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9 Ways to Save on Garbage!

Did you know that the average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash per day? For my family of 6, that would be 189 pounds every week! That’s crazy!! Producing a lot of garbage is expensive, not to mention the fact that it just feels wasteful. I feel like a bad human being if we have a big pile of trash. It’s bad for the environment and my pocket. Here are some ways to save money on your garbage pile, and help the planet in the process! 1. Stop trash before it starts. Buying things isn’t just expensive at the cash register. You also spend money transporting Read More

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What I miss about Germany

Before I left Germany, I wrote a blog post about what I missed about the USA. I am SO happy to be back on American soil and to be enjoying those luxuries again. But now that we have been back for 10 months, I’m reminiscing fondly about the things I miss about Germany! Here are a few things on my list. The Running Paths The entire German countryside is a patchwork of paved farm roads which are perfect for running. There are no cars, only horses and the occasional tractor. You could run for miles and miles and miles without having to step foot on Read More

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Our Move ~ The Long Story

Our crazy move from Germany to Ohio happened very fast, and honestly it left me a little traumatized. I’m finally able to look back on it without seizing, so I thought I’d share the story of what happened. Here’s our timeline, in a nutshell. March 25 – we find out that the house we were buying has failed inspection, miserably. We knew it needed work, but we didn’t know that there was irreparable damage. So we’re back to the drawing board on the house front. We knew a move was coming, but we didn’t know if it was days, weeks, or months away. March 31 Read More

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Couponing in Germany

I was a pretty serious couponer before I moved to Germany. Boy, was I shocked when I got here. My first several months in country, my grocery bill more than tripled what it had been in the states. Finally I got my bearings and figured out a few things that helped me save money over here. Commissary Rules First, let’s talk about the rules at the overseas commissary. 1. The commissary (and PX) take coupons 6 months past their expiration date. So if the coupon expires 6/30/14, you can use it until 12/31/14. This is nice, because sometimes by the time coupons make their way Read More

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The Frankfurt Christmas Market

We have been enjoying lots of holiday activities this Christmas season. We’ve been in Germany over 2 years now, and I still hadn’t been to Frankfurt (which is only 30 minutes away). So we decided to head to the Frankfurt Christmas Market with the kids. I loved the giant snowflake lights! Stomper called this a “black hole” – it was a glass building, with a hole in it to the other side. It was very cool looking! Lights on the ceilings over the sidewalks. This picture does not capture how huge and bright and hauntingly beautiful the moon was that night. The kids were SO Read More

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A Quiet Walk Among Monks

We spent the morning visiting my friend Aimee, who lives in an amazing house with an amazing view. It’s a bit of a drive to get there, but it’s like a breath of fresh air when you finally do. This is the view that she gets to see from her window every day: Gorgeous! Aimee has been talking about this monastery in her back yard since I’ve known her, so I asked her today if we could walk up and see it. So off we went! The monastery is surrounded by many ornate statues that appear to be places of prayer. Walking up a LONG Read More

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Idar-Oberstein – Church in the Rock

After we visited the gemstone mine in Idar-Oberstein, we headed downtown to visit another magnificent site in the area – the Church in the Rock. This is a church built into the side of the mountain. It was awesome! The Church in the Rock We had lunch out on the patio of this cute restaurant. The kids love eating outside! There were 246 steps up to the church! The entrance to the church was actually inside the mountain. The back wall of the church was rock – so cool! We went up more stairs inside the church to reach the scenic overlook. From the top, we could see Read More

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Idar-Oberstein – the gemstone mine

My husband has wanted to take the kids to this mine since we arrived in Germany. His reason: he went there on a 4th-grade field trip. He lived in Germany as a kid, too, and this place was one of his most vivid memories. We got a little lost on the way there (FYI, the address on the website is NOT correct). Finally, we made it, and started the hike to the entrance to the mine. We found a bunch of really cool slugs on the path. Sophie had to pee on the hike, so we took her behind one of these rocks to go. She Read More

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Lazy Summer Days

We’ve been staying close to home this summer. We’ve done a few day trips, but for the most part we aren’t traveling. We got out to enjoy the nice weather the other day by going for a long walk in the fields. Off we go! We stopped at a German bakery on the way for some yummy pastries. Connor likes the apple ones. Sophie never sits still, even when she’s eating. Happy little guy! The kids love “tree tunnels”. They all squeal with delight whenever we find one. This is my favorite place to run. You can see for miles, and I counted over 20 villages from Read More

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A Walk in the Forest

Recently, some friends asked us to tag along for a walk in the forest near their house. It was so quiet and beautiful and peaceful! And the kids had a great time exploring nature. It looked like it was snowing, because of the white fluff blowing in the wind. (If you can’t see it, click the photo to enlarge.) It was beautiful! Finally we found the source of the fluff.