Tuesday, December 20, 2016


These first few snippets are of the first Santa visit of the year. Jane, and her sweet giving little heart, decided that since Santa always gave people presents, that we should bring HIM a present. So we made our very favorite chocolate chip cookies, and she bravely and silently handed him her sweet little offering as she wide-eyed and cautiously got close enough to sit on his lap. (I like to think she has been more service-minded lately as we have been trying to do the #Lighttheworld challenge- service every day in december) She was so excited but also fighting a case of stranger danger real hard; you could see it etched in her scared little eyes, the inner battle she was fighting. She sat on his lap, wordless, with her fingers tightly clasped so she wouldn't have to touch him! Lyla was next. She took one good hard look into his face and started whining and was instantly UNIMPRESSED. You can see the sheer terror in her eyes as well.

 Couldn't muster a smile. Jane walked away chatting her happy little mouth off about her encounter with the jolly old man. She added at the end "and uhm, I forgot to tell him what I wanted but THAT'S OK! I CAN WRITE HIM A LETTER!" So write him a letter she did, and it's great because I can hold her accountable to what she wrote to him in the letter that she wants "4 princess crowns" and not the 10 other things she has randomly decided on in the weeks since. ;)

 And now on to the Christmas Markets! We've been to 5 or 6 this year I think and they have all been so fun. There is always some sort of swing or carousel at every market and Jane relentlessly begs to ride each and every one she sees! But I think the coolest ride she got to do this year was a camel ride! Rachelle was nice enough to take her with her. Jane discovered what a camel hump feels like, and while waiting in line to ride, I discovered that camels pee for a REALLY long time. Never-ending streams I'm tellin' ya. All the markets that have animals are a hit for the girls. Ponies, camels, goats, owls, sheep, llamas, etc! Like a nativity-themed zoo! We just love walking around and looking at all the different booths but I have the worst buyers anxiety when trying to decide on ornaments or nativities. It's a problem. On the flip side, I have no problem whatsoever in buying a crepe from every stand I walk by. Kinda kidding because there actually is such a thing as being "all crepe'd out" but we did eat a sweet ones and a few savory ones. It's a perfect little meal for me and the girls to share as we walk around!
Rothenburg calls for a college roomie selfie! It was so fun to have Rachelle here for a little over a week. We drove to a lot of places, and the driving part was always one of my favorites because we just talked the whole time. Just like the good old days. She also totally won over both of my girls by playing "cats" and running around chasing them around the house. It was so fun to have my college universe and my mom universe collide for a few days :)
Sharing a Shneeballen. Kinda a gross dessert, but one of Rothenburg's famous foods. Rothenburg is still my favorite city in Germany. 3rd time coming and I love it every time! December is the absolute BEST month to come though! It is like stepping into an alternate universe where only Christmas, happiness, beautifully decorated christmas trees, and elves exist, where no house and no doorway goes undecorated; and who doesn't want to live in a world like that?
 Weiden Christmas Market with my squirmy, sassy little girl :)

^^ walking into the concentration camp. it's not a very busy one, and there aren't any graphic things so don't worry! I hesitated to do this, but I did sit down with Jane to give her the kid-friendly version of the story.
^^ Asking an endless stream of questions. I love it as long as they are questions that have actual answers. 
 ^^ this day we went to Flossenberg. We went to a concentration camp and to some castle ruins. We hiked up to the ruins and Jane did it all by herself without any complaining. I was so proud because it was really steep. We may have crossed a small hurdle with her because we havent brought a stroller or a carrier for her on any of our recent outings! She's growing up and coming to peace with the fact that "walking is good exercise and makes my legs stronger!" Hallelujah!

Now on to some random pics. Can't go without sharing a picture of Lyla plopped on her daddy's lap reading. We both read her SO many books, and being read to is TOTALLY her love language!
Have to share this picture of my missionary brother. Being a straight faced goof with his old man pose. He is hilarious. But even more so, he is thriving, and serving, and doing so much good. This is a picture of a family that he and his companion taught and baptized. I am so proud of him and can't wait to talk to him on Christmas!
This was such a fun night. Those little trains don't look like much, but Rachelle can attest to how much time it took me to make them, and because she helped me a lot with them! (out of diaper boxes OF COURSE) We invited some good friends over, and the kids sat in their little trains and drank hot cocoa (with LOTS of marshmallows), watching The Polar Express, while the adults cooked and ate dinner together. They didn't last long watching the movie because they'd rather run around and play together- which I admit I totally LOVE! So glad Jane has so many good friends here, and that Jeff and I do too!

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