Saturday, October 24, 2015

One year later

We've been here for a year and it's been an exciting year at that.
  • We arrived in the last week of October and settled into one month rental in a beautiful Bad Hamburg.  Things got off to a rocky start with Anton's first round of bronchitis and the boys started school.
  • Before too long Anton had another bronchitis but thankfully by Christmas it was all good.  Our first Christmas was good and we decided to head out to Paris.
  • We all had birthdays here and we love getting our boxes full of surprises every time, but miss our family very much.

  • Last year, while convenient to have all the boys in the same school, wasn't ideal for any of the boys.  So this year we made a change and while it's not ideal for me the boys are going to 3 different schools and they seem to be happy and thriving.  The boys are still doing swimming and Ilya does an all around German sport - soccer. 
  • We've been to emergency room way too many times for my taste - bronchitis and head  laceration with Anton, appendix with Chris and head laceration with Andrei.  Anton had two 4 days stays and Chris had his "relaxing spa" experience.   Ironically enough, all of kids health care costs are covered and for Chris we paid a whooping 50 euros and most people here think we paid too much.
  • Most of us have learned some German.  Andrei and Ilya are starting to say things under their breath in German.  Anton (from what I am told by his kindergarten teachers and speech therapist) has a fairly decent understanding and is starting to say some words.  I understand certain subjects better than others (medicine and school come to mind) but still have a long way to go.  Chris has learned a total of about 20 words :)
  • Most importantly we traveled A LOT.  We've been to southern Germany and France, vacationed in Spain and explored many areas within 4-5 driving distance of our home - Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, etc.

Overall while the year had some challenges and hasn't always been easy, it's also been an amazing adventure.  To be continued ...

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