Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gisèle, Age 5

(for Gisèle at age 4, click here.)

1. What is your favorite color?  "Um, dark pink."

2. What is your favorite toy?  "Um... dolls."

3. What is your favorite fruit?  "Let's see, that question... um... let me think... blueberry.  I mean raspberries!"

4. What is your favorite tv show?  "You know what that is."  {Team Umizoomi.}

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  "Oranges, blueberries, raspberries, and a sandwich, and some cheetos, and for my dessert I want to eat a chocolate bar.  A candy bar."

6. What is your favorite outfit?  "The dress that Camryn got me with roses."

7. What is your favorite game?  "I know that!  Trouble."

8. What is your favorite snack?  "Oh my goodness!  The bar that I'm eating right now."  {An oatmeal raisin granola bar.}

9. What is your favorite animal?  "A chicken.  Like cock-a-doodle-doo!"

10. What is your favorite song?  "Cock-a-doodle-coo-coo-coo!"

11. What is your favorite book?  "Madeline and the Gypsies."

12. Who is your best friend?  "You know what I'm gonna answer.  Everybody."

13. What is your favorite breakfast?  "Waffles.  And burritos."

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  "Play ball.  And hide and seek."

15. What is your favorite drink?  "You know what that is."  {Milk.}

16. What is your favorite holiday?  "Ooh - you know what that is!  Is Halloween a holiday?  I like Halloween and Valentine's Day.  And that turkey day when you eat turkey.  What's that?  {Thanksgiving.}  Yeah, that.  And Christmas.  I like lots of them."

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  "OU!!  {Her OU sock monkey.}  And Alice and the dolphin."

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for dessert?  "Chocolate bar!  I mean candy bar."

19. What is your favorite dinner?  "Um, a hamburger and some french fries and regular milk.  I love that." 

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  "Ooh - I wanna be a teacher at my kindergarten school!  Cause I like it!  I wanna stay there forever.  But I'll be something else when I get too old."

Happy birthday, baby girl!

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Leaving School

Gisèle's last day of school is tomorrow.  She has been at her current school for nearly 5 years - since she was 9 weeks old.  Tomorrow she'll say goodbye to her friends and teachers and then head out in the afternoon for the official "Meet the Teacher" time at her new elementary school.  Kindergarten starts on Monday!

She is handling her last day very well.  She's excited about the chocolate bars she gets to hand out to her friends as a goodbye gift, and is beyond excited about going to Big Kid School.  She can't wait for the change in routine - riding in my car instead of Jamie's, having a new car seat, using her new pink backpack and school supplies...

I'm excited about the change, but thinking about the sadder side of it, too.  Tomorrow is the last day she'll see the friends she's had for years.  It's the last time she and Jamie will get to have long conversations on the way to and from school.  And, especially, it's the last time she and Miles will be riding to school together for a while.  Her new commute will be too short for her to notice much, but I think Miles is really going to miss having her in the car.  He relies on her quite a bit for company, and this will all be a big change for him.

Everything is changing - our little girl is growing up!

Wrapped chocolate bars

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Clermont-Ferrand - 9/5/00


I'm having a hard time in Niveau 4.  So is Kristen, so I think we're both going to switch to 3.  I feel weird going down a level - I don't think I've ever done that before - but I can't handle all the work in level 4.  I'm going to stay up late tonight (no sleep for me!) to call Mom and Dad  and ask for advice.  I found out today that Marta & Carolina (& Andrew & maybe David) are having trouble, too, since it's so much work.  We tried to talk to our teacher, Beatrice, about it after class, but she just told us basically not to worry about it.  Argh!  I hope I can arrange to go to level 3. 

