We celebrated our first Mother's Day in Germany this year. Our first Mother's Day away from both of our mothers. I was treated to breakfast in bed, with Keegan acting as my waiter. He came to find out what I would like to drink, and what kind of fruit I would like. I was given a card, hugs, flowers, and a fragrance oil burner. It was a lovely lazy morning! Just before lunch we headed out on a hike together to the nearby village of Liel. A nice 4K walk with a snack of chips and apple slices in Liel before we turned around and headed home. BFCF (one of the churches in Kandern) held a retreat for kids between the ages of 6 and 12 (I think?). Keegan was very excited to attend, and very sad to leave - he had such a great time! They stayed at a youth hostel just up the mountain from Kandern for one night. It's surrounded by rolling hills, fields, and horses. Beautiful! They played games, had a campfire, went on a night hike, and decorated t-shirts.
May also saw some more Landmarkers come to town! It was so great to see Stan and Julia, and Amy and Jean-Luc for an evening. We enjoyed a meal of pizza and salad and heard lots of great stories. Stan made us want to line up a tour of all the small town festivals happening during the summer in Manitoba! They've been to some pretty great ones that we'd never even heard of (and maybe wouldn't have considered going to if we had), but he made them sound great, so maybe we'll have to check out the Manitou Honey, Garlic & Maple Syrup Festival in 2015. :)
CSK (Keegan's school) had their Spring Festival on May 23 from 3:00 - 6:00. The school has a creative arts program in which the kids are allowed to pick which creative arts group they want to be a part of. Keegan chose Drama, but there was singing, dancing, handicrafts, baking and media presentations. Each of these things were done in a way that highlighted specific aspects of the many countries represented at the school. The choir sang us a few songs, there were a couple of dance groups who performed, and there was a dramatic production of "The Princess and the Pea" (in German) for which Keegan was a narrator. The bakers showed off their culinary skills during the food portion of the Festival. These students were walking around with plates of desserts from their home countries. My favourite was the Canadian plate - of course! - with Nanaimo Bars. I didn't get a chance to try them, but it made me happy to see them there! :) There was also face painting and a couple of balloon artists. It was a really fun way to see what the students had worked so hard on!
The weekend following the Spring Festival, I hiked/walked to Basel, Switzerland together with five friends. What a great way to spend the day together! We enjoyed a few fresh cherries from a tree that was beside the path just before we got to Wollbach, and then enjoyed our picnic lunch at Bürg Roetteln just outside of Lörrach. From there, we hiked down the hill from the castle, and then up again into the forest, where we could take in a beautiful view of the city of Lörrach. The last stretch of the walk was along the Rhein River, which was really flat. I found this to be the hardest part! My legs were SO tired that even the thought of Starbucks was starting to sound less appealing. But, I soldiered on and made it to our final destination and enjoyed a very delicious Caramel Macchiato to celebrate finishing the walk. A wonderful treat before we headed back to Kandern on the bus.
The following Wednesday, Keegan's Grade 2 class had a BBQ at the neatest little forest playground, somewhere between Wittlingen and Schallbach. Steps up to the slide made of wood, a see-saw made out of a log, one of those nest swings, a beautiful shelter, lots of picnic tables and a huge fire pit for all of us to do our grilling on. It was a fun way to connect with some of the other families with kids in Keegan's class. We brought one of Kee's friends home with us that evening and he stayed over for night. His parents and younger brother came over the next day for lunch, and we grilled again! Summer's pretty great! :)
We've been helping out at the dorm HBR and have gotten to know the dorm parents, Peter & Pat DeWit. Fellow Canadians who have been missionaries in Thailand for 22 years before coming to Germany last summer. Anyway, they had a little get together recently with us and three other couples! We had a great time together and are sorry to see so many of the people we spent time with that evening leaving Kandern for the U.S. or France. Thankfully, France isn't too far away! :)
The very last day of May, we had a small grill party on our street. Together with our neighbours, who we're in a house group together with, we invited the people in our neighbourhood to come down and grill whatever they had on hand with us. It was a small turnout, but it was fun to spend some time with a few people in our neighbourhood. I'm becoming quite fond of the lady who lives next door to us. She is learning a little English from me, and I'm learning German from her!
So, it's been a busy month, and June is already here! It's a busy month for Doug, but we have lots to celebrate, including our anniversary, the last day of school for Keegan, Father's Day, Nadia's birthday (and party), and the arrival of my (Christal's) parents!