Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is very interesting. The architecture is amazing to me. The Eiffel Tower is relatively lightweight, creating a force of only 4.5kg/cm2 on the foundation. If you were to have a cylinder of air that would be large enough to encircle the eiffel tower, the Air would weigh more than the tower. It also affords a real nice view of Paris. If you are familiar with the Landscape you will be able to see the Arc de Triomph, Sacre Cœur, Notre Dame, Domes Des Invalides, and the Louvre. It stands at just over 1000 ft, including the antenna on top. It was built over 2 years originally to be torn down after standing for 20 years. During the world war the elevator cables were cut to force Hitler to have to climb the stairs to the top. Parts to fix it were "unable" to be found. Although 40 minutes after the Nazis withdrew it was up and working. Hitler never climbed it and only viewed it from the ground. Thus a popular saying that Hitler conquered France, but he did not conquer the Eiffel Tower. JASON

Caleb sees France.

We took the kids to the Eiffel Tower yesterday. Caleb kept saying that he was finally going to be able to see France. It took a lot of explaining to get him to see that we are in France now. We left at about 8:20 to walk to the train station (RER). We purchased out tickets and then had to come back to the house for a restroom break. Paris has few public restrooms. We caught the train about 9:20, met Virginie and T.J. her son at 9:30 and arrived at the tower by about 9:50. The kids loved it. There was a pretty long line so Angie and I didn't want to wait, but Lilia really wanted to go up and so we got in line. Last time we were at the Tower, it had just rained and the line was not long at all. This time after standing there a few seconds, someone came and moved the last part of the line to a new elevator that had opened up. What a blessing! We made it to the elevator and waited a little bit, then someone announced that there was a problem with this elevator and to follow her. We ended up going to the front on the line that we had started in. We went to the second level and enjoyed the view. I held Micah and took him to the rail and said, "Micah isn't that pretty!" He shouted, "Look at that!" He was pointing to a heart that someone had drawn on the railing. We enjoyed the Tower for a while. Afterwards we were going to go to Sacre Cœur, but the kids were already tired, so we decided we would take them to McDonalds instead. I enjoyed McDonalds, it was the first time I had gone out to eat in two months, since arriving here in France. Big Mac value meal for 6 euros, about $9. Tasted good though. We made it back home about 3 pm. We had a good time and the kids really enjoyed it. I will attach some pictures. JASON

Are these the same birds?

The last time (18 months ago) we were at the Eiffel Tower I took a picture of this bird. We saw him at the base of the Tower, he had only one foot, and on that foot he only had two toes. Somehow that impressed this country boy from Texas, so I memorialized him in photography. This second picture I took on our trip yesterday. Pigeon, matching the same physical descriptions of the last suspect, only one leg and two toes, this time on the second level of the tower . . . could it be the same bird, stalking us, wanting more pictures taken. We will never know. JASON

Saturday, February 23, 2008


So tonight we read "Rugby Rules for Dummies." The first line read, "The one thing most of us know about the game is that we don't want to play it." The last line read "Watch out for those cranial collisions."
It is an interesting sport to watch and very fast paced. A lot of the players are missing teeth though. Probably because they don't wear any padding or helmets. And now we have CNBC on and coincidentally Russell Crow is on The Tonight Show and evidently just made a movie about rugby or something. And rugby is more watched in Australia than soccer. Ok I guess that's it for rugby tonight. ANGIE

An interesting meal.

We had a meal with a lot of laughs yesterday. We had gathered for supper while we ate frozen pizza. It started with Micah who did something funny, I don't remember what. Next Caleb was talking loudly, telling a story. Angie was trying to tell him to lower his voice because he was talking too loud (something we have to do frequently in France). Instead of getting quieter he put his hand over his mouth and continued telling the story. Next Angie was talking about one of our friends who has a bady due in two weeks, which would have been three weeks last week. She said, "She is one week closer to having her baby in two weeks." That didn't make much sense. Soon thereafter, Lilia said, "Guess what in England they call french fries - chips." That was funny because she had already told us that several times. After the laughter I decided we needed to have a prayer and return to our eating. I called on Caleb to pray and he started his prayer, "Bonjour-là", which is like saying, "hello there". We all started laughing again, and Andrew started holding up his hands and saying, "Stop". We don't know where he got that from.

