Saturday, January 01, 2011

Recap-ing the Holidays, mostly in pictures


November and December were very busy months! One of the special education aids at the middle school hurt his knee, so I took over for him for a few weeks. I don't often work every day, and it was a little stressful at first because being a full-time aid is hard work and the kids' schedules are confusing, but I got the schedule down just in time to give it back up to the real aid in December :P What was really great though was getting to spend lots of time with the other teachers. I really love the school community here! Two of the other special ed teachers are also pregnant and due in January and February, so I expect I will be subbing a fair amount in the coming weeks too.

Originally we were planning to go to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving, but J's Mom said nearly no one was coming this year, so we'll plan on going next year when we'll have the baby to show off. Instead we had 6 friends over and had a great time playing Apples to Apples and Taboo. I tried out a new dessert recipe, an Apple-Walnut Galette, which was a huge hit with the Germans as they (for the most part) do not like pumpkin pie. I cheated and used a pre-made crust.
Apple-Walut Galette

Our table is too small to seat 8 people, so our upstairs neighbor who was out of town kindly let us use her enormous dining set, in her apartment, which was great because we got to use her fridge and oven as well. Here's our little appetizer and dessert spread in my apartment, and the turkey, and some other pictures from the evening.



Early in December we attended the AF Holiday party, which this year was held at the very impressive Wiesbaden Kurhaus, which also houses an old and elegant casino. We had a really nice dinner sitting with some of J's work friends, then ditched the dancing to go play some Black Jack! The casino is all dark wood and mirrors and makes you feel like you're in some swanky Chicago Speakeasy or something. J played for 2 hours and won 40 Euros!
Kurhaus - Bowling Green
AF Holiday Party

In December we did various festive things like go to the Wiesbaden and Rudesheim Christmas Markets, make homemade caramels with my Hallstadt Salt to go in giftmas presents, and set up our FishyJewLlamaTree, which is now staggering under the weight of so many llamas, alpaca and lambs!

Wiesbaden Shining Star Market
Shining Star Market

Mini fancy chocolate bundt cakes made with my new silicon pan

Enjoying Rudesheimer Kaffee with our neighbors

FishyJewLlamaTree, with new Ram on top

Also, I made my first fruitcake, from scratch! The store didn't have any glacee cherries so I threw in some marachinos for color. I had to candy my own citrus peel and everything!
Candied peel
Making Fruitcake
It was delicious, but huge, and we still have some left.

Finally, the crown jewel of our holiday season: Our trip to Prague Christmas weekend! We stayed in a really nice hotel with a pool/hottub overlooking the city, brought along two friends, went to the opera (Carmen) and had a fabulous time enjoying this gorgeous city in lightly falling snow. We totally want to go back! Unfortunately my camera died partway through our main sightseeing day, and I haven't had a chance to upload J's yet so my pictures are limited.

At Prague castle

When we walked down the steps to get to the Charles Bridge and wandered in to this lovely little gallery with paintings and prints by Natalie Pekka, and we fell in love with a somewhat-cubist style painting of a cellist on the bridge so we brought it home with us :) Still need to get it framed. I'll try to remember to take a picture of it later.

Here's some shots from the bridge:
The martyred saint you are supposed to make a wish on:
I'll post some more when I can upload J's.

Holiday Knitting!
I'm about a quarter of the way done with my Tamarix Quilt baby blanket, in Knit Picks Comfy. It's easy, but even though the squares are fast it's a bit boring. It's fun watching the pattern come together though!
Tamarix Quilt WIP

And I made J a pirate hat for giftmas, from the "We call them pirates" pattern (ravelry link) He loves it!
Joe's Pirate xmas hat

And for good measure, here's a gratuitous baby-bump picture. About 18 weeks here.
Baby Bump!


Ilix said...

Wow, fantastic pictures. You had quite the time, and congrats on the baby bump!

Patricia said...

Thanks for posting so many pictures. I've added your blog to my feed. I grew up Am Wartturm. Just sold the family house post 9-11. I have many fond memories traipsing through the fields and looking down at Wiesbaden. My first job was right across the street from the Kurhaus, on Wilhelmstrasse. Regrettably, the shop no longer exists. Keep those pictures coming!