Day 33: First Full Week of School

I like new beginnings. I like starting over and I like change. I like keeping things fresh and exciting. How about you? What do you think of change? Does it make you smile? Give you anxiety? A little of both? Hmm…

Today the kids started their first full week of school, and my new, long-legged super model friend, and I hit the gym! We decided we are going to check out all the local gyms, try out the free trials and then decide which one is best. It only took us 1.36285 hours to go through the formal process to register.  We had to schedule intake interviews, and evaluation interviews and have a hand scan and pay a deposit and sign our life away and photocopy our id and walk through the building and ponder the thought of co-ed mandatory naked saunas, all before we could jump on an elliptical machine for 38 minutes. Thank God, we had a nice glow and a little glistening action to make it worth our while. And you’d be surprised how much you can learn and share while working out side by side – laughing at the craziness of it all and trying to get our machines to function in Dutch. 

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After working out, I went shopping and exploring at a new grocery center. It took my 8.5 minutes to figure out how to pay for parking and whether it was free or not.  Finally paid my 1 Euro and shopped at the Lidl and C1000, rushing to get back to the car before I received a ticket. I think the Lidl is a discount chain as the displays were in boxes/pallets and I didn’t recognize the brands. Hopefully the food I picked up is tasty!  I learned the hard way that I should have deposited 50 cents to get a shopping cart from outside the store before filling my arms full with stuff! They didn’t have carts or carriers inside the store. And of course, I didn’t pack enough reusable bags so had to buy more! You’d think I’d learn by now, but no! I was just going in for a couple things plus 37!

I had a few more chores to do, like calling for a family doctor, checking into soccer leagues for Char, and finding some tennis friends for me. I called the recommended doctor, listened to the message in Dutch and had no idea whether I should press 1,2 or 3 as all the prompts were in Dutch. A man answered, was probably the doctor, as I asked if he spoke English. Yes, sure, no problem. I introduced myself and explained we needed to register with a town doctor as required by residence, and he said, sure – call back tomorrow as I had called the emergency line!!! Oops! Oh well, at least he was kind and seemed to understand this stupid American!  

I had better luck with the soccer league and was able to have Char go over to the field after school to practice with the local team. I learned that the team only speaks Dutch, which I loved and he hated. I’m hoping that he warms up to the Dutch and makes a friend or two before giving up. We met Kelly from Atlanta and her kids and had a very nice conversation. It’s kinda fun to compare stories how we got here, how we picked our homes, what the move has been like, etc., etc. 

I’d say we’re getting somewhere and I see a structure starting to form. Just finished doing homework with the little one and trying to get the kids off to bed at a decent hour!  We’re still staying up way too late and morning comes way too soon.

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Cloudscape out back at 8:45 pm

Hope you’re all enjoying your new routines too, whatever they may be – and hey, if you haven’t shaken it up in a bit – go ahead, shake it, shake it! You might like it!

 

 

Day 29: First Day Of School in the Netherlands!!

Ahhh…… Today was the first day of school for all three kids and all of us are happy. They are all attending the same school, with the same drop off time and the same pick up time. How cool is that?

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CJ’s favorite subject was his Design Technology class. His favorite part of the day was the design technology class and discovering how things are made. He had so many stories to share.

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Here is our first time, middle schooler!  She loved her new, male, homeroom teacher (almost as much as Mrs. Pereira)! We heard he was the grade level favorite teacher. He was very friendly and warm and welcoming – to her and to me when she brought me over to see her classroom after school. He is also her Humanities teacher, and I think she is going to have a fabulous year.

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C was most worried about moving to the Netherlands and not having any friends. His favorite part of the day was playing with his new best friend, and his twin brother. He also said his teacher was very sweet and that he liked his classroom. He especially liked the games they played together during class time – sounded like team building, ice breakers that must have worked! He’s very excited to go back to school tomorrow.

I loved having a couple hours of alone time. It’s been awhile, ya know!  I spent it cleaning up the house and unpacking and reading emails and facebook posts. I also put on my sneakers and gave them a little run/walk around the city, which felt so good. Nothing fast, or long, but just long enough to give me a reminder of what I’ve been missing. I talked to some moms today to find out where they work out and if anyone plays tennis. Hopefully I’ll check some places out next week and get “busy” again!!

After school, the kids played on the playground and the moms chatted… sort of like at Ponderosa!  They played forever and then we drove over to the local ice cream shop for first day treats with our new friends. We had so much fun, that we decided to have dinner together too!

Jen and her family came over to our house and we ordered “Freakin’ Fresh” pizzas that were delivered freakin’ fresh to our door via a motorcycle delivery guy! The boys were so excited by this.

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So glad we got to christen our new IKEA table with new friends tonight! We all fit around it and it felt like home!  The kids are happy and the mama is happy!

Life is good!