Wednesday, March 31, 2010

spring means...

We got this cute "sock bunny" idea from Family Fun magazine.

Millie thinks it's necessary to wear a helmet too (that's 2 sizes too big).  Although I'm pretty sure she could get hurt worse from just walking...

Notice the huge pile of sticks in the background?  That's just one of five.

This was Tate's first time in the big boy swing.

80 degree temps in March!!
This photo courtesy of Miss Jessica, who graciously watched all 3 of my children while I got...

... a new hairdo!
You might not be able to tell from this pic, but I got highlights and a fresh cut.  Yes, I'm still growing it out (for hubby..), but it just needed some shape!  Thanks, Chelsea!!!

What does spring mean to you?

Monday, March 29, 2010

a new addition

No, it's not a fourth baby (although I know some of you were wishing for that...)

We're getting a puppy!
This one, in fact:
Isn't he cute?  
We went to see him Sunday afternoon and he was only 5 days old!  So, of course we won't have him for another 7-8 weeks.

And then he'll probably look a little more like this:
but with a white chest and maybe some white around his mouth and tips of his paws.

Adeline has been begging for a dog for a LONG time.  Little did she know we were thinking of getting one anyways.  But we did really well at keeping it a secret.  On the way to see the puppy yesterday we told the girls that we were going to see some puppies just for fun.  After they saw the brand new baby puppies and got to hold the bigger ones, we asked them if they thought it'd be fun to have one.  Their eyes lit up and they were shocked!  It was so fun to see the excitement on their faces.

Now we just have to settle on a name.  Addie has already started a list.  Yesterday we asked Millie what she thought a good boy name was and she said "Jesus."  Welllll..... hmmm... how do you respond to that?  "Yes, we love Jesus, don't we Millie?" was the best we could come up with, hoping she would drop it.  But then today when we were talking about names again, right away she said, "Jesus!"  Hey, at least she knows Jesus is a good name!  And I think Jesus probably thought that was pretty cute.  But don't worry, we would never name our dog that.  Totally inappropriate.  Hopefully she'll get over it soon.

What breed is this, you ask?
Cockapoo.  A mix between a cocker spaniel and poodle.
Chad has done a ton of research to make sure we get just the right dog that...
A. is good with kids
B. doesn't shed
C. isn't very big
D. has a sweet disposition
E. is intelligent so we can easily train it
The Miniature Goldendoodle was our first choice, but we didn't have an extra $1000 lying around, so the Cockapoo seemed like the next best choice for our family.

We are super excited and I'm sure over these next 7-8 weeks I will answer the question, "Mom, when do we get our puppy" like 7,000 times.

the thrill of victory...

for some...

Tate even insisted on wearing this shirt the next day just to rub it in some more.
I'm pretty sure he's pointing and laughing at me here.
Not so nice, Tate.

Although I was highly disappointed that my Panthers lost, my bracket is looking pretty good!  I've got MSU and Duke in the final with MSU winning.

Maybe I should've entered a pool with real money this time...

Friday, March 26, 2010

french friday - part quatre

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and all of a sudden they pull out a frenchy-sounding expression that sounds a lot like jibberish, and you have no idea what they're saying? So you just respond with a sheepish "yeah..." and pretend like you know what they're talking about?

Well I say, enough of that! After reading this post, you will be so comfortable in your knowledge of all popular French sayings that you'll be spurting them out left and right. Guaranteed. And if not... well then, sue me.

I'll even be ending this post with another "professional" video of moi pronouncing the sayings so you can once again laugh at me. But more importantly so you don't sound like Joey in this favorite clip of mine:

And here, finally, are some commonly used French sayings:

"à la carte" - side order
"à la mode" - in America this means "with ice cream," but in France it means "in style"
"au contraire" - on the contrary
"carte blanche" - free to do whatever you want (literally means "white card")
"C'est la vie" - That's life.
"coup d'état" - overthrow of the government
"crème de la crème" - cream of the crop
"démodé" - out of style
"double entendre" - a word or phrase that has double meaning
"esprit de corps" - in regard to the interests of the group as a whole (literally "spirit of the body")
"faux pas" - foolish mistake (literally means "false step")
"gauche" - awkward (literally means "left"... as opposed to "right," not as in "left behind"...)
"haute couture" - high class (literally means "high sewing")
"hors d'oeuvre" - a dish served before the meal (literally means "outside of work/masterpiece")
"joie de vivre" - enjoyment of life
"laissez faire" - let it be (often used in regards to the government not to interfere)
"N'est-ce pas?" - Is it not so?
"noblesse oblige" - obligated nobility
"nouveau riche" - someone who is newly rich
"passé" - of the past, old fashioned
"pièce de résistance" - best part of something, often used in reference to a meal
"prêt-à-porter" - ready to wear clothing
"Quelle horreur" - how horrible (often used sarcastically)
"Qu'est-ce que c'est?" - What's this? (or the blog name of my awesome guest poster from last week!)
"raison d'être" - reason for being/why you exist
"risqué" - overly provocative (literally means "risked")
"Sacré bleu" - exclamation of shock (literally is "sacred blue" which is the color associated with the Virgin Mary)
"savoir faire" - social grace (literally means "to know to do")
"tête-à-tête" - head to head (usually refers to a meeting between two people)
"vis-à-vis" - face to face
"Vive la différence" - Long live the difference (commonly used describing male and female relationships)

Here is your pronunciation video. And yes, I am a dork.

And there you have it. Now I expect you to intensely study these words so you'll be already for next week's quiz. Oh, and please let me know if you have any French sayings you think I should add to my list!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

a house divided

In this corner, we have...

The University of Northern Iowa 

And in this corner....
 Michigan State University

There's a lot of turmoil in this house this week.
I'm a Panther, who married a Spartan and now we have 3 kids
stuck in the middle.
With the big game coming up Friday night, our kids must pick sides.
Why?  Because I think I may win this one...

Chad's clearly got Tate on his side:

But I think I may be able to convince the girls to hook up with the Panthers.
Good thing UNI has the color purple going for them... 
otherwise it'd be a toss-up for sure!

To be completely honest with you... my heart has also been a little divided.  Although I consider myself a Panther, I also attended MSU (along with 3 other colleges... but that's another story...) and actually worked with the athletes there.  Plus, I have them winning it all on my tournament bracket... So to cheer against this team will definitely be a struggle.  But I did attend UNI for the longest amount of time, and it was the favorite of all my five colleges, and I am an Iowa girl, so it didn't take too long for me to make up my mind!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

there's an app for that?

I did it.  I sent my first text.  And I didn't even use a phone to do it.  I know, I know... my first text?  What... am I living in the 90's?  Why yes.  Yes I am and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.  The 90's rock.  And to all you high schoolers out there... the 90's were much cooler than the 80's.  Trust me.  So let's stop trying to bring back 80's fashion, okay?  Thanks.

Anyways, I have had a cell phone for awhile now, but it's pre-paid.  Remember, I'm 100% Dutch and my husband is 100% Frugal so between the two of us, we didn't like the idea of having a monthly cell bill.  And besides, I'm a stay-at-home mom, so why pay a hefty cell bill when I can just use my home phone?

But the problem was texting.  I could text on my prepaid phone, but it would add up quickly, so I just never did it.  And I never checked my texts either.  Sorry all my texting friends for never responding to your texts, for never knowing what's going on, and often responding "huh?" when asked if I'd received your messages.  My "adult" friends understand this, but not my young friends, and being a youth sponsor at our church, I have quite a few young friends.

So, I resolved the problem.  I bought an iPod Touch.  Just a one-time purchase of the device and no monthly bill.  And there's a free texting app that I downloaded and can text anyone for free!  The only catch is that I have to be somewhere with Wi-Fi, which shouldn't be a big deal since I have it at home and most places I go to will probably have it.

Now my question to all you with iPhones and iPod Touches is... what are your favorite apps?  I've heard several of you talking about cool ones, but honestly... I never really paid attention since I couldn't use them.  But now I want to know!

Let me know your favorite app!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

a tribute

My dear husband's birthday was yesterday.
I meant to post this then, but got kinda busy.
Please enjoy this adorable picture of him at 6 months, and then check out the very elaborate and thought-provoking poem I wrote in his honor.

Chad is rad.
He's never clad
in pants of plaid.
That's not his fad.
He's the best dad
any kid ever had.
What a lad.
He's not bad
and rarely mad.
When I'm sad
he makes me glad.
That's Chad.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!
I love you.


