Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall Wraps Up

This is the first fall we have had since moving to Texas -- so 6 years!!  I've always been a big fan of spring but Germany might just convert me.  It's been a beautiful fall here!
This is from the car -- they have these trees on the tank trail that are bright yellow gold and then go to orange and burnt red.  They are really beautiful and neat!

I've tried to start running again because I feel so much better when I do and these are some pictures that I took from one of those runs.  In addition to the colors, I absolutely love the fog!  It makes everything so still and lovely.

The day after Halloween is a state holiday in Bavaria and a few others.  There are a few holidays that are religious but are state holidays and All Saints Day (Nov. 1) is one of them.  I slipped into this cemetery after my run and watched people come in and out.  It's tradition not only to celebrate saints I guess but to celebrate and remember your loved ones who are gone.  They have very interesting floral arrangements for this day (I should've taken a picture and I'm glad now I didn't buy one for a centerpiece because I was going to!) and they also light candles on the graves.  I didn't stay very long because I was thinking a lot about Aaron and not being able to visit his grave.  It's interesting how even with a strong belief that his spirit has departed and his body only remains that visiting a grave would be comforting.  But it obviously is to many people.

Last Saturday we went into Sulzbach-Rosenberg just because and explored a little bit in the cold and wind.

I gave Abby my phone to take pictures and this is what she she came up with:

Apparently she got bored of the scenery and started on the selfies:

There's a lot more than this!  But what surprised me was that Megan asked what she was doing and when Abby told her Megan actually smiled for a selfie together!!

Then last night the flurries started and this morning we had snow!!  The kids are off school for parent-teacher conferences but they were in my room at 6:30 a.m. begging to go outside and play in the snow.  What was I supposed to do?

Pajamas and snow boots (they insisted) -- these poor Texas kids.  I can't wait until we get some decent snowfall!  As long as I don't have to drive in it.

Unfortunately this is what my entryway will probably look like for the next 6 months now. I've got to get a better system!

First Halloween in Germany

Even though winter doesn't officially start until Dec. 21, I'm pretty sure that we're in it now.  We had snow last night with a (small) accumulation this morning!  It's coat weather all the time now too.  And I'm actually enjoying it!!  William still doesn't want to wear a coat but he does for preschool (because I told him he can't play outside if he doesn't) and the kids say it's not too bad but it really is.  Actually, I don't mind it . . . yet.  I'm sure in March when I'm craving spring that I'll be singing a different tune.

And with this cold weather, Halloween was a whole new ball game!!!
The kids chose their costumes as usual -- Megan wanted to be a parrot, Abby a bat, and William a cheetah.  As I started sewing and collecting, I kept in mind that they would want to be bundled up.  They couldn't understand that concept.  Our first Halloween activity was a trunk or treat for Chopper's unit.  They held it on a sunny Saturday afternoon and it was chilly but really not bad.  
Megan's costume was a lot easier this year than last year and since she's on a bird kick, I'm thinking next year will probably be an owl.

Abby's wings were styled based on a pattern for quilted butterfly wings that I bought and then just drew my own pattern pieces.  They actually turned out really well and she particularly liked that they were long enough for her to wrap arms and wings around herself and hang upside down.  Next year she says she's going to be a spider.  Funny how she wants Halloween themed costumes and Megan is all about being as realistic as possible.

William's cheetah turned out okay -- I obviously need more practice at shirts, particularly necklines.  But he loved it and wears it a lot.  We painted his face which he also loved but even though I washed it off that night, he had a reaction and ended up with a swollen face in church the next day!!!

The trunk or treat was offering prizes for the best decorated trunk.  Chopper cut a fence out of a long piece of cardboard and we threw the kids entire stash of animals in the trunk with them and a sign saying "Don't feed the animals".  Because they love animals so much, we had a pretty exotic collection!!  

Chopper did his best to look like a zookeeper/safari guide and I wore all black and cat ears.  And we won first place!!!  Granted, there were only 7 cars .  . . 

. . . And because of that, the kids came home with massive amounts of candy and we didn't get rid of all the candy we had taken to hand out!  This was the grossest piece though -- a large, squishy eyeball that apparently also tasted awful.  I didn't try it.

Isn't that crazy?  He looks like a different kid!  The swelling did go down throughout the day and the makeup is the only thing that I can think of that would have caused it!

I let William play with my phone a little bit before church started and he got some great shots of Megan!

Sunday night we carved pumpkins -- the kids drew the faces and Chopper cut them out.  Megan drew a cat face.

And I guess the pictures of Abby's happy face and William's spooky face are on Chopper's phone.  I'll have to track them down.

Monday, Megan's class had a party and they could dress up like a storybook character so she ended up with 2 costumes!!  She's been devouring all these books called The Goddess Girls and decided to be Pandora the Curious.  I found 2 blue pillowcases at the thrift shop for 50 cents so we went for it!

We streaked her hair blue with hair chalk (worked well and washed out!)

I'd say she pretty much fit the mold!!  She had a good time.

I took no pictures of Halloween though.  While I was getting dinner ready, we were surprised to have trick-or-treaters!!!  It was a group of 3 women and about 5-6 kids and they were German but spoke decent English.  I think they must have pegged the house from the American family that lived here before us because they didn't go to any of our neighbors that I could tell and they were the only ones to come!  It was kind've exciting though!!

We drove onto the base for trick-or-treating and had a great evening.  In Little Elm, a church down the street does a big trunk-or-treat on Halloween and so very few people participate in the door to door.  But here, it wasn't everyone but it was a lot and it felt a lot more like Halloween from my childhood.  The kids got cold (no gloves or hats -- whoops!) so we called it after about an hour and went home.  Along the way we stopped on the road headed to our house where it's open country (ok most of the road headed to our house is open country and I love it!) and got out to look at the stars.  The kids loved that just as much as the trick-or-treating I think.  They've never seen that many stars so clearly.  It was a fantastic Halloween night!