Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good Morning, Riedlingen

Adam here- Actually, we are both here composing this one together. There are some events in life too great for either one of us to handle on our own. This morning was one of those times. Laura, lovingly and quietly tried to rouse me from my slumber. She wanted to share a peaceful and beautiful moment. She informed me that it had snowed. SNOWED! Who wants to wake up to a cold house and snow all around. It is after all frozen water! All over the car, all over the stairs, on the roads. Who needs such trouble.

When I did get up I did look out the window and it was rather beautiful. My experiences in the snow are so limited though that I was a little afraid and very stupid. I am still desperately trying to hold on to my sandals and shorts. I don't want it to be so cold yet. So when I didn't put on my winter coat this morning (the one we specifically bought for Germany's winter) Laura just rolled her eyes at me and reminded me that I am probably going to freeze. I remained stubborn...and cold. I guess there is just no getting around it at this point. We are just in for a cold winter and the cold, wet, and snow are now a part of my life.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

baked goods, lots of 'em

I get a strange joy when I bake for kids here. I obviously enjoy cooking; I did go to school for a year, and pay a lot of money to learn how to do it. But, it is different than just enjoying it. It doesn't feel like a chore or an obligation (like on some week nights when I just wish and wish that a In-n-Out would appear in Riedlingen so I don't have to cook; it never does and I cook).
I know that if I make cookies for Adam's small group, they are going to truly appreciate them. Same goes for when I make 100 brownies at the dorm. Those boys are going to fall over themselves to get a brownie.
The funny thing is, I am just now starting to learn that when you bake for boys, especially high school boys, you have to make A LOT. I made 3 dozen cookies for Adam's small group. I thought, well, there are 6 of them, plus Adam, that makes 7. They'll probably eat 2-3 each, and that will leave us with some for the rest of the week. I realize now, that was poor planning on my behalf. Not only did they inhale all the cookies in a matter of minutes, they drained our milk and possibly licked the plate. Luckily, I hid two for myself.
Now, I never expect to see left overs. And I will remember to buy 2 liters of milk on Wednesdays.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

These are a couple of my small group guys. When the gym at school is open we go in and play basketball or soccer. (from left to right: Sam, David, and Josh)

This here is Spencer (to the right)
I really don't know what he is doing.
I think he took this photo himself.

Here we have Sam and Ben. Sometimes we
hang out in Laura's classroom. She has plates and
cups. Cups because we are thirsty after running
around and plates because she makes us special

This is Phil. David is sitting behind him. David is an MK who lives in Zurich. He drives over an hour to be with us on Wednesday nights.

Ben (left), Josh (right) and Sam (behind) are hanging out. You can see the brownie dish pretty much cleaned out in the foreground.

This is Andrew. He is one of our guitar players. He lives about 2 minutes away from the school but he skateboards anyway. He tries to show off his wicked moves. Then he wants to see what I can do. I mostly fall!

And here we have Phil and Andrew playing their guitars. They are both very talented.

Those are my guys. They are a great group of guys and we are really starting to bond together. It took a few weeks (I knew it wouldn't be immediate) but we are starting to become friends. Thank you, if you were praying for us. This last week was only the second time for the whole group to be together. Between school and being sick, it has been tricky trying to get 7 Juniors together from all over the Kandern area.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Star Trek

Adam here- I just saw pictures for the new Star Trek movie. I'm excited.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lesson Learned

We learned a lesson this weekend... always, and I do mean ALWAYS, take your camera with you.
As we walked out the door Saturday afternoon, I asked Adam "Should we take the camera?" He said "No, we are just going to Lorrach, it's not anything new." Famous last words.
When we got to Lorrach, we stumbled upon their Herbstfest aka Fall Festival. Now, that isn't all that original. It seems like the Germans are always looking for an excuse to eat bratwurst so this was just another festival. However, at this particular festival, there was something new. An entire cow on a spit. You read me right... a COW on a SPIT. Turning like it was a chicken or a pig in Hawaii. Needless to say, we were wishing that we had our camera so you too could experience our disbelief.
Then, on our way out of Lorrach, we got trapped in the parking garage. TRAPPED! No, there wasn't a cave in or anything. Just a car backing up and then running into another car... Again, not that new, except there was no one in either car. It all happened literally feet from our car and was the result of not setting the emergency brake. As we stood there wondering what to do with the car crash that happened before our very eyes, the owner of the runaway car miraculously came back, probably to set his E-brake. Instead, he just swore.
So, on our routine drive to Lorrach we missed two photo ops. So, you'll just have to use your imagination! And we'll try to remember to take our camera next time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Paris in Pictures

