Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas guests

The Sunset from the Walled City of Carcassonne

This is actually the work of a marker in the hands of a
teething child.

 Christmas went well at the Clark house.  The days leading up to Christmas were busy preparing things and keeping the peace between the kids.  Friday I went with Micah and Andrew to distribute some Christmas tracts.  We woke up early on Sunday and opened gifts.  Caleb and I left at 8:30 to travel to Barcelona, where we attend the services of the church there.  We had a wonderful time and I was shocked by how much of the services I was able to follow with what little I remember of Spanish, and what sounds close to the words in French. Caleb was real good in the services and even went right in to Sunday School as well.  We brought the visiting pastor, who is doing a conference for the missionary in Barcelona,  and his wife and daughter to our house to spend a few days.  The Estrada family is from Mexico City and even though we have only met them once, several years ago, and have a few friends in common, we get along real well.  Amazing how Christ can unite people.  Monday Angie took them around Limoux and shopping, and that evening we went to the to the walled city of Carcassonne, saw a beautiful sunset while we were there. Tuesday we visited the country of Andorra.   It was a pretty two hour drive and the snow in the Pyrenees was a nice sight.  I'll have to post pictures from there later, because they were on the cell phone.  Today Angie took them shopping in Carcassonne, where they found some good deals.  We plan on makings some Tortillas tommorrow. Yeah!  God bless, JASON

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Playing with Tops

Arianna brought me a stadium for the tops the boys play with and wanted to play it with me.  Angie thought it was cute and grabbed the camera.  You can hear Arianna saying, "there it is" and "uh-oh" and she shakes her head yes.  She is cute. - JASON

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reindeer games

Happy 9th birthday Caleb!

Lilia was serving tables at the Christmas dinner.

Andrew and Micah during the Christmas play.
We had a good week, busy but we did get a lot accomplished.  I prepared lessons for Thursday night, devotion and kids lesson for Sunday, English devotion for the Carol Service.  Unpacked several boxes, installed shower head, installed new bathroom lock, hung a light in the kitchen, repaired a door knob.  Thankfully the sickness was all behind us.  The kids had a good last week of school, the whole family seemed to be waiting for Friday to come.  We celebrated Caleb;s birthday Saturday.  He turned 9.  He had a friend over that he had not seen in a while, because the boy had changed schools.  They had a wonderful time playing together.  Even Arianna joined in the fun and roughness that comes along with boys.  Saturday evening was the big Christmas dinner outreach with the church in Carcassonne.  The kids performed a sketch, I will try to share the video later.   The dinner went well, and the kids did a good job on the skit.  Sunday services went well, Angie said I did a good job leading the service and I try to believe her.  Of all the opinions of others, hers counts the most.  We had a restful afternoon.  The director of the skit to the kids out for ice cream at McDonalds sunday afternoon.  Today we had a good time enjoying the activities downtown.  They had a free obstacle course and zip line, as well as a reindeer sleigh ride, that all the kids enjoyed.  We met another family there and they visited at our house afterwards.  We did have a good time even though it was cold and misting at times.   Angie has gone shopping and I now hear a little voice calling to me, it seems to be saying, "I have woke up from my nap and I want to get up and have a snack."  Of course to others it would just sound like a baby crying, but I know what she means.  Arianna is saying several words and even phrases and it is cute.  Blessings, JASON

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Sickness

Saturday Angie did some Christmas shopping and we put
up the tree.

Had some play time putting some legos
together with Caleb.
The sickness seems to finally be behind us.  It lasted all last week and we did end up cancelling the Bible Study and our Thanksgiving meal.  We will try to reschedule after the first of the year.  We did manage to get some stuff unpacked inbetween sick moments.  Let me run down the schedule for you.  Andrew became sick Saturday night.  Arianna joined him on Monday.  Caleb and Micah hopped on the sick wagon on Monday night.  I had fever on Tuesday.  Angie joined in the fun on Wednesday, and Lilia on Wednesday night.  Andrew had a slight relapse on Friday night.  The sickness lasted one or two days for everyone, except Andrew, who stomach was still hurting on the third day.  We found out that is was because he had not gone "potty" of anykind for two days.  I went to church on Sunday with the three older kids.  Services were good.  Caleb and Micah had a basketball tournemant that afternoon.  They tied two games and lost the third.  This week I am hoping to have things back to some kind of ressemblance of normal.  I have a lot of work to do.  Prepare for the Bible study, for the Christmas outreach in Carcassonne, and for leading the services in Carcassonne on Sunday.  Better get to it.  God bless, JASON

