Monday, October 22, 2007

a tearful goodbye...

I'm glad Ms. Gonzalez warned me to take a box of tissues along for the drive to O'Hare. The five girls in my van were very sad to say au revoir to Chicago, Payton and their new friends.

Thanks so much to the teachers for their thoughtful planning and to all the parents who did so much driving, feeding, coordinating, communicating, etc. Thanks to Nikki's folks for a really great party; our guest Elodie got the bowling trophy for the lowest score and it is a treasured souvenir.

In reply to Ms. Imrem's question, it's OK with me to use the blog for publicity or whatever; it's a great tool (thanks again to Lynette for setting it up). If anybody has pix to share I hope they'll post them. After Em catches up on her homework & college apps I'll ask her for some to post...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Friday plans

Hi everyone. We have had a great time with Emeline and are wishing that she could stay longer. But. I am wondering about the plan for tomorrow. Should Emeline go to school tomorrow with AnnaLeigh in the morning or would it be better to bring her in time to make the 1PM departure time? Does anyone know?

Melanie Jansen

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mid-Visit update

I just remembered the blog and read all of your wonderful entries. Thank you all for sharing. We would love to hear more about successes and challenges you are having, and this is a great forum for it. Also, I just wanted to verify that it was ok to use some of your blogs as "publicity" once in a while (for newsletters, etc.). We would only use positive statements and would contact you if there is anything controversial. Please let me know if you are not comfortable with this. Only 3 more days; I hope they are the best yet! We're off for the boat trip...hoping the weather clears so we can say above board. Infinite thanks to everyone for your incredibly hospitability, warmth and willingness to go above and beyond for this exchange.

Any photos you have please share!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What a Great Group!

The potluck was such fun! Thank you to our superb hosts the Normans. I think the entire group is very special and it was great to watch the happy interactions between our children and the Strasbourg students. I also want to thank everyone for their support of the flower bulb sale fundraiser. As of right now we have sold over $900 and we get 50% profit. I will let you know what the final total is after Holly comes home. We are really enjoying having Lucile as part of our family. I am amazed by her ability and confidence in speaking English. Plus she is so good-natured and sweet. This experience is enriching for everyone.
Edie Lange

Thank you for hosting

Just a short note to thank you for the lovely pot luck dinner. The two of you and your daughter are lovely hosts and made everyone feel quite welcome in your home. And what a wonderful home and back yard. Payton provides a great opportunity for the students and parents alike to see and experience numerous neighborhoods in Chicago with its diverse student base. I, for one, had never been in the South Shore neighborhood. It seems like a lovely place to live.
I am sorry I missed your dancing - I caught a bit of it in the kitchen. All I can say is go girl go!
Thank you again -

Judy Duratinsky

Great Dinner Party

Thanks to all of you for making last night's Potluck Dinner a huge success! A special thanks to Corazon & Charlie Marcelino (Andrew's parents) for coming early and helping with the setup & grilling and to Kathy Randolph (Emily's mom) for staying late to help with the clean up. But to all of you who helped keep things going smoothly during the dinner - THANKS MUCH.

Such great food & great company! We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of young people, very impressive.

Someone lost a small white button, if it's yours let Janelle know and I'll send it to school by her.

OK kids - you blew a chance to learn the Cupid Shuffle, when you get to the Homecoming Dance you'll be sorry you didn't practice. (smile)

Our student, Pauline, is a lovely young lady. She is very polite and is open to trying different foods. We took her to Calypso restaurant in Hyde Park Tuesday, she enjoyed Cuban Black Bean soup and fried plaintains. She eats very little - even her lunch is light. We should take a cue from her. She seems very comfortable with us, it's been a great experience so far.

We will take her to church with us on Sunday, I think Ms. Gonzales plans to bring one or both of the French teachers to our church. If anyone else would like to join us feel free to meet us there, but let me know so I can arrange for us to sit together. Here's the church info:
Apostolic Church of God
6320 S. Dorchester
There are two services, 9:10am & 11:40am. We will go to the early service to allow time to get to the bowling party at 1:00. If you plan to join us please call me at 773.643.4150 as soon as you know.

Have a great day!!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Our Students are Here

I hope everyone had a great time receiving the students at the airport yesterday. I've never been to the International terminal so that was a treat for me. Our student, Florine, is settling in and getting adjusted to our family. Our dog Hershey has fallen in love with her (and her toes).

We got home later than normal yesterday due to the fact that I drove north - way, way, way north - although I have a GPS in my truck. Part of our normal life included running a few errands. We went to the grocery store and Costco for a printer cartridge.

This afternoon, Ashley, Florine, Taylor and Elizabeth met me at work after shopping at the Water Tower for a homecoming dress. I drove them home and I asked them about their first day in Chicago. We're looking forward to meeting Norman family tomorrow night.

I'll leave you with a few more pictures from the airport.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Bonjour Mes Amis

Salut everyone. I just called Air France to check the arrival time and it's been changed to 3:32pm. We're looking forward to hosting Florine and the rest of the Erstein group. I hope she won't be too tired for a bit of grocery shopping. I'll have an update soon...hopefully with photos. I'll see you at the airport.

FYI...For those of you that haven't done so, please accept the invitation to join the blog. I'll resend invitation to those remaining people this evening. This way, we can all share our experiences with our French student over the next two weeks.

Take care,

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hello All

Hello Everyone - wow, I'm blogging. (is that a term?)

I just sent an email to everyone re: the Potluck Dinner on Wed. the 10th. I'm really looking forward to having you guys over - it'll be fun, crowded but fun. I'm really hoping the weather stays mild & dry enough for some time outside. But if not, we'll be ok.

Well, I'm no longer a Blog Virgin, thanks for setting this up Lynette. I admit to being technically challenged so this is huge for me.

Enjoy the weekend - see you at the airport!

Darlene Norman

Friday, October 5, 2007

another newbie signs on... & driving questions

Thanks, Lynette, for dragging me past another techno-boundary; guess I'll have to break down & try a text message next... ;-) Seriously, thanks for setting this up; it's really cool.

I can take a group of 5 or 6 to O'Hare on the 19th; will we have to park & go in, or can we just drop them off at the international terminal?

Another question about driving; are the French kids (and their parents) comfortable with our kids driving them around while they're here? What is the driving age in France? Em's been driving for almost 2 years & is a good driver but I don't know what they're used to...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hello everyone. This is my first blog post ever. Let me know how I do....We are looking for 2 or 3 additional cars and drivers to take the French students/teachers to the airport on Friday Oct. 19. You would leave Payton at 1pm to drive them to O'Hare. We have a van and driver donated for the rest of the group, but it only fits 15 passengers. Please let me know if you are available. Minivans or SUVs are great, but regular cars are fine too.