Bilingual life and more

The best presents ever … forever … or at least a very long time
December 28, 2009, 1:52 am
Filed under: Anna, Emily, family, girls | Tags: , , , ,

Christmas time is always a bit tricky with the kids. Anna is now 9 and Emily 7. Neither one is questioning the existence of Santa Clause yet … to my face … making it still quite a bit of fun for us. So, off their wish-lists go. Emily actually wrote one in school and Anna scribbled one down at home. Emily got a long letter back and at the end she was promised a surprise! Anna forgot to put her letter in an envelope, so it never left the mailbox.

So, I had free rein over what Santa might bring our girls this year and I got a bit more innovative, or more to say, I went back in time. Continue reading


What now?
October 27, 2007, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Anna, bilingual, German, girls

Well, there has been a part of me just leaving this blog the way it was, because I did not want to scare anybody of the subject that it is supposed to be about. Maybe it will have to be more about the “andmore” part of our life than the “bilingual life”. Truth is, it has not been that easy here, but what is, right?

The bilinguality has fallen a bit by the wayside to make space for keeping up with school. That worked last year, in Anna’s 1st grade when they were still taken by the hand. Well, 2nd grade rolls around and that is not the case anymore. More is expected and more has to be remembered, and done independently. More has to be expressed and understood. We still read our good night story in German, but German, in general, has not been at the top of our list.

Emily is in Kindergarten and doing just fine. She pretty much grew up here after we moved back to the US when she was 6 months old. Her first language is English, but she is very proud of knowing German. Now, with school starting and homework – yes, she has to do homework every day, even in Kindergarten – and activities and friends after school, she gets way more English than German.

To sum this up – it is easier for some kids than others. If there are any problems with school or the language of that country, the second language has to give somewhat. No, we are not forgetting about it, we are still using it, but it is taking a backseat.

We have a few friends with their kids in German school on Saturday mornings. That time is, right now, taken by Emily’s soccer games. Also, for right now, we did not want to put another learning activity on Anna’s plate. We first have to figure out how to help her. We will have to wait and see.

So, to all, who have not seen anything here, I will try and post more and keep you up to date.

a good last couple of days!
August 27, 2007, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Anna, Emily, family, life, photography

Oh, what a wonderful weekend we had. First  we had a great night on Friday with the Grassos here. Emily was so excited to see Maya again – her bestest friend in the whole wide world!!!! She had been bugging me, when she would ever get to see Maya again – with a bit of a dramatic expression. She puts her whole body in it. It is great to watch her during one of her episodes, though it backfires when she really clinks out…  We all enjoyed having  good friends here again. It is just very relaxing, rather than being stressful! Continue reading

The first school week is over
August 17, 2007, 11:25 pm
Filed under: Anna, Emily

… and how has it gone? I would say, it has gone well! There are adjustments to be made for both days. Lilly does not like the longer days as much, Anna the increased homework, but both have done considerably well.

Emily asked this morning why she has to school every day. That was a very tired Lilly asking!

I have adjusted to them being gone by working and doing stuff around the house. Wow, I have some time to myself. That will take a little more adjustment than expected.

The weeks are filled again with school starting. Not just the mornings, but also the afternoons. Anna is doing ballet, Lilly will start soccer soon. We want to get them into a music program and maybe swimming, too. Then there is Girl Scouts. Anna is a 2nd year Brownie and Lilly will be a Daisy. We are so thankful for that program as most the girls stay in the troop, so that there is something familiar through the years of changing classrooms, classmates and teachers. It is nice and necessary to have something constant.

This week was not just trying by having to get up early, going to bed earlier (as if that would ever happen), getting dinner on the table earlier, homework, cranky, tired kids, but it has also been hot, piping hot, record temperatures, even for Atlanta, and no rain. The plants are thirsty for a drop of rain. Today, while on the phone with Michael, he is driving through drenching rain, it is windy here, we were hopeful for some of that delicious, wet, cooling, clearing rain, but

NOTHING. It had the audacity to pass us by. We got nothing, not a drop.  The next days don’t look promising rain-wise, but it is supposed to cool off a little.
Tomorrow is a whirlwind of a day, but we are looking forward to Sunday, when we are planning on going to the mountains. We have to see how Anna and Emily are faring, but I am hoping to soon be sitting in a big tire, slowly drifting down the river, cooling off, resting, laughing and most off all – seeing the delight in Anna’s and Emily’s faces!!!

