Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Words of Wisdom From a 6 Year Old



The last two days I have been feeling very discouraged about my progress with learning German.  I’m in two different classes with the same teacher for moms in Ethan’s school and moms in a neighboring school who need to learn the language and I am apparently the one who knows the least.  In fact, it seems as though everyone else can understand and speak the language fairly well.  Our teacher is a German lady who knows very little English and so she speaks only German.  In theory, this is very good because I’m forced to use only German.  However, I have no idea what anyone is saying or asking or doing.  I pick up a few words here and there and am getting very good at reading body language, but typically I have no idea what is going on.  The rest of the ladies are from different countries and so I have no one to speak to unless I can figure out how to say it in German.  I usually tell myself that it’s no big deal and I’m doing great having only been in the country for 5 months and the other ladies have been here for 10+ years, but for some reason this week it has really gotten to me.  I have been really frustrated with it and myself for not remembering the vocabulary and recognizing or understanding words.  I have a lot of stories of idiotic moments I have had in class.  It is a very humbling experience.

After realizing how I have been feeling I started to really worry about Ethan and what he must be going through because he is in a similar situation, but probably worse.  So today after school I asked him if he ever gets frustrated with the language.

Ethan: “What do you mean?”

Me:  “Do you ever get frustrated not being able to understand what people are saying to you or know what is going on around you?”

Ethan:  “No.  Do you?”

Me:  “Very much so.”

Ethan:  “You can’t let yourself get frustrated, Mom.  You just have to know that it will come and keep trying.  I’m understanding a lot more now and it’s getting a lot easier.”

Ethan is a very wise 6 year old!  He amazes me everyday with his positive attitude and his perseverance.  I’m hoping I can be like him someday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It has been way too long since I have posted anything.  So long, in fact, that I almost didn’t start again.  There has been so much that has happened that I’m not sure how to cover it all.  So I am just going to highlight some of the happenings of the past and try to do better in the future.  Really, what more can we do than continue to try to do better?

We did end up getting a Christmas tree this year :)  Here is James putting lights on it while Ethan is patiently waiting to put the ornaments on.

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I’m a little sad though because I realized I didn’t take a picture of the finished product.  Here’s the closest thing I have.


As you can see my mom and dad flew in for Christmas this year.  It was so nice to have some familiar faces with us.  They actually flew in on Christmas morning, which meant that we waited to open anything until after we picked them up.  I’m proud of Ethan for being so good about it.  I think he was more excited to see them than open his presents anyway.

While my parents were here, we ventured up to Berlin for a day and a half.  It was really an amazing city with lots to see, but it was sooo cold, which made it a little bit on the miserable side.  We are looking forward to going back sometime during the summer so we can really enjoy it.

Here are some pictures of a few of the things we did and saw…a lego santa, snow, pastries, snow, jewish museum, checkpoint charlie, the wall, spaghetti ice cream…Did I mention it was cold?  because it was cold!

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Whenever we are with my mom she has us take family pictures.  So here are a couple that aren’t so bad.  I sure do look huge, though, and I cringe every time I see these.  You can see my double chin in the second one :/



That’s about all of the backlogging I can handle for now :)  Maybe there will be more to come…maybe not…we’ll see.