Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Our week


I'll see if I can sort through all these pictures (which represent how we spent our week) and put them in some kind of sequential order. You can just glance at this pile and get an idea of what we did, or for the more detail-oriented, read what follows.

Tuesday

Jack did not go to school this morning. We don't know what is causing this illness. He complained of a headache and had no appetite. He lay down the whole morning, and by lunch he was feeling better. I don't know if it was the right decision, but we let him go back to school in the afternoon.

I spent the morning grocery shopping with Joel and Mélissa (friend from church). She came home with me and we all had lunch together. After lunch we went to a gardening center so Mélissa could pick up a few things she needed. I was flipping out over all the gorgeous flowers and spending most of the time restraining myself from putting the lovely things in my cart. I did buy a couple more herbs and a bag of potting soil.

After school Léa came home with Sam and Jack to do homework and then have her English class. We are working on fruits and vegetables so I made up a "Who am I?" kind of game with four clues for each fruit or veggie. I thought it would be fun to use Lego mega blocks as points and depending on how many clues it took each participant (Sam, Jack, and Léa) to figure out the answer would be the number of blocks they took to build their own tower. This might not make any sense, but that doesn't matter. I'm telling this story for another reason. After the class was over, the kids started playing with the mega blocks (these are the large blocks designed for little toddler hands). I got such a kick out of them having so much fun with something I would consider far beneath them. Look at the photos below to see how these baby toys amused the big kids--and not just for a few minutes.

Even Laurent (6th grade) who came over to play, found them very interesting. Do you see why I have a hard time getting rid of things? Who knew???


While the big kids were playing with Joel's toys, he listened to my MP3 player. Just a tad ironic.

A big Happy Birthday to Dan!!! Hope you had a wonderful day with all the people who love you.

Monday

What a gorgeous day this was!

In the morning I did a couple loads of laundry and got them hung outside. It was so warm I was able to take down most of what I had hung up in the morning by lunch and hang out another load that was easily dry by supper.

Joel and I walked to school to get Jack. He was in a dandelion-picking mood. He was very proud of his substantial bouquet.


Mark had a meeting with an organization that helps churches with their finances. He went with two other guys from our church. It was quite a distance away so with the trip to and from and the actual meeting, he was gone most of the day.

After Sam and Jack went back to school, Joel and I went to buy flowers and soil. I planted the flowers and some herbs while Joel slept (and got my first sunburn of the season).

the herb garden in the back

in the front


After Joel's nap and the homework and chores were finished, we were all found doing "our own thing" outside. I put chicken breasts on the grill for supper (Mark usually is the "griller" but he didn't get home until after 7:00), Sam played basketball, Joel sang (very loudly) and played his bat (pictured below), and Jack parked himself in a chair most of the time (and this is how I knew that he wasn't over whatever had been ailing him over the weekend).



During supper, Sam wiped his dirty hands on the chair he was sitting on. I said what I always do, "the chairs and table are not your napkin". I guess he just did it one too many times, and I was tired of talking. He told me it was a reflex and I said it was more like a bad habit. To help him end the reflex or habit I told him that he would need to take all the chairs outside and wash them down. He took it in stride (not to say he was happy to do it, but he was good-natured about it) and we joked together as he paid his penance. He told me that he wouldn't be using the chairs as his napkin again any time soon. Joel had a ball with the soapy water being used to wash the chairs, and Jack found a way to get filthy too (I think it was by helping me in the "garden"). We were all a sight by the time Mark got home--dirty and happy.


the keys to the shed got locked in there so we were for once glad for the broken window which allowed Sam to crawl in and retrieve them.

We all got cleaned up. Sam had his date with Mark after Mark grabbed some, by then, cold supper (Mark takes turns with the boys on Monday night). And I read to the boys to finish out a perfect day.

Sunday

the rose André (neighbor and friend) gave me

The boys and Mark gave me an electric knife for Mother's Day. I LOVE it!! I've been wanting one since I started making my own bread. The recipe that I use says that it's an easy way to cut it into slices. I didn't think that it would really make much difference, but to be honest, my slices are terribly uneven and sometimes way too thick. Wow, the electic knife helps with both those problems, not to mention it's very fun!! Today when my two loaves are cool, I will be slicing those babies up BEFORE putting them in the freezer, which will make Mark, who has been known to call me into the kitchen to get him an unmutilated slice of bread (because when he attempts it, one can barely recognize the resulting "slice" as bread), very happy.

Mark preached at church today--on Spiritual Disciplines. It was just an introduction to the disciplines and the first in a series.

Mark made lunch (marinated pork tenderloin) and potatoes and carrots. Then we all took a rest for a couple hours.

Aroud 3:00 we went over to Francis and Armelle's for coffee and time with mutal friends (André and Michel). We spent the afternoon outside drinking coffee, eating cookies, talking and moving our chairs around the yard trying to find the sunny patches (just like cats).

