Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas…

Our experience so far has been one that I would attach many adjectives to – exciting, surprising, confusing, disorienting, and uncertain.  First of all, I’m starting to get used to the house.  Although not my dream home, it has potential, and we are finding ways to enjoy it.  One of the problems is that I’m so used to an open concept home.  I have not lived in a home that has different rooms for different purposes.  At first I found it very claustrophobic, but I’m starting to see some benefits.  This leaves me confused, and I’m not sure what kind of house I might choose next.  The kids can be in so many different rooms doing different things that the noise levels are less, and everyone is busy.  Some kids are upstairs, some down, and some in the basement.  It has created smaller more close knit activities in smaller groups of kids.  I’m liking it.

This weekend we went to German Town.  I wish I had my camera, there was so much eye candy.  From the cobbled streets to the neat rows of homes with such tiny details.  The planter boxes all filled with fresh pine bows and shiny bulb decor.  So charming.  We went to a 42 room book store.  As fun as it was, 5 children in that maze of a store, with stairs going up and down and tiny little walk ways surrounded by books. It was like a hoarder’s dream.  It was impossible to enjoy.  Danny and I will have to go back, getting a stroller in there was a big mistake.  I couldn’t move and neither could anyone else, and the kids knew they had an advantage over me.  We left there and went for a walk to look for a German Bakery for a treat.

The shopping here is limitless.  I have 3 large grocery stores in a 5 mile radius of my home and not a one of them is a Super Wal Mart, but all are similar to a Wal Mart.  I had no idea that Wal Mart had so much competition.  I’m so glad my life no longer revolves around a trip to Wal Mart.  I’m not missing it.  The only trouble is deciding which store to visit.  I’m still partial to the little German grocery store, it intrigues me.  We have a large mall within a 5 minute drive of our home.  It has 8 anchor stores, one of them is a Saks Fifth Avenue, I haven’t found the courage to go in there yet.

We found another large shopping mall this weekend.  It is much bigger than the one by our home, which I honestly thought was impossible.  It has 4 separate parking garages, and is made to resemble New York City with a large round about that houses a large fountain, and a Christmas Tree.  It is beyond impressive.  They have a Container Store there that I’m dying to go to, but it was a long walk away and the kids were cold, and the crowds were everywhere.  I’m obviously going to have to get out on my own.

Finally, it has snowed.  We have a Christmas tree and a few gifts, and it’s starting to feel real.  Danny has started to get involved at work, and is enjoying it.  Last week they took him to the lab, I call it Disney Land for geeks.  He said that there is millions of dollars of equipment in there to play with.  Switches that in the past he’s bartered for the chance to experiment with, just sitting there asking to be played with.  Stuff in boxes that they encourage him to try and break.  Servers, and training networks, he’s a little giddy at the thought of it.  His first task is to speed up the connection to Hong Kong.  So they have a testing network for him to play with and it’s actually connected to Hong Kong,  so he’s off.  He is very humbled at the reality of what has been given to him.  This is his dream, and I know he often feels under qualified and undeserving.  I pray that he is able to learn quickly and push feelings like this aside and enjoy what he has worked so hard to have.

I was concerned with the kids changing schools.  I worried this would be our biggest transition, hoping we aren’t just in a honeymoon phase, so far we are amazed.  Emma has a chance to take 4 different language classes this year to see which one she is interested in persuing in the future.  She is given a great deal of freedom to work at her own pace and is allowed to go to the library, and use whatever avenue of learning suits her best.  She’s in heaven.  Tanner’s homework is all assigned and completed on the computer. It is emailed to him on  Sunday and he has the week to work on it.  He seems very happy and content, and free from any anxiety that I was expecting.  Aubrey too is enjoying school.  There are a lot of programs that we didn’t have in Nevada like guitar playing, and specific art programs.  Although we pay a heavy tax, good and bad with everything…

I was going to add some pictures of the house, and tree cutting and first days of school, but they are on the lap top, I’ll add them later tonight.