Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Bread Lady

When we first moved to Spangdahlem we were disappointed that our town did not have a Backerei (aka Bakery). Seriously, the German Bakeries are AMAZING, and we wanted to be close to one! But then we heard the story of the bread lady. The bread lady supposedly drove around Sapngdahlem on certain days, ringing her bell from her bread van, and you could run out of your house and buy fresh baked goods! Too good to be true! Well, we heard this story back in July, and we still had not seen or heard from the bread lady. I was beginning to believe she was an urban myth.

...and then this Saturday something wonderful happened!!! Phillip was up cleaning the kitchen (I was still in bed) and he heard this van driving around honking its horn at certain houses. Then the van visited our neighbors, honked its horn, and Phillip saw them go outside and buy bread!! That was it, he ran outside and stood at the end of our driveway to get his turn!!

The Bread Lady Exists!!!!!

Phillip bought chocolate filled croissants, a chocolate covered cookie, and french bread. Total cost was about 4E. We had the croissants and cookie for breakfast. So good!!

That evening we had spaghetti and the french bread for dinner. We even enjoyed a bottle of wine from my trip to Italy to celebrate the occasion!

Christmas in Feburary!!

Our Christmas Presents from my family finally arrived this week!!! YAY!!

We actually got 2 boxes of presents. One containing 5 bottles of a selection of KC BBQ sauces and Vienna Sausages! Phillip squealed when we saw the Vienna Sausages. I wanted to open the Cow Town sauce and stick my finger in, but Phillip wouldn't let me. SO EXCITED!!

The other box contained more presents, mostly consisting of food from Bob and Amber and socks from my parents. Well, we forgot to put the socks away, leaving them instead out on a chair in the living room. Clara had a great time the next day playing in our socks! Though she didn't try to get any of the food sitting on the kitchen table.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Annual Wing Awards

Tonight was the base's Annual Wing Awards. Which meant we got to get all dressed up and go to an awards dinner. Three people in Phillip's squadron were up for awards so we had to go support!

Doesn't Phillip look nice! And look, he is now up to 3 medals on his uniform with his recent Meritorious Service Medal just being added.

I also got to go, so I got all spiffied up too. Thank goodness we checked the mail today because the jacket I am wearing (which I actually ordered for Bob's wedding) came in today!

Here we are at the end of the evening. We had Prime Rib for dinner, but it did not even come close to what we are used to from Kansas. Unfortunately, no one from Phillip's squadron won the awards. But one of my substitute teacher friends did win Volunteer of the Year, so that was pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Pancake Day!!!

For those of you not lucky enough to have lived in Liberal, Kansas or Olney, England, today is the holiday known as International Pancake Day!!! One of the best holidays of the year. You actually get off from school, but you are up by choice at 6am to participate in the Pancake Breakfast. Then it is off to the Races, where we run the streets of Liberal in our head scarfs and carrying frying pans holding pancakes, racing our rivals in England for the best time. And don't forget to go to the parade in the afternoon!!

Yours truly ran the child race numerous times, taking first and third places! I still have my trophies!! And of course one of the best parts of winning is riding on a float during the parade.

This year we are actually closer to Olney, England!! It is only 1 hour north of London. We couldn't make it to Pancake Day this year, but we hope to next year. Wouldn't that be cool, to say we've actually been to Pancake Day in both Liberal and Olney!!

Pancake Day, 1968.


Saturday, February 13, 2010


This morning we awoke to this!!

It's Fasctnacht here in Germany, aka Carnival! The festival started on Thursday where the women of the town storm the courthouse and demand the key to the city. The women are then in charge, and can cut off any men's ties if they see them wearing one. Children are also allowed to stop cars in the street and demand candy. All kinds of partying takes place culminating with a big parade on Rose Monday.

It has actually been pretty quiet here in our town, but Bitburg and Trier have been busy throwing their parties. We'll be going to some of the parades on Monday! We think this band was just trying to get in some practice time before the big day. They were so cute!! Mind you, it was only about 20 degrees outside!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Kongs

Clara reached a new level of orneriness today. I had our pantry cabinet open this morning, trying to see what, if anything, I wanted to set our for dinner tonight and Clara nudges the Peanut Butter jar with her nose!! We sometimes use the peanut butter to fill her Kong, and apparently she wanted to let me know that she would like me to make her one!

"Please...will you please make me a peanut butter Kong?!" The picture obviously does not show all the nudging and sitting and begging that went on (but it does show my dirty floors, just ignore that; we've been having very long OM practices this week)!

