When the boys came home with free tickets for a BBL basketball game, we jumped on it as a way to make a memory. They have never been to any professional sports event before and had never seen the game of basketball played, not even on the internet.
One of the boys was not feeling the best, but with a good dose of pain meds we set off. He really wanted to go. Our team, the Gotha Rockets, lost, but the atmosphere was great. It was so loud that for the first half the boys sat with their hands over their ears. At halftime we “fortified” with a Fanta and a Sprite. Feeding sugar water to your mouth helps the ears get used to the noise. Great fun!
Then the sickness hit. By Thursday morning we had two sick boys, and by noon, dad joined in too. After a few days of agony, recovery began. When the iPad time is limited, you start getting creative!
The only one not to get sick was the girl who got to enjoy Fasching. It’s the celebration before Lent begins, and for the kids it is a fun time to eat candy, dress up, and have a party. Both the school and the kindergarten take a whole day to celebrate. At our daughter’s Kindergarten, (for how Kindergarten is done in Germany, where it was invented, look here) you can go for two days in dress up clothes (one of the benefits of Kindergarten).
Every now and again we manage to gather the majority of the family from around the world to one spot. With seven kids/grandkids/nieces-n-nephews age nine and under the house fills rapidly… very rapidly! We had so much fun. One Uncle taught the kids to shoot the bow. An Aunt made a portrait of a picture. And yet another Uncle got into character as Mr X from Scotland Yard. And, of course, we lit our Christmas tree, with homemade decorations and real candles.
Children, in my mind, are the surest measure of the passage of time. The start squatty and small, yet day be day (with some love and some food) they grow… and grow and grow and grow.
Before you know it,
they look like sausages stuffed in too-small clothing,
they are bumping both the top and the bottom of a bed,
they are grabbing everything within reach,
they are creeping across the floor like… like the slow steady creep of time itself.
And so, I’ve come full circle… if you want to keep track of time, have a baby.
Those were the words that started a summer-long project. Papa B, the construction foreman, and his two apprentices, began to work. They have learned to saw, to pound nails, to use clamps, to measure, and many other valuable things. Thanks, Papa B!
One of the boys’ classes was going on a school outing to an old castle 30 minutes drive south of Erfurt. Papa B was going to be here, too, so we made a Man-Day. A few days before the preparations went into full swing: we bought manly snacks and packed them in our manly backpacks. The email from the organizers said that though you could drive there, some would meet at a bus stop in a nearby village and hike to the castle. Well, that sounded manly, so that’s what we were going to do.
The day arrived, beautiful and sunny. We got everything ready, filled our water bottles and got our hiking shoes on, and set out for the village. We got there, just in time. After the bus came and went on which the other hikers were supposed to come, and no one got off, we knew that we’d missed something.
Well, there was nothing to do but to start hiking.
We saw many wonderful things…
… including brilliant fields of raps
… deer stands
(… and cows, many dandelions which got decapitated, sheep/goats, hippies, but sadly dad didn’t think of taking pictures of those)
… and finally, the castle itself (where the hippies live). We got there about 40 minutes too late. I guess dad had done the manly thing and wasn’t detailed enough in his planning.
And where were the others? They either drove all the way to the castle or started from a nearer village. We ended up walking a total of 10 KM there and back! That’s pretty good. Its good we had our manly snacks along, otherwise we would’ve run out of fuel for the way back.
Its always wonderful when Gram and Papa B come visiting. On the way home from school one day, Papa B was telling the boys how if you planted an apple core, you might get an apple tree to grow. However, the apples wouldn’t be the same as the one you planted. The boys thought having their very own apple tree would be a good idea. So, when they got home, Papa B got out the spade, and they buried the apple core, watered it, and then put up a sign where we planted it. And now the waiting begins. The boys were sure, they’d see something growing by this summer. We’ll see!
As September has already galloped past me into mid-September, we are heading into our 4th week of school. The boys have started at a new school this year. They are officially 1st graders!! The first few weeks of new teachers, new school, new “getting up early” time, new friends to make, new expectations, new, new, new, new… the boys have bravely treaded their way through. Now, this is a lot for a 6-year-old to absorb, so almost everyday for the first 2 weeks, we would experience major explosions. Over the littlest things, too. I knew to expect something from my boys, because they don’t always do well with change, but boy, it still brought me to my knees in prayer. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BOYS??
Once they started making friends, it was almost a change over night. Less and more infrequent blow outs. I think they are settling in. Now, I know it won’t be a cake walk from here on out, but it sure is nice knowing we are all settling in.