Update on Sophie

2015-04-12 23.49.14

Sophie had three weeks of bandage changing every two to three days by two different nurses, Sophie and Karine.  The nurse, Karine, came the last time a week ago and told us her finger was fine and didn’t need anything to protect it.  Each nurse has given us different bits of information regarding Sophie’s finger healing.  Aaron and I are not confident that this information is correct.  We have had a number of broken bones and a finger “hanging by a thread” over the years and we know injuries like this are not done after 3 weeks.  So, I have been wrapping her finger almost everyday to keep it clean and protected.  We haven’t even had the recommendation to do a follow up with the surgeon.

The health system here is very different!  We payed each of the nurses for their individual house visits.  They were 8 euros per visit and they charged us a little for supplies we were missing.  Each nurse handed us an invoice and we had to pay her with a check and then we submit the invoice to our homeowners insurance to try to be reimbursed.  It has been almost a month and we have not received any bill, except for the x-rays (which was around 50 euros).  We are then supposed to pay the bills when they come and submit the invoices to the insurance company.  We don’t even use our international health insurance. It all goes through our homeowners insurance because it was an accident that happened on our property.  Hopefully, the bills for the hospital, surgeon, anesthesiologist and urgent care are not astronomical!

Sophie’s finger looks great!  The fingernail area is black, which was to be expected.  Her skin has grown wonderfully back together.  It looks like a completely different finger from 4 weeks ago!  Sophie is still very nervous to use it in anyway.  She still whimpers a little when I have to clean it and change the bandaging.  In fact, just last night she told me “it scares me to look at my finger.  It still looks gross!”  We feel it a miracle from above that her finger looks so good.  I even think her fingernail will grow back just fine! :)

Spring, flowers and sunshine!

2015-04-17 04.42.36

I love the spring!  Our spring here in France is coming to an end and summer is beginning. The tourists are starting to arrive, roadside produce stands are appearing, the days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, pools are opening, fruit trees have blossomed and lost their flowers, gorgeous green fields of wheat cover the hillside, all the vineyards are getting their flowers, fields of colza for oil are dotting the countryside, the bugs are coming out of the woodwork, snails are appearing, rain showers are frequent, the french wardrobe is changing… c’est les choses que j’adore!

2015-04-09 06.36.36 2015-04-09 06.36.29 2015-04-17 04.42.58 2015-04-17 04.42.44 2015-04-17 04.42.23 2015-04-17 04.42.18 2015-04-09 06.36.04

2015-04-17 04.43.13

One of my favorite things here in France right now is the Wisteria.  So many doorways great you with this beautiful violet flower!  It just screams romance and French country!  I wish we had some on our property!

wisteria-in-france-473x288Pretty Stone house & lilac700_wisteria-2-environmental-concepts

Cannes

IMG_2902

We spent the weekend in Cannes, France with our friends the Serrano-Milone’s.  Aaron had a business meeting Saturday afternoon, so we all decided to make a fun weekend out of it.  We really wanted to get to Spain and Portugal, but the older boys had youth conference at the beginning of the week and Alexis comes tomorrow (YEAH!!!)!

The Côte d’Azure is beautiful!  Cannes is known for its’ Film Festival:

IMG_2900

The Cannes Film Festival takes place in May so we did not spot any Hollywood stars! That’s okay, because the boardwalk is so crowded anyway without celebrities nearby.  We enjoyed driving through the hills and neighborhoods of Cannes.  Aurore lived in Cannes when she was a little girl and her mom is buried there, so we got to see the “real” Cannes!

We spent saturday on the Med.  Aurore, myself, Noami (the wife of the Serrano-Milone’s friends) and the kids all hung out on the beach while the kids enjoyed the sand and water. It was an overcast day so our kids were the only ones swimming.  It was fun!  Our kids have a great time together!

IMG_2904 IMG_2912 IMG_2910 IMG_2909 IMG_2908 IMG_2906 IMG_2905

When the sun began to fade away we all loaded up and went to Noami and David’s house near Saint-Raphaël.  They live in the beautiful hills/mountains between Cannes and Saint-Raphaël.  The city lights of Cannes could be seen from their backyard.  They had a potato farm just beyond their stone “fence”.  Also, on our way up the hills/mountains we saw a group of wild boar grazing in the fields. It was so cool!  Noami made a delicious spread of food (I wish I had taken photos)!  We didn’t start eating until 9:30pm.  I love how the french take their time in preparing and planning their meals.  She made a few fresh salads, homemade “french” fries, a delicious olive tapenade, sausages, hamburgers, homemade mayo, a cucumber salad…  It was awesome!  We enjoyed great food and great company.

The next day we went to church in Cannes and met Noami’s father.  Fun family!  Her father has one of the largest “The Cure” memorabilia in all of France!  Aaron “died” (the last area he served) in Cannes on his mission.  It was so awesome for him to go back and see the church building and see some familiar faces from 25 years ago.  We had a fantastic weekend!

