Tuesday, December 28, 2010


We had a very Merry Christmas.  We had a theme this year of family gifts.  Meaning, we focused more on having gifts that the whole family would enjoy.  The kids didn't seem to mind or even notice really.  I left for part of Christmas day to attend the Christmas morning service at the church in Carcassonne.  Sunday morning I brought the message, it was my first Sunday morning message in French.  I think it went fairly well.  We enjoyed hearing the evening service of our sending church, Walnut Street Baptist Church, Hillsboro, Texas.  Over the weekend we did have the opportunity to catch up with some friends on Skype.  Monday was restful, I did take the kids to Carcassonne for a litte while to give Angie a break.  Took a few minutes during that time to wish happy 37th wedding anniversary to my parents.  Today is an anniversary for us as well.  We just finished our third year in France.  I didn't really realize that until I asked the kids how many Christmas' we had spent in France and after some consideration they said, "three".  We arrived on French soil on December 28, 2007.  I am looking forward to seeing God's blessings for this fourth year and the following ones.  Enjoy some snapshots from Christmas day at our house.  God bless, JASON

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

All the "kids" at our Tex-mex dinner.
The Christmas season has been going great.  Tuesday we did some Christmas shopping as a family.  We also picked up some Christmas cards and enveloppes to stuff for the church in Carcassonne.  We worked on them as a family and it only took a couple of hours to stuff 100 Christmas Cards.  Wednesday and Thursday morning I helped the pastor in Carcassonne pass them out.  It was fun, good time of fellowship, getting to see the area, and placing cards in mailboxes that share about the true meaning of Christmas.  Thursday evening, we watched some fireworks in town and then we had supper with our friends from Magrie.  We served Tex-mex and had a great time sharing about Christmas in Texas.  We also got to explain what a redneck was.  This morning Caleb and went to the market and distributed about 80 bible verse calenders. There were not a lot of people there and it was cold.  Caleb really enjoyed it.  This afternoon Angie is going to pass out gifts to our neighbors and visit with some friends.  I will take the kids to Carcassonne and pick out some more fish for the aquarium and also stop by downtown Limoux and let the kids have a turn on the obstacle course they have set up.  I am looking forward to tommorrow.  We had planned on Skyping with our family, but Skype was down yesterday because of server trouble.  Hopefully we can try tonight.  I pray that you have a very merry Christmas and that you take time to think about the greatest gift ever given, Jesus.  Enjoy my favorite Christmas song, What Child is This.  God bless, JASON

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas vacation starts.

Arianna's Chrismas dress
Friday night I had my last basketball practice, we will start again in January.  I'm hoping that my ankle will be 100 % by then.  Saturday we had the Christmas Dinner outreach in Carcassonne, the kids did an amazing job on the skit.  I didn't get very good pictures because the lighting was bad and I couldn't change the setting on the camera with one hand.  There were a good number there and just a few chairs were empty.  Sunday we stayed with some friends after church and attended the english Carol Service.  It was a good time, and all in English.  We sang 5 christmas carols.  We only knew one of them, yes even the Christmas songs are different in England it seems.  There was one funny moment during a moment of open prayer time, I was praying and in the middle, I said in French, "Seigneur" instead of "Lord".   Today, we got the house straightened up and Angie went to do a little shopping.  Another interesting event occured while she was gone, I was chasing a small lizard out of the house who likes to crawl in through the door jam and he ran up the leg of my pants.  The kids all had a good laugh about it, the lizard did not survive.    God bless, JASON

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weather Predictions

Lilia played with Andrew's hair,
grow up quick Arianna !
I painted this last year.
Monday through Wednesday was spent preparing for the sermon that I will preach in Carcassonne the day after Christmas.  I prepared it well in advance so that I would have plenty of time to look over it.  Wednesday at Lilia and Micah's swimming class, Santa Claus showed up, wearing snorkelling equipment.  All the little kids were really excited.  As always, I have been having trouble getting an accurate weather report.  I usually check two or three to get a idea of what the weather will be and even at that they can be wrong.  The forecast was for rain yesterday, and freezing temperatures and snow today.  What we ended up with was snow all morning Thursday, though thankfully it didn't stick.  I was able to get some Christmas items mailed to the states.  This morning it was 50 degrees when I woke up.  We did have the rain however, which meant that  I didn't go to the market.  That gave Angie and I our first chance to do some Christmas shopping together.  This afternoon I am doing some paperwork, and soon I am going to make some pumpkin soup from some pumpkins that were given to us.   The temperature has been dropping all day, so we may end up with snow this evening.  I pray that the weather clears tommorrow afternoon for the Christmas meal and program in Carcassonne that everyone has been looking forward to.  We had only one at the Bible Study, but it was still an excellent time.  Sunday afternoon there is a Carol Service in English at the church in Carcassonne that we will be attending.  Today is the last day of the kids school and so it is the official start of the holiday break for them.  It is also Caleb's birthday today, he is 8 years old.  Attached song, may not be to your style of music and it may reveal my age, but when I was a teenager, it was my Christmas theme, I would play it every Christmas. God bless, JASON  

