Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween...

Oh the fun of Halloween I remember as a child... trick or treating... costumes... pumpkins. We have really enjoyed lots of different kinds of pumpkins with Sadie Mac and now with Noah. Kids are so fun. So, we set off this year for another great pumpkin adventure. We couldn't find a pumpkin patch anywhere, but thankfully Stephen found a little pumpkin this weekend at the market.

The kids getting ready for the excitement... Noah, more excited about the paper than the pumpkin...

Sadie Mac, quite dramatically distraught over Noah ripping the paper- Noah enthralled at this point...

And the planning and carving begins...

Our three little pumpkins, all in a row...
Sadie trying to protect the "hat" of the pumpkin...
Then giving in to her little brother who only wanted to eat the hat of the pumpkin...
And as for costumes for today...
Glenda, the good witch- turning her little brother into a frog!
The Frog Prince

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chamonix and Mont Blanc

So, Stephen and I have made a wonderful sweet friend here who loves our kids and was willing to spend a few extra hours with them so we could go out for the day. After two weeks of sickness and frustrations with learning a new language... we needed some time, just the two of us! So, our sweet friend came to spend the day with our two little treasures and we ventured off to Chamonix, which is at the foot of Mount Blanc- the highest mountain in the Alps and in Western Europe. It separates France and Italy and is absolutely amazing.
It was nice to NOT take the kids because Sadie gets car sick sometimes and this is a REALLY curvy road going there from our town! I even felt a little woozy! The roads ARE beautiful and I was thankful I wasn't missing out on all the changes of fall that are going on in the mts. of NC!!!

We were amazed by the drive and thankful for the beautiful sights

I laughed at this... sausage for goats horns!!! Oh the French and their sausages!!!

Thanks Mr. Statue for pointing out the peek of the Mountain!

And at the end of the day... we were very thankful and all smiles for a little QUIET time together!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Birthday Cupcake Fun... (and seasonal!!)

Noah's birthday is just around the corner and I'm always looking for a little time to create some kind of birthday cake fun. One of my newest favorite hobbies is cake decorating!!!

We just started a school break so I thought what better time for me to do some (much missed) cooking from scratch! So, I bought a large piece of pumpkin at the Thursday market and... started thinking....
After the smoke cleared- I realized we had some friends coming into town this weekend and their son just celebrated his first birthday! With Noah's coming up I was excited about a dual birthday party for our LITTLE MONSTERS!! I was also excited about pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing!!
So... my first stop was trying to figure out how to make pumpkin puree from scratch.... Thank you Pioneer Woman for all your experience and HELP!! She too has pics, so enjoy hers as well!
I started out cutting my piece of pumpkin in slices and cooked at 350 for almost an hour....

After I pulled it out, it was tender and easy to separate from the skin...

I started smashing with both fork and hands...This is Sadie ("The Princess') face when I asked her to smash with her hands and I could take a picture... sheer disgust. You want ME to touch... THAT... and SMASH? Ugh... no thanks (with some whining in there!)

So, this is my beautiful puree after some elbow grease and finger smashing.... (no electricity needed!!!)

Nice, I only needed 3/4 cup so I am excited to make some pumpkin bread this week too!!!

One of our projects this week from Sadie and Noah being sick was to glue eyes on these little "thingies"(??) for monster eye balls...

And "VOILA..." (trying to practice French, even on the blog...)

Happy (almost) birthday to my little monster... and his little monster friend!!!

Stay tuned for the birthday party pics, coming soon!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stay Home From School Days

We all know what it means to be missing school: SICK DAYS!! Yes, we feel like the black plague has hit the Rhyne house in France and it's been a very rough two weeks around these parts. Noah brought in the illness we think... about 4 days later it hit Sadie Mac... then me... then Stephen... then it went back to Noah (photo above!)... poor little guy. So, if they can't go to school... mom and dad get to take turns going to class. It's nice that we're in the same class so we can easily share notes... but, it's still not the same as being IN class... but we're adjusting.
Since we can't watch movies ALL day long... we have a new favorite place in our house- the (inside) of the door for the laundry! It's just a little closet that we open up and now leave the newspaper up to do art projects. Sadie LOVES to paint and "make projects." So, this is our latest... she's got her very own artist's palette. So easy... so fun... so helpful to me for time to get other things done.
Thankfully, now... we're all on medicine and on the upswing!

Paper plate+ hole for the thumb+ paint= success!!!

Daddy was very pleased with his new artwork that hangs in the hallway!

And thankfully... my little drool bug (who is getting 2 new teeth) is back to his old tricks of playing pots and pan drums!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hard to Be Away...

