Monday, August 30, 2010

Bicycle Race Day, August 29, 2010, Vossem, Belgium, the race went right in front of our house!!
The officials to the far right and the lead car!! Here they come!!
A moped in the race too? Isn't that cheating?
Here they are!!!
There they go!!! I wonder who will win? Apparently the race was THREE HOURS long, I don't know how many times they went by our house. Wendy counted at least 8 times! We didn't make it to the "festival" in the village square because it was so drizzly and cold!!

This picture was taken from the master bedroom on the second floor through the screen on a cloudy, rainy evening. The pumpkins are in the garden of the neighbor across the street. The colors here are AMAZING!!!

The cows across the street enjoying their breakfast, while we wait for the school bus in the rain!!

Kaitlyn and Wendy getting Kaitlyn's school supplies ready for her first day of school!! "Mom, I'm scared to go to school. What if no one likes me?" We have this conversation EVERY year. She ALWAYS finds a friend!!

Kaitlyn's first day of school. Waiting for the bus, in the rain. Girl, where is your umbrella? Oh yeah, we haven't bought one yet!! Have a great day!!! We love you!!!
So this last week was a bit frustrating.

We discovered last week that we are on a different pay cycle and wouldn't get paid for another week!! No one bothered to tell us that. It's a good thing all of our bills had been paid before we left the states and we were able to buy enough food to last three weeks.
We had the water softener system serviced this last week and that was interesting. The system is fairly new so it shouldn't have to be filled as often as most of the softeners in the area. Five 25 kilo bags should do for 6 months he says. We will see. The water here is extremely harsh and so everything has to be serviced a certain way. The dishwasher, coffee makers, irons all have to have salt added to them so that they work properly. What a treat! The guy that came to service the softener was very friendly.

We have been trying to decide whether to send for our Lincoln Town Car or buy one here in Belgium. After realizing how narrow most of the streets are here we decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to send for our car. There was a lady at Dave's work that is PCSing this week and wouldn't be able to take her car with her, so she offered it to us for 1000 Euro, which roughly translate to $1300. It's a 1996 Honda four door, teal colored and runs pretty well. Because we don't have our Belgian ID cards yet we can't take possession of the car "legally" and register it in our name. But she was kind enough to let us take possession of it on Saturday night. It is nice to have the mobility and freedom to go where we want and not have to rely on others.

We have wonderful neighbors who where willing to take us to the commissary on Saturday. It is an hour drive each way, so it made a for a long day. The local grocery store is really good and has a lot of American products, or at least products that we are used to. We try to buy fresh fruits and veggies, milk and eggs, and fresh bread, all locally just because it is usually fresher.
(on the way to school)
Last Wednesday was back to school night at Brussels American School (BAS) and BBQ. The school has been under construction this summer, they have added new state-of-the-art music/art building, new gym/auditorium, and some other out buildings. The school is extremely small as far as enrollment is concerned, about 400 students from K-12. There is one class for each grade K-5. It is a good thing that we went because they had Kaitlyn enrolled in the 6th grade!! We got that fixed. We also found out that poor Kaitlyn has to have 4 shots by the end of September. She catches the bus right on the corner from our house. She starts school on Monday, August 30.

Friday we had to go to NATO to get our pictures taken for all the IDs we have to have over here. We had to be escorted EVERY where we went!! It was rediculous! Once we passed through security there are places, such as the library, bank, cafateria, gift shop, and gym, that we are allowed to use once we get our IDs, but not without our official IDs. Someone over at the Embassy had lost or deleted our pictures for our Belgian IDs, so we had to have those taken again as well!! The Belgian IDs must be approved by the Belgian government and it takes between six weeks and three months to have that done!!! UGH!!! Now we are two weeks delayed. (We have to have Belgian IDs in order "own" a vehicle.)

Wendy has decided that since the Beglian government won't allow her to stay as a dependent with us without enrolling and attending a government "approved" college she will be returning to the states in about two months. She will go back to Utah and live with her grandparents. That means we will be losing two children in a six month period. It makes us sad but at the same time we know that our children have to spread there wings eventually.

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