We had a great time at the retreat. There were 3 different sessions offered and Chad and I went to the Marriage one on intimacy. The main reason was the Chaplain who was giving it, but reality is, it's because it's where God wanted us. My heart has been harder than I realized and well lets just say Satan enjoys that and my horrible strong will needs to be broken and it started getting broken this weekend and I hope Chad's had as well. We have not talked like we really need to, about the things that for me opened my eyes and I could tell opened Chad's. I felt my heart get broken in to many tiny little pieces as Chad took a little survey that as the Chaplain said was an "evil, evil test" lol...it was created by wives to see where the husband is on doing intimant things for his wife. For us wives, I think we all know that roses and dinner is nice, but that's not the only way to be intimate...it's coming home, cooking dinner, cleaning the bathroom (without being asked to), taking out the trash, taking the kids and telling you to go take a bath, cleaning up the kitchen, calling you during the day for no reason other than to see how you are, say they love you, etc....each question was worth 10 pts....there was a possibility of 200 pts total...Chad scored a whopping 10 pts, although we later decided he could have another 10 for another question that although he didn't do ALL of the question he does all those things at different times...while he took it I felt myself sitting there with a HUGE lump in my throat, because these are all things I'd LOVE for Chad to do, but he doesn't. Of course us wives got rebuked as well by being told we can't hint, we need to straight out tell them what we want (which hey you all know I'm anything but quiet..I tell him, now I do hint as well, but I straight out tell this man things that I want, need, desire, etc...he still doesn't do them). I looked at him and said "maybe now you can see why I'm not always so happy" and he of course copped an attitude and said "it's a two way street", which just ticked me off of course and I was ready to leave right then and there. I didn't, but I sat there instead with tears in my eyes..because for that moment it was supposed to be about how he could bea better husband and he made sure to turn it around on me and how I am failing him as a wife. We BOTH have a lot of places we could and NEED to improve, but he simply didn't get it and at that moment didn't seem to care either. We haven't been even cross with each other about it since....but it still hurts. I know Chad's a great husband and he does so much more than it seems most husband's do, and I guess I'm either A. Selfish, rotten, horrible wife who's just nothing but a demanding wench or B. Have high expectations because he does do those things without question and then when I do need him to do other things it's a fight. I know I have nothing or very little to complain about, yet I have a lot that I do complain about. Go figure...but anyways that's not all I want to talk about. The point is that I learned a lot...about myself and how I can improve on being a Godly Wife and I WANT to and I WILL do it. Please be in prayer for me as I know Satan will be throwing everything at me to prevent this and I'm stupidly stubborn so my own will, will be going against me as well!
Saturday after the seminar, Chad told me to go downtown with friends and our babies, and shop (gave me some extra spending money on top of what I had...wahoo!), and he said that he'd go get Jack after lunch (he was at the CDC center and btw had a GREAT TIME and ate lunch there..he had Chicken Noodle soup and Peaches! LOL He told us this multiple times! ROFL!!), Chad got him and took him swimming and out to the hot tub! ;) Jacob was at Kids Day Out so he didn't return until 4:15 and he had a great time too. So anyways..Emma and I went downtown with friends and had a good time! Here's Emma and I with a Pink Cow, don't ask me about these because I honestly don't get it...but in Garmisch and Munich they have these cow statues all over, I need to do probably oh 5 minutes of research and find out what the story is with the cows!!
We had fun, went to one of my favorite stores there Kathe Wolfhart's! It's just such an awesome store..they're throughout Germany!! I bought me a couple Christmas ornaments, a Snowman Tealight holder, and a sachet that smells of cinnimon and apples (very Christmasy!) mmm! LOL That night we went out to eat with our friend Bobbie and we had Mexican!! I mean GOOD Mexican! Oh man, there was a ton of food, we left there with 8 containers of food and it all went bad the hotel only has those tiny fridge's and of course we couldn't at the time find anyone to eat it!
