Thursday, August 27, 2015

Language, and Second Reading Completed

Day 1 of "primarily Danish" school seemed to go well for the boys! As we suspected, they already understand quite a bit of what is being said -even if they don't necessarily realize it yet. They still respond to Jeff in English when he talks to them in Danish, but their responses indicate they definitely understand. So that is excellent!

At lunch, many of the students (and teachers) were a bit late, and the lunchtime song started while I was filling a water pitcher...I was surprised and impressed that I was able to sing along to the words without looking at a paper! I still don't know what it means, though. When conversation is happening around me, the context helps to understand a bit of what people are saying, but, when someone is just speaking (sort of a monologue, as it were), I just can't quite listen that fast. During announcements after the meals, I pick out phrases here and there and can get the basic idea of what they are talking about -sometimes.

It still remains to be seen what language Svea will pick up while we are here. Since she has a rather limited spoken vocabulary in any language yet, my guess is that it will be somewhat of a mix. She says "thank you" like a pro, and we are trying to teach her that "tak" means the same thing. Another recent favourite is "apple" since there is generally a bowl full of them on the counter or a table whenever we are at the Højskole. We might run out of all our funds buying apples and bananas for this little one! I remember when the boys were this age and we had to hide the bananas, or they would eat the entire bunch as soon as we got them home. Svea eats the entire apple, except the stem. The stem seems to bother her quite a bit, and she will fuss and whine until we remove it. Then she eats the entire thing, core, seeds, and all. Perhaps one of these days we will see little apple trees sprouting out of her ears!

Wednesday's evening meal was a special one, chosen by the student who is from Germany. It was some of the traditional foods of her area, and it was very delicious. Schnitzel made of pork (and some of Halal chicken for the students who follow that tradition), cheese noodles which were an amazing white-cheese based macaroni with either nutmeg or allspice on top, green beans with feta, and coleslaw. I think the kids went back for thirds on the beans! They did not go back for more on the pork, because the pieces were about 1/2 plate size to begin with -and they finished it all. It was quite similar to the breaded tenderloin we make at home, but for some reason they loved this and do not care for ours. Hmm. Maybe they really are broadening their horizons here!

I finished my second reading book today. Dad is preaching on this at his church, and said it fits in well with what we're doing this year, so suggested I take a look.

A fantastic read! All about taking advantage of the doors God opens for you, and understanding that some doors will stay closed and we may never know why. Our life isn't scripted, and we have choices as to how we will respond to the opportunities placed in front of us. We still do not know what this year will bring, but despite being nervous about the opportunity, we jumped over the threshold of this particular open door and are so far having a great time with new experiences. I was just saying to Jeff this morning how great it is that the boys are so excited to get up each day and go to school. They play with the other kids even though they don't understand each other, and each day when we pick them up they are excited about what they did that day. They are looking like locals, too, it seems:

One thing that I'm not quite as excited about, and which I forgot about since living in a damp and cool climate, is all the slugs and snails everywhere. I know they don't hurt anything, and they're good for the plants and animals, but they just gross me out. And they happen to be everywhere after the rain. Apparently the brown slugs are particularly abundant this year. Jeff said he doesn't even notice them, the boys notice and say "hey look!" and I see them all and think "ugh, I really don't want to step on those..." Most of the snails seem to be the little ones, about the size of a quarter, but I happened to look out the window and saw this one today:
I should have put a ruler next to it to get a good grasp of the size. Probably 3-4 inches.

A "snail's pace" is a common phrase for things moving slowly, but these guys seem to cover a lot of ground! The photo was around 8pm, and by 10pm or so, he was nowhere to be found. In the morning, I saw one, maybe the same one, several yards down the sidewalk. Considering the actual size of the snail, this seems pretty quick.

Pouring rain! And blue sky! And black clouds! All at the same time, right outside the windows. It makes me smile. And now the clouds have passed and it's bright and sunny.

This particular photo of part of our walk makes it seem like we go a very long way!
We always turn at that white house at the end of the road. I like this perspective of "the big hill" we walk...the boys always comment (i.e. whine) about having to walk up that hill. Someday we will take them to San Francisco, and then see what they think about this "hill."

Well, now it is time to make toast, then tea, then put the clothes in the dryer so that later I can run the dishwasher. That's one thing that's taken some getting used to...the house is nearly 100 years old, and the wiring is old as well. Everything works very well -we just have to be careful to use only one appliance at a time or it blows the fuses. So far, we have been here 17 days and haven't blown out any fuses! But you have to plan what you're going to do. So this morning I heated water in the kettle for coffee, then turned on the washer when we left for our morning "commute", then came back and heated water for tea, made toast, and loaded the dishwasher. At home I often run the washer, dryer, and dishwasher at the same time -because when I think of cleaning up and getting housework done, I want to get it all done. It's a bit slower pace here, but that's OK, because the pace of everything is a bit slower and there is time for all of it.

Each day between here and the kids school, we pass several small shops. In the window of one is a sign that reads "It's a beautiful day. Don't let it fly away." It's so true. And something we so often forget in the hustle and bustle of daily living. I like the twice-daily reminder.  And it's only 99.5Kr, (less than $20) so, maybe I will get it someday.

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