Sunday, July 30, 2006

Quick catch up post

Quickly catching up.....
  • spent the last 3 1/2 days with a bunch of ladies from church at a scrapbook retreat -- and I started my FIRST EVER scrapbook! Lots of fun conversation and laughter, but not much sleep, so I'm off to bed shortly. 87 blogs to read when I got home.....whew.
  • Zoe conference registration is now open! Can't wait to see so many of you blog friends there --- we'll have to do another blog-meet this year!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The end of Monopoly as we know it.....

Monopoly Ditches Cash, Goes Plastic

While Monopoly is the paragon of good 'ole fashioned board game fun, the "old fashioned" part had to go. Parker Brothers is phasing out the cash-based version's funmoney and replacing it with an "Electronic Banking" flavor that could leave Mr. Moneybags turning his pockets inside out as his stash is replaced by a magnetic strip. New kits are completely devoid of the famous multi-colored bills; instead, you'll find phoney Visa debit cards and a calculator / reader which keeps a running tabulation of your riches -- or lack thereof. A deal was struck with Visa to design the mock cards and readers, presumably after surveys showed that 70% of adults used cash less often now than they did a decade ago (no surprise there). When asked about the dramatic change, Parker said replacing cash with plastic "showed the game was moving with the times." For those anxious to get their swipe on, or if you've simply forgotten how to use bills, the new version will set you back £24.99, while the now "antiquated" cash version can be had for £12.99, but only while supplies last.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Girls Reunion Weekend

Well, this weekend I think I laughed harder than I have in a really long time. My college girlfriends came and camped at my place for our annual girls reunion weekend. This year 5 of 6 made it.... Mollie was in Abilene this past week for camp, but had to head back to New Mexico on Friday so she didn't make it this year -- and we definitely missed her!! Dara lives in California and made a comprehensive Texas trip for family business, her Mary Kay seminar and 15 year high school reunion; Sara came in from Nacogdoches before spending the week at Parkland Hospital doing some training before bringing her nursing students from SFA for clinicals in the fall; Katie came over from Keller and provided us with many yummy cookies to snack on; and Sarah enjoyed a break before packing to move to Denton to start grad school at TWU.

I cooked spaghetti Friday night for dinner and of course we stayed up late telling stories and catching up. We slept in a little on Saturday, made omelets in a bag, then did a little running around and shopping before coming back to crash and just continue to visit, laugh, sing and pray (and stay up waaayyy too late!!). It was precious time with girls that know me better than I sometimes know myself. Their friendships are very special -- it is amazing how God wove our lives together to create the foundation for these relationships -- even after not being in the same room together for more than a year, we just fall back into easy familiarity of deep solid friendship.

Now, off to finish washing sheets and towels. Then, probably an early to bed night....

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Even more photos

If you are interested in even more photos of our Germany trip, click here or on the title of this post.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tired

Very, very tired today. Catching up at work from being out for 2 weeks is really harder than it seems it should be. I was up at 5:00 and worked from 6:45 am to 5:45 pm yesterday, then drove an hour north to help my friend Kelly finish packing to move apartments (just across the parking lot). Got home about 10 pm. Today, up again at 5:00, worked from about 7:00 am - 5:45 pm. Tuesday night dinner at Casita with Martha for the first time in at least a month. Now, I'm home and headed to bed. I think I've about got a handle on all the critical stuff at work -- so maybe the rest of the week will be a little calmer. Good thing, too, this is a college girls weekend -- here at my house. Gotta finish cleaning, make beds, grocery shop etc before Friday at about 5:00 pm.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Prayer Request

George, the eldest son of one of my elders at church, is a college student in Washington D.C. studying international affairs or something similar. This summer he was studying abroad in Beirut, Lebanon. The last information I heard was that his school was trying to evacuate the students to northern Lebanon. I know that he has communicated with his parents since all the fighting began, but I can't even imagine what it is like for them as they wait to know details. So, please pray for George and his fellow students, his parents Cooter & Claire and brother JB as they wait to hear encouraging news.

update Tuesday 7-18-06: in case you haven't read the comments here, news has been received that George is currently on a boat headed to Cypress. Praise God!

