Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Resolutions and goals

So now this may seem long, but those who know me, know that that is just me :) So this year I decided that since I have a habit of setting unachievable resolutions I would divide my list up into actual resolutions (achievable tasks) and goals (ongoing attempts).

So by writing this here and informing others I feel more inclined to follow through, and I will write one post at the end of each month talking about what progress I have or have not made. And at the end of the year we will see how well it all turned out.

So first I will start of with resolutions. I define these as achievable tasks. Now if I were to say I will do x every day, then once I failed to do it one day I would feel as if I had failed so anything falling into that category will fall under goals.

Resolutions:
1. Wedding album- get pictures printed and wedding album completed (I was given a beautiful wedding album as a wedding gift from my mother and would like to finish it.)

2. Write 12 letters or Postcards home (12 in one year to 12 different people, goal once a month but with flex room)

3. Complete the Bob Greene Program (Years back I paid for an online weight loss program but never did it, it is no longer active but I can still access all the materials, I figured I would complete the program and that is more practical then telling myself I must lose x amount of pounds, this is a 3 month program)

4. Watch 4 movies a month with hubby, one rented (this can be on tv, but one new rented film a month, this is a way to get us off of the computer and spending time together, the ultimate goal is once a week, but by saying 4 a month that gives flex room)

5. Reading: English- 24 books (2 a month) 12 magazines (1 a month), German- 10 books, 5 magazines

6. Write 15 blogs a month (main blog), 1 a month (side blog)

7. Treat myself monthly- goal 1 clothing related item, one cosmetic or body, 1 book, and 1 household item (can be used, traded, second hand, the idea is just to treat myself but also stay frugal with my treats)

8. Visit 10 castles

9. Visit 10 museums

10. Finish my homemaking binder

11. Make a recipe book

12. Try 1 new recipe a week

13. 2 fold part 1) Finish the integrations course and 2) pass the b1 test

14. *secret*

15. Read the bible cover to cover

16. two fold 1) get my drivers license and 2) learn to drive stick shift

17. Complete the future homemakers program (its like a home ec course learning to maintain a home)

18. Start crafting and complete 10 projects

19. 2 date nights a month- one at home and one out, take turns planning

20. Get out of the house and meet a friend 2 times a month

21. Attempt a new baking recipe once a month

22. Stay in my OCD mailing group a full year (means keeping up with the posting requirements)

23. Go walking at least 3 times a week

24. Complete 5 small monthly mini goals/ projects

Now onto Goals. These are things to work on but not necessarily trackable.

1. Read 30 minutes a day

2. spend less then 1 hour a evening online (need to spend more time with my husband)

3. eat healthier

4. work on being a Proverbs 31 wife

5. Watch more German tv and read more German

6. Start Journaling

7. Keep a clean house

8. have dinner ready when hubby gets home

9. work on improving communication skills and responding to anger in a healthy manner

10. work on OCD with behavior therapy

11. work on Photography

Now my 5 mini goals/ projects for January:

1. File all loose papers
2. organize loose cords
3. clean out kitchen cupboards
4. organize bookmarks on computer
5. Clean out email

Whew that was waaaaay to long.

:)

Wish me luck

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Power of google

Here is the next round of random things people googled that led them to my blog. Enjoy :)



themen aktuell +german +english
deutschland friend
Deutschland ist, wo mein Herz is
originale nikolaus maske
knecht ruprecht poem translation
Sankt Nikolaus & Knecht Ruprecht, Deutschland

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Over 1,000 Views

Wow, thanks so much to everyone who continues to read my blog, it really means the world to me.


 VISITS
  
  Total1,253  
  Average Per Day3  
  Average Visit Length3:14  
  Last Hour0  
  Today2  
  This Week23  
  
  PAGE VIEWS
  
  Total2,323  
  Average Per Day6  
  Average Per Visit1.8  
  Last Hour0  
  Today2  
  This Week41  

Monday, December 28, 2009

Please leave your name and number and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

So after a lot of hurt feelings and complications regarding Skype I thought I would take a moment to address this issue.

Now for those who do not communicate with me via skype then feel free to just skip this entry :)

Now most of you know I have a skype account with a local number that allows people to call me, and also me to call both land and cell lines. But I think a lot of people overlook the fact that this is all linked through my computer. That said the likelihood of reaching me is based solely on if I am online at the exact moment. So it is better treated as a message number, leave me a voicemail and I can call back.

But I also tend to get a lot of calls in the late evening, which is no problem at all, but please to not be offended when I do not call back right away. We have a 9 hour time difference so if anyone calls me after say 11am home time I will likely not be online and wont even see the call until the next day, when you are then asleep.

I do have a overseas number that I can give anyone if you really need to reach me asap, you can get great rates with a calling card, but that is the only way to be assured to reach me at any time.

Thanks so much for your understanding

Best wishes

Rena

What my blog means to me

This is a topic that I have thought quiet extensively about. What exactly is this blog and what does it mean to me? I have contemplated creating side blogs but decided just to keep everything mashed together.

So what is this blog to me?

Well first and foremost this started out as a travel blog. I traveled to Germany for a summer and this was my means to keep my family updated on what was going on with my travels. As I later relocated abroad it continued to serve this purpose. But at the same time it has expanded to include other topics.

This is also a journal blog, my days, my thoughts, and my struggles. What I have learned and what I still strive to learn.

It is also a journey my life as a fast paced college student suddenly thrown into the role of a homemaker in a entirely foreign world. From recipes to funny stories, this is my daily adventures.

It is also a community with other bloggers. YOu will often see activities that I include that link back to other blogs.

So I came to the conclusion that it is fine just the way it is. This is a reflection of me, and written by me and at the same time for me.

I am thankful for everyone who enjoys my blog from my family and friends back home, to my blogging buddies, and even those who stumbled upon me via varies mediums and enjoyed what I have written. I hope that I can continue to write interesting posts that appeals to everyone who was drawn to my blog for varies reasons.

Lots of love

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas



Though we are thousands of miles away, you are with us everyday in our hearts.

I wish that I could have been home to celebrate with you.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Free craft and recipe ebooks

If you can't tell already I am a huge fan of free downloadable ebooks. I think it is a great resource. Now I can't read novels online, but I love free recipe and craft books.

I cam across all free crafts and discovered they had a free ebook section all books are in pdf format.


They have a variety of books:
Family Casseroles
Healthy Christmas recipes
How to Crochet
and much more

check it out :)


Get them here

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Enjoying the little things

I think that too often in life we become bogged down in the chaos and often forget to enjoy the simple things in life. So here are my top ten favorites, just small things that will always put a smile on my face or make me feel better.

1. Sitting at the window with warm chicken broth and watching the snow flakes

2. Curling up in bed with way to many blankets and a good book

3. A bubbles bath with a nice red wine and a good book

4. My husbands face when he comes home and sees a suprise- be it a clean house or dinner, most often dinner hehe

5. Seeing my family on webcam

6. Receiving letters or postcards from back home, oh and packages too :P

7. Good books, the kinds you cant put down and want to stay up all night reading

8. The smell of baking bread and cookies

9. Dancing around the house

10. Listening to my birds chirp, that is of course when they are not screeching ha

So what simple things make you happy?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

Here is my next posts of admission :)

Sorry if I repeat anything, I didn't have a chance to check the previous posts.

1. I enjoy playing kids games online. Like Neopets. That and facebook applications like Farmville :)

2. Nothing brought me more joy then watching ET in German and understanding what they said.

3 I drink juice from the carton, but yell at others when they do the same.....hypocrite, hypocrite lol

4. I see no problem in regifting and I am more then happy to receive regifted gifts lol

5. I read multiple books at the same time

6. I read magazines from the back to the front

7. I lay out not only my clothes for the week every sunday, but also the coordinating cosmetics and jewelry

8. I love to cut up magazines and make collages that represent how I feel

9. I am very fond of smells, not gross smells, but peoples natural scents. I could probably find my friends while blindfolded purely by their scent... ring a bell to the film Perfume much... creepy

10. I enjoy talking to inanimate objects, especially when they piss me off ...

so what skeletons are hiding in your closet ???

Friday, December 18, 2009

Free Craft Patterns

I cam across the website youcanmakethis.com through the Happy house Wife's blog.

I was delighted to see that they have a ton of free downloads in high quality pdf formats.

They also have a huge stock of patterns that can be purchased.

This site does require you create a free user name. But I did not have any issues, and was not required to make any purchases.

You can see the selection of free downloads here. They also have other free ones on their blog.

Enjoy

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What English sounds like to foreigners



This is rather interesting lol.

Kids say the darndest things

First Graders thoughts/writing about the ocean:

1) - This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles.

(Kelly,
age 6)

2) - Oysters' balls are called pearls.

(Jerry, age 6)

3) - If you are surrounded by ocean you are an Island.

If you don't have
ocean all round you, you are incontinent.

(Wayne, age 7)

4) - Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily
Richardson. She's not my friend any more.

(Kylie, age 6)

5) - A dolphin breaths through an asshole on the top of its head.

(Billy, age 8)

6) - My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots
and comes back with crabs.

( Millie, age 6)

7) - When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the
ocean.

Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to
make the wind come.

My brother said they would have been better off
eating beans.

(William, age 7)

8) - Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids.

They are beautiful and
I like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant?
Like, really? (Helen, age 6)

9) - I'm not going to write about the ocean.

My baby brother is always
crying, my Dad keeps yelling at my Mom, and my big sister has just got
pregnant, so I can't think what to write.

(Amy, age 6)

10) - Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting.

Electric eels can
give you a shock.

They have to live in caves under the sea where I think
they have to plug themselves into chargers.

(Christopher, age 7)

11) - When you go swimming in the ocean, it is very cold, and it makes
my willy small.

(Kevin, age 6)

12) - Divers have to be safe when they go under the water.

Divers can't
go down alone, so they have to go down on each other.

(Becky, age 8)

13) - On vacation my Mom went water skiing.

She fell off when she was
going very fast.

She says she won't do it again because water fired
right up her big fat ass.

(Julie, age 7)

14) - The ocean is made up of water and fish.

Why the fish don't drown I
don't know.

(Bobby, age 6)

15) - My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean.

What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom.

(James, age 7)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Updated Christmas Crafts

So I decided due to the short notice, I did not want to go over board or set myself up for faliure. So I taimed it back a bit here is my final plan.

For my Christmas party friday I am doing a party platter with onion and ranch dip with veggies and chips. Plus I will bring the always famous kool aid.

Mother in law, father in law, oma in law- a home made american christmas cd, a hot chocoalte gift set (see details below), and homemade peanut butter cookies

Brother in law will get a standard purchased gift

Hot chocolate gift set:
a oversized mug, cocoa powder, sugar cubes, tea bisquits, cinamon sticks, and marshmellows. With hand written instruction card for my favorite cocoa.

Peanut butter cookies- will be my friend Sarahs recipe.

I am also going to do a cheese cake attempt with my mother in law. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

4th of July Recipes and crafts free ebook

I found this today and thought I would share it with you guys. It downloads as a pdf, you can just file and save.

It is a 69 page, full color ebook.

Totally free with no catches.

Show your American pride with this downloadable collection of craft projects to decorate, wear and entertain on the 4th of July. Find the perfect July 4th recipes to complete your celebrations.
Let's celebrate this great nation! At FaveCrafts.com, we put together this collection of patriotic craft projects to decorate your home or wear to the fireworks, BBQs and other festivities. Whether you prefer to sew, crochet or create beautiful accents from paper, you will find just the right craft project to show your American pride. We even have some great 4th of July craft projects for kids.
This eBook also includes a 4th of July recipe collection that will create a great spread, but won’t leave you panting over a hot stove all day. These summer recipes are quick and easy and are sure to please even the pickiest eaters.


