Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cookies, Eye Surgery, and Kylee

It has been a very busy week for all of us.

Last weekend I spent a whole day making cookies for Wyatt's teacher's good bye party in class. His teacher moved to Japan for another position. I've made sugar cookies before but never took the time to try to make them look nice. I think they turned out nice, and through the process I figured out a few ways to make them even better. 

Wyatt's teacher is an amazing teacher. She is going to be missed by many. She graciously gave me the opportunity to work with the kids in the literacy centers each day. She trusted me to help the kids, and I will always appreciate that. I just wish she was around next year so I could do my practicum without my son in her class ;)

Kylee FINALLY lost her first tooth thanks to my friend, Stacy, for pulling it. (I cannot do teeth, gross). She was pretty excited to tell her 2nd grade class that she lost one. Two more are about ready to come out as well. 

James had PRK (corrective eye surgery) on Wednesday. He will be sporting sunglasses indoors for the next few weeks at least. 

While we were at Landstuhle for James' surgery, Cherry decided to have a little fun. The kids thought this was so funny!

 Today we went to the Bitburg Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). It was really small and not worth another trip. Thankfully Bitburg is just the village up the road so it didn't feel like a wasted trip. Hopefully I'll be going to Trier's market next weekend. 

And Now I have to get all of my homework complete by tomorrow to finish up this semester. I am in need of a month long break before my last (and toughest) semester. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"You Won't Like it When She's Angry"

She likes to rest her nose on the wires and always looks so funny. 

Don't mind the fuzz. She likes to destroy her toys. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Finally! We have SNOW!

I love snow.
And I miss it. Specifically, I miss Minot's snow. 

I've been waiting ever so patiently to have a good snowfall here, and it finally happened. It is definitely not what we are used to, but it will do. 

The kids loved playing in it.

Lexi loves the snow as well.

We made a snowman :D Though he's not as cool as our famous snowman in Minot. He is still pretty awesome though.

Not only did the kids love the snow, but the adults had a blast in the snowball fight between our neighbors. 

James got hit in the rear with a snowball. We packed those snowballs pretty good so you know this hurt!

Its not the best snowfall accumulation, but it will work. Remember our typical Winters in Minot??

This was our motto back then: 

 (I was a bit famous on base for about a week)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cheese Tortellini

My family and I LOVE browsing the German grocery stores. A few months back we decided to pick up some fresh tortellini, but I had no idea what kind of sauce to make with it. I didn't want to use just any kind of sauce in a jar. I googled for some recipes and found this one from Simply So Good

This Cheese Tortellini in Cream Sauce is Ah-maze-zing! I swear. Try it! And check out her blog too. Seriously, this she has some awesome recipes. 

Cheese Tortellini

White Sauce
1/2 cup Chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups fresh tortellini (frozen can work as well)

Red Sauce
1 14.5 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 TBS olive oil
1 garlic clove (minced)
2 tsp Italian Season 
2 tsp butter

Begin boiling the water for the noodle. If you do it first, it should be ready about the same time the sauce is.

Using a medium sauce pan, simmer the chicken broth and white wine till the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Add the heavy cream and set aside. 

In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil and add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and italian seasonings. 

By this time your water should be boiling. Add the tortellini and cook according to the package (usually 2-3 minutes). Drain. Add the tortellini to the white sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Place tortellini with white sauce in a shallow bowl and top with a few spoonfuls of the red sauce. Feel free to garnish with some parmesan cheese. (I always forget!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Some Instagram Love

I LOVE Instagram. Who doesn't?! I love that there is a collection of some of my favorite photos with super easy and quick editing features. Maybe it is not the best quality, but its still an easy edit. I also LOVE to look at awesome shots by my friends. Feel free to follow me on Instagram, you'll find the link over here ------->

Bernkastel's Advent Calendar. I LOVED their Christmas market, but guess who forgot the REAL camera? Me. 

Reflection of the Christmas market in an ornament. I'm sure this would have been a fabulous picture with a REAL camera. I love how you can see the buildings lit up though. I may go back just to take some good pictures.

Last shot of the Christmas Market, because then my iPhone died... right before 100 swimmer jumped in the Mosel River with torches to guide St. Nikolaus to the village by boat. Ya, I'm still a bit upset I forgot my camera at home. I WILL be going next year just to get those awesome shots. 

My little Lexi loving the snow. She can be such a sweet puppy.

