Sunday, July 24, 2011

"French Week" was more interesting for some people...

(This post is dedicated to Madame Brueggers, my first French teacher.) my husband, who happened to be in France during the week we were doing French studies at home.

He even got to experience Bastille Day in Paris, how amazing is that?

Back at the ranch, we honestly tried. We did our best. Some things we did were to spend a half hour looking at a book about Impressionists. We watched a video about kids in a French family. We had "Petite Dejouner" at a little cafe I know (okay, yea, so it was Panera bread, thanks to awesome coupons from the summer reading program at the library!) We watched the US/France women's soccer semi final (Awesome!) Zachary, who is all into riding his new bike right now, researched and learned that bicycles were invented by the French (the velocipede.) We learned to say simple phrases like "Je fait du velo" (roughly "I ride bicycle") and "Bonjour" and "Au revoir" and any other bit I could remember from high school French. I put French cafe music on to listen to. Oh and the big highlight was finding a book called The Cat Who Walked Across France, because my Nathan loves cats.

For the most part, though, interest in this whole thing is waning, even for me. We spent much of the week either at the swimming pool (Je fais du nager) or parked on the front porch for some reading (J'aime lire livres) writing in my journal (J'ecris avec un stelo) and even eating our breakfast (Je dejoune sur la porche.) The heat has really kicked in this week. Mexico week was reduced to listening to a couple of CDs and going to our favorite Mexican place for dinner. It's so hot that we can do nothing but go to the pool and lay around the house, it seems.

In a weird burst of creativity, after a brief conversation about the French and Indian war, the boys wanted to make cucina dolls, a project they saw on a video during "Native American" week. I decided to be grateful that they were putting some energy towards a creative and educational pursuit, and I realized that although my intentions were good, the boys now need some chill out time, as well as opportunity to do the things they really want to do, as the days of summer are suddenly numbered.

And a word on Paris: everyone I know asks "why didn't you go with him?" Alas, between us, my husband and I have but one living parent. My mother in law is herself a busy woman, not to mention that two rambunctious boys for a whole week might be a bit much for her. However, this is what I am grateful for: in my earlier years I got the chance to travel, and to really do a lot of things that I had always wanted to do. So now, when my dear husband goes on business trips to Paris, I don't feel angry or jealous, despite Paris being sort of the number one bucket list destination that I've never been to! I feel confident that in a year or two, once we've made it a financial priority and secured the funds to do so, we will all journey to Paris. And Austria. Italy. Spain. Etc. Besides, it's important to have dreams.


  1. Oh wow lucky hubby Shannon! Love your French week with the boys. My daughter speaks French fluently, she went to an immersion school. I love forward to hearing about your travels as a family. Like you said it is good to dream. :) Have a great week!

  2. My husband is an airline pilot, so we've had the opportunity to take our kids to London, Paris and Amsterdam. Our kids even did an exchange program where they spent two weeks with a French family a couple of years ago. I hope you get to go with the whole family - there's so much there for your boys to see and experience!

    I loved this post - beautiful photos!