Thursday, July 25, 2013

Saying Goodbyes

Although we are so excited to get to Dakar, Senegal in 1 1/2 (wow...really!?!) weeks, we have a mixture of emotions with all the goodbyes.  And we don't just mean having to say goodbye to the best "fromage" or delicious french cheese:).  Daniel and I are both on the shy end of things (although I am an extrovert!) so we aren't usually the type to always hang out and talk to a million people, there are a number of people we will miss very much when we leave.  A few of these precious friends are french, or at least live here in France! 

One of those friends is Georgette who brought us this lovely bounty pictured above (including the flowers!).  We were blessed to receive beautiful garden produce from her and to see her one more time before we leave. The hardest goodbyes are ones that may be the last! 

Another friend, one from church has been making an effort to get together with me at a park as often as she possibly can these last few weeks to practice french and let the kids play on the playground.   She is past the age of retiring yet she still works part time cleaning houses.  This week she got up earlier than normal so she could both do her work and spend time with us.  I am humbled to have friends like these in my life. 

Another friend made me some head coverings and a long skirt to wear in Senegal just barely above the cost of materials and has patiently suffered through many phone conversations in french even though her english is still better than my french! 

This is not to mention the many missionary friends we will leave behind (many of whom we thought we would work with when we were headed to Cameroon won't now).  So many great friends to say goodbye to. 

So thankful for the time we've had here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Menu Plan and 2 1/2 weeks until Senegal!

We are in the throughs (what does that mean and how is it spelled anyway!?) of packing right now but there are dozens of random things that have to get done (yesterday!) right now that we'd never have thought of. Changing our bank accounts, reordering small appliances that are kaput, cameras, running erands to cancel utilities, planning last minute get togethers, doctors appointments, etc. We're thankful to have a lot of packing done so that some of the other things are not overwhelming! But we are definitely ready to actually finally be in Senegal! Youpi!!! Here is my menu plan for the last 2 weeks we'll be here, using up what's in the fridge freezer plus lots of fresh stuff (eggs, cheese, milk, fruits and veg) to supplement.
Tacos X1
Taco Salad X1 or 2
Cobb Salad
Smoked Chicken and Potatoes, salad Soup X1 or 2
Gluten free pasta and sauce, salad (or fresh veg from market)
Pizza X1 or 2
Picnic Dinner X??
Hamburgers, homefries, fresh veggies
I need to figure out something to do with some frozen pork chunks, some artichokes (canned) and some garbanzo beans (got any ideas?!)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Aix le Bains (la plage) and Raclette for dinner

We finally visited the nearby beach again and it was so much fun. What a difference a year makes (I can't emphasize that enough for moms with tiny ones!) in the fact that a year ago we had to constantly watch and make sure louis wasn't eating sand or drowning in an inch of water. Now he romps through the water with his sisters and is much more independent and fun. The only downside to our trip was that the girls and I ended up with little bites ALL OVER that itched like crazy. Almost 4 days to get rid of the fun. But a day in the water, sun and sand with a picnic was worth it. Here are some pics of our day (and yes Daniel and I were there too...just didn't make it into the pics:):
Splashing is just too fun!

Louis liked to throw himself backward in the water...wore poor grandma out
Our three cuties posing on the little ledge in the water...

A little shark coming to bite daddy's ankles
Our meticulous and detail-oriented daughter making a sand castle. 

The two sillies hamming it up together in the water.
My big boy
Beach beauty!
Little mermaid

Always looking for mischief this one...

Our last night together we made the traditional "raclette" for my mom and aunt Cinda.  It was yummy and a fun way to remember our time together:)  Aunt Cinda bought yummy pastries for dessert.
The is already crying here I bet:).  Glad to have good memories but saying goodbye is so hard. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Visit to l'abbaye de Hautecombe

We visited an abbey (the place where monks (and nuns)??) traditionally live in the area. My favorite part was the boat ride to the abbey..the water was such a beautiful green and the scenery was amazing. The actual abbey...well it was kindof a bummer that we could only see a little bit of it on a guided tour. Personally the trip was a difficult one because of kid stuff...Liv threatened to throw up the whole 40 minute bus ride up to the boat and Louis screamed like I was trying to kill him all the way back (and I literally had people staring at me, giving dirty looks and making comments THE WHOLE TIME. Very very embarrasing and right now nothing...discipline, change in scenery, comfort...nothing snaps him out of it. He's two and a very very intense personality. He also threw a "meltdown" tantrum as we left the tour of the abbey and had to take the audio-guide away. I thought Miss O was intense but then Louis came along. Thankfully he's also extremely cute and sweet when he isn't freaking out, so we keep him:). So here's a few snapshots of our trip, as you can see we did have some really nice moments and some beautiful things to see.

Some shots of the girls waiting for the boat at the pretty marina.

Thankfully no one got sick on the boat.  Liv and I were "bus sick" most of the way up there though. 

Waiting for a very late boat, but "c'est pas grave" because we had a picnic and shade!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First (real) haircut for Liv

Our big 4 year old has never had a real haircut. Sure I've trimmed back some "scraggles" into submission a time or two but in general, Liv's hair just doesn't grow much. She's had a bit more growth this past year though and we felt like getting one real good cut before heading to Africa would be fun and a good idea to have a "shape" to work with when I do follow-up cuts in the future. Liv decided that the haircut was a very very scary thing at the last minute and did not want the ladies to touch her! She finally wormed up with a Tom and Jerry haircut bib and a promise of gum from grandma.
Still a little nervous, but starting to warm up.
Starting to cut!
The ladies here were super nice, this was my first experience at a french hair salon also!  So thankful we found it...the first place we walked into seemed a little snobby and expensive.
The cut!  I held her hand for most of the time, but she did well.  She is getting prettier as she gets older, that's for sure!
Liv didn't really know what to think, but the hairdresser kept telling her how "sage" she was which is loosely meaning "good" when applied to kiddos. 
Blow drying the new "do" and our super sweet and adorable hairdresser.
She ended with a cute braid that went over the top of Liv's head...such a good idea!  I am totally clueless when it comes to doing hair so I have to get good ideas when I can!