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The last meal

I enjoy every meal as if it were my last . . .let me start from the beginning.  Last week went well, we got probably 75% of boxes unpacked.  The Bible study went well, I had sent out a text message to all that we have had contact with, we still just have our usual audience, but I am confident that we will experience better growth in town.  Friday morning the stand at the market went well, I passed out one Bible, almost two.  Limoux has a large psychiatric hospital, so often mentally handicaped people will frequently walk through the market under supervision.  Two young teenagers passed by with an adult, one young teen asked me how much the stuff cost, I mentioned it was free, he then asked the adult if he could have a Bible.  They went back and forth for a while, the adult stating, "You can't even read, you don't even know what it is."  He answering back, "But so and so can read, and it's free, I don't care what it is." I wanted to give it to him, but couldn't overide the authority of the adult in charge of him.  Friday we got the heat turned on and it has been nice.  Friday afternoon I went and met with our former landlord and finished the papers on our old house.  There are some things that I will miss about the place.  Basketball was cancelled Friday night, I found out right before, which I missed.   Saturday we cleaned and unpacked.  Which brings us to Saturday night. About 1:30 am, Andrew arrives at the bedside stating that he wet the bed.  Angie got up to help him, and a few minutes later calls for my assistance.  He had vomitted in his bed, next to it, even under it.  It took three loads of laundry to get it all washed.  We made him a palet on the floor and gave him a bucket.  He carried on three more times through the night. I stayed home on Sunday with him and Arianna and Micah, while Angie and the others went to church, she needed to speak with someone about preparing for Thanksgiving.  Andrew didn't eat much that day and everytime he did, he threw up.  Arianna followed suit yesterday (Monday). 
 The poor thing, we have never had one so young get the stomach virus. It has not been so bad for her. She takes a few minute nap after she gets sick and just can't seem to understand why we keep that bowl in front of her.  Monday night Micah's turn was next. He doesn't handle that kind of thing well at all.  He said one time, "Dad, I just want to die." We had prepared and so we just had one load of laundry from Micah's bed.  Caleb followed a few hours later.   Thankfully he already had a bowl, so the mess was avoided.  Today everyone seems to be walking around with a bowl. Arianna has not gotten sick since yesterday, but along with everyone else she has no appetite.  Micah just walked in from the bathroom saying, "That was round six."  Angie, Lilia, and I are waiting our turn.  We could avoid it, but as I shared with Angie last night at supper.  I am enjoying every meal like it could be my last for a few days. Hopefully we will not have to cancel Thanksgiving on Saturday, but God is in control.  Blessings, JASON 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Moving Day

A hallway full of boxes, and if you look closely, Arianna
is sleeping in her stroller at the end.

