Wednesday, October 31, 2012

to my kansas farmer friends

I took a walk in "my" countryside this week, and took some photos to update the Kansas farmers on what farming looks like at the end of October in Rennes.

This summer, cousin Denny taught me to count the corn kernels to see how much was on each ear. I have no recollection of how many rows across or around it should be, so I'll let you count for yourself, Den! :)

Does it look good? Greg, is it GMO? :)

Still green on the plants!

This farmer already had two trenches full and tarped.

It would be really tiring to put all those on there. Ha. Pun totally intended.

This road looks like it goes straight into these people's farm, but it curves around to the left. Lest you think I was trespassing... :)

Some setting got really off when I took this picture... he has these cows and then a bunch out on pasture.


It was 30 degrees here this morning! BRRRR! Thankful for little radiators to heat my apartment!

On another note, a group of children came to my door tonight and yelled "HALLOWEEEN!!!! DO YOU HAVE CANDY?" all in French. I didn't even get up to answer the door. Last night they did the same thing, and not one single child was dressed up. :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

oh I love karoke! And other randomness.

This past week-end, we had a student week-end about 20 km outside of Rennes, and oh man was it fun.

One of the highlights was doing some karoke Saturday night with everyone! I have been wanting to do karoke since this summer, ever since my dear sister Lindsay convinced Shorty and I to do some with her. It's SO much fun. I had no idea you could get karoke songs from youtube, but they have tooooooons (as you can imagine). So our student week-end setting seemed like the perfect setting and man was it FUN! I can't wait to do it again!

I have played more games of apples to apples this year, than in all of the other years of my life combined. It's a GREAT game to play for French people to practice their vocabulary. This round cracked me up. :)

Joanna is one of my favorites here in Rennes. I really enjoy asking her how she says certain things in British English and then trying to sound just as posh as she does. I never do. She, on the other hand, can master the American "awwwwsome!!" :)

Ooooo'Grady! Do you see this!?! She said, "why do you want me to write that?" :)

Have you ever wondered what these hedge rows looked like on the inside?

This reminded me of Kansas.

It has gotten VERY cold in Rennes. I bought my first little pumpkins at my Tuesday farmer's market and made some pumpkin bread and it was soooo fallish.

A VERY happy happy birthday to my sweet cousin, Cynthia!!! (in the middle)

I miss my cousins! Hello Melanie and Sherlynn! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

dan mcspeedy

This is Dan. He is my boss, and a really really good one at that. He and his wife May are pretty incredible people and their two boys are really awesome! It's such a blessing knowing them.

Dan rides his bike everywhere. And rides it FAST. Today, as we were going on campus (Rick was driving us), I decided to get pictures of him zooming by.

We didn't stay ahead of him for too long

He's going so fast the picture is blurry.

One of the best things about working in Rennes are the people I get to work with, and the leadership that very much leads by example. Dan does a terrific job of taking care of his team; making sure we're doing alright, casting vision, and encouraging us. Oh, and he also makes sure that eating good chocolate stays on the forefront of our minds. :)

I'm very happy we can cheminer ensemble here in Rennes, Dan!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

craft time and the heat is on!

I was so happy yesterday afternoon when I turned the heater on and it actually started to get warm! It's been REALLY cold here, and my apartment has been freezing. As in, sleeping in long sleeves, long pants, wool socks, blanket and down comforter. I have been that cold. The building controls when they turn on and turn off the heat, and then I can control from 1-5 :) They obviously don't want to turn it on too soon or they pay more... I am much warmer now.

Yesterday, the little girls (and Halle!) came over for our October craft. It's always so fun and the time goes by way too quickly!

The little girls made fall paintings with their hand print (tree) and fingerprints (leaves)


The big girls made this flower scrapbook paper project.

Thank you, Flat for a lot of this scrapbook paper!! It is put to good use and LOVED by all!

These girls are so precious. They have pretty amazing parents as well! I said, "smile Anna!" :)

I said the same thing to Mallory.

They all do such a good job and the finished products were beautiful! 

Julie had time to do a second piece of art. Rainbows and hearts.

Next month is Thanksgiving month!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

I have a lot of things to say :)

Today I realized that in 2 days, I'm having another craft day with the little staff girls, and the last time I blogged was about our September craft. Which means... I haven't blogged in a long time and I need to blog at least once in between both craft times! Yikes! Shorty's away on vacation, so I don't have anyone nagging encouraging me to blog. :)

We finally had a real fall day today. Quite a bit of sunshine, hardly any rain, and enjoyable weather to walk outside in. Last week it rained almost all week and I was getting really tired of the rain and constant gray skies. Having lived with sun for 365 days out of the year 16 years of my life, it's hard when I don't see it for a week (or more!) straight!

But I am so blessed, and wanted to be reminded to give thanks daily. So I changed my chalkboard. And made some paper bunting.

I'm very thankful for my sweet friend Abby who decided to turn from her dark KU ways and embrace the one true and awesome team in Kansas. Look what she sent me! SO thoughtful! It made my day!

On Friday I dropped my phone in some water. I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say, it stopped working... I read online that you can leave your phone in rice and it will help get all of the moisture out. So I did that for about 24 hours, put the battery back in and it started working again!

I was so happy and thankful, but then realized that there were a few things that still weren't functioning quite properly, so I took it all apart, and back into the rice it went. Maybe tomorrow it'll work again.

Easy to complain... but it's just technology. I am thankful that I have my old phone that I can text and call with. While I do miss instagram, I'm thankful that I have a way to communicate. 

It was so cold last week that I made a huge pot of taco soup. I was planning on freezing a bunch but then realized that my tiny freezer was already completely full. Ahhh fail. So I've been eating a lot of taco soup. It's really yummy. I actually took a picture of it, but I couldn't decide if it looked super yummy or really gross in the picture, so I opted to not include it. :) It was really tasty! It's my Grandma Dorsch's recipe, and all things she makes are splendid. 

I am applying to get a 10-year resident card. It is a looooong story, and has become a much longer process than I anticipated.

Today I photocopied 38 pages of documents to include in my application. And I still have about 10 more. It can be a very frustrating system and I can easily become impatient  But I want to choose to be thankful that I can live here, and have been able to live here for 5 years already. I really do love the French people!

Our team is now using google plus and tonight Tara, Halle and I "hung out" for a bit to talk about a few things. It was quite fun.

Hard to believe that half of October is already done! We're starting to talk about our big Thanksgiving celebration here!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

september craft with some of my favorites

A new year means starting up "craft time at Melissa's" once a month with the young staff girls. We I kind of slacked off at the end of last year, and we had a lot fewer craft times than I had hoped. But our goal is to do one every month this year!

Our craft for September was making gumball machines! They were so cute! I spray painted terra cotta pots and the little plate things that set under them a couple days before the girls came. They painted and decorated them with stickers and ribbon.

It's always fun to have monogrammed stuff at your place. My mom and I made the little owl goodie bags in Niger with her cuddle bug machine, and I filled them with a few treats for the girls.

Halle and Tara came to help as well. We really love the kiddos on our staff team!

Anna and I used the hair dryer to make the paint dry faster. In this humid Rennes weather, things take FOREVER to dry! Including clothes...

Finished products! The girls did a SUPER job! I don't know if they were more excited about making the gumball machine, or the fact that they each got to take home a bunch of candy :)

I'm planning our October craft! I have a lot of Fall ideas!