Saturday’s Urban adventure

On Saturday we took an urban adventure. I’m starting to think that the longer you live in a city and the more comfortable you become, the less you seek to know it. When we first arrived, we truly felt like tourists as we explored the city with joy and wonder. I doubt we could ever know all of Berlin, see all of her sights, or grow bored with all there is to offer here, but if we aren’t intentional we’ll inadvertently stop getting to know her, and we might end up losing that joy and wonder of exploration. I’ve heard that people tend to stick to their neighborhoods in Berlin, and the longer we are here (only 8 months so far) the more I realize how true this is. We are learning to do with what we can find in our neighborhood. Sure, we get out of our area for things like clothing, specialized craft supplies, coffee we enjoy drinking, restaurants (we don’t have a lot of options near us), and to see people we’ve met who don’t live near us, but for the most part we stay in our small little neighborhood or the two/three right next to us.

My urban adventurers ready for the task at hand.

My urban adventurers ready to tackle KaDeWe.

 

One place we had yet to visit was the Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe for short), or “Department Store of the West” (translated to English) so we headed out for an adventure. This place is in a totally different part of the city from where we live. We came out of the U-Bahn station and it felt 100% different from what we are “used to”. I felt for a moment as if we weren’t even in Berlin, but that’s one of the beautiful things about this city, and another example of the diversity within her. I am amazed at how different areas of this city can feel to me. We joined the crowd of people- tourists, curious shoppers, locals, and entered the building. We had come for two specific purposes: first, we had never been to this iconic shopping center and second was that this store is said to sell American grocery products at imported prices, so we were about to discover what that meant.

Chocolate chips and corn syrup! We had to pass these by.

Chocolate chips and corn syrup! We had to pass these by.

We entered in what I would describe as a scene similar to Macy’s make up department. I haven’t been in anything like that for months. I smiled, not because I was on a shopping spree, because I wasn’t, but because there were things I knew and recognized there. It almost felt like home as in something we recognized, except this would compare to the largest Macy’s I can imagine.

On the 6th floor we finally arrived at the department that sells groceries. We walked past small restaurants selling foods or wines to guests sitting around them, a large wine and spirits section, huge cheese section that made our kids gag and walk around with plugged noses, produce that had Jazz apples (yum!), Jalapeños (and Habaneros) and other delicious items, and finally the American food section.

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Let me tell you: the items they sell in the American section are interesting to me and the prices- oh my. I heard that things were inflated here, but the costs were somewhat unbelievable to us. This is one reason we are learning to live on what we can find here, we find if we look hard enough we can find most things we really want like jalapenos this past week. Salsa with jalapenos is a treat we will gladly eat whenever we find them. Back to the inflation topic though.  At KaDeWe one can find Starburst candy canes for €8 a box, Hidden Valley Ranch for €11 a bottle, syrup for between €9-€40 depending on “quality” and quantity (I didn’t recognize any of the syrup names), a brownie mix for €14, pop tarts were €9,98 a box, Hershey’s choc chips, brown sugar, BBQ sauce- all substantially more expensive compared to what we’d pay at a grocery store in the US. We were hoping to find A&W, or Barq’s root beer and had brought some Christmas money we got in case we found some, as this would be a real treat, but no dice. It was shocking and maybe a little laughable. On our way back out of the store we saw an amazing TV that cost €35,000! Incredible!

There is the price tag so you can see for yourself.

There is the price tag so you can see for yourself.

We had a triplet of slightly disappointed children who had hoped to find dream worthy snacks at this store so we went in search of a café to grab a snack and hang out. While walking, we passed the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and for the first time since we moved here, we saw it uncovered since it was previously under preservation project. It was beautiful as the sun was setting, the light was right, and you could see what remains of her. Someday I hope to see the inside because I imagine it’s amazing.

My urban adventurers ready for whatever the sunny day had in store.

Kiaser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the photo does not do it justice.

That snack? Since the kids were quite persistent, we ended up just stopping at McDonalds for dinner instead of a café for coffee and cakes. The café we hoped to stop at was a little dressier than we were prepared for so we chose the place where our attire was always welcome- McD’s. We ended our urban adventure at home, snuggled up in bed, with the kiddos listening to me read them our current read aloud.

Silvester in Berlin

Pfannkuchen with our celebratory candles.

Pfannkuchen with our celebratory candles.

