Monday, January 30, 2012

Thanksgiving in January

 We had a wonderful week.  It was filled with activities.  The main focus of course is the Bible study and Thanksgiving.  I did find time on Wednesday, my day off, to clean the back yard a bit more.  Our back yard is terraced and once clean has the potential to produce a lot of fruit.  We have been cleaning rows and burning a large pile of brush, which the boys really enjoy.  The weather was nice Wednesday.
I am a little sad that we will not be here this summer to take advantage of the garden, but I hope to plant some automn fruits when we return to be able to profit at least some from our hard work this year.  The boys have been a great help and really love helping out. As long as they can make it fun, which they usually can find a way of doing. 

Micah has been know for sleeping in wierd positions,
this is how we found him in our bed one evening.
 I did have an opportunity to talk with a man about his spiritual needs.  Be in prayer for him because he is dealing with a lot of issues and needs Jesus more than anything else. 
 Our thanksgivign meal was a big success.  It was a lot of work to cook for 28 people, but there were helpers as well.  (pictured above and below)  We had a couple offer to provide the Turkey, someone else made the pumpkin pie, we had babysitters, people loaned us tables and chairs and dishes.  Many thanks to all.
 The evening went well.  I started this year out with a quiz about Thanksgiving, it was a good topic of discussion and everyone seemed to get along real well.  I then went over the questions and in the process gave the history of Thanksgiving.  There were good questions and conversations throughout the evening.  We enjoyed the time, for all who came, it was their first time to have Thanksgiving.  All seemed to enjoy themselves.  There were many compliments on the food and even the Dr. Pepper got positive reviews. 
Sunday Services went well in Carcassonne.  They had several visitors, several people were out because there was snow in certain areas.  They predicted snow for us as well on Sunday night.   We had a church member over for lunch to help us eat the leftovers and enjoyed some fellowship.  We enjoyed hearing the services at our home church in Texas.  My father is bringing a series from the Song of Solomon.  It has been excellent.  It is based on his book that he is writing for his doctorate.  I am looking forward to getting to read it when he is finished.  It would make a good study for young people, young couples, and all christians.  We awoke this morning to find out that we did not get any snow, not even ice.  The kids will have to wait to see if they can have a snowman this year.  God bless, JASON

Monday, January 23, 2012

From Batman to Basketball

 We had a good week.  Pictured above is Andrew's face painting from the birthday party on Saturday.  He was invited to a friends house for her birthday and they had a good time.  Angie stayed for the party to help out and was able to meet some of the parents as well.  It took a lot of work to get the paint off afterwards.
I was finally able to get our address changed on the car registration form.  The week before I had made two trips to Carcassonne to try and get it changed but it didn't work out both times. The first time their computers were down, the second they had closed early.  I made it on Wednesday and when I sat down in the waiting room, I was greeted by a "Bonjour, Jason" it was a man from Limoux that I have had contact with on several occassions, so we were able to spend our time waiting, talking.  I also met someone who attends the church in Carcassonne who had just bought a car.  I got it all done and it was free as well.  Thursday night we had a record attendance at the bible study (including Angie and I).  Friday morning it was cold and rainy.  To the right you see Arianna bundled up and sleeping after Angie took her to meet Lilia walking home from school.  There were not a lot of people at the market, I did hand out one Arabic New Testament.  Friday I also got my guitar fixed.  Lilia and Caleb had knocked it over and broke off one of the tuning knobs.
 Caleb has been asking for a hair cut, but we have not found time, Angie straightened it for him and this is how he looks.
 We had some British friends over for Lunch and they gave us some flowers they have grown and bloomed quickly.  The boys would wake up every morning and run to measure them to see how much they had grown.  They have a sweet smell and are called Jacinthe (french spelling).  Angie said that I had bought her some just like them several years ago. 
 Here is the newest member of the family, a dishwasher.  She is four years old and I purchased her Saturday.  We got a good deal and if she lasts us for six months it will be worth it.  The last time we had a dishwasher we only had two kids, so it has been a while. 

