Sunday, April 10, 2011

Libraries and Dinosaurs

I recently read a blog post that gave me a little more perspective. My time in Germany has not been the pleasant beginning I expected it to be. We came in November, right smack in the beginning of a nasty weather season. Just as the weather was getting better and we had hopes of paying off our moving expenses, we were facing the threat of furloughs. We were pretty terrified for a while about how we were going to survive in a foreign country with no paycheck. But, while I was anxious about all my expectations being lowered, I was also not noticing the "unexpected". We live in a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood. Mike is able to work for the military again, something I think his heart has always been in. Joshua goes to a great school with a supportive teacher. I can get both kids in after-school care for CHEAP, and I mean cheap. It's quality care with meals and snacks served. We have a ton of inexpensive resources at our disposal.

One resource that we have here is the library (we have them in the States too, but here it really feels like a gem). The library is something that I just recently discovered again. The people that work there are extremely helpful and some of the latest books are always available. The Landstuhl library also has DVD and CD check-out. Since we are still on a mission to pay off our moving expenses and other things, this has served as a really great resource of FREE entertainment. Limit on DVD check out is 10 per library cardholder. Another fantastic service that I recently found out about is the library's online services. If for one reason or another the Landstuhl library doesn't carry a DVD that I'm interested in, but that DVD is located at another (on-base) library within Germany, I can request it and they will have it sent to my Landstuhl library for me to pick up. How awesome is that?! There are also a few bookshelves with free-bee books. I found a Dan Brown & John Grisham book that I'm planning on reading. I highly recommend everyone go and check out the library. It's such a fabulous resource.

With the big WHEW moment that came this Friday (Budget finally signed) the weight was lifted a bit. Joshua had the day off on Friday and I had Samuel reserved at the Childcare center all day, so I was fortunate enough to get Joshua all to myself. I absolutely love both of my boys (or, should I say all of them?) but there is something really special about having one all to myself. I rarely have the time to really listen to Joshua when Samuel is around. When things get a little quieter, I can really focus on him and I find out all kinds of information I wouldn't normally find out. Joshua was really bummed that Sam was going to have "school", so I decided to take him to the local Dinosaur museum. GONDWANA-Das Praehistorium is located about 45 kilometers away. (About a 30-45 minute drive). Because most local children were in school, we had the place virtually to ourselves. The facility has a small cafe and also English translator devices available (just leave your ID as a deposit). They also asked me for my zip code. Upon entry, there is a huge dinosaur's skeleton. The tour starts with a film (about the scientific explanation of life beginning on earth) then we moved on to the real fun - the dinosaurs. There were skeletons but there were also robotic dinosaurs. Near the end of the museum loop, there was a display with snakes (red tailed boas) and tarantulas. At the end there was another short 4D movie about the death of the dinosaurs. This was really a fun day for us. Joshua even told Mike that "it was only the best museum ever!"

A neighbor friend told us that TOOM (basically a German Home Depot) was having a sale on soil. 1 Euro for a 40-liter bag. We decided this would be the day we were going to tear up the weed infested "garden" in our backyard. It took us about all day but in the end we were able to remove the weeds and rocks, replace the border and add fresh top soil. Our plan is to put veggies in the area. The one things we've been told we have to worry about is the birds eating our food. Also, I hear that slugs and snails are another pest. One thing that I learned can be done about slugs is leaving out a shallow dish of beer, or yeast mixed into a little water. The smell of the yeast attracts the pests to the dish of yeasty smelling goodness instead of the garden. I'm going to probably test this one out once my tomatoes are in the ground. When Fall comes I'm looking forward to planting some sort of bulbs.

Some other things on my short list of things to possibly to with the kids are Gartenschau-Kaiserslautern and Wildpark Potzberg.

In summary things are looking up. The sun is up and the tank is clean! (-Nemo)


  1. Joshua is looking like he's rally grown! I'm glad you had fun!

  2. Nicki - you can also put a thin copper wire (or an unraveled copper pot scrubber) around your plants in a large circle and as long as there is nothing overhanging that the snails/slugs can use to bypass the wire you will have snail/slug free plants.