Saturday, January 27, 2007

Snow snow..we have snow!!

Yes Winter has finally graced us with its presence here in Heidelberg! Whoohoo! I wish I had photos to share with you, but the snow is actually very light and patchy and it is will fall for awhile, big fluffy flakes...then the sun will come out and melt it all and then an hour later it will snow somemore. Ah well... Today we pretty much spent the entire day inside because it just wasn't a very nice day outside. I made a pot of chili and scrapbooked the day away. I worked on some altered projects this time. The 3rd week of Scrapbook Chalet Survivor is here and I am still in it! Whoohoo! Our challenge this week is to do an altered item. Yesterday I went to IKEA and browsed til I found something that caught my eye. SO many cool things it was tough to choose, but I eventually narrowed it down to a kitchen timer and a cool little box with a lid. The kitchen timer I thought would be a unique idea...and it did turn out different, but I'm not sure if it is a winner and I wanted to do something not so brown this time. We will still use our timer though...for all sorts of things!

I spent the afternoon working on the little box. THIS I love! I will use it to hold my scissors and tape runner and Xacto knife and all the little scrapbooking essentials that I am having to drag out every time I want to work on a project. It is COLD in my scrapbook room, and I just like being out here where the TV and computer and everyone is, so I scrapbook on the dining room table. Works for me!

This next week is the big CHA convention and Lynette our fearless leader from Scrap That Moment is going to be there debuting some new goodies for Scrappy Chick. If you are there be sure to check out booth #543 and say hello! The rest of us who won't be in California are holding down the fort back at the website and having all sorts of fun challenges and games cuz you know when the cat is away the mice will play! Come and join us, you could win something fun! We are getting the whole family involved in this party...husbands and kiddos are invited to create too. It's the Design Team vs. everyone else (well we DT gals get to claim our family member's creations)...who will scrapbook the most??? Colin did his part last night...he did a scrapbook page about our trip to Dublin and even did some great journaling. Whoohoo!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Batten down the hatches!

Actually this is old news...from last week, but I didn't have any pictures to go with it then so I didn't blog about it. Thursday we had a HUGE windstorm called Storm Kyrill. Click here to read more about it. Colin usually comes home from school in the evening when Bill picks him up from the youth activity center on base but that day he surprised me by coming home on the bus. He said that he felt safer coming straight home and that they had announced over the intercom at school for everyone to go right home and stay inside and not to linger near the buildings. I knew it was windy but had no idea it was THAT windy. I read that some gusts were up to over 125 miles per hour! We didn't see much damage around our area, but Saturday we drove north about an hour to pick up an Ebay win and saw a bunch of huge pine trees that had been literally snapped off like matchsticks and others that were uprooted. Scary stuff! I am so glad that we don't have any trees near our home to worry about and that no roof tiles came loose. Here are some pictures I took of the fallen trees and also a house on the edge of our town that DID get some roof tiles loosened. Yikes! I wouldn't want one of those to fall on my head!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I LOVE my town!

Well here I am in the second week of Scrapbook Chalet Survivor...still playing, still creating, still survivin'! Cool! This week's challenge is to scrapbook about Your Town. The page must have 3 photos, 2 or more metal embellishments and 2 or more designer papers. How cool is that?! I was really excited because we are lucky enough to live in such an awesome town....Heidelberg Germany! Anyone who visits my blog is familiar with one of the photos I used on my layout, it is the same one as in my header up there with the bridge and castle on it. I decided to use a sketch to help me place my pictures and elements and I found this sketch on my friend Robin's sketch site Project Sketch. If you like sketches and haven't been there you really should cuz hers are great!

If you are interested in reading the stuff I wrote about Heidelberg on the scrapbook page here it is "Ahh Heidelberg, what's not to love? The beautiful Neckar River coursing through the narrow valley spanned by the Alte Brucke (the old bridge) and overlooked by the romantic ruins of the Heidelberg Castle. Strolling down cobblestone streets in the main pedestrian area, exploring narrow lanes and quaint shops, looking up at the architectural details that adorn almost every building, I hope I never get used the this."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wish me luck!!!

My online friend Jeanne invited me to come over to Scrapbook Chalet and take part in the big contest they are having right now that promises to "get your creative juices flowing and challenges to set your mind free". I have never tried anything like this before....but I am game! So wish me luck in Chalet Survivor!! There are some nice prizes being offered to the winners, but even if I don't win I will have fun and make some new scrappin' friends and best of all get some great pages done!

Our first challenge is coming from another cool site that a friend of mine has a hand in...Pencil Lines sketches (they are linked over there in the sidebar). We are all going to use the same sketch to create a layout from. Time to go looking through my photos and get some inspiration! What fun!!!

