...I suspect I may be the luckiest kid in the world

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cinderella

I'm still very regularly asked for a story. MLF3 is very gracious - it can be about anything - "deine sisters or brother, Mami or Papi or Puss Puss or Tesse."

Really - the choice is mine. The problem is: I've no more stories to tell. None. I've told her every anecdote I can think of about my life and the lives of family members and pets. And then some. I'm not above embellishing a few details.

So this week I've started on Fairy Tales. She is mostly unaware of all fairy tales and the slate is clean and blank and all mine.
I began with Jack and the Beanstalk a few days ago. She loved it. But she was so scared. No kidding. I must be a better story teller than I realize.
Cinderella was today and - again, I am an awesome story teller. She loved it.
Although as I was telling the story - I identified with Cinderella a little more than I would have liked.

"The Mother did not like Cinderella. She made her do all the cleaning. She had to do all the cooking. She had to do all the vacuuming."

-"But why?"

"Because the Mother did not like her. She had to make all the beds. She had to do all the washing. Cinderella had to work very hard."




And in other news: I almost ran into my Host Mother this morning. And she nearly ran into me.
I was turning back into our street with the car and she was leaving on her Vespa and we very nearly met in the middle.
Could have been worse, could have been much much worse. Whew.


Note to self: In future times, when you read this blog - you were not feeling like Cinderella. Put your rose-coloured glasses back on.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sometimes It's Ok To Jump Off A Cliff

I'm grasping at summer straws but I'm trying to tell myself that summer is still here. That sunny warm days will still continue.
I'm probably kidding myself.


Goods and Bads from the last week. Bad news first?


Bads:

Friends are leaving to go home left, right and centre! It's weird being one of the "older" au pairs - I'm not! I just got here! Stop asking me questions, I have no idea what I'm doing!


Winter is coming. This will bring the obligation to ski. I still have nightmares from last season.


I also seem to have picked up a cold from somewhere. If someone is missing theirs, it's probably in my head. I would love to return it to you!



Goods:

I just spent a lovely day with a friend doing - well, not much. Eating. (We even ate ice cream for breakfast with crepes. Don't tell my Mum!)


Holidays in 2 weeks!!
Am planning on a few days cycling in Holland and then off to Greece for 9 days to ... eat Greek food! (And perhaps pretend that I am in the Mamma Mia movie!)


I made Pumpkin Soup for dinner one night this week and MLF1 was NOT happy. Not happy at all - due to a dislike of the main ingredient.
She sat down at the table - pushed the soup away and was NOT happy.
Did I mention she was NOT happy?
But after about 10 minutes, I saw her pick up her spoon and lick it. And then, filled up the spoon and ate some more. And then, a little more.
6!!!! bowlfuls later, I think she liked the soup?


MLF3 (4 yrs) correcting MLF2 (8 yrs) on her English.


Paragliding last weekend! Absolutely amazing!!


It was a birthday gift from my host family and I just want to go again! Had about 20 minutes of flying time above the town and mountains surrounding Zermatt. And got to see the Matterhorn closer than most!

I wasn't nervous at all (birds fly all the time, right?) - until my tandem dude's words were, "Now we're going to take a few running steps toward the edge of the cliff."
How many times do you hear that in your life?

But after that all was fine.

Until we landed and my legs didn't work and it was all rather unceremonious. Him trying to pull me up, being attached by many strings, belts and clasps, him not being able to pull me up, still being attached by many strings, belts and clasps.
You get the picture.


A beautiful walk/hike near Neuch√Ętel. Steph and I were whisked away to a land that resembled a fairytale.






But it did play with my head when I realized the scenery I'd seen the day before compared to this day. Such a small country but it's vastly vastly different!

Day 1:


Day 2:

Day 3:

- See? I told you I worked sometimes!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Am A Fun Au Pair

I am a fun Au Pair.

I am such a fun Au Pair that I eat entire jars of Nutella by myself. (Where's the fun in sharing?!)

I am such a fun Au Pair that I gasp when I find Charlie and Lola books at the BiblioTech (Library). All the girls want to know what is so exciting and give me strange looks when I show them my find. (However, when I read it to them tonight -in German!- their response was quite positive.)

I am such a fun Au Pair that when the girls had friends over last week and I drew a giant game of Twister outside with chalk, the neighbours thought we'd been having a birthday party.

I am such a fun Au Pair that I go around singing Barbapapa tunes in my head most of the day. (This is NOT fun for me, but the girls do feel like they are listening to the cartoon all day. Selfless, I tell you. Selfless.)

I am such a fun Au Pair because we cook fun stuff. Although when 2 four-year-olds are scooping cake mixture into muffin tins I have to look away. Otherwise the obsessive compulsive side of me will attack the aforementioned four-year-olds.