Silvester aka New Year’s Eve.  What could possibly be different about living in a new country on this day? Well of course it is called something completely different which threw me off. I am not sure why I assumed it would be called New Year’s Eve, but I did. Silvester, as it is called, is the celebration of Pope Sylvester 1. He was Pope in the early 300’s and was said to have cured Constantine of leprosy. Silvester is the celebration of the Feast of St. Sylvester on the anniversary of his death: December 31, 335.

Some being lit near our house.

Some fireworks being lit near our house.

In Berlin (perhaps Germany as a whole) Fireworks are all the rage. Before Christmas signs and banners start waving from store fronts all over town advertising the incoming Feuerwerks that will be making their appearance immediately after Christmas. They are sold beginning on the 27th at grocery stores, pop-up Feuerwerk shops, and any small Laden nearby. On Silvester the small drink mart near our house had boxes upon boxes of various fireworks available surrounding the cash register; it looked like the man behind the counter had built himself a fort out of fireworks. The “show” started slowly near us on the 30th. As I walked to the grocery store I was surrounded by a firework show put on by anybody with money to buy them. It is different for us, as fireworks were not legal in MN for so long, to now see people launching things we would only see on July 4th or other major events. I think you need a license or at least special training to launch some of these things in MN and here kids as young as 7 were launching off here within feet of our apartment.

Just one shot from the massive show.

Just one shot from the massive show.

It is loud, smoky and amazing. In the morning the streets were littered with the aftermath of HOURS of fireworks/ firecracker displays, no joke hours of noise and lights. On Silvester they began around 9 am and when we went to bed at 3:30am New Year’s morning they were still going. There were some very loud ones that were special out of country fireworks which we are pretty sure are illegal here- being launched near our flat. A couple of times our entire building shook with the sound blast from these large fireworks.

The morning aftermath in a empty paved area near our home. Just a few fireworks were shot off here.

The morning aftermath in an empty paved area near our home. Just a few fireworks were shot off here.

Yes, like any urban area there are clubs and parties everywhere. The Brandenburger Tor was the place to be, but as we are still a young family we did not venture there. Perhaps some year when we have a sitter, or our kids are old enough to stay alone, have their own parties to go to, or really want to go we will make the trek. I would do it once, just like I would do Time’s Square one time if ever able just to say we did it.

That evening a couple from downstairs came up to enjoy appetizers and conversation with us. The kids stayed up late and around 10:15 went outside with Denny to launch some of our own fireworks because that is what you do here. They came back up at 11:30 and stayed up for about an hour of the best fireworks before passing out in their beds trying to watch the show from their windows without falling asleep. The neighbors went home at 3:15 and the fireworks were still blasting off around us.

Our friends also made a traditional New Year’s Day food: Berliners, Pfannkuchen, for us to snack on. There is usually one or two in the batch that are surprisingly not filled with marmalade but mustard. Denny and our friend each pulled one of those from the stack. Denny said it wasn’t bad, but he really likes mustard. I made Flammkuchen which is a delicious and easy German recipe.

Again, I didn’t take many photos. We did capture some video of the fireworks display from our balcony until they started going off a little too close to our faces for comfort. Experiencing New Year’s Eve in this way was incredible and unexpected. It was a great way to ring in our six month Berlin anniversary and we look forward to celebrating it again at the end of this year!

Weihnachtszeit in Berlin (Christmas Time in Berlin)

I have started this particular post multiple times. How do we share about our first Christmas abroad? It was wonderful and difficult all at once. That is what we should expect. It was our first year completely away from all family, for the first time in our lives. But also, it was our first Christmas in Berlin and it is a big, beautiful holiday here. I decided to tell you the things we did and did not do as more of a list than a long drawn out detailed post.

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Christmas Greetings from Brandenburger Tor

What we did not do this Christmas:

  1. Take loads of pictures. I normally take pictures all through Christmas Eve and Christmas day. This year I took only a few. That means I was more present this year for Christmas than I have ever been in my children’s short lives. It also means I have less photographic proof that we had an enjoyable day.
  2. I did not cook a huge meal. We enjoyed Christmas Eve with a German family who lives hear us and had a delicious meal and fun. On Christmas day we enjoyed appetizers with some co-workers also celebrating their first Christmas in Berlin. Small but delicious foods were created, but no large feast. We did really miss beef for Christmas, we miss good beef a lot.
  3. We did not get our Christmas cards made and ordered in time. Guess they will be Happy New Year’s cards this year. I cannot wait to order them, as I spend much time plotting and planning their appearance.
  4. We skipped stockings. I kept feeling like I was forgetting something, but remembered we didn’t need that piece of Christmas this year because we had a similar experience in early December. (See post about Nikolaustag.)
  5. We did not leave the house on Christmas day or the day after because we had no place to travel to and the stores were all closed. No running out on the 26th to go clearance shopping for me this year, thatt felt odd. No racing off to the next celebration so pjs were enjoyed until our evening guests were slated to arrive.
  6. We did not shop on Christmas Eve. It was a calm day getting the last pieces together for the celebrations we were having and attending.

