Signs

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This is what a sign looks like advertising the entrance to a village and/or city.  This is our village sign as we enter Sanilhac from the north, Uzès and Sagries.  On the opposite side is the same sign but with a red slash going through it, meaning one is leaving the village and one is no longer in the village limits.

The yellow D212 marks the route number.  This is always more helpful than the name of the street in France.  Street names are not easily seen or marked here in France.  In big cities, street names are usually found on the building/house where the intersection is made between streets.  Unlike America where we have street signs on almost every corner.

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This is a hiking/biking trail.  They are so helpful and very informative, especially on a long hike/run when you want to know how many km you have left or have completed!

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This is a speed limit post.  This is 70 km/hour.  Speed limits are not enforced in France. Very rarely do you see a police officer stopping a driver for speeding.  Or even a police officer “waiting” with his speed radar.  The french drive so fast on the tiniest of roads.  It can be crazy at times!

 

The last days of school!

School ended for AJ, Austin and Tristan the week of June 22nd.  The last day of school was not until July 3rd, but at their ages the kids do not stay that last week and a half. Schools stay open because most parents work and it is a form of governmental babysitting.  Most working families do not have their vacation until the beginning of July. Most French vacations last anywhere from three weeks to six weeks.  So, schools stay open until July 3rd so working parents do not need to find another form of “day care” for their children.

The three boys were happy to be finished with school.  They had a day that was dedicated to turning in their books and a conseil de classe (class meeting) when all students get to see their final grades.  Overall AJ, Austin and Tristan did a great job this school year!  Many teachers commented on how well they integrated and communicated.  They will miss their friends they have made here, the delicious school lunches, a few of the teachers, riding the public bus, playing the tennis ball game during class changes, two week vacations every 6-8 weeks… but they will not miss the long days of school!

The last day of school for Jack and Sophie was July 3rd.  They had field trips, water game days and just a last few weeks of school filled with so many fun activities.  It has been sad for these two cuties to say goodbye to the Sanilhac Sagries school.  Jack was very disappointed when he was advanced to the next grade (CP) with his friends and he knew he would not be with them next school year.  It is a dilemma for Jack.  He enjoys his life here but also wants to return to America.  Sophie had mixed emotions too.  She was a little melancholy the last few days of school.  She is so young to be able to understand what she is feeling, but she is taking all the changes with happiness mixed with a few tears!

Aaron and I are so grateful that our children have had this schooling.  Most of them are bilingual as the end of our time in France is approaching.  Now onto the next challenge… retaining the language!

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This is Sophie’s “report card”.  It has pages of all the things she accomplished and the page where her teacher advanced her to the next grade, moyenne section.

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Sophie et Maîtresse Sylvaine

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Sophie et Elza

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Jack, le directeur Gault (principle), et Sophie

Sunflowers

There are beautiful sunflower fields dotting the countryside right now!  When the sun hits them “just right” they are incredible.  We pass these fields on every route out of Sanilhac. One of these fields is in Sagries, which is part of our commune.  Sagries is on the other side of the hill from Sanilhac, with about 3 km in between.  This evening I decided to go get a few pictures as the sun was beginning to set…

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Photography by Austin

On May 16th some of us took an evening walk.  I remember Austin bringing the camera because he wanted to capture some of the countryside around our little village.  I just discovered some of his photographs on my desktop and wanted to record them.

I am grateful that some of my children have been able to appreciate the beauty of this country and realize it is not like anything they have ever seen before.  Every place has its’ natural beauty and I am grateful Austin has stopped to enjoy the view!

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Sophie et Themis

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When we first moved to our house in Sanilhac and started meeting our neighbors, we were so happy that a cute little 3 year old (turning 4 during the year), Themis, and her 9 year old brother, Thomas, lived next door.  Themis and Sophie have become good friends this year.  They go to school together and sometimes play together after school.  They have enjoyed playing dress up and swimming together.  They are cute friends!

Heat!

It has been so hot here in France.  Certain areas are under high temperature threats.  The French certainly do not want a repeat of the heat wave of 2003, when thousands of people died due to the heat.  Today it is reaching 101 degrees with humidity.  Thank goodness we have a pool to cool us down because our upstairs is a sauna.  The only AC we have are 2 small units downstairs.

Aaron is traveling up north (Ayen, France) today, for a week of YSA conference  He is one of many speakers for the week.  We were all going to go with him but because of the heat we decided against it.  We were not sure our van would make it in 100 degree weather, nor did we want to suffer a 5.5 hour car drive without AC.  (Our van does not have working AC.)  We are a little disappointed because we wanted to tour the Dordogne region of France.  It is filled with castles, including the Chateau-Hauteforte where many scenes in the movie Ever After were filmed.  Hopefully during another trip!:)

Night with Friends!

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Friday, June 19th our family was invited to Maria del Carmen and Paul Mallet’s home.  It was fun because the Jerome family, Ribera family and Darguence family were all there too. There was delicious food and fun friendships!  The Mallet’s have a nice open yard so the kids could run around and play!  Paul has built their lovely home from ground up!  Maria has a beautiful armoire in one of her bedrooms.  It is roughly 8 feet tall and is absolutely stunning!  I was in awe of its’ beauty!  I would not be able to find something like it in America for under $10,000.  Armoires are so well made here in France and they are used by almost every household.

Below are some photos taken by Maria on her phone.  My phone was not working very well so I could only snap a few.  We are going to miss our friends!

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Parking, the French way!

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Our family was in Toulouse this past weekend for the last Stake Super Samedi.  Saturday night Aaron and I went out to dinner with our friends, Elias and Aurore.  We went into centre ville Toulouse.  Parking is always hard to find in France.  I always get a little nervous when it comes to parking.  The French park anywhere and everywhere!  Some parking is paid parking, other spots one just creates and parks.  Elias was driving and he passed this little parking spot in the above photo thinking he could not fit!  After going around the corner he decided to back up (when I say he backed up, I mean he drove in reverse, fast! We found out that someone taking “drivers education” in France has to know how to drive in reverse!)

Elias came upon this very small parking spot and actually got himself to fit.  He only had about 2-3 inches in front and bumper to pole in the back.  His back wheels were up on the curb just a little.  Aaron and I chuckled!  Elias and Aurore did not give it a second thought!

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Escargots!

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This is what a plate of snails look like being served at a restaurant.  When Aaron and I were in Paris Aaron decided to order escargots for John! :)  John had one and decided to leave the rest for table decoration!  I still have not tried escargots because I just can’t get over the fact that I pick them up on the roads that I run and move them so a car or other pedestrian will not kill them.  Plus, the thought of eating something that tastes like dirt doused in garlic and oil does not interest me!