Saturday, December 27, 2008


Since we are hanging out here with fairly warm temperatures and NO snow I figure that now would be a good time to post our pictures of the "Germany" leg of last year's trip. It was just a couple of weeks before Christmas and coming from Okinawa we THOUGHT we had warm clothes, but ended up buying the kids jackets, hats, gloves etc.. all while there.
It truly was a 'winter wonderland' those first few days we were there.
Joseph and Jessie couldn't get enough of Uncle Jason, anywhere he was going they were going to go also.
This last picture is of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. This is the first time we attempted to visit, but it was so cold and we were ill prepared so, we decided to take a picture and return another day.
The first shot here is Janie on the day we did make it back to visit Neuschwanstein. It was very cold, but as you can see, she wouldn't wear her mittens. She sucks her thumb and it made her so mad every time she'd stick that glove in her mouth that she finally pulled both mittens off. Her little hands were FROZEN, I felt so bad for her. It wasn't until two weeks later when my mom suggested just cutting the thumb part off of that particular mitten that I realized we could have solved the problem with much less trauma!
Next is a shot of the castle when it was clear out and you could actually see it. I do not have the same love of castles and all things renaissance as Jeremy does, but if I had to pick a castle to live in, it would DEFINITELY be this one. It was quite fabulous and not so ornate that I'd have to choke down my dinner every night:)
The third and fourth pictures are of Hohenschwangau Castle, which belonged to King Ludwig's parents. He had Neuschwanstein built right near his parents' castle. Can you tell which photo was taken by me with my camera and which was taken by Jeremy with his camera, surely not!!

These two shots were taken the day that Jeremy, Jason, Joseph, Jessie, and I drove to Salzburg. What a beautiful day it was. Janie stayed with Jeremy's parents at the hotel and spent all of her time walking the halls saying 'hi' to everyone she saw while we explored the Kris Kindle Market and enjoyed the day with the BIG kids (because 5 and 3 is really big).

We rode a tram up the mountain and found the Salzburg Castle at the top. The first photo was inside one of the million or so rooms we toured and the next shot is just a cute little band that was outside in the courtyard playing Christmas music. They look so festive don't they?!
This last shot is my favorite because I feel like it captures the beauty and stillness that we were able to experience in person. Such a quaint and quiet little German village just on the outskirts of where we were staying. I'd like to peek inside the windows or be the mouse in the corner for a couple of days just to see what goes on in such a place as this.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I figured that since we are celebrating the Christmas season that it would be a good time to share a little about our trip to Israel last year. This is how Jessie entertained herself on the airplane ride from Rome to Jerusalem. Our flight took off at like 5:30am or something crazy like that.

This is a shot of our hotel room. Joseph and Jessie fell asleep on the car ride from the airport to the hotel. Where did Janie sleep, you ask? Right in between Jeremy and I in that double bed!!! AAAHHHH the memories!!

Here is a shot that I really like of the Dome of the Rock. It was so intricate and beautiful. We were very dissapointed that we couldn't go inside. Apparently there are no visitors allowed anymore (or at least while we were there).

Jeremy and Joseph at the Western (Wailing) Wall. Jessie was very upset that she couldn't go with them, but there are separate sides for men and women. Jessie and I went next.
A close up of the wall. Check out all of the prayers in the cracks. I don't know how there is any room for more! It was fascinating to see!Jeremy and the kids checking the guide book for an explanation of the Via Dolorosa. This, they say, is where Jesus walked with the cross as He was led to the hill where He was crucified. There were many different points of interest along the way that we stopped to read about. Jeremy was explaining one of these to the kids.
We thought this was a cute shot of the kids together.
This is the Damascas Gate, which was just a couple of blocks from our hotel. This is one of the gates that leads to the Old City. We spent much of our time there.
The family at the river Jordan. We tried to imagine what it would've been like back then when it wasn't a tourist attraction. The kids enjoyed talking about when Jesus was baptized and the possibility that this might be where the event took place.
This shot is from our visit to Bethlehem. This was a church built over the cave where they think Jesus Christ was born. Again, you have to imagine what it would've been like back then without all of the decoration and so forth.

During this season when we reflect on the birth of our Savior we are grateful for the opportunity we had, as a family, to visit the Holy Land and for the chance we had to share our testimonies with the kids. Although they were only 5, 3, and 15 months they were able to feel the spirit of the trip and still talk about what we learned while there. We are grateful for Jesus Christ, for His life, example, and for His sacrifice for all of us.