Welcome to our life!

Hi, I'm Allison! I'm a thirtysomething, freshly baked, stay-at-home mom. I'm originally from Connecticut, now living in Germany, hence the name of the blog. I live in southern Germany with my German husband and our baby boy. Life has turned out to be nothing I ever expected, and am so incredibly happy with it! We certainly do have a lot of laughs! I hope you will enjoy following our new experiences raising a little half American/ half German in a little German town.

Samstag, 30. August 2008

My first week of first grade

Sadly, Joern is away, putting a new muffler on my car, and has the camera. This means that the card, with pictures from last Sunday are with him. But, I really want to post now for three reasons:
a) one week is ridiculously too long to post
b) now that I am back to work, I want to get back into a better posting rythm
c) I have time now while I finish watching last night's missed episode of my German soap opera, Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten (GZSZ.)
When Joern gets back, I will post the pictures. But for now, enjoy the stories.

On Sunday night, after checking the internet to find out why all the balloons were floating over our town, we discovered that it was for the Flammende Sterne (Flaming Stars) festival in Ostfildern. We had seen advertisements for the fest, but didn't really pay attention, until of course, the sky was filled with balloons. The fest was actually a fireworks festival. Germans absolutely adore fireworks, and most fireworks displays here make the one I've seen at home seem quite embarassing. This fest highlighted three international teams, Friday was a show from an Australian firework team, Saturday a team from the UK, and Sunday was the German team. We decided that even though it would mean a late night, going to see the German fireworks would definately be worth the draggy day on Monday.

Joern, Marcel, and I arrived at 9:30 pm, and found an amazing festival. It was HUGE! Definately not what we had expected. There were three music stages, tons of food tents, and people everywhere. The only drawback was that the tickets were quite expensive- 20 Euro per person, and there was no way to purchase a ticket only for the fireworks (the 20 Euro ticket was for the entire day.) Forutnately, Joern and Marcel were surprised to find the sister of their friend Fabio working at the ticket booth. She helped us out- even though we still couldn't get in for free. But, it was well worth it. The fireworks show began at 10:30, and there was a huge crowd. We stood by a beer tent, and I had to stand on a beer crate, otherwise the entire show would have been a bust for me. The first part of the show was actually a display with a tightrope walker and people dancing with fire sticks, drummers, and specially timed fireworks. Sadly, I still had trouble seeing, but it seemed like it was good.

The fireworks themselves began around 10:45. There are no words to describe the show. Definately Macy's quality, if not better. The show lasted about 40 minutes- HA! Fairfield's last about 15. Of course, it was all set to music. The fireworks were huge, and absolutely filled the sky. INCREDIBLE!

Of course, we got home at 1:00 am. I had to be up by 5:45 in order to get ready for my first day of work. I was quite tired, and knew Monday would be tough, but I am so glad that we saw those wonderful fireworks!

Work started on Monday morning. I skipped Kindergarten, and am now in first grade. It is all a big change for me. My new teacher, Andrea, seems really great. We get along quite well. On a sad note, I really miss last year's teacher, Stefanie who was so much fun to work with. But, I think that the year will work out pretty well.

Our week was filled with meetings. We got to know our new school director, a fellow New-Englander, much better. I had a little time to catch up with my friends and meet new colleagues. And, I got to work in a pair with my principal- lucky me! But, overall, the first few days of school worked out well. I guess it is kind of nice to be back.

The kids started on Thursday. It was a little hectic on the first day, things didn't go according to plan. But our class seems great. We have quite an international group which represents: the US, Germcay, Korea, Japan, Australia, England, Russia, the Philippines, and Mexico. Some of our kids speak fluent English and some don't speak a word. There are strong personalities as well as very quiet kids. Some are new to the school, and some, I have known for 2 school years now. I was so surprised to see which kids ignored me and which ones lit up when they found out I would be in their class this year. We had a few tears, but those dried up pretty quickly compared to the 4 year olds.

The highlight of Thursday of course was the German tradition of the Schultüte, or School Cone. In Germany, the first day of first grade is highly celebrated, as Kindergarten here is more of a pre-school, and kids do not formally enter primary school until first grade. As a means of celebration, and helping with homesickness, the Schultüte is filled with favorite candy and new small toys and school-related items. Normally, Schultütten come from home, and some of our kids did have theirs from home. But, since our school is an international community, the German department of our school sponsors the Schultütten. At the end of Senior Kindergarten, the students decorate their own Schultütten to prepare for first grade. They are then filled with sweets and school suppies. All first graders received them in the morning. You could tell the kids were excited and proud to receive theirs.

Friday went quite well, and we were provided with lots of opporunities to learn lots about the kids. I also visited one of the Senior Kindergarten classes, the kids I worked with last year. It was wonderful to see their faces when I came in, and I really enjoyed talking with them about their summers.

So, I am excited about this year. Hopefully, it will be full of changes. It seems to hold lots of surprises!

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