Saturday, December 8, 2007

Speaking of Christmas

We tried to take our family picture on Sunday. Last year we took it with the Bonds help, and for some reason (Walmart?) They turned out pretty bad so we took our own, just setting the timer, sitting James on our laps, and saying cheese. Presto. I remember Moriah saying that it was a bit harder to get a good shot with two kids, but I didn't know how true that was until Sunday afternoon when Callie offered to take it for us. I have created a little slide show here just to show you what a long and arduous process it was. I think we took almost 60 pictures before we got one that was halfway decent, and Etienne isn't even looking at the camera.

Christmas pictures

Friday, December 7, 2007

So thanksgiving was a while ago

I just thought I would post some of my Thanksgiving shots here, since it has already been two weeks and Christmas is rolling nearer at breakneck speed. We had a wonderful time at Jackie and Chris's where exciting things happened like my sister Darcee getting engaged. But of course that is old news. It was a new experience for me to be cooking or doing dishes almost 24-7 since we were feeding 12 adults and two children every meal, but it was worth it. It is a good thing that I love to cook. Jackie showed off some of her new bread making skills, and between all of us, we pulled off a pretty tasty Thanksgiving Meal.
I think the best part was coming into the living room at intervals and seeing about six people at the same time, absorbed in their laptops, updating their facebooks to each other. What a technological age we live in.
We played some great games to that made me laugh so hard that my whole body hurt, and I was sore the next day. We also had fun touring various areas of St. Louis including an amazing mozaic filled cathedral and the arch. Joe proved to be a treasure with his Starbucks discount. Not only did he provide us with coffee beans for the whole week, but he bought us all drinks twice; even James, who was ridiculously proud to be drinking out of a cup like all the big people.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


So we had our little annual halloween party at Sarah's on Wednesday. It was really great- good food and fellowship, and of course who can resist all those little kids (ten kids three and under this year) dressed up. Steve and I really tried hard on our costumes this year. In case your wondering, I was a 'black eyed pea' and Steve is 'french onion soup'. I know, real creative huh? for all those Les Miserables experts out there, James was supposed to be little Gavroche, but for those who weren't savvy, we called him a street urchin. He was pretty upset when Steve took him outside to smear dirt on his clothes. Apparently he got used to the idea because he tried to do it again the next day, and he looked a little confused when I yelled at him not to get his clothes dirty. Poor kid.
We have had Moriah in town this week, which has been great. She left this morning and I don't envy her the 15 hour drive. it was good to see that James had no forgotten them yet, but now we will probably go through withdrawl again. Ah well.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

For all you Etienne lovers out there

So I am really bad at keeping up my blog, but what I am also bad at is getting my kids in for professional photos. When James was a baby (is it possible he isnt a baby anymore?) I took some fun shots with my camera and figured they were as good as most studio shots you can get with fluffy clouds in the background etc. Also it was cheaper. I have been meaning to take some of the second born for some time now, but since he is the second born, I am afraid I am already living up to that lazy mother stereo type. Doubtless in a few years he will be wondering why there are so many pictures of James and so few of him. Do boys care about that kind of stuff or is it just girls? Not that I have had that experience, mom. Anyways, I finally got around to getting some shots of him in this funny little sailor suit that I found in a second hand store the other day. He is not the big cheesy camera hog that James is but I managed to get a few smiles out of him.

This last shot I took after he was cranky and had spit up all over his new sailor suit. I think I like it best of all, which just goes to show...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Steve's birthday

So Steve's birthday was last week and we had the most beautiful morning down by the river. It was so cool and crisp outside. We had breakfast at the Back Inn Cafe and then walked with the boys over the river and did a little shopping. It was just so wonderful and the weather definitely took a change towards Autumn that we decided to replicate it this morning at Coolidge Park with a belated birthday brunch picnic for Steve with a bunch of our friends and family. Unfortunately my camera was out of batteries, and the weather kind of reverted to ninety degrees and humid humid humid, so it was kind of a bummer but we had fun anyways. It has been a while since I posted, so here are lots of pictures of us and my boys who are growing up so fast! Sigh.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ah the joys