We came home then for pizza and the Waltons.

It was a nice Mother's Day.

Saturday

When I got back from the gym and the boys had had their Saturday morning pancakes with Mark, I loaded all three boys in the van so we could take Jack to a birthday party that he had been invited to. He wasn't feeling well, but we figured it was something minor. As we got closer to the house of the birthday girl he told me that his heart hurt. I figured he meant that it hurt when he breathed, but I never really knew what he meant. I knew he must be truly sick if he was willing to forego the party. We dropped off the gift, the girl's mother took a few minutes to listen to his pulse and check him out a little (she's a nurse), and we headed home.

Jack rested for the remaining part of the day (and drank lots of liquids). Sam invited Charles over for a couple hours. He stayed for dinner.

Sam and Charles

I kept going on my purging project. I loved the results so much that I am spurred on to do other rooms in the house. The bathroom is next.


Friday

Sam worked long and hard on a tent. The right combination of rope, clothespins, tablecloths, and chairs made his project a success which served as a private space for trading cards (what else?) by day and then as Jack's sleeping quarters by night.
Well, this day was nothing like we had planned. The kids didn't have school today (teacher's workday, I think). We had been asked to be extras in a Christian tv program (L'heure de la honne nouvelle--good news hour). Our friend, Guillaume, was going to be filming. We had been wanting to spend some time with PL and Émilie, so when Émilie (who also works for L'heure de la bonne nouvelle) asked us to help out, we said we would. We were supposed to be in the background at a park having a picnic and talking. As it turned out, the filming was cancelled. We didn't know why at the time and guessed that it had to do with the fact that rain was in the forecast and that Zacharie (PL and É's baby) was sick. It was really related to administrative problems in the organization that puts on the TV program. They had some issues with Guillaume's unconventional ideas and the head guy blew a fuse. Hopefully it's all worked out now.

So instead of a picnic in the park, we just hung out around here. It was a nice day to stay home anyway because it was kind of gray and chilly.

Joel just had to see what great big machine was making such a great big noise. Thankfully (because it took a few minutes), it was a pair of trucks cleaning the street. One was spraying water and then the other came along behind and swept with a huge circular rotating brush. Very cool for a two year-old boy to behold.
I was fascinated by something else. All the budding trees. This first picture is of the red maple in our front yard. What a beauty!


This sign of new life is on a branch of our orange blossom tree. I love this bright new green springing up everywhere.

I spent most of the afternoon doing some serious spring cleaning, actually it was more like getting rid of stuff, than cleaning, although there was definitely some cleaning involved. I went through a lot of clothes--boxed up things too small for Joel to give to PL and Émilie, put away Sam and Jack's winter clothes. I was on a roll, so I started in on toys next.

Mark had a dinner and a meeting this night so the boys and I were on our own. I got them involved in the great toy purging/organizing. We listened to Adventures in Odysseys as we worked. At one point, we looked around the living room and figured we'd bit off more than we could chew in one evening and got a bit discouraged, but we kept on, and by the time Mark came home, we had the mess down to manageable piles. I had Mark take quite a few boxes of stuff we wanted to get rid of to our local thrift store the next day.

It was a tiring, but very productive day!!

Thursday

The kids had school, but there were no classes. It was a "fair" where each class got to walk around the building and see what the other classes had done during the year. The parents were invited, too. When I picked Jack up at 10:25 we just stayed and took our "tour" then. By chance, we timed it right to see Sam in action as it was the time period when they were showing their projects to the rest of the school. Unfortunately, a schedule was not given out to the parents ahead of time, so I missed seeing Jack and his class at work. Jack and Joel walking the hallways.

In Sam's classroom. Bet you can tell which poster is Sam's (click on the picture to see it better).

Sam's job was to start a video (of a restaurant project) every few minutes.

In the afternoon while Joel had a nap, I spent a couple of hours with my friend Yvette. We talked recipes, french grammar, maple sugar harvesting (her dad used to do this when she was young), and family. Time went by quickly.

Mark spent a lot of time preparing for his Bible college course on Spiritual Disciplines. He felt lousy due to his allergies so when I got a phone message from the secretary of the school saying that class was cancelled, I was happy to give him the welcome news.

Sam's friends, Charles and Brendon, came over after school to ride bikes with him and to trade cards in the front yard. I don't understand the attraction or how they can spend hours doing this. but then again, I'm not a boy.

Can't remember what we had for supper, but dessert was applesauce. Joel decided to wipe his applesaucy hands in his hair. Nice do, Joel!


I don't remember what the conversation was at the table either, but I snapped this picture so you could see Sam's necklace. He's been wearing this kina around for a couple weeks.

I had my English Bible study in the evening. Because Mark's class was cancelled we were able to have the study at another of the women's homes. Mark stayed here with the boys, and as the kids didn't have school the next day, he let Sam and Jack stay up later, and they watched an Indiana Jones movie together (which they were very impressed by, I might add).