My kids had their first day back at kindergarten today. It's James' first day as a Vorschulkind (literally "preschool" kid, similar to the kindergarten year in the US) He was very proud. I haven't gotten full reports from them on how the day went, but I thought I would share some pictures!
Sometimes when I take a really long break from blogging, I feel kind of embarrassed to come back, like it's only illuminating what a bad job I've done in the past months. Oh well.
My last post was in May. Since then Dylan parents went back home and James turned 5. (how did that happen!!) In July we had some surprise visitors who were friends of a friend. They stayed with us for a few days and made fast friends with James and David. That was fun. James and David also had their kindergarten Olympics, where their kindergarten competed again other kindergartens in our town in various "sports" like soccer, wheelbarrow racing, and tug-of-war. James played on the soccer team for his school, and they got 2nd place out of 4 in the tournament. Dylan and I both found it comical that James was more upset about losing, than the fact that he didn't get a chance to play at all in the second game!
In August the kids started their summer vacation from kindergarten. The kindergarten takes 3 weeks off plus 2 weeks which are optional. Most parents keep their kids out the whole time since the older kids are out for 6 corresponding weeks, but James and David went for part of the week last week, and there were still several kids there. This week the boys are back at home, and next week they'll officially start the 2014-2015 school year. James will be a "vorschulkind" this year, which is similar in substance to kindergarten in the US, but different in that they are still in the same class with 3 and 4 year olds (at our kindergarten, not at all of them), and still in the same place they've been the last two years. Kids start elementary school at 6 years old with grade 1.
Our weather hasn't been very nice recently, so we've spent a lot of time at home. I've been pretty bad about taking photos, and writing things down for the blog. As we enter our last three months here(!) I'll try to do a little better. Here are some photos!
James is about in the center running around the field in a red and white shirt. This is at the run-through for the olympics. I guess I didn't get any pictures on the actual day.
James and David modeling their new T-shirts from Nana and Granpa.
Daddy's birthday presents, they wrapped them themselves.
We've been going on a lot of "nature walks" when it's not raining and I get tired of being cooped up inside. For some reason James felt he needed to bring a sword on this particular day.
We had a lovely trip to Paris over the weekend with Dylan's parents and the kids. We got to see the Eiffel tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame among other things. We enjoyed some fabulous french food, and even had one day of amazing weather! The kids behaved really well on the train both ways (about 7 hours) and were great troopers about all the sightseeing we crammed into just a few days. Dylan and I enjoyed a really great night out to dinner while Conga and Poppy watched the kids, and it was just all around a fabulous time! I was really bad about taking pictures, but here a few I got with my phone:
Poppy trying to get a full length shot of the Eiffel tower, hilarious!!
James feeling silly about wearing the Eiffel tower on his head.
A selfie of David and I on the tour bus.
James, David and Dylan at the Jardin du Luxembourg.
The "pay" playground in the Jardin du Luxembourg (2.50€ a kid!)
Tiny James in a big playground!
James at the top of an incredibly high climbing rope structure
Dylan's parents just boarded there flight back to Colorado after 2.5 lovely weeks of having them here. We enjoyed all the sights around Garching and Munich, and then the last weekend of their visit we took a train to Paris, which was really cool.
While they were here Poppy taught James how to ride a bike without training wheels, which has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. He's been riding his bike too and from kindergarten, and it clearly brings him a lot of joy!
Conga and Poppy also taught James how to whistle, which he thinks is just super awesome, and practices all the time!
We celebrated a surprise birthday party for James 5th birthday almost one week before his actual birthday, he was pretty surprised!! Today is his real birthday and tomorrow he'll celebrate with his friends at school.
It took David a little longer to warm up to Dylan's parents than it did James, but once he did, he really enjoyed them. He was pretty upset this morning when it was time for them to leave for the airport.
All in all it was a really excellent visit, and we're all looking forward to the end of the year when we'll be back in Colorado with family again!
Out to lunch in Garching
Out to lunch in Garching
Riding the train into Munich
Riding the train into Munich
Dylan giving a tour of the lab (not his lab exactly) to his parents
Easter morning today started out with James giving David a long talking to about how there is actually NO easter rabbit. We've never particularly encouraged or strongly discouraged the concept of the easter bunny, so I thought the whole exchange was quite hilarious. David was a little disappointed but he took it like a champ. The boys went to play soccer with Dylan while I hid the eggs and they had a great time searching for them. It's actually the first time we've had the weather for an outdoor easter egg hunt since James was 1! Their searching skills have improved significantly since then. This afternoon we plan to get dressed up in our new easter outfits and go to church. I'll hopefully manage to get some pictures of the boys in their matching bow ties!!
After the easter egg hunt the boys enjoyed an Easter Jam session!
We went to the zoo yesterday with some friends. The weather was a bit chilly which meant the zoo wasn't overcrowded. The boys behaved marvelously and we had a great time! (sorry for the lack of face shots, they were always looking at the animals for some reason…)
Thursday was my 29th birthday. It feels somehow monumental because I have so many memories of friends declaring 29 as their last birthday ever. I had one friend that celebrated her 29th birthday well into her 30's! I guess I'll do my best to enjoy this last year of my 20's and make the most of it!
I had a great day including coffee out with a friend, shopping, a birthday party with the kids and another friend, and a movie night with Dylan at home. I'm very thankful to all my friends and family back home who sent gifts, and messages. I felt very loved!
My Fancy Birthday Frappuccino!!
The spread at my afternoon birthday party!! So blessed to have good friends!