Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

May 
peace, love, and joy

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be with you today 
and throughout the New Year.

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Love Jon, Charmian, Alessandra, Dot, and Ripley

The 2011 Christmas Card



Hope this silliness can put a smile on your face this holiday season.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Concert


Katrin was singing at the Nikolaikirche so we got dolled up and headed into town.  We sat with Gabe and Sophia so the girls could see each other, share snacks, and help to keep each othr a bit distracted.



 Alessandra was so good and only needed two walk-abouts to make it through the whole concert.  During one of her walk-abouts Sophia (who is now walking) came around the corner and Alessandra squealed with delight and tried to run over to her.  She fell down and then looked up at me like I somehow stopped her from walking like Sophia.  It was so funny.  I picked her up and walked her over to Sophia where she assaulted her with hugs and kisses.  She's so sweet and really loves her best buddy.



Afterwards we met up with Katrin at the Christmas Market to chat and sip some gluhwein.  After  our cups were empty and our hands were cold we decided it was time to head home.

It was such a good time and Jon and I agree that we need to keep exposing Alessandra to different concerts, plays, and other cultural events so she can learn how to behave so we can continue to take her as she grows up.

So - what have you all been up to this Christmas Season?

Charmian

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Christmas Story Style Shopping Adventure!

A quick trip to the grocery store on a cold day.


And the result was a little too much like the little boy all bundled up in "A Christmas Story"

Hee Hee - Poor Alessandra! 
Charmian

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Birthanksdaygiving!

Jon said we couldn't do Christmas until we did Thanksgiving.  And I told Jon we couldn't do Thanksgiving until we "officially" did Alessandra's birthday (with a strip down cake eating frenzy).  Being the practical folks that we are, we decided to do Birthanksdaygiving.  

We first planned the event and the menu, found the  recipes online, made our shopping list, scoured the city looking for all of the necessary ingredients to make as authentic of a Thanksgiving dinner as we could.  

Not to toot our own horn but Jon and I thought it was pretty darn spectacular!

We dirtied just about every pot, pan, dish and utensil we own - 
including the three new ones we had to buy just to make all the food.

With our tiny little oven we had to put the sweet potatoes on the very bottom 
and the stuffing and the green bean casserole had to share the only rack in the oven.


Here's the spread!

The only thing that was off was the turkey - but that's just because it was actually a rotisserie chicken.  :o)


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We even had a real live Indian at our Thanksgiving ;o)


After we stuffed ourselves just shy of puking, 

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Alessandra opened a couple more birthday presents,

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and finished off the night with some carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

It was a complete success.

Happy Birthanksdaygiving!!! 

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chain of Unfortunate Events

Well, shoot rudy!

A little while after I got back from The States my camera stopped working.  Then while my Mom was here visiting my computer died.  And now this last week I lost my URL address for Stone of Joy to a jewelry store because of a processing error.  

Needless to say I'm a bit upset.  Luckily I have a friend who's been blogging a bit longer than I have who helped get my stuff back up, and I'm hoping before too long Jon and I will be able to come up with another good name/address for the blog.  We have a small "travel" computer that does about 70% of the things I need it to do.  Unfortunately, I can't do my German lessons and blogging on it is WAY more difficult (but not impossible).  And finally my Mom brought me her old camera, I just need to get used to it and figure out how to get the pictures off that and on to my little computer and I'll be set - RIGHT?!?

Long story short, I've missed blogging so much and hopefully I'll be able to get back on the bloggy bandwagon sooner than later.

Charmian  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ragamuffin Girl

Oh!!! Is it picture time?!?


But Mom - you haven't done my hair!


I'll try and make this work, but Dad would never make me work in these conditions.


Ok!!!  That's Enough!

Give me that camera!


Yes!!!  Got it!

Alessandra

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nativity

I had a bit of a break down when my Mom was here.  I was have been so frustrated lately.  All I want right now is some stability, I want to know what tomorrow's going to look like.  I know it's impossible but I do wish I had some idea of what the future held for us.  

Jon and I have been in such a state of flux for the last few years.  We went from having our own home in CO, to renting one of my Dad/Step-mom's houses in TX, to having our own home in TX, to staying in a bedroom at my Dad/Stepmom's house, to a bedroom in Jon's parents house, to a small flat in Germany.  Our transient lifestyle hasn't been ideal but it's this time of year - Christmas - that I upsets me the most.  Our Christmas stuff has been packed up for years and for whatever reason I've felt like our Christmas traditions have been packed up as well.  We haven't been able to put up our tree, with our silly little ornaments.  We haven't been able to hang our Christmas stockings and our lights.  But this year we are trying really hard to get back some of our traditions even if all of our stuff is still packed away.

Here's where my Mom comes in.  I have ALWAYS loved her Nativity.  It is gorgeous!!  It is made from all white porcelain and isn't painted at all.  She always cuts fresh branches from the evergreen and she decorates it with white lights.  I could sit and stare at it for hours.   Because it is so stark it doesn't tell the whole story and it allows the viewer to paint the rest of the picture.  I told my Mom ages ago that when she dies, I'd really like to have her Nativity, but if she wanted to get rid of it sooner I'd be more than willing to take it off her hands.  So of course my Mom has been trying to get my grubby little fingers off her Nativity for the next few decades and has been on a search to find me one of my own.  


While it's nowhere as gorgeous as my Mom's - I love it!  We found it at the Christmas Market in Berlin.  I love that it's made out of natural wood, that it will be easy for us to pack up and take with us wherever our path may take us.  Just like my Mom's Nativity it allows the viewer to paint the rest of the picture.  It's simple, it's rustic - I love it!


Here is our Christmas window sill, with our little Santa, two red Christmas candles, and last but surely not least our Nativity.



Charmian

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hangin' out with Grandmommy

When my Mom was in town we had a bunch of big plans and those big plans were foiled.  Instead of working on Alessandra's baby book, mending clothes, and catching up on the blog.


We simply hung out, 
relaxed, 
played,
napped, 
 and chatted until our tongues tired. 
  

I do believe what we did was WAY better than what we had planned.  :o)

Charmian


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Odds and Ends

Thanksgiving Day

A day of errands with my Mom, 
and the realization that I have so much to be thankful for...



We started the morning with Alessandra's one year checkup and her next round of immunizations.  
I left with the discovery that 
Alessandra is healthy, 
TINY,
and she will not perform on demand 
(when asked by the doctor to do several simple tasks - 
some she's had mastered since 6 months of age - 
she stared at him in horror like he just ripped off her dolls head).


I left feeling thankful that I have a healthy, active, vivacious, curious, joyful, opinionated, noisy, loving, brave little stink pot to call my own.









We started to make our way around the city, seeing all of the sights we had missed in our previous days outing.


I walked around feeling thankful for this amazing opportunity my family has been given to live in this absolutely beautiful part of the world.  




We stopped to take a squishy with the biggest leaf we could find.


My heart was overflowing with love.  
My Mom used her vacation to fly, by herself, 
half way around the world to celebrate my daughters birthday 
and spend Thanksgiving with me.








We met up with Katrin and Sophia for a quick playdate at the park.

I couldn't stop thinking about how grateful I am for my friends, 
both here in Leipzig and around the world.  


And although it was not a typical Thanksgiving - filled with turkey, pie, and football.
It was a pretty good one and that showed me just how much I have to be thankful for.

Charmian