Monday, May 24, 2010

Summertime is here again!

I have been living in these cold northern climes far too long; 76°F feels HOT to me now. Benjamin asked for dinner outside last night.

The boys and I have been taking advantage of this warm weather and the clear, blue skies to take walks around the village to visit the ducks and the horses. We got to the pasture today and thought the horses weren't out, so the boys were just going to pick some flowers.

But as we turned to head home, we saw the horses in the pasture a little bit further on, so we went over to see them there.

Noah was dragging before we even got to the horses, so getting him to walk home was quite a challenge - he refuses the stroller, he wants to walk - but he made it, and that made for a wonderful, wonderful long nap for him after lunch.

Our village church has been closed until further notice due to lack of funds for upkeep and maintenance; it has been deemed dangerous. I've never been inside it as it's always locked when not in use (they held mass there every 3 months), and I guess I won't get the chance now for quite some time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Balmy 52°F

Times change... who knew that someday I'd think $1.24 = 1.00€ was a good exchange rate, and that I'd think 52° was warm?! Well, after a euro being around $1.45-$1.48 for months on end, $1.24 looks great, and after dreary, cold, gray rainy 40°s for weeks on end, sunny and 52° feels like spring!

The garden is coming along, and I hope that Frédéric will even manage to get the tomatoes planted today and mow the lawn.

Noah was very excited to get to go outside; he was less excited to have to wear his coat still.

Benjamin fed cedar leaves to the lettuce because it was hungry.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Who bakes the baker's birthday cake?

I do, apparently. Poor Frédéric. But I couldn't very well make him make his own birthday cake, could I? Benjamin helped me mix the cake yesterday, and Noah "helped" me frost it this morning. After 10 years, Frédéric just decided to tell me he doesn't like buttercream frosting, so I had to go find a whipped cream frosting recipe instead.

Here goes nothing!

The finished product (could be worse).

Note the Ikea blue and yellow. Frédéric chose the colors.

My little helper, admiring the end result.

"Good job, Mommy!" he said, while I was frosting it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pulling Out All the Stops

I'm starting to think I could start a whole other blog devoted solely to the changing members of the Spider Brigade. Benjamin was less than thrilled today when I finally put laundry away and moved the laundry baskets that had been part of the Spider Brigade's Barricade. To fill in the gaps, he requisitioned his tractor, Lego bus, and Lego boat.

He'd just like to see a spider TRY to get past that.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Apprentice Chef

With Benjamin at school all morning, Frédéric needed a new kitchen helper. We think this one will work out well.

The boys made popcorn on the stove yesterday (in the rice cooker pot... I think there is something inherently wrong with that, but they enjoyed it anyway).

Benjamin was so happy to share the popcorn with Noah, he even fed it to him.

Look at that sumac grow!

Monday, May 3, 2010

One Can Never Be Too Safe.

The ever-growing Spider-Scaring Brigade now forms an impenetrable wall across the landing. No spiders will ever make it past them to Benjamin's room!

In other news: Rain. Cold. No great finds at the village flea market Saturday. Time to plant tomatoes.

And this conversation with Benjamin in the car yesterday. Its humor may be lost on those who don't understand French and English both, but I'm putting it down for posterity anyway. The following type of conversation is a hazard of living in a bilingual household.

B: Maé et Antoine font des buddies. [Maé and Antoine do 'buddies.']
Me: Hein ? [Huh?]
B: Maé et Antoine font des buddies ! [Maé and Antoine do 'buddies!']
Me: Hein ? Ca veut dire quoi, des buddies ? Ils sont amis ? [Huh? What does 'buddies' mean? They're friends?]
B: Mais non, ils font des BUDDIES !! [No, no, they do 'BUDDIES!']
Me: (the light goes on) Des BETISES !!!! Ils font des bêtises ?? [Mischief!! They are bad at school?]

(past this point the conversation is punctuated with Frederic's and my laughter and Benjamin saying, in French, "It's not funny!")

B: Oui, des buddies ! [Yes, 'buddies!']
Fred: Et il dit quoi le maître ? [And what does your teacher say?]
B: Maé et Antoine, ne faites pas de buddies ! [Maé and Antoine, don't do 'buddies!']