Yay! Our first German Christmas tree complete with candles instead of the normal Christmas lights. We just need to find a tree topper. Ours was lost in the move. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

Meet Cherry, our very own Elf on the Shelf. This is his first time visiting our house, and the kids are so excited. I think Cherry is going to brighten up our mornings. In fact, I think the kids will be more than eager to get out of bed on school days.  

I've been debating bringing this fun tradition into our house or not. I really do not like to follow trends so I've avoided this for a few years. However, Pinterest has really changed my mind. There are SO many fun ways to hide the elf. It just became way too hard to ignore any longer. I'm not using Cherry as a way to get my children to behave (he reports back to Santa, ya know). He's only in our house to entertain each of us, though, I did catch Wyatt telling his classmates that Cherry can hear whenever he's being naughty. I didn't intend on Cherry to help with behavior, but hey! I'll take whatever he's offering! 

I'll be posting pictures of what our elf does at the end of each week. Feel free to link up and share what your little elf is doing too!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sort of DIY: Christmas Paper Ornaments

Last month when I was shopping at a local craft store for the supplies to make the kids' Laterne I happened to stumble upon a super cute Paper Ornament kit. I figured it would be an easy little craft to work on one night when I was either bored or procrastinating on doing my homework. 


It came with everything needed to make 7-8 ornaments. The strips were pre-cut and punched which made things so much more easier for me. But, there were no directions. I'm the type of person who reads and follows directions. It was pretty simple to figure out by looking at the picture through. 

I think they turned out ok. The kids enjoyed selecting the paper for each ornament, too. But it was a bit too difficult for them to help me build them. Maybe next year. 

 I hung them above our front window with some ribbon. You should have seen the kiddos' faces when they came home from school and seen the ornaments hung up. 

Even though this came in a kit it would be super easy to make your own. You just need an assortment of beads, wire, and paper strips. And wouldn't these be a cute for Valentine's Day?

What do y'all think? Any other fabulous DIY Christmas decorations that you've tried? Please share. I'm always looking for little crafts to do.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rome Part 3

Day 3- Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps and Palatine Hill

Another busy day walking the city of Rome. We took a bus to a stop near the Trevi Fountain where we walked to our destinations. First up was the Trevi Fountain. From there we went to the Pantheon, Spanish Steps and hit up Hard Rock Cafe. We decided after all that walking we were still in the mood for more site seeing: Palatine Hill. 

The Trevi Fountain was gorgeous! I was quite impressed with the size. I swore I took a picture of the whole thing, but apparently I didn't. 

It is said that if you throw a coin over your shoulder into the fountain you will be sure to return to Rome. This fountain collects over 3,000 euro in coins each day. The money collected is then donated to a charity. In 2002, the police caught a man stealing the coins. Apparently he had been taking them for years. He was banned from the fountain and new security measures were put in place. Eventually, the ban was lifted after the court decided the coins were not considered stolen because they were discarded and no longer belonged to anyhow. Recently, the man was caught stealing the coins again with the help of the police. The mayor plans to make removal of the coins a criminal offense. 

Oops... James didn't throw it over his shoulder....

See the two horses? These are sea horses. One is docile and the other wild- representing the moods of the sea. 


The Pantheon! The BEST preserved piece of history in Rome. This was built between 27 and 25BC on the location of where the founder of Rome (Romulus) was killed and seized by an eagle, then taken away to the heavens to be with God. 

The Oculus- the center of the dome ceiling. This is the only way light gets inside the Pantheon. When it rains, the rain also comes through the Oculus and onto the Pantheon floor. 

Raphael's tomb. 

Some Italian yumminess.

Kylee and I on the Spanish Steps. 

One awesome door. Who can't love this?

Palatine Hill
Legend has it that Palatine Hill is where Romulus killed his twin brother and founded Rome in 753BC. There was so much to see in this area, and I do not remember what everything was called. 

This was some type of stadium I believe.

The lower peristyle of the Domus Augustana.

The kids are acting like statues. 

These were Romulan huts, where apparently Romulus and his brother, Remus. 

More excavations 

Roman Forum area. 

A few last pictures of the Colosseum, still my favorite site in Rome. 

Day 4 had consisted of good food, gelato (twice) and walking around the city one last time before heading home the next day. 

Rome was beautiful, but I'm glad to be back in Germany where there is no traffic, no graffiti, and lots of beautiful open spaces. 

I will post some tips of traveling in Rome tomorrow.