Settling In…. that’s exactly what Lara, our German Exchange Student, is doing after being in our home for 3 weeks. And we’re seeing her relax more and more every day by what she says, what she does and how she reacts to things. And sometimes… it’s pretty darn funny!
I saw the most progress over the recent 3-day Labor Day weekend… following her first Friday Night High School Football Game (explained in the last Blog post).
First… she wanted to help groom two of our three dogs! And trust me…grooming Midnight, our 110-pound Labrador Retriever is no easy task… but Lara jumped right in! Midnight rolls over like a little puppy anyway… so Lara took advantage of that while we trimmed and combed her.
Next was Angel… our little 8-pound Bishon Frise that looks like an oversized cotton ball! Lara has taken quite a liking to Angel so she wanted her to look perfect! After two trimming sessions, a bath and a blow dry… she was as cute as a button!
Lara also experienced the first “Schreiner Football Frenzy”. Trust me… that can be kind of scary while the family watches any University of Nebraska Cornhuskers game! You see… Brittany and I are the only two family members, out of seven, who were NOT born in Nebraska. And anyone who knows a Nebraskan KNOWS that life surrounds Cornhusker Football games! Typically… I use game time as an “excuse” to go shopping or clean house…and no one misses me for 4 hours! This time… I agreed to go to Tyler and Sharon’s house, with the rest of the family, just in case the Schreiner’s got a little out of control… and Lara didn’t know what to think!!! I’m happy to say everyone behaved themselves! And Lara played with the dogs more than watched the game!
Saturday Night was date night… with the Pantry!!! Yes… I said Pantry! Since Lara arrived, I kept telling her I needed to clean the Pantry. She agreed! She would send me text messages from school asking, “The Pantry tonight?” But I was always so busy! Finally… she nailed me down to it… on a Saturday Night! It actually turned out to be a lot of fun and I saw a side of Lara I hadn’t seen before. She was so focused taking stuff out and figuring out where it should go… and she was handing me things that didn’t belong or should be thrown out. We vacuumed and cleaned the floor and it looked so good… until the funniest thing happened! Lara shook a container of crushed candy canes, the top flew off and candy went EVERYWHERE… in the pantry AND out! I didn’t see her do it… I just saw her come out of the pantry laughing so hard that I thought she was crying!!! Then I saw the floor and laughed too! She immediately started cleaning it up… and wouldn’t let me do it… and laughing the whole time! Needless to say… my pantry looks AMAZING!!!
In the middle of “Date Night with the Pantry”… Lara did something else unexpected. Terry was on the phone and she was sitting nearby. When Terry was done with his call, Lara said, “You said, “Ya know” 42 times.” She really caught Terry by surprise so he said, “What?” She repeated what she said… and they both broke out in laughter! Terry has that bad “ya know” habit for years. We always tell him about it… but he never listens to us. And I don’t think we’ve EVER counted! We are still laughing about it every day! And if Lara hears us on the phone saying, “Ya know”… she repeats it. It’s become a very funny inside joke with all of us!
On Sunday… it was family BBQ time at Amber’s house. Amber wanted to have everyone over since Lara hadn’t been there yet. Amber is a Chef and she and Lara get along great! Lara had no problem jumping in the middle of the kitchen and helping Amber with everything! They’ve certainly developed a special friendship!
Lara has also jumped into our kitchen in the past week or so. She enjoys cooking and she’s really shown us how Americans depend on pre-packed everything. We, in turn, are learning to cook from scratch more often.
It’s a lot of give and take with Lara here… and I truly believe all of us are going to be better people because of it!