About a month and a half ago, Tristan took a countrywide English test. All students in his grade throughout France are required to take an English test. We, and all of Tristan’s class thought it wasn’t fair that Tristan take the test. Tristan’s english teacher insisted that Tristan take the test. I will tell you why… the boys have been studying “British” english this year. The english curriculum in France is based upon what is taught in England, because that is the most common english that would be spoken in this part of the world. Quite frankly, I enjoy the “proper” english over America’s versions of english! The test consisted of sentence structure, vocabulary (which is often different), factual information about education in England, and a few questions of English history. Tristan had to study for this test because there were definitely things about the english language he did not know. Naturally because english is his native language he had the advantage over every student in his school. But, again, the teacher really wanted Tristan to take the test.
It had been announced that the first 5 highest scores in the country would receive prizes, first prize being a laptop. Tristan was a little nervous on test day because he wanted to win that laptop! He came home upset because he knew he had answered one question wrong: “Mr. Pond calls to speak with Tristan (I am inserting his name because he could not remember the name of the person on the test.) Tristan answers the phone and says:”. There were four choices and he did not answer with the correct, “Speaking”. Tristan had never heard that expression before, which I was surprised because that is what I learned from my Dad growing up. I guess I never taught him proper phone etiquette!
Just last week the test results were announced and Tristan came in 5th place in all of France!!! He found out that the four students that placed higher than him were all British students. How funny is that!!!! Hooray for Tristan!!! Because he came in 5th place his prizes were not as glamorous as a laptop, but the trophy and clock sure put a huge smile on his face!!! Way to go Tristan! Everyone at the boys’ school were talking about the student who won 5th place! What a fun memory and souvenir to bring back to America!
Saturday, January 10, 2015 was another sad day because we had to say good-bye to Alexis again for this next semester. This is so hard as a mother to watch your children get older and spread their wings. Alexis is so far away… across two oceans! Again, the train station brought tears! There is something surreal about going to a train station and sending my child off clear across the world! I am grateful at the train station we can watch her board and see her off. It breaks at my heartstrings, but it is also comforting to be with her until the last second! I can’t wait until all 9 of us are together again!
Alexis is such a sweet daughter and daughter of God! I thank the Lord everyday for making me the luckiest mother with her presence in my life! She is so much fun! While here, she had a “wear your converse shoes day”. She wanted all of us to feel like we were connected by our shoes! It is a fun “tie” she has with Jack and Sophie! We miss little things like this, that Alexis does!
My prelude to this post is that Julia is, sadly, not able to come home for Christmas! She is an assistant manager at a new Dunkin Donuts coming to Logan in January and she is in the middle of training. We all miss her so much and my heart breaks that she is not with us this holiday season!
Thankfully, Alexis is able to be home with us! And she arrived yesterday afternoon! It was a joyous reunion with lots of hugs, smiles and laughter! Julia and Alexis got to see each other over the weekend because Alexis flew into Salt Lake on her way to France. It makes me happy to know they got to see each other after Alexis’s first semester of college. I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall with those conversations!!! I love my girls so much and I am so blessed to have all three of them as daughters! They are wonderful and I thank God everyday that they are apart of my life! Poor Alexis is going to be jet lagged for awhile as Hawaii is 12 hours behind France. But, we are so excited she is home and able to spend a month with us! She has been spoiled with Hawaii weather as she is freezing here and the temperature is a sunny 59 degrees today! We are all basking in the sunlight and she is curled up in blankets with jackets and scarves on!
The crocodile tears have been streaming down my face for weeks, days and just hours now for my beautiful, sweet Alexis Starr! She left this morning via train to Paris and tomorrow she boards an airplane bound for Utah and then Hawaii. She has begun her adventure as an 18 year old young adult, yet it is breaking my heart! Being a parent is the hardest thing to do especially when you have to let your child fly and spread their wings! Alexis has been a constant source of joy and laughter for me for years. Our family is going to miss her so much! Everyone has been very sullen today since we had to say goodbye, for a time, to our amazing sister, daughter and “bestest” friend!
When we got home she had left hand written letters to each one of us. (That equals more crocodile tears!) Sophie is a little lost without her this afternoon. Starting school on Tuesday will be a good distraction from the emptiness we all feel!
Alexis has been so excited to go to BYU Hawaii and embrace a new experience, yet it is very hard for her to leave the family! She has always been one that loves to be with her family. There were many times in her high school days when she chose to stay home with the family instead of going out with friends or on dates! She just adores her siblings! I’m not exaggerating that statement either. I could go on and on about her fabulous qualities, her strong testimony of Jesus Christ and the wonderful daughter she has become, but it is causing more tears!
Alexis and I agreed we both are not pretty criers! Man I miss you already and I love you with all my heart!