Sunday, August 31, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
I came home and did some quick research to try to find something to do. I found a website with lots of great ideas and picked one called Domaine de Palogne.
After lunch, I piled the kids into the car and we drove off to our latest exploration. After lots of fun driving on backstreets, we arrived at our destination. There was an awesome playground where the kids had a great time playing.
The weather was great! We experienced one short episode of sprinkling while we were in the ruins, but it dried quickly. The castle was built over natural caves, and some of them were apparently used as passages during the castle's strong days. We went through a couple of them, but I didn't get any pictures. I was too busy watching my feet and using my phone as a flashlight. They did have lights, but they weren't very strong.
After we hiked back down, the kids played at the playground a lot longer until it was time to pick up Ben from work.
At the Domaine de Palogne, they also have a falconry show, kayaking, biking, and min-golf. I'm pretty sure we'll be going back there again!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Most of the kids were excited to try something new. Sarah's feelings are quite evident.
The verdict? We will definitely be eating stoemp again, and Abe is asking me to buy more sausage.
If you want to try it yourself, here is the recipe:
500 g potatoes, diced
500 g carrots, diced
200 g lardons or bacon
Cook bacon/lardons in some butter. Remove from pan. Add diced onion to pan and cook until carmelized. Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add diced carrots and potatoes and boil until soft. Drain but keep the water. Mash the vegetables, adding water as necessary. Stoemp should be a little chunky. Add the bacon and onions and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This is traditionally served with sausage, although serving it with chicken or other meats is also common as well.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
At the museum, they also had a traveling exhibit about prehistoric man with cool workshops. We got to try to use a granite rock to chip off flint. The kids also had fun striking flint on iron pyrite into dried toadstool to make sparks for a fire. Here is Abraham giving it a try.
Friday, August 22, 2014
This morning the kids and I decided to go for a walk. The kids ran outside while I put in a load of laundry. Sarah came bursting back in the house, excitedly describing the neighbor she had just met. "His name is John, and he speaks English! He has grandkids with him, too, but they only speak French."
I went out and met him. We had a nice conversation. He told us about a chateau not far from here and gave us directions. We started walking. I didn't follow the directions quite right, so we didn't find it. We did find a cool wood very close where the kids will enjoy playing. We also walked behind a huge cornfield and find a nature path set up by some school kids a few years ago. We got home very ready for lunch.
This evening, Ben and I went out for a date. Without knowing what would be open, we just started driving. We were pleased to find a large convenience store that is open till 10 pm! Most stores close by eight. This presents a problem if we run out of milk and Ben doesn't get home from work until almost eight. So this was a great find.
Here are pictures of the kids on our walk today.
The last few days we have been unpacking and struggling to get over jet lag. Things are mostly in order now, so I hope to take some pictures of the house next time it's sunny.
Belgium is beautiful and green. It is often cloudy and rainy. Ben once said that the percentage chance of rain can almost be translated into what percentage of the day it will rain. It has been unseasonably cold.
The kids have fun looking at the sheep. They are also loving a new house to explore and play in.
Today we went to register with the commune, which is sort of like a county. They were quite surprised to see a family of seven walk into their little office. Anthisnes is not a big commune, and they don't really have experience with expats. Luckily we had an agent from the relocation company with us to guide us all through the process! We actually live in a tiny area called Petit Berleur which seems to be just a group of about 20 houses on three streets.
This evening some of us took a walk. I did take a picture of the front of the house.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Good morning from Anthisnes! Even the cows and sheep seem to be hiding this morning. I love this view out my kitchen door.
I drove Ben to work this morning, and the kids were still in bed when I got home. I finally woke them up about ten.
The kids are laughing and happy after a good rest.
The picture of the boys is on the stairs in the entry hall. The stained glass goes through to the dining room.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
There are 48 hours to go. The suitcases are mostly packed. Yesterday I finished cleaning my room. The family room remains almost untouched, however, so I'm panicking about that. I also have a fruit fly infestation in the kitchen. Grrrr... The trap is working well, but there are so many that I hate to walk in there.
On Saturday morning, the suitcases are all going to my mom's house where we will spend the night. During the day Saturday, all the stuff and the beds from upstairs need to be packed up and put in the basement. We haven't had much luck finding people to help, so if you can come help, please let me know!!! I know, I should have asked for help a while ago so people could plan it, but I guess I didn't think of it as really moving or something. Normally we do plan moving day a little better than this. Maybe I'm just out of practice. After all, we have lived in this house for over 5 years. That's a record for us!
Well, I better stop writing and start packing. Here are a few pictures from the party.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
In other news, we've had some other crazy stuff going on. On Monday, July 28, I took Kandy to the doctor to get some warts frozen off. Unfortunately, on her right pinkie finger, she developed a ridiculously huge blood blister. On Friday, we took her to an urgent care facility at night to get it drained. Yesterday I took her to the pediatrician again. The doctor said, "Wow, I've never seen this happen before."
Kandy was referred to the outpatient burn clinic. My mom took her to the appointment since I had to be on a plane to California! The good news is that it should be all healed up in 7 days. The bad news is she really can't go to girls' camp. Oh, wait, did I say that was bad? Well, I do feel bad that she's missing it, but I'm grateful that next weeks' packing and prepping won't be complicated by her being gone.
And as if cleaning and packing the house (with lots less help than usual from Kandy), doing ridiculous amounts of paperwork, and Kandy's medical issues weren't enough, the dog got sick. I had to take her to the vet yesterday morning. She is now wearing the cone of shame, taking pills, and getting ointment rubbed on her rash twice a day.
I'm so glad Ben is home, and I'm feeling quite overwhelmed by the amount of work to get done in 8 days!
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
The only paperwork left to do is the visa applications. We're still packing the house and the suitcases.