Moment of Silence

Today, the day after the fatal terrorist attack in Paris, everywhere across the country of France, people stopped for a moment of silence at noon.  Alexis and I were in the Carrefour when an announcement was made at 11:56 am, asking everyone to please stop and take a moment of silence.  As noon came upon us, most people stopped in their tracks, the cashiers stopped their service and I even saw a few older men bow their heads.  It was respectful except for the few Arab women in headdress who continued their conversations.  I say that without hesitation.  There is a rapid movement among the Arab world to overtake Europe, specifically France.  This morning I read many articles about the concern of too many Middle Easterners in Europe, specifically France.  I fear the France that I love will no longer be the same in 10 to 20 years.  I read one article that expressed concern about the rise of French Jews emigrating to Israel in fear of the Muslim population in France.  Even in Nîmes, there are neighborhoods where one is not to go if one is not Muslim.  There are large communities in Paris, for instance, that the French police and government do not even enter because the Muslims have taken over.  It is a sad but true reality.  I do know that not all Muslims fall into this extremist category and for that I feel deep sorrow.  Their lives, too, are forever being changed in how they are treated.

Aaron was at Sophie’s school at noon today to pick her up for lunch.  I reminded him before I left the house that I was pretty sure something would be happening at noon at the school.  I came home and he relayed this info to me.

“It was very touching.  The Directeur (principle) and the Mairie (Mayor of Sanilhac) gathered all the children, teachers and parents together outside in the courtyard.  The Directeur then asked everyone to form a large circle.  Each took the persons hand next to them while a moment of silence passed.  The Directeur then said a few heartfelt and tearful words followed by the Mairie giving a few words of encouragement.  I wish I had had a recording device to show you the emotion, sadness, respect and concern that existed in that circle.  It was unifying and very touching.”

The older boys were all able to participate in a moment of silence at their school.  The students were dismissed from their classes a few minutes before noon and were asked to congregate in the courtyard of the school.  There, the Principle, read off the names of the victims and said a few inspiring words and then during the moment of silence everyone in the courtyard raised their hands with pen in hand.  Austin said he felt sorrowful and touched by this.  He said every school in France, students were gathered at the noon hour to pay their respects.  Tristan thought it was a cool experience except for the few Arab boys who were trying to whistle and cough during the Principles message.  He said he was disappointed that they would do something like that.  AJ said it was neat to see the Principle enter each classroom, stand before the students, say a few words and then hang up a Je suis Charlie sign on each chalkboard.

I am grateful our family has had this experience.  And, I, by no means, say that to disrespect the tragic events of yesterday.  It has caused my children to reflect upon issues that aren’t tangible in Utah.  Aaron and I always have discussed world events with our children and this is a very impressionable experience for them.  AJ and Austin were 4 and 1 when 9-11 happened.  So, to have them feel like they are participating in French history (though it is a tragic part of history) is unforgettable!

Prayers for Paris

My thoughts and prayers this day are for those victims and families of the terrorist attacks in Paris.  French President Hollande said: “liberty will always be stronger than barbarism” and appeals to the country to remain united.  “We will win because we have all the capacity to believe in our destiny,” he says, concluding: “Vive la république. Vive la France.”

Hollande has declared tomorrow a day of national mourning and a moment of silence will be held tomorrow at noon.  Flags will be hung at half mast for three days here in France.  I hope and pray the terrorists will be caught before morning arrives.  #jesuischarlie

Unusual Happenings!

Last Friday on my mid morning run I ran past the boulangerie and I came upon an unusual sight.  (I wish I had had my camera with me because a photo would be priceless in regards to this post!)  There was a couple just about to enter the bakery, a man sitting out front at a typical french cafe table with his dog at his feet sipping on a cup of coffee and behind him, about 10 feet, was a saddled donkey hitched to the wooden post of a trail map of Sanilhac Sagries!  That’s right!  A donkey!!!  It’s owner was obviously stopping into the boulangerie.  I almost stopped running to do a double take!  Really, a donkey?!  I chuckled to myself and wanted to run like Dash, from The Incredibles, home, so I could get my camera and capture the moment!  The funniest thing was when the donkey was behind me he let out a loud, “heehaw”!  I don’t think I will ever have a repeat of that moment in my life!  And no one in the still frame even looked like it was unusual!

New Haircut!

Guess who got a haircut!!!! (I secretly had to shed a fear tears while this was happening!) All week Jack kept saying he wanted to get a haircut like his brother, Tristan!  He needed a trim with his longer hair, but he kept saying he wanted to be able to “spike it up in the front, like Tristan”.  For those of you that don’t know, Jack has never had short hair except for his first year of life.  We have always kept it longer.  Aaron told him he could cut it and the rest blew away in the wind!  Even though I miss his longer hair, Jack looks adorable with short hair!

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Austin’s Blog

My son, Austin, has started his own blog:

He received a new camera for Christmas and is excited to record his everyday life experiences!  I think it is fabulous that he wants to try something new this year!  If you have a second to check his first post and give him an encouraging shout out, I would appreciate that!  Go Austin!