Saturday, October 25, 2008

Festival International de l' Air - October 25th

Today, we went to the Base Nature for the 11th annual Kite Festival. It was an amazing site to see every kind of kite imaginable from Tigger to puffer fish to Gill from Nemo.
There was also a competition of the different nations and their aerial tricks set to music. It was quite spectacular and had such a wonderful festive atmosphere even Lilly seemed impressed.
At one point we were watching all the beautiful kites in the sky, I heard Abigail start to laugh and call out to me. When I looked there was a kite about one inch above my head, when I moved it moved with me. No mater where I went it went with me, finally I looked and saw who was attached to the kite...a gentleman who was playing tricks with me! The skill involved in such a simple thing. We left laughing out loud and watched as he began to do the same thing to someone else.

It was such a gorgeous day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Country means New Friends

As we are now in our new beloved country of France we've been very blessed to be making many new friends. As you know by now we met a wonderful American family that we are now fast friends with, Lisa (the Mom), Rick (the Dad) and Irie (the best friend). It is so nice to know them and we help each other out as best we can, be it either picking up each other's girls when there are appointments that must be kept, going out to dinner, sharing a car and possible cooking lessons for yours truly!!
Lisa is a wonderful, reserved and intellectual lady who is a psychiatrist back home in a private practice. She is very creative and artistic, athletic with an even and calm spirit about her. Her husband Rick is very lively, outgoing, full of life and laughter and he is a history teacher for troubled teens in Oregon. He is constantly taking bike rides that go for miles and miles, he has done kite surfing lessons while here and is very adventuresome.
Finally there is Irie, Abigail's best friend here in France who is a wonderful mixture of both her parents with a smidgen of her own sense of style and attitude. She is very studious and will spend hours doing her homework making sure everything is just so. Together Irie and Abigail make a great team, or a dangerous duo depending on your point of view.
The great thing too is that they live right by the school so only 3 streets down and we get to see them often.

Then there are my French friends....truly a blessing. I've so often heard people say that the French are rude or mean....even this from my own French family! But my experience here has been one million percent different, they are incredibly warm, generous, thoughtful people who love to share their country and language with you. Here are two dear friends Nathalie (in the blue) and Helen (in the white) who I've met at Frejus Vous Accueille...basically my town's welcome center. I take several courses there with these lovely ladies. Mondays I take a scrap booking, decoupage type arts class, Thursdays I teach English as a Second Language and Nathalie joins us and then Friday all three of us take a Hula lesson from Lisa, our American friend.
Nathalie is a warm, funny lady who has gone completely out of her way so many times for Lisa and I that I can't even begin to keep count! She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.
Helen is a feisty, spunky and hilarious lady who I call my favorite "little" friend. She has a spirit of waiting to get into trouble at any moment.
As I get the chance I will try and take more and more pictures of our friends, both mine and Abigail and share a little on each person, so if we talk about them, you will have a better sense of who they are in our new lives.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A sick day...

Today, was not the kind of day one dreams about when heading off to explore France. No, today was the kind of day that people just have and these kind of days, no one sings about, writes books about or makes movies about...they just happen..the unsung days of life.

Abigail woke up in the middle of the night complaining of a tummy ache, she had taken all her pjs off and was outside the covers on a cool night. I just told her to go back to sleep and maybe it'd get better....well it didn't. Around 6:30ish she got up went to the bathroom and started throwing up, what a horrible sound to wake up to. I ran to her poor baby as she continued in her ordeal with me helpless to help her till she was finished. We got her taken care of, mouth washed out, water to drink and tucked back in bed to try and get rest.

I had told her to NOT get out of the bed till I woke up and I was happy to see she'd listened so I know her body got some rest, even if she didn't sleep the entire time. After I woke up at the lovely hour of 10, she moved from the bed to the couch put a long shirt on and basically never moved. She laid there the entire day...those of you who are fortunate enough to know Abigail, know this is NOT her. I went downstairs to the bakery and bought a fresh baked bread in hopes to call her hurting belly...She didn't eat a bite. All day long she had only about 3 bites of bread, a bite of my pear and three bites of mac n cheese. She did drink a few glasses of water though.

