Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We took a cable car to the top of the Karwendel mountain. The cables go much further than you can see in the pic below but it was a cloudy day. From the top, we would have been able to see the Bavarian, Austrian and Italian Alps. 

Inside this tube is some info about the wildlife around the mountain. At both ends, you should be able to see down the mountain but we had a very foggy day.

There is a restaurant at the top we ate at and then went outside for some snowball fights. The snow was perfect for snowballs. So good they stuck to Macens gloves. He loved playing in the snow.
The view of Mittenwald as we are coming back down the cable car

Next we walked along a trail to get to a waterfall. We followed a small, wooden gangway along the gorge just like they do in movies. We walked quite a distance back to the waterfall which put us in Austria. We had a side view of the waterfall but hearing it and feeling the mist coming from it was pretty amazing! And as we were walking back to the entrance, JJ dropped his umbrella and it fell all the way down to the water. We had a good laugh at him.

A beautiful day of scenery!

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

 This is the entrance into the camp and the above means Work sets you free
                                          The prison

A sculpture of malnourished, tangled bodies

The 3 above are from the bunkers where the prisoners "lived"

 Next to the crematory there is a beautiful memorial path we followed.

The crematory

It was a very moving place to visit. The museum was filled with a lot of detailed info and gave a very clear picture of the cruelty that occured on site.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


We headed to Pottenstein today which is isn't far from us at all. They have a cave which we didn't make it to but we did find the summer sledding.
JJ and Stacy went up the track and then did some winding through the trees and then came back down. You can control your speed yourself on the cars. Macen wanted to do it after they got back but I think he would have flipped out when we got to the top. We put him on this little race car instead and I actually paid for it to move. He was not happy and kept hollering for us to get him off.

Then we went to see the kangaroos. They were small ones and were able to hide in the grass and weeds pretty well. We did get to see them moving around some.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Schwabach + Fest

Stacy and JJ have arrived and will be staying with us for little bit. After picking them up from the airport, we went to the town of Schwabach. This town has some significance to our family (me &Stacy) so thought I'd show them the town. We parked in an underground parking garage and took the elevator up to the city center. The front of the elevator was glass and as we came up, we found a fest waiting for us. We were all a little surprised and Macen came to life. He rode some rides and played some games. Stacy and JJ rode the ferris wheel.

There isn't much too see in Schwabach. They are known for making things in gold, especially gold foil. And they have added the gold to the roof of the town hall as you can see in the pic below.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Missing daddy

I just took this and thought I'd share. Macen has taken quite the liking to his daddy doll lately. It has started going places with us occassionally. Usually he loses grip of it once he falls asleep but this time it appears he's not letting go.

A week or two ago, Macen had a rough several days dealing with James being gone. He started saying daddy was going to be gone forever and he wanted to go to work with daddy forever or waking up and immediately saying he needed to write daddy a note. It was some insight to what he is thinking 3 months into this deployment. He is better with it right now but I am sure we will hit another rough patch or several before these 12 months are up.

Jump, bounce, fall...

I think it's safe to say Macen has bounced his way through the last several months. We attended a birthday party with a bounce house the other day. It was huge which was great because there were lots of kids! We were there 3 1/2 hrs and I think Macen left it for a total of 15 mins. He loves these things!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


We attended a 9/11 BBQ today in memory of those lives who were lost that fateful day. We all know where we were and what we were doing 9 years ago today. It was a day that changed our lives as we knew it. And amongst the thousands who died, 11 were Germans. Thank you to all who fight for our daily freedom.

James, today marks the 3rd 9/11 you spend in Iraq/Afghanistan. Thank you for being the man you are and making the sacrifices you do for us. We love you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hahnbach's Corn Maze

There is a corn maze in a nearby town we checked out. It was the day of a kids fest but Macen only wanted to play on the stacked hay.

As you can see, there are 3 levels of hay. Macen started off jumping from the 2nd level to the 1st and then decided he was jumping from the 2nd level to the ground. It was pretty far for someone his age/size as you can see he had some issues getting from one level to the next. But he loved it! As I told James, I wasn't sure if I should make him stop or be proud he was being so adventurous. I chose to be proud. And we were already half way to Amberg where the hospital is so not much of a drive if we had to get there quickly :) Gotta let them live and learn.

The main attraction I was looking forward to was the corn maze. This thing was huge! At the entrance they give you a quick glance at what it looks like and then you are suppose to find 5 stations and get stamps on your paper. Then you entered it in for a drawing for something (language barrier issues again). Well none of that mattered because Macen was very upset I was making him do the corn maze when there were perfectly good hay bales to jump off of. I managed to get us thru about 5 mins worth when I decided it was too big to fight him all the way through it. So I left it up to him to get us back out as you can see him giving directions above. And don't let that last pic fool you, he was only that happy because we were getting out of there and he had been promised more bale jumping.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Moving around Afghanistan

This is from a weapon seizure where they foound more than 200 different weapons underneath some logs in the back of a truck

Afghan houses - made with brick and then coated with mud, very primitive. Some of the bigger cities such asQalat, Kandahar, and Kabul have more modern building techniques but most houses in the country look like this

Patches of green in the desert show what happens when you drill awell and irrigate some crops

Mountains of Afghanistan

James with a member of the ANP

James in a blackhawk