Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas!

We had a fun trip to Sweden (post to come) and launched right into Christmas preparations! We had a wonderful first Christmas in Estonia.

On Christmas Eve we went to a Christmas eve service, followed by a great turkey dinner (Joy loves turkey and Simon loves mashed potatoes). Then we went for a walk in Old Town to see the big tree and the reindeer (it never gets old!). The kids then opened three presents (we wanted to spread out the gifts a bit). They got Christmas jammies and a new sweater that Grammie made. They also got new bath toys. It was a monumental evening because Joy actually wore the nightgown to bed (she never wears pjs as they are always "too hot").

 Joy was making weird faces on this is the best one we got!

Then on Christmas morning we skyped with Grammie, Grandpa, Auntie Julie, Uncle Tyler and Auntie Ruthie. The kids opened their presents in a flurry! It took them forever to notice their new IKEA kitchen that was covered with a blanket. Joy is in love with her new baby doll (she has wanted it since October and kept reminding us that she wanted it for Christmas). Simon has been busy with his digger. We bought them their first board game and have played it a few times. Simon is still catching on and Joy just wants to cheat :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Beginning of November at school and home

....and Joy got a cute new haircut. For some reason it makes her look so big to me! 

Joy and Simon love setting up the train tracks with a full zoo in the middle. Then she has Brad and the little crocodile Dundee man talk about all the animals (like on planet earth). It is very cute. 

School (Joy loves music class and PE although recently Joy has been missing her friends in Hong Kong... Which makes us all feel sad.) 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Joy in school: last two weeks of October

We got our first student portfolio for Joy. I've never been more proud of jagged cutting, messy glueing and scribbled coloring in my life. It has been so fun to see Joy learn so many new things and excell in school. As she says "I have a hard job at school everyday!"  

Joys assessment of school so far :"I like playing dolls and collecting water at outside playtime. Writing letters is very hard."  She loves PE and music class. She likes to play with Carina, Asli and Asher (Michael likes to bother her.. Or so I'm informed by Joy). 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pumpkin carving

It is great to live in a country that has cheap pumpkins. We bought one to carve and the kids (and the grown ups) had a fantastic time. 
The kids LOVED taking out the "guts." Joy loved the pumpkin because it is orange (her favorite color) and she loved picking out the design with daddy. As Brad was carving the mouth Joy asked him if he was a "pumpkin dentist". Once we put the candle inside Simon thought it was someone's birthday and wanted to sing "Happy birthday". HA 

October break

October break has been really fun. We all needed a break from work/school/school routine. The first few days of break everyone was very sleepy (especially Joy!). We decided to take a 3 day road trip to Latvia (with a quick drive into Lithuania, so a certain male person in our household could achieve 51 countries). We had a very fun time (although the kids were a bit sleep deprived after a few days of only car naps) exploring Riga. The kids did ok in the car and we even brought Rudy. I say "OK" because Joy did great (she can watch cartoons for an eternity) but Simon moaned "out" every 5 minutes :-) 

We spent a day at a fairy tale forest about an hour outside Riga. We had a great time walking through the quiet fall forest. There were amazing little houses that the kids could play in. All the signs were in Latvian, so the first 20 minutes we wandered around not finding anything with Joy refusing to talk in her new boots. Then we found the houses and wooden creatures and everyone's mood drastically improved.
We explored the old town of Riga. There were beautiful Art Nouveau buildings and a beautiful park with a river running through it. 
The picture below sums up our trip. Joy refused to walk most of the days but Simon walked like a little champ. 

Everyone was tired on the way home!

On Saturday (once we were back in Tallinn) we went to the Open Air museum to enjoy the beautiful weather fall weather.