Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

December has been so busy that I feel like I haven't had a quiet moment to process everything yet!

We visited a middle ages style Christmas Market at Burg Ronneburg.  These musicians were so much fun. In this photo they are playing different old string instruments.  We also heard them play recorder type wind instruments, and drums and bagpipes. The boys loved that the one guy had bells tied to his ankle that he would stomp to ring.

The castle was neat, and one we haven't visited before, but it was pretty crowded.

We aren't really in the market for weapons, armor, or middle ages clothing of our own, so this market wasn't my favorite ever.  But it was interesting and different, and the kids liked it.

We decided the hill the castle is situated on is PERFECT for sledding.  Too bad it is kinda far from our house.

I also got to chaperone a field trip with Toby to the Paulaner restaurant in downtown Wiesbaden.  It was soooo cold out! His German immersion class took the public bus into town and after lunch we strolled through the Christmas market.

It wasn't as relaxing as it sounds! 

I have also been busy sewing some gifts this year.  Aside from this quilt I made for Amelie, I also made PJ pants for all of the kids and a couple of small items for a service auction at our church.

And of course, we attended the Winter concerts at the kids' school. Jake and Toby were in the concert for K-2 at 4:30 pm and then Charlotte was in the concert for 3-5 at 6:30 pm.  Which means we were at the school all night. The kiddos did great, but it was a loooong day.

Toby and I also went caroling with Charlotte's Activity Days group.  These are the girls aged 8-11 at our church.  (Toby came along so I could run him to Cub Scouts immediately after the caroling was done. ) We visited a nursing home and then some friends of the group's leader before ending at her parents' home where the girls were treated to cookies, Kinderpunsch, and spiced almonds at a beautifully set table.  It was a lovely evening.

We also attended Rob's work party this year which was at the bowling alley.  It was nice to get to meet some of his co-workers and their families.  Amelie turned out to be quite the little bowler and beat all of her siblings.

Then we went to get our Christmas tree. It seems Toby is the "Melissa" of our family when it comes to picking a Christmas tree. Long after the other kids had moved on to sit by the fire pit, Toby was still walking Rob and I around to look at every last tree. (My sister Melissa did that to us every year when I was a kid.)

We attended our church's "Christmas Around the World" party and had a chance to visit with Santa, play Christmas games, make crafts, and eat a lovely dinner. We also attended another small local Christmas Market, but I didn't take any photos there.  And we have been watching all of our favorite Christmas movies and playing board games like Risk and Clue.

Which brings us up to today, 3 days before Christmas and baking sugar cookies with my 4 little munchkins.  It has been a lot of fun the past few weeks, but now I am ready to hunker down and enjoy some peaceful evenings staring at the Christmas tree with a cup of hot cocoa. I hope our kids will remember some of these fun activities and the excitement of Christmas, but most of all I hope that they will remember that all of these things were done with LOVE.

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