We are out of school for vacation next week. One day we plan on taking the kids to Paris to see a couple of the sights that they have really been looking forward to.  JASON

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

End of the sunny days.

We had some rain today. It ended our week of sunshine which was nice, but at least the sidewalks will be clean. I learned that there are 500 injuries a year in France due to people slipping on the doggie surprises left on the sidewalk. We had a good week so far. Our teacher is trying her best to keep the two hours of homework a day rule. We are looking forward to being off next week. Caleb and Micah are finally going to get to see the Eiffel Tower. I don't know where else we might take them.. JASON

Monday, February 18, 2008

Okay - That's wierd.

One of our classmates shared about his experience at the public restroom outside of Notre Dame. The public restrooms are always a good topic. First, there are very few restrooms available, even inside stores. Second, unless you have to pay (like the one pictures), they are usually in bad shape. When we went to Notre Dame the restrooms were locked and we had to change Andrew's diaper in the hallway. After hearing what another student went through we are grateful. There was a long line to even get in. And while he was using the restroom, a woman was standing there repeating, "These restrooms are free, but I clean them and you can pay me if you want!" While in close proximity to the patrons of the restroom. The restrooms were very small as well.

Another thing, these two statements are pronounced exactly the same.

C'est un inconnu.
C'est un nain connu.

So one could only tell by the context what you mean. The first statement means, "That's a stranger". The second means, "That's a famous midget." Could be either one. JASON

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Back to normal.

Andrew is back to normal as you can see. It will be good to have everyone back at school next week. Angie wanted me to include the following. The third thursday of the month, people can put large items (ex. couch, TV, fans, boxes . . .) on the curb outside to be picked up by the trash people. This makes a couple days available for other people to browse the "sidewalk sale" and get stuff that they want. You can find some nice stuff. Wednesday night Yvain and Virginie came over. Yvain noticed that there was a TV sitting on the sidewalk and few houses down and wanted me to go with him to get it. I was upstairs tucking the kids in when the following converstaion ensued, "Jason, are you up there?"
I replied, "Who wants to know?"

Yvain said, "This is the police!"

Me, "I'm sorry, I only speak French."

Yvain (in French), "This is the police, come here."

Me, "Oh, I mean I only speak spanish"

Yvain - repeats the phrase in spanish

Me, "I mean, I only speak german."

Yvain (in german), "I speak German too"

Me, (trying to think cleverly), "Oh, I mean I only speak portugese"

Yvain then responds in portugese.

Me, "Sorry, I can't talk".

No compassion from the man that fluently speaks five languages. My prayer is the at least speak two fluently. I still am working on my first language, English. JASON

Friday, February 15, 2008


The photo below is BEFORE we cleaned Andrew's eyes up. Just wanted to clarify that! Of course you all already knew that I just felt the need to say it. He looks much better after he's cleaned up and more awake. Angie

On a dark alley one night.

I hope that everyone had agood valentines day. Attached is the picture of the flowers I got Angie and the chocolates she got me (half of which are already consumned). Things are going well, Andrew still does not feel well, attached is a picture of him after he woke up this morning. He seems to be in good spirits though. I was thinking yesterday about the safety of Paris. It is really a safe place to be. People here remark about the dangers of American cities. One thing that I think contributes is that there are very few guns here. Also there are people everywhere. I noticed that our bank has an interesting security feature. It has double doors that are buzzed separately. So if someone robbed the bank, they would trap him between the two bullet proof doors. At the tourist attractions and the airport the policeman with ozzies help defer criminal activity. Enjoy your day, God Bless, JASON

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I just think this is a humorous picture. Virginie and I were very tired las Sunday and not feeling well and Jason and Yvain kept on and kept on looking at the cost of renting different cars on the internet. Virginie got out the magnadoodle and this is what happened. We laughed a lot. Maybe it was just because we were tired. They just look funny on the little couch. ANGIE

New Toys

Here is a photo of the kids after we got a few new toys. Lilia bought the barbie doll with her Christmas money. It was an interesting trip to the toy store. Several teenagers were working there. And when the workers approach me to offer help I always have to give the speech that I am new here....etc. It gets old. So within minutes it seemed every other worker in the store knew an American (or an english speaker) was in the store. Another worker approached me and asked in English if I needed help finding something. No thankyou I'm just looking, I replied slowly so she could understand my English. All in all it was a nice trip to the store, I am glad everyone was kind and helpful. ANGIE

