Saturday, February 23, 2008

Just a little bit of every day

Let me narrate the following pictures for you -
"Ohhhhh, look what I found! I can't believe you left this sitting around for me to find!!"
"I know what you do with this." (snip snip)

"Here mom, I'm all done and I don't think this thing even works."

I passed my German driver's test this week! First try, thank you very much. :) I had to go to a 2 hour class and then take the 100 question test. I think being a passenger for 2 weeks and having Brian translate the goofy signs and explain some of the rules helped a lot.

We also had a CYS orientation (Child/Youth Services) and took a tour of the hourly care childcare facility. It is great! When Luke goes to hourly care, he will be in a room for children 3 years and younger. It is set up so there is an infant section, an eating area and then a preschool area divided into sections (reading, make believe, building, creating, etc, etc). There are also child sized potties (in stalls) and kiddie sinks. They really stress trying to teach kids how to do everything themselves so when they eat lunch they eat family style so the kids serve themselves, feed themselves, drink from cups (not sippies), throw away their garbage, clean off their plate, wash their hands, all independently. The teacher in the room is German and speaks both English and German to the kids. There are also a few children in there who are bilingual and prefer German as their primary language. Luke enjoyed his time there so much during our tour that we let him stay there for an extra hour while Brian went to a meeting and I went to run a couple of errands. I have him signed up for 3 hours in the afternoon on Thursday while the movers are here. I hope he enjoys himself then as much as he did the first time. And speaking of Thursday, while Brian handles the movers at the house, Luke and I will be going on base to attend Kids Club. Kids Club is for children under 5 and it meets every Thursday at the SAS (School Age Services) gym. Parents and kids interact through gross motor play and the activities include climbing, crawling, manipulating obstacles and other fun activites. It is like taking Luke to a Gymboree play group but not having to pay the ridiculously high prices! It is our first time to attend so I'll be sure to let everyone know if we have a major catastrophe or if it is just awful but I'm sure we'll have a great time.

Last night we had our first Army function since being here. A hail and farewell held at a gasthaus in the town down the road from us. It was SO NICE to see familiar faces (the Burkes and the Barkers are here, they were both in Hawaii with us) and it was great to meet new people. Family was welcome and that included children so we brought Luke with us and he had a great time. Every time someone was welcomed, well, everyone clapped, so Luke would drop whatever it was that he was doing, stand up straight and clap his little heart out while shouting YAY!!!!!!! Brian, Luke and I were welcomed last night and we went up front while LTC Barker introduced us and welcomed me with a bouquet of flowers. Everyone started clapping and Luke stood up front with us, happy as can be, clapping the loudest. He was in a great mood but a little all over the place. Thankfully it was a really informal environment, there were other small children there, and most everyone was a parent and all were really sweet with Luke. The single soldiers though Luke was the entertainment for the night. :) We ended up getting home fairly late (10pm) and Luke went right to bed and slept until 8:45 this morning. (Shortly thereafter we headed to Kelheim, read entry below.)

Little tidbits about what we have noticed in Germany? Well, it is clean! Everyone recycles, it is the law. There is rarely garbage on the side of the road or around houses. Even lumber piles are perfectly cut and stacked. People take pride in their house, their neighborhood and their country and they really care about their environment.

Even when it is 35 degrees outside, people hang laundry out to dry. as long as there is a bit of sun poking out, the laundry is hung to dry. We noticed laundry hanging out to dry behind the houses along the Danube. It just struck me as funny that while I am walking with my puffy coat, thinking that my hands were turning into ice cubes, that someone was hanging their laundry out to dry.

Germans don't put ice in their drinks - ever. You have to ask for it and they rarely drink tap water. If you ask for water, they bring you mineral water (ick) so you have to ask for wasser stille (non carbonated water) and they bring you an expensive bottle of flat water. They think it is strange if you ask for tap water but they will bring it to you if you ask. I'm not sure why this is, maybe because of all the minerals in the water here.
I know there are more things that have amused me or confused me but I can't think of any more right now. I should really write these things down when they pop in my head.

I guess that is about it. What is more boring for you all? History lessons or the mundane details of our life? :) I enjoy writing it so I hope you enjoy reading it.

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

I had an aunt and uncle (and their four kids) who lived in Germany for two years when we were younger. We went to visit them when I was in 7th grade. I remember things being very clean and also the thing about the water. I think drinks at room temperature is a very European thing -- drove us crazy. Ice please!