What we did:

  1. We got a tree. They don’t look the same here, a little skinnier and the tops are odd, but we found a good one for us. Denny carried it home and up the steps and we took joy decorating it after he strung the lights. Interesting and new to us info about Christmas lights in Germany: they don’t plug into each other so we have a big power strip only for Christmas lights. Silliness.

    Denny carrying our tree home.

    Denny carrying our tree home.

  2. We kept our new ornament each year tradition and allowed the kids to each choose ONE ornament at a Weihnachtsmarkt to have as their first German ornament. We now own an owl, another lizard, and a dachshund for our tree. Denny and I went more traditional with the Christmas pickle, a carved wooden Berlin ornament, and a ceramic Santa. We chose three because we can, we are in charge;)

    Finished decorating the tree.

    Finished decorating the tree.

  3. We still made cookies. We had a generous package packed and delivered by co-workers with love and gifts from MN and we thought ahead and asked for Hershey’s kisses. We made peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter bars, and Grandma deBruyn’s Sugar Cookies. Next year we will order the color sugar in advance to make these cookies the normal way. I tried coloring sugar but it is too fine and the stores carried some pastel colors but they too were not the right consistency. They all tasted good so for next year: colored sugar and Hershey’s kisses.

    Leah's turn to add the kisses.

    Leah’s turn to add the kisses.

  4. We took family photos in the cold and wind. It wasn’t quite as cold as MN, but it was a very cold and windy day when we had our photos taken. We seem to choose days that are bitterly cold to take these photos and force all 5 of us to pose without jackets or other protective clothing. Some traditions you just have to keep alive.
  5. We opened pjs on Christmas Eve. It is another tradition for us to give the kids pjs that night. Micah caught on a couple weeks before Christmas and made the remark that perhaps this year would be the year we changed things and didn’t do pjs. So, I did change things: I threw some small band-a-loom packages and two chocolates into the bag too. Not a big change, but he appreciated it.

    Christmas morning in their new pjs.

    Christmas morning in their new pjs.

  6. We went to Christmas Eve service and it was packed. You’re probably thinking of course it was packed, it was Christmas. I just didn’t expect people to sit on the steps and be standing in back. We heard the Christmas story twice at the service: once read from Luke 2 and once acted out as a skit. That helped with the German a little. I didn’t recognize all the songs sung, but I assume they are traditional Christmas songs that we just don’t usually sing in the U.S.
  7. We Skyped with family. That was good and hard. I didn’t see my family last year for Christmas either so I assumed it would be easier this year for me. I tend to forget I am an emotional person. It was great to see them together and loved talking to each of them. It is good Skype is free because we have been on it for hours this past week.
  8. We still spent time playing board games. It feels like a tradition for us to spend much of Christmas week playing board games both new and old. This year was no different. We had co-workers over on Christmas and played games with them and the kids. Our family has also been spending time playing board games this week. It is a good, warm way to pass these gray and dreary days.

    Isaac's new board game.

    Isaac’s new board game.

  9. We have made our Christmas card wall. Thank you to all who have sent us cards. They still seem to trickle in each day here and we love getting them from you. They have a prominent display on our entry way wall.

We missed MN Christmas: snow, our home, our family celebrations, our church, our friends, our bigger oven. So many things about “home”, but really I can sit on a comfy chair and sip tea, listen to Christmas music and stare at our Christmas tree no matter where I live, which is one of my favorite things to do around Christmas. My kids were joyous on Christmas morning and they enjoyed playing and relaxing the whole Christmas day and that made it a good day for me too. Spending time Skyping with family means we are more intentionally talking with each other and it makes our time meaningful and precious. So as hard as it was to be away from “home”, I am so glad I was home from Christmas this year. God knew last year as we packed our belongings in preparation of this move that we would be home for Christmas this year. He knew as we sorted our Christmas ornaments into: “Take” and “Leave” boxes that this year we would have a tree and it would lift our hearts to combine old and new ornaments onto it representing our lives here and there.  Christmas would look and feel different, but it would be good. Perhaps our period of nomadic living prepared our hearts this year to be content, even happy, where we are today.