Packing up the old house.  And to think, we arrived her four
years ago, with just suitcases.
Our move went well.  Most of the week, as you can imagine was spent preparing for the move. We managed to get almost everything boxed up by Thursday.  Thursday morning (which was Thanksgiving) we met at the house to look it over with the agency.  Boy, did we ever look it over.  Everything, every mark, every hole, every broken piece of everything was marked.  It took about two and a half hours, but we finally had our house.  There was electricity but no water and gas and we are missing the key to the large attic, which they are still looking for.  That afternoon I managed to move 35 boxes in preparation for the big move on Friday.  We also called and got the water turned on.  We called about the gas, which we will have to wait a week before it gets turned on, which means no heat until Friday.  Thursday evening, we picked up the moving truck, and Friday morning we had five guys from Carcassonne show up to help out.  We loaded and unloaded three loads in about 4 hours, and fed them lunch.  We had one more person come and help out in the afternoon, reassembling furniture.  The move went well, we did have a miss communication leading to breaking a hinge on the truck, but everything else went good.  A friend provided supper for us on Friday and lunch on Saturday, which was a great blessing, we did make good progress on emptying boxes and putting away furniture, but still have some work left.  Sunday morning, we had a surprise when the phone rang . . . the surprise wasn't that someone called, but that the phone rang.  We had been told that the phone/internet services would not be working until 8 days, which from our past experience we were expecting up to a couple of weeks.  Things were running Sunday morning.  Services went well Sunday morning.  And we treated ourselves to McDonalds for supper for a little break from unpacking.  The kids love the new place.  We have met two of our neighbors and they are both really nice.  Arianna has been wondering happily all over the house. She has slept really well at night.  The only complaint so far, is the cold.  It was about 55 degrees in the morning when we woke up.  We do have an electric heater that we plug in, and we keep one room warm and heat the kids rooms up before bed.  But we are really enjoying the space, and being so cose to everything.  I just took the kids back to school after lunch and when I got back, Angie looked at me with surprise and said, "Back already?"  Hope you enjoy the few pics that I took.  God bless, JASON

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ready to move

Arianna finishes her soup.

Arianna with bath hair.

Took this shot on a recent hike with the kids.

Letting Arianna feed herself, or practice face painting.

The kids enjoy snack time.

Arianna looks up to her biggest brother.
We had a good week last week.  Tuesday I witnessed a man on a bike lose a significant amount of money from his pocket.  I honked but he did not stop.  By the time I got out of the car and gather the scattering bills, the bicyclist was no where to be seen. I reported it to the police, who took my information,  I hope that he calls.  The kids are doing well.  They are all excited about the move, even though only Arianna has seen he new house.  I am sure that they will enjoy it.  They are easy going.  We have continued packing, I would guess that we have about 50 boxes packed up. I plan on counting them as we take them to the new house.  Thursday night Bible study was good, we will not have the Bible study this week because of the move and so next time will be in our new house. Friday, the market went well, I saw several usuals and three guys I know from basketball as well.  Saturday night, I played in my first basketball match of the year. It was a good game, we were behing at one point by 20 but we came back to within four by the end of the game.  I scored only five points and missed several shots, but I did good otherwise, 3 blocked shots and several assists.  Sunday, I led the services at the church in Carcassonne, there was a first time visitor from Limoux, and I enjoyed getting to talk with him.  He is from Guadelope and was wanting to come back.  Several people offered to come and help us on Friday.  Yesterday I picked up the signed papers for the house, and today I went and got the renters insurance swapped.  Thursday we will pick the keys up and do the walk through, and spend the rest of the day moving boxes.  I will pick up the moving truck that evening. Friday everyone will be coming over at 10.  I do not think that it will take long to get the big items moved and we should have plenty of help.  Then we will spend the rest of the weekend getting settled the rest of the way.  I do not know how long it will take to get the internet up and going at the new place.  The phone company told me 8 business days, but that might just be a loose estimate, meaning I do not know when I will have a chance to blog again, but I will when I get a chance. Thanks for your prayers. God bless, JASON

Monday, November 14, 2011

A shot at Basketball

Keeping Arianna happy during the three hour

Micah shoots the ball straight up into the arms of the girl in
front of him.

Dropping Lilia off to catch the school bus.

Caleb scores, see Micah's reaction.

