Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Always a Positive

When we decided to move here, we agreed to that we would not buy a car here and only use public transport.  Very logical since we would only be here for a year.  I mean come one--I served a walking/bus mission in Brazil--and believe me I did my fair share of walking!  I love the thought of being out with everyone, being among them!  I also love trains/buses etc.  I was ready for this grand experiment...however doing it with a 4 year old and 2 year old in tow is a whole different world!  I used to complain about having to buckle the kids in and out of the car...NO MORE will I ever do that.  Lets just say wiggly kids!  After these many months I am happy to report that our kids are fairly calm on Buses etc.  You can only point out so many cows/sheep/tractors on our 2 hours bus ride to church.  Try taking  your kids to school in the morning, especially when you have to go through 2 countries to get there EVERY DAY.  And never ever forget to factor in, that it is cold out here...who would have thought winter in the Alps would be cold!!!  My two awesome boys survived all of the elements!!!  Rain, Snow, Wind, Shine they did it!!!!  I thought I had it bad with New England winters when I had to run and turn on the heat before I had to drive out.  Try plowing a stroller through the snow--EVERY DAY! I have new respect for the pioneers!!! 
Soooooooo, I have compiled a list of positives from this no car experience with 2 kids here goes:
1. Walking, I walk a lot more and I am sure my body is thankful for it! I mean, we have legs for a reason right.
2. Being out in nature.  I love looking at the trees, clouds, leaves.  I love to hear the birds and the wind in the trees.  It is so beautiful here.
3.  It really provides great teaching experiences for me with the boys, they ask me about every flower, bug etc.
4. I am with the people (good and bad), I learn from them!
5. WE ARE PUNCTUAL PEOPLE!!  Those who know us well know that this is not easy, but we must be on time to catch every train or bus.  We work like clocks now! 
6.  The shock to learn how many groceries you really CAN fit at the bottom of a stroller! 
7. Because of our distance to church, our trains get us into church 40 minutes early--great PIANO practice time!
8. Church--I can't complain about 9 am church anymore--we go from leaving at 7 am- to getting home at 2:30-3:00 pm. 
9. Arm strength.
10. MY FAVORITE!  QUALITY TIME! I spend anywhere from 2-4 hours on buses or trains EVERY DAY!  That means I get to be with my favorite people uninterrupted for all of that time.  At first I dreaded this because the boys are busy and not easy to control.  However, we use our bus time as reading time!!!!  We read everything.  We go to the library often and books have become our life.  We read them over and over again.  My kids are sponges with learning.  We get these awesome children dictionaries.  They get so sucked into these!  They are now experts on bees and pollinating, volcano's, penguins, panda bears, lady bugs (they are fascinating), the growth of trees, hedgehogs, snails, apes, etc, etc.  They suck in this knowledge.  We love book reading time.  I only hope that we can keep it up to this level when we get our car back NEXT WEEK!

There are positives in everything.  We just have to find them.  I am so thankful for my time to just stop and literally smell the roses!  I hope my boys when they are older will be thankful and will continue to love the world as much as they do now! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Living in Europe and Being in Nature!

Our boys have become very curious about the world that surrounds them.  Now that spring is upon us, they are SO into finding bugs, rocks, sticks, slugs, leaves, flowers, and virtually every living thing around them.  There are times when we as parents get a little tired of the constant flow of flora and fauna that makes its way into pockets, floors, mouths, tables, etc.  But when I really reflect on this trend, I am so grateful for the beautiful world in which we live.  The boys are merely rejoicing in the beauties of the world that Heavenly Father created for us.  This has actually been a recent development.  When we were in the States, the boys weren't really out and about in natural settings, and when they were, we lived in a desert.  So, it has been a blessing to see our little Everett play with slugs (see below), whereas he used to be afraid of anything that moved, even dogs and cats.  Liam on the other hand has always been unafraid of everything in nature, so this opportunity to experience the Spring in the Alps has put him in perpetual bliss.  He would live outside, if we would let him.  In short, our boys love to play with creeping things, and we love to see their curious little minds race!

Yes, this is Everett playing with his first slug of the season!

Here are the boys watching a local beekeeper maintain his hives.

Here is a horse and rider out for a stroll in the fields behind our place.

Loving the Bubbles!

Daddy recently found out the the cheap store-brand shampoo makes the best bubbles in the world.  And we have had fun for our bath time ever since.  Our investment of CHF 1.10 has certainly been worth every Rappen.  

Everett would make a great Santa Claus!

Very rarely do we catch a picture of Liam smiling, let alone with a million bubbles on his head!