Thursday, November 26, 2009

Little sister Erika told me yesterday that I should post on my blog EVERY day so as to be cool like Gina and her blog.

Because I love my little sister and the fact that she's my most faithful commenter, AND because I found out that Aunt Florene reads my blog (WOOHOO!!!!!), I will tell you about my adventures of the evening...

Every Thursday afternoon, I give a little 8 year old girl an English lesson. Today I told her about Thanksgiving and we made "thankful turkey hands" and I had her come up with 8 things she's thankful for (because she's 8). I was secretly hoping she would write "teacher Melissa" as one of those 8 things, but alas, I'm not that important in her life. YET :)


In order to get to this little chica's house, I have to take bus #30, which is either ALWAYS late or ALWAYS early, but never on time. This is extremely frustrating for TWO reasons:

1. Buses are usually always always on time, to the very minute -- so you can easily schedule your day around them.
2. The #30 only comes every 20 minutes, so if you miss one... you're really late.

Tonight, the first bus was super early (I missed it) and the second bus was super late, so I was 20 minutes late to Roxane's house.

So I'm riding along, diligently doing my crossword puzzle, and I notice these 2 guys that get on that are obviously NOT French. I guessed (from the language they were speaking) that they were from somewhere in Eastern Europe. And they were H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S. They were the comedy show for the entire bus. They obviously had never been on the bus before and so at every stop, they would jump up from their seat, look out the window, then look at each other and say something like, "is this it!??! I don't know -- let's ask someone". And at EVERY stop, they asked this poor old guy if he knew what stop they were at, the old guy slowly shaking his head every time. They were so funny to watch.

But... just like that, we had come to my stop, and it was time to get off.

An hour and a half later, I was again waiting for the #30 bus to come and take me home, but again it was late and I had to wait out in the cold, rain, and wind for 20 minutes... It finally arrived, and as I'm getting on, who do I see in the first two seats?? These two guys!!!! HA.

And to my delight, they were doing their same little routine as before; at each stop, they would jump up from their seats, look out the window, look at each other with rather confused faces, and then this time, instead of asking another passenger, they went to the driver. It was just as entertaining as earlier.

We drive along a bit more, then at the grocery store stop, this new guy jumps on, smiling from ear to ear. Of course I smile back at him because SMILING IS CONTAGIOUS and he sits down across the aisle from me. The bus doors close, the two foreigners are reassured that it's STILL not their stop, and once again, we're off.

All of a sudden, the bus SLAMS on the brakes as it almost runs into this poor little old lady driving her car in the round-about. This sudden stop made a box belonging to a girl passenger fall on the floor with a loud bang. Right when it fell, one of the two non-French guys literally RAN over to her, picked up the box and in broken English goes, "oh. ok. you alright? box, umm... ok?" and smiled this big smile. So sweet. It made me smile. I felt like I was getting to know them.

Then the bus driver starts talking really loudly about the old lady that didn't know how to drive, "she didn't even put on her blinker to show she was staying in the round-about..." etc. etc. Not knowing who she was talking to, I kind of glanced over at smiley guy sitting next to me and we had one of those moments.

You know... those moments when you're in a public place and a funny scene happens that maybe only a few people see -- and that scene kind of bonds the spectators together? Do you know what I'm talking about?

Well, it was one of those cases only it quickly became very awkward. We had both heard the driver ranting about this almost-accident, neither of us knew who she was talking to, so we kind of smiled at each other like, "oh isn't that funny?!" and had a few chuckles, but then it just became awkward.

I was still smiling like a fool because I was thinking of how entertaining my bus ride had been, and well, you know me -- I can't very discreetly conceal how funny I find certain (namely awkward) situations, so I just start laughing...

Oh man. Soon we were at my stop, and as I'm getting off, I hear the two non-French guys say (in English), "oh, this our stop. Yes? This ours??!" to which the bus driver frustratingly and loudly said, "NO, I WILL TELL YOU WHEN IT'S YOURS!"

Ahh...I love riding the bus in Rennes. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

i'm thankful for them.

then the thanksgiving with the staff!

This past Sunday was Thanksgiving with our staff team. So much fun! These staff kids are soooo great -- little missionary kids growing up in France. Love them all! The Kellum Family hosted us!

