Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little Helper

One of Frederic's favorite ways to keep Benjamin out of trouble is by enlisting his help. So this week they made bread.

And planted the tomatoes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter flowerpots

The Easter bunny came and left flowerpots at our house this year. I guess he couldn't find any baskets either. The French don't do plastic eggs and Easter egg hunts, nor did our grocery store carry white eggs for us to dye. So the boys missed out on that fun this year, but my mom is going to buy them some plastic eggs and things so we'll be more prepared for next year.

Benjamin got a couple of Play-doh eggs too but I suspect they may have been leftover at the store from last year or something - they were all alone on the shelf and the Play-doh is pretty unsquishable.

Still, they didn't know what they were missing this year so they were happy enough with flowerpots and chocolate. (Little do they know we'll be spiriting the flowerpots away for our own household use once they are empty. It's called multi-purposing.)

One fun thing about Easter in Europe is KinderEggs, though - chocolate eggs with a toy inside.

Noah was a little puzzled by Benjamin's Play-doh egg.

And a Hot Wheels car found its way into Benjamin's flowerpot, just for fun. One can never have too many Hot Wheels cars, I think.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

We signed Benjamin up for preschool

on Thursday. He'll start in September. We discovered that there are about 39 students in preschool through 5th grade in the THREE villages that group together for school. Preschool through 1st grade ("CP") are in another village, and 2nd through 5th (CE1 through CM2) are in our village. Both schools one-room schoolhouse type formats, I believe, which is how we know we live in the middle of nowhere. (But we love it and wouldn't go back to the Parisian suburbs unless it became totally unavoidable!) We're probably quite fortunate to still have "local" schools at all. Junior high and high school are in the "big town" 7 km (a little over 4 miles) from our village.

View of the village on our way there - behind the fields.
This building is marked "Mairie" (city hall) and "Ecole Communale" (town school), but is now only city hall. This is where we signed Benjamin up. There is a small chicken farm just behind city hall!

This is the village church, and the city hall secretary told us the school was just next to it, so it is likely the building whose roof you see just at the right, but we aren't sure yet. I'll post pictures of the school when we know for sure which building it is.

On the way home we passed the "school bus" that Benjamin could take if we decide to let him. I'm not a fan of this type of bus and he's so little! so we will see.
And this is the road home! I love our countryside and our forest!
We still need to go and talk to the director, show him Benjamin's vaccination records, let him know Benjamin will be picking up more French in the first couple of months because we speak primarily English with him at home, let him know our Thanksgiving plans (that we plan to take B out of school for 3-4 weeks, hope the director doesn't freak out over that!), and find out whether we can send him just for half-days. School hours are 9 am - 12 pm and then 2 - 5 pm, and that just seems so long to me for a not-even-four-year-old!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We've been home for a whole week now, and have enjoyed the yard every single day. The weather has been just about perfect (for northern France) - warmish and sunnyish, just right for spending longer amounts of time outside without getting too hot or too cold.

Frederic is back to his crazy hours, which is going to take some getting used to, but that does mean I don't have to get up with the kids most days since he typically will only work early mornings 2 out of 8 days.

Today after church we went to Frederic's coworker's house to pick up our other set of house keys, and there was a "brocante" (flea market) in their town, so we strolled around there this afternoon. I saw a couple of light fixtures that would have been good for my office & the dining room, but since we were there near the end of the day, by the time I convinced Frederic to go look at them, the people had packed up and left. So our lightbulbs will remain naked a while longer. What's the rush? It'll only be 3 years in August! We have plenty of time!

Noah enjoyed his first apple yesterday, to our great amusement.

And I think it's time to limit Benjamin's TV viewing -- the other day he came out with, "Merci, copinou !" That's "Thanks, (girl)friend!" He is Mr Parrot these days and sure makes us laugh!