Friday, January 20, 2017

Christmas Markets: All of them!

Since I am so far behind, this post is going to be a difficult one because it is hard to distinguish all the Christmas markets from each other.  I think I went to five, but Brian hit even more than that.  At some point, one is just done with Christmas markets.  Well, some people are anyway, though not my husband.

The day after Thanksgiving Brian took our guests to the Kaiserslautern Christmas market.  They took the train, and brought only Isaac and Drew so that Hannah and I could bake for her birthday.  The first Christmas market we all went to was the next day, on Saturday, in Bernkastel-Kues.  We go to that town a lot for many different festivals.  (Remember the best fireworks ever?  That was here.)  It is not too far away (maybe an hour and some change) and it is just a really darn cute town.   Our visitors loved it, of course, and thought it was beyond cute and perfect.  This particular town has a giant Advent calendar on the side of a building where they open a new door each night throughout Advent.  It's so old that many buildings have a slight lean to them.  I was really hoping to get a good picture of all the kids together at this market since I really had no good pictures for our Christmas card.  This, however, did not happen.  Here are our failures.

Christmas Card Picture Failure No. 1 Notice the screaming baby in the middle.  Bobby was not cooperating at all.  Our friends insisted that I just bite the bullet and get in the picture too so he'd chill, but see below for why that didn't work out.

Christmas Card Picture Failure No. 2 Notice the still screaming baby in the middle.  He really wanted his mommy.

Christmas Card Picture Failure No. 3 Look at the elephant on the left.  I have seven layers on and a super huge scarf.  Not to mention the fact that I have a weird lean-squat thing going trying to be in the picture.  Yep, that one is not going to work either.  I should've ducked behind the bench like my smart husband.

Bob's First Ride:  He sat with Genevieve and enjoyed himself, but there was no ecstatic squealing or huge display of love for the experience.  I'm guessing it's his whole cautious MO. 

Christmas Card Picture Failure No. 4  We came around a corner and found this crucifix and thought we'd try again for a family picture.  This is definitely real life, folks.  No filters or photoshop could fix this photo.

Christmas Card Picture Failure No. 5  Things did not improve.

Christmas Card Picture Failure No. 6  And that's a wrap!  I'm throwing in the towel here, and going with a picture of the whole family in May in Lourdes for the Christmas card even though the picture is from six months ago.
Saturday evening we went to another market in the next village because Drew and Judah's Kindergarten was doing a performance and they had a booth where they were making and selling waffles.  I had signed up to bring pizza waffle batter for the fundraiser.   Yes, you read that right.  They were actually really good too.  They had to provide the basic recipe for me, and I got to add the pizza toppings of my choice.  I added my kids' favorite toppings which are ham and pineapple.

The performance...My kids are *almost* the only ones without hats.  Matilda must hate hats too.  Judah is the 2nd from the left and Drew is the fourth.

The next weekend we met our friends in Mainz for their Christmas market before heading to the tree farm to cut our famously huge tree.  We had some warm drinks and food, visited the cathedral, and Bobby and Judah got to go on a ride again.  Isaac held Bobby this time.

Inside the cathedral, warming up and visiting Jesus:  Again, Bobby's ruining the group picture because he wants his mommy.
He liked this arrangement better since he was closer to me.

The next evening we met the same friends over at a village in between our houses, although considerably closer to us.  This was a small market, but bigger than the one in the neighboring village.  I had a delicious Irish meat mixture that I'd never had or seen before.  This time the cold was a little rougher to take despite all the Gluhwein and hot chocolate we could drink.  It was probably the fault of the sun setting.  By the time we got to the van, Drew was hysterical about his frozen, hurting hands.  Before you think I am a horrible mom for having him out in the cold so long his hands hurt, you should first ask the question, "Why were only Drew's hands hurting that badly?"  Well, since you asked, it is because he never wants to put on his gloves and hat, or any outerwear.  I just thought he'd put them on when he gets cold, but really what happens is he waits until he is so cold his hands hurt to move and when you try to help him get the gloves on he starts screaming that it hurts.  So after this happened about a dozen times, I resolved to force him to put them on the gloves even before he feels cold so as to avoid him turning into a crazed little boy because he waited too long.

The Sweetest Sister Picture Ever (with a Drew photo bomb):  They were sharing hot chocolate.

We met different friends from Stuttgart over near them in Esslingen the next weekend (I think).  It was pretty cold again.  (Ignore the fact that Genna has her coat off.  She is certifiable and notoriously hotter than everyone else.)  Drew had only one melt down because his hands were cold.  Luckily, someone had a hand warmer that we stuck in his glove to warm him up and get him through the rest of the time there.  Isaac used his own money to buy a soft toy mace.  We watched archers, silversmiths, jesters, and basket weavers perform.  I bought a print that an artist was selling at a booth.  He carves the wood and then rolls ink on it and makes prints to sell.  I am still looking for a frame for it though.

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