So now that the dream life in France has ended, it is back to real life with all of its adventures, including those dreaded two words- Potty Training. I decided since it is still REALLY hot here and James is running around naked most of the day, that I might as well try to teach him to pee before I get out the warm winter clothes. I am tired also of him removing his stinky diapers and saying EEEEEWWWW mommy, very dramatically and throwing them across the room.
The first couple of days I felt like I was going mad, chasing him around the house with the potty chair, begging him to please please pee. When he finally did it after three days of cleaning up little puddles, I danced around the living room for awhile, and stuffed his hands as full as possible with marshmallows, emphasizing about fifty times that the reason he was getting treats was because he had peed. This is the first time I am thankful that he has such a greedy sweet tooth. Once that realization sank in, his progress has been pretty quick. He of course has a long way to go- no way is he going to bed or into public without a diaper yet, but the diaper bill is already going down a bit. that can't be bad.

I tried to distract him into peeing by putting him in front of a movie, but he gets so engrossed in the television that he has no idea what else is going on in the room, so we resorted to reading lots of books. He also needs to wear his fireman helmet that he got at the firestation the other day. Don't know why, but it is cute.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

France- week three

This should be my last installation of photographs of our trip. We left Steve's folks house and drove about seven hours south to a little town called St. Hippolyte du Fort (don't ask me how to pronounce that, you don't want to know). The closest big city is Nimes, where Steve was born. His dad was pastor in St. Hippo for years, and Steve spent the first few years of his life in the house where Fred and Monique now live. As you will see, it is also a very lovely place- lots of old villages and vineyards and much more mountainous. We also took a day trip to Aix-en-Provence where Steve and I met. We were supposed to stay with a friend for a few days, but the plans fell through, so we were obliged to see what we could in the evening and then drive back that night. We were dissappointed, but seeing Aix again was wonderful.
The rest of our stay was uneventful except for a trip to the hospital for exrays with James, who had inhaled some peanuts while visiting the doctor. We went to the doctor to ascertain what the rash was that was all over him (turned out to be mosquito bites), where he found a bag of airplane peanuts in my bag and ate them. The doctor didnt know it, and tried to look down his throat which caused James to freak out and inhale the peanut remnants in his mouth. he then choked and coughed for a very long time and the doctor was so worried that he had gotten some in his lungs that he made us go to the hospital to get ex rays. Turned out to be nothing, but it was quite the stressful adventure.
All of Steve's siblings and their children were there in the house for the last few days which was crowded but fun. Fred did most of the cooking which was great although a few times we didnt end up eating until about midnight because he grilled over an open fire every night and it sometimes took a while to get a nice bed of coals. We have great memories of sitting around the table for hours talking and laughing and eating great food. i felt for the first time like I was really part of the family and that the language barrier was not so great as it used to be. At least, it no longer takes every ounce of concentration that i have to follow the conversation.
We drove back up to Steve's folks for the last couple of days. Celine and JB joined us the last night, and we went out to eat in a wonderful restaurant. The trip home was long, but thankfully uneventful. It was kind of hard to readjust to life in the States, but the trip was worth it.

France Week Three

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Week two in France was much more relaxed. We drove down from the wedding to the central western area of France near Poitiers to stay with Steve's folks, help around the house, do a little sight seeing with Sam and Claire, and visit mum in the hospital. The weather was great, the kids got to know each other better, and we really got to enjoy this lovely, untouristy, quiet area of France. Steve's mom came home for the last couple of days that we were there, so it was great to spend some time with her and let her see the kids. Steve got his passion for dairy products from his father, so they bought a lot of cheese and other similar items. We all got a bit of a stomach bug, but Steve refuses to admit that it was because of the cheese. It was good anyway, as was the rest of that lovely week.

France Week Two

Friday, August 17, 2007

Home Again

We arrived home, exhausted but happy on Tuesday night. Now that jetlag is beginning to wear off a bit, I have decided to start posting some pictures of our wonderful trip. We took about, well, a lot of pictures, and even with editing, I will have to put them on here in three stages. the first week was spent in Le Havre- way up north on the French side of the English channel. I have put captions under the photos, but to try and describe the trip in full would take more time than I have. A picture is worth a thousand words right? Well, enjoy week one, and I will try to get week two and three uploaded sometime soon.

