Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

Unfortunately, Frédéric had to work yesterday, so we didn't get to go to church. We did read the Easter story from the boys' children's Bible about five times yesterday, though, because Benjamin was convinced this was just "the egg holiday," and because the first few times I asked him what happened in the story, he came out with a very, very confused version about God giving money to the people (Judas's pieces of silver), or Jesus being mean (hm, pretty sure that was the other people). He's a little closer now in his interpretation... "Jesus came alive again... three times." Ok, we still have a little work to do.

After Frédéric came home, he hid the boys' Easter eggs outside for them. Benjamin had a hard time holding back to let Noah look for the eggs, but he was very quick to give Noah the eggs he found so they'd both have some. (Yes, he is giving in the picture below, not taking.)

Noah was much more interested in his eggs than in bothering to look at me for a nice picture.

Back inside, we counted to make sure the egg distribution was even. Benjamin sat in consternation, unable to remember what came after "ten."

I leave you with this Parental Mythology Picture! Love it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Heat Wave!

Ok, so it's only been in the 70°s this week, but it already feels so hot! If it weren't for the fact that our well water is absolutely frigid, we might have broken out the pool already. We are thinking hard about what to do for fans upstairs, since it is already getting much too hot to sleep up there otherwise.

Frédéric's dad came over this week and spent three days working hard in our yard. He and Frédéric managed to get most of the hedge trimmed down (can't WAIT til we can take it out across the front of the yard), and he mowed the lawn for us, too. Frédéric's friend came over one day, too, and between the three of them, they finally got the swingset cemented in - no more worries that the boys will flip it over in their energetic swinging!

The boys earned their keep this week by washing one of the cars.

Frédéric was very proud of his homemade flan.

I'm sure that Alex and Caitlyn will both be pleased to see that the boys now have their own S.O.S. Ouistiti game now so they can practice up for Thanksgiving.

And Benjamin still brings me pretty flowers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More Noah-isms

Scarcely a day goes by lately without Noah making us laugh over something. Here are a few of his latest gems...

* * * *

Me: Come here, let me check if you are still Noah. (hug) Oh! You are still Noah!
Noah, with a sly grin: Yes! I'm not Benjamin yet!

* * * *

[rustling noise]
Me: Noah?? What are you doing?
Noah: Getting another cookie!
Me: Nooooo.
Noah: Yes!
Me: No.
Noah: Mais j'ai faim!!
Me: What? (encouraging him to say it again, in English)
Noah: I'm more ... faim!
Me: What is "faim?"
Noah: It means, I eat more!

* * * *

Noah: Mommy, I want some raisins.
Me: Ok, two raisins. Oh, three.
Noah: Why three?
Me: Because I'm generous.
Noah: You're generous?
Me: Yes.
Noah: You're a dinosaur?

* * * *

Noah: I want to see lunch. [Lunch was chili]
Frederic: Ok, look. [picking him up to show him what's in the pot.]
Noah: It's green beans!
Frederic: No, they aren't green.
Noah: It's black green beans!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Walk in the Village

Those of you on Facebook may have already seen these pictures, but for the benefits of the holdouts (Mom), here is the walk we took in our village today. When Frédéric's sister and her kids came over last week, we discovered a few new paths we didn't know about. We finally went up the one street we had never been up in the almost five years we've lived here. The boys and I went on the same walk today, to take some pictures of our lovely village on this beautiful day (look at that gorgeous blue sky!)... and my ulterior motive was of course to keep the boys from fighting in the house, and to tire them out for bedtime!

These houses are across from the farm.
One of the more decrepit houses in the village, but so cute. And very centrally located!

The village cemetery

One of several village chickens.

Now, this house and its outbuildings are asking for nothing more than a new owner to come fix them up! They are up the street that we had never been up before. I'd love to go peek inside them, and I just love their yard... I can easily imagine a house, a guest house, and an office! Now if only they weren't up that horrid hill.

This is the third cross I know of in our village. Another is in the center of town, across from the World War I monument, and another is technically outside of the village, on a hill near the intersection coming in to our village.

Another abandoned, overgrown-looking home. This one is down the hill from the horrid road. I imagine both roads are rather of the less-traveled variety, though, which might help... still not sure about the hills in icy winter, though.

This is the path we took to go back home... bordered on both sides by stinging nettles. Noah hasn't gotten stung yet, but I'm sure it won't be long, and perhaps then he will start listening to my stinging-nettle-vine warnings more carefully.

This sign wouldn't be frightening at all, if we didn't know that the road it refers to is a two-way road, only wide enough for one car. That puts it in a whole new light.

Blue skies! Green trees! What more could we ask for, I ask you?!

Home, sweet home.

And the boys were nice enough to pose with my sumac so I could show off how tall it's gotten since last year. It's growing quickly.

Oh look! Another one for the parental mythology annals!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How We Know I Am Not Really French, and Gardening Fun

We went to a flea market last weekend, and Benjamin had us dying laughing when he saw a toy ironing board and iron and said, "Mommy, what's that?!?" His delivery was absolutely perfect.

French women iron obsessively, and even buy irons with separate, larger water reservoirs so they can steam for hours upon hours. Clearly I am not French, since we don't even own an ironing board, and my children don't know what an ironing board and iron are for. Actually, irons are used more often in our house for waxing skis than for anything else.

* * * * *

A couple of weeks ago, the weather started turning nicer on a more regular basis - we are LOVING it and going outside as much as we can. The boys are great garden helpers.

Benjamin showed Noah how to plant things in a pot. Benjamin assures me that the sticks he planted WILL grow.

Digging up the garden is hard work!

Time for a little break.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Parental Mythology

is made of photos such as these. Since I take pictures of them every single time they are nice to each other (a fairly rare occurrence), I will be able, in later years, to tell their children that they were always nice to each other, and back it up with photographic proof.

Check out that monster train track (three loops and another line for the train station). I will be able to tell them how they worked together to make that, and conveniently forget that I helped or that they kept arguing over who was breaking it or who was in the way. They will not need to know how many pictures I had to take to get one of them both looking in my general direction and more or less smiling.

Ah, yes. I will look back on these as pure, unvarnished truth in later years, and tell all the other young mothers to "not wish the time away" because "these days are precious" and all those other pieces of trite, unsolicited advice that make you want to tear your hair out when you're in the thick of it. That shall be my reward for all of us making it through these years alive.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Fish and Not Me

Like any good little French child, Benjamin did not learn about April Fool's Day in school. He learned about April Fish, which he made in class and tried to sneakily tape on our backs when we weren't looking. These are called "poissons d'avril," which is also the name of an April Fool's Day joke in French.

And Noah has already learned the meaning of French saying, "les absents ont toujours tort." (Those who are absent are always in the wrong.)

I was sweeping the other morning while he was finishing his breakfast. Benjamin was in the living room, watching TV.

Noah: Why are you sweeping?
Me: Because it is dirty. We don't want our house to be dirty.
Noah, indignantly: Who put dirt in my house?! I did not put dirt in my house!
Me: We all did.
Noah: *I* did not!
Me: Well, your shoes did.
Noah: I think it was Bee-jamin did put dirt on the floor.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fair-weather Frenchman

Noah is at that funny age now, it seems.... we talk sometimes about being French and American, and speaking French and English.

This was our conversation on the way home from taking Benjamin to school the other day:

Me: Noah, are you French or American?
Noah: I'm American. (pronounced 'uh-mur-kin')
Me: No, you're French AND American.
Noah: I'm not French!
Me: You're not French? Why not?
Noah: Because Daddy is at work.
Me: What? So when Daddy is home, you are French?
Noah: Yes.