Saturday, August 30, 2008

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

A brief post to let you know I am still here and thinking of you. Before you hear about my Maine vacation, I will share with you a billboard that I passed while driving through Boston the other day. I guess this saying is for Svedka vodka, that is not as important as the saying....

"Have Cocktails, Not War."

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2008


C left to go home on Friday after spending 3 weeks in our home. I need to summarize how the Julie McCoy school of entertaining went because it has been spinning around in my head and I need some closure.

I wanted to take in a french student because I was fortunate enough to live with a wonderful family in Avignon for 3 weeks during my sophmore year of college. During the day, the 8 of us that were there, met for french lessons in the morning and then could spend the afternoon exploring. Nights and weekends were spent with my host family. They introduced me to the whole family at a rockin' family dinner, took me into the mountains and to historic sites. I knew I wanted that opportunity for my own kids some day and I hoped I could return the favor to some french kids. So fast forward 20 years and I am able to offer my home to a french student for the first time.

At first, I was nervous because, since I am still a 'kid', I couldn't believe another family was trusting me with their 14 year old. Then I looked in the mirror and remembered I was 41, and thought I am probably an adult by now. We exchanged emails with C and her family for a few months before she came. She sounded up for anything that we were going to throw at her. The girls and I brainstormed on places that we could take her, that would be fun and meaningful. I did not really receive any 'direction' from the People to People program on what was expected of me. I just figured she needed to hear a lot of english and see what an American family is about.

My girls had a great time playing tourist for the 3 weeks. We went to Water Wizz, Heritage Plantation, Plymouth Plantation, Chatham Fish Pier, out to a nice family dinner, mini golf, go-karts, NH (Story Land and Attitash), horse back riding and the beaches and pool.

I could have done more.

But many things were boring.

Yup, that's what she said amongst other things.

Water Wizz was the one place I made her pay with her own money. (That was another thing, I didn't know how much she came with and how much I was suppose to pay. I got $150 a week for having her. After seeing an email she sent (in french) to her family, I got the idea that she was horrified that she spent that much and was apologizing to her parents). The most fun thing at Heritage Plantation was the Carousel, museums were boring. At Plymouth Plantation, K, B and I were having fun going in and out of the little homes in the old english village and listening to some of the 'settlers' speak. We would walk into a house and she would say, "Oh look another house, it is the same, I will sit outside."The fish pier was "smelly" and half way through she went to sit in the truck instead of watching DH manuever his boat in and unload the day's catch. She went to the final day of the town Rec program with K and B where there were big blow up bouncy things, burgers, games etc... K said she mostly sat and read her book.

Her favorite thing of the whole trip was going to Story Land.

That and horseback riding. I think she would have been happy to have slept in the barn with the horses and hung out there for the 3 weeks.

So I am wondering,
are most 14 year olds from France a little immature?
too young for this type of experience?

Or were my expectations wrong.

I repeatedly told my girls that if they ever went to stay with another family and told them things were boring I would kick their asses! They couldn't understand why she was bored either. They were having a blast!

I am actually feeling a little guilty for not taking her to Boston, to a band concert in Chatham, to Provincetown, but honestly when someone does not appreciate the hoop jumping I was doing, it just didn't seem worth it.

She even had the nerve to tell me that my house was messy. Um yeah, I moved in a month before you got here and it's summer, so who wants to put stuff away in a sweltering house when you could be at the beach?

It wasn't all negative. She and the girls got along great. She taught them some french. She made a cake one night. She did ask if she could help a lot. And her english improved enough to know when I was being sarcastic. And she seemed really happy with all the pictures (600) I took of her adventures in America.

Will I do this again, yes, of course. Will it be next summer, probably not. Will I find out more about what the expectations of me as host family will be, you bet. I am mostly happy for what my girls got out of the experience: an older sister, a contact in France, and the realization that being appreciative goes a long way.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Car ride

I had to write down some of the priceless (blogging) matter that was said during our 5 hour car ride up north this week.

