You know those counting-backwards songs and rhymes? "Five little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head" and so on? Anyway, we had a counting backwards (and some back and forth) day yesterday, but I'm not even going to begin to try to add rhyme and rhythm, won't even guarantee reason.
There were eight of us for lunch, not necessarily a given, as Jörn isn't always home for lunch and Marie and/or Jacob are sometimes out. For that matter, on Wednesday this week, Jacob and Lukas were both out for lunch.
At 4:00 Marie left for band practice, so we were seven.
At 5:00 we dropped Jacob off early at youth group Bible study (it starts at 5:30), leaving six of us in the car. (As it's dark now before 5:00, I don't like him to walk by himself.)
At 5:20 we parked at the airport, check-in was very quick (Ryan Air--just a matter of turning over the one piece of checked luggage, as they'd checked in on-line and printed boarding passes), and we said good-bye to Jörn and Lukas, who are spending a week in Germany. The main reason is for Lukas to visit his orthodontist, since it is MUCH less expensive to fly to Germany every six months, and have orthodontic care there that is covered by health insurance, than to pay for orthodontic care here. However, they're of course taking advantage of being there to visit quite a few friends, and Jörn will be meeting the new pastor of our home church.
That left just four of us to drive back home, and on the way home, Elisabeth fell asleep. So then there were three of us.
At 6:00 four friends arrived for house group, so that did more than double the number, but having only seven people at the dinner table, especially when four of them are guests, is a little strange! I made half as many baked potatoes as we would normally have for just our family, and they didn't even all get eaten. (With Jacob and Jörn both missing, I really shouldn't have been surprised...) One of the guests was another boy who headed off to youth group (starts at 7:00) as soon as he'd eaten, so we weren't seven for long.
After dinner, I put Helen to bed. She was absolutely exhausted and totally hyper and it wasn't a pleasant experience for either of us. But once she was finally asleep, that left just two Langes. Happily for me, Sue had been entertaining Katie while I was wrestling with Helen. I do not have any idea how I used to get small children to bed when I only had two or three...it's so much easier now, with older siblings to help. That they're not home Fridays isn't too bad, though, because Jörn is generally home every other Friday, and even when he's not, our house group is meeting here, which consists usually only of three other people, all of whom are very helpful with the children.
Katie eventually went to bed, but I don't remember if that was before or after Elisabeth woke up, so I'm not sure we ever did get down to just one Lange. Elisabeth had woken up before Marie and Jacob were home from youth group, though, so we did get back up to four Langes and very briefly, four guests. Dena and her son left soon after Dena got back from picking up the three youth group people and then Jacob went to bed, so it was back to three Langes and only two guests. Then they left, and some time afterwards, Elisabeth finally went back to sleep. At some absurd hour (I'm very bad about going to bed at a decent time in any case, and am worse when Jörn isn't home) I wrote on Marie's Facebook wall that it was time for bed (she was on Jörn's computer, I was on mine), so she said goodnight...and I did eventually turn off mine and go to bed. And read for another couple of hours...
I don't know HOW many times I got confused about how many people should be around today. Jörn and Lukas are of course not home, Jacob was at King Malu all day (as he is most Saturdays), and Marie slept until noon, so it was only the three little girls all morning. Around 11:00 Sue arrived, as the family who used to live in this house (they now live in Nikosia) was coming by. That filled some time, and Marie made an appearance in time to have some lunch before going to her violin lesson. After lunch both Helen and Elisabeth fell asleep! Elisabeth didn't sleep long, though, and she's asleep now (it's 10:30). Helen, on the other hand, slept for well over two hours. Marie is trying to get her to bed at the moment. Oh, and Marie was out for a couple of hours this evening, watching a movie at a friend's house, so she wasn't here for dinner.
Right now, it's just me. :-) Okay, so Marie and Helen are awake, but they're in Helen's room, and Elisabeth is asleep here on the couch with her feet on my lap, but for all intents and purposes, I'm about as on my own as I ever get.