Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Easter Market in Maulbronn

Friday we worked at the Patch Bazaar with the scouts, but Saturday, we dropped our scouts off to work and then headed to Maulbronn to check out their Easter Market.  It was held in an amazing Kloster.

Rob saw this sign and read it Bez-erker Kloster and decided it was where the Berzerk nuns worked.

Of course it really means visitors to the Kloster. But when we were looking at the buildings one of the handles popped up and made a bang and we decided it must be some bezerk-er nuns coming to tell us to go away!    
Right before you get into the kloster there is this beautiful graveyard terraced onto the hillside.

It takes up about 3 terraces and then the rest is terraced with a vineyard.  Gorgeous!

Festive Fountain in the middle of the square.

The room wasn't very big that they had the Easter Market in, but for a tiny space, it seemed to hold a whole lot of amazing artists!

We saw eggs of every variation and all beautiful.  We saw some eggs where they had pin pricked parts of them out until they were the most amazing lattices with gorgeous pictures embedded in them.  Those were around 200 Euro.  We decided to stick with a few painted ones.  These are actually painted and then the design is scraped into it with a razor. 

We had three (one for Emma- the butterfly one, one for me the red, and one for Max- the Green.)  You can't see the green, because Max already broke it.  Smashed!  12 Euros down the toilette!  Not even a picture to commemorate it.  
We also bought the three goose eggs which are already blown out for us.  They had every variety of egg to choose from.  We almost got a peking duck one, but it was a lot thinner than the goose eggs.  With all the moving that we do, we decided we better get some hardy eggs!  We will try our hand at decorating them later.
After getting our eggs and looking around the kloster a little, we had butterwaffeln with puderzucker .  Emma and Dad didn't think they wanted any, but they ate half of Max and Mom's!  
I love it when I overhear people's conversations and learn about amazing things like this Easter Market in Maulbronn!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

You're Killing me Smalls

I love technology.  I love that I can keep seeing all the places people have gone and have them write up hints and tricks that they found while visiting those places.  I love that I can ask on our community web page if anyone has seen my children and someone almost always answers to let me know where they are.  I love our community where you can put up that you are in need of such and such and someone always has it and says they will run it right over.  But technology, also, brings out the crazies.  There was the one lady that wanted to know if there was an adult store somewhere close, since her husband was deployed.  That got all kinds of comments from people being outraged to the swingers who wanted to invite her down to their parties.   There was the lady who wrote that she was teaching a yoga class at such and such an hour.  That started out fine, but soon people were asking where the gym was and what the hours were and other gym related questions.   This sent her off in a rage, that people would dare hijack her 2 seconds of fame!  There are the multiple shame pictures of a filthy garbage area or non picked up dog poop which grosses everyone out. Then there was the lady today who had a 2 year old playing on the playground meant for smaller children.  An older child happened to be swinging on the swings in that particular park and hit her child in the stomach.  He swore it was an accident, but she couldn't be sure, because you see, she wasn't there.  She then finishes her comments with this gem, "please talk to your children about staying off the park that is meant for smaller children, or better yet, supervise your children yourselves!" Hmmmmm?

I have laughed at these people privately, but sometimes I roll my eyes right back into my head and think, "Is this what America has become?"  It scares me that these are the people who are defending our country.  I don't comment.  I try to fly under the crazy radar at much as possible.  I just store up all those comments I would like to write to these people.  But, I think it is time to let them out.  
"Woman, nobody wants to know that you do that kind of thing!  If you really need some self gratification- find a friend you can ask privately or use google search engine.  It was invented especially for that kind of question.  Please leave your private life off of our community page!"
"Swinging is nasty, immoral and you're all going to hell."  That is all.
"Lady, yours is a yoga class, I never want to attend!  There is a serious lack of Zen going on over there!  Take a large chill pill and sleep it off!"
"Nobody and I mean Nobody wants to see another picture of dog poop pop up in their browser, so stop taking pictures of it!  Yes, there is a person out there seriously disobeying the rules, but let's just pray for a little karma and hope they slip in their own pile once or twice!"
And finally...
"Wow, irony isn't your thing, is it?!  I know I have said some dumb things a time or two in the heat of the moment.  I am sure that it was very upsetting for you to be called away from your beer and sunbathing to take care of your screeching child.  Taking one look at your child, I'm sure your first reaction was to run to the computer and write a scathing remark to all those parents that don't supervise their children!  Truer words were never written- parents, please supervise your children!" (irony)
And I'm out!

Monday, March 10, 2014


I traveled to Poland with a group of ladies the other week.  I'm not much of a girls weekend away kind of person, so I went with two ladies who were the same and we did it in two days instead of three like the rest of the group.  Poland is about 6 hours away. 

Poland looked just like I though it would- old and breaking down.  Sometimes you would see these amazing houses right in the middle of a bunch of broken down ones.  We just loved all the textures and wanted to run our families up here to take family pictures.  This was a church with broken windows that we thought was gorgeous with the rectory possibly beside it.  The house next to it, look like your typical haunted mansion!
We passed Dreseden on our way up(I really wanted to stop!!) and look what we saw- a Kress store or Manufacturing place. 

We stayed at the Blue Beetroot which is a lovely 5 star hotel with a wonderful restaurant. 