I could not ignore the cutness and she got what she wanted! I feel I am only reinforcing her behavior!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Keeping Warm

Heating is a "fun" experience here in Germany. Most Germans have either oil or electric to heat their homes, both of which are extremely expensive. Oil especially!! We have heard of people paying 2,000 euros a winter to heat their homes; yikes!! Plus, here is another fun things the Germans do, you only have 1 electric bill a year! So, you essentially pay a fixed amount each month, hoping to kind of build up your account, but at the end of the year the bill is tallied and if you went over on usage, you get hit with a huge bill at the end. We know some people who payed about 75 euro per month and still had to pay 1,500 euro at the end!! So you better believe that when we were shopping for a place to live we were really paying attention to what type of heating system was in use, how much it cost the previous renters to heat it, how big the house was, on and on.

And then we found our little house, and here is our heating system! :)

Our heating system is a lot different from most other Germans. We have what you can consider a heat pump, which essentially sucks the warmness out of the air and pumps it into the house (through radiant floor heating, which I love!). It's new technology that initially is much more expensive to install than regular heating, but over the long run saves you a ton of money!

Here's the funny thing. We live in a very small city, so everyone is always noticing what is going on with everyone else. Thus, the little Germans are wondering if we are staying warm or not! :) Within the last week 2 Germans asked Phillip while he was out with Clara how our heating system was doing! They are all very interested, especially since this system will likely save us a ton of money! About a month ago we had our landlord check our usage and compare it to what we are paying monthly and so far it looks like we are paying in more than what we are using!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Clara!!

Today is Clara's Adoptive Birthday! We have had her for 3 years now, and she is 3.5 years old. She's a pretty happy little dog, and we couldn't imagine not having her.

The day that we adopted her.

Picture from the just the other day where Phillip wrapped her in his sweatshirt before heading to work. She loved it and didn't move for most the day!

Happy girl! I think she's also pretty happy that we adopted her.

She didn't do too much today. Got to play with her puppy friend Gabby, a little yellow lab who used to be smaller than her, but over the winter has now passed her in size. She just loves Gabby, but hadn't seen her since the start of winter. She also got to go for a car ride. Pretty good day for her!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Almost done, almost done, almost done. Just finish up this week and then I have only 1 week after this. So close, just keeping pushing.

Note, do not watch Southpark and then try to do homework. I'm trying to read but my inner voice sounds like Cartman!

Haha, on the same Southpark note. I had a student this week ask me about New Mexico since he just found out his family would be moving there, and he had never been there and didn't know what to expect. I tell him all about it, the great outdoor stuff to do, the fact that it's warm (we hit 40 degrees yesterday and I was so excited I went running outside!!), the great Mexican food, on and on. He gets excited and exclaims, "And we will live right by a Hot Topic!" The girl next to him shares his excitement too, claiming how much she also loves the store. All I can think about is Butters burning down all the Hot Topics, and I have to try really hard not to laugh at them!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And the snow just keeps coming!

Today is Tuesday; it has been snowing since Wednesday night! It just hasn't really stopped at all. The accumulation isn't necessarily huge, but it has caused quite a hindrance either way. For instance, school was canceled on Thursday, Friday, and Today, which means no work for me! I've only worked 2 days in the last 2 weeks!! Phillip had late reporting on Thursday, got sent home early from work on Friday, and didn't even have to work today. The roads on base aren't bad, nor are any of the main roads, its just all the little tiny roads that don't get plowed that are a mess. We've heard the Germans are running low on road salt, but I think that's just a rumor. In fact I just saw a salt truck go by a little while ago, they just don't plow and salt the side roads.

Funny story though, I was talking to one of the German locals who works at the Shopette on base, asking if their kids are also out of school. Her response, "Psssh, they rarely ever get out!" Haha! And its true, we see the little kids walking to school through the snow each day.

The view out the back of our house. Pretty non the less.

Phillip spending his day reading. We're pretty sick of the t.v already. Cabin fever is really starting to set in!

Clara playing in the snow! She just loves to bound through it. She's been pretty spoiled too having us at home so many days this last week!

Her little bunny feet as she jumps our retaining wall, haha!! The snow on the wall pretty much tells you how much accumulation we've gotten.

Unfortunately, Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow today, so I guess we have 6 more weeks of winter to go! Did you know though that the tradition held on Feb. 2 is German, which is the Christian holiday of Candlemas?!

Clara playing in the Snow