So today was check out day. We were standing talking to friends and I look up and saw Chad's old 1st Sgt, his wife Danielle and I talk all the time online, they're stationed about 3 hrs from us, we've just not managed to hook up! So I see Tommy walking towards us and there she was! I ran over to her and we hugged and both of us got teary eyed! I couldn't believe this is where we finally met up! Tommy's getting ready to deploy, so it was great to see him before he heads out! He told us to make sure to go visit Danielle even if he's not there! :) Which I had already decided we were going to do!! Once we saw each other it was like no time had been lost. The last time I saw them was when I was pg with Jackson!! They left Ft. Riley I think it was June 2003!! Of course we've both seen pictures of each other, but goodness her boys are so big. Their oldest is a Senior this year and her youngest is in 8th grade, to think that when we met (in 2001) her youngest was just a year or two older than Jacob....it's just hard to believe!! Time goes by so quickly. That was definately the highlight of the day. Of course we find out that they got down there on Friday too, they're staying until tomorrow...but we chatted for about an hour, hugged, wished Tommy a safe deployment, and promised to visit each other...we MAY get to see each other next weekend. She thinks her boys football game is down by us so if it is, after the game they're going to come see us! Works for me!!
Oh Danielle took a couple family pictures for us out in front of Edelweiss...let me just say that Jack did NOT want his picture taken...I think it's well "priceless" and I was smiling through it all..! LOL
Doesn't he look HAPPY?! ROFL! He was ticked, but he was in the pictures! He ran off after that and declared he'd have NO MORE pictures! LOL Funny thing is...later in the day he was requesting we take pictures of him @@@ Oh the tempermental age of 4! Don't think he got away with that fit though...because we went and had a nice long talk and he was off and on Mr. Attitude throughout the weekend and most of all today, sowhen we got home..he got a spanking and he knew what for, because we talked before it and after it...he apologized. I'm not in denial that it won't happen again, but that attitude is not ok.
Ok so...after we left Edelweiss/Garmisch we had decided to go somewhere that I've wanted to since moving back to Germany. We went to Dachau Concentration Camp. Jacob is 6 1/2 and on tv here they have done documentaries on Hitler, on the Nazi's (SS), on WWII...so although he does not know all the horrors, he knows some of it. He understands that Hitler was a cruel and evil man, that he had people inprisoned in the concentration camps, and ultimately had many killed. He's not seen pictures, doesn't know the how's or really any of the why's, just enough to answer the questions of a VERY curious and intelligent boy, who's heart is so big and compassionate. I think in ways this gave him a bigger understanding of things and more questions on others. Jack was completely oblivious to all of it and just wanted to run and for me to take his picture (yeah...so not the appropriate place @@ little stinker). We avoided the museum because friends had told us there were pictures in there that they knew were not suitable for either of the boys to see, especially Jacob (they know him well). I did my best to be honest and answer questions, but to keep things age appropriate (although is that possible at a concentration camp?). Chad and I plan to return there without the boys. We did skip like I said the museum which not only has pictures but also a 22 minute movie that's not suggested for children under the age of 12, so I know it'll be very difficult to watch, and of course we couldn't really look at everything as long a we wanted since mostly Jack's attention span is about as long as a knats, which really was ok, and we didn't go see other parts, because we were all getting tired, my feet were killing me, and it was getting late and we still had a 3 hr drive ahead of us, and Emma had stinky diaper and needed fed.
I am going to share the pictures I did take. Chad and I barely talked at all throughout the tour. I do want to share one thing...the billets that the prisoner's lived in...were 10 meters wide by 100 meters long. They have reconstructed two of them and they have one of them opened for the public to walk through. I think most of us have seen the movies and you think you have an idea of how small all of it was...but let me tell you until you see it,you just don't understand just HOW small the bunks were. Also I did not realize this, but they had to keep them spotless. It's really not surprising though is it. Some of the bunks had slats and if the slats were not perfect and one of the guards was in a mood, drunk, etc and came in and striped the bunk and found that the slats were not exactly as they were to be...they one who the bunk was assigned to would be punished...the punishment was being hung by the arms for an hour. None of us will EVER know the true travesty they went through. Today I got a glimpse, but even still...it's just that, a small peak in.
There are rows where the foundation is down...there's 30 of them...it's where the former bunks were, they're now filled in with rocks, but the cement foundation is still there. There are also now religous memorials on the grounds. One is a Jewish memorial, one is a Catholic, a Protestant, and a Russian Orthadox. I also went through the crematorium. It was horrible. Chad and the kids sat outside on a bench. The area around it has been made into beautiful gardens which I would have taken pictures of to show the contrast, but my camera batteries were quitting.
