Monday, December 5, 2011

Things from the Weekend.

I celebrated my 27th birthday last week, and it was a grand day!  It was a really wonderful weekend, actually. 

Went on a long walk with the pups, and took a few last shots of my favorite time of year.  {am I the only one still desperately clinging to the last bits of Autumn?} I'm so sad to see it leave.

My friend Christina took me to a used book store, {on Base} so all the books were in ENGLISH!  I bought just a few.

And just as I was driving back home, a met a man in our driveway holding a BEAUTIFUL floral arrangement in his hands.  From my parents :)

'Pretty' is rarely a sufficient word for such blooms.

Mom Ogden sent this absolutely adorable apron a few days ago.  I've actually never owned an apron!  Well, I'm in love with this cute thing. {It's so darling that I almost don't want to get it dirty!}

A few other weekend activities:  Going to Metz, France Christmas Market.  I have to was a little bit of a let-down.  With the exception of the ferris wheel.  
Ate stuffed mushrooms, à la Dani:

 Nom nom.

And played a serious game of Texas Hold 'em.

So it was a really fun and full weekend.  

Our friends are our family over here.  I hate to see some of them moving on and leaving, but these are the friends that we'll have for a lifetime! 


Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving in Germany!

So I've been busy.  

Lots of events, gatherings, appointments, and dates have prevented me from sitting down and writing a bit about what's new in Stambach.  Nothing too new, but there are definitely a few things worth documenting here.  

We had THREE TURKEY dinners this year.  One with John Deere Expats, one with our close friends, and one with our church.  I brought the camera to only one of those.  {and later realized that I didn't even take a picture of the TURKEY?!?  Or any of the supremely delicious food!  How'd I miss that?}  

So, last Saturday was the dinner at our church, upon many requests from our fellow German brothers and sisters.  Turkey, cider, pies, and football all made an appearance, and overall, it was a really great time.

Simple decorations. 

A few fun crafts. {for the girls}

 Games.  {for the boys}

We all had plenty of things to be thankful for, so writing them down was one way to count our blessings.  This game was pretty basic, but fun.  You write one thing you're thankful for, and the last letter of that word will become the first letter for the next word.  German or English intermixed made it interesting and a little tough at times.

And plus this big paper....well, everyone got a chance to write down a few of their many blessings.

Fun times to be had!  

What are just a few things I'm thankful for?

My hubby.  
{and those black, furry, sweet little pups snuggling with him.}

Pink skies.
{this took my breath away.}

Nature's delicate little wonders.

And above all, most importantly, dearest to my heart, and treasure of my soul, I am thankful for my Lord Jesus Christ.  

ALL of the above would not be, if it weren't for Him.   

He is my everything.  Absolutely nothing in this world compares.  Or even comes remotely close to comparing to the awesomeness and perfect beauty and goodness of my Heavenly Father.

I hope everyone else had a thankful Thanksgiving!  I know, everyone is in Christmas mode already, but I wasn't about to let this slip by without sharing with you all what I'm glad for.

{and I'm really, REALLY thankful for all of you who are reading this right now!  Friends are precious.}


Sunday, November 6, 2011

An Outrageous Task.

It's been a really beautiful week here in Stambach.  The autumn colors are at their fullest and brightest, and it simply takes my breath away when I'm surrounded by such vivid beauty.

As you might have guessed, I am documenting just about every moment of it.

{Please excuse squatting dog.}

Seeing something as stunningly gorgeous and splendidly colored as the fall leaves, leaves me practically insane to gobble up as many photos as I can.  

But something strange happens when I look at something so beautiful.  There's a desperate, kind of freak-out thing my brain does....because the one thing that makes my heart truly sink, is seeing a photographic moment---and it slipping away from you before you have a chance to capture it.  Heart. Crushed.  

And I feel this way about Autumn.  The colors burst into their fullest of glory {overnight!}, and only remain on the trees for one week!  So it's this hurried rush that I feel, in order to freeze all that beauty onto a photograph.  

This is my Numero Uno, stumbling block.

Camping out in the middle of the woods has crossed my mind.  Really, it has.  Pretty sure I could sit in one spot for the entirety of a day, shooting pictures in all different lights and weather.  I know, I can be a little dire sometimes ;)  

Nate is the greatest supporter of me and Mr. Canon7D, and yet he occasionally reminds me to just stop. Enjoy.  No pictures.


