Category Archives: French toast

A la ‘Branch’ Detour

So. The promised post about our little detour from Dallas.

But I might have to tell a few random little stories to get to my point. I apologize if you showed up hoping to see pictures of the dog.

She’s actually not featured much on the blog. Sorry.

Anyway. Whenever you think of Waco, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s the infamous Seige of the Branch Davidian compound and subsequent fire that killed most of them.

The last time we were in Waco is kind of a funny story. We flew back to the US from France through Chicago, except in Chicago our flight to San Antonio got canceled and the line to get to the ticket agents was quite long. When we finally got there, our only option to get even remotely close to SA was to go to Dallas. The ticket agent, seeing our hesitation said, “If it were me, I’d go anywhere but stay in Chicago. You don’t want to get stuck here.” Well, O.k.! Dallas it is.

We got to Dallas sometime in the early morning to a mostly closed down airport, except for all the people stuck there with us. There were no other flights out and there was also a huge line to get rental cars. You’ll never guess, but there were also no hotels. This is, of course, after flying all the day before from France. I sat with the kids, sleeping on the floor, while Mr. French checked out all the possibilities for getting back to SA.

Long story, slightly shorter, he found a military guy who had to report for duty the next day that had gotten a minivan (because he called the rental agency the minute he’d landed, unlike us.) But he was willing to drive us down to SA if we paid our share of the cost. No problemo. Thank you thank you thank you! (I still can’t thank him enough.)

So, we finally all piled into the van with a guy we’d just met, after flying in from France after being out of the country for 10 months. We made it about 1/2 an hour into the chitchat before we just couldn’t keep our eyes open. And I tried, because I kind of felt bad about the situation.

The next thing I remember, I woke up to hear Mr. French asking where we were and the guy driving the van says, “Waco.”

To which Mr. French says, “Waco? Like The Waco?”

“Yeah.”

And then I fell asleep again.

(In case it’s not obvious, we made it to San Antonio safe and sound. The guy dropped us off at a Denny’s and he, I’m assuming, was able to report for duty on time.)

So, a couple of weeks ago, as we were starting our drive home, looking at the map, Mr. French says, “Oh, we’re going through Waco. I wonder how out-of-the-way it is to go to that compound? or what’s left of it.”

My phone couldn’t locate it but Mr. French’s did, so we followed it and sure enough, there it was.

Actually, at first we passed right by it, but I saw the sign that said, “Branch” out of the corner of my eye, so we turned around. Mr. French parked outside the fence and walked in to ask these two guys working on a fence. He was gone for at least 20 minutes. We’d found the right place alright and the two men were part of the church that currently resides on the property. (The surviving remnant.) And one guy proceeded to talk Mr. French’s ear off about their beliefs. At the end, he offered us a chance to “come and build the kingdom with them”, to which Mr. French replied, “Oh, we’re just passing through. We’re from Ohio.” (one benefit to moving a lot is that it’s never a lie to say that you “just moved”.)

Anyway, after that, we drove in to see the memorials and some of the ruins. There were supposed to be maps at the church building, but they were apparently out so we couldn’t really see where anything had once been. There are several new buildings. There is one place that we couldn’t really tell what it was or had been, but looking at this picture online now, the cement “pool” like thing in the back is still there. Nothing else from that picture appears to be standing. The other interesting thing is that the building was well off the road (which is a dirt road, off the highway). It’s definitely out of the way.

There are several small memorials. Closer to the church there is one for the ATF men that were killed.

There is one for the victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing as well.

Closer to the road, there is a larger one with a plaque for every person that died, including name and age.

It really just leaves you with a sense of tragedy. It was all so senseless. I think there was wrong on both sides. And it’s sad that people had to die.

I still remember, sitting on the corner of my parents bed, watching as it was happening on T.V.. I remember seeing a tank moving up to the compound, as it was called, and just feeling horrified that people were probably dying. At the time, we didn’t know all that was going on, and part of me, I remember, hoped that maybe they’d somehow escaped or something.

It made for an interesting car ride home, at least.

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Filed under French toast, I confess, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, Oversharing, Pictures worth a thousand words, Playing the Tourist, The Dog, This is going to be really funny one day

If a picture is worth a thousand words…

Then you’re going to have to be content with a thousand words.

‘Cause I got no pictures.

What a week.

I blame the baby. She started off the week sick and decided to cry off and on during the night a few times, sleep in our bed a few times, kick people in the face a few times (okay, just Mr. French).

1. All the crown molding is up and we love it! It’s makes such a big difference. But here’s my thought. The Amish would never put crown molding up in their houses, would they? Wouldn’t it be too decorative? And yet, they still do such a beautiful job with ours. How is that?

2. The beginning of the week was overcast and dark so I didn’t take any house pictures. And then Wednesday was a beautiful bright day. And I totally forgot. Then Thursday was rainy and a little overcast but I decided to try to take pictures anyway. I was even going to take pictures with clutter! and dust! so you don’t think I’m perfect, but alas, the batteries were dead. And so, mysteriously, were the other set of rechargeables. So I recharged them and they held a charge for around 2 seconds.

3. I think we need new rechargeable batteries.

4. I was saying goodnight to the boys the other night and I was laying on J’s bed, feeling cold, so I suggested maybe I should sleep in his bed tonight. His eyes got bright and he said, “Yeah.” And I said, “Except Daddy would probably get mad.” And he smiled and with a little twinkle in his eye said, “But maybe you could sneak.”

