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Easter

 

Here are the sleepy pictures of the boys upon discovery of their Easter Baskets. They were getting ready for church, which explains why Gavin was only wearing his undershirt. It was also his idea to set out all the eggs that we dyed. He wanted a beautiful presentation. Now, a month later, we still have Easter candy sitting in bags on the kitchen counter.

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Christmas Market

Well, one thing that I have definitely missed about Germany is the Christmas Market. You can find one in just about every town and each one seems to have its own unique flavor. But one thing you can be sure of – there will be Glühwein. Nothing else can keep you warm and satisfied as you trundle along looking at the various Christmas wares. Ahhh… Christmas in Germany. I love it!


What I Want for Christmas

As I was reading an article this morning, I began thinking what I could to do help others out this holiday season. While there are obviously many ways I can help, my answer this season is simple. If you were thinking about giving me a Christmas gift this year, instead make a donation to Compassion International. When I look around my house, I already have everything I could ever need (and I am a bit embarrassed to say a ton of stuff I/we don’t really need).

We have sponsored a little girl named Valerie through Compassion for many years now as well as contributing to Compassion’s Child Survival Program. Valerie has been a huge blessing to us as we read letters from her about her life in Haiti. It is awesome to know that we are making a huge difference in the life of a child in a country that I care very deeply for. I don’t mention any of this to seek kudos, but instead to show how easy it is to make a world of difference in the lives of others not nearly as fortunate as any one of us.

* And if you weren’t planning on getting me a present, PLEASE consider donating just the same.



Christmas

I cannot believe that we have not posted any Christmas pictures. I guess we’ve been too busy playing with all of our new goodies and getting back into the swing of things.


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Carnival in Rethymno

Last Sunday, we rushed out of church and headed down the National Highway here in Crete on our way to Rethymno. Every year the largest Carnival parade on the island is held in this town. The drive was crazy as usual – the norm on the National Highway here – but we made it without damage. They had a roadblock for all the parade goers, so that you parked outside of the city and rode the bus into the center of town (free of charge).

The parade was pretty cool, but definitely different from parades in the states. Here, you find a lot of the paraders (is that what you call them?) smoking and drinking while marching along. One float in particular took the cake. It was a large boat, with a smaller boat pulling it. The smaller boat had a nice little wetbar built in along the side that had quite a few partakers. The large boat had a covered deck at the top. In the deck sat a woman smoking away, surrounded by little kids. Hmmm… Hasn’t anybody heard about the dangers of second hand smoke? It actually reminded me of when I went to the local hospital here to donate blood and saw quite a few of the doctors with cigarettes in their pockets.

Ahhh, I digress. Anyways, the parade was good, but definitely on the long side. So we headed down towards the harbor to get some good grub. They have a cool Venetian fortress here as well as a beautiful lighthouse. The food was good, the drive home just as uneventful (but not any less crazy).

Enjoy the photos! Check out the photos…


Hotel Holidays

So we are now just 20 days away from Christmas and still living in a hotel. We gave the house hunt our best shot… and lost! We found the perfect house last week through a realtor and knew it was THE ONE. Then the next day someone decided to buy it! Go figure! The house had been on the market for over a year and just as we’re about to rent it, it sells!

So, we finally gave up and picked the house we were shown 2 months ago. We haven’t signed the lease yet, but that should be all taken care of on the 10th, then we’ll move in on the 15th.. Which, if things go right, will have us all moved in before Christmas.

Yippee!


Sankt Nikolaus

One of the interesting things about living in a different country is finding out about all the different holidays that get celebrated where you are.  Well, today they are celebrating Sankt Nikolaus (name sound familiar?).  He is considered to be a pre-Christmas messenger that examines kids’ behavior.  The kids leave a boot outside their door during the night.  If they are good, when they wake up they will find gifts of toys or sweets (where we are at, it is usually apples, oranges, nuts. etc.).  On the other hand, if they are bad, they will find a tree branch in their boot (basically to represent a bundle of switches) reminding them that they need to shape up or else!

Anyways, just a little bit of culture from this side of the ocean for those interested!

If you’re interested in reading more, you can find information here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas