Our Family Story


03 January 2012

Our Family Experiencing Only of Little of Berlin

Brandenburg Gate, with the Goddess of Peace on top and Mars 'sheathing his sword'.  Can you believe that Napoleon took this statue to the Louvre in Paris in 1806?!  The Prussians defeated Napoleon and got it back in 1813 though.

The U.S. Embassy is just to the right of the kids (this is where Uncle Marc would work if you guys got lucky enough to get Germany).

Memorial to the murdered Jews who were killed during WWII - the first formal, German government-sponsored Holocaust memorial.  There are 2,711 gravestone like pillars, and no matter where you are in the memorial the exit always appears to be up.

(Just a side note ... We learned from Rick Steves that these pillars are chemically coated for easy removal of graffiti - ironically this chemical coating was "developed by a subsidiary of the former IG Farben group - the company infamous for supplying the Zyklon B gas used in Nazi death camps".)

We then walked down Unter den Linden boulevard, which was a grand boulevard in the 'good ol' days'.

The notorious Nazi book burning. 
Memorial in memory of the 20,000 books that were burned under Hitlers rein.  If you look close enough you can see empty white bookshelves - these bookcases go all the way around the room below.  Good thing the kids have seen Indian Jones so we could somewhat explain this memorial to them  :)

Just in front of this memorial is the Humboldt University seen HERE

Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)
More pictures of this Cathedral are found HERE.  We paid extra so we could walk around the entire dome.  It was a great view and the stairs were perfect with getting some of the kids energy out. 

Checkpoint Charle

Part of the Berlin Wall

Some of the items not pictured here that we saw include:
*Memorial to Politicians who opposed Hitler
*Berlin Wall Victims Memorial
*Pariser Platz (where Brandenburg Gate is located)
*Hotel Adlon - where Michael Jackson dangled his baby over the balcony
*Ghost Subway stations - these stations were un-used for 28 years - they still have the old green tiles and some of the same signs posted ... it was really interesting!!
*The Neue Wache (New Guardhouse) where a replica of Kathe Kollwits stautue is (Mother of Her Dead Son) - it marks the tomb of Germany's unknown soldier and the unknown concentration camp victim.

Some of the things we want to go back and do:
*German History Museum
*Pergamon Museum
*Neues Museum & Egyptian Collection

... who am I kidding, there is so much more we want to see it's ridiculous to list them all.  It's like visiting Washington D.C., it requires a couple of visits to see everything you want to see and then you still haven't seen everything.

A short visit to Bamberg

Bamberg had remnants of their Christmas market up still and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a crepe.  I am seriously going to miss Europe's food when we move!  I am in love with all the Italian Ice and the French Crepes -- no wonder I can't loose the baby weight from Kenneth  :)  For more pictures of Bamberg look HERE.

We couldn't really stay too long since there was a BYU game on TV - we do have our priorities  :)

Outside of Bamberg

Just outside of Bamberg is a palace - The Seehof Palace (more info. HERE).  If it weren't winter we could have gone inside and taken a tour but we'll have to save that for another day when it's warmer.  It was nice to let our kids run around the grounds while we explored alone though.  Miles and I are still trying to figure this whole 5 kids thing out.  It seems as though we are constantly telling the kids to stop behaving like 'wild animals'.  When we say that, Anika seems to think it's silly and starts to make animal noises for the next 20 minutes.  Somehow the message isn't sinking in like we hoped.  One day ...

Anyway, I think this place would be amazing in the summer with the grounds all green.  It will be fun to take the kids inside as well, to see how royalty lived.

just like that ... he's 2 months

My baby is 2 months old already.  He is getting so big and so long way too fast.  With all the other kids, especially the oldest two, I always longed for the day where they would be more independent and not require so much attention from me.  Since this is most likely our last it makes me sad to see all the changes  occurring so fast.  He is just too cute to grow up so fast!!  I love the beginning stages of smiling and cooing, it makes all those night rocking him until 1AM somehow worth it.  Who wouldn't love that little crooked smile, and those blue eyes all lit up with joy?!  

Our First Christmas in Germany ...

turned out pretty good, with smiles from everyone.  Without being able to shop sales I think this may have been our most expensive Christmas ever (it is REALLY expensive out here and I haven't gotten the hang of shipping deadlines on Amazon for shipping overseas).  Some of our idea's still haven't made it to our house.  Our Christmas elf is still hanging out with the kids since he can't leave without leaving their last presents behind as a goodbye gift.  Regardless, the kids had a great Christmas!!

We hope everyone experienced a great Christmas too!  We sure missed family & close friends!