Thursday, September 30, 2010

afternoon fun

Every once in a while, Gabrielle and Mallory come over to my house for an afternoon snack and craft time. Their parents are staff here and I love spending time with these sweet missionary kids!!

Not too long ago, I saw this rainbow wind catcher craft that Meg from the whatever blog had done with her kids. I thought it was so cute and thought it would be perfect to do it with these girls. And they loved it!

We took a snack break after painting and before we started cutting out streamers. hot chocolate and yummy cookies! Flat, look which mug Mallory wanted to use!! :)

Right after snack, we had a mini dance party to Elvis songs, and we were dancing all over the living room! At one point Gabrielle (she's 6) looks at me and goes, "what are you doing? what kind of a dance is THAT!?!?" ha. I told her it was the Melissa Dance and she goes, "oh, that's a wierd dance".

We were in a bit of a time crunch, and because it was rainy and cold all day, our painted plates weren't drying! So I went to plan B and took out the blow dryer. It worked marvelously well!

When we finished we had a few minutes before their Moms came to get them, so we played a game of Old Maid. Guess who was the Old Maid at the end...

The rainbow catchers turned out so pretty and the girls were so happy! I loved being able to do something fun and crafty with them (I made one too!!).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

random, VERY random

I woke up this morning to see this posted on my facebook wall by my lovely sister Erika:

Time to update the blog!!!!!! Overdue notice is coming in the mail!!!

Now, while I don't ALWAYS do everything she says, she IS my most faithful commenter (except for the last post shorty) and so I feel a bit obligated to obey...

I don't have one specific event to blog about, so here are just a bunch of random pictures that I've taken recently.

Lisa and I on our staff women biking adventure

flowers from the saturday market. how can you resist buying such GORGEOUS flowers!?!

This was a DIY project I finished. I have zero pictures from the "before" and only this one from the "after". It used to be a mirror, with an ugly brown-ish frame. It belonged to one of my friends who was here 2 years ago, and when he left, his mirror ended up at my house. I didn't really like the mirror (no offense Reisz), and so I decided to transform it into something beautiful. :) I spray painted the frame, and then painted the glass with chalkboard paint, and now it's in my entryway.

I went with some friends to a soccer game a couple weeks ago. Rennes is ranked #2 in the whole country!!!!!!! And speaking of Rennes soccer, I feel like this is a good time to give you an update Carlos Bocanegra. Do you remember him? For those of you in Whitewater, do you remember seeing his picture on the cover of one of the Dillons coupon books? Or subsequently, on our fridge at our house? :)

He's the US Men's Soccer CAPTAIN, and used to play for the Rennes club. This is the guy I MET in the train station on my way back to America in May. :) Anyway, he was traded to a different club this year (still in France), and he is now one of the defenders for Saint Etienne. And though it has been a hard situation to accept (his leaving that is), I am happy to say that his club is NUMBER 1 in the country as of right now! They haven't been first since the 1980s or something. I mean, coincidence that the year they get the star American player on their team, they become #1 in the nation!? I think not.

But Rennes is in 2nd place! And just for the record (Hubert), I still LOVE the Rennes team, even though the American is gone.

One day I was in the park, and this was flying overhead:

We finished remodeling our new office building in town, and so we had an inauguration on Sunday to commemorate the event. At one point, our whole staff team went to the front and several pastors prayed for us and our ministry. It was a really special time. I held Laurie's arm during the prayer :)

Sorry this is oh so random, but... hope it was somewhat interesting to at least some of you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

4 before 2

Matthias, here is a post just for you! :)

Sammy is going to be 2 in January. Remember him?? He's soooooooo precious!!! His mama speaks to him in Spanish, his Daddy speaks to him in German, French people speak to him in French, and I speak to him in English. This kid is going to be fluent in 4 languages before he's 2.

We had a great time in the park, even though he didn't want to come and sit with his coolest Aunt Melissa, or color with my pens, or eat my muffins I was trying to lure him into eating. :)

But what a FUN, energetic little boy! And he has a GREAT laugh!!!!

You have a beautiful family Matthias! :) And Reisz, what a beautiful bike that's been transformed into a family "passenger vehicle"

Monday, September 20, 2010

jelly party

I spent Sunday afternoon with Tereza and the Kellum family (all staff with me here) in the little town the Kellum's live in, right outside of Rennes.

