Thursday, December 22, 2011


Today is my hubby's birthday and sadly he has to work tonight so we couldn't celebrate hard core. We did go to our friend's house last night and we made dinner; grilled chicken, corn, mashed potatoes, and fried rice. We were all very stuffed afterwards with plenty left over- especially rice since I doubled the recipe per my hubby's request. So, today we have laid around the house with the dogs and been fairly lazy, also per my hubby's request. He did want fries pretty bad so ate hotdogs and fries before he went in to work at about 5, he will be back in the morning. :(

So I am working on a surprise cake for my hubby to have tomorrow and will post pictures of that soon but in the meantime let me share some other things with you about my hubby.

1. He loves to make me laugh, and has helped me mellow in the years we have been married. I know all men are really just little boys but with my hubby only being 23 I think this applies exponentially to mine! :) He loves to pick at me and make me laugh. I used to take things he said too seriously and get my feelings hurt. He has taught me how to not take life too seriously and find the humor in all kinds of different situations. I love him for that.

2. He loves to see me happy. I know my hubby gets such a great feeling when I am happy and therefore, he does whatever he can to make me happy. He is so thoughtful. I don't get flowers a whole lot, but when I do it is randomly and for no particular reason and it just fills me with such joy. Let me clarify for his sake not a whole lot does not mean I am disappointed in any way.

3. He brags on me. My main love language is words of praise and therefore this one means so much to me. My hubby loves to brag on me and I love it when I hear from someone else how he talks so much about me, and good things!! He brags on my cooking, my looks, and how I take care of him and our house. I love him so much for being proud to have me for a wife.

I think that is enough mushiness for now but let me leave you with this: my hubby is a wonderful man who I love spending my time with and look forward to growing old with.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bright Side

I know it has been a while since I posted but in honor of "Look on the Bright Side" Day, you should be happy I am posting now! :) Anyhow, I am officially on my winter vacation from school and I am reminded of one of the reasons I love teaching- breaks. Do not underestimate the love your teachers have for your kids because we anticipate these breaks. But in case you are unaware, teaching those rugrats can get exhausting and we need that little break to recharge our batteries and go restock on patience! :)

This how I have spent the past few days of my break. Saturday morning Jon, Doug (our friend), and I drove about an hour and a half to pick up our new addition to the family, Trooper. Doug insisted on calling him money since our other furry boy is Cash! So silly! Anyhow, on the way there I desperately needed to stop at a restroom. I am not sure if you remember me mentioning way back when we first got there that you have to pay to use the restroom sometimes here in Germany! Believe me- I find it just as ridiculous as you do that you should be charged for something you have to naturally do. Anyway, so here is my story. We pulled into a place after being on the lookout for one for a good thirty minutes so I was not the most delightful person. I jumped out of the car as soon as we parked ans discovered the bathrooms were around the other side so I start a light jog- so as not to look like a complete idiot. So I finally see the door with those blessed little figures on them showing restrooms and go through the door. I am immediately met with one of those metal turn things you have to go through when entering the subway, a baseball game, or six flags. This was not your everyday-you-pay-bathroom. Normally, when they want you to pay, they put a bathroom attendant there to give you a cold deathly stare if you do not put 20 euro cents in the bowl. NO- you had to insert your money in this machine in order to get to go through the little turn in order to even get into the restroom! I wish now that I had taken a picture of this to show you how ridiculous! So I am forced to do a slightly more idiotic jog back to the car to beg for euro change, and not 20 cents- 70 euro cents!! That is basically equivalent to our dollar! We had nothing!! SO my sweet friend Doug had to go in the little shop, buy a sandwich and get me change so I could go to the bathroom. I, totally idiotic jogging by this point, return to the darn bathroom and put my euro in and it spits out a ticket!! Like seriously!! What am I going to do with a ticket saying I had to pay to go to the bathroom!!! UGH! So yea by the end of the whole ordeal I was quite ill but relieved at the same time. So next time you have to make a bathroom stop and want to complain about the bathroom- remember this story and think, "I am glad I didn't have to pay!"

OK, so back to our new addition. We brought Trooper home and Cash wanted nothing to do with him at first but they are wrestling, playing, and getting along quite nice now. Sunday evening I hosted a cookie swap party. Some of the girls I invited were unable to make it but we still had a lovely time with those who did. We laughed, cut up, and just had a plain old good time- plus got yummy cookies. I will put up the recipe for the cookies I made later because I have to admit- they were pretty darn good! Other than that we have been switching off between relaxing and cleaning!

