Our little Christmas tree.
The lovely snow outside of our apartment.
Out for a night at the theater.
Nadia and her friend Sarah getting things set up at her Christmas party.
Jen and Gluwein--what a great life!
Santa's chair at the Markets.
St. Pauli Soccer.
David, freezing and trying to pretend he knows anything about soccer.

We only have 21 days left here in Hamburg and we are trying to make the most of it. Last week we got a very hard snow and it transformed the city. Then, this weekend we were able to go and see a play called, "Caught in the Net" a British play that was fun and full of weird British humor! We also went to Nadia's Christmas party and we had Jen here to "do" the Christmas Markets around Hamburg (we took in about 5 hours worth of Markets--not too shabby) and David was able to go to the St.Pauli soccer game between studying for his finals.

What a wonderful life we are living and what wonderful blessings we are being given over and over. We hope your lives are richly blessed during the Advent Season!



Bright and early in the morning on Saturday Jen started the turkeys(yes, plural) cooking.
Basting, basting, basting!
Relaxing on a day to celebrate how thankful we are!
David enjoying coffee before we set out to transform their bedroom with 25 chairs and 3 large tables in place of their bed and desk.
Allan and Emma trying to decide what to do next…
Go Jen Go!
Their bedroom is now a beautiful “dining room” ready for 25 people
Emma, Jen, and I drinking our hard cider and cooking away.
Allan carving the first turkey—it was so good that there were NO LEFTOVERS!
Jen made a beautiful array of traditional food: stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole.
Our lovely hosts Jen and Allan.
Some of the guests enjoying the good food and good company. We even got everyone to say what they were thankful for this year.
Eek—the day after—we all slept in until 12 then ate pizza to help recover from a very long night, last night (those Danes are amazing, they didn’t leave until 2am)!

We were blessed to enjoy the weekend in Copenhagen to celebrate Thanksgiving with Jen and Allan and Emma (our friend from PLU who lives in Switzerland) and some of their Danish friends. It was a wonderful weekend and we felt so thankful to be around people who are so kind and generous. We will remember this year's Thanksgiving forever.



This is a huge, lit up version of those wooden spinning decorations that have candles around the edges to make them turn, the actual small wooden ones are at many of the crafter's booths for sale.
A tree of lights out in the middle of the Alster, the water in the middle of the downtown.
This is a neat way for the Markets to earn money for good causes, these nativity scenes are filled with coins that people throw into the scene throughout the Christmas season, and then they donate the money at the end of the Markets.
Yumm....Gluwein...hot spiced wine...great for staying warm!

Well, it is officially the beginning of the Christmas season. The Christmas Markets have started all over Germany, Advent begins on Sunday, and December 1st is just around the corner...what else do you need to tell you that CHRISTMAS HAS BEGUN?!?

We were able to experience the joy, beauty and magic of just a few of the 15 Markets in Hamburg on Monday night with our dear friend Nadia. These pictures aren't anything to write home about, but I figured you could get the idea of the lights, the trees, and the hot spiced wine (Gluwein) that make up this magical world in the middle of the city.

We hope you enjoy your Christmas season and enjoy preparing for our Savior's birth!



The snow all over our front yard, these were taken from our the door step on our way to work and school at 7:30 in the morning.

Last Friday we were blessed to have snow in Hamburg. The ground was covered and the huge flakes were soft and wet as they fell down upon us! The weekend didn't bring any more snow, but it did stay cold enough that the first snow of the year hasn't melted yet. The blue sky was out and even though it was frigid, David and I got bundled up and ventured out into Hamburg a few times over the course of the weekend.

We went to the English movie theater to see the new James Bond movie, we went shopping at the 1 euro store to buy Christmas decorations for our apartment, and we went to celebrate Thanksgiving with the American man and German woman for whom I babysit for one night a week (they also included a German woman, an English man, and a man from Israel). It was a wonderful dinner and it was filled with plenty of very interesting conversation!