Monday, December 13, 2010


I am glad that last week has passed.  It ended well.  The Bible Study was good.  The market on Friday morning went well.  They had closed downtown because they were setting up stuff for Christmas, and so I put my stand up in another place.  I ended up next to an young man who was selling crystals.  We had a nice time talking.  He has traveled all over and then, after two angels talked to him, he built a temple in a town near Limoux.  He sells crystals and gives seminars about how to use them and the special powers that they hold.  Needless to say, it was an interesting visit.  Other than that, I met a former missionary that was interested in the Bible Study and also handed out a few Bible Verse Calenders as well.  It was cold but worth the time.    I also met someone online, who had seen my Youtube videos and wanted me to help with his translation of a song.  I did what I could and got that back to him. 
Friday night, Caleb had a friend from school come over.  This was the first time Caleb had a friend over. They had a really great time.  I went to choir practice in Carcassonne, came back and picked up Caleb and his friend, and we dropped his friend off before going to basketball practice.  My ankle is continuing to get better.  I try to take it easy while I play though.  Saturday we had Caleb's birthday party.  His birthday is the 17th, but last Saturday was the best time we could find for his party.  We had a wonderful time.  We finally bought him a top, Beyblade, that he had been begging for these past months.  They were sold out at the store, but we found a good deal online.  Sunday passed well.  After church we rested since everyone had been up late the nights before.  We listened to the services of our home church on Skype that evening.  Today I have been catching up on emails, correcting past lessons, working on future lessons, and even found a few minutes to watch the highlights of a few NFL games.  I saw on the news recently that a teenager armed with swords had taken kindergarten kids hostage, and their teacher, at a school in eastern France.  Thankfully it has ended with no one getting hurt.  The Christmas song I have picked for this blog I heard recently and it brought back a lot of good memories.  I was listen to Christian Christmas Radio online.  You can check it out at http://www.klove.com/ , on the home page click the red box that says Klove Christmas Radio.  There you have it, 24 hr christmas music.  God bless, JASON 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter weather?

This week is progressing good.  It seems that we fought off the invasion of last week.  I have my lesson prepared for next week.  My ankle is doing better.  I went to Basketball practice last night but took it easy.  We got the Christmas decorations up.  The kids are excited about Christmas.  Andrew goes on and on about the tree.  Speaking of Andrew, we were coming home from school one day and Andrew was talking about his friend, Manu.  As he does often, he repeated the name several times while he was thinking of what to say next.  Micah couldn't wait and said, "Your new what!".  Think about it for a little bit and you will get it.  The weather has been nice here but freezing everywhere else in France it seems.  Last week there were record low temperatures in several cities in the North, odd for so early in the year.  Yesterday, Paris was shutdown but several inches of snowfall during the day.  They had to set up roadside shelters for all the stranded motorists.  Yesterday it was 65 degrees here.  It has cooled off some today and the wind is blowing.  I am looking forward to seeing what this winter brings.  Last year we had above average snowfall. The kids are hoping for it again.  The song below is "Une fleur m'a dit".  It is a cute childrens song about finding a flower in the snow and rescuing it, and the flower telling that it is Christmas. Our kids are singing the same tune but with Christian lyrics for the Christmas program in Carcassonne.  God bless, JASON

Monday, December 6, 2010


My view of Arianna
This weekend was particularly busy.  Friday night I had choir practice with the church in Carcassonne.  When I arrived I got a call from Angie that Andrew, Micah and Caleb had lice, an invasion.  There had been signs up at their school since the beginning of the year, so with four kids in school, it was just a matter of time.  Saturday was spent washing laundry, hair, bagging up dolls, combing. . . the whole works.  We did take a break for the kids to practice their Christmas program in Carcassonne.  Sunday we ate after church and then I stayed and attended the businesss meeting.  The church in Carcassonne is searching for a new meeting place.  I made it back home by five, got the kids homework done and ate supper, which left bedtime.  Today I went shopping, worked on my lesson.  I tried to stop by the pharmacy and pick up an ankle brace, but I forgot almost all of them are closed on Mondays.  I got a few groceries and returned home.  Worked on my lesson some and am currently watching Arianna, while Angie sleeps in.  Arianna just lays in her bed next to my computer, as content as can be.  She looks and around, tries to suck on her fingers, and makes noises.  The Christmas song for this time is Petit Papa Noël.  Once again, I could not find one with English subtitles, but here is one sung by an American, Josh Groban, on French TV.  He starts singing about halfway through.  God bless, JASON

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas season is here.

I had a good meeting with the pastor in Carcassonne.  The Bible study went well last night also.  It was cold at the market this morning.  We even had some snow falling periodically.  There were not many people at the market and we did not get to make any new contacts, but we did see two men that we had met previously and talk with them at length.  It was cold.  Angie had purchased these hand warmers that are interesting.  Little gelatin sacks with a piece of metal inside, you bend the metal and the sack heats up and stays warm for about an hour.  Afterwards you just boil it to reactivate it.  It says it will work for 1,000 times.  Interesting.  As you can see in the picture my ankle looks worse, but it is feeling much better.  I just have a slight limp.  Tonight we have choir practice in Carcassonne, tommorrow is practice for the kids christmas program.  Sunday afternoon there will be a meeting of the church members in Carcassonne to discuss several issues involving the future of the church.  Remember them in your prayers.  They have been such a help to us.  I will try to attach a Christmas song at the end of these posts in December.  Below is "Il est né le Divin Enfant", one of the most popular traditional French Christmas songs. I could not find a version with English Subtitles, so here is the English version, "He is born the divine Child".  You can find the french version on YouTube as well.  God bless, JASON

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


If you are like most people, then the first thing that you looked at is the picture to the right.  Yes, at basketball practice Tuesday night, I rolled my ankle and sprained it.  Not the worse that I have had, but I will be limping for a week or two. I hope I recover well, because there is a Saturday game on January 8th that I hope to play in.  I heard/felt two pops when it occured.  It was the ankle that I wasn't wearing a brace on.  A brace will be on the list to buy soon.  The hardest part was pushing in the clutch on the way home.  As a result, Angie has ran all the errands for today.  Caleb to his sports practice, Lilia and Micah to swimming, Caleb's dentist appointment, shopping, and then Caleb's basketball practice.  I did get up and wonder into the garage to help get out the Christmas decorations.  It is just swollen and has not even changed colors like some of the more serious ones have.  Hopefully we will find the time Saturday to set up the decorations.  I am ready for Bible study tomorrow.  We will have a meeting with the pastor of the church in Carcassonne in the morning.  I am going to help get the kids tucked in.  God bless, JASON

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgivingly ever after.