Here is the page I made for the first challenge. I am happy with how it turned out. The challenge for this week is to scrap where we live. Cool!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

We Three Kings.......and also....on the 12th Day of Christmas....

You might be saying "Wait a minute....she CAN'T still be singing Christmas Carols can she? Enough already!" Today is a holiday here in our region of Germany (and several others) is the twelfth day of Christmas, or Drei Konige Tag (3 Kings Day), the day of Epiphany. If you have visited here you may have noticed on most doorframes some chalked letters and numbers and wondered what they are. They are the initials of the 3 Kings C+M+B (Casper, Melchoir, and Balthasar) followed by the year which are written in chalk on this day every January. It is meant to be a blessing on your home. The star singers, usually a group of 4 girls dressed up as the 3 kings and another one who carries the star that they follow go around the town singing their 3 kings song and putting the blessing on the house. The homeowners usually give them some coins which are taken back to the church and sent to a charity organization and also some candy for the singers to share. The past few years we have not been home when the star singers visited our street, but this year we were lucky and we were home and I got some pictures of them. What an interesting and fun tradition!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ahoy Matey!!

Lookout ye landlubbers, here there be pirates!

The Speyer Museum of Palatinate History is hosting a special interactive exhibit for kids all about pirates. We visited the museum last month and saw lots of signs and things advertising that this exhibit was on its way and Colin was really looking forward to checking it out. He goes back to school Monday and I figured during his school break would be a good time to go see. I offered him a deal....if he would get his room clean before Friday then we could go see the pirates. (I am sure I am the ONLY mom in the world who has to resort to these kind of tactics RIIIGHT??? LOL) It wasn't an easy task...but I guess the prize was worth it to him because he rose to the challenge and did a great job cleaning his room.

The exhibit was almost all hands on stuff. Lots of mock ships and ship interiors and ropes and things to pull and push and all that. There were also plenty of chests of pirate garb around so the kids could get into character and have a great time. Some of the things Colin was a bit big for, but others he really enjoyed. It was interesting to try and figure out how the sextant was used, how to balance the old fashioned scales in the port office, imagine what it was like to be the captain or a lowly sailor below decks. There were also lots of different famous pirate ship models to look at and sails to hoist, wheels to turn and cannons to fire. What fun!!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Christmas Round 2!

Yes I know that it is now January and 2007 and all that, but we had another Christmas last night at our house...whoooohoooo! Since Bill took time off from work from the 22nd until yesterday we haven't been in to the base where the mail room is since then and there were GOODIES waiting for us! The first box was for Colin from us, a pair of Heely shoes!! He has been asking for them for some time now and Colin doesn't often ask for much specifically so we worked extra hard to find them for him. (They are shoes with wheels in the heels that you can glide around on) It wasn't easy....Colin has grown SO much and his feet have grown too (of course!) They say that the Heely shoes run small so to order a size larger...Colin wears mens size 11 1/2 shoes and the biggest size Heelys come in is a mens 12. We couldn't find any one eBay in his size and a lot of the sites that sell them didn't have them in larger sizes and even then we weren't sure if the 12 would be big enough. He tried them on yesterday and they fit! Yeah! He will be trying them out today.

The next box was for was the one thing that I asked specifically for, the 2007 Autumn Leaves scrapbooking calender! It has a different card for every day of the year with a project on each one and instructions and everything. Bill had to look high and low for it, and scrapbooking isn't his 'thing' so it wasn't easy but he found it!! I think that is so sweet of him!

I also got a box from Lynette 'boss' and friend and owner of Scrap That Moment, the site I am a senior designer for. I can't believe it but I have been working with Lynette for almost 3 years! One of the extra special ways she recognizes those of us who have been around awhile is to give us a month vacation each year from our project requirements. I opted to take mine this month since I knew Jeffrey would be here and I would want to use my time with him. What a surprise to get a box of products this month too. It is the sponser goodies that I would have gotten if I hadn't taken the month off....I didn't realize it was a PAID vacation!!!! Thank you Lynette!!! I can't show you pictures of the goodies because the sponsor hasn't been revealed yet, but come to Scrap That Moment and check out That Gallery next week and you will see all the wonderful creations the others have done.

The next box we got was for the whole family. It was gifts from Billie and her family in Florida. Billie is Bill's oldest niece and it was such a nice surprise to get a package from her. She sent a radio for Colin, a nice framed photo of your boys (WOW they have grown SOO much and are SOO cute!!!), and a special gift of 3 water jugs given in our honor to needy families in one of 26 different countries. It is a special program called America Unwrapped, check it out! Thank you Billie!!!!

