New Years Eve

Downtown Stuttgart

If today is indication of how the new year will be....It is going to be great.  What a new year it will be...new country, new school, new language, new temperatures, new friends, new babysitters, new vacation spots, and the list could go on and on.  Today I got a taste of some of the "new" I look forward too.  I took a bottle of Champagne to a few of our new neighbors.  I ended up spending a long afternoon at one of our neighbors (with my family wondering where I was) and enjoyed such a nice afternoon.  I am very fortunate to have such INCREDIBLE friends in my life and to continue to add friends is such an important part of my life. 

We started our day going down to the old Market in Stuttgart to stock up on some cheeses, stuffed peppers, bread, meats, salami. I tried to include a picture....but it just doesn't do the food justice. (Notice the cheese stuffed little pumpkins)

Cooper is a pro at the train now..
I continue to be amazed and proud at how quickly the kids are acclimating.  Karina loves sampling all of the meats the various butchers hand her when we are in the butcher shops.  She LOVES all the sausages and meats here in Germany and isn't scared to taste anything.  Cooper rides the U-Bahn (subway) like he has grown up in a large city all his life.  As you can see in the picture, he is showing Pops "the best way" to ride the train (translation, stand up and don't hold on when it comes to a stop)

He also has become a pro at Pigeon chasing which scares his sister to death.  Today, after chasing Pigeons in downtown, he turned to me and said, "Mommy, can we live in Germany for a lot of days."

Notice Karina is standing INSIDE with Pops

Fireworks and snow don't mix
Jason bought some fireworks for tonight, however they didn't seem to like the snow too well.  Our close to this New Years Eve.....Tonight when we explained to cooper tomorrow will be a start of a new year, his response "does that mean no snow starting tomorrow?" With that, I wish you -Haben ein Guten Rutsch ims Neu Jahre.  (Slip into the new year good)

3 days of fun....

First...note-you can click on pictures to see larger view-new trick I learned.

 So, I haven't blogged for 3 days because we have been so busy.  The main thing...THE LUGGAGE ARRIVED. I'm not sure who screamed louder-Nancy because she had boots or me because I would now be subjected to wearing rain boots in 2 foot snow.  (However, our walks haven't been nearly as entertaining!)
C always seems to be face first in snow

Solitude 1 Castle

Dinner in Degerloch with Sitter:)

Morning walk

View from walk

What do you mean it is cold on top of the tallest building????

Santa says, "if you don't quit going face first in snow...."

Rothenburg-Jason took G and P

It was Pop's turn to take out Compost (notice he is wearing my high heel rain boots!)

Grandma is loaded on Zip line

Cooper likes laying in snow better than Zip line-Go figure

Everyone checking that daddy is ok (including Rocky)

Again...Pops pushed daddy too hard..this time on the Zip line

Pops taking a big turn on Zip

Luggage is here! 

Cooper-"howd they paint that way up there"

Solitude 1 Palace

Can't take the kids out of the boys-Beer garten near house

Snow doesn't deter Cooper from anyting....

New for me....
Spoken tons of German in order to have food in our house for the Schwieger Eletern (In-laws) and AGAIN who knows what we are eating these days....but they seem to like it all.  You think I'm joking...I'm not.  I go to the butcher or bakery and just wing it with my German.  So beware when you come visit us.....you could be eating liver! The best this week was when I took Jason's parents with me.  The "baker" said to them in German, "she speaks such good German and she is trying so hard"  HA- I looked at them and they had a blank look on their face.  I turned to  her and said, "Sie Verstehen nicht"  (they don't understand you)  Then I thought....ewww, this COULD be fun........Pops she said for you to pay for everything!  (hee-hee) He did.

We have toured some of the areas as seen in the pictures, walked to parks, done zip lines, found frozen Beer Gartens, and had MANY snowball fights.    It has been hard to get out as much as we wanted since we have had so much snow.  The biggest thrill-WE HAD A BABYSITTER TONIGHT! We had a fabulous German meal (well maybe it tasted fabulous cause nobody was whining or fighting during dinner)   This is especially good since Jason and I would like to resume our "weekly date night".  I must admit I was baffled when our babysitter, Jenny, showed up with her school work even though there isn't school for 2 more weeks.  The teenagers here seem to have a much different mentality towards school work.

