Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2nd half term and Halloween

Jacob and Abi were very lucky, they ended up having two half terms as Brunssum's and SHAPE's were different. They did go into school to visit on the Friday of their 1st half term. So their 2nd half term started without Allen as he was still in Poland. We carried on unpacking but also did a little exploring. We found an excellent ice cream and coffee shop which I'm sure we'll visit regularly. I also drove into Mons to have a look at the centre. We popped into a cafe and enjoyed yet more ice cream! The centre on Mons is a little like Sittard but no where near as pretty. I think this is my impression of this area in the whole, it's no where near as pretty as where we have come from. The up side though is our house is 100% better and we can walk to the base and school. There is a lot to offer on the base, a bowling alley, cinema, a cafe and restaurant plus a Carrefour supermarket. It's good to be able to walk to all of these. Cycling is going to be harder here. We were really spoilt in The Netherlands with all of the safe cycling paths. You're lucky to get a walking pavement here let alone a bike path! I have cycled to school with the kids but their road sense is not the greatest. We will give it another go as they are opening a gate much closer to our house so it will mean a much safer cycle to school, it will also knock 15mins off the walking time so that's great too. Jacob and Abi can go on the bus but, for some reason, they are enjoying walking so I'm not arguing.
We went back over to Brunssum to pick up Allen on the Tuesday, staying once again at Chris and Matt's. We had a pizza from the pizza bus, our favourite. We celebrated Halloween on the American base walking around with the Mertes. I've inlcuded a photo of Allen with our kids and then one of Jacob, Abi, Haley and Kaden. They had loads of fun and Jacob met up with a friend there so he was very happy. We drove back to SHAPE that night as we were off to the UK the next day.
We popped back to the UK for a day and a night to pick up our new car. We are trying a Superb Estate. Personally I can't see much difference but I suppose I'll only be able to tell when we go on a skiing trip to see how mcuh I can fit in! It did well with all of the shopping I did in the UK, still room for more!

October half term - Playmobil Germany


We had a fun half term, first we moved out of our house in Munstergeleen and into our new house in Casteau, Mons. This was not the easy move I had planned as Jacob came down with a chest infection on the day I was meant to be cleaning. All of the furniture left Thursday morning and I spent the morning taking Jacob to the doctors, dropping him at school and then picking him up 45mins later as they thought he was too ill to be there. The doctor had said he could go but he was tired from being up in the night coughing. Luckily my next door neighbour, Chris, took him in and he slept around there while I cleaned. I was going to let them go to school in Brunssum on the Friday but, as Jacob wasn't allowed back, I decided to drive over and join Allen in our new house. Again my kind neighbours, Chris and Matt fed us before we left and it was straight to bed once we got to our new house.
The rest of the weekend was spent unpacking and then we made our way back over to Munstergeleen to finish the cleaning for the march out on the Monday. We stayed next door and they fed us again! The march out was fine, I'm glad I'd cleaned behind the radiators as he used his torch to check them - it had taken me about 2 hours to do this and I had had enough by the end.
Allen went off on exercise to Poland for ten days and Jacob, Abi and me went to the South of Germany to the Playmobil funpark. Nadine drove us, she'd booked it all too. We stayed in a great Holiday Inn Express and had a brilliant time at the Playmobil place. I've included a variety of photos from the day there. Abi and Haley enjoyed the panning for jewels the best and Jacob loved the throwing balls at bottles activity!
After two nights here we moved a little further south of Nuremberg to visit Nadine's Grandma. I've included a photo of Jacob next to a Jacob beer truck - it was parked in the car park of the hotel we were staying. So we had a brilliant first half term.