Awakening

*Bumping this above my book review* 

 

This past week spring has truly moved into The Land of Fairy tales… It started one morning not too many days back…

I looked over to see the boys sunbathing in the sitting room… 

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 Enjoying the warmth and soaking up the ray’s we’ve missed for so long here!

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 I found myself sitting near the window as well…

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 As I gazed out the window I realized that, cold or not, it was a beautiful day that I could NOT let go to waste…

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So I put on a windbreaker, a pair of tennis shoes, slung my camera about my neck, and set out to capture the day.

Almost the moment I set out I had cause to switch my lenses to a zoom as quickly as possible!  How awesome are these pictures?

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 I love living near an AFB and the C-17 is one of the loudest planes!

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After I watched planes land for a while I went back to enjoying my walk and the beautiful sun… I quickly realized that I was not the only one!

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 Everywhere I looked there were signs of life…

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 Here in Germany it is a common practice to tie your dog on the front stoop to soak up some sun.  We don’t’ really have fenced yards here so you always want to allow your buddy some good outdoor time!  Doesn’t this little guy look like he’s in heaven?

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And don’t these guys look happy to be out of the barn?

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 I broke out of town into the fields to see miles of green and blue…

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 All the crops are in and sprouted…  Lovely…

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 The village center is suddenly crowded with all the farm equipment…

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 Everywhere you look a freshly washed tractor is out in the sun getting ready to go to work!  (This one is parked up against the parsonage in our village!)

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 In every corner doors and windows are thrown open to the spring breezes…

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 I walked down to the village church to enjoy the gardens… 

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 Beautiful day!

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I love this time of year…

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There is just something about the awakening…

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I decided to take a walk through the cemetery…

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The village people take such good care of it… they plant flowers here instead of leaving cut ones…

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 It’s always full of quiet beauty.  

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 Small signs of life…

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 And the colors of spring…

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 and summer…

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 Everywhere you look something new is growing…

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Quiet reminders…

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 Birdhouses waiting to be home for a young family!

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 Colors everywhere! 

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 And still the little snow angels dance in my yard…

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 I’m glad I was here for the stirrings of spring… I was so afraid that the long dark of winter would be my last memory of Germany.

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I’m honored to have these as my final glimpses of The Land of Fairy Tales… 

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 Courtney

 

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Thomas Nelson Book Review

Kiss by Ted Dekker

I must admit that when I ordered this book I could barely sit still in anticipation. The teasers for it caught my attention completely and I couldn’t wait to delve into the story.

Kiss is the story of a young woman named Shauna who has lost six crucial months of her memory. As she comes to realize that she can trust no one in her life and that every circumstance may prove false she feels more and more the desperate need to fill in the gap the missing six months has made in her life.

As interesting as the story was it failed to capture me. I struggled to get through the first 50 pages and even put the book down for a time. Once I made it past that first hurtle, however, the story got going and sucked me right in. It was compelling, interesting, and absorbing.

However, there were elements of the story that felt as though they didn’t belong there, though I had no strong objection to them. I just never felt like the story meshed. I also felt as if the entire book was leading up to a big finish that would surprise and delight me… In truth, I felt the ending fell a little flat.

All in all the book was a good read. Although it does not make my list of books to read again I would recommend it to those looking for a good wholesome mystery to pass the hours…

CLICK HERE for more information about this book.

 

Babies blankets and sunshine!

Good morning!

Wow, this week has, quite frankly, gotten away from me!

Life is coming down to the wire for me.  I have only 22 days left in Germany.  22 days is going to speed by on wings!  In other words, I leave three weeks from tomorrow.  That means that Ryan and I have only two weekends left together!

I have been busy crocheting…  There are four babies in my family circle due by the end of the summer… in fact one of them was born last night!  My cousin and his wife had their second daughter, Caylie Taylor last night!  I can’t wait to meet her!!!

Then my cousin Kallie and her husband are expecting their second child, this one a little boy, in the next few weeks. 

Then my baby sister Becky is due with her second baby in August… We just found out two days ago that this baby is a boy!

And last but certainly not least, my sister, Charly and her husband Zach (Ryan’s younger brother) are having their first baby in October. 

When you add in how insanely busy we are going to be with the move and getting settled I figured the more I had done BEFORE I left Germany the better… so I’ve been busy!

In other news…  I’ve been talking back and forth with my mom and dad… Making plans for my time in Phoenix.  We’ll be having a garage sale, painting, helping both of my sisters set up their nurseries, ect.  Then we will be taking a trip to Del Rio, TX soon after I arrive so that we can scope out the town and look for houses.  I’m excited to get a look at my new home town! 

Spring is in full swing here in The Land of Fairy Tales!  All week long it’s been cool but sunny and bright!  It’s the kind of sun that actually warms your skin!  LOVELY!!!

Well… I’m off to keep working on a blanket I’m doing for a wedding gift… (Did I mention I have about five adult sized blankets on my docket too!? Aiy yi yi!!!)

Sorry for the extremely boring entry.  Hopefully I’ll have some more pictures to share next week!

Have a lovely day!

Courtney

 

Stirrings of spring…

Good morning!

First thing first!  Check out my new look and header!  Ahhhh spring!