Cooper -he seems to have a snow fetish....everytime we turn around he is laying in the snow, building snow angels or throwing snowballs.  I swear, he keeps me laughing...I wish I could describe better how he will just drop down in the snow face first.  I guess I should mention that Rocky also has this same fetish. 
Karina-She has surprised us at her "Guiness book of Records" speed.  If we mention going somewhere, she has on her snowpants, gloves, boots, scarf, and hat before we even get to the door.

Well, gotta go to bed because tomorrow we have to start our food shopping for the next 3 days.  Everything is once again closed until Monday beginning tomorrow at noon.  Love


Sunny, nice warm day....high of 19F

Pops and J thought they should dig car out even though we weren't going anywhere....boys
We woke up to a nice sunny day with temps around 5.  BUT....it warmed up to about 19, so off we went...or rather off Grandma, Rocky and I went for a hike in the woods. (Jason had already been for a long run since the snow & cold don't seem to phase him) I am not sure if Grandma liked me so much after the first mile OR the  first uphill mountain we had to climb.  Especially since her luggage still hasn't made it- which happens to include her snow boots.

So, for Grandma our hike was more like ice skating. (hee-hee) I know, I know....Is that any way to treat your mother-in-law-laughing at her slips.  I'm still chuckling hearing her while she is sliding all over the trail "whoop, ewwww, ooop"  I think I may have the next "Bed intruder"Song (please refer to youtube if you happen to be 1 person that hasn't seen this spectacle)  My new version of this is  
Ice Intruder (be sure to hum bed intruder while reading) ...She's climbing up the mountain, she's slippin on the hill,  whyd she make me do this, its so dumb, so dumb.....Find your boots, find yo luggage, Find your boots, Find yo luggage"  I know-I'm sick.  But, Grandma got the last laugh....They all headed out the door sledding and I was going to meet them in a bit.  When I went to get bundled up, only my RAIN-BOOTS were sitting there waiting for me.  (Notice my snowboots on Grandma in the pics)

So, our humor for the day (or maybe I should say "my" humor cause I thought it was funny)  Cooper decided to make a snow angel RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SLED FIELD.  That's our boy.  You will notice in one picture, Jason making his way thru the other 50 families, to get Cooper out of the way while all the people sledding waited.  Then in the other picture, Jason bringing him back to the top.  (Cooper had no idea what the problem was)  The kids also discovered today that they like chasing Jason and Pops on the sled just as much as sledding.  Needless to say, we are all enjoying our time with Grandma and Pops.  For me, it makes me so happy to see my children acclimate so easily to Germany (and sub zero temps!)
Cooper building a snow angel in middle of sled field -J going to get him

Cooper trying to figure out what the big deal was....
J trying to explain why that wasn't a good choice

Pop's gave Jason a Big push down the hill

Cooper building ANOTHER snow angel

Pops-"What is Cooper doing!?!"

Poor Pops

Running after Jason on the sled

Jason is going to get Pops back for earlier

We are making it in Germany!

Glad G & P could come for Christmas

I'm not so sure if I am acclimating to the cold so well.....I had to go sit in our sauna a bit to warm up/sweat today (I closed my eyes and pretended I was in Alabama).  Note to self....don't wear necklace in sauna next time...causes burns.

Well, here is a surprise...it just started snowing again.  


Christmas.....a VERY WHITE Christmas

I am glad we didn't have anywhere to go today.  I am still amazed at the amount of snow we have gotten since we moved.  I know it seems to be an ongoing theme of the blog.....but it is an ongoing theme to clean the sidewalks 5 times a day:)  Which is exactly what Pops and Jason did today.  It was like the snow was playing a game with them....shovel me, but I can cover quicker than you can shovel. 
Shovel number 4, 5?

Nancy and I thought it was funny they had to keep shoveling....

Good job

our front door

Someone forgot a sidewalk....

