February 18, 2004

Hi again everyone! So only on the web can I afford a regular house AND a spring cottage <haha> I may have sold my only house in the States to move here but I've bought two houses since we've been in France. I couldn't resist this pretty cottage with the cat asleep on the porch. Okay, so drawings of houses is all I can afford these days.

Happy Spring! Well, at least it's getting warmer here in Provence by the day and we have seen an increase in temps till they're in the mid-50's now. I'm diggin' it! I'll put up some photos of the small garden once everything starts to green up some. I tempted Fate the other day and planted some of the flower seeds my sister Vicki gave me from her garden when we were there in October. I planted them in pots so if it gets too cold, I can bring them inside. That's one thing I do like about the weather here though ... the temps hardly ever fluctuate dramatically.

Little Ethan is doing better with the reflux and with feeding and sleeping according to Joanna. I'm looking forward to meeting him the first of April. I'll post a new photo soon since I'm going to try to put up a new one monthly.

I made it into my mother's church bulletin! I told her I thought I'd have to die to do that! Seems my mother had told her preacher about the website a while back and the preacher wanted to tell everyone about the love story of Waylon and Ellen Jo. I've received some really nice feedback from a lot of you about that page and I'm so grateful. Check that page for a few new photos of Waylon and Ellen Jo. I'm even more grateful that I reconnected with some of my daddy's family through the page! Seems my cousin, who I haven't seen in many years, recognized herself in one of the photos. Peggy Jo is the little girl with the bow in the photo of Ellen Jo and Waylon's sister, Annie. Peggy Jo told her kids about the page and we've exchanged email and photos. You'll meet some of them today on the Friends and Family page. BTW, Happy First Anniversary today to David and Marsha! I hope you will always be as happy as you told me you are now! Thank you so much, Peggy Jo and family, for sharing your family photos with us... I look forward to more in the future.

We haven't done as much exploring lately because of the cold and we are having some trouble with our car. It's at the garage now so hopefully we'll be back in full picnic mode pretty soon. We are planning our Normandy trip for the middle of April and already have our reservations. I'm really looking forward to this trip ... everyone says the D-Day beaches and memorials are very moving. It has been an emotional experience just planning the trip so I can't wait.

Jason is going snowboarding for the first time with some friends next week and he just put in his preferences for course of study in Lycée (high school) next year. He requested the Scientific course and has been doing much better in math toward that goal.

Emily has a chance to participate in an exchange to England (haven't decided on that yet) and is becoming a ping-pong pro. They play every day at recess. She still wants to ride horses (surprise!).

Erik is helping teach English to his class on Saturdays. They learned the poem, "roses are red ..." last Saturday, but in his true transition to french pronunciation, he taught them to say 'vee-o-lets' are blue.

We are still working on the 'around the village' photos so we should have more local photos soon. I'm sure we're getting a reputation for being the crazy Americans who go around taking photos of the grocery store and such.

Photos! For now, this will be a miscellaneous photo page. I hope you enjoy it!


Emily and Erik were playing detective with this poor little duck. Ve hav vays ov makink you talk.



Emily sat the table "restaurant-style" (?) complete with seating cards.



General Steelman. Jason has about 500 Army men plus accessories and can set up quite a battle scene!



Licking the bowl and waiting for the brownies to get done.



Robot Boy! He wears his knee pads faithfully since he hurt his knee last year. (You will never see that washing machine without clothes spinning in it <sigh>)



Fwoa! It's Jason's friend Paul in Germantown! Paul, we forgot we had this photo of you doing a 360 ollie with a half pipe grind! Actually, I don't know what it's called but those are the only skateboard terms I know <g> it looks pretty impressive ay?



A church in my village namesake ... Bonnieux. Yep, that's Mt. Ventoux in the backgroud. See you are learning your Provençal landmarks!



Bonnieux. It says "Life is Beautiful!!!"



There's more than one way to load a Pez dispenser.



Here are a few shots of the Lycée (high school) where Jason will go next year.










It's a very prestigous school.





We've had several circuses come through town but this is the first one Jonathan took the kids to. They set up at the soccer stadium just across from our house.



A lot of the photos were blurred because of the low lighting.



Jonathan thought this couple looked interesting. I do too!



The kids got to pet some pythons.



This girl was a volunteer from the audience. The ringmaster surprised her by shoving one of the snakes under her shirt! She lay very still like he instructed until it crawled out of her sleeve .. then she shuddered vigorously as she walked off stage!



I was thinking of letting Erik join the circus to make some money. I mean, do you know anyone else who can do this? ...











I'll leave you with a more calming photo for today ...




This is the fountain at the Rotunde in Aix. We thought it looked beautiful with the pruned plane trees and colorful buildings in the background.



Don't forget to check out the new family photos on Friends & Family, new Waylon and Ellen Jo photos and a new Clochard contribution on Miscellaneous!

If you'd like to see what we did for Valentine's Day, click on the link below to see photos from Vaison la Romaine ... a beautiful village that is a favorite of mine where Jonathan took me as a BIG surprise!

Á bientôt ... see you soon!

Valentine's Day Surprise








Signature by Russ's Signatures
Midi - "Always on my Mind" by Elvis Presley