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A Canadian expatriate living and exploring first France now Germany, then BACK to FRANCE (!!!) with her family; former fashion designer, turned unexpected UNLIKELY NOMAD, raising two children, writing, photographing, painting, playing piano (who knew!!) and blogging - and now... full time student at ART SCHOOL!! (I MUST be crazy!!)

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More Stars

I few months ago we decided (that would be unilaterally ME) that we needed to implement some sort of system to allow for discussion and encouragement of the tasks that we face around here on a daily basis.

So we implemented the "Star" system. You can check it out on a previous post here.

It has been fabulously successful and I must confess my kids have mastered most of the things on the list so well, with all the positive reinforcement, we have pretty much outgrown it. My kids have been bugging me to revamp the list of things that can be done well to earn stars because they loved it so much. One or two stars get rewarded for each thing during the day done well and can be traded up for all sorts of good things.

Both the kids and I loved the fact that at the end of the day we got to connect in a really nice way. I loved the fact that no matter how cruddy the day had been I was able to help them end on a good note and give some positive feedback about all the stuff well done. It provided a great opportunity for us all to feel as though we were making some progress mastering the things that typically had become sore spots.

Riel and I sat down and chatted about what else we could add to the list in a more general way and this is what we came up with going forward.

I think it looks pretty good.

I am looking forward to talking to them about some of these topics in a concrete way.

Star List #2

CONSIDERATION= Showing kindness and thinking of others
Unsolicited act of kindness like sharing
Showing empathy by comforting
Letting other’s go first
Helping others

RESPECT= Showing others we value them
Listening attentively by focusing our attention
Letting others know we hear and understand with eye contact
Letting others know we hear and understand by responding
Letting others do the things they need to do by giving space

Dignity=Letting other’s know we value ourselves
Talking about our feelings
Making sure we use appropriate words to be understood
Keeping a positive attitude
Not arguing

Manners=Showing we respect others by using polite behaviour
Saying please and thank you
Using cutlery properly
Allowing others to speak
Keeping our elbows off the table

Responsibility=Taking care of ourselves
Getting up on our own, Getting dressed on our own, Making our own beds
Figuring out what we need and asking for what we need
After an activity putting what we used, the things away
Organizing our things for the next activity-thinking ahead
Taking care of our own stuff

Making a meal
Helping with a meal
Cleaning a bathroom
Setting the table
Clearing the table
Offering to help

Aren't you glad you don't live at our house!!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Good to be Home...

I am here this weekend after all...what with a combination of Lily being sick again , a snowstorm and being just plain pooped from house hunting non just seemed just too good to cancel my ticket and stay at home. So I did.

On my way home from Hanover on Tuesday, Dijon and the area experienced an uncharacteristic snowfall...which typically brings the city to a standstill.

The train home from Paris took 5 hours instead of 1 1/2 due to the snow which was a little exasperating especially since I ran out of book after an hour or so. So instead of arriving home at 9 ish the train pulled in at midnight.

Dijon was shrouded in a beautiful cloak of midnight light and a lacy haze of snow, and the streets were so greasy with ice and snow and the line up for cabs was at least an hour long, so I decided to bundle up and walk. I always LOVE being out in crazy inclement weather, usually because I am the only one out there. It was hard going in the unploughed streets dragging my bag through the thick snow but I could not resist stopping to take some photos.

The Palais Des Ducs de Bourgogne shrouded in snow.

When I arrived Home TBG had a nice cosy fire to curl up by and a warm drink....Ahhhh...good to be home.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Today at dinner we had a lovely pork shoulder cooked with herbs and steeped in it's own juices.
Even better since it had been cooked by TBG. Gosh I LOVE that...
Riel as of late has taken quite an interest in the affairs of the kitchen.
The dialogue went something like this...
Me:Honey that is SO ever did you cook it?
TBG: Mmmm... (mouth full) Don't remember... (he never does...)
Me: I mean what did you put in it... It is SO good...(sipping wine)
Riel : (listening intently...)
TBG with a full mouth: Can of beer....
Riel (chimes in quickly with a very quizzical look on his face):
BUT DAD...How do you get a Camembert in there...??
!! LOL
Time to leave France...No??

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Trying to get a profile photo posted...

Spring Flowers

Oooh... the daffodils have just broken the surface here...I heard them go POP!!! out.

Here is a craft we did yesterday in honor of the flowers to come...

I LOVE spring...


Lily is going through what shall we say is a "Sensitive" food has been going on for a while now and ooooh, as patient as I am, I am beginning to loose it...the patience that is.

It usually starts out as some quiet whining, then escalates to something a bit louder and more difficult to ignore. About midway through the meal after she has succeeded in garnering everyone at the tables attention she starts telling me that she is "full" even though she has eaten almost nothing on her plate and is still carrying around the "before-dinner-when-I-was-still-grumpy-and-hungry-look" on her face. I have tried ignoring it, I know it is stage that WILL PASS...but arghh!!

Today after exactly the same routine and with her plate (on which there was origionally only a teeny tiny portion) still more than half full I decided to let it go and ...well, not worry about it. When I offered her a tiny piece of freshly baked scone she immediately gobbled it up, promptly asked for another with Jam.


I am loathe to admit that I am being manipulated by my children as I prefer to think of it as them expressing their needs in a child's way...(any way they can and who can blame them) but I must confess I think I am being dangled a bit and ...and well... I guess she got me, (right where she wants me) again...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Big Day!!

Look what happened when Santa came down the chimney!!!

Whoa!!! (as heard from upstairs while we are still snoozing upstairs...)

Look at ALL this stuff!!

(I promised myself I would keep it down to a dull roar..but as usual it always seems to get away from me...)

Lily opening up a gift with enclosed Barbie doll clothes from Mommie's old things...

made for me by MY mom...

(we won't even go into how long ago THAT was...)

Preparation for the big day

Doing a little last minute shopping at the Dijon markets for the big feed...*er*... um meal

Food is pretty important here like at home...extra hours...

My favourite veggie stall...

Figures afer 2 1/2 years of coming almost every week...

They finally figured out we are regulars and offered me a discount card...

Kiddie cake...

The night before Christmas...

I know it is a little after the fact...better late than
The children preparing Santa and the reindeer's snack...
let's see, some apple and carrots and....
I guess there will be some cookies and a touch of milk.
Oh yeah, classic,
there is the milk, cookies and a nicely peeled carrot.
Reading Santa is coming to town... It looks pretty intense no?

HEY!!!! ....

Who's that?

What we have been up to...