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning and into Tuesday afternoon we had our first snowfall of the winter. Sadly Jon didn't get home before nightfall to play in it with me and the dogs. Most of it has turned to ice by now and is already surrendering to the grass below. It was still nice to finally get the first one!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Market Mayhem

My sweetie and I decided to venture out to the market on Saturday, yesterday. He had something he wanted to look at and I had no objections as long as it meant that I could get a favorite treat! So we walked down to the straus, the train, and went for a ride down to the water tower in Mannheim which is where the market is. If you remember I mentioned going to the market the day after Thanksgiving. It was a little busier today so we didn't spend as much time down there as we did that day. We walked around a little. Jonathan had found some very interesting woven bracelets he wanted to look at. He ended up finding a couple he liked and is still trying to figure out how they were made.

My stipulation on going on this outing was that I got to get a favorite treat, as I mentioned earlier. I even knew how to ask for this favorite treat in German, "ein erdbeere." They do them a little differently here in Germany and frankly I think they have the right idea- put them on a skewer! If you still haven't figured out what I am munching on- choc covered strawberries!! They always choc covered goodies at these markets and they usually are always on a skewer- pretty good idea if you ask me! They also had choc covered grapes, bananas, and numerous others but I stuck with my tried and true strawberries!! They were good to the last bite!

Jon also got a treat but a somewhat more traditional German food. He got a sandwich from the meat stand. When I asked him what kind of meat it was, he called it mystery meat. :) I think it was the best mystery meat he has ever had because it didn't take him very long to finish it! While I really enjoyed the whole day the best part of the day for me was the train ride. Jonathan brought his ipod along and we just sat and shared headphones like a high school couple and listened to favorite songs and enjoyed the scenery. It was just fun to sit together and listen to songs and enjoy the German buildings on the ride home. It was a day that made me glad to be here in Germany.

Monday, December 5, 2011

German Christmas Tradition

Psst, psst, Nikolaus may come to your house.
German children believe that Nikolaus (the German Santa Claus) secretly visits their houses
during the night from the 5th to the 6th of December while they are asleep. He fills their shoes
with tiny things like candy, a hair band, a sparkly pencil, a little toy car, etc.

Since we live in Germany we have a chance of having our shoes filled if we put out
our shoes either in front of our bedroom doors or - if you have nice neighbors - in front of
the hallway doors. So do not be surprised if you find a pair of shoes where you think they do not

Help your children believe in one really exciting German custom. (In case Nikolaus does
not make it to your house, you might want to back him up with a little surprise for your
child…). :)

Gift idea for today:
Get your family a new game so that it is something you can all enjoy together. Our household just consists of my hubby and I but we still love playing cards and games with our friends when they come over. Here are some ideas of good family games:

If you're looking for dinner games which the whole family can join into, take a look at the family time fun dinner games and activities. These are a set of extremely simple, and yet highly enjoyable dinner games and activities for families with kids aged 5 to 12. These dinner games promote unity within the family, and make dinner time pleasurable and fun. The set of game cards is nicely packaged in a colorful metal tin. The games and activities are of a wide variety, ranging from puzzles, counting, naming your favorite things, to guessing games and more. Young kids are even encouraged to eat their veggies and drink their milk via the fun games and activities. The games encourage the kids to open up, share their experiences, and get to know a lot of things about each other and their parents. It is a boxed set of fifty-one games for families with kids 5 to 12 years to play at the dinner table while they eat. The quick and easy-to-play games, like counting moo, the last bite and pass the pepper, break up dinnertime routine and add fun to family meals. No game board or game pieces required just food and family. Kids learn creative thinking, social skills and more. The spill-proof game cards are durable and easy to clean.

If your crew is more likely to get into a video game- please do not fret! There are answers for that problem! Try one of the video games with fun family games in video game format. These video game collections usually include up to four different "old school" games that are fun for the whole group. Those are just two ideas, feel free to incorporate your own "classic" favorites! Who remembers these classics?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Slice and dice in style!

Got another pinterest project done today, well possibly done. Still try to decide what would look best as the finished project. What do you think? My sister got me the letter but instead of immediately rubbing it onto the wood, I used a spoon to gently rub it where it would just take up some of the paint that I had just painted on- leaving the R behind. I am still trying to decide if I like it this way or if I want to paint over it and actually apply the black R. Let me know!!

