Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving part 2

Last night we gathered with 22 members of our church group to celebrate another Thanksgiving. It was a great time with lots of food. It was also fun to gather with people from all lover the world. This meant that we had a variety of dishes including incredible English salads and even an African dish.

It was a wonderful time of getting to know everyone a little bit better and being reminded of what we are thankful for.

We set up a few tables.

and finished preparing the turkey and a few sides before people arrived. Our dear friend Lydia came over early to help.

Phil carved our little turkeys (a 6lb bird was the largest one I could find, so we had two).

Once we put out a few sweets for the kids, people began to arrive.

Then it was time for dessert. We had several homemade treats including pumpkin pie, tiramisu, fruit and cream cake, cupcakes, cookies and raspberry sorbet.

Several of our friends that came over are students at the local university. I love that students are always willing to take leftovers home with them.

It was a great time of thankfulness.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Friends, Christmas Markets and LOTS of Food

This weekend our friend Amber came to visit. She spent four days with us before heading to Switzerland for work and just happened to arrive at the start of the Christmas market season. I was so excited to show her around Erlangen, introduce her to Bavarian baked goods and walk around a few Christmas markets.

We went out for Indian food (a first for Amber....still not sure how that is possible).

I introduced her to Krapfen.

We drank lots of coffee at a few of my favorite spots. It was important to keep this Florida girl warm and awake after traveling.

We walked around Erlangen.

And then traveled to Nuremberg to enjoy the Christkindlsmarkt

Turning the gold ring at the fountain.

We slowly made our way through the crowds and enjoyed looking at all of the Christmas treats. It was really strange to hear most people speaking English as we walked.

After walking around for a few hours we took a break and enjoyed a warm nutella covered waffle.

We finished our evening in Nuremberg with a pretzel and decided to head back to Erlangen.

Once back in Erlangen we introduced Amber to a few more friends at the Erlangen Christmas market.

And then walked back home under the lights.

It was a great weekend spent getting to know our dear friend a little better. I so love surprise visits and this one was especially sweet.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks!

We were known for doing Thanksgiving Big, back in the States. We would invite everyone we knew over to bring a dish and celebrate Thanksgiving together. Your friends are the ones that often times become your family when you move away. It just make sense to invite them over when you are celebrating thankfulness and blessings.

When I first met Phil his Thanksgiving gatherings would include 70 to 80 people at his bachelor pad. When we got married, and no longer had use of the big house, we had a yearly gathering at our home with a smaller group of 20-25. Now that we are here in Germany we do not have the space to have everyone over so we had to cut it down to 15 on Friday evening. Even though it was a smaller group it was still a wonderful and warm time with great friends.

A few of the cooks

Getting excited about the homemade mashed potatoes

We even had a few pilgrims and Indians join the feast.

After dinner we moved into the living room for games and a lot of laughing. It was a great evening.

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving II on the 29th with another group of friends from church. We have so much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Auf Gehts Erlangen!

This weekend we had the pleasure of cheering on our friend Hannah as she dominated on the basketball court. Hannah is a fellow expat, works with Phil, and will be living in Charlotte when she and her husband return to the States...Yay! Hannah is the type of girl that everyone wants to be friends with. There is a lot to love about Hannah; one of her great qualities is her impressive athletic ability. She is a lot of fun to watch because she plays 100% for the entire game.
We decided to surprise her with a large and very loud cheering section. We made a few signs, and bundled up for the chilly walk to the gym.

I think she was touched and we had a great time leading the stands in cheers and encouraging the team.

Here she is shooting a free throw.


The cheering squad

It was a great game and the girls walked away with a win. We then headed to the bowling alley to celebrate.

It was a great weekend and now it is time to start preparing for our Thanksgiving celebration. Our first party will be taking place at our house this Friday. My biggest task will be to try to find a turkey that is at least 10lbs. This should be interesting.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's That Time of Year

It is an exciting time of year for the two of us for several reasons....

Our flights are booked to fly home next month to see family and friends. It has been 7 months since we have been home and even that trip was only for a few days to film. I am so ready to see everyone and celebrate together.

Something else that is making me smile is watching the locals gather together to build wooden stalls in preparation for the upcoming Christmas markets.

Since this will be our last Christmas season in Germany I am determined to visit several Christmas markets this year. There is something about walking around in the snow, sipping gluhwein and munching on warm candied nuts all while being surrounded by some of the most beautiful decorations that I have ever seen. It is incredible and we are planning on hitting Erlangen (of course), Wurzburg, Nurnberg and Forcheim this year.

The Tree is up at home. This will make for an interesting Thanksgiving party but I just couldn't wait any longer.

And finally, we just found out that a good friend from the States will be spending a few days with us starting on Thanksgiving day. I am so excited to hangout, introduce her to our town and, of course, the Christmas markets.