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We hope you had a very merry and joyfilled Christmas this year!

Experiencing the Weihnachtsmärkte

Spandau Weihnachtsmarkt

Spandau Weihnachtsmarkt

No this is not a holiday, but it is a traditional part of the holidays in Berlin. There are more Weinachtsmarkts in Berlin than we could visit during the holidays if we tried.  We did enjoy sampling a few of them around the city. For our first year of markets I think we did pretty well, and now we know a little more for next year. These outdoor markets generally open at the end of November and remain open until the first weekend of January.

Unique interpretation of a Christmas tree at Spreepark.

Unique interpretation of a Christmas tree at Spreepark.

The first one we went to was a flop. It took longer to transit there than we stayed. Sadly we were not the target audience for this one but we thought it sounded cool. It was at an old abandoned amusement park in Berlin called Spreepark (sounds really neat right?). It was dark but had some stuff lit up. We could see that there were merely 5 stalls selling Gluwein, crepes and a couple other things. For the kids there was a bouncy house, but it was dark- pitch black- so we only let them jump for a few minutes before we called off the fun and walked back to the bus stop.

Kids enjoying some hot cocoa and kinder punch.

Kids enjoying some hot cocoa and kinder punch.

Straight from there we then went to Potsdamerplatz. We were out on what has been our coldest night in Berlin. I know we are used to much colder, but that first cold day is always a tough one. We wandered through there taking in what a Weinachtsmarkt truly looks like. We sampled crepes and looked at homemade wares. We negotiated with our children that in fact no, we do not need to buy everything we saw. It was beautiful. Being there helped me realize Christmas was coming and to draw my mind to the preparations that we needed to be making for our first year here. It was a good night even though the first market wasn’t what we wanted. We got to spend some time with new friends who are spending their first Christmas in Berlin as well.

Light display at Potsdamerplatz

Light display at Potsdamerplatz

We went to a couple of others during the last few weeks. We may have had our fill. There is one more on my list of markets I really want to make it to, we will see. I think for me the best market, hands down, was Spandauer Weihnachtsmarkt in der Altstadt. It was the best atmosphere, good prices, best food, it was perfect for families. My second place was Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Charlottenburg, although we left before dark so we didn’t get to see it in its lighted state. I’m also glad we braved the Alt-Rixdorfer Weihnachtsmarkt. It was beyond crowded, but we got a taste of the neighborhood it was held in.

Neat ornaments the kids were given by a shop owner. Punk angels complete with mohawks and facial piercings.

Neat ornaments the kids were given by a shop owner. Punk angels complete with mohawks and facial piercings.

I have loved these markets. Grabbing a warm drink and some candied almonds, walking though browsing Christmas decorations and potential gifts. It was so fun. Whatever will we do in January when these markets are finished? Spring come quickly!

At Schloss Charlotenberg

At Schloss Charlotenberg

Nikolaustag

A note left for Nikolaus

A note left for Nikolaus

On December 5th you’ll find children in Berlin and across other areas of Europe cleaning their shoes (usually their biggest pair or perhaps every pair in the house) with anticipation. Once the shoes are cleaned they are set outside their front door so that St. Nikolaus will come to fill them with fruit, nuts, candy and other small trinkets during the night. The traditions surrounding this day vary by what region you live in, but we did the holiday as advised by other German families in Berlin. In other areas of Europe this day is celebrated with boys dressing up as Bishops and then a parade through town in addition to the shoes, but not so here.  In early November stores stock chocolate Santa’s in all sizes and you can take your pick of quality chocolate. I think it is a pretty good trade really- the kids clean their shoes only to have them filled with goodies. At least I am not the one scrubbing every pair until they look new again!

Working hard scrubbing their biggest pair of shoes here.

Working hard scrubbing their biggest pairs of shoes here.

By the way the kids shoes looked on the morning of December 6th I assume they are not on the naughty list.

The morning after. Clearly those with rain boots have bigger shoes than Nikolaus had loot.

The morning after. Clearly those with rain boots have bigger hopes than Nikolaus had loot.

