don't get all the 4 day weekends that Miles gets off but we'll be able to vacation for weeks at a time when the kids eventually get their holidays.  (We'll see how it all works out in the long run.)

Anyway, for their day off we drove to this park in Amberg ... the pirate park




The kids had a blast going back and forth on these boats.  At first they had no idea how they worked but when they finally figured it out they spent a good hour playing on them.  



09 October 2011

A Castle - Burg Rheinfels in St. Goar


While traveling up and down the Rhein River we stopped in St. Goar to tour the Burg Rheinfels castle.  It was perfect for the kids because they got to run after being stuck in the car for a long time.
(For more landscape pictures go HERE)


Isn't this the coolest door ever?!


The kids posing inside the castle ruins



The executioners stand ... I swear I didn't pose them this way.  I'm not sure if this was all Paige's idea or if Emi had a say in it or not.  Classic though!

Kinder School


Its been a couple of weeks since Evan started his Kinder School and he is still kind of getting used to it.  At first he told me that school was boring because they wouldn't let him watch a movie or play on the iPad.  Isn't that exactly why I put him in it in the first place?!  When I pick him up after school they are all out at recess and he is slowly making friends and trying to play with the other kids.  Usually I see him exploring or playing on his own, or hanging out with his teachers.

I have to say though, I've been really impressed with the school so far, they have lots of fun themes and activities.   I seriously want to own all the toys that they have in there for the kids to play with too.  There are these awesome wooden trucks and tractors that I know the kids would love.


(this is Evan after his adventure to the potato field after learning about the potato king - he brought home a bag of potatoes that he picked at the field and we made beef stew and a casserole with them.   He was so excited to be eating his potatoes, it was so cute!)

Hit and Run



Did I mention I got in a car accident ... pulling into my garage?  
Our garage out here is not automatic and when you open it it swings out toward you so you can't park too close to the garage.  I had just gotten home from running errands with the kids, I had opened my garage, was back in my car getting ready to pull the car into the garage when the neighbor's friend backed up and hit me.  I got out of my car to confront them when then put their car in drive, drove up the street and drove away.  Seriously?  Did I just experience a hit and run?  My other neighbor was walking up the street from below me and yelled at me to get the tags.  THANK YOU!  I was able to get the license plate number just in time.  

We had just gotten our car from being shipped over here too ... with NO scratches whatsoever too!! 

 I called the MP's, which are the military police, and they came over to take my report.  They also had to take my neighbor's reports - the one who yelled at me to get the tages and the one who got dropped off.  The girl who hit me had a few issues that I wont put on the blog ... I don't think the MP's should have told me that kind of information.  The MP's were here forever taking every little detail ... there must not be many exciting things happening out here because the 2 MP's who were here initially turned into 8 MP's going in and out for a few hours.  I tried to call Miles several times but had to hang up with him to talk to the MP's over and over.  Oh, yeah, did I tell you this all happened when Miles was TDY - 4 hours away for 2 weeks.  Perfect!!  I guess it makes for a good story though!

Public School



The first day of school!!!  
We have to be up at the cities official bus-stop at 7:40 AM.  Last year it was at 8:45 AM, so this is a lot earlier than we are used to.  The girls were so excited!  I felt like throwing up for them since I was sending them off to a German public school where they were the minority and they didn't speak ANY German.  The only German phrase they knew was "where is the toilet?".  But when you ask that, don't you need to understand the answer?  Yeah, I was just slightly  nervous for them.



These are the kids' HouseShoes.  When they get to school they have to change their 'dirty shoes' into their 'house shoes'.  They also came home later in the week telling me that they also needed sports shoes and sports clothes, and Emi also needed a swimming bag since she has a swimming class every Wednesday.  Miles was gone and I had to end up doing it all by myself ... yeah I was lost for about a week and a half ... I also cried every other day after talking to Miles on the phone because I didn't know what I was doing.  Nothing like throwing me into Germany, huh?!


This is the sign for the bus stop ... not to be confused with a Hospital since I'm on the lookout for hospital signs whenever I enter a new city.



Here are the girls getting on the bus (on their second day of school actually).  It's this little van that picks them up and takes them the 3 km to school.  The bus driver is so nice and humors me when I practice the few German phrases I know on her.  There is a little girl who rides with the girls who is really sweet to me when I mess up and she has to correct me.  She speaks fluent German and English.


This is the sign that indicates that it is a school bus.  These signs are all over these little vans all over the place.  I love this little sign!  The bus drips the girls off right in front of our house at the end of the day ... at random times I might add.  I honestly don't know when the girls come home each day.  Some days it is 11:30, others it is 12:30 and others it is 1:00.  It's a lot different than the U.S. but I think in the long run it will be well worth it.  The girls already are getting a better education than I anticipated. 

Bayreuth, Germany ... with a surprise festival again


Here is the family in front of a cool fountain on the front side of the palace.  Pictures of the back side of the palace are HERE with the HUGE garden grounds.  I hate being in pictures when I'm prego but we had to do a family picture here, it was too perfect.


And it just so happened to be the day where everything that is usually closed to the public was open.    This meant that the kids could explore the ambulance and the big city trucks.  The kids loved it!  There were also these kid friendly science projects that the kids got to do.  The German women loved the kids and kept giving them all their extra candy, it was so funny.  This was all happening while they were pouring themselves glasses of Champagne since it was the ending of the fair. 


The Fish and Fishing (Paige ALWAYS helps Anika, it's so cute!)



Evan in the big snow-plow.  Each of the kids got to climb inside and honk the horn, it was so loud!  Emi  pushed it super long and we had yell at her to stop her!



Have you ever seen this on youtube?  There are some crazy people out there doing tricks in the scariest places super high above the ground.  When Miles and I saw this at the fair we new Paige would try it, she is our adventurous one.


And, of course, we had to make our own statues in the back of the palace.  

A Little of our Home

Here are a few pictures around our home.  Since we don't have our stuff YET it is more fun to take pictures 'around' our home than of our home.


The park!  The kids LOVE this park.  I'm sure it will get old but for now they love it and will probably love it for a year of so since it's starting to get cold and rainy and we haven't been to the park for a while.


This is the 'ring' we live on.  There are at least 5 streets with 6 duplex homes on each street.  We are packed in pretty tight but at least it's only 12 families per street instead of 50.


This is the typical view around our home.  We live above a little farm town with tons of farm land.  It is really pretty!  To the right of this picture (where the forest is) are our homes.