Friday, November 30, 2012

Snow Beauty

I felt like I was in Narnia on my way to Prague today...the snow was absolutely beautiful! It was sprinkled perfectly over the trees and the white blanket appeared untouched on the ground. All this beauty made me a little more tolerant of the cold weather. Here's to a wonderful weekend in Prague! xoxo

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Days with the Dragons...

I feel like I only post about making food with my students (and lets be honest, we do make A LOT of cookies!) but I wanted to share some pictures about the average days here at the Dragon School. This school is hard to describe and a get a wide array of reactions when I try. So, over the past few days, I've been stealthily snapping pictures of my dragons doing everyday activities. Though this school is far from traditional, it is a very happy place and these students always brighten my days with their smiles, creativity, and funny english phrases.

Eating: I usually only work 5 hour days, and during that time the kids take turns cooking, preparing, and eating TWO meals. So, a lot of time is spent in the kitchen.

Crafting: Boys and girls alike, love making crafts. Everything from painting their nails to christmas decor to origami, the dragons love some handmade creations.

Games: You name it, my kids play it. The dragons love games more than any kids I've ever known. They will easily spend five hours straight playing Uno Attack.

Music: This is one aspect of school that I can offer no help whatsoever, but the kids are almost all musical. There is always someone sitting at the piano, and they have two people come ever week for guitar and drum lessons. I am always impressed when I hear them play...but I'm still waiting to see a performance from "The Dragon School Band"!

Reading: The library at this school is amazing, and all the kids LOVE cuddling up in the reading room with a good book. I read at least five Dr. Seuss books out loud everyday...the dragons are so enthusiastic about any and every book!


Computer: I am impressed by some of the students' abilities on the computer...They have this amazing animation program and a few of the kids are really good at it! I also had to bribe a student today to print my train ticket for me because the German Train Website is super needless to say these kids are experts at computers.

Selfies: Though cameras technically aren't allowed, whenever the kids see my phone, they immediately want to take self pictures. Here are a few of the winners!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tis the Season...

With the holiday season already here, I thought it only fair to give it a little attention on my blog. Firstly, I thought I'd share pictures from the little Thanksgiving celebration I went to this past weekend. My friend and pseudo-mom here in Germany, Rachel, is working on making her little German hometown sister cities with Franklin, Tennessee (a cute suburb of Nashville!) so she had some Tennesseans in town for Thanksgiving to see about making that connection. I joined them on Saturday, along with a few other German-Americans who had some Nashville connection, to have a little Thankgiving celebration. We went and did a tour and wine at this amazing old monastery, Erbach Abbey, which was absolutely beautiful and such an authentic experience!

The wine tasting was by candle light in an old wine cellar, but the wine was delicious and the setting was intriguing. And, of course, the pretzels were delicious!

Afterwards, we went to dinner and continued celebrating. For me, enjoying the company of english speakers and talking about how wonderful Nashville (and Franklin) are was like a dream come true. The whole weekend was a blast and such a nice way to feel like I got to have a Thanksgiving celebration without being the obnoxious American.
This is me and my German-American friend, Stefanie, who is also my Wake Forest recruit!

And now, for the next holiday, I am so excited about all the Christmas Markets I will be able to attend! I've heard people rave about these since I moved to Germany, so I can't wait to experience them myself. I will spend this coming weekend in Prague with some Wake friends, then the following weekend of my best friends in the world, Kate, is coming to Germany so we'll explore the Munich (and nearby) Christmas markets, and I am also going to get to see the christmas market in the hometown and hopefully swing by Heidelberg at some point because they have a huge ice skating rink in the middle of their market. Needless to stay, I can't wait for this to commence! 
You can't really tell in this picture, but the streets of Wald-Michelbach are already lined with christmas lights and stars!

And after the next three weekends in a row at various christmas markets, I will hop a plane for home sweet home!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Eleanor & Kevin

Last weekend when I was in southern England, I pretended like I was a seasoned photographer for a minute and took a few engagement pictures for Eleanor and Kevin. We were all pleasantly surprised with the way they turned out, but I give all the credit to the fun-loving couple and the beautiful scenery at Woodfalls.




We persuaded Kevin to take some "Friendship Pictures" just for fun. They also turned out surprisingly well...if the medical world does't work out, Kevin, you can always fall back on photography!



Friday, November 23, 2012

Life Lately

I just thought this was an interesting snippet of all the crazy changes that have occurred in my life in the past six months...I have a lot to be thankful for! I was inspired to make this by a few of which was this quote about journeys that a friend sent me. I love thinking of life as a journey, especially these days and I felt like this quote summed it up in a fascinating way.

“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”


Thursday, November 22, 2012

A German Thanksgiving...

Well, when I started to talk to my students about Thanksgiving, I realized none of them even knew what it was! Of my thirty-four kids, only one could tell me that Thanksgiving was an American holiday!

I gave them the spark notes version of the history of Thanksgiving, and they were excited to make cute little turkeys out of their handprints.

And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't missing my family today. Not only because everyone (including my grandmother, Muir!) is in Nashville except for me, but because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year to be a Nashvillian, mostly due to the annual Boulevard Bolt, which is a fun race the morning of Thanksgiving. The Carroll family takes the Bolt seriously, running all five miles decked out in costume every year. Here's a picture from last time, and I know my family rocked it today as elves and reindeer.

So, whether thanksgiving is a novel idea to you or one of your favorite holidays...Happy Thanksgiving all the same! xoxo

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Land of English Speakers...

I have just returned from a refreshing, fun-filled long weekend in England with wonderful friends. This trip was a blessing for so many reasons.

First of all, it was the first time in four months that I set foot in an English speaking country. Just hearing people speak English all the time was like music to my ears. Reading the signs easily and being able to ask for directions without a second thought is a luxury I had almost forgotten existed.

Secondly, it had been way too long since I had seen my dear friend Eleanor. We had plenty to catch up on, delicious food to eat, wedding plans to discuss, and some fun projects to work on. Needless to say, we took full advantage of our time together!

Also, we spent time at her grandparents beautiful home in southern england. They pampered us and took us to delicious meals and tea by the cozy fireplace...their home is always such a relaxing place!

I also got to meet, Kevin, Eleanor's fiancé, which was a pleasure! We took some engagement pictures (and some friendship pictures!), so stay tuned to see more of these.

In addition to all this, we spent some time shopping in London and I had lunch with my childhood friend, Adelaide!

All in all, I could not have asked for a better Thanksgiving adventure. Even though I am sad not to be in Nashville where my entire family will be this week, I have so much to be thankful for here in Europe.