At the bottom on the left is an alphabetical list of the pages in this web site, to help you navigate if you feel so inclined.

A guide to our family photo album covering 1994-2010, showing the principal themes, is here.

A year by year guide to our family time-line from 1994 through 2007 is here.

A photo journal beginning in 2008 is here.

The most recent pages of the album, copies of posts from my WordPress family blog,, are linked here:,,,



When any couple moves in together, there is a lot for each to get to know in the other.  In our case, we have never had the time! 

No, that's not what I mean.  I mean that in our case the children also needed to get to know each other and learn how to live together.  To give just one example of the powerful dynamics that forming our family set off, each pair of children had an older child, who was used to being the boss.  We thus had competing older children, a competition which continues to this day, with neither Daphné nor Nicholas understanding why the other does not simply concede! 



Blending existing families is very complicated, much more so than parents typically realize when embarking on the task.  All those competitive dynamics, which are hard enough to handle when the children are with both their own parents, become more intense and harder to regulate when each child can accuse one parent of favoring HIS or HER own children. Which of course the children all do in one way or another as soon as they discover that they can. It took ours about a day to figure that one out in 1994. It has continued in many ways unabated through the years.

The parents are getting better at handling this sort of accusation, and through the passage of time and a lot of balancing and gifts the children are more conscious that none of them is actually losing out in any deep existential way. But the fear of disparate treatment is a sore that can flare up with the tiniest seemingly banal incident. And so we move on, trying to get it right, and to get the children to see that nobody is treated exactly the same as anybody else. Which ultimately doesn't matter that much if you are truly loved. They all are, and one day they'll all realize it without the excessive doubts that have characterized portions of the last decade.

Well, to be honest that whole paragraph is more addressed to adolescents, which is who they are now in 2007. When the parents first moved in together in 1994, there were some undercurrents of the kind of dynamics described above, but mostly the children wanted to be kids. Here they are on the left fooling around to avoid going to bed at Le Tahu, our first home, in late 1994. Boy was it ever wild in our house!  There is another photo from the same sequence here



Here are the two pairs of children that we started out with:


Above, Daphné and Alban in Quiberon, April 1996

On the right, Nick and Tom in the salon au Tahu, March 1996





And here they are after a little blending.

 Below are Nicholas and Daphné at the Christmas party in La Bellanderie, December 1996. and 1995


Here are Thomas and Alban, at Flunch in Rambouillet, where we used to grab abite after doing the shopping, in 1995.

It did take effort, but with help from the Grandparents, the Walt Disney Company, and especially Charlie (our household's original glue), by the time we left France in June 1997, the children were getting along fine with each other and with us. Then the French courts intervened, but that's another story told here: Missing You 

In short, they spent most of their time during those early years being kids.   Here are a collection of candids, portraits and whatever, with the common factor that they were taken after we all got together and before we left France in June 1997.  Pictures of each of them during their early years can be found here: Daphné Petite, Little TomAlban Petit, Little Nick.


Visit to the coiffeurs, Rambouillet, 1996.


Nick and Alban in Quiberon, March 1996


In Quiberon, March 1996.


On our frozen lake at La Bellanderie, March 1997.



Jardin de Luxembourg, Paris, October 1994


On a stage in St. Malo, August 1995.


Alban and Nick at La Grée, March 1996


Alban and Tom in Le Tahu, September 1995


We moved on, first on a short vacation in New York City, and then across the entire USA on a train.  Finally, we settled in Santa Cruz California. 


Listing of Pages in the Site

. . . with Alban
. . . with Daphne
. . . with Nicholas
. . . with Thomas
2008 Diary
2008 Special Days
2009 Daphne Alban
2009 Diary
2009 Sports
2009: Tom in IOW
2009: Tom Visits
Alban 1997-2007
Alban Petit 1989-96
Alban with friends
Alex & Charlie's Friends
Alex 1998-2002
Alex Arrives
Alexander 2002-07
Big kids with . .
Breakers '05
Charles & Alex 2
Charles & Alex 3
Charles 1995-9
Charles 2000-07
Charlie's Here
Childrens' parties
Courtney & Antony's Wedding
Daphné 1997-2007
Daphné Petite 87-97
Death Valley
Diary to 2007
Dirty babies
Disney Decor
Disney Residents
Disney Rides
Disneyland 2011
Down the Coast
Faby & Jean
Family Groups
Fooling around
Graduations 2007
Graduations I
Happy Valley
Her Family
Her Friends
His Family 1
His Family 2
Historical Themes
Ian in England
Ian's 50th Birthday
Ian's friends
Ian's Work
Journal from 2008
La Bellanderie
La Grée
La Radinerie des Berhauts
Laura & Damian
Law School Reunion
Le Tahu
Little little guys
Maman Fille
Man Utd v. Barca
Missing You
Mountain Biking
Moving House
Moving Out
New York
Nick 1999-2007
Nick younger
Our Cars
Our Cats
Our Homes
Our House!
Pacific Grove
Papa Ian
Peace Train
Photo Albums
Pools I (1998-2001)
Pools II (2004)
Portraits 2008
Risky Flight
Road Trip!
Santa Cruz
Soccer in 2003
Soccer in 2008
Soccer: hobby #1!
Special Days
St. Malo
Surfing USA
Tahoe Weekend
Thanksgiving 2005
The Hanlons
Thorpe Park
To Santa Cruz
Tom 2000-07
Tom in Paris in 2008
Tom younger
West Cliff
Xmas 1994 -2001
Xmas 2002-2007
Zinzins in California!