Sunday, May 31, 2009

House Hunting in France

Hello everyone, Angie here. I thought I would write about all that has happened lately. The trip to Limoux went great. Michele, a friend from language school went with me and we had a blast. We got a late start for the trip down south because we both had morning class and while she returned from her class in Paris, I watched Andrew so Jason could give his devotional at school. Finally we were both ready and we left. We had McDonald's on the way and saw a Tati (really good discount store)and had to do some quick 10 minute shopping because it was closing at 7pm. Back on the road we were just enjoying all the sunshine and green fields all around. It took a while but we finally arrived at our hosts home at 11pm. We were warmly welcomed by our hosts and their two little doggies. After putting our bags in our room Genevieve immediately took me out across the street to show me this superbly kept home. It was vacant thankfully since we were taking a very close look. The owner had even put in air conditioning. But I have already stayed in a house in that neighborhood and they are all almost the same and I really wanted something a little more spacious and private. This was a new neighborhood and non of the hedges were grown up enough for privacy. I wasn't too interested but it was kind of our host to show us. Saturday we met the agent and he said he had some houses planned to show us, one I had seen online and one that I had not seen. Another one online had already been seen by two couples who were both serious and he said he was going to let them have their chance at it. Then he had a phone call. Then we left to see house number one. It was outside of town about 3 miles in a little village neighborhood. It was updated with fresh paint and a new shower but it had tiny rooms and felt cramped. Another drawback was that the yard wasn't fenced so it wasn't as safe as we would like it for the kids. As we finished the tour of house 1 the agent begins to tell me that he really has no other product to show or offer me. I think what he was saying was none that are as well done as this one. But I said to him that I really needed him to show me another one to compare with this one. ( In my mind I was thinking that house 2 will have to be really bad to make me feel at peace with this one and besides that I made an appointment and drove 8 hours and I think I should get to see more than one house.) I have learned to be more insistent here because that is just the only way things get done. So he took us to house 2. It was right in town in a really cute neighborhood. The house was attached on one side to another house but the yards were divided and private with really big hedges. The house looks very old world French with the dark wood (which I love) and the French doors, just charming. The living/dining area was much larger than the first house. The kitchen was decent sized with a stovetop, oven and cabinetry already there! Somethings we would have normally had to purchase ourselves. There was a "back" kitchen with a sink just next to the kitchen (very commom here) which would be a laundry room. The back yard was really good sized (for France) with a cute cherry tree in one corner and totally fenced -good for the safety of the kids. Then we went upstairs, and at this point I hadn't caught on that it was a 4 bedroom but Jason and I had discussed having a 3 bedroom with a back kitchen that could serve as a guest room if needed. So I was already thinking that this house could work. Upstairs the bedrooms were roomy and they had closets already, something else we would have had to buy ourselves! What a blessing- God sure knows our needs! The bathroom had a bathtub not just a shower - I was really glad about that. Then we noticed that there was a fourth bedroom. And as if we weren't enchanted already that did it for us. One bedroom also had a cute balcony. I think the agent was surprised we liked it but glad he had brought us there. There were other great things about this house too. We had discussed the need for parking space if we had a home Bible study and this house looks out over a big square- one side with shrubs and benches and the other side with trees and along two sides of the square, there are about 20 parking spaces. Also, in the connecting house/building the lower floor looks like it is an office space and it looked empty. The agent said that the upstairs was an appartment that is vacant and the owner is not trying to fill it currently. Very interesting. The kids schools are very nearby. Hopefully, if all works out, we will meet lots of people from the neighborhood just on the walk to and from school. Let me say that I couldn't have done it without my friend Michele. She was such a great help to me in giving a second opinion. I knew I would need someone with me and the Lord provided me with the perfect person I needed for the trip! Although the agent didn't much like her. If she looked as though she was about to say something negative he would interrupt her. Salesmen and their tactics.
After the appointment we went to Carcassonne to enjoy having a car to do some shopping. I showed Michele the big castle and at 8pm we had dinner back with Roger and Genevieve. It was a really nice time and we stayed up late visiting. They were sharing some of their heartaches with me. Please pray for them. Sunday we headed back to Paris and read and discussed God's word on the way. It was a great trip- although short and busy. We are so thankful for our hosts generosity and pray a special blessing on them for it. We are also thankful for God's amazing providence. We hope to hear from the agent this week if we are accepted as renters. If something should not work out though we know God has something else in mind. God Bless You All, ANGIE

