Willkommen Sie meinen Blog

Welcome to my Blog, I'm glad you stopped by. I thought a little introduction was in order after I reviewed some Blogs of others and didn't have a clue what it was their Blog was about even after reading the last several posts. Not that it matters, if you like what I write, read on, if not, no harm no foul.

I began writing again after one of my grad classes last summer inspired me to do so. It was a class on the world famous author, Stephen King and it was incredible. In 2011 I received my Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. My undergraduate degree is also from UNCW in Sociology with a minor in Gerontology which I obtained in 2005.

A lot has changed since I began writing this Blog in 2010. I am rediscovering who it is that I am and what makes me happy. Feel free to read through from the beginning and see where I have come from and continue to follow along as I begin a new chapter in my life, one that proves to be interesting and filled with exciting challenges that I can't wait to share with the World. So for now, "Das ist Leben"...this is life!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

The residents of Stuttgart awoke to their first snow fall of the 2010 Winter Season this chilly morning in Germany. The temperature was a whopping 37 degrees (Fahrenheit) but that didn’t stop the 2-3 hour snow fall. Much of it didn't stick to the roads, but the rooftops and grassy areas were blanketed with just enough of the "white stuff" to wish for more!

The children skipped to school with their mouths open side tongues in the air, catching snowflakes while Moms trotted along several feet behind holding an umbrella and shaking her heads in disbelief; it’s only November 22nd!

Can you see the bicycle covered by the snow?

I broke out the Holiday Music today and now I'm looking forward to putting up our Christmas Tree and baking Gingerbread Cookies!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Parmesan & Garlic Chicken ala Mandy!

I've been pretty busy with grad school, working on the house, applying for jobs, dealing with an injured back, and filing the household goods claim from hell with God only knows who (I've spoken with so many different people from too many different agencies, for all I know Santa Claus will be replacing our damaged items!) HOWEVER...I have been kicking butt in the kitchen whipping up some new culinary delights! Here is one of our new favorites...

Parmesan & Garlic Chicken

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
8 bone-in chicken breast halves, skinless


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

2. In a shallow dish or bowl, pour the Parmesan Cheese and set aside. Melt Butter in a small saucepan; add Garlic and Worcestershire Sauce and sauté garlic until tender. Remove from heat.

3. Dip chicken breasts in garlic butter mixture, then roll in cheese, coating thoroughly. Place coated chicken in the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with any remaining garlic butter mixture.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.




Friday, November 12, 2010

Veterans Day 2010- Visit to Birkenkopf World War II Memorial

National Veterans Day Ceremony
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery . The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

This year for Veterans Day, Matt and I decided to take advantage of being in Germany and check out some history. We found a WWII Memorial in Stuttgart called Birkenkopf. This particualr memorial is in part, a Schuttberg (debris mountain); an artificial hill built from the ruins and rubble from the WWII bombings. 

These types of mountains are more specifically termed "trümmerberg" (rubble mountain) and are known colloquially by various namesakes such as Mont Klamott (Mount Rag), Monte Scherbelino (Mount Shard), and Scherbelberg (Shard Mountain). Most major cities in Germany have at least one Schuttberg.

At an altitude of 511m (1,676 feet) above sea level, the Birkenkopf Memorial reaches 40m (131 feet) and lies in the Stuttgart-West city region, only about a 20 minute drive from our house. The weather was perfect for a hike up this massive trail.

I couldn't decide how to feel as we began our ascent to the top; the trail was beautiful and the view of the city was magnificent. 

I tried to think about the reason this memorial was built in the first place; there had been a war, cities were destroyed, thousands of lives were lost, and we were climbing our way to the top of a hill which was created out of the rubble left after the war. 

We could see that there was a large cross on top of the hill once we hit the half way point. It gave me a sense of peace, a calm feeling came over my mind and I knew this place was not meant to mourn, but to remember. To remember the goodness still left in mankind, and the grace of God no matter how often we lose faith. I couldn't wait to reach the top.

Anyone else see an arrow pointing to the heavens?

Between 1953 and 1957, 15 million cubic metres of rubble from 53 bombing missions during World War II were built on top of the hill, which resulted in an increase in height of around 40 metres. At the summit there are many recognizable facades from the ruined buildings.

The locals colloquially call the Birkenkopf "Monte Scherbelino", which roughly translates as "Mount Shards" but in childlike language. One of the pieces of rubble has a plaque attached to it, which says: Dieser Berg nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg aufgetürmt aus den Trümmern der Stadt steht den Opfern zum Gedächtnis den Lebenden zur Mahnung. This translates roughly as: This mountain was built after the Second World War from the rubble of the town to stand as a memorial of the dead and a warning to the living.

From the summit the whole city centre can be seen, and on a clear day the view extends to the Swabian Alb, to the Black Forest, and the lowlands of Württemberg. On the summit there is a steel cross, which in 2003 replaced the original 1953 wooden cross. In the summer, early morning services are sometimes held here.

This was an amazing adventure; one we found only minutes from home. I am so thankful for the sacrifices made by our service members of the past and I will never forget them. They paved the way for the freedoms we as Americans enjoy today and those same freedoms are being defended even as you're reading this Blog post. Always keep our military and their loved ones in your prayers, I know I do. God Bless America!
Das ist Leben!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps

What it means to me, to be the wife of a U.S. Marine

Marine Corps ball 2010

Being a Marine Corps wife means being flexible and resourceful at all times, with as little notice and resources as possible. It means moving to new places every three years which means making new friends, finding a new job, and claiming damaged household goods…every three years. As the wife of a Marine we learn how to fix things around the house even if we don’t know the name of the tool used to do the job. We change our own flat tires, sometimes even the oil, and make sure the tread is still “good” before making an eight-hour road trip across the Country in the dead of winter to visit family while hubby is deployed. 


It means mailing Christmas cards to APO’s and PCS’s to friends far away; baking cookies and delivering them to wounded warriors around the holidays. We teach our children to say “sir, and ma’am” and raise our sons to open doors for ladies. There will always be tears to cry and bills to pay, but at the end of the day, seeing those boots at the front door makes me think of one thing: they are worn by a U.S. Marine who fights for my freedom, salutes the American flag, and will forever and always hold the key to my heart.

God Bless the Marine Corps
Semper Fidelis,
Mandy Lyman

Daughter of a U.S. Marine Corps LtCol (Ret), and proud wife of a U.S. Marine Sgt.