Lilia in Paris

Last week Lilia's class went on a field trip into Paris to see a music program at another school there. She said the music was ok and lunch was really good but when they went back to the music program several of the kids fell asleep. Lilia got to see the Eiffel Tower as they passed in the bus, as well as the Arc de Triomph. She was excited about that part. She said that the ride into Paris took a long time because she was sitting next to a French girl who only wanted to look out the windows and count cars. The ride back was much faster because she was sitting next to Amy, her friend from England. ANGIE

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's day to you all! I hope you all have been made to feel special today by your valentine. Jason got me a plant with pink flowers and I got him some chocolates. Not that that really matters to you all but I just thought I'd share. I am home again with Andrew. He was feeling really bad yesterday until I finally gave him some medicine. I called Ian, the student here who is a doctor also. He said Andrew is ok and does not have the contagious form of conjuctivitis but he may take a week to get better. We are on day four now. He was wanting to get ready this morning with the others so he got his shoes on too.
Yesterday we enjoyed a good visit from Virginie and TJ and I got to talk to my dad on our home phone now that it is working. Jason also bought us a printer yesterday. It will be nice to have one again. He bought it from and electronics and appliance store called "Boulanger" which is also the word for baker and it is on the every bakers sign. So it is strange to say he got the printer from the boulanger. Later I went to the same store and picked up an electronic kitchen scale so I can weigh things in grams. I also got hair clippers so I can give the boys much needed haircuts.
At school this week we started learning more kitchen/cooking vocabulary. That will make reading instructions and recipes a lot easier.
Hope you are all well. Thanks for your prayers. ANGIE

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sick Day

I am at home this afternoon with Andrew who is a little sick. Angie takes the mornings and I take the afternoons. He is not very bad but we didn't want to spread it the rest of the daycare. Interesting that French people do not like the Euro. It made all of the prices go up and was very confusing to the elderly because one Euro is 6.57 Franks. I asked the German students and they didn't like the Euro either. One other noteworthy tidbit, French has no word for home, they have a word for house but not home. The closest thing to home would be "chez moi" or "my place". Same in German. I guess that English speakers value their home so much they would have their own word for it.

I had to fix our cable the other night, it was up and working, but Angie pushed a button. I tried to fix it to no avail. I looked it up online and got someone to translate for my, what I had to do was unplug it and plug it back in 4 times and then let it come all the way up. I have a degree and several years experience in computers and electronic devices, yet I would have never thought of that. Tommorrow the phone should be working and we have free calls to the US, some of you may be receiving a call tommorrow, if we remember you number. It is nice we have phone, internet, and cable all coming through the phone line for 29.99 euros a month. (about $44). Not a bad deal. It is high speed as well. Direct connect at 100 Mbs or Wifi at 54 Mbs. Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts, JASON.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A dance.

There are several things here that are well orchestrated, like a dance. First is the sidewalks. Many people use walking as their form of transportation, so sidewalks have their rush hours as well. At times they are crowded and it is neat just to see the way people navigate the sidewalks, they seem to know by instict who will dodge or not, who is coming up behind them to pass. It justs looks neat to notice it. Another interesting thing is the airplanes. We are right between Orly airport, the second largest in Paris, and an Airforce base. On clear days you can see many planes in the sky. Yesterday I counted 7 at one time. It is interesting to see them navigate through the sky, I imagine the Air Traffic controllers are busy. We meanwhile are trying to balance our schedule as well, between school, kids, and ministry; Part of our ministry is schooling and our children.

In other thoughts, Angie had a slip of the tongue that was funny. Caleb was about to lick the lemonade pitcher and Angie got on to him. He said, "but I didn't do it". Angie fires back, "just because you don't do something, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it." I caught it first, it was funny.

Thanks to our pastor, (mom and dad) for representing us when we were away. Attached is picture of Mom by our display at a missions meeting. JASON

Friday, February 8, 2008

True Happiness!

