Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Visit From Sandra and Alyssa

Yesterday our friends Sandra and Alyssa who recently moved to the Jura came for an overnight visit. Initially the reason for their visit was to attend the end-of-the-year preschool program, but it was canceled at the last minute due to windy and cold weather. Thankfully, we decided not to cancel the visit! We had a lovely time. Sandra came with lots of treats from the Jura--cherries, flowers, rhubarb, salami, sausages, lettuce, a tart-type thing made from Tête de Moine cheese....mmm! Sandra always spoils us! The kids had a fabulous time playing together, and after they went to bed we introduced Sandra to the joys of the Wii. Here are a few photos from the visit:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

This was the best photo I was able to get of Pat and the kids today. I think we'd better stick with candid shots for a few more years.

And happy Father's Day also to our own fathers! Wish that we could celebrate in person!

(both photos taken in November of 2006)

Friday, June 19, 2009


I've been cutting Rowan's hair for the most part while we've been here. It takes me an hour and it only looks decent if you are standing at least ten feet away from him. Pat took him to his barber once, but Rowan screamed the whole time, and the haircut did not turn out well at all. We can't remember exactly what about it didn't look good, but whatever it was, we didn't go back. Tonight I finally got the guts up to take him to a place in Morges that has a nice set up for kids.

So, things started off great. I was able to set up the appointment with no language problems, and Rowan didn't scream with terror as soon as he sat in the chair. The nice hairdresser asked me how I would like his hair. I said "les côtés et le derriè le haut plus (the sides and the back short and the top more)....." and here i began to struggle a bit, not sure if the word I wanted to use was the right one. Those words that sound very similar in french and english throw me off, because I always feel as if I'm probably just making up words. Anyway, the hairdresser came to my rescue and said "plus longue?" (longer?) Relieved, I emphatically confirmed "Oui, oui!"

I experienced a twinge of worry when she brought out the buzzer, but I remembered that the place I used to take Rowan to in Seattle would sometimes use the buzzer as well as scissors, so I wasn't overly concerned. She started buzzing the back--pretty short, but still, looking good! Then the sides--looking good! Then the top...uh-oh.

I'm truly puzzled about how the misunderstanding occurred. And frustrated because I could have buzzed his hair at home for free. Oh well. It will grow. And in the meantime I'll have to figure out where I went wrong. Perhaps I'll just bring in a picture next time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Spoils from Spain

While Grammie and Bumpa were in Spain they picked us up some of our favorite food from our December visit: Idiazabal cheese, Torta de Queso Cañarejal, and Jamón ibérico. It was, perhaps, a bit more of the ham that we had anticipated--a happy mistake!

When telling them how much we wanted we forgot that there are different grades of Jamón ibérico. We gave the requested amount in euros rather than grams. Whoops! Apparently the man behind the ham counter doesn't have americans coming in every day buying half a leg of sliced ibérico ham. Okay, I exaggerate, it was only 700 grams. But the ham did take so long to slice (a meticulous process that is probably something of an art form in Spain), it might has well have been a half a leg--Grammie Annie got tired and went back to the hotel, leaving Bumpa Mike to wait alone.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last Day With Grammie and Bumpa

Grammie and Bumpa went back home to Alaska bright and early this morning. We had a great time, and are sad that they are gone.

Their last day here was spent playing and reading:

There were a couple of early Father's Day and birthday celebrations:

And a little bit of Wii bowling:

I even played a couple of games, and confirmed that yes, I still do not understand why the Wii is so popular.

Niamh Sings and/or Reads!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Random Bits From Tuesday's Dinner

When we were in Chamonix I picked up some Reblochon de Savoie cheese, which is supposed to be one of the great cheeses of the world. One of our favorite cheeses is a reblochon sold by this really sweet man (I need a picture of him someday) at the Morges outdoor market on Wenesdays and Saturdays. So I thought the authentic one from France would be out of this world. And...well, I guess it is in a way. It must be the smelliest cheese I've ever eaten. I can't seem to distinguish (like I can with most cheeses) between smell and taste. Pat will definitely not eat any more of it, and after tonight I'm pretty sure I'm done as well. I've eaten this cheese for three days straight thinking it would grow on me, but it hasn't. Not even a smidge. The last straw was changing Muriel's diaper after dinner tonight, and realizing it smelled exactly like the cheese I'd just eaten.

But fear not (MOM!), the reblochon will not go to waste. Rowan and Niamh both love it. Here is Niamh eating it tonight:

My three year old, who just recently gobbled down a tuna and jam sandwich for lunch, has a more refined palate than I do. But I guess that's not surprising.

On another note, Muriel got her first taste of cream of tomato soup tonight.

She did this after each bite...and still ate quite a bit of it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rainy Sunday

We did not do much this weekend as it was rainy and Rowan was quite feverish. But Niamh and I did make it out to the park on Sunday morning for a couple of hours. Grammie and Bumpa are in Barcelona right now and return tomorrow for a few days before going back to Alaska.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The number one topic at work tomorrow will be...

this. I'll have to figure out how to say "I don't care" in french.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fee-Free Weekends in Your National Parks

I saw this link while reading the stuff you missed in history class blog and thought people might be interested.

La Mer de Glace!

On Sunday afternoon we took the Montenvers train to la Mer de Glace. At the end of the train ride you can take a small cable car down to the glacier and go through tunnels that have been dug in the ice. Emily went down to the tunnels, while he rest of us stayed at the station and ate ice cream. Actually, only Rowan and Niamh had ice cream, which Grammie Annie had to finish for them.
The trip back was a bit painful. Muriel screamed most of the way down until Emily remembered that we had Muriel's duck in the backpack. Muriel calmed down as soon as she had a firm grip on the duck. Spare ducks have been ordered.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mont Blanc perspectives

Mont Blanc From Morges

Mont Blanc from Chamonix (Aiguille du Midi is the snow covered peak on the left)

Mont Blanc from Aiguille du Midi

Okay, I actually have no idea if that last photo is actually Mont Blanc or not, but I figure it must be close enough. Due to the excessive whimpering (scary, let's go, scary, let's go, etc.) of my two male companions, I had no time to look around. Only the three of us went to Aiguille du Midi, because Muriel and Niamh were too little to go up. Grammie and Bumpa were nice enough to watch them for us so we could go.

More pictures from our trip can be found here.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chamonix without Internet

We are currently in Chamonix with my parents and having a great time. The internet is currently not working in our rental, so all the posts will need to wait until we return to Morges tomorrow night. I think we (Emily) have taken about 300 photos, so there should be a few post-worthy photos.