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Odds and Ends

Allow me to jump around and little and gives a few tidbits. I went to the sous-prefecture this afternoon to find out if we could extend our visa for a few more months to June of next year. After waiting in line for two hours I find out that it should work out. They would have expired in February, waiting to June would allow us to get the kids closer to finishing school. We are close to getting all of our paperwork together for the house. I hope that it goes smoothly after we get it all to him. We had two tests this week and another on Tuesday. The TCF (official test of french knowledge) is creeping up on us as well. Monday is a national holiday, Pentecost. We all made a good trip together to the store. The weather has been beautiful that last couple of days and it was nice to get out as a family and get some shopping done. Caleb and Micah got some new shoes which boys always seem to need. The exchange rate has been on the climb the last week but seems to be dropping down a little bit which is good. I will need to get started soon on getting my monthly report out. The whole family seems to be really looking forward to moving on to Limoux. It is great that the kids are excited about it was well. I brought a short sermon at the school last Friday. I tried doing it without a transcripts and just glancing at my notes. It went fairly well. I only tried doing it this way because it only had to be about ten minutes long. I hope that you can hear and understand it well enough. There was a moment of laughter because I mispronounces the word for "sin" and said "fishing" instead. Enjoy and God Bless, JASON

Monday, May 25, 2009

House Hunting

Angie made a trip this past weekend to look at houses in Limoux. She had a real nice trip. We rented her a small car and thankfully she had a friend from the language school that was kind enough to accompany her. We had some friends from Limoux that offered them a place to stay the night. Be in prayer for this elderly couple because they are unsaved and God has really put them into a position to need Him. Angie was able to view two houses and found the second one really what she was looking for. It was a good size and in a nice location and had a pretty large yard by French standards. We will start the paper work and see what happens. God has been opening the doors for us in wonderful ways. We have found a car, and well on the way to finding a house, there is a good church in the area we can minister with while we wait for our work to get started, we have several contacts in Limoux already and many opportunities to make other relationships.

In other news, Caleb had a field trip to view the museum of national history in Paris. It was a pretty day for it. It got up around 80 today. Of course realize that there is no A/C in any of the buildings. Some of the students from the south were mentioning how hot it was. I was picking on them for being from the south where it gets up to over 100 every summer. Another student was England came by and complained. I mentioned that he was going to serve in Africa after school, he should be wearing a coat. A front is supposed to come through tonight and cool things off. It did get warm, but I didn't mention it to anyone that I noticed also. God bless, JASON

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


We found out Monday that a line of 250 campers was trying to pull off the Autoroute onto the park here in town. Gypsies. The police were trying to stop them form entering because if they did then it would take two months of paperwork before they could get them to leave. Traffic was blocked for about 10 hours. Finally they had to let them in. According to the paper there are now 450 campers in the park. I will attach some pictures of the process. Everyone was afraid that the crime would increase in town like when a similar thing happened about 5 years ago. Thankfully these gypsies are pentecostal so that there has not been any problems. Besides our park is overrun. Yesterday I met a friend in Paris who brought us some goodies, including peanut butter. Matt has made several trips here to France and I enjoyed seeing him again. Angie is preparing to go to Limoux this weekend to look at houses. She will traveling with another mom from the language school. They are going to really enjoy eachothers company the trip there. We got a call from a older couple we know there and they invited Angie and her friend to spend the night with them instead of getting a hotel. I rented her a car yesterday, a small one. I will make sure and get a picture of it as well. Thanks for reading. God bless, JASON

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Buying a Car in France 2

We successfully bought a car Saturday. The salesmen at the dealership was really nice and helpful. He spoke French a little slower than the last agent we spoke to thankfully. He showed me the show model which was nice looking and asked if I wanted to drive it but I declined as I had already driven one. I was thinking that the car he showed me was for sale but he finally explained to me that no one has stock for these vehicles, the only vehicles they have are the show model. There is such a high demand for them that they have to be ordered direct from the factory. So we went back inside and ordered one. I did find out that there is no dealer financing for students (We have students visas) because "student" in France is evidently a synonym for "jobless". No problem, I can try to get the money elsewhere. It will take about two months for it to arrive. We purchased a Dacia Logan Laurate edition, 7 passenger, diesel (85) with air conditioning. Brand new from the dealer with everything for 15,440.50 €. What I found really great was there was only one paper to sign. The whole process went really well and now we just have to wait for the car to arrive, tentatively the 26th of July. Now that that is behind us we are moving on with the house hunting.
While I was out car buying Angie was at home with a couple of sick kids. Thankfully all are better now. Just a 24 hours virus. Attached picture was a common sight throughout the day. God Bless, JASON

