Our first Monday in our new house in Germany.
I have the school room unpacked but not organized.
I have no desk. My desk items are in a pile in the corner.
For breakfast, I made French toast with the cool griddle we got Aaron for Father’s Day.
Homeschooling is legal for us in Germany because we are an American family on SOFA status since my husband works for the Air Force. He works at Landstuhl Hospital.
We began with Bible reading in my sitting room. Then the kids went off to their desks to complete their Bible notebooking.
They got distracted and had to play an art game. Of course.
I herded them back. We completed our other read alouds.
They completed their math lessons.
We had ham sandwiches and fruit for lunch. The ham is from the backerei on the corner. And somehow, there was Nutella too. Because I think Nutella is mandatory in all of Europe.
Liz set up The Lion King as recommended from our Bible lesson. We watched up to the point when Rafiki exclaims “Simba is alive!”
Then the kids walked down to the darling village park with all their sand toys. They met two new friends – one German boy and one American boy.
It’s a cool, cloudy day. The birds sing. We live in the middle of a forest.
So far, I am pleased with our lifestyle changes.
How is it different?
The kids have no closets. The bathrooms have no cabinets. There is nowhere to put coats. There is no storage!
Luckily, we get seven wardrobes allotted and they will be delivered this week with our washer and dryer. Just to find the space to put them…
We have no microwave (I chose not to have one and well I did since there is no counter space). I am eliminating our use of plastic in the kitchen (the kids are desperately hanging onto a few cups).
We have no crackers or junk food or American snacky things. The money I save from buying those things makes up for the higher cost of the amazingly better quality food I want to buy for meals.
Even though we have a German refrigerator in the kitchen and honking huge American fridge/freezer combo in the dining room, I am loving shopping and eating like the locals do. Every couple days, we go to the store to shop for the next couple days. We eat everything fresh. There’s no room to stockpile or store extra anything! On the odd days, we eat leftovers or the few items I have in the freezer “just in case.”
On Saturdays, we have a little farmers market directly across the street – year round! We bought grapes, a watermelon, fresh peas, and white asparagus. I could have bought so much more, but there was no way we could eat it all in a couple days.
The kids were ecstatic to get fresh peas.
Just look at that pork chop. I am so loving the food.
Every afternoon during the week and on Saturday mornings, there is a little drink shop open by our house, in our same building.
The shop owner is kind and gave my kids Italian ices the day we moved in.
I baked muffins our first morning and took the shopkeeper and our downstairs neighbor some with our names on a card.
I love the simplicity of no waste and everything in its place.
So, what do I dislike?
The tile floors (while super easy to keep clean) bruise my feet so I must wear slippers for padding. And they’re cold.
The lack of storage. We don’t have a garage or carport, just two parking spaces across the street. We have a cellar and shed that we piled all our stuff into.
No garden! We have no front yard, just a courtyard shared with the shopkeeper and the house next door – that is vacant and for sale. Our back yard is teeny tiny.
The garbage situation is confusing. There is a book to help us make sense of it. A BOOK. We must separate paper and glass from other recyclables that go in the gold bags. Organic compost waste from rubbish. Paper is picked up monthly. Rubbish is every two weeks. And they’re picky. We could be fined for making a mistake. We get Euro credit for most bottle returns. Non-exchange bottles go in marked containers depending on the color of the glass: green, brown, or white. We’re lucky that we have a compartmented garbage can built in under the kitchen sink. And all the waste cans are in a little shed across the street.
But these are small inconveniences for the lovely experience of living here.