Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bon Appetit!

A couple weeks ago, I decided to give the kids a little bit of the outdoors, INSIDE! I filled up a big bowl of snow and brought it in and dumped it into the sink! Tiernan played with it for a solid 45 minutes while the two youngers ones were sleeping and then Caedmon had a turn when he got up from his nap. They LOVED it and it gave me a few minutes of peace and quiet!

The night before last, Al came over and made us supper!! He cooked "something French" although I don't know what it was called and he said it originated from Normady. It was soooooo incredible delicious!! It was a simple dish made with mushrooms, onions, chicken & cream served over rice! We also had a side of French bagettes! He even brought over stuff to make dessert! We had pears diced up and heated on the stove in melted chocolate! Wow, was that good! The kids got some before they went to bed and they liked it too!...(imagine that! :)

He dished up our plates for us and he gave me a TON of it! Good thing it was super yummy b/c I ate everything on my plate! When I asked Nathan if he was going to finish all of his, Al told us that in France, it is a huge insult if you don't finish your food. Like at a restaurant, there's no such thing as a "doggy" bag or a take-home container b/c you NEED to finish what is on your plate. He reassured me that if I was too full, I could stop and he wouldn't be insulted :) But I thought that was very interesting since it's a very typical thing in America to take a doggy bag home from a restaurant, etc.

Especially when Al's parents were here visiting, we heard all the time at how much Americans eat.....well, after Al telling me what a typical supper included in France when you have company over, for example, I would have to argue that French people eat way more!! :) He said that if you were to have someone over for supper, you would start out by serving something to drink, most likely beer, wine, or pop. After that you would start with your appetizer, which could be a slice of bread with cheese and olives, made up real fancy. After you are done with that, then you would start on the main course. After the main course, then you have a salad. After the salad, then you have some cheese (which could be one of like 500 different kinds of cheese they have), then you would have some tomatoes with mozzarella cheese on it, after that you'd have dessert and after dessert, you'd have something to drink again! Whew! I told Al after he gave me the run-down of all that food, that it made me full just THINKING about it! And they say Americans are the ones that eat a lot...... :)

After supper we started talking politics and Al left our place at a little after 11pm :) Since he is from France, and they are a socalist country, we got to learn first hand how that works/doesn't work. The most interesting thing to me that he told was about how salaries work and how much of the money the gov't takes before you actually receive your wage. Here was his example: You make $5000 a month (they get paid once a month instead of every 2 weeks or something like here)....Ok, so $5000 a month is your salary. The company you work for takes $2500 (half!) of it out right away to give to the government. That leaves you with $2500. Then out of that $2500, you are taxed another $500, leaving you with $2000. Then off that $2000 you are taxed again another $600, leaving you with $1400 to get deposited into you account!!!!! So you go from $5000 to $1400. That's $60,000 down to $16,800...sounds like a good deal huh??? NOT! He thinks there are good things and bad things about it, pretty much just like anything else. But it was a very interesting conversation and a great learning time for all of us!!

Caedmon's turn at the sink!

With a few trucks, a bucket and shovel, you can play for hours!!

Fun with snow!

Meling the chocolate for dessert

Caedmon lovin' the chocolate pears

It's almost ready!

He's a pro alraedy! Cooking with one hand, holding a toddler in the other! Go Al!

Brayan couldn't get enough of Al

Political lesson/discussion from Al on the white board

Lesson continued


Sara said...

It sounds like you had some interesting discussions! You got me curious about economies around the world. Have you ever seen this site? They have maps and charts showing the level of economic freedom in countries around the world. I thought you might find it interesting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn and family,
it was so nice reading about you and Alban and seeing Al on your photos(which are so much nicer than the ones I take).
And you sound so active, as usual.
your dishes make my mouth water.
I will think of you and the baby to come and will send a prayer for Nathan to get the job you both would like him to have.
St Cloud is expecting you and the kids, have a nice time there and do not forget to tell me about the new babe.