I am such a fun Au Pair because I can sometimes be talked into Cereal picnics in the Lounge Room. Sometimes. (Although why they want to eat Cereal more than once a day is beyond me. It's hard enough to face once a day!)

I am a fun Au Pair.

Sometimes I just need to convince myself.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Heaven is the Face

"I know it's all of this and so much more....God, you know, I just can't see beyond the door...."

I'm one of those people who get a new song and listen to it over and over again.
And again and again and again. And again.

Steven Curtis Chapman released Heaven is the Face this week and I really like it.

The Chapmans lost their daughter last year in a car accident and their journey of grief has been followed quite closely by the media. I'm sure it has been very difficult to go through it all with your every move watched, even if the watchers are well-meaning fans (myself included).

In a time like that, what does faith look like? How does it work? What is the right response to such a tragedy?

The whole family has shown so much beauty and grace. I've somewhat shamelessly followed their blogs and been overwhelmed at times by the pieces of their heart that they've chosen to share.
Their trust in the God of Heaven and their determination to stay true to what they know - their faith - has really stuck with me.

And this song is a beautiful overview of their past year or so and I'm so glad that he's chosen to share his journey this way.

I love: "I know it's all of this and so much more....God, you know, I just can't see beyond the door...."

And I know it's not the main theme of the song, but sometimes it's just a relief to be reminded that it's ok if sometimes we can't see past the issue that is at hand.

Whether it's something as tragic as losing a child or simply our own day-to-day struggles in relationships I think it's ok to admit that we just can't seem beyond what's in our face right now.

And I really like the idea of a place where HIS glory fills every empty space.


Heaven is the Face - Steven Curtis Chapman
Heaven is the face of a little girl
With dark brown eyes
That disappear when she smiles.
Heaven is the place
Where she calls my name
Says, “Daddy please come play with me for awhile.”

Chorus:

God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more,
But God, You know, that this is what I’m aching for.
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door.
So right now...

Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep,
Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing.
And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms,
Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams

And God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more,
But God, You know, that this is what I’m longing for
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door.

Bridge:

But in my mind’s eye I can see a place
Where Your glory fills every empty space.
All the cancer is gone,
Every mouth is fed,
And there’s no one left in the orphans’ bed.
Every lonely heart finds their one true love,
And there’s no more goodbye,
And no more not enough,
And there’s no more enemy (no more).

Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss
And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone.
Heaven is the place where she takes my hand
And leads me to You,
And we both run into Your arms.

Oh God, I know, it’s so much more than I can dream.
It’s far beyond anything I can conceive.
So God, You know, I’m trusting You until I see
Heaven in the face of my little girl,
Heaven in the face of my little girl.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BEWARE of Falling Crab (Tins)!

7:50* - MLF1's spare backpack falls on my head as I try to get it down from the top shelf.

8:05 - The tube of Icing Sugar falls out not once, but three times in quick succession as I put other items away in the cupboard.

8:41 - MLF3's drink bottle is aiming straight for me when it falls out of the cupboard when I am putting other dishes away.

10:28 - A tin of crab tries to attack me and barely misses my head and then foot as I search the pantry for lasagne ingredients.

10:58 - The tin of crab makes a better-aimed shot at me but still I am quicker as I put the remaining lasagne pasta away.

13:40 - After a few hours of respite the Alphabet Mobile in MLF2's bedroom tries to entangle me but I will live to clean another day.

15:30 - Yet another backpack falls on me twice as I attempt to put it away. What is it with these bags. I think they are desperate to be out hiking or something.

15:33 - I think about the blog I will write detailing all the things that tried to get me today.

19:25 - Apparently all the evil items in the house have decided to leave me alone as it has been three hours of safety.

19:29 - Apparently I was wrong. MLF3 knocks over a bottle of perfume - a large portion of which spills onto me. At least it wasn't a tin of crab juice. At least I smell good. But, having just accidentally licked my finger, I DO NOT taste good!




*These times are not exact as I am not quite anal enough to keep a diary of my day's events. I do however keep a blog....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I think I'm in Love




Did I tell you how much I love the moutains here? Yes?
Can I tell you again?
I love it. So much. I can't get enough.

Went for a day trip on Sunday to Appenzell but didn't stay long in the village.
(Women are only allowed to vote in local elections here since 1991! and they still vote through a public assembly by a raising of hands!)

Instead we headed for the top: Hohe Kastern.

I went with my friend Dani (another au pair) and I think all day long we were just opening and closing our mouths in astonishment. It was so beautiful.

We took a cable car up to the top of the mountain and spent quite a few hours walking down. We may have prolonged our trip just a little bit by missing the last PostBus and having to walk to the next Village but we both blame the other for that so it's ok.