Another morning, another school day
August 14, 2007, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Anna, Emily, girls, life, school

Here we are already the second day into the new school year. Anna starts talking when she lays in bed at night, hardly mentions anything all afternoon. Lilly can’t remember too much, because so many new things happen, but she likes it, but then she starts crying …. over nothing … so, we all know, it has NOTHING to do with it, and all to do with school. She tries to be so big, and there is lots to take in, but she can’t let it all out yet. She will, soon enough! She is just happy that she gets something normal in the afternoon. She does have some nice kids in class, Maggie one of them, but other than her, she just can’t remember, and she gets to watch TV during rest time …

It is only the second day.

Anna is already asking when she has the next day off. I know that she just wants a chance to sleep in. She is like me and would rather stay up a little later and get up a little later. Unfortunately, school does not work that way!

Emily gets up with a smile on her face every morning. She ensures that the alarm clock is on at night, so it will wake her up in the morning and then she gets up chipper and happy.

Arrrghhh ….

Neither Michael nor I are that way. We are wired to be grouches. We try to avoid each other in the morning so that we won’t get into the first big fight of the day …

Anna is just like that. She will lay in bed as long as she can. There is no moving that child in the morning any faster than at a snails pace. Ahhhhhhh, there comes a similarity to Lilly, who is just happy to get up, which does not necessarily mean that she will do ANYTHING fast, other than keeping Anna from eating her breakfast.

Alright, enough bickering.

Apparently, it has been one of those mornings again. Both had a great afternoon. Anna went to ballet class and Emily to a friends house. I’ve already had a good evening with kisses and hugs from two anxious girls needing some reassuring … me too … probably …

There they go ….
August 13, 2007, 11:00 am
Filed under: Anna, Emily, family

and here are the pictures to go with it:

Lilly with her Schultüte

Emily is carrying a “Schultüte”. Every child in Germany gets one on the first day of school, especially made for that child and with goodies inside to make the beginning of school that much more exciting. Emily looks like she has the grin frozen on her face. To her defense – she had not yet had breakfast and is a bit tense with school starting and not being allowed to open her Schultüte until AFTER school.

Anna and Emily on the first day of school This picture shows Lilly a little more relaxed with her big sister at her side.

the 4 Kindergarteners of the neighborhood

We have four girls going to Kindergarten Emily, Anna, Megan and Regan and they all ended up in different classes.

Michael went with for the first day to say goodbye to his girls. Kathrin and I stayed to meet some other Kindergarten parents and went off to a neighbors house for a nice get together, talking about what we will be doing with our time. A common idea was to clean out the kids rooms and the house in general. I see a lot of yard sales coming up.

Well, I  am better than I anticipated. The leisure morning and looking forward to seeing some friends this week surely makes it easier. I know, I will get used to this rather easily, having some time to get something done, but any growth is a little painful, too.

Lilly starting school
August 12, 2007, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Anna, bilingual, Emily, German, girls, school

It is starting again. School, that is. Tomorrow!!!

Anna is getting into 2nd grade and Emily into Kindergarten. My youngest one is going to Kindergarten. Tomorrow!

I am a bit anxious!

I have been touting the “Uh, isn’t it great!” ” I can’t wait for both of them to be in school!” (I’ve pretty much had them all summer, and anyone who has kids, knows that it can be a bit stressful to be there 24/7, though, they have been out playing a lot with friends since we have been back from Germany in the beginning of July). Now, I am a bit anxious!

As you have been able to tell from the blog, or the non-existence of blog entries this summer, I was a bit busy. Also, we have been getting our German in, so it has not been as much of an issue. Being in Germany for 6 weeks was good for the German and not as bad for the English as I might have thought.

They spoke some English with each other and I got it in here and there. So, they both were fine after coming back to the US. They got right back in the groove.

The German was well supported by grandma, friends, family and many, many books. We loved the library!!!!

I am rather curious how it will work this school year. Lilly will not pose a problem, but Anna will have more homework, read more and run around more with friends. On the other hand, Lilly is the one, mixing English and German all the time, and constantly wanting to go over to one of her friends.

We have 4 girls starting Kindergarten this year, all within 5 houses of each other. So, they all have somebody to play with at all times… They sure have got it made, but we will see how much German Lilly will actually speak during the school year.

Right now, we have Kathrin staying with us, a German college student, but she will also be leaving in the beginning of September. We are enjoying having her here and showing her a bit of American life. Thankfully, she is helping with the German!!!

Alright, as mentioned before, I am a bit anxious, so I better grab some sleep before I wake up 4 times tonight.