Monday, September 26, 2011

Nearly October!?

I really, really can’t believe it is the end of September already.  While the first weeks Kristin were here did often seem to drag on a bit, now that she’s been in school, the time is flying by.

Kristin commenced school right after Labor Day and is doing fine.  She has typical exchange student problems of not really catching everything in class that’s being said, and often feels worried about her homework assignments, not being entirely sure what to do.  Fortunately, her teachers are very helpful and when I email them, they happily email us back with a more detailed explanation, which we find helpful.  We spend a couple of hours at night on homework—my task is to be the resident spelling bee.  I’ve spelled everything from “environment” to “collect”.  Kristin’s least favorite letters are E and I, as she finds it hard to remember which is which.

Sometimes she ties in the things we do to her homework and that cracks me up.  I have an obsession with the TV show Hoarders, so last night when she had to write a monologue for her drama class, she decided to write one about a hoarder.  She used the show as research for what a hoarder would talk about.  Pretty smart girl!

A couple of weeks ago, Kristin joined the cross country team.  Occasionally she comes home vowing to quit, but she always changes her mind the next day as she says, “I like my teammates!”  It is very physically demanding and she comes home sore and exhausted, and then has lots of homework today.  Often she feels that she doesn’t have much time to relax.  It has been good for her in terms of meeting people, however, and she had a genius way of getting to know people better by loudly announcing at practice, “I hate the activity bus!” so someone offered her a ride home.  I thought that was pretty ingenious, actually, so way to go Kristin!

She has been to a football game or two.  We were talking yesterday about it and she said she doesn’t understand the rules.  I, who have been watching the Patriots for 10 years now, also do not understand the rules, but gamely attempted to explain them to her.  My explanation in part was, “You get an extra point if you kick it through the Y shaped thingy at the end”…  Believe it or not, she knew what I was talking about.

this weekend, Kristin had her first AFS orientation.  I think she enjoyed it and immediately came home and added all her new pals on her Facebook.  We also got in a couple games of laser tag on Friday and a trip to Cold Stone, her favorite!

P1130670I guess the big excitement is that we asked Kristin to do some Icelandic cooking for us.  She settled on two dishes—Skyr and rice pudding.  Now, of course, you can get Skyr in the grocery store but I was informed that it’s not very good, even in Iceland, and needs to be dressed up to be edible.  She got the recipe from home and we had our friends Andy, Melissa, and Emily over as they are enthusiasts of international cooking.  The Skyr was done in an instant, she was an expert on that.  The rice pudding was more of a challenge and finally Kristin announced, “this is boring, I’m sick of cooking it!” and served it as is, which was nice and creamy, but the rice was rock solid.  We all found it hilarious.  We also got out the rest of the Icelandic chocolate and the Icelandic fish.  Kristin also made us apple sandwiches, so we had a real feast!


Everything was a big hit!

This week we will take our first roadtrip.  My dad is turning 60 and we are heading up to New York to celebrate.  It will be the longest trip Kristin’s ever taken in the car—10 hours at least—and we are preparing her by packing snacks, drinks, and a DVD player.  It’ll be nice to show her rural America and the people I grew up with.  I hope she enjoys herself!!  I’m looking forward to having a break and getting away for a couple days. 

Kristin is also “hosting” a Pampered Chef show in October, with a Cold Stone ice cream theme.  If she’s still here, we are going to go to a book signing with Diane Keaton, are in discussions with a  friend about a trip to Philadelphia to see Sara Bareilles, and are debating other fun and games as the year progresses.  We just have to find out what she wants to do!  Sooooo….

When we get back, it’ll be decision time.  We’ve asked Kristin what she thinks about staying here for the rest of the year and her answer is, “I don’t know”.  I think it’s possible in some ways she would be much happier with a family with older kids and pets, but she has settled in nicely here as well.  There have been times I’ve been convinced she’s going to give me trouble, and I’m glad to say I’ve been wrong—things have gone quite smoothly.  So we have offered her the chance to stay.  Whether or not she takes it, that’s up to her!  We won’t be upset either way.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print!!!  See you all from the other side of our NY trip!

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