2015-04-18 22.57.01 2015-04-18 22.57.04

Evening Springtime Walk

IMG_2893

Aaron, AJ and Austin are away at Stake Youth Conference for 4 days so Tristan, Jack, Sophie and myself are hanging together.  We decided to take an early evening walk Monday evening and took a few photos.  We enjoyed the sunshine and the scenery.  We even spotted a bright ladybug.  We can’t wait to hear all about Youth Conference!

IMG_2896 IMG_2895

Our village of Sanilhac is in the distance!

IMG_2894

Olive Oil

2015-04-07 01.20.47

Doesn’t this jar of olive oil look beautiful?!  This is straight from an olive vineyard in Italy. Our friends, the Serrano-Milone’s, brought a huge jug back from Italy and they shared a little with us!  Elias is Italian and his sister-in-law’s father grows and presses his own olives for oil.  We have only had it for a week and you can see how much we have already used!  We feel so spoiled!!!!

2015-04-07 01.21.20 2015-04-07 01.21.00

Condiments

French condiments are a little different than in the States.  For example, Aaron, Sophie and I sat down at a little outdoor cafe, in Vars, to get some hot chocolate and a snack. The waiter brought us some tartine.  Tartine is an open face sandwich, and at this little cafe it was slices of delicious french baguette and condiments on the side to spread on the baguette.  The condiments consisted of little jars of Bonne Maman confiture, small packets of delicious french butter and little packets of Nutella!  That’s right, Nutella!  I love this!  America needs to get with it and start serving more Nutella!  (I have Nutella in my food storage back in the States!)  You can always find Nutella everywhere here!  Ice cream parlors serve Nutella ice cream, most dessert menus have something with Nutella, the grocery stores carry large jars on multiple shelves and locations, every holiday has some type of chocolate with Nutella/hazelnut… the list goes on and on.

2015-04-06 00.14.47

2015-04-06 00.14.58

2015-04-06 00.15.07

2015-04-06 00.15.18

Another fun condiment that one can find here is dijon mustard.  I have been known to sneak miniature jars of dijon mustard out of a restaurant just because they are so cute and irresistible!  I love dijon mustard.  Instead of the typical little plastic packages of yellow mustard, I can enjoy little glass jars of dijon to put on a sandwich!  Love it!

French Alps

2015-03-18 03.58.16

This was our view as we left Vars, France a few weeks ago.  I forgot I had taken these pictures and I found them on my desktop.  They are breathtaking.  The road to get to Vars was so small and scary.  Most of the road did not have a guard rail and the drop was far and steep.  I had to close my eyes because of my vertigo when we went up the mountain, but coming down didn’t seem so bad.  The views were incredible!!!!

2015-03-18 04.00.18 2015-03-18 03.56.15 2015-03-18 03.56.12 2015-03-18 03.55.48 2015-03-18 03.54.44 2015-03-18 03.54.30 2015-03-18 03.54.01 2015-03-18 03.53.56

Easter in Toulouse

Friday after all the kids were home from school we loaded up the van and went to Toulouse to visit our friends, the Serrano-Milone’s.  We met them, Elias, Aurore, Maëlle, Gabrielle and Josh, back in October when Elias was visiting our Nîmes Ward.  We have gotten together with them as much as we can being 3 hours away from one another.  All the kids get along so well!  It helps that their two girls are the cutest and sweetest young women in all of France! :)

While we were there, everyone talked, laughed, danced, played hide and seek, watched movies, shopped, went bowling, played football, rope swinging, catching frogs, went to the skate park (for a minute because it started raining), ate yummy homemade food (Aurore made some delicious couscous), watched a little General Conference, made a fort, had an easter egg hunt, and laughed some more!! We had a blast!  This was a nice break from our stressful week with Sophie’s finger!  We were all so occupied with “fun” that I didn’t get too many photos.

2015-04-04 01.31.24 2015-04-04 01.31.36 2015-04-04 02.29.31 2015-04-04 03.44.33 2015-04-04 03.44.412015-04-04 00.20.23 2015-04-04 00.20.52 2015-04-04 01.02.41 2015-04-04 01.31.152015-04-05 00.53.19 2015-04-05 00.53.36 2015-04-05 00.53.53 2015-04-05 00.54.00 2015-04-05 00.54.47 2015-04-05 00.56.00 2015-04-05 00.56.05 2015-04-05 00.56.10 2015-04-05 01.01.10

I could not find any plastic easter eggs that are so common in America.  Here in France, most of the chocolate that is for Easter are chocolate eggs.  The best are the Kinder Surprise chocolate.  They are egg shaped hollow chocolate with a cool toy inside.  So, there were no plastic eggs filled with American chocolate or easter candies.  But, it was fun finding the chocolate eggs filled with new surprises!