Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer School

I mentioned that the boys have workbooks they use during the year and the summer to keep up with school, and especially with English. But it doesn't stop there... Benjamin is extremely fond of his "Petit Larousse" (dictionary/encyclopedia) for looking things up, particularly plants and animals. He also uses it for drawing. Here he is looking up the types of trees around our house.

Noah drew his own (backwards-numbers) calendar, and today he told me he wants a new workbook so he can practice his letters and learn to tell time on a clock. He already has a digital watch, so he's got the digital one down.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Way with Words

At 5, besides being a great pastry chef, Noah also has an interesting relationship with words.

This has been exhibited in the past by his refusal to spell an object correctly because, "I don't want to write it that way," despite my attempted explanations of the reasons for standardized spelling.

Me: Noah, what are you doing?
Noah: Je vais dehors. [I'm going outside.]
Me: You're not even dressed!
Noah: Justement comme ça c'est plus simple de mettre mon joru. [Exactly, that way it's easier to put on my joru.]
Me: What's a joru?
Noah: Un maillot de bain. [A swimsuit.]
Me: Why is it a joru?
Noah: C'est un plus joli nom ! [It's a prettier name!]

Yesterday we watched a nature show on TV. It had bourdons on it, so I told him those were called "bumblebees" in English.
He informed me that we could just call them "bumble, because it is shorter."

And yes, both kids like to answer me in French... all the more reason for you to come over and visit and get them speaking more English!

He also builds more interesting Lego creations than just cars... his latest creations included a tractor, a combine harvester, and "a bus that takes all the people to the campgrounds."

Friday, July 19, 2013


Or catsup, or even... catch-up. That's what this is. The boys have been out of school for 2 weeks now, and go figure, I've run out of time for posting on the blog. So here is what we've been up to...

We went to Frédéric's aunt and uncle's house for our yearly (or so) lunch with them. Despite the hot weather (did I mention it went from low 50°s, freezing, and gray to 85° and sunny pretty much overnight?! We are glad winter is over, but SPRING would have been nice at some point!!), we enjoyed a delicious lunch and had a good time catching up with them (catch-up! see the theme here?).

They invited us while their granddaughter Nina was there, and the boys had a good time playing with her.

They gave the boys presents - Benjamin's is a puzzle where you have to get all nine smiley faces facing the same direction. Frédéric and I both tried our hand at it and failed, but Benjamin got it figured out!

And Noah got Legos, and he built them himself! He was very proud. Didn't look quite like the instructions said, but it was definitely a functional truck, and we all know that is what counts.

With the warmer weather, we put up the boys' pool, so they've been in and out of it just about every day. And Noah begs to eat outside all the time.

We saw this guy hanging out with our laundry today.

And our patio is nice and green, with lettuce, corn, tomatoes, basil, and radishes.

The boys are (grudgingly) doing some summer work (yes, I'm *that* mom, who knew!). Benjamin's finishing up his American second grade workbook, and Noah is working on his kindergarten workbook.

Benjamin is going into third grade (CE2) this fall, and Noah will start kindergarten (grande section). The classes will be split up differently this year: 1/3 of the kindergarten kids will be with the 1st and 2nd graders in the morning, and with the preschool and other K kids in the afternoons. Noah is in the group who will be with the 1st and 2nd graders in the morning, so he will have two teachers and two schools. Fortunately they are very close together. And he will finally get to go swimming with school this year.

Benjamin will be changing schools: he will attend the school in our village, in a 3rd/4th/5th grade class (CE2/CM1/CM2), and have a new teacher (only his third teacher, in five years of school). He is excited about it.

And just to prove that Frédéric is not the only one out there who can bake... *I* made snickerdoodles for the kids and my friend and her kids who came over this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Budding Chef

Noah enjoys helping Frédéric in the kitchen. His play kitchen is his favorite toy, and his only regret is the lack of any real food to play with.

So yesterday, Frédéric let Noah make a cake from scratch.

And when I say from scratch, I mean, Noah didn't want to be bothered with a recipe. Frédéric let him choose his own ingredients, and put in as much of them as he wanted. Frédéric's only suggestion was that he add an egg to get a more liquid consistency.

Noah even decided the cake should be removed from the oven ten minutes before the timer went off.

And he was right, and it was delicious!