Thanksgiving meal was real good.  We spent two days in preparation,
 made the desserts on Thursday and then the main dishes on Friday.  One of the guests arrived early Friday to help out which was great.  We got everything ready on time and 15 guests came.  We got started at 7:30 and we had a wonderful time.   I gave a history of Thanksgiving and everyone shared something that they were thankful for, I led in prayer, and then we dug in.  The food was enjoyed and we had a lot less leftovers that I expected.  The favorite seemed to be the Buttermilk pie (grandma's recipe). Everyone stayed until about 11:00.  There were really good conversations.  We assigned seats so that we would have Christians sitting with non-Christians.  It went really well, even the kids were well behaved.  I hope that God will bless and we will see some fruit.  Angie and I stayed up until 2 in the morning cleaning and washing dishes.  I called my parents house and spoke to my mother
 for a little bit, wishing them a happy Thanksgiving.  As in the case in many families, you can have three or four Thanksgiving meals just to get around to all the family.  We went to bed and I slept the best I had ever sleep.  My eyes closed and I opened them back up and it was 8:30 and Andrew was standing beside the bed asking if it was time to wake up.  Saturday we finished washing dishes, took borrowed tables and chairs back to Carcassonne, started putting the furniture back in the living room.  Services went well today, we are taking part in the Christmas program with the churh in Carcassonne.  Lilia is playing Mary and Caleb is Joseph.   I hope that your Thanksgiving holidays went well. but that you keep up the Thankful spirit all year long.  God bless, JASON

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank God!

These past few days have been about preparing for
 Thanksgiving.  Very little is known of Thanksgiving outside of those few countries who celebrate it.  We have invited 20 people to our house to celebrate with us.  It will be a wonderfuly opportunity to get to know others and to turn our thoughts towards giving thanks to God.  Saturday, the girls went to Ikea to pick up some household items, mostly more lights, and to get teh Cranberry sauce.  Monday we did more shopping.  The most expensive things that we had to get were the turkey and the sweet potatos.  Thankfully, some friends from Carcassonne gave a gift that has covered the expensives.  Tuesday I was able to work on my lesson.  Wednesday, Angie finished up the shopping.  What is on the menu?  Turkey, chicken and
dressing, sweet potatos, mashed potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, rolls, banana pudding, carrot cake, pumpkin pie, and buttermilk pie.  Sounds great! We were running around so much that we didn't get a chance to lay the younger ones down for a nap.  They both found a place to sleep (pictured).  Andrew is on the chair and Arianna stayed asleep when I layed her on the couch after a little rocking.  Bible study is tonight and then tomorrow will be spent in preparation for Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the holidays and remeber to thank God for what he has done for you.  God bless, JASON 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vendredi déjà ?

This week has been passing good.  We had 5 at the Bible study last night.  We finished making the invitations for our Thanksgiving get together (pictured) and handed them out.  Angie came and totally revised what I had, and I admit that she did a better job.  Looks like we might have 20 people present in addition to our family.  The market in Limoux went real well this morning.  We were able to make contact with several.  Lilia was excited this week because they were forming a council of kids to propose ideas to the mayors office about a need that the students had.  They voted for three students to represent the class.  She didn't win, but she got four votes which I said that she should be impressed with.  Caleb had visit the dentist this week, he had a temporary filling put in, unfortuntely there was no pain.  I say "unfortunately" because if it hurts, I think it would help him brush his teeth better and more often.  Speaking of teeth, Lilia has a loose tooth that is barely hanging on, but she won't let us touch it because last time we tried it hurt, and she does not handle pain well.  In fact she turned white and almost passed out. I told her I would pull it out tonight while she is sleeping, I bet that she will stay up late.  Tomorrow I need to work in the yard and work on the car some.  Angie cleaned the inside of the car real good but I need to work on the outside.  Someone (okay, it was me) hit the side of a tall curb and put a dent in the side, but I'm certain that I can pop it back out.  Caleb has swimming tomorrow and not Monday nights, we felt that he was too rushed to get his homework done.  I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy preparing for Thanksgiving.  God bless, JASON  