It feels like forever since I’ve had a chance to write… even longer since I’ve had the desire…

Things are picking up in my little part of the world.  Ryan and I spent the weekend shuttling furniture that we’ve sold to it’s new owners and packing.  Our calendar is filled with dinner dates for that last visit before I leave and the end of my time in Germany is drawing ever nearer. 

I have spent weeks now trying to process just exactly how I feel about this upcoming move and where we will now live.  I’ve come up empty.  So I’ve written bandaids… I keep telling you that I’ll write more later… the simple truth is that I don’t know what to say!

We are happy to be going home and sad to say goodbye to this glamorous part of our lives.  I’ll always look back on this season of my life with awe. 

I’ve lived in Europe for three years… I’ve seen cities that predate the birth of our savior.  I’ve walked where Roman centurions once stood guard over their great empire.  I’ve looked into the eyes of a Gargoyle that has seen hundreds of years of Paris history.  I’ve walked through the arch that once saw a biplane fly through as a victory dance in WWI.  I have gone to festivals that celebrate fall and the slaughter of pigs and markets that dwell on the festivities of Christmas.  I’ve heard carolers sing the original German carols and I’ve had small children dressed up as the three wise men ring my doorbell to ask for money to feed the poor…  I have experienced more in these three years than I ever thought I would… 

So to close this chapter of my life is sad… but it is also a great relief. 

I find it so comforting to know that in a few short weeks I’ll once more call a place home that has an emergency service number!  That’s right, for three years I’ve not had access to 911.  I have a number I could not remember and lived in fear that if anything happened I wouldn’t know what to do.  I will call a place home that has businesses open past 6pm, fast food, real cell phones, where I can speak English and be relatively sure that I’ll be understood, where if I get lost I’ll be able to stop and ask directions!

I am excited about going to a new base, finding a new house and making it my new home.  But I’m worried to.  It’s the calling of a military life to stride boldly into each new tomorrow, each new challenge, to be strong for your family, to make a home with what little you bring with you that remains unbroken… and I can do those things!  I CAN!!!  But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a part of me that wishes I could just go to sleep and wake up in a few months when it’s all done…

So as you can tell…  I’ve been a bit conflicted.  There are still a thousand thoughts swirling around in my head… I still can’t REALLY tell you how I feel because half of the time it doesn’t feel real. 

Add to all of that the fact that for the past months I have been in a stupor.  The dark of winter affected my much more strongly this year than any other living here.  I’ve been dormant and closed in. 

I have felt like a little seed buried under the dark grey clouds and mists of winter for all these long months.  I have been cold, dormant, and inactive. 

Today changed all of that!  It brought a feeling of spring to my very soul!  The dark clouds of winter burned off to reveal the bright azure blue skies of spring… the mists are gone and gentle spring breezes that ruffle your hair have taken their place.

I, as a child of the desert where change occurs seldom and slowly, am always amazed by the new world that is revealed in only a few days in this place!

The signs of spring have sprung up all around Ryan and I on this little slice of land we call our home.  Almost like a fairy tale filled with sprites that awaken little spring seeds overnight.

These little beauties were the first that we noticed… they sprung right out of the mossy grass of our yard… 

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One of them opened up to seek the sun on it’s face today…

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The tree in our front yard is beginning to bud with new leaves and flowers!

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 Each shrub and hedge has signs of new growth…. 

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 Hidden and quite but there if you look…

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And my gorgeous red tree in my front yard is about to bloom… I hope that I’m here long enough to see it!

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 I even found a patch of snowdrops tucked into a quiet corner of my front yard… what a delight to see these little white angels dancing over the dormant front lawn… 

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 This is the little succulent that I planted in my flowerbeds last fall… it burned in the snow but is coming back strong with a new amazing color!

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 So to honor my new feelings of awakening I decided to bake for Ryan’s office…  I spent my lovely spring day with the windows thrown open listening to an Oompah band play in the Gazebo down the street play (ONLY IN GERMANY!) while baking 7 dozen Cinnamon applesauce muffins!

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 Yummy!!! 

It is now 11pm and I’m exhausted!  I will say Guten Nacht and fall asleep dreaming of another glorious spring day!  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll take my camera on a nice long walk!  It’s seems time for me to be out and about!

Auf Wiedersehen!

Courtney

 

La Cucaracha

Why is my title about the cockroach?

Because there aren’t any here in Germany.  Not that I’ve seen anyway.  I never thought I would miss having roaches in my house! 

I’m sure you have a disgusted look on your face at the moment and are wondering how it’s possible that you actually read that…

Well…

It’s because the cockroach, in all it’s millions of years on this planet Earth, has survived everything from the end of the dinosaurs to nuclear winter…

It can not, however, survive a German winter!

Bring on the 115 degree, 85% humidity, Texan summers… and cockroaches that could eat my dog!

La cucaracha here I come!!!!

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In slight insanity,

Courtney

P.S.  Ask me if I still feel this way next summer when I’m rescuing my dog from one of these beasts with a flame thrower… and losing!

 

Stuck in a rut…

Sorry ladies,

I know that I haven’t been around in a few weeks… I have tried to keep up with you guys by reading my subs but I just have not had the time to visit.  Please know that those of you that have asked for prayers have been in mine. 

I’m still feeling crummy so I’m going to just relax today and I won’t be around tomorrow either because I have something I can’t miss. 

I promise that I’ll catch up soon though!

Courtney