Guten morgan! We’re finishing up our week in Germany and what a fun week it’s been. Yesterday we had a busy day with Cardiff’s birthday party and we remembered that Germans were the ones who started the tradition of the birthday cake and the blowing out of candles.
Later in the evening, I cheated a bit, and we had hamburgers for dinner along with a traditional German Potato Salad. (After all the festivities we scaled back the dinner a bit this week.)
Easy German Dinner
And, since we had so many treats and sweets yesterday, we decided to have dessert for breakfast today instead. Afterall, pancakes count as breakfast right? So, German Apple Pancakes was it, a delicious ending to a wunderbar week. This dessert (from epicurious.com) once again did not fail to exceed our expectations, especially when topped with the delicious cinnamon-sugar mix and whipped cream.
German Apple Pancakes
Before we enjoyed these yummy treats, we read this German Children’s Prayer and we each prayed a special prayer for Germany and the Germans. Even Cardiff said a sweet prayer all on his own.
Jedes Tierlein hat sein Fressen,
Jede Blume trinkt von Dir,
Lass auch uns Dich nicht vergessen,
Lieber Gott wir danken Dir.
Every animal is given food,
Each flower gets a drink,
Don’t let us forget Thee either,
Dear Lord, we thank thee.
Auf wiedersehen Deutschland und danke schoen.
This morning our family joined in a song, something we actually do quite often in our home, but this song was much older than our typical tunes. In fact, this song is nearly 500 years old, written between 1527 and 1529. In the early 1500s a young man named Martin Luther desired change in the church, he didn’t agree with the church tradition of “payment” for sins and started the Protestant Reformation, an event that changed the history of the church forever. This man had strong convictions and stood up for what he believed, which was that salvation is free, not based on anything that we can do. He translated the Bible into the people’s language, making it more accessible for common people to read. His songs began the singing of songs in churches. And, he was GERMAN. So, thanks to the suggestion of my oh-so-knowledgable friend Kathleen, again, we sang a hymn by Martin Luther: German, church-changer, man of God.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
There is a depth and richness to this hymn that is unlike most songs written today. And, while the language is more difficult to understand, there is a beauty to it. Just knowing how many years this song has been sung is a powerful reminder of the communion of the saints. I am so thankful that Brian can play the piano and that we have a piano to play and our own little “printing press” to copy songs to sing together. What an impact the Germans have made!
Here are the lyrics and here’s a link so you can see it yourself! http://my.homewithgod.com/heavenlymidis2/fortress.html
Fortress is our God
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
Today we spent some time learning about what the Germans have contributed to society, which is SO much. From the first car to hamburgers to famous fairy-tales like Cinderella, the Germans have left an imprint on the world for sure. Probably the most significant invention was from Johannes Gutenberg-the printing press. Because of this amazing machine, people around the world have books to read and one of the first books ever printed on the printing press was the Gutenberg Bible. It blows my mind how long it must have taken to put the letters together for each page! We definitely have things so much easier today.
When we started our world tour, I found a great collection of books called Look What Came From… Today we discovered a great deal about Germany thanks to Look What Came From Germany.
Continuing on in our learning about the German culture, the kids colored and put together a little boy paper doll with a traditional German lederhosen costume, including a hat and accordion.
Then, we watched this little diddy.
And alas, all is not lost, I found one picture of the special MB prize-Tallinn’s paperweight.
For the first time in our journey we are traveling by train. Up to this point, we’ve been going haphazardly around the world but this time, as Germany is a neighbor to France, we get to travel like we probably would if we were “really” touring the world.Upon first arriving in Germany, instead of beginning with our geography, we went on a little field trip. Having an inside connection to Mercedes-Benz, the kids and I paid a little visit to MBUSA.
Our most excellent tour guide showed us a video on how the cars are made, took us on a complete tour of the office and told us about all the happenings there, and even had a fun craft and prize prepared at the end. What a guy!
Watching how cars are made
This is the video they watched.
Meeting a Mercedes-Benz employee
Sadly, my camera battery died just after we arrived, so many of these pictures were taken from my phone, along with the sweet pictures of the kids opening their individual drawers with their names spelled in cut-out letters revealing a special MB prize–a key chain for Addie, paperweight for Tal, and hat for Cardiff. Those sweet pictures have somehow been taken up into the abyss of pictures that disappear without a trace. The kids had so much fun and really learned a lot about the company and the German tradition of excellence in all they do.
Later, they colored their flags and maps and learned our new Bible verse.
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.