But I've been convicted of my frenzied attempt to get it all on camera.  It's a greed, hunger, obsession, whatever you want to call it.  I realize how silly it is for me to think with desperation.  And it's much too daunting of a task!  Every nook and cranny of this countryside is Nat. Geo worthy.  Not that my photos are even remotely close to National Geographic standards, mind you.  But those of you who live in Deutschland know what I mean! 

So, feeling a little annoyed with myself, slightly crazy, frustrated and a bit cranky, a wonderful solution came to mind.  

Find autumnal items.     Multiple colors/shades.     Photograph.     Collage via Picasa.     voilà!

This is one way to capture and remember the year's autumn colors without fret or fear of missing out on any photo opportunities!  Really nothing new here...just a collage of pretty colors.  Well, new realization for me I guess.  My choleric-melancholy personality needs to take a BREAK sometimes.  It's exhausting!

Sorry for the long writing.  Read this:
{Habakkuk 2:14}
"For the earth will be filled with knowledge of the GLORY of the Lord..."
If little Stambach is "filled with such glory" I'm confident that wherever you are, God's glory is clearly defined.

Enjoy this final picture of what autumn has to offer...can't forget the purple sunsets.

Happy November, lovely people!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apples + Sugar + Cinnamon = Mushy Deliciousness.

prononciation:  ap·fell·moose

Also know as APPLESAUCE.  

Last Sunday, wewent over to our friends' house and gave canning applesauce a first try.  

It was a team effort :)

And that is what I did today.  I peeled, chopped, boiled, canned, and sealed homemade Apfelmus, again.
{Thank you, to my sweet friend Christina who had the two apple trees in her yard.}

They were bubblin' and brewin' away!   My home smelled like mulled cider.  

Which is about as close to Apple Cider I'll get while over here in Germany.  
Haven't found jugs or jars or bottles of it anywhere. I am quite sad about that.  I mean, Germany comes up with Gluhwein (hot, spiced wine) but no cider?!    

Anyhoo, my friend Sarah brought over this massive electric canner, which was new to me.  Pretty nifty, actually.  Hinged, glass canning jar have to be cooked for 20 minutes in boiling water.  With the sauce in it already, lids closed and all.  All you have to do it dump water in the tub and let it do the work of sealing.  

{Isn't she so cute!}

And I really like the jars.  So cute and old-fashioned.  Much more practical than the boring old Mason jars.  Although, in summer time I chug cold lemonade out of those big boys.  I'm grateful for the 'meager five' 1 liter jars.  Also grateful that Nate isn't as in-love with applesauce as I am. So that means 


My german friends think I'm nuts for eating applesauce by the bowlful.  Generally, it's used alongside potatoes or some kind of sweet dessert.  {Really??  Potatoes.  Hmmm, might have to think about that one for a while.}  I'll be sticking to PLAIN applesauce, thank you very much.

Well, that was my day today...hope I haven't yet bored ya'll with my everyday doings.  I promise something a little more thrilling, next time.  Now go eat some applesauce.

Much Saucy Love,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

25 ways to wear a scarf.

With it being autumn, I wear a scarf nearly every single day.  Actually, the scarf-season is more like a year-round thing over here in Germany.  

I came across this really awesome video, maybe some of you have already seen it.

So fun!  Although your wallet might suffer, now you have 25 new looks.

I am really regretting not buying a few more from these stands in Israel!  I mean, look at these COLORS.  Color makes my eyes happy.

 So now, a visit to Ruche online shop is going to happen.

 I would have to say that the scarf, neck-wrap, shawl...whatever you call it, is Fashion's greatest and most versatile item.  Wouldn't you agree?   

I wish I could convince Nate to wear them.  He argues that a scarf is the farthest thing from 'manly'.  I totally disagree!

Well, I'm off to sort through my collection and maybe add to it.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anniversary Gifts.

October 12th will always be one of the BEST days in the year.  

{Aren't we cute?}

Some of the reasons (out of about one million) why I fell in love with Nate, is because he may possibly be the most oddly charming person I've ever met.

The goofier the gift, the better it is.  At least I think that's his logic...

I had a seriously good laugh when I came across this little package of love.

And hey, I can't complain!  Everything is useful and somewhat practical (eh, maybe not the Jäger.  Or the candy. Or the movie.)

