Monday, November 30, 2009

Heavy hearts

Although I couldn't be there for the memorial service last night, I am thinking of Misty and praying for her family and friends. She was an example and blessing for so many.

God is my Shepherd
And I am his little lamb.

He feeds me
He guides me
He looks after me.
I have everything I need.

Inside, my heart is very quiet.
As quiet as lying still in soft green grass
In a meadow
By the stream.

Even when I walk through
the dark, scary, lonely places
I won't be afraid
Because my Shepherd knows where I am.

He is here with me
He keeps me safe
He rescues me

He makes me strong
And brave.

He is getting wonderful things ready for me
Especially for me
Everything I every dreamed of!

He fills my heart so full of happiness
I can't hold it all inside.

Wherever I go I know
God's Never Stopping
Never Giving Up
Always and Forever
Will go, too!

Psalms 23, The Jesus Storybook Bible


Thursday Emily came from Heidelberg and Friday her boyfriend Grant came from Florence for the weekend. We stayed out at the Hendrixes, which was wonderful! Pamela fixed us two wonderful dinners and Arlin was a great breaksfast chef! We took them to Bellecour, Place des Terreaux, Fouvriere, Vieux Lyon, and the park! In fact we rode bikes around the park, and although we got there when it was getting dark, they still got to see the giraffes, wildebeests, the porcupine and sandcat, the monkeys, and the deer. Emily and Grant both got to pet the deer and touch the boy-deer's antlers. They couldn't get over how much cleaner Lyon was than some of the other cities they have visited. It is so fun to show people around Lyon- it is such a pretty city. Saturday night we stayed up playing Scrabble in couple-teams. Doug and I won, with Arlin and Pamela close behind... Grant and Emily came in last, but still had lots of fun just relaxing in real home after traveling and staying in trains and hostels the last 2 months.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Potluck and late night

The potluck last night was fabulous! There were 13 Americans, 4 Canadians, and 1 French... and everyone brought delicious food! We waited for everyone to arrive and didn't really start eating until after 9PM. We left by 11:30 to make sure to get home before the metro stopped... well somehow we didn't calculate well the time it would take to walk and get to the tram and then 2nd tram... so we ended up just missing the last metro... on the other side of Lyon! Fortunately we were near a Velo'v "station," and although it was inconvenient, unplanned, and a little tiring, it was also quite nice to ride across town, after midnight without many cars on the road. Lyon is such a great city to live in!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving... sort of

Well today is Thanksgiving, but just an ordinary work day for us. It is weird to think that many, many miles away people will eat until they can't eat anymore and then be glued to the TV watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade or football... not so much for us... but we will eat! Tonight Emily Branch arrives and we also have the big potluck. The turkey that Erin special ordered from the butcher was 10 kilos (over 20 pounds) and cost 99 euros (over $150)! So we will all be bringing along a few euros to chip in. For the first time in like 6 years, I will NOT be waking up at 4:30AM tomorrow to get the early bird sales. I am sure Doug is so sad to not get dragged along tomorrow as he has for the last few years :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a few pictures from last weekend

Here are our Christmas decorations so far... a 4 euro tree, a 1 euro bead garland, and 1 euro candle... like the bead garland design? :) (plus a few other candles scattered around the apartment)
Chili night
Doug looks like he is about to fall asleep, but he was just full after eating a lot of chili :)
Tomorrow night Erin is hosting a Thanksgiving potluck for about 15 assistants. I'm bringing cranberry salad and apple pie... Doug is making deviled eggs.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Food, soccer, and trains

Saturday's chili supper was a success! We had 13 people total with 3 different kinds of chili and a gazillion toppings and desserts. Yesterday we had a church potluck after service, and Friday we had lunch at the Hendrixes, so we have had 3 days in a row of really, really good food!

The last few days the big news here has been the two World-Cup qualifying soccer wins last week- France, and Algeria. France's win is really controversial because there was an obvious "guided goal." Even the player admits that he touched the ball with his hand, but since the ref didn't see it, it won't be changed. According to this morning's paper, over 2/3 of French people are unhappy and embarrassed about the win. Had that goal not counted, Ireland would be going to the World Cup. If the French aren't happy about it, I can't imagine how the Irish are reacting. The other big win was Algeria. There are many, many Algerians living in France, and Algerian's independence from France is still relatively recent, so when the Algerians start getting rowdy, the French get very nervous. So, in Lyon, result of the victory started with celebrating... then rioting, windows being hit with bricks, 40 cars set on fire, and finally tear gas by the police. Where we live, we could hear horns randomly honking through the night, but that was about it. We can't even imagine what the results would be like if France and Algeria play each other in the World Cup...

The train line we take to work is undergoing construction today until December 4th. So, our normal morning trains were cancelled this morning. I decided to take an earlier train.. and get here 2 hours early. Doug decided to wait and take a replacement bus, which will take an hour and a half (instead of the normal 35 minute train ride). C'est la vie en France!