 Friday night we had a basketball game.  Pictured below I am the number 6 waiting to go for a rebound as our coach shoots a freethrow.  We lost the game by four points, but it went well and everyone had a good time.  During the game, which Caleb and Lilia attended with me, Lilia walked over to the bench and said that Micah had fallen on his head and Angie had called 15 (911 in the States), he did not show any signs of a concussion, but had a big knot on the back of his head.  I woke him up a couple of times during the night to make sure he was okay.  It was funny because normally when I wakes up during the night he appears completely out of it and says the strangest thing.   this time it was no different.  I woke him up and told him to go to the restroom, which he did, I then asked him a few question to see if he was coherent.  I just got what seemed like random yes and no's.  Just before I put him back in bed, out of the blue he quoted a few lines of a french poem that Caleb had memorized a couple of years ago, "Quatre-vingts moutons, autant de poisson, un peu de pain, et j'ai toujours faim".  I took that as a sign that he was good.   
 Below picture is from our game before on Saturday, I am pictured on the bottom right making a shot.  The boys had a basketball tournament Sunday after church. Lilia was sick to her stomach so after church Angie got a ride home with Lilia and Arianna.  So just us boys had a good time together.  Micah and Caleb won both of the games they played, 3 - 0 and 6 - 4. 
Last Saturday the weather was nice and we even cleaned up the back yard some.  This Saturday is our Thanksgiving meal that we finally got rescheduled.  We are looking forward to it, please pray that it goes well.  God  bless, JASON

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cold Market morning

I like how Angie is holding two bottles. 

Lilia's and Peter's card house at the youth meeting.

Micah finds an interesting way to clean the underside of the table.

Arianna tries on Andrew's coat.
We had a good week last week.  Things were busy but we accomplished a lot.  Bible Study went well Thursday evening, we had one new visitor.  The lesson went well and a lot of good comments were made.  The market Friday morning went real well.  I spoke with a man from Sweden who has lived in Limoux for 10 years, a man from Israel who had been to our Bible study once but we had not seen since, two of me fellow basketballers stopped by, a young lady wanting a Bible and to know about churches available in the area, and I visited with a few regulars.  It was cold but worth it.  Saturday we met a neighbor boy who came to play with our boys. I was able to speak briefly to his mother. Angie and Lilia went to the youth meeting in Carcassonne on Saturday as well. They had a good time. Saturday evening I was able to make my second basketball game of the year.  We lost the game by a few points because of a poor second half.  I did not play much, but did manage to score 6 point, block two shots, and get a couple of assists and rebounds.  Not too bad for an old man.  Services went well Sunday.  I lead the services which I enjoyed.  I had fun with the kids lessons which I will post on my French blog.  Sunday afternoon Lilia had two school friends come over to work on a project.  We were able to meet both of the parents and spoke for a while with them.  One of Lilia's best friends this year is a girl who was adopted from Thailand several years ago.  Lilia and her get along real well being that they are both third culture kids.  This week I need to make a trip to carcassonne to change our address for our car registration.  I made this same trip twice last week.  The first time, their computers were giving them problems, and we I went again Friday afternoon I discovered that they close at three.  It might get done this week, baring computer problems and early closures.  I was able to start the process of getting Arianna's name changed on her French birth certificate.  They made a mistake and put one "n".  We will see how much of a complicated process that is.  It was -4 degrees celsius this morning when I dropped the kids off and went to fill up on gas.  The exchange rate is getting better, however the price of gas (diesel) has jumped up to 1.40 euros a liter.  They makes it $6.76 a gallon to save you some time on the math.  Makes me thankful that we are in town now.  Enjoy the pics and God bless, JASON

Monday, January 9, 2012

Starting out the New Year

After seeing some super hero movies, here are the boys with a
hammer, sword, and shield.  The have them all painted now.

