On this Thanksgiving day in Canada - Bonne action de grace (mais pas ici) - it is a time I'm feeling thankful.
We have just spent wonderful times with Jennifer for almost a week and then Marco's brother and his family this weekend, both giving us the jolt of Canada + English which helps keep us grounded - as well as reminding us how lucky we are to have wonderful family and friends around us.
We are very thankful to be living out an adventure year while having lots of support to do it - and some visiting friends + family to share it with.
They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in France but I did manage to pull off a homemade pumpkin pie yesterday - first time with filling made right from the pumpkin - it's square as I don't have a pie plate. We'll get to enjoy it tonight with whipped cream as we got home quite late from our Thanksgiving dinner with Chuck, Lisa, Amina and Marcello so dessert wasn't an option as all the students have school today.
And what a dinner it was - not a turkey in sight but we thoroughly enjoyed our filet mignon, cassoulet, salade, magret de canard, burgers et tapas!
Highlights of our visitors' stays included a (rainy) trip to the beach, a picnic in the park with gorgeous weather then badminton, fall festival with everything a kid could want to play and lots of walking + sightseeing.
Also, I was reminded of my conversation with Susan W as we took the kids to the local pool on Saturday - first time for us however, Geneva goes each Monday for her Sports class to swim. We got hassles for bermuda shorts on guys, two piece suits on girls and we definitely had to buy swim caps to go in the pool - mandatory for all. I did some persuading on the swim attire that the visitors were Canadians and we would do better next time. So we were allowed to enjoy with proper warning. Lovely facility though - very clean and propre ;)
The downside of having Canadian visitors is that it makes the girls homesick when they leave. Luckily, we've got lots more good stuff to look forward to so we need to keep focussing on this.
More fun visitors next week and then two week Toussaint school vacation (1 week for Marco) so we have to sort our travel plans for this.
Last week also marked my debut as English teacher in Elena's class. I thought I was going to help out but it looks like I'm on tap to take the class for 1 hour each Thursday. As their English is still very basic, I think I can manage this one. Took advantage in the last 5 minutes of class to do some Canadian introduction - specifically Toronto and our lives there. Toulousians definitely know about Canada though Ottawa, Montreal and the province of Quebec centre prominently and Toronto is not very known at all. Most are shocked when I tell them it's both the largest city in Canada and has over 4 million inhabitants. Then they might remember something about a big tower. I made a quick powerpoint presentation with pics of map of Canada plus flag, Toronto skyline pic then pics of our house, our cottage and the girls' school. Elena was my assistant and walked the laptop around proudly. Kids were really interested to see a view of our life.
Marco's first week was a reminder of how school life takes over and he found it challenging getting back into the student studying routine. Friday exam wasn't as positive as he'd hoped but he's being realisitic and chalking it up to first week - all time forward to improve and refine.
Ok, as I'm still kind of in food hangover - not sure I'll adjust as quickly to 9 p.m. dinners - on our own, we're still Canadians eating at 6:30 or 7 - off to sort laundry and shopping ;)
A la prochaine semaine,