Friday, January 9, 2015

Last Quarter of the Year Speed Reading Style

The last quarter of our year was exciting.  So exciting, I didn't seem to have time to write about it, so now that it's 2015, it's time to end 2014.  Let's do it speed reading with a ton of pictures style.
Autumn was beautiful.  I loved the days we got out with the boys and played football and enjoyed our neighbors' dogs.

Went on a couple of school trips with Joseph.  One to the Lichtenstein Castle (which is not in Lichtenstein)

and the fog caves

and the other to the science museum.

Emma had her Cross Country banquet where she got a varsity letter

Just the Senior Girls

and her coaches got shaved- one mustache and one head, because both the boys and the girls took European state championships this year.

Sam had his Football banquet where he got a coaches award for his huge heart despite his small size.

Emma, as the president of the brand new Red Cross club, kicked off their first event ever- a Zombie run.  There were over 80 participants and about 20 zombies.

It was a rousing success.  I was the volunteer nurse and got to ride around in a gator.
We had Halloween with the traditional potluck outside for the whole building and tons of children running around and tons of candy!

And a Trunk of Treat at the church.
We went to Berlin, with stops in Moedlareuth (little Berlin) where we got to walk around the wall and go up in the guard tower,
 Um, you can just walk out this way!
 We found the way out!
Border Guard Sam
 Memorial given to them by the German government
 Memorial given to them by the American troops that patrolled the area around their little stretch of wall.
Walking the wall!
The church where Martin Luther hung his 95 point thesis.
 and Leipzig.
Possibly Bach- they dug up 3 corpses and put in the one they thought looked the most like the late composer.

We walked around Berlin for 3 days
 Straddling both sides of the former wall

 Brandenburg Gate
 Holocaust memorial

 Checkpoint Charlie
 World clock showing what time it was in Western United States while we were there
 Tropigraphy of horror museum and wall display

We found trampolines in the middle of the walkway!
and enjoyed the 25th anniversary celebration of the wall coming down with Mikel Gorbachov and some very sedate Germans.

We found a chocolate wall and a chocolate volcano- Yum-
We found the Ampelman store and got yummy Ampelman gummis

and we found the candy bomber memorial (actually a memorial to the whole airlift, but Max really wanted to see the candy bomber memorial.)

The lichtgrenze or light wall was pretty cool.  They let all the balloons go during the celebration.

We stopped in Dresden on our way home.

This thing is made out of hundreds of dresden ceramic tiles!
Rob met up with Elder Kress in Ramstein.

Our little base had their first ever Christmas market.  The kids loved it,

 especially the snowboarding,


 and ice pick wall climb.

Rob turned 49-1

We flew in and out of the tiniest airport ever

and spent a week during Thanksgiving driving on the wrong side of the road in Ireland.

It was divine,

Ballycarberry Castle

There are structures like this all over the place in Ireland and nobody does much with them.  They figure it will bring bad luck for them if they tear them down or anything.  Makes it rather unsafe, but we are that kind of family, so we ignored common sense and climbed all over this crumbling structure, even to the third floor!

Blarney Castle

Sam and Rob kissed the Blarney stone.  I kissed Rob afterwards- I decided that I only wanted second hand contact with something that everyone spits on!

Going up and down the stairs with your eyes closed gives you your wish.  We all got our wishes!

Cliffs of Moher

One of the many circle forts in the area.  This one was on the Ring of Kerry

We stopped to go see the ocean close up at the start of the Ring of Dingle and these dingleberries along with Sam got totally wet.  That was the end of us stopping on the Ring.

Hot chocolate stop in Dublin
Dublin Castle

Our Thanksgiving dinner in Dublin
There were decorate streets and a fun Christmas market with the most amazing fish chowder in Dublin

Newgrange- burial mounds- older than the pyramids or Stonehenge.

Bishop Patrick

Irish folktales inside of the oldest structure in Waterford
Rock of Cashel

If you can hop around the cross several times on one leg your wife will be super hot.  Sam tried it out.
You got something else if you could touch your hands around the cross.  Joseph tried that out.
On the freeway- what?

The only exception to the divine stay was the tiny roads and high speed traffic going the wrong way!  If you thought Germany had tiny roads, go try driving in Ireland!
We all helped decorate the tree and get ready for Christmas on our return.

I went to the Chocolate festival in Tuebigen

Yep all this was made out of chocolate! 

and the Christmas market in Ulm.
My friend Christa
 Live animals in the manger scene
Ulm Cathedral
We had St. Nicholas day
I was in charge of the ward Christmas party as the activities leader in the Presidency.  The President did a ton of work for it.
She painted all the table covers and roofs

We spent most of the day setting up and I even cut my finger cutting up some trees.  It turned out amazing.
 The Young men and Young women doing the 12 days of Christmas Mormon style

One of the Christmas booths all decorated

 Best compliment ever:  I wasn't going to come, but I did and I stayed the whole time! 
 We had a good old fashioned German market, with stations for the kids to do all kinds of things- like build a snowman, shoot Rudolph with nerf guns, etc , wursts and hot drinks, face painting and street performers.
We went to the Christmas market and Medieval market in Esslingen as a family.
 advent calendar house
 Hand powered ferris wheel

Sam and Max dipped candles

and we had yummy soup.

Emma  and Sam both helped me make cookies to give away.

We had Christmas with Uncle Rick who is stationed in Germany for the next 6 months.

We had a great New Year's Eve.

Interesting Asian math that made the girls win!

And now it's 2015!  Happy New Years!


Anonymous said...

thanks for the up date. good to see the pictures of the family. Emily especially looks so grown up. love you all mom

Anonymous said...

I loved the speed post. The pictures told it all. Thanks for all you do. Love, Rob