"Why didn't I bring a sponge?"B

"We look past color in this house."K

"I have a white belt in karate."B

"Mommy said my leg hairs are beautiful"B

"I want to visit the Great Canyon some day. Is it in Canada?"K

Evidently we look past weight, hair color, clothing, etc too because that became a popular quote. And yeah, the GRAND Canyon is in Arizona and I immediately bought a map and started playing the license plate game to figure out where the states were in our wonderful country. I should have been working on this years ago! Another car trip on Monday, I will have to bring my notepad and pen with me again!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

North Conway, NH

Photo and video editing at
As you can see, a fun time had by most in North Conway. Got to put the kids to bed. Tomorrow C goes back to France. I will give you my thoughts on this and some quotes I heard during the car ride. Oy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Dear Makers of Porta Potties,

How I appreciate your product. It's so nice to know I can "go" anywhere I please when your product is around. Slightly gross at times, but highly convenient. The handy little lock, the tp at the ready and now even supplied with Purel to wash my hands with. Great idea, especially for one Purell "freak".

I do have a small suggestion. Whoever thought men might miss the big hole and decided to put a urinal in the small space too, not such a great idea. Give men a little more credit about hitting a 8 inch diameter hole, will ya? My main gripe with the whole urinal thing is the smelly "cake" you put in there to "mask" the pee smell. The urinal hole is exactly at face level for the lovely ladies using your porta potty. Thus, the smell of the cake is somewhat overwhelming (OK, makes me want to barf).

Thus, my suggestion is to do without the urinal. Give men a wee bit more credit at hitting a big round target and let the ladies breathe during the duration of relieving themselves.

Thank you again for adding the Purel pump.

I Gotta Go

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Summer Fun

First things first, I apologize for not making the rounds of everyone's blogs as much as usual. I am an entertaining machine at the moment and fully plan on reading and commenting galore on your blogs once school starts Sept. 2!

Now for all of you that want to be my foreign exchange student next year, I am taking bids.

Here are some of the things we have done this week...
Heritage Museum and Gardens....
Plymouth Plantation....

"Mom, is he wearing underwear?""Mom, can we bring it home to put on the farm?"

Go Carts.... Remind me B can not get her license until she is 20.

Bumper boats.....The Chatham Fish Pier.....

OK, starting bids need to exceed the french exchange program weekly fee of $150. I think you will be surprised of my summary of this whole experience next week after C leaves. I have a few weddings this weekend, but then we are headed to the White Mountains for a few days. Hopefully we won't see a moose on the Kancamangus Highway!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I was upstairs clearing off my bed of all the folded laundry from the past few days (weeks) and I was listening to K and B watch the Olympics. (I LOVE the Olympics by the way).

B: "Ooh, look at their Johns".
K: "Their Johns stick out in those tight pants."
B+K, "John this, John that".

I came downstairs and said "What are you guys talking about?"

K: "You know, their Johns. B said that was the name of their privates and that is why they call long johns, long johns."

Moral of the story: Don't always believe what a 9 year old tells you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bake Off!

Today was a rainy day, so we decided to do a bake-off. If you can't go to the beach, you may as well eat sweets all day. Sweat pants are much more forgiving than bathing suits.

C made this:

B made this:

K made this:

Then we invited over the grandparents and Auntie KK to be the judges. C's cake won! Very dense chocolate and somehow we managed the conversion chart from french to english. B and K tied for second. Being the "mom", I would have somehow made them all tie, but those grandfathers can be brutally honest!

All in all, a delicious ending to the day!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


My interest in clouds came in 5th grade when we had a unit on weather. I remember learning the names of them and thinking they were the coolest things. Well the Cape has had some incredible cloud cover in the past week, some containing rain, some not. Here are a few clouds captured with my camera.

This last one contained quite a bit of rain and thunder and lightening! But it does look like a silver lining, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Living the American Dream

We are taking a break this morning from "showing C, our french student, everything American in 3 weeks" and teaching her the blessed activity of hanging out in one's pjs and doing nothing. I am feeling a little guilty because I should be doing something, but trying to post and catch up on a few blogs was a little more important. Let's just call it my job and pretend I get paid for keeping you all amused.