Pops at it again (I think he snuck some salt in this time)

Rocky still thinks the snow is cool

The kids had a fun Christmas Day.  (And so did the parents)  It was actually too cold today to go for a walk in the woods, but we enjoyed a relaxing Day.  Notice Nancy's pants in the pictures....Nope, they still don't have luggage and with this new snowstorm...who knows.  We had a nice traditional German breakfast and dinner.  The afternoon was a nice afternoon Skyping our friends and family.  It still isn't the same having them celebrate with us in person....but it was great to be able to laugh , watch a few loved ones open gifts and see each others Christmas Spirit over the computer.  As my dad always says, "Ain't Technology Wonderful"
StarWars was a hit

It was so nice seeing such smiles

Our Traditional German Breakfast

Showing Grandma and Pops what Santa brought

Skyping Uncle Chris, Aunt Karen and Darren


few days worth and Christmas Eve

Daddy & K playing TicTacToe at Restaurant
 Tuesday- Funny that cooking has become a big part of our transition.  Even Jason came home from the butcher the other night claiming he had bought some really nice pork chops.  After I cooked them, we figured out they were cured ham chops.  They were DE-licous!  Tuesday night we decided to take the kids to an Italian restaurant for dinner (It gave me a break from having to use my translator for directions on packages while cooking ).We arrived at the restaurant at 6:30 and were the only customers.  By the time we left (at 8:00) customers were pouring in and it was packed.  I guess it is going to take us a while to convert to the later dinners and evenings.  Our house is still asleep by 9:30 or 10:00. ...when the rest of Europe is eating dessert. 

Grandma & Pops getting off 'bullet train"
  Grandma and Pops arrived from Oregon Wednesday.  With all of the flight problems here in Europe, they were very lucky to make it into Stuttgart (even though their bags have yet to arrive)  Their journey included taking a flight from Oregon, Seattle, Amsterdam to Frankfurt, then a train to Stuttgart.  Little did they know they weren't finished yet... The the kids and I met them at the main train station, Hauptbahnhof, to take the subway home to our house and then walk for blocks in the melting snow (yes they brought warm weather 36 degrees with them) To help their jetlag,  We took them to the Esslingen Christmas Market.  The kids have been so excited to have family here. I have to agree, it has been a tad lonely without our family and close friends during the holidays.  For us, that has always been what the holidays are about.  However, we are and will continue to  make new traditions during this chapter of our lives.
Eating at the Market

Yummy food at market


Thursday, Pops and Jason spent much of the morning tracking down their luggage.  The snow is supposed to begin again, and all of their snow gear, presents, etc. is in the luggage.  We decided to take a break from the circle of mass confusion in regards to the Amsterdam and Frankfurt luggage claim, and hit the Stuttgart Christmas market.  We then stocked up on tons of fresh meats, cheeses, breads and produce at the Market Hall.  (All stores will be closed until Monday beginning at Noon on Friday---I repeat ALL STORES.  The store schedules is still taking some time to get used to here. 

A little snack at the Christmas Market

It has been fun looking at all of the Christmas Windows in Downtown
Just a tad of Sugar....
Grandma and I stayed longer at the Market

   Friday-Christmas Eve, Here comes the snow and snow and snow......  I don't know why it keeps surprising me how fast the snow accumulates here.  We are again-COVERED and it is still falling and supposed to snow for the next 3 days.   Jason and I did the MAD dash to the Getrinkt market, dry goods store, and Bakery to finish stocking up for the next 3 days. Not sure where we are going to put it all since our refrigerator is the size of a Rubbermaid 3 drawer bin-seriously.  Maybe the snow will work:)  It has been a nice day, I had a nice conversation with an elderly neighbor who got stuck here rather than going to London to be with her sister.  She was invited to our house tomorrow.  Then our other neighbor brought us nice gifts-what a surprise!  To say the people here are friendly is an understatement.  However, it is still hard for me today not to be surrounded by all of my family and friends at our house preparing a big feast.  I miss my family and friends so much today!
Our fridge is packed!
Going sledding
Daddy's workout today
Pops is wondering how he got into this...
Grandma and Jason
Going down the big hill
Off to find a new hill
Push  me pops
Pops and Daddy cleaning the sidewalk the third time today

We are having a VERY white Christmas (now there is a surprise!!)

About Me

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Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We are living as non-military expats for a second time in Stuttgart Germany. The first time, we moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010 for three years and now are back after six years.. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.