Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bon Appetit!

We've definitely begun to settle in to life here in Luxembourg. Crossing our fingers we sign the lease for our home on Thursday at 1:30pm and we move in on July 31st! We'll write more about our house later, once its official and we've got good pictures!

One of the first things that we've really learned to love here is the food! As bad as that may sound, we had to go to a Dr. today for an immigration physical and E and I had lost about 10 pounds each! We've been walking a lot and eating pretty decent meals. But, back to the food...

The first Monday that we were here we went grocery shopping and bought some fruits and vegetables from the store. We were somewhat shocked with the price, but had no other choice so we took a bunch home. Man are we glad we did! The produce here is awesome!

Check out these raspberries! They were huge and delicious.

We also bought some strawberries imported from the Netherlands and they were the best strawberries we've ever had. The cool thing about the produce and other items like honey, milk, etc... is that you know the source of the food. Our honey jar has the phone number and address of the beekeeper who produced the honey.

This Saturday on our way into the grocery store, we noticed this shack where everyone was standing ordering stuff. Of course, I wanted whatever they wanted, so we went over and order 3 sausage things. We're not sure what they were made out of, two were brownish pinkish, and the other was white. They were good! Even Miss H got on the sausage train.

For those of you who are familiar with Miss H's feeding habits, or lack thereof, you know how hard it is to get her to eat. The first couple days here were challenging with her, but know she definitely is enjoying the food. Tonight we had spaghetti, broccoli and cantaloupe (from France) and we couldn't give Miss H enough food.

We all agreed that the cantaloupe was the best we've ever had!

We've made it a few times a week ritual to walk to a local square nearby and eat ice cream after dinner.

The square has a ton of food places, and some awesome ice cream stores. They do a lot of fun things with the ice cream and the kids love it. They made a bumblebee for L and a Pinocchio for A.

E and I enjoyed some great sundaes, mine was Kiwi and it was delicious...

Overall, we're loving life here in Luxembourg. It's been an easier transition that we initially expected. We're sure that there will be tough spots ahead of us, but we have each other and that's why we're here, so that we can grow together and grow closer. As you can see below, the kids have begun growing closer, their favorite pastime is now to dump small rocks on each other's heads. Oh well, luckily they've got some pretty hard heads!

Until next time! À bien tôt

-K &E

Location:Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Marvelous Park

As this was our first Saturday in Luxembourg and we had absolutely nothing planned, we took the advice of our relocation consultant and took the kids to the Marvelous Park (that's it's name, but think French). We didn't quite know what to expect, mainly because we can't read the pamphlet. But the pictures in the pamphlet were pretty and it had free parking so how could we say no...

We've only been here for a week but, K always seems to find the weird words that are very similar to English words if you just read them as they're pronounced if they were English. Take this sign for example:

Now A & L haven't started school yet, so we're not sure of the exact Luxemborgish (yes, they have they're own language here) pronunciation, but it does take just 1 Fahrt to right the "Poney Express". Yes, K is a child sometimes, but we have to learn to laugh at somethings right now, because there is a whole lot that we could be crying about!

Potty humor aside, the park was a nice retreat, as we flew into Luxembourg we were amazed with how green it was, and the park was in the middle of one of the forests, so it was nice to sit in the middle of so many trees.

The park had a lot of different things for the kids to do, there was a small zoo, a bunch of different play grounds, and a lot of just random things for the kids to climb on. Case in point, Mr. Sleeping Elf:

The kids had a blast on him, and it was fun to see them enjoy something very simple and use their imaginations while running around on him.

Right next to the Elf was this Rooster statue which Miss H kept calling Pee-Wee, (the name of E's parent's dog) "Hi, Wee-wee", and barking at it,we got a kick out of it, and we think a few Luxembourger's suspicions about Americans were further solidified.

