Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lions, Tigers and ... Zebras????

We finally made it to the Nurnberg Tiergarten (zoo). Macen has been asking to go to the zoo since early July and I have wanted to take him before school starts. Well we were running out of time and we've had some pretty crappy weather. It was chilly but the rain held off and we had a great time.
Macen is counting the zebras - there were 7. Once we got inside, he found a giraffe toy he wanted and then immediately said he wanted to see the zebras. The zebras were all the way in the back part of the zoo so it took awhile for us to get to them. Macen could care less about seeing any of the other animals. All he kept saying was let's go see the zebras.

Our summer is over

I need to take a moment to complain. We have had crappy weather for awhile now and I kept hoping the sun would come back to stay awhile but it hasn't. And it's not going to, we are at the end of August. Our summer technically ended mid-July. Ryan, it actually left with you guys.

We have been averaging mid-high 60's since the middle of July with occassional days in the 70's since then. Lately, we are lucky if it's in the 60's. Macen is already wearing winter pj's and I've turned on the heater (well it will be on after someone comes today to get it working). Macen just got out of winter pjs in April!!! So all in all, we might have had 2 months of summer. Ugh!!!!

Apparently last August it was in the 90's most of the time. So 8 months into our European stay, I have to say .....I am soooooo not impressed with the weather here. It appears to be as moody as me! My husband will appreciate that :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Good Fight

We attended a neighborhood bbq over the weekend with a huge turnout. Macen loved playing with so many kids at once. One of the neighbors has this small bounce house and after the kids were tired of bouncing in it, Macen and 2 boys close to his age got in and wrestled. They wrestled for a good amount of time without anyone getting hurt/crying/whining. It was great to let them be boys in a small, soft, confined space.
Ha ha!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Update on Mo

I took Mo back to the doctor last week for a check up and she decided he needed the surgery. So he went in on Friday and had his leg repaired. He came home with a bandage over his entire leg. I take him back tomorrow and hopefully it can be removed then. He has been fairly good with it or I should say it's still on atleast. He doesn't like it one bit though. The doctor did say he has a few more weeks in the kennel as well.

In the meantime, Myles has really stepped into Mo's shoes. He sits in our window and hisses at the cats that come to visit. He snuggles even more at night time now and no longer gets up at 5am to run around the house. Only because he doesn't have anyone to play with or chase right now. And when it's bedtime, he runs to Macens door and goes in with me when I check on Macen. It'll be interesting to see how the roles play out when Mo is free to roam again.

Update: Mo had his bandage removed and he is walking great on his leg. But he still has to spend time in the kennel. The doc put the cone on so he won't remove his stitches and he DOES.NOT like it at all. As in he has been pouting in the kennel for 24 hrs now because its on.
And the 2nd pic is just to prove to everyone that although Mo looks like he is a big cat, he really is all fur. He's pretty small under all that fluffiness.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nymphenburg Palace in Munich

I am way behind on getting these posted. We went to this palace while my mom was here.

This is the bed King Ludwig II was born in. He later went on to build the Neushwanstien and Hohenschwangau Castles in southern Bavaria.
These are from the back side of the palace. There is a large, gorgeous garden behind the palace with statues and streams.
It rained on us even though there wasn't any rain in the forecast that day. And it would downpour then stop long enough for us to get to our next location then start again. Macen's favorite part of the palace was watching the ducks, swans and geese.


There were several smaller "palaces" away from the main palace to tour. This one was all carriages. They were pretty amazing. The carriages ranged from simple to elegant to what I would consider too much. Kinda like the middle pic.


This was a separate palace on the grounds and this room was made entirely of shells. It was beautiful! I can't imagine how much time it took to create a room like this. You could look for hours to see all the detail.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My favorite town in Germany!

Oh how I love Rothenburg!
I don't know what it is about this place that I love so much but I do and it's going to be a place I return to over and over again. It was very crowded the day we went but still so enjoyable.

Right outside the wall there is a playground we let Macen play on when we first got there.

This is a familiar scene throughout Germany in the summer. Everyone puts these planted flower boxes outside their windows and it adds so much to a home or building.

