Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving in France.

Our Thanksgiving meal went good. It was definitely unique. I can't remember ever working so hard to prepare for a Thanksgiving and I know that I have never had an order of services written before. Our British friends from Carcassonne came early to help out. Everyone else arrived between 10 to 30 minutes late, which is the French custom. I started out with the history of Thanksgiving. I said, "Thanksgiving; ça veut dire « l'action de grâce » historiquement est un jour de fête chrétienne durant lequel on remerciait Dieu par des prières et des réjouissances pour les bonheurs que l’on avait pu recevoir pendant l’année avec nos familles. Notre famille ne peuvent pas venir, donc pour ce soir, vous êtes notre famille. En 1620, 120 de pèlerins Puritains britanniques ont quitté l'Angleterre à cause de la persécution, ils sont arrivés septembre 1620 à la Baie de Plymouth au Massachusetts. Ils y fondent la Colonie de Plymouth et la ville homonyme. Mais les débuts de la colonisation furent difficiles et la moitié des arrivants périrent. Ces derniers ne durent leur salut qu'à l'intervention des amérindiens en particulière un autochtone nommé Squanto qui avec l'aide de sa tribu, offrit aux anglais de la nourriture; il leur montrât des nouvelles plats comme le pop-corn, puis leur apprirent à pêcher, chasser des animaux comme les dinde sauvage, et cultiver du maïs.
Afin de célébrer la première récolte, à l’automne 1621, le gouverneur décréta trois jours d'action de grâce. Les colons invitèrent alors le chef de la tribu et ses hommes à venir partager leur repas, en guise de remerciement pour l'aide apportée. Durant ce festin, des dindes sauvages furent offerts. Y compris les 47 pèlerins dont 4 femme et 90 amérindiens. En 1941 la fête est devenu officiel par le gouvernement; les administrations et la plupart des entreprises étant fermées ce jour-là. Cela reste un temps pour . . . manger avec la famille, remercier Dieu, donner nourriture aux sans abri, regarder des grands matchs du football américain, voyager, commencement de Noël. . . cette célébration est désormais plutôt laïque en Amérique du Nord
." Our kids acted out the parts. Lilia and Caleb where the pilgrims, Micah was the indian and Andrew was the Turkey. When the indian meet the Pilgrims, they shook hands and "fait la bise", kiss on each check. The kids came up with that on their own. When Andrew came in as a turkey, everyone "aweeed" and he got a little shy. He was supposed to run out when I mentioned that they ate the turkey but he was clinging to mom instead. Afterwards Angie introduced the dishes, which was a chore in itself. Dressing = la farce, which also means a practical joke, cranberry sauce = la sauce de canneberge, sweet potatoes = patates douce, buttermilk pie = a pie made from buttermilk (doesn't sound very good once you think about it), pumpkin pie = tarte à la citrouille (pie made from an orange vegetable?). We went around and everyone gave something that they were thankful for, and then I led in prayer. The food was well received and we had many good remarks. Converstation was good. I announced as well our Bible study starting The kids were well behaved. Ending up having 20 people including our family. The party broke up around 10:30. Today we are recovering and resting and eating leftovers. A friend from the church in Carcassonne is coming over to look at some plumbing issues this afternoon. Afterwards I was considering taking the kids to a Rugby match in Limoux. The first picture was Andrew helping to make the dressing, others were taking during the evening. We pray your Thanksgiving were all a wonderful and that you took time to give thanks to God. JASON

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A forkful of medicine.

The last few days have been mainly spent preparing for Thanksgiving. Angie has decided that she needs to prepare all the dishes in advance, just to make sure that they are good. We found a turke, or rather pieces of a Turkey. The butcher said that a whole turkey would not be available until the 10th of December, so we took the pieces. We have received several replies of people that will be coming. I have attached a picture of what the invitations looked like. There was a map on the reverse side. We plan on borrowing a table from the church in Carcassonne and have already borrowed some chairs from friends. We had a couple of visitors over yesterday. Angie's friend from Carcassonne came over in the morning and in the afternoon we had a visit from the pastor in Carcassonne. Today I will finish preparing my lesson for the prayer meeting in Carcassonne tomorrow. I will also get my thoughts arranged for the Thanksgiving explanation on Friday night. We plan to have the kids act the story as I narrate. It should be fun.
I have not included any sayings recently from Micah. Don't think that he has stopped coming out with all there intersting remarks. He has been waking up in the middle of the nights to go to the bathroom. He always does some funny things in his sleepy state. Once he walked in to the living room and glanced at the TV where Angie and I were watching a cartoon. He then remarked, "This is not a mommy and daddy movie." Yesterday morning as I was giving him a spoonfull of his cold medicine, he said, "Why don't you give me my medicine with a fork?" Yesterday evening we were able to get on Skype and let them talk to their cousins, which was interesting. Conversation seemed to center on movies, guns, dinosaurs, school, and football. Well I am about to head out to get the kids ready for their swimming class. I am praying that this class will permit us to get to know people in the community. Pray with us that we can use this as an outreach. God bless, JASON