In the end we enjoyed ourselves and were once again amazed with how all the banned playground toys of our childhood are here in Europe. It was fun to show the kids a merry-go-round, and the kids teeter-totter swings that we used to always play on:

So Marvelous park, we bid thee farewell for awhile, and hope to return in the future to further bask in your Marvelous wonders, and hopefully be able to read your pamphlet next time. The only thing that we'd like to have changed next time is the ending, it rained on our parade... But that's how it goes here in Luxembourg, that's why its soo green!

-K & E

Location:Bettemburg, Luxembourg

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The First Few Days

The first few days here have been a roller coaster ride! We feel like we go from the highs to the lows in just a few minutes sometimes. There are just so many things that are different than we're used to, of course. K and I both worried a lot about finding a place to live that would have everything on our "must have" list. We think we've already got that taken care of.....more on that another time. Just figuring all the logistics of life (ex: transferring money between American and Luxembourgish banks, finding food that's recognizable and restaurants that are open, etc.) has been a little more difficult than we imagined.

All that aside though, we're already having lots of fun! We already feel like we're coming closer together as a family because each other is all we've got. Plus, it's such a testimony builder to see how Heavenly Father is so involved in the small details of our lives, no matter where we are or what we need.

On our first day here we found " Pirate Ship Park". It's called that because it has an enormous ship as part of the playground. I have to laugh every time I see a park here because they are so different. Most of the equipment would be totally outlawed in the U.S. Here is Miss A on a tire swing.

All the swings are arranged in a circle so that the kids all swing towards each other into the center. I've seen a few come pretty close to taking each other out.

Here's the giant pirate ship- totally made of wood. I don't think there are many wooden playgrounds left in the U.S.

Check out this slide- it is seriously like three stories tall at least. And totally made of metal. The kids LOVE it! Mr. L flies out of the end so fast it scared me the first time. But he jumped up and flashed a big smile!

We all were kind of hungry the first couple days. We hadn't figured out how to eat yet- or even where to find the food. The kids were ecstatic when we stumbled upon McDonald's on Tuesday night. And I have to admit that K and I didn't exactly argue when they wanted to eat there.

Miss H is the pickiest eater we've had yet. She didn't eat much of anything the first two days. She loves peanut butter and pretty much survived on it before we left. Peanut butter is not so easy to find here (I did have a bunch shipped here in our sea shipment, but we won't get all that stuff for another week or two). Needless to say, she's discovered Nutella and thinks its a perfectly fine substitute.

While we were enjoying our McDonald's feast in an outside courtyard, there was this street performer that the kids were mesmerized by. He would hold really still, like a statue, then start making bird calls and moving around, startling everyone walking by.

After we finished eating, we went over to put some money in his cup and he plopped his hat on Miss A's head and pulled the kids in for a picture. Can you see the cigarette in his hand? I don't think clean air laws exist here either........

When we read the description of our hotel before we got here we were excited because it said there was an outdoor garden attached to one of the rooms. We were thrilled because the kids love being outside. Turns out the "garden" is in fact a bed of rocks surrounded by trees. I love how creative and adaptable kids are though because they've spent hours playing outside in that rock pile. They even have pet rocks now. We just keep telling ourself this is a temporary situation :)

Miss H is always on the phone these days because, to her, just about anything is a phone!

Miss A just being silly while playing outside. She's gotten used to the glasses and wears them like a champ! She asks for them every morning and puts them away every evening. No nagging or reminding!

There's not a day that goes by that this little boy's big brown eyes don't melt my heart. He's a handful right now, but he sure is cute!

Bottom line- despite the highs and lows so far, we already love being here! We know you would too! We found a house with plenty of space for visitors, so anyone who comes to visit can have free lodging for their European vacation! Who wants to be first???

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Luxembourg, Luxembourg


We made it! We're here! We never thought the day to actually get on the plane and fly to Luxembourg would actually come. But, come it did.... After hanging with family in Virginia for six weeks, it was time.