C is a very sweet girl and always asking me if she can help. I think her parents gave her the notion that she was to be Cinderella in my home. Not true! Although having Cindi for a few weeks wouldn't be bad either. Anyway, we have gone to 2 days of my brother's bike ride, the beach a few times,

mini golfing,

go cart riding, Pizza Hut,

ice-cream, Water Wizz on a cold, cloudy day,

Target, the mall, Dunkin Donuts and Burger King. She has learned how to eat a meal in the car on the go, she has learned about donuts and thinks they are delicious and learned the same about bagels, and I am pretty sure she has a good grasp that my family is crazy. Poor girl. I really do wonder what is going on in her head.

I do know that at her house, the family sits down to a meal together and discusses books. I took 6 kids, (C and her sister I{she is staying with another family in Chatham}, my 2 girls and my 2 nephews) to WaterWizz, Friendly's, and Target. The main theme of discussion was pretty much anything that had to do with bodily excrements and bodily noises.

So, yes, now that I think about it, a day of rest is probably good for all. I have to gear up for the next 2 weeks of "how to live like an American".

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lick Cancer

As I had mentioned before, my brother rode in the Pan Mass Challenge this weekend. That is riding a bike from Sturbridge Mass. to Provincetown, Mass. It was 192 miles over 2 days. His team of about 35 men and women was called Lick Cancer and their symbol was a Rolling Stones tongue.

He raised over $7500 for Dana Farber Hospital, therefore getting to wear the special "heavy hitter" pants on day one. He rocks and I just wanted everyone to know how proud of him I am!
Yay, Tommy!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Catching Up.

It's time to catch up on a few blog things. For instance awards! Yippee, KathyLikesPink and BecauseWendiSaysSo both gave me this great award.

It is a reminder to be an organ donor. Thank girls! I think if anyone is happening by my blog on a hot summer's day and would like it, then please take it. It is an important cause!

I was also tagged to do 2 memes. One was so long ago, I forgot. OOops. But Scargosun tagged me today, so I haven't forgotten it yet and will therefore get right to it.

Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

1. I just finished Jess Riley's 1st book called Driving Sideways. Ironically enough it is about organ donation. See how I tied that in to the award? Pure genius I tell you. It is fantastic and a great story!

2. Like Jen over at Scargosun, I too despise fruit and chocolate together unless we are talking about chocolate and banana. Especially if we are talking about chocolate and bananas in a crepe......mmmmmmmmyummy!

3. I have a french student here for 3 weeks. Today I learned that waffle in french is gouffe and in France they don't have maple syrup.

4. According to my friend Elizabeth, who just was visiting me, I was not honest and open enough in my 100 things posting. I guess I was suppose to write about how generous and giving I am . Yeah, like I am going to write about that :)

5. I have a beautiful picture of sunflowers on my desktop right now.

6. I am really scared of scary movies. I cannot be in the same room if one is on tv and my DH is watching it.

7. I could probably recite to you the entire movie of 16 Candles. I am kind of annoying to watch it with, because I say all the lines before the actors. Of course I crack myself up!

So, who to tag..... If you so desire
Wonderful World of Weiners she will come up with some beauties I am sure.
KathyLikesPink when she gets back from her vacation.
FromTalbotstoTarget when she gets out of her pool long enough.
BecauseWendiSaidSo because I say so.
WinePlz because everybody needs some wine.
Caution600 because she is smart and funny.

OK, I can count, that was only 6, the 7th is up for grabs. Anyone, anyone, Bueller, Beuller??

Friday, August 1, 2008

C My New Daughter

My new 14 yr old daughter, C, has arrived from France! She is so sweet and happy despite a long day of traveling. She is ours to show the best of America to for 3 weeks. Hopefully it won't take her luggage 3 weeks to get here from Amsterdam. Good to know that foreign countries lose luggage just like we do. I am sure I will have more about the adventures of C on Cape Cod, but for now the poor thing needs some sleep! Bon nuit! (That's good night).