Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Few Firsts

We've been here in Luxembourg for over two months now- my, how the time flies! Overall, we're feeling pretty settled, but we've still got plenty of new things happening all the time! First, a few weeks ago, Miss H finally made it to 18 months, which means she gets to go to nursery at church!!! Hooray! It feels so weird to sit through the second and third meetings in peace. It's been awhile.... Here are a few pictures of her on her first day.

Next, Monday of this week was Miss A and Mr. L's first day of Luxembourgish school. For breakfast before school we had "Happy Pancakes" as Mr. L called them (pancakes with happy face chocolate chips).

They were so brave! I think I was waaaay more nervous than they were! They both marched right into their classrooms and never looked back. There was even a mix-up with Miss A's class so she got bumped around a couple times on the first day. She was a champ, even though Mom shed a few tears during all the confusion. We're really proud of the two of them and how well they're adjusting. Mr. L doesn't really seem too bothered by the fact that he can't really communicate with the other kids in his class. His teachers speak English, but mostly he just thinks it's pretty cool to get to go play with new toys every day. Plus, there's this really cool playhouse in his classroom. You can see him in the blue polo shirt. Bye Mom and Dad!

He has on the red jacket at the end of the line. This is where the teachers walk them out afterwards to be picked up.

A big hug from Mom after the first day!

Miss A waiting patiently for all the grown-up talking to be over so she can go play. This isn't actually her classroom, but it's the class she was in for the first day of school. She's been moved to a different room since then, which she says she likes better anyway.

The school schedule is different here. For the first three years of school- ages 3, 4, and 5- they can arrive at school anytime between 8:00 and 9:00. After that, school starts promptly at 8:00. Anyway, they are at school for the morning, until 11:40. Then I go pick them up and bring them home for lunch. K walks home from work and has lunch with us too. The kiddos go back to school from 2:00 to 4:00 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday there is no afternoon school. It makes a lot of walking back and forth, but we are so grateful that everything is so close together that we do all of these trips on foot.

K walks the kids to school in the morning, then walks to work. I walk to go pick them up and drop them off. It's so nice to not have to use our car for all these trips! We feel like the location of our house was very inspired. We tried to move into a different house that was much further out of town, but it fell through. I think Heavenly Father really wanted us to live in this house- and we can see why! Also, the first three years of school are taught in Luxembourgish. I bet you never even knew that language existed, huh? Because Miss A and Mr. L don't speak Luxembourgish yet they're being offered extra language support classes. Those start next week, but Miss A is already coming home and telling us the new words she is learning every day. Thankfully, her teacher speaks English pretty well and seems to help her a lot. I can tell she's gonna be a natural. She even says the new words with the right accent. Aren't kids amazing?

Miss A is also doing swimming this year. She has class on Mondays and Wednesdays from now through next July. She's super excited about it because she really loves swimming. I would love to see her turn into a little swimmer! Here she is all pumped up and excited on her first day of class!

Part of the curriculum in school is swimming and gymnastics. One day a week they go swimming and another day is gymnastics day. I packed backpacks for each of the kids with the clothes they change into to wear for swimming day and for gymnastics day. Their backpacks of clothes stay at school and then get sent home to be washed. Miss A was in great shape for both classes, but Mr. L needed a little something new. His first European swimsuit! Wowser! Never expected to buy this for my little guy, but hey- when in Rome.... right?

We are super proud of the kids and how adaptable they've been. No complaints or tears from anyone! Except for last night when it was Mr. L's bedtime. K told him he had to get to bed fast so that he wouldn't be tired for school today. He said, "Dad, I don't want to go to bed. I don't need to go to school tomorrow. Three days of school is enough." You're growing up way too fast, little guy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Schueberfouer 2012

When we first got here we kept hearing about a fair that was coming to town in September. We didn't think much of it and thought maybe we would swing by when it was here and let the kids ride on some of the rides. Little did we know how the Europeans like to do fairs. Introducing Schueberfouer!

The fair is overwhelmingly huge. It takes up over 2 city blocks and the amount of rides and the magnitude of the rides is crazy. If that's not enough its a cultural and culinary melting pot. We've gone twice now, once just with the adults and once with kids. The rides they have for adults are really impressive when you consider they pack them up on trucks and move them around the continent.

These were a couple of rides that we rode, they were pretty fun!

The food is also something that is worth your time. Check out all the different types of things you can enjoy!

This is a traditional Luxembourgish potato food. Like a hash brown but with a lot of yummy seasonings and amazing when you add in a little spicy mustard.

Our kids loved the mini churros.

Handmade Pretzels

Tons of candy!

Chocolate dipped fruits

Oh yeah and you can't forget the HUGE barbe à papa (Dad's Beard) a.k.a. Cotton Candy. The kids about died when they saw how big the cotton candy was. It was only 5€, in the US this would have been $10-15!

And of course nothing helps wash down good old junk food better than a sausage and homemade waffles!

The kids loved the food and also were crazy for the rides. It's funny here how they just aren't as concerned with lawsuits and liability. You literally just walk up to the ride and there are no fences. The rides go right over the top of your head as you walk along. It is kind of nice to see a culture comfortable with just living life without fear of getting sued. Anyways, so the kids absolutely enjoyed every ride!

Miss A and her friends on the bumper cars

Mr. L and Miss A high-fiving.

A & L on the wild rapids. K wasn't too thrilled about getting wet!

Ms. H had to sit out a lot of the rides given her current height, but she found other ways to entertain herself. Hmm, first the battle axe, now the light saber, I'm beginning to see a theme...

We've become good friends with some members in our ward and it's great because they have kids that are very similar in age to ours. Here is Mr. L with one of their kids.

Ms. A is obsessed with swings and just HAD to ride the swings here, and to our surprise wanted to do it by herself. The swings were very high and fast, but she had no problems with them whatsoever.

Even when she got off the ride she was still flying, check out the mad dash she did with the big grin in her face. She was excited she did it all by herself! Her feet aren't touching the ground...

Finally probably the biggest and one of the most impressive rides is the ferris wheel. It has to be at least 15-20 stories high.

The kids loved riding it and both E and I really liked it too. It was very cool to see the whole city!

Our house is close to the red bridge in this picture.

In the end it was a very fun experience and we all wanted to keep going. But it was getting late so, off we went. But not before Mr. L did a happy dance.

So long Schueberfouer, see you next year!

P.S. you like E & A's new haircuts? They do!