Thursday, December 29, 2005

Snow the Crazy Germans

I LOVE the snow. It is beautiful and makes the world beautiful. I love it falling on my head and in my face. I love taking walks in it and slushing around in it. I even LOVE dusting the snow off my car. OK. I love the snow.

I am even learning how to drive in the snow and it is kind of fun and I am getting good at it. Don’t press the break, ease off the clutch, turn into the spin.

Yesterday I had to run some errands, stop by the chapel, do laundry, go the post office, etc. It had snowed the night before and was still snowing a little in the morning. I took the broom to the car and dusted what seemed like 12 inches off the top and hood. I scraped the ice off the windshield. I warmed up the inside and began my journey. Well, it wasn’t a long one because I got stuck backing out of my driveway! Now my BMW is a rear wheel drive car, so technically I shouldn’t have had a problem, but never mind that. I got stuck half on the drive and half on the street. Oh joy. I tried the rock maneuver that Dave taught me, but to no avail. So there I sat, 7+ months prego and stuck.

I got out of the car, walked around it, kicked a big ice chunk out of the way and tried again. Again nothing.

Dismayed I went back into the house and called Dave. After a pep talk I went back outside. ONE of the good things about Germany is they have this thing called “streugut” I am probably not even spelling it right, but they have these BIG cans sitting on the side of the road full of gravel. There happens to be one can outside our house, so I put my gloves on, dug into the streugut box and began to dump it in front of and behind my tires to get some traction. Now all of this in general wasn’t a bad thing. What made it bad was there were these 3 older German men sitting up the street laughing and talking about me in German. Two of them even walked right past me…an obviously prego lady…and made some dumb comment in German to me while they mocked me. Believe me, I had some choice words for them…hmm…do you know what this means in English!!!!!!! So I take about 20 minutes to lay down the gravel and try again. To no avail. I was about to give up and go inside defeated…the laundry would have to wait another day…when a “nice” German came by and helped rock me out of the driveway. Saved! He didn’t totally redeem Germans in my eyes, but at least he wasn’t as depraved as the other two.

One more thing I didn’t mention about this whole situation. For some reason the Germans don’t plow the snow in our village. Not only is it hard to get out of our driveway, but then we basically slip and slide all the way down the hill to the main road (hope no one is coming). And if you are out and it starts to snow…forget about getting the car home because you can’t get the car up the hill. It is silly because we don’t live on a steep hill, but because they refuse to plow I end up walking, and Dave ends up digging and pushing the car up the hill.

So there you have it. I love the snow. I could really do without the Germans sometimes. And I would love the snow even more if they would plow our road.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas!

At the beginning of December the women's ministry of the chapel (Protestant Women of the Chapel) collected toys and toiletries, put them in shoe boxes and wrapped them. They were to be sent to husbands, John in Afghanistan and to Jay in Iraq. When the soldiers go out they were able to take the presents with them and pass them out to the children. On Chrismtas Eve Jay took his boxes passed them out to the children. Here is one pic of Jay passing out gifts.

Yea, it is Christmas! We woke up early made a nice breakfast of scones and bacon (for Dave) and peppermint tea. Afterwards we took turns opening presents. You can see Dave with one of his first presents, under shirts.

I bought him these shirts a couple of weeks ago because he needed some new ones, but he refused to open them insisting that it had to be a Christmas present. So now he has some much needed under shirts.

Dave's parents sent some adorable clothes for Cubby. She is going to be styling as soon as she arrives!

After presents we attended Chapel and were blessed to hear a wonderful Christmas message delivered by CH Woodbery. He did a wonderfull job of presenting the Gospel and it was just what Dave and I wanted to hear. After Chapel we joined some friends for a wonderful Turkey dinner and a game of Imagineiff and Canasta. We then returned home and were able to talk to both of our families and then end the day with "Christmas in Connecticut".

30 Weeks

I am now into the final stretch, the last 10 weeks! At the docs this last week Cubby weighed in at 3lbs 6oz. She apparently has been munching on some good holiday cooking! I have finally popped and am now in need of some maternity shirts. Fortunately I received one for Christmas and a couple more are in the mail. She is certainly getting big and sometimes gets a foot stuck up under my ribs. It doesn't hurt yet, but I know that it will as I continue to get large.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Deliver Us

Our chapel had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas with a special program called Lessons and Carols. For Dave and I Lessons and Carols has become a Christmas tradition as our church in Atlanta, Intown, always has a Sunday dedicated to it. For those who have never had the wonderful pleasure of attending a service it goes something like this: A scripture reading, a Christmas Carol, A scripture reading, a Christmas Carol. You get the idea. The scriptures generally begin in Genesis and then jump to Isaiah and then the gospels all centered around the story of Jesus coming to earth.

For our service at the chapel Dave performed special music. He broke out his hammered dulcimer and played and sang the song printed below. It was very powerful and beautiful.

Deliver Us
By Derek Webb

Our enemy, our captor
Is no Pharoah on the Nile

Our toil is neither mud, nor brick, nor sand

Our ankles bear no calluses
From chains yet Lord we are bound

Imprisoned here we dwell in our own land

Deliver us
Deliver us
O Yahweh hear our cry
And gather us beneath your wings tonight

Our sins they are more numerous
Than all the lambs we slay

Our shackles they were made with our own hands

Our toils is our atonement
And our freedom yours to give

So Yahweh break the silence if you can

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
How often I have longed
To gather you beneath my gentle wings


Last year we had snow on Halloween and then it didn't really snow again until February. THis year it is another story. It snowed for 4 days over Thanksgiving leaving about 8 inches of snow here. And then Saturday night it dropped a couple of inches, and it has been snowing all day today! We went for a walk yesterday but had to really bundle up. We live out in the country and our house is on a hill near some farmland. The wind was so cold, but we survived and it was nice to get some fresh air.

O Christmas Tree

Only those who know Dave well will believe this story, but I swear it is true.

Last year we found out about this wonderful tree farm in a little village called Fohren Linden. The village has two farms owned by the same man, one is about ½ km outside of town and the other is about 2km past the first one. We went to the second one last year because it had better trees. We hunted for about an hour, found our tree, cut it down and paid 5 euro for it (about $6).

This year we have had a lot of snow, so when we went to the little village, which now is right next to our little village of Mettweiler, we were able to get to the first farm, but could not get to the second. The second is up a hill on what Germans call a “farm road” which basically means in the winter it doesn’t get plowed.

Dave was convinced that we had to go to the second farm because last year he saw a tree that he was SURE was going to be perfect this year. So, Dave and I hiked up the snowy, hilly and icy road for a mile to get to the second farm. He walked straight to the tree he had seen last year, chopped it down and then dragged it (by this time it had started sleeting) back down the icy, snowy hill to our car. Amazingly I made it without dying or falling. We paid the 5 euro for our tree and now we have a perfect tree in our living room.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Prego-27 Weeks

Here I am at 27 weeks prego. I am 2/3 of the way done with only 13 weeks to go. Cubby and I have started to have conversations about her birth weight. She currently weighs 15oz which is great. A small baby coming out of this body is FINE with me!

I am officially in my third trimester and life is good. I am now reporting 7 weeks without loosing my dinner, and I am not too huge yet.

Yesterday I swear she woke up to the alarm. As soon as it went off she did 2 somersaults...or something that felt like somersaults. She continues to be our little dancer, and we look forward to meeting our little spirited daughter soon.