Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What are we up to?

Sunset from the balcony of our apartment - we see beautiful ones almost every evening lately (I'm sleeping during sunrise but André is often on his run and gets a chance to see them). I love sunrise and sunset. I clearly remember going to school on the bus on stonetown road over the resevoir early on winter mornings. I always loved the sight of the sun rising over the water and sometimes, on the late bus, setting. I would point out the window and say, look everyone, look at the sunrise! They were usually irritated - yeah, yeah, that's the same one we see every other day.... But I always wanted to stop what I was doing and take a look - luckily here I have the time to do so. The kids have inherited my appreciation for this type of thing. We are often walking when one of the children will say - look at this leaf mom, or look at that cloud in the sky. I always thank them for sharing the beauty with me, and we spend a moment or two just soaking it in. I hope they keep this appreciation for the simple beauty of the world as they grow.
Well, we are having a pretty typical week except that it has really gotten cold - I'd say it is even bitterly cold many days in the morning. The pretty much constant rain (at least 1-2 showers each day) has turned to beautiful snow flurries - nothing sticking unfortunately. This weekend we definitely need to head out to find the kids some real winter coats - I am feeling guilty being the only one with a warm coat (I don't have a hat though-so my ears probably feel like their whole bodies do!) They haven't been complaining - Callie actually keeps getting frustrated with me because she no longer thinks she looks good in the hat she loved all last winter - already doesn't want to be seen in last year's style! I also need to get some mittens for Griff - the school has a 'no gloves' rule for the younger set - this would be a good rule for the BBY.... too hard to help 35 kids with gloves...
Zander had his first day of tutoring after school on Monday - he liked it well enough and I think it will be great. His teacher works really well with him and his good friend Noemie is also being tutored at the same time which is nice for him. The only problem is that he still is supposed to do his homework for the next day. I will probably try talking to the teacher about it because he doesn't get home until about 5:45 and by the time we eat dinner it is 6:45 or so - and he is usually in bed by 7:30 asleep by 8pm. That leaves basically no time in which to do the homework and he is also (understandably) a bit sick of schoolwork after 8 hours in school and 1.5 hours being tutored already at that point - not the most cooperative! When the tutor used to come after school she would help him with the homework - and she would also only teach him about 45 minutes - so he still had some time to run around outside, ride his bike, be a kid.
I know that his peers do not go to bed as early as he does - but he is simply exhausted by 8pm and sleeps easily until 6:30am each night (all the kids do). I think they get overstimulated each day and need the rest. Maybe he can do extra homework on Wednesdays when he doesn't have school or something...
We are attempting to have some version of Thanksgiving - we tried to order a turkey from the local butcher but he was unable to get a whole bird for us (sadness!). It is strange - here we have loads of turkey for sale - turkey cutlets, turkey legs, turkey breasts rolled up for rotisserie (which is what I ended up with) but you can't get an entire turkey.... Seems they are not 'ready' until Noel. Well then, where, I wonder, do all these body parts come from? I picture some sort of distorted turkeys stumbling around a farmyard that only have nice legs or a plump chest but the rest of their body is not worthy of consumption......
But we will have turkey roast anyway - with mashed potatoes, homemade apple sauce, cranberry sauce (shipped from home) and a pumpkin pie (pumpkin shipped from home). I wish I could make the sausage stuffing I grew up with... it's the best. We have invited a co-worker of André's and her husband and baby to come as well. Sevrine speaks English pretty well and babies are great because they don't know that I can't understand them yet so it should be fun. Of course, they are not coming until 7pm b/c no one eats as early as we do. It is strange to have a big turkey dinner at 7pm instead of in the middle of the afternoon - guess the kids will be staying up a bit later than usual! No one has off school or work...we are saving vacation days for around Christmas, when André should have 11 days off in a row - hooray!!! There is also a rumor that his brother Mark may come for a visit during some of this time. I hope it works out - it would be great to have a visitor.
Note to all- we know the economy sucks and visiting France is not cheap.... But please know you are welcome to come visit at any time - we have plenty of room and much delicious food. Also, we mostly have things figured out now so you probably won't get lost!
Also to look foward to tomorrow is that there is supposed to be a traveling wolf show coming to Callie and Griffins' school in the morning - sounds too wierd (and dangerous) to be real but the kids are excited anyway. Meanwhile I will be waiting for the gas company to visit - always funny when service people come and they try to talk to me like I'm French - I guess I can pass for French - until I open my mouth...
Sending love and thankfulness into the universe for you all....Rebecca

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