Sunday, November 29, 2015


Hey there!

This week we just had a two- day week becuase of Thanksgiving. I spent Tuesdayevening with Lily, before she drove up to Seattle to visit her family. 
On Wednesday we all spent the day cleaning and decorating the house and cooking and baking for the Thanksgiving lunch. Ruby and I made two pies, one blueberry- sour cream pie and one french silk chocolate pie. They were so delicious. But really sweet. 
On Thursday the whole family came over for lunch. I had met a few people before, like Jim´s sister and her family, Christine´s parents, and a few cousins. But more than half of themI didn't know, so it was a little overhelming to meet them all. They are all super nice and sweet. It was a pleasure to meet them all. 
The food was really good. They had a big Turkey, but also plenty of vegetarian choices, like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables and salad. And of course, lots and lots of pumpkin pie for dessert. It was around 5:00 pm, when everybody needed a pause from food. We played games, talked and then every once in a while, somebody went to grab some more pie or an extra tablespoon of whipped cream. 
I didn't eat too much, so I didn't feel gross for the next couple days. On Friday, it was Christine´s birthday, and we planned to drive up to Mary's peak, but unfortunately the road was closed, so we just walked a little bit. Christine´s parents weren't prepared for a 7 mile walk, so we made our way back to town. 
Christine wanted to have sushi for dinner, so Jim, Ruby and I made california rolls and spring rolls. It was challenging, but fun and even though not every roll was perfect, they all were delicious. 
On Saturday we bought our Christmas tree!! So Christmas is finally coming! Today we decorated the tree, and decorated the house, while listening to christmas songs. It felt like christmas eve will be next week. Unfortunately, we still have three weeks of school.

All the Thanksgiving days were about being thankful. So here it what I am thankful for:
First of all, I am more than thankful for my parents and my family in Germany, for being so supportive and loving and letting my go my own way. Then for Martin and Erika and Erika's parents for all their effort to help me, and last but not least all the people here: My Host family, for welcoming me so warm in their family and for treating me like I am family, and for my friends I have here, that they don't think I am the weirdest person on earth. 
All of these people have helped me to make this long- time- dream of mine reality and all of them have added something to make me feel welcomed, comfortable and make this year to one of the best experiences in my life so far!
Thank you all so much!
I hope everyone of you had a great week, a lovely Thanksgiving and I hope you can start December as happy as I am. I am really excited for Christmas, and for my next few posts, I hope you'll like it!

Kisses, Malin

It is kind of a thing here to take special Family- pictures every year for christmas cards

Blueberry pie with a marple- leave crust 

Who wants the last bite of Pumpkin pie?

beautiful nature

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Just some little things

Hey Everybody!

I am sorry I didn't post anything last week, but I was ill for a couple days, and nothing really exciting happened. I had a lot of stuff going on in school, which took a lot of time to take care of, but luckily we have a two- day week next week, because of Thanksgiving, so I can relax now. I have two upcoming assignments next week, so I had to study this weekend. 
I still don't know what excactly to tell you, because the last weeks were a little boring, but I want to keep my one- to two week rhythm and next week is Thanksgiving, so you can expect a long post and lots of pictures :) And you can tell me if you are super interested in something or if I should write about a specific topic you are very curious about. 