5. My boys roll their eyes when I tell them their beds are all messed up. How can you possibly sleep with the covers messed up? I say. And then they roll their eyes and look conspiratorially at their father. Is sleeping with messed up covers genetic? I certainly can’t do it.

6. This is our third fall. I know this because this is the third time I’ve done all the fall leaf clean up. I know this because I remember these sorts of things.

7. I read this book. It was a good read. He’s funny and a good writer. It’s short and easy to read. But I didn’t identify with him at all. And I don’t think it was because he’s a father and I’m not. I think it was because his experience of parenting was so different than mine. He suggested that everyone is lying about how really truly absurdly difficult it is to bring home a baby and that wasn’t my experience at all. I believe him and know people who also struggled. I think it’s because I’ve always been extremely comfortable with babies and I can get by on less sleep than most. If I felt as tired after the baby was born as I do when I’m pregnant than I would probably struggle too.

8. The book also talked about bonding with babies and it reminded me of when S was born. I had been worried about having a second baby. I just couldn’t imagine loving another baby as much as I loved C, and immediately after his very fast birth I was worried because I didn’t feel the same sort of feelings that I’d remembered (fifteen months prior) feeling with C. I was worried all the way up until the next morning when I awoke suddenly and realized I didn’t know when I’d last fed him. I instantly thought he must have died and just when I was about to panic, I realized he was lying right next to me, sleeping peacefully. And then I sighed with relief, both because he wasn’t dead and because right then and there, I knew that I must love him or I wouldn’t have been so panicked.

9. Speaking of panicked and minds jumping to conclusions, whenever and I do mean whenever, any of my children sleep in or I can’t find them when and where I expect to, I immediately think they’re dead. My mind goes there instantly. That’s normal right? I even think that way if Mr. French is a little later than usual. The moment before I realize he’s late, I’m fine. But the second I realize he’s late, I start worrying.

10. And you thought I was so laid back.

11. I love how Felicity is both fiercely independent and such a copycat. She has to do everything we do, but she has to do it herself.

12. She takes a walk with her father every evening. She waits at the top of the stairs for him to finish work. As soon as she sees him coming, she runs, yelling, to the hall closet where her backpack is sitting.

She has him wrapped around her little finger.

And there’s not much room there because there are three other boys hanging on too.

13. I’ve always thought of my Dad as adventurous. I always said that if we’d been alive during the pioneering days my Dad would have been on the wagon train. Westward Ho! But I think I would have been too. Sometimes I think if I could just travel, I could get it out of my system. I have a strong desire to see the west.

14. But I also just like to stay home.

Alright, I think 891 words are enough. 893. (Wait, does that count as word?)

899 But who’s counting?

902 Apparently this blog is and they’re doing an excellent job, I might add.

915 just sayin’

15. Okay one more random thought. One of the Amish men that was here working asked about our kids. I told them their ages. He said he had three boys and a girl. I asked about their ages. He said, “4, 3, 2 and 4 months.”

Whoa. No words.

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Filed under Aren't my kids funny?, Boys will be boys, Everyone's an interior designer, Forgive me for being sentimental, French toast, Girls are not boys, I confess, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, Oversharing, Why does no one get my jokes?

How to compliment Mr. French, en français

When Mr. French speaks to you, en français, in a Target parking lot after hearing you speaking French to your (wiggly) children, ask him how long he was in France.

He will reply, en français, “Oh, only a year. My French is not very good.”

You will then reply, en français, “Oh no, it’s very good.” And then you will go on to explain how you (who are French) lived with your (American) husband in France for four years but he speaks en français worse than Mr. French.

And then you will illustrate your husband’s lazy tongue by saying, as only the French could, “blah, blah, blah.” with your tongue hanging out.

Later, Mr. French will beam from ear to ear as he recounts the conversation to his wife at home.

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How to dress like a frenchman

(Otherwise titled, To Grandpa, Thanks for the shirt. Love, J)

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Filed under Boys will be boys, French toast, That's just gross

French Leftovers

All three of the boys pronounce Chocolate the French way. As in, “I don’t like cho-co-laa.” (they do like brownies, but not most other forms of chocolat.)

If I write their names in cursive, they think I wrote their name in French.

The two older boys often count things and they usually count in French and English.

A few weeks ago, Mr. French was watching a French film with English subtitles and as soon as the boys heard it they said, “They’re speaking in French!”

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France: What I miss about you!

  • All the beautiful, warm, delicious, crusty bread that sat waiting for me, mere steps away from our apartment.
  • Oh, and the flaky pastries too.
  • The view of the mountains from every window in the house.
  • Walking everywhere.
  • The simple life.
  • Hanging all our clothes up to dry. I enjoyed it, even if inconvenient, and it reminded me of my growing up years.
  • Our friends, the Stolls and the Barbours.
  • The cute old men who rode their bikes to the grocery store every day.
  • The woman at the park with her two perfect little kids who always wore something black and was impeccably dressed at all times, who was the only person in that town who looked “French” (i.e. Parisian) and who I stared at every time I saw her and who, even now, is probably relieved that her American stalker is stateside. I do miss staring at her, though.
  • Getting together almost every Tuesday night with people we liked and who made us laugh.
  • Wednesdays as Saturdays. Everyone needs the middle of the week off.
  • The best salads I’ve ever had.
  • The way the French prune their trees. I thought it was weird at first, but it makes all the trees looks so neat and groomed. The U.S., by contrast, looks like one big bushy unibrow.
  • The cheap, but good wine.
  • The many varieties of cheese, but mostly the Chèvre.
  • And the crusty, ever-present, always tasty, bread.

(This post is dedicated to Mr. French.)

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