It took two cars to get our five bodies and twenty plus (you think I'm kidding, but I'm not) pieces of luggage to the airport. If you figure one carry on suitcase and one backpack per person for carry on, then one free checked suitcase apiece, plus three car seats, a stroller, and a pack-n-play AND K's golf bag. The lady at the check-in counter was super nice and figured out a way to "justify" all of it except for the golf bag, so we only had to pay for one bag :)

I think that the kids thought that the coolest part was this shuttle train we had to take to our terminal in Dulles.

Out first flight was from Dulles to London. We departed at 10:30 at night, so right after take off we got everyone into jammies and they crashed pretty quickly. The kids slept pretty well on the plane, but it was a pretty short night for them since London is five hours ahead of D.C.

We had a five hour layover in London, which we thought would be ridiculously long, but turned out to be pretty nice and not too bad. After being on the plane overnight, we all needed some time to get "refreshed" (if you know what I mean.....clean clothes, brush hair and teeth, wash face, feel human!) Then we found this kids play place. Seriously, how cool is this? I've never seen one of these in an airport before. Miss A spent a lot of time here.

And had to wear this cool green stylish vest to be allowed in.

We waited for our flight to pop up on the screen. Seeing our flight suddenly made it feel so real to me! I knew that once we got on that plane there was definitely no turning back! The flight back to Chicago just a few lines above suddenly looked pretty tempting too. The nerves were setting in....

We were really impressed with how well the kids did being in charge of their own luggage and walking so much in the airports.

Don't judge Miss A on the socks and crocs ;). She's only wearing the socks cause they were required in the play area.

That's our "little airbus" to Lux as the ticket agent put it.

Our flight in Lux landed at about 6:30 local time. We got all our suitcases, cleared customs, and then tried to figure out how to get to our hotel with all that stuff! We had a rental car waiting, so K took the kids in the rental car while I rode with the Portuguese and French speaking taxi driver and all the luggage. He told the taxi driver the name of our hotel, because, conveniently he speaks Portuguese thanks to his mission. We parted ways, and I felt slightly nervous leaving my husband and kids to drive off into a strange country with a strange man I couldn't even talk to. I didn't have my cell phone either because we cancelled my plan before leaving the U.S. I'll get a new one here. Anyways the problem was that K got confused with the name of the hotel, and so my stranger taxi driver took me to a hotel that had no record of us coming. After unloading those 20 bags into the lobby, we figured out it was the wrong hotel. He oh-so-kindly reloaded it all back into his car, and the oh-so-nice receptionist let me make an international phone call to call my husband and find out where I was really supposed to be. She also helped me out by speaking french to the taxi driver to tell him where I needed to go instead. He took me there, unloaded the stuff again, K showed up with the kids, and I breathed a big sigh of relief.

Night #1 was pretty rough with jet lag issues, but everyone fell asleep eventually and we all survived.

Let the adventure begin!!!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now!!!

We decided that before we left for Luxembourg we should have A's eyes checked. We took her in to the eye doctor and to our surprise she was actually very nearsighted. She got some new glasses and is very excited about wearing them (We'll see how long that enthusiasm lasts...)

Which pair do you Iike better?
The chic butterfly pair

Or the sophisticated student

A loves the black & pink butterfly pair! Who would have guessed ;)

Oh yeah! We can't forget Mr. L, he had to show off his glasses...

-K & E

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy 4th of July!!!

We've been staying with E's family while we've been waiting for our visa's to come in. It has been quite an adventure since everyone in E's family is also staying with her parents as well. So the 12 of us, have learned what it's like to literally be one big happy family!

Today the ward had a 4th of July breakfast parade so the kids decorated their bikes and definitely took first place in decorations. Needless to say K had an influence on the theme of their vehicles.

After the parade we went to play at a neighbor's pool and cooled off. It's been hot here in Virginia so a little splash hit the spot!

A's belly flop, ouch...

In the end it was a wonderful day and we hope you had a great 4th of July!