Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gelbe Seiten!!!!

Look! It's the YELLOW PAGES!

Gelbe Seiten really translates to YELLOW PAGES!

:) Cute huh?

Cute, but not too helpful since I can't read it. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Driving Legally!!!



...and I didn't have to take the test.

In Germany certain States have different rules on what you have to do to "trade in" your American license. For example...

California and Oregon - written test only
South Carolina - no testing at all
Georgia - written AND the driving test AND a first aid class AND driving school

So it's really different depending on which State you are coming from. However, if you have a Canadian license you fall into the "no testing required" category.

My husband and I both had Oregon licenses and so we were going to have to take the written test which is infamously difficult. Not the worse scenario, but not the easiest.

We were sneaky though. AND We followed all the rules of every country to do it...

Here is how you get a German license without taking the test.
1. Go to Canada.
2. Trade American license for a Canadian license.
3. Go to Germany.
4. Trade Candian license for a German license.

TA DA! No testing required. :)

While in Canada this summer with my CANADIAN husband we got our Canadian licenses. It took about ten minutes and $75.00. That was it!! Once our Canadian licenses were mailed to us we took them into the German DMV and WHOOLAA!! - we were handed our German licenses.

Still is kind of funny to think about how easy it was with my Canadian one... but I'm thrilled to be done with the entire Drivers License Drama! It even turns out I did it within my allotted time!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Last night we went to a "Housewarming" party next door. Hmm.

I don't even know where to begin. I'll describe a "Housewarming" party. ...and maybe they are the same in the states, but I was a little in awe as we left this German Housewarming Party.

So. Here is how it works... so I'm told:

When new people move into a house they spend a year or so fixing it up getting it organized. THEN they invite over everyone they know as well as all the neighbors for a housewarming party. During this party all the guests are supposed to go look at their entire house! Roam through the bedrooms, stroll through the yard, try out the bathrooms... just basically look at their house. Hmmm.

Maybe it was fine for the other rich Germans that were there, but after we walked the walk home to our house next door we felt a little discouraged with our slacker IKEA accessorized home. I found myself slightly jealous during that three minute walk home... Of course my jealousy didn't last long though; Michaela had been babysitting for us... and when the oldest kid can babysit the other kids life is way better than any designer couch and famous artwork can make it!

Anyways, this party was a catered party... with "helpers" serving and cleaning the whole time. I felt like I had more in common with the "helpers". With the exception of the lady who owns/lives in our house and this families Swedish daughter we weren't able to speak to anyone because aside from ordering a coffee or asking for a small plate I don't know much else to say in German. :)

Unreal house though. I would have taken pictures because I don't understand how her trinkets and FULL bookshelves and living space looked nice and not "cluttery" despite being FULL. NI decided taking pictures would be tacky so I only took a picture of a book I saw because it said "Burgi" which is my maiden name. :) ...As we were leaving I saw someone with a video camera. Really, the house was that nice...

I wonder if I will have a super fancy yuppie house when my kids are old, but I'd have to guess not because I'm just not that into that sort of thing. Good thing too because my daughter took a crayon to the side of the couch today. Good thing I just discovered my IKEA couch is super easy to uncover and wash! :)

...and I don't really think they were showing off their house only because they were really nice people and I didn't get that impression from them at all. :)

I almost laugh at the thought of having a "Housewarming Party" for our house. :) Think anyone would care to see my toys and fuzzy rugs?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sad Hotdogs

HA! I'm hilarious. Sad hotdogs... get it? ...yah, anyways...

I have been wanting to rename my blog for a while now because we don't really have "adventures" anymore... it's just turned into regular ole' life... which is one big adventure.

So I stole Holly's reference to the "Happy Hamburgers" that she made on her blog here. :) I thought it was cute... She got a kick out of the fact that people here are Hamburgers. :)

Hey Holly, I wonder if people in Frankfurt are Frankfurters? :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm the Boss's Wife!

Happy Anniversary to me!

Paul and I had our anniversary over the weekend and we celebrated by going to his big work party. :)

I must admit that at first I was a little irritated to be spending my anniversary with his company, but it turned out really well! I think if we didn't have this party to go to we would have sat at home like any other normal Saturday. This forced me to put on dress, get a babysitter, and actually LEAVE THE HOUSE!

...and leave the house we did... for many, many hours! NINE hours to be exact! WOW. Now that just I counted up the hours, that is probably a record! I think the previous record of "time kids were left with a babysitter" was for the six hours it took me to go the hospital and have Andrea. :)

So despite my stressing over what to wear and how on earth to buy shoes in my size here... which by the way you don't buy shoes in my size here... I had to borrow a friends and make a note to order size 6 online for next time. (No lie... adult shoe stores do not sell shoes smaller than size 36, size 6 is seriously not an abnormally small size!)

Anyways, I had never been to anything like this party before... so yes, I might have stressed for an entire week, but it was actually quite fun and next time I'll know what to expect.

The party was for the company's birthday and it was a HUGE event. They set up a big tent at an airport... ...but not just a tent though. It was like a house tent, a mansion tent... with a huge dining area and a separate dancing area...

Throughout the dinner there were saxophone players dangling from the ceiling, girls dangling from curtains, and guys dangling from bendy lightposts... Lots of dangling... :) Maybe they were going for a circus theme because the tent was circus like and we watched these dangley circus acts throughout the dinner. Very interesting... weird... amusing. :)

This was also a unique event because I've never been referred to as the boss's wife... It was a bit weird, but the people I was dancing with said it was a bit weird to be dancing with the boss's wife. :) Some people were so surprised to see that I was Paul Happy's wife.

I don't know if I was really "cool enough" to be hanging out at the special reserved table with all the other bosses and their wives... who were all probably much more prepared for this event than I was! It was like eating with a bunch of professional adults, who I would never really associated myself... or Paul, with. :)

I mean I spend most of my day changing poopy diapers and coaxing children to eat vegetables and brush their teeth. ...but I guess Paul is one of those "professional adults" which just seems hilarious to me for some reason. I'm glad he is though because it was fun to be important with him for a night. :)

Considering all the other company parties I have been to have been in bowling alleys or behind the building this was a big difference and I'm actually looking forward to the next one! ...not that those bowling alley parties were not some of the best times Trini!! :)

I just had a nice night out and I was able to do it because I'm the boss's wife. :)

I might be the Boss's wife, but around here the wife IS the boss...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Volleyball, Guitar, Writing

Sierra is back from her trip... I can't believe I went an entire week without talking to her! She survived and had a great time.

Did I mention Sierra is on the school volleyball team? Despite never watching a game before in my life, volleyball is my new favorite sport. :) This team she is on travels. My little Bear will travel by bus to the Netherlands this weekend, stay with a "host family", and play the International School of Netherlands in two volleyball matches! Insane what my children are doing! The following week Amsterdam will travel here so then I will "host" two girls from their volleyball team. The week after that Sierra will go to Copenhagen and then to Luxembourg... there goes my weekends, but I'm proud of her for doing it.

Speaking of other international schools... In Denmark it was ISAa. Here in Hamburg it is ISH.

I = International
S = School
? = Whatever country the school is in.

I went the entire two years in Denmark not knowing what ISAa stood for or why one "A" was lowercase. Aarhus is really spelled like this in Danish---> Århus ...with a little circle on top of the A, but my keyboard, and many keyboards, don't do that circley-A, so you can also write 2 A's. Thus ISAa. ...and I didn't figure that out until I saw ISH in Hamburg. 2nd A is lowercase because only the first letter in a name is capital.


Michaela is taking guitar lessons... they don't travel anywhere. :) BUT she is taking creative writing classes from a REAL author who comes to the school just to offer this afterschool class. I'm kind of making her do it... but she is an incredible writer! An unbelievable writer actually... like, I-thought-she-copied-it-from-a-book good. This winter I am making her start writing a book. She has until then to come up with a Harry Potter idea equivalent. I promise I will somehow get it published if she will write it. ...and anyone who reads this blog will be required to buy it. :)

Friday, September 10, 2010


This pictures makes me laugh... it's like Canada is Ohio or North Dakota or something, not an entire country. :)

I think it's from an army person? I thought Canada was nice and didn't believe in guns or violence. Canadian Army? Never heard of it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Not Onions...

I thought these were onions... Then I stood there wondering how on earth there could be so many different kids of onions. Then I walked to the front of the boxes and saw pictures of flowers and realized they were bulbs. COOL!

SO I bought some bulbs. I've never planted bulbs before because I'm an immediate gratification kind of person, all that work right now for a pot full of dirt on my balcony for six months... THEN I get a flower... Let alone a flower that will only last a couple weeks... IF I planted it right. So as you can see I'm not too into gardening or bulbs, but seeing all these cute baskets of bulbs I had to buy some... partaking in the German culture, that's what I'm doin'! :)

Andrea had fun picking bulbs, but then she started grabbing random bulbs and it ended with her screaming because she couldn't take the bucket with her. But everything ends with Andrea screaming...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Holly is gone, but I've been so behind I didn't even mention she was here! :(

Holly's husband had to work in Denmark so she got to hang out with me for the week while he "slaved away at the office". :) We had a great time with Holly, she even babysat for two nights so I could go the back to school nights at school. :) Nice of her to fly in from Illinois to babysit!

She didn't come just to babysit of course, she really came to make cookies! She has the best recipe on earth for peanut butter cookies... and now I do! HOWEVER, I have been sworn to secrecy and as I'm typing this I hope I can remember where I "hid" the recipe. Now as I am typing this I am coming up with the plan to get some of the frozen cookies out of the freezer and cook some for Andrea and me. :) So yummy...

Our week:
Holly and her husband, Chuck, got to see the city on Monday... and Monday was cookie baking night while I went to the school. Sierra really enjoyed this and Sierra has been taught proper "rolling" and "squishing" and "timing" techniques.