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Thursday and Friday, I got the invitations finished, and also finished all my research on Thanksgiving. All that is left is to write it out in. My former language school teacher gave me the idea to use the kids in a kind of play. I think that is a good idea and will see if we can get them to act out the Thanksgiving story. The only snag we may run into is the Turkey. Turkey here is not widely eaten until Christmas, we may not be able to find one for Thanksgiving. We will try though.
I am getting excited as the day approaches for us to start a Bible Study. I am also humbled, realizing what a great job I have to do for God. Summed up the job is to make disciples. Followers of Christ. It involves teaching, modeling, encouraging, leading, praying, enpowering, etc. . . To make disciples, is such a great privelege and responsibility. I pray that God gives me the strength and wisdom to do things His way and I pray that He will get glory and honor from it. Of course thinking back, every one who is a Christian, should be about that same purpose - making disciples. It is a position I should have held since my "rebirth", since I was born into His family. I have failed in regards to that for many years. If I had been making disciples since my salvation as I should, I would already have over 25 solid years of experience. Now I must just strive to be a better disciple maker in the future. Please pray for the future of our work here, that we will have disciples made who will then make disciples themselves. God bless, JASON

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving preparation.

I have never started preparing for Thanksgiving this early before. Angie has gone shopping to make sure that we can find everything we will need. I have done some research on the history of Thanksgiving and started working on the invitations that we will mail out. Bible study went well last night and we had a lot of good discussion. We are studying the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. It is interesting the see the ideas that have remained the same and those that have changed over the years. Lilia and Caleb were excited to have swimming again this morning. The few days will be busy with getting all the preparations underway for our meal. It will take place Friday evening, the 27th. Please be in prayer for this event.
This day is also the 10th anniversary of the Texas A&M University bonfire collapse. The annual event had been a tradition for 90 years. In the early morning hours of Nov. 18th the 40 ft (12m) structure collapsed killing 12 students and injuring 27 others who were working on the structure. One of the victims, Jamie Hand, was Angie's friend in high school and they had played on the softball team together for years. Our prayers go out to the families of the victims on this day. Pictured is the bonfire event from 1993. God bless, JASON

Monday, November 16, 2009

From flowers to hair.

The weekend went well. Friday morning at the large market in Limoux, I picked up Angie some flowers (pictured) to go in a new vase that she had bought. The market in Limoux is very well attended and there are at least a hundred venders selling all kinds of things from food to clothes. Friday night family night went good, attached is a picture of the kids settling in for a movie. Saturday Andrew did not have any fever. It is nice to have him somewhat back to normal. Sunday services went good at Carcassonne, they were some visitors. Sunday afternoon, Angie planned on cutting the boys hair. After Andrew she proclaimed that she would not be cutting the boys hair anymore and that we would take them to a professional. Son Andrew ended up being the only one getting his cut (pictured) We have been having wonderful weather this weekend and today. We had planned to have visitors over tomorrow. A couple that we met when we first came to Limoux we invited over but they had to cancel because a family member of theirs is gravely ill and they are staying home awaiting a phone call. This morning besides doing a little grocery shopping, mailing, finances. e-mails and the such, we stopped by a place to get a quote for the price of installing cabinets in our home. The owner of the home said that they would reimburse us half the cost if we decided to have permanent cabinets installed. As of right now we are using several cardboard boxesm and though they work well, they are not very economic or long-lasting. This week I will need to get our invitations to our Thanksgiving meal prepared and do some research on getting a web site set up here in France. I have been picking up a lot of vocabulary recently. A couple of times I have seen new words that I thought were just mispellings. For example I saw "las" in the hymn book at church which I thought was a mispelling of "là", an adverb meaning "here" or "there", but it actually is a word meaning "weary". Also I found saw "çà" which I thought was a mispelling of "ça" which means "this" or "that", but it is actually another word meaning "hither". Ahh, the joys of language learning. God bless, JASON

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blowing against the flow.

