Friday, December 26, 2014


We had to forgo our usual Christmas Eve present-opening and wait until Christmas morning this year, since Frédéric worked on Christmas Eve.

I have a friend here whose kids were horrified to learn that 3/4 or more of my kids' presents under the tree were books. No such horror in this house - the boys were happy with their new books! Benjamin in particular has really gotten into reading in English this past year. Even Frédéric got a book!

Other highlights included Lego sets for both, cooking supplies for Noah, and a set of origami paper for Benjamin.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Benjamin's Birthday!

It is hard to believe that this kid just turned 9! He wanted a birthday flan instead of a birthday cake this year. He invited his friend Léa to go watch the Paddington movie with us for his birthday, and I took them out to McDonald's afterwards.

We did his birthday flan a different day, and he just got one big present - but he loved it!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Village Christmas

As it does every year, Puiseux had a Christmas party for the kids in December. They had a magician come put on a show first, and then the Père Noël showed up with the presents. Benjamin was very pleased with a Nerf gun, and Noah with a Spiderman game.

Friday, December 12, 2014

His own style

Noah has always had his own style... his wanted me to crochet him a scarf,  so I did, with his yarn and the colors and order he chose.

Then he wanted me to crochet him a hat, so I did that too... again with his color choice. I tried to steer him towards colors from the scarf, but he insisted this is what he wanted...

Maybe clashing is a thing and I'm just not in tune with the times. At any rate, he is very sure of his sense of style.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chocolate Eclairs

Noah tried his hand at chocolate éclairs recently. Don't be overly impressed, though, he deigned to use a mix this time! They turned out great.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Painters

We decorated for Christmas a few days after we arrived home. I got out the glass paints I found at the "random stuff store" this summer, and let the boys decorate the windows.

Real little artists.  And the best part - it will (more or less easily) peel off when Christmas is over.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Last Images of St Louis

Benjamin had a lot of work to do to keep up since he was missing two weeks of school. Dictation turned into French lessons for Grandad, too.

This is how Noah started his day... just like every other six-year-old, right?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Museum of Transportation

On the Sunday afternoon after we got back from camp, we joined my best friend and her family on a visit to the Museum of Transportation in St Louis. I hadn't been with the boys since Noah was several months old, so it was like visiting for the first time, for them. We started with a train ride around the grounds.

We saw and walked through lots of trains, and got to ring the bell on one of them, and play with the rail traffic lights.

We learned that St Louis used to have its own car manufacturing company.

I think the only thing that could have made it better for Noah is if they had tractors. Maybe they'll open a tractor center with their next expansion. Maybe we should write and request it.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Camp

I feel kind of sorry for all the people who don't have Thanksgiving camp. We wait for this all year. A few days full of family, food, puzzles, walks, fishing, horseshoes, washers, boules. And this year, a mouse in the bathhouse, for a little added excitement.

No catfish this year, just some little bream.

Still working on teaching the Americans to play boules.

Noah was over the moon to discover how the kitchen sign-up sheets worked. He told me, "I didn't know I could write my name there! Now I know I can write my name!" He signed up for meal preparation and clean up several times.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Plain

After a quick overnight visit to our friends in Arkansas, we drove to Tulsa. We saw cows... and then cows and a city. That's Oklahoma, I guess.

We enjoyed visiting with my grandparents and my uncle, as well as my cousin's kids. Uncle Jim played camp counselor and engaged the kids in some kind of year-round Easter egg hunt game. They loved it! I don't know about you, but I think he could probably get a Santa gig going for the holidays.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Logical Child

Noah made some cloth napkins.
I told him that maybe Grandma could teach him to sew them right side out next time.
He told me that he made them this way on purpose.
Oh? How's that?
This way, the pretty side won't get dirty.

Well. Hard to argue with that.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head

My friend Emiley, whom I hadn't seen in three years (!) came up to St Louis for the weekend. Unfortunately, St Louis decided to not put its best foot forward for her visit, and we visited downtown in a downpour. This is what Union station looks like in the rain. We did get to see its St Louis birthday cake, though!  

The other thing is that all of the roads leading to the Arch or the riverfront were under construction. So you can see the Arch parking lot, but you can't get to it. And there are ZERO helpful signs for tourists (or former residents!) to help you figure out where to go. After about our third circle, including a quick hop over into Illinois, we finally found a parking garage... I think it was a hotel just taking advantage of the situation, but whatever.

This is what the Old Courthouse looks like in the rain.
This sign would have been more helpful had it been pointing towards a parking lot...

But finally, we made it inside. A park ranger showed the boys toys from pioneer days. They learned all about Lewis and Clark's expedition. Their great-great-grandmother came west in a wagon like the one pictured below!

French street signs! The boys were disappointed that we didn't go up in the Arch, but given the weather, and the fact that we couldn't see the top of the Arch, we didn't think it would be worth it. Maybe next year!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Settling Right In

Noah did not waste any time getting busy in the kitchen. And he even got Grandad in on the action!

They got to see their cousins the weekend after we arrived. Noah also convinced Grandma to let him sew, and he made these banners for his cousin Xenia's birthday party.