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Buying a Car in France

Our car buying process has been moving along slowly. One reason is because of the particular kind of car that we are trying to buy. The Dacia is a very popular car right now and in high demand. We spoke with a dealer here in Massy, he did a search for the one we wanted in the Paris region and could not find one. So he offered us one he has on his lot, the only problem we have with it is that it has no Air conditioning, something Angie was really wanting, being in the south of France in a couple of months. We had planned on buying this particular car anyway yesterday but decided we should check with other dealers. We found a Renault dealership in Versailles who were really helpful. They have one on their lot as well. We are going to check with them today and look at the one they have available. For some reason he did not want to tell me about it over the phone. Maybe it was our language difficulties. If that is not what we want then we may just go ahead and order one direct from the dealer and work out things from there. We have some decisions to make as to how the next few months are going and so we need to move ahead with our car decisions to begin preparing for the future. As always we have prayed for God's guidance and knowledge in our decisions. Hopefully I will know more later today about the process of buying a car in France. I will be going to the dealership alone as Micah and Andrew have been sick to their stomach last night and this morning. With God's help we will get it figured out. Attached picture is of Andrew as he "figured out" how he could get a drink without a cup. God bless, JASON

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Friday was a holiday here so the school had a BBQ. It went real well. Everyone brought their own meat and then shared side dishes. We had meat cooking on the grill for probably 3 hours. We brought hotdogs for lunch and also grilled some chicken for supper. Others did the same thing. I had the privelege of grilling Octopus for someone, which was a first for me. We played a couple games of volleyball afterwards. Angie felt better and really enjoyed getting out.

We are still waiting to hear from the car dealer about the Dacia. He was waiting to hear from a couple salesmen and said he would call back Monday. Angie has found a couple of nice homes in Limoux that she is interested in as well. She will most likely be traveling there in the next couple of weeks to settle in on one for sure.

Last night we swapped Lilia for two boys from another language school family. Caleb was real excited about his first "spending the night party". So Lilia is getting to spend the night with a friend and Caleb had two friends over to spend the night with him. They have had a real good time together. Attached are some pictures of the BBQ. God bless, JASON

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Things are going well today. Angie went to the Dr. this morning. She has not had any fever since last week but her throat was still bothering here she felt tired all of the time. Come to find out she has strep throat. He put her on Antibiotics and she should be back to normal soon. We have just came back from out first attempt to buy a car. Here is how it went. We walked around inside the dealership and when no one approached us we approached them and explained what we were wanting. The salesmen (who spoke French like it was a race to get the words out) brought some brochures and showed us the options. I was looking at the Dacia Logan MCV Ambiance, which is the lower class and has the least options, but it turns out that with the options that we wanted (like Air Conditioning and 7 seats), they come standard in the more luxury version and would be cheaper. The Ambiance listed at 13,900 and adding the A/C alone would add 900. While the other version was 15,100 including A/C and other accessories that would be nice to have like a radio. Then he told us that it would not be in until the end of July. That wouldn't work because we are moving the first of July. We then asked if he could look around at what was available at the dealerships in the Paris Area. He said he could check on that and get back with us this evening because the secretary was out to lunch. So now we are waiting for his call and hopefully Angie or I, most likely Angie, will be able to understand him over the phone.
This coming Friday we are having a "Texas" BBQ at the school which we are looking forward to. We are still waiting for the normal spring weather to arrive. It was chilly and windy today. I have attached a picture that I took out of the window during winter and one that I took today. Let me also insert a quote from Caleb this time. He just asked, "Is chocolate made from spinach?" God bless, JASON

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Labor Day

I found out watching the news that Labor day was started around 1887 in the US. There was a three day labor strike that Day. The next year the day was passed to France where there was a big strike on that same day. However in the US it had changed to September when there was an end to a strike that had lasted all summer. All that to say Labor Day in France is May 1st. Which means we had the day off. We had a good time and I was able to get a lot of other "labor" done. I finished my monthly report and got it sent out. I also prepared some more prayer cards for printing. I had received a couple of promotional emails from the company I use for printing ( I really needed some updated prayer cards, the others were over 2 years old and outdated. I was able to get an order of 5,000 for under $200 including shipping. I was also able to take the kids to the language school to play for a little bit. The weather has finally warmed up to spring again. Micah gave me a good little saying the other day. I am going to have to start putting all of his sayings in a book. He said, "Daddy, you know if you are not racing against someone, you are racing against yourself." I thought that was very philosophical. Then at the language school he was wanting a toy that Andrew had. Just to see what his response would be I asked, "What if you just got and hit him and take it away?" To which he replied, "No, then he won't want it". ??? Interesting. I was also able to help someone through my youtube account. A man found my French praise songs and wrote me for the lyrics. A friend of his from Haiti had passed away and this man was going to do the funeral, he also asked me for the version of It is Well in French. I sent him the lyrics for that as well. He thanked me for being able to minister to others, some who are unsaved. I was glad to be able to minister in this way. Also Angie is feeling better, not yet 100% but close. God bless, JASON