Our last box was from my parents in Arkansas. It was FULL of snowmen for me (and a check!), a gift for Colin (and a check!), a gift (and check!) for Bill, and more goodies for all of us. Mom and spoil us!!! I took a picture of my new snowmen before I introduce them to their new friends in the entryway, I think they will fit in just fine don't you?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!!!

Wow I can't believe it is 2007! I gotta get a new calender on the wall here....right now I have a printout from the internet tacked up there. LOL
I haven't kept things here in blogland up to date during the Christmas holiday because I wanted to use the time to do things with my family and not hang out on the computer and miss out on them. Jeffrey had to go back to Nebraska on Saturday and Bill goes back to work on Wednesday (he thought it was tomorrow but they made Tuesday a holiday for Federal employees so he got a freebie!) I think I will bring this up to date but posted a ton of pictures with short captions instead of typing a ton of words and a few pictures. (I think I just heard some big sighs of relief!) goes!

The first thing Jeffrey wanted to do when he got here was grab his skateboard and see if he still remembered how to do stuff. I guess it is like riding a bicyle cuz he had no problem at all at the skate park.

Here are the boys on Christmas Eve all curled up on the couch reading the Christmas Story from Luke 2 before heading off to bed. Couldn't you just hug 'em?

We all enjoyed some warm mugs of cocoa or coffee or gingerbread tea while the boys dug into their stockings. Colin opted for cocoa..with marshmallows of course!

Jeffrey always likes to help read the tags and hand out the gifts to everyone as we take turns opening our goodies. Hmmm...I wonder who that BIG one is for????

Once we convinced Colin that we would not be reusing the paper even if he did open carefully he started REALLY tearing into his gifts!

Jeffrey checking out one of his presents. It is a cool basketball video game that hooks up to the TV and you use the special ball it comes with to shoot and stuff and it 'sees' how you move to make the game work. I couldn't pass it up!

Most years Bill likes to make the boys work a bit to get their 'big' gift and this year was no exception. Here Bill and Jeffrey are trying to help Colin decipher his first clue.

Jeffrey's clue took him out to the kitchen where he and Colin figured out where to go next.

We always have a big Christmas dinner. I made a turkey this year with MOST of the trimmings. Of course we had to eat on the good dishes and have candles and drink sparkling cider from the crystal! The boys each proposed a toast...such gentlemen!

This year the town of Speyer extended their Christmas Market into a Christmas and New Years market so we made sure to go there since Jeffrey got here too late to go to most of them in the other towns. We all had lots of good things to eat and had fun looking at all the goodies in the stalls. And yes...Colin IS really that much taller than Jeffrey!

Since Jeffrey got a video camera for his 'big gift' he wanted to go downtown Heidelberg and video the castle and bridge and all. It is one of our favorite places to go so it didn't take much to convince us to do that.

We stayed downtown til after dark and I am SO glad I took my camera along too. Look at this great shot I got from the bridge! Who wouldn't love this view????

We wanted to be sure to do something special while Jeffrey was here so we got a room down in Bavaria and drove down to tour the castles Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. We were all excited to find snow on the ground (not much but SO pretty).

Our first day we toured the yellow castle at the bottom of the hill. This is called Hohenschwangau and was where King Ludwig and also his parents lived. There was a telescope set up in his bedroom where he watched the progress of Neuschwanstein castle as it was built.

This is the view of the lake and Hohenschwangau from Neuschwanstein. Just magical!

This is the view of Neuschwanstein from the courtyard just before you go in for the tour. What a beautiful fanciful wonder Disney modeled his castles after it!

Here is Jeffrey in front of the castle. I sometimes forget to get these 'touristy' kinda pictures but we need proof that WE were there right?

We walked up to the castle and back down instead of taking the horse carts they have. The lines were so long to get on one and we all felt sorry for the horses working so hard. We had to take a few breaks as we hiked. Here is Colin taking a breather.

Here are all 3 boys (men?) walking near the castles. Colin loves his big hat, I like it can't miss him in a crowd!

There are not many pictures of me cuz usually I am the one behind the camera...Bill got this one of me and Jeffrey after dinner out one night.

Sooo....that's pretty much it. I think I covered everything that I missed blogging about over the past days. We had a wonderful visit with Jeffrey...he was such a pleasure to be around, it was hard to say goodbye at the airport. We talked to him on the phone today and he said there is snow in Nebraska and he is going to be trying out his snowboard skills. I hope he gets some video of it!