However, I recognized I am still getting to know 'new' people in school. I mean I saw them before, but never really talked to them, and that just makes me very happy. Everybody is just super nice and I had the pleasure to meet a lot of amazing people in the last few months.
So I´ll just go ahead and tell you what my life looks like here: 
High school is definitely an amazing experience, even though it's school and I have to wake up at 6:30 am in the morning. Jim drops Ruby and me off at school on his way to work and we have to take the bus home. School buses are not quite as cool as they look in the movies, I can tell you that. 
On Monday evenings, Ruby and Iris have choir, so Christine, Jim and I mostly have a talk about some organization stuff and I do my homework. 
On Tuesday after school I have cheer practice. I decided that I am not going to compete, because I feel like that will take too much time. But basketball season starts soon, and I am really excited for that, because everybody says that cheering for basketball is way more intense than cheering for football.
I know who my basketball buddy is, butI haven't met him yet. We are not allowed to make them little treats, like cookies or stuff, because our coach said, that in the past they didn't really appreciated what we do for them, so we will just make posters, That's a little sad, because I had some cute ideas for decorating cookies and cupcakes. 
The rest of the week is pretty much the same, I come home from school, try to do my homework and then just relax. Someimes a friend comes over or I go to a friend´s house. 
I try to work out at least 30 minutes a day, beacuse no matter what i eat, it feels much heavier than the food in germany. But luckily, my host family tries to cook fresh everyday and we also have salad and veggies mostly everyday and I am so thankful for that. 
On Sundays my Hostfamily goes to church, and I come with them most of the time. It is a little different, because all the High schoolers have Sunday school and after church all the people have a potluck- lunch. It is more a community thing for me than church. But sometimes when I have a skype appointment with somebody from Germany or just don't feel like I want to go, then I stay home, which is no problem at all for my host family, and I am happy about that. 

I feel like winter finally arrived here, because we had to scrape ice off of the car this morning. It doesn't get as cold as it gets in Germany, but for me, it's really cold. 

I have made a plan for the upcoming posts, and I´ve thought about some 'Christmas-specials' during December, and I am actually really excited about that and I hope you guys will like it. 

I hope all of you are doing great and none of you is already stressed out by Christmas :) As soon as Halloween was over, lots of people put out their christmas lights and decorated their house. we will start decorating after Thanksgiving. 
Have a great week everybody!

Yours, Malin

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Coming home

Hey my dearest people! 

School this week was normal, sometimes boring, sometimes funny, sometimes interesting and sometimes exhausting. But we had an assembly on Thursday. An assembly is a event where the whole school comes togetheter and the students who are in leadership 'lead' the assembly. They explain the school rules.  They introduce the different clubs and sports, and announce upcoming events. The accapella choir sang a song, and the class presidents had to play a game against each other. It was really fun! The assemblies in my school in Germany were so boring and nobody really paid attention.
At the end of the assembly all the exchange students had to introduce themselves. We are five students this year, one from Thailand and from Brazil and three girls from Germany. 
On Friday we just had a half- day, that meant all of our classes were only thirty minutes, so we got home at 12:50pm. 
I was in my room all day and changed it a little bit. I hung up lights and moved my bed and I like it so much better now. It feels cozy and comfortable. 

On Friday night I went over to Lily's and spent the night there. It was really fun. The next day we got up early, because we wanted to drive up to Portland to pick up a friend of her from the airport, who is coming home from a five month U.S Navy boot camp. 
Luckily we didn't get stuck in traffic, so we got there two hours early, but it didn't matter. We went to 'Voodoo Doughnuts' , a famous doughnut- shop in Portland, and it was so good! They had lots and lots of different doughnuts and all of them looked so delicious. 
Then we drove to the airport. I've never met Keila, but Lily told me a lot about her, so I was very excited to meet her. Lily was also excited and nervous to see one of her best friends again. 
The moment when Kaila finally came out was very sweet. 
After we picked up her baggage and got in the car, we drove back to where Keila´s parents live. She didn't told them that she was coming home. She changed into her Navy uniform, and we got into her house to wait for her Dad. 
When he and her little sister came in, they both were so surprise and overhelmed. 
After spending some time with them, we drove her to the place where her mother works. It was a restaurant and the reactions from everybody were just great. A lot of people said 'oh my god, that's so cute!' or 'Wow, this is so perfect.' Her Mum was so happy to see her daughter again. 
She took Keila home and Lily and I stopped at Lily's grandparents house to say 'hi' and then we met her cousin. 
At the end of the day I was tired but very happy. It was a day with a lot of driving and sitting, but it was totally worth it. 
Thank you Lily for taking me with you!
I named this post 'coming home' because it was a week full of homecomings. 
I´m really start to feel at home here. The language is getting easier and easier and I don't have to think about it that much anymore. I think I made some really good friends here and I feel accepted. I feel super comfortable with my host family and I am so happy with my room. It's not perfect though, but definitely a beginning!
 I have some things i want to hang up on the walls, like pictures and stuff, but first I need to print them out and take some more!
Then all the moments with Keila and her parents were really exciting. I bet all of you have watched videos of soldiers coming home to their families. Now, I've had that experience. I mean Keila wasn't gone for years, but five months is a long time. It was just great to see how happy her family was to have her back for the next two weeks. After that she will be stationed in Hawaii. 

