Since Thanksgiving is not a national holiday here in France, we always celebrate it whenever we can in the month of November. Last year we invited Daniel and Itzel and their children Ivan and Denise to join us and we had so much fun we thought we'd do it again this year!
Alex and Ivan having a great time at the table.
Itzel carving up one of our chickens. (Turkeys are expensive here in France and you have to pre-order from your local butchery, so to make life simpler we usually just make two chickens.) Itzel was an angel - she prepared the children's plates ready while I ran around taking pictures! Preserving memories!
Elena and Denise.
My sweet Gabriela was beat. We had our meal right in the middle of her daily nap, which she didn't go down for because she was playing with the girls. In any case, she refused to put her cup down for the photo.
The children at their table. All animated, except Gabriela who looks pretty zombied.
A shot of my plate before digging in. On the menu: roasted chicken, cranbery sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, salad, homemade applesauce and baguette! Thanksgiving à la française!
A shot of all of us taken by our son Alex. Not bad! Except I look a little tired, but that's okay. I was tired. We had a great day. It really felt like Thanksgiving holiday and I must say I love Thanksgiving!
I have so much to give thanks for, but this year I am mostly grateful for my dear, sweet family near and far! I love you all!
Sam turned 36! Which means that for a whole two months we are the same age! But then on January 10th I become the "older woman" again.
Side note: I always tell him it's because when it was our turn to come down from heaven in 1973, I was the braver one and jumped straight down to earth in January and it took him all the way until November to gather up the courage!
The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the long awaited i-phone. The moment was not without suspense and it produced the above effects....
Of course, the evening began with the birthday dinner request of "fondue bourgignonne" which is a meal of beef and sausages that are deep fried at the table and served with a variety of specialty sauces. Oh, and plenty of telephone birthday wishes for the very popular Sam!
Here's Alex frying up his piece of sausage. He also loves "fondue bourgignonne." In fact, he pretty much loves everything his Papa loves.
Happy Birthday to my handsome husband, who just happens to be an extraordinary person!
On Tuesday, a week ago, I got to accompany Elena's class on a fun field trip to the "Maison de l'Environnement" (the Environment house) where they got a very fun view into Darwin's world.
We watched a very cool cartoon about natural selection and adaptation through a very cute story about the fictitious poutti-boudi and the poutti-bada.
Later we learned about insects, flowers and pollination. Each child got a bug and then they had to listen and figure out which flower they needed to pollinate.
Finally, we sat in a large tent where we listened to our expert explain to us how fish evolve and...
....how Darwin studied animal bones and discovered that a whale's bone structure really didn't resemble the bone structure of a fish, but more of a cat! Fascinating stuff!
Look at my precious Elenita! She was so happy to have Mama accompany her on a field trip two days in a row! On Monday, the children saw a beautiful film at the community theather called "Mia et le Migou" but that is a different story!
When I picked up Gabriela from school a few weeks ago, I asked her teacher Yanick how she did during the day since she had been home sick the day before. He replied:
"Very well. She hardly coughed and didn't have much of a runny nose either." And then with a hearty chuckle he added, "And a pink Santa Claus! Now that was definitely worth it!"
Definitely worth what? I'm not quite sure, but in any case, Yanick got quite a kick out of her outfit that day. A pink Santa Claus. The thought never would have crossed my mind. But here she is in all her glory!
(Notice her cute little feet sticking out from underneath - so cute!!!!)
This is Gabriela admiring our new hair kit. It's perfect. It's got every hair accessory imaginable (spray bottles, brushes, combs, headbands, ribbons and pony tail holders) and it follows us wherever we need to do hair in the house because it's got a lid with a handle!
The best part is that it keeps the girls entertained while I do their hair!!!
See what I mean about the p.j.'s? This was long after breakfast. And so we decided it would be a great day to make Disney plaster figurines. (In our p.j.'s. Mommy included.) The package made them look soooooooo easy to make...
When we're on school vacation, we love staying in jammies until noon and sometimes later. If Alex is feeling really ambitious, he'll keep them on until bedtime. Unless, of course, I ask him to go to the bakery to get a baguette. Then he panics and puts on his civilian clothes.
....but that's besides the point....
The other thing we love to do is fun hairstyles. Well, the girls, anyways. Not Alex. Gabriela's hair is so fun to do because it's getting long and it's got beautiful, natural curl. And she loves to get her hair done. She hates to have it in her face.
Elenita is a different story. She's got the kind of hair I dream of having. Straight and silky. This is challenging for braids and twists when the shorter hairs just want to keep being pin straight. The most challenging part, however, is that Elenita has an extremely sensitive scalp and no patience for getting her hair done.
She sat still for this little heart 'do, but begged me to take it out even before I was done taking the photos!
You can't have everything.