Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kinder Pictures

The library at Sarah's school is open to family members after school. Sarah has a Mosaics class on Tuesdys after school, so Daniel and I go to the library. Today, he trotted in, walked right up to the Thomas the Train books, pulled them off the shelf and laid down to read.

The whole reading thing must be genetic.
Now that the weather is nice, we walk part of the way home. This is our favorite stop. Daniel gets very excited and says, "stick! stick!" We missed our tram by about 30 seconds, and the next one was a few minutes late, so we had about 12 minutes to play on the stick.

Well, Daniel played, Sarah read her book. She was angry that I made her put her book down long enough so that I could take her picture.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

A post only a grandparent could love

This Sarah (and me!) performing a German play. She's a rabbit who (spoiler alert) has swallowed a frog.

I won't be offended if you don't watch all of it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Random kinder pictures




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Friday, March 5, 2010


As legal non-citizen residents of the great nation of Switzerland, we have to renew our permits annually. Coming from the United States, the thought of doing this struck fear and dread into my soul. Not only do I have to deal with a government office, I have to add the horrors of doing it in German, with my children. Oy. (Sarah, at 6, is now required to sign her own name on her permit.)

But, I should have known better. The Swiss don't have a reputation for efficiency for no reason.

We received the paperwork in the mail, telling us when to appear and to bring new passport photos of ourselves. (In case we have somehow become better looking since last year, which is possible, because our last year's permits had no where to go but up. Jason and I look like the couple you see on the nightly news who have just been arrested for making meth. We actually wondered why we got married in the first place, as we both look so hideous, we couldn't imagine being attracted to each other. But, I digress. We're much better looking in person.)

Getting the passport photos was painful because we had to go into a photo booth, put in some coins (8CHF) and let the machine take our pictures. Should be easy enough, but Daniel was terrified of the whole thing and screamed. This is problematic because one of the rules was that no teeth can be showing.

After 6 tries with Daniel, we chose one with his eyes open and his teeth showing, figuring the woman would reject us and our silly photographs and we would have to mail in a new one.

So, off we went to Frenkendorf. This meant a 15 minute train ride through the largest freight depot in Switzerland. Daniel was in heaven. "Train! Train! Train!" he shouted as we went by.

Our appointment was at 3:30. Wanting to be prompt we were in the office by 3:25. There was one family at the window.

That family left, we approached the window and handed the woman our passports and new photos. She had right next to the window our paperwork. Can you imagine that happening in a US government office? Seriously. We had an appointment and she was ready for us. Bizarre.

She laughed at Daniel's picture. (It is funny.) Didn't faint at the rest of the family's pictures. (Sarah looks something like Wednesday from the Addams Family.) Gave us forms to sign. We signed them and we handed them back to her.

Then we all said "Tschuss!" and headed out the door. Time? 3:28.

Seriously. We were there for 3 minutes. No waiting, no whining. 3 minutes.

This was on a Monday and we got our new permits in the mail on Friday.

This is how bureaucracy should work.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chienbaese-Fasnacht in the neighboring town

This is the before picture. They are going to light this thing on fire and pull it through the streets.
And here's the after picture. Those are some flames.

And in case you needed video, here we go. Note, they take this flaming wagons through the city gate. This gate is made of wood. The fireman hose it down before each wagon goes through. And this parade lasts about 1.5 hours. That's a lot of fire. (On the video, that is Sarah and her friend singing about libraries. Why? I don't know.)