Community Connections and Friendship

Today was filled with love.

I started the day with a special breakfast at Charlie’s school, called Moments with Moms. It was my last one as Charlie is graduating this year, so it was extra special. I loved sitting with him and his friends and mine, soaking it all in and enjoying every minute and all the kids and moms and teachers and principal.  

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I love our school and our international community and my baby boy.  I was filled with joy.

After breakfast and doing a few chores, I went to meet my volleyball girls out on the grass for some outdoor volleyball fun. I hadn’t been out for over a month, since I’ve been fighting pain in my neck and back. I received an “internal memo” from our team captain, who always makes us laugh with her spirit and creativity.  She pretends that we are an official team and sends out weekly reminders of upcoming events and helps to coordinate our schedules and encourages us to get outside and play. I adore her!  Here is what her memo stated:

Internal Memo To: A. Hartley
From:  WBVC Management
Regarding:  The Hartley Shuffle aka Happy Dance
Dear Ms. Hartley,
Please be reminded that according to your contractual agreement with the WBVC you will need to ensure that you
fulfill your 2015 public appearance schedule and perform your signature move “the Hartley Shuffle”
aka “Happy Dance”(listed per your, “Publicity Branding”) as specified in the language found in paragraph 4, addendum 23.8.
We are currently renegotiating our sub leases and incentives with our DVD sponsorship and we need to ensure that “the Hartley Shuffle” will be performed during the high season.  Therefore,you will need to rehab your shoulder in short order and provide a timetable for your future appearances.
For your reference note that as per the contract, “Player will cooperate with the news media, and will participate upon request in reasonable activities to promote the Club and the League.”
The Top 7 Sports Signature Moves:
1.) Colin Kaepernick’s “Bicep Kiss”
2.) Dennis Rodman’s “Jersey Toss”
3.) Jason Kidd “Blows a Kiss”
4.) The Bash Brothers’ “Forearm Smash”
5.) Deion Sanders’ “Prime Time Dance”
6.) Lebron James’ “Powder Toss”
7.) Adriana Hartley’s “the Hartley Shuffle”
Thank you,
The WBVC Management
The shortened version of this memo from M and others reads, where is Adriana and how did that happy dance go?  We need
the happy dance back to which management was requested to send a memo asap.  BTW All members reading said memo should attend all practices weekly as your schedule permits.

It was soooo good to be out on the field again with my friends, playing in the sunshine, sharing stories and catching up while working out with my girls. I was nervous at first to play again, and was on the injured list, which gave me a few privileges, such as extra serves.  After about an hour or so, I warmed up and the pain was less. I was so happy that N encouraged me to come out and play again, as this made me very happy.

The rest of the day was filled with catching up with laundry and work, before getting ready for the potluck dinner with our Japanese students and host families back at school. Every family brought something to share, which made for a fabulous dinner. We made bagel pizza bites and the girls made gluten free chocolate frosted cupcakes.

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The Japanese students provided entertainment that made me very happy.

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My favorite part of the night was watching. The kids perform. The Japanese kids practiced their English, acting as the MCs and directing the agenda for the evening. I loved the boys group dancing, the drama scene, the group song, and most especially watching  Akie perform a solo ballet performance to my favorite Frozen tune, “Let it Go.”  

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She was absolutely stunning and beautiful and graceful. I was so proud of her (as my daughter!) I left from filming, saying to my friends, “that’s my girl!!.” They giggled.

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Seeing and feeling the appreciation and gratitude and love between the students, the schools, and the families made my day.

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This is truly a remarkable experience and I recommend hosting a foreign exchange student in your house, if you have the means. We are all loving her and sharing in this journey, creating connections and friendships that we would never have had otherwise.

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I am thankful!!

Day 58: Cultural Exchange

When I was 11, I traveled from Los Angeles to Tahiti and Australia with my soccer team, as part of a cultural exchange program.

Today my 11 year old traveled from Holland to Germany with her volleyball team and is staying overnight with a host family, just like I did. I’m so proud of her.

Bonn, Germany is a 3 hour drive from our new home, so the boys and I drove up tonight and are staying at a hotel so we can see her morning game tomorrow.

The highlights for the boys tonight was trying out the German McDonald’s and the McRib sandwich.
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Somehow both Christian and Jeff knew that you could ask for beer there, that wasn’t on the menu. Surprisingly, they came out from behind with two beers and poured them into cups for the adults! That was a fun difference!
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The McD’s was more like a warm, cafe, and was quite popular.
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After we hung out, we drove to find the location for the game tomorrow, and then to Cologne to find this magnificent church.
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Oh my goodness!! How did they ever build something so grand?
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I was in awe and am so glad we decided to stay up late to see it lit up at night. Both Jeff and Christian had done research before we traveled and both had excellent tips to share. They are both so curious and wicked smart!

I love my adventurous and crazy family!20120921-231819.jpg