I got to talk to Jamie today!!  He had been laying in bed and sounded all cuddly & fuzzy.  I miss him.  I told him I need lots of letters.  We ate in the a la carte cafeteria by the SUEE [building (& organization name) where our classes were held] today and it was fairly expensive - and not very good.  Afterwards, Aimee, Sarah, and I walked up to the cathedral to find the store where Jennifer got her jacket; we walked through the tiny streets until we found the store and it ended up being right by Place de Jaude!  The jacket was $45 instead of $30, so I didn't get it.  I found one I really liked for even more.  (sigh)  I'll have to try to find something in the cheap shops in Paris.  We stopped to get ice cream and pastries two different times and I'm full now.  I'll have fruit later... maybe a pain au chocolat also.  Tomorrow we're visiting the Michelin factory w/ the SUEE.  And either tomorrow or the next day we  have to pay our rent.  And get pictures for our cartes de séjour and bus passes and everything.  We rode the bus (#2) to both ends today and the bus driver was getting kinda ticked, but we had gotten on at the wrong-way stop, so we had to go to both ends.  I should do some of my homework tonight, but it's so much I don't even like to think of doing it!  I hope Mom and Dad are okay with me switching levels - and I hope I can make myself do it.  It feels like I'm being lazy, but I really can't do this all and still enjoy being here.  I'm going to play cards now and then eat/write a letter.  I love you, Jamie!!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Exploring Clermont-Ferrand - 9/4/00


We started the stage today [French school at the University] and I'm in the highest level - Niveau 4.  It's hard!  There are seven of us in there now.  David (Hungarian), Marta & Carolina (Spanish), Justin, Andrew, Kristen, & me (all from OU).  We have a bunch of big projects to do, and lots of presentations and essays.  Our teachers (there are two who are going to switch off) are really nice, but it's a lot more work than I wanted to have to concentrate on.  After classes, we walked through the Place de Jaude looking for a post office, and we found a huge area full of cool shops - and we now know where the mall is.  We're going shopping this week.  We're also going to buy year-long bus passes.  Lots of money, but worth it since we'll be riding the bus at least twice a day.  Aimee, Kristin, Christina, Sarah, and I walked down to that little grocery store again (nectarines & croissants!) and then to the pizza place.  Yummy!  Mushrooms this time.  I wrote a long letter to the family and put what looks like a permanent dent in my finger when I addressed 16ish envelopes.  I can't believe it's not the day I can call Jamie!  argh.  I love you, Jamie!!!

Living statues

The Cathedral in the center of Clermont

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Passing By

I feel like life is passing by and I'm took busy or tired to document it.  But if I don't record it somewhere, I'll regret it later.  I'll look back and think, "What happened in the first half of 2012?  Surely there was something noteworthy... ?"

Weekdays are busybusybusy, gogogo all the time.  We wake the kids up around 6am, and try to have them out the door with Jamie around 6:30 (or 6:40, or 6:45...)  That routine will be changing a bit when Gisèle starts kindergarten at the end of this month.  (!)  Weeknights, Jamie and the kids arrive home around 6:10, and they get to watch a half hour show (their favorite has changed fairly recently from Dora or Diego to Team Umizoomi.  Listening to Miles say "Umizoomi!" is one of the joys of my life.) while Jamie and I get their dinner together.  Usually Jamie gets their dinner while I prepare the table, unload groceries, unload/load the dishwasher, or do any number of other random things.  We rarely get to eat dinner together, unless we've planned it out, I've been able to get off on time and head straight home to cook, and everything can come together quickly.  And when that does happen, we can usually eat leftovers together another night.  After dinner, it's time for a bedtime story all together on the couch, and then we get the kids ready for bed and they're down.  That's it for time together.  A hectic half hour or so in the morning, and a hectic 1 1/2 hours or so in the evening.

Weekends are a lot better, but they still seem to be packed.  We plan out our time in blocks - "before naps," "during naps," and "after naps."  Saturday's "after naps" time is almost always taken up by church, and Sunday's "before naps" is grocery shopping.  That leaves Saturday's "before naps" for yardwork (it has to be in the morning, or Jamie would die of heat stroke!), which leaves just one block of time - Sunday after naps - to do things together with the kids.  And we always seem to use that time for errands. 

Something needs to change.  And since we can't rearrange the weekday times, we're going to need to better plan our weekends.  I don't want to feel like our quality time is all spent in the car or hurrying the kids along.  And we haven't even started getting them involved in any sports or classes; I can only imagine what life will be like then.

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