Monday, March 10, 2008

La Vie c'est triste sans Marie.

Wow. That was one fast two weeks. It seems like all of life stopped except for anything having to do with a french exchange student. My brain is weary of thinking in two languages, and yet I loved speaking and practicing and improving my french!

We LOVED Marie!
She was such a delight. My french really did greatly improve, despite all the teenagers saying "Mom, stop trying to speak french." (as if that were embarassing or something, jeesh!). We took trips -- shopping at the Gap Outlet (at the Smithfield Outlet Mall) -- Marie is the blonde with her back to us, that's Marguerite on the left:
to Beaufort, NC, where Rose and I had kind of a mother-daughter day -- long awaited and much needed --

where they have the NC Aquarium --

and where Rose fell in love with this little guy -- (I lahve you I lahve you!)

And she got a new top, and there was a cool maze made from a hedge --

And Rose loves rocks -- we call her "The Squirrel" -- and she found this wall --

She also loves shells, and we went to Ft. Macon and Atlantic Beach --

And it was all we could do not to run up and swoosh all these seagulls up in a flurry --

And spend a peaceful moment with Starbucks at a gazebo on the water's edge --

We had an evening of Karaoke at Java Junction downtown,

choosing songs --

and then performing -- that's Marie's head behind Cecilie, Olivia on the left, and Marguerite on the right --

and we spent many a night watching movies with subtitles and playing cards.

We introduced Marie to Skyline Chili, my pizza, chicken enchiladas --

Chicken Enchiladas
From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 20 minutesCook: 25 minutes
Serves: 4
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)1/2 cup sour cream 1 tbsp. butter or margarine1 medium onion, chopped1 tsp. chili powder 2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey1 can (about 4 oz.) chopped green chiles 8 flour tortillas (8-inch), warmed1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese OR Monterey Jack cheese
MIX soup and sour cream.
HEAT butter in saucepan. Add onion and chili powder and cook until tender. Add chicken, chilies and 2 tbsp. soup mixture.
SPREAD 1/2 cup soup mixture in 2-qt. shallow baking dish. Spoon about 1/4 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in dish.
SPOON remaining soup mixture on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350°F. for 25 min. or until hot.

. . . and all the hilarity our home offers. One evening Hunk O Man, Rose, Marie and I were all nearly dead away with laughter when Bunny called and spoke so fast on the phone that we honestly couldn't understand her. We put her on speaker and said, "Huh? Could you repeat that?" You really had to be there -- but man was it ever funny! So Bunny! She sounded like one of those announcers at the end of some special deal stating all the terms and conditions. She should do that for a living; she'd probably make a fortune.

Marie's 17th birthday happened whilst here, so we went all out and had cake and presents and the whole Wesner birthday affair. Lots of the kids came over and we all sang. I made chocolate mayonnaise cake -- my Grandma's recipe -- but two layers weren't quite enough even though I increased the recipe by half. So I made two more! I put cream cheese icing between the layers, and chocolate over the top. We always use every candle we can find, so Marie was 415 years old, plus 17 individual candles around the edges, complete with Tigger holding the whole thing up. Regardez! Je suis Martha Stewart indeed!

We all cried when the french students left; they cried as well. It was really a great experience both for us and them. I think they all wanted to stay just a little bit longer. We certainly would adopt Marie in an instant.

I'm back to working in the sewing room in earnest. I finished "Tropical Punch" the apron last evening, and got to work on another one. I have two more cut out and ready to do. The time goes quickly in the construction -- it's just the embellishment that takes all my time because I decide that as I go. I need to have a plan for each one, so that I can just do it and not spend time having to undo something because I don't like the way it looks after all.

My Etsy shop is now featuring jewelry by Bug. In spite of her continual comments about needing a job, I think I'd much rather she concentrate on school. It suffers greatly because of her migraines and the way they keep her at home. Making the jewelry enables her to make money without really having to leave the house and be somewhere and accountable to an employer. That would be great training for her creative, free spirit -- but the timing on it is rather bad. I think it can wait until she passes chemistry, at least.

Baby is in full swing now with The Wizard of Oz having opened. She plays an Emerald City person, as well as a Poppy. I haven't seen the production yet, but she is happy as a clam completely in her element. Even though she insists she wants to be an actress, I think librarian is WAY more up her alley. We are finally caught up to the current week with homeschooling, and it took a mega lot of reading for this kid. She was up to the task, however, and now it's up to me to make up vocab worksheets and talk with her about the history she's read.

I had a little fall-apart last week. I only mention this because to one who has suffered from depression her whole life, it is such a blessing to now know what it is when it happens. It's no longer the end of the world or cause for suicidal thoughts. It is simply a crying out to God of all the stress and angst and despair, and a knowledge that with sleep will come tomorrow, and tomorrow will be infinitely better than today. That black pit now has a nice little trampoline at the bottom, so my infrequent descents just bounce me right back into the regular world of non-depressed people. Thank God for Cymbalta! What a gift! No more black abyss that lasts for days and weeks!

Rose needs a prom dress, and I wonder if I am up to the task. Hmmmm. Do I really want to sew it or just find it for her on Ebay? Decisions, decisions. She found this one while shopping in Charlotte about 6 weeks ago. Do I really want to attempt this?

Homeschooling is kind of a mess --

Petite Chien needs a haircut; he's very cute lately but holy cow his hair is long! We've cut it out of his face, and at least he can see.

He truly is my constant companion. I went in to change my clothes yesterday after church, and he sat at the doorway of my bedroom and whined.

Good grief. Did I say that even my dog whines? Definitely time for a vacation! To the beach! To the beach! Allons!

1 Comment:

Moxie Tonic said...

It sounds like everyone had a great time. I remember when my brother's were in high-school: they spent time in France with a family then hosted one of the students they met to come over here. It was such a good experience for everyone. My fondest memory is taking everyone to lunch. The French student discovered a bottle of "French's" mustard on the table. He just snickered and snickered through the whole meal.
I really appreciate your being so open about your depression. I've been struggling with it for years, especially now with our move. I'm still working through it, and reading your blog really helps. Thanks!