Last week was Jackson’s first week at a new school and his first time in real preschool. He was loving the English Speaking Playgroup but we were seeing a need for Jackson to be in a setting with some more structure (i.e. learning) and work on more specific areas like fine motor, etc that he will need when he goes to kindergarten. And after looking at some programs I love that Feusi offers a classroom with a span of ages so that Jackson has some older kids modeling for him.  He is in the English class and then has lunch with the German speaking children as well. I have absolutely no confidence that he will learn German more than a few words but that isn’t our goal. Many Foreign Service parents pride themselves in how many languages their children speak. Not me. We roll with it and I refuse to put them under stress for their resume to be beefed up. Jackson learned Spanish when he needed to and I am positive when there is a need he will learn whatever languages come along. Enough said about that.

Anyhow, back to the first day. He did beautifully. He settled right in with maybe a shedding of 2, that’s one two, tears. And by the time I picked him up he was wanting to take the time to personally say goodbye to everyone he had met. That’s my boy. Yesterday Seth took him for the first time and he enjoyed every minute of their grown up commute together. His favorite part of the morning from what I can tell is that after lunch they all brush their teeth. He got to get a new toothbrush to keep at school so he is feeling super cool being a dual toothbrush boy.

And now I officially have less than a year to begin preparing myself for his first day of kindergarten. I won’t lie and tell you that I can’t imagine a day at home without my kids. I love my time with my kids and I love the times when my kids are being taken care of by loving, capable adults other than myself.  But I am positive that I will cry when I say goodbye as kindergarten starts. Owen and I will certainly go through withdrawals at home without him and I know I will eagerly wait for the school day to end so I can pester him with questions. It’s just not right how quickly they grow.

Here is our preschooler on the first day at Feusi…in an outfit he insisted on picking by the way, red trim socks and all.  You win some, you lose some.  If he was excited enough to pick his clothes I figured he really didn’t need a polo and khaki shorts!!



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Well, I must say that yesterday was one of my biggest mommy mess ups!

A few months ago I picked Jackson up from school and he had a piece of masking tape on his shirt with his teachers contact info and address. I was puzzled and asked the teacher what it was for. She said she had been talking to Jackson about the animals near her house and she would love to have him out to see them. He had asked for her address and phone number so that I could call her and make a plan. Oh my. We have been so busy this summer that it took me a while to get it together but yesterday we went for a visit. Her house is in Bolligen, a small town just on the edge of Bern. She lives in the top floor of a big mansion that I believe has been in a Swiss family for a couple hundred yrs. The cement steps had grooves in them to tell you how old it was.

The boys were ecstatic. Owen started mooing as we pulled in next to the cows. Before going out to see the animals we went and had a drink and snack on the terrace. As we walked onto the terrace Jackson’s teacher said, “the only problem is that the railings are low”. Um, yep, they were low alright. If Jackson had tripped while walked toward the edge of the terrace he would have launched right over the edge. It was below his waist. Which of course means that Owen could easily climb over! So as the 2 teachers sat and enjoyed visiting with Jackson I feverishly followed Owen to be sure he was safe.

After our tea time we went outside and picked prune plums. I am no expert on prunes or plums but I thought prunes were just dried plums. Apparently, there are plums from Italy that are known as prune plums. Anyhow, Jackson’s teacher grabbed him a bag and helped him pick a big bag full. Owen (my picky eater mind you) thought they looked good and started popping them in his mouth. No big deal except for the big pit. So I chased Owen around during our plum picking to ensure that I could help him pop out the pit. He was in heaven running through the tall wet grass, picking up freshly picked plums! They were like candy to him. As we finished the plum picking I remember sighing a sigh of relief thinking “whew, done with the terrace and the plum pit popping, now we can just enjoy looking at the animals and head home”.

I pulled out the camera and let Owen toddle down the dirt path ahead of us toward the cows. As I watched him walk with excitement ahead of me I made note of the fence and saw that he could not get too close to the cows or pony. I snapped a couple of pictures and headed his way. When I was about 10 steps from him he let out a huge scream and was thrown back from the fence. You guessed it, my sweet Owen got shocked by the cow fence. He had grabbed on with both hands and it threw him back and he plopped down crying and holding his hands out. I felt HORRIBLE!!! Here I thought I had things under control. Luckily he was not burned and he was fine beyond the initial shock.   We can now check “letting your child get shocked by a cow fence” off the list of mishaps!!

I have to add this for all of you parents with kids starting school…The irony of Jackson’s teacher inviting him over is that when he began last year she really had a tough time with him. For about a month or more I would go to pick him up and she would have some complaint. She didn’t quite know what to do with his energy and I think he really challenged her with his millions of questions. I literally started picking him up quickly and rushing out so she wouldn’t tell me about the morning. He was loving school and I reassured her that we had just made a move and left all of his friends and that I knew he needed time to transition. Pretty soon I noticed that she greeted Jackson cheerfully in the mornings and had made a special bond with him. He had become a helper in the class which was using some of that extra energy and she now “got him”. It was a tough transition and it was so hard as a mom to know that I had to relinquish my control and let him learn to be a part of a class. It made our adjustment to Bern quite hard.  But, a yr later Jackson had tea with his teachers that he once struggled with and they expressed to me how much joy Jackson had brought to the class and how much they would miss him this year. My prayer for Jackson is that God would provide teachers that “get him” along the way and that he will be able to use his strengths to continue to impact the lives of others.  He has an extra dose of energy that I myself struggle to channel but I hope that we have the resources along the way to help him grow and be a successful learner!


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I am way behind on posting from my parents visit. We did so much in those 10 days that I think I have still been catching my breath! Here are some pictures from their time here.

they made it!

by our river

Old Towne Bern

Luzern..including next few

fondue night

Jackson’s Birthday




We had a packed 10 days! We couldn’t seem to kick the clouds and rain but we made the most of it!

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It’s Friday and I couldn’t be happier that it is. School starts next week and I am craving new routine. But before the new routine sets in we are heading to Ramstein base this weekend to do our huge stock up trip. We were supposed to go in June or July but I just could not muster up the strength. We normally go to Heidelburg and do a marathon 14 hour day but this time we are going up Sat morning and coming home Sunday afternoon. We will stay at Ramstein and hopefully enjoy a few American meals and maybe have a chance to take Jackson bowling or to a movie.  I’m thankful for the time with my boys.  Starting on the 22nd of August we will have solid visitors or one of us traveling until the end of September. Although this trip requires 4 months of meal planning and a roadtrip with 2 tots I am hopeful it will still be some much needed family time and a mini R&R.

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