The Christmas gift idea for today is going to be a simple one. Buy your loved one a gift you have been thinking about getting them and then get their favorite candy, in a small size to use as packing peanuts when you box and wrap that gift.

And just so you know that knife that is not all the way down in the block is driving me nuts in this picture!! lol

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 is the rest

Sorry, I forgot to include the directions for packing the jar if you gift the jar! : /

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; stir well. Pour 1/2 cup flour mixture into 1 quart wide mouth jar with a tight fitting lid; pack down well. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour mixture, cocoa, remaining flour mixture and remaining brown sugar to jar; pack down well after each layer. Add candies, nuts and raisins; pack down lightly after each layer. Seal jar.

Cover top of jar with fabric. Attach a gift tag to jar with ribbon. :) All done!

Down Home Cooking

You know you are doing some down home cooking when your recipe calls for two soup cans of water! It is literally my favorite about making one of my hubby's favorite dinners- chicken and rice. The worst part about it is the waiting period until the delicious dinner is ready!

Anyhow, today is electronic greetings day so I thought I would make sure to give a hearty hello and good day to all my blog friends out there. I hope your days have calmed down a little after Thanksgiving and you are getting a chance to sit back and relax a little before you get too involved in the Christmas bonanza! Don't get me wrong- I love the Christmas season. I love decorating the house, putting up the tree, making Christmas goodies and such. But more than all of that I love a chance to get together with people I love and care about.

With that being said I am going to try to include a holiday gift idea with each post this Christmas season. I am going to aim for something simple that could be given to just about anybody. So gift idea for today is going to be:
Chocolate Christmas Cookie Mix
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup red and green m&ms
1/2 cup salted peanuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Now from here you can do one of two things, you can bake the cookies and present them to your loved one that way or you can gift the necessary ingredients in a jar and include the recipe for them to make whenever they are in the mood. I will let you in on the directions for both! :)

Other ingredients you will need to either bake or the person receiving will need to have:
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla until blended. (Mixture may appear curdled) Add contents of jar(or other dry ingredients if you are making them yourself); stir until well blended.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 11 to 12 minutes or until almost set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Argh Mateys!!!

Happy birthday to my favorite four year old pirate Jack Garrett!! I miss you my sweet nephew and wish I could be there with you today!! Happy birthday to my big boy nephew and hope the rest of your birthday is just as amazing as you are! I love you sweet boy, aunt emmy misses you and so does Cash!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

MMMMmmmm melting in your mouth

Saturday morning we made these bad boys!! They were absolutely delicious and DANGEROUSLY easy to make. You take canned biscuits and cut the hole out of the middle and deep fry it in vegetable oil. Then dip it in melted butter and coat in cinnamon sugar or other coating of your choice. We were in heaven and we will definitely be making these again!! If I keep introducing things like this to my hubby I think he will fall in love with pinterest the way I have...hey a girl can dream. At least he doesn't mind that I spend so much time on it anymore, with all the projects I have done and all the foods I have made so far! I will try to put up a Thanksgiving synopsis soon but just wanted you to know that you should try these if you are not afraid to get addicted! ;) YUMMMMMM!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hunker Down Hairy Dawg

I saw this picture posted on a friends wall on facebook and immediately wished I could have been there to see it in person. What a wonderful way to celebrate the life of Larry Munson, the voice of the dawgs. Larry Munson was an icon to the bulldawg nation and it just goes to show you how much he was cared for. I am incredibly thankful the red coat band took the time to learn this and perform it on our last regular season game. Thank you Larry Munson for being a bulldawg through and through and leading us through many seasons- good and bad. Run Munson Run!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Go for a Ride

Today is "Go for a Ride" day. Obviously, this holiday was thought of when gas prices were not quite so ridiculous. Still, I have to admit one of my favorite things about going somewhere with my honey is the drive.

Living in Germany does benefit you on those drives with beautiful scenery. My favorite scenery is all the little villages that in little valleys surrounded by farm land. There is something so quaint and refreshing to see that people here still live that way and makes you remember that life is simple, we are the ones who make it complex.

Another favorite part about taking those drives is being by the side of my hubby. We love to joke and tease each other when in the car about who is right more than the other about the times we have gotten lost since being here in Germany, which has unfortunately been one time too many! ;) However, riding in the car with my husband also gives us time to hold hands and talk and it takes me back to the days when we were dating and our riding time was our quizzing time where we would ask each other questions and just talk about how our days were. We don't take drives here in Germany very often because we don't need to drive very far for most things and we often take the short drive alone. I will be grateful when we are back home and more drives include both of us.

