Sunday, December 25, 2016

Playing Catch Up

The past couple of weeks have flown by in preparation for Christmas, trying to get in the last few things we wanted to do here in Munich and hanging out with friends.

On the 15th, the kids and I met friends at another Christmas market during the day.  We weren't even there for a couple of hours since it got really cold.  We did enjoy some wurst--the kids liked the bratwurst, I really liked the Rote Wurst (red sausage)--Pommes frites (french fries), roasted nuts and kinderpunsch.  The wares were pretty similar to what we had seen at other places but they had an section with animatronic characters.  There was a moose, Hansel and Gretel, and several Santa Clauses.  They sang or told stories.  There was also a large sleigh.  All of the kids wanted to sit on the reindeer, of course.  We had a good time with friends that day.

The next night,  Hyrum and I found a babysitter and went on a date, the first time since leaving the states.   It was nice to spend an evening together.  It was only a couple of hours but it was nice to have someone else put the kids to bed and we could enjoy a dinner without worry about who was going to spill their water.  We wandered about a bit and just enjoyed an evening in the city.

Christmas has been on everyone's minds.  We didn't bring any decorations from home so we've made a lot.  One thing I wanted to get while we were here was a nativity set.  I've been looking for the past 11 years and haven't found one I loved.  The Marienplatz Christmas market has a section that is just nativity supplies.  We went there and I found a beautiful nativity.  It's plain, simple but I love it. I'll build a stable when we get home but this will do for now.

We put that up and then the other thing we lacked were stockings.  At home, we have boots that go under the tree.  We weren't sure what to do this year so Hyrum gave Hannah the responsibility of devising something for Santa to put gifts in.  We ended up decorating cereal boxes.  The kids had a blast doing that.

We also had some friends over to make Christmas cookies.  I didn't get any pictures of that since I was up to my elbows in dough and sugar most of the time, but my friend shared hers.  It was a bit chaotic with seven kids running around "helping" us make cookies but after the friends left, I realized how grateful I was for them.  It's been lonely these past months and it was nice to share some of our life with some new friends.

I finished the blanket I was crocheting.  I love finishing projects, especially when they are so useful!

This is our mug collection from the Christmas markets we attended.  A fun souvenir from our time here, this holiday season.

Wednesday this past week we went ice skating at the Olympic park.  It was so fun.  I love ice skating.  We were there for nearly two hours.  Hannah, Jonathan and Charlotte spent almost the entire time on the ice while Hyrum and i switched on and off with the little boys who were happy to watch and wander around the seats in the rink.  There was a group of high school students there with us but it wasn't too bad.  It was great day together as a family doing something fun.

Outside the ice rink.  It was really foggy and cold.  In places, the cobblestones were icy as we
walked to the rink.  It would be a great place to explore in warmer weather though..

That afternoon Hyrum and I finished Christmas shopping.  I tried on some dirndls and we had one last mug of kinderpunsch.

This past week, I/we have tried to do something Christmas related every night with the kids.  Monday and Tuesday, we watched the First Presidency Christmas.  I am grateful for President Eyring's remarks and reminders about peace.  Wednesday, we sent postcards to some widowed and single women in our ward at home.  We had the kids each write one postcard.  Mostly they drew pictures and the older kids wrote a sentence.  Thursday, we watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and then Friday, we worked on a Christmas present for Hyrum's sister.

And then it was  . . . CHRISTMAS!!

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