Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Typical Week - incase y'all wanted to know. :-)


Life is starting to fall into some sort of pattern. FINALLY! Oh. my. goodness. I have discovered that schedules and routines are absolutely essential for my general peace of mind. Who'd have thought?

So here is a typical week in Emilydom:

Mondays/Tuesdays: death days. I am with the kids from 8 - 7:30/8. I get the kids fed/dressed and run Filippa to kindergarten, pick her up, play with Fritz (current obsession: railroad building), pick up toys with Fritz, put Fritz to bed, run Marietta to guitar and back, play some more, pick up some more, go on walks, make dinner, get kids ready for and in bed. Sounds simple - except when your companions are constantly fluctuating between tantrums and wild rampages of delight. If I were queen of the world, I would provide all mothers with means to take a midday nap. Too bad I am not queen of the world. Bummer...

But, after Tuesday, life gets much better!
Wednesdays, I have class from 9-12. After Frtiz's nap, I have the kids till bedtime.
Class is a lovely social outlet, though I am a little disappointed in the intensity of the course...because it just isn't. Whatev. Living in the language is intense enough. I'm still happy. :-)
With so much time to myself, Wednesdays seem to be shaping out to be pretty peaceful days.

Thursdays are a bit more hectic. I run Filippa to school, then rush back so Melanie can take Fritz to a church playgroup that she runs. So, I am off-ish until noon. It's the afternoons that get harry with running kids to sports/lessons/to and from playgroups...Melanie and I play MOVING musical chairs between the three kids and two cars. It's brilliant - You should come play! I am off early - a bit after 6 - so I can go to Institute. Though struggling with comprehension is exhausting, Institute almost always gives me a boost.

Fridays are less predictable. We'll see how those go. But, as they come right before the weekend, they can't e too bad. I'm looking forward to this one! I have an appointment that I have procrastinated making for literally years in the morning and the rest of the day off! The ward/stake (I am not sure which...) is having their Gold and Green Ball in the evening. Goals accomplished, me time, and dress-up = an AMAZING day!

Weekends are weekends. Sometimes I am traveling with the family, and sometimes I am doing regular weekend stuff: church, errands, church activities... I looks like it will end up being about half ans half. Not bad.

I had my first normal weekend last weekend. The normal weekends are just lovely! Really. I biked over to Friedrischdorf to pick up my cell from Lonnie (miracle: Sam and Lonnie just happened to be walking out the door to go to the Friedrichsdorf temple when I called), then walked all over Friedrichsdorf and Bad Homburg looking for a fabric store (shocker, eh?). Never found one, but really enjoyed exploring. As that only took about 6 hours total, you can imagine how small these towns are. Then, I went to Frankfurt with a friend from church where we saw 'The Time Traveler's Wife' and got ice cream at - you'll never guess - McDonald's. Apparently, McD's is a treat for people here. BIZARRE!

Then Sunday. Hmmmm, I love Sundays. As I didn't have to give a talk or contribute much in Sunday School, it was particularly nice. I sit with the couple missionaries during sacrament meeting - they make me so happy! I love it!

And then we start all over again. There is always a little wrench in the works to add some spice to life, but now that I know that peace and quiet will come, coping with the crazy times has been so much easier.

Thanks to all of you who have listened to my venting and walked me through the adjusting - you have helped so much. I love you!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Come VISIT! $614 flights

I was walking through town the other day on some errands and thinking of how sad it is to experience this all by myself. I wished one of you were here to get excited over the countryside and peaceful scenes, the little quaint corners and little details - the adventure!

So. Here we go: there are round-trip tickets between Las Vegas and Frankfurt in mid october (several dates available) starting at $614. ... Just sayin.

If you come early, I can play with you as the family will be off in Spain for a week and a half, and I am pretty sure you can stay here with me - there are extra bedrooms up here on the third floor.

So. There you go. (Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding.)

