Wednesday, July 27, 2011

IB Training

IB Training

Jim, Ethan and i have been in New Mexico this week for some IB training that I needed to receive. It has been awesome! I miss the other kids, but the training has been well worth my time. IB is the International Baccalaureate Programme. It is a wonderful program that offers students an opportunity to excel in many different areas--to become a well-rounded student, better prepared for university than any other program I have worked with. I could go on and on, but since I have limited time right now (I'll add more later), here is a picture for my kids of where I am at and another of Ethan and me on a hike up above the castle.
Here is a link to the United World College where I have been for my training. It is beautiful here. I believe if an American student wants to go to the UWC, they can apply to come for free. What an amazing opportunity that would be!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Our trip to France went very well. It was wonderful to be back. I love the movie Sabrina with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond. In it, a mentor to 'Sabrina' reveals a truth I often feel as I step back on French soil. She says, "America is my country, but France (or Paris--I can't rmember which she says) is my home.' That is exactly how I feel. Being able to talk to native speakers, too, was a big plus. I love teachign French, but it is not eve remotely the same as speaking fluently with Frenchies.
I loved the baguettes and fromage (cheese), the frites and mayonaise sauce (I realized this time--thanks to a very observant husband--their mayo has dijon mustard in it and it is SO good he brought 4 containers home!). I loved the pastries--pain au chocolat and viennoise and a new named one, though it tastes a lot lke the viennoise I used to eat. And you can't forget crepes and creme brulee and tarte tatin. Oh man. We even found a real gelatto store in Paris. I could go on and on about the food. I didn't care that I am stll way overweight from this last pregnancy. I simply enjoyed every morsel of food I ate!
And the sites! I never get tired of Notre Dame, La Tour Eiffel, l"arc de Triomphe, Le Louvre, Le Musée d'Orsay, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, le Pantheon, La Madeleine, La Sainte-Chapelle, Les Catacombs, La Bastille, L'Opéra Garnier, Le Musée de l'Orangerie, Le Jardin des Tuilleries, L'Obelisque, Les Invalides, . . . what else did we see in Paris? Breath-taking
And then I loved the Cathedrale in Chartes. The gardens behind were amazing. The stained glass was magnificent. We ate lunch on the steps of the Cathedrale--so picturesque. And what made it even better was that I found many hydrangea bushes there. They are so beautiful in France! I discovered them during my mission in Frnace and still, they are my favorite flower, hands down.
Nothing could compete with Orléans and visiting with Blandine and her mom. I loved being able to just wander and to shop and take in the culture. Elisabeth was wonderful and so kind and wonderful to us. Ethan loved her! (I think it was mutual--he has his own little French Grandma now). We saw a museum about three internment camps just outside Orléans. We saw a Chateau and LOTS of Jeanne d'Arc stuff.
But for emotional, nothing could beat the feeling of the Normandy Beaches from the D-Day Invasions. I teared up more than once at the beaches and especially at the American Cememtery. There is nothing like it. Point du Hoc was an amazing testament of what happened there 67 years ago.
I loved every minute in France-the food, the language, the sites and the culture. I can't wait to go back!