Belated Birthday Party!

A little late, but never a reason not to celebrate our 4-year-old girl!

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Our kindergarten likes making a special occasion of each child’s birthday: Celebrating growth, personal achievements, and just making the child feel really special.

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Since we were in the States during our sweetie’s birthday, the kindergarten was unable to celebrate her. Upon our return, they promptly asked if we could have a belated birthday party for her. Sure!

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Last night, my little helper and I baked up mini-chocolate chip cookies, with mini Smarties (similar to M&Ms) instead of chocolate chips, and poked 30-40 grapes and cheese cubes onto toothpicks.

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This morning, we picked out a dress and braided her hair, and set off to kindergarten to celebrate!

On a side note, she got a little confused at first, and thought maybe she was turning 5. Ha! 😀

 

Christmas brings out the best in everyone… sort of.

Getting easier

Just a little update on how my youngest is doing, adjusting to kindergarten.

Hot cocoa! A sweet treat for making it through another week at kindergarten.
Hot cocoa! A sweet treat for making it through another week at kindergarten.

Her regular routine is to be happy all the way until she is needing to go into the door of her class room. Then she cries.

BUT… she doesn’t cry long.

Daddy usually drops her off. He gets her in her room <crying>, then helps her brothers get settled in there rooms. On leaving the kindergarten, he peeks in through our baby’s door, and she is happily coloring at the table… no tears what-so-ever.

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Eventually, she will forget to cry. 🙂

Otherwise, she loves it there!

Eingewöhnen

When a child first begins kindergarten in Germany, there is a time called “eingewöhnen” – or “getting used to.” This is a chance for the child, and parents, to get used to being in kindergarten. This can last from 3 days up to 2 weeks – however long it takes the child (and parents) to become acclimated to their new environment (ie. not being at home with mommy or daddy).

Usually the first day of “eingewöhnen” involves child and parent visiting the kindergarten and staying for about half and hour, together. Day two would be parent brings child to kindergarten, hangs around a bit, then leaves for about 15-30 minutes. Then comes back for child. The following days would stretch this time out longer and longer, depending on how child reacts to their parent being gone, until child can be at kindergarten the whole time, without being traumatized from separation (parent included). 😉

I am just finishing up my baby’s “getting used to” time. It took longer than I expected, seeing as we are going on in week #2 now.

The first few days, she acted as if she were “home”, but after a few days, the realization set in that I was leaving her there! Tears!

Today, though, was her first full (half) day at kindergarten. Even though we left her in tears, she was able to settle down, and enjoy her day. And it is pretty nice that her brothers are just down the hall, and looking out for her. (They helped comfort her at kindergarten on previous days when I was gone.)

It sounds like she is already starting to use her German (not that I knew that she had any??) but I guess you pick up on language when you hear it around you. 😀

Anyway, she is doing just fine…

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…and so is her mommy. 🙂

We got Pigs and Ducks in the house!

Fasching are the holidays leading up to Ash Wednesday here in Germany, and nearly everyone celebrates it. Everyone dresses up and has a good time, including the Kindergarten where the boys attend. In the weeks leading up to it, Kristen started prepping costumes for the boys. Apparently the classes had a play and a program and need specific costumes. M was to be a wild boar, and J a duck. What?! Kristen worked her genius. I took some time off and together with Kristen we showed up on the appointed morning. Turns out, we were the only parents there! Nonetheless, we enjoyed it, and the boys loved it, too. They performed just for us!

E is dressed up as a blue berry for Fasching.
E is dressed up as a blue berry for Fasching.
M with a classmate
M with a classmate
She was ready to participate.
She was ready to participate.
In full costume… notice the snout, the tail, and the brown fuzzy fur.
In full costume… notice the snout, the tail, and the brown fuzzy fur.
J is doing the duck-waddle for his part in the play
J is doing the duck-waddle for his part in the play

[embedyt]http://youtu.be/horQ7Y9VRds[/embedyt]

Time keeps on marching…

Here are a few pictures I have been taking (or my hubby) over the last month for you to enjoy.

I have been thinking of you all (hence the pictures)… just haven’t made it to my blog to let you know.

Winter bike rides!
Winter bike rides!

 

Playing peek-a-boo. Peek! I see you! :)
Playing peek-a-boo. Peek! I see you! 🙂

 

Soup galore!!
Soup galore!!

Students for Christ had a “Run and Dine” event to celebrate the end of the semester. We hosted the “Vorspeise” part of dinner. (That comes before the main course… soup or salad anyone?)

Valentine surprise from Gram and Papa B.
Valentine surprise from Gram and Papa B.

 

A rose from each of my boys for Valentine's day. :)
A rose from each of my boys for Valentine’s day. 🙂

 

First munch on a baby cracker. Yum!
First munch on a baby cracker. Yum!

 

A J & M wrap!
A J & M wrap!

 

Riding home from Kindergarten on the tram. Daddy was following us on his bike.
Riding home from Kindergarten on the tram. Daddy was following us on his bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindergarten – Week 2

Thank you all for your prayers! The boys are doing great.

Today was their first full (half) day without me there. Just like always, I took them on the tram to kindergarten, but instead of staying, I helped them get all unpacked, jackets and boots off, etc., kissed them goodbye and headed back home.

M ran up to his teacher and gave her legs a hug, while J reached out for me saying, “Don’t go!” It was very strange, because normally, in other situations, it has been the opposite.

When I picked them up at noon, both were sitting in their own rooms eating lunch with the other kids. They were both so happy to see me. 🙂 (That makes a mother feel good.)

Talking with the teachers, it sounded like J didn’t cry long, and they pretty much stayed in their own classrooms all day. They did say “hello” to each other, once, through the connecting door in their classrooms, but then went back to playing in their separate rooms!

All last week, they never left each other. They didn’t want to leave me, when I was there, too. What a change! It can only be all those prayers you are sending. So thank you!! And thank you God for answering. 🙂

We made it!

Hello, this is Johnny and Matthias writing. We wanted everyone to know that we finished our first week of Kindergarten. We made it! The first few days Mom was with us, but sometimes she would leave the room for a short time. We would cry, but then a teacher would play with us, and everything was alright.

We don’t understand German yet, but we are learning new words quickly. I –Matthias– know how to say “Bitte schön” now, which means “your welcome.” I –Johnny– still say “fank you”, that is “thank you”… so I’m still learning.

The last day, Mom left us all by ourself at the Kindergarten, and you know what, it was alright. We played with the teachers and with some of the fun toys we found there. And then, Mom came back and picked us up.

All week long, daddy promised that we would go on the merry-go-round. And everyday, we asked if today was the day! But daddy insisted that Friday was the day for the merry-go-round. So, when Friday was done, daddy met us at the merry-go-round in a big market area called “Anger”. And no, it has nothing to do with being angry.

There we finally got to ride the merry go round.

Afterwords, we ate daddy’s German sausage in a bun, got some cookies at a Konditorei, and went home. Kindergarten isn’t so bad.