Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DA!

Malachi is growing up so fast, as younger brothers seem to do.

He is 15 months old now and he is a lot of fun.


He is also a lot of work.  Keeping up with him for a day can wear anyone out.


But that grin, it is just too much.  He is the sweetest little boy.  He has finally started talking more.  In the last day he has started walking up to me, hugging my legs and saying "Love you Ma."  Jon doesn't believe me, but I just love it.


This is the face of a little boy who just spotted his Dad, home for lunch.  Notice his tongue sticking out?


And then he ran to his Da.  We are so lucky to live so near to Jon's office that he can walk home for lunch.  When I tell other people in Paris about this they are just amazed.  God has been so good to us for our time here to give us these extra moments with Jon.  

I hope your Wednesday is as good as ours.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Embrace

For 2015 I really wanted to pick a word for the year.  I have been thinking about what our word should be since the beginning of January. I have thought about what I expect this next year might look like for our family and what I hope to accomplish.  What I realized is that I don't really know what this year is going to look like, except that there will be changes coming.  
I do know that we might be moving, and we probably know where, but nothing is certain and it won't be for a while.  
I do not that I have found a passion for collecting French vintage items.
I do know that I have a husband that works so hard for us.
I do know that I have 4 amazing children that are going to need me to be there for them no matter what life brings.

The word I chose is EMBRACE.

I want to EMBRACE any move that we are able to do.
Where ever we are meant to be when ever we are meant to be there.

This year I am going to EMBRACE whatever opportunities come my way to work outside the home.
I love sharing my adventures visiting markets and the treasures I find with others.  

I want to EMBRACE my role as wife to an amazing husband.
Jon works so hard for us, I want to make sure that I am the best wife to him that I can be.

I want to EMBRACE physically and emotionally my sweet children.
I want to remember that they are little and take the time to love on each of them.  
I want to enjoy getting to know each of their distinct personalities.  

Every time I start to get anxious I remember that God has a plan for us and I can trust Him with the details. 

Do you have a word for the year?  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

10 on 10 January 2015

I can't believe I have missed the last several 10 on 10 opportunities.  I always start with the best of intentions and then the day gets away from me.  I did not get consecutive hour pictures today, but I got 10 pictures that represent our day pretty well. 

Breakfast time!  We are all up and eating cereal or oatmeal for breakfast.  This was all happening right around 7:30.

We were almost ready to head out to the market, Malachi was ready to go.  My trusty Rolser, rolling market bag is ready to go too.


Jackets on, swords at the ready, it is time to head into the city.


I have found that if I have my camera with me at the market #1 It is heavy to carry around with the rest of my treasures, #2 The prices are higher the more I look like a tourist.  Here are all of my treasures once I got them home and clean.  I am really happy with today's haul.  Jon took the kids to a near by playground while I walked around the Porte de Vanves in Paris.


We did not have very good listeners when it was time to leave the play ground.  Here is Jon's accounting of all of the positive things that were lost by losing control at the park.  


After a good nap everyone was in a better mood.  Taking a little time to watch a movie.


While I had my camera out I took a few pictures of this quilt I found last week.  You can see all of the hand done stitches on the back.  I am in love with this quilt.


For dinner we went to the Buffalo Grill in Versailles, it was quite the contrast, Buffalo Grill is an American style steak house and Versailles is Versailles.  This photo is looking from the palace, past the statue of Louis and down the street.  


From the base of the statue looking up.


After a walk in the fresh air and then a quiet ride home Malachi was OUT.  Jon took him upstairs, changed him, and he was still out when I took him.  


Parts of today were challenging, but so many parts of today were wonderful.  I am so thankful for another beautiful, yet still somber, day in Paris.  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Shadow King by C. M. Brice

So a friend of mine wrote a book.  I am so proud of her.  It was neat to see her updates on Facebook through the writing process and then there is book out there by her.  I really enjoyed reading the book.  The Shadow King is a story about Wendy, Michael, Peter, the Lost Boys, Hook, and Peter Pan.  The idea behind the story is very fun, the whole crew is back in London and there are many more adventures in store for this group.  

Pan is not the fun loving creature from a Disney story though.  This toy kept popping up in the play room and I have different feelings about this toy than I used to.


I would highly recommend reading this book.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Did You Have Joy?