Friday, March 19, 2010

french friday - part trois

Bienvenue!  Thanks for coming back for the third edition of French Friday!  Today you're in luck because I was able to round up a guest post from a real live au pair (nanny) living in PARIS to let us peek in on her life.  Cool, huh?  Yeah, I've got connections...  Enjoy the following post written by Besty (one of the sweetest, coolest girls I've ever met) and then check out her blog, Qu'est-ce que c'est?, for more updates from this amazing mademoiselle.

Bienvenue to this week’s edition of French Friday. Instead of Katie’s normal French Friday, I am doing a guest blog. I am Betsy, Chad’s cousin and Katie’s wannabe sister, and I am writing to you straight from the heart of Paris where I am currently an au pair. Basically, I am going to describe my life here, both as an au pair for a French family, and how I am completely in love with France, as well as a few other things. With a glass of kir (a popular French aperitif made with current liqueur and white wine) in hand, and Frank Sinatra in the background, I sit in a cozy Parisian apartment and begin my story. Enjoy!

Once upon a time, I dreamed of living in France. As time went by, that dream became hidden behind many other dreams and life in general. Then one day, the following thought popped into my head: You have to do it. Go to France if only for a summer. It’s now or never. Carpe Diem.

And so I did. I lived in Paris for two months during the summer of 2008. Life was wonderful, and I longed to experience life in France for more than just a summer with a real job. The summer quickly came to an end and my heart ached to leave. Of course I had to go back and finish my last year of college, but I made it my goal to come back, not just as a visitor, but to live. After many hours of Google searches, I came to the conclusion that the only way I could possibly afford to live in France would be to live as an au pair for a French family. An au pair is like a nanny, but not exactly the same. It is a different arrangement. The family searches started slowly, and then around January, the requests flooded in, and I found what I thought to be a good match. After lots of paperwork and arrangements, I was all ready to move to Paris at the end of August 2009. 
My departure date quickly approached and before I knew it, I was saying a very sad, tear-drenched goodbye to my parents in the airport. I arrived in Paris, spent a little over a week being a tourist, and then met the family in person for the first time when I moved in. They were very welcoming and kind, and the kids were fun and so cute.  They are currently 3, 4, and 7 years old. I was pretty excited about everything. My friend had been an au pair for a family and it turned out horribly, so I was feeling pretty lucky. After just a few days, I fell right into routine with the family, and I was able to understand the kids better. They were with me every day all day for the first week, and then school started (phew!) and my normal au pair life began.

The au pair experience is far from perfect, but from what I have heard, I am with a good family. After a few weeks, I felt a little taken advantage of because I was working a lot more hours than were in the contract (30 hours max) and doing a lot more cleaning than was in the contract. Actually, the table of hours and duties in my contract was being only mildly followed. I had a talk with the parents, which shortened my cleaning duties a little, and I think made them more aware of the fact that I was in fact keeping track of my hours. Anyway, my average day goes like this: I get up at 7 to help get the kids ready. They leave around 8:20 and then I start cleaning and ironing (I iron pajamas! Insane.). This can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes a day. Then I am free to do my studies, wander, or whatever until I leave to pick the kids up from school around 4:15. I pick them up, give them a snack, play, do homework, bathe them, feed them dinner, etc. until one of the parents come home, usually around 8:30. Most French children do not have school on Wednesday, so I have the kids all day. My job, also apparently includes two nights of babysitting a week, which I was never aware of before. Luckily, the parents hardly ever go out on the weekends and I just consider my “babysittings” to be part of Wednesday and Thursday night since I am often not done until the mom comes home around 11 or midnight. My weekends are free. I do have to be available during the days in case a kid is sick, so I really cannot get another job, which is a bummer. I am paid 250 euro a month, which is not much when you live in Paris, but I get by.
The kids. These kids are used to having a nanny or an au pair take care of them. I actually feel bad for them because they do not see their mother a lot. Luckily their dad is around a little more than her. They see her a little in the mornings, sometimes before they go to bed, and during the weekends when she is not busy obsessively cleaning the house. Because of this, my job can be hard because they blame me for their parents being away from them. Luckily the oldest understands, but the little ones often go into tantrums because they want their parents. The first few months were a nightmare with the oldest because she challenged me at every chance she had. She was a little monster every day; biting me, screaming, hitting me, throwing things down the staircase, kicking, etc. Thank goodness things are much better now. I used to walk to the school to pick them up with nervous cramps in my stomach. It took a lot of time and bonding before she stopped doing that. Now it happens only once in awhile and it is not to the degree that it was. When the kids are not being bad, they usually get along pretty well. They can be very sweet, loving, and fun. They love playing make-believe, especially the Sound of Music, which I introduced them to.

This sounds bad, I know, but there are some major upsides to my job. I get to live in Paris! I love the French language, French culture, and the beauty of Paris. I am learning French by completely surrounding myself with it everyday. I love living here, I love my friends here, and I have a French boyfriend. He is the best part. During my days when I am not cleaning or watching kids, I like to wander or get coffee with friends. Most of them work during the days, so usually I see my friends on the weekends at little bars or restaurants. Somehow, I have fallen in love in Paris (so cliché, I know), which I never thought would happen. Now the hard part is figuring out how to stay in this country. I so desperately want to stay here. My year in Paris is more than halfway finished, I wish I were already done being an au pair, but I wish I had more time to figure out my relationship and how I can possibly stay. Believe me, I am working on it. Once again, Google searches have occupied many hours of these past few weeks in my search for jobs on the French Riviera (where my boyfriend is moving and I plan to live if I can).
Overall, I wouldn’t trade this year in. I wouldn’t have done it any differently. I have learned French, which was my major goal. I feel like everything has somehow been part of a major plan. I have no idea what will come of my life here, but I can’t help hoping that my future includes me ending up in France for good, teaching English or something at a bilingual school, starting a family, and spending my evenings drinking café crème or kir while looking out into the sunset on the Mediterranean. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

so big

Is this really my baby boy?

Sitting up all by himself...

when just a few weeks ago he still needed assistance from the Bumbo...
Or maybe mommy just wasn't ready to admit he was probably old enough to be sitting by himself...

And is he really already eating in a highchair?

This one was a very hard transition for me.  I really enjoyed being his only "food source."

Wasn't it just yesterday that he was this little?
Now he barely fits in his car seat!

And now, at 6 months, he's bigger than my girls were at
one year!
He's nearly as big as them now!

I know it's cliché, but isn't there a way to keep them this little?

I'm so not ready for my baby to grow up.

Monday, March 15, 2010

super mom

my mom

1,238,453 kisses
597,217 prayers said for your children
12, 874 diapers changed
10,546 children's books read
5,971 tears wiped away
1,739 words held back to a mouthy teenage daughter
531 boo-boos magically kissed away
362 sleepless nights with sick kids
 215 nights lying awake waiting for that kiss goodnight from your teenagers to know they made it safely home
37 years of sacrificially loving your offspring
26 years of feeding, clothing, and housing your children
7 grandchildren who greatly adore you
3 children who now, as adults, finally realize and appreciate all you sacrificed for us and love you dearly
One amazing, loving, Godly, generous mom

Happy Birthday, mom!  
Thanks for being the best (and for putting up with me all these years...)

"Her children rise up and call her blessed." - Proverbs 31:28

Friday, March 12, 2010

french friday - part deux

Bienvenue!  Thanks for coming back for the second edition of French Friday.  I'm glad the video from last time didn't scare you off.

Today we're talking about les salutations (greetings).

Let me just get it out there (I'm sure several of you will protest this), but the French are a more polite people than Americans.  For example, have you noticed (in America) how when you walk into Blockbuster, they always say "Hello"?  Well, they do, or at least they're supposed to, and I must admit, it used to throw me off guard every time.  I'd look around wondering who knew me and, after seeing no one and realizing it must have been the blue-shirted worker, I'd mumble a nearly inaudible greeting.  They might even have a line of people waiting to rent movies and they somehow still hear the ding of the door and welcome me in.  I'm ready for it now and always answer back with a nice strong "Hi."  We, as Americans aren't used to this.  But if you live in France, it's just a part of the culture.  They're nicer.

I think the article below says it best:
In some countries, it's acceptable to greet a salesclerk, for example, with just a smile, but not in France - always start out with a polite bonjour. Even when entering a waiting room or boarding a bus, the French will mutter bonjour as a general greeting to everyone within earshot.

In addition, if you know the person or are being introduced, you're also expected to either faire la bise (kiss cheeks) or se serrer la main (shake hands). When arriving at work or school, this means you should go around the room and individually greet each person.
- taken from, article by Laura K. Lawless

Can you imagine saying hello every time you entered a room?  In America, people would think you were un(e) dingue (nutcase).  Or worse yet, kissing cheeks or shaking hands with each person in the room?  It sounds strange to us, but really, you have to admit it would make for a more polite society.  Especially in a society where people don't even look up from their phones long enough to acknowledge your existence.  But that's a post for another time...

I'm sure most of you can handle a standard bonjour.  But how many of you would be willing to faire la bise (kiss cheeks)?  I love the following video as an English man tries to understand the whole concept, especially when it comes to kissing another man!  (gulp)

If you want to waste a few more minutes, check out this video for an American take on social kissing:

I remember being a little uneasy about the whole kissing thing 
when I visited France.  
What if I went for the wrong cheek and ended up kissing on the lips?! Ew!  
And what if I was smelly or something?  
Trust me... I wasn't the one with an odor problem...  
And what if I caught some nasty virus? This still concerns me, but if you think 
about it, the French's immunities must be pretty strong 
since they kiss all the time.  
But really, after a few times, I become an old pro.  
Ready to visit France now? Better practice puckerin' those lips...

Oh, and Londa... "Mon frère est un dingue."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the aftermath

Dear Winter Storms of '09-'10,

First of all, thank you for leaving.  You are gone... right?  And thank you for finally taking the snow away.  Finally.

But, was it really necessary to leave this behind?

or this?

We know... it's partially our fault for choosing to keep these huge, messy trees around.  But their shade in the summer is completely worth it.

So, Winter Storms, I guess what I'm saying is... please don't come back.  Especially this year, but preferably - NEVER.  Get that?  You're not welcome here.  

We can survive completely fine without you.

Girl Whose Back is Aching at the Thought of Picking Up All Those Branches

P.S.  Notice that beautiful green grass?  That's right.  Spring is here.  You are over.  Take that!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

the proof is in the picture

For those of our family and friends who don't live in the IPTV viewing area, we thought you may enjoy seeing this. Adeline's artwork is on the left. You can tell it's hers because it has her name on it. :)  You can also see her picture in my last post.

Can you tell how proud we are?

Monday, March 8, 2010

my little picasso

For all my local Iowans... 

Have you seen this picture on IPTV Festival?

Well, it's on the wall to the left of Dan Wardell and is blown up really big!

And I'm not positive, but it looks like it's also one of the pictures on the Kids Club Card!  How cool is that?!

This morning I heard Adeline yell, "Mom!  I just saw my drawing on TV!"

I said, "Oh cool!  I can't believe I missed it!"  I thought she meant that it had popped up once and was gone.  But then a few minutes later I saw that it's actually permanently up there!  As long as the camera pans over far enough...

Now I guess I'll have to buy the Kids Club Card so I can have her picture forever on plastic.  :)

shake 'n bake

Remember that old Shake 'n Bake commercial?

Well my little cuties are giving that girl a run for her money.

Friday, March 5, 2010

french friday

*Check the video at the end of this post for pronunciations of all French words used*

Not to be confused with "french fry day." Okay, Liz and Katie J? Sorry if I have you all now craving french fries.

Yes, this is the first installment of my now (hopefully) weekly "French Friday." I hope this helps my astute readers to become even more well-rounded in your knowledge of worldly (okay, maybe just French-related) matters.

Actually, I thought maybe it would just be fun for you to be a little "pompeux" (pompous) and surprise all of your friends by throwing in a few french terms here and there. Isn't it fun to be a little prétentieux (pretentious) sometimes? I'm just helping to make you all "très chic" and to give you that... "je ne sais quoi." (literally: "I don't know what" but means "something distinctive or attractive.") Wouldn't it be fun to be the girl of whom people say, "She has a certain je ne sais quoi."

So, here's your french lesson for today, and it's a touchy subject... it has to do with IN-LAWS! (Did I just hear some of you gasp?)

I'm extremely fortunate that my in-laws are "formidable" (wonderful). Since they all live far away, they sometimes come and stay for a week and I thoroughly enjoy it!

Seriously, look how cool they are:
The men even cooperated by wearing french mustaches to go along with my french theme. How sweet.

However, I know not all of you are as blessed as I am to have this type of relationship.

But, maybe you would if you lived in France and always referred to your mother-in-law as "belle-mère." Do you know what that means? Yup - beautiful mother! And the same goes for your father-in-law - "beau-père" or handsome father. And if you have a daughter-in-law that you don't get along with, imagine referring to her as your "belle-fille" or beautiful daughter! And son-in-law is "beau-fils" or, you guessed it - handsome son. So, every time you'd refer to your in-laws, you'd be calling them your "belle-famille" or beautiful family!

Doesn't this sound much more like a loving, healthy relationship than the term "in-laws." That pretty much just sounds like, "yeah, they're technically my family... but ONLY through the law... I certainly wouldn't have picked them..."

Imagine how your relationship would change with your mother-in-law if you were constantly calling her "beautiful."

So here's my french "défi" (challenge) for you this week - The next time you talk to your mother-in-law / daughter-in-law, etc, purposely call her your "belle-mère" or "belle-fille," etc. And then tell her what it means and that you appreciate her/him (you can also do this with a father/brother-in-law). I'll even give you BONUS points if this exchange takes place with an in-law whom you find, um... "difficile" (difficult).

After you do this, please comment back on here before next week's installation of French Friday and let me know. I may even come up with some sort of prize...

*The following video has the pronunciations of the French words used in today's post. I did NOT want to do this. I tried to do just sound clips, but couldn't figure out how to do that. (Does anyone know?) So, please forgive the hilarity that is this video.

For correct pronunciation of the french language, please see this article.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


We emerged slowly from our cave, rubbing our eyes and squinting up at the blazing ball of fire in the sky.  The world around us was glaring, bright white from the piles of snow still blanketing nearly everything in sight.  We stretched our limbs and breathed deeply of the cool, fresh air.  It felt so clean and exhilerating in our stale, musty lungs.  Then we heard it.  Drip... drip... drip...  As I realized what it was, a smile emerged slowly across my pallid face.  I turned to verify it's source and was elated to see it was as I thought - the ice was melting.  Finally.  After 3 months of bone-chilling torture.  And as the corner of my eye caught a tiny patch of green amidst all the white, I knew it was true - Spring was on the way!

Then we hopped in our car and headed to Target.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

i spoke too soon

Remember how I complained in my last post about not getting fresh air for 3 days?  Well, I guess I should've kept my mouth shut.

Today will be 6 days.

Yes, SIX days trapped inside with not even a hint of fresh air.

I woke up Monday morning with a splitting headache, chills, body aches and a cough.  By Monday night I was throwing up.  I hate throwing up.  (Although with my last 2 pregnancies I threw up nonstop my first trimester - you'd think I'd grown accustomed to it.)  So my loving husband was gracious enough to get a substitute for Tuesday so he could stay home and take care of me and the kids (although it meant he had to go into his classroom late that night getting stuff ready and not come home 'til midnight!  What a man).  By last night I was running a fever of 102.2!

I knew I had a high fever because my eyeballs were hot.  Not kidding.  It was either my eyeballs or my inner eyelids because every time I closed my eyes, I felt like they were burning up.  It wasn't painful, just hot.  Have any of you ever had that?  I had never felt that before and was certain it was sign of impending death.

However, I woke up this morning - still alive.  Although I was drenched in sweat.  My fever must've broke last night because this morning I was back to normal.  Thank God!  Seriously, I prayed a lot last night that I would wake up feeling better because Chad couldn't take another day off of school and I knew I couldn't take care of 3 kids the way I was feeling.  So God took pity on me and answered my prayers.

So today is recovery day.  After a diet of Saltines and Sprite, my body isn't quite up to par.  I feel weak, but SO much better than the past few days.

On a side note, I've been doing some thinking...  since my blog name is French, shouldn't my blog have something frenchy about it?  So I'm going to add a new addition.  Every Friday will be deemed "French Friday" and I will teach my inquisitive, well-rounded audience something "frenchy" so you can go out into the world armed with extremely important French knowledge.  Okay, so maybe it won't be very important or useful knowledge, but fun nonetheless.

Are you up for it?