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Update

Basketball pracite - I am in
the middle of the three in
yellow at right.
It has been a week since I blogged.  Let me attempt to summarize the week.  I took Caleb to try out the basketball group for his age (they have the same coach as my group). He really has been looking forward to going.  He had a good time and the coach was excited about the prospect of having a 6th player for that age group.  The catch for Caleb is that if he picks baskteball, we will take him out of swimming.  The bastketball for him would be on Wednesday nights.  Last week I also meet with the bank and got our home bank switched to Limoux instead of Massy. I'm not sure why we needed to, just for the checkbooks to be mailed there, I suppose.  Thursday was Veteren's Day in France.  Lilia was picked to read a part in the veterens day program.  There was probably a crowd of 200 present when Lilia read her part along with some other students her age.  She did a good job.  Arianna had a doctors appointment last week.  She was cute.  She smiled and cooed at the doctor, but when Angie changed her diaper right after he exam, she threw a fit.  She also didn't care much for the vaccinations either.  The next few days she wasn't herself, her eye would get stopped up and she didn't sleep well during the day.  She still does a good job sleeping at night.  The Bible study was well attended even though some were out as a result of the holiday.  Friday, I set up the stand in the markat at Limoux.  Edouard came and helped out this week, he had been unable to the last few because of health problems with him and his wife.  I met a man that I had first talked to a two weeks ago who stopped by.  He agreed to come to church Sunday.  There were three others who I was able to make contact with during the morning.  Edouard ate lunch with us afterwards.  The weekend went well.  I didn't get out and break up the garden spots like I had planned, but  I hope to get that done this weekend.  I did meet an American family at the grocery store. Today I started getting the invitations ready for Thanksgiving.  I realised that I forgot to mention about our Thanksgiving meal in our latest report.  We are going to try to have two meals this year so that we can invite more people.  It will be a busy time, but we really enjoyed last year and are looking forward to it again.  God bless, JASON

Monday, November 8, 2010


Sarturday finished well.  I finished all the lessons and had a good time at a friends birthday party.  The highlight was that we received a package from my parents filled with goodies for the kids.  Pictured is the boys playing with their new transformers.  We received a package on Friday from friends
 as well that had asked us what we needed.  Inside was the biggest jar of peanut butter I have ever seen (pictured).  We are going to enjoy that.  We may even make some peanut butter cookies. Sunday Morning went well.  The church in Carcassonne is preparing for a big Christmas outreach.  They are going to rent a room and have a Christmas dinner with a kids program.  We started working on the program on Sunday morning during Sunday School, looks like it is going to be real good.  Services went well Sunday.  The building was packed again.  I would estimate that there were 45 people, there were no empty chairs.  The church has begun looking towards getting another meeting place.  It has been great seeing God bless the church there.  Be in prayer that another suitable meeting place can be found.  Sunday afternoon
we took it easy and spent some time together with the kids.  This week will be more like normal.  Caleb goes to school early on Mondays and Thursdays for extra time with his teacher, working with him on French.  This morning, he was ready to go with a coat on, the weather had turned colder during the night. I asked him how he knew that it was colder and that he needed to put a coat on.  He said, "It's complicated. . . when it gets cold, I can sense it.  It is kind of like a gift from God."  Cute.  Enjoy the pictures and God bless, JASON

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Busy for an awesome God.

Lilia seems bothered by her brothers
hovering over her.
Lilia's birthday party went very good.  There were 9 guests. It ended up lasting several hours.  That evening I had basketball practice.  I had the opportunity to speak with some of the players.  Just chit-chat really, but still an ocassion to build the relaitionship.  I even stayed a little afterwards talking with some of the guys. Wednesday the kids started school back.  I worked most of the day on the lesson for Thursday, I had it ready earlier, but added quite a bit.  Thursday, I made the final preparations for the bible study.  We had a good turnout. Eight people came and we had a good time of study, prayer, and fellowship.  Angie said afterwards that my French was really good.  I think what probably helped was having gone over my lesson several times during the previous days.  Friday morning, I set up the stand in the market.  It was a beautiful day, getting up to around 65 degrees and sunny.  I made several contacts.  One man stopped by and talked for a minute or two.  A lady took a
gospel of John.  Another man stopped by and asked some questions about the different bibles I had on display.  Near the end another man stopped by and we talked for about 25 minutes.  I confessed to know Jesus as his saviour.  He has had four wives and has five children.  He has only been to church once, and that was the Catholic church.  He does read his bible.  I'll call him Monsieur B.  Be in prayer for him, he took one of the invitation cards for the Bible Study.  Friday afternoon, I started working on the lesson for next weeks Bible study.  Friday night meant basketball practice again.  Usually there are a lot more people on Fridays.  It went well. What surprised me was we played a short game, first team who scored twelve points wins.  I scored 8 of the twelve points.  I was surprised as well.  This morning I am finished up the lesson for next week and the Sunday school lesson for Sunday.  For the Sunday School lesson we are starting a series studying the life of David.  I am looking forward to the study.  After lunch, I will need to get a few things done around the house.  We have a birthday party to attend later this afternoon and then I am meeting with Cédric, my language helper this evening.  I wanted to also share a blessing.  Our ministry needs were larger this month because we had to pay about $1000 for our visas.  Thankfully God knew this in advance, as our supporting churches gave almost that exact amount above normal this past month.  Isn't God awesome! - JASON

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All French.

The Bible Study, Thursday evening, was well attended. There
was a first time visitor so I spent some of the time reviewing last weeks lesson.  Meaning I had to stray from my notes,  that is always more difficult.  Friday, my throat was still bothering me, so I didn't set up the stand at the market.  Angie and I spent most of the day working on finances and getting a financial plan for the coming months.  On Saturday, I noticed that it would be rainy for the next few days, so I herded the kids outside and played the game, "Tickle Monster".  It consits of me chasing the kids and tickling the one that I catch. They seem to really enjoy it and it gets them some good excercise, and me too.  Thankfully, I remembered to turn the clocks back before going to bed. Sunday, there was a conference at the church in Carcassonne in the afternoon, so after services, I took the Angie and the kids back home and returned for the conference.  It was very informative.  A former Catholic, who was even an instructor in a Catholic school, who had converted to Christianity, gave his testimony and spoke about the Bible and Catholicism.  Sunday evening, seeing as it was Halloween, I wanted to scare the kids with some scary stories.  Didn't happen. Even with just candle light, the kids could not be scared.  Especially Micah, who was analyzing the stories and predicting what would happen next.  Monday we ate lunch with our friends and had a really good visit.  Five hours of french really gets you messed up the rest of the day.  There was French words and phrases popping out the rest of the day.  That is good though and I would like that to happen more often.  Today we are preparing for Lilia's birthday party that will happen in a few hours.  Her birthday is tomorrow, but they start school tomorrow.  This will be the first birthday party, entrirely in French, that we have had.  Lilia will be 11 years old.  Wow.  Everyone told me that time would go by fast once I had children.  They were right.  Well, I am going to help make the final preparations for the party.  Enjoy the pictures showing what the kid have been up to the last few days, painting, playing Legos, and enjoying Arianna. 
 God bless, JASON   


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vacation with the kids.