So when it was time for the afternoon siesta, I made her lay down with me, despite her fussing and promises that she did not need a nap. I told her she was not to leave the bed until I woke up. This time...I woke up and she kept sleeping. Her poor little body needed the rest as she'd had such a rough night the night before. She woke up maybe 45 minutes to an hour after I did!

So now she's in bed again, for the night and I am praying she will be well for tomorrow. I hate seeing my baby sick and I have no idea what's wrong and why all of a sudden she's ill. So if you can say a prayer for my baby girl and I'll let you know how she's doing

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A wedding that wasn't....

Saturday, October 11, 2008 we were invited to my cousin Philippe's "wedding" as I was told by Marie-Claude. We were to leave bright an early in the morning to follow them by car to Cuers. So off we went, dressed for a wedding, me in a nice dress and small heels and Abigail in a dress and slippers. We met up with my Aunts and Uncles in a little spot near a bridge past another bridge...quite interesting to find, especially with my panache for getting lost. However I found them, after a momentary time of being lost. When we saw everyone in pants and shoes, Abigail asked "Why are we the only ones dressed up?". I found this to be a good question and asked Jacqueline for the reason, since we were all going to a wedding.

"Mais Non!" she cried, he's not getting's his 50th birthday! And on top of that we were heading towards the middle of the country and in the middle of a vineyard! So here we were in the middle of nowhere at Philippe's Cabino ( a small building built for the workers of vineyards to shade themselves and eat a quick bite before going back to electricity or other) There were about 30 of us and we were the only 2 in dresses, quite overdressed as we started trekking through the mud to reach his place.

We had a great time none the less, tons to eat. They even had a lamb roasting on a skewer over a open fire...a big barrel of couscous to go with the lamb, plenty to drink and deserts made by a friend of theirs from Morocco. We stayed there ALL day long and got to meet and visit with family members I had never met before and those that I had years ago. Abigail made fast friends with Julia (Sonia's little 6 yr old girl) and Rudy (her 4 yr old boy), there was also a cat which if I sent you the pictures, you are quite aware of it

....then back in the car for the hours drive after the sunset, waiting for the next time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Abigail is learning to kayak!

Abigail is taking sport class after school on Mondays and Fridays, mainly to help her with her French but also for friends and fun and she loves it. We had looked into kayaking lessons on Wednesdays but found that the 100 euro price was a bit steep for Mommy's checkbook, so we sadly gave that idea up.
Then low and behold one day the sports teacher announced that they'd be doing kayaking on Wednesday afternoons! God is good to those that wait! So she's gone now twice and to say she loves it would be an understatement. In this picture, it was her very first lesson and they were practicing on dry land...which went better than in the water but it was her first time. It was such a cold and wet day that day, I thought for sure she'd come back complaining (for I was freezing just watching) but she was so pleased and literally counted the days till her next class.

Monuments to the fallen of many wars...

One thing that really impresses me here is that the French don't want anyone here to forget the thing that in America we often do. There are Monuments to wars past almost everywhere you look. Where I live most of the streets are named after a war, or a group of people who fought or a famous date in history. So besides the history that surrounds you here they add to it, it's very educational as well as it being moving.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our First Month is in Dragiugnan

We arrived in France on August 7, 2008 at the Nice airport after an awful trip with 6 huge suitcases and a dog! We were immediately picked up by Philippe and made our hour long trip to their home in Dragiunan. It was wonderful to see Marie-Claude and Philippe again after so many years apart, and even better to have this year to really get to know them.

After a some days rest we went to Jacqueline's house in Saint Cristol and spent the weekend. It was so much fun for everyone..there was a pool for Abigail, a yard for Lilly and the family for me. I got to meet Nadia and her husband a sweet baby girl (Izalia) not sure on the spelling. Also a friend of, well of every one's Paschal came with his two kids Cammie and Yohan, all of whom spoke both French and English. Again Abigail was in heaven...a little girl her age to play who spoke English and with a British accent no less. Jacqueline's house was beautiful and a shame that it is left vacant most of the time due to her job. I hope she'll be able to retire soon and enjoy it to the fullest.