On Tuesday Holly and I went on an adventure to Stade, which came highly suggested to us. So Tuesday morning, we dropped the kids off at school, entered Stade into the GPS, and off we went, with instructions to "park under the crane"! I was a little nervous because Holly is a world class traveler, but Stade was a huge success. We followed city center signs and found the crane and parked without any drama. It was the cutest town ever!! Andrea was an angel child that day too... walking everywhere and even sitting in the stroller for a bit. Oh, except for the nice German couple she scowled at when they mentioned she might be cold.

We even had time to get lunch, during which Andrea was an angel child again! THEN a super-cool friend collected my boy from school so we could go to the grocery store... Holly wanted to bring some things back to the states. HA! Who exports here?? She wanted chicken stock powder, tomato paste in a toothpaste container, and kinder eggs... and some other candy.

Guess which one is illegal in America?

Kinder Eggs. I wonder if she got them across the border okay? :)

Kinder Eggs involve an inedible CHOKING HAZARD inside the middle of an edible CHOCOLATE EGG. That's insanely dangerous. :) With this thinking they should quickly outlaw grapes and hotdogs because I think more kids choke on those.


Wednesday and Thursday Holly took off to Berlin. Friday we did some shopping and Andrea was a angel child again as we ate lunch at a Bagel place. I won't make any comments about Holly's husband showing up nearly four hours late to pick her up so they could drive to Copenhagen in time for an early morning Saturday flight to Norway! I was happy to spend some more time with her. I don't think she was excited about it since it meant a midnight arrival to DK.

Great week with a friend. Holly, you're welcome back anytime!!! We miss you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bye Bear...

Sierra left yesterday for the entire week. She went to Borgwedel, which is Northern Germany... duh. :)

Their class is going to learn about Vikings. I told her that her mom is an Honorary Viking because she gave birth in the viking country of Denmark. She just rolled her eyes at me because that's what ten years olds do when their moms try to be funny.

Anyways, it's always weird to be without a kid. Things do seem easier, but it's just strange and it always feels like something is missing, like I haven't done everything I need to do at the end of the day. It's like everytime I go somewhere I've forgotten something.

This trip Sierra wasn't allowed to bring a cell phone with her so I won't be able to talk to her for the week... which I think is a bit extreme, but I will send her secret messages through a mom I know that will be going so she knows I miss her and love her... :) I know she'll be fine. She's cool like that! :)

See you Friday BEAR!

Friday, September 3, 2010


My birthday was August 27th... My mom's was on the 30th... so Happy Birthday to us.

For my birthday I woke up, made the kids lunches, and got them all to school...

Then Andrea and I met a friend at the grocery store for coffee. :) I did all the shopping for Sierra's party.

I found a light bulb at the "home depot" for the broken night light that I had been trying to fix for four months.

I went home and Andrea took a nap. I almost took a nap with her, but decided to clean the house instead because I knew a cleaner house would make me happy.

I started making cakes for Sierra's birthday cake and realized I would be late picking the kids up. I called a friend who, in addition to her three kids, rounded up my three kids and brought them to the drive through pick up so I didn't have to get out my car. PS. It was pouring rain. PSS. It poured rain all day long.

Later that night my friend came to our house and watched the kids so Paul and I could go out to dinner. :) I ate my dinner while it was warm, I ate all of it myself, I even got dessert. :) When I got home the house was clean and decorated for Sierra's party the next morning.

I stayed up WAY too late making a cake for Sierra.

SO Happy Birthday to me and thanks to Shelly, the above mentioned friend. :)

OH, and my husband got me a gift certificate to a local spa ...and that makes me happy.

I called my mom for her birthday but I was really too tired to have a conversation. I think this next week will be easier...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Sierra!

My BIG Bear! :)

She is TEN!

Her party was last weekend and it involved nine of her friends from school. They watched a movie, ate popcorn, and then we had some lunch. I took the easy way out and just had pizza delivered; however that required a German phone call so it wasn't exactly that easy. Of course before I made the phone call I asked the girls who spoke German and had one of them standing by in case I needed them to translate my order. :)

After lunch we dipped things in chocolate and covered them with sprinkles. Pretzels, Marshmallows, Gummy Bears, Cookies... those eventually gave way to filling spoons with chocolate and making "chocolate suckers"... and ended with just eating the chocolate right out of the pot. It was a giant mess, but was accompanied by lots of giggling so I think it was fun. I sent everyone home with a box (or two) of "things covered in chocolate".

I was a little scared of this party because I didn't know any of the friends and didn't know any of the parents... Plus older kids are kinda scary. :) It was good to get to meet her friends and get to hang out with them a little bit more.

I was surprised to see that some of her friends arrived in "party dresses". I guess it's fun to have somewhere to wear all these "fancy" dresses the girls like to wear... it was just surprising, that's all. :)

Making her cake was a mini-fiasco... I had envisioned something completely different, but the cakes never turn out how I imagine them. Yes, I did plan to lopsided tiers. :) My problem was that I tried to look into the correct way to do it instead of just making it up myself. I tried to cut it "correctly" and it ended up being a pile of crumbs, with cookies and wafers shoved in it to keep it's shape.

Then I tried to hide all the fiasco-y mess with frosting ...in the end I made three batches of frosting so that means three pounds of powdered sugar was involved in making this cake. :)


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