Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pessac Kids! - Fete d' Ecole, Fete du Cirque, & more!

 All of the Fetes! - Ecole, Cirque, Periscolaire...

So life has been a bit busy in our household lately!  The kids are still in school until July 5th - but it's winding down.  However, like in the States, every activity has it's end of year celebration - we have been busy the last few weeks preparing for these shows - not to mention of course - attending them.  At this point, we have 4 down, and one more to go!  Earlier in the month, I posted about my youngest daughter's Kermesse - this event started it off!

Just last weekend alone - we attended the End of Year Circus show for my middle daughter - (An aside here - France has these great Circus schools for kids! - It's very popular and many kids ages 6-12 participate in weekly classes and learn all kinds of tricks on the trapezes, wires, juggling, ball walking etc..)  My middle daughter decided she wanted to try this kind of class and had lots of fun!  Below are some photos from the show.  Some of these kids are very talented!

Another event that we attended last week, was also for my middle daughter...(she had quite the weekend with back to back shows!) - The End of Year show for the School enrichment program.  This program is the French equivalent of American Before & After care. However, there are also activities held during lunch. Keep in mind the kids in France get 2 hours at lunchtime...Combination of eating and recess or activities like these.  These kids choreographed, designed and created this adorable play....all about different Worlds of everyday life - (Sports, partiers, speeders, thinkers, dreamers etc...very creative and fun!  It was all narrated and put to music!  All the kids just look like they are having so much fun!

 Finally earlier this week was the Fete d'Ecole for the primary school - my 2 oldest daughters.  This was set up very similar to Kermesse at the Maternelle (Preschool).  It started with each class performing a dance number - my middle daughter's class did more traditional dancing - paying hommage to different countries in their dance.  My oldest had a modern dance - "Flash Mob" to LMFAO!  Each dance and costumes were figured out by the teachers.  Again - this was great as it was about an hour...and then we moved into the school yard for the carnival activities and food.  I love the fact that all of these events are held outside!

 Here one of the teachers is leading all the students in the equivalent of the Aluma Mater.  My kids spent a bit of time learning this song..but it was great to see all the kids sing!
 After all the dancing, it was off to the carnival...with game booths and all kinds of other fun activities.

Even my youngest enjoyed all the games.  It was so fun to just let the kids run around enjoying their evening of fun!

We have one more big event left...The big ballet Gala this weekend!  This year I only have one dancer in it - my youngest !  I know I'm not alone in end of year activities..I don't think it matters what culture you are from..when it involves kids - Life gets busy!  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Plage du Grand Crohot - Lège- Cap Ferret - Summer's almost here!

Fun in the Sun - Just a moment in time!

One of my new favorite bloggers, does a special Friday moment...just a photo capturing a moment, a memory of something that happenned that week....I'm going to do my version of that a few photos  ...This week, most of our New York friends have finished school and are welcoming summer (along with the heat that comes with it.).  It was beautiful here this past weekend, so we also welcomed the beginning of summer (although we have 2 more weeks of school left)...So here is plage du Grand Crohot at  Lège Cap Ferret.  Our true first foray to the Atlantic Ocean this season!  Ocean was blue, surf was great and the sun...beautiful!  For my youngest, it's her first time really seeing and enjoying an Ocean beach!

Here's to the beginning of summer for all of friends...may you all create wonderful memories and have a relaxing and super time!  Looking forward to hearing about everyone's great adventures!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

French School Tradition - Kermesse

It's the end of the Year - Time for Kermesse

So sometime about March my youngest daughter's Preschool (Maternelle) started sending home information about something called Kermesse.  They were doing a couple different little fund raisers - like selling crepes one afternoon and  selling photos of the kids at Carnival.  All of this was to raise money for Kermesse....Kermesse?, I say to my husband...What is Kermesse?

He then knowingly and nostalgically says "Oh, Kermesse, I loved Kermesse, it's so much fun."  That's great, but it didn't answer my I try again.."Tell me about Kermesse".  

He tells me that Kermesse is something Maternelles do at the end of each year.  It's a mini carnival or fair.  The word Kermesse is actually Flemish for fair or carnival.  He says they do little games and the kids win prizes - He fondly proceeds to reminisce about a couple of favorite prizes that he won at Kermesse....a little spin top and a cute stuffed animal.  I chuckle to myself, as I've known my husband for over 20 years and never once have I heard any stories about Kermesse.   New word and new tradition for me!  It's funny, I'm learning that now we are in France, all these school and family traditions are coming back to him and I get to see a whole new side of my husband and his childhood!  

Kermesse is just one of those traditions that has been a part of French schools for a very long time.  It basically involves a simple end of year show with each class performing a cute little dance number to adorable music.  The kids are dressed up alike and it's up to each teacher as to what they choose to do.  There is often a theme each year....

So our Kermesse was last Friday night.  Apparently, our Kermesse was held a bit earlier than most - I guess it's more traditional that they are closer to the end of June.  Sort of closing out the school year.  I have to say though, no matter when it happens, it is definitely adorable and so cute to watch.

They started with each class parading in holding hands and carrying a balloon.  Once all the classes had arrived, all the kids let the balloons go....

The balloon release

Then all the classes sat down on benches and one at a time each class performed their number.

This is my youngest filing out to get ready to start their dance.

Of course you might put the American child in France, but you can never take the American spunk out of the child!  She loves to smile and joke with the camera.

Each group had their own props for dancing, the umbrellas, baskets & "lollipops" were brought out for my daughter's class.

The teachers got them all lined up - holding hands and ready to go.

and the music begins...sort of wish I had a video to post here.  So cute.

Her class was split into 2 groups under both umbrellas - boys and girls alternating.  A familiar French child's tune played for the kids.  Round and round they went...

They continued and split into pairs...I laughed at my middle daughter's reaction to this...."Mom, she's dancing with a boy....They are holding hands....I would be so embarrassed!".

Each class got up and did a different dance and each class were costumed by their teachers.  Very sweet - simple and lots of fun!

Older siblings gathered with their friends to watch their brothers or sisters.

After all the class performances were completed, all the groups got up and did a finale loop to music.  It was fun to see all the kids - (range in age from 3 - 6)  Maternelles here go through the American Kindergarten - essentially there are 3 grades represented - 3/4 year olds, 4/5 year olds and Kindergarteners.  
Parents and families were looped around the far end of the yard and on the sides - some were even sitting on the back fences.  Like any school event, this was very well attended and looked forward to by all!

The treat after the performance was a few of the fathers have a small band and played a couple "popular" songs for the group.  The kids and adults had fun getting their groove on!

The whole performance lasted only an hour.  It was very refreshing to sit through a cute end of year performance that was just an hour long!

Then, off we went to the other side of the school to enjoy the carnival!

Bake goods were sold for dessert - all provided by parents.

Fishing for a package was very popular.

Sack races were loads of fun too - Games were set up costing 1,2 or 3 tickets.  My kids learned very quickly how to use their tickets.

My husband brought back his childhood by supervising his favorite game of fish for the ducks!

He even got help from my middle daughter...or maybe she was trying to win a prize?

So after you win all your prizes...Isn't it fun to share and show your friends your new treasures!

and enjoy some downtime playing at the end.  It's very hard to go home after such a fun evening at the Kermesse!  I do look forward to next year and enjoying another Kermesse!

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