Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sunday Morning/ Dimanche Matin

In our family, we reserve Sunday as a special day of family and relaxation. As I looked around today, I pondered whether we were doing a good job of keeping to this resolution. It is 8:00, I have decorated for a belated birthday party for Charles (2 months late, since he broke his foot in July). I have written out little clues for a treasure hunt for his party, but I need to make a quick run to church because Duncan is due there at 8:30 to play guitar for first service. Then I can come home to bake a cake and get the kids ready to go for church, making sure to arrive early so that I can help out in the older kids' Sunday school room today. I get to help teach knitting; I can't wait! Less excitement, please, and more thought.

It is easy to get caught up in enthusiasm for one project or another, and loose sight of the way of life you intend to live as a family. We strive for a balance between the two, and I think today will be a great day, all in all. Happy late Birthday, Charles, it's great to be 8!

Chez nous, on essaye de garder le dimanche comme journée de famille et de repos. Alors que je regarde autour de moi ce matin, je me demande si on arrive bien à garder nos résolutions. Il est 8h00 du matin, j'ai décoré la maison pour une fête d'anniversaire pour Charles (avec 2 mois de retard parce qu'il s'est cassé le pied au mois de juillet). J'ai écrit des petits indices pour une chasse au trésor, mais il faut encore courrir vite fait à l'église amener Duncan qui joue de la guitare au service de 9h00. Apres ça, je peux revenir à la maison faire un gâteau et préparer les enfants pour l'église, et ne pas oublier d'arriver en avance pour que je puisse aider dans la classe des grands aujourd'hui. Je dois les aider à apprendre à tricoter, chouette! Moins d'excitation, svp et plus de reflexion.

Il est facile de se laisser emporter d'enthousiasme pour un projet ou un autre, et perdre de vue la manière dont on avait l'intention de vivre en famille. Nous tâchons de garder un équilibre entre les deux. Je pense qu'aujourd'hui sera une journée fantastique, tout compte fait. Bon Anniversaire en retard, Charles. 8 ans, c'est super!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A New Take/Une Approche Nouvelle

This morning I embark on what I sincerely hope will not be an exercise in humiliation. From now on, I will write most of my posts in both French and English, or at least the subtitles to the photos...

French is a complicated language. One does not simply write as one speaks, as you can do in English in a blog post or even a novel, and get away with it. There is spoken French; easy enough to pick up and even master after years and years in the country. Then there is the written word; more formal, with its own rules, its more elegant style of phrase, and its accents. Dang, I hate the accents!

The reason I am adding the French? The main reason is for the far-away French grandparents. I am also changing our blog names back to real-life names in response to many years of complaints from the American grandparents and in order to avoid future complaints from the French ones. Here we go...

Ce matin je debut ce qui ne sera, je le souhaite, une leçon d,humiliation. A partir d'aujourd'hui, j'écrirai la plupart de mes entrées en français et en anglais, ou au moins les sous-titres des photos...

Le français est une langue bien compliquée. On ne peut pas écrire comme on parle, tout simplement, comme on peut faire en anglais, en tout cas pas si on éspere s'en sortir avece le moindre dignité. Il y a le français qu'on parle. Celui-ci est assez facile a apprendre et meme maitriser apres des années dans le pays. Puis il y a le mot écrit; plus formel, avec ses propres regles, (et voila que je ne retrouve pas l'accent voulu sur le clavier americain!), sa tournure de phrase ples élégante et ses accents. Que je n'aime pas les accents!

La raison que je rajoutte le français? La raison principal c'est pour Mamie et Papy qui sont loins. Je change, aussi, les prenoms du blog en vrai prenoms; en reponse a des années de plaintes de la part des grandparents americains et pour que je puisse eviter pareilles plaintes de la part de ceux en France. On y va...

Lily...Cate, 15 en Afrique, in Africa

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Alienor...Valentine, 10

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Aragorn...Duncan, 14

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Arthur... Charles, 8, qui construit un volcan/ building a volcano

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The Volcano Erupting! Le Volcan qui fait Irruption

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Puck...Gaël, 5 avec un noix de coco dur a cassé/ with the hardest coconut ever cracked

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Our Smallest Skater Tests his Wheels

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Alienor (Valentine)'s Botanical Artisanry

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Middle-Eastern, MIddle-Ages Dance Troupe (fundraiser performance), Une troupe de dance moyen-age, moyen-orient; performance "lever le fonds" pour un copain sans assurace maladie

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Sun-reactive Photos

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Block Creations

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Argument for Children

There are some swell things about having children. When they're little, clearly, it is all about how tiny and  adorable they are. Tiny toes, small noses, soft heads, fat cheeks, big eyes. Their attributes are immediately obvious.

As they get older, things can become a little murkier. But one clear advantage emerged this morning when I reached for the shampoo bottle and found it empty: product. Product has been the buzz-word in hair care for the past decade or so. One no longer talks about "gel" or "mousse", but "product". It usually means gunk that goes in your hair to help it behave (this is called gummy bears in public for small children). My two older children have become as enamored of hair products as I was of body sprays in the 80's. They will spend an hour in the hair aisle of the drug store pondering the vast array of choices. Me? I buy the family-size bottle of whichever shampoo is on sale and order my one bottle of hair stuff for curly hair online.

So, head dripping wet and desperate, I reached for the closest bottle on the edge of the tub and found in my palm a manly-smelling, liquid gold. Amazing- who knew gold could wash hair? The next bottle I snagged was not conditioner, alas, but a sort of "milk for frizzy hair." Should do the trick, I thought, and made sure to de-tangle vigorously.

Thanks to my kids, I have soft hair that will attract cute girls by its masculine perfume today. Um, at least it is clean; thanks guys!