Grab a drink and have a seat... I have lots to say and I'm just going to start!
Michaela and Dubai:
She had a great time! She rode a camel... and ate a camel ...pretty sure she didn't eat the camel she rode. :) I never even thought that people eat camel in certain parts of the world, but a friend from Kuwait said she would find camel meat in the grocery stores. Michaela brought back some "camel-milk chocolate"! Cool huh?
She also had a chance to play in the sand and go sand boarding. I'm pretty jealous because that sounds like tons of fun. Michaela brought me back some "Desert Sand" for my sand collection though, that was neat to see... It was more pink than any of the other sand, almost red.
Remember the movie Aladdin? Well Michaela went to lots of Aladdin markets. I forgot what she called them, but they have a name. Souks? She brought back a little genie lamp that Andrea quickly claimed as her own. :) Cute.
Oh yah, math... she did go with the purpose of doing math. AND MATH SHE DID.... :) Just not very well ...their Math Team got 21st place... at least it was better than 25th. Hee Hee. I'm not really making fun of them though. :) It was the smartest kids from International Schools around the world... like crazy-gifted kids. You saw those sample questions from a while back...!
I'll give her the task of posting some pictures.
I'm not sick anymore... thank goodness. There is this nasty cold going around and it takes WEEKS for most to get over. I did good with the one week of really sick and then just another week of feeling tired and blah, but at least able to function.
I always have a good reason for not writing much on the blog... This time it's the move. There have been countless things to get finished and organized. I've been taking the kids to all the doctors and dentists while it's still free. I've been cleaning out closets and attics... and now I'm packing.
We decided to pack it all ourselves. Well Paul decided, but in the end it's probably better for a few reasons. First of all, it's cheaper of course. :) Second of all, it helps me sort through EVERYTHING. I've gone through all the kids clothes, toys, books, movies, everything... The third reason, and perhaps most important, is that we have a lot of stuff, one might even use the word "crap". I think I've even written that on a few boxes out of irritation. :)
Little tangent: When we moved here our stuff fit into a 20 foot container, BUT we were moving into a partially furnished house so we didn't bring a lot of furniture. Here in Germany we have a HUGE house and we've filled it with furniture. :) We have three couches. Who has three couches?! Makes me smile that our couches are red, green, and orange though. :) Thought I'd share that random fact about us.
Plus, it's been five years. That means five Christmas Mornings, five birthdays per person, five years of vacation souvenirs ...five years is a long time to acquire stuff ...AND, we are moving home with an extra person. We were a family of five when we came. :) Can't believe it's been that long! Little Andrea has never officially lived in America yet! There is my justification for why we have so much ....stuff.
So. Back to the third reason we are packing ourselves... I will shove more stuff in a box than a "mover guy" will. I have unpacked so many boxes that seem to have been filled with more paper than stuff. I don't even use paper. I wrap breakable objects in clothes and towels. :) We can fit much more into our container if we pack it all ourselves ...and hopefully it all fits!
Needless to say packing has consumed my life. We started a week or so ago though so we've been able to do it at an easy pace. Today I finished Michaela, Sierra, and Scotty's room, the laundry room ...and a closet. We pack everything we don't need in the next two months and the rest we will carry with us.
Carry it all to a nice furnished house in Nashua, New Hampshire. We started to think about the fact that we will be arriving with only the things we can carry. No beds, no kitchen plates, no towels, no toaster, no TV, nothing ...and our things will take probably six weeks to make it to us. Six weeks is a long time to spend sleeping on the floor of an empty house. Sure Target will be around the corner, but it's not as fun buying things that we already have.
...although we've sold off lots of what we have. We can't bring back any lights or things that plug in. That means no desk lamps, fans, kitchen appliances, freezer, washer and dryer, toaster, TVs, DVD players, hair dryers, etc... I used my blog... :) Posted something in January of 2010.... and then just sent that link to my friends and started selling stuff. We are still trying to get rid of a couch (the orange one), our wardrobe closets, and our car. Other than that we've gotten rid of most everything.
I also have our guest room set up with "Free things". :) Toys, clothes, books, games, food, shoes ...just stuff we don't have the room to take or things that I imported and it seems wrong to take it back rather than to give it to someone here ...like Easter eggs. I gave all my Easter eggs to a family who had zero.
I invite people over for coffee with the secret intent of having them take a bag of "stuff" out of my house. :) Seems to work.
Should we successfully survive the packing and loading of everything we own into a 40 foot container our plan will be to start looking for a place to buy once we arrive in Nashua, New Hampshire. Hopefully by the time our things arrive we will have our own house to put them in, maybe our container needs to sit in storage for a little bit. I just don't want to move in somewhere and then move again. We will have the furnished house for two months and then we can do a month-by-month basis afterwards. The lady who owns it is super nice and she has already put some chicken soup in the freezer for us.
SO. That is the plan and I now spend all my free time packing boxes now and the countdown is on because the movers come on Monday to start loading the truck. Scheduling isn't working in our favor on this one because that will leave us with a solid week of nowhere to live. We've had many offers of course ...because all our friends are awesome here, but in the end I think we'll book a hotel with a spa. :)
I didn't realize until now that at least with the entire house packed and loaded and done with we will be able to enjoy that last week in Hamburg with our friends. Okay, getting sad because my friends are the best and they are really the only thing I'll miss here ...off to go distract myself with more boxes. :(