Thursday, September 27, 2012

Masami's First Week of Kindergarten

Last week Masami started German kindergarten. When did my baby get to be so big?! We were worried that it would take awhile for him to get used to it and enjoy it because he can be timid in new situations, but he warmed-up in no time.

This is their temporary kindergarten while they rebuild the permanent one.

We were able to find out which group (classroom) he would be in weeks before. That was nice because then everyday when we picked Alethia up from school, Masami was able to peek in and look around. He started to get familiar with the faces of other kids and of his teachers and started picking out toys that looked fun to play with. So, when his first day arrived, he was excited and ready to go.

Masami is in the Schlumpfe (Smurf) Group and Alethia is in the Gespenster (Ghost) Group.

On his first day we met with his teacher while he started playing. She is a wonderful lady with a lot of energy and speaks very little English. Thankfully, Anthony was with me to help me catch all the information we were getting in German. (He catches on so much more quickly than I do with the language stuff). When it was time to go, Masami did not want to leave and was happy for us to leave him for an hour. On his second day, he ran right to his teacher and gave her a big hug then went straight into his classroom without hesitation. He went every day for a few hours last week with no worries.

While we are allowed to send him 5 days a week, our intention is to send him only 3 because he is still so young. However, yesterday when I kept him home and Alethia left for school he got upset. He asked several times why he couldn't go to school too.

We are relieved that it is going so well and that he is enjoying it so much.

Hanging-up his backpack in his cubby.

New house shoes for school

Asleep on day three when I came to pick him up. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from Jess' iPhone

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just a little family mini-golf

Oh, I have so much I want to post about our trip to Asia, but that will have to come in many parts over the next few weeks.  For now, just a quick little update on our family...

We are very happy to be back with our kids!  It was difficult to leave them for more than two weeks and be on a completely different continent.  However, we left them in the very capable and loving hands of our chaplain and his family.  Our kids had a great time with them.

Now, we are getting settled back into life in Germany and enjoying our family time when we get it. We already got our season passes to the Dinosaur park/Gartenshau for this year, so that is where we often head on Anthony's day off.  Last week, we attempted mini-golf  there for the first time with our kids.  They really had fun with it.

As we waited to get our clubs and balls, I told Masami to go over and watch someone else playing and come tell me how you play.  He is a clever kid and after just a few minutes of watching he told me, "you use your club to shoot the ball and try to get in the hole.  They aren't very good at it!"  He cracks me up!

Alethia was her usual independent self and wouldn't be told how to hold her club nor take any tips.  So, she spent a lot of time circling the hole, but was very proud when she finally made it in.

Of course, we got ice cream afterwards and hit the playground for awhile before heading home...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Family Bowling

Today we spent a little quality family time at the bowling alley.

Masami was especially excited about bowling...doing a little dance every time it was his turn and a victory bow after he hit a pin.

Alethia took it upon herself to organize the balls so that they were all holes up and easy to grab. (Is she my kid or what?!)

Even Jessie had fun.

In the end, when you add up the kids' scores and mine, we just beat Anthony! :)

- Posted using BlogPress from Jess' iPhone

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Top Books I Read in 2011

I kept meaning to post this and it kept getting forgotten.  So, a little late, but here they are in no particular order because I love them all: (And please, please, please comment with your recommendations!  I'm always looking for something good to read.)

1. The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers:  This is a trilogy taking place in the time of the Roman empire and follows the members of an affluent family, their humble servant girl, and a germanic gladiator. It is beautifully written and an excellent read.  I could hardly put it down!

2.  The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom:  This is a book that my grandmother gave me many years ago, and I don't know if I ever read it back then.  But after visiting the Ten Boom home in Haarlem, Netherlands last year, I decided to dig it out and actually read it.  It was awesome to be able to picture parts of the story so vividly after having just been there.  It is a biography of Corrie's life in Holland during the occupation in WWII.  Her story is heart-wrenching and incredible.  Her testimony to God's love and forgiveness is powerful.  It's a quick but beautiful read.  And supposedly there's a pretty good movie based on the book that I have yet to see.

3.  The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs:  This was a humorous and interesting read.  A.J. Jacobs, raised in and practicing no particular religious tradition, experiments with what it would look like to commit to live one year following all Scriptural commands as closely as possible (after all, the Bible is the most influential book of all time).  He writes about his experience including his struggles with how to follow certain commands and why such commands would be given, how his new lifestyle impacts his family life, and what he discovers in the process.  It was a really enjoyable and thought-provoking read.  I'm looking forward to reading other books by this author. 

4.  The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith:  The latest installment (book 12!) in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series which is one of my favs.  The story and characters are bright and entertaining as usual following the life and work of detective Precious Ramotswe in Botswana.  A solid addition to the series.  I look forward to book 13!  Also, the series has been turned into a BBC mini-series.  I got my hands on the first season, and it was great.

5.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand:  (author of Seabiscuit)  "A WWII story of survival, resilience, and redemption"  This is the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini, olympic runner turned airman in WWII.  The book has a bit of a slow start, offering a lot of background information with Louis's childhood, but Hillenbrand does a great job of giving historical backdrop to Louis's experiences.  The book follows him through his service in the Pacific during WWII, his imprisonment as a POW, and his rough transition home following the war.  It was an intense and heart-breaking, yet interesting and inspirational read.  I haven't done the research, but I won't be surprised if this gets made into a movie. 

6.  All the World by Liz Garton and artwork by Marla Frazee:  Ok, so this is actually a children's book.  I include it on my list this year because it was probably my favorite new book that I read to my kids this year.  The artwork is just beautiful and stirs something in me.  The words are poetic and lovely.