I feel like I haven't really given you the "scoop" lately about what is going on around here for us in Caen. So as the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. here, allow me the liberty of doing 2 blog posts in 20 minutes!
Things are going pretty steady, pretty normal. School continues to go well for the girls. Ella seems to be making some close friends. Her French seems to be progressing very well. She even corrects me when I speak a word with incorrect annunciation. The other day I was saying the word "tres" (which means "very") and I was apparently pronouncing the "r" incorrectly. Not conjuring up enough spit . Ella moved on to tell me how to say "tres" and we ended up in a laughing fit because I really thought she was going to hocker all over the kitchen table. When we go out to stores or talk with other French people, they are impressed by her accent and she raises eyebrows. So she is as smart as we thought and as strong as we thought! And she is no doubt a testament to how learning a new language at such a young age is very beneficial. I also know she is understanding things at school because I ask her questions about other students or what happened at school a particular day and she can tell me without hesitancy. She tells me about all kinds of things that she learns at school and she tells me in English. So something has to be sinking in, right?
Grace continues to sleep through naptime without wetting her pants. Shew! At the end of the day, who really knows why, but why question it? She will slip in some French words here and there, at home. Many times what she says is out of context, but I take it as progress if she speaks any French words without prompting. Her teachers seem to be warming up to her, but Grace continues to be shy. In the morning her teacher will come up and give her a hug or ask how she is and she will bury her face into my shirt. But when I leave she gives me two kisses and then is off and happy as a clam. So though I wish she could be friendlier with her teachers, I can't complain that she is willingly going to school each day and happy at the end of the day when I pick her up.
Mia is a little different. Whereas I walk Grace to her class in the morning, Mia takes off all by herself and goes straight to her class, hangs up her back-pack and coat and heads directly to the book area. I know this because after I drop off Grace, I head to Mia's room to make sure everything is OK and I find her sitting contently looking at a book. At the end of the day, she is usually the one with a cut or scrape on her knee and tons of stains on her shirts. She really seems to get into it all, no matter what that "all" is. She has some friends the give her hugs and try to find her first thing in the morning so I think she is OK, also. As well, her teacher tells me all the time what a great idea it was to split up Grace and Mia into different classes. So in all, school is going well.
Tomorrow there is a 100 year celebration of the school they attend! I think it is a combo celebration of year-end and 100 years. All of the students have been practicing songs and performances. Mia and Ella must dress up as princesses and Grace must dress up as a messy prehistoric man. I signed up to make two batches of goodies and Andrew signed up to help take down the seating at the end of the party. All good stuff - we'll let you know how the party goes.
This past Thursday I took Grace to a doctor. A homeopath, actually. She has had a wet cough for more than 2 months so Andrew and I were both getting worried. Now, I won't bore you with the dreary and typical details of me getting lost and being late, but I will tell you the doctor couldn't have been more nice or patient. She prescribed Grace some medicine for her running nose and her cough and we are to report back in 10 days if not better. Andrew told me that Grace coughed up some major gross stuff today, so I have to think the medicine is doing something helpful for her. I thought it was allergies or asthma based on my childhood ailments but maybe not?
Ella went to a birthday party today for a classmate and had a blast. Unfortunately, when I picked her up, she was complaining of an earache. So we'll see what happens with that. She is looking forward to having a very small birthday party next weekend. She just wants to have over three girls from class, dress up as princesses where they decorate their own cupcakes and throw water balloons at a target. Isn't that funny? I think I can accommodate that.
I have been running on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a mother, now a friend, from the girls' school. This has been fun for me. She calls me her "coach" because she is running further and faster than she has in the past. We also help each other with French and English while we run so that is even better! Best of all, she has invited Andrew and I over to dinner this coming week for a dinner party. Our first one! Andrew and I like her and her husband very much so we are looking forward to this. Peter and Suzie - this will be Thursday night. Can you babysit????
Andrew has been traveling off and on the past few weeks for work. It seems like he has had some good meetings with existing and potential clients. More business is good news so we will hope those meetings turn into loads!
Andrew's parents arrive here in Caen on June 16. We are all thrilled to see family! They will stay until June 29 and then my parents arrive on June 30 after having spend 1 week in Pinneberg, Germany visiting our relatives. My parents will stay here in Caen until around July 21. Count on lots of fun adventures and pictures to be posted on the blog during that time.
In August, we are heading back to Crested Butte for three weeks. We are all so excited and looking forward to this trip. My sister an her sons will be visiting us while we are in Crested Butte so that makes it even better!
I am happy to report that after my first horrible batch of apple sauce I have now successfully made apple sauce. I got a quick lesson from the shop that sold me the food mill, I went and bought 20 more apples and I added some strawberries and apricots and now we are in business. Much better!
From the "wasteless" front, I have made three homemade solutions for cleaning and air freshening. So far, so good!
Anyway, that is the summary of what's going on around here at the moment. We hope all is well with you. Stay "wasteless" and "happy"!
Pictured above: The cleaning solutions I made; My second shot at making apple sauce, apples stewing on the stove.