Family Time

School starts tomorrow.  A new routine for all of us which means everyone will begin to go their separate ways.  It has already begun with soccer practices this week and Sarah invited to a birthday lunch today.  It kind of makes me sad.  I have really enjoyed this month of “The Engles Against the World”.  All we have known is each other and all we have had is each other.  I remember our second day here, Elizabeth and I took our 20 minute walk to go find the larger grocery store we had heard about.  We had such a good time chatting there and back and playing detective as we looked for that store (“There’s someone with a green plastic bag!  And there’s another one!  They are coming from that direction!”).

There has been something magical about it only being “us”.  No one (including me) is distracted by a phone call or chatting with a friend.  No one is waiting to be picked up for this activity or that.  No one has a lesson, a practice, a rehearsal, a game.  Just us.  We have discovered new card games (we can’t wait to introduce you all to 6 Qui Prend) and tested out different yogurts and packaged cookies.  We have discussed fashions in the windows and on the people and laughed at our mistakes.  We have been frustrated together when we don’t know what we’re doing and then stepped back to watch each other navigate the Metro and the streets of Paris with ease.  We plan dinner together, make dinner together, eat dinner together, clean up dinner together.  We read  at night (currently Swiss Family Robinson which is amazing BTW) and the kids teach us how to play new computer games.  Who knew Cut the Rope could be so addicting?  The girls have spent time together (and apart) designing and drawing fashions.  All three have created new worlds with Legos.  We have found free full length movies on YouTube so we can continue our Sunday evening movie and Taco Salad night.  Tom and I have run together and worked out together.  We all did P90X Ab Ripper together yesterday morning!  Julian and I created some weird ball game outside and the kids found some rope to make a communication system between the windows.  We have held back laughter during church (my cousin Laura knows how hard this can be) when your shoulders are shaking and you can’t even make eye contact with each other or you will literally lose it.  Our dinner conversations have taken the form of favorite super heroes, politicians and the importance of honesty, our likes and dislikes of the Catholic church, what it means to have a conscience.

This is why I came.  I don’t think I could send one of my children away for a foreign exchange program.  I already feel like my time with them is short enough.  But to do it together?  Ah, yes.  This is what I wanted.

I miss my friends.  And I’m exciting about meeting new friends.  But this time…just Tom and Kelley and Sarah and Elizabeth and Julian (and Chili).  Just us.  This we will always have.


Categories: Kelley's Kilometers | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Family Time

  1. Christian Conte

    This is Beatuiful!
    I hope the kids are excited for school.
    You guys have had a lot of fun times together.
    Hope you guys are enjoying your new house.
    Your a wonderful family.
    Together, forever.

    Christian Conte

  2. Linda

    Hi Kelley & family,

    I love your blog today. Aaron started second grade today with Ms. Collins instead of Jen Theisen. Ms. Collins is a wonderful substitute teacher so far. We met yesterday & we’ve emailed a few times. Aaron came home with such enthusiasm; I think he is going to have a great year.

    Ryan is less enthusiastic about eighth grade but I expected more homework & he has it. The first day Kromrey was open, it was hot with no air conditioning. Today seemed better. Brandon likes his teachers so that is good too. We are off to soccer but I wanted to say hi & hang in there. More adventures await you & your family.

  3. Rebecca

    I love this…..and I know just what you mean. I think we have a close personal attachment from our years away from everything except each other. It tends tO make us hermits sometimes, but we know the time and opportunities to have that time together is diminishing. Enjoy it and cherish it! Xo

  4. Midori

    It’s so impressive that you are able to take the time to reflect. It really helps put what is important into perspective. Thanks for keeping us all updated. Your blogs are great to read; living vicariously through your family! It’s been weird not running into you here and there. I keep wondering if you go places and think you will run into someone you know. Our kids’ first day of school has been a success, but since the last few weeks of summer vacation were so boring, the kids couldn’t wait to get back to school and a routine of sorts. Nathan has Mrs. Schmidt this year, but it is the first time in his life he is not in school with Julia :(. It’s a harder adjustment for me and makes me sad. Looking forward to hearing more great tales!

  5. Colleen Hartman

    This makes me teary. You have found such a peaceful time together in such a foreign place and by that I mean a special time in your lives, in some, unknown until now space, not just being in France. You are all such strong individuals and will become more so as you continue this adventure. God Bless
    And on the lighter side, I can identify the laughter in church situation. Mom, maybe Karen ?,Renee?and I were at Carolyn Seckington’s wedding and something set us off and we were miserable trying to be polite. Hugs!

  6. Cindy Feldt

    I love reading your blog. You are all very gifted writers. What an amazing adventure your family is having. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Lexie

    I love this post – well said! I pray that I can give my family half as many memories as you have given to yours…you seem to always have something exciting for your family to explore or complete. We hope the first few weeks of school go well for the kids and for you and Tom too 🙂 Love….

  8. Karen Hoffmeier

    I must say I am a little glassy eyed just reading this. I can just about picture everything that you have written about. The kids will certainly have this year etched in their minds. A great adventure for all five of you. I can relate to the laughter in church… you remember that long Easter vigil in Florida with just the three of us?? You and Natalie were out of control!! I so look forward to each blog and all your wonderful details. Enjoy each day and we are so looking forward to our visit.

  9. Karen Hoffmeier

    Kelley, your entire family would get A’s in a creative writing class for putting your thoughts on paper so effectively. Love to read them every time. Can’t wait to play some of the games with all of you in a few months. Thought of you this morning knowing the kids were almost done with their first day of school. Would love to be listening at your dinner table tonight.

    I’m off to play golf at UNI today. Hugs to everyone.

    Dad/grandpa H.

  10. Corinne

    You’ve got a book here, Kelley, you really do. Thanks for your reflection. It’s reminding me to keep perspective.

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