Thursday, December 27, 2012

Traditional Dinner with our french friend

Our conversation partner and friend Georgette proposed that we share a traditional french dinner with her after Christmas. Sounded like fun and it was. We made too much rich food (we just went shopping for some of the food, she picked out all the dishes!) but a salad dinner tonight evened it all out...right?! Our menu was: raw oysters with lemon (I have to give those a thumbs down, but that's just me:), rye bread with butter, confiture of onions with foie gras, then Boudins (sausage looking things with a mild flavor, then roasted pintade (a little chickeny looking bird but tastes a little more like turkey, but better) with chestnuts, then traditional french candies and buche noel for dessert. Whoooooooo buddy we were stuffed. It was a workout to eat that much french food and that much protein all at once. Here are some pics of our time:
Doing the cooking thing one handed...Louis was having a needy day.
Our pintade

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Louis at the hospital

Little guy had his surgery on Monday. It was quite an experience for all but a few things made it a LOT more bearable: friends who watched our girls before and after school and made many treks (in the rain!) to take them to and from school, french friends who let us borrow their car (the hospital is in another town and doing the on foot/train/tram routine adds like 4 hours to the day), the hospital staff in the childrens' portion were super nice (except the people in the billing/"welcome" desk...ha!), and the fact that our french is a ton better than it was 5 months ago when we first talked to the dr. about having the surgery. Louis was a champ but it was still hard to see him out of it when the meds started to kick in before the surgery (and then crying as they took him away from us:(...and after the local anesthesia wore off at home he was in a ton of pain and cried all evening. Thankfully since then he's been a lot better and only is in pain when he coughs or we move him certain ways or touch the areas that are painful. So glad its over!

After the surgery (and after he finally shook off the last of the sleepy gas...while he was coming out apparently he was really crazy but Daniel was there, not me) Louis wanted to PLAY! There were a ton of toys right outside our "room" and he wanted to explore them all. He had no idea he'd just had major surgery! Since the local anesthesia was still in gear he wasn't in pain either, so while we waited the long hours until our release he played and played and played.

Here we are a few hours later almost ready to leave...mommy trying to get the boy to eat some "petite suiss" a half yogurt/half cheese like snack that french kids seem to like:). Here we're in the play room outside our room where we spent most of our time since we were sharing a tiny tiny room with another family who had a newborn with a broken leg and was trying to sleep!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent snowman window decor

Marianna opening the snowman window decor with Livvie watching excitedly:
Another day, Marianna opening some art supplies.
Having SO much fun decorating, and redecorating with the scene. Unfortunately Louis thought it looked way too much like his gummy vitamins at first and chewed on a few pieces. Not sure why it took so long for him to realize the taste was NOT the same.
And because I don't want to lose this link, I'll call this homemade Nyquil (Daniel's favorite med that we can't get here, I think this will be a good homemade alternative) How's that for random!?

Menu Plan

We're starting this week out all reasonably healthy...hooray! Hoping to get in two good weeks of french study before Christmas break begins since this past few months have been very sketchy with health issues and all. Here's to hopin'! Here's what's on our menu this week:

Monday: Chicken veggie potato soup in the crockpot, with leftover crackers and muffins (after our long day traveling to and from the hospital)

Tuesday: Fettucini Carbonara, green beens

Wednesday: Chicken in the crockpot

 Thursday: School Christmas Party (bring taco dip maybe?)

 Friday: Pizza

 Sat: Hamburgers, homefries, raw veggies

Hoping to do a little baking with the girls at some point this week to give to our neighbors etc., but we'll see how time pans out....

What's on your menu this week?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Advent & Coziness

Here are the kiddos after decorating the Christmas tree last week:

All snuggled up watching our new favorite french show that teaches us how things work in france (for example how potatoes grow, how candies are made)

The girls opening their first advent gift, which wasn't my original plan, but I decided to wrap a different small gift, activity (make cookies for example), video, book, etc. for each day of advent. We do that in addition to reading a Desiring God advent reading every night by the tree. Oh, the gifts and activities are almost all courtesy of my parents who sent a huge box of goodies...silly and practical last week...thanks!

The first gift they opened were two sticker workbooks: mickey and princess. They were pretty excited!

Baby Shower!

