Thursday, June 24, 2010

be back soon

I've had some of you ask why I'm not blogging.

I'm on vacation.

Jealous?  ;)

Pictures and details sometime next week!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

french friday - part douze

Incase you didn't read last week's French Friday post, check here to find out what I'm doing.  I really don't want to explain it all again.  ;)

Sunday, June 25, 2000:
"We are still experiencing quite a bit of jet-lag here today, so we slept in until 10:30 this morning.  We did the unthinkable and walked to MacDo for some food we knew we could eat.  (Hey, we were starving and needed something that wasn't questionable!  Trust me, we'll eat completely French food the rest of the trip.  I promise!)  
After a large, greasy breakfast, we got back on the metro. 
Laura demonstrating the best way to wear your backpack in crowded places.  It may look ridiculous, but it will prevent little pickpockets from getting in!  See "French girl" on the left... so very typical looking Parisian.  I'm sure she's thinking, "Hmmm... une américaine très intelligente..."

We headed to la Tour Eiffel. When we rounded the corner and saw the top of the tower, we were so excited.  It was bigger and more beautiful than I ever thought it would be!  It was so hard to believe we were actually there.  
This is from below the tower, looking at one of the legs.

Laura and I both knew that we just had to climb it, so we did.  And it was a killer.  We were only allowed to take the stairs to the 2nd floor, which was about half way up and then we took the elevator to the top.  It was awesome to see the entire city of Paris.  I never realized how huge it was.  It made me feel very small and slightly overwhelmed realizing how easy it would be to get lost in such an enormous place.  (Good thing I hadn't seen the movie Taken yet.)
Views from the top

When we finally got back on the ground, our legs were so shaky and tired!  So we sat down in the grass for awhile to rest.
After resting awhile we walked around the park and sat down on a bench where an older Frenchman came and talked to us for about half and hour.  It was great because we got to practice our French and he was très génial.

Then we headed to les Champs-Elysées.
The top picture was taken standing in the median, hoping the stop light down the street would keep the cars stalled a little longer.  Not a good idea.  Trust me.

We didn't have time for shopping today (that will come tomorrow), so we headed straight down the street to l'Arc de Triomphe.
Although our legs had had enough, we decided to go ahead and take the stairs to the top.  (No wonder the French are so fit - they have to climb everywhere!)  It was worth the climb - another beautiful view of the city!

As it started to get later, we decided to head back to la Tour Eiffel again so we could see it lit up at night.  Little did we know that it didn't get dark there until about 10:30!  So we sat around for quite awhile, but it was nice to just relax in front of such a cool site.
Once the lights came on, it was so beautiful!  We took pictures and started to leave, but a nice older man from Indiana told us we should stay around a few more minutes because soon the lights would all start flashing like they did on New Year's 2000.  So we waited and it was definitely worth it!  I've never seen so many flashing lights like that before.  Very cool.

On the way back to l'hôtel in the metro, a Frenchman was sitting in our car playing the guitar and singing the Beatles' "Yesterday."  It wasn't long before several others (including us) started singing along.  Just hearing the Beatles made me feel more at home.  That was definitely a memorable experience!

Vocabulaire:  (Very short list today.  Sorry.  I'll try to impart more wisdom on you next time.)
MacDo - McDonald's
une américaine très intelligente - a very smart American
très génial - very nice

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

cousins by the dozens (well, not quite)

My family has been blessed with children.
7 in 4 years is pretty amazing.
Especially when 6 of their birthdays are all within 2 weeks' time!

We recently got all the cousins together for a little Memorial Day celebration.

And here's the starting line-up:

Clara!  Coming in first on 8/21/05.

Then comes Kaiden just 5 days later on 8/26/05!

Next is my sweet Adeline, born just 8 days later on 9/03/05.

Two years later my Emilia was born!  And she shares a birthday with cousin Kaiden - 8/26/07.

And no one could forget about beautiful little Ruby, although her birthday is the odd one... not until 10/08/07.  Maybe that's why she doesn't look too happy here... ;)

A year later, sweet little Taryn came along on 8/29/08.

And last, but certainly not least, is our handsome little Tate (who refuses to look at the camera), coming in on 8/24/09.

Oops.  I forgot about this little guy.  Odie was born on March 23, 2010.  Although he doesn't really resemble any of the other cousins.

Here's Nana with the 2 littlest ones.

What do we do when it comes time to feed all these little mouths?
Well, there's the big kids' table.

And the little kids' table.

And when we just can't take it anymore, there's always this option:

hee hee  :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

one of these feet is not like the other

Adeline's sweet little feet.
Can you tell which one is bigger?