Playing "Croque Carrote" on family night.
Monday, I took time to play with the kids individually. We had a good time.  Angie and Lilia went shopping.  Tuesday, I cleaned around the yard and in the garage.  We had basketball practice Tuesday night, there were only six there, but we had a good time.  The coach invited Caleb to join the basketball group for his age.  I'll have to talk to him about it.  There were some gas shortages in the area.  One in three stations are out of gas.  However the vote to raise the retirement age passed and so the strikes should be ending soon.  Wednesday, I cleaned out the inbox and in the evening went to a conference at a gypsy church about an hour from here.  I enjoyed the services, they are doing a series through Colossians, which the pastor is Carcassonne is presenting.  I was a little under the weather yesterday.  I had a sore throat and a headache.  After a good nights rest I am feeling better now.  We are preparing for the Bible Study this evening. We are also starting to make plans for Thanksgiving.  We enjoyed inviting everyone over last year.  This year the problem is that we know more people and will not be able to have everyone over that we would like.  One option is to have two meals, but that would be a lot of work.  We will talk and pray about it for a while before we decide. We met our new neighbors.  They are a couple with four kids, ages 18, 13, 3, and 1. They will be moving in withing a few days.  We look forward to getting to know them better.  Time to go beat out some rugs for Angie.  God bless, JASON

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Tuesday night at basketball practice the coach mentioned that
 the next game had been moved to Saturday.  I was hoping that I would be able to play, but I needed to get my paperwork done and have a Doctor's note.  Thursday only one person came for the Bible Study.  We enjoyed a time of fellowship and prayer together.  Friday, I set the Bible stand up at the market.   It was cold in the morning.  In fact it was our first frost.  Thankfully the stand was in the sunshine after an hour or two and things warmed up nicely.  I did have a couple of good contacts during the three hours I was there.  There was a man who talked with me about 20 minutes.  He was a former catholic who had converted to Muslim because of the hipocrisy he had seen among the catholics.  I gave him the information about the Bible Study and he seemed interested.  We will pray and wait to see the fruits.  Friday afternoon I had my Doctors appointment which I passed.  We had practice Friday night.  All the kids were looking forward to watching daddy play basketball Saturday night.  Saturday morning I went and helped out with the Bible
Stand at the market in Carcassonne.  I had a good visit with the pastor while there.  Friday night we headed to the game, but found out that my paperwork didn't have enough time to go through and get approved so I could not play.  I did end up running the clock and scoreboard however.  I think that Angie met and talked with all the wives and kids in the audience.  It was great that she was able to meet some of the families.  We hope to be able to invite some over this week.  Our visitors that had planned to come are not going to be able to make it. Sunday services were good at Carcassonne, the house was packed.  The church has begun to look into options for having more space.  Saturday night Arianna slept 10 hours straight. She has been cute and smiling quite a but.  I will add some pictures of her.  God bless, JASON 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homiletics Conference

Arianna's first trip to Church.

The conference Saturday in Toulouse was excellent.  It was great to be able to meet other pastors in the area and the conference was filled with good information.  Sunday services went well.  I taught the older kids Sunday School class and also led the music.  Sunday I also finished moving the furniture from the neighbors house.  We have found out that we should have new neighbors at the end of the month.  Monday I attended the rest of the conference.  There was good fellowship and sermons entitled, "The man of God", and "The Preaching of the Man of God".  It was neat to meet several Americans while I was there.  I made it back home just in time to take Caleb to swimming.  Today it is working on the lesson for next weeks Bible study and other office work.  I will need to do some shopping this afternoon or perhaps watching Arianna so that Angie can shop.  Arianna slept real good Friday night, but not so well Saturday and Sunday night.  She has started smiling at us which is real cute.  Strikes are still occuring in the area.  The Total refineries are still on strike which has people worried about fuel shortages, but so far the media has been assuring us that Total has at least a weeks reserves left.   Other than that, we are preparing for some friends who will be visiting with us next week.  They are an American Missionary family serving in Romania.  They have four children that are about the same ages as our children. 
 We will enjoy spending a few days together with them.  Our kids will be out of school for a week and a half.  The weather has turned cold.  I turned the heaters on for the first time yesterday as the inside temperature dropped to 60 degrees ( 16 C).  I laid awake in bed this morning and my mind wondered to when we first arrived in France and what our plans where.  Seems that we are far from where we started but I am enjoying the ministry that God has given us.  Not only planting a new church but assisting an already established church.  Please continue to pray for France and for God's blessing on our ministry here.  God bless, JASON

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rain has come and gone.