Each family was in charge of bringing 2 things to the meal. Since I forgot to sign up until the last minute, my 2 things I was in charge of were the sweet potatoes and the wine. They were both a bit interesting.

the sweet potatoes... for the record, let it be said that I DO NOT eat sweet potatoes, and the taste of them makes me wanna... you know. But I had no choice. So I followed all of the steps of the recipe, except for the pecan butter topping because they told me I didn't have to put that on as it's hard to find pecans in France for cheaper than $5 for 1 cup of them. SO. I mix all of the ingredients together, put it in a 9x13 pan, and pop them in the oven to bake. As they were baking and coming to the end of their alloted time in the oven, the wafting smell that reached my nose was not that of the repugnant smell of sweet potatoes, but rather, the glorious odor of a pumpkin pie. WHAT!?! As I looked in the oven to see what indeed was baking in there, I noticed that the sweet potatoes looked more like a cake -- not fluffly and soft like they should be, but more "stick-a-knife-in-the-middle-and-it-comes-out-clean". Uh oh...

When I brought them in to Lisa's house and gave them to her, she said, "oh! well these look a bit different!" Ha. And then quickly added, "I'm sure they'll taste great sweetie!" After we had re-heated them I asked her if they looked any better and she goes, "oh no honey, but they're hot!"

Long story short, the staff graciously and kindly said that "they're really good Melissa!!" though I harbor doubts on the sincerity of their compliment. They were soft and a BIT fluffy, but technically I think for them to be fluffy, they need to be deeper than 1 inch. Right? :)

So instead of overcoming my fear and strong dislike for sweet potatoes, the making of these actually fed my abhorrence for them.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Thanksgiving a was big success! We made and ate a lot of food. 83 students came! Abraham Lincoln made a surprise visit to tell us a bit of the history behind this festive occasion -- he even walked into "hail to the chief" -- it got a big laugh. Well, at least from the Americans. :)
We made thankful turkey hands and had people share in small groups things they were thankful for.

We had much to be thankful for; it was a splendid evening!

(Celine, je sais que t'es en train de lire and... you were great! A Jeudi!!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

happy student thanksgiving!

Tomorrow night at 7pm, 80+ students will be fed an authentic, homemade Thanksgiving meal. Woohoo!!!!!! This little guy was on our flyer that we handed out to students.

We're really excited. We have a fun fun program planned:

1. Make "thankful turkey" hands
2. American football game going on in the background (as people arrive, before we eat)
3. Prayer of thanks
4. EATING!!!!
5. A "surprise" visit from Abraham Lincoln, explaining the meaning and purpose of Thanksgiving
6. Student sharing his testimony
7. Dessert
8. Announcement and Comment Cards

Sounds fun, yeah? I'm super super excited! Tomorrow is a LOT of cooking, but it's so fun to give French students a taste of this "interesting American food" :)

Please pray for a good good time for us! And an early HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"un-blanking" my wall

I'm putting up new pictures on my wall. It's an asymmetrical arrangement by miss sarah f. klingler. :)

The white papers are where the frames are going to go (obviously). They're up with sticky tack so I can re-arrange them to my hearts content before there are permanent holes in my wall.

Can you tell me what you think??? I NEED YOUR ADVICE!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

african cokes

this is a tradition in our family; drinking African cokes together.

there is nothing like an African coke. anybody who's tasted African coke will say the same thing. Yes Anne? they taste very different from american, french, or any other cokes. don't exactly know why, maybe it's the rust on the bottles that has accumulated after not having being properly washed...

but whatever it might be. they're the best cokes in the entire world.

every time my Dad travels to Africa, he brings us back 4 cokes. one for each of the kids, and then mom gets a sip from everyone's.

it's a special little something we do in our family. it's rare that we're all together to drink them, and this was in the hotel lobby of where we were staying in kansas city for cassie's wedding.

ahhhh... yum.

always coca cola.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Matt and Cassie Allen!!!

I have a new cousin. Matthew Allen!! :) He married my wonderfully, amazing, incredible Cassie Dorsch cousin WHOM I LOVE!!!!!! She's my only girl cousin on my Dorsch side and she's hilarious.

I was graciously flown back to the United States for her wedding this past week, and it was awesome! So great to see family, friends, and be in AMERICA (more photos and stories on that later).

Here are some pictures of Cass's day:

the siblings waiting for the ceremony to start while others were taking pictures

brother Andrew and sister Erika.

1.5 years later, the family Dorsch is together again!!! :)

the mighty Dorsch men, minus Uncle Bob's boys.

the bride and her mama!!!!!!!

Cass and Jared (brother and sister)

Lindsay-a-roo. Can you tell we're sister!?