Saturday, December 31, 2011

living in Germany

We have now lived in Germany for three and a half years.  I have to admit that is longer than I thought we would live here, and longer than I have lived in any one place since I was seventeen.  I realized that I have posted a lot on my blog about our travels, but not a lot about how my day to day life has changed since moving overseas.  So, I thought that with the new year I would make a few posts about these changes.

A major change for us is transportation.  We don't have a car.  We had plans of buying a car when we moved here, but after choosing an apartment in the city we found that we don't really need one here.  I have a pass that covers the subway, buses and trams in the center of town and Simon has a bike.  Simon rides his bike all year long, even in the snow.  It takes him less time to get to work with his bike than with public transportation.  I love my pass.  I didn't have one for a the first year, but it has really given me freedom and I have been able to take the kids all over the city.  I can tell you all about which train or bus to take, but I couldn't tell you directions by street to save my life.  

Some of the good things of using public transportation are: 
Exercise.  It takes me about fifteen minutes to get to the subway station.  I can walk over an hour (pushing 70lbs) in a regular day without even thinking about it.  It has really helped me stay healthy and fit.  
I don't have to drive in the city or in snow.
Germans are punctual.  Their public transportation system is rarely late.
The Munich transportation system is very good about accommodating strollers, even double strollers.
I can walk to a grocery store, pharmacy, dry cleaner and two different parks in five minutes.
I get to spend time outside everyday.

Some things I don't like about public transportation:
If there isn't a good connection to where you want to go it can take forever to get there.  If I had a car it would only be a few minutes instead of an hour.
I really hate it when I barely miss the train have to wait 10 minutes for the next one.
I would like to be able to leave on my schedule instead of a train or bus schedule sometimes. (I usually feel this way when we miss the train)
I don't like having to walk in the rain and snow, but I have an awesome rain cover for my stroller.
I miss driving sometimes.  I miss turning up music and singing along with my little ones.


 

I never thought that I could live without a car, (in Jacksonville we had to have two) but I have and have had a great new experience.  I always like to add a picture and this is an oldie.  You can't tell, but they are actually in the subway station about a year and a half ago.  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

I think the closest thing that we have to tradition for Christmas in our family is going to Schliersee.  Our first year of being married we decided to head to England and travel for two weeks, then we were in Florida with my family, the next year was California was Simon's family and then the past three years we have been here in Munich.  We have really enjoyed our past two years at Schliersee for Christmas that we decided to go again, and it was the right choice.

                                   

Here are the kids on the train.  It only takes an hour to get there and the kids loved looking out the window.



While we were there went sledding, some of us liked it more than others.  Auburn loved talking about it, but wasn't quite sure after the first ride down.  Conley kept saying "more" and "mas".  We built a little snowman and made snow angels.



Mommy and Daddy played billards and fussball while the kids read books and did puzzles.  The kids played and played in the toy room.  We took naps, all four of us, that was bliss.  We also told the story of Mary and Joseph to our kids.




We took a bus from Schliersee to Spitzensee just over the mountain.  The first year we tried to hike it, but the markings were not very clear and the rain made us turn back.  We walked around the frozen lake, played in a snow fort and just enjoyed the beautiful Alps.
















Monday we returned home to find what Santa Claus had left for us.  Auburn and Conley love their "bikes".  Auburn's is called Laufrad in German and it is a bike without pedals.  They are very popular here and she is likes that it is pink.  Conley calls to his little bike a cycle (motorcycle) half of the time.  We have been outside everyday to ride them.  The kids also received some nice gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends.  Thanks!  It was so fun to see the exciting and joy from our kids this year.  We enjoyed the day playing and relaxing!








We hope that all of you had a very Merry Christmas and were able to spend this time of year reflecting on the love of the Savior and the very best gift that we had all been given.  All the best to each and everyone of you in the upcoming year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

december

I just realized I haven't blogged for a month.  Last week I was sick, like didn't get out of bed for three days sick.  It was awful, but Simon and the kids were very helpful.  Because of that of Christmas fun I am behind in my blogging, so here is a recap of December.


Simon was gone for most of November.  He had three different business trips, it was kind of a whirlwind.  Auburn started asking everyday if Daddy was coming home.  So, last week I took the kids to Simon's new office to show them for Daddy works.  I think it helped.  They loved it!  Although I think their idea of what he actually does all day is a little off.  We have loved having Daddy home for the entire month of December.  Here they are snuggling while watching Bundesliga highlights on a Saturday afternoon.
                                   


Auburn has decided that she doesn't need naps anymore.  I still make her have "quiet time" every afternoon.  Every once in a while I find this.


This is just a cute picture of my little man sleeping in his Christmas jams.

I have been trying to do winter activities with the kids this month.  We made snowmen, went to a winter festival here in Munich called Tollwood and did crafts with friends.  We went downtown to look at the Steiff (famous German teddy bear) window displays and walk through a couple of Christmas markets.  This week I took them to the mall to see Santa Claus and do some more crafts.  Well, they saw the german Santa Claus, St. Nikolaus, and wanted nothing to do with him.  Conley screamed and Auburn didn't even want to shake his hand, maybe because he looked like this....


We stayed at the mall and made some gingerbread men crafts. The theme at the mall this year was Lebkuchen (gingerbread).





This is the best picture I got of the two of them.  


We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving

So we did end up celebrating Thanksgiving this year.  On Thanksgiving evening we went to dinner at Hirschgarten with a colleague of Simon.  We had a lovely time stuffing ourselves at dinner with good company.  It was kind of funny to explain to someone else what we normally do on Thanksgiving: cook, play football, cook, watch football, cook, eat, eat, eat, take a nap, watch more football and eat some more.  I didn't take any pictures because I'm lame, but here is a picture of my kids in the laundry basket.  This is their "boat" in which they travel to their "island".  Auburn likes to recreate our trip.  It is one of their new favorite games.  
I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving!