24 December 2011

Candy Cane Christmas

December 24, 2011 2
The Elementary students had their Christmas choir performance last week.  They did such a great job!

It was called Candy Cane Christmas and it was really neat to see how they wove in the story of Jesus to the candy cane.
Karis waiting to sing!
 Waving to the parents (Reegan in the far top right, Brennan just behind the girl in yellow on the right and Karis is on the front row in the middle).
 Reegan loved twirling her dress.
 Primary through Fifth grade singing Silent Night in English & German.
 Karis' friend C had been to our house to play and the girls asked if they could wear these San Isidro costumes (C is wearing Reegan's costume....Reegan was ok with that.  She had her own special dress to wear.) to their Christmas performance.  Why not??  Aren't they cute?
This video is LONG, but I know the grandparents will want to watch.  Feel free to take a look, skip around and even hear some German.  They were really cute!!

ICSV Christmas Performance 2011 from JerryInEurope on Vimeo.

Merry Christmas to you!!  May you have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!!

The Best Wiener Schnitzel

December 24, 2011 1
We had some more friends living in Spain come to visit recently.  Zac, Leah & little Owen, who slept almost the entire time I was with them.  Ha!
I have to backtrack a little and tell you how we met.  We were in Carrfour (something a kin to Target) browsing the bedding department in Madrid.  They heard me speak English to the kids and we began talking.  You don't hear English much in Madrid, so when you do, it can be a nice thing to hear!  Plus, we had moved to Madrid within weeks of each other.

Anyway, we decided to meet for lunch, so I had to find the best Austrian food downtown.  My go to girl (Kristi) sent us to Figlmüller, which originally opened as a Wine Tavern and their own defined schnitzel.  Traditionally, schnitzel is pork pounded out thin, breaded and fried.  It's good!  I decided to get the chicken schnitzel, Zac got the pork schnitzel and Leah got the pork roast.  It was definitely the best schnitzel I've had in Vienna and Leah's roast was really good too!
 This place had so much character.  I loved it!

Leah & I with Figlmüller behind us.
If you find yourself in Vienna, give it a try!  I don't think it will disappoint!!

And it's always nice to spend time with friends!!

20 December 2011

Cookies & Another Market

December 20, 2011 1
The kids had a day off recently and instead of wasting the day away I decided we should make cookies.  Kristi was wanting to do something that day, so we invited them over for cookie baking.

I think I've expressed it before, but the reality of baking with my kids has turned out nothing like those dreams I use to have before kids came along!  Ha!  I pictured myself this calm mom who doesn't mind flour all over her kitchen or a sticky table.  Unfortunately, I am not that mama.  I got a little stressed about them rolling out the dough.  I look back on it and I think "Why did I get so stressed? It's only cookies!" It is something to do with the rolling where I just about lost it, because I could care less how messy they looked after adding the frosting.  Luckily, we all survived!

Kristi wanted to check out the Christmas market at the Schloss Hof.  It's located near the Slovakia border.  We left the hubbies and kids behind and made it a girl's outing.

The place was beautifully decorated. I would love to have seen it at night.

 A purple tree!
 The grounds were beautiful!

 So was the inside!

 This is just some of the animals we saw.

 I loved the clock on this building.

 pumpkin spread open face sandwich and fresh, homemade chips!  Yum!
 White donkeys

I bet all these vines are gorgeous in the summer!


Shetland ponies.  What you don't see is what happened right after this picture.  That little pony decided to try and take a bite out of my coat sleeve!

 Kristi showing off her Christmas Market mug.

 My blog friend has turned into a true friend!  Aren't we cute?!

 Several of the castles have kids museums where kids can try on period costumes.  We've got to do that!

 Who doesn't love a cute pond with a boat in it?!

 It's been fun to see more of Austria!

16 December 2011

O Tannenbaum

December 16, 2011 8
Our little tree!
Here we are, our first Christmas in Vienna!
I've been wanting to clean out the Christmas stuff and start updating it a bit.  Moving across Europe seemed like a perfect time, so I got rid of a bunch of stuff when we moved this summer.  We've had the same basic tree decorations for 17 years.  They have gone across Europe with us!

My dream is to get a second tree and make it a more grown up tree and let our kids have our current tree and decorations.  We're just not where we can do that right now.  The thing I have to remember is that the kids LOVE our tree and the decorations.  So it's really not about mama having a pretty grown up tree.