Come play!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Word of the Day

So, I started escuela today. I am taking an intensive German course - 3 hours every Wednesday and Friday.
Today, we focussed on a couple of things, but my 'homework' consisted mainly of practices with the following word:

TROTZDEM: regardless, nevertheless, yet, but

Ich bin krank. Trotzdem gehe ich zur Schule. (I am sick. Nevertheless, I am going to school.)
Ich bin krank. Ich gehe trotzdem zur Schule.

It seemed like a pretty sophisticated word to me, until I heard little four-year-old Filippa use it! Mother of Zeus!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Apparently, I haven't been posting often enough to satisfy you all (thanks for thinking of me! I love you!). AC has been good enough to give me a list of prompts as I had run out of things to report on. So here I go:

What I love:
I love the old architecture - a large majority of this town is in the Tudor style. I just discovered today a little corner of town that seems older/better preserved than the rest. SO charming with dark cobbled streets (slate? anyone know?), ivy and wisteria-covered walls, moss and lichen growing on any surface that will sit still for a second. The stone/moss/lichen color scheme made me so happy today! Plans for a mellow, organic, abstract painting is in the works.
I love that this little town is so quiet/peaceful.
I still love the green and all of the flowers. I don't think it will ever get old!
Ooo! And I love plumb cake. I know, it sounds awful, at least it did to me when I first heard of it. I am not such a big fan of plumbs in general, but the tart flavor of the baked plumbs with a light, mildly sweet cake underneath is fantastic! Florica, the Romanian woman who also works here in the house said she'd bring me her recipe tomorrow. good!

What I dislike:
I get frustrated with the social pressure here. These are just a couple of examples: One must keep quiet between 10 and 7 - not sure if it is a law, but it might as well be. The family is constantly yelling at or anxious about their dog - trying in vain to keep her quiet.
Then, apparently it is normal to have a birthday party for every kid every year - even for babies! The mothers in the neighborhood get offended if you don't throw your baby a party...I don't get it.
There is just more pressure to do what society prescribes. I can relate to it to a certain extent; of course being courteous is valuable. But there seems to be an underlying 'streamlining' pressure here that I find stifling.
Hm. I am getting a little tired of all of the starches and processed meats. It's true, the Germans LOVE their wurst. Of course it tastes good, but my tummy is a bit confused.

What is challenging for me:
Learning this dang language! It is a good challenge, and extra good when I can see progress, but holy moley! Imagine trying to understand someone mumbling...your mind strains at every sound as it tries to piece the few it catches into an intelligible idea. Then, try to respond to the mumbler with a vocabulary of about 200 words and only a vague idea of grammar rules. Yep. That's me whenever I have a conversation in German.
I am sure everyone who has ever learned a new concept has experienced this, and I have never heard anyone complain as much as I do about it. :-) So, I will try to tone it down...but Caite, you did ask... :-)
What else is challenging...
Oh, plenty.
It is a challenge trying to find my place in this family - navigating personalities, values (theirs and mine), routines/traditions, as well as communication expectations, frustrations, and even gratitude/affection. Leaving work at the office doesn't exactly apply here.
It's a challenge to set and accomplish personal goals. Of course, it is always difficult to do that, but, I don't feel master of my own time and so I can't adjust and prioritize on the same way that I am used to. I will have to figure out something though, because my mind is needing to play.

Who/What I miss in the U.S.:
I miss you all! I miss having family and friends who I don't have to try so hard to read. I miss hugs and cuddle time. :-) But I have made some sweet friends already, and I got to spend the weekend with Uncle Sam and Aunt Lonnie last week! Shoot, she even sent me home with peanut butter! Mmm...I miss brownies. You see, everything is more cakey and dry here. Good, but you really can't beat brownies. :-)

Caite said that if I didn't have anything to report, just send smoochies. Fabulous idea. If you are reading this, MWAH! I love you and miss you, and I would LOVE to hear from you!

I hope this will suffice at least until I find something new to post or until I get more questions.