So take a short or long ride today and savor the scenery and the conversation. If you ride alone, take the time to have a conversation with God instead. Enjoy your ride!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting Ready for Emma

My sweet friend who I have grown very close to over the past few months since getting back from home and being sick just had her baby girl, Emma. Before Emma made her grand entrance we had a chance to snap a few pictures for mom, dad, and Isaiah to cherish and remember how excited they were. Here are just a few of the ones we took. Forewarning: I do not claim to be a photographer by any means- I just like taking pictures so that is what these are!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beautiful Day

I do not find it a coincidence at all that My sister-in-law's birthday falls on "Beautiful Day." While I will not be able to celebrate her 30th birthday with her I know she has many friends and family there to help make this day super special for her, not to mention my amazing brother who I know will treat her like a princess like he always does! I mean if Molly(the pup) gets her own cake and party then Lisa deserves one too right?!?! Lisa, thank you for making my big brother so happy and turning him into a big puddle of mush! haha I miss you both Happy Beautiful Birthday Lisa!!

On the project front I recently told you I was working on something involving a canvas, paints and a ribbon. Well the ribbon got wrecked in the process of trying to use it for a photo so I had to resort to simple yarn but I think it all worked out in the end. What do you think of my most recent project- our Christmas door decoration for this season!

This was yet another idea inspired by Pinterest. I am telling you that place has got to be one of the coolest things ever created. I had a lot of fun painting my canvas. I love the Christmas season and we have started early here at our house. Our Christmas tree has been up for almost two weeks now. My hubby started ordering Christmas presents online a few weeks ago that he said I could not open. I told him if he was going to do that, I got to put up the Christmas tree when the packages started arriving. He was forced to keep up that deal and we now have a lit Christmas tree next to me with about 5 wrapped boxes underneath it!

I had some extra time on my hands tonight before posting this and decided to go ahead and make this project I have been meaning to make for a while. We always seem to end up with papers and mail lying around on our kitchen counters so when I saw this very simple and cute way to keep that from happening I certainly had to jump at it! I saved the first cereal box we had after that. In fact I think I made it a point to buy some cereal the next time I went to the store so that I would have a box for it! This particular box used to be fruit loops. I took some scrapbook paper from a pack my mom sent and from a pack my sweet sis sent and covered the box and cut out the letter to spell out paper on the front. I do not have the proper heavy duty magnet clips to safely secure it yet so it won't hold anything for now but it sure did come out great.

Yesterday Jonathan and I went down to Ramstein to pick up a few things we needed. We had some friends who also needed to go so we all made a day of it. We stopped in a Mexican Cantina in Kaiserslautern for lunch which was quite yummy but I admit made me miss Mexicale Grille. Once we made it to the px in Ramstein we shopped around for random odds and ends we needed that our px does not carry. I snatched up a couple Christmas presents for the boys, my nephews. Then snatched up some string so I get started using my sewing machine I recently purchased. I am so excited to get started on so many projects I have in mind from pillowcases to quilts. Jonathan also did some wandering around and happened upon a very nice desktop. We have been discussing how the next kind of computer we would purchase would be a desktop computer since we have a couple laptops already. Although we have a couple laptops his is the only one that works fairly fast and such. So we bought ourselves an early Christmas present and got a new desktop. So we are very excited about that.

Well that is about all for now, I must go finish cleaning and getting ready for all our guest we will have in the next week. Our dear and sweet friends, the Greens, will be arriving Wednesday night to spend Thanksgiving with us and will be staying here until the weekend when we will have our other sweet friends baby shower to celebrate her baby girl that is due the first of January. It will such a fun and exciting week indeed!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pat on the back!

Ok, so I am on a roll here recently. Next update, Christina's baby shower! The Sunday after we got back from the sea of rocks we had a baby shower for our sweet friend Christina! I have not finished editing the pictures from the shower much to her dismay but here is one I am giving myself a pat on the back for- her cake that I made. It was so much fun and turned out really great! I will also show you how I made the cake in case you ever have the need to make a butterfly cake for any reason!

Start with two round cakes

Cut each cake into a peace sign and then turn the top two

Repeat with second cake and stack, add mini cupcakes for body


Add butterfly cupcakes to the side and ta-dah!