I have found the key to true happiness, at least for two of my sons. They usually get a little fussy on the way home, part hunger, part sleepy. Today they didn't fuss at all. They key - soon after we left they found a stick and carried it all the way home with them. THey had such a good time with a little stick they didn't fuss at all, until we got home and I made them leave them outside, oh well. Check out this awesome missions video.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Please Pray For

Please Pray for John and Pam Propst. They are student here and have two daughters. They have been really concerned for one daughter, son in law and 2 children trying to escape TChad because of all the fighting there. With all this concern they received a call that their other daughter was injured in the tornadoes in AR while at college. Some broken ribs and a punctured lung. They have flown to the US to be with her. Please pray for them all. ANGIE


Have you ever waited 4 hours outside in the freezing cold for the UPS? No? Well that's probably because he rings your doorbell! We missed him on Monday, though we did not know it. We missed him on Tuesday- I saw him as he drove away and thought how nice it was to see Brown- a familiar sight, only later to realize we missed getting our package for the internet and phone service we ordered. So the note he left said he'd be back on Wednesday and we were glad because we would be home on Wednesday! We were also having our dryer delivered from Darty, a good electronics and appliance store with free delivery. I knew ahead of time to only half expect one of the two things would really be accomplished that day. The dryer arrived at 9:30 and Jason even understood the delivery man on the phone. That went well and they were very friendly. Then Jason had been trying all morning to go down and label our bell and couldn't find the sticky tack. Finally he found it and couldn't find the label so he made a new one. Then Andrew got fussy so he played a couple minutes with him. When he finally went down and put the label on the doorbell the UPS sticker was already on the door. He was so mad. Disappointed really, because we were there and he didn't even ring the bell. So I decided to miss school and wait for him this morning because the note said this would be the last attempt at delivery and I knew how much Jason was really wanting to get this finished. So I waited in the garage area with one garage door open so he could gain entry when he came because the note said he could not gain entry into the building. It wasn't too bad but I did get a little choked on the Diesel fumes from the cars and trucks stopped at the redlight just outside. So, I used my scarf as a mask for a little while. I read my Creative Correction book ( the best book on parenting aside from the Bible) that I've read so far. By 9:30am (1.5 hours later) my toes were freezing. The sun was up but shining on the other side of the street. No chance to get warmer from that. So I decided I would leave the door open and run upstairs and microwave some hot chocolate. I did that and made another one too while I watched for Brown out the window. So back down I went to wait a little longer. The hot chocolate warmed me a little but my toes were hurting so bad. I went back upstairs to the kitchen, sat at the window and warmed my feet by the heater. No Brown. Back down. By this time the sun was on my side of the road So I could stand on the sidewalk and be warmer. I kept seeing the same people pass. They would pass on the way to the store and on the way home. I could tell the tailor/dry cleaner across the road was really wondering what I was waiting for so long but he never came over and asked. It is very hard to not make eye contact in a place where people love to "people watch". A few men made me very uncomfortable by really trying to stare me in the eyes. It was the rougher looking ones too who would do that- the ones that I was most definitly not trying to look at.-----Later Jason mentioned that they probably thought I was going to try and offer to sell them drugs. I think he was right. We had been warned not to look too long at a man standing in one place outside because he might offer us drugs. I think these men may have been trying to tell me they wanted me to sell to them. YIkes. It may not have been that but it was uncomfortable anyway. I did make one man mad that I could tell. I don't know where he came from but I think he may have said bonjour madam. to me and I only half caught what he said because people speak softly and quickly here and I wasn't even looking his direction. When I realized oh I think he said that to me he was halfway gone and giving me the evil eye for not responding. Oh Well, I'm sure God let that happen for a reason because people really don't speak to others they don't know here.-so he really should not have spoken to me. The hours went on 11:30 came, No Brown. Oh but at 11:35 I saw him turn at the light like he was going to make the round to be able to come up our oneway street with our package. Our school was out by now and Jason was on his way to get the kids and come home for lunch. The streets were getting busier with lunch approaching. One man in a car asked if I knew where the Massy TGV station was. I said I didn't know I was new here. He said ok. I felt bad. Then I saw some schoolmates going to thier home for lunch with 2 baguettes. Then I saw 2 other students going to a restaurant. Then my afternoon instructor passed to go to lunch and said boujour. I said boujour and waved. Still, no Brown. Then Jason got home with the kids and wedecided it was a lost cause and went up to get lunch. It was a lost cause. Over lunch we realized that the notice he left the day before said that Wednesday's attempt was the last attempt. We felt a little stupid but then again it was written in French.

