As I began to think through this post, I could not come up with a title. Usually the title is what gets me to write. Something significant stands out and I run with it, but for now the beautiful thing called normalcy has set over the family. The craziness just to get here, the chaos of living for weeks without our things, sending my daughter back to the states without us, and then getting settled in OUR home for the next 3 years has been accomplished. Now normal has begun!
We have already had the joy of exploring parts of Europe. We have visited Florence, Italy through Switzerland! On our way home we stopped in Leichtenstein...the smallest country in the world - I believe. Greg and I went to London for the Bears vs. Bucs game in October. I went this weekend to France (Strasbourg) for lunch! How cool is that? So the benefits of living in Europe are starting to be felt! Prague is our next destination!
Having watched my kids go from "why are we here" or "I have no friends and I want to go back to the states" to rarely ever being home and having friends to invite over has warmed my heart. Tearing your kids away from the love of friends during the teen years just rips my heart out. I love the opportunities of moving often and seeing parts of the world and even the states that others have not seen, is such a blessing. But that blessing comes with many negatives.
But isn't that the truth about life in general? Does everything go rosy for everyone all the time? When a new job - blessing - comes along, with it comes stresses/changes etc. When a new baby comes along - blessings - it brings stresses/changes like no sleep, extra worry, financial issues, etc. So I guess I get to show my children apart of life that some children may not experience until they are an adult. Maybe my children are just more prepared??? Let's hope so!
Since my last post, things have improved dramatically. Rachel worked her job, was the manager for the Volleyball team, earned her Varsity letter, and went to Homecoming with a date (her goal!) She has become even more responsible than I have ever seen her. She gets up really early to go into school early for extra help or to sell cupcakes for her Charity Water organization (they raise money to build wells in poor countries). She goes to Awana, Bible Study, and Youth Group regularly. She is well liked and loved (I know because as soon as someone finds out I am her mom, hey say, "Oh I love her!") Does a momma's heart good. I even asked her if she wanted to go to school full-time next year (she only needs to take like 2 classes) and she said YES! CRAZY girl wants to take more classes than needed just to be in school! Gotta love that.
Sarah has been acclimating to her surroundings and I am learning that she is a home body! She LOVES to be home. If someone wants to come over - great! But if not, she is just happy being home. I am not forcing her out and about to different events because frankly, soon will come the time when she wants to be OUT like Rachel and I will miss it...so I am enjoying it now. She has a good friend, Katie, and they love being goofy together. She has made a few friends at school and that's been good, too. She had the opportunity to play volleyball after school but she only choose to do that once. She isn't into staying after school! Again, works for me!
Zach has struggled more than the rest of us. Not to adjust to life here, but rather to adjust to life in school. He is showing those K behaviors like "running to get THE spot on the rug" while simultaneously knocking children over to get there. Whoops. Then when something is passed out in class, Zach is jumping over others to get HIS. Not good. The teacher already called me in for a meeting. YIKES! We are working on our self control. He did have his retainer/expander removed and then a new one replaced. The new one totally takes up his mouth and he has a device he wears during bed that is supposed to stretch his front teeth over his bottom teeth (a protractor). Poor kid! But he has fared pretty well despite his challenges!
Bekah is in the states and seemingly doing well. I would love if she would consider coming to Germany/France to go to Georgia Tech! They have a campus in France about 2 hours from here. How cool would that be??? So we will see if she wants to do that. She is at the age where she gets to decide how to spend her semesters. Oh to go back to the time when I made all her decisions. She would never be allowed to leave! LOL I love my kiddos.
Greg and I even started leading in Awana...something we have never done. We are also both scout leaders! Greg is the community chairperson for the area Boy Scout Troop/Den (Zach is a Bear) and I am a Cadette Girl Scout leader. We are attending the International Baptist Church which is really neat as we get to worship with Germans, Americans, and those of other races/cultures! I love it. We are feeling like this is HOME for right now and that makes life more normal.