The weather has changed drastically the last few days. Monday and Tuesday, it was cold and windy. We happend to be parked by the river and the wind was blowing white capped waves on the river, and even more amazing was that it was blowing against the flow of the river. It actaully looked like the river was going in the wrong direction. Now it is sunny and mild. We have been trying to get Andrew nursed back to health. He still is not sleeping well, but has not had fever today. It affects everyone's schedule when he is off schedule. Today I gave the short lesson before the prayer time at the church in Carcassonne. I loved studying, preparing, and sharing God's word. I will attach the lesson later. It was over the prayer of Jabez (I Chronicles 4:9-10). I feel like I have not accomplished some things that I have needed to get down as a result of Andrew's sickness. Angie wakes up with him during the night, and I keep an eye out for him during the day so that Angie can get a nap. I am looking forward to our Thanksgiving kickoff. I am really just looking forward to the holiday season in general. Angie and I want to get the boys bikes for Christmas. I can see all of us riding as a family. We have been keeping our eyes open for good deals. Looking forward to Friday. If it is pretty again I need to do some more work on the yard to get it ready for company. Attached is a picture of the river Aude that runs through Limoux. God bless, JASON

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cat Flu

Andrew was sick all weekend, starting Friday night. He had a temperature and no appetite. Him not being hungry was a real sign that he was sick. I took Lilia and Caleb to church Sunday and we enjoyed the services. Monday we got Andrew to the Doctor. Thankfully it was not the swine flu or any other flu, but most likely an ear infection. He is doing a lot better today. Our schedule was all messed up with Andrew not sleeping well. He ate most of his sandwich for lunch today and I fed the rest to a cat that stops by the house. I wondered if the cat would get sick from Andrew. Angie mentioned that we could end up with a new strain of sickness. Tomorrow is Veterans day in France. There is a small ceremony in every town. If Andrew is up to it, I would like to go to the one in Magrie while Angie takes Lilia and Caleb to their swimming class. Attached picture is one we took last Friday, you can tell Andrew was already starting to feel bad. God bless, JASON

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bi-lingual kids.

A few nights ago while I was washing the dishes, I have a conversation with Lilia, all in French. It was amazing to see her ease at talking. You could not tell a difference in her speed and comfort-ability. It was just as she was speaking English. We were walking to school one day and I was heading to drop off Micah and then Lilia when we heard a couple of boys say something to each other. Lilia and I could not make it out, but Micah heard what they said. Andrew went to the Doctor a few weeks ago for a check-up. He was a little shy at first, but lightened up and started following whatever the doctor said. Toward the end of the meeting the Doctor jokingly said that it was because he was so mean that the kids do what he says. Andrew replied right back and said "Non." He knew what the Doctor was saying and knew from the tone that he was just playing. All that from a 3 year old who barely spoke English when we arrived.  Caleb has never had problems with the French and he reads well in French. Angie gives Lilia and Caleb english lessons, for about 30 minutes a day during the Lunch break. She started yesterday letting Caleb read books to her. So Caleb read his first book in English. He was so excited he wanted to read it to everyone as a bedtime story. Friday night was our family night and we watched the movie "Up" ("Là-haut"). We had a wonderful time watching it together. It was an excellent movie I would recommend to people of all ages. We had to pause and rewind a few times because everyone was laughing so hard. Yesterday we also enjoyed a brief visit with the pastor in Carcasonne when we went there to do a few errands. We need to invite several people over this next week. God bless, JASON

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Au revoir aux vacances.

We have said goodbye to the vacation. We had a good visit, I have attached pictures of some of our guests. The Columbine family with their two daughters, the Davey Family, and the Williams Family with their five. School started Wednesday for the kids. Angie and I have been getting things back in order. Yesterday was mostly spent grocery shopping. God answered our prayers is a amazing way as the exchange rate lowered three cents in three days last week. It actually had me scared. I had noticed that it was worse everytime I checked it, so . . I stopped checking it. Problem solved. I rechecked three days later and it had dropped three cents so I thougth there must have been something big happen. I was worried a terrorist attach and some major legislation passed. Didn't find anything. Must have just been a market rally. I really need to get working on some French exercises. We had just started a new book at the language school and we have several chapters in it left that we can work on. I need to get caught up in reading my French book and French Bible. God bless, JASON

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lilia's Birthday

Yesterday we celebrated Lilia's 10th birthday with our guests. Her big item was a bike. She had been asking for it for a while. She unwrapped a riding helmet first and didn't put together that it was a bike helmet until I walked in with her bike. She didn't seem to mind that it was black, so it could be passed down to her brothers as she out will outgrow it. Today we enjoyed the services at church. A friend loaned us a car while they were out of town to use so that we could all go. It worked out good, because half-way there Andrew got sick to his stomach and so Angie returned with the boys and I went on in the other car. Services went well. I did the announcements, prayers, and led the singing. I think I was understood. I know that I messed up on the tenses of many verbs. It is bad when you realize right after you say it that it is wrong, but I think it better to continue on as long as the idea is understood. We had Dominos pizza for lunch (Lilia's request) and now we are having a restful afternoon. God bless, JASON