Who knew that baby showers are not a normal part of the culture in France? Not us. My friend Jenise threw one for our mutual french friend and it was wonderful. All the french ladies there (plus one husband and a number of kids who showed up!) were surprised that Americans had these, but thought it was a fun idea. Thanks for a fun afternoon Jenise:)!. My favorite part though, apart from the great food and fun fellowship (and lots of french conversation practice) was holding the baby girl ( cute!) for a LONG TIME. I love newborn babies and she was so sweet. I am lucky I don't have babies as content and "sage" as they say here because I would totally have been Mrs. Duggar #2 with 20 babies. But alas, mine cry constantly and seem to sleep badly and whine all the time until they are 4 so that takes care of that problem I guess;).

The lovely mommy (her first girl after 4 boys!) and the gracious hostess:

I'll just have to hold others' babies until I have my own grandbabies I guess...of which there are a crazy lot right now... I think 6 or so of my friends just had babies this last month...crazy times!

Marianna got to go too and be a BIG girl. She did well. I had no idea there would be so many other kids there, so that helped. Yes, I still have the baby. I gave the stink-eye to anyone who tried to come over and take a turn;).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last week: snuggle buddies and animal field trip

Snuggle Buddies! A spontaneous time of snuggling on the same pillow had to be captured by photo:)

Marianna at her class field trip which Daniel was able to join in on. They visited an exhibit at the library about animals.  France is very good at providing cultural and educational experiences, the kids walk to LOTS of field trips.

Menu Plan

For a few weeks I fell off the menu planning band-wagon and thankfully no hunger related disasters occurred:). Most of it was sickness related, but also time-related, but that always ends up backfiring, because I spend way too much time figuring it out every day since we don't eat much of any convenience food. We rarely eat pasta anymore even (for health-issues, etc.), so a quick meal of pasta with sauce is usually out. So menu planning helps me so much...and back at it I am.

Monday: Taco Soup, cornbread
 Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken and Dumplings
 Wednesday: Pumpkin Soup, spelt bread (machine)
 Thursday: Cabbage and bacon stir fry
 Friday: Homemade Pizza, raw veggies/dip
 Saturday: Hamburgers, homefries
 Sunday: Taco Salad with our french friends, hopefully!

What's are you cooking this week?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday Rendez-Vous

Our new friend and the friend to all foreigners, Claudia had us over for her delicious lasagne and cake lunch yesterday. She even made her own noodles! So yummy. The kids practically licked their plates afterward...she was happy they ate so well:). Anyway, she has been helping missionaries and foreigners of all types from the church to feel welcome for years and is so sweet. We spent the afternoon with her and her husband for lunch and then afterward with her at the park. It was a special time and encouraging to me that we could actually communicate with her fairly easily. Our sentences weren't pretty, but we could understand and make ourselves understood. That is encouraging:). She also offered to meet again to teach the kids how to make homemade pasta! What a fun time that will be!! Here are some pictures from our time at the park:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Half dead and sick in bed:(

Again, post frequency fail, but this time its legitimate. This is one of the few times I've been on the computer in the last week and out of bed in the last few days. A sore throat that felt like knives with fatigue, fever etc. turned quickly into the worst sinus infection of my life. I wish I was exaggerating. I made it to the doctor today and back with some meds and hoping for the best. Daniel's been working overtime to care for all of us and still learn french...thankful for him and for friends who've sent us leftovers and pizza on occasion! The good news in all of this...our grocery bill was probably reduced by 25% this past two weeks since I couldn't eat most of the time. Okay, not worth it. So there you have it...back to bed now.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sick again, sisters and what's fo' dinner

Here are some pics of the cute girls who seem to get cuter every day in my house:

Lots of playing inside lately as we've gotten ravished by a round of nasty sick-bugs. I am the latest victim, but Louis is still pretty sick (and struggling with an ear infection I think). So no french-learnin' for me this week, minus reading my John Grisham novel in french (because that's what I got!), and watching the occasional french cartoon with my kiddos. And for dinner, even though half of us are too sick to eat, will be Peking Duck! Daniel brought a whole duck home from the grocery store and I had no room in the freezer so for dinner:) I think I will serve it will rice and steamed carrots or broccoli. Has the cold season been rough for you all in the Etas-Unis? I hope it isn't as nasty as here? And for fun what's on your menu tonight?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October Visit avec les grandparents

It's about time for some pictures of the visit with my parents. Thank you to Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Blake for these pics:)

Marianna's 5th bday with grandparents...helping make chocolate cupcakes:)

At the farmer's market (on a very wet Saturday) in Chambery. 
Rachael trying to show off some mad french skilz (or at least be understood;)