My tree just wasn't quite how I wanted it though.  We moved with 3 strands of lights.  One wasn't working when I pulled them out this season and the other 2 were looking like they didn't have much more life in them.  One was a different shade of white than the other, but I went ahead and strung them anyway. 

A few days later, wouldn't ya know, a second strand already strung on the tree went out!  Argh!  I went on a hunt through the city to locate some lights that weren't going to break us.  Lights here can be expensive!!  Luckily I found some.  I wasn't looking forward to stripping the tree and starting from scratch again, but that's what had to be done.

I had decided in November that I wanted a new tree skirt and I wanted to make this no sew ruffled one I found on pinterest.  I even found a fabric store and bought fabric!

I had already begun the process of cutting strips of fabric and was testing using the glue gun and fabric on an extra piece.  I learned it was going to take me FOREVER.  I am a novice at this stuff and can not whip up a project like the experts.  So, the idea for a ruffled tree skirt got put off.  Until I started restringing my lights and I decided to make a tree garland instead, also found on pinterest.

I had bought some burlap for another project (pinterest is inspiring me!) and decided to mix it with the white cotton strips I had cut.

It still took me several hours spread across a few days, as well as another trip to the fabric store.  I wanted it really long!  But I am in LOVE with it!

 All the ornaments were put back on.

 I found Spiderman one day.  Maybe he was trying to save a snowman or an elf or something. =)

I was so excited when I found these little chalkboard plates.  I had hoped I'd find something to do with them around the house (I still plan to) when I thought they would be a great addition to the tree. 

 You can also see our newest ornament of Vienna up there.

I love this little cabinet.  The next best thing to a mantel.  My hubby drew the little drawing on the chalkboard sign.  I love it!  It's hard to see, but it's a little girl skating on a pond.
That's not everything, but that's all I got around to photographing this year.

And I can't forget to include my little helpers!!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

I am linking up with Kelly's Korner & The Nester!

12 December 2011

The Weekend

December 12, 2011 1
Vienna houses one of the headquarters for the United Nations.  An annual event that the UN puts on is a bazaar.  There are booths of food and goods from around the world.  In our group that we went with we had food from Greece, Thailand, India and Indonesia!  And I guess we have to count the Oreos we picked up at the USA booth!
The place was PACKED.  This picture was towards the end of the day, so it doesn't look too bad.

I was thinking we were crazy for bringing the kids!!!  But we made it through.  It was a fun experience, but I'm not sure I will do it again.  I learned a trick though.  Go late in the day because they start marking things down.  I got a variety of spices.  Cardamom I haven't seen here, and I got them drastically marked down.
Sunday we headed back out on the town.  First stop was for some lunch!  We decided to go Mexican.  Yes, Mexican.  We were craving it!
On the way to the restaurant we went by the Prater, an amusement park in Vienna which houses one of the oldest ferris wheels.  It's hard to tell but there are little red cabins all the way around.  You can actually arrange to have dinner in one!

We haven't taken a ride yet, but we plan to!
We headed to lunch after a walk around Prater.  I decided to avoid the exotic corn fungus and mole! Ha! 

Love this photo, minus the fuzzy IPhone quality.
I wanted to go to Schonbrunn and check out their Christmas market.  It was so busy!!  I made the kids hold hands so we wouldn't lose each other!  I've now learned to avoid Christmas markets on the weekend and go during the week when people are working!
 So we escaped the congested crowds and headed towards the gardens.  Schonbrunn's gardens are in close running to Versailles' in Paris.
 Now, that's a fountain!
 Family picture takin' time!

This is a fav!

Our friends, David & Amy

 The structure at the top of the hill is called the Gloriette.  Isn't it beautiful?!  Although it's not visible, the Schonbrunn (Vienna) Zoo is tucked in the bottom right corner of the picture.  We haven't had a chance to visit yet.  Did you know it's the world's oldest zoo, founded in 1752?!

I think I've got the cutest kids!!

 Look at that view!!  From halfway up to the Gloriette.

 The sun started setting and we got some beautiful pictures!

 Even with a bit of moon peeking through!

 Waiting for the u-bahn to come.  We were exhausted!!
 There is so much more we want to do at Schonbrunn.  There is a children's museum where kids can dress up in period costumes.....the zoo.....the palace itself.  So far this is my favorite spot in Vienna and I hope to get back there many more times.  And soon!


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