Tuesday, January 9, 2007

16 Years Ago

Well, I had the best of intentions of writing last night. But, time just was not on my side.

Yesterday was a special day for us. We had come to realize that it was 16 years ago that Gardner and I met, right here in Germany. Right here in Duesseldorf. 16 Years ago (yesterday), is the day I arrived in Germany for my mission. And Gardner was working in the office and helped pick up the missionaries from the Airport. He was in charge of office supplies but was leaving the office the next day. So as all the new missionaries had orientation and it was time to talk about office supplies, Gardner is the one that did the talking. And out of all the people that talked that day about different things, the only thing I took away from that long meeting was that Gardner was not the person in the office over office supplies anymore. It was Elder Growcock. After every sentance, Gardner would say, "don't call me, call Elder Growcock." He made an impression from the very start.

Yesterday, I also cut Spencer's and Gardner's hair. I have not done that in so long. I did Spencer first. We had new clippers and had no one to practice on, except Spencer. Well, Spencer said I made him bald. And my response was and still is, "You are not bald. You have hair." He did get a buzz though. It is quite short. And when Gardner came in the bathroom and I asked him how he wanted his hair, he said, "give me a Spencer Special." So now, I have 3 boys that look the same, as Ian also has little hair. I did get a picture of Spencer tonight with his "short" hair.

I was gone most of the day yesterday. Our friends, The Risers, got home from visiting the States Sunday afternoon. I went Grocery Shopping for them and went over to their house for awhile. My job, besides grocery shopping, was to keep the mom, Eva, awake and not sleep. It is so hard with jet lag after that long flight coming over here. I still remember having family home Evening that first Sunday we arrived here at 4am. I think it took us a couple weeks to finally feel integrated into the German time zone.

Today the kids started back to school after the 2 1/2 week break. Spencer and Shantal did real great getting up and out the door. But Hannah was a whole different story. I got her to school but had a hard time leaving. She did not want to be there and kept trying to follow me back to the van. Finally one of her teachers blocked the door so she would stay. It does break my heart when that happens. I feel bad for her but know it is best for her to stay there and play. And it has done wonders for her German.

I have spent a lot of time this afternoon and even this evening trying to help Shantal with her homework. She drags her feet and tries not do to her math. She says she hates math. They do it a little different here and when she adds or subtracts the way she knows how, the teacher tells her she can not do it that way, even though she ends up with the same answer. And yet, she fails to show Shantal how to do it the way they have been learning it this year. Shantal is just thrown into it when the kids have learned it from the get go. And then, she brings it to me and I can't figure out how they are doing it either. Gardner and I both feel like she needs after school help with Math. And not help from us. She wants a 3rd party person to help her. And I don't blame her.
Emma has started saying words this past couple of weeks. She has already been saying Mom only now it is Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom. When I am driving I have to really address her or it will keep up. And she really does not want me, but likes to talk. (or so I think). I heard her a few weeks ago say the word "heiss". This means hot in german. We were at the Weihnachts Markt (christmas market) and I bought her a waffle, which they sell as a dessert, not a meal. Anyway, it was hot as they cook it to order. So when I gave it to her, I told her it was hot. She went to touch it anyway (she always does) and then pulls her hand back and said heiss. Just last week, I heard her say Tschuss. This means good-bye in German. It was while Gardner's parents were here. I am always stund when I hear a word out of her mouth. But especially german words. And then today, she said thank you to me. That is a word I had not heard from her before.

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March 2007