Friday, October 14, 2011

Just keepin' truckin' along...

Let the lessons begin! R&C started French lessons this week. A great Burlingame mom is teaching them so it should be good. I ordered the Fluenz French software for myself. Decided Rosetta Stone's immersion method isn't really my style - I'm much too analytical and like to know the rules behind things. Just got the box but haven't tried it out yet. I sure hope it's good after what I paid! When we get to France I'll be hiring a private tutor as I want to move as quickly as possible in my language skills. The 2 years I took in high school (waaaaay too long ago!) isn't very helpful!

I've been trying to read some books and blogs about people moving to France to try to get an idea of what I'm in for. You can see a list of blogs listed to the side of mine. Here are some of the book titles:
Friend or Foe - very interesting look at cultural differences and the thinking behind them
60 million Frenchmen can't be wrong - didn't get to read much of this one. Might need to check it out again.
Almost French - a woman falls in love with a Frenchman & moves to France. In the book she talks about her experiences acclimating to the French ways.
Paris with Kids - an American woman moves with her husband to Paris for his job. This wasn't a very well-written book, but still interesting in it's way.
These books have been very helpful in giving me some insight into why the French are the way they are. And how different Americans and French are! Hopefully some of this knowledge will help me from making major gaffes - though I'm sure there are plenty in my future.

I also bought a French cookbook that was highly recommended - "Around My French Table". Full of recipes for French home meals - I thought I might find these useful for when cooking at home. As you may know I love cooking, and am terrified about not knowing what ingredients are, how to use them, etc. But it should be fun learning!

No other real updates yet - still waiting. E&Y finished my Letter of Motivation, they are trying to get the proof of insurance taken care of by NXP, and also trying to come up with a list of what documents we will need to provide - I hope it's the ones we have! They are going to "present" all these things to the French Consulate here in San Francisco very soon hopefully. S has a call with E&Y and HR tomorrow, and he's going to try to get them to give us a timeline. They say they are shooting for December, but what does that mean? If the girls are to start school January 3rd, we need to get over there by around December 28th so they have a chance to get over jet lag. And that means somehow moving around Christmas which presents all sorts of problems. Plus we need to have a house over there to move to! So we need to make sure everyone is on board with the fact that we need to move ahead on some items before the Visa is finalized.

Good new is that HR mentioned a family house-hunting trip again today. I checked the calendar & the kids have conference week in November where they get out at noon every day & have Friday off. So that would be a good week to pull them out of school since they won't miss as much. I'm hoping S can get the ok for that trip so we can get a move on with the house stuff. When we find a house (& the town we want to live in), I'll have a better idea as I look around our house here of what we will ship over.

We are also hoping to visit the girls' school while we are over there. It would be great to see it, meet their teachers and fellow classmates, etc. I have been so impressed with everything about the school so far and am so excited for the opportunity for the girls to go there. The administrators and teachers I've talked to so far have been so welcoming, helpful and kind. It is an American School (ASP) so it is taught in English and the adjustment shouldn't be too tough on R&C. They are very nervous, sad and excited by the opportunity - as we all are I think!

ASP has a ski week in February and there is an organized ski trip sponsored by the school for 3-5th graders to go to the Swiss Alps! Nice. Both R&C have actually said that they want to go. So that means S & I will be able to take a vacation without kids in February! Got to start thinking about where we want to many choices...

No bites on the car yet as far I know. Come on, doesn't someone out there want to buy this beauty? We need to sell this one so that we can pay off the Prius so we can ship it over...

OK - off to enjoy dinner & drinks with a girl friend,


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