Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brandi Carlile

The new Brandi Carlile CD comes out on September 1st!
As some of you know she sings my favorite song 'The Story', so I am very excited about this!
p.s. It's not what's happening in 5 days, but nice try ;)

5 Days!

Now that you all know that something is happening in 5 days, you will just have to wait and wonder what it is! Ha!
Okay...I'll post a clue each day.
Wednesday's clue: Warped Tour 2008
If you guess, then you know me very well! Best of luck!

Changes and Adaptions

I wanted to post something on the one week mark of my return, but as fate would have it, it was not possible. I was quickly rushed back into American culture by babysitting the boys for a few days while mom and dad went to Napa Valley. Between the 4 hockey tryouts for the twins, and Reid's 3 soccer games, I am becoming an expert "soccer mom".
I honestly have no idea what I would have done without Alyx. She was definitely sent from God to help me through everything! She rode with me to Kansas City and helped with directions (in a horrible part of town might I add. It was only through God's grace that we actually made it out of there alive!), she's talked me through my "anti-American culture" phase (which might happen again), she's prayed for me, and been a constant support. I know she has many things to deal with in her own life, and I am astounded by all her energy.
In case you're wondering, Reid's team did get first place in their tournament, and Ben and David did make the team. Further proof of my non-failure, although at times I did wonder.
Miss April was also a wonder. The chicken was amazing, even though you wouldn't let me give it to the boys. And the day the boys went skating was perfect timing!
I did chose the title for this post to be 'changes and adaptions' for a reason, and I suppose I should talk about some of them.
I am now enrolled at Missouri Western for French 101. I have my student ID and parking pass, and so far I haven't failed. I must confess that when Monday morning rolled around I was feeling quite nervous! None of you know, but when the nerves hit, I always have to pee. A confession which I'm sure my mother would not approve of me posting over the world-wide web, but nevertheless, there it is. We had dentist appointments that morning, and since mom and dad had been gone all week I still hadn't purchased my books. On a side note, the tags on my car expired while I was out of the country. A matter which has been very trying on all concerned. That being said, dad had to give me a ride to class. I made him help me buy my books and help me find the building; I even kissed him on the cheek when he dropped me at the door!
I've been to two French classes, and so far I can count to 30 and say a few things (Domitille better be impressed!). Sharon, a home school grad., is also in the class. We've sat by each other both classes, and practice a little together. I had piano lessons today which is always a joy. I cannot express how much I dearly missed them while I was gone! I started a new Mozart song, and Margie has already given me a book and painting that go with them.
I think this is all the exciting or not so exciting news I have for now. Hope everyone is having a wonderful week :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hear My Report

**Pictures of Paris:
**Stories of my Summer Exchange**
You are invited to come and hear about my trip for France
on Sunday evening, August 23
starting at 7:00 pm
in the Community Room at the Pony Express Museum
914 Penn Street (9th and Mitchell Ave.)
French cookies and refreshments will be served
Questions: call my cell phone at 816-244-5023

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tomorrow I start my long voyage home. Domitille's family is taking their summer trip to Greece, so I've been staying with Claire's family since Saturday. Her mother is such a wonderful cook, and I've really enjoyed my stay here. Tomorrow we take the train into Paris and will stay over night at her brother's house. Then on Thursday, our flight leaves around noon-and I'll be back home that night. Today, they took me to the grocery store, and I was able to purchase some French things to bring back with me. Let's just hope I don't eat it all before we leave in the morning. French snack food is heaven sent!

In my first week here, I finished reading all five books that I brought with me on the trip, so I had my mom mail some more. It ended up working out perfectly because in the week it took the books to come I was able to overcome my American way of not being able to do nothing. Europeans are masters at this, just doing nothing. I can't really say it's being lazy, it's just doing nothing. It was so hard for me to be able to do this. The second week I was so desperate that I started making journal entries on my computer. That day I wrote sixteen thousand words, and it only got worse from there. It would be a lie to say that I'm as good as the French at doing nothing, but I am getting better.

Being on this trip also gave me a chance to learn to live on my own before college, which has really been a blessing. Although France was once a very Catholic country, things have drastically changed. I brought my mass book, but to my disappointment nothing has been in Latin.
Before I left I could already feel the pressure of college searches. We've been visiting all the schools on my list, and I knew that early admission paperwork starts at the end of August. At this point I'm not really sure where God wants me to be, or what He wants me doing, but this trip has greatly increased my trust in Him.

I am so thankful for my parents. They are both such wonderful people, and are always there for me. I receive about 5 to 10 texts a day from my mother--telling me everything she would if I was sitting in the passenger seat of the van. They never failed to make me smile.

I had the great pleasure of being told by my father that my room was being turned into an ice rink the first week I was gone, thankfully it was only used for intense games of knee hockey (which on second though may be just as bad...).

Reid has missed me very much. He sends me little messages on Facebook, but since it usually takes him until Wednesday trips to Kansas City to start talking to me, he's really ready for me to be home after 5 weeks away.

The twins had a little bit of growing up to do--the first two weeks of my trip they were the only kids at home. My Mom wrote me saying she was dying for us to come back because without Reid and I there, the twins just didn't know what to do with themselves.

So many of my friends have been really great during this month. Becca never fails to make me laugh, Kristen keeps me informed on the latest music trends, and Alyx is always there when I'm ready to cry. I'm told that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but truthfully I'm dying to see them again.

I had a wonderful last night with Domitille. We stayed up late watching "Pride and Prejudice" on my computer, and laughed a lot. We both have little patience, and since my computer was running low on battery, we watched the movie for 10 minutes, then charged the dead computer for 10 minutes. It took us 4 hours to watch the movie, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I told myself I wouldn't cry when she left, and it's true that when they backed out of the driveway I didn't shed a single tear. But as soon as I was alone in my room, all the emotions started to flood in. In the past two weeks I really became part of their family. I was no longer a guest at their house, but someone they loved. It was my home, and I will miss them all so very much.
We've already started to plan something for next year. Maybe I will take Reid there, or maybe her and I will travel to Italy. Paris is said to be the city of love, but Domitille swears that it has nothing on Italy.
Please continue to pray as I start my travels tomorrow.
I love you all,

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Yesterday Domi's family took me to Lourdes, which was wonderful. It was very hot and there were hundreds of people there, but I found the experience very holy.
Last night we had dinner on the beach and did more swimming in the ocean.
Sunday is our last day here and then I travel to stay with Claires family. I will then fly back with her on Thursday!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Visiting the Shrine at Lourdes

Today, we went to Lourdes --very early! It is 2-hour's drive away, and the whole family went. We visited all three churches and the grotto, despite the crowds and the heat. The grounds are the size of Worlds of Fun! I prayed for everyone, bought holy water bottles, and spent my last Euro...