Saturday, May 13, 2017

Happy Birthday!

Someone had a birthday!

And he did not even have to make his own cake!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ever-improving in swimming

I think this might have been Benjamin's best swim meet yet. He's now swimming with the 11-14 year old category. This time, he swam: 100 meter butterfly, 100 meter freestyle, 50 meter freestyle, 200 meter breaststroke, and 400 meter freestyle - and he improved on every single time!
Noah got to warm up with the team, and cheer them on.

His butterfly has improved by leaps and bounds this year!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Little visitor

This little "mésange charbonnière" (or much less eloquent "grand tit" in English) got stuck inside the patio.

I opened the doors wide, and it managed to escape.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

So much (too much) school vacation

So I had to throw them outside.

Noah also liberated his inner artist.

But mainly there was a lot of this during vacation.

And another find in the garden... didn't even know we were missing a car key. Oops!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dyeing Easter Eggs

Our friends finally bought a house out near us, so we went to see them and dye Easter eggs yesterday.

I don't remember if this was a troll, or a gnome...

This one cracked, but we think it looks pretty cool that way.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sculptor extraordinaire

Benjamin was inspired and impressed when Peggy, our hairdresser, showed us her metal sculptures a couple of years ago in the U.S. She kindly let the boys pick out some pieces from her stash so they could make their own sculptures.

It took us a while to get Benjamin's finished, because we didn't weld them like Peggy does, and finding just the right glue took some doing.

But it was worth the wait - look at this amazing desert island.

The proud artist.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Well, and Flea Markets

So we finally got a break from swim meets. While Frederic was at work, the boys and I went to a flea market in our neighboring town of Montgobert. They hold their flea market on the local castle grounds, so it's a very picturesque one.
Benjamin found "une affaire en or" (a real bargain!) with this brand-new, unopened Lego set. A rare find!

And Noah was equally excited about his free find - and quite proud of having "detected" it without a metal detector in the field where we had parked.

Then, the weather was so nice, we went out for a walk/ride through the fields. (Along the grenade path, if you've followed along.)

No grenades today (whew) but Noah found quite a few treasures, like this authentic... spoon.

He actually spent more time like this than on his bicycle. Digging for treasures.

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm not kidding, swimming is all we do

Benjamin had another swim meet this weekend. He swam some crazy long and difficult races, like 400-meter medley - that means 100 meters each of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and crawl.
Let me say that again - 100 meters - 4 LAPS - of butterfly. Whew!! But he did an amazing job!
Noah came to cheer him on... or something.
After his races, he got to goof off a little bit. Not too tired!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Because if there weren't swimming pictures, there would be no pictures at all

The boys' club swim meet was yesterday. It's mainly to encourage the kids from the "swim school" to see what a meet is like, and inspire them to join the competitive team. It's a small club, so the races are interesting... sometimes you have a scrawny 9 year old and a strapping 15 year old in the same heat. (The 9 year old doesn't usually win the heat.) But then they give medals based on age, so it all works out.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Swim season continues

Noah was pushed out of second and third place by two new swimmers in his category, so he came in with fourth to sixth place finishes in his second competition. But he still had a great time!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Noah is 9!

He asked for Legos for his birthday, but when he gets Legos, he usually builds them once, takes them apart, and puts them away... never to be seen again. So instead, we talked him into a raised garden bed. This is the first time I've ever wrapped up potatoes as a present!

He got a garden bed, potatoes to plant, and seeds for radishes, carrots, and corn. Plus new gardening gloves and some tools. As you can tell by the look on his face, he loved it!

And he decorated his own cake, of course!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Culinary and Lego Creations

Noah invented his "Gateau dégonflé au chocolat" (deflated chocolate cake) which looks quite a lot like brownies.

And Benjamin created a Lego spaceship.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Ski Vacation

So while Gala and I were enjoying a quiet week at home, Frédéric and the boys were off in Val Cenis skiing. Not so much snow, but they managed!

Noah passed his "3e étoile" (third star) level, and Benjamin passed his "étoile de bronze" (bronze star), which is the second to last level.