Friday, February 3, 2012

Daybook: First Post from our New Home (for the year...)

::outside my window...Cold.  Gray.  SNOWY!  Michelle has been asking for weeks when we would get a snowstorm, and this week she finally got it.  We got several inches on Tuesday, and it has stayed cold enough that quite a bit of it is still there.  So pretty.

::listening to...Michelle and James coloring together.  I love it when they do things nicely together (which isn't always...but is often in our house.  I am so very grateful for this.)

::giving thanks amazingly smooth transition to this new place.  So much could have gone wrong that didn't.  We are so grateful for new friends on this side who have helped us get settled too.

::pondering...So, I had my first 'embarrasing language learning faux-pas yesterday: I accidently ended up in the 'card only' line at the supermarket when I wanted to pay in cash.  We had been warned that it can been a hassle to use an American credit card here, but thankfully I had it with me, and thankfully it worked.   But, I still felt pretty stupid, and by the time I got home was feeling pretty much like "we can't do this.  What were we thinking, coming here?"   I let myself get frustrated and discouraged over what was really a pretty little thing.  I realized later, however, that I should use these moments (since I'm quite sure there will be others!) as reminders that I really can't do this on my own, but that I can do ALL THINGS through Christ's strength.  When I am weak, He is strong.  

::living the educational life...We started back to school for the kids this week.  I'm going to try a 4-weeks-on-1-week-off schedule this year.  We have implemented our first grade curriculum almost in full this week and it has gone well.  I was a little worried that what looked reasonable on paper was going to be too much in reality, but we've been getting things done in good time.  I'm really pleased with Michelle's narrations also - I thought she'd have a harder time adjusting to this, but she's doing really well.  So, we are off to a good start there.  Next week Mama goes back to school...

::preparing in the kitchen...I have successfully started a new sourdough starter!  Yeah!   I have a bowl of sourdough crackers souring right now to bake in a little while.  Sourdough crackers are addictively good.

::creating by hand... Michelle is begging me to start our first 'real' sewing project: a blanket and pillow for her Pooh-Bear.  Guess we should get going on that this week.

::following these links... We were offline for a week and a half, so I am slowly getting caught up on my online reading.  However, I thought this was a good reminder about what is really important as we educate our children, even though I don't use the AO Curriculum.  I have also really enjoyed Renee's thoughts about the transition her family has gone through in the past year just as we have been going through major life transitions as well.  Alot of her thoughts have really resonated with me and I have appreciated her vulnerability in processing her thoughts and feelings online.

::turning pages... We recently watched the BBC miniseries Cranford and really enjoyed it.  It is actually based on several Elizabeth Gaskell novels, so now I am reading all of them to see which plot elements in the movie came from which books.   If you enjoy Jane Austen, you will probably also enjoy Elizabeth Gaskell (both the novels and the BBC movie productions of the same.)

::finding rhythm... We're getting there.  This week has actually been pretty good in that department, all things considered.  Next week, however, Mama and Papa start school which will add a whole new dynamic.  So, rhythm in our family is a work in progress.

::keeping house... Before we came here, we had been warned that our apartment was kind of old and laid out funny.  And it is.  But, we rearranged some furniture and are actually finding it pretty comfy - and spacious enough that we don't feel cramped.  And we have an amazing view. =)

::kiddos this week... Quote from Michelle: "Mama, why are you speaking French to everyone?"  Well, that's just exactly why we came to live in France for a year sweet girl.

::praying... that I will view the difficulties of learning a new language and culture as opportunities to depend even more upon the Lord, rather than as frustrations.

::planning the week ahead... We start language school this coming week!  Kinda excited, kinda nervous.  We go for a placement test/interview on Monday and won't actually know our schedules until Monday evening.  And then the fun begins....

::capturing a few moments...

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