Friday, November 20, 2009


VĂ©lo'v vous souhaite la bienvenue !

Finally, a month and a half after applying, we got e-mails welcoming us to Velo'v, Lyon's take, ride, and return bikes. How cool is it to live in a city with bike stations?! We will mostly use them to go places where it is easier to bike than take the metro, but this morning we just rode around the park for fun!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the week so far

Tuesday (my long day) was even longer this week, but it was a good thing, because we went to a Bible study that our new friend, Erin, and a few other English assistants go to. We enjoyed meeting other English speakers (from England, Canada, and Holland!), and the topic was giving thanks and having a grateful heart. But, we didn't get home until nearly 11, and Doug had to get up at 5 on Wednesday! Yesterday I did market and grocery shopping (and made a cinnamon apple/pear pie) while Doug was at work. We went to the mall for a little while yesterday afternoon- Doug is still looking for a wool coat... the prices are pretty high here, so we are thinking J.Crew in December will probably be the best bet, but as we are only going to be in the States for 10 days, it might be difficult if they don't have one in the store. Anyway, we made pizza bianca for supper and it was delicious. Tomorrow we are going to the Hendrixes for lunch... we haven't seen them in over a month, so we are looking forward to spending time with them! Saturday we are hosting a chili cook-off with the other English assistants in Lyon... I was hoping to make cornbread, but so far I haven't found cornmeal, and they don't exactly have Jiffy on the shelves here :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

PARIS, round 2

We just got back from the weekend in Paris. We are exhausted, but it was a great weekend. We got to spend some QT with Bobby and Bonnie, plus got to see some things we hadn't seen before, and got to see some things again. Here were the highlights...

-Arc de Triomphe (where there was some kind of military ceremony going on... maybe for Armistice Day?)
-Dinner on Rue Cler
-Eiffel Tower light show
-Seine cruise
-dinner at Le Pain Quotidien
-Night stroll around Place Vendome, Place de l'Opera, Christmas decor in the big department store windows

-Notre Dame
-Saint Chapelle
-Montmartre (Sacre Coeur... where Doug was verbally abused by an itinerate salesman... plus St. Pierre, Place du Tertre, lunch in a park)
-Marais neighborhood (Place des Vosges, Victor Hugo's house, Jewish Quarter, Stravinsky Fountain, Pompidou Center)

Bonnie and Bobby went back to London Saturday afternoon... but Doug and I kept going...

Saturday evening...
-Galeries Lafayette (stained glass windows, Christmas decor)
-dinner at Chartier (a Parisian institution!) where I was hit by a car... actually I was hit by a side view mirror of a van as we were waiting in line to go into the restaurant

-Rodin museum (this was so cool!)

Here are more pictures from the weekend (click to see all):
Paris, round 2

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

long dinners, tram problems, and finally home

Saturday night we drove to Villefranche to eat dinner with the English teachers in Beaujeu (where Doug works on Mondays). We were first told to arrive at 7... then the time was switched to 8... so we arrived promptly at 8. The other guests arrived at 8:30, 9, and 9:45. It was around this point that we quietly joked about the Office episode when Jim and Pam go eat with Michael and Jan and discover that the main dish has to braise for 3 hours and Jan tells Pam that in Spain, they often eat at midnight... well sure enough, we were still being served food at 12:30 AM!!! We finally excused ourselves and said we had to leave, which we felt bad about since the get-together was in our honor. We got back to the Hendrixes after 1AM. Sunday morning we went to the tram stop to go to church and after waiting a few minutes, realized that due to some construction on the tram line, the tram was not stopping at Meyzieu Gare (the stop near the Hendrixes), so we went back to the Hendrixes and got directions and drove there, but missed the exit because it was not marked as indicated in the directions, so using a book of maps I found in the Hendrixes car, we finally found our way back. We were 10 minutes late, which is extra-embarassing since there are only 35 people at church. Sunday afternoon we did some cleaning at the Hendrixes, then packed up and finally headed back to the apartment. Yesterday morning we went for a run in the park, which was so nice! It had been weeks since we had run.
Tomorrow is Armistice Day, so there is no school and we are hosting an "American Brunch" potluck for other English assistants... right now the guest count is at 22, so it will be a full apartment!

Friday, November 6, 2009

house sitting

We've been house-sitting for the Hendrixes all week. (actually we have been here off and on for 3 weeks) We have been relaxing and watching a lot of movies. It has been a nice change from our apartment in the city, but we are about ready to go home! Tomorrow will probably be our last night here. We went back to work yesterday. My students were especially chatty, being the first day back after the break!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Paris et Normandie

And finally, click here for pictures from Paris and Normandy (Bayeux, Caen, and Colleville-sur-Mer).

Paris, Bayeux, Colleville-sur-Mer, Caen with Williams


Friday we went to Perouges, a small medieval village near Lyon. It was touristy and a little run-down, but still a pretty village to visit. Click here for a slideshow of pictures:

Perouges with Williams