Thursday, December 23, 2010


Some photos of the snow last week. Also, playing with Photoshop (well, more like hitting "play" on free PS actions). It's been raining recently, so most of it has melted, but I'm sure we'll have our fill of it come February.

We're spending Christmas day at home; cooking up a goose and inviting some of Craig's single coworkers over for dinner. I ended up putting up the three-foot fake tree this year. I have a hard time spending twice as much on a tree that doesn't look nearly as full or large as the ones we could get back home. I guess ya can't beat driving less than a mile down the road (honestly, we could see the tree farm from our apartment!) and cutting the tree ourselves. Fourteen dollars and 30 min later we had a fresh cut tree ready to decorate.

Maybe I'm just a little nostalgic for home right now because of the holidays. On the bright side, we don't have to feel guilty for choosing one family to spend Christmas with over the other one!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In 24

1. What is the best gift you have ever received or given?
I'm a TERRIBLE gift giver and receiver. Just wanted to get that out there. Um, for my birthday one year I got the Barbie mini van/ RV and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. So far the best gift my husband has gotten me was a vacuum cleaner (no lies, I loved it). Oh, and a nifty wine rack. For wedding gifts, I love the dutch oven I got from my cousin and a handmade personalized bowl from Craig's family friends.

I'm still working on giving decent gifts to people. I've given some duds in my day.

2. Do you celebrate holidays differently when your loved one is deployed/gone or do you keep tradition?
Fortunately, we've never been a part for the holidays. I'd probably still put the little three foot tree up and bake some goodies.

3. If you celebrate Christmas, do you put an angel, star or something else on the top of your tree?
A star.

4. What are your three favorite websites?
Ones I go to the most:
-Online banking

Ones I like the most (besides those mentioned):
-Army Wife Chat message board
-Pioneer Woman (yeah yeah, like everyone else)

5. On your man do you prefer… boxers, briefs or boxer briefs? Or commando? (yeah, I’m starting to get desperate for questions!)?
Anything but briefs... they remind me of my dad. Yeah my dad likes to sit around the house in his underwear. I swear it's a farmer thing. When I sold feed, I'd have to wait for some customers outside so they could put their pants on. There, I said it... family secrets are out in cyberspace now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Organized "The Fridge"

In a previous post, I mentioned our home came with a built in refrigerator (der kuhlshrank, your German word of the day!), which is pretty typical of German kitchens. The Furniture Management Office (FMO) gave us an American size refrigerator to use. Moreso we need it for the freezer portion. So unless we shell out Euro for a stand-alone freezer, we'll gladly accept the borrowed fridge/freezer combo. But what to do about that built-in sucker?

I figured it out!

I now have a climate controlled baking center. In the door, I have all the baking supplies. The top shelf is spice mixes, which didn't fit in the spice cupboard. Yes, I have a crazy number of spices. Mom, if you're reading this, I know you're not surprised.

On the right is breakfast items and other quick staples for making lunches and snacks. Once I get my Ikea shelf up, I'll have decent storage for the flour and sugar. A work in progress!

I baked up a storm this afternoon and it was so nice to have everything right there. Usually, I'd keep all the spices for baking and cooking together, the vanilla next to the oil and vinegar, etc. This is so much simpler.

I'm so beside myself with my ingenious plan. I made Craig stop what he was doing and come look... he was less impressed. And yes, I just blogged about organizing my kitchen. Perhaps I licked the spoon a few too many times this afternoon...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Fill-In 24

1. What do you see your life like in 10 years?
I'll be 37. I hope to be done popping out kids by then, however if I'm going to get to 5 or 6, I better start now! Haha, just kidding Craig if you're reading this.

As far as career, who knows. I wouldn't mind doing the stay at home mom thing. I just want to have some land, some animals, and be pretty self sufficient.

2. What do you like most about your job?
My job right now is learning German and being eine Hausfrau. My class gets over next week, and I still haven't decided if I want to move onto level two right away in January. I like that it's really challenging and keeps my brain ticking.

As far as the housewife thing, I like being able to have time to do crafty things and not spending money on things for a job (ie gas to and from work, dress clothes). Also, I can go shopping on the weekdays and take my time looking for the best deals, and do fun things on the weekend instead of heading to the grocery store.

3. What are three things you do every day, no matter what day it is?
No matter what, I brush my teeth twice a day. If I fall asleep before I get a chance to, I wake up and go do it! Then, probably go on the computer and feed the cat.

4. What would you do with an extra five hours in the day today?
Humm, today? Waste it on the computer, haha. Honestly, I probably would have went grocery shopping and picked out a Christmas tree.

5. What is your favorite Christmas (or whichever holiday you celebrate) cookie recipe (please share!)?
Although not a cookie, I'd have to say buckeyes, even though my family just calls them peanut butter balls. Coming from Wisconsin, making "buckeyes" would be a sin in Badger country! Here's the recipe stolen from allrecipes.com:

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups confectioners' sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.

Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.

I dunk the entire thing in chocolate- you know you want to.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Winter is Here

In the words of my aunt Lisa, "Oh shoot, I forgot the camera!"

Times I wished I had it in the past few weeks:

Right before the snow, I ventured out to the Kaiserslatuern cemetery on the edge of town. A very somber, peaceful place. The cultural differences of how people honor their loved ones who've passed away is pretty interesting.

Our first snow on Thanksgiving! Unlike in Wisconsin, where the first couple snows usually melt because the ground it too warm, this stuff stuck! And it snowed for three days straight.

Christmas market in Kaiserslautern. Had some Gluwein with two of my classmates. I'm starting to see that Germans take Christmas pretty seriously in terms of celebrating the season.

Speaking of classmates....

Next week, I start my third week in a German language course. Ya know, if I could just learn all my life instead of actually applying it to the working world, I'd be alright with that. I'd doing pretty well in the class as far as writing goes. Speaking, not so much. I've met some pretty cool people. I think about 10 countries are represented in the class, and quite a few know English. It's humbling when most of the class already knows 2, 3, or 4 languages.

This passed weekend, we ventured out to the Nuremberg Christmas market. I loved the city, but the market was very crowed and the gifts they had at the stalls really didn't interest me. We did have our fair share of Gluwein and kept the commemorative cup. We also toured the museum at the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, did some shopping, visited some of the sites of the old town, and met up with some wives I met online from Army Wife Chat, a message forum I'm a member of.

Check out the photos from Nuremberg.