Arianna has gotten to where she loves wearing
everybodies shoes, sometimes she has trouble
getting them on, but she seems to walk well in
them no matter how big they are. 
The kids got right back into the swing of things with school.  Lilia has moved up into a higher level swimming class, so she is there everynight of the week, though she didn't go Tuesday might because she had homework.  Wednesday, the Irish lady we know, made us and Irish Stew.  She had seen a recipe in one of our cookbooks and explained that it was not right.  What she made us was excellent and we really enjoyed it.  The kids started basketball practice on Wednesday, as did I.  I think they took to it better that I did, because I was sore for a few days following.  I think I had a little too much Turkey, or maybe it was the Irish stew.  At basketball practice I found out that one of my teammates, had lost a baby last week, the baby passed away one hour after birth.  We sent him a card and are praying for him and his wife.  Thursday night bible study went well.  We had three present an picked back up into the study on John after a break from the holiday's.  This past weekend, we met a lady at the church in Carcassonne, who was really happy to meet us.  She has been living in Limoux for a year and had been praying to meet some Christians who live there as well.  You could tell how pleased she was at the church in Carcassonne after meeting us.  She plans on attending the Bible Study thursday night even called me Sunday night so that we could learn a little more about each other.  I also spoke to a lady at church who has a son who plays basketball in Bordeaux, we are having a bastketball outreach planned for the spring of next year.  I was hoping to have a contact with a basketball player in Bordeaux, because I know the pastor of a church in Bordeaux and was hoping to have a basketball match there.  This will be a busy week.  Saturday I have a basketball match, and Angie and Lilia will be going to the youth meeting in Carcassonne.  Sunday, I will be leading the services in Carcassonne as well. The church in Carcassonne is meeting in a new place in order to have a little more space.  Outgrowing your meeting place is a good problem to have, one that I hope we will have recently.  Angie has had a headache off and on the last couple of days, she is now off of caffeine to see if that helps.  God bless, JASON

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year

A couple of picturs I took in Andorra.

The kids on Christmas morning.

The Estrada family.
Our time with new friends finished well.  On Thursday they showed us how to make Tortillas, the real way.  They were very good.  Lilia said that they were better than chocolate.  We also had a visit from our friends from Magrie.  Their daughter is leaving soon to spend 6 months in Australia to improve her English.  She will be staying only a hour from a good pastor friend of mine.  I took the Estrada family back to Barcelona on Friday, we saw a pretty rainbow on the way down.  Andrew and I stayed for lunch with the pastor in Barcelona.  We enjoyed getting to know them better. I was able to follow the gist of most of the conversations, the pastor speaks fairly good English.  He has invited me to come speak for them in February, which I am already looking  forward to.  It will be nice to have the family with me as well, so they can meet all of us.  Saturday the kids played outside a lot, they are enjoying the basketball goal that they got for Christmas.  We did not let them stay up to midnight, because they were already tired, but we did let them stay up later than normal.  Angie and I saw the New Year in together.  We celebrated our fourth year in France this past week.  What an amazing God that we have, to get to the end of the year and see how good he has been to us, not just this past year, but our entire time in France, and our time together, and out entire lives.  Surely those reading this can realize the same thing, I pray that each of you know my King and Savior.  I try not to get too preachy in this blog, because the goal is to keep everyone up to date with our family and life here in France.  But, I do think it is important to share the greatest love in my life, Jesus Christ, and I hope that it is evident even as you read about our daily life in France.  If you do not know Jesus and you would like to, you can contact me by email at   Sunday services were well.  There were a half dozen first time visitors at the church in Carcassonne.  One young couple were from Australia, he is playing Rugby for Carcassonne.  I stayed for the meal and business meeting with Lilia and Micah.  We enjoyed the rest of the day and hearing the services of our sending church over skype.  Monday was somewhat surreal, the kids realizing that it was their last day of vacation.  They were excited as well about school starting back.  I am enjoying my first day back in the office for a while.  God bless, JASON