Category Archives: Our cute son

In search for some snow

For some time Nathan has been asking us already when we will have snow so he can go play outside and build snowmen and snow fortresses. The thing is we will most likely not have any snow this year either. For the past decade or so we barely had any snow which stayed for more than just few hours or a day. Now I know from my childhood that we had enough snow here (and pictures to proof it) to go even skiing or sledging at the nearby hill. Few times even the lake here had solid enough ice to go skating. However times are changing and we have hotter and hotter summers and milder winters.

December 24th here few years back, drowning in snow

So what to do when the kids want snow? Go to the mountain areas in middle and southern Germany or do something very different such as visiting Finland during the winter time? My wife is not really fond at all about snow and she does not want to do any activities outdoor so a little skiing holiday within Germany would be kind of meaningless. However visiting Finland would most likely mean tons of snow, stay at our own cabin and visit some friends afterwards before travelling back to Germany. So yes, my wife would prefer Finland (even though she is not fond of having the long ship cruise during winter time) and the kids could finally enjoy some snow.

The situation in Finland is a bit different

Now our plans are not set in stone at all but we have more or less an idea what to do and when to go. Our preferred time would be around the Chinese New Year as we have barely any work as all customers are busy visiting their relatives and that time is also more or less the snow peak time up there in Finland. For extra support we would force my parents to join us, especially as I have no real clue how to manage the cabin alone with all the heating and switching on the water supply.

More snow

I know that in Finland there are also bad winters with barely any snow in that region however from all the years (soon 30 years) I have lived or visited Finland it only happened a couple of times with a no snow/ barely any snow. Chances are pretty high for some snowy madness and at least Nathan could learn some cross country skiing, ice skating and perhaps even downhill skiing. Nathalie on the other hand will be still a tad bit too young for such activities but there is still so much to play around with the proper amount of snow. I remember in my childhood building gigantic snowmen, fortresses and snow caves. Right now I really hope this will work out and we should really order the tickets for the ship soon(ish) before the prices become ridiculous. The ship cruise is however a matter of mostly bad memories as during the winter we always had storms resulting in many sea sick people on board and my wife is handling it poorly as well.

What are your plans for the wintery season?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

 

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Study time for the children

Here in my hometown we got to know over the years other Chinese-German couples with kids. This town is not big but it is interesting to see how many Chinese leave here by now (compared to my childhood when the only Chinese here were running restaurants). We never really thought much about it until we met last month for a hot pot round at a friend’s place and we had suddenly eight mixed children running around and making some noise. Back then we (okay mostly the mothers) were thinking how great it would be for the kids to come together more often and play and talk in Mandarin.

Some of the kids during the first lesson

Just a week after our eating round we decided to meet several times a month for a little study round for the kids. Actually it can’t be really considered real studying as it is more about having more access to Mandarin for the children such as reading books, learning some about the numbers and characters. As we are no small round it was difficult at first to figure out where to have these meetings but one of the couples are also managing a club home (in fact the very same club I used to be a member in during my swimming days) and there is more than enough space for all of us. Best of all is that the club home is located very close to us so it is just 10 min away by walking.

And another picture in that awful phone camera quality

The children always “study” a bit for half hour, play together for half hour and then study a bit more. Children that young are not really fond of just sitting still for such long time so the playing time helps them to let out some energy. All of the kids are really looking forward to each Sunday as they can meet their friends and play. Our Nathan is the oldest with his five years and the youngest one is just half year old though she is not yet participating and usually clings on her father while we chat. We were always wondering how to get our children more access to Chinese and never thought how many in the very same situation as us are already living here. One couple just moved here from China this summer and they are certainly happy to meet up with other parents with the same background here in this little town.

Did you visit similar “meetings” in your childhood or sent/ are planning to do so with your children?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

 

Weekend activities with the kids

The past weeks the weather has been not our best friend here. Most of the days, just like today, everything is just grey and it is raining the entire time. However we also had some nice days on the weekends and we used that time to go on some mini trips with the kids. Here in our state we have visited most of the “sights” and by now we have an idea what the kids like to do.

Beach warriors

On one of the weekends we had some enjoyable hours at St. Peter-Ording beach again which we had visited back in August already. The weather was great, sunshine and warm water. This time we even had swimming clothes for the kids and they loved to play in the shallow water. Both can’t swim yet (don’t ask me why, but everyone refuses to learn swimming from me inlcuding my wife) so we could not go very deep with them. During the time of our visit there was high water once again just like last time so we had no chance to go discovering animals you find during the low water such as crabs, shrimps and all kind of small fishes. Appearently the day was so exciting for our Nathalie that she fell asleep immediately when we went back to the car and she was placed in her safety seat.

Nathan in front is doing okay, Nathalie in the back with me is a mess

Last weekend we revisited Zoo Gettorf again. We have been there last time in 2017. Surprisingly on the day of our visit this time they had a family day event and thus the tickets were much cheaper and there were many events in the park. Nathan enjoyed some pony riding (Nathalie was terrified sitting on the pony) and everywhere you could get very close to the animals. Nathan also wanted some children make-up but the queue was too long at each station.  Needless to say the kids had also here tons of fun. Best thing about this zoo is the distance. By car we only need 30 min to get there and this makes me wonder why we have been there only twice so far.

Wallaby minding its own business

This weekend is another story entirely. As mentioned before the weather is really letting us down so we are bound to stay home with the kids. I must say there are more enjoyable ways to spend time with the kids. Especially Nathalie gets really grumpy after some time (Thundergoat) so it is really hard to keep both somehow entertained. In case you have some ideas for such days, please let me know! We have tried board games, drawing, reading, watching shortly some TV but it all doesn’t last long.

By the way, no crazy stories from China in the past weeks. Would love to keep you updated but it is eerily quiet for now. Something like that never happened before so I expect each day now some disaster striking in form of some really weird stuff.

What are your ideas about spending time with kids during weekends?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily