Family life

a federated blog about our life overseas!

Sunday, May 29, 2022 What a month! It's now June 2. We've had to deal with very difficult people and situations. Pray.

War in the Ukraine. I grew up in Brandon, Manitoba, in the 1970's, and spent many Easters decorating Easter eggs Ukrainian-style. Spent many a meal eating peroshkie. The Ukraine played a role in my young life.

Liberty wore her leather sleeved letter jacket, and her friend Esther squealed with delight when she saw Liberty!

Van had to go to a movie with his class, and Michelle went as a sponsor. Sadly, van got in trouble by a teacher who doesn't know him, but it was warranted as he was not paying attention and covering his head with his jacket since he really didn't like the movie!

Michelle had been late and had to run through Bayonne to get to the theatre in time!!!!

Tues Sept 28 So Van went from a victorious day to a tough day when his french teacher gave him an 11 for a poetry recitation. 11? ELEVEN!? Van is convinced she is biased against foreigners. Mom says she will talk with the teacher, possibly wednesday, when his class walks to a movie theatre.

Liberty also felt a little discouraged because she got an average time in the 30m sprints, which she says doesn't make sense becauase girls who were slower than her had faster times. Seems like another anti-foreigner bias.

But overall, they are well. Van has fun with class clowns in class. Liberty has made friends with a transkid, and other interesting characters, who all seem generally like decent kids.

Sept 27, Monday

Today Van had a seatmate try to cheat off of him during an English test. When Van said no, the girl said she'd tell the teacher! So Van said he'd tell the tacher too, finally they both said, ok we won't tell the teacher. But Van didn't help her. He told me he doesn't like being used. BUT, at the end of class he waited until all the students left, then he did go tell the teacher! Not sure if anything will be done. This is something which frustrates my kids. They see others cheating all the time, and the teachers somehow don't see it. Michelle and I think they don't want to see it. So they ignore it. But my kids, God bless them, they won't cheat and want to do as best as they can by their own efforts.

Haven't heard much from Liberty about her day, but she did wear a skirt that she was worried might get flagged by teachers as being to oshort, even though she has seen plenty of other girls wearing similarly lengthed skirts, and shorter! So she was glad to come home and tell us that no one said anything! Which mad eher glad becaucse she said she felt confident in that outfit. Good for her.

Thursday, Sept 23

Both liberty and van had good days, But here is a story from Van.

He comes home and tells us he lost points, but, by the best possible way. So we ask him to explain. Ok. The student body has disocvered a game in their school issued iPads, a sort of timed-running game. It's tough, and not many have done it. So during Latin class, Van had finished early so he started playing it. Took a few tries, but he finished it! Just as he did a little clenched-fist, “yeah” pump, the teacher looked at him and saw him. So she immediately, said, VAN, What Are You Doing? In that moment Van thought of quickly quitting the game and pretending to do something else. But he paused, and thought, if I lie then I can't go home and truthfully tell my parents of my success in this game. So, what he did was this. He slowly turned his iPad around, facing the classroom and the teacher, and slowly lifted it up so everyone could see the “YOU WON!” sign at the end of the game. As he lifted it, he could hear students gasp! Whisper! He did it! And slowly they started clapping, and by the time Van had it over his head the whole class was clapping and cheering. The teacher wasn't impressed, and took off three points from Van's carnet. But, Van said, it was the best point loss ever!!!

Monday, Sept 20

Last Friday Liberty went to schol to help out with a Fete of sorts, during which she helped man a game/activity booth for fellow students. In the course of the evening she misplaced her beloved jacket. She fretted until Monday.

Monday she went to school early, and found her jacket! What a relief. She was also sitting around at the of school when a small group of younger students approached her timidly and asked if Liberty knew this other person. Liberty didn't, and the girls, hearing an accent, asked Liberty if she was Spanish. Liberty told them she was American, and they were all excited and asked if she knew Leonardo diCaprio! Liberty said yes, and they were even more excited, so Liberty had to explain that, no, she doesn' “know” him personally, but knows about him. Afterwards, they said thank you and left chattering away.

Haven't heard from Van yet, but he came home in a good mood, and got to studying and reviewing immediately – Spanish and Latin.

Monday, Sept 20

Last Friday Liberty went to schol to help out with a Fete of sorts, during which she helped man a game/activity booth for fellow students. In the course of the evening she misplaced her beloved jacket. She fretted until Monday.

Monday she went to school early, and found her jacket! What a relief. She was also sitting around at the of school when a small group of younger students approached her timidly and asked if Liberty knew this other person. Liberty didn't, and the girls, hearing an accent, asked Liberty if she was Spanish. Liberty told them she was American, and they were all excited and asked if she knew Leonardo DiCaprio! Liberty said yes, and they were even more excited, so Liberty had to explain that, no, she doesn' “know” him personally, but knows about him. Afterwards, they said thank you and left chattering away.

Haven't heard from Van yet, but he came home in a good mood, and got to studying and reviewing immediately – Spanish and Latin.

Whoops, It's Thursday already, and I've forgotten a day or two already.

Let's see, today Van came home at 12:30, ate lunch and watched YouTube. He really enjoyed it. He surprised me by, in the morning and after lunch, getting ready to leave the house several minutes ahead of schedule. We didn't have to yell or scold him to get off of a device. Initially it's because I told him that if he shows responsibility we will get him an 800 euro gaming phone. But I think it's slowly, subconsciously, growing on him – it feels good to be in control, and not enslaved to a screen,

Liberty this morning was freaking out a bit due to a change in shampoo and a resultant unstraight-hair problem. She really wanted it straight. Mom of course had thrown away the previous empty bottle, and we can't find a replacement. But, in the end, mom spent time with the straightener, and they got Liberty's hair straight.

We will see how they are doing when they get back.

A quick note about Wednesday — they all stayed up late-ish to watch Outer Banks. The tension is rising, the bad guy is getting closer! So this morning Liberty was saying she really needs to not do that again as it cause, she thinks, bags under her eyes.

Monday Sept 13 Kids came home in goo dmoods/

Problem: Libertys friend Esther keeps leaving without liberty, and then gaslights liberty into thinking she had waited for her or something.

Van wanted to print out a digital drawing for his homeowk, but in the end we had to tell him to just hand draw something because we didn't have neough ink.

Mom, liberty and van are really into Outer Banks, and have watched like 7 episodes in 3 days!!

Monday I met with Arnaud and found out I'll be lecturing on canadian economics.