This past weekend was our twenty-third here...and the midpoint of our trip. It's gone by so quickly already! It really sounds like a lot when you say it's been "twenty-three weekends". It's amazing how much the kids have learned so far -and even I have learned some. Last week some kids came over to play with the boys, and I was able to ask them, in Danish, if they wanted half a pancake as well. We weren't sure when they were coming, and I had just finished making the last two pancakes for the boys when they knocked on the door, so, we cut them in half. It was funny, actually, I asked in Danish if they wanted half a pancake, and the little girl answered in English, "yes, please." She's working on her English, and probably is better than I am at Danish. But oh well. I was proud of myself for knowing an entire sentence that was actually necessary at the time. This morning at the boys' school, I read the whiteboard of the activities they have planned for the week, and I knew what they all said. So, though it's slow, I am making progress with the language. It's phenomenal how much the boys know. Jeff is shocked, often, at the sentences they come up with and how they are using verbs in correct tense, and know words that it wouldn't seem likely a preschooler would know. They "argue" with him back and forth about why they do or don't want to do something, and provide very justified answers in Danish. It's really fun to listen to! And when they are playing, just the two of them, they talk to each other in Danish most of the time as well. Svea has picked up some words, but since she spends most of the day with me, mostly she speaks in English. She does seem to have mastered "nej" and we laugh when she says "ooooooh......nej" when something is going to happen. She also knows "kartoffler" -potato- but most of her food words are in English.
The sun has been bright the last couple of days, but it's quite cold out, so the kids haven't really wanted to play outside. They're also getting bored being inside, though, so it's sort of a difficult time in that respect. We went to the store this weekend, and the boys used their own money to buy some more Lego sets, so they have been playing with those and having fun too. I'm looking forward to spring when it's a bit warmer and the sun shines more of the day. It's very hard to get up in the morning and get moving. I'm sure I've written that several times now this winter! It is clear that it's brighter than it was a few weeks ago, and the sky is still light-ish at about 5 now, rather than being nighttime dark at 4. The planner I bought when we got here actually shows the sunrise and sunset times on Wednesday of each week so it's easy to keep track. This week the sunrise is 8:25 and sunset is 4:16...next week you get ten minutes on each side. By Svea's birthday in the beginning of March, the sunrise is 6:23 and the sunset is 6:14! So it happens fast.
The boys are getting very excited for their birthday party next Tuesday. Each morning they wake up and verify how many days it is until they are 6. Anders says "I'm really 6 already" since it's so close now. We bought balloons and Danish flags for their party when we were at the store this weekend. So now we just have to come up with what to feed them all. We are thinking taco boats might be fun.
We have quite a few visitors planned for the spring, so it's fun to talk with all of them and figure out the schedules of who's coming! Once April starts, the rest of our time here is just going to fly by, with visitors more of the time than not during those last three months. We are also trying to work out our trip to Copenhagen that we need to make up from when I was sick the time we were supposed to go in the fall. The boys are very excited about Copenhagen -partly because we will get to take a train when we're there. So, lots of fun things to look forward to during the second half of our stay!