Tuesday, October 28, 2014

hair so white it glows

Luke's hair is a degree or two past blonde.


It's closer to "so white it glows" :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

only one still fits

Carrying a child on my back is an old habit :)  My ergo doesn't get much use anymore, but today I pulled it out twice.

Once this morning, when I needed to walk Isaac to preschool in a downpour.  I left John Paul at home with his sisters (for only few minutes!)  I often leave the girls working on math while the boys and I take Isaac to school.  With the rain this morning and the prospect of three very wet boys I decided to leave John Paul with the girls and take Luke on my back.....  Isaac with one umbrella and me with another, and we all kept fairly dry.

Then again this afternoon I put Luke in there - he's crabby (runny nose and cough) and a crabby child during dinner prep is no fun.  So I put him on my back and the other two boys at the counter and chopped veggies for soup.  Then we got our bread rising and headed out to get the girls.... a wet, but at least not rainy, walk.


I took a picture because I realized that Luke is the only child who still fits in my ergo!  All these years of wearing babies and I only have one that still fits!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

field day for grown ups

Saturday morning we headed out to the campus where Matt teaches.  It's quite near our old apartment and we have many fond memories of picnics and bike ride outings on campus.



Matt was running in the 1500m men's race (for teaching staff, not students!).  The 'field day' concept extends way past elementary school in this country.... and it really truly is a great day for just about everyone on campus.

The kids and I settled in to a spot in the stands with a group of Matt's students.  It's fun for me to meet them, and they seem to really enjoy hanging out with the family.


Luke kept telling this girl, "My Daddy just running round and round out there" but I'm not sure she understood a word he said!  It didn't seem to matter much, his white-blond curls charmed her regardless of the significant communication breakdown :)


The view is always better from the front row, huh?


Matt didn't take first place but he surely had the best fan club out there!  After a bit we headed over to the practice track/soccer field area.  I grabbed some lunch items from the school cafeteria and the kids roamed the wide-open spaces.

All in all, a pretty good way to spend a Saturday morning.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

date night in the smoggy haze

Remember my post about the pandas?  Well Matt and I were back in the same area last night (yay for date night!!) and I got more pictures of the panda climbing the mall wall.


See him there?  We rode our electric bike downtown and both the haze and the traffic were terrible.  Thankfully, when we are on the bike, terrible traffic doesn't slow us down much.  I was so grateful we weren't in a car.  But the pollution numbers yesterday were gross.  We need to get masks (it's on my to-do list, but so are a few other things!)


When the light changes the intersection fills with electric bikes.  We love ours.  Apparently so does everyone else.


It's a super fancy mall and the road here dead ends at a traffic circle - the rest of the area is a walking street that covers at least three or four city blocks.  It's huge.


And popular.  And a great place for a date!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

time to celebrate

We are only ten(ish) weeks into the home school year but it's never too early to celebrate, right?  I declared today "grammar party day" because who doesn't party when they think of grammar!?!?

We finished the first of our grammar books for the year (don't worry, the second one will take a bit longer to sludge through), so it seemed most appropriate to celebrate.  And there's nothing like a celebration to rev one up for more grammar.  Or at least for a solid morning of school work.


It's not coffee.  It's home made hot chocolate.  Y-U-M-M-Y


The party was all-inclusive, no use restricting the guest list to just the grammar girls.


Breakfast hot chocolate in your pjs is always a win.  I even dumped a bit into my coffee :)

The rest of the morning wasn't nearly as smooth but now it's late afternoon and Matt is home from a trip (!!!) and wrestling with the kids so life is looking good.  We've got more to celebrate!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

soccer love

Finally.....

It's unusual that I go this long between posts but computer time is scant these days.  I often get online in the evening but we've hosted two sets of overnight guests so I'm busy visiting :)  And then last night I did have some time but our internet was wonky and I couldn't get access.  Oh well.

I'll just jump in and get back to the habit of keeping tabs on our little crew in our little neck of the woods (or perhaps better said, our little crew in our little neck of the concrete jungle!)

The biggest news-maker of the past stretch is definitely the soccer tournament.


This team includes some of our dearest family friends.


Folks that have been in our lives for ages.... and in my children's lives for, well, their entire lives!


We knew that our home school team was at a pretty steep disadvantage.  Only three practices.  No facility.  Our coaches are (awesome) volunteer dads, but it's different than someone on paid staff at an international school!  We scrambled to buy uniforms and pull together a team.  My girls learned the concept of positions on a soccer field at the third and final practice!



So when we pulled out a win in our second game of the tournament we were ecstatic!


And if we look little, it's because we were little :)  Turns out that when you pull from an entire school of children "mixed elementary soccer" turns into a group of solid 4th and 5th graders who "made the team".  We homeschoolers took the field with more than one 6 year old on our roster!
 

And we won two games!  The whole day was just super fun for everyone.  The weather was overcast and smoggy but our spirits were high and it was a great group to spend time with.  The homeschool team tends to arrive with a stacked crew of little sibs - plenty of fun for those who roam the sidelines.  


Speaking of sidelines, Isaac is dying to get his name on the team roster!  Next year he'll make the big move up to 'real' status, but this year he scored a jersey since Mom and Dad are softies for a little bro who wants to be on the team.



Best 13 bucks we spent in October.

And one last pic of the girls with their coaches.  Matt's hoping to join the coaching staff next fall (his travel schedule this fall didn't allow for it - but he said next year he's gonna schedule his travel around the soccer tourney!  we shall see....!!)


So thankful for this fun experience for the whole family!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

an apple a day

The local school administration gives each child a piece of fruit as they leave school.  Almost. Every. Day. 

[I'm not sure why it's not every day, but it's unusual if the fruit isn't given out, and I'm guessing it has something to do with a faulty delivery truck route or something.]  

I know at least one other local school where this happens, so I'm assuming it's common practice, and likely government funded?  It surely isn't funded by the students, since tuition is free.  

I love this practice.  I love watching the children marching out of school munching on apples (or bananas, oranges, pears, whatever the fruit of the day happens to be).


I love that my little boys clamor to see what snack the girls are bringing, and I'm grateful that (most of the time) the sharing of bites of apple is a happy time of day for this little band of five. 


I wonder about the logistics of 2000 pieces of fruit a day!  I imagine a big delivery truck making it's daily rounds, leaving behind boxes and boxes of fruit in it's wake :) 


Yesterday we waited til we were back inside the complex to start in on the fruit consumption.  It's a pretty peaceful place, huh?  The building beside the fish pond is ours.  In the photo below our windows are just on top of Julianna's head :)  


The afternoon 'pick up the girls walk' is a new routine for us.  Sure, at times the not-quite-one-mile-round-trip can feel long.  It's hard to cover much ground when you pick up every bug, jump on every loose sidewalk tile, stop to look at every interesting vehicle.  Add in the "together five of us are sharing two apples bite by bite" and it can take us 20plus minutes to get home!  

But it's a great late afternoon activity!