Elle a un an.

Hard to believe it, but our lttle Alma is already one year old.

We took Alma in for her one-year appointment and she continues to grow well, is doing the things that she’s supposed to, and is generally just a very happy healthy baby.

The strange thing about her is that after watching our other three kids have their cranial circumferences graphed on the growth chart (or just off the chart in some cases) it almost feels strange to have a baby with a head proportional to her body.  I guess the Watts genes are starting to fade.

On Sunday afternoon of her birthday we had a few families over and a good time was had by all. When three of the  families have four kids each, stuff really gets amped up pretty quickly.
The Three kids tables



Let’s face it – she will never remember this – and honestly even while it was going on she probably had little to no idea that the party was for her.  However,  gathering friends together is a great way to celebrate the good things in life, and there are few blessings more worthy of celebrating than a child.




three stages of opening a gift


homemade birthday sweater from ‘auntie’ Alma in California


Alma is such an incredibly happy little girl.  She still brings so much joy to our house, and still the biggest problem she causes is that the older kids argue about getting her out of her bed when she wakes up, or who gets to hold her.

We have four healthy children. We have a beautiful house to live in. The kids get to go to school, we always have more than enough food to give our kids, we can take them to doctors when they are sick, we can afford medicine, and we have water that comes out of the tap that does not make them sick.  As our youngest reaches one year of life, we are reminded that in many parts of this world, even today, many parents simply do not have the joy of watching their own children ever reach that milestone.

We are so richly blessed.



Rentrée 2012

This September marks the start of the kids third year of school here in France.

The kids changed schools this year.  They are still in our village, but at the ‘other’ school. We figured they needed some more change in their lives. They went from a school that had split classes for most grades, to having 2 full classes in each grade.  The new school is much better equipped, has more extra stuff (music teacher, gym in the big public sports center next door, ski classes for gym in January etc.) and is free.


Micah is in CP ~ grade 1

Matea is in CE2 ~ grade 3

Jonah is in CM2 ~ grade 5

(and if you’re counting: I’m in PhD Third Year ~ grade 22)

And in case you were wondering if I’m getting soft as I advance in my years – here is proof that I can still give a piggy-back ride to the bigger three at once (Alma was left off over safety concerns)


Between a rock…

..and another rock.

That’s where we were the weekend before school started – a little stone village in a narrowing part of a valley where the rock faced mountains almost meet right next to the 400 year old settlement. The name is Entrepierres – literally ‘between the rocks’ – and it really is.




eating dinner in these surroundings as they kids swim…not too shabby at all

We spent a long weekend with our good friends the Ball family right before school started. It was a fantastic few days of relaxing, swimming, hiking and just spending time together.

The kids had a great time playing – and they swam on days that seemed quite  windy, cool  and cloudy to the adults – but they didn’t seem to care.  They were seven kids, with a pool,   in a beautiful place, and they didn’t seem to notice &/or care when their lips turned blue.

It was a really great way to end the summer and get ready for school (which started the morning after we got home)

Tri-omino champs going head to head

In some ways it seems unreal that these friends  – and others we have met here – we have only known for two years.  When we drive we never seem to have our own kids with us – just some combination – and we hope that the other car has the remaining collection of offspring.

Crepes for 8 hungry kids

The funny thing about having our two families together is not just that there are eight kids in total – but that it seems like there’s not really that many of  them.  The kids are all pretty close in age – and they all play so well together that we often notice that in some ways it easier to have all eight than just our four.


Just the eight of them