Oh one last bit of info and then the pictures....Dachau was made to hold 6,000...but ended up with over 30,000. 5 times it's limit. It was much larger than I even imagined, and it was the first Concentration Camp. If you are ever in Germany or are living here...I do think it's a place you should go to. It's a part of history, an ugly, sad, horrible part...but a part none the less. As an American it was some place I never thought I'd be close to honestly. As a Soldiers wife, both of my grandfather's were in the military..my maternal was in the Army and was actually stationed here in Germany he was stationed an hour from me and actually came to where we're at to visit". My paternal grandpa was in the Navy. Chad's Maternal Grandfather was in WWII, and was all over Europe. We have his canteen and he carved into it every single place he was at, he spent a lot of time in Belguim and Germany and France. Chad's pretty sure he went to one of the concentration camps as a liberator, but on the canteen (which is right in front of me) it does not say Dachau and he does not have Munich on it. Chad is going to ask his Grandma if she knows which one. Let me tell you though...there were pictures of when the American's came and liberated Dachau and I had tears coming down my face. To know that they'd been praying for someone to save them, and it was the American's. I had goose bumps through the tears.
Arial view of the camp...see how large it was...
This is called the "Jourhouse"
View of one of the reconstruced bunks from the Jourhouse
Dachau was started in 1933 and America liberated it on April 29, 1945..this momument was so emotional for Chad and I both. It was hard to look at and hard not to look at and even harder to walk away from. In case you can't tell this scupture is of the bodies of the prisoners.
This holds the ashes of unknown prisoners...
some of the bunks they slept in
The prisoners lockers, there of course were not enough for all of them.
There's only a section of this left, but it's the barb wire that went around the camp to prevent them from escaping...
If you look up close you can see the cement foundation (see Jacob's finger pointing) the rock fills in where the building/living area was to the other side (10 meters) where it ended...trust me it was NOT big and when you think of how over crowded it was...just mind boggling.
Part of the Catholic Memorial
Other part of the Catholic Memorial
This is a rock just before you get to the newer of the crematorium's...
This is it...The 2nd door is where the cremators were, the 3rd door was the gas chambers (which in this particular building was never used for the mass murders), the first door was where they had bodies.
I KNOW this is ending on a sad note...but we can't forget this. This is not maybe your past or my past really...but it's all of our pasts as humans. The people who lived in the City of Dachau simply turned a blind eye to what was happening in their own backyards. After the war, all the citizens were MADE to walk through the camp and SEE what had happened there. I think personally they got off light. Ignoring something like this made them just as guilty in many ways. I know there was a great deal of fear and I do NOT discount that...but because of it over 20,000 people died in just THIS concentration camp in 12 years. 20,000 people who had been doing nothing but living their life when they were loaded up like cattle into trains and transported to their city, who were beat, hung, starved, barely clothed, worked like slaves literally, shot, gassed, etc. They did nothing. For too long America did nothing as well, but when we were attacked we stood up and said no...the people in Dachau didn't and because of it over 20,000 died. These are lessons we as American's need to remember today. Don't think this kind of evilness no longer exists..it does if not in even worse capacities. Satan has a strong hold on this world, and he's using Terrorism and fear.
Tomorrow morning as Jacob and I start his 1st day of 1st grade one of the things we'll be talking about is what we did today. I wanted him to have some time to digest things and will be seeing what questions he has, filling in blanks as I find appropriate, and seeing where he'd like to go next as far as learning this and what he'd like to learn next. I also want to use this experience as biblical lesson, because God is our focus and he must be our main focus for school to be successful. Jack will also be starting school tomorrow...preschool curric. He's especially excited! He has a different learning process than Jacob and so I'll be learning how to teach him as well!
I have to get to sleep now. Chad took a 4 day weekend so he'll be home to help out tomorrow. I'm going to let him take on Math with Jacob tomorrow, and I have of course laundry to do, to fold, and put away, and we're going through the boys closests and pulling out clothes to get rid of, pack up, and make room for winter items.