Laura here...
I thought I would post about Paris, too. It's not everyday you get to spend a weekend in Paris. So, once we arrived in Paris, we jumped in with both feet and did a whirlwind tour. Here's what we did:
Notre Dame: we picnicked outside and then a sudden rainstorm convinced us to admire the stained glass from the inside. After the rain cloud blew over we soaked up the fall colors.
Book shopping at Shakespeare & Co. If he had his way, Adam would have pulled up a pile of books and lived there! Louvre: We walked the outside of the museum first. The the Tuileries Gardens. Another rain storm convinced us we should see Monet's Water Lilies. Then it was back to the Louvre for the after 6PM Friday evening half price tickets! We are admittedly, not huge art fiends. But we do love to people-watch. And there were lots of people in the Louvre. They were more interesting then the art sometimes.
And Adam likes a good castle. Here he is next to a preserved moat wall in what felt like the basement of the Louvre...
Pantheon: church/monument to the Resistance and final burial place of Vistor Hugo (author of Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables) and Alexandre Dumas (Count of Monte Cristo).
Much walking: to Carnavalet (free museum!), through parks, the Jewish Quarter, and into a bakery for baguette sandwiches.
Opera Garnier: have you seen Phantom of the Opera... that's the Opera House. Supposedly there is an underground lake (how we were wishing we were Rick Steves or the hosts of a travel show, so we could get the "insider tour"!) and an 8-ton chandelier. We had to be content with the Grand Staircase and foyer. We hummed Masquerade for hours.Much more walking: along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower.
Then up, up, up the stairs, and an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Very windy and a little scary!

Then, down, down down. And on to dinner- the best French Onion Soup I have ever had! We walked back to the Eiffel Tower for more pictures. And it was lit up like the European Union flag, blue with stars. At the top of the hour, it blinks! Then on to the Arc de Triomphe and late night shopping on the Champs Elysses. There were mobs of people and more traffic than we have seen in months at 11 PM! DAY 3
Catacombs: down below the water mains and the Metro system we walked a labyrinth filled with the bones of 6 million people. They are piled 5 feet high and sometimes 80 feet deep! It was sobering and a little creepy. Can you imagine priests bringing cartloads of bones down into this maze in the middle of the night by the light of a candle? This is my creepy shadow falling on the bones... Some cheese shopping...
Then back on the train and on to Mulhouse, and then Kandern.

One of the benefits of being a missionary in Europe is being in Europe!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Amazing Race...We're not ready

Adam here-For the last few seasons, Laura and I have been avid followers of the reality show The Amazing Race. It is our reality TV indulgence. We love to see the foreign places, exciting adventures, and exotic animals and people that the racers get to see. We also really love to make fun of the mistakes the racers make. We definitely play armchair quarterback when it comes to The Amazing Race. We criticize the contestants with ease and promptly explain to each other how we would have handled the situation so much better. It is so obvious that when you are in a race for a million bucks that you stop and ask for directions immediately. It is so obvious that if you don't know where you are going that you get help. It is so obvious that when you are tired but still working for an objective you just keep going, you push yourself.

This weekend, Laura and I decided that we are all talk. We were privileged to go to Paris for the weekend to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. But getting there, getting around, and getting home pushed our Amazing Race limits.

We left for the train station around 6:30 am. It was totally dark so we got just a little lost. But after one quick (illegal) u-turn we were back on track. At the train station we were met with a few more challenges; not speaking German or French (by this time we were actually right over the border into France), I didn't know my debit card pin to pay for parking, not having change to pay for parking, and finally not knowing how to print out our train tickets. We scrambled. With just minutes before departure we were able to overcome these obstacles, though, and make the train.

In Paris, we got more than turned around on the unfamiliar streets. We even got lost in one of the Metro stops. And we walked and walked and walked and walked sometimes in the wrong direction. We thought we knew where the Metro was but after walking at least an extra 30 minutes we figured we must have passed it. So we set about trying to find a new way to the hotel. Not fun when you are already tired and it is after midnight.

On the train back from Paris we didn't know where to sit and we got bumped from our seats. It stressed me out more than anything. Plus, the train was completely full. I did not enjoy that. (Seems like any trips to India are out of the question.) When we made it back to the train station we still had another 45 minute drive to get home. That drive turned into just a little over an hour drive. We really did get so lost that we had lost all sense of direction. We couldn't even find our way back to the train station if we wanted to. Once I finally humbled myself to go ask for directions we were pointed in the right direction (literally just the next right from where we were) and on our way home.

Don't get me wrong, we had a wonderful time. We are almost 4 years happily married and we love being with each other more than ever (well, I guess I don't speak for Laura, but I hope she likes to be with me) but we are thinking that we might not send in that application for the Amazing Race after all.