Sunday, March 28, 2010

Y3W43 & 44 - Life is About Experiences

I'd like to say that Ellyn left me the last word, but in reality, she fell asleep and we agreed that we wanted to get something posted before we fly out this week.

A year or so before with left the US, both my parents and Ellyn's mom were asking us what the kids wanted for Christmas gifts. Ellyn and I responded that what the kids needed more than gifts were experiences. We wanted them to provide memories of things that they did with there grandparents and an opportunity for them to develop talents or interests that they hadn't yet discovered.

This philosophy was amplified when we had the opportunity to live in Europe. It's interesting what happens to you when you're living on a fixed timetable. You begin to live life with a certain type of urgency. You find yourself making the decision to just go for it rather than wait. While to many our past three years may appear as an outrageous travel diary of dozens upon dozens of places visited and checked off a list (and we did have lists), we did try to truly experience the places we visited. We did extensive research when we traveled and tried to understand the history and culture hidden within.

In the midst of it all, we learned a lot about this part of the world and ultimately I hope that those we met learned a little bit about us and our home. Life is about experiences, and more importantly, how those experiences shape ones character. Hopefully, we have become a little more aware, a bit more humble, slightly more informed, a little smarter, more compassionate, and most importantly, a lot of fun to be around.

And oh, by the way, if you are interested in seeing a bit of Europe, give us a ring - We've checked that box. ;)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Y3W42 - Well, it snowed again...

Fortunately, it is beautiful today. But, it did snow this week and everyone was grumbling about it. I never thought when we moved here that we would say that we are tired of the snow. Let it be heard...WE ARE TIRED OF IT! Especially when they are having 60 degree weather days in Michigan. It is just sick and wrong. Global Warming...Seriously?!

Enough of my venting. We spent the week getting ready for our air shipment to be picked up. Well, yesterday we spent the day getting ready I mean. Eight hours it took to sort and get all of the girls packed, making sure we had everything we still needed here and trying to imagine what we will need there. It is certainly starting to seem real when you spend eight hours packing.

Saturday, Greg had a soccer tournament and a Baptism to attend, while the rest of us worked on Eggsibition projects for school. Bailey spent nearly the entire day at art club and then at her friends house. Lleyton did what he does best which is try to destroy as many things as he possibly can in a short amount of time. We managed to keep the project out of his hands though and the girls are thrilled with how it turned out. The joy of painting eggs. It's the simple pleasures, right?

Bailey gave her first talk auf Deutsch at Church on Sunday and everyone said it went well. I tried to listen through the door (being out in the hall with Lleyton as usual) but I couldn't hear her speaking. She was quite nervous about it this time.

Our thoughts have been preoccupied with home this week. And, at the same time looking back. We feel like we accomplished what we set out to do and more and what an amazing experience it has been. We would do it again in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.

I also must shout out to all the people who have been helping me with picking up the girls, taking them to school, picking them up from school, and simply just being there when I ask. It has been so nice to have met such great friends here. I will definitely miss the friends! Not to say our US friends aren't great as well of course. We have heard from several old friends recently welcoming us back and offering help. You are wonderful as well and we are excited to see all of you. Does it sound like I'm sucking up...because it kinda sounds to me as if I'm sucking up when I proof read. If it is coming across that way, I promise it is sincere.

In closing, a couple pictures of Lleyton being naughty. He is a holy terror and is into everything. His favorite pastime is pushing chairs or anything else that allows him to increase his elevation.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Y3W41 - Maastricht One Last Time

Don't cancel your subscriptions just yet...I know I am a little slow getting these up the last couple weeks. Lleyton has learned to slide chairs to wherever he wants to get into whatever he wants...needless-to-say, I've been a little busy.

We had a couple of surprises this week. One, our friend Mark came to visit on Wednesday for dinner. He was here on a business trip and he sent us an email and voila. It was so much fun to catch up. We haven't seen him since we knew each other in Pittsburgh. I regret to say that I was slacking a little bit in the area of resident "everyday things photographer." So, no pictures. Sorry.

Then, Thursday night we had the Missionaries over for dinner. It had been a while and it is always so nice to have them, and their energetic spirit in our home.

Saturday, we once again and possibly for the last time made the trek to Maastricht. This time we didn't focus on KFC, or America Today, or Root Beer. We did focus on Waffles, waffles, and more yummy waffles. Oh, and ice cream even though it was pretty cold. Oh, I almost forgot. The second surprise. That morning we woke up to snow, again. SNOW in MARCH in BONN. It is the craziest thing ever. So much for Spring, Spring, Spring.

We seriously cannot believe it is March already and our time is winding down.