Thursday, February 8, 2018

Winter Came!

We weren't sure it would this year, it's been so mild up until now. But all of a sudden, the weather turned cold - and this happened.

So what happens when it snows here? Well, it's kind of like in the south in the US. We're not really used to it, and not really prepared for it. Tuesday morning, Benjamin went to school as usual, though the roads were slippery already. By noon, the prefect or someone decided to send the buses out and get the kids home. Schools didn't all bother to let the parents know, so we found out through friends whose kids had cell phones and called them. Fortunately, we were home, so Benjamin wasn't stuck in the cold for hours waiting for us to get home from work or anything.

Noah also went to school in the morning, but his teacher called mid-morning to let us know there was no school lunch since the truck didn't get through to deliver the meals. He said he was going to be absent that afternoon as planned, but hadn't heard yet whether there would be a substitute teacher or not. Later, he called to let me know the other parents said they'd just keep their kids home that afternoon, so if Noah came, he'd be on his own anyway. So Noah stayed home Tuesday afternoon, too. In the morning, he and his classmates - the half of the class who showed up - built snowmen.

Wednesday and Thursday, there were no school buses, and the middle school told us (via their website) to keep the kids home if we could, since it was also likely there would be missing teachers and they'd spend the day in study hall anyway.

So the boys made a "departure platform" for our miniature hill in the back yard so they could sled. 

And they (gasp!) worked together to start building an igloo.

I asked how they would get into the igloo if they closed up the opening. They said, "It's scaffolding!"
Of course. What was I thinking?

No word yet on whether there are school buses tomorrow or not. Noah's teacher was out this morning (an already planned absence) and we never heard whether a sub made it to school or not, so we kept him home again this morning, but will probably send him this afternoon since his teacher will be there.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


Dinner conversation:

Benjamin: Time goes by so fast... soon I will be living my solitary life. I might have to eat tartiflette every night [the only dish he knows how to make].
Noah: You can invite me over, I will bake cakes for you.
Benjamin: I don't want to eat only cake.
Noah: I can make you eggs!
Benjamin: I need a balanced diet...

Moral of the story: I think we better step up the cooking lessons so our kids can move out some day.

 *  *  *  *  *  *

On our way to the swimming pool, after having been out of town for almost a week...

Benjamin: Since I was gone, I missed the history test.
Me: Well, that's ok. You can talk to your teacher about history at swim practice. 'Hey, Mr X, how 'bout those Romans?'
Benjamin: Yeah, they were pretty smart, but now they're extinct.
Noah: They stink?
Benjamin: Yeah. But they smell a heck of a lot better than antelopes!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Back to Swimming

We returned to France on Thursday, after having been delayed by the ice storms in Texas, which got our Tuesday flight cancelled and made driving treacherous - particularly since Texans don't prepare the roads and don't know how to drive on ice. The four-hour leg of our trip took me eight hours since we didn't get over 40 mph very often. Thankfully, Frédéric had warned me in advanced that our flight was cancelled, so we were able to reserve a hotel room for that night, take the trip slowly, and reach the hotel without incident despite the icy conditions.

So we had been home all of about 72 hours when Noah had his first swim meet of the season. Nonetheless, he did great! He came in second in the 50-meter backstroke, fourth in the 50-meter breaststroke, and fifth in the 50-meter freestyle.

Not bad for having jet lag!

Warming up

Warming up

Second place in 50-meter backstroke

Friday, January 19, 2018

The boys and I were saddened to take an impromptu trip home in January, due to the passing of my grandad, James Robert Lundy, Jr, one of the kindest men to ever walk the earth.

I wish he could have stayed with us longer, but we're so thankful that we had a good visit in November, and I'll always be thankful that the boys were able to know him even though we live so far away.

Benjamin and Grandad in 2006

Grandad and Noah in 2008

Gavin, Caitlyn, Benjamin, and Noah, with Grandma and Grandad in 2017

Monday, December 25, 2017

Joyeux Noël !

For the first time in 11 years, Frédéric's family decided to spend Christmas all together. We went up to Normandy, where his mom and younger sister live. 

Whoa. Rough look in the morning.

Gala was very excited to get to come with us. 

Frédéric made us a delicious breakfast.

In France, there are crèches everywhere. This one is in an old mill in the center of a village we drove through.
They only add baby Jesus on Christmas morning (or midnight Christmas Eve).

Frédéric, hard at work. 

Frédéric's sister made macarons, and the boys helped.