Ruthie, thanks for the e-mail. It was so nice of you to check on me!
Hi all! I'm sorry I haven't been around much. Life has been crazy and I have been trying to get everything in order and settled and back in routine.
When Tom went to Florida, I kind of hit bottom and really struggled through those last six weeks of being apart. I felt like I was out of fuel, just exhausted from the whole last year. I really missed my guy. All of the preparations for moving seemed so big and overwhelming and I felt like I was caught in a vortex of craziness. But, we made it through and he got home safely and had a couple days to visit before we had to head off across The Pond.
Once we got to Germany, we were faced with the daunting task of finding the "perfect" house in a not so perfect time frame. We had two weeks before we had to start paying for the hotel out of pocket! That's not a lot of time to deal with a six hour time change for three young kids and drive all over tarnation househunting, especially when we had to take a drivers' test in order to legally drive! We found a terrific house we were going to buy and invested an entire month in paperwork and lawyers and real estate agents and then found out that it wasn't going to go through. We were staying with a friend, sleeping on the floor, living out of suitcases for going on five weeks, and now we had to find *another* house. Two days later, we had found three houses that would be nice. One was Tom's favorite but I didn't like the tile floors throughout or slanted ceilings in the bedrooms. One was my favorite - an old farmhouse that had so much character and charm, but had low ceilings in the basement so Tom vetoed it. I was sad. Then, the third was a compromise for both of us but neither of us disliked it so we ended up signing the rental agreement.
The next day we found out we wouldn't have been able to own a home if Tom took on a contracting job after he retired (which he's planning to do). Two weeks later we found out that Connor was accepted at the village school, which is a block away. A week after that, we found out Kadyn was accepted at the village Kindergarten, a block down the street from Connor's school. And the next week we were able to enroll the kids in the local soccer team, which practices at a gorgeous stadium just further down the street that Kadyn's school is on.
So we are currently feeling humbled by all of our grumbling and panicing that things weren't working out. Yes, God. We remember. You have a plan.
Connor started school two weeks ago and is doing very well. We started him in the German equivalent of first grade, which is his age-appropriate classroom. His teacher speaks very little English but he is getting along fine and seems to be understanding all of the work he brings home. We are so proud of him for jumping into this adventure and thriving! We are continuing to homeschool in the afternoons so Connor can stay ahead academically and not have to worry about learning concepts as he's learning the German language.
Kadyn starts school on Tuesday and is very excited! She will go for a half day - I'll drop her off after we drop off Connor and then pick her up before Connor finishes at noon. Her school is wonderful and the teachers really seem to care for the kids! The German Kindergarten runs from three to six years old and is very Montessouri-based in its approach. We've been to visit twice and she's had a great time both visits.
Avery is two now! She celebrated her second birthday here in Germany. She has mastered the two-finger declaration of her age (both German-style and American-style!) and is saying new words every day. She's really our little clown - always keeping us laughing.
Things are still coming together here. The house is *almost* unpacked - just those last couple things that never seem to have a home. We're waiting on a new living room set to be delivered so our downstairs looks a bit bare for the moment, but we were able to buy a used piano at a decent price, so that has been our new favorite thing to do after dinner!
My good news is that I've been maintaining my weight. The bad news is that I've been maintaining at the WRONG weight! I had to quit running because my lips turned blue for an hour after my first sixteen mile run and we just didn't think that was a good sign. I'm still working out - don't worry! Tom and I have embarked on an exercise program together, which is a blast. We're really having fun encouraging each other!
I will start posting more often. I have missed you all!
We have a friend coming for dinner so I'd better get a move on the menu. Talk to you all soon!