Poor girl couldn't sleep Thursday night because her foot was itching so bad.  Since it was dark, I assumed it was just a few mosquito bites and tried to soothe her with anti-itch cream.  When she woke up Friday morning, I was shocked to see such a swollen little foot.  It got bigger and darker throughout the morning so I took her to the doctor only to find out it was a bad reaction to a bug bite.  After some Benadryl and more anti-itch cream, she's doing much better and her foot is just about back to normal!

Friday, June 4, 2010

french friday - part onze

For lack of a better topic, I thought I would revisit my trip to France in a series of posts.  I spent nearly a month there in 2000 with my friend, Laura.  We spent the first week exploring Paris and then the rest of the time in Angers, studying at L'Université Catholique de l'Ouest.
French words will be translated below - sorry, no pronunciation video this time.
*WARNING* - this trip took place 10 years ago... photos of narrator may be slightly... um... outdated, but trust me - she was super fly.*

The following is taken straight out of my journal.  You always wanted to read my journal, didn't you?  Well, today's your lucky day.  Don't worry, I edited out all the embarrassing boring parts.

Saturday, June 24, 2000:
Well, we're actually in Paris and I can hardly believe it!  When we finally flew into Paris, we had a difficult time trying to handle all of our luggage (I guess we over-packed) and figuring out how to get to l'hôtel using the metro.  We were tired, confused and just wanting to get to our room.  A friend had recommended this hotel to us, so we were sure it would be fantastique.  However, we forgot that "fantastique" from a male's perspective is quite skewed.  When we finally arrived at the hotel (after walking what seemed like several miles with our burdensome bags), we were very disappointed...  
When I opened the door, I saw a tiny, dirty, dark, dreary room with a very small bathroom and no toilet!  (The toilet was located in the hallway - to be shared with our neighbors... Ick!)  By this time I was so tired I just began to cry.

Thankfully, Laura was still level-headed and assured me that we could find another hotel somewhere else.  And we did.  Luckily it was just a few blocks away.

The room is very small, but at least it's bright and clean and we have our own toilette!

After all that turmoil, we decided we needed to eat so we found a little café and had our first real French sandwiches.  
They were big.  And hard to eat since the bread was so tough.  After trying to wash it down with water, I soon discovered that it was mineral water and also discovered that je déteste l'eau minérale!  Needless to say, I am experiencing quite a bit of culture shock.

After a long day, and a not so great meal, we knew that we couldn't end our first day like that, so we took off for Notre Dame.  By this time, it was raining.  But we were fine with that... after all, "it always rains your first day in Paris," right?
Once we got there, we knew all the trouble was worth it.  It was magnifique!  And that was just of the outside!  Once we got inside, I had to fight back tears because it was just so beautiful.  It was a Saturday night so there was mass going on and a huge choir was singing  It just echoed in the cathédral and made the most beautiful sound.  Laura and I were both speechless for a few minutes and just stood there soaking it all in.

After taking in all of Notre Dame, we visited a few shops and headed back to the hotel.  Back at the hotel, a wave of homesickness came over me (I forgot to tell you that I was engaged to be married just a week after our trip ended).  I missed Chad so much and just wanted to talk to him, but we couldn't figure out how to dial to the US.  So I went down to the front desk with tears pouring down my cheeks to ask for help.  The man was so sweet.  He said, "Why you cry?  When you cry, it makes me cry."  And he actually had tears in his eyes.  No kidding.  He taught me how to use the phone and I finally got ahold of Chad and my parents.  That was all I needed.  Chad assured me I just needed some sleep and would be fine in the morning.  And he was right.  I read the Bible to gain my peace and slept soundly.

l'hôtel - hotel (obviously...)
fantastique - fantastic (again, a no-brainer...)
toilette - toilet (do you see a trend here?)
je déteste l'eau minérale - I hate mineral water
magnifique - magnificent
cathédral - I'll let you figure this one out

Au revoir et Bon Weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

problem solved

I had this problem.

But I also had this "reader tip"

from this magazine.

So with these tools
plus cute scrapbook paper,

I was able to make this

to hold these

in 2 minutes.

Not kidding.

Now I just need Tate to finish off another can of formula so I can make another one for the rest of the headbands!

Oh, and the best part - you can store ribbons or bows or any other girlie accessories inside the cans!

Now go do it.  :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

sleeping beauty

Emilia has not been so great at taking her naps lately.

She's just not tired.

Not one bit.

She can't fall asleep.

Because she's just not tired at all.

Poor girl.