How is Nikolstag celebrated where you live?

Thanksgiving in Berlin

The holiday season is in full swing, albeit in stark contrast to what we have grown accustomed to; there are many deviations from previous traditions and I find myself unsure of what other changes lay ahead and how to best prepare us for shifting our expectations. The Seasons are still here, but the transitions between them aren’t the same. In MN the seasonal changes matched our life rhythm and if for some reason we were forgetful, the local Target store was there to help remind us of what was coming. We felt the pressure of being on top of things there because if we waited too long we couldn’t find what we were looking for (children’s snow boots when snow had been forecast anyone?). From this years’ experience, next year we’ll know more and be better prepared.

I thought I would do a series on our first holiday season in Berlin. We’ll start with Thanksgiving and share a few others between now and the New Year. Keep in mind that we still feel new here, so we don’t have the German traditions down yet but I hope we’ll get there!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving. It is odd to celebrate an American holiday in another country, especially one that has traditionally involved family. I didn’t realize how much Thanksgiving meant to my family until the day I assumed we wouldn’t celebrate it this year. Why? Many reasons came to my mind: who do we invite, our table can only seat eight at best and we are already five, all five of us have school all day long…..

Normally I plan this day a good week or two in advance, even though I have never hosted the meal in our home. I am a planner at heart and I always made a special breakfast to eat while watching the parade on TV. I usually called my parents during the parade and the kids told them which floats were on and chatted for a while. Then I would whip up whatever we were bringing to the family gathering.

Some differences about planning for Thanksgiving here: the bird; Turkeys are not commonly found in the grocery store or at the butcher, though we happened to find a couple stores that sold some frozen. We bought one (exactly 6 kg) and carried it home on the train, in our backpack (because that is just how you do it here). I also heard that cranberries were uncommon here and difficult to find. If this is the case then we are blessed because we found both the berries and the bird at the store across from our school. I am glad because I need the berries for my traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin bread.

Found our bird!

Found our bird!

Denny and I had school off that Wednesday so we decided to hit the grocery store with our list in hand. I would NEVER do this at home, because who goes shopping for Thanksgiving groceries the day before Thanksgiving? We know the stores are packed with people and lacking on the necessary items that day (so I usually have it done by the Monday before). Not so in Berlin! Just another normal day, plenty of the items we needed. The trick was carrying it all home from the grocery store, good thing Denny’s built like a pack-mule.

Finished product.

Finished product.

Sadly, that night one of the kids caught a tummy virus that had been making the rounds through school so I had to stay home with them on Thursday and Denny on Friday. We had to make a visit to the local pediatrician here (because it’s required by school here), a visit from the virus meant that we decided to do the rest of Thanksgiving alone so we wouldn’t spread to others outside our home.

I cooked and baked all day while 3/5 of us were at school. I made cranberry sauce, a turkey, homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie, and croissants. I was able to find every ingredient we needed here which is pretty great since we were advised to move the items needed (dry goods) for our first Thanksgiving because that is a holiday you want to go as planned. We even found a drink like Cold Duck (a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage) that our kids drink at typical holiday dinners back home.

Small ovens mean we bake one thing at a time.

Small ovens mean we bake one thing at a time.

After school we streamed the Thanksgiving Day parade. It was the first time in years that I’ve watched it without a coffee in hand (since it was late afternoon and nearly dark already). The kids enjoyed it much more this year than ever before, probably because it reminded them of home. I didn’t like that I was finishing dinner while it was on, because that meant I didn’t get to watch much, but I listened in and it sounded like Thanksgiving morning. The food was good and we enjoyed a dinner that tasted like home. The winning food of the night was the made-from-scratch pumpkin pie, made from baking our Halloween Pumpkins.

Working on the pie crust. Turned out great!

Working on the pie crust. Turned out great!

We look forward to planning next year’s Thanksgiving and hopefully inviting friends who have never experienced this American holiday, because as we learned this year, Thanksgiving isn’t meant to be spent alone. Up next, Nikolaustag.

Enjoying the Berlin Leuchtet

We have been enjoying living in Berlin and learning about different celebrations and events that happen around the city. In October we experienced the Berlin Leuchtet, Das Lichterfest von Berlin, which is a light festival where several buildings and landmarks are light up with different displays. We spent an evening walking around with another family that was visiting Berlin and I think it is safe to say we all had fun. I can easily see this becoming a family tradition here. It was a fairly foggy night which made for some interesting photos but here are a few for you to get a small glimpse at what we saw on this little adventure.