Whatever!  It's the thought that counts.  The guy knows how to make me smile :)

He's great, I love him, I'll keep him.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him--a threefold cord is not quickly broken."{Ecclesiastes 4:9-12}

The rewards of working together are always better than the end product of your own workings!  Note "toil."  Definition: to work extremely hard or incessantly.  {That doesn't mean that teamwork is a pleasant process the whole entire time.  I mean, let's be real here!}  

I have physically fallen on my face, and I'm amazed at how easily Nate can grab my arm and pull me up.  He's strong.  Scary strong.

At night, I am a leech for warmth.  So, yes without the 160 lb. heater next to me, I'd freeze.

Any believing couple out there knows that this world (aka: the devil's playground) is out to get us, and rip marriages apart.  Thankfully with God being our ever constant help, this strand-of-three plans to keep on keepin' on!  Bring it.

I thank the Lord every single day for his goodness in giving me my hubby.  He's pretty darn special, wouldn't trade him for the world.

Thanks for reading, peeps.  Hope all you married lovers out there can stop and appreciate the tangible gift standing/sitting/lying next to you!!  God is so good to us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Pumpkin Weekend.

Last Saturday AND Sunday, we went to the Kürbis Fest in Hitscherhof. We got a taste of pumpkin cake and spiced apple wine, and of course I left with a few hand-crafted goodies.  Friends, Christina and Geoff and their 4 kids, (well, 5 if you count their 100 lb. Newfoundland dog) came along.  Made for a fun afternoon on Sunday!   

I'm discovering that the greatest things about traveling and visiting little events such as this one, is eating the food!  Local treats and's all amazing.  One must have a willing palate, and it has resulted in new tastes and culinary inspirations for me.

My favorite cake was a savory green pumpkin, coffee tort with a lemon icing. Yum.  I miss canned Libby's Pumpkin Puree, so I suppose if I'm motivated enough (which after this weekend I am) making my own pumpkin mash will need to be done.  

So, if any of you, my lovely readers, have delicious pumpkin dessert recipes, I'll take 'em!  I only have one recipe, from the Fabulous Natasha Koch Kitchen, and it's pretty much the most amazing thing I've ever eaten in my entire life. I eat it all.  Down to the last crumb.  By myself.   

Okay!  Now drooling.  Rabbit trail, sorry.  Moving on, have a look at some pictures of the weekend.

I am in LOVE with anything and all things that have to do with owls.  I want my own Hedwig.  This one looks either sleep-dreprived, doped up, or very angry.  Either way, it made me laugh and is still dreadfully cute.  (Notice baby owl in lower left!  Eeee!)

And we couldn't figure out what this woolen thing was...a hat seemed the most appropriate, at the moment...

 It was all quite lovely!  Festive and fun, it put me in the mood for cozy cable sweaters, hot drinks, harvest time, and chilly nights.

I know it's midweek already, I apologize for the late posting.  But I just had to share some of the weekend with you!

Love you all so much,

(one random side note, I really like ivy.  This was too pretty!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Permanent Chalkboard

Every time I visit a home decor wesite or my all-time favorite Vivaterra, I remember how badly I want a large CHALKBOARD.

You know, the kinds you see in sweet little kitchens, bistros and cafes.

Then I notice the price, and consider making my own or just living without.  Choosing the latter, I hadn't thought about searching for one in a while.  And to be sincere, I had serious doubts that I'd use the blackboard as often as a Schoolmarm or menu-planning Sous Chef.  

However, new inspiration has come along!  Psalm 1 is one of those chapters in the Bible that can (and should!) form a family's lifestyle.  Who would want to erase that off a chalkboard?!

So I painted it on.

On canvas, of course.  


"firmly planted" is my favorite part of this verse.

Yesterday while walking Boomer and Wrigley I walked through a grove of apple trees, chock-full of fruit.  Delicious, white fleshed, red veined apples.  Of course, all within arm's reach, the tree had been plucked clean of apples.  I wasn't the only one enjoying it!  Well, I was reminded of this part of the verse...clearly, these trees were solid.  Planted firmly.  Producing (very tasty) fruit.

And I so want to be like that!

A firmly grounded, strong rooted, fruit producing family.
So, I'm glad I can't erase this's a daily reminder for me to plug into God's Word, and glean the most out of Scripture.

So, that was my weekend project.

Thought I'd add one picture in which Boomer insisted on being in.  This is his after-dinner routine...sniffing for crumbs on the kitchen floor.  Never fails.  Every single night.  A little distortion going on in this shot, but it's classic Boomer, and I thought you all might enjoy it :)

Have a beautiful weekend, friends!