So, I am officially at my 7-day mark here in Greece. There have been good and bad things, but overall it has been great. This will be a long post to update on everything and give some basic information about the family and my job. First off, let me give you a little information about the kids. 

P- This is the oldest child at 9 years old. He will be 10 in March and he is in fifth grade. He is almost always bouncing off the walls.  But he also loves to make things, to read, and to play games. 

Y- This is the middle child and he is 7 years old and in third grade.  Y is somewhat shy right now and Debbie has already told me it will take a while for him to warm up.  But he loves Pokemon, anything to do with money, and games, as well. 

F- She is the youngest of all three at 5 years old and in kindergarten.  She rules the house and well, just about everything.  She is strong-willed and always gets her way.  She loves helping with cleaning and cooking and she also is overly excited about the English lessons we do everyday.  In just 4 days, we have gone through 45 pages in her book. Just for comparison, the boys have each only done a couple of pages. 

       All three children are in school so every morning I get up at 6:15 am to get ready by 6:45 to help make breakfast and get there lunches together. (This is by choice, as Debbie has told me I don’t have to do this everyday. But, I am trying to get in a routine, so I have more time in my days.) So, the kids eat breakfast and get ready to leave for school at 7:55.  When they leave, I help tidy up breakfast and then it’s time to walk the dog.  We have four dogs (though 3 officially. One isn’t ours, it just lives here and we feed it. Its name is Michael Jackson.) and a really, adorable, fluffy cat. So every morning I feed them and take one of the dogs for a walk. All the rest are free to go anytime, but they always accompany me on the walks anyway.  M.J.

        After walking the dogs, I come back and make the kids beds and make sure their rooms are not completely destroyed.  And that’s it until 2 pm.  I have a nice big chunk of the day to do what I want.  At 2, the boys come home for lunch and then start their homework. And at 3, F comes home.  Between 4 and 7, I am trying to keep them quiet, trying to get them to do their homework, playing with them, and trying to get them to do English Lessons. *Note that most of this has me  currently trying and not actually doing.* Then 7 is bathtime, which so far has been the biggest struggle for all three children. And then bedtime is at 8:30 . After this I am free to do what I want as well.  

     This week, I have had several tasks to accomplish during the day that I won’t normally do.  One has been organizing the toy boxes in each of the children’s rooms.  This is both to organize them and get me acquainted with their things.  I also have been baking this week and making a couple meals.  So, with this let me update you on a few of my successes so far this week, which all have to do with food, strangely enough. 

Success Number One: “How come your cookies are so good? Our mom never makes them this good.” From P to me.  I was very shocked by this, because I do not bake very often.  My forte is soup, definitely not cookies.  Therefore, I was very pleased that the kids enjoyed them. 

Success Number Two: Making lentil soup and the kids actually enjoying it.  I have never had, nor made lentil soup.  So imagine my surprise when the kids actually ate it, enjoyed it, and asked for seconds. 

Success Number Three: Using the leftover cereals to make a second batch of cookies.  The first  (double) batch of cookies were gone in 2 days. So ,when asked to make a second batch, I used the bottom of the corn flakes and Lion (some cereal we don’t have in the states that are kind of like cocoa puffs, but harder) to make more cookies.  These were once again eagerly eaten.

      So, on to the fun things.  This house is ridiculous and is in a gorgeous neighborhood.  Like I have already said the view is top notch and the sunsets are nothing less than stunning.

The houses are huge and white and amazing.  All the streets have sidewalks and are very pedestrian friendly, except for the giant hill we live atop.  I spent Wednesday walking the neighborhood to get a sense of the place. 

Then Thursday, Debbie had to go into downtown Athens for a session (she’s a therapist), so she invited me to come along.  We were only downtown for about 2 1/2 hours, but I was able to see a lot.  I got to see the Parliament building and the changing of the guards, Syntagma square, Kolonoki which is an incredibly upscale shopping area ( I wouldn’t dare go into any of the shops), Ermou which is an adorable shopping area with a famous church right in the middle, and Athens’ oldest and nicest hotel: Hotel Grand Bretagne. And I also got to visit a huge bookstore called Eleftherudakis!

Parliament

Eleftherudakis

The hotel

Syntagma Square

Some things I bought from a store Debbie recommended.  Mastiha is a brandy-based liquor made in Greece.  It is also used in various sweets, aromatherapy, and oils.  This cute shop was right next to where we parked and I went in and bought a couple of pies and some dark chocolate for around 6 euros.  It is a good, but interesting taste. 

      Debbie showed me the bus station down the street where I can connect to a train to take me into town on my own.  So, next week I hope to venture to the Acropolis and some museums. This weekend is going to be jam packed with parties for the kid’s friends, which will be interesting.  So, wish me luck. 

Peace, Love, and Wanderlust