Get it here

Monday, December 14, 2009

A daring Christmas

So I am planning this year to make christmas gifts.

I do intent to attempt baking once again, but have some fall back options in place.

Here is what I am thinking

Mother and father in law- a fresh cut veggie platter with onion, ranch, and hummus dips - Anyone know the shelf life after they are mixed?

Brother in law- Peanut butter and sugar cookies

Grandmother in law- Herbed rice mix

I would also like to attempt a cake to bring with us. I have a great recipe for buttermilk pie, or was thinking of making a cheese cake.

I also found easy cheese ball recipes.

Have you ever made Christmas presents? How did your turn out?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Meal Plan

I am still tweeking our meal plan, but this is what I have come up with for this week. I want to expand and try new main and side dishes. I would also like to include more fruit into our diet :)

(This is only hot meals or weekly breakfasts and lunch tend to stay the same)
Monday- Spaghetti

Tuesday- Cutlets, Knoedel (a german potato dumpling) corn, and brown gravy

Wednesday- Chicken and wild rice casserole

Thursday- Grilled Cheese and tomato soup

Friday- Tuna cakes and Baked potatoes

Saturday- Breakfast- English muffin bake with tomato, bacon and cheese
Lunch- BLT with fries
Dinner- Pear and Walnut salad with Basalmic vinaigrette

Sunday- Breakfast- Hot rolls with wurst and cheese, or marmalade
Lunch- Soup with french bread
Dinner- Red beans and rice

So what are you having for dinner this week?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The legend of St. Nicholas

A man with a long white beard, a bishop’s miter, and a thick red cape comes knocking on the door at some houses every December 6. Other children wake to find their shoes have been filled with treats. Who is this international man of mystery?


“Ho, ho, ho, have you all been good?” The old man with a long white beard, a bishop’s miter, and a thick red cape stands with his finger raised before the excited children, his eyes moving from one beaming face to the next. “Yes!” they all shout in unison, impatiently eyeing the heavy brown sack that Saint Nicholas has carried in from the cold night over his shoulder. What could it possibly hold? Toys, books, or even candy? “Well, that’s good to hear!” Nicholas declares and opens his big golden book, from which he reads the names of the children and presents each of them with a small gift from his sack. They politely thank him, offer homemade cookies to their peculiar guest, and recite small poems. Finally, they accompany him to the door, where he trots off with a jolly “ho, ho, ho,” disappearing into the dark on his way to the next house.

Such a visit is not at all unusual in Germany in the pre-Christmas season, for every year on December 6 Saint Nicholas is remembered and celebrated in this way. Like many traditions handed down over the centuries, it is unclear what is true and what has been added over time to the legend of Saint Nicholas. What is known, however, is that the person we now celebrate as the holy Bishop Nicholas is purely fictitious and has evolved from two historical figures: The first is Nicholas Bishop of Myra, who lived in the forth century in what is now Lycia, Turkey. The other is Nicholas Abbey of Sion and later Bishop of Pinara. The figure who later became known to us as the powerful Saint Nicholas Bishop of Myra evolved from them and the good deeds they did to help the poor, infirm, and oppressed.

From that figure have grown numerous legends describing Nicholas’s altruistic and sometimes miraculous good deeds. In the most well-known story about him, Nicholas peacefully stopped the plundering and rioting in the city and saved the lives of three innocent men who had been condemned to death. In one of the more mysterious legends, he rushed to the aid of sailors on a ship during a raging storm and calmed the sea, thus enabling them to reach the harbor safely. The tradition of gift-giving is believed to be based on the story in which he generously gave the entire inheritance left him by his wealthy parents to the poor and protected them from the cold and hunger. These and many more legends about this saint have been handed down from generation to generation and are meant to teach children how to live unselfish lives.
Read more here
German Missions- St. Nicholas