As exciting as it seems to live overseas... there are many a times, we really want to be back in the States with family, friends, and familarity.

This past weekend, two big things happend with our families that was hard not to be a part of. First, my sister Avee was a gold metal winner in the State Fair for showing off her cow, "Motsy". She did great I hear... and this is a pic of her with our niece, nephew, Motsy, Motsy's owner, and the gold metal girl herself!!! I really wish we could have been there to cheer her on! Great Job Avee... we are sooo proud of you!!!
The other was on a much more sad note. Stephen's grandmother and Noah and Sadie Mac's great grandmother who was just shy of 93 years old passed away. She lived a full life and has 5 children and loads of grandchildren and great grand children to show for it. She was a very special lady and we are thankful she is in Heaven today with Jesus... dancing I'm sure! We both so wish we could have been there to support family... we love you all and celebrate her life with you.... Here is a photo of Grandma and Sadie Mac and Noah, just last December.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thursday Market

On Thursdays, just behind our house and around the corner... is the big local market. From the wee hours of the morning until the French lunch time we see loads of people and traffic flocking to this little market. It's really fun to go people watch, listen to French, TRY to speak a little, and learn more about our new country. Meat, cheese, and fruit vendors, along with many others selling almost anything. One of our favorite vendors is the fresh ravioli guy. That is a fun once a week treat. They also have live animals, which Sadie and Noah really like.

My first trip was an adventure. I was excited about buying fresh bread... always a treat in France. I also wanted to get some bananas to balance out the bread! But... what I really wanted was flowers. So, I made my way over and after talking (very very briefly) to the man, I pointed to what I wanted and waited. He asked me a question and I felt like I had that "deer in headlights" look. I had no idea what he said, so I politely answered "oui" (yes). As he started wrapping the flowers as if I were giving them in a present... I realized what he had asked. So, quickly before he wrapped the second one for me to take home as a "gift" for Stephen, I said, "only one"... and the other one was not wrapped. Oh the adventures in learning a new language!!! But, I was still happy to have my flowers, bananas, and fresh bread!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cultural Lessons...

One of the best things about living overseas is learning so much about other cultures. Sometimes things can be strange to us, different, or even down right weird. Other things can be wonderful... and something you treasure and will always keep as a part of you.

While we were living in the sandbox and in the land of the pyramids, we learned something that is very "cultural" to Arabs... or at least the ones we know. When you are given a plate of (some kind of food) to take home... you ALWAYS return it with something else on it, as a gesture of "thank you" so it seems to me.
I have met one of my neighbors who is from Morocco and I LOVE HER. She is kind and we try to speak French to each other. She is very helpful and encouraginng of my French... but the other day, I couldn't get out what I wanted to say, she says to me (in Arabic), "Just say it in Arabic!!" We laughed, and I did answer her as she wanted... and there was clarity!!!
So, I decided to make her a small tray of pseudo rice krispy treats. (Pseudo because they were with corn flakes instead because I can't find rice krispy cereal here!) When she returned the dish, she returned it with a tray of homemade dessert "yummies". (I have no idea what they were, but they were good!)
I'm so thankful for little lessons like this... thankful for friends who help me to learn... and for good food I enjoy in the mean time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Child Prodigy

Well, we've been in school about a month or so now... it took the teachers long enough. Long enough for what... you ask? To discover my child's amazing talents. We call her Sadie Picasso ... sometimes Little Da Vinci. Yes, she is an extremely talented artist. I know she doesn't get it from me... it could be Stephen. Could be.
Anyway... last week we went in to pick her up and I saw her first French artwork hanging in the hall beside her classroom. I wanted to show you some pic, so you TOO could enjoy her art. Proud mom? YES... I am. Her picture is beside the description that reads in French: "Sadie Rhyne, artist extradinaire. Will soon join the ranks of those who have gone before her. Much like Monet and Renoir." (For those of you who can't read French... just trust me. For those of you who can... ignore me.)
In all seriousness... I'm a proud mom, whose daughters pics were on the hall of her school. The only way YOU can see them, is if I blog about it... enjoy! ;-) Her pic is the one with the orange background... She was the only one wearing a smock... I wasn't surprised! Also, this is a pic of her and her cubby!! ;-)

Chick-Fil-A Night!

We are SUPER excited that we now live in a place where we can receive MAIL!!! We have taken full advantage of this from family and were so thankful to get a BIRTHDAY PACKAGE from my mom which included an essential life need: Chick-Fil-A sauce!! So, one night we decided to do a little friend chicken nuggets and dippin' in the good stuff!!! It was a great night!! (Thanks MOM!!!)