I hope all of you are doing well and you feel comfortbale with the people around you, and if not, it's not too late to change something, like my german sweetheart Dominique :)

Lots of love, Malin

This is our Accapella choir at the assembly (I hope it works)

'Keep Portland weird' 

So good!

Please listen to the song 'Coming Home' by Rogers & Bos after that or while you're watching this, it totally fits in here! 

Monday, November 2, 2015


Hey everyone!

I am sorry I didn't post anything yesterday, but I didn´t have the time. 
Last week we had a three- day-school week and a four- day weekend because our teachers had conferences. Jim and Christine went to my teachers and talked to them. They all said I am doing well in my classes, and my grades are pretty good. Except for math, but if you know me, you know that math was always nonsense for me. Jim helps me with my homework and Lily helps me studying sometimes, so I just tried not to fail. 

On Thursday I met with Pepper and Parker and we carved pumpkins. I haven't carved pumpkins for a couple of years, so I really enjoyed it and it was fun! I made a scary pumpkin face, Parker made a pumpkin which looked like he was throwing up and Pepper made the face from Jack Skellington from 'Nightmare before Christmas' . It was very cool.

On Friday I carved pumpkins with Ruby and Iris and baked some brownies for my football buddies. Carving pumpkins with Ruby and Iris and spending time with them was very good. I made the cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, Ruby made stars and Iris used a drill to make little holes into her pumpkin, which looks very cute. In the evening I had to go to CHS to get ready for the football game. If they won the game, they could go to the playoffs, so it was a very big deal. It also was Senior night, that means all the seniorplayers, bandmembers and cheerleaders were going to be presented. 
We had to line up with our parents at the field at 6:30 pm. First all the bandmembers were presented, than the cheerleaders. When our Names were called we had to to the field, while everybody was cheering. I was presented as: 'Malin Altenburger with her host parents Christine and Jim'
I was glad that Christine and Jim walked up there with me, but in that moment I missed my real parents. I think, it would have been great if they could have walked with me. 
Then all the players were presented by names and their parents. The cheerleaders made posters and Candy- necklaces for them. 
The game itself was very intense. We played against South Albany, and they started scoring, but we scored too a couple times. The final score was 34 to 36 in favor of South Albany. It was so close!
I really wished we would have won, because it was the last game of the season and the last game for the senior players. Everybody was down and some people cried. It was heartbreaking, and I felt very sorry for the players and their parents. 
I gave the brownies to the coach so he could give them to my buddies, but I said it would be great if they could share these with the whole team, so I hope they did. 

I spent Saturday afternoon with Lily, and we went to her brother´s fraternity to pick him and his girlfriend up for lunch. They are super nice. After lunch we drove to different costume stores, to buy accessoires for their costumes. Then we dropped them off again and hung out at Lily's house. A friend from her old home came over and we went to the birthday party from her mother's fiancè. Then we got ready for halloween. It was much of fun! 
They drove me home at 9pm and I was supertired.

On Sunday I just did some homework and tried to clean my room, but it wasn't very successful. 
In the evening I went to Lily's to study some math. Her mom took us out for dinner to an Indian restaurant calles 'Evergreen'. It was so good. 
All in all my week was lots of fun and I spent my time with some great people. 

I hope you all doing great and you have had some spooky but also fun days! 

Hugs and kisses, Malin

Go seniors! Go Sparts!

Just some Impressions about how beautiful fall here is.

Happy Halloween