fredag den 30. september 2016

Of colds and birthdays and November in September

Hello from rainy, soggy, windy, and grey Michigan. Where more than one Frikke-Schmidt is coughing, sneezing, and popping dayquills like candy. A week ago it was sunny, warm and nice but the past few days have been misery. Oh, and did I mention that my bike is broken, so I have to take the bus? Seriously, it's like November has taken over and the weather kind of skipped October. Hopefully it will get better. Soon!

Last weekend we hosted Luca's birthday trying our best to combine Danish style with American kids. Luca wanted a "cakeboy" and tater tots followed by a treasure hunt and a pinata. So that was exactly what we did. I have a feeling that American kids don't go on treasure hunts that often - they were really puzzled with what the heck I was doing. Especially when I made them do a "cakewalk" that involved stepping on cupcakes in the grass. A few of them simply refused! But when we got to shooting pokemons with nerf guns the excitement peaked. And from what I heard they actually thought it was an awesome birthday. Afterwards I also thought a bit about how amazing it is, that Luca's friends are part Serbian, Indian, Malaysian, Peruvian and a little bit of Scottish.

Our weekends are quiet. We are all exhausted from September and this blog post from Huffington post sums it up pretty good:
I honestly do not understand why the school year always starts like the kids are way behind even before they set their foot in the classroom. And the craziness continues until Thanksgiving where everyone (including the teachers) are completely out of breath. Teresa in particular is super tired as she leaves the house at 6:55 every morning, comes home at 6PM and does homework til 9:30 before she passes out in bed. Luckily she really enjoys her school and her Field Hockey practice. 

These days we are also having a dog friend staying with us. Sigh. They are super jealous of each other and tries to compete for attention. But it is also nice to be greeted with an inferno of wagging tails and barking when we get home. 

But now it is Friday. Yay. Tomorrow is (another) game Saturday - not so yay, as the traffic gets crazy and the town is super crowded. I guess it will be another quiet weekend, but at least we can enjoy the smell of "pumpkin everything"

lørdag den 10. september 2016

Back to school

It is with a certain degree of skepticism that we have watched the date for start of school to move closer. Primarily because the summer has worked really well for all of us (which I think is the first one of our total of 4 summers in the US that has succeeded in this) but also because it was a very stressful and tiresome fall last year, with Kristian starting work and Luca having s very strong reaction to his dad working.
Hm. I am sure the dog does NOT mind  having a little downtime while the kids are an school
But guess what? It has been beyond all expectations. Luca rates school 10 out of 10 this year. He has gotten a very sweet teacher, he has to chose an instrument for the school orchestra (we currently do not know if t will be violin or flute - stay tuned. But bring your own earplugs........), and best of all: no homework during the first week. I, on the other hand, almost got a heart attack when I picked him up at the bus-stop, as it made it very clear how much he has grown over this summer. Out of the bus came this tall, skinny kid, with long hair, wearing cool survival bracelets, adidas sneakers, and peace signs drawn on his hands.Maybe he will actually grow into a teenager one day?
Our preteen at sleeping bear dunes

We have hardly seen Teresa. She (and Ulrik) needs to catch a school bus at 7:08. When school is out she stays for an hour doing homework and then she has field hockey practice and is not home until after 6PM. Her evenings are a quick shower and then homework until 9:30. Field hockey practice is intense and if I had a dollar for each burpee/pushup/bullseye etc etc she did every afternoon, we could probably spend Christmas on Hawaii. Her massive amount of homework is because she has Geometry AC (advanced class) and rumor has it that they tend to bury the kids in homework the first couple of weeks to make sure they belong in the class. But she just LOVES it! And we have not heard a single complaint about her being bored so far ;-)

Ulrik has been quite lucky with his schedule as well. This semester he has 2 classes of ceramics and sculpture every day where they, as part of the curriculum, will have to design their own homepage to display their works. He has continued with engineering as well, and it seems that despite him promising my sister that he will never become an engineer (we have quite a few of those in the family already) that is where his interests are.

Which brings me towards all the how to: "apply for college", "fund college", "score high on college preparedness tests" events we have to participate in this year. I have made a choice NOT to stress out about this, as I am firmly convinced that the most important thing is the kids figuring out what they want to do, then we will find a way to get there. But it is honestly a little hard to stay cool, especially when Teresa started babbling about taking a 7'th class hour as a freshman to make space for college credit classes later etc etc. Yikes.

Well. A(nother) visit at the bank awaits us. This time because they forgot to hyphenate our last name when they signed us in for debit cards and IRS has started to complain that the information they have from the bank does not comply. Sigh.