2013 Christmas Newsletter

25 12 2013

Time really goes by quickly. Christmas is here and the New Year following right behind. As we’ve done for more than a decade now we would like to give you an update on what we’ve been doing. We visited and were visited several times this year. In March Jeff’s mother came to visit. Gloria has always wanted to experience Lourdes so we took the opportunity and made the pilgrimage together. On our way south to Lourdes we visited the WW II martyr village in Oradour-sur-Glane. On the way back we visited Cordes-sur-Ciel a picturesque medieval fortified town built high on hilltop. In May we went to Poland for my godson Krystian’s communion. It was really nice because celebrating this event brought all of my French and Polish family together for a family reunion. In July my friend Cheryl visited us. Her family of 4 and ours visited Paris, Fontainebleau, and we watched all the hype and excitement of Le Tour de France as it passed through our town.

Our big trip this year was 4 weeks in the good old USA. We split our lengthy summer vacation in the US into 2 parts. For the first two weeks we were on a classic American driving vacation. Our road trip out west allowed us to visit and enjoy the splendor of Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Yosemite, and Redwood National Parks. To balance out mother nature in the parks we did some cityscape traveling in Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland. As usual now Jeff documented it all for posterity’s sake in quite the home movie. The 2nd part of our tip was devoted to family time in Chicago. The trip from beginning to end was nonstop adventure and fun. After seeing all the sites and spending quality time with family and friends we needed to head back to France and prepare for the school year.

David progressed in junior high to the 7th grade and Gabrielle moved on to the 10th grade in high school. So far this year in school they are both holding their own. It’s a bigger change for Gabrielle this year than David as she’s in a new school where she has to take the commuter train every day to get to and fro. This along with her age is propelling her toward wanting more independence. We accommodate within reason. David is now the typical teenager with the typical teenage attitude. Again, we accommodate as we can. David continues with handball and Sunday School and Gabrielle continues with music, drawing and Girl Scouts. She’s reached the highest scout level of Ambassador now. My babies are growing up.

Jeff and I are still working and keeping our same activities as before with the exception of dance for me. This year I thought I’d take a break from modern dance. Might have been a mistake as I miss the balance it used to bring me. Good thing I still have tennis and belly dancing. The balance scale can tip in both directions. This year I pushed the envelope quite a bit by trying overcome my fear of heights by going on a hot air balloon ride. It was actually a birthday gift I offered Jeff. The gift was an hour long initiation ride for both of us. What was I thinking. After the initial trepidation and fear I have to admit that I enjoyed the experience. Jeff too offers gifts for two. This year he gave me a get away weekend in La Baie de Somme in the Picardie norther cost of France. We stayed in a nice bed and breakfast and explored the area for a few days while the kids were visiting mamie and papi. We saw the rocky cliffs along the English Channel, the WW I trenches, and a splendid ornithological park. I think I may take up bird watching one of these days.

We wish you a Merry Christmas now and happiness and health for the coming new year.