Sea of Rocks

Ok so I have filled in on all the fun fall festivities. Well, the following weekend- the first weekend in November (yes that is how far I am behind!), we had a chance to go on a short overnight trip to the Sea of Rocks here in Germany. It was such a neat trip. We drove up Friday afternoon, it was a easy and short drive for the most part which was encouraging so hopefully we will have a place to take family when they visit. Friday evening we got settled in our quaint hotel room. In case you were wondering quaint is one of those words you use to politely say the place was pretty small, not to mention we had "German" style beds.**INSERT RANT ON GERMAN BEDS HERE: Germans must not like to cuddle up at night time because the biggest size mattress you will find here is a full size mattress which is pretty much considered a single bed. So as a result if you want a bigger bed their solution is to put two twin mattresses together. This may not be such a terrible solution if the frame for the bed was bigger, but nope- they just push two twin frames together...uncomfortable couple party of two!RANT ENDS HERE**
Our separate beds!

After settling into our quaint room we all met up for dinner at a restaurant down the road from our hotel. The food was certainly not bad- once it finally got there. Luckily we had good company to keep us entertained and laughing while we waited for our food. I had some sort of chicken pasta and pommes (aka fries). After dinner we met up with some of our group and enjoyed a game of poker. I usually only play poker for fun but I had an itch to play this night so the hubby agreed to let me buy in as well. Low and behold we came in first and second so we basically won the money we had spent on our trip back that night. :) Go Rupard's!!

Our winnings!

The next morning we met up for breakfast and then drove to our destination, the Sea of Rocks. This is a very interesting place to go and granted I have never been at a different time of the year I think when we went was the perfect time to go! The trees were absolutely breathtaking with all their magnificent fall-like colors. I thoroughly enjoyed looking around more than anything. It is kind of hard to describe exactly what this place is like other than to say that it is basically like climbing up a lot of rocks on your way up a mountain. I know that is not the best description in the world and it sounds dumb but it is actually kind of fun- just check out the pictures!
At the beginning of the climb before getting all sweaty! :)
Pretty trees

My handsome man!

Getting closer to the top

This was about the half way point- aka where I stopped

Jon continued conquering LARGE rocks!

The beautiful scenery on the path down

After a wonderful day together!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Justice League!!

Well, as usual I am way behind in updating you in what is going on. Yesterday was an off day for me and it was spent cleaning the house and grocery store shopping for the next few weeks. However, I need to do some updating and I will start where I left out, the weekend of Halloween.

Monday night we had a company Halloween party with many festivities including a costume contest, cake walking, games for kids, pumpkin carving contest, and a haunted house. The kids had some great costumes from Mario and monkey to batman and spiderman.
Landon says, "Monkey see, monkey do!"
Let's not forget there were some creative and great adult costumes as well. Jonathan and I were a little too busy trying to finish decorating the cookies right before to think of any kind of costume idea so maybe next year! The adult costume winners were Sgt Johnson and her husband!

The spooky winners!
There were also a few carnival-type games for the kiddos that I unfortunately did not get any pictures of! Jonathan was chosen to represent his platoon, the Justice League, in the pumpkin carving contest. He did not win but he definitely should have because his pumpkin was awesome and very creative!! Check it out!!
Hard at work
Did this in less than 20 minutes!

I would love to tell you more about our party but I have to go get ready to go to the arts and crafts store with my friend Christina. We have some projects in the works that I will hopefully be able to post about soon! The project I am working on involves a canvas, ribbon, and paint...oh the suspense!!! ;)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Walk the walk, win the cake

Ok, so to update you on some of the more recent things that have been happening here recently. Last Friday the hubby and I enjoyed the final fall festival that the Mannheim community will ever see. It was not as large of a shin dig as it was last year but it was still a fun evening. I got to see a few of the kids from the class I have been working in as well as help out with our company's cake walk.

You got to see a picture of the Frankenstein cake I made for the cake walk. It went quickly as a friend of ours daughter wanted it. I hope they have had a chance to enjoy it and that it tasted as good at it looked. We had a great time walking around and enjoying what would be one of the final hurrahs of our small community. The housing office in Heidelberg has already begun to call people in our company to move to Heidelberg. We have not been called yet and we are kind of hoping that we do not get called for another little while since I am literally a three minute walking commute to work right now. I am not real sure the pay would be worth it to drive 30 minutes everyday so hopefully we will be one of the last ones called to move.

Here are a few pictures from the fall festival.
My honeybee!

Cake Walk cupcakes

Walk it out Christina!

Some girls who have kept me grounded lately: Christina and Yvonne