Saturday, October 1, 2011

Just an Update

Our family has been very busy the past few weeks. Ever since school started, it has been a whirlwind of activities. Joshua is enjoying his new school year and also has Cub Scouts, soccer and guitar lessons. Cub Scouts was something new this year. Ever since he had his birthday, he is fascinated by pocket knives. Mike and I really want to be able to get him a Swiss Army knife from Switzerland. I was also worried about a boy his age carrying around a knife!!! That's what kicked off the idea of Cub Scouts. The Cub Scouts teach about proper knife usage and drill into the boys' heads the safety rules. At Joshua's age, the boys are eligible to carry a knife. However, like us, most parents in the den are choosing to hold off on that one! Every week, he has Cub Scout homework. This includes push-ups, sit-ups, soft ball throw and long jump. He also must memorize the Cub Scout motto and learn the proper salute.

Soccer has been a joy. Joshua has a good time out there and the team has a good spirit for sure. Guitar lessons have proven to be a real asset to Joshua. His teacher is teaching him how to read sheet music (notes) tune his guitar and rhythm. This will definitely help him with his fine motor skills. Joshua has a bicycle obstacle course coming up for Scouts as well. This has motivated him to fine tune is biking skills. Everyday after school he hops on his bike for training. The other day, he took a curb to quickly and skinned his knee something fierce. Screaming and with blood running down his leg, I carried him up to the bathtub to "hose" him off with the shower head. The scrape was pretty bad and there were several shards of gravel that I had to wash out. I was a little worried and knocked on my friend's door to have her take a look. She said there was no need for stitches and even if there was it was too ragged of a scrape to actually stitch up. Assessing myself later, I realized that I hadn't really watched him as he went out and he was wearing shorts and Birkenstocks out to go bike riding. The very next day I went out and got him knee, elbow and wrist pads. I also updated my first aid kit that I noticed was expired.

An exciting event just happened recently. In second grade, Joshua had an assignment to write a letter to a member of the Obama family. Joshua chose to write the dog, Bo. Just recently, we received a letter back from the White House. Mrs. Obama wrote back to Joshua!!! The letterhead had the presidential seal and was hand signed by the First Lady herself. Enclosed was also a small picture of Bo with fun facts about him on the back. We are very proud for him and I'm working on getting this framed so he can hold onto it for a very long time.

All of these activities have kept us all very busy. Samuel's birthday is coming and Mike has been working very hard on a playhouse loft bed for him. We are all very excited but Mike especially has really enjoyed his first wood project. We are looking to make it fully equipped with a working door bell & magnetic wall.

Several weeks ago we were able to meet my very dear friend Nathalie in France to enjoy some time with her. She's currently living in Korea with her family however, she is French and was here to see her sister who just had her first baby. I'm so thankful to Nathalie's family for sharing the time that they had with her. Her Father lives about 3 hours from us in the country. He actually joked and said that there are more cows in his town than people. This was truly a great experience for our family. We had a late lunch; authentically French in just about every way. It was outdoors at a long table. Her father grilled wild boar (which he hunts himself), sausages, and pig intestine. It sounds totally gross but was just about the best thing on the platter. After the 1st course there was cheese... lots of cheese. About 12 different types. Bread and salad were served with the cheese, followed up by coffee and dessert. Made special was a Mirabelle pie/tart. Mirabelle are like a small yellow plum but are specific to this region of France. The kids were able to play together while the grownups ate and enjoyed wine and---what else? Champagne!

When we left Nathalie's father had us pick apples from his tree (which was so loaded with apples that he had sticks holding up the branches) also he gave us a jar of Mirabelle jam and walnuts. Needless to say, his generosity is much appreciated and I'm planning on making something to send him. A side note that made me laugh: Her father has buckets of fallen apples at the bottom of the tree. He leaves them there for the boars to eat. He sits outside early in the morning with his rifle and waits.....

Last night was our first time ordering pizza delivery. We ordered from Napoli down in town. We ordered Salami, Hawaiian style, and veggie for me, with a liter of Coke. The total was about 24 Euro so about $33. The sizing of the pizza is smaller than the States, so the medium and 2 family size pizzas looked like a small/personal size and 2 mediums. It was no bargain but hey we are in Europe. Just about nothing is cheap! It was good pizza. Mike said the Salami and cheese tasted like something from Italy. After looking at the webpage it looks like one of the guys that works there also drives the gelato truck through out neighborhood. Big plus to have a delivery service that I can actually order from without knowing German!

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