Tuesday, August 26, 2008

who knew there were so many spiders?

Seriously, there are so many spiders in Switzerland. So far, the count in my room is up to 9. NINE. That's a lot of spiders. Seriously. And 7 of them were on my first day. Right now there are two in the corner, mocking me. Tomorrow morning, when Malko wakes up, I'm getting the vacuum (I love Swiss vacuum cleaners, by the way), and sending those monsters to their death. They are just too big to squish. Today, the kids and I bonded over the biggest spider I have EVER seen, at least, outside of a cage. Seriously, this mofo was the size of a quarter, and bigger when it stretched its legs out. Its web was massive, and stretched across the gate in the sideyard. The kids were throwing grass at it, and giggling and screaming when it moved. I joined in on the excitement, saying (in French!), "oh, it is very big!" and "ewwwww" which I have found to be universal. Mathilde went and grabbed a huge leaf, and tried to find the courage to poke it. Nope. She dropped the leaf and giggled. Malko picked up the leaf and completely owned the web (aka destroyed it). The spider fell into the grass, and we all sighed in relief... until Mathilde said, "where's the spider?" And as if it were on cue, we all ran back into the house, the kids screaming bloody murder. It was great.

The spider is still at large. I've shut my balcony door, in case it decides it wants revenge, and the kids' room on the third floor is too high.

In other news, I have been thinking about what I want to accomplish this year. I'm not necessarily a goal-orientated person, but working for something is always helpful. I set goals in college, because the time frames were always so easily realized, and I was usually working with a team, and everyone was great at holding each other accountable (I had the best experience in leadership during college). Dan is a little too good at holding me accountable; actually, he's a straight task-master. Ok, not really, but I have to be careful about what I'm swearing off, or what I'm promising to do everyday, because he is disciplined (MUCH more than I am), and will hold me to my words. I tend to exaggerate (oh my gosh, it was the BEST THING EVER), and be flippant with my words (I love Coca-cola more than anything in the world), and Dan chooses his words carefully (which is really awesome and I respect him so much for it). All that said, here are some goals:

1. Be pretty decently fluent in French.
Now, this can mean a lot of things. But by the time I move home, I would like to be able to hold a decent conversation in French, not just simple words and phrases like now. I've always wanted to learn French, and I've learned so much already from immersion. So it's easy to practice, since my two little ones don't speak a lick of English.

2. Run a marathon!
Ever since my awesome. brother ran the Twin Cities Marathon in 2005, I've wanted to do one too. Now, I do not like running. Cycling, sure, I'll bike from Minneapolis to New Orleans, 1500 miles, for Katrina Victims! Sign me up! But running? No way. During my trip to New Orleans, the last week we pretty much did a bike marathon every day (about 116 miles). Day after I come home, best shape of my life, decide to jog a mile with my roommate Mel, and can't do it. Seriously. Lame. So this is a big deal. The Paris Marathon is April 5, so that gives me quite some time to get ready. And I want to do it so bad. And I CAN do it. So hold me accountable, blog world!

3. Travel
I have family in England, friends (more like brothers) in Dublin, a college friend in Stockholm, missionary friends in Italy, a high school friend in Tokyo, and a college friend in Hong Kong. Plus, numerous contacts/awesome people I have met through blogging. AND my old choir is touring Spain in May. I want to go everywhere. I especially want to see all of Switzerland (it's really not that big). As of right now, I have no idea what kind of time I have off... but most of everything is a quick train ride or plane trip away. So it's all possible.

4. Piano
There is a great piano in the basement, and I have lots of time to practice. Dan, I'm learning a special song just for you. But I'm not telling you what it is. Heehee.

That's really it.... I'm sure I'll think of something else. My blogs are long. Sorry. I'll try to post more pictures.

Anyway, I miss you all at home, very much, and thank you all for staying in touch! I love hearing from you!!!!!!


Julie said...

Hi Honey,
don't let the b...... spiders get you down!!
By the way, you paint such delightful pictures of your time with the kids. Keep up the good work JKAP!!

seanna said...

it's funny you mention the spiders...the bugs/spiders were so bad in Sweden that by the end of the year i actually had compassion on the little suckers and started trapping them and freeing them outside. i hate bugs, but i got so used to them that i started to feel bad killing them...like, what did they do to me. twisted, i know.
glad you're loving it! setting goals will be great for when you start feeling a little homesick...definitely helps encourage your sense of purpose there.