Monday, February 18, 2008

Theo's Visit

"Hey Mommy, Whaaaaaaz Up!"

Well, Oma and Opa left two days ago and we all miss them already. Gerrit asks about them and wants to go up to their room to see them. We had a lovely visit with them and I hope they enjoyed spending time with us, too. Theo came for a short visit, too. It was REALLY nice to see him and I wish it would have been for longer. Having Theo and Gerard's folks here and now gone again makes me miss home, family, and friends even more. It makes me appreciate those in my life who stand by me and love me, in spite of all my faults.

We checked out a few kindergartens here and tried enrolling Gerrit for the fall. You select your preference of kinders and submit that to the town hall, and they inform you if there is space available. Kindergarten here is set up much like our preschools in the U.S. In fact, the terminology is pretty much reversed between the two countries.
U.S.- Preschool is usually age 3 and 4 and kinder starts around 5 or 6.
Germany- Kinder is usually age 3 or 5 and preschool starts around age 5 or 6
Notice the word "pre-schoolers" in Germany. This is where things get a bit more academic during the last year of kinder before the children are sent off to grade one. School here is grade one on up, whereas in the States we consider kinder part of the school years and preschool separate. In Germany kindergarten lasts from age 3-6 and then they head off to year one of school. We probably won't find out if Gerrit gets in until this summer. Our plan (for now) is to send him to a German kindergarten every morning to start, and then slowly phase in English Preschool one or two mornings a week in place of the German kinder. German kindergartens are government subsidized so the cost is substantially cheaper than U.S. preschools.

I start German class again next week and I have been trying to establish a fairly regular routine for the boys and me. I am trying out a new Tagesmutter as Gerrit's former Tagesmutter got pregnant and no longer wishes to watch him. The new Tagesmutter is a bit further away and has two older kids of her own as well as one boy a year younger than Gerrit. Lots more germs but hopefully Gerrit's immune system will beef up this way before he ends up in kinder. Incidentally, I think he's already sick again. He has been coughing a lot at night and sounds very croupy again. He never had croup and since we've moved here, he appears to have gotten it twice now. His wheezing and breathing concerns me when he has croup. Hopefully it clears up quickly.
Evil Uncle Theo Arrives
The Whole Happy Family
in front of Linderhof Palace
Did I mention it was cold that day? A Day Trip to MunichThe Hofbrauhaus"Oh my... Daddy, could that beer
actually be bigger than your head?"Gerrit charmed all the durndel-wearing lasses selling pretzelsTrue to form, Theo and Gerard are sure
to be photographed on their "good" sides
Looking "Oh So Suave" wearing my scarf Mmm.... Olives Mmm... Brats! Mmm... Brats and Beer (even better) "I'm too sexy for my strumphosen!" Skyping Sal


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