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     

Sunday, September 5, 2010

All aboard.

The view from Angie's hospital room.
CAUTION: Cutest when sleeping.
My favorite picture so far.
Angie and Arianna have made it home. They was a tense moment Thursday when Arianna started chocking and coughed up an un-identifiable substance. They watched her for a couple of hours in Neonatal ICU and sucked out her stomach but everyone thing looked ok. My Dad did a fine job at the bible study Thursday evening. I started out translating, but after a while passed it on to the former pastor in Carcassonne. It wasn't really a problem of translation as it was a problem of remebering what he had said that needed to be translated. The kids started school Thursday as well. Things all went good. Andrew hesitated a little. It was harder for him because he has no brother at school with him this year, and he complains that he has no friends. I think it also bothered him that Angie wasn't there. After a little encouragement he went in no problems. Friday we sorted out the billing process with the hospital. They ended up telling us the wrong amount a few weeks ago and it ended up being a lot more. Samartian Ministries will cover the costs but we still had to arrange something with the hospital until the refund came to us. I asked if we could go ahead and have the bill. Then began a search for how much it cost. The French and even the British are covered differently and are not considered as paying out of pocket. It was interesting seeing a French person getting upset with the French system and not being able to find anyone that could tell her how much it would cost us. I will give them a few days to sort through it and them if I do not have a response, I will stop by. It is good to have Angie and Arianna home. The boys have all had interesting responses. When she first cried they all came stampeding in to see what was going on. When Angie nursed the first time there was a similar response and I will not give all the remarks, but one Micah said was, "She is eating you?" After getting Angie home and settled, several of us made a trip to Toulouse and particularly IKEA, where we picked us a few things, one of which being a rocking chair.  Services were good today. We attended the church in Carcassonne. Their services went well. Dad was given the opportunity to say thanks for all the help that the church has been to us.  Angie, Lilia, and Arianna stayed home. I helped translate the services for my parents and we stayed for the meal afterwards. We all had a good time of food, fellowship, and worship. We are planning to listen to our home church services in a few minutes. God bless, JASON