At school the secretary called them and they said they will deliver it to the school tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. Maybe he will ring the bell this time.

An average day.

Ok so far, this is what an average day is like for me. I arise from slumbler, discovering which of my sons has ended up in bed with me. We usually get up between 6:15 and 6:40. I get ready and get breakfast for the kids and get the kids ready, while Angie gets ready :-) We leave the house about 8:00. The kids school starts at 8:30 and the can arrive by 8:20. I take the older kids while Angie takes Andrew and heads to Language school, Les Cedres. I drop off Lilia at her school, walk the block over and take the boys to their class. It is then a hurried walk to Les Cedres to make it their by 8:35, when class starts. Morning classess are learning new things with a break at 10:15 for coffee, hot chocolate (my favorite), or hot tea. We finish school for lunch at 11:20. I leave to get the kids again, and Angie picks up Andrew from the Daycare downstairs and heads home. We usually gett back home around 11:45. Lunch usually consists of Sandwiches. The kids have a few moments to play and we leave to drop everyone back off at 1:00. Chapel time at the Language school is at 1:35. It consists of songs, prayer, scripture reading, and devotional (all in French). I have come to enjoy this time, especially the songs (tommorrow i will help accompany with my guitar). In the afternoon we usually have review and grammer and oral comprehension or phonetics. Class is over at 3:50, we have a few monents to collect ourselves as the kids get out of school at 4:30. We all meet back at the house. Usually the kids have a snack at the house, if they do not get one on the way back. This is the time where we run any errands we may have, bank, grocery store, etc. We go to the Grocery store every couple of days for the neccessities. Supper is anywhere from 6:30 - 7:30. After supper we try to get the kids in bed by 7:30 and then get to our homework and laundry. Electricity is cheaper at night and so we try to save night for the lanundry to run (we have a dryer now, a condensation one). Bedtime for Angie and I can range from 9:30 - 11:30. Thats all in a days work. JASON

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Movie Night

Just a quick note of interest, we purchased a movie here and watched it last night. It had 21 languages on subtitles, including Hebrew, Japonese, Aramaic. I thought that was interesting along with the following that all parenst will enjoy. JASON

Toddlers' Property Laws
1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hand, it's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10 If it's broken, it's yours.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Postal Experience

I have always heard that activities take more time in foreign coutries. I never really thought that would be true for France and "modern" nation. I went to the Post Office (la Poste) to mail our important papers for our visa. It was a special mail where you receive a signed letter that it has been delivered. I arrived at the post office, surveyed my surroundings, and went to an available cashier, who explained, (all in French remeber) that I needed to take a number. I took a number and sat down, my number was the next one called. I explained what I needed and she gave the neccessary paperwork to fil out and helped someone else while I was filling the papers out. The man she helped took a long time, and I could tell they were having trouble. He left and I approached and caught that the computers were not working. I waited for about twenty minutes then politely thanked her and said I would return later. Monday I return. I have my school books and Andrew in the stroller. I put the backpack on to get Andrew and his stroller up the stairs. I remember to get a ticket this time. A lady in front of me exchanged tickets with me because she was feeding the baby. Then another lady came in and asked to borrow a pen. I had to take the backpack off and put it on the stroller to dig out a pen for her, during which my number was called, so I ackwardly approach and hand her my paperwork. While waiting Andrew wants to get out, I get him out forgetting that the stroller has the backpack full of books hanging from the handles, so when I remove him the stroller begins to fall backwards. I quickly put my foot on it to keep it from falling and stand like that until our transaction is complete. Then as I leave the lady is waiting to return my pen. I let go of the stroller to take her pen and the stroller falls back all the way to the ground. So I'm trying to put the pen back in, pick the stroller up, while holding Andrew. Thankfully after a few moments I was collected and on the way back to the house, one more task completed. JASON

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Our town of Massy is very nice. I was looking at the scenery when I took the boys to school yesterday. It is also, as I recently found out, a wealthy town. I discovered this when telling Yvain about seeing and early 70's model Camaro, yellow with black racing stripes. He explained then that is a rich suburb. The boys were rained out of their field trip to the woods. I noticed there were no posts to answer the last quiz. French has the same amount of vowels that we have but they have 16 different vowel sounds. JASON