After a YUMMY bbq for lunch, a Sunday afternoon nap and a good cup of coffee, we headed to the annual "Jelly Party". "Jelly Party" is the literal translation for this event, and sounds much less appealing and fun as when you say "FĂȘte des Confitures" in French. It's a well known event, and people come from far and wide to sell their homemade jams and jellies. It was fun to walk around, see what kinds of jellies (sometimes REALLY strange) were being sold, and of course, sampling any and every one we wanted!

When all was said and done, I ended up purchasing 2 jars... of the SAME jelly. :) I bought strawberry rhubarb! OH MAN SO GOOD. It reminds me a LOT of home.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Last Saturday, Halle and I went to our neighborhood wide garage sale. People had set up all kinds of treasures in the "downtown" of our neighborhood and were patiently awaiting people to come and look their stuff.

As you may know, I LOVE do it yourself projects... and I really REALLY wanted to find something fun that I could get for cheap-0 and then fix up. And thanks to Halle's eyes, I found THIS!

Lest you think it looks beautiful, this is what the top looked like:

In desperate need of some do it yourself repair!

The vendor told me it was 1.50 euros (about $2.25) which I thought was waaaaaaay overpriced, so I asked him if he'd take 1 euro ($1.30 with today's exchange rate) for it. So the vendor leaned over to ask, what I can only assume was the love of his life, if it was ok for this strange person to pay LESS than the already low asking price. And without even lifting her eyes, the love of that man's life gave a quick nod, and the table was mine!

It's the first piece of "furniture" (if you can call a wobbly 3-legged table / stool a piece of furniture) that I've redone, so it's far from perfect... but it was really fun to work on a project like this, and to see the transformation!

And now, for the BIG REVEAL (as John and Sherry would say!!!!)

I realize that the white flower pot on the white 3-legged newly redone table is not ideal, (more color needed) but I had no other pot, and desperately wanted to take a picture with SOMETHING on it.

Speaking of plants, that IS a real plant, and I have had it for 16 days now! :) SB sois fier!

So... do you like?!?!?!?

Friday, September 10, 2010

DIY magazine holder

When I got back to France, I did a lot of rearranging, organizing, cleaning, etc. of my apartment. As I was cleaning out my "craft area" (by "area", I mean small table) I realized that I needed something to put my scrapbooking stickers in. I was tired of them being in different drawers, different folders, and not at all organized.

I love organization and I love do it yourself projects.

SO...I got crafty!

I got this plain, wood magazine holder from IKEA

Then I picked out some fun scrapbook paper and cut the sheets to the size of the magazine holder

Then using mod podge glue and the sealer coat, I put it all together. SUPER EASY!

And now ALL of my stickers are in one place and it looks so cute in my "craft area". :)

Flatty, do you think YHL would be proud of this??

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2 places

I have 2 favorite places in downtown Rennes. One is a cute little coffee shop and one is a creperie (a place that, well, obviously, makes crepes, which is THE speciality of Rennes and this region of France).

These places are not only quaint, "so French" (like certain people ^^), charming and tasty, but are also places that now hold tons of memories, because of all the people that were in them at one point or another. Without wanting to sound too sentimental and cheesy, every time I now go to these places, my mind is instantly filled with great memories from the days of yore.

Wow. that DID sound super cheesy and DID sound sentimental. So sorry. But it's true...

I mean, look:

That's the creperie.... SO YUMMY!!!!

And then, there's this coffee shop. This was the first place I had coffee in Rennes. Very eclectic -- no two tables and chairs the same, books everywhere and just a cozy little place. This became the place that Sarah and I most often went and was definately a favorite. They have the BEST Christmas tea.

They also have the BEST chocolate and pear tarte. OH MAN it's good. And if I remember right, Sarah was dissapointed she ordered this fancy drink, as opposed to her normal "grand creme". But the chocolate and pear tarte really make everything better.

It really was a fabulous place. I say "was" because...

Yesterday, I went there with one of my friends, only to see this:

And this: It closed!!! AND I DON'T KNOW WHY!!!!

There are NO signs that say anything about when / if they're going to open up another shop in a different location.

This is SO SAD! All of those memories...

But then, as I was going through my pictures, trying to find all of the ones that were taken in that coffee shop, I found this (which wasn't taken in that particular place but...)

It really made me feel a whole lot better. I miss Sarah more than I'll miss that coffee shop.

THAT was also cheesy. :)