Friday, October 31, 2008

Because this month has been so busy and we have not been steady on writing in the blog every week we thought we should try to get in one more blog entry this month. Right this minute we are in between required tasks for the day. (Between our volunteer service and being with the Young Single Adults tonight.) And there is a cake to make for tonight.

This morning we did our three hour volunteer work at the Landstuhl hospital. The danger in doing a fairly good job is that it is likely that you will continue to have that job. Since we started volunteering we have spent quite a bit of time sorting and organizing the materials as they come to the Wounded Warrior Ministries Closet. That wasn't a bad job in the summer time but now that the weather has turned cold we don't seem to have a lot of folks that want to come out in the cold storage areas and help us. There is heat in the storage areas but it is always off over night and when we arrive in the morning it is like an ice box. After a couple of hours the rooms warm up but the floor stays cold and by then we are pretty well cooled down too. So while we reload for the next round we are warming up.

Last Saturday we went on a "Mystery Train Tour" with the Young Single Adults. In case you are one of those folks who have never been on a "Mystery Train Tour" I will tell you what it is. We bought train tickets good for up to 5 persons and for travel anywhere in Germany for the entire day called "Happy Weekender" tickets. Then we all went to the train station and rolled the dice. If it was even we would go west and if it was odd we would go east. We went east. And then you roll the dice to see how many stops you are going through before you get off. When you get to that number stop and you get off the train and see what you can find to see and or do in that town. Some of our stops worked out pretty well and others were not the greatest. We started in the afternoon and about seven PM we stopped for dinner. It was about ten PM when we arrived back at the train station where we started. It was fun and I think all had a good time. The only casualty was one sprained ancle but the sweet young lady is doing better now.

Our group of Young Single Adults is of course ever changing but right now we are having big changes. Jana is gone on her mission to Italy. Brandy is gone home after getting our of the Army. Micah is gone and will go on his mission to Wisconsin. Freemont is getting out of the Air Forse and should be flying today. Oh yea big changes! We sure miss them when they go!

Tonightt the Young Single Adults are going over to a member's home for a Halloween Party. It will be interesting to see what they dress up like. They hope to play some games outside tonight but it has been pretty wet and cold lately so we shall see if that really happens. They may well go outside and play games but they may be pretty wet and muddy afterwards. It will be dark before we get there and the temperature is supposed to be about forty degrees - forty and damp, damp, damp! It is unlikely we will be playing in the wet and cold.

I'm sure you have been wondering - fall wheat, barley, and rye are looking really good. Most of it is up about four to six inches and the stand looks good. There is some that is only two or three inches high but it too is looking good. There is a lot of grain grown in this area. Hay all seems to be just grass. 'No alfalfa or clover grown here. There is some corn but not a tremendous amount. There are huge grape vineyards about thirty miles away in a couple of directions. Some folks have told us that this summer was a bit cooler than normal but it looked like a pretty good crop year from what I could see.

Recently we have been topping out in the forties and at night dropping down to the thirties or possibly forty. Our long range forecast looks a little better next week with a couple of days with temperatures back in the sixties. It will feel good.

Speaking about good - we are doing good! What we do is important to some folks and that is what it is all about. Helping folks who need a hand is a great joy. We sure miss home and all of you.

Happy Halloween!
(Will add some photos another day)

The Karn clan (of two) in Germany

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ever played "Curses"? This young man had his wrists glued to his head!

And this was an old thresher at a farmer's market is Erbach, to our east. We drank the most delicious freshly pressed apple juice (Apfelsaft).

And this is what it looks like behind those old "half timbered" buildings. What is "half-timbered" construction? A "half-timbered" building has exposed wood framing. The spaces between the wooden timbers are filled with plaster, brick, or stone.

In Medieval times, many European houses were half-timbered. The structural timbers were exposed. The construction methods used in half-timbering allow buildings to be easily dis-assembled and put up again elsewhere. This has helped salvage houses which would otherwise have been destroyed to make way for new development. At any rate they are very charming.

We have tried to write this blog faithfully every week but we may be cutting back to monthly! There are just a lot of things that require more of our attention. We are having so much fun that sitting at the computer doesn't sound all that exciting. However, we want to keep in touch with you all. Here goes . . . .

Bruce was recently named as chairman to a committee for a seminar for military families. After two planning meetings the seminar will probably take place on Sat., Dec. 6th, with a follow up seminar on Jan. 24th. This will be a stake wide affair. There will be a keynote speaker followed by 3 sessions, the last a panel discussion for answering questions from the audience, and then lunch. The title of the seminar will be "LDS Military Workshop" and the sessions will be on stress, communication, and support sources. There are many families that are in the midst of deployment and all the issues that surround that. This seminar is intended to be mostly a help to them. I don't know how he gets in the middle of these things but this is another big one. And we're off!

We have had some really fun times with the young single adults at the Institute Outreach Center. Just last Friday we had a Lasagna Cook off and Game Night. They did the cooking and there were 4 large dishes of lasagna. It was great as 18 people came to dinner and I didn't have to cook. Then they played 3-D Twister which involved 3 Twister mattes, 2 on the wall in the corner. Nobody was injured!

This coming Saturday is a Mystery Train Tour and the following week is the Halloween costume party. Sounds like fun!

In addition to the above duties we are also involved with Stake Auxiliary Training twice a year and we also participate at each ward/branch conference. It keeps us busy we often find the opportunity to help the wards become more aware of the needs of the young single adults. They get lost easily.

A couple from the States called us and told us they were going on a Military Relations mission and that they would be replacing us in February. What? We think their mission call will probably be to Africa or Egypt. That is usually how it goes. Someone in the Military Relations department in Salt Lake probably confused our release date with someone else. At least we think that is what happened. And even though the department may give an indication as to where a couple will go, the final decision is up to the Lord and he often has other ideas. You see, we were told we would probably go to Aviano, Italy. We are glad we were sent here!

The Fall season is very beautiful here. We have had moderate sunny days with lots of colored leaves. They are now falling and we have some rainy weather every now and then. Snow flurries were predicted but didn't happen. It will soon enough.

We hope your Fall is a lovely one too. Our clocks will be turned back one hour next Sunday, Oct. 26th. That will be ahead of the States. So, those of you that are 8 hours away or 9 hours away, that will increase 1 more hour for a week or until your clocks are turned back also.

Elder and Sister Karn