In Germany, Nikolaus is usually celebrated on a small scale. Many children put a boot called Nikolaus-Stiefel outside the front door on the night of December 5 to December 6. St. Nicholas fills the boot with gifts and sweets, and at the same time checks up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a tree branch (rute) in their boots instead. Sometimes a disguised Nikolaus also visits the children at school or in their homes and asks them if they have been good (sometimes ostensibly checking his golden book for their record), handing out presents on a per-behaviour basis. This has become more lenient in recent decades.
But for many children, Nikolaus also elicited fear, as he was often accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht (Servant Ruprecht), who would threaten to beat, or sometimes actually beat the children for misbehaviour as using this myth to 'bring up cheek children' for a better, good behaviour. Any kind of punishment isn't really following and just an antic legend. Knecht Ruprecht furthermore was equipped with deerlegs. In Switzerland, where he is called Schmutzli, he would threaten to put bad children in a sack and take them back to the dark forest. In other accounts he would throw the sack into the river, drowning the naughty children. These traditions were implemented more rigidly in Catholic countries and regions such as Austria or Bavaria.
In highly Catholic regions, the local priest was informed by the parents about their children's behaviour and would then personally visit the homes in the traditional Christian garment and threaten to beat them with a rod. In parts of Austria, Krampusse, who local tradition says are Nikolaus's helpers (in reality, typically children of poor families), roamed the streets during the festival. They wore masks and dragged chains behind them. These Krampusläufe (Krampus runs) still exist.
Wikipedia

So does that mean I get a stocking and a shoe? :)

Freebie of the week- 17 free ebook novels

For adult readers only :)

You can download (in pdf format) 17 full length novels from Harlequin

check it out here

Friday, December 4, 2009

A2 ist fertig

Well for the most part that is. We did the majority of our test today. That included reading, writing and listening comprehension. We were supposed to do the speaking component as well, but after waiting 45 minutes for an additional instructor to make an appearance, our teacher said the hell with it, she will call in her assistant next week. I believe I did pretty well over all. I know that I made mistakes, but I understood this test better then the A1 and I consider that a substantial improvement. I will find out Monday the grades on these three components of the test, and then the completed score late next week.

So next we will take on b1, and then the orientation course, before taking on the b1 test next March. In a few weeks we will be getting a 3 week Christmas beak and I look forward to that as a time to wind down and relax, but also to catch up and refresh on some tough spots.

I am glad that we are coming toward the end of the course, but at the same time I am a bit saddened. I have made so many wonderful friendships, and I look forward to the class daily. And while I am sure many of these friendships will remain outside of the course parameters, I am a bit disappointed for the days when I no longer get to look forward to the next days course.

But I am truly happy with the progress that I have made. Liberating is an understatement in terms of the changes it has made in my life. I think that two often we are quick to judge immigrants, but really have no standing to talk until we too stand within their shoes. I came to Germany with 2 suit cases, a carry on bag, and two words of German. And for the first time in my life I know what it feels like to start a new life in a foreign world, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for everyone who conquers that difficult task.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Our Meal Plan

Here is a peak into this weeks meal plan.

Monday- Corn roll sandwiches

Tuesday- Pizza

Wednesday- Spaghetti, herb bread, and salad

Thursday- Pork, spatzle with Jagar sauce, and salad

Friday- Soup and Salad

Saturday- B- Eggs, Hash-browns, L- Sandwiches, D- Tuna cakes, mashed potatoes, and spinach

Sunday- B- hot rolls, L- Sandwiches, Mid day tee and cake- Quark cake D-Red Beans and Rice

So whats for dinner at your house:)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I came here to talk






Honey you are a rock
Upon which I stand
And I come here to talk
I hope you understand

That green eyes, yeah the spotlight, shines upon you
And how could, anybody, deny you

I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter, now Ive met you
And honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

Green eyes

Honey you are the sea
Upon which I float
And I came here to talk
I think you should know

That green eyes, youre the one that I wanted to find
And anyone who, tried to deny you must be out of their mind

Cause I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter, since I met you
Honey you should know, that I could never go on without you

Green eyes
Green eyes

Ohohohohooooo
Ohohohohooooo

Ohohohohooooo
Ohohohohooooo

Honey you are a rock
Upon which I stand

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