Friday, July 14, 2006

A few more photos

for some reason, blogger won't let me append these to the previous entry!!



Family!
(L-R) Ute K, Phillp & Heather R, Ernst & Lydia K, Thomas K, me, mom & daddy










Schloss (castle) Linderhof -- a mini Versailles built by King Ludwig












Schloss Neuschwanstein













the family on "Mary's Bridge" with Schloss Neuschwanstein in background




A few photos.....


Wurzburg Castle















Rathaus in Rothenburg















All of us on the wall around the town of Rothenburg













Biergarten in Augsburg














Hofbrauhaus in Munich
















Gate into Dachau (near Munich)













man in traditional Leiderhosen in sqaure in Munich








Thursday, July 13, 2006

10 days later.....

Ok. I'm back. 172 emails and 361 blog entries to catch up on...... after my 10 day vacation in Germany with my family. And what an adventure it was.....

Last Monday, July 3, we headed to the airport. My dad earns a lot of frequent flier miles, so we were able to fly using miles, but that does also complicate travel plans when you are trying to arrange for 5 people to travel together! So, no direct flights for us.....first day, a flight from DFW through Chicago to Frankfurt. Well, when we got to DFW (way early, I might add), we were beginning to discover that our flight was being delayed. One delay after another, we began to realize that we might miss our connection. Luckily, there was an earlier flight to Chicago that left in about 10 minutes and they had 5 seats, so we hopped on. Unfortunately, taking a different flight means that your luggage is still on the original flight and might or might not make the connection. We got to Chicago and made our connection no problem. Turns out our original flight was delayed so much that we most likely would have missed the plane to Frankfurt.

Long flight over, passport control, then baggage claim. One problem - only 1 of 5 bags made it. Normally that would just be a slight inconvenience, however on this trip (unlike any other we've ever taken), we were renting a car and driving all over Germany staying in a different city every night. Ugh. Thankfully, my sister and I had both packed toiletries in our carry-on bags, so both hotel rooms had at least minimal supplies. We were able to find a store and buy a fresh set of clothes.....with a trip to Europe, you know it will be at least 24 hours before your bags get there, but in our case, it would be 48 before they made it to us, since we were driving to the south of Germany.

The first couple of days/nights were really hot and miserable. The beginnings of what looked like a looooong week. By our third night, a storm had come through and cooled things off dramatically. It still wasn't as cool as a mountain vacation in Colorado in the summer, but much much better than the first part of the trip. Europe doesn't really believe in air conditioning like we do here in Texas, so we were dependent on the windows being able to be wide open and air flow coming through to cool the rooms. Some were better than others, but after those first few days, I was at least able to blow dry my hair without melting in the mornings!


The first night, we were met by Peter and Brigitte who showed us around Wurzburg (the hometown of Dirk Nowitzki, by the way). Peter's sister, Ute, is married to my third cousin, Thomas. We met Thomas and Ute, along with Thomas' parents, Ernst and Lydia, the third day. Thomas showed us around Munich, then we visited his home and enjoyed some very tasty cherries and apricots grown on the family farm. We ate dinner with the family, then really felt like we started our vacation because we finally got our suitcases!!!

Over the next several days we visited castles, small towns, waterfalls, Lake Konstanz, and the Black Forest. It was so nice. And we all learned that we really do prefer a vacation where you go one place and stay put. Much easier than unpacking and repacking every day!!

Our travel home was more convoluted than going: flight from Frankfurt to London Heathrow. Changed airports from Heathrow to Gatwick via bus. Flight from Gatwick to Raleigh-Durham, NC, then finally the flight to DFW. The alarm went off at 4 am Germany time on Wednesday morning (9 pm Tues in Dallas) and we finally made it back to my house about 11:00 pm Wednesday evening. So, about 26 hours of travel, with each of our connections requiring us to get our bags and go through customs! Crazy. But we did all make it in one piece, all of our flights were on time, and we all made it home with luggage!

Overall it was a great vacation -- I'm so glad that it worked out for us all to go together. And I don't have to go back to work until Monday, so I've still got a few days to continue to relax!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Packing

I love to travel.....but I really hate to pack. I wish that I could just magic all my stuff with me wherever I go, so I never have to worry about forgetting something!!