Flinging Christmas trees at the Knut festival

Happy New Year and merry Epiphany! Growing up Presbyterian, I had never heard of Epiphany or Three Kings day, but now that I know I will share– my apologies to anyone who understands it better than I, this is just a quick intro to how we experience it in Germany. January 6 marks the epiphany, and brings the 12 days of Christmas to an end. In some states in Germany it is a public holiday, but for all Germans it marks the beginning of the carnival or festival season.  Continue reading

Canon Fire at Home

April showers are supposed to bring May flowers but this year it seems that April showers brought May storms and flooding. All around us we see pictures of the mass flooding and watch the water levels rise and rise… also the patience level of a toddler who desperately wants to play in his sandbox drop and drop. This past week we had a bit of a change. On days when we got 2 hours of no rain (note that I didn’t say sunny blue skies) we got outside and did what we could to combat the jungle like weeds that were taking over our front garden.

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Literally toddler sized weeds sprung up in a matter of days. Snails were crawling all over our cement walkways and our lawn, well dandelion field, was up to Brock’s waist. But with our short windows we took advantage and started pulling weeds and playing with our outside toys. Today seemed to be the first turn of the weather. Blue skies and temperatures around 70. What a treat! So we packed in the jogging stroller and set off on a nice walk around town. And that walk is what inspired this blog post today. Continue reading

Christmas 2015 Wrap-UP

Merry Christmas everyone! This Christmas was really special- although this was technically Brock’s second Christmas, it felt like a first since last year we were still living in a hotel and could not do any traditions or even have a tree! Brock was really excited about our tree this year and we played a little game where he would take all the ornaments off that he could reach and I would put them back on ;).  Continue reading

Look out for Hexennacht!

UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF POST

The eve of May 1st (May Day) is witches night in Germany and apparently that means to lock everything down. All the groups I am in online warned Americans living off post to pull their cars in the garage, bring in garden furniture, decorations, and even your doormat! I thought it was silly but when my new friend in the neighborhood warned me to take heed, I did! I brought everything in and waited.  Continue reading

Easter in Germany

Happy Easter from this cute bunny! Brock’s first Easter basket had funny faced eggs and sport ball designed eggs filled with cereal puffs, a rubber bunny, a toy lamb that sings in German, and two things I plan to continue each year—a Classic Disney DVD and swim trunks to start the summer season. This year Brock got The Rescuers & The Rescuers Down Under, and his trunks have fish and a giant octopus.  Continue reading

Speyer Sommertagszug AKA Flaming Snowmen

Spring has arrived in Germany and with it has brought Easter markets, spring festivals, and warmer weather. However, it also brought in a nasty virus. Everyone in Brock’s music class had it, and we were the last to get hit. It wiped us out for a couple weeks so we missed the opening Easter market and some other events, but thankfully we were feeling recovered enough to get out this past weekend. As is usually the case we had a few options for where to spend our day out. We opted for the Spring Parade (Sommertagszug) in Speyer and we were glad we did!  Continue reading

Rosenmontag in Mainz

I am a little late in posting this, but it has been a very busy week for us. Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) is the day before Shrove Tuesday and the last official day to party before lent… and Germans take full advantage! And I mean everyone takes advantage ALL weekend long. On Sunday we were playing with Brock in the living room and saw the 70 or 80 year couple who lives across the street come out in full body tiger suits! Kind of like footy-pjamas with a hood and face paint. At this point we knew the rumors were true and these last few days of Fasching or the Karneval season were going to be fun. By the way, Fasching dates back to pre-Roman times as a time for fun in a not-so-fun world.  Continue reading