Building Legos with a Bear

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I never knew bears built Legos, but recently this was true in our little town of Erfurt.

One of the amazing ministries in Erfurt that we (as a Student ministry) support is Bärenstark, a Christian initiative to impact kids who come from rough social backgrounds in the “inner city” areas of Erfurt. Besides offering big brother, big sister relationships to the kids, they also put on monthly kids programs.

That’s where the Legos come in. Bärenstark brought in a couple along with their over 200,000 Lego pieces to build a Lego city in the ministry center. Every day kids, and even local school classes, came in to build legos and to hear a little about how God loves them. The boys and I went as well, as something for for the boys to do, and for me to help the kids who came. By the end of the week we stood in amazement at the Lego city that had been built (sorry, I don’t have a picture of it all), as well as the hundreds of kids who had come through the door, many of them for the first time.

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Beautiful Erfurt

Erfurt at Night

Erfurt is a beautiful city and historically very significant. Erfurt is where Martin Luther was a University students, a monk, and later a priest. At that time Erfurt was printing nearly half the books for all of Germany, and every monastic order had a chapter house in the city. If you like European history, Erfurt and the surrounding region had no small part to play in it.

A lesson in dissection

This time of year is always a fantastic time to bone up on your scalpel skills… not that ours are particularly good to begin with. One of my fondest memories as a boy is getting dressed up and visiting the local US base (I didn’t live in the U.S.) and supplementing my candy stash. It was a lot of fun.

Three years ago we had just moved in to our apartment. October 31st rolled around when suddenly the door bell rang. Were we surprised to find two or three German kids all dressed up at the door, saying: “Süsses oder Saueres!” We were totally surprised (is Halloween here now, too?) and unprepared. Well, this year we were ready. Part of that prep was to carve our first ever pumpkin with the boys. Enjoy!

This, my boys, is the brains…
This, my boys, is the brains…
… which you cut off like so…
… which you cut off like so…
… but, you gotta get your hands in there… 
… but, you gotta get your hands in there… 
… go for it boys!
… go for it boys!
Brains are sticky!
Brains are sticky!
Spoons are also helpful.
Spoons are also helpful.
Time to do plastic surgery! Let's see… the eyes go here.
Time to do plastic surgery! Let’s see… the eyes go here.
Surgery!
Surgery!
Looks about right! :D
Looks about right! :D

New, new, new

As September has already galloped past me into mid-September, we are heading into our 4th week of school. The boys have started at a new school this year. They are officially 1st graders!! The first few weeks of new teachers, new school, new “getting up early” time, new friends to make, new expectations, new, new, new, new… the boys have bravely treaded their way through. Now, this is a lot for a 6-year-old to absorb, so almost everyday for the first 2 weeks, we would experience major explosions. Over the littlest things, too. I knew to expect something from my boys, because they don’t always do well with change, but boy, it still brought me to my knees in prayer. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BOYS??

Once they started making friends, it was almost a change over night. Less and more infrequent blow outs. I think they are settling in. Now, I know it won’t be a cake walk from here on out, but it sure is nice knowing we are all settling in.

Bikers!

Bikers of Erfurt

The boys and I went on a biking adventure… we went places we hadn’t been before… we used muscles we didn’t know we had. How fun having a couple of boys to do this with! Enjoying a European May 1st holiday! Apparently it originated in Chicago!?

Christmas brings out the best in everyone… sort of.

December was a full month. Kristen had students over to bake Christmas cookies, Gram and Papa B came from halfway across the world to experience a German Christmas for the first time, presents were unwrapped over a 10 day period, and the boys were the somewhat disreputable shepherds in a Kindergarten Christmas play. All in all a great time, despite what some of facial expressions would suggest. 😀

We wish you all a Merry Christmas… may it be as adventurous as ours was.