The big news Sunday and Monday was the rain. We got about 6 inches in two days. This may not sound like much compared to some other countries, but that is the equivalent to 4 months worth here. Our driveway started washing away, but thankfully there was enough to still drive by. Monday was shopping day and paperwork. Tuesday was getting my lesson ready. Tuesday night Basketball practice went well. I acutally had a couple of mini-conversations with some of the guys. Wednesday, I took the kids to their swimming class, and finished working on my sermon. Thursday, I took our car to the dealership for its 40,000 km check-up. It had a few filters replaced and the oil changed. I left directly from there to go to Montpellier for my appointment with the French Office of Imigration and Integration (OFII). It took about 2 hours to get their and then 45 minutes to find the place. The streets were horrible. There was construction going on as they are expanding the Tram. Some streets were closed and some streets that were once one direction, were now the other direction. My GPS actually started to yell at one point. I finally parked and took off walking. It still was a 45 mintue walk. After asking 4 people for directions it ended up being right across from the train station. The appointment went well, I had x-rays taken, met with the doctor and then with the "Visa lady". I also found out about Angie's visa. Normally they schedule husband and wife together so I was thinking there was a problem. You cannot get in touch with them by phone or email so I had to wait til my appointment. Come to find out that Angie's paper was stuck to the back of mine and they did not notice it. Wow. They said they would hurry and try to get her an appointment in a couple of weeks. I met a couple of people there, an american couple with a young baby, and a newly married couple from Chili. I actually gave the Chiliean couple a ride home because they missed their train because of the strike. That is another subjet all together. President Sarkozy is trying to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. This has made many people upset. College and high school kids are striking because there will be less jobs if people work two extra years. Others are striking because their work conditions are hard and they don't want to endure it for two more years. Transportation has been slow as there are a lot less trains running. All but one Total refinery has been closed (hoping that there are not any gas shortages). Anyways it is nice to have the visa paperwork done (at least for me). I made it back home 30 minutes before the Bible study. We took a break from the sermon on the mount to look at the healing of the man born blind. There were three present not including us. Today I need to get gas (done), look at a friends computer (done), work on getting a bill paid (done), blog (doing), make a trip to the dump, move some furniture, and not forget to get the kids. Basketball practice is tonight and tomorrow there is a conference at a church in Toulouse on Homiletics that I will be attending. Enjoy some rainy day pictures and God bless, JASON


Saturday, October 9, 2010

One or two.

I have not been as sore after these last few basketball practices.  Unfortunately, most of the games are Sunday morning, so I will not be able to attend.  The practices have been g
Grape harvestor seen often this time of year.
ood.  I have learned probably half the player's names.  I have been waiting for it to rain for a few days now.  I moved a 1000 liter tank from our neighbors house to ours and have it hooked up to our gutter system so that it should catch the rain water.  This will give us water for the plants and other outside uses.  I am hoping that it will save on the water bill.  Thursday's Bible study went good. There were 5 who joined us.  We are continuing a series on the Sermon on the Mount.  Our market stand went good Friday morning.  Thankfully the weather was nice.  We had several good contacts.  I spoke with two older Frenchmen who said they already had a Bible.
The boys helping to set up our stand.
 I asked them if they read them and they said, "How can we read something that is American."  That confused me and I remarked that the Bibles were in French.  I asked Edouard afterward what they could have meant.  He thought it might be because they thought we were Jehovah Witnesses or that the printers of their Bible were American.  I think I will put a sign on our Stand stating who we are.  I am finishing up the Sunday School lesson now.  Arianna is sleeping some better, the last few nights she went to sleep at 1 or 2 in the morning instead of 3 or 4.  God bless, JASON  

Monday, October 4, 2010

To market, to market . . .

I don't know if I mentioned in the last post that we did not have Bible Study Thursday evening.  We did have a good visit with the pastor and his wife from Carcassonne.   Friday I started my monthly report, which I will finish today.  I also talked with another American missionary in France who is working near Paris.  He gave a lot of good advice concerning the paperwork and process for getting you childs birth certificate and passport.  We had a good time at the market Friday morning.  We arrived at 8:30, the boys helped me carry everything.  Edouard and I found a good spot and set up the booth.  During the three hours that I was there.  We talked to about 5 people.  One elderly man stopped and talked with us.  So sad that he had no clue about where he would spend eternity, and acted as if he didn't care.  He was 93 years old. Edouard continued as I took the kids home for lunch. He had a couple of good contacts as well.  I am looking forward to next week.  Friday evening I enjoyed basketball practice.  I wasn't as sore as the time before.  Caleb went with me and had a wonderful time shooting baskets.  He told me afterwards that he wants to go with me every time.  Saturday, we went shopping, I needed some shoes for playing basketball which we found at a great price as a result of an "end of series" sell.  We also stopped and looked at a pet store with the kids, we are thinking of getting a few more fish, because our big aquarium is lacking acivity with the few fish in it.  After returning home, I went with a few of the kids to look at the large art exhibit here in town.  It was really impressive and there is a lot of talent displayed.  The most exciting events was the arrival of our paperwork for our visa, we now have an appointment with the immigration office.  Angie planned on going to church Sunday morning, but the four hours sleep that she ended up getting changed her mind.  I went with the kids and enjoyed the services.  There were several first time visitors in the services.  When we returned home, Angie had just woke up, we grabbed lunch and then I took a nap for a couple of hours.  When I woke, I found that we had some guests come by.  We took another walk down to Magrie to see the art and while I was there I bought some churros, which everyone loved.  Today, it is back in the office, I hope to get the report sent out soon.  Arianna has her one month doctors visit this afternoon.  Attached pictures were taken at the art exhibit. God bless, JASON

Thursday, September 30, 2010

End of the month alarm.