France Week One

Friday, July 20, 2007

Preparing for departure

We have been busy to say the least the last few days. We leave in less than three days, and I am at that point where I am beginning to realize just how much more we have left to do before we leave, and Steve even more so. The last three vacations we have taken have involved my active participation in helping him finish up jobs before leaving, whether it be mixing concrete or installing ceiling fans. Currently he is working on a sewage problem at one of his rental properties. I hope he won't be asking my help again.
He ran home today for a quick bite of lunch before going to the bank, and as I was writing up a deposit slip I realized that today was our sixth anniversary. I mentioned this fact to him, and we both started laughing. Oops. In our defense, we have been looking at this trip as partly an anniversary celebration, since we will be returning to Aix, the place where we met, and so have not been thinking of celebrating it here. I made up a nice dessert anyways.
I am afraid the television has been on a little bit more than usual while I have been organizing stuff. I have been justifying it by letting them watch Disney movies in French, preparatory for meeting their French speaking cousins. That is a good reason, isn't it? It is really hard to resist when both of my sons are so mesmerized by it.

Well, maybe not Etienne, but I love how James doesn't even notice his screaming brother.

Oh, and I chopped my hair for the big trip. My shortest cut yet.

I will try and post some pictures of our voyage, but it might not be for a month or so. See ya later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Adventures with James

We entered the terrible twos about a month ago, and Steve and I were interested to see if that cliche was really true. Well, James isn't necessarily naughtier now than when he was 23 months, but he sure is keeping us on our toes. Steve went to work the other day, and forgot to lock the gate. James has made a habit of escaping down the street when we aren't looking. I swear he can dissapear in about 22 seconds. He is very sneaky. The older neighbor lady has found him a couple of times in her yard, and I am sure she considers us the worst parents in the world, going so far as to donate a lock for our gate. Well, so Steve had left and I of course was nursing and James was playing outside. I heard someone talking outside, so I peeked out the window and there was a nice old man on our curb with a cane, trying to herd James back onto the sidewalk. Poor old guy, he was really panicky, because he couldn't keep up with him. Talk about feeling like a terrible mother.

He is sneakier, but he is also a lot more entertaining. Georgia has been having one of the driest summers for many years until about a week ago. We have been deluged several times recently; you know the kind of rain that suddenly turns your street into a raging river and causes your lawn to grow about six inches a day? James has been loving it, and if it were'nt for the thunder that freaks him out, he would play in it all day. As it is, he doesn't really venture farther than the porch steps.

This last little adventure I was not too surprised about. Every mother seems to have a story of their children getting into makeup at some point. I have been trying to start packing for our big trip, and fool that I am, I left the toiletry bag down and then ran some errands, leaving James with daddy. He only noticed in time to take these lovely photographs.

Why he put it on his legs I don't know.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Fourth of July and other things

So we had lunch at the Leas the other day and had a little French reunion with Nicolas and Allison and their two little boys who were home from France on a short furlough. Susan got out her beloved pet ferrets and James was absolutley thrilled with them. they ran away and hid themsleves pretty quickly however. The Farrely's little boy Elliot couldn't get enough of playing in this slimy little fountain.

Fourth of July was fun with a picnic at the Dubles. James had a great time wandering around picking off of everyone elses plates and cans of coke. He wasnt even scared of the fireworks. He just kept pointing and saying "Loot". He mixes up kays and tees. I never knew that letters actually have a spelling in the dictionary until i met the Scrabble dictionary. Erika brought Bocci Ball and we played for a long time. It was nicely reminiscent of home. Steve even got into a pretty intense badmitton tournament. Another one of those talents I never knew my hubby possessed. : )

We have fun taking pictures of Etienne. He is a really funny baby. When we give him a bath, for some reason he tries to suck his whole chin into his mouth, and he is so fat that his neck has dissapeared so we have to really dig under there to clean it out.
I have no idea how James managed to get his shirt tangled like that, but it was pretty funny.

These pictures are a little freak of nature that we found on our porch. Our dog is shedding grocery bags full of hair at this point, and we have noted in the past that birds and mice especially like to benefit from the plentiful supply, but I never knew that June bugs like to roll it into perfect spheres and fly away with it. The South never ceases to surprise me.