Thursday, July 19, 2012

What The Experts Are Saying

 

“Sunglasses, a must have accessory will be oversized for 2012.” 
                                                                  -VOGUE Magazine

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Our summer break is finally here!
I’ve mentioned that schools in Luxembourg go much later into the summer than in the US, and Friday was Hannah’s last day.
She’s successfully completed Early Years, which is the US equivalent of preschool and next fall she’ll move to Reception, which is kind of like Pre-K in the US.
And she’s turning 5 in October. How is this all happening so fast?

Because she had such amazing teachers, we wanted to do a little something to show them how much we appreciate them. 

There are four teachers that Hannah interacts with on a daily basis, so we put together a gift for each of them.

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The first:
Nail polish remover, a nail file and some bottles of sparkly nail polish. 
Easy, inexpensive and perfect for a purse or travel bag. 

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Here’s the little notecard that I made.
Get it? Sparkle? Nail polish?

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The second one was also pretty simple.  It’s a tea infuser and a bag of loose organic tea.  When you have British teachers, you just can’t go wrong with tea, can you?

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How cute are these infusers with little Matryoshka dolls?

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We wrapped them up and I made this note card.
Get it? Teacher? Tea?

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Both gifts were easy, inexpensive and Hannah’s teachers really loved them.

And, just for my own memory, here she is on her first and last days of school.

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(She picked out both outfits.  Water shoes and all.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More Bits and Bobs

Here’s a little of what we’ve been up to.

1. The other day I was driving behind a van – maybe a repairman of some sort.  I can’t remember.  I was just minding my own business, really.
The van slowed down to a stop so I did, too.  Then a car pulled up on my right and a man in his 50’s started flailing his arms around, pointing at me and yelling in Luxembourgish or German.
(It’s hard to tell the difference.)
He just kept yelling at me and I couldn't get a word in to tell him that I didn’t understand, so I did what any American girl driving in a foreign country would do.
I grabbed an American flag napkin off of my passenger seat (left over from our little 4th of July celebration) and started waving it.
Oh, yes I did.
Dude was furious.
I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, honestly.  But since he wasn’t going to let me tell him that I speak English, I needed a way to show him. 
(I still have no idea what I did wrong because he flipped me off and sped away.)
(I guess this means that road rage and the finger are universal.)

2. This week I accidentally used the French verb for to eat instead of to feed.  It’s an easy mistake, really, and might not have been a big deal except I was telling someone about taking care of my neighbor's rabbits while they were out of town.  To make a long story short, I told a native French speaker that I was going home to eat my neighbor’s rabbits.  Again, please let me know if you need me to do any French translating for you.

3. We’re finally in the last week of school and we got Hannah’s year end report from her teacher.  She has done so well and we couldn’t be more proud of her.

4.  Louie got his summer cut two weeks ago.  If you’ve ever wondered what a sheepdog looks like under all that hair, this is it.  Oh, and the umbrella opened indoors?  Well, one of these two insisted on it for the picture.

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5.  I mentioned that on the 4th of July we took Hannah to the Luxembourg American Military Cemetery.  This picture just cracks me up.  Doesn’t she look like she’s having the best time?  I can’t wait for her to make fun of us when she’s older.  “Hey guys, remember when I was 4 and you took me to that cemetery and we looked at maps of battles and invasions of WWII? That sure was fun.”

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6.  Today was “Sports Day” at Hannah’s school.  It was unseasonably cold and windy. 
But Girlfriend hustled the ball…

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Finished strong on the hurdles…

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And proudly collected her medal.

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7.   It’s just been play date after play date around here. 

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And what’s a play date without tying up your frock and splashing in the fountain?
And then riding home in the car in nothing but underpants because your mom didn’t have anything else for you to put on?

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I’m just securing my spot as mother of the year.
(And trying to make up for the maps of battles and invasions of WWII.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

God Bless America

God bless America
Land that I love.

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Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with a light from above.

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From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans with white foam.

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God bless America,
My home sweet home.

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July 4th is just another day here in Luxembourg.
But not for us.
Today we celebrated America’s birthday.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Living abroad gives one a whole new appreciation for home.
(Click here to read what I wrote about ‘Merica as we prepared for our first visit since moving.) 

Hannah wore her American flag shirt to school today.
To the British school.
Oh, the irony. 
(She told anyone who would listen that today is her country’s birthday.)

After school, we took an afternoon trip to the American Military Cemetery which is about five minutes from our house in Luxembourg.

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In the parking lot, we met two American soldiers who were visiting for the day from a nearby military base.  We thanked them for their service and wished them a Happy 4th.

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Happy birthday, America.
You will always be our home sweet home.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Insta-Friday on a Monday

Here’s my weekly post of pics taken on my cell phone.
I usually do this on Fridays, but this week Instagram and I got into a fight and it wouldn’t refresh or even let me login.
But now we’re friends again.
Are you on Instagram?
I’m @tinanicole12 if you want to say hey.

Here we go.

I (thought I) ordered ONE SLICE of pizza. 
This is the kind of thing that happens when I try to speak French.
Confusion all around.
It’ll get better, right?

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Something that cracks me up about Luxembourg is that there are bars at the entrances to grocery stores.  They’re always packed with men of retirement age waiting on their wives to do the shopping.  If you look closely, you see that one of them is wearing man capris.

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It was awfully quiet in the back seat and I turned around to see this.
I guess she was just catching up on current events and things going on in the news.
Or, she was getting ready for the big “le foot” match.
Spain v. Italy.  It was kind of a big deal over here.

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I know I’ve mentioned that houses in Lux don’t have carpet or closets, but have I told you that air conditioning is nearly unheard of?
Here’s a text conversation with one of my British friends.
Yes, we Americans unapologetically love our AC.  I’m not ashamed of it.

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The Tour de France started on Saturday.
Next weekend they’ll be riding through some towns close to the France/Luxembourg border and we plan on being there. Girlfriend is already getting pumped.

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And finally, an update on THE QUILT!
It’s been a while, but I finally made some good progress.

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It’s coming together!  Two more sashes and some tidying up of the threads and it’ll be ready to be shipped back to my sweet friend Stephanie who will do her thing with her very fancy quilting machine.
I can’t wait.

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And that’s all I got.
What about you?