Me, holding Arianna
Once again the end of the month has snuck up on me.  I need an end of the month alarm.  Monday I helped Angie out around the house.  She didn't get much sleep the night before so I cleaned around the house and kept watch over Arianna between feedings.  Angie took a good nap in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Thankfully Arianna slept a little better the following nights.  I was also able to finish my project for Angie's birthday, a DVD compilation of all the videos that we have of the kids.  Tuesday, I got all our finances worked out.  It really has been nice getting paid once a month.  At all my previous jobs I was paid every week or every two weeks.  Getting paid monthly helps out because most of the bills you pay come out monthly and it makes it easier to set a budget.  I would reccommend it, if you have the option.  I was also able to get some shopping done, while Angie visited with a friend from Magrie.  Wednesday morning, I took Lilia and Micah to their swimming class, while Angie met with a nurse that came by the house for a one month check-up.  Arianna is doing good and has gained over two pounds.  Tuesday evening, I went to my first basketball practice.  It went well, I actually remembered how to shoot the ball and made the majority of my shots.  I hope that I can continue to build relationships with the other guys.  They all seemed nice and outgoing. I was sore the next day, but I made it through without appearing too exhausted.  Wednesday afternoon, Angie and Arianna went to visit with a friend in Carcassonne.  The kids and I moved a water tank from the neighbors house over to ours.  This 1000 liter tank catches rain water off the roof and will help the water bill, and keep the yard and garden looking greener.  I had a good time teaching the kids how to move heavy items, it was a good hands-on physics lesson.  Today, I need to call the office of Imigration and found out if they received our paper work.  I sent it to them by registered letter, meaning I was supposed to receive a letter back from the post saying that it had been delivered.  I never received it.  I am now in the process of complaining to the post office about it.  I just sent out the written complaint to their service department.  I emailed the immigration office Friday and have not got a response back, so I will call today.  I really would rather not talk on the phone, but I have no other option.  This is the beginning step to getting out carte de sejour (visa) and it needs to get started soon.  I also need to look into what is needed to get Arianna's passport.  This afternoon I will go pick up what is needed for our booth for the market tomorrow.  I hope that the weather will be nice and that we will be able to make some good contacts.  Also pray for us this weekend.  There is a big art festival in Magrie.  We hope to make several trips to it and meet some more of the people in the town.  In Church Growth class at Seminary they told us that you need to touch people an average of seven times to be effective.  Hopefully this will make the third time to meet some people in the town that we have run into before and met doing door to door work.  Angie is going to call a homeschooling family in the town and invite them over as well.  God bless, JASON 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The associations

We made it through everything going on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday
Arianna's first ride in the stroller.
we took Lilia and Micah to their swimming time.  They are going at a different time this year and there are more kids, meaning mire parents waiting together for 50 minutes.  I pray that we will have the opportunity to build relationships with these parents.  At the Bible study we have five in attendance.  One young lady was missing because she is helping in the potato harvest.  Friday, I prepared the lesson for the childrens Sunday school.  I showed them a cool video that went real well with the lesson, I will attach so that you can see it as well.  Saturday was the day all the associations have their booths set up in Limoux.  Me and Andrew went and then Lilia and Angie.  It was interesting.  I am considering joining a basetball group.  I am acutally a little scared that I will not be able to play up to a level I would consider worthy. In other words, I am afraid that I am going to embarass America.  It will be fun and I will be able to meet others.  Lilia is thinking about joining the cheerleading group that cheers for the Limoux rugby team, the Grizzlies.  Angie had a good long talk with the lady in charge of the group (a former dance teacher at a private school) and was encouraged.  The lady assured Angie that this was a sport and not about other things (she explained what those other things were, but I'll leave that part out).  She even chose to call it "cheerleading" instead of using the French term, "Pom pon girls", to make clear the difference.  They practice the same time and same place as the
All the kids in the car.
basketball group.  The only negative things is that this occurs on Tuesday night at 8:30, which means on most weeks, I would not be able to attend the Bible study with the church in Carcassonne.  We can try it for a month before we make the committment.  Yesterday as well, our landlord came by to begin cleaning out the house next door.  We have already began praying for the family that God will move in next.  Today is Angie's birthday.  I made her a cake yesterday, chocolate cake eith chocolate chunks and chocolate icing.  You can never go wrong with chocolate.  For her gift, I am preparing a DVD of all the videos that we have of the kids.  It has taken longer that I expected, sorting through over 600 videos but I am sure that she will enjoy it.  We are looking forward to this week and to what God has instore for us. God bless, JASON

