Monday, January 1, 2007


A couple of days have gone by and I thought I better get writing or it won't get done again. And the sad thing is, we are doing so much right now with Gardner's parents here.

Wednesday Gardner and I ran some errands. The first thing we did was go into Duesseldorf to sign up for Elterns Geld. What is Elterns Geld you are probably asking. It is money they give to parents who have babies and do not work. We found out that we still get some each month for Emma (until she is 2) and the lady even mentioned that they might go back and credit us 6 months. Wow, that would be nice. Even if it is only until October when Gardner started work, would really thrill us. We won't know how much money that is until it actually starts. Of course, we did not have everything we needed to get me all signed up for that. So the paper work is in but we need to give them copies of tax returns, visas, and all the good stuff that tells them we are real people living in Germany legally.

We do get money every month for having the kids as well. We get a little over 800 Euros every month for having kids. So getting the Elterns Geld on top of it would be pretty great and would really help us out.

We also tried to change our car insurance. They have such funny laws here. One of them is you can not change your insurance for a year unless certain things happen. Well, one of them is if your insurance goes up at any point. Well, ours did. So we jumped on the, "let's see what else is out there" band wagon. Well, we only went to one place....ADAC. It is like AAA in America. Anyway, they were almost Half the price of what we were paying. So we just decided to do it. The problems they were having though is that our car is an American car and they had never heard of it. So it is hard to give an accurate price on insurance when they don't know what kind of car you really drive.

Wednesday night, We had a Missionary Couple from the area over for dinner. Their names are Steve and Carol Walker. They actually know Gardner's parents. Steve and Cathie served in the same mission in Frankfurt back in the 60's. And then Steve & Carol and Bob and Cathie all lived in the same trailor park while Bob and Steve attended Dental School. So we had them over for dinner. We did something called Raclette.

Long ago in the Swiss Alps, the story goes, cow herders would carry potatoes and gherkin pickles up the mountainsides to eat with their cheese and milk. They'd bake the potatoes in the campfire and melt the cheese on a rock near the fire. As it melted, they'd scrape the cheese onto the potatoes and pickles and eat until the cows, well, until they were satisfied. In fact, the word raclette comes from the French word "to scrape."

Nowadays, raclette grills are an excuse to have one more fun cooking gadget. They come with little trays that hold the cheese under a heating element while it melts, and a grill on top for cooking the potatoes, sausages, and other savories that you wish to slather with cheese.

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March 2007