Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010: This and that

Nothing spectacular to update, just thought I’d ramble for awhile. :-)
I just got off of the phone with my friend Barbara, who is coming on Friday for two weeks, along with her 16-year-old daughter, Andrea. Aside from the fact that we’re of course looking forward to enjoying the time with them, I’m also glad that the children will get two weeks of German all day long, not just when my husband is home. It won’t hurt my German, either, which has been suffering noticably. When my husband and I first met, we spoke only English with each other, as if we had spoken German, the conversation couldn’t have consisted of much more than greetings, where’s the train station, and it’s raining again. (Those were the phrases I could say upon my arrival in Germany 18 1/2 years ago, and we met within the first month or two.) However, a few months after we got married (three years later), we switched to German only, just for five weeks, in preparation for my oral exams in early childhood development, and then stayed with only German for the next two and a half years. When Marie was born, I spoke English with her, so no longer being completely immersed in German, started speaking English with my husband again some, and it was pretty much half-and-half after that. However, whenever we’re in the U.S., he has a very hard time staying with German, and we’ve drifted to speaking mostly English with each other since we moved to Cyprus 14 months ago. He’ll even speak English to the children sometimes, or not correct their German, or even worse, use INcorrect German with them himself. More than once, I’ve been VERY close to carrying out my threat to speak German with the children myself if he won’t. So, a long explanation about why I’m quite happy to have a German-speaking friend visit, besides the fact that she’s a good friend and I like both her and her daughter. :-)
Immigration news: Not much to say. My husband managed to fax the last three months’ worth of bank statements to Immigration today, we’ll see if I get my yellow slip in exchange….
Homeschooling: We’re loving Sonlight Core 4, American (mostly United States, but contrary to most U.S.-based history curricula, not ONLY U.S.) history, with lots and lots of other reading. That’s for Marie and Jacob mostly, but Lukas listens much of the time, and even Katie does often. Lukas just started Core 1 (introduction to World History), but rather slowly, as we’re reading quite a few other books, too. I just finished reading Winter Holiday (by Arthur Ransome) to him and was going to start Charlotte’s Web, but he asked for a biography of Gladys Aylward instead. Okay.
All four children are enjoying Exploring Creation with Zoology (book 1–about flying creatures) by Jeannie Fulbright, who happens to be the sister of a good friend of ours living in the Netherlands. It was pretty cool several years ago when Victor said, while visiting us, "You know, my sister writes homeschool science books–I wonder if you’ve heard of her?" I ran and got the two we had at the time (Botany and Astronomy) and we had fun looking through them and having Victor and Inga point out the photos of their nieces and nephews, and their children loved seeing the photos of their cousins in the books! After a pillow fight (unauthorized…) the other day, the children discovered that not only down feathers are used for pillows–also semi-plumes.
Jacob will finish his math book (Primary Mathematics 5B, aka Singapore Math) in the next few days, and he actually asked me to order his next books quickly. I was surprised and asked why, and he said because if he doesn’t have any math books, I’ll make up problems for him, which would be much more work for him to do! I asked him if I’d ever done that (not remembering having done so…), and he said, "Well, no…but I’m sure you’d come up with that idea." Still, he’s going to have to wait until the end of April, as I’m going to have it sent to friends who will be in England in April, to save a bit on postage. (For those interested, I order from a U.K. supplier in order to get the "old" 3rd Edition books, which are no longer available anywhere else that I’ve been able to find. It’s tempting to think of placing a huge order to get ALL the workbooks for ALL the children, even the baby that hasn’t been born yet, for all six levels, because we like the books SO much, but no, I’m not going to do that…)
Preschool: Last October YWAM opened a preschool outside of Larnaca, using the Montessori method and YWAM preschool curriculum. We started with four children, one of them being Katie and one being the six-year-old daughter of the director, and then added a fifth, which filled up the very nice, but very small, building pretty well. It only runs twice a week, so we were able to juggle schedules around to enable me to help there, taking Helen with me on Wednesdays (as Jörn has a meeting that day), and leaving her with Jörn on Fridays (his morning off). It’s gone very well, much better than I expected as far as scheduling conflicts and my own feeling of "conflict of interest" goes, and has been great for both Katie and myself. However, the director and her family are moving back to Norway in April, so this Friday will be the last day. That solves the question about how long I would manage to keep working there with my expanding belly and then a newborn, but I’m going to miss my two peaceful mornings a week!
Baby: From the shape of Baby’s mommy, I’d say Baby is getting big. :-) Kicking a lot, and yesterday I was playing tag with an elbow or a knee or something of that sort, which was quite fun. My last check-up was with my doctor in Germany, back in January, and although my husband said then that he wasn’t thrilled with my wish to NOT have any more check-ups, he hasn’t said anything else since, and feeling the baby move regularly is very reassuring. We’re still working on finding a midwife or someone to attend the birth…we keep getting leads, but they haven’t led to anything concrete as of yet. With less than three months to go (I reasonably hope, as the due date is 12 weeks from today, and I have two children who were born at 40 weeks and one day, one born at 38 weeks and 6 days, and two born at 40 weeks EXACTLY, so I don’t expect to go over…but each baby has come up with SOME surprise…), I suppose I ought to be starting to get a little nervous about it, but I’m not yet. I’m much more concerned about finding a name. The baby will arrive whether we find a birth attendant or not, but will only have a name if my husband and I can agree on one…