"Did you have joy?"  Helga asked.  Helga was the owner of the apartment we rented while on holiday this past week.  Our apartment was the second story of their home and they heard a lot of what went on while we were there.  We had delayed this trip a day because of Malachi's fever, thankfully he was fever free during the trip, but he was still quite unhappy the first night.  He cried every 2 hours all night long.  He has been sleeping through the night now for months and this is not something we expected on vacation.  There was quite a bit of snow while we were visiting and that meant more time in the apartment than we had originally expected.  All of this lead to our host asking me if I had joy.  I love speaking with people that are not native English speakers because they phrase things differently, more authentically at times.  

I have made the distinction before of vacationing versus traveling.  We do a lot of traveling with our children and very little true vacationing and I am okay with that.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that these days will be gone and we will miss getting to spend so much time with our children.  


Traveling means laundry and grocery shopping to clothe and feed our small army on the road.  It means not getting to do all of the activities we would like to do.

It also means slowing down and appreciating things that you might otherwise miss.  There are so many memories that we have made and conversations we have had that we wouldn't if we just stayed home.  The people that we have gotten to meet through Airbnb.com and travel have added to our life as well.  Helga and Rupert were wonderful hosts at the house we stayed at.

I was speaking to a friend last night and he said how proud he was of us getting out and visiting places and making the most of this expat life.  It was encouraging to hear that because there are always times on these trips that I question if all the effort is worth it, but it is.
The first time our kids see the Statue of Liberty, it is a replica in Colmar, France.


They spent a little more time on the iPad while we enjoyed our snow storm, but they also built a snowman, 


threw snowballs,


and had fun in the snow.  Rupert, who didn't speak any English, brought out a sled for the kids to use.


Malachi had a fun trip, I think.


He is becoming such a big boy.  We didn't have a highchair or booster seat so Malachi sat up to the table with us.  He didn't eat as much as he might have if he were buckled in, but he loved being one of the big kids.


Thankfully we didn't have to much of this after the first night.


Snuggle time is always so special.




On our last full day on our trip we were hoping to visit a World War I battlefield.  Unfortunately it is up in the mountains and the roads were closed.  Thankfully we did find a fortified church that dated back to the 1400s.  


Garrett loved running through the snow, picking up sticks, and just being a little boy.  Getting to see what each of our children are drawn to as we visit these places is so special.  We were the only visitors to this little church on this morning.  As the church bells rang we took a moment to appreciate our time as a family.


I told Helga that absolutely we had joy on this trip.  I hope that my children know how much joy they bring to me, wherever we are.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noel 2014

This year we did not travel or have any guests for Christmas.  We did host an open house for our church on Christmas Eve, but other than that we enjoyed a quiet celebration as a family.  
Christmas Eve started out as a beautiful day.  The kids enjoyed getting to jump on the trampoline in the sunshine.


While the sun was shining and the kids were playing I walked into the market in our city.  It is about a 15 minute walk by myself.  The market is held on Wednesday and Saturday, Christmas Eve included.  While at the market I ran into my favorite bakery.  Here is their display of Christmas cakes, YUM!  I picked out one with hazelnuts and praline.  It was delicious!


I picked up some oysters for Jon at the market.  Oysters are a tradition French Christmas food and they always have a bunch of different sizes for sale in the markets and even on the side of the road.




I bought them, but it was Jon's job to clean them.

We had so much fun at our open house that I forgot to take any pictures!  We enjoyed spending the evening with our church family and then it was time to send the kids off to bed.


This collection of candles in the fireplace make me so happy.  It is such a peaceful space to enjoy.


When you have 4 kids even 1 present for each can seem like a lot of presents.  


One of my favorite set ups for this nativity.  I love this beautiful reminder of the season.


And just like that it was Christmas morning!  I was woken up by the whole crew around 6:30 and we wasted no time getting downstairs. 


This poor little guy has been battling a fever and runny nose, but he is still adorable.


Addison is growing up so fast and has asked a lot of questions about Santa and logistics this year.  


Malachi trying out the phone on his new tricycle.


Legos from Grandma and Poppa!


Malachi got lots of 'help' opening his presents.


Safety first!


A Furby, I am so glad she likes this, but I am ready to throw it out the window.


The boys got matching Bumble bee transformers and they were so excited, Thanks Nannie and GeeGee.


Malachi was pretty excited about a new sippy cup.


I got some pretty awesome presents, but being able to watch all of my kids open their presents and enjoy their smiles was the best thing.


Time for breakfast, in France that means a chocolate dipped cream puff.  They were amazing, thanks to our friend Judy for sharing those.


All of this was accomplished by the time the sun was coming up.  It was a beautiful sunrise in Paris.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to spend another Christmas here.  I hope you all had a special Christmas and enjoyed celebrating the birth of our Saviour.