Friday we are off to Copenhagen to celebrate with friends for the weekend and we want you to know that we hope your Thanksgiving is a blessed and bountiful day for each you!



Tonight I had the privilege of joining the Seyd Family: Christpofer, Fabienne, Noa, and Noel (the kids I take care of each day) at their Neighborhood Lantern Festival.

Lantern Festivals in Germany are a very neat tradition, families march through the forest or their neighborhoods singing and carrying lanterns as their only light in order to symbolize bringing the light through the darkness of winter and night.

It is a beautiful celebration that happens all over Germany each winter season. When a large group processes together in the city (as we did tonight) the police escorts the group so that they can stop traffic and close streets to cars as the group walks through the neighborhood.

I felt so glad to be able to witness this joyful event and I was even able to sing along when the kids sang “This Little Light of Mine”!

***Have grace because the pictures aren’t very clear--it was pitch black and very hard to see anything in the view finder but you will get the idea of how cute the kids and their parents were as they marched and sang***


The beautiful park that David walks through to get to school each day.
We were so thankful for Jen and Allan coming all the way to see us and they even braved the Hamburg rain to see the city and see our lives that we are living in this foreign place.
During dinner, Jen took about a million photos trying to get one of David smiling—and on this final try he really gave her one of his prize smiles—we truly had such a good time laughing and causing crazy disturbances all over Hamburg!
A Christmas card moment--Jen and Liz at the big Christmas tree in the Alsterhaus Store in downtown Hamburg (the Nordstroms of Hamburg).

We had a wonderful weekend with our dear friends and we are so blessed that they could join us in Hamburg. We had a great time walking, talking, eating, drinking, and relaxing!

We feel very blessed that we will be able to see them again at the end of the month, for Thanksgiving, before we have to head back to the States!



David in front of our hostel. We stayed in a little area outside of the city(the area was very similar to the Pearl District in Portland). It was really fun to go into the neighborhood pub and have a drink with the locals and listen as the old men talked Irish politics.
Trinity College Grounds
This is on the grounds of the Dublin Castle. A fully furnished and open castle--it was really neat to run around the grounds.
St.Patrick's Cathedral was so lovely with the sun shining down directly behind it.
At the city park next to St.Patrick's Cathedral.

This pub was really fun to be at: live music, a full bar, and great people to chat with. The best part about it was all of the people taking photos of the outside (it is a landmark in Dublin, but we didn't know that until we came home and Googled it) and we spent a good portion of our time inside laughing at the people outside taking a picture of this legendary bar.
The Porterhouse Brewery had really great microbrews and it was fun to taste some of their local beers, each with a different flavor.
David's artistic impression of our beer glasses at one of the many pubs we visited to listen to live music and drink good Irish beer.

On our way home from Malta we flew into Dublin and spent 2 nights seeing the sights of the city and listening to the wonderful voices of the Irish people!

We really loved both the city and the people, but we had a bit of shock when we stepped off of the plane into the 2 degree temperatures—a far cry from the 25 degree weather we had been in for the past 5 days!

What a wonderful end to our vacation away from Germany.


David and I used the local bus around the island during our stay...and let me tell you that the bus behind David in this picture is one of the island's VERY nice busses!
When we checked into the resort we were met with a glass of wine and taken to our beautiful condo--a truly wonderful way for David to relax after his week of exams.
Not a bad view of the private beach and one of the 4 pools the resort had to offer.
Sunset from our balcony.
Spinola Bay is the most beautiful to see at night.

We have returned from a relaxing week on the island of Malta. Thanks to our Aunt Teri's time share we were able to fly down to the small island located 60 miles south of Sicily and enjoy the sun, the Mediterranean, and some great time to sit back and do NOTHING!

We spent the days drinking coffee on our balcony, reading our books, walking around the island, taking a nap by the pool, and then watching the sunset on the balcony with a glass of wine: pretty much a great way to spend the week!

Bright Lights, Big City...Life in Las Vegas