Brandenburger Tor

Brandenburger Tor

Brandenburger Tor celebrating the World Cup win.

Brandenburger Tor celebrating the World Cup win.

And another

And another

Humboldt University of Berlin was covered in flowers.

Humboldt University of Berlin was covered in flowers.

Check out this one man band we saw.  Pretty entertaining.

Check out this one-man band we saw. Pretty entertaining.

Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom with the Fernsehturm Berlin peeking through the fog.

Berliner Dom with the Fernsehturm Berlin peeking through the fog.

Even the boats on the Spree were getting in on the lights action.

Even the boats on the Spree were getting in on the lights action.

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz

Sometimes I bake

Well, I suppose I bake more than sometimes if I’m being honest. Yesterday I baked a delicious apple crisp where the crumble topping formed a wonderful crust to the baked apples below. I wish I could share the recipe, but honestly I am still adjusting to ingredients here and so I played the “Let’s swap this for that and hope for the best” game.

a look at some typical baking ingredients

a look at some typical baking ingredients

We heading to a friend’s house for dinner tonight and are bringing dessert. Too bad we ate so much of the crisp because that would have been perfect. Oh well, so I made an attempt at brownies. My amazing husband went to the local grocery store and finally discovered the ingredients I had yet to buy or had yet to even identify.  Note to self: baking powder here does not come in orange boxes and it is not called “Baking Powder” because this isn’t America (The German word is “Backpulver” and it comes in a package of several tiny packets. It translates to both baking soda and powder, this may require further research.) . No wonder I couldn’t find it no matter how hard I looked!

I hope these turn out because I again played my favorite baking game named above. I have been known to create some really good mistake desserts, but I have also been known for some epic fails (chocolate-yogurt-zucchini cake anyone?). I have a backup plan that is fool proof: if these are horrid we will just eat ice cream because honestly I cannot mess that up.

Moved in

So we found our place and have been getting settled in for about a month. I think we are all realizing that settling in here will take a little more time than we had initially anticipated. In the U.S.  we would find an apartment, rent a truck and move in. If we needed to pick up a couple other things we would hop in our cars and go pick them up any day of the week. Besides not having a car and stores not being open on Sundays (which is actually nice until you realize you are out of something, you need to finish a project, or have no food in the house), apartments do not always come ready for you in the same way we are accustomed to.

This is how our ceiling looked when we moved in. No lights, but lots of wires waiting.

This is how our ceiling looked when we moved in. No lights, but lots of wires waiting.

For example, apartments do not always come with light fixtures. Ours had holes cut in the ceiling for each light fixture and had the wires hanging down ready for us to find lights for it. It is a good thing that Denny is comfortable doing these things!

Denny hard at work putting in the recessed lighting.

Denny hard at work putting in the recessed lighting.

Sweet success!

Sweet success!

Another example: apartments do not always come fitted with a kitchen. Well, sometimes they do but only if the previous tenant left theirs behind, which is not very common from what we saw. The theory, as best as I understand, is that you bought a kitchen you liked and so of course you would want to move it with you to your next home. We now know several stores that have kitchens available. We also now understand better how much a full and functional kitchen actually costs. We went the creative rout and though slower than I would have liked it was still faster than ordering a new kitchen that would have been custom fitted for our home. We chose to spend time scouring classified ads to find a kitchen that we liked and would fit in the opening available. We found it!

Original kitchen

Original kitchen

Denny and a few other people we work with in Berlin moved a kitchen into our place! Since then we have been spending time  getting it put together so we can begin entertaining in our house. I have missed cooking and having people over for meals and dessert so much since we moved out of our home in January. I cannot wait for it to begin again! It is in, but not finished. We need a counter top that works with our layout (the holes for the sink and oven in the right spots), a sink and faucet, and the upper cabinets will need be lowered because I’m just not tall enough for them as they hang today;)

So close!

So close!

 

Micah’s story

 

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This boy is hilarious! If you’ve ever had a conversation with him you’re likely to have heard of joke or laughed at one of his stories. Today after lunch he brought me this paper and told me, “I told Isaac this story and he wrote it down for me.”  No, this isn’t one of his funny stories (unless you enjoy the word art with “the end”), but it is a great picture of  how he is doing with our move.  Enjoy!

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