Posing with Grandma

This is a scene (minus a lot of the people) you often see on books, brochures, etc of Germany. Rothenburg is one of the main tourist attractions here and this entrance into the walled area is often photographed for advertisement. Now I have my own :)

Oh what can I say about the Kathe Wohlfahrt store?!
 It's a world of its own! A Christmas lovers dream come true!
You enter the store and there are so many levels of Christmas decor and ornaments you can get lost. They don't allow pictures inside the store or I would show you the year round Christmas displays. I just may have to redo our Christmas tree decor while we are here...every year :) Just kidding husband! Maybe?

Pictures from St Jacobs Church. Still a very simple church unlike so many cathedrals here in Europe but gorgeous nontheless.
At the end of the day, we walked around a portion of the wall to get a view from above.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pictures from Afghanistan

Do you like how creative my titles are? :) The creative juices don't flow much these days but I'll work on it.
Castle built by Alexander the Great after his army came from Greece and conquered Afghanistan enroute to India. It's in the middle of the city and dominates the landscape.

Typical lunch in the Police DFAC - bread, rice, chicken, okra and watermelon. MMMM tastes good.

James in the center of a battlefield circulation with the chief of police.


Shura or meeting of village elders talking about security

ANP  (Afghan National Police) graduating from the Police Training Center James helps run

ANP graduates oath of office - one hand on a AK47 and the other on a Koran

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The life of Mo

It's Mo vs the great outdoors again!

He loves it outside and 6 years since his last rumble with the outside life, I started trusting him to go out for a little while by himself. (Remember he snorted a sticky plant up his nose from his throat and the only reason they found it was by prepping him for surgery, a surgery he didn't need.) We do not have a fenced in yard but he has proven over and over again that he stays close by and waits for me to let him back inside. This has only been going on about a month and it will probably end at a month.

Mo is looking at spending the next several weeks contained in this kennel as his knee tries to heal on its own. I have no idea what he did to it although my guess is he tried to jump up on a wooden partition we have and either he didn't make it because it was too tall for him or he didn't realize it is only about an inch wide so not wide enough to hold him after a quick jump. Anyway, I brought him inside after one of his outings and noticed immediately he couldn't walk on a hind leg. This happen to be Sunday night so we headed off to the local German vet office for an emergency visit. They did xrays and found he had torn a ligament in his knee and there is fluid in it. They will re-evaluate him in 2 weeks and see if he is healing okay and determine how much longer he will have to stay in the kennel or if he will need surgery to fix it. The doc originally told me 4-6 weeks in the kennel but I am hoping for Mo's sake that is not the case. He is not very happy about this.

And on top of that we already had an appt for him at the post vet for Monday morn because he has been pee'ing on our bed again frequently. The German vet ran some tests on him and he does have another bladder infection. So now he gets 2 medications a day.

I think there is an unspoken rule amongst all families that only 1 person down and out at a time, right?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's Volksfest time again!

The military post close by hosted a Volksfest in conjunction with celebrating the posts 100th year in operation. This one was much bigger than the one we attended in May and we had a blast.
Here are the boys walking there together. So cute! You can see the middle boys German attire known as lederhosen.

Macen enjoyed some of the rides. If you remember from the last fest we put Macen on a fast ride and he instantly disliked it. Well he wanted to ride that one again and another fast one. I didn't let him as I kew it would be a big mistake. He apparently talks a big game :) This last pic of him in the plane appeared to be a simple ride but Macen slowly got to the point where he was crying to get off it. I guess the kids can use the controls to make the ride go up and down themselves. Chris got them in the air and kept them there. Macen didn't like it and its hard to explain to 3 yr olds to come back down when they are about 6 ft above you.

They also had a jump house Macen and Chris played in. It was in the shape of a train but it had a decent slide they climbed up to from the inside. The boys loved it! Macen also played several carnival games and won some prizes. He played a game where you throw balls to knock down stacked cans. The Germans working it were great with the boys and kept giving them extra balls to throw. Then Macen got to play throw the darts at the balloons. While his darts never quite made it to the balloons, several of moms did so he got another prize.

There was a ton of food at the fest - both American and German. The American food were booths set up by different units or groups on post as fundraisers. Above is a pic of a German booth. This "grill" was huge, the entire size of the pit. I don't know what kind of meat they were grilling but they put it on a skewer about a foot long and then gave you a bun to hold it right in the middle. I wish I would have gotten a pic of someone with one. Just imagine this little bun with a stick of meat hanging out from both sides.