Monday, November 12, 2012

Little travelers

We're planning our trip back to the US this week. We can't wait to see everyone! Please say lots of prayers for me that the boys are good on the plane. We'll leave here Saturday afternoon, and arrive in Denver Saturday evening (local time). If anyone has any advice on the long flight or dealing with jet lag, I'd love to hear it!

In preparation for the trip we've been playing "airplane" a lot. Here's a picture of the boys sitting nicely in their seats with their seatbelts on!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Latener!

Tomorrow is Sankt Martinstag, or St. Martin's Day in english speaking countries ;-) In this part of Germany it's normal for children to celebrate this holiday by going for a walk through the neighborhood at night carrying handmade lanterns and singing songs about lanterns and St. Martin.

A few weeks ago we got a letter from the kindergarten letting us know the meeting place for the St. Martin's day walk, and with lyrics to the special songs the kids would be singing. From the day I received the letter I started asking James about the preparations for the holiday. "Are you making a lantern at school James?" "Have you started learning some songs?" "How about a song about Sankt Martin or Laterne?" Every question was answered with a confident "No" from James, and sometimes he would laugh at me and call me silly, why would they do those things? A few days before the walk was supposed to take place I asked his teacher about it. I was starting to be concerned that making the lantern was our responsibility since James still didn't seem to know anything about it. The teacher assured me that they had made the lanterns and had been practicing the special songs every day. Finally, last Thursday, the day before the St. Martin's day walk, the lanterns were waiting for us to take home. "Wow James," I commented, "What a nice Lantern, did you make that?" James looked at me like I was crazy. "That's my latener." He said. We learned a song about it, "Latener, Laterner." Do you know what else we're learning about?" He asked. "Mateen, he's a guy that rides a horse, and uses a sword to cut his coat in half to share with someone else. We learned a song about that too, San Mateen, San Mateen" Haha. Apparently James wasn't confused because he didn't understand what was going on at school, he was confused because he was learning about all those things in German, and I was asking about them in English!

Last night we did the St. Martin's walk. James very proudly carried his Lantern the whole way, even though he was one of the smallest kids and had a hard time keeping up. I was amazed that they let all these tiny kids carry candles through the town, but the kids did great! When we got back to the school there was a big bonfire, a St. Martin skit, hot drinks, and the kids sang more songs about St. Martin. The whole thing was very cute, and had a very "small town" sort of feel. We really enjoyed it!

The picture in the video is bad, but James singing his Laterne song is too cute to not post!

video