Monday, September 20, 2010

Micah's birthday

Arianna asleep in my arms.
This weekend has passed well.  Saturday we did the last minute shopping for his birthday.  We found a good used bike that I'm sure will be the highlight of his birthday.  Sunday services went well at Carcassonne.  I taught the older kids sunday school class.  I thought it went well, and Lilia confirms, so I guess that means they at least understood me.  Angie stayed at home and rested, she is a little sore and had a small fever Saturday, she might be getting un infection.  I had planned to take it easy on Sunday afternoon and take a break, have a birthday party for Micah.  There was a knock at the door.  The family of our neighbors was moving the rest of their items out of the house (the neighbor who was arrested).  They asked if we knew the landlords number and if we wanted the aquarium because they didn't have room to transport it.  We went to take a look at it because we had talked recently about getting the kids an aquarium, because they had wanted pets.  When we arrived we found that the aquarium was huge.  And it had fish in it still.  I am shocked, they mentioned that the pump alone cost 600 euros.  It took several hours for me and the kids to empty and clean and transport it to our house.  I do not know how big it is, but we filled up two bathtubs with the water and still had several inches left.  They also gave us some patio chairs.  The afternoon got hectic, with getting the fishes moved, having the birthday party and then supper.  It all was fun and exciting for Micah. 
Here are a couple of his quotes from yesterday.  Micah commented on his red and brown icing cake with one tall candle, "It's a mixture of blood and chocolate and the eiffel tower!" That just sums up a young boys dreams. Then during supper, out of nowhere he says, "All you need to win a fight is a rope. . . and lasers coming out of your eyes." And one more, Friday on the way home for school, I had to get on to Micah for not behaving in the car, so I told home he could not talk until we got home.  Suprisingly he made it, at the table, I was telling Angie about it when Micah says, "Oh yeah, well I was talking in my head, ah hah."  I don't know where he comes up with this stuff.  Today will be just as busy.  I'm getting caught up on paperwork and will get the house cleaned up.  Angie will get a birthday cake made for Micah's class to share this afternoon.  The kids get out of school at 5 and go to their doctors checkup right afterwards, just a physical for their swimming class.  At 6 there is a parent/teachers meeting at the kids school, and at 6:15 is Caleb's swimming time.  I am not sure yet how we are going to juggle all that, but I'm sure it will go by fast.  I am still really enjoying life in France, sure there are still those difficult cultural moments.  But it has been a wonderful experience and God has blessed.  I am thankful for God calling me here and I pray that I can be a blessing to all those that I meet. So I will close with a different ending to this blog.  Go bless!  - Jason

Friday, September 17, 2010


Arianna sleeping on her side.

Been having a good week.  Things are slowly getting back to normal (whatever that is).  The kids are in school and doing good.  Each of them seem to have their little problems.  Lilia had a little trouble with division but has signed up for some extra help and will have it down again in a matter of weeks.  Caleb had been telling us that he has no homework and nothing was written in his book.  Come to find out that his teacher had been telling them what the homework was and he just didn't write it down.  Micah has experienced the first woes of forced memorization.  He has had to memorize poems for school.  He picks them up real quick and likes quoting them afterwards, but memorization process for him is irritating.  Andrew is liking school, Angie spoke with his teacher and he is just going in the mornings now.  We are still working on his potty training with some small advances.  Arianna finally sleeped well last night.  She slept for three hours and then Angie had to wake her up to feed her and then she slept for 5 more hours.  She has already learned to roll over from her back to her stomach.  Twice now I have gotten her out of bed and she was on her stomach.  Angie is feeling better, she is off her blood pressure medicine, much to her delight as it was making her drowsy and tired feeling throughout the day. She has had some back pain, but we are hoping that it is just caused by her sleep patterns these last few nights.  That leaves me, I am doing well.  I got all the papers for our insurance filled out and mailed.  I prepared the lesson for last night in time, but only the pastor and his wife from Carcassonne came.  We had a good visit with them.  The daughter of one of our friends stayed the night with us last night because her parents were out of town.  She is a teenager, which Lilia loves.  She hangs out with her and watches her all she can.  I got the kids registered in their swimming class, we added Micah this time so we will have three swimmers soon.  Today we need to do some shopping as it is Micah's birthday monday.  I will also prepare the Sunday School lesson that I will be teaching Sunday.  I'll finish this one with a couple of kids quotes.  I was walking the kids back to the car after school and Micah noticed a man that walked by who had unkept hair and beard.  Micah loudly stated, "Look! It's Moses!"  Angie found Arianna sucking her thumb in her sleep this morning.  She told me to look.  Suddenly we hear the voice of Andrew (who still sucks his thumb) coming from somewhere saying, "Of course she is, she is a baby!"  God bless, JASON

Andrew and Arianna

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mountain View

Looking out on Limoux
Looking out over Carcassonne
Zoomed in on the walled city of
Carcassonne from about 20 miles away.
First off, if you would like further details about how this weeks as past, you can read more details at my dad's blog. We really enjoyed the time spent with my parents.  They were a big help with the kids.  My mom stayed up a couple of nights rocking Arianna so that we could get some sleep.  We had a really good bible study Thursday night.  Arianna has been doing well, but still has her days and nights mixed up. I was rocking her last night and about one in the morning she suddenly gave a loud cry and then went back to sleep.  I wondered if she was having a bad dream.  I really enjoyed the hike that we went on Wednesday.  It was long and hard, but we made it to the top and had a wonderful view.  We picked up some last things from the store Thursday.  Enjoyed the bible study that evening.  It has been great to be able to introduce my parents to those who have meant so much to us.  We left our house at Midnight Thursday night to take my parents back to the airport.  There were some tearful goodbyes on the grandchildrens side.  I made it to the airport fine and dropped them off, the headed back home.  I made it home about 7 in the morning, just in time to help get the kids ready for school.  Caleb was sick Thursday and Friday with stomach problems.  Friday in between ferrying the kids to school, I napped.  We enjoyed time with the family Friday night.  I also went to our friends house here in Magrie helped them load up our car.  Their son has finished College and taken a teaching position near Bordeaux.  They needed to move his stuff into his apartment there but could not find a rental van.  Thankfully everything fit into our cars.  I made the trip to Bordeaux Saturday.  I was a pleasant drive, there is a large pine forest that surrounds Bordeaux.  Services went well this morning.  Angie and Arianna stayed home to get some rest.  The church in Carcassonne started their Sunday school this morning and it was very well attended.  I think there were eleven children there.  I'm going to move on the other things that I need to get done.  God bless, JASON