We bought Polish pottery.  See my Chicken?  I love him!  He is a whistle.  I bought one for Emma too.  I was trying to think of something to get her to start her college, moving on stash- probably a chicken whistle wasn't the best option, but it's still awesome!

 and then went to the Mission that is just 30 minutes away
The mission is in an old castle.  Since this part of Poland used to be in Germany, when the war ended, many of the places were pulled down as a way of breaking from Germany.  This survived mostly intact.  
It has this amazing building next to it which used to be an old sanitarium.  They brought soldiers here that became disillusioned by Hilter and slowly tortured them to death.  After the war, someone burnt it down.  It is unsafe to go into it now.
We bought Nativity sets from them.  He also gave us a tour of the mission which is open to host individuals, families and groups.
For just 10 euros a night per person you can stay in one of their rooms!
We have a group of ladies from our base that is going up soon to do some missionary work there. 
 It was a fun group.

  We are now thinking of doing a run down to get some Italian pottery in Nove.  So pretty!

Putt-putting with the partners

I wanted to come up with something fun to do as couples in February for the Relief society weekday meeting.  This is one activity that my mother-in-law said was one of her favorites from her ward- indoor golf.  I asked several ladies or groups of ladies and their husband's- if they had husband's around (some were deployed) to come up with a golf hole.  We had 9 holes in various rooms of the building and they were all completely different.    Here are just some of the holes that people came up with.  
This one was about getting to the temple despite the road blocks.
Besides making the Swiss chalet, she painted that background picture!
Just one of the holes that the President came up with in case someone didn't show up with theirs!  I know, gorgeous, right??
Her second hole- so cute!

This one was killing everyone- I only know of one person that made it through one of the two openings, the rest of us smacked it hard and got it over the pipes instead!
Part of our team- that up and down was wicked!
These guys actually had a green.  
Most of the people didn't have golf clubs, or if they do, they didn't bring them over to Europe with them, so we brought Rob's whole set and put a different club at each of the holes, which made it even more challenging- imagine putting with a 9 iron.  Yah- it made no difference to me!! Ha ha!

Robert did a talk on communication in marriage and then we golfed in teams and had root beer floats.  The YM/YW did the babysitting for us.  It was one of the best attended activities we have had and lots of fun.
Before the day came, though, I had a complete melt down.  My leader and my committee were all taken away and those who were supposed to get the babysitting things done, didn't- so in the end I did the entire thing.  I did movies, a craft (candy necklaces), a game (soccer with a blow up ball and chalkboards as goals) and snacks for the little ones.  The YM/YW were fabulous at keeping them happy and occupied.  
I also thought no one was coming, because everyone I talked to said they weren't!  I thought I had asked the YM/YW to come to something that no one was going to show up at.  One of the bus stop moms on hearing me freak out, said, "why don't you just let them play with you, then."  Hmm.. after I thought about it, I realized that was a good idea.  That way, I stopped worrying about what ifs.  In the end, they didn't get to golf, because there were too many people that showed up.  Even though it was a big success we have decided to cut the number of activities.
We are sort of in a unique situations.  We are in Europe, so at the least opportunity people are traveling and seeing the sites.  In fact, I left the very next morning for Poland and would have left the day before if it hadn't been for the activity I was in charge of.  The area is large and traffic congested, so getting to the church in under 45 minutes at that time of night, is a score.  Besides traveling, there are tons of things going on with the military community- husband's are frequently gone, or busy until all hours, there are committees and events that have to be attended, there are office parties and military balls and teas with the General's wife.  People get tired of so many commitments.  With the church a little drive away, having to go up twice a week is too much, but sometimes you have to go 3 or more. With all the other stuff going on, it just ends up being too much.
This activity was a lot of fun, but in the end, we decided that although many of the sisters need to get together for fellowship, especially those whose husband's are deployed, that coming to the church one more day a week, just isn't fulfilling that need.  We have some reworking to do.  But thankfully, I have a committee again to help me do just that!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Olympic Cuteness

The Second grade decided to do an Olympics at our Elementary this February in conjunction with the Winter Olympics.  The kids were assigned a country. Then they made a flag and medals.  The medals  were passed out to the 1st and 2nd place person at each of about 10 stations.

I had a video to show you them walking in carrying their flags while they played the Olympic anthem, but it wouldn't load. I will try again, later- so cute!

I went in and helped.  I took the high jumping station.  They reached as far as they could and made a mark with a piece of chalk and then they jumped and made another mark.  Then we measured between the lines.  I learned a new thing.  Second graders do not understand fractions beyond 1/2 and they don't even know how to write 1/2.  I was confusing them so much when I said, 9 3/8. 
 What?  How do you write that?  Does that mean I got 938?  Um, no! 
 After the 2nd or 3rd group, I started writing with the chalk on the paper so that they could see how to write it.
I had one little girl who came through who didn't have a single medal.  I felt so bad when she didn't get 1st or 2nd in my group either, so I awarded a 3rd place to her.  Of course they had to call me out on it, but I explained quietly that I wanted to give a 3rd place that time and then one of the little guys said, "oh, so she will have a medal?"  They were all Ok with it when I nodded my head.  
Max was supposed to have Sweden.

He said they wouldn't let anyone be the United States, because everyone wanted it.  Someone got it in the end.  I explained that being Sweden in the Winter Olympics was a pretty good deal! (Not so much in the Summer Olympics.)  He did pretty well.  This is him about half way through and look at all those medals!

So much cuteness!