Todd Family Blog

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Wrapping up 6 months.

Six Months as EuroTodds!.... 
....And we were getting very exciting for our trip back Stateside as we enjoyed these last couple weeks....We have been very blessed with wonderful experiences and people here in Germany so far.  And also blessed by the outpouring of love, time, and effort to stay in touch by our friends and family in the States.  Thank you all!!!

Levi Says:
  • A convertible car is a "Combobolo"
  • Says constantly, "I love this (h)operation!" [I have no idea what he is talking about.]
  • "God is gracious!!!"
  • Listening to our Steve Green kid's albums, "I love this God music!"  And then later about the song "God is Love": "I love 'God is Love.'  GOd is my best friend, like Cobi.....Awwwww, that's so sweet buddy."  [Apparently he preemptively says my reactions now too.]
  • After a day of hitting and kicking poor Luke, ironically while wearing his "I Love My Dog" t-shirt, he says, "I love my dogs.  I respect them."  Huh.
  • "I'm So glad Daddy's home!!!!!"
  • "I love that freight train so much.  Freight trains keep you safe all night long.  Freight trains are my best friend, next to Cobi."
  • After knocking over his toy gas station, ran to it and softly said, "Shhhhh...You're just fine.  Everything's okay little gas station....I'm making him feel better.  I'm respecting my toys."
  • After staying dry all the way through his nap I asked him how he did it.  He replied, "I was sleeping.  And hinkle honking." [Nod to Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book, which I highly recommend.}
  • Loves talking about how he can pray to God any time.  
  • Me: "Are you a Little Pickle?" [One of my nicknames for him.]  LT: "Yes, I am!  Little Pickle needs some lunch!"
  • Loves counting to 30, often counting the first 10 in Amharic.
  • Has some really solid sight words like A, The and Go.  Also is starting to sound out simple words, like Baby.
  • Threw one of Daddy's scotch tasting bottles, was corrected, and then ran to it and said, "I'm sorry Daddy's coffee.  It's okay Daddy's coffee."
  • It was a month of love.  Everything you mention he would say, "I LOVE that SO much."
  • Grabbing Daddy's leg: "Daddys fluffy.  Like doggie hair."
  • "Hey Papa!  What's goin' on?"
  • Me: "You can't still be hungry.  It's not possible!"  Levi: "I DO want to be hungery and it IS possible!"

Epic fun at Miss Maria's
Alec and Maria were kind enough to throw a stay-in date night for all of us.  We made pizzas, played like crazy outside, then put the kids down and watched a movie, wine in hand.  What a fantastic night.  Love that family!!!!

Sorry, Alec and Maria.....

Going for a spin

Snuggled up to read some of Maddie's favorite books from the UK.  We love sharing our favorite things from our respective countries.

Back home again, snuggling with doggies Chez Todd

(Outtake moment: This cracks me up - look closely at Gracie in the front.)

What more does a boy need?

We were on our way to met our friends Edyta, Max and Alex for a play date and Levi saw this famous Munich landmark.  He informed me, "Look, Mommy!  A statue!  Just like when Ming Ming and Tuck helped the baby pigeon on the statue."  Yup.  Again, may I present Europe with a 3 year-old.

Randomly enough, in the parking lot of our grocery store they had a monster truck show.  We missed the show, but enjoyed the parked trucks there all week.

Berry picking with our buddies!

Abel was sporting an amazing shirt.  I almost died when I saw it.  Though they have never been there, he has a Dan and Whit's shirt from Vermont, which is near where my parents live.  Here we are in Germany and our fellow Ethiopian adoptee is sporting a shirt from a small store in Vermont?  Too funny!!!  We were obviously meant to be friends.

Group hugs are popular.  Poor Abel got the brunt of this one.

Just chillin'

Our crazy crew having lunch.  Love Aiden's naked bum.  And how Levi is hugging Abel and Maddie again.

Strolling.  So sweet.

Papa in Deutschland
My Dad was able to come for a week after his trip around the world. (Seriously - Straight from choir festivals he organized in Hawaii, England and then Paris.  And he wondered why he felt so tired!  I was tired just thinking about it!)  Levi was beside himself with joy to show Papa his Pink Germany House and all his new favorite places.....

When Levi woke at his normal 6:30 a.m. the morning of Papa's arrival he was ready to go.  I had to tell him that we would not be leaving until 11 a.m.  Then, at 8:30 he ran to his foam clock and said, "Big hand on the 12, little hand on the 11, that means we can go pick up Papa!!!"  He could hardly stand the wait.

Waiting for Papa at the airport had an extra perck: Only my 3rd Starbucks hot chocolate since moving here.  I love their hot chocolates.  I can't seem to replicate them or find a similar one anywhere else.  (I KNOW it is the vanilla they add, but why can't I replicate it!?)

Papa's here!  A drink at Andech's Monastery to start.

It's just tap water, but still strange to see your 3 year-old with a stein.

And ice cream by the lake.  Levi thought about a nap in Papa's lap.

Someone to actually take our picture by the lake!  A picture of all 3 of us is very rare!

Showing Papa the Deutsches Museum.  Levi had much to point out.

Levi and Papa both love trains.  I can't believe Levi watched the entire train show a 2nd time.  

Beaming at Alexis after dinner at a favorite farm near Roche (the best Schnitzel!).
After this dinner I asked him if he would like to marry Alexis and he remarked, "She's very tall."  Ha!  I also said to him, "Where you surprised to see Alexis?  You got shy at first." to which he replied, "I WASN'T shy!  I was HAPPY!!"

Showing Papa Bad Tölz

Papa helped us a lot, of course - babysitting, building extra fencing to shore up our fence in the backyard for the dogs, and of course entertaining Levi.  So, we practiced our writing and spelling to say thank you.

Levi and Mommy School

I love the reading program (free!!) that I found for Levi on one of my favorite homeschooling blogs.  It was just right for Levi: Kids that know their big and little letters, as well as their sounds, but are too young for a kindergarten reading program.  Levi loves the weekly printable books and I can pick from the suggested activities to find something that he will enjoy.  (Perfect seeing as trying to impress him with crafts or worksheets is nearly impossible.  Oy.)

Loading up the words and book and taking them for a ride.  Not exactly the intended use, but still lots of learning going on.  An example of the benefits I keep finding with learning one on one at home.  (I asked him during this if his combine was harvesting letters.  He replied, "Grass Mommy.  Not harvesting letters."  Whoops.  Sorry.)

Gross motor writing practice....

A big box for a parking garage!  Spots inside are numbered just like our garage here in Germany and complete with tickets to take at a gate.  (We used the tickets to practice writing and our sight words: "A ticket" and "The ticket.")

As you can tell below, Levi has become obsessed with learning how to write.  I have no idea where this came from and am quite surprised.  He doesn't care a thing about coloring or painting, or most fine motor activities.  (That is, unless it involves assembling something like a train track or, say, pipe cleaners into straws.)  But, I follow the lead of the child and trust that their brain knows what is the perfect challenge for them in that moment. (Hello, Montessori!)

I couldn't stop him writing just ONE of the numbers for each day on our calendar a day....They all had to be practiced right away....

Whoever came up with putting sheets in plastic pouches for writing practice is a genius.  Numbers on cars and trucks were a favorite thing to practice for a while.  Then we'd wipe 'em off and start again!

His "notebook" all ready while watching a Blue's Clues....

"I See Levi"

And then there is the boy I know and love: Making the "Tallest Tower in the World" and kicking it over.  

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