Sunday, February 22

Pure Joys

As I review this week - many big things happened. Ryan got a chance to shine in a presentation he led at work which was very well received by the client. We finally got a washer, dryer, and refrigerator! (Insert happy dance!!!) Easton started going to German kindergarten (preschool). And we finally received all our US mail for these past three months - guess it's time to buckle down and do taxes! (Thanks for the Valentine package Bare family!!!)Click on it to see it larger.
Easton's kindergarten is every day and we're only sending him for the program aspect of it for three hours. (Sorry, I have to remember to get a picture of him there.) They sing, do crafts, eat lunch, and all the usual preschool stuff. The rest of the time it's open, it's essentially a day care. He's enjoying it and I love that it costs less depending on how many children you have. If you only have one child in your family, you would pay 84 euro/month. Since we have three, we only pay 41 euro/month. I love that it gets us out the door all bundled up at 8:30am to walk around the corner to his school. This is now my plan to get in a good walk at least a few days a week to lose the weight I've gained since Thanksgiving! This move has had me eating like I'm perpetually on vacation and that's just not going to fly well - especially with all the pictures we're taking! I don't what this aspect of our experiences remembered!

Anyhow, Easton's kindergarten had their Fasching party on Thursday which was like a Halloween party. Easton dressed up as Indiana Jones again and couldn't be persuaded. No one knew who he was among all the cowboys and fairy princesses. This party was to celebrate pre-Lenten Carnivale. I keep finding confetti around the house that he was covered in. That same day in town, I saw about a group of about a dozen dressed up matching witches with their wagon heckling cars with snow balls. This aspect of the celebration is also meant to scare away winter to welcome spring. There are numerous festivities we could have attended but with the cold weather and lots of other things to do, we didn't get to any of them.

Ryan "got" to study for a work certification all day Saturday so I thought it best to get the rest of us out for the day. I'd heard from a few friends that Germans do swimming pools real good so I thought I'd give one a shot. After making a grocery run on base to stock up our new fridge (FINALLY arrived!), I packed up the kids and we headed to the pool.

It didn't disappoint! I loved everything about it! Efficient unisex dressing rooms with maximum privacy, separated showers/WCs, and fabulous pools! Hope you can see all the features from the pictures. An Olympic size lap pool, spring and platform diving area, 2 or 3 story climbing wall, 3-5 foot pool, and kid pool. I definitely had my fill of men in speedos - YIKES!!! I thought it interesting that there were no lifeguards and you could eat your own food on deck. We were there for almost five hours and I had to beg Easton to get out so we could go. He's so pleased with his new underwater swimming skills! I must say I wondered if this day would ever happen!

Easton crawled and walked so early as a baby that I naturally thought he'd do everything else early. He was a timid talker until he knew he could really do it and swimming has been the same deal. All of his friends have been fearless swimmers forever now while he's been so timid. But it happened on his own time - a parenting lesson I need to remember for the future!!

My favorite thing about this outing was seeing my boys playing together like true buddies for HOURS without incident! It was AWESOME!!! Laughing, playing, discovering . . . these past couple outings we've had have really made me grateful for the opportunity to witness my kids experiencing pure joy! The grins on their faces, their excited chatter, their confident posture and best of all - they want to share it with me, their mom. I kept hearing President Monson's line from his last General Conference talk -- "Find joy in the journey."

I found several of these joyful moments this week. Morgan is growing so quickly that I hold, kiss, and squeeze her as often as I can! I think I spoil her too much and so she's not sleeping through the night yet and I can't figure out how to make it happen like I did with the boys. Childhood is so fleeting! As I snuggled with McKay after his bath, I am so grateful for this lovey-dovey kid! He's begun asking to be held and snuggled this week as I've taken the time to do that with him. And Easton still needs that affection, play time with Mom, adoration, and conversation. That's a bit more taxing on my sleep deprived brain, but I know Heavenly Father will bless my efforts!

Family life truly is made of many moments of pure joy if we look for them. Don't get me wrong, time outs, bills, and diaper explosions make those moments fleeting, but savoring the joyful moments has made me pretty darn happy this past week!