Saturday, November 28, 2009

I am thankful for....

I have to say that Thanksgiving is very strange this year. First, I am at job training up in Braunschweig and was in it all day. Justin worked all day and we are not together. That being said don't worry I am not having a meltdown because honestly it just feels like another day. Plus the Christmas spirit is so high it is hard to be sad. We did do something fun this year and made flip video greeting cards for our family and I hope they enjoyed them. We also called our families to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. I really do love thanksgiving because you get to stop and think about all the blessings in your life and think about how thankful you are. To be in the Thanksgiving spirit we thought we would bring back the Top 5 list and this time it is the top 5 things we are thankful for in Germany.


Justin's Top Five:

1.  church / small group - Being part of a community in which to grow and pour into others was a main priority coming over here.  We had an awesome small group with our last church and knew that it would be critical to have something similar in our lives in Germany.  In the past month or two we have found both.

2.  gym - After taking a few months off, it was nice to find a place to exercise within walking distance from our apartment.  It also helps to establish a routine and to feel more like we live here, rather than are just visiting.

3.  Haribo Gummi Bears - This is both a top five thing I am thankful for here, and a top 5 thing that is going to lead to the decline of my dental health.  I absolutely love the gummi bears and the bags cost less than a Euro, which means I easily eat a pack a week.

4.  Trains - Probably because not many people use train systems in the U.S. that often, but it really is nice to commute from my doorstep to the school using trains.  It's mostly quiet, you don't have to pay much attention to what's going on, you can read or listen to music or sleep and it's a great way to wind down after work.  Also, the long-distance trains are also fun because we can leave our apartment 30 minutes before we have to go somewhere and literally walk onto our train - no check in or security or bag check or parking......it's also nice to check out the countryside along the way.

5.  lazy weekends - not that you can't have one anywhere, but we literally get up most saturdays and don't have much of anything planned.  I'll cook up bacon and eggs or bake a streudel and we can lounge around until we feel like strolling through the neighborhood street market or see what's happening down in the city center (always some kind of festival it seems)

**also thankful for technology, including but not limited to ESPN gametracker, ESPN 360, skype, and flip video

Marisa's Top Five:

1.) finding a job- This was a big concern for us moving over here for me to find a job. After a week of training for my new job I can say I am really looking forward to getting started. With my income we will be able to do a lot more traveling and achieve some of our financial goals while we are here. I am so thankful for a job!


2.) local and inexpensive food- I know I have said this a million times, but I am so thankful for the bi-weekly farmers market by my house and all the fresh fruit and veggies in grocery stores here. I get to eat healthy and not pay too much. We spend about half the amount on groceries that we did in the States and mom's don't worry we do still eat.


3.) Not having a T.V.- Don't get me wrong I watch American T.V. shows on my computer every once in a while, but it is nothing like having a T.V. I never thought I would say this, but I don't even notice it is gone most days. I can just remember in the States spending hours on a given night in front of the T.V., but now we spend most nights talking, reading, blogging, talking a walk, or getting hot chocolate. I really think it has been great for our marriage and has taken us to another level of communication skills. I am not saying we will never have one again I am saying that I am thankful for this time without one.


4.) Our neighborhood restaurant- Zur Sonnenuhr is the name and they make the best schnitzel I have ever eaten. I am just so thankful it is a minute walk away and we can take all our friends and family there to enjoy it too. The staff knows us and we enjoy getting to know them. Kind of feels like Cheers. Tonya is our waitress of choice and we like how over the past 3 months she has warmed up to us.


5.) Blogs- I really enjoy writing the blog, but more than that I am thankful for all my friends blogs. I get to stay up to date with their lives and smile at their personality shining through the words. Blogs are a great way to share our experience in life and to share in others experiences. I am a firm believer that people inspire people and blogs are a great way to spread your story to inspire. Thanks everyone for all the great reading material.


Of course we are so thankful to have each other, supporting family and friends, good health, a roof over our heads and just so many blessings from God. We hope all of you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and I hope you know we are thankful to have you in our life.


Gobble Gobble!!
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