This past weekend Meg finally learned to ride a bike!! We are very proud of her. Just a week ago I had to force her to practice just for a few minutes, and now she is riding around town with Spencer and Grandpa. Here are a couple videos showcasing her rapid improvement.
This week the Würselen city soccer championship is going on. The games are at the field just a few minutes walk from our house. Tonight Spencer and I watched one of the quarter final games. It was quite nice. Only 3 euro admission, and beer for one euro. We might be able to catch the finale on Sunday. Our team is currently leading.
This week, Meg is in an outdoorsy camp about building shelter in trees and hiking around Würselen. Spencer is in a soccer camp. We went out for ice cream as a family on Monday to celebrate the kids growing independence. This week was the first time they went to separate camps, and they both are doing quite well.
What’s better than breakfast in bed? Breakfast at the table, prepared by your children. This morning the kids woke up before us and asked to watch tv on their phones, and we told them not until 11, so instead Spencer set the table and made coffee, while Meg walked 5 minutes time the bakery and bought fresh rolls, while Clare and I enjoyed a few extra minutes of sleep. (This was ritually their idea). I wrote down for Meg what we wanted. She told the woman at the bakery in German. It seems she couldn’t quite understand her, so Meg showed her the list, and she got everything correct.
This summer has been like a roller coaster for all, full of highs and lows almost every day. Meg specially misses home, but I told her tonight how proud I am of her, and how there is no way that she could have bought rolls for the family in the USA, for many reasons.
Also, I have been teaching the kids how to properly pour wheat beer, an important thing to know ( Clare and I are the ones who drink it).
Sunday we headed south of town to a park region generally called the Eifel. There is a big national park in what used to be a training camp for Nazi youth designated as future leaders. We will explore the museums, hikes and other treasures as time allows. This weekend we went swimming at a developed spot that captures river water into pools of natural, fresh water. Rob and the kids went paddle boating. We all enjoyed swimming, despite the brisk temperature of the water.
We also stopped in the town (Einruhr) to get a few post cards and check out and drink from their natural mineral water fountain.
Meg lost one of her incisor teeth today right as we were dropping the kids off for their first day of German day camp. Now the tooth fairy pays in euro ?
Yesterday I took the kids to the pool again. I was impressed by the big field of Kohlrabi we walk by. Apparently it is very popular in Germany. We will have to try it soon. Today the kids went to German day camp in würselen, and we got ice cream as a treat. Spencer and I tried out the ping pong table at the city park.
This week is (I believe) the only week all summer that we are in our regular apartment and we don’t have something major to accomplish or something bad will happen (like we won’t have a place to live or won’t get our visa or something). The kids are enjoying each other (when they aren’t fighting), settling into their rooms and the apartment, screen time, and walking to the local pool. Aquana is pretty awesome, with a water slides, including one with jets that shoot you back up, and a wave pool. We got a summer vacation pass so we can go more often over the next month.
We walked to the pool. Most of the directions had us on a walking/ bike path, but one short section had us cut through a public right of way of a local farm. It’s still kind of funny to me to take a foot bridge over a busy street and step out onto a farm. But having plants integrated throughout the suburbs clearly has positive implications of the wildlife. Bird sing in the morning and there are several different types of local bees busy pollinating flowers.
Rob put together our bed today, so no more mattresses on the floor for us! Yes, even beds here are different. Wooden slats instead of box springs, different sheets, etc. Here he is testing it out. Spoiler alert: we like it.
We also went to a trodelmarket, which is basically a flea market. Since all the stores are closed, it’s a great time to set up vendor tents in parking lots.
Not pictured: we played Seidler von Catan. Rob won the inaugural game we finished, which is appropriate because it was his fathers day gift.