Driving home along the Canal du Midi.
We have had a good week.  A lot of the preparations have begun for the move in less than two weeks.  What the focus has been on this week seems to be basketball.  The Friday night that I blogged last, the team asked me to pray for their game on Sunday.  I said that of course I would, and they won. Their first win of the season, and second win in two years.  Of course they could just as easily loose the next match, but at least it was an attempt to share an important aspect of my faith.  An interesting side note, last Sunday was also a muslim holiday celebrating the sacrifice of Abraham.  The practices with the group went good this week and I will be playing with them this next Saturday night.  Caleb and Micah had a basketball tournement today.  We drove over after church and spent the afternoon at the tournement. Normally I would be hesitant to go to such an event on a Sunday, but that is the only day that many events are held, and I was an opportunity to meet two sets of parents and get to know the coach a little better.  The boys played well and won the first game 4-2 and the second 14-8.  Unlike many of the other teams they only had four players, so no subs.  Caleb scored twice in the second game. Micah did good as well, he was among the youngest in their age group, so he was dwarfed, but it didn't bother him at all, he ran all over and cheered when one of his teammates scored, and laughed when he shot the ball once and it went straight up (picture attached). In other news, the Bible study went well.  I missed the market this week, because it was changed to Thursday since Friday was veterans day in France.  I also worked on translating a skit for the Christmas dinner outreach with the church in Carcassonne.  It was a great time and I am looking forward to it this year and helping out with the kids program. We will also invite some people we know who live in Carcassonne.  We showed the house to a couple this week, actually two, we had a suprise visit from a couple on Saturday morning.  I had a good talk with them while Angie had the kids do a quick straighten up, turns out that they were both from a protestant background, and they seemed interested in the house.  Enjoy the attached pics from our cell phone.  God bless, JASON

Thursday, November 3, 2011

To Paris and back

Indoor hockey was a big hit.

Kids of all ages participated.

The Cross family.

Arianna made a new friend, should we tell them that
those remotes are not plugged in?

We had a good vacation.  On Monday and Tuesday we relaxed around the house.  On Tuesday I went swimming with Lilia, and she wore me out.  I also had my language session.  Wednesday, I left to pick up our friends in Paris.  The trip went well, I took a scenic detour to avoid some tolls.  I arrived at our friends house and stayed the night and then we left to come back to the south.  Our visitors, the Cross family, are new missionaries in France.   They are from Texas and have just started language school, and we wanted to welcome them and give them a little break from Paris, and all the struggles that come with language learning and entering a new culture.  We had a wonderful time with them.  We arrived at the house Thursday evening, the trip went well, just a couple of car sickness episodes.  We planned to have the Bible study, but no one came, busy with the vacation themselves I imagine.  It rained Friday and Saturday.  To occupy everyone and burn some energy we played indoor hockey on Friday, and I took all the kids swimming at the pool on Saturday.  On Sunday we went to church together, at supper at a members house, and then went to tour the walled city of Carcassonne.  Monday morning we left to return to Paris, hit a little traffic, but had no other problems.  Tuesday, I drove back. Wednesday, the kids had a full day of school, which normally they do not have.  They seemed excited about getting back to school.  I have been busy, these last two days with emails, reports, and lessons.  I took the boys to get a physical so they can play basketball.  Angie is having coffee with a friend in town.  And I'm getting back to work.  Also I wish a happy 12th birthday to Lilia today.  God bless, JASON

Monday, October 24, 2011


Angie took the kids to the park.

One of the road work tractors.

Arianna was showing Angie the sugar cube that she
had found and quickly eaten.

We had our first frost and the kids snuggled up to watch a

Wow, another week has passed.  Our road is still being worked on.  Let me hit some highlights from this past week.  Arianna had a doctors appointment, she is doing fine, a little smaller for her age, but has been that way for some time.  She got a shot, but didn't even cry.  Bible study was good.  We had two present. At the market  I was able to have coffee with the person who came to the Bible study the week before.  We had a real good visit. Friday, Angie dropped me off at the market so that she could pick up some boxes for us, only to find out that they were repaving our road and she could not get back up.  So we hanged out in town all day.  We picked the kids up at lunch and took them to McDonalds, which they really enjoyed.  I guess that it has been over a month since we had last been.  Lilia is doing real well in school and in her swimming class.  She has her first competition November 30th.  Today I helped the Pastor in Carcassonne move their stuff into their home.  I'm going to take the kids swimming tomorrow and Wednesday I am driving to Paris to pick up some friends who just started language schools.  They are also from Texas and are going to be doing church work in France as well.  They have three kids and we are looking forward to spending some time with them.  The kids are enjoying the vacation.  The played outside most of the day.  Enjoy the pictures.  God bless, JASON

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Computer Bug

The hallway in our future house.

The view into two bedrooms.

The back yard.

The side yard.

I'm not sure what this is.

Micah playing with some legos that my parents sent.

Seems like Arianna wanted some cereal.

Looks like she wanted to have some milk with it.
As I predicted the road is not finished yet.  I did get to say "hi" to the major a couple of days ago, as he was inspecting the work.  What has got us perplexed, is that it doesn't look like they are going to pave it.  Our neighbor said they should be finished in two days.   On Tuesday we got a box from my parents.  We enjoyed all the goodies.  Tuesday we also went and looked at our new house, we will be moving in the end of November.  We took some pictures (attached above).  I spent quite a bit of my time this week working on computer problems.  My computer locks up at random, more often when it is not being used.  I spent at least a day, trying several different things to get it to work right, but nothing seemed to help.  It seems like it will need to have windows reloaded.  Now it is just a matter of doing it.  Interestingly enough, I am not the only one recently to have computer problems.  Our church was struck by lightening and "killed" several computers, my mom's computer had a serious virus, and several others as well.  Someone at our church said something like, "Steve Jobs dies and all the computers crash".  I also had some troubles with out toilet.  I wonder if another inventor/inovator passed away this week. In other news, basketball practice continues to go well, but I didn't play very well this week.  I might need to find some time to practice with the boys a little.  Thankfully my main purpose is not the playing time or the excercise, it is meeting and getting to know my fellow players.  We have been wanting to invite some people over, but we are waiting for our road to be finished.  Thursday night, the Bible study went well, we had a first time visitor, and he seemed to enjoy the songs, prayer, and Bible lesson and discussion and said he would love to come back.  Friday morning at the market, there was not a lot of activity, but I did speak to a man who has a stand that sells bags and purses.  We talked for probably a hour, if you add it all up.  I also talked quite a bit with Philip, the man who came to the Bible study, we even enjoyed a cup of coffee together.  Friday afternoon we got a call from our landlord saying that someone wanted to some see the house, we got in touch with her and she ended up coming at 4 that afternoon.  That meant the afternoon was spent cleaning.  She came but didn't seem too interested.  I felt bad because she had to walk up our road wearing black, in high heels.  Friday afternoon Lilia was invited to a birthday party by one of her English friends at school.  She spent Friday night with the friends house.  She came back with excited stories involving painting fingernails and having cucumbers, avacadoes, and yogurt on her face.  Doesn't sound like much fun to me, but I am glad that she had a good time.  We let the boys have a friend over to fill the void at the house, so they had a good time as well, they played with legos for a good while.  This morning, I finished preparing for the services tommorrow, I will be leading the singing and giving the reading and devotional, and the devotional for the kids.  I really enjoy giving the kids lesson.  It captures a wide audience, because the kids tend to listen better, and the adults listen as well, so you reach everyone.  I pray that you have a blessed weekend.  JASON

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Road Construction

Arianna showing what "joy" is.

Caleb showing the results of his bike accident.

Angie showing us walking down the road.

Showing the construction, the boys liked the big rocks,
they actually has to use dynamite to remove one of them.

Lilia showing some new clothes.

I am trying to show the mud on the car.

Arianna showing how happy she is playing outside.

Arianna showing us her ball.
 We have been busier recently, with life.  I can't name exactly what has been keeping us busy.  I guess recently the work on our road has been throwing a curve into our routine.  They are widening our road and so we never know throughout the day if we will be able to use it or not.  That means sometimes we have to park at the end of the road and walk up to the house.  The boys really enjoy this.  The distance is not that great, maybe between a quarter to half a mile, but still it is something that you have to factor in.  Last Thursday we got a call that someone might come look at the house.  We spent Thursday getting it ready and packed up a couple of boxes as well.  Friday morning, we called to let her know that the road was muddy because it had rained overnight, and found out that she had cancelled.  We have been having the Bible Study at our friends house in Magrie because of the road trouble.  They are supposed to be finished this Friday, but I doubt they are going to make their deadline.  Just now, I have to straddle a trench going down the middle of the road for a few hundred feet.  Otherwise, things are going well.  Lilia is still enjoying school.  The boys as well.  Micah went and played with some classmates Sunday afternoon, twins who are new to this area.  It was nice to meet them.  Arianna is happily walking all over the house and grabbing for everything that is within her ever expanding reach.  I met a lady at the park yesterday who had a 20 month old little girl that was quite a bit shorter that Arianna who will be 14 months old at the end of the month.  This past weekend, the temperatures dropped down to around 40 degrees, but yesterday it got back up to 80, so looks like the Indian summer is not over yet.  Let me add some pictures and let them tell some more about what is going on.  God bless, JASON

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Indian Summer

I took these pictures of Arianna at the party, I don't know why but I really like them.
Birthday surprise party.
We have been enjoying an indian summer.  The temperature has climbed into the 80's everyday, which is abnormally warm for this time of year. Monday we had a surprise birthday party for Angie at our friends house. She had a good birthday and is still younger than I am :)  I was wondering why it worked out that we did not get to have the Bible Study last week. Well, now I know why.  We found out early in the week that some people were coming to look at the house on Wednesday.  So Monday and Tuesday we gathered up some boxes and filled up about thirty of them with items that will not be neccessary over the next couple of months. Angie showed the house Wednesday evening while I took the kids to the store and over to McDonalds.  Seems like both families that came, liked the house.  Thursday night Bible Study went well, we held it at our friends house, here in Magrie.  After promising to redo our road for the last two years, they have started this week, which might mean the road being muddy or partially closed.  Oddly enough, they worked Monday, Tuesday morning, and about an hour on Friday morning.  I do not think that they will make the October 14th deadline.  I did have a few people stop by the booth on Friday morning.  Friday afternoon,  laid down to take a "short" nap, and got up two hours later.  Once again, I was a little down that I had let that amount of time get away.  Of course, God knows all, Arianna, who is still getting over a cold, woke up at 2 in the morning and stayed awake until 4.  So we hung out. We talked, played, sang, ate a donut and two hotdogs, and she even chewed on a raw onion for a while, before going back to sleep.  Today, we had lunch with an Irish family we met last week.  We took a wrong turn and had a nice scenic drive getting there,  but we had a great visit and meal together.  At the end, Caleb had a fall on the bike and got a significant amount of road rash.  It took a good while to get him calmed down (meaning about an hour).  He will be sore for a while and have something to show off to his friends at school at least.  God bless, JASON 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Another Surprise

The boys in brown.

Arianna giving hugs.


It is Satuday already.  The last few days have continued on the theme of surprises (see last blog).  Saturday when I took Lilia to swimming I  met an Irish family that had just moved to France.  I was able to help them with translating.  I then took the boys to basketball practice.   Caleb begged until I allowed him to stay.  He was suppose to be taking it easy since he fell on his knee on Tuesday.  Wednesday night basketball practice for me went good.   There have been a few new players this year. Thursday,  we had everything ready for the Bible study when. . . surprise!. . .the plumbing stopped up again.  We quickly cancelled the study.   I got the problem fixed a few minutes before the time our Bible Study would have started.  I changed real fast in case someone came which was good because we did have one person show up.  We just had a good visit.  Friday, the market went slow, I did give away one Bible in Arabic. Thursday we turned in our paperwork to renew our visa, and afterwards went to pick Lilia up. She did not come out however. The gate was closed and she never came. Angie had to go in and get her. Turns out that she had left her jacket inside and had to go back for it.  Friday Lilia had swimming again, she goes three times a week because she is in competition level this year.  Angie met the Irish family again and invited them over for lunch today.  Friday evening I had basketball practice and went out for a soda afterwards with some of my teamates.  I am considering inviting them over for the Thanksgiving meal